, “Inspiring Stories: Tending Mother Nature’s Garden”

Core Values Michael Hartofilis Nasdaq Floor

When people ask me what the key differentiator for successful business versus others, without fail I will tell them it is having clear, concrete and actionable corporate Core Values.

Our next featured profile is a brilliant example of how having those values becomes something inspirational, and truly transcends awesome.

Please tell us about yourself:

My name is Michael Hartofilis. I’m 30 years old, and I’m the Co-founder and Vice President of Greenlight Energy, an Energy Service Company based in Astoria, New York that supplies energy options to homes and businesses in New York, New Jersey, and Maryland.

You are working on something pretty cool. Care to share a little bit about that?

I’ll be honest and say that we’re always looking for something cool to work on. The best way to do that is by establishing relationships with other organizations that have goals and products that are cool as well.

We just so happen to think that saving the planet is pretty cool, and for that reason we’ve partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation. Every customer that signs up with our services through that collaboration will receive a free tree that they can plant to help reduce their carbon footprint as well as reduce their energy costs.

What made you decide to follow that path?

We’re trying to engage our customers on a much more interactive level. There are a lot of third party suppliers out there offering gift cards or movie tickets as incentives to enroll with their services. Through our Energy-Saving Trees Program, we’re giving our customers a tree to physically plant, nurture, and grow with, so everyone wins, including our children.

What outcome do you hope to achieve?

We think the most direct and cost-effective way of going green is to simply add to Mother Nature’s garden and plant a tree.
Likeminded customers that share the same hope for our planet are customers for life. We feel like we can find those customers through our Energy-Saving Trees Program and possibly change the perspective of our thousands of current customers. There’s a lot of focus placed and money spent on green technology, and rightly so.

Walk us through your average day:

I have a long train commute, so I typically start my day by reading up on what’s going on in the industry. Then when I get into my office, I sit down and process raw data files from the 12+ utilities we work with and upload time sensitive invoice data so that they include this information on our customers’ consolidated utility bills. There are a lot of discussions on market trends and the best way to provide additional value to the customers we serve.

I wear many hats.
When we started this company, it was just my father and I for a while. After six years, we can now delegate a wide variety of duties to almost 20 employees. I kind of have my hand in a little bit of everything.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring?

I’m banking on this island having a palm tree for coconut sustenance.

Maybe a surfboard, because I don’t know how to surf.

A guitar, because I don’t know how to play.

And a Red Maple tree, because Greenlight Energy gave it to me for free and I’d want to turn that island into a home that I can inhabit until I’m old and gray and leave something special for the next soul.

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