New digital- and analog-world projects spice up the summer, and an axeman keeps our advisory board sharp.

Everyone, have you met Leighton Wolffe? Leighton, everyone. OK, with the introductions out of the way, here’s a little about the newest addition to our editorial advisory board.

Wolffe has over 25 years’ experience in the energy and facilities management industries. He is currently co-founder of Occam Energy R&D, a business development company creating new applications, products, and services for the Smart Grid and energy technology industries. He also does some work with investors and companies performing diligence and market analysis for mergers-and-acquisitions related projects.

He’s got an impressive list of present and former clients  for his consulting and management services, including: Duke Energy; Select Energy, Harvard University, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and Marriott Corporation. State governmental clients includes Massachusetts, California, North Carolina, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Federal clients include the U.S. DOE and GSA. Within our industry, he has assisted companies such as Echelon, Teletrol Systems, and Spinwave. He’s also done work with Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox studios, although I believe those were off-screen roles.

These days, Leighton is serving on several committees charged by the U.S. Congress as part of the Energy Security Act to develop national standards for SmartGrid retail energy market models, and he presents regularly for events and event sponsors such as ASHRAE,Engineered Systems, GlobalCon, and World Energy Congress, as well as SmartGrid and Demand Response conferences and seminars.

I’ve known Leighton for several years now. One item not on his resume is his membership in a club that has a fairly small membership as far as I can find out so far: he’s a musician in the HVAC industry. While guys like Randy Amborn (Unison Comfort Technologies) and myself are piano and keyboard players, Leighton is a serious guitarist. Whether it’s the music or the instruments at hand, Leighton knows his stuff. Perhaps we can get a gig together at a future ES event. (Do you play? I’d love to hear about it

In the meantime, he’s a welcome addition, increasing the scope of our board’s formidable building automation delegation. Look for his first bylined feature in the last quarter of this year.


Speaking of things quickly coming to fruition, at the time this is being written, we are working diligently on a total redesign of the ES website. Turns out, this is not a small endeavor. The final product will go live sometime between when you receive this issue and when you receive the September issue, so maybe you can check in sometime after Labor Day to see whether we’ve managed to keep this project on schedule!

This seriously just occurred to me: Does your company have an especially good website, in your opinion? The internet’s been around a while now, but there’s still no shortage of subpar websites. I’d like to get an idea of some firms in this field who are doing it right, if you want to pass along a URL. Otherwise, look for new features, revived features, and more in the Big 2011 Website Retrofit, coming to a device near you.


By the time you read this, there’s a chance you might be able to beat the Early Bird Discount deadline for our High-Performance Buildings conference. I’ve already gone on about the solid lineup coming to Falls Church, VA, near Tysons Corner and just outside Washington. And I’ve mentioned elsewhere that in two days full of ideas, all you need is that one idea that fits your own facility or client to save thousands of dollars in energy expenses. So I’ll just point out that as worthwhile as all that is, it’s even more enjoyable when you’ve knocked $100 off the top.ES