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By choosing renewable energy, you and your customers protect the environment and secure the benefits of energy independence while reducing long-term energy costs. The WSU Energy Program has leadership roles in each of the renewable areas described below.

Current Projects

Washington Solar Stakeholder Process

Under the “Clean Technology” section of Executive Order 14-04 addressing Washington Carbon Pollution Reduction and Clean Energy Action, the WSU Energy Program was asked by Governor Jay Inslee to work with appropriate agencies and stakeholders to recommend an approach to significantly expand the use of solar energy in our state while ensuring consumer protection and grid reliability.

We convened a stakeholders' group that represents state agencies, utilities, environmental interests, solar manufacturers, and installers. All stakeholders were invited to provide insights about promoting solar energy in Washington and inform the process moving forward. The result of this interactive process is a set of recommendations that the WSU Energy Program delivered to the Governor in December 2014.

The public is invited to learn more about the WA Solar Stakeholder Process.

Climate and Rural Energy Development

The Washington State Legislature authorized the Climate and Rural Energy Development Center at the WSU Energy Program to provide technical expertise to the Washington State Department of Revenue in certifying solar photovoltaic (PV), small wind, and anaerobic digestion energy-generating systems that qualify for incentives. Our technical experts:

  • Provide guidance to Washington manufacturers of energy system components, electric utilities, and energy system installers.
  • Support workforce needs.
  • Encourage growth of these renewable energy sources.

Program results from 2005 through 2013 are available (see sidebar at right).

See also "Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment Program - Electrical Energy Production Using Solar, Methane, & Wind Power" for details about this cost-recovery program, including forms to submit to the Department of Revenue.

Alternative Fuels

We support the Puget Sound Clean Cities Coalition in promoting alternative fuel vehicles and creating a network of alternative fuel facilities. Our team researched opportunities for using biomethane as a transportation fuel and prepared the two-part webinar, "Costs and Benefits for Transportation" and "Transportation Experience and Opportunities in Washington State," for the Western Washington Clean Cities Coalition.


Our bioenergy team recently evaluated densified biomass (wood pellets) as a renewable fuel, as described in the legislative summary and technical assessment available on our Renewable Energy publications page.

We also lead the six-state Pacific Region Bioenergy Partnership that encourages the development and use of bioenergy technologies that are technically feasible and cost effective.

Past Projects


We helped develop the state-level geothermal action plans and regulatory guides. Washington-focused geothermal technology reports and case studies are available on our Renewable Energy publications page.


The HEATMAP software tool performs a comprehensive simulation of existing and proposed district heating and cooling systems, including cogeneration and geothermal applications.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cells

With broad expertise in hydrogen and fuel cell research, our staff produced an overview of hydrogen and fuel cells in Washington and answered questions about related policy, production, delivery, storage, safety, standards, and systems analysis for the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Information Center.


We had a leadership role in the Washington Wind Working Group (a coordinated effort to plan for large wind systems in the state) and supported development of detailed wind maps for the region.

Publications and Resources

View our Renewable Energy Publications.

Our Staff

Jacob C. Fey

Jake Fey, the Director of the WSU Energy Program, has served in this leadership position for 15 years. He has decades of experience providing leadership in energy and other arenas. At the WSU Energy Program, Fey has built, strengthened, and diversified key funder, political, and other stakeholder relationships, and enhanced the visibility of the program within the energy community.

Fey recently served as the Chair of the Association of State Energy Research & Technology Transfer Institutions Executive Committee and the National Association of State Energy Officials Industrial Committee. He was also a member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Regional Bioenergy Program Steering Committee and the Northwest Power Planning Council Conservation Resource Advisory Committee. In addition, he served as the Vice Chair of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

Before signing on to lead the WSU Energy Program in 2001, Fey held management roles for the Washington State Energy Office, the City of Tacoma, and on many boards including the Puget Sound Regional Council on Transportation Policy, Pierce Transit and Sound Transit, and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. Fey served as Chair of the Tacoma Public Utilities Board and President of the Electric League.

In 2012, Fey was elected to the Washington State Legislature as a Representative from the 27th District in Tacoma. He is Vice Chair of the House Transportation Committee and a member of the House Education, Environment, and Technology and Economic Development committees. Previously he served as the Deputy Mayor of Tacoma and was a member of the Tacoma City Council.

Todd Currier

Todd Currier, Assistant Director of the WSU Energy Program, is the Community Business Programs, Engineering, and Fiscal Division Manager. He has three decades of experience in energy efficiency program development, implementation, and evaluation – the last 25 of which have been in supervisory and management positions. Currier represents the organization in a variety of forums at the state, regional, national, and international levels. He leads staff members who are engaged in building science research, building code development and implementation, indoor air quality improvement, workforce development issues and trends, resource conservation programs, industrial energy efficiency, renewable energy programs, and energy efficiency upgrades for homes and small businesses. He is currently serving as a co-chair of the Industrial and Combined Heat and Power Work Group of the State Energy Efficiency Action Network, and is a member of the Pacific Northwest’s Regional Emerging Technologies Advisory Committee and the Washington State Energy Strategy Technical Experts Panel.

Sheila Riggs

Sheila Riggs, Assistant Director of the WSU Energy Program, is the program’s Communications, Legislative, and Administrative Division Manager. Prior to her time with the organization, Riggs served as the Member Communications and Seminars Manager and the School Employees’ Retirement System Communications Manager for the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems. She was also a Public Information Officer for the Washington State Department of Information Services. Prior to her state service, Riggs was a Press Secretary for a U.S. congressman and Deputy Press Secretary for a U.S. senator in Washington, D.C. She also worked for the U.S. Department of State. Riggs holds a B.A. from Washington State University with a double major in political science and communications. She also has two M.A. degrees – one from Washington State University in communications and the other from The George Washington University in international affairs.

Adria S. Banks

Adria S. Banks is an energy program analyst at the WSU Energy Program, providing data management, manipulation, and visualization support. She also assists in analyzing, interpreting, and reporting data for research-based projects and energy efficiency programs. Banks has over 10 years of experience in management and leadership roles in scientific and higher education positions, as well as experience in peer/volunteer coordination, mentoring, and working as an effective liaison. She holds an M.S in biology from Western Washington University and a B.S. in zoology from the University of Washington.

Tanya Beavers

Tanya Beavers is an energy professional who works closely with the Building Science Division. She also provides executive support for other areas of the organization, writes communication material, and assists in coordinating training classes. Her professional background includes experience in marketing, financial services, and technical writing. She holds a B.A. in public relations with minors in business communication and Japanese from Central Washington University.

Sue Brown

Sue Brown is a program coordinator of the Plant Operations Support Consortium. She manages the Consortium's custodial support effort, which includes conducting custodial assessments, training, and providing work-loading assistance. Brown is on the annual Energy/Facilities Connections Conference coordinating team. In addition, she represents the Consortium to members and potential members, and responds to member requests for assistance. Sue is certified as an ISSA Custodial Industry Management Standard Expert. Brown joined the Consortium staff in 2005 and has worked for the State of Washington since 1999.

Nels Christianson

Nels Christianson serves as a senior software engineer and has worked for the organization since 1996. Christianson has also been a computer analyst and programmer for the Washington State Energy Office, a self-employed computer analyst and programmer, a college instructor at Northern Marianas College, a regional engineer for Africare, Inc., and a service technician for S.C.A. Corporation. He served several times as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer – as an instructor, a district engineer, and a computer system programmer. In 2006, Christianson served as an on-site engineer in Sri Lanka in rebuilding efforts after the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia. He has two B.S. degrees, one in computer science/management from The Evergreen State College and one in civil engineering from the University of Washington.

James L. Colombo

Jim Colombo has served as the Information Systems Department Manager and IT specialist for the WSU Energy Program and the Washington State Energy Office since 1987. Colombo has over 30 years of experience providing technical service, support, and training to citizens, management, and employees at state agencies and universities. Prior to his time with the WSU Energy Program, he worked for South Puget Sound Community College and the King County Library System.

Larry Covey

Larry Covey, a LEED Accredited Professional, is a project manager with the Plant Operations Support Consortium. He has over 13 years of commercial building experience in state and federal venues. Covey’s projects have included major architectural renovations with complex civil, mechanical, and electrical systems. He also has extensive experience in cost accounting and alternative forms of public works. Covey holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Saint Martin’s University.

Donna Cowsert

Donna Cowsert serves as our management analyst/fiscal officer. With nearly 30 years of experience in the accounting field, she provides financial/grants management services, and reviews and submits proposals. Cowsert assists with subcontract setup, submitting match documentation, and resolving grant issues with the sponsor, principal investigator, and university. Her prior experience includes serving as accounts receivable manager, responsible for building and coaching a team for effective implementation of grants, contracts, and interagency agreements.

Ken Eklund

Ken Eklund is the building science and standards team leader. He and his team focus on Washington State Energy Code implementation and building science research and training, including emerging technologies. Eklund has over 30 years of experience in energy efficiency and renewable energy research, training, demonstration, program development, implementation, and management. During much of his career, he has served in supervisory and management positions in the energy field. Eklund served as a voting member of the Regional Technical Forum of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council for nine years, and is the author/co-author of a number of peer-reviewed papers in technical and program implementation areas. Eklund holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Idaho College of Law and a B.A. from Stanford University.

Andrew Gordon

Andrew Gordon is an energy specialist in the Building Science Division with over 20 years of experience providing high-quality implementation and management services to site-built and manufactured housing industries. Gordon is a trainer for building science and energy efficiency certifications, and is an accomplished author and collaborator on numerous technical papers, articles, and reports. Gordon holds a B.A. in English literature and performing arts from Alfred University.

Marla Hacklander

Marla Hacklander is an energy project analyst for the WSU Energy Program. She is also part of the state certifying organization for ENERGY STAR Homes Northwest Program, and is a training coordinator for ENERGY STAR Homes NW and Performance Tested Comfort Systems (PTCS) classes. Hacklander is the office manager of the our Spokane office. She has over 25 years of experience in project management, office management, administration, customer service, and bookkeeping/accounting. She has also worked as a program manager for PTCS, a contract accounting employee for Two Rivers Energy Services, and a training coordinator for Inland Northwest HVAC Association.

David Hales

David Hales is a building systems specialist, leveraging more than 30 years of experience in building science and construction to provide skills training, curriculum development, field research, and technical support. Previously, Hales was an energy specialist for the Washington State Energy Office and a managing partner for Sun Construction. Hales has a B.S. in physics from the University of Chicago.

Luke Howard

Luke Howard is a building science specialist. With 13 years of academic and professional experience researching, analyzing, and implementing sustainable and resource conservation building design strategies, Howard educates members of industry and the public about resource and energy conservation practices. Howard is a Residential Energy Services Network quality assurance designee/trainer, a certified sustainable building adviser, is certified in duct sealing and heat pump commissioning, and is an infrared thermographer, Level 1. He has a B.A. from The Evergreen State College.

Karen Janowitz

Karen Janowitz is a program coordinator at the WSU Energy Program. She has over 20 years of experience in project leadership and management; implementing, marketing, and managing energy efficiency and environmental programs; group facilitation; environmental education; communications; and administration. Janowitz holds a B.A. in geology from the University of Colorado and a Master of Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College.

Jim Jensen

Jim Jensen is our senior bioenergy and alternative fuels specialist. He conducts research and provides up-to-date information and technical assistance about bioenergy and alternative fuels and vehicles. He supports federal and state agencies, local governments, and private clients. His current activities include biogas/biomethane, biodiesel, electric vehicles, and green fleets. He serves on the state’s multi-agency bioenergy team, the anaerobic digestion task force, the Alt Fuel/Vehicle Technical Assistance Group, and the Western Washington Clean Cities Steering Committee. During over 20 years of work in the private and nonprofit sectors, Jensen has provided technical assistance to businesses in dozens of industries, assisted corporate social responsibility programs, and supported new green technologies and products. His technical knowledge and experience encompass research, development, and implementation of projects in the voluntary carbon market, renewable energy, recycling, waste prevention, anaerobic digestion, and composting. Jensen holds a B.A. from Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa.

Marcia L. Karr, P.E.

Marcia Karr is an energy engineer with over 30 years of experience in commercial building design, construction, and maintenance. Her positions have included providing DOE hotline support; performing CHP assessments; providing peer review of assessments; reviewing building and energy code plans; serving as a union trades supervisor; and working as a design/build engineer, field construction engineer, project coordinator, and HVAC designer (commercial and institutional). Karr is a registered Professional Engineer in Washington and Oregon, has a B.S. in mechanical engineering, and is a licensed Commercial Buildings Energy Code (NREC) Plans Examiner.

Gary Kaufman

Gary Kaufman is a technical support specialist for the WSU Energy Program. With more than 20 years of cross-functional experience in business strategy, operations, and product and project management in the private and public sectors, Kaufman currently works with the U.S. Department of Energy Northwest Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership, the Bioenergy Coordination Team, and other collaborative energy efficiency improvement efforts within the WSU Energy Program portfolio. He holds a B.A. from The Evergreen State College.

Seth Kolodziejski

Seth Kolodziejski is a building science specialist, responsible for providing technical assistance and delivering training in support of Building America projects, Northwest ENERGY STAR activity, Washington State Energy Code, and Washington Community Energy Efficiency Program contractor network development. Kolodziejski has extensive experience in Home Performance contracting, energy conservation program administration, project coordination, and community education. He holds a B.A. in psychology from Bowdoin College.

Rick Kunkle, P.E.

Rick Kunkle, a research engineer with the WSU Energy Program, has over 25 years of experience applying a unique combination of engineering, planning, evaluation, research, and management skills to improve the quality and performance of energy efficiency programs and energy systems. He has conducted over 30 program evaluations and research on a range of topics, such as community-based energy efficiency programs, low-income weatherization, household energy use, residential ventilation systems, commercial building development and operation, commercial office building markets, and renewable energy technologies. A particular research interest is improving understanding of how markets and consumers adopt and apply energy-efficient technologies and practices. Kunkle is a registered Professional Engineer with B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering. 

Phil Lou

Phil Lou is our solar energy specialist. He has 21 years of experience in the building industry, culminating in designing and installing modern photovoltaic systems. Lou holds a B.S. from the University of Oregon and certifications in photovoltaic design and application, solar thermal design and application, and energy audit and weatherization. He developed curricula for and taught courses in the clean energy technologies program at a local community college.

Christine Love

Christine Love, the industrial services manager with the WSU Energy Program, has over t0 years of expertise in project management, stakeholder development, customer relations, and program development. Love develops and manages state and federal industrial services grants and contracts that provide technical support and training to manufacturers in the Pacific Northwest. She is the WSU Energy Program lead for stakeholder relations in the industrial sector, serves on regional industrial advisory committees, and is a founding steering committee member of the annual Northwest Industrial Energy Efficiency Summit.

Michael Lubliner

Michael Lubliner has worked in the energy conservation and renewable energy field for over 35 years, starting his career as the Pacific Northwest regional distributor for Grumman, Bio-Energy Systems and other renewable energy products. In 1983, Lubliner began working for the Washington State Energy Office, where he helped develop, implement, evaluate, and refine the Northwest Power Planning Council’s Model Conservation Standards, state energy codes, and Super Good Cents site-built and manufactured housing programs. He works in support of the U.S. DOE Building America Program and the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR Program. Lubliner has a B.S. in energy engineering from The Evergreen State College.

Gilbert McCoy, P.E.

Gil McCoy, a registered Professional Engineer, is a senior energy systems engineer with the WSU Energy Program. He provides technical assistance and energy auditing services to industrial and public sector clients. McCoy’s areas of expertise include optimization of industrial systems (motor/drive, compressed air, steam, combined heat and power, and pumping). He served as lead engineer for development of software products including MotorMaster+ (motor energy management), International Motor Selection and Savings Analysis, AirMaster+ (compressed air system assessment), and BallastMaster (lighting system/ballast selection) software. McCoy is a U.S. DOE Qualified AIRMaster+ Specialist and a Qualified Steam Tools and Process Heating Specialist. He holds a B.S. in metallurgical engineering from the University of Washington and a M.S. in engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Anneka McDonald

Anneka McDonald is a performance and accountability specialist for the organization, leveraging skills in fiscal management, customer service, and database management. With comprehensive training in computer software and a focus on public agency issues, McDonald is able to effectively identify and resolve complex accounting issues.

Gary Nordeen

Gary Nordeen is a senior building science specialist with the WSU Energy Program. For the last 25 years, Nordeen has worked with a variety of state and utility energy conservation programs, cultivating extensive knowledge in building, energy, and ventilation codes. Currently, Nordeen serves as the manager of the WSU Energy Codes Program; provides code training for building department staff, designers, builders, and the general public; assists with code development for the Washington State Building Code Council; and provides technical assistance to local jurisdictions and the public.

Phil Partington

Phil Partington is a program coordinator for the Plant Operations Support Consortium. Partington, who joined the Consortium staff in 2002, is responsible for responding to day-to-day member requests for assistance and managing numerous training events, including the annual Energy/Facilities Connections conference. Additionally, Partington provides program, web, and outreach development for the Consortium. Partington produces the Consortium’s newsletter, Shop Talk, and assists Consortium members with grant-writing opportunities and project management endeavors. He graduated from Saint Martin's University in 2003 with a B.A. in English and a minor in business administration.

Rob Penney, P.E.

Rob Penney, a registered Professional Engineer and Certified Energy Manager, is the senior energy engineer at the WSU Energy Program. He oversees a team of engineers and energy specialists to provide comprehensive technical responses, research, training, and publication development on a variety of building energy systems topics for the industrial, commercial, and institutional sectors. Penney also served as lead engineer for the organization’s Clearinghouse Services programs. Previously, Penney was the director of engineering services for Southface Energy Institute, where he managed projects such as energy auditing, building science research, and training. He was also a mechanical engineer for Rosser Fabrap International, where he performed HVAC, plumbing, and fire protection design calculation, layout, and specification writing for commercial and industrial facilities.

Michael Pierson

Michael Pierson is an information technology support specialist. He is the primary contact for technical support for all outside client networks contracted by the WSU Energy Program. Pierson also supports the Energy Program’s day-to-day operations and works with the network administrator to upgrade network architecture and servers.

Martha Plummer

Martha Plummer is an energy project analyst/librarian. Previously, Plummer worked at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility Technical Library. She conducts in-depth literature searches and coordinates reference and research strategies and workflow. She also organizes content on various websites, and created and maintains the Washington State Energy Legislation Tracking Tool. Plummer is past president of the Washington Library Association.

Gerry Rasmussen

Gerry Rasmussen has served as the graphic designer for the WSU Energy Program since 2004, where he is instrumental in keeping the program’s publications and presentations looking consistent and professional. He holds a B.A. in fine arts/graphic design from Washington State University. Rasmussen worked for 33 years as a graphic designer in Washington state government, ending his tenure as the manager of the graphics unit at the Washington State Department of Transportation. Rasmussen has also freelanced for over 45 years, lending his graphics expertise to clients in government and private industry.

Carolyn Roos, Ph.D.

Dr. Carolyn Roos is a mechanical engineer leveraging more than 20 years of experience in industrial and building systems energy efficiency, mechanical design in hydroelectric facilities, solar thermal applications, and biopower. Dr. Roos provides technical assistance on commercial and industrial building energy system efficiency projects. She also provides technical support to the U.S. DOE Northwest Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership, with a focus on biopower and waste heat-to-power applications. She started her career as an energy management engineer at Puget Sound Energy, where she performed energy efficiency analyses for commercial and industrial customers. Dr. Roos also worked at the Army Corps of Engineers Hydroelectric Design Center. For her doctorate in systems science and mechanical engineering, she developed software to simulate simultaneous heat and moisture transfer in building environments. For her M.S. in mechanical engineering, Roos developed software to aid in the design of high-temperature solar concentrating furnaces.

Vince Schueler

Vince Schueler is a program and system analyst with over 30 years of experience providing customer research, performance management, process improvement program evaluation, policy analysis, and strategic planning in state government and the private sector. He has a practical, result-oriented focus on energy efficiency and resource conservation. Schueler holds an M.B.A. in quantitative methods from the University of Washington and a B.A. in urban studies from the University of Maryland. He also earned a Lean Six Sigma Certificate of Achievement from Villanova University in 2008 and completed training at the Northwest Public Health Leadership Institute.

David Sjoding

David Sjoding is a combined heat and power (CHP)/renewable energy specialist. His current focus is on CHP, bioenergy/bioproducts, and district energy. Sjoding is the director of the five-state U.S. DOE Northwest Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership and team leader for the Pacific Regional Biomass Energy Partnership. He has 33 years of experience in the energy field, focusing on energy efficiency, renewable energy, climate change, energy policy, and distributed generation. He recently received the national CHP Champion award from the CHP Association. Sjoding served several years as an assistant director at the Washington State Energy Office before coming to the WSU Energy Program in 1996. He chaired the Power Washington Review Committee, which allocated over $95 million in oil settlement funds. Sjoding has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington. He has a strong understanding of northwest energy policy framework and structure, and is frequently invited to speak at energy conferences.

Melinda Thiessen Spencer

Melinda Spencer is our communications specialist, responsible for producing technical, educational, and promotional materials for all program areas. Emphasizing plain language and user-centered design, Spencer has worked since 1984 as a university writing instructor, instructional designer, web content developer, software localizer, textbook co-author and editor, and stakeholder involvement specialist. She holds an M.A. in technical and scientific communication from Miami University, Ohio; an M.Phil. in peace studies from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland; and a B.S. in biology/pre-med from U.C. Davis.

James Squire

James Squire serves as the computer network administrator for the WSU Energy Program. He has over 35 years of experience in the personal computer/mainframe field, installing and maintaining computer equipment, networks, and telecommunications systems. Squire previously worked as a computer technical specialist at the Washington State Energy Office, service director for Idea Works, Inc., computer engineer and manager for a variety of private companies, and data systems technician in the U.S. Navy.

Mike Steele

Mike Steele is an information technology specialist responsible for maintaining day-to-day operations of the computer network, assisting staff with technical issues, offering training on new technologies and tools, and serving as a primary network support for several of the WSU Energy Program’s outside clients. Steele has a B.S. in computer engineering technology from DeVry University.

Lisa Terefenko

Lisa Terefenko is a software engineer with the WSU Energy Program. With a solid background in application/web development, management, and customer service, Terefenko plays a key role in launching and maintaining major websites and works with the Energy Program’s industrial services team to develop and distribute the International Motors Selection and Savings Analysis software tool. As a private consultant, she worked with clients such as Microsoft, Chevron, and the University of Washington. Terefenko attended Pennsylvania State University and holds a B.S. in computer science from The Evergreen State College.

Edwin L. Valbert

Edwin Valbert, manager of the Plant Operations Support Consortium, offers over 35 years of experience in strategic planning, quality improvement, construction project management, public speaking, and customer service. Valbert manages daily and strategic operations of the Consortium, which includes over 100 organizations from state, higher education, and local public agency venues; manages professional staff responsible for delivering powerful program offerings in a self-sustaining environment; and leads and inspires the annual Energy/Facilities Connections Conference. Previously, he worked as a construction coordinator and asset manager for the state Department of Social and Health Services, commercial program supervisor with the State Energy Office, technical assistance director for Seattle University, associate faculty at Washington State University, and field technician and residential home builder in the private sector. Valbert holds a B.A. in architecture from the University of Washington.

Anne L. Whitney

Anne Whitney is a librarian with over 30 years of experience in the library field, including positions as cataloger, indexer, library information specialist, head of a cataloging service, cataloging instructor, and art college librarian. Whitney holds an M.A. in art history and an M.S. in information and library science from Case Western Reserve University.

Bruce Whitney

Bruce Whitney is a senior software developer for the WSU Energy Program. He develops and maintains in-house and distributed software applications, as well as web applications and interfaces. Whitney holds bachelor degrees from MIT and The Evergreen State College, one in computer science and the other in history and science. He also has a teaching certificate from The Evergreen State College.

Laurie Wingate

Laurie Wingate has been the information systems coordinator for .the WSU Energy Program since 1997. She purchases and inventories computer hardware, software, and supplies for the organization, and provides technical support for office printers.