Friday Kudos: Electric Co-ops $50,000 Home Makeover Winner Announced

by Stephanie Baker ([email protected]) 76 views 

There were winners of awards and contests, scholarships announced, and a new hire at a local technology firm.

Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative members Kyle and Alisha Quenga of Fort Smith have won the Sixth Annual Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas $50,000 Energy Efficiency Makeover Contest. The couple beat out 2,800 applicants for the award.

The Quengas live in a 1,500 sq. ft. home that was built in 1979.

“Our diagnostic testing revealed that more than 70 percent of the air volume within the home was leaking to the outside every minute of each day,” said Bret Curry, manager of residential marketing for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “We also discovered substandard insulation levels, inefficient windows, dramatic ductwork leakage, an older inefficient heating and cooling system and non-Energy Star appliances. Combine all of these circumstances and you have a very uncomfortable home with very high utility bills. The good news is our makeover project is a wonderful medium for teaching Arkansans how they can resolve their energy problems, improve the comfort of their homes and lower their utility costs.”

As part of the Energy Efficiency Makeover project, the Quengas will receive an ultra-efficient Water Furnace geothermal heat pump installed by Rood Heating and Air. High-efficiency windows will be provided by the Harry G. Barr Company. General Electric will furnish Energy Star appliances and a GeoSpring Hybrid water heater. Building Performance Solutions will install Demilac Sealection 500 expanding foam in the crawlspace and attic.

Julian and Nana Stewart have made a $1 million donation to the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas.

A portion of the gift will be used to establish the Julian C. and Nana B. Stewart AACE Access Arkansas Scholarships within the department of civil engineering and provide need-based support to at least 10 students annually. The remainder will be used to establish a charitable gift annuity with the university listed as the beneficiary.

In 2003, the Stewarts established the Julian and Nana Bachtel Stewart Honors Fellowships, and in 2009, they created the Julian and Nana Stewart Access Arkansas Scholarship for the benefit of students university-wide.

Both Julian and Nana are graduates of the University of Arkansas. Julian earned a bachelor of science in civil engineering in 1957, and Nana holds a bachelor of science in education from the College of Education and Health Professions.

Julian Stewart was a member of the university’s Campaign for the Twenty-First Century Steering Committee and the chancellor’s Board of Advisors. He currently serves on the University of Arkansas Foundation’s board and the Campaign Arkansas Steering Committee and chairs the College of Engineering’s campaign committee.

Mainstream Technologies hired Heather Akkub in a newly created position. She will be providing accounting and other administrative functions in addition to sales support for the Software Solutions Unit.

Akkub’s most recent position was in the revenue department of Windstream Communications. Her duties included general accounting tasks including month-end reports, account reconciliation, journal entries, and analyzing variances from financial statements. Prior to that, she worked in public accounting for private firms.

She is a graduate of UALR with double majors in Finance and Accounting. She and her husband, Clint Shackleford, live in Little Rock.

Three campaigns promoting West Memphis to the economic development community were recognized at the Annual Conference of the Southern Economic Development Council held in Tulsa earlier this week. SEDC is the oldest and largest regional economic development organization and represents 17 states.

West Memphis communication efforts took a “Best in Class” and “Best of Show” for a specialized website promoting the river-rail logistics project at the Port of West Memphis (

The “Turn to West Memphis” smart phone app received an award of excellence and a Chinese language video promoting the city’s logistics attributes for Chinese industry took an award of merit.