I BELIEVE. . . that our current energy related issues are going to be some of, if not the most important, issues that I will face in my lifetime. The world has for too long been consuming more energy than we should. And this has put many countries, business, and families at risk. I haven’t always thought this way. Growing up I knew that I was going to spend my life trying to make impact. I just didn’t know where I would focus my energy. But, as luck would have it, I would be asked by my Uncle Joe to take my newly acquired University of Georgia degree (Marketing Major, Psychology Minor) to Dallas, Texas to help him and his brother-in-law with an energy efficiency solutions start-up called Current Energy. Current Energy is where I realized which cause I wanted to fight for. And The Daily Energy Report is the first step of a broader plan to build a collaborative community and a stronger voice for those who want to tackle these issues and make impact with me.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS A FAIRLY LONG STORY ABOUT MY BACKGROUND. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A SHORT BIO OR MY RESUME, THEN PLEASE VISIT MY LINKEDIN PROFILE, IF YOUR CURIOUS TO KNOW WHY I’M DOING WHAT I’M DOING THEN KEEP READING.
Entrepreneurs run pretty deep in my family. All of my parent’s brothers and sisters (7 total) have had the entrepreneurial itch at some point in their career. My father used to have his own computer training business and currently invests in real estate. His father used to run his own retail store. My mother’s father, was always investing in real estate and entrepreneurs. One of my younger brothers, Dan, founded the very successful Meeting of the Big Minds; a weekend retreat that, through peer-to-peer collaboration, helps people overcome obstacles in their careers and business lives. So, you can see that my family’s make up is pretty unique.
My Uncle Joe, a few months before I came on board, had left his tenant rep business to join his brother-in-law, Josh, in running Power Brokers. He had just completed the real estate work for the first 100 Apple Stores and was looking for a new challenge. Josh’s business was one of the first energy consulting firms that started as a result of Texas deregulating electricity in 2001. And, he wanted Joe to find ways to add value to the existing client base. Joe thought that I could learn a lot about business if I came in as the first employee. The initial idea was to leverage Josh’s existing commercial consulting business into a residential platform that switched customers, from kiosks in malls, to other retail electric providers. Quickly the idea grew to what became, The World’s First Energy Efficiency Store”.
The Current Energy Store, located in 3500 sq.ft. in Dallas, TX was the first specialty retail store that was a one-stop-shop for all of your energy efficiency needs. Being employee #1, Joe tasked me with finding the right energy efficient manufacturing partners for the store which ended up being companies like Honeywell, Owens Corning, Trane, Mitsubishi, Rinnai, Vista, Demilec, TOTO, US Green Fiber and others. In addition, I was responsible for having the manufacturers to introduce me to their top Dallas contractors so that I could then cut a lead generation deal for the DFW market.
At the time that the store was opening (Nov. 2006 was the soft open), we were researching ways to enter the commercial energy efficiency market as well. My uncle and another relatively new Current Energy employee, Scott, had, through a lot of market analysis and research, identified a Russian-based energy management company that they wanted to acquire. None of us knew how to speak Russian, so I was able to convince my best friend, Vladik, who had recently graduated with an IE degree from Ga. Tech, to move from Atlanta to Dallas, and help Joe, Scott and the team, acquire the Russian-based business. When the company was acquired, Vladik, brought two of his closest friends from Ga. Tech, Gene and Misha, and Gene’s father, Ruvin, on-board to assist with the IP transfer and set-up of the manufacturing in Dallas.
While this was happening, I was helping our Residential Director, Marc, build an in-house residential audit team. Once we had the team in place, I moved to a newly established marketing department to work on the branding of the businesses. I was tasked with developing our website and helping Joe and a home-improvement radio host named David, launch The Current Energy Report. This 1-hour nationally syndicated radio show, aired live at 3pm CST on the weekends and was syndicated in top markets in TX, and a few small markets in North & South Carolina and Georgia. We also had weekly “advertorial” segments on Good Morning Texas, that I would periodically help out with. It was these media and marketing projects where the light came on to how much impact I could potentially make with Media. We were presenting the pro-energy efficiency message in so many different ways and doing it very successfully. Unfortunately, the down economy didn’t allow me to keep doing what I had started becoming passionate about. And, we unfortunately had to end the majority of our Media initiatives. So, as timing would have it, I was asked to move to the new Commercial Energy Solutions Division to start selling the, now ready to go, energy management solution.
I was given some great sales training by my close friend Amber, and started selling our energy management solution to retail, restaurant, and convenience store chains. Before I knew it, it had already been at this energy efficiency start-up for more than 4 years. I’d seen the company grow to 170+ and downsize. In my spare time, I’d also been, helping Joe run a mezzanine fund called Retail and Restaurant Growth Capital. I was an analyst that would collect monthly Financial Statements from our portfolio companies and produce a monthly and quarterly Portfolio Monitoring Report for our fund’s Board to review on calls.
Currently, I am the Digital Marketing Manager for Opower. When I’m not working, you’ll usually see me spending my time doing one of the following with friends and family or by myself; playing music (Drummer 10+ years, Saxophone 2+ years; love classic rock, funk, hip-hop, house and jazz), learning Krav Maga, reading, eating, watching sports and traveling.