Press Release

Media Contact: Chris Schultz-Buechner | 608.729.6830 | cschultz@weccusa.org

WECC Building Science Training Expert Named Educator of the Year

Suzanne Harmelink honored with award at Better Buildings: Better Business Conference

Suzanne HarmelinkMADISON, Wis. (March 3, 2016) – Suzanne Harmelink—Residential Energy Efficiency Training and Technical Assistance Manager at WECC, a national leader in the design and implementation of energy-saving programs—was named Educator of the Year today by Seventhwave at their 2016 Better Buildings: Better Business Conference. The prestigious honor annually celebrates an energy efficiency leader whose contributions to building science education have rendered a significant impact on the industry.

Harmelink joined WECC in 1991, just 11 years after the nonprofit’s inception. She was initially charged with coordinating a State of Wisconsin weatherization training contract, which she continues to oversee today. Over the past 25 years, Harmelink has played a pivotal role in the development of WECC’s nationally-recognized building science training offerings. She led WECC to recognition as a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) weatherization training center, and spearheaded the development of WECC’s quality control training curriculum—and the refinement of WECC’s internal training processes—to achieve accreditation through the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).

Harmelink demonstrates her dedication to educating energy professionals through her involvement in the design and execution of training curriculum and events. She is credited with founding the Technical Exchange Fair, Wisconsin’s only hands-on weatherization field staff training conference. Harmelink and her team produced the Fair 13 times since 1992, drawing on average 300 weatherization professionals to the event each year. The Technical Exchange Fair was so successful that the DOE awarded WECC a grant to expand the event as a regional conference in the Northeast U.S. Harmelink also produces Wisconsin’s Home Energy Plus Training Event, providing direct oversight since 2004. She also served on Affordable Comfort, Inc. (ACI)’s Board of Directors for a number of years, playing a key role in content development for ACI’s annual national conference.

Amongst her many duties, Harmelink currently develops curriculum and training strategies for residential building science courses. She also oversees Building Performance Institute (BPI) and Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET®) training and certification activities.

“We are very happy to see Suzanne recognized for her work in educating the market on residential building science practices,” said Mary Woolsey Schlaefer, WECC’s President and CEO. “Suzanne’s passion, hard work, and dedication have tremendously enriched not only our organization, but building science professionals across the country. Her expertise has helped countless contractors, consultants, auditors, and raters do their jobs better—which, in turn, helps Wisconsin residents save more energy and money.”

Seventhwave has recognized a premier educator in the energy efficiency and residential building industries each year since 2008. Harmelink is the third WECC staff member to receive the award. In 2013, Robert Parkhurst was honored, and in 2011, Bob Pfeiffer was named Educator of the Year.