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Celebrating a Visionary Leader: A Tribute to Our Recently Retired CEO, Steve Smith

Bethany Marsch July 01 7 minutes reading time

As a new transition unfolds at Enertech, we honor and celebrate the legacy of previous President and CEO Steve Smith, whose leadership has been the cornerstone of Enertech’s success in the geothermal manufacturing industry. Over the past 27+ years, Steve and his wife, Karen Smith, have guided Enertech through many phases of growth and embodied the values and vision that have led Enertech to become a leading force in geothermal technology. 

Growth from the Ground Up 

Steve Smith founded Enertech in 1996 as a geothermal distributor. Steve and Karen purchased a small Greenville boat shop in 2010 and converted it into the center of Enertech operations. Still in the same location, Enertech’s headquarters grew rapidly under Steve's leadership to include a showroom, two warehouses, an engineering department, a testing laboratory, and expanded office space.  

Beyond the headquarters, Enertech began distributing its own geothermal brand, GeoComfort. In 2007, the Hydron Module brand was purchased, and Enertech entered its manufacturing era, which has drastically grown over the years, with factory space growing from around 20k sq. ft. to over 80k. In 2009, Enertech acquired the TETCO brand. 

Expanding Reach 

With a strategic vision, Steve Smith expanded market presence across North America and continued growing Enertech’s product lines to fit more applications. In 2015, Enertech added a complete line of commercial products to its product offerings. In 2018, Enertech expanded again to include solar PV distribution. In 2020, the Advantage air-to-water heat pump, the first packaged solution in North America to provide heating, cooling, and up to 100% domestic hot water, was released. Steve Smith's unceasing commitment to forge key partnerships, enter new markets, and increase production capabilities to meet demands led to this growth.  

A Legacy of Dedication and Innovation 

Throughout Steve Smith's career, he and Enertech have been awarded generously, reflecting his exceptional leadership. Achievements include:  

  • The Geothermal Ambassador Award from the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA). This award was presented to Steve Smith for his many contributions to the geothermal industry. 
  • In 2014, Steve Smith was unanimously elected as the Chairman of the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO). 
  • Gold and bronze Dealer Design awards were presented to Enertech by the ACHR News magazine for Enertech's one-of-a-kind vertical packaged unit models. 
  • Additional Dealer Design Awards were presented to Enertech for the newly launched outdoor split system model and again for the multi-positional vertical packaged model.  
  • In 2015, the newly released compact vertical packaged model won gold, silver, and bronze at the Dealer Design Award competition.  
  • Enertech won the Greenville Chamber of Commerce Sustainability Award in 2023 for its passion for helping people worldwide access sustainable power sources.

Community Impact: 

Beyond business success, Steve and Karen have always given generously to their local community, supporting various local organizations, including the Simple Room and the Bond County Humane Society. They were awarded the Turley Award in 2021 for their community involvement. 

Investment in People 

Stating that his greatest asset was the Enertech team, Steve Smith prioritized employee development. Colleagues and employees often speak of Steve Smith's approachable and inspiring nature. His open-door policy left an indelible mark on many careers. When asked to describe Steve Smith in one word, his employees said the following: 

  • Determined 
  • Energetic 
  • Loyal 
  • Outgoing 
  • Ambitious 
  • Thoughtful 
  • Perseverance 
  • Lights up the room 
  • Gratitude 
  • Humble 
  • Kind 
  • Enjoyable 
  • Exuberant

Looking Forward 

As Enertech employees bid farewell to Steve Smith, we are filled with gratitude and respect for his unwavering dedication and remarkable contributions. His legacy will continue to inspire and guide as Enertech moves forward. As we step into the future of Enertech, we are excited to welcome Derek Dwyer as the new president and CEO, who will undoubtedly build upon the strong foundation laid by Steve Smith. With a shared commitment to innovation and sustainability, we look forward to a bright future for our company and the geothermal industry. 

Thank You, Steve Smith 

On behalf of the entire team, we extend our heartfelt thanks to Steve Smith for his visionary leadership, tireless effort, and profound impact on Enertech and the geothermal industry. Our journey together has been nothing short of extraordinary, and we wish you a fulfilling and joyous retirement. May your next chapter be filled with the same energy and passion that you brought to Enertech.  


Bethany Marsch
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