Mary Skipton committed her life savings to launch Energon. She believed the energy business represented a long-term growth opportunity regardless of what the short-term economic outlook might be.
She chose natural gas because she anticipated the opportunities that deregulation of the natural gas industry in Illinois would create. It was also the environmental fuel of choice. In 1992, it was difficult to launch a capital-intensive business in a male-dominated industry controlled by large multinational companies. Even with her management and executive experience, it took considerable time and effort to establish independent credit relationships.
There are always business challenges and obstacles to contend with that are out of ownership’s control. For Skipton and Energon, some of those challenges included: historically low prices for natural gas, which discouraged people to commit to Energon’s cost-savings program; high prices caused by weather-related and global incidents, resulting in supply disruptions; and reluctance of some large companies to commit natural gas procurement and management to a small, privately held company.
Skipton overcame those obstacles because she established strong and trusting relationships with her customers, utilities and suppliers, and she also earned their respect by always ensuring the company met its financial obligations.
Skipton has always believed that the key to success and profitability was not how many customers you have but who you have as customers. As a result, she has always controlled the company’s growth, and it now has an elite group of customers who help drive its profitability.
HOW TO REACH: Energon Inc., (312) 443-5700