Russ: This is PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m coming to you from the Gulf Coast Regional Family Forum. I’m very pleased to have as my guest now, Richard Gruber, Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer of MERIT SI. Richard, welcome to the show.

Richard: Thank you, Russ.

Russ: You bet. Tell us about MERIT SI.

Richard: MERIT SI is a two-year-old firm headquartered in Houston. Our focus is developing renewable strategies and solutions for energy, water and chemical companies to help them drive lower costs, reduce their emissions and improve their overall stakeholder awareness.

Russ: Ok. So, renewables, are we talking about solar and wind?

Richard: Principally, solar and solar with battery storage, and typically with advanced controls. And located at their points of demand for these companies, so where they consume it is where we site it.


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K Carpenter Associates Inc. (KCA) is hosting its first Houston Energy Breakfast of the year on Friday, March 29, 2019 – “Evolving in the Energy Sector Means…” Once again, PKF Texas is a proud sponsor of this “can’t miss” networking event.

Attendees will hear from a lineup of speakers who offer their insight on sectors

Russ:  This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.  I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here with R.T. Dukes, Research Director with Wood Mackenzie, and Prajit Ghosh, Global Strategy Lead also with Wood Mackenzie.  Guys, welcome to the Playbook.

Prajit:  Thank you

R.T.:  Thanks for having us.

Russ:  You bet.  Give us an overview of Wood Mackenzie.

R.T.:  Wood Mack – we’re part of a larger corporation called Verisk Analytics.  It’s a data analytics company focused in the insurance, energy and financial services sectors.  We’re part of the energy vertical.  So Wood Mack we describe as part of the energy metals and mining, really the natural resources value chain.  I’m focused in oil and gas; Prajit’s more focused on the power and renewable side, and we’ve expanded quite a bit there over the last few years.

Russ:  I remember hearing and seeing that about a year ago, too; I thought it was interesting.  To me it was more of an indication that the renewables were gaining ground these days.  So before we get to renewables, why don’t you give us an overview, R.T., of where oil and gas is today and in the immediate future?


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Russ: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper. This week’s guest host, and I’m coming to you from the Gulf Coast Regional Family Forum. I’m very pleased to have as my guest, Jason Ballard, co-founder and President of TreeHouse. Jason, welcome to the show.

Jason: Happy to be here.

Russ: Tell us about TreeHouse.

Jason: TreeHouse is a home upgrade company focused on helping homeowners make their homes better; whether it comes to design, the way the home looks and feels, or performance, the way it uses energy and creates comfort or the outdoor landscape. The real underlying mission of the company is around health and sustainability, both for people and the natural world.

Russ: How old is the company?

Jason: Seven years old.

Russ: So, if you look at that, you know, landscaping outside, or making the home sustainable, or energy, how would you divide those up as far as how much business you do in those categories?

Jason: It tends to be really evenly split across the company. We tend to do about half of our business around design. So, kitchen remodels, helping expecting parents repaint a nursery, these kinds of things. Then, about half of our business is performance related. So, whether it’s like, I’m a card carrying member of the Sierra Club and I want to put solar energy on my house, or my energy bills are killing me and I want to put solar energy on my house, or I just want to make and investment in my home and so I’m going to do some insulation and some smart home stuff. The business tends to be really diversified in that way, kind of half and half.


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Russ: The is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here with Kirsten Strieck, a shareholder and Director of Operations & Client Services at Joint Venture Strategic Advisors. Welcome to the Playbook, Kirsten.

Kirsten: Thank you, Russ.

Russ: You bet.  Tell us about Strategic Advisors.

Kirsten: We are a specialty joint venture consulting firm that provides any joint venture services to the energy industry, but also to other industries that have an agreement and partners.
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Russ:  This is PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook, I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m coming to you from the Gulf Coast Regional Family Forum.  And I’m with John Berger, Co-founder and CEO of Sunnova Energy Corporation; John welcome to the Playbook.

John:  Thank you Russ, nice to be here.

Russ:  You bet.  Tell us about Sunnova.

John:  Sunnova Energy is a residential solar and storage service company.  We operate from near Japan and Guam, Saipan all the way through California, Texas to Puerto Rico and all the way up far north as Massachusetts.  What we do through a network of locally owned businesses, dealers and contractors is they’ll go out and source customers on our behalf and sign them up to our service and then install our equipment per our specifications on the customers’ homes, and then we provide for those customers for 25+ years cheaper power, cleaner power obviously with solar onsite, and increasingly – and just recently – a better service with storage, with batteries.  Onsite they’re working with the solar system and then have more complex IT systems and such so in effect we’re creating wireless power.

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Russ: The is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host and I’m here with Kirsten Strieck, a shareholder and Director of Operations & Client Services at Joint Venture Strategic Advisors. Welcome to the Playbook, Kirsten.

Kirsten: Thank you for having me.

Russ: You bet. So, you talk about this company a lot as JVSA, right?

Kirsten: That’s right.

Russ: Ok, tell us about JVSA.

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With panels and presentations on topics ranging from an Oil & Gas outlook to accounting and SEC updates, some of the energy industry’s best and brightest as speakers and panelists will be at the 14th Annual Houston CPA Society Energy Conference. It is sure to be a day filled with insightful discussion and substantive interaction. You’ll hear from several industry leaders including the luncheon keynote speaker John Hofmeister, founder of Citizens for Affordable Energy and former President of Shell.

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Join the Houston CPA Society at the 2016 Energy Conference on Tuesday, August 23 at the Hilton Americas Houston. This year’s exciting lineup of energy directed sessions includes an E&P Panel, Tax Update, Energy Valuation, update on Oil Field Services, Accounting and SEC Update, Political Outlook, M&A Update, U.S. Oil and Gas Outlook, a Rebirth