2016 EcoBroker Sustainability and Community Service Awards


To an EcoBroker, service and sustainability advocacy come naturally, with innovative, persistent work. It is a great honor to announce the EcoBroker Service and Sustainability Advocacy Award winners for 2016. Thank you to these awardees, and to you countless other nominees and EcoBrokers serving communities, consumers, and investors tremendous gratitude. Thank you.





Renee Frank, EcoBroker in Las Cruces, New Mexico

Renee Frank relishes building strong relationships with energy professionals in her community. She provides her clients with access to affordable (and often free) energy assessments. Facilitating energy and environmental upgrades based on real data, Renee helps saves her clients money and makes their lives more comfortable. That’s just Renee’s standard operating procedure.

Renee’s voice perks up when she tells the story of helping a woman who wanted to live closer to her grandchildren find a 1950’s home she loved, in walking distance to downtown Las Cruces. Renee was able to help find her client a complimentary energy assessment and blower-door test with a trusted, local energy assessment company. The contractor then insulated and air-sealed the property, dramatically reducing energy costs and increasing comfort. 

“The bottom line is, she is as comfortable as a bug in her house, and absolutely is a happy camper,” Renee says.

Working new construction and existing property real estate solutions, Renee guides her clients to the best green financing, helping identify local, State, Federal, utility, and private sector financing and incentives. Renee points out that the energy contractor with whom she works knows the utility companies, has a deep understanding of what rebates are allowable for which updates, and helps the customer secure the incentives. It’s a great strategic partnership. 

On the new construction side, Renee partners with a local Home Energy Rating System (HERS) professional. Together, they offer classes to educate the community about what the HERS Index is and how a better HERS rating translates to a lower cost of property ownership. Renee and her energy colleagues also plan to offer efficiency workshops for the public during their community’s Earth Day celebrations this spring.

“It really has been a lot of fun,” Renee says. “Becoming an EcoBroker was probably one of the most instrumental things in my real estate career. It sparked an excitement for being able to do something that could really make a difference.”  

Renee also makes a difference advocating for the Organ Mountains/Desert Peaks National Monument and helping re-establish a vibrant downtown Las Cruces. Renee partners with developers, city planners, builders, and others to advocate for development based on the principles of new urbanism and smart growth. Every day, Renee utilizes her EcoBroker expertise and kindness, working to help clients and customers understand the benefits of  properties with high performance and green features. Renee is truly all about her her clients and her community. Thank you, Renee.





Alex Kennett, EcoBroker in Morgan Hill, California

Alex strives to be a bridge between business and the environment. Noticing that many chambers of commerce historically eschew environmental issues, Kennett became the chairman of his local organization in 2002 and began one of the first environmental affairs committees in California. He works steadfastly to convince the business community it can work in sync with the environmental community. 

Environment and economy have to work hand in hand, Alex says. “In fact, it’s good for business.”

As an EcoBroker and a managing broker with with Real Estate Solutions in Morgan Hill, CA, Alex ensures he and all his agents ask questions and share information on the local utility’s energy efficiency and renewable incentives for commercial and residential properties with their clients and customers.

“With just a couple hundred dollars a month [in energy savings], you can literally save someone a complete mortgage payment per year,” Alex says. “The cost of living is so high, anything you can do to keep costs down is appreciated.”

Dedicating significant time to his work on the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, Alex is serving his fifth term in elected public service. The organization buys land and preserves it in perpetuity, eventually opening the land for recreational uses such as hiking, biking, and equestrian activities for generations to come. The Open Space Authority also provides an incentive to help farmers keep farming, by paying them for the development rights to their lands.

Service is an integral part of Alex’s life. He enlisted in the National Guard twice, and went to flight school so he could help fight forest fires, rescue people, and fly sick people to hospitals. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Desert Storm brought Kennett out of retirement from military service to be a liaison between the Department of Defense and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He has spent years in disaster relief.

Alex is a strong advocate for fostering the adoption of renewable energy sources, like solar power. He also has served on the boards of the Committee for Green Foothills, the Greenbelt Alliance, and the League of Conservation Voters, and has been a member of the Sierra Club since 1961. He is as hard-working and kind an EcoBroker as there is, through and through. Alex, thank you for your service.





Sustainability and Community Service Award Summary

Tirelessly, amidst uncertainty and countless obstacles, these great public servants continue to advocate for better buildings, better communities, better water and indoor air quality, better safety, affordability, comfort, environmental protection, energy efficiency, and renewable energy (among other important building and community solutions).

As has often been the case during EcoBroker’s history since 2001, it was difficult to select only a few award winners from a wide range of deserving and very qualified nominees. There are many more superstar EcoBrokers than those who have received these awards over the last sixteen years. To help spread the word on their great work, EcoBroker has worked with thousands of EcoBrokers to share their service stories with local and far larger audiences. All EcoBrokers have to do is ask, and EcoBroker will help you produce press releases, build community programs, endear more community, and build more good green business.  

“There are so many unbelievably dedicated professionals in our membership, helping so many different clients, customers, and communities,” Dr. John Beldock (EcoBroker’s CEO) explains. “It continues to be an incredible honor to serve alongside these outstanding EcoBrokers. We are continuously grateful for their extraordinary service.

Please seek out your local EcoBroker. You’ll find some of these great stories in your town, city, county, and community. 

For more information, please visit EcoBroker.com.  To learn more about the new EcoBroker: Current Trends in Sustainability course online click here.


Written and Published by: VanEd

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