PEOPLE IN POWER: Mary Ann Birch
It is talked about in real estate, in job interviews, and certainly in sales; you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
It is true in the world of Combined Heat and Power as well, where Aegis Energy Services, Inc. account executives serve as a client’s first glimpse of the expertise and professionalism the company brings to the CHP industry.
Mary Ann Birch has worked as an Aegis account executive for nearly two years and she is part of the company’s “best foot forward” approach to making impactful first impressions.
“We are the first point of contact with potential customers,” Birch said. “Whether it is through taking in-bound sales calls to help facilitate the sales process or attending shows and seminars in the energy sector.”
Birch brings quite a resume to her position having studied Biology /Pre-Med at the University of Massachusetts with an Ecology focus. She also minored in Women’s Studies and Psychology.
“Previously I was employed as a chemist, where I analyzed air, water, and soil samples for Volatile Organic Compounds,” she said. “In my last position I worked for six years as a Financial Advisor for insurance and investments.”
The acquired skills and experience give Birch a solid professional toolbox to draw from when selling the value of CHP to prospective clients. As Birch knows, there are many factors that determine the viability of cogen in a building.
“When we first evaluate a building for cogeneration we will ask a few specific questions on size and mechanical infrastructure to make sure it would be a good application,” she said. “We will then request 12 months of bills on the heating and electric side, followed by a site tour.”
After information is gathered from the site evaluation, Birch provides the potential customer with a complimentary savings analysis and proposal using Aegis’ proprietary modeling software. It is here where Birch is best able to build off that “first impression” with her unique skill set.
“My role at Aegis consists of interacting with customers on a one on one basis, and finding buildings that are a great fit for our systems,” said Birch. “It is about building relationships with customers, and educating them about cogeneration so that they can make the most informed decision on what’s best for their building.”
Birch echoes the Aegis mantra that puts integrity at the top of an account executive’s responsibilities to the client.
“When it comes to call-ins and sites we visit, CHP might not always be a fit and we will make the customer aware of that,” she said. “We won’t just sell a project to get systems out. We want great applications, and we want to give cogen and Aegis a great name in the market place.”