All photos courtesy Jonathan Castner,

On Wednesday, October 24, 2018, Colorado Cleantech Industries Association celebrated its 10th birthday with the 2018 Cleantech Awards Celebration. Instead of cake and balloons, we opted to hand out our annual Awards at the party, which went to five individuals and companies that made a significant impact in the cleantech ecosystem in Colorado in 2018.

We’re proud of the triple bottom line approach that we see as the foundation of the award-winners’ work. Yes, they are focused on economic success (and very proud of that success) but they also engage in business practices that are good for people and good for the environment.

We had record numbers of nominations in 2018, and a judging process that was so close that, for example, there was a triple tie for second place in the High Impact category.

We especially want to thank our judges John Browne, Lisa Hough, Steve Hughes and Jane Pater Salmon for their time and effort devoted to the difficult task of selecting the winners. They narrowed down the field of nominees for each category based on criteria such as revenue growth, capital raised, major newsworthy announcements and staff growth, between November 2017 and October 2018.

The 2018 Colorado Cleantech Award winners are:

High Impact Cleantech Company of the Year:
SunTech Drive

SunTech Drive is making solar-ready nanogrid motors for all sorts of off and on grid applications. SunTech Drive was the winner in the Breakout Category in 2017, showing their quick and extraordinary growth. SunTech Drive’s CEO, John LoPorto, accepted the award with his team.

John LoPorto, CEO of SunTech Drive, accepting the High Impact award, flanked by Master of Ceremonies Wayne Greenberg and CCIA Executive Director Shelly Curtiss

Emerging Cleantech Company of the Year
Lever Energy Capital

Lever Energy Capital provides low-cost private capital for building retrofits, new construction, and solar projects. Otherwise known as Commercial PACE (see our blog detailing this financing model). Vice President Kevin Morse of Lever Energy Capital accepted the award.

Kevin Morse, Vice President of Lever Energy Capital, accepting the Emerging award, with Wayne Greenberg and Shelly Curtiss

Breakout Cleantech Company of the Year

Vartega is taking carbon scrap materials and leveraging them for automotive and aerospace applications. Alice Havill, Chief Operating Officer of Vartega, accepted the award.

Alice Havill, Chief Operating Officer of Vartega, accepting the Breakout award, with Wayne Greenberg and Shelly Curtiss

Cleantech Innovator of the Year
Dave Lisle, Silver Bullet

Dave has over 20 years of C-level experience in a range of companies and is currently CEO of Silver Bullet, which provides comprehensive services and solutions for a variety of water problems. Silver Bullet won the CCIA Emerging Cleantech Company Award in 2012.

Dave Lisle accepting the Innovator of the Year award, with Wayne Greenberg and Shelly Curtiss

Legislator of the Year
State Representative Chris Hansen

Representative Chris Hansen is finishing up his first term representing House District 6 in Denver. In just two years, Chris has established himself to be a leader in clean energy policy at the capital. He has worked on bills to increase utility scale storage, increase the community solar garden cap, sustainably fund the Colorado Energy Office and provide a bonding mechanism to smooth the transition for communities that are retiring old coal plants.  

Representative Chris Hansen accepting the Legislator of the Year award, with Wayne Greenberg and Shelly Curtiss

Thank you everyone who attended the party, and congratulations again to the winners!