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About

Learn About Direct Power Pros

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Our Journey

Direct Power Pros was formed in 2021 by professionals from within and outside the solar world. We realized a great opportunity to create an environment in which sales professionals are supported and also held to the highest ethical standard. We strive to put the best solar systems together for our clients and ensure the process is smooth from start to finish.

We recognized that the status quo was not ideal for the client. We realized that by being unregulated, for the most part, it leads to discrepancies in pricing and quality of installation. We have sought to shift the paradigm by leading with education, providing a uniform pricing structure, ensuring the customer is protected by guarantees, and by providing the highest quality installations and service.

So how does it work now?

Most of the time, the salesperson doesn’t work for the installation company. As a result, there is no accountability. Salespeople will use the installation company’s contract, absolving them from any liability after the installation. The installation company must install the system as defined in the contract. Unfortunately, what has been promised to the homeowner and what is outlined in the contract are two very different things. As many homeowners fail to understand the intricacies of a solar system, the salesperson has a very easy time manipulating or flat-out lie about the benefits versus the downsides of a solar system, what it will produce, and the financial benefits.

By the time this comes to light, the installer could have fulfilled as many as a hundred deals for this salesperson. The salesperson (or company) will, at this point, usually find a new territory or a new installer and repeat the process. For the homeowner, they have now been paying on a system for months before realizing that they have been misled, over-promised or worse and have very little recourse.

So what can this homeowner do if something isn’t right? NOTHING!

So How Are We Different?

First, we only do installations sold by our team. And we only sell jobs to be installed by our teams. We don’t take sales from other companies and we don’t use subcontractors to install our jobs. We also ensure that each step in the process is handled by a specialist. The system layout is blueprinted by a member of our design team. The financing options are arranged by a member of our finance team. Your Solar Concierge does not have the ability to alter these on their own. Finally, we devote a lot of time and energy to ensuring our installers are qualified, trained and equipped to handle the job. We have to, because we guarantee our work and the accuracy of our quotes. If your system doesn’t produce what we project in our quote, then we increase the size of your system or we pay you cash !

Second, we keep our costs low by doing all of our appointments virtually. This also prohibits anyone on our team from being pushy. Most solar salespeople will only do a presentation in person. This can take 3 hours or more, and they can be very insistent and forceful. We believe that our product, its price, and our guarantees are enough to convince homeowners of going solar. If not, that’s ok too. We don’t want to push anyone into a sale, but when you’re ready, we’ll be here. By virtue of doing all our meetings via Zoom, we are able to capture everything that is said, and thus ensure none of our team members are misleading or selling. It also allows us to keep costs low, which translates into lower prices for our customers. Bottom line: We are not annoying, we keep our promises and we’re more affordable than the competition.

Third, we guarantee our installs are done quickly. You won’t be waiting for months for an install. If so, we pay you cash.

Finally, we provide unique solutions to help our customers and our community. If you can’t utilize the tax credits, we may be able to help with a lower rate. We can also assist with roof replacements and additional energy efficiency upgrades. We work with residential, commercial, agricultural, new construction and specialized projects such as EV chargers, pergolas, carports and renovations. Each of these projects may have specific tax incentives or grants that can be accessed. Our team will help ensure you maximize the assistance available to you[MK7] .

We believe that solar is a great way to save money, save the planet and can play a dynamic role in changing people’s lives. It doesn’t make sense in every instance, but when it does, we will ensure the best product at the best price. We want to make an impact in our community, locally and globally, one system at a time.

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Our Mission

We believe in a core set of principles...

  1. That solar is the wave of the future and with a strong sales team, we can assist in educating the public and providing a platform to create savings for our customers and enhance the adoption of renewable energy.

  2. That trust and integrity are the only things we truly have and control in this world. Once our word is broken, it cannot be undone.

  3. There are many options for going solar, some good and some bad. It is our job to help the customer navigate them and do what is best for them. At times, this may come at the expense of making a sale.

  4. We educate first. You will not be pressured into a sale.

  5. We hire and train only the best installers and the best materials. Our installation teams are held to a standard that is far beyond the industry norm, and they are paid accordingly. We do not cut corners in the installation process and will ensure your project is completed in a timely and professional manner. We will be by your side throughout, our 6 step process.

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Direct Power

solar Pros

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Our Leadership Team

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Juan Sebastian

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Partner & Installations Manager

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Santiago Reyes

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Partner & Electrical Contractor

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Harrison Saunders

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Partner & General Contractor

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Indira Andrade

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VP of Permitting and Interconnections

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Christine Kolenik-Striffler

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Partner & Operations Manager

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Michael Simmons

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Partner & CMO

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Francesca Crimi

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National Sales Manager

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Lacey Haggerty

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Business Development Manager

Matthew T. King

Founder & CEO

Matthew is a native of Charlotte, NC graduating from Providence Day School in 2004. He went to get his BBA in Finance with minors in Accounting and Philosophy from the University of Miami (FL) in 2008. He would work as a financial planner and fractional CFO for 10 years before making the transition to solar. During that time, he was also able to get his MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2013.

He started in solar as a CFO by taking an equity position in a fledgling solar company on the verge of bankruptcy and saddled with 2x the debt to annual revenue. Two years later, he successfully orchestrated the sale of the company to a national solar company. At the new firm, he was moved from Finance to Operations, where he reconstructed the process of training, installation, scheduling, and warehousing. Originally, he cut the number of teams from 6 to 3, keeping only quality installers, who he utilized to build out a new training mechanism. At his departure, 9 months later, there were 22 teams across 3 states and performance metrics were at the best they had ever been and still remain the highest since.

Unfortunately, the larger company and Matthew did not see eye-to-eye on several aspects, such as how they treated customers and employees. He quickly realized that if he was going to be involved in solar, he needed to start a company that did things the right way and thus Direct Power was born in the spring of 2021. He created the company with these words as an essential part of the mission statement:

“We will never sacrifice quality for profit and will always treat customers, employees and anyone involved in our business with kindness and respect.”

He has made it a point to address what he sees as the largest obstacle to families and businesses considering going solar, that as much as 40% of the cost of going solar can be commissions and financing fees. Plainly put, “In our opinion, this is wrong. Customers should receive significant savings when they go solar. If we can’t guarantee that, we won’t do the job.”

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Patrick J. Kolenik

Founder & Chairman

Patrick Kolenik is a consultant for both public and private companies and has sat on the board of directors of several public companies and two private foundations.

He has over 50 years of experience in the securities industry. At Sherwood Securities Corporation, he held the positions of President, Head of Corporate Finance, Head of Retail Operations and Head of Marketing.
After his long stint on Wall Street, Patrick became a founding Partner of the successful hedge fund Laurel Hollow Partners. Patrick has participated in over 200 public and private financings, for companies such as Cymbol Technologies, Orbit Instruments, Lomak Petroleum, Benihana Restaurants, Biotime Inc, Invision and Imatron to name a few.

Currently, Patrick is a consultant for several private and public companies. He has sat on the Board of Directors with such people as Joseph Grano, CEO of Century Holdings; Harvey Pitt who was the former chairman of the SEC; Joe Proto the founder of Transactis and Peter Kellogg the former Chairman of Spear Leads and Kellogg.

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Juan Sebastian

Partner & Installations Manager

Juan was born in Bogota, Colombia S.A. and moved to the United States at the age of 10. He entered the solar industry in 2018 as a roof helper. He later moved into a warehouse position, where he quickly advanced to management and covering distribution and warehousing for 3 states. Eventually, Juan stepped out on his own and created his own solar installation company.

In 2023, he joined Direct Power and brought many talented installers with him. He now manages quality control and installations throughout the Southeast for Direct Power.

Juan’s passion for solar comes from his desire to help the less fortunate by providing a solution to saving money and thereby creating wealth for families. He’s committed to perfecting his craft, driven to learn more every day to better help Direct Power better serve our customers. In a constantly evolving industry, Juan’s dedication to staying at the forefront of innovation and maintaining a quality of work that is far above industry standards is evident by his constant pursuit of learning and transferring his knowledge to the employees he supervises.

Juan is happily married and has a daughter. His dog, Broly, is a “legendary Super Saiyan.” He also used to be pretty good at skateboarding.

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Santiago Reyes

Partner & Electrical Contractor

Santiago was born in Neiva, Colombia S.A. and travelled to the United States at an early age. He has been in the world of commercial electrical contracting since 2015, and is one of the youngest Unlimited Commercial Electrical Contractors in North Carolina. His passion for electrical, construction, energy and engineering work comes from a deep desire to understand the world around him. Since childhood, he was a tinkerer, constantly taking things apart and putting them back together with the desire to understand how and why things operate the way they do. Later, this manifested into his current role where he is tasked with creating, designing, implementing and educating employees, customers and even our management team on all facets of the electrical systems we are installing.

Santiago is passionate about his field and it is evident through his hunger for additional knowledge. His background and character drive him to increase his knowledge, not just for work, but because he feels a thirst for knowledge is “fundamental to humanity.” He is also a wonderful mentor, which makes him an especially valuable member of the team. His ability to teach and share information with others is unmatched and his passion for it shows with his work.

Santiago has lived on 3 continents. He enjoys travelling and experiencing different cultures. He is an avid outdoorsman. He now calls Charlotte, NC home and his family has set roots here. We are thrilled to have him as a part of our team.

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Harrison Saunders

Partner & General Contractor

Harrison is a 3rd generation Saunders to have owned and operated industrial manufacturing or construction development in Charlotte, NC. Finding inspiration from his father, Harrison joined the trades after high school. Over his 15 year tenure in the business he’s developed a plethora of qualifications and licensure including a General Contractors License.

Over the years Harrison has managed solar sales teams, installation teams, and administrative teams making his overall understanding of the solar industry very reliable. Not only is he our solar installation and troubleshooting professional, he’s also developed a thorough understanding of roofing, interior and exterior remodeling, water restoration and even worked as a realtor for a few years.

After 6 years in the solar industry the main concern for Harrison is protecting the reputation of solar services. Providing transparency in estimates and integrity during installations are qualities Harrison has brought to every team he’s been a part of and will continue to do as part of the Direct Power team.

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Indira Andrade

VP of Permitting and Interconnections

Indira was born in Angola and immigrated to the United States at the age of 9. She spoke no English, but was fluent by the time she turned 11. Her passion for learning, helping people and making the world a better place lead her to a career in solar.

Embarking on a solar journey since 2014, she has worn many hats, starting from customer service and cruising into the interconnections realm at a small startup in Charlotte, NC. From there – picture this: East Coast Supervisor for the Interconnections team at Titan Solar Power. Indira was there until 2021. She struck out looking for a company that matched her passion for helping people, values employees and strives to make a difference in our communities.

In 2022, Indira brought her solar mojo to Direct Power, where we’re not just working; we’re infusing a bit of flair into everything we do. She’s passionate about thoroughness, making sure each solar endeavor is nothing short of a masterpiece.

Indira is also lead guitarist in a band, happily married to her husband she met at her first solar job, and loves impacting the world and her community though her current position at Direct Power. Her motto: “Let’s illuminate the world, one panel at a time!”

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Christine Kolenik-Striffler

Partner & Operations Manager

Since graduating from Lehigh University, Christine has had over 20 years of experience as a Manager and Coordinator for various start-up companies in different career fields. Her film and television credits include Co-Executive Producer, Producer, and Head of Development. Christine has had television shows on Discovery’s ACH and Velocity, Amazon and more. Credits highlights include co-executive producer on the critically acclaimed film ‘The Hornet’s Nest’, and ‘Mille Miglia Road Race.’ She also worked at Tenacity Entertainment, where her efforts have led to meaningful tv productions.

In addition to her BA in Social Psychology and Public Relations, Christine completed her Master’s in Criminology – furthering her studies of the human condition and helping her become a better Entrepreneur. She is looking forward to using her Coordination skills to help Direct Power Pros continue to grow.

Michael Simmons

Partner & CMO

Mike Simmons is an original partner of Direct Power; he’s been with the company since shortly after inception in 2021. His role with the company primarily focuses on marketing, operations, and sales. He is based in Charlotte, NC.

Mike graduated from the University of Miami with a bachelor’s degree in both Marketing and Finance and a minor in Advertising.

Mike began his career in consulting and marketing with Kaufman, Rossin & Co., one of the largest accounting firms based in Miami, FL. He spent nearly eight years with the Firm, maintaining a variety of roles primarily focused on marketing, business development, consulting, and public and community relations

Mike is also the CEO of a Business Consulting Firm WIMS, Inc., among other entrepreneurial and investment ventures. Mike has experience providing marketing, CRM, and operations consulting services throughout a variety of industries, including technology, real estate, energy, health care, legal, financial services and accounting, aviation, and non-profits among others.

Mike also is the Co-Founder and COO of EolianVR, Inc., a technology company founded in 2016. Eolian provides technology solutions for the United States Government via contracts with the Department of Defense (DoD), USSOCOM, and the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) related to mixed reality platforms such as ARTAK (Augmented Reality Tactical Assault Kit) and DaVID (Data Aggregation and Visualization for Intelligent Decisioning).

ARTAK is a secure and real-time multi-user platform designed to enable mission planning, command & control, situational awareness, remote brief/advise/assist capabilities on top of 3D maps or digital twins. The company also has a subsidiary called ARRE (Augmented Reality Real Estate) focused on the real estate industry. These platforms are built on top of the patented Eolian Simulation Platform (US: 11297164B2).

Due to Mike’s experience across a vast array of technologies and startups, his insights and strategic planning have been essential to the rapid success of Direct Power. Mike is a loving husband, and father to 3 boys.

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Francesca Crimi

National Sales Manager

As the National Sales Manager at Direct Power, Fran brings a dynamic blend of education, global experiences, and a proven track record in the solar industry. Her journey began at Bloomsburg University, where she pursued a diverse academic path, majoring in Mandarin Chinese and Art History with a minor in Law. Embracing the opportunity to expand her horizons, she studied abroad in China and Taiwan, fostering a deep appreciation for cultural diversity and global perspectives. She not only immersed herself in the intricacies of language and art and law, but also served as the President of the Chinese Club. This experience ignited her passion for fostering connections and understanding across diverse communities.

With over three years of experience in the solar industry, she has traversed various roles, from canvasser to closer to manager and now as the National Sales Manager at Direct Power. Her journey of training and selling across the country has equipped her with a comprehensive understanding of the solar landscape and a commitment to promoting sustainable energy solutions. Additionally, she holds her real estate license in North Carolina, which further provides benefits for homeowners going solar with a reputable real estate agent.

Outside of her professional pursuits, she is a dedicated volunteer at Big Brothers Big Sisters, serving as a Big Sister. Her commitment to the community extends globally, having volunteered in India and with aspirations to leverage our company’s resources for nonprofit work in developing countries, focusing on installing solar solutions.

She is passionate about selling solar and believes in the transformative impact it can have on individuals and the environment. Her enthusiasm extends beyond sales to a commitment to training others who share our values. She brings a dedication to finding like-minded individuals who are honest and possess the integrity necessary to thrive in our industry.

Having traveled to over 15 countries, she has gained a global perspective that fuels her desire to contribute to positive change.

  • “My vision for Direct Power aligns seamlessly with our mission, and I am particularly proud to be part of a company founded by Matt King, a leader whose honesty, knowledge, and authenticity have set the standard in the industry.
  • Looking ahead, I am excited about the prospect of leveraging our company’s resources to contribute to nonprofit initiatives in developing countries. By promoting solar solutions, we can make a tangible difference in improving lives and advancing sustainable practices.
  • I am proud to be a driving force behind Direct Power’s mission, contributing to a cleaner, more sustainable future while fostering a culture of honesty, integrity, and innovation under the leadership of our esteemed CEO, Matt King.”
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Lacey Haggerty

Business Development Manager

Lacey started with Direct Power in sales under the tutelage of Francesca. She quickly gained perspective on the industry and the needs of both customers and the business. She brought unique ideas and concepts that were adopted to better reach customers and address their needs. She was transitioned to business development shortly after where her talents could be better utilized in reaching affiliates, customers and business partners.

Lacey worked in hospitality for over 10 years, which allowed her a focus on customer satisfaction and an understanding of a specific target market of Direct Power, hotels. Her experience in defining the relationship between both the company and the customer has lead her to ensuring a better experience for the customer. She is also essential in recruiting and marketing.

Lacey is a wonderful mother and in her free time, enjoys traveling, exercise and hiking.

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