What can companies like ACORE do to move that needle for you, to break down that barrier?
Putting individuals in rooms together so everyone can share notes is always important. Normalizing exposure, standing next to us and stating “these communities are worthwhile of financial investment”– you cant put a worth on that
How can potential partners do business with you?
We are also always willing to host people if they want to see some of the sustainable technology we are putting in these communities. We host people when a week at our structure so they can see the innovation that were using in communities that historically havent had gain access to. Im constantly tough top executives to put their name and face on these efforts since I believe that has real value
How was your Accelerate subscription benefited you?
Its been fantastic simply to satisfy the other Accelerate member business. I learned a lot from having discussions with them in real-time, and discovering people with completely various viewpoints. I enjoy the networking.
I think we are doing the finest we can do in the COVID environment. Feeling in ones bones that it exists, and that ACORE is so deliberate about the program, makes a huge distinction.
I think there is always a shock when individuals discover who is behind our company. Even in our own communities, people simply cant believe it. Putting individuals in spaces together so everyone can share notes is always valuable. We are likewise constantly willing to host people if they want to see some of the sustainable technology we are putting in these communities. We host people as soon as a week at our structure so they can see the technology that were applying in neighborhoods that traditionally have not had gain access to.
By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Image thanks to Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is delighted to share the third installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series.
Each installment includes industry leaders and subjects related to accelerating a fair and just transition to a renewable resource economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August functions highlight how 3 Black-owned Accelerate member companies are prospering in the sustainable energy sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a finance, sales, and capital markets expert with more than a decade of experience in financial investment banking, endowment management, and realty analysis. In May 2016, A.J. established 548 Capital, LLC, to combine his competence and track record of creating constant returns with an individual passion for assisting transform neighborhoods and their effect on the planet. In 2019, Patton was named a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his impact on Americas shift to a clean economy.
LEARNT MORE: Up-and-Comer Developer Makes Headway without the Banks ( Chicago Sun-Times, August 27, 2021).
What inspired you to begin your company?
I had 2 critical minutes that made me jump. In 1999, my mom received a $400 gas expense, and she was only making ten dollars an hour, so we couldnt pay for the gas costs. And so, regrettably, we had our gas and heat turned off. For roughly a year in my teenagers, we had to boil water and bring it approximately a porcelain tub to take a bath. Those were uniquely difficult times, and experiences like that just stick to you. I dont care what happens the rest of your profession or what your lifestyle is progressing; those minutes are with you permanently. As I speak about that with various groups around the country, it has actually ended up being clear that my experience is not an abnormality. A great deal of people have comparable anecdotes, whichs not a good thing
They looked puzzled that I would even dare ask about the daily individuals. I believe I turned in my resignation within 6 months of that conversation, and I started my company. I named it 548 Capital because that is the system number in the public housing where I grew up.
Share with us a recent success story.
We recently joined Mayor Lightfoot for a press conference to reveal that we will be building a $30 million, completely budget friendly and entirely sustainable advancement, in partnership with the City of Chicago. We are developing 50 property systems, a coffee bar, an organization center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will expand solar-powered use in the city
What impact are you making?
I believe there is always a shock when people learn who is behind our business. Even in our own neighborhoods, people just cant believe it.
The other thing that I believe is important is we have an economic effect that resonates with individuals, and its a quite effective message. That amount of cash impacts the spending plan of daily families
What difficulties do you deal with? Why?
You cant skip the grind. Let me acknowledge that starting a service, any organization, was going to be challenging. With that said, access to capital is ungodly hard. 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 wrong language. These neighborhoods are still being red-lined. Some banks do not want to invest; they dont desire to partner; they dont wish to do their share. It is a battle of generational size that Im trying to eliminate here, and weve made extremely little, incremental development. I think the lesson is that union building is very important. My voice only indicates so much, however the more I can bring buddies to the table and enhance that voice, the more we can raise attention to the requirement
Tell us about your company? (mission, partners, regions you run in, primary customers, and so on).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable innovations available for all: all communities, all households, everybody should have gain access to. Somebody, some entity, has to serve as the bridge so that those innovations reach everybody.