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 highlighting those VIP employees who exemplify our culture and values. For our next Employee Spotlight, we have Thomas Mickel, Director of Land Management, answer some questions about himself and provide perspective on the importance of project development for renewable projects:

VIP: Thomas, thanks for participating in VIP’s Employee Spotlight! Please tell us about yourself.

Thomas: I am the Director of Land here at Valor. My team and I focus on land acquisition, early-stage development, and other related tasks. I have spent the last 19 years contributing to or leading land acquisition efforts for renewable energy developers as well as oil and gas companies.

VIP: How did you hear about VIP?

Thomas: Our CEO, Mike Weich, let me know he was forming a renewable development company with Ivan Zyla and Daryl Hart and asked me to join the Valor team. Mike and I previously worked together at two different companies in the industry and have developed a solid working relationship. I consider Mike a mentor and a friend.

VIP: How did you get into the renewable industry?

Thomas: I switched from the oil and gas industry to renewables at the beginning of the oil price crash in November 2014. I was interested in exploring similar opportunities without completely putting down my land acquisition toolset. I was fortunate to receive guidance from mentors who steered me to the renewable industry.

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

ThomasI believe the ideal company culture fosters an entrepreneurial spirit and a sense of ownership at all levels of the organization through open communication and collaboration.

VIP: What goals do you have at VIP?

Thomas: I would like to play my part in growing the company into an industry leader while maintaining our culture and values.

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

Thomas: I was excited about the opportunity to help build a company with high-quality individuals. I was confident we could and have since attracted some of the finest talent in the industry. I knew that we had the right leadership in place and would certainly be successful quickly.

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

Thomas: I love to travel and fish, and I often combine the two. At least once a year I take a road trip to Montana and Wyoming to fly fish rivers and mountain streams.