We’ve officially said Aloha and opened our new Energy Toolbase office in Honolulu, Hawaii. This office opening has been a long time coming for our team, with the planning process of more than a year and we couldn’t be more excited to have a designated team to help support new, growing markets around the world. This is our fourth office location, with additional office locations in Pasadena, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina and our headquarters in Stuart, Florida. Our team is spread out across the country, but the opening of this office is to continue to give our customers the unrivaled customer support that we’ve always given.
The idea of opening an office originated a couple of years back when the ETB team had first started to think about the possibility of gaining a larger international user base. We chose a location in Hawaii for a few reasons, the biggest one being the fact that the Hawaii Standard time zone will give our team the ability to effectively manage accounts in markets where we see a lot of growth happening for solar + storage; including Australia. Of course, we also settled on Hawaii, because of its amazing weather, scenery and beautiful beaches! Hawaii's solar + storage market is far more advanced than most in the U.S., and an office location in Honolulu will enable the company to interact more directly with customers, understand their regional, market-specific needs and stay current on new and evolving policies and regulations that are constantly changing.
Building Our Team
To begin making this idea into a reality, we started searching for employees who were already living in Hawaii who would fill roles within our sales team and our utility rates team when we opened our new location in Honolulu. After months of searching, Mike Sanchez and Marissa Kunsch joined the team and flew out to our east coast offices in Florida and South Carolina to train for 3 months in the summer of 2018. Once the training finished, they went back to Hawaii to work remotely with the company and began scoping out office spaces for the team.
As with all new offices, there were some setbacks and challenges in getting things together from finding the right office furniture to shipping logistics and figuring out the rules and regulations of building a team and working in Hawaii. The office, located in downtown Honolulu, is staffed with three full-time employees. They're all transplants who decided Hawaii would be an amazing place to call home, as would most people. The three of them have spent countless hours putting together desks, arranging furniture and getting everything up and functional. We're still in the process of sprucing the place up a bit and giving it the ETB touch, but we've now got a place in Hawaii we can call our ETB home.
Meet the Team:
Matt Cimo is our western regional sales manager, who had spent the last two years as an account manager at our South Carolina sales office. He moved all the way to Honolulu with his wife and his cat and planted new roots. Matt had never even been to Hawaii before moving but was eager to help the company grow and succeed in new markets, and live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. In his new role, Matt will be responsible for managing the day to day operations within the Honolulu office, taking lead on high priority needs of users, supporting team members and providing support for personal accounts.
Mike Sanchez is our western based account manager who handles most of our international accounts, along with our Hawaii and part of our California user base. Mike, originally from Puerto Rico, has spent the last 3 years living in Hawaii, spending most of his free time surfing, hiking or helping with beach clean-ups. He’s responsible for continuing the phenomenal customer service to accounts that might be harder for the East coast office simply due to the time change. As our company continues to expand internationally, he will be learning more about foreign energy markets, to in turn, better consult our users and help them model projects in Energy Toolbase based on that specific geographical location.
Marissa Kunsch is a part of our utility rates team. She has lived in Honolulu since she graduated from Hawaii Pacific University and joined our team in 2018 when she came out to our headquarters in Florida to train. Marissa has been in the renewable energy industry for a few years, previously interning at the Sierra Club and the Hawaii Green Business Program. As a utiltiy rates analyst, she’s responsible for keeping rates on our entire global utility rate list in Energy Toolbase up to date but also focuses on Australia and Hawaii utilities and rate structures. As we continue to grow our user base outside of the U.S., she will target those rates within our database as well.
We're hosting a webinar discussing everything about Hawaii's solar + storage market, policies and what's changing for devleopers in 2019. The webinar will be co-hosted by Executive Director at HSEA, Will Giese. Click here to register.