Interviews

Interview with Sal Alhelo, Founder of EOS Labs

Sal Alhelo, PE, LEED AP (BD+C), the founder of EOS Labs, has nearly 15 years of energy management, engineering, construction, and building operations experience. He has significantly contributed to the design of multi-billion-dollar hotels and casinos in Las Vegas as well as several healthcare facilities in Texas, and also managed facilities programs for a Fortune 500 company for more than six years. As a result, Alhelo is uniquely positioned to provide building facility managers with the valuable financial insights they need to optimize energy usage and increase savings.

As an industry leader and the author of several published articles on the subject of energy management and efficiency maintenance, Alhelo has presented at national energy management conferences including CONNEX-FM, the U.S. Department of Energy Better Building Summit, the Edison Electric Institute, and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).

Alhelo holds a B.Sc. in mechanical and energy sciences, an MBA with a minor in data analytics, and is a registered professional engineer in multiple states. Additionally, he is an accredited professional in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (building, design and construction).

Alhelo currently lives in McKinney, Texas, with his wife Raina and their 3-year-old daughter. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and traveling, and he is currently trying to improve his biking skills.

Where did the idea for EOS Labs come from?

Sal Alhelo: Throughout my career and education, I saw many problems getting solved by leveraging data and science. However, I didn’t see much of that being applied to utility data. Thus, we are missing out on so many benefits and hidden insights in convoluted utility data. So, I decided to solve this problem.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Sal Alhelo: Every day has the following components:
 I wake up early, most days 5 AM. Start with critical emails and newspaper
while enjoying an espresso coffee.
 The rest of my day is spent on internal and external meetings, whether it is
one-on-one meetings, video conference calls, or visit customer sites.

 The peak of my day is when I get to spend the evening with my almost 3
year-old daughter and wife. Sometimes I end the day with a bike ride.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Sal Alhelo: 

1) I dream it till it becomes a clear vision, then
2) I talk about it with trusted partners, teams, and mentors. If it survives the first
two steps, then
3) I build the team around the vision and guide them throughout execution.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Sal Alhelo: I see a growing level of awareness and excitement about sustainability and energy management, especially among the young generations.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Sal Alhelo:

1) I surround myself with people who are smarter than me.
2) I plan my day and week and stay on track every day.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Sal Alhelo: Exposure is key. Try to “expose” myself to as many ideas and experiences as possible. Travel more, meet new and diverse people, attend meetings and events in different domains, etc.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Sal Alhelo: I believe nurturing the spirit and values that pull the business together is as important as anything else we do to run the business itself. They are what keep the vision alive.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Sal Alhelo: Spend quiet time and reflect on your day and important things in your life.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Sal Alhelo: Truly empowering my team, and truly listening to my customers.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Sal Alhelo: Hiring greatly skilled people that didn’t fully embrace our mission. That’s when I learned that skills don’t guarantee an outcome, cultural fit, and embracing the mission is what makes up great teams. We overcome this issue by putting more focus on our values in every decision we make.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Sal Alhelo: I think there is a great need in many industries to convert raw
data to power data. Take any sector and understand the data through the eyes of
its users, then develop solutions to make the data more interactive with the
problem at hand.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Sal Alhelo: Buying a full-year membership to an online book library

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Sal Alhelo: OneNote

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Sal Alhelo: Start With Why, by Simon Sinek. The framework offered by Simon helps to bring so much clarity to your entrepreneurs vision.

What is your favorite quote?

Sal Alhelo: Never regret anything that made you smile.
Mark Twain

Key Learnings:

Sal Alhelo:

  • Focus and value > skill
  • Exposure is key
  • Surround yourself with great and smart people

Connect with Sal Alhelo from EOS Labs on LinkedIn.com.

Originally published on Ideamensch.com

Phillip Malone

Phillip started his career as a freelance journalist who wanted to change the way traditional news reporting work. His venture, Feed Voice, is a move to introduce to the readers a fresh new wave of news reporting. As a learned founder of the news platform, he renders his genius news pieces based on Automobile niche.
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