- Message From the CEO
- Living Our Values
Investing in Future Leaders
Apex Sponsors MIT-based Ron Brown Scholar
In our tenth year, Apex is looking both forward and inward.
Forward in terms of the validation of the market demand for clean energy and the success of Apex projects to deliver wind and solar power at scale to utilities, corporate offtakers, and public-sector entities across the country.
We’re also looking inward, in multiple ways. Apex is seeking to strengthen its commitment to sustainability as a core value beyond our work to decarbonize the grid by considering the ESG (environmental/social/governance) framework increasingly adopted by leading companies worldwide.
The Ron Brown Scholar Program has supported more than 1,200 students, with a 99% rate for undergraduate degree attainment.
At the same time, we are navigating the challenges often associated with maturing companies—namely, furthering the development of our current staff and investing in the next generation of the clean energy workforce.
Inspiring intelligent and driven scholars and young professionals to consider a career in renewable energy requires going against the twin lures of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. If you ask any leading recruiters, they’ll tell you the key to winning this competition for talent is establishing interest, respect, and engagement as early as possible.
It takes an intentional approach. Enter the Ron Brown Scholar Program.
Ron Brown was the first African American to serve in a presidential cabinet, as secretary of commerce, and was widely respected on Capitol Hill and beyond until his untimely death in 1996. In his memory, the Ron Brown Scholar Program was created to provide academic scholarships, service opportunities, and leadership experiences for young African Americans of outstanding promise.
Located near our corporate headquarters in Charlottesville, the program has supported more than 1,200 students, with a 99% rate for undergraduate degree attainment. But that’s just the beginning, as recruiting and networking across law, medicine, and business—along with the arts, sciences, and public service—yield momentous opportunities throughout each scholar’s developing career.
It was an obvious fit for Apex, the first and only renewable energy corporate partner in the program. For the next four years, Apex is sponsoring an outstanding graduate from Charlottesville’s Albemarle High School, Kinan Martin. Kinan is pursuing an engineering degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), but that’s just one facet of his story. Kinan has lived in numerous cities abroad and is fluent in French and Japanese, and has pursued learning Arabic, Russian, Chinese, and Tamil. He says that he has always been fascinated by the power of language to create bridges between different cultures, based on the global similarities in the human experience.
Beyond his mastery of languages, Kinan is an avid volunteer and leader in his community. Add in the math and science proficiency required to study engineering at MIT, and there is virtually no limit to his professional future. Importantly, he also believes that engineering should be in sync with environmental and social issues, completely aligned with the Apex mission. In our view, Kinan, and students like him, are the long-term key to decarbonizing the grid and achieving the drawdown necessary to reverse the trajectory of our climate.
Our Focus Is the Long Game
Though the clean energy industry must stay focused on maximizing the opportunities at hand, history will judge our work in terms of decades, not years. Success requires developing tomorrow’s leaders today.
In this sense, the notion of educating, supporting, and inspiring young leaders is a priority shared by Apex and the Ron Brown Scholar Program. It also dovetails with our longer-term goals related to ESG and sustainability. Achieving organizational sustainability is impossible without incorporating diversity across our enterprise, and in turn instilling a culture of diversity that yields compounding benefits: distinctive opinions and perspectives, creativity and innovation, increased productivity and performance, and improved employee engagement and retention.
All of these contribute to a stronger, more resilient, and more vibrant future for Apex. We make progress daily, at the same time knowing that all of us in the renewable energy space have a significant journey ahead.