Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Robert “A.J.” Patton, CEO of 548 Capital, LLC.
So what can companies like ACORE do to move that needle for you, to break down that barrier?
Putting people in rooms together so everyone can share notes is always important. Stabilizing direct exposure, standing next to us and saying “these neighborhoods are worthy of investment”– you cant put a worth on that
How can potential partners do company with you?
Right now, we are Chicago-focused. We are always searching for partners to invest, use financial obligation or purchase some tax credits, thats the first ask. If they want to see some of the sustainable technology we are putting in these communities, we are likewise constantly prepared to host individuals. This is not proprietary; its an open book. We host individuals once a week at our building so they can see the technology that were applying in communities that historically have not had gain access to. We are likewise going to be expanding our board. Due to the fact that I think that has genuine worth, Im always tough leading executives to put their name and face on these efforts
How was your Accelerate membership benefited you?
Its been excellent simply to satisfy the other Accelerate member business. I found out a lot from having discussions with them in real-time, and discovering people with completely different point of views. I like the networking.
I believe we are doing the very best we can do in the COVID environment. Feeling in ones bones that it exists, and that ACORE is so intentional about the program, makes a big difference.
Show us a current success story.
We recently joined Mayor Lightfoot for a press conference to reveal that we will be developing a $30 million, entirely budget-friendly and totally sustainable advancement, in partnership with the City of Chicago. We are building 50 domestic units, a cafe, a service center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will broaden solar-powered use in the city
What impact are you making?
When individuals discover who is behind our company, I think there is constantly a shock. Even in our own communities, people simply cant believe it. To me, thats pretty satisfying. People seeing whos behind 548 Capital matters.
The other thing that I believe is very important is we have an economic impact that resonates with individuals, and its a quite powerful message. Were intending to cut utility expenses for households in half. Thats a big deal, you understand. That quantity of cash impacts the budget of everyday households
What difficulties do you face? Why?
You cant avoid the grind. Let me acknowledge that beginning an organization, any organization, was going to be tough. With that said, access to capital is ungodly challenging. When I go to banks and state that were developing sustainable housing in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, they take a look at me like Ive spoken the wrong language. These communities are still being red-lined. Some banks dont wish to invest; they dont want to partner; they do not wish to do their share. It is a fight of generational size that Im attempting to combat here, and weve made really small, incremental development. I think the lesson is that union structure is essential. My voice just suggests so much, however the more I can bring good friends to the table and magnify that voice, the more we can raise attention to the need
I think there is always a shock when people discover who is behind our company. Even in our own communities, individuals just cant think it. Putting individuals in spaces together so everybody can share notes is constantly valuable. We are likewise always ready to host people if they want to see some of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these communities. We host individuals once a week at our structure so they can see the innovation that were applying in neighborhoods that traditionally havent had gain access to.
By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Image thanks to Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is pleased to share the 3rd installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series.
Each installment features market leaders and topics associated with speeding up an equitable and simply shift to a renewable resource economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August functions highlight how three Black-owned Accelerate member companies are thriving in the eco-friendly energy sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a finance, sales, and capital markets expert with more than a decade of experience in investment banking, endowment management, and genuine estate analysis. In May 2016, A.J. founded 548 Capital, LLC, to integrate his competence and performance history of producing consistent returns with an individual enthusiasm for assisting transform neighborhoods and their influence on the planet. In 2019, Patton was named a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his impact on Americas transition to a clean economy.
CHECKED OUT MORE: Up-and-Comer Developer Makes Headway without the Banks ( Chicago Sun-Times, August 27, 2021).
What inspired you to start your business?
I had 2 critical minutes that made me leap. In 1999, my mom got a $400 gas costs, and she was only making 10 dollars an hour, so we couldnt afford the gas costs. A lot of individuals have similar anecdotes, and thats not a good thing
They looked confused that I would even attempt ask about the daily individuals. I think I turned in my resignation within 6 months of that conversation, and I began my company. I named it 548 Capital since that is the unit number in the public housing where I grew up.
Inform us about your company? (objective, partners, areas you operate in, main customers, etc.).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable innovations accessible for all: all neighborhoods, all families, everyone should have gain access to. Somebody, some entity, has to serve as the bridge so that those innovations reach everyone.