As a smaller business, Tipping Point Renewable Energy has faced challenges such as having enough capital to grow the company as fast as it would like. But CEO Eric Zimmer and his staff have tackled this challenge through relationship building.
“We’re building relationships with marketing, engineering and other external resources that combine both long term planning and small equity stakes in our company,” Zimmer says. “As they better understand our growth and plans they become willing to invest more now for future work and opportunity later.”
Zimmer was named one of 2010 Smart Leader honorees by Smart Business and Blue Technologies. We asked him how he overcomes challenges, innovates and gives back.
Give us an example of a business challenge you and/or your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.
Building relationships is a great solution, but this is time consuming to find the right partners and structure the right agreements but allows for quicker growth without capital.
In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?
Innovation is typically thought of as creativity but it is really a combination of creativity and the ability to execute on those ideas. I try to focus us not on what can we dream up but what can we dream up and execute on. Creating great ideas is easy and fun, turning them into useful drivers in our business is harder. Thomas Edison, perhaps the greatest innovator ever, said: "Innovation is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." Building a team that has the both the skills to be creative and to execute is the key to being innovative.
How do you make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?
Our “Solar by Soldiers” program works to hire unemployed veterans and retrain them and help them start a new career in the Renewable Energy field. We also work to source as much of our project material and labor as near to the project location as possible to help benefit the local community. Also installing solar energy helps reduce harmful pollutants from burning coal and helps make our communities safer and cleaner.
How to reach: Tipping Point Renewable Energy, http://www.tipenergy.com/.
The Smart Leaders class of 2010
In August, 2010, Smart Business and Blue Technologies recognized 14 business leaders for their commitment to business excellence and the impact their organizations make on the regional community. Treated to a keynote address by TechColumbus CEO Ted Ford, these 14 leaders composed the honor roll:
- Michelle Adams, president, Prism Marketing
- Jeff Brock, general manager, The Loth Co.
- Tom Dailey, president, 2Checkout.com
- Jennifer Griffith, president, Commerce National Bank
- Darla King, owner and president, King Business Interiors
- Elizabeth Lessner, CEO, Betty’s Family of Restaurants
- Rick Milenthal, president, Engauge
- Michelle Mills, CEO, St. Stephen’s Community House
- Janis Mitchell, founder, president and CEO, Precise Resource
- Neil Mortine, president and CEO, Fahlgren Inc.
- Debra Penzone, president, Charles Penzone Family of Salons
- Joel Pizzuti, president, The Pizzuti Cos.
- Bea Wolper, partner, Emens & Wolper Law Firm
- Eric Zimmer, CEO, Tipping Point Renewable Energy