Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Robert “A.J.” Patton, CEO of 548 Capital, LLC.
What can organizations like ACORE do to move that needle for you, to break down that barrier?
Putting individuals in spaces together so everyone can share notes is constantly valuable. Normalizing direct exposure, standing next to us and stating “these neighborhoods are deserving of financial investment”– you cant put a value on that
How can possible partners do business with you?
We are also always willing to host individuals if they desire to see some of the sustainable technology we are putting in these communities. We host individuals when a week at our structure so they can see the technology that were using in communities that historically have not had access. Im constantly challenging top executives to put their name and face on these efforts because I think that has real worth
How was your Accelerate membership benefited you?
Its been fantastic simply to satisfy the other Accelerate member business. I learned a lot from having conversations with them in real-time, and learning about individuals with completely various viewpoints. I love the networking.
I believe we are doing the very best we can do in the COVID environment. Simply understanding that it exists, which ACORE is so intentional about the program, makes a big distinction.
Inform us about your company? (mission, partners, regions you run in, primary consumers, etc.).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable innovations accessible for all: all neighborhoods, all families, everybody must have gain access to. Someone, some entity, has to function as the bridge so that those innovations reach everybody. Thats what my objective is, and luckily we are growing. We are presently headquartered in Chicago, however we will be revealing some brand-new locations this fall
By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Picture thanks to Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is pleased to share the third installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series.
Each installation includes market leaders and topics associated with accelerating a fair and simply shift to a sustainable energy economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August features highlight how 3 Black-owned Accelerate member business are flourishing in the renewable energy sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a financing, sales, and capital markets specialist with more than a decade of experience in investment banking, endowment management, and genuine estate analysis. In May 2016, A.J. established 548 Capital, LLC, to integrate his knowledge and track record of developing consistent returns with an individual enthusiasm for helping transform communities and their effect on the planet. In 2019, Patton was called a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his effect on Americas transition to a tidy economy.
CHECKED OUT MORE: Up-and-Comer Developer Makes Headway without the Banks ( Chicago Sun-Times, August 27, 2021).
What inspired you to begin your business?
I had 2 essential minutes that made me jump. In 1999, my mom got a $400 gas costs, and she was just making 10 dollars an hour, so we could not pay for the gas bill. Therefore, regrettably, we had our gas and heat shut down. For approximately a year in my teenagers, we had to boil water and carry it up to a porcelain tub to take a bath. Those were distinctively bumpy rides, and experiences like that simply stick to you. I dont care what occurs the rest of your profession or what your lifestyle is moving on; those minutes are with you permanently. As I talk about that with various groups around the country, it has ended up being clear that my experience is not an abnormality. A lot of people have similar anecdotes, whichs not a good thing
The second essential minute was most likely 15 years back, as I was working for a firm that was investing in a host of things worldwide. Individuals were can be found in to request for an investment around renewable energy, and I positioned a concern to them: “What you are doing with these solar companies is magnificent, and the cost of solar is boiling down, however how does that assistance daily individuals?” I asked, “Where are they in your formula? Where is their access? They are paying an out of proportion amount of their earnings on energy.” They looked confused that I would even dare inquire about the daily individuals. They said, “Well, you understand, low- and moderate-income households typically reside in multi-family structures, and it is difficult to get in contact with those building owners. If you can not get in contact with the structure owners, you have to contact private families and the cost of getting those people educated and then subscribing to renewable energy is not a beneficial service model.” I asked, “What if I owned the housing advancement and the solar?” And they said, whoever does that is going to change the marketplace forever. I stopped my task. I think I kipped down my resignation within six months of that conversation, and I started my company. Since that is the system number in the public housing where I grew up, I named it 548 Capital. Whatever is I do is targeted to households in those circumstances and focused on enhancing their quality of life
I believe there is constantly a shock when individuals learn who is behind our business. Even in our own neighborhoods, people just cant believe it. Putting people in spaces together so everybody can share notes is always important. We are likewise constantly willing to host individuals if they desire to see some of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these communities. We host people once a week at our structure so they can see the innovation that were using in neighborhoods that historically have not had gain access to.
Show us a recent success story.
We recently signed up with Mayor Lightfoot for an interview to reveal that we will be constructing a $30 million, completely affordable and totally sustainable development, in partnership with the City of Chicago. We are developing 50 residential units, a coffee shop, a service center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will broaden solar-powered usage in the city
What impact are you making?
I believe there is always a shock when individuals discover who is behind our company. Even in our own communities, people simply cant think it. To me, thats pretty gratifying. People seeing whos behind 548 Capital matters.
The other thing that I believe is essential is we have an economic effect that resonates with individuals, and its a quite effective message. That amount of cash effects the spending plan of daily families
What obstacles do you face? Why?
When I go to banks and state that were building sustainable real estate in low- and moderate-income communities, they look at me like Ive spoken the incorrect language. These neighborhoods are still being red-lined. I think the lesson is that union structure is crucial.