Brian F. Keane, SmartPower Founder, is recipient of John Merck Fund’s Highest Award
Boston – Brian F. Keane, President of the nonprofit clean energy organization, SmartPower, was awarded the $50,000 Frank Hatch “Sparkplug” Award for Enlightened Public Service by The John Merck Fund today. The award is granted annually to an outstanding leader whose work embodies extraordinary creativity, dedication, and foresight.
“Brian’s vision, energy, and passion exemplify the purpose of the Sparkplug Award,” said Serena H. Whitridge, Chair of The John Merck Fund board, in presenting the award. “SmartPower’s unrivaled success in helping to mainstream clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency to the American people has changed the consumer and environmental landscape in ways once thought simply unimaginable.”
The Fund, one of the original funders of SmartPower, created the Frank Hatch Sparkplug award in 2006 to honor its longtime former chairman, Frank Hatch. Ms. Whitridge is Frank Hatch’s daughter.
“Fifteen years ago The John Merck Fund – and specifically Frank Hatch – helped create SmartPower,” said Keane. “To me Frank Hatch has always been a political leader, an environmental hero – and a personal mentor. And now, to receive this award in Frank’s name is beyond humbling. It is, of course, personally and professionally gratifying. But beyond that I accept this award as a legacy of Frank Hatch’s dedication and life’s work. And to be sure, we will in turn rededicate ourselves to continuing Frank’s work and the work of The John Merck Fund.”
Brian Keane and his wife Kate Sawyer Keane are contributing the award to SmartPower.
“The work of Brian Keane and SmartPower is a testament that big and bold ideas can be put into action,” said Ms. Whitridge. “When the experts said clean energy could never be cost competitive with conventional energy, SmartPower went and proved it could be. The experts said Americans would never want to buy solar energy for their homes, they said clean energy and energy efficiency could never be mainstreamed and embedded into American culture. Look around you – hybrid and electric cars, solar power, and Nest Thermostats are everywhere. Congratulations to this year’s recipient, Brian F. Keane.”
SmartPower is based in Washington, DC, and works in communities from coast to coast helping American consumers embrace clean energy and become more energy efficient.