Founder, CEO & Director
WALT RATTERMAN, OUR SunEPI LEADER, WAS TRAGICALLY LOST TO THE HAITIAN EARTHQUAKE ON JANUARY 12TH, 2010. Walt inspired each of us, and will remain in our hearts as we travel through life.
Walt Ratterman was Senior Vice President for projects with Foley Electric, Inc. (one of America's largest electrical contractors) for fifteen years. He subsequently founded TRC Electrical Construction Services, a commercial electrical contracting firm installing solar PV systems in Pennsylvania and Maryland. In 2003 Walt was one of the first PV installers to pass the rigorous North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification exam. He earned a Master of Science degree in Renewable Energy from Murdoch University in Australia, and has extensive renewable energy design and installation experience internationally.
Walt's hands-on PV experience included residential and commercial PV installations in the eastern U.S., as well as rural solar PV installations in Nicaragua, the Galapagos Islands, southern Ecuador, Peru, Arunachal Pradesh in India, Burma, Thailand, and Rwanda with NGO organizations such as Solar Energy International and Knightsbridge International. A Commissioner of the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, Walt participated in humanitarian relief efforts in other diverse developing nations including Afghanistan, southern Philippines, and Cambodia.
Many organizations and individuals have recognized the work of Walt Ratterman in various ways both before and after his death. The SunEPI team has been honored by these recognitions and is certain that he would want the spotlight to be shone on the many people helping to provide solar energy to communities in need worldwide.
In February of this year, Solar Energy International (SEI) honored our Founder and CEO Walt Ratterman by creating the Walt Ratterman Scholarship Fund. This fund will allow people from developing countries to attend SEI workshops to bring this crucial knowledge back to their communities.
For his commitment to solar energy, SolarWorld posthumously bestowed the Honorary SolarWorld Einstein Award to Walt Ratterman. Walt was a cooperation partner in the Solar2World program run by SolarWorld AG. SolarWorld has been presenting the SolarWorld Einstein Award since 2005 to individuals who have especially advanced the use of solar energy around the globe. The award was personally received by his family in Valencia, Spain in August 2010.
Renewable Energy Magazine Article
Additionally, in June 2010, the Board and Staff of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) announced the creation of the Walt Ratterman Award for Creative Community Energy. "We have launched this award to recognize and honor Walt and his astonishing renewable energy work among some of the world's most needy people," said NABCEP Executive Director Ezra Auerbach.
The award will be presented annually to the NABCEP certificant who has completed the most creative public service oriented renewable energy project of the year. Installations can be domestic or international, but they must be performed at no charge for a charitable organization. Considerations such as legacy, local labor and material content, on-the-job-training and project sustainability will help guide the award committee.
Board Chair Don Warfield says, "Walt was an amazing man; his commitment to those less fortunate was one of his defining characteristics. His work was inspirational for many in our industry. By creating this award we hope that Walt's legacy will continue to inspire other RE installers to follow his formidable lead."
Nominees for the award must be NABCEP Certificants in good standing and may work in any technology that NABCEP offers certifications for. The recipient of the award will be announced each year at a major renewable energy conference. Nominations should include details of the individual nominated, their projects and the nominator's reasons for the nomination. All nominations should be forwarded to Ezra Auerbach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first recipient of this award will be announced in 2011; nominations for the award will be accepted until December 31, 2010.
In an Indiana Jones meets Mother Teresa adventure, three middle-aged men, former soldiers and modern-day knights travel the world delivering life-saving humanitarian aid directly into the hands of civilians and doctors. Ed Artis, James Laws and Walt Ratterman inspire through deeds not words, in some of the most dangerous yet beautiful places on Earth, the front lines of war.
Knightsbridge International is a unique humanitarian organization, whose motto is "High Adventure and Service to Humanity." They explain, "We're not there to change anybody's politics, we're not in the God business, and we pay our own way." They add simply, We do what we can, when we can, because we can.
"Unlikely heroes..." -New York Times
"It's impossible not to admire their can-do spirit." -Variety