SKYShades of Southern California Works to Inspire Architects While Fighting Skin Cancer, Promoting Sustainable Energy

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Local San Diego entrepreneur, Diego Villamizar, working to educate youth on the dangers of skin cancer -- the fastest growing cancer in the U.S. -- and helping promote clean green energy. SKYShades specializes in the design, engineering and installation of cutting-edge, high-quality tension membrane shade fabric structures. The company utilizes special fabrics that block 85-97% of ultraviolet (UV) A&B sun rays. SKYShades also offers exclusive SOLAR ROOFING FABRICS through it's Integrated Building Organic Photovoltaic (OPV) Systems.

When San Diego resident, Diego Villamizar, found out that his father-in-law would have surgery for the third time earlier this year to fend off the reoccurrence of skin cancer, he knew he had to find away to help. Villamizar set out to find a business solution that would protect our youth from skin cancer while also helping to drive renewable energy initiatives in the region. The result -- launching SKYShades of Southern California (SoCal).

"As I looked for ways to help the fight against skin cancer, I came across a fantastic business opportunity with SKYShades," stated Villamizar. "After in-depth due diligence and meeting with the leadership team of SKYShades, including legendary golfer, Greg Norman, I knew I was on to something special." Villamizar proceeded to purchase the exclusive rights to sell and distribute SKYShades tension membrane products and services across San Diego and the surrounding areas.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five children will grow up to develop some form of skin cancer. Currently, there are over one million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed in the U.S. each year, outnumbering all other cancers combined. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, kills one person every hour -- all staggering statistics. As 'America's Finest City,' San Diego is famous for it's perfect weather and year-round sunny days. With all this sun and a multitude of outdoor activities, comes potentially deadly consequences in the form of unforgiving ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Unlike most shade companies that focus on a particular niche of the tension membrane industry, SKYShades has the engineering and technical capabilities to design and build all types of fabric structures -- from school playgrounds to convention centers and stadiums. "Best of all, the fabrics we utilize provide 85-97% UV A&B blockage," said Villamizar. "Most people underestimate the dangers of UV exposure."

Among the elements driving interest in SKYShades' products and the tension-membrane industry is the introduction of an innovative product line designed not only to provide shade from the sun, but to also produce 'clean green' power. In early 2008, SKYShades announced a development agreement with Konarka Technologies Inc (, an innovator in development and commercialization of Power Plastic®, a material that converts light to energy. The collaboration resulted in a product, known as the Powerbrellaâ„¢, which incorporates the lightweight Power Plastic® film onto the exterior of SKYShades retractable SKYbrella.

SKYShades has received extensive interest from national chains of coffee outlets and hotel/resorts that recognize their unique capability to provide shade, provide UV protection, and at the same time allow clients the added benefit of being able to recharge laptops, iPods, cell phones and other electronics while enjoying a coffee break. To learn more about the Powerbrella, view the CNN segment (

"The combination of UV protection, architecturally-inspired designs, and solar energy production all under a tension membrane structure is extremely innovative and practical," said Villamizar. "I'm looking forward to partnering and building lasting relationships with local businesses across San Diego and Southern California to promote skin cancer prevention and drive sustainability initiatives."

About SKYShades of Southern California (SoCal)

Founded in Australia and recognized as a world leader in creating tension-membrane shade fabric structures, San Diego-based SKYShades of Southern California is committed to skin cancer prevention and clean green energy initiatives. SKYShades' visually attractive structures create an identity and offer an inviting, less expensive alternative to brick and mortar shading in applications from resorts, playgrounds and schools to malls and recreation spaces. We partner with architects, landscape architects and real estate developers to integrate tension membrane structures across Southern California and strive to educate youth on the dangers of skin cancer -- the fastest growing cancer in the U.S. For more information, visit

Seek Shade | Stay Green

Diego Villamizar



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SKYShades of Southern California is a member of the US Green Building Council (USGBC - and the American Institute of Architects (AIA - San Diego chapters.

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Diego Villamizar
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