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Arctic Energy Alliance gets new director

Katherine Hudson
Northern News Services
Published Friday, February 18, 2011

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - Louie Azzolini was in the midst of unpacking boxes in his new office on Monday, his first day on the job as executive director of the Arctic Energy Alliance.

NNSL photo/graphic

Louie Azzolini is the new executive director of Arctic Energy Alliance.

After years of doing community planning, environmental planning and project development throughout the North, Azzolini said he's ready to use what he has learned to show people how to be more environmentally-conscious and save some money.

"Principally, why am I here? I'm 50 and want to make a real difference. I spent the last 35 to 40 years learning a skill, refining a set of practices and tools. I'm ready to go out and make a difference," he said.

Azzolini said it is interesting working in the building which sits right next door to where he grew up on 51 Street.

He is taking over from past director Andrew Robinson, who stepped down from the position this past fall after three years.

Azzolini said society makes decisions which are driven by the economy and what he hopes to bring to the table is a business perspective on how community members, businesses and organizations shift spending on energy fuelled by imported sources such as diesel and instead invest money back into the local economy.

"The business of the environment is a place where you not only save energy, you save money, and I think it's important to remember that dealing with environmental issues, energy specifically in this case, is about money. It really is the business of the environment, about individuals becoming informed," he said.

"If we don't begin to lay the foundations for how we can change our behaviour incrementally over time, we're going to have a shock when energy becomes increasingly scarce. Modifying our behaviour earlier will result in a less cumbersome transition to alternative energies."

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