Legacy scholarship

The Better Buildings: Better Business Conference Legacy Scholarship was created to recognize and honor those residential building leaders whose contributions have made a significant impact on the building performance and renewable energy industry.


Contributions to the legacy scholarship will support the growth and development of the Wisconsin Better Buildings: Better Business Conference by increasing its capacity to make the event accessible to a larger number of participants. One hundred percent of your contribution to the scholarship program goes directly to providing scholarships to the conference. For U.S. taxpayers, your contribution is fully tax-deductible. Donate to the Better Buildings: Better Business Conference Legacy Scholarship today.

Scholarship eligibility

Legacy scholarships are designed for post-secondary education students or new trade contractors entering the industry of building performance.


The following information is considered when selecting scholarship recipients:

  • Prior attendance: Scholarships are intended for those that have never attended the Wisconsin Better Buildings: Better Business Conference. Anyone who has attended a previous conference will not be eligible for a scholarship.
  • Creativity and commitment: The scholarship committee is interested in creative applicants that can demonstrate a personal responsibility to energy efficiency, renewable energy and the environment in the spirit of those remembered through this scholarship program.


The scholarship will cover the cost of the registration fee (does not include any pre-conference sessions), meals included in the conference and two nights of lodging in a standard room. If you are selected you will be responsible for financing your own transportation and other related expenses.

In remembrance of these residential building leaders

William HurrleWilliam "Bill" Hurrle, a writer, educator and builder, was born June 24, 1940, in Rochester, Minnesota. Believing that reducing dependence upon carbon-based fuels begins at home, he strove for 35 years to build high performance and healthy houses. Through his business, Bay Area Home Performance, he was a consultant for the Wisconsin Energy Star program, specializing in solar siting, design, and diagnostics as well as green building. This consultancy developed out of his home building and environmental health business, Community Builders, which he founded in 1974. His professional goals were to improve the energy efficiency of homes as well as to popularize solar electric and solar hot water systems. He developed pioneering examples of residential-scaled solutions for power, heat, and comfort that use traditional, carbon-based resources lightly. Bill was an active member of several associations, including the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and the Wisconsin Green Building Alliance. In the late '70s, he was chairman of the Wisconsin Solar Energy Resources Association. He received several awards including: NAHB 1996 Energy Efficient Home, Cold Climate Award; Oneida Nation Certificate of Achievement for work with renewable energy; and the Focus on Energy, Renewable Energy award, "For taking the long view in renewable energy and building science transformation." Bill died of esophageal cancer on May 2, 2009, at the home he built with his wife, Beverly Watkins, in New Franken, Wisconsin.

David HepflerDavid Hepfler was born on Oct 27, 1949 in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. He grew up in Eau Claire and graduated at Eau Claire North High School in 1967. He was married to Julie Winger, on Nov 27, 1968 and both built their life together having three children and enjoying nearly 45 years of marriage together. Dave was passionate in all areas of his life—work and play. He was well known across the area for both. Dave had more than 40 years of experience in the home improvement field prior to his in death in 2013. He worked as a home improvement contractor, residential home inspector and radon mitigation contractor. In more recent years, Dave worked directly with Focus on Energy's new and existing residential homes programs throughout northwestern Wisconsin. He was also an independent consultant for the Wisconsin Energy Star Homes and the Home Performance with Energy Star programs. In 2006, he received the Governor's Building Performance Consultant of the Year Award for his contribution in making homes in Wisconsin more energy and resource efficient. Dave died on Aug 7, 2013 after a yearlong battle with lung cancer.

Kent BordenKent Borden was born on Dec 14, 1966 in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. He was a Beaver Dam High School and University of Wisconsin—Madison graduate. As a young man, Kent worked at Sentry Foods, the Borden family grocery store. He later worked in sales and ran his own energy auditing company in Milwaukee. Kent loved the outdoors especially hunting and fishing. He enjoyed music and was considered a "foodie" who loved cooking and eating. Kent competed in two Wisconsin Ironman triathlons. He was considered a conservationist who was very conscious of the environment and caring for it. Kent will especially be remembered as a wonderful friend who was always willing to help, share and enjoy the earth’s wonder. Kent died at the age of 49 on Apr 26, 2016 at his home after a remarkable fight against a cancerous brain tumor. From Linda Heipp who worked with Kent at Hallmark Building Supplies, Inc.: "To put it mildly, Kent was very passionate about everything that he did, he loved this industry, but he especially loved people and the relationships that he gained. Kent really was a “soldier” for the environment and he thought about it in everything that he did! Kent liked to use this quote from John Ruskin (1875) in his presentations: 'When we build let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for.' " From Thomas Bawolek who worked with Kent at Five Star Energy Corporation: "I really got to know Kent at the annual Better Buildings: Better Business Conferences. This is an another testimonial that it is not just the fine education that fuels the conferences but the people you meet that make it so valuable. Kent did not consider energy efficiency and sustainability a job or something to talk about. He lived it. He had a goal to retire as an organic farmer. He was constantly improving his own buildings. His yard was basically a wildlife sanctuary. Even his casket was specified to be bio-degradable. Kent and I also shared a passion for music. I will never forget all the concerts we attended together and the fun we had."