STAUNTON, Va., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Secure Futures Solar has appointed Ryan McAllister to the role of acting Chief Executive Officer effective October 1. McAllister previously served as the company's Business Development Manager and will oversee the company's operations while the company undertakes a search for a permanent CEO as Anthony Smith steps down from that role to continue to serve as the company's President and Founder.
During the transition period, McAllister will take charge of four primary areas of responsibility for Secure Futures: strategy and planning, reaching business objectives, managing company operations towards specified goals and supporting the company's economic success.
"Ryan brings technical and financial expertise, deep experience with our business solutions and customers, and a lifelong passion for clean energy and environmental sustainability," said Smith. "His appointment is a signal of the company's strength and its commitment to entering into new markets, positioning Secure Futures for significant growth over the next five years."
McAllister joined the company in June 2019 to take charge of sales outreach. Previously, he held positions with Sigora Solar and Bank of America. McAllister earned a bachelor's degree from Penn State University and a master's degree in economics from the University of London.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to help Secure Futures continue to grow by bringing solar power and clean energy solutions to schools, hospitals, and companies in Virginia and throughout the southeastern states," said McAllister. "I look forward to working with our employees, partners and customers to build on the company's history as first mover and leader in developing the regional market for solar power, all while continuing to support necessary changes in public policy that will level the playing field for clean energy."
Coordinating with key external partners in financing and other areas, Secure Futures has pursued a two-year plan to transition its leadership. During the current phase of the transition period, in his role as president, Smith will work with the company's ownership partners to initiate a search for a permanent CEO within the next several months.
In the meantime, Smith will devote more time to raising capital to finance the company's continued growth, while distilling into a book key lessons he has learned over a half century of running a variety of successful businesses and organizations dedicated to serving the public good in the fields of clean energy and community development.
Smith founded Secure Futures in 2004 to trade energy futures, later entering the fast growing field of solar power.
In 2010 Smith oversaw the company's first solar power installation, a 104-kilowatt array on the roof of the Hartzler Library at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, the largest solar project of any kind in the state of Virginia at the time and the first in the state to be financed through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
In conjunction with the solar project, the company helped the city government of Harrisonburg to implement a local tax exemption for solar power equipment while working with the Harrisonburg Electric Commission, the city's municipal utility company, to begin offering net energy metering to its customers with on-site solar power.
Company's Projects Made History in Solar Markets in Virginia and Beyond
Over the following years, Smith led the company to develop solar projects of historic significance in Virginia.
In 2011, despite receiving two cease-and-desist orders from Dominion Energy, Secure Futures successfully built a 444-kilowatt solar system at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, an array which also became the largest solar project in the state when it was completed.
In 2016, Secure Futures held the first "solar barnraising" in Virginia, working with community volunteers under supervision of experienced solar installers to put up a solar array at the Gift and Thrift retail store in Harrisonburg. Two years later, the company would hold the first solar barnraising in the state of Pennsylvania, when it installed a solar power system at the Mennonite Central Committee Material Resources Center in Ephrata, PA.
In 2018, the company installed the first solar energy system in Virginia at a cold storage warehouse operated by InterChange Group in Mt. Crawford, helping bring clean energy to an industry that has proven crucial to maintaining the nation's food supply during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2019, the company completed installing nearly 3 megawatts of solar panels on 10 campuses of public schools in the city of Richmond, the largest solar energy system at a K-12 school division in Virginia when it launched. In 2020, at public schools systems in both Augusta and Orange counties, Secure Futures is installing the first solar energy systems combined with roof restoration, both financed by a PPA or solar service agreement, in the state.
Smith Led Key Public Policy Changes to Spread Clean Energy in Virginia
During Smith's tenure, the company also played a leading role in changes to public policy to make solar power more accessible in Virginia.
In 2012, working with the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club, Secure Futures formed the Virginia Distributed Solar Alliance, the first of several organizations that the company helped found in subsequent years to advocate for public policy on the statewide level to make rooftop solar power more affordable at both residential- and commercial-scale.
In 2013, the company developed a proposal that passed the Virginia General Assembly to establish a PPA Pilot Program in territory served by Dominion Energy Virginia.
That same year, Secure Futures developed and signed the first Solar Self-Generation Agreement ("Solar SGA®" a proprietary contract format developed by Secure Futures as an alternative to a power purchase agreement) in Virginia with the United Church of Christ in Chesterfield County. The company also successfully lobbied the Virginia General Assembly to pass tax exemptions for solar power equipment and to legalize crowdfunding in the state.
The company's numerous public policy successes over a decade helped pave the way for passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act by the General Assembly in 2020.
Innovative Programs to Benefit Schools and Communities
With Smith at the helm, Secure Futures also developed novel programs in clean energy education.
For its customers in K-12 education and at no additional charge, the company began offering classroom curricula and materials from the National Energy Education and Development (NEED) project, complete with teacher training.
To make tangible its commitment to a triple-bottom line of people, planet and profits, in 2017 Secure Futures became a certified B Corp, confirmed by the non-profit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
In 2018, Secure Futures launched the Throwing Solar Shade® educational program in partnership with the Science Museum of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University to offer hands-on solar power and science education to students at two public school divisions, Richmond City and Augusta County.
Smith Brought a History of Leadership and Service
Before founding Secure Futures, Smith served as founding chairman of the Philadelphia Solar Energy Association; founding Executive Director of the Community Energy Development Corporation in Philadelphia; business consultant in creating the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (which later formed the first energy efficiency utility in the country); Commodity Trading Advisor in energy futures; National Program Leader for USDA in Community-Based Entrepreneurial Development; and founding Executive Director of the Staunton Creative Community Fund.
Smith serves as a founding board member of the Virginia Renewable Energy Alliance (VA-REA). He served as co-director and associate professor of the Eastern Mennonite University MBA program from 2008 to 2015, co-leading its transition to an MBA program with an emphasis on stewardship, social entrepreneurship and innovation. He earned his Masters in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD from the Wharton School of Management, University of Pennsylvania.
About Secure Futures, LLC
As a market and policy leader, Secure Futures builds, owns, manages and funds affordable Resilient Solar Solutions® for hospitals, schools and businesses. Headquartered in Staunton, Va., the company combines state-of–the-art solar technology with an innovative business model to make commercial scale solar readily affordable in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, helping customers to realize the economic, environmental, and community benefits of solar energy. In 2017, Secure Futures became a Certified B Corporation®, having met the exacting standards for social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability established by the nonprofit B Lab®. For more information: www.securefutures.solar
Secure Futures Solar
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