Aaron GoldfederThis week EnergySavvy received the wonderful news that I’ve been selected as a finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Award in the Pacific Northwest (if you’re not familiar with the award, you can read more about it here). And while I’m extremely honored to even be a finalist among winners that have included Howard Schultz (Starbucks), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn), Dara Khosrowshahi (Expedia), and many others, I think this nomination is actually more of a reflection on the incredible team we’ve built and the entrepreneurial work that we are doing here together at EnergySavvy.

As a company we strive to be the #1 phone call for any utility who wants to be more customer­ focused, ­more cost-efficient, and more ­engaged in the clean energy era. And that’s no easy task in an industry that is in the midst of a massive amount of change regarding customer expectations, technology, regulatory environment and much more. In fact, in such a rapidly evolving, dynamic environment, the only way to succeed is to cultivate and sustain a culture of entrepreneurialism and innovation.

What does that mean? It means that we only look to hire motivated and passionate people who continually raise the bar. It means trying to see the world through our customer’s eyes at every turn. We stay fanatically close to performance, with company-wide reviews and goal-setting every single quarter. It means making sure that our employees know that they have the opportunity to be rewarded for exceeding goals as well as to have the chance to grow professionally. It means we organize quarterly hackathons that are both fun, and can also lead to real recognition and customer innovation. And it means we invest a disproportionate amount (for a company our size) in leadership training, because a company’s culture is so dependent on leaders who know how to listen, learn and drive towards shared success for employees and clients. And because life at a growing company is always evolving, we strive to maintain a culture focused on transparency and agility to rapidly evolve as we go.

To me, these are key principles that make for an entrepreneurial environment––one that can sustain the long run while still representing our values as a company. When an organization is under pressure, it’s easy to cut corners on our core values of quality, purpose, grit, and honesty. But having high standards and delivering on our promise means living up to those values and always finding a way to move forward in alignment with them.

I’m incredibly proud of my team and the entrepreneurial culture we’ve created together to establish EnergySavvy as a leader in utility cloud solutions. Congratulations and best of luck to the other finalists–we’ll see you at the gala event on June 9!