October 18, 2022

Get to know David Bailey, Chief Revenue Officer, Correlate

At Correlate, our team is our biggest asset and we’re proud to have an incredible group of individuals who bring a wide range of backgrounds and expertise to the table. We recently sat down with Chief Revenue Officer David Bailey to get to know him better, learn what brought him to Correlate and what he’s most excited for as he looks ahead. 

Have you always been in the clean tech space? What led you to it?

After earning my bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Kentucky (go Wildcats), I started my career in sales with General Electric (GE) where their technical sales leadership program set me on my current path to selling energy efficient products.  

My choice to go down the technical sales path, where I got in with my first client selling energy efficient products like LED lighting, was admittedly initially a self-serving one (as most career decisions are). While selling to accounts, I quickly realized that the way to maximize effectiveness was to sell these products as a turnkey installation service. By adding efficiency projects, versus one-off products, it would maximize the potential for both me and my client in a mutually beneficial way.

Eventually, I was recruited by Wesco, which, to this day, has the largest electrical and datacom global accounts network in North America. This was a big step in the right direction for me in learning about strategic account management, and scaling my efficiency projects into portfolio-wide programs.

One of the biggest problems building owners face is seemingly insurmountable deferred maintenance. They get to a spot where they simply cannot afford to allocate their precious annual budget dollars to update aging (but still operational) equipment in their building. To compound this issue, new energy efficient equipment typically benefits tenants, not owners. I’ve always wanted to address this specific problem. 

How long have you been with Correlate? How did you end up there, and what is your role specifically? 

I first met Todd (Michaels) while I was still working at Wesco in 2018. At the time, Wesco was an $8 billion company with myriad business units and different service programs, many of which were siloed. This led me to building and launching a program called Transformation Services, that was dedicated to working on the service programs big corporations wanted to work on, versus us trying to sell them something specific. When I would find areas that Wesco couldn’t fulfill for clients, I would reach out to external partners and bring them into the program to see if they could fill in the gaps. That’s how I met Todd.

Todd had founded Correlate, which at that time was essentially an energy back office for building and portfolio owners. To me, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to integrate Wesco's offerings and clients with those of Correlate. Around the same time, I met Jason Loyet (now Correlate's Director of Corporate Business Development), who founded Solar Site Design. I brought him into the mix to help with solar development and with Jason and Todd's support I had a killer energy and solar team for any Wesco clients who needed those services.

After working on several programs together, Todd decided to expand Correlate under a new framework and I joined as their Chief Revenue Officer.

We like to build dynamic programs for our clients that deliver net operating income, which transforms their ESG program into a profit center for their portfolio. My role is to not only figure out a way to secure revenue for our clients, but to build long term relationships with them. 

If there is one thing I’ve learned in my career, it’s that you can work just as hard locking in a one-off project as you might securing a portfolio deal. If the level of effort is equal, why not pursue portfolio scale deals? And the same is true for the customer: if it takes similar effort to upgrade a building as it does their entire portfolio, why not go all in? If we can put a customer and their portfolio on a path where we have a line of sight for the next three to five years, then we can start thinking about turning this into an even longer relationship.

What’s your favorite part about working at Correlate? 

This has been a long time coming. As individuals, and collectively, we’ve seen the challenges large companies face while trying to meet their ESG goals. We’ve gone through the trials and tribulations ourselves so they don’t have to anymore. Our firsthand experience has allowed us to create a streamlined path for building owners and businesses that allows them to opt in and let us do the rest.  

It feels good. It’s cool to be in a spot where we’re no longer fighting the complexity of our market; we’re embracing it. We’re shouldering the burden for these owners. The single biggest reason building and portfolio owners choose to do nothing on the ESG front is because there are so many things they could do. When you're faced with so many options it can feel impossible to determine what you should actually focus on, and that leads to indecision.

Nearly 90% of commercial properties are woefully behind from an efficiency standpoint and virtually none of them have renewable energy on site today. To me, this is the basis of our motivation. We have developed solutions that support owners of portfolios operating in both triple net and gross lease structures.

We’ve made it so ESG and profitability are no longer at odds. And that’s what I love about working here.

What’s your team like? What’s the culture like?

For starters, we’re done with excuses. We already know why companies think they can’t implement ESG. With that said, we hold ourselves to the same standard. If we're asking companies to do things, we need to make sure we’re getting them done, too. We understand that portfolio owners are going to be pushed to make a change when it comes to ESG, whether they like it or not. So, we’re forthright about what needs to happen and are ultimately our customers’ biggest advocates. 

Despite the fact we work remotely, we hold ourselves and each other accountable to move through work effectively and efficiently. We’re good at setting intentions and managing any conflicts in a way that allows us to learn from mistakes, pivot when necessary, and try to do better the next time. 

People who join this team appreciate the culture because they see that we don’t just talk about doing things – we actually do them. The best part is, we have the structure and sophistication of a big company but we’ve been able to set aside the bureaucratic nonsense that hinders growth. We want to hire people who will feel ownership for their work, and for the success of the company.

If you could tell your customers and potential customers one thing only, what would it be?

Don’t worry about the projects. Focus on the NOI. Put your building (or portfolio) on the proverbial conveyor belt, and let us do the rest. 

What are you most excited about – personally, and professionally?

It’s hard to pick just one thing to be excited about. 

At Correlate, the fact that we can really, genuinely build a strategic accounts program the right way, from the onset, without making sacrifices or compromising our values, is really exciting for me. We can work with companies that share our goals and visions for the future. To be able to architect and launch programs that get property owners to convert to clean energy is a very cool spot to be in.

Overall, it’s been really rewarding to apply all of my experience up to this point to landing strategic accounts and feeling like everything is coming to fruition. The idea of being able to do this work that’s so important to me, my family, and the world, for years to come, is a really good feeling.

Where do you look for inspiration? What do you like to do outside of work?

My wife and two little boys are my driving force behind why I do this work. 

We love doing every sport imaginable together, whether it’s soccer, swimming, basketball, frisbee, you name it. As long as we’re doing something outside, we’re happy. I also enjoy my quality time walking our dog every morning. When I’m not hanging with my family, you will most certainly find me on the golf course.

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