UU to Hold 120th Commencement
Tom Kiser is the Commencement Speaker
URBANA, Ohio (December 4, 2012) - Thomas E. Kiser, CEO and founder of Professional Supply, Inc. (PSI), now known as Worthington Energy Innovations, LLC, is the keynote speaker for the 120th Urbana University Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. in the Warren G. Grimes Center gymnasium.
Wendy Hepp, from Urbana, is the valedictorian. She will graduate with a bachelor of science degree in early childhood education. Thirty graduates and seventy-two undergraduates will receive their diplomas.
Mr. Kiser is on a mission to change the way the world thinks about energy use and to find innovative ways to balance the energy needs of mankind with the need to preserve the environment. In the practical world of business, this is quantified in driving productivity and reducing costs while enhancing environmental sustainability.
His passion for energy led him to turn down a contract to play football for the Washington Redskins in order to found PSI as a vehicle for putting his vision for energy efficiency into practice. For more than thirty years, PSI has developed new technologies and groundbreaking energy efficiency concepts that have dramatically reduced energy costs and carbon footprints across business sectors proving that the move to sustainable energy practices with innovative strategies can become a key feature of corporate culture, driving an organization’s economic engine.
As a long time football coach, Kiser is driven to share his knowledge and experience. Great coaches know how to stand on the sideline, making sure those on the field can win. He regularly serves as a consultant for energy issues and gives talks at forums around the world.
Today Kiser is known as “America’s Energy Coach” and coaches his brand of energy innovation by special invitation as a professor of Practice in Sustainable Energy at Arizona State University to develop an interdisciplinary energy curriculum; as a board member of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center; as an advisory board member to the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment; as a consultant to the Wege Foundation for their “Economicology Sustainable Strategy for Colleges and Universities”; as the company approved by the Ford Motor Board of Directors to write a playbook executing the largest energy project in Ford’s history that included 25 million square feet of manufacturing facilities with savings and avoided costs in excess of $300 million over the last ten years; and as a member of the Joint Board of Counselors for the China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development. He is also the first foreigner to be appointed as a senior advisor to the Shanghai Municipal Economic Commission where he leads an initiative to create sustainable energy efficiency demonstration projects in Shanghai.
Kiser’s company, PSI Energy Solutions, LLC, has created award-winning demonstrations of energy strategies and technology that have been featured in major national magazines and more recently helped build the world’s first LEED Platinum food manufacturing plant. In 2012, Kiser teamed up with an Ohio-based metals manufacturing company, Worthington Industries, Inc., as part of his push to take PSI global. The combination of PSI’s expertise and successful track record with Worthington’s history of taking innovation to scale will help even more companies with the desire to take their energy reduction programs to the next level.
Kiser earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from St. Louis University. He lives in Fremont, Ohio with his wife, three sons, a daughter and seven grandchildren.
Wendy Hepp is the daughter of Ron and Kim Chamberlin of Urbana. She graduated in 1997 from Graham High School. In 2000, she graduated from Upper Valley JVS School of Practical Nursing and worked for 8 years as a nurse before deciding to enroll at Urbana University. As a nurse, Hepp worked in a hospital, an assisted living facility, and an urgent care office. She has found many opportunities to use her experience as a nurse in unexpected ways: she spent a week in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, following Hurricane Katrina; volunteered at a hospital where half of the staff relocated after the community was virtually washed away. In 2010, she went on a mission trip to Haiti with her church passing out supplies to those still suffering after the devastating earthquake. Hepp currently volunteers for the Volunteer Adult Life Enhancement (VALE) program and serves as a guardian, making medical decisions for adults who cannot make the decisions on their own and have no family to assist them.
Ms. Hepp and her husband Jeff are the parents of three beautiful children, ages 10, 8, and 2. Her husband is a veteran, enlisting in the Army National Guard in 2004. They have been through two deployments; one to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina and another to Kuwait in 2008. The family attends The River of Life Christian Center. After graduation, she hopes to find a job teaching 3- to 8-year-olds in the near vicinity.