Title: Solar Installer, AC2, Namaste Solar Co-Owner
How long have you worked at Namaste Solar?
Since March 2017, so a little over two years.
Why were you first interested in working at Namaste Solar?
Part of it was learning that you could run a successful, larger business without having legal, fiduciary responsibility to pay out stockholders at the end of every quarter. I’ve worked some big corporate jobs in the past, and it always seemed frustrating to be striving for a profit for investors above all else. And when I started to learn more about employee-owned co-ops, not-publicly-traded businesses, triple bottom line, B Corps, I started to learn that there was another way to do business that was working. That really excited me.
I’d also been living off the grid for four years on solar not really knowing what I was doing, so I was also really excited to go through the proper channels and start getting educated, start taking classes, and working toward licenses to be able to really know what solar and electricity are all about.
Learning more about solar and learning more about employee-owned cooperatives were equally appealing to me.
What motivates you to get up and come to work?
Not many people in the company get to see the smile on a customer’s face when they have their solar system. We are the lucky ones that get to shake their hand and get to stand there, looking up at those panels cranking away, offsetting all of their electrical usage, and get to share that experience. It takes a lot of people to work up to that moment. There are probably dozens of hands that touch the project before it’s completed, but that one moment really makes it worth it for me. To be able to share that with the customer.
What is something about your job that most people don’t know?
We all trust our lives to our crewmates pretty much every day. When Zack goes up there and puts an anchor in, I trust that every single screw is in a rafter because I’m going to be hanging off that anchor. Potentially three stories up over concrete. It’s a pretty unique bond between the members of the crew to be able to have that trust with each other and to work on an intimate, small team. Not a lot of people know how important that is and how much bonding happens every day on the job.
How has Namaste Solar helped you develop your skills and career?
I’ll be testing for a NABCEP [North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners] certification next month and a residential wireman’s license the month after that, and neither of those things would have happened without Namaste Solar. Those are very tangible, real benefits and skills that are recognized throughout the world. Namasté was able to help educate me and log my hours for me with the state of Colorado to do both those things.
I don’t know a single other company that offers free NACEP classes and helps pay for IECRM [Independent Electrical Contractors Rocky Mountain] classes. That’s incredibly unique. And to have our CEO teach the NACEP class was also unique.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I really like bicycles. Road bikes, mountain bikes, cruiser bikes, single speed bikes; anything with two wheels and pedals. I do not discriminate when it comes to bicycles. I like riding them, I like wrenching on them, and I like teaching people about them.
I also like to go climbing. Being on a roof in a harness and a rope is very conducive to climbing on a rock wall. It’s good cross training and practice with knots.
And tubing in the Poudre.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I have a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering, and I’m a certified professional bike mechanic.
What is your spirit vegetable?
Beets. Most definitely. Most of the good stuff is underground, and you can’t see it. But beet greens are also still pretty good, and they’re beautiful. And I like beets.