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 Michael Blevins, VP Director of Prospecting, answer some questions about himself and provide perspective on his background and what led him to this role.

VIP: Michael, thanks for participating, please tell us about yourself. 

Michael: Thank you for having me! I was born in Ashland, Kentucky and then my mother and I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, when I was young. I entered the Marine CORPS and was a Corporal for two machine gun teams in the 3rd Battalion 6th Marines, Charlie WPNS company. After the Marines, I went to college and worked for multiple municipalities in the planning and zoning department as a GIS Planner and Analyst, TxDot, and various universities as the Facility Information Manager.  

I spent time with the Seminole Tribe of Florida as a GIS Analyst. My three degrees are in Urban Design and Sustainable Energy. I also started working on a Ph.D. in Leadership and Organizational Change.  I previously worked for a Renewable Energy company as a Project Manager for the prospecting team. I am eager and incredibly excited about this new chapter at VIP. 

 VIP: How did you hear about VIP? 

Michael:   In my quest to find a company with solid values like Honor, Valor, Integrity, and a vision to become a world-class renewable energy company, I saw there was a position opened at VIP. Once I realized that Mr. Hart and Mr. Weich were the founders, I didn’t hesitate to become part of their team. Once I met with all the Founders and was introduced to Mr. Zyla, I knew VIP would have the honor, integrity, and drive I sought in a career. 

 VIP: How did you get into the renewable energy industry?  

Michael: As I transitioned from working with municipalities, I wanted to do more with my experience in Urban Design within the sustainable energy field. A position came up with a renewable energy company, and I knew that would allow me to grow and learn more about renewable energy. During that decade, I obtained my graduate degree in Sustainable Energy. I wanted to take my education and become a veteran and apply those experiences to helping improve the renewable energy industry with a more honorable approach.  

VIP: What does the ideal company culture look like to you?  

Michael: “We are all digging in the trenches together, regardless of title.” An expression used in the military. Translation: The instant willing obedience to all orders, respect for authority, self-reliance, and TEAMWORK. Everyone pulls together as a team, and when a co-worker is out or sick, we all pull together to help with the workload to keep the job going. Having honor and integrity and a culture where no question is a dumb question. We allow anyone to bring new ideas to the forefront; as I mentioned, this is the VIP culture.  

VIP: What goals do you have at VIP?  

Michael: “Trying not to eat too many Crayons.” (USMC banter among us military members) On a serious note, I want to utilize my experience and skill set to help the prospecting and VIP’s growth into the future with technology and more advanced tools. By incorporating new technology into VIP processes, we put all our team on the front line of purpose and execution.  

 VIP: What were some of your biggest factors in deciding to join VIP?

Michael: When I say Honor, Valor, and Integrity, those are not punch lines or phrases you take lightly. Those are genuine words that follow the backbone of people who will go over and beyond the call of duty. Serving in the United States Marine CORPS is one of my greatest moments; that honor system is what all Veterans stand for.        

My most significant factors are the honor and commitment that VIP brings to the table. In simple terms, Mr. Hart and Mr. Weich were, without a doubt, mentors of mine, and I valued their friendship, brotherhood, and work ethic to the highest level. Having the chance to work with them and the team they created was an easy reason to drop whatever I was doing and stand on the front line with them. Not to mention, Mr. Zyla and the rest of the team brought additional factors for me coming on board VIP.

VIP: Thanks for taking the time to answer questions, last one: what do you like to do for fun when you’re not working? 

Michael: Oh, this is a great question. When I am not working or scrolling through my phone at innovative technology, you will find me riding my mountain bike or road biking for charity rides. I live on a farm, getting out there to help feed the cattle, fix the fencing, work in the barn, do yard work, and cut hay is a starter. I enjoy working on cars and our house. I love cooking with my better half, Jamie. We love going camping in our camper. I enjoy anything outdoors: hiking, antique shopping, and cooking. I will enjoy Kentucky’s wineries and bourbon trails, sitting on the porch drinking a glass of wine and looking at the farm life. Life is busy; take a moment to slow down and see what is in front of you. That zest for life will inspire your goals for work and life. I love being a dad and learning the new vocabulary of kids these days.  

Thank you for the chance to share about myself. I hope I have given you a little insight about me, and I look forward to what I can bring to the future of VIP!