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Steve Sain is the founder and CEO Emeritus for SEA, and currently serves as Board Chairman. He is an international award-winning energy engineer with over 40 years of experience in energy efficiency regarding existing facilities of virtually all functions and sizes throughout the United States and several foreign countries. Steve is extremely proficient with and offers world-class expertise in alternative financing for energy projects. In 1994, he was awarded the “International Energy Engineer of the Year” by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and in 1995 was also awarded “Birmingham Engineer of the Year” (covering all engineering disciplines) by the Engineering Council of Birmingham. He was also elected to the “Energy Management Hall of Fame” by AEE in 2005.
As an engineer, Steve is perhaps best known for being a prolific teacher of energy efficiency having trained most of the energy professionals for the largest corporate energy program on earth, the U.S. Department of Defense. Most of Steve’s teaching experience has been as an active instructor of AEE’s Certified Energy Manager (CEM) week-long certification exam prep course. Additionally, he has worked throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and South Africa teaching seminars on resource efficiency management, life-cycle costing, alternative financing, and measurement and verification energy savings. Steve has served as an expert witness in multiple performance contracting lawsuits, representing either the building owner or the contractor, and winning in every case.
As a businessman, with Divine guidance, Steve led SEA from scratch to over $23 million in annual revenue and over 120 employees. On Steve’s watch, SEA was named to “Inc.” magazine’s published list of the fastest growing private American companies, for three consecutive years (2011-2013). In 2015, SEA was named by the Birmingham Business Journal (BBJ) as Birmingham’s 79th largest privately held company and 4th largest engineering firm. In 1992, Steve was included in BBJ’s “Top 40 Under 40” group, which identifies the top 40 business leaders in Birmingham under 40 years of age. In 2016, Steve was named by “BHMBIZ” magazine as one of the top 25 most influential business executives in Birmingham. Most recently, in 2018, Steve was published in AEE’s official Energy Engineering Journal as he exclusively authored the article titled, “So You Want to be an Energy Consultant?”
A graduate of Tennessee Tech University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Steve has built the legacy and foundation for Sain Engineering Associates, Inc. that has served it well for more than 30 years. In 2020, Steve’s final dream for his legacy became a reality when SEA became 100% employee owned.
Father of two wonderful daughters and a man deeply rooted in faith, Steve now enjoys his “semi” retirement days with his lovely wife Elena in their home on beautiful Lake Martin with his favorite 100-pound buddy, Price.