Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Robert “A.J.” Patton, CEO of 548 Capital, LLC.
Inform us about your business? (mission, partners, regions you operate in, primary clients, and so on).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable innovations available for all: all communities, all households, everyone must have gain access to. Somebody, some entity, has to serve as the bridge so that those innovations reach everyone.
Show us a recent success story.
We recently joined Mayor Lightfoot for a press conference to reveal that we will be developing a $30 million, completely sustainable and totally budget friendly development, in collaboration with the City of Chicago. We are building 50 property units, a coffeehouse, a company center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will broaden solar-powered usage in the city
What effect are you making?
When individuals learn who is behind our business, I think there is always a shock. Even in our own neighborhoods, people just cant think it. To me, thats quite satisfying. People seeing whos behind 548 Capital matters.
The other thing that I believe is important is we have a financial effect that resonates with individuals, and its a pretty effective message. That amount of cash effects the spending plan of everyday households
What difficulties do you deal with? 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 wrong language. These neighborhoods are still being red-lined. I think the lesson is that union building is essential.
What can organizations like ACORE do to move that needle for you, to break down that barrier?
Putting people in rooms together so everybody can share notes is always valuable. Stabilizing exposure, standing next to us and saying “these neighborhoods are deserving of financial investment”– you cant put a value on that
How can potential partners do service with you?
We are likewise constantly ready to host people if they want to see some of the sustainable technology we are putting in these communities. We host individuals as soon as a week at our structure so they can see the innovation that were using in communities that traditionally havent had gain access to. Im constantly tough leading executives to put their name and face on these efforts due to the fact that I think that has real worth
How was your Accelerate membership benefited you?
Its been excellent just to fulfill the other Accelerate member business. I learned a lot from having conversations with them in real-time, and finding out about individuals with completely different point of views. I enjoy the networking.
I think 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 huge difference.
I think there is constantly a shock when people learn who is behind our company. Even in our own communities, individuals simply cant think it. Putting individuals in rooms together so everybody can share notes is always important. We are also always prepared to host individuals if they want to see some of the sustainable technology we are putting in these communities. We host individuals once a week at our structure so they can see the technology that were using in communities that traditionally havent had access.
By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Picture courtesy of Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is pleased to share the third installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series.
Each installation features industry leaders and subjects associated with accelerating a fair and just transition to an eco-friendly energy economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August features highlight how 3 Black-owned Accelerate member business are growing in the renewable resource sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a finance, sales, and capital markets specialist with more than a years of experience in investment banking, endowment management, and realty analysis. In May 2016, A.J. established 548 Capital, LLC, to integrate his know-how and performance history of producing consistent returns with a personal enthusiasm for assisting change neighborhoods and their effect on the planet. In 2019, Patton was named a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his influence 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 start your business?
I had two essential moments that made me leap. In 1999, my mom got a $400 gas bill, and she was just making ten bucks an hour, so we couldnt pay for the gas costs. Therefore, sadly, we had our gas and heat shut off. For roughly a year in my teenagers, we needed to boil water and carry it as much as a porcelain tub to take a bath. Those were uniquely bumpy rides, and experiences like that just stick to you. I dont care what happens 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 nation, it has become clear that my experience is not an anomaly. A great deal of individuals have comparable anecdotes, and thats not an advantage
The 2nd turning point was most likely 15 years back, as I was working for a company that was buying a host of things around the world. People were being available in to request for a financial investment around renewable energy, and I posed a concern to them: “What you are finishing with these solar firms is spectacular, and the cost of solar is boiling down, but how does that assistance everyday people?” I asked, “Where are they in your formula? Where is their gain access to? They are paying a disproportionate quantity of their income on energy.” They looked puzzled that I would even attempt ask about the everyday individuals. They stated, “Well, you know, low- and moderate-income households typically reside in multi-family structures, and it is tough to get in contact with those building owners. If you can not get in contact with the structure owners, you need to contact private families and the expense of getting those individuals educated and after that signing up for renewable resource is not a beneficial business model.” I asked, “What if I owned the housing advancement and the solar?” And they said, whoever does that is going to alter the market forever. So I stopped my task. I believe I kipped down my resignation within 6 months of that discussion, and I began my business. Because that is the unit number in the public real estate where I grew up, I called it 548 Capital. So whatever is I do is targeted to families in those circumstances and concentrated on enhancing their lifestyle