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#SolarChat TweetUp at PV America West Commemorates Heather Andrews

Heather in SEI's PV lab in Paonia, CO last summer, courtesy of Kelly Larsen (@SolarKellyNow). Says Kelly: "Heather was a star in class!"

If we accomplished nothing else over the past few days (and boy, we really did accomplish a lot!), it all pales in comparison to the #SolarChat TweetUp event held on the second evening of PV America West held in San Jose, California, on March 19-21, 2012.

Many of the tight-knit “solar tribe” gathered together after hours at the local Tanq Bar for cocktails as we shared experiences from the show, exchanged ideas, spoke about our individual solar angles and most importantly celebrated Heather’s life.

After a few hugs, Guinness’ and our #SolarChat signature “Sun Catcher” cocktail (yes, our chat now has an official drink!), we took to the street to get out of the noise and spend some time honoring a dear friend to some and a solar inspiration to all, @PVAddict, Heather Andrews.

Forty of us huddled together in a circle out in the cold but were warmed by @Kendra_Hubbard’s words as she read aloud tributes from fellow solar tribe members @solarenergyintl April Clark, @SolarFred Tor Valenza and @RunOnSun Jim Jenal.

Deep Patel @GoGreenSolar, who was a very close friend of Heather’s, shared his heartfelt feelings and the inspiration he derived from Heather — “Take it easy, live life, have fun and talk up solar!”

Kendra Hubbard, Deep Patel, and me

Kendra said it well: “ It was inspiring to see everyone come out to support Heather and her solar mission. It is apparent that she touched many lives and all solar advocates should learn by her example. It’s up to us to continue her work and to speed the adoption of solar.”

We concluded our outdoor excursion with a unanimous vote to make Heather the “official solar cheerleader” from here on out.

Back inside we continued the lively conversation. You will know what I’m talking about if you can just imagine Ed Gunther (@edgunther), Jeff Spies (@SolarSpies), Carter Lavin (@CarterLavin), Tom Cheyney (@Cheynman), Jennifer Alfsen (@JenQMPV) and Mike Misovsky (@misovsky) in one room, just to name a few.

#SolarChat's new signature cocktail, the "Sun Catcher"

The icing on the cake was the outpouring of support for the Heather Andrews Scholarship Foundation founded by @solarenergyintl. Our 50/50 raffle was supported from Tweeps both in the room, on the show floor, and online. Together we raised nearly $400! @designartlife00 Annick and @GoGreenSolar shook the shoe box with all of the tickets.  The winner, to everyone’s surprise (most of all — my own!) was me! I wanted to throw my name back in, but no one would let me. So I was gifted with the honor of being able to give back to the foundation even more! I am proud to say that 100 percent of the 50/50 is going to support a female SEI student in obtaining hands-on training and follow in Heather’s footsteps to pursue a future career in solar.

What an amazing synergy of all great things … think about it — Women, solar, education and a solid quality job! Does it get any better?!

Shine on Heather! We hope we do you proud.

 

View more pictures of the #SolarChat TweetUp on Facebook.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Jim Jenal says:

    So sorry I missed this – many thanks to Kendra for volunteering to read my tribute to Heather.
    The good news is that I think we have a new tradition – at every solar tribe gathering we will invoke our Cheerleader-in-Chief, Heather Andrews, to once again inspire us in our solar endeavors. Pretty sure she would like that!

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