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Welcoming our Newest Associate Sustainability Council Member, Alex Mikhelson

Sustainability Spotlight March 2013
Welcoming our Newest Associate Sustainability Council Member, Alex Mikhelson

When Alex Mikhelson stumbled across a Philadelphia Fox 29 video clip on his friend’s Facebook wall in February 2011—a segment featuring Viridian Founder & CEO Michael Fallquist discussing the Viridian opportunity—he immediately wanted to know more. After all, for months the Pennsylvania resident listened as countless companies talked about energy deregulation and their unique energy offerings. But it wasn’t until the Fox 29 segment aired that this concept “really hit home” for Mikhelson.

Accordingly, a few days later, the Senior Marketing Director of a leading title company scheduled a lunch with his friend and Platinum Partner John Pyonteck to learn more about the Viridian business model. The network marketing novice was immediately interested when he learned that all he had to do was talk to his family and friends about making responsible choices surrounding their electric suppliers. And, once he learned that Viridian supplied green energy, he was sold.

“Everybody else was talking about energy deregulation and saving money but this time I wanted to know more about what it means to be green,” Mikhelson said. “Thanks to my wife, we recycle at home but I have always been a lazy environmentalist. I was always willing to do something more and this was it.”

Since joining Viridian, Mikhelson has quickly become anything but a lazy environmentalist, as he is leading with green in his business, planning and attending local service projects and, most recently, has joined the Associate Sustainability Council (ASC). Through these efforts, Mikhelson has developed a greater appreciation of sustainability.

Prior to joining Viridian, when someone uttered the word “sustainability,” Mikhelson only pictured a wind turbine—and had no understanding of what happens once that energy is created. “I didn’t think it mattered to me,” he explained.

But, two years ago, when Mikhelson’s oldest son was diagnosed with an acute form of asthma and Mikhelson had joined Viridian, he realized that what happens to his son is the result of the air we breathe.

“I never put two and two together that something can be done to stop it,” the Viridian Director said. “We were only thinking about how to manage his symptoms. When I was looking at the Viridian opportunity and hearing about green energy, that’s when the bell started going off. I am living at home with someone that close to me and I am able to make some sort of change.”

Almost two years later—and now an active member of the ASC—Mikhelson has made a change. A self­described “perpetual student,” Mikhelson has enjoyed learning the nuances of sustainability and teaching others what it means when Viridian Associates say sustainability equals profitability. He has also enjoyed promoting the Viridian opportunity to the “non­green” people out there and giving them a chance to see that they, too, can become green­minded.

As a council member, Mikhelson hopes that he can encourage other Associates to participate in local sustainability events and spearhead community events.

“When we get dirty and put our hands in the soil, we can connect much closer to our cause,”
Mikhelson said. “I want to see more people at the events. I want to see people who are not our typical sustainability mascots. I want to see non­green people turn a shade of green and then eventually learn that if we don’t lead with green, others won’t understand how important our business is.”