Businessmen Bring Energy To Their Local Community


( ENSPIRE Feature ) Jason, Paul, And Phil Join Together To Build An Empire That Will Bring Energy Choice To Their Local Community

 ENSPIRE Contributor: Melissa Santiago-Rivera

It seems like everyone in the world is focused on energy these days. Business owners Jason Schwartzberg, Phil Croskey, and Paul Clary are no exceptions to the energy crave only, their niche is energy sectors. Recognized by The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City as one of the nation’s fastest-growing firms, MD Energy Advisors pushes toward the reduction of operating and capital costs through energy such as brokerage, efficiency, rebates, and financing. Unfulfilled by their former jobs, the men had set off on a mission to find love in their work again. It was a surprise when passion began to blossom in an industry, they knew very little of. 

Unfortunately, in business ignorance is not bliss and knowledge is indeed power. The energy scholars began studying the field and learning from the information available through what Schwartzberg says the three like to call ‘Google university.’ With strategic research and perseverance, they built up the confidence to dive all in and change their lives in ways greater than they had imagined. But success didn’t sprout overnight, and neither did the game-changing idea to pursue energy sectors as a business plan.

In fact, the seed of this 12-year-long business endeavor was planted during a search to find the perfect scalable business that had required limited inventory and startup capital requirements. It was ideal to consider options that would allow for flexibility to work from various places. The highs and lows of a variety of industries from T-shirt companies to food trucks and franchises were up for consideration. But It wasn’t until Schwartzberg stumbled across an article that he realized this was just the answer they needed to begin their journey. The glass slipper had slipped right onto energy choice, and soon the three would dig in deeper to find the most efficient ways to launch their golden plan. 

“When I stumbled on an article in the local paper it spoke to me. The article recognized that only 5% of the market had taken advantage of energy choice in our market.” Says Schwartzberg “We launched an energy choice aggregation platform, similar to what Expedia is to travel, that allows consumers to compare and contrast their options.”  

The energy industry is quite literally the fuel of modern society. It involves the production of fuel, refinery, manufacturing, and distribution. Energy sectors can be separated into three categories, electricity, oil, and natural gas. With the high fuel usage and growing needs of the contemporary world, energy sectors have become critical. According to the CISA, more than eighty percent of the country’s energy infrastructure is owned by the private sector. The supply of energy is essential to our transportation systems, homes, businesses, and other nationwide necessities. MD energy makes up for a fraction of the eighty percent responsible for keeping our nation up and running. I guess not all superheroes need capes. However, the bigger question here is, how did three men who knew very little about energy sectors accumulate the funds and resources for such a powerful, in-demand business? Well, it was no picnic.           

The trio started their adventure knowing well that if they were going to take on a project of this magnitude, they would need to strategize. Maintaining their day jobs, night and weekends were dedicated to building the company from the ground up. With time and consistency, together the men could pull $10K. Although having the starter-up funds, each man would have moved forward cautiously until the vision of the business became one full of clarity and sensibility. When it became rational to jump all in, each individual moved forward at his leisure and at different periods and stages of the project. During the building block stages of the company’s development, budgeting was not only a sensible method but was also thought to be a practical one. Firm supporters of minimum viable products, websites were built to pinpoint the most in-demand products and services.   

“We could have dropped $50k on a website or we could build the website ourselves on Wix for $500 and see if we got traction. Build it and test it and see how the market responds before making a considerable investment to find out that the market isn’t buying what you are selling.” Says Schwartzberg.   

The cost of developing a website varies greatly depending on layout, web design, the complexity of development, team of experts, website type, region, and more. According to experts, website fees can cost as high as $300,000 to create. Fortunately for MD, this was not a make-or-break point for the company’s faith. Business ethics typically play large roles in company success and can be an ultimate scale tipper. With transparency and brutal honesty regarding their uncertainties to selective client questions, the men were able to continue to improve their company and implement knowledge-based skills into their business strategies.                   

“There were times when we had to tell clients we weren’t 100% and would have to get back to them – it’s a perfectly acceptable response.” Says Schwartzberg “We’re smart people, hard workers, and we believe in providing top-notch customer service so while we may not have had knowledge of the energy space when we first started out 12 years ago, we had many other notable qualifications.”    

Together, the company was bootstrapped towards the recognized accomplishments that have made the three men very proud today. With an entrepreneurial spirit, they continue to keep the community informed about energy sectors through published leadership pieces and advisory. Working closely with clients to provide guidance throughout the processes, MD energy offers energy solutions, commercial solutions, and financial solutions. In a business approach, Schwartzberg states the company would foster entrepreneurship, aiming to support organizations whose mission aligns with the perspective of the company in efforts to give back to the communities where the men maintain their day-to-day lives. Large sums of currency were gifted to organizations to support community development. But the part that’s nearest and dearest to the heart of the founders and the strength of the firm; an advantage Schwartzberg calls their ‘secret sauce’, is the diversity of people hired as representatives of the communities served.     

“Being able to provide opportunities is also something very close to my heart. We could not have a better team at MD Energy Advisors. ” Says Schwartzberg “we are extremely proud of the MDEnergy Advisors Team who has grown along with the company. We value diversity – in mindset, experience, culture, perspective, and so much more. 40% of our employees are women. 71% of our employees are minorities and 26% of employees are minority women!”   

Despite their triumphs, the vision for the future of the company is one filled with hopes and dreams. Schwartzberg says the company aims for growth that includes a team of over a hundred MD Energy advisors. Working on climate control by lowering greenhouse gases through energy reduction, efficiency, and renewable implementations is an aspiration MD also strives towards pursuing. It is by abiding by the core values of Empathy, Accountability, Integrity, Competence, and Ambition that the team at MD has stood strong; furthermore, it is just the priciest energy needed to lead the company up the ladder of success.

Here at ENSPIRE we value community support and the hard work and dedication of entrepreneurs who have the courage and drive to build their businesses from the ground up. Congratulations Paul, Phil, and Jason on your successes and acknowledgments. We wish you luck in your endeavors.        

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