ETPRI Board Chair David Bolt has reached this point after a 30–year career, first in software development and later in solar energy installation. In 1996 David co-founded MarketLinx, a company that created the first Internet based Multiple Listing system and grew to controlling a 25% national market share in 2003 when the company was purchased by First American.
Following MarketLinx, David spent eighteen months researching ways to live more sustainably. Subsequently he formed Sustainable Future LLC in mid 2005. Sustainable Future installed over 800kw of solar power in Tennessee, offsetting the burning of 2,000 lbs. of coal every day. Sustainable Future’s property is a net producer of energy and now gets monthly checks rather than large bills from the local utility. As for sustainable travel, David has driven his electric car nearly 80,000 miles using almost nothing but solar PV energy. He now drives a Tesla X.
In early 2014, David’s interests began to focus on the field of Permaculture design. After much reading he took Geoff Lawton’s on-line Permaculture Design course, and later, spent six weeks working at Lawton’s Permaculture site in Jordan. Along the way he created a plan to turn Sustainable Future’s building and property into a Permaculture Research Institute that would become part of a growing international network.
While the Research Institute will be a non-profit venture, the for-profit company, Sustainable Future, will continue, but now it will focus on such “Permaculture structures” as ‘tiny houses,’ chicken coops, green houses, and other structures designed to incorporate energy efficiency and sustainability technologies.David was selected as a White House “Champion of Change in Corporate Environmental Sustainability” in 2012. That award recognized the central theme of David’s life and his career. He has long sought to eliminate waste, promote efficiency, and preserve the world for future generations. In his life and his business he has led by example whether by converting his home to Net Zero energy, making his business a producer of energy, or by driving a car fueled by the sun. In short, the name of his business says it all: Sustainable Future. The name is the vision. His work is to bring others along.
Jim Gray has often been invited to join the Boards of non-profit organizations. He currently serves on the Board of the Foundation for Global Sustainability and recently was Board Chair of SEEED (Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development). He’s also served on the Executive Committee of the Sierra Club group in Knoxville. Jim is a co-founder and Executive Director of the East Tennessee Permaculture Research Institute.
Since arriving in Knoxville in 1995, Jim has worked at a variety of jobs: he was an Operations Supervisor in several phases of the US Census in both 2000 and 2010, and served as Director of Public Computer Labs for the Knox County Clerk. He worked as a political activist while pursing economic research and served for three years as Chair of the Knox County Democratic Party. For eleven years Jim produced – and sometimes hosted – Democratic TeleVision, a talk and call-in program on Community Television.
Jim has undergraduate degrees in both English and Business Administration from the State University of New York, and has done graduate work in both Policy Analysis and Economics at several institutions. He is an ‘occasional editor’ for Springer Publishing’s series “Briefs in Energy and Energy Analysis.”