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Five Questions with CLEAResult CEO Aziz Virani

Published October 12, 2016

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Now that he’s well into his first full year as CLEAResult’s CEO, we thought it would be a good time to check in with Aziz Virani, to see how he’s adjusting to life at the head of the biggest energy efficiency company in North America.

Bo: How are we changing the way people use energy?

Aziz: We’re changing the way people use energy by helping utility clients implement programs that provide incentives to end customers that enable them to be more efficient with their energy consumption. We do that by educating consumers—the homeowners, the residential customers, the business customers—demonstrating that smarter, more efficient energy consumption is more than just good for the environment. It’s good for them, too, in terms of reducing their utility bills and making their homes and businesses more comfortable. We create a win-win scenario between our primary client, the utility company, and the end consumer through education and incentives, and this benefits the environment overall. So it’s ultimately a win-win-win situation.

Where do you see us headed, as a company?

We, as a company, are the largest and most influential player in the energy efficiency space. But we still see a lot of room to grow, and a lot of opportunity to help our clients continue on their EE journey, if you will. Our core mission remains the same. We change the way people use energy. So, as we think about the future, we want to help our clients use newer programs and technologies with the same end goal: being smarter about how we use energy.

What has been the most surprising thing you’ve learned so far as CLEAResult CEO?

The thing that has really been a pleasant surprise for me is how driven our people are. People at CLEAResult are very much driven by a strong sense of wanting to do the right thing for the environment, and wanting to do right by not just our clients, in terms of the utility companies, but also by the end consumer. A homeowner, a business owner. I love how driven we are by a desire to help.

And that’s a consistent message I hear back from our clients. When I meet with utility executives, I ask them how we are performing, and what feedback they have for me. One piece of feedback that comes back consistently is how our people are very passionately engaged in working with them and their customers. We’re not just showing up and trying to do our jobs. We’re very focused on the end customer. So that’s been a really refreshing, positive thing. That’s what jumps out at me the most.

Three new vice presidents in various regions and departments have recently come online. What can you tell us about them?

We’ve just promoted Trent Brackenridge, Nick Brod and Amy Baker. When I look at all three of them, and what we look for in VP promotions, each one of them is a person who’s making a very significant impact on our business. They’ve already demonstrated that they’re operating at a VP level. We’re very proud of them.

Trent and Nick are both regional leaders. Trent is in the south. Nick is in the west. They’re having a tremendous impact on our business. Not just financially speaking, also people-wise. That’s really important in terms of how we evaluate our leaders. These people are out there in front of our clients, in front of our people.

Amy Baker is in our HR organization. She looks after a lot of complex HR-related matters. Whether it’s people-oriented or regulatory-oriented, as we grow and as the complexity of our business grows, HR issues get increasingly intricate.

I think all three of them are going to do great.

We occupy a unique space in our industry. We balance consumers’ needs with the utility’s requirements while keeping everything in accordance with government regulation. You do all these while also figuring in your employees’ conditions for success. How do you do all that?

We have a strong, talented, excited, passionate workforce that really comes to work every day, with everybody fired up about what they do. I think a lot of good things come out of that. If you have a strong, talented workforce, you’re much more likely to have happy clients.

It’s a virtuous circle. A strong workforce leads to satisfied clients and customers. Which leads to growth for our business, because our clients will come back to us. We’ll grow our business with them, which allows us to invest more in our people. Training, better salaries and bonuses all require growth. I look at it like that, as a virtuous circle in which each part reinforces the whole.

In some ways, that makes it easier to manage all the different constituencies of our business. We’re never in situations where we have to choose between what’s good for our employees versus what’s good for our clients. I genuinely believe that what’s good for our employees eventually ends up being good for our clients. Which, then, eventually, ends up being good for our company. And the cycle continues!

Thank you so much for your time, Mr. Virani.

I’ve only heard people call my dad Mr. Virani. I’m Aziz.

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