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GAOI Board of Directors


CHAD MAYES, President

Chad Mayes is a founding board member of the GAOI and has served on the board for several terms. He currently serves as president of the board. Chad is the President and owner of Pro Air Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Geothermal, and C&E Heating and Air Conditioning Inc., in Bloomington. Pro Air and  C&E are HVAC/Geothermal companies specializing in installation and service of both geothermal and conventional systems. He has been installing geothermal systems in both residential and commercial applications for the past 10 years. Chad has also served on the Bloomington HVAC board for the past three years and he has been serving the Central Illinois community for more than 15 years. Chad Mayes, President, Pro Air and C&E Heating and Cooling, Bloomington, IL


DAN COUILLARD, Vice President

Dan Couillard is a licensed Professional Engineer and a Certified Geothermal Designer who has been in the geothermal industry since 2008. He is the co-founder of Element Energy Consulting, a building MEP design firm that specializes in renewable energy technologies including geothermal heat pump systems. Dan serves as the Vice President on the GAOI board of directors. His support of geothermal technology has been influenced by a range of experience including building energy modeling, interior and exterior design of geo-exchange mechanical systems, construction project management, estimation, business development, financial analysis, project finance modeling and operational management. Dan has designed and built geothermal systems ranging from single family homes to massive district systems for multi-million square foot developments and net zero buildings. Dan also works on legislative efforts and with municipalities in the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago regarding the promotion and installation of geothermal heat pump technologies. Dan Couillard, VP, of Element Energy Consulting, Park Ridge, IL



JUSTIN STUVA, Secretary-TreasurerJustin_GAOI

Justin Stuva is a founding member of GAOI and has been a member of the GAOI board of directors since 2014. He currently serves as board secretary and treasurer. He is Marketing and Member Services Director at Corn Belt Energy Corporation in Bloomington, where he has worked since April, 2009. His primary responsibilities within the Member Services Department is coordinating an active member services/marketing portfolio and staff of customer/member communications professionals. Justin helped initiate and carry out GeoCents, Corn Belt’s award-winning geothermal heat pump incentive/loop ownership program, He holds numerous professional certifications and a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Illinois. Justin Stuva, Marketing and Member Services Director, Corn Belt Energy Corp., Bloomington, IL.



DAN CROWE, Director

Dan Crowe is a founding member of GAOI and an incorporating director of the board, since 2008. He is past president of the board and is co-founder of The Hole Deal, Inc. The Hole Deal is a geothermal loop installation company specializing in residential and small commercial geothermal systems. Dan has overseen the installation of thousands of tons of geothermal loops throughout Illinois. He is a certified IGSHPA Installer. Dan Crowe, President The Hole Deal, Inc. Goodfield, IL





BOB DICKEY, Director and Website/Communications Committee Chair

Bob Dickey is a founding member of GAOI and has been a member of the GAOI board of directors since 2008. He has served as the Manager of Marketing and Economic Development at Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative in Paxton since January of 1998. The primary responsibilities of the marketing department are increasing off-peak kilowatt sales; educating members and students on the cooperative principles; promoting energy efficiency and the importance of sealing and insulating the building envelope and the benefits of geothermal as a source of heating and cooling. He holds a degree in marketing and economics from Sangamon State University in Springfield. He has made several energy efficiency presentations across the country, including presentations in Washington D.C. for U.S. Senators and their staffs. Bob Dickey, Manager of Marketing and Economic Development Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative Paxton, IL


DOMINIQUE DURBIN,  Legislative Committee Chair

Dom Durbin is a founding member of GAOI and has served on the board since 2009, including two years as president.  Durbin Geothermal is a full service looping contractor serving Illinois and five other Midwestern states. The firm has installed 10,000-plus tons of geothermal loops. Dom is an IGSHPA accredited installer and driller and a certified IGSHPA trainer. He also holds an IGSHPA certified geo designer in training and a number of fusion certificates and other trainings. Durbin is licensed to drill and install geothermal loops in Iowa, Indiana and Missouri; no license is required in other states in which they work. Dominique Durbin, Durbin Geothermal, Beecher City, IL




Brian Houchin is general manager of Bratcher Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc., an HVAC company headquartered in Bloomington-Normal.  Bratcher has been in business since 1983 and Brian joined the company as an installer in 1988. He has also worked as service technician, service manager and sales manager before becoming general manager. Bratcher has been promoting geothermal heating and cooling since 1998 and has installed thousands of geothermal systems in central Illinois. The company now has offices in Bloomington-Normal and Champaign-Urbana. Bratcher is a  GAOI founding member. Brian served as GAOI’s second president from 2010-2012. Brian Houchin, General Manager Bratcher Heating and A/C, Inc. Normal, IL






Gary Hurley is a founding member of GAOI and has been a member of the GAOI board of directors since 2008. He heads the Energy Services Office with City Water, Light & Power in Springfield, where he has been employed since 2002. Gary is responsible for overall energy efficiency programs for the City of Springfield and City Water Light & Power He holds several certifications in HVACR from RSES, NATE and SEDAC. Gary Hurley Residential Efficiency Program Manager CWLP, Energy Services Office Springfield, IL





MATT SLAGER, Director and Annual Conference Committee member

Matt Slager joined the GAOI board in March, 2012. He is a mechanical engineer with Hanson Professional Services, a Springfield engineering and architecture consulting firm. Matt is a PE licensed in multiple states and holds the LEED AP credential. He has designed numerous innovative geothermal commercial projects for educational, government and U.S. Department of Defense clients. Much of his professional experience has focused on design and energy modeling of high performance buildings including LEED projects as well as buildings with Net Zero Energy use. Matt Slager, PE, LEED AP Mechanical Engineer, Hanson Professional Services Springfield, IL





DAVID BUSS, Director and Annual Conference Committee member and GAOI Trainer

Dave Buss joined the GAOI board in March, 2012. He is a geothermal product manager for Connor Co., a founding member of the GAOI. Dave has worked in the geothermal industry for many years and holds many geothermal heat pump credentials, including the Certified Geothermal Designer designation. Dave’s experience with geothermal technology goes back to the 1980s. In addition to his board service with GAOI, Dave is a lead trainer for GAOI, helping to provide training for staff of GAOI member organizations seeking accredited company status. Dave is an experienced and sought-after speaker and geothermal trainer. Dave Buss, Connor Co./ClimateMaster, Golden, IL





DANA SMITH, Director and Annual Conference Committee member

Dana Smith has been Director of Member and Public Relations at Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative in Auburn, IL, since 1996. He works with suppliers and local contractors to provide quality heating system installations for cooperative member-owners, and provides education through newsletters, meetings, presentations and open houses. He also guided the co-op’s Energy Demonstration Home project in 1997, constructed with a geothermal heating and cooling system among other high-efficiency features.  Dana is BPI-certified as a building analyst and envelope professional, as well as a Certified Cooperative Communicator through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Dana Smith, Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative Co., Auburn, IL








WILLIAM “Bill” SPRAGUE, Director and Annual Conference Committee Member

Bill has been with Area Mechanical in Rockford since 1996 and has been General Manager since 2006. Area Mechanical’s main focus is on commercial and industrial projects, with a light mix of residential work. The company specializes in design/build projects, working closely with customers from concept to completion. He is a member of the American Society for Healthcare Engineering and has been an IGSHPA accredited installer since 2008. Bill is an Illinois EPA Cross Connection Inspector and an Illinois journeyman plumber for more than 25 years. Area Mechanical has been a GAOI member since 2009. William Sprague, General Manager Area Mechanical Rockford, IL _________________________________________________________________________________________________

FRED NEWELL, DirectorMArch 2016 018 - Fred Newell

Fred Newell is the Central Region Manager for WaterFurnace International.  WaterFurnace is a manufacturer of Geothermal equipment headquartered in Fort Wayne, IN.  In his role as Region Manager, Fred works with Territory Managers from Eastern Oklahoma to Portland, Maine focusing on residential Geo business. He has been in the HVAC industry since 2001, working primarily with Dealers and Manufacturers. He began his career with the Quincy, Illinois based wholesale company, T. F. Ehrhart.
Fred is on the HVAC Advisory Council at Linn State College in Linn, MO and has been a GAOI and IGSPHA member for many years. He has been with WaterFurnace since 2009.
His education is from Missouri State University and he currently lives in Lake Ozark, Missouri.




JOHN FREITAG, GAOI Executive Directo

John Freitag is a founding member of the GAOI board and serves as executive director of the organization. He was a director for the first two years of the organization’s existence, serving as secretary-treasurer. He worked for the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, Springfield, the statewide trade association for the Illinois electric cooperatives, for 32 years, retiring in February of 2017. He has been a strong supporter of geothermal heating and cooling technology for many years and has written numerous grants for geothermal funding from government agencies and private foundations. He is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and graduate of the University of Wisconsin.  John Freitag, GAOI Executive Director, Springfield, IL