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JOE FULLER: ENJOYING THE VIEW FROM THE TOP

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Sustainability Spotlight July 2013
Talk to most people about home improvement, and you usually hear about a new kitchen or more closet space.

But all Joe Fuller would change is his roof. “I wish it was bigger so I could have a bigger solar system,” says the Executive Associate from Middle River, Maryland.
Not that the system he recently installed isn’t doing a great job. The 26 solar panels, Joe figures, save him 650kilowatt hours of electricity a month. “That’s 650kilowatt
hours that BGE doesn’t supply,” says Joe, referring to Baltimore’s utility. “That’s like using 100% renewable energy.”

Talk to Joe for a short time, and you realize there’s another natural resource that’s even more important to him: his two sons. In fact, his 16 year old works with him as an Associate. “He may actually be one of the youngest Associates out there,” Joe says, “because they raised the age minimum to 18 two and a half months after he joined.”
There are definitely some hurdles for a teenager—“his friends’ parents see him as a big joker, so when he tries to be serious they don’t necessarily take him seriously,”—but the motivation to make money for driving and going on dates makes up for them.

Joe is also involved in both coaching boys’ baseball and flag football. Indeed, sometimes coaching—combined with a fulltime job at the VA Medical Center in Baltimore and managing his 17 rental properties—has cut into the time he can devote to Viridian. But to Joe, that just highlights another of its advantages. “The best thing about Viridian is it lets you do it at your own pace. If life gets in the way, you do what you have to do. The only way you can fail with Viridian is if you quit.”

Obviously, that’s something Joe has no intention of doing. He sees Viridian, 10 years from now, as a retirement career, “unless my Viridian income bypasses my regular income before that.” In the more immediate future, Joe plans to supplement the power from his roof with 100% renewable energy as soon as he reaches the rank of Director. Once again, that’s not just about sustaining the earth’s precious resources, but also his own. “Sustainability,” he says, “is doing what we need to do to give our kids an earth that is viable.”