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Apogee Co-Founder Joel Gilbert Named Finalist for Georgia CIO of the Year Award

ATLANTA, Oct. 31, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Joel Gilbert, Co-Founder and Chief Software Architect of Apogee Interactive, was honored as a 2014 Georgia CIO Officer of the Year Awards finalist today at the 16th Annual Awards breakfast held in Atlanta.

Sponsored by the Georgia CIO Leadership Association, more than 900 technology professionals, media and business leaders attended the awards program to honor chief information officers who have demonstrated excellence in leadership. Nominees are evaluated on innovation, leadership, business value creation and community involvement and finalists are selected in five categories: Global, Enterprise, Corporate, Emerging and Nonprofit/Public Sector. Gilbert was recognized in the Emerging category.

"Joel has been at — and at times creating — the leading edge of the energy industry for decades. Joel is a visionary and a passionate, creative force. He is also a man of integrity and honor, having a commitment to improving all the many lives he touches," said Paul Arne, attorney with Morris, Manning & Martin and long-time associate of Gilbert and Apogee. "I am personally pleased to have worked with Joel and Apogee Interactive over the years. Joel is clearly deserving of this award."

Gilbert co-founded Apogee with his wife Susan Gilbert in 1994 to create a better way for energy utilities to communicate and educate their customers about energy efficiency and reducing energy costs. A chemical engineer with a masters in management from Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute, Gilbert spent close to 20 years in energy consulting and training for the nation's leading 200 utilities and their largest customers. He saw the opportunity for utilities to bring energy audits and energy efficiency information to their consumers faster, better and on a much larger scale -- all while saving the utilities and their customers energy dollars.

Using Phillip's development platform CD-i (compact disc-interactive) and the input of a 20-member utility advisory group, Apogee completed its first interactive, on-demand delivery program for energy efficiency content and training for utility employees and customers in its first year. Using the small portable CD-i players, utility employees could receive needed training on demand and could share the energy efficiency information with customers onsite in a fun, graphically pleasing and interactive way with the CD-i unit. Apogee's flagship Home Energy Calculator product was first developed using this platform.

By 1996, the Internet had proven itself reliable, so Gilbert led the transition from CD-i to online content. Soon, Apogee became the industry leader in customer-facing energy content as well as the creator of the largest e-learning system and source of online courses for utility employees. Next Gilbert developed an Internet-based energy trading platform to aggregate small customer electrical demand and trade it against supply side sources, saving Apogee's utility clients $60 million in the first year. During that time he founded a national trade association for utilities, consultants and demand response technology providers called the Peak Load Management Alliance.

Gilbert and the Apogee development team continued to refine its online energy audits and bill analysis capabilities, developing a consumer-friendly approach to bill analysis and presentation that has become the industry's gold standard. Gilbert's algorithms and code logic provide the basis for Apogee's analysis engine, which has garnered top ranking for accuracy. Its residential energy audit software is nationally accredited by RESNET at the highest HERS (Home Energy Rating System) level and its audit software earned top scores in the BEST Test EX testing conducted by the DOE and EPA to create approved software standards. Today, over 56 million households have access to Apogee energy applications through the company's relationships with over 650 utilities, including Southern Company.

For the past few years, Gilbert has directed the company's adaptation of its products to include multiple formats for mobile phones, tablets, iPads, mobile websites and social media. Zeroing in on one of the largest contributors to monthly energy costs -- the weather -- Gilbert last year introduced an online and mobile presentation product featuring the weather forecast and the associated energy cost to operate a home or business given its thermostat setting.

In addition, Gilbert has developed a new concept and technology for determining the energy integrity of a building's shell and the operating characteristics of its heating, cooling and ventilating system with USB-sized temperature loggers equipped with GPS and Bluetooth abilities. This affordable, easy to use system, called "precision temperature monitoring," presents a whole era of energy efficiency opportunities, especially when applied to home weatherization programs, building automation, utility program targeting and follow-up evaluation, demand response programs and HVAC contractor services. Apogee is working with national manufacturers to advance this newly patented analysis and device.

An accomplished musician with the Georgia Perimeter College Community Wind Ensemble, former church deacon, Sunday school teacher, licensed captain and avid fisherman, Gilbert enjoys teaching seamanship and fishing to scouting and church youth groups. He currently serves on the National Science Foundation's review panel tasked with evaluating and determining multi-million dollar research grants.

When asked by GCLA about a leader's responsibility to "give back" to others Gilbert said, "The entirety of what we do at Apogee is all about giving back. It's about energy stewardship, growing our professional staff and trying to model excellence in all we do. We all are linked together in this world. Some provide mass... others energy. I try to offer positive energy and want to leave this planet better for my presence."

APOGEE Interactive, Inc. (www.apogee.net) is the leading provider of online energy analysis and customer engagement applications to 650 electric and gas utilities across the U.S., reaching more than 56 million customers. Since 1994, Apogee has pioneered electronic applications designed to increase a utility's customer engagement and consumers' energy efficiency. Today its predictive software consistently earns high marks for accuracy and ease of use. Clients include investor-owned, municipal and cooperative energy companies including Con Edison (ED), American Electric Power (AEP), Entergy (ETR), Southern Company (SO), NSTAR (NST), Salt River Project, Jackson EMC and Flint Energies.

Georgia CIO Leadership Association (www.gcla.org) is Georgia's preeminent professional association for senior technology leaders. Founded in 2003, its membership is comprised exclusively of chief information officers or individuals in equivalent positions from public and private companies, government, education and non-profit organizations throughout the state. The GCLA's mission is to build a strong, professional information technology community by working with business, government and industry leaders within the state and nationally, to build valuable relationships and establish Georgia as a technology leader.

CONTACT: Media Contact: Karen Morris, kmorris@apogee.net, 678-684-6801

Source:Apogee Interactive, Inc.