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‘DON’T CALL IT A RETREAT’, RECAPPING THE SG ENERGY SUMMIT

Originally posted on August 13, 2021


Don’t call it a retreat. Those words were passed along from a colleague to the leadership of SG Energy Solutions during the inaugural SG Energy Summit. It’s a summit. Great companies don’t retreat. Instead, it was a place and time to meet, share ideas and get equipped for future work.


The team would not move back or shrink from the challenges ahead. The challenges of growing a successful business in the energy generation sector, historically dominated by a few select companies, are enormous, but SG welcomes the challenge.



The DNA of SG


Not only do they like to say they share “one heartbeat” as a company — but another drumbeat I heard often over the three days was their four core values. Solutions, Energy, Accountability, and Safety are known by any SG Energy Solutions Team Member … literally. Those four words are committed to memory and the underlying sentiment of each. Just ask them, and they’ll talk at length about how they incorporate them into everything they do.


Ft. Lauderdale, Fla, at the AC Hotel by Marriot, Sawgrass was the place, and in the incessant heat of July 29-31 was the time, but in this line of work — an extreme climate is quite the norm. The Brand25 Media trip to our Nevada worksite for upgrade work on several gas-powered turbines serves as a reminder.


Inspiration from Pat “Coach” McSorely


Inside the comforts of the hotel conference room, the team heard presentations on the past, present, and future of SG Energy Solutions. A particularly inspiring moment occurred during a talk from Field Engineer Pat McSorley with General Electric. McSorely and SG Energy Solutions Senior Project Manager Van Wade have a mutual mentoring relationship. He’s reverently referred to as “Coach” and spoke on the great relationship between the two companies and the valuable work being done in the field by the SG team at countless power plants around the world.


He told a story from a Colorado plant where the SG Energy Solutions team was very helpful. “You guys knew more than the engineers that were putting it in!” said McSorley, adding, “It was one of my proudest moments.”


McSorely said, “You’ve made yourselves indispensable.” SG Energy Solutions is a preferred vendor for GE and FieldCore installations.


On a call with staff from a northern Michigan plant, he was asked for best practices from the operations people, and McSorley put it bluntly, “Hire SG Solutions to do your electrical. There’s really not a whole lot else involved.” It’s a ringing endorsement from someone who knows their stuff.


Making the Big League


CEO Derron Sanders and EVP of Sales and Operations Desmen Siders had a sports analogy for the weekend. They even drafted me to introduce the team at the “Tip Off” on Friday in my best basketball announcer voice. I studied the iconic Detroit Pistons announcer John Mason for inspiration. Derron and Desmen look at the outlook like going deep into the college basketball tournament. They’re winning at that level, but the goal is the NBA.

Getting ready for MEWP training.


Scaling Up


SG Energy Solutions is currently at the top of its game, but its eye is on a bigger stage. With more opportunities and a larger client base, mistakes are more likely to follow. Systems are a key to maintaining quality at scale and are constantly being reviewed and revised at SG. Refining those systems will help accurately set project scope, budget, safety protocols, and expectations.


One of the biggest challenges to the work at these power plants is getting manpower where you need it. Not necessarily to a locale, but up in the air with a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP). It’s a funny acronym, but this heavy equipment is no laughing matter. Getting properly trained on the safety protocols and operation of MEWPs was a priority for the SG Energy Summit.


After a long day of learning and networking, it’s nice to enjoy ourselves thanks to the beautiful rooftop lounge at the AC Hotel by Marriot, Sawgrass. The views were spectacular after dodging the odd thunderstorm.

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