2010 Norm Taylor Award: David Woods

By District Energy posted 07-07-2017 18:15


Omaha Executive Named ‘Person of the Year’ by International District Energy Association

BOSTON – June 30, 2010 – David Woods, vice president and general manager of Energy Systems Co. of Omaha, Neb., received the International District Energy Association’s prestigious Norman R. Taylor Award during ceremonies June 15 at the organization’s 101st Annual Conference & Trade Show in Indianapolis, Ind.

The award is the highest distinction IDEA can confer on an individual as ‘person of the year,’ recognizing that person’s career achievements and contributions to the association and the district energy and combined heat and power industries.

“Dave Woods embodies the qualities of the Norman R. Taylor Award’s namesake – in his leadership, industry contributions and the respect of his peers,” said IDEA’s 2009-2010 Chair Juan Ontiveros, executive director of utilities and energy management at The University of Texas at Austin, who presented the award. “Active in the industry for more than 42 years, Dave has demonstrated a deep commitment to reliable operations and customer service, and he readily shares his time and insight with his peers. With his vast knowledge and experience, Dave is a ‘walking textbook’ on how to run a successful district energy business. Through it all, he has remained humble and devoted to his family as well as his community.”

Award recipients are selected annually by a committee comprised of IDEA members and industry peers. The award was named for Norm Taylor, who was IDEA’s president from 1977 to 1978, and executive director from 1980 until he passed away in 1986. He was known for boldly setting goals, preparing for the future and treating individuals with genuine kindness.

Woods has been an IDEA member since 1976. He is a member of the editorial committee for the association’s District Energy magazine and has served as co-chair of the IDEA’s Marketing Forum, host and general chair of an IDEA District Cooling Conference, and a frequent presenter at IDEA conferences and workshops. He also shared his district cooling experience worldwide as a panelist at IDEA’s International District Cooling Conference in Dubai in 2008.

After serving in the U.S. Navy as an electrician, Woods began work at Northern Natural Gas Co. in 1968 as an electrician at the district energy plant where he now has spent his entire career. In the ensuing decades, Woods held progressively responsible positions with the company in operations, distribution, marketing and customer service, and administration. In 1989, four years after Northern Natural Gas sold the business to its current owners, Woods was named general manager of Energy Systems Co. Under his leadership in 1994, the company received IDEA’s System of the Year Award. In 1995, Woods was made vice president and general manager.

Energy Systems Co. has provided district heating and cooling service to downtown Omaha customers for more than 40 years. The company serves Woodman Tower, Creighton University, the Joslyn Art Museum, Creighton University Medical Center and more than 70 percent of other public and commercial buildings in the downtown area.

Woods has long been active in community organizations. He is a past president of the Omaha Building Owners and Managers Association and currently serves on the board of managers of Omaha’s Downtown Family YMCA and as a member of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. He also is a past president of the Big Elk Cosmopolitan Club of Bellevue, Neb.; a past board member of the Kiwanis Club of Omaha; and a 3rd and 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus Council of Bellevue. Woods graduated in 1976 from Omaha University, now the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

District energy is an efficient, environmentally responsible method of heating and cooling buildings. District energy systems produce steam, hot water or chilled water at a central plant. The steam or water is then piped underground to individual buildings within a designated area for heating, cooling or use in industrial processes.


David Woods (left), vice president and general manager of Energy Systems Co. of Omaha, Neb., received the 2010 ‘person of the year’ award from the International District Energy Association. Presenting the award in June was IDEA Chair Juan Ontiveros from The University of Texas at Austin. Photo MediaWright Photography, Indianapolis.

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