At VIP our people are our greatest asset. Our success comes from our employees, and we value the contributions they provide daily. To show our appreciation, we have a series of Employee Spotlights where we highlight those employees at VIP that exemplify the culture and values we hold. For our next Employee Spotlight, we have Matthew Aloi, Director of Finance, answer some questions about himself and provide perspective on the importance of project development for renewable projects:
VIP: Matt, thanks for participating in VIP’s Employee Spotlight! Please tell us about yourself.
Matt: I started my career 17 years ago in the engineering and operations sectors where I was responsible for process and resource optimization, system design, and automation in the manufacturing and financial sectors. My work included Six Sigma, Lean, and Kaizen principles that led to material cost savings for multi-million-dollar manufacturing processes and multi-billion-dollar quality management systems.
Later, I worked as an investment banker where I led buy-side and sell-side mandates for over $7 billion of infrastructure projects throughout North America.
More recently, I worked at middle-market private equity funds where I oversaw investments in greenfield and brownfield projects, corporate venture deals, and growth financing for companies in the telecom, energy, and infrastructure sectors; in addition to leading equity commitments of over $150 million, I worked closely with portfolio company C-suites to optimize their revenue and cost forecasts and improve their business strategies.
I have undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering and an MBA. My academic engineering work specialized in signal processing and forecasting, and my MBA focused on management and finance.
VIP: How did you hear about VIP?
Matt: I met the founders of VIP through colleagues of mine who worked in the energy sector.
Working at a startup appealed to me because I knew my background and skills could help establish the finance, operations, and planning workstreams. I like the idea of building a business from the ground up with a small team of people who are mission-oriented, so VIP seemed like a good opportunity.
VIP: How did you get into the renewable industry?
Matt: It’s always been important to me that my work drives the betterment of society. I’ve worked on water treatment projects, refurbishment of deficient bridges, healthcare facilities, energy transition projects, etc. – all of which have a measurable benefit to current and future generations.
I’m a big believer in the saying that a society grows great when people plant trees in whose shade they shall never sit; sustainable energy and infrastructure is a fitting mode for that societal improvement and I’m happy to be a part of it. Legislative tailwinds and a growing public perception of the value of renewable energy were additional considerations for getting into the industry.
VIP: What does the ideal company culture look like to you?
Matt: Integrity, candor, intelligence, and the embodiment of Kaizen principles are what I look for in a company culture. My ideal company would be a small team of people who are accountable for their actions, are trustworthy, and who have a shared mission. It would be a team of perpetual learners who value personal initiative instead of hierarchical oversight. This team would inspire each other to improve professionally and personally and share diverse opinions and points of view.
VIP: What goals do you have at VIP?
Matt: My primary goal is to build a reliable and efficient process for VIP to bring projects to market and to streamline the workflow so it can be automated with little oversight. In parallel, I expect to use my engineering and financial skills to provide recommendations to internal business lines, such as commercial analysis and operations. I want to expand VIP’s data-driven approach to decision making and challenge internal thought processes so VIP can make informed decisions and establish itself as a premier developer of renewable projects.
VIP: What were some of the biggest factors in deciding to join VIP?
Matt: VIP’s process-oriented philosophy was the main factor for me joining. I think in terms of systems – how they interact and how they can be improved. If you can break down real world situations into interacting systems and the processes by which they behave, then you can understand the pain points, measure performance, manage change, and improve. This is a foundational skillset in problem solving but is rare in practice. I’ve been involved in failed businesses and failed investments in the past and a major contributor to those failures was a poor understanding of systems and processes, which leads to poor execution. Anyone can speak in vague generalities about high-level goals, but people who can articulate actionable processes to achieve those goals and who consistently execute, solicit feedback, and re-evaluate those approaches are much more likely to succeed. Understanding processes and systems not only leads to efficient execution of strategic plans but also leads to alignment of individual objectives along the way, which is critical to company morale and recurring excellence.
VIP: Thanks for taking the time to answer questions, last one: what do you like to do for fun when you’re not working?
Matt: I spend my free time weightlifting, practicing jiu jitsu, programming, and reading. In the past, I’ve coached adult volleyball and volunteered at organizations that focused on improving the physical fitness of youths with disabilities.
Thank you, and I look forward to collaborating with the VIP team and building VIP’s presence in the market.