Best Business Practices One Year After Coronavirus

Join Solar Power World and Top Solar Contractors as we have a roundtable discussion on the best business practices the installation community has adopted after one year of COVID-19 restrictions in place.

Solar installation companies across all markets will discuss lessons learned in 2020 that have changed and improved business going forward. As the world transitioned to online and contact-free interactions, solar companies had to get creative with their sales and installation practices. What new procedures actually increased business and where are we still needing help?

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Live roundtable
Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT


Mike Garofalo, VP of operations, CS Energy
Mr. Garofalo has over 22 years in operations with 17 years of experience in heavy construction and more than five years of experience with solar EPC work. He has played a major role in the execution of more than 250 MW of solar projects in nine different states. As a Vice President of Operations, he ensures that CS Energy’s clients benefit from a safe build, high quality, cost-efficient design and timely project execution.

Mr. Garofalo is skilled in project planning, startup, and scheduling; client relations; cost accounting and estimating; and project safety, providing project oversight to his project teams. In addition to his operation role, Mr. Garofalo supports the business development and estimating department with providing regular feedback on market conditions effecting pricing and project owner concerns and/or accolades. He meets regularly to discuss project resources for upcoming bids to ensure projects are staffed properly and can be started efficiently.

Joanie Brooke, VP of operations, Borrego
Joanie Brooke, PE is Borrego’s Vice President of Operations based out of Borrego’s Oakland office. In this role, she leads construction, preconstruction, and engineering functions for the West and Midwest. Prior to this role, she was a Director of Construction, responsible for managing Borrego’s team of project managers, site superintendents and interconnection coordinators to deliver projects successfully through design, permitting, procurement, and construction phases until they’re complete, interconnected with the local utility and given permission to operate. Joanie has been in the solar industry since 2013.

Prior to joining Borrego, she was a project manager with PG&E and worked on utility scale solar interconnection projects. She is a licensed Civil Engineer in CA and OSHA 30 certified. Joanie earned her BS in Civil Engineering, and an MS in Engineering & Project Management from the University of California Berkeley. She also has a Master of Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and a Certificate in Management of Technology from the HAAS School of Business.

Scott Maskin, CEO, SUNation Solar Systems
Scott Maskin, CEO and Co-Founder of SUNation Solar Systems, began his career in 1980 as a skilled electrician, working as a stage production crew member for the next seven years on various music group tours. Later pursuing a conventional electrical path, Scott obtained his Master Electrician’s License in 1994, at which time he established his own electrical contracting business. He spent the next seven years growing this business before venturing into solar energy in 2001. At that time, Scott’s cousin and co-founder, Mike Bailis, was researching the solar market in California, discovering a projected untapped industry for the East Coast. Scott became certified for LIPA’s Solar Pioneer Program, and together with his wife and a friend, designed and installed one of the earliest systems built on Long Island, establishing the foundation for what would become “SUNation Solar Systems” two years later.

It is Scott’s belief that giving back to society and supporting the community is a corporate and social responsibility, and thus has incorporated philanthropy into the core of SUNation’s values. Scott established SUNation Cares in 2016 as SUNation’s non-profit corporation, providing free electricity for life to Long Island families in need. He proudly supports and sponsors the efforts of organizations such as The Family Service League, Last Chance Animal Rescue, HIA-LI, Make-A-Wish Foundation, United Way and Long Island Cares, many of which he is also a board member. Scott’s dedication to goodwill has branded SUNation as a compassionate company dedicated to leaving an altruistic footprint on the world around them and distinguishes SUNation from others of its kind.

Bret Biggart, CEO, Freedom Solar Power
Bret Biggart serves as Chief Executive Officer of Freedom Solar LLC and is responsible for daily operations as well as the growth and financing strategies of the Company. Since 2011, Bret has played an integral role in Freedom Solar’s expansion across both commercial and residential markets, and he is most proud of the culture that exists at Freedom. During his tenure, Freedom has been recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in America and a Best Place to Work two years running.

Bret came from an investment background prior to his decade in the solar industry, including as Director of Business Development at the asset management firm WaterStreet Investment Consultants, Vice President of Business Development at Saracen Energy Advisors, and roles at two private equity firms. Bret received an MBA from the Jones School of Business at Rice University and graduated with a BA from the University of Texas at Austin. He is also a Board Member of Texas Solar Power Association.

Moderator: Kelly Pickerel, editor in chief, Solar Power World
Kelly has been involved with publishing in the solar industry since 2011. She joined the Solar Power World staff in 2014 and enjoys working on contractor profiles and hearing about new projects. Her areas of focus include solar panel manufacturing, energy storage, the Contractors Corner podcast and the development of Solar Power World’s annual Top Solar Contractors list. Kelly graduated from Kent State University with a degree in magazine journalism and lives in Northeast Ohio.


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