The idea that led to the founding of Orion Energy Systems received a presidential salute of sorts today.
President Barack Obama just finished speaking at a White House roundtable on clean energy efficiency attended by Neal Verfuerth, Orion president and chief executive. Obama saluted Orion.
Obama said the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes $59 billion for “clean energy and energy efficiency” and said his proposed 2010 budget would ocmmit $150 billion in funding over 10 years.
He saluted Orion and several other companies, including energy efficiency provider McKinstry & Co., during his talk.
Orion’s Apollo Light Pipe was displayed during the roundtable, according to the White House. The Light Pipe, working in conjunction with Orion fixtures, is small glass skylight dome that is mounted on a roof and reflects daylight inside, which Orion claims can help customers bring their lighting costs to zero for up to 10 hours a day.
Orion employs more than 250 people providing energy-saving lighting to Fortune 500 companies, said Obama, recounting how Verfuerth distributed solar panels and then became a distributor of lighting systems.
“Then about 10 years ago, he had an idea. It was in the middle of the night,” Obama said.
Verfuerth then drove to his company’s Sheboygan County office in Plymouth to start working on his idea, which evolved into a lighting system capable of delivering twice as much light using half the energy of conventional industrial lighting, Obama said.
“This was one of those moments where the future refused to wait until morning,” said Obama.
All terrific press for Orion, except that Obama kept pronouncing the company’s name wrong, calling it OAR-ee-on.
After finishing his remarks and talking with a few people, the president returned to the microphone and said his prepared remarks led him to pronounce the firm's name wrong.
“I suspect this is Or-EYE-on as opposed to OAR-ee-on. Just wanted to make sure that when I’m giving you a plug, that we’ve got the right plug. It’s Or-EYE-on.”
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