WAUNAKEE, Wis. — Chuck Gates, co-founder and CEO of RenewAire, is retiring.

Scott Forest, president, who joined the company in 2015, will now oversee all operations. Forest is a former global director of continuous improvement at Trek Bicycle Corp. and also held senior officer positions in the U.S. Air Force.

“Scott is committed to continuing the RenewAire mission of manufacturing products that make a positive difference to the planet and its inhabitants,” said Gates.  

Gates and two partners founded the company in 1978 under the banner of Solar Specialists. The company was later renamed Altech Energy.

Gates and a partner, Doug Steege, who remained with RenewAire as vice president–sales/marketing until 2016, eventually focused on manufacturing ERVs (energy recovery ventilators).

“It’s time to get back into adventure and fun after working hard for 43 years,” said Gates, who is a former longtime member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and the executive committee of the Center for Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM)–University of Wisconsin, Madison. After his CEO corporate position is dissolved, Gates will remain in a non-salaried capacity as a RenewAire advisor.

“There is tremendous upside for RenewAire with Scott Forest,” said Gates. “He is a Lean Six Sigma black belt, QRM Level II-certified trainer, and brings many new ideas to the company’s high-mix, low-volume manufacturing strategy that will continue the success we started at RenewAire.”

“Doing good (environmental stewardship), can actually be good for business,” Gates said. “If you focus on something that’s good for the planet, versus just profit-driven motives, you can actually create a competitive edge in business.”

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