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Namaste Solar

ABA10 WinnerCompany: Namasté Solar
Company Description: Namasté Solar's mission is to propagate the responsible use of solar energy, pioneer conscientious business practices, and create holistic wealth for our company and our community. As the leading solar company in Colorado, Namasté Solar has installed more than 1000 photovoltaic systems, totaling over 6MW.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Overall Company of the Year - Up to 100 Employees

Nomination Title: Namasté Solar

   1. Tell the story about what this nominated company achieved since January 1 2009 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

          Namasté Solar’s unique, values-based business model includes employee ownership,
          democratic decision-making, community collaboration, open communication, an
          innovative solar grant program, zero-waste initiatives, educational programming,
          and holistic profit measurement. The company maintains high ethical standards
          among employees, customers, and the community.

          Namasté Solar’s commitment to excellence has been recognized nationally and
          locally. In February 2009, CEO and president Blake Jones was invited by White
          House staff to introduce President Barack Obama before he signed the historic
          $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Among the company’s
          awards in 2009 are the Green Business of the Year by Denver Metro Chamber of
          Commerce, the National Center for Employee Ownership Innovations Award,
          Environmental Achievement Award by the Colorado Department of Public Health and
          Environment, SunPower Corporation’s Eagle Award for Best Customer Service,
          Entrepreneur Magazine’s 100 Brilliant Companies, and ColoradoBiz Magazine’s Top
          Company Award. Jones, who was subsequently invited twice to the White House, was
          named by 5280 Magazine as one of Denver’s 50 most influential business leaders.

          The leading solar company in Colorado, Namasté Solar is clearly differentiated
          from its competition and has been recognized for superior customer service,
          conscientious business practices, a commitment to green building, community
          philanthropy, and for its positive and productive work environment. Namaste
          Solar’s vision is to uphold its founding core values and remain 100% internally
          financed. The company has grown rapidly since its inception in 2005, and has
          remained profitable in each year except for the first year in operation.  In
          2009, Namasté Solar ranked 56th on the Inc. 500 list of America’s Fastest
          Growing Businesses and as the fastest growing solar company in the United
          States.

          Internal company initiatives include co-ownership, democratic decision-making,
          and frank, open, and honest (FOH) communication. All co-owners hold themselves
          to a high standard of accountability and fairness. Namasté Solar was named Best
          Place to Work by both the Denver Business Journal and the Boulder Chamber of
          Commerce in 2009. Its creative culture and business model have kept employee
          retention above 90%. .

          Namasté Solar annually donates 1% of company revenues to its innovative
          Corporate Responsibility Plan. As part of its mission to give back to the
          community, Namasté offers full and matching grants, sponsorships, and in-kind
          donations.  Since 2005, over 100KW of solar PV systems have been donated to
          community organizations.  Grant recipients have included Alliance for
          Sustainable Colorado, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, The Emergency Family
          Assistance Association, Environmental Center of the Rockies, and the Humane
          Society of Boulder Valley.

          In early 2010, Namasté Solar was awarded LEED Gold certification from the U.S
          Green Building Council for the company’s main office located in North Boulder.
          Some of the building highlights include renovating an existing building using
          recycled and reclaimed building materials, fuel-efficient vehicles, water
          efficiency, daylight responsive lighting controls, zero-waste recycling and
          compost center, open work stations made from 90% recycled content (a non-cubicle
          culture), and two solar photovoltaic systems (2.26kW awning system and 7.2kW
          roof system).

   2. List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:

          2009 NEWS:
         
http://www.namastesolar.com/cmsPages/view/page:news/section:namaste_news

          PRESS RELEASES:
          One Year After the Signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
          Namasté Solar CEO Blake Jones Again Visits White House
         
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/02/prweb3621444.htm

          Stimulus Bill Enables Eldorado Natural Spring Water to Install 100kW Commercial
          Solar Electric System
         
http://www.prweb.com/releases/Eldorado/Solar/prweb2822454.htm

          Inc. Magazine Ranks Namasté Solar as the 56th Fastest-Growing Private Company in
          2009 "Inc 500" Listing
         
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/08/prweb2761884.htm

          12-Year-Old Volunteer Dustin Michels Helps the Humane Society of Boulder Valley
          Secure A 100% Donated Solar Photovoltaic System
         
http://www.prweb.com/releases/Solar/Donation/prweb2450134.htm

          EFAA Celebrates Two New Solar Electric Systems with Boulder Mayor Matt Applebaum
         
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/05/prweb2395634.htm

          Namasté Solar Wins the Green Business of the Year Award from the Denver Metro
          Chamber of Commerce
         
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/04/prweb2372104.htm

          Namasté Solar Is Honored with the National Center for Employee Ownership's
          Innovations Award
         
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/04/prweb2351534.htm

          Discovery Channel's Renovation Nation Highlights a Unique Green Building
          Collaborative Project in Boulder, Colorado
         
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/04/prweb2294994.htm

          Namasté Solar Honored to Represent Green Industries During President Obama's
          Signing of the Historic Stimulus Bill in Denver
         
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/02/prweb2116844.htm

          COMMUNITY RECOGNITION/AWARDS: 2010 & 2009
         
http://www.namastesolar.com/cmsPages/view/page:who_we_are/section:our_community_recognition

          CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY REPORT
         
http://www.namastesolar.com/files/pdf/corporate_responsibility_report.pdf

          CERTIFICATION
         
http://www.namastesolar.com/cmsPages/view/page:who_we_are/section:our_certifications

   3. Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader of this nominated company:

          Blake Jones is leader in the development of statewide solar incentive programs,
          working with state utilities, Colorado Public Utilities Commission, and lobbying
          for pro-solar legislation. Jones served on the board the Colorado Solar Energy
          Industries Association for three years. Jones has spoken at the University of
          Colorado, Solar Energy International, BCBR Green Summit, Boulder Green Building
          Guild, and others.  He was invited by VP Biden to participate in the Middle
          Class Task Force.  He was a lead speaker at the 2009 Green Jobs Rally at the
          Colorado State Capitol joining Mayor John Hickenlooper, Governor’s Energy Office
          Tom Plant, and others.