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RFP Spotlight December 2011
Being active in his community is starting to pay real dividends for Viridian’s Neal Forte.

The Connecticut­based Executive Associate started out as an energy customer last year and then made the transition to Associate. Due to the local relationships he’s built up over years of living in Newington and being active in the community, Forte has been able to grow his business by enrolling a number of nonprofit organizations (NPOs) that he’s affiliated with, into Viridian’s Residual Fundraising Program.

Like many Associates, Forte was introduced to the company by a friend, Director Joe Randazzo.

“I’d already switched energy companies, but ran into Joe on the golf course and he told me all about Viridian,” Forte said. “I liked the green energy proposition, so I switched again, and it wasn’t long before Joe convinced me to come on board as an Associate.”

During Forte’s training, Randazzo mentioned the value of RFPs, and how enrolling organizations can lead to more contacts and help his business grow. Forte—who was president of a local soccer club, volunteered as a Cub Scout scoutmaster, served on political committees and was active in both his church and Masonic Lodge—immediately saw the connection.

“The RFP is perfect for NPOs. I can talk to people, increase their sustainability options and create residual income, all at the same time,” he said.

Forte’s initial stop was the First Congregational Church of East Hartford, where he’d gotten married several years ago. He met with the church board of trustees on a Monday, they called him back on Wednesday, asked for another meeting that Sunday, and then enrolled. He had similar success with his local soccer club and Masonic Lodge.

“I also got called by the Knights of Columbus, but they wanted to do their due diligence and see what other companies were offering,” he said. “But after two months they decided Viridian had the best program.”

Forte has continued to build his business, and the RFP is a big part of it. He advises his Associates to approach both individuals and NPOs, as many people can usually provide introductions to potential organizations. Now with more than 250 customers in his Organizational Customer Count, Forte has noticed his attrition rate is very low.

“People are happy to support their church or organization,” he said. “The contributed money is a big plus, and they like that they’re doing something good for the environment as well. They know the longer they stay with Viridian, the more they’re supporting their group.”

Forte has some advice for those Associates looking to develop an RFP organization in their business.

“Always stay in front of them,” he said. “It helps to find one or two people who will be your liaisons. They’ll work within one organization, and will help you find others.”

Neal Forte knows that success is just a matter of staying competitive and having good things to offer. “Many people are very interested in being green and saving money,” he said. “Viridian offers all that, and more.