Texan industrialist turned his polluting company into environmental leader

I manage programs for NT Renewable Energy Group. We had a honor to have Dale Crownover, CEO and President of Texas Nameplate Company, as a speaker for our July meeting.

The reasons I wanted to invite him were...
 - He runs small local manufacturing business.
 - He and his team have been improving their pollution producing business practices over the years to the point that they are recognized for their environmental stewardship.
 - He spends his personal time to encourage others to green up their practices.

His story was fascinating. We were encouraged by knowing company like this exists in our own backyard.

There are three things he talked about and did not show up in below linked sites.
 - He trademarked the phrase "Our nameplates are green." 
 - He often faces strong resistance from other business owners when he talks about going green.
 - They invented iScrubber, a closed-loop automated solvent scrubbing system. He let his major competitor come in to observe the system even though his management opporsed. They worried the competitor might imitate the system and their company might lose its competitive advantage. Surprising results? Two separate competitors asked Texas Nameplate perform that part of process for them. Texas Nameplate picked up extra business and revenue by generously opening the door to its competitor and sharing information to go green. Abundance mindset resulted in win/win. How cool is that?

Texas Nameplate Website

Detail story about the company...


光希 (Koki) のKPOP group "EXP EDITION"が、ゴールデンウィークに来日、5月2日に東京で初ライブ

末息子、光希 (Koki) のKPOP group "EXP EDITION"が、ゴールデンウィークに来日、5月2日に東京で初ライブします!


5月2日(水) 13:00 & 18:00 @ HY Town Hall


日本語のインタビュー (Time Out Tokyo)


光希:EXP EDITIONは不可能と思えることを追求するというアイデアから生まれました。ですから、僕たちのストーリーを聞き、パフォーマンスを見た人たちが、かつては叶えられないと思っていた夢や目標を追求してくれると嬉しいです。*


Texas, my home!

I've been living and working in Texas for almost a quarter-century.

No, it was not planned...

My dream country since childhood was Australia.
I had wonderful experiences there. Great memories.
I was working on and close to move there as I had planned for a long time.

Well, life happens.

When I moved to Dallas, Texas, I had no idea what Texas was like. Cactus and cowboys on horses were just about the images I had.
The first night, we had torrential rain. Roads became rivers and I was horrified.
I had two babies and one toddler at my toe, needless to say, was overwhelmed.
I remember crying "What's in the world I was thinking to agree to come to the place like this!"

The thing is...Plano, Texas, where I've been living since, turned out to be a wonderful place to raise children (my treasures), really a great place to live and is getting better and better!

That's how the title, Iitoko Dallas and then Iitoko Texas came about. Iitoko means "good place" in Japanese.

I love here, warts and all.
I am a proud transplanted Texan.
"Home is where the heart is."
This is my home.


DFW Solar Tour next Sat (Oct.7) Free and open to public

Interested in clean energy? On October 7th (Sat), you have a chance to see solar and energy efficiency in action and learn from homeowners and businesses who use them.

8th Annual DFW Solar Tour is free event.

About 20 individual sites and 7 education centers with lectures/events throughout DFW to choose from.
Check the locations page for details and schedule at each site.

My 3 years old rooftop solar PV system has been producing slightly more electricity than I have consumed since the installation. I am happy with my PV system and glad I have one.

Attending these events and learning from people who have been using is one of the best ways to ask questions without pressure. They have gone through what you are going through and happy to help if you just ask, I'd bet.


183 EVs at Grapevine Mills Mall today (Sep 9, Sat 10am - 12pm)

183 Electric Vehicles of 20 different models - will be at Grapevine Mills Malls today between 10am to noon.

Proud owners of these EVs volunteer to bring their vehicles, share their EV stories, answer questions, and may let you test drive!

I drive Prius C - hybrid, not an EV, because it is one of the most fuel efficient, reasonably priced, dependable car that let me have the mobility I want / need in Dallas area.

But, I've been looking for more options for clean energy vehicle for sometime. 

As more automakers will bring EVs into the market in coming years, we want to learn more about then. Learning from the current owners, at the event like tomorrow's, is one of the best opportunity to do so.

Hope many of you can join!


SpaceX launch, IKEA visit, and my contribution

Yesterday was a good day. 
SpaceX's Falcon 9 launched and returned beautifully. 
NTREG's sustainability field trip to IKEA I planned and lead went well.

Watching SpaceX's launch event live makes me giddy, every time. When they were developing Grasshopper (reusable rocket testing vehicle), I went to SXSW 2013 just to listen to Elon's keynote. He treated us by showing the first ever video footage...a rocket shot up, and stopped midair, then came down to land softly straight back on the launchpad intact.

I rarely miss their launch livestreams. They excite me. Watching them makes me glad and proud that I am alive here and now. I thank for all those super smart and dedicated people at SpaceX and NASA. Yes, I love rockets and SpaceX's mission, but there is really nothing I can contribute other than cheering and thanking.

On the other hand, there is something I can do to promote clean technology and sustainability. As a co-program chair at NTREG (North Texas Renewable Energy Group), I reach out to experts in the field and put together programs for our monthly meetings to educate the masses.

A few months ago, we had an energy storage expert as our speaker. Next month, we will welcome a PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) finance specialist. Each meeting attracts roughly 50 to 70 participants, many of them are experts in the fields themselves, some are passionate about energy and others are just curious.

Yesterday, we visited with IKEA's sustainability team and toured their facility. Their Frisco store has 3,780 solar panels on top of their roof, which produce roughly 35% of their annual electricity usage. Their PV system had been installed several years after the store opened. However, IKEA is now committed to cover every roof of their new stores with solar PVs. They also own wind farms. Store's lightings are all LED. Along with many other energy efficient measures IKEA has been taking, they aim to be carbon neutral by 2020.

Becoming energy and resource efficient is great for business. They reduce cost, improve productivity and revenue.

In my household, I have been learning and implementing small scale energy efficient measures for years. Results have been good and I'm happy with them. But, one household makes just a tiny difference. I started to share the knowledge to my clients at the time. The effects were small. To make bigger impact, I started to work with groups like Plano Solar Advocates and NTREG. We made slightly bigger impact. But, it quickly dawned on me that the real big difference comes when businesses take on it either by changing their business practices and/or creating sustainable products we can use.

Many large corporations, including IKEA, have been aggressively working on this and have witnessed their bottom line improved. I will continue to volunteer when time/energy allows, however my top priority for this year is to improve my work and career. If any sustainability and efficiency improvement tasks can be incorporated into my role, that would be a great first step for me to start contributing in a larger scale.