The Retrofit Companies Blog

Customer Spotlight - Steve Grandgenett, Algona Municipal Utilities

 Algona Lobby

Algona Municipal Utilities
Algona, MN
  
"In the process we were able to reduce the amount of energy we use per fixture by 45-50%." - Steve Grandgenett, Algona Municipal Utilities

Located in the small town of Algona, Iowa, approximately 3 hours south of the Twin Cities, the Algona Municipal Utilities (AMU) recently renovated their office building. AMU supplies electric, water, cable, internet, and phone to Algona and the surrounding areas and always strives for energy conservation and efficiency. Built in 2003, this office not only needed some remodeling to better suit the needs of their employees and customers, but they also quickly realized that they wanted to couple this remodel with some important lighting upgrades throughout the facility. Ken Gleason, a Senior Sales Executive at The Retrofit Companies, Inc., has been working with Algona and the surrounding areas for 11 years, and was pleased to partner with them for this project. Ken and Steve Grandgenett, the Safety and Energy Efficiency Coordinator at AMU, discussed the priorities of the project, what their company was striving for, and determined their main goals were both aesthetic upgrades to match the look and feel of their office, as well as address energy conservation. Energy reduction and efficiency are cornerstones of both AMU and TRC, making for a very well suited business partnership. 

Photo May 15, 10 00 26 AM

 

An office remodel often brings forward some lighting issues that can be easily addressed with the proper expertise, and AMU quickly noticed some problems throughout their space. Uneven light levels throughout conference rooms, offices and common areas, as well as frequently failing lamps and ballasts were causing an unnecessary amount of maintenance. This was slowing down regular business, reducing efficiency of their staff and causing unnecessary out of pocket costs for operations. The remodel project also brought forth the desire to upgrade the look of the lights to match the design and functionality throughout the building. 

 

TRC met with Steve and his team to discuss their specific needs, possible solutions and was shown a fixture selection to ensure AMU found the light fixtures they were really looking for to match their decor. Our lighting experts guided them through this process by providing expertise and unique recommendations for their space. For each area of their facility, for example small spaces with no natural light versus large open areas with high ceilings and windows, multiple solutions were considered based on factors such as frequency of use, the amount of natural daylight and the types of individuals using the space and for what functions. A conference room is better suited to lighting controls, allowing meeting attendees to dim the lights for presentations on a projector, and a lobby area is better suited to controls that automatically adjust according to the amount of natural sunlight through daylight harvesting. Occupancy sensors in the office spaces, as well as new LED fixtures throughout, proved to be an integral part of the lighting redesign. 

 

When the desired solutions were identified, the project came together quickly and TRC ensured that the installation was done with no interruptions, working around employees’ schedules and also taking into consideration customer traffic. Our design team was able to use customer suggestions along with their lighting design expertise to best fit the needs of AMU.  

For this office space of approximately 8,000 square feet, we reduced the overall lighting energy consumption by 45-50%, and met the needs of all occupants. By switching to LED and smart lighting, the energy savings is equivalent to recycling 4.85 tons of waste instead of landfilling, or the equivalent of reducing greenhouse gases by 13.9 metric tons. 

After a few months of regular usage following the new lighting installations, we checked back in with Steve at AMU to see how things were going with the lighting upgrades. We were pleased to hear that employees felt the space was not only brighter and more evenly lit, but that the controls throughout the facility were truly helping out with employees’ daily functions allowing them to customize their lighting in their own offices as well as saving energy. 

 

 

Customer Spotlight Interview with Steve Grandgenett, Algona Municipal Utilities

LED Lighting Upgrade, Retrofit Light Fixtures, New LED Technology, Energy Savings

Schedule a call with our lighting consultant
 

Customer Spotlight - Nate Cardin, Southern Hills Golf Course

 

Photo May 10, 11 03 44 AM_previewSouthern Hills Golf Course
Farmington, MN
  
“The first thing that our customers noticed is just how much warmer and inviting the atmosphere was. The Retrofit Companies, Inc. made it so easy.” – Nate Cardin, General Manager

 

The frustration of continuously changing and replacing burnt out light bulbs and ballasts is a maintenance nightmare for anyone, and Nate Cardin, the General Manager at Southern Hills Golf course, was experiencing this daily hassle before he decided to give TRC a call.

 

We checked in with Nate to talk about the recent interior lighting renovation and his experience working with TRC. Southern Hills and TRC have partnered many times in the past, and today Nate tells us about their clubhouse remodel and why it was important for them to upgrade their lighting and why he chose to work with TRC.

 

The new technology has helped reduce their overall energy consumption by nearly 50%, equating to nearly a 50% lighting energy cost savings! That is a huge improvement and TRC worked hard to ensure Southern Hills received their maximum rebate dollars, making the decision even easier to invest in the upgrade.

 

LuAnn Verduzco, Lighting & Energy Design Consultant at TRC, talked through the maintenance problems that Nate was facing, and what options would best suit their space when replacing the old technology. Nate was looking for new fixture options that would last, require minimum maintenance, as well as enhance their interior decor and highlight the features they were investing in for their clubhouse.

 

In addition to lowering the required maintenance, the new LED technology that was installed provided a drastic improvement on the distribution and quality of light throughout their entire facility. The changes were noticeable immediately, and both customers and staff alike felt that the new lighting worked with the natural light of the clubhouse and brought a warmth to the space.

 

 

 

Customer Spotlight Interview with Nate Cardin, Southern Hills Golf Course

LED Lighting Upgrade, Retrofit Light Fixtures, New LED Technology, Energy Savings

Schedule a call with our lighting consultant
 

Employee Spotlight - Brett Weber

 

 

TRC has always focused on hiring great people to become part of the TRC family, and now it's time for you to get to know our employees a little bit better. Beyond their expertise, our team brings a unique mix of backgrounds, hobbies and special skills to the table. Check us out!

 

Employee Spotlight Brett Weber

Introducing Brett Weber

Brett joined TRC just over 6 months ago, and already he has become part of the family by connecting with both our employees and customers. You will find Brett bright and early in the office supporting both the Sales and Customer Service components of the business, not to mention his keen ability to make a fine cup of coffee.

 

You can always count on Brett for a great story about a recent athletic adventure, whether it's hockey, softball or golf. This guy was the class clown growing up, and we get to enjoy his laughter and spirit every day. Check out the video below to get to know more about Brett!

 

 

Name and Title

Brett Weber, Account Manager

 

How long have you been with TRC and what do you like most about working here?

About 6 months. A lot of companies will say it's like a family, but here you actually feel it on a daily basis. Whether you've been here twenty years or 1 week, everyone treats each employee with the same respect.

Before working at TRC, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I was a pool boy...and it's not all that it's cracked up to be. A lot of weird animals end up in pools.

What did you want to be growing up?

Sports Center Anchor was one of my dream jobs. I would have to come up with my own catch phrase.

 

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I played a year of junior hockey after high school. I got into probably 5 fights that year; one of them I definitely lost. My career hockey fighting record is 4-1, so I'm satisfied with that.

 

What is your favorite movie?

Happy Gilmore. It combines both golf and hockey and it's a classic.

 

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I'm in a golf league, softball league, and hockey league. I like to stay active.

Customer Spotlight - Bob Shellen, Amesbury Truth

 

Amesbury Truth-1Amesbury Truth, Owatonna, MN
Manufacturer of Window and Door Products
  
“Michelle, Jeff and her team have done very well taking care of Amesbury Truth; not just our universal and non-hazardous waste, but hazardous as well.” – Bob Shellen, Amesbury Truth

 

Today we checked in with Bob at Amesbury Truth in Owatonna, MN to talk about their business and working with TRC.

We have partnered on both Environmental Services projects and Lighting projects over the years, and today Bob tells us about one of the very first projects that was a success and why he continues to work with TRC.

 

 

 

Customer Spotlight Interview with Bob Shellen, Amesbury Truth
Lab Packs, Universal Waste, Hazardous Waste, Chemical Waste

Request a recycling pick up
 

Employee Spotlight - Michelle Gwin

 

TRC has always focused on hiring great people to become part of the TRC family, and now it's time for you to get to know our employees a little bit better. Beyond their expertise, our team brings a unique mix of backgrounds, hobbies and special skills to the table. Check us out!

 

Michelle Gwin_headshot-1-284350-edited.jpg

Introducing Michelle Gwin

On any given day you can find her interacting with customers, keeping spirits high around the office and making sure our Environmental Services are thriving.

 

Michelle has been with TRC for 10 years coming up in September, 2018 and has grown with the company, now representing Business Development in the Environmental Services division.

 

Outside of work you may find Michelle enjoying a new favorite craft beer, getting physical on her Roller Derby team, or having fun outdoors at her family cabin on the boat, the ATV's or on a hike!

 

 

Name and Title

Michelle Gwin, Business Development

 

How long have you been with TRC and why do you choose to work here?

10 years coming up in September. I love working here because it's basically like working for a family. We work hard, we play hard, we hang out outside of work, it's a fun time.

 

What do you like most about working at TRC?

Definitely the people. Where else can you find a company that is environmentally friendly, locally owned, small business, and cares about every single one of their customers and employees? It's a phenomenal company to work for.

Before working at TRC, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I used to sell Real Estate for 10 years and have seen just about anything you can imagine in people's home. Yeah, that got weird.

What is one of your guilty pleasures?

Craft Beer. I love traveling to different states, trying new breweries and different styles of beer. 

 

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I have decided, at the age of 42, to start a Roller Derby team. I'm going to be the President of the Owatonna Steel Wheels, and we are hoping to have our first bout in 2019! I'm hoping to create some diversity in the community I live in.

 

What is your favorite movie, book or band?

There's Something About Mary is definitely my favorite movie. She is quirky and I can relate to that!

 

If you could be any super hero, who would you be?

Wonder Woman.

 

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Roller Derby, total body workout classes, and my kids!

 

What would be a dream vacation?

My dream vacation would be to sit on a beach in Hawaii for a week, or two. I would bring my daughter.

 

What did you want to be growing up?

A firefighter. I thought it would be cool to lug somebody over your shoulder.

 

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