As E2Tech nears its 20th anniversary, we can’t help but think back to the roots of the organization, and how E2Tech developed into the catalyst it is today.
One can't discuss the history of E2Tech without acknowledging the long time commitment of founding president, John Ferland. In our most recent Board retreat, John shared some remarks on his time and growth with the organization, along with inspiration for its future, as he wraps up his service on the board.
For John, a planned two year commitment to E2Tech, back when it was the Environmental Business Council of Maine, became a seven year stint as part-time executive director and later several terms as a board member. He mentioned E2Tech’s Forums and programming, and how they’ve become a cornerstone of our organization, influencing public policy and helping grow Maine's cleantech industry, as particular highlights.
John also thanked the past and current members of the board who he believes “represent the best leadership and capacity for vision and action that our industry sector has to offer”. Now president of fast-growing startup Ocean Renewable Power Co, John says that he would not be where he is today, professionally, without the “intellectual strength” the organization has brought to the renewable energy sector.
E2Tech hasn’t always been the stable, well-oiled machine it is today. A strong executive committee, a board of highly qualified leaders, and a legacy of executive directors has led to its success. John went on to outline some challenges and opportunities for the future of E2Tech:
In light of the pandemic era, “it seems that just about every organization under the sun has entered the market for video conference programming...so the need to focus our efforts and remain true to the organization’s vision, mission and priorities remains as imperative as ever." In a new hybrid work environment of Zoom calls and remote work, E2Tech will need to continue to come up with new innovative ideas to engage through online forums, while also sticking true to our mission.
John ended his speech on the opportunities that lay ahead:
“We have entered a new election cycle. This is yet another opportunity to share the E2Tech brand with the marketplace as we facilitate and moderate programs among candidates and ideas... There is an unprecedented amount of public funding entering the market focusing on clean energy’s role in infrastructure improvement, technical training and job creation, and investment in underserved communities. The need is greater than ever to not only explain these opportunities to members, but to also assist the agencies in identifying needs and priorities for investment.”
Staying true to our mission, while finding new and contemporary ways to overcome challenges, will always be the focus of the future here at E2Tech. Most importantly though, continuing to be a reliable resource for growing Maine’s energy & environmental sector.
A big thank you to John Ferland for his work to grow E2Tech into the organization that it is today, and all best wishes for the future!