David McCarty, COO, Itek Energy, Bellingham
Solar-energy panel manufacturing in the United States has been a tough business to succeed in. The landscape is littered with companies that didn’t survive. One that has succeeded is Itek Energy. In fact, it made something of a contrarian move by investing in a new 48,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in a former paper-mill warehouse on the Bellingham waterfront.But the Itek story isn’t just about growth; the business has been energetically driving lean manufacturing, tripling its production rate with the same number of employees, and while cutting scrap and rework by 80 percent.
A driving force behind Itek’s transformation is David McCarty, now in his third year as the company’s chief operating officer. Says Loren Lyon, Impact Washington president and a judge in this year’s awards program, “Under Dave’s leadership, Itek has become a showcase in the solar energy manufacturing world. He has been a game changer.”