Greg Smith of Energy Optimizers
When and why did you start your business?
We started the company in the fall of 2009. I wanted to be able to provide a more comprehensive energy savings project for schools and government entities than were already offered. We have integrated educational programs into the projects to allow all those affected by the changes to truly understand the savings. Another reason I started the business is to be able to be more in control my own destiny and to do business the way my parents taught me - with honesty and integrity.
Did you consider yourself an entrepreneur before that?
Yes, I have always had the entrepreneurial spirit. It has always been fun for me to think outside the box. I am always thinking "how could we make this better".
Where did you find your first employee?
We actually hired two people at the same time. I knew one of them from my previous employer and the other I hired as a new graduate of the University of Dayton with a master's degree in clean and renewable energy.
What state or local resources did you take advantage of and how did they help?
I joined the Entrepreneurs Center in Dayton before we ever opened our doors. This was a fabulous way for me to talk with professionals who understood all of the complexities associated with a new, start-up business.
What’s the most difficult thing about running your own business?
Being a father of four and a husband, it is difficult to manage my time to ensure that I have a good, quality balance between work and family.
What’s the best thing?
Knowing that we have created a company that provides positive services in an honest manner for our customers. In addition, I am also proud of the fact that we have been able to associate ourselves with so many great employees who enjoy their jobs.
What has contributed most to your growth?
Hiring great people that allow me to continue to develop and grow the company through our strategic partners and sales.
What companies or founders do you admire and why?
I would have to say that Dave Waibel of Waibel Energy Systems/Dayton Trane has been the most influential company owner to me. He leads by example and is a very straight-forward person who truly cares about his employees and their