Anthony Shaw Featured in Texas CEO Magazine: Starting a Business Does Not Make You a CEO

I have always struggled with entrepreneurs who announce unsupported greatness with platitudes of confirmation bias and naïve arrogance. “I am CEO of (insert company).” “When we capture just .000001 percent of the market share, we will all be quadzillionaires.” “Just ask my friend Joe. He agrees that everyone wants my product/service.” Like many entrepreneurs, I have started a handful of companies, and it’s easy to get over-excited, but in my experience, the typical startup has a half-cracked idea, no proof of concept, and is devoid of any near-term customers. No, your friends and family do not count, and that’s okay! As the saying goes, you only have to be right once.

When I started Progeneration Energy, I was determined to earn each and every professional title as I grew. My first position with Progeneration was as a “project professional.” Since day one, I have set milestones to account for every one of my title changes. Goals such as sales, profitability, and growth of my team members have ensured that my focus remains on the task of growing Progeneration Energy rather than on my title.

When trying to get a new company off the ground, the initial excitement can overshadow the cold truth that entrepreneurship is messy, vague, and—depending on your perception—extremely high-risk. You end up feeling like you have to have all the answers because you are the CEO of this new company, but it’s OK if you don’t. By focusing on the task at hand, and not on creating the perception that you are King of the Mountain, a new entrepreneur can create professional and emotional wiggle room.

In fact, I was once almost thrown out of a boardroom during a pitch because I “didn’t know my numbers,” even though I had graduated from an extremely prestigious MBA program. There was a lot of one-sided yelling. At the time, I was just a wide-eyed recent MBA graduate, trying to understand basic theoretical but crucial concepts like “project cash flow strategy” and “capital deployment time horizon,” but I hadn’t learned them as they relate to the real-world execution of business. It did not help that I was pitching a good friend who has extreme entrepreneurship success. It was a lesson needed. I was not a president, CEO, or King of the Mountain then, and despite some of my success, I am not so sure I am now.

Since then, my company and I have grown significantly. For the past eight years, I have been told it is time for me to change my title, and people are often shocked when I tell them that yes, I founded the company, but no, we do not have a CEO. Once I explain my reasoning, people typically react with an intrigued understanding. It’s not a common approach. People are used to seeing a founder with the title of CEO/president/founder, but I think it’s overall a positive thing to see an entrepreneur put aside their ego and commit to growing with their company.

Additionally, it is essential to remember that success can be as simple as survival—and survival has nothing to do with your title. I once asked an extremely qualified applicant why he didn’t start his own business. His answer: payroll. Surviving is being able to take care of your employees, make payroll, and pay your bills. The grit and perseverance it takes to make those three things happen make your work mean something. It can be easy for an entrepreneur to fail and simply file for bankruptcy to avoid paying back investors, but you should commit to refusing to fail because your investors took a chance on you, and you owe it to them to prove them right. Being able to serve others, make a difference in the world, and pay back those who invested time and resources into your venture means something, and that is good enough for me.

While I am unsure whether my most recent title change—to President of Progeneration Energy—is deserved, I am thankful for all my investors, customers, colleagues, and support system. I continue to be committed to the relentless task of “earning it.”


Welcome to the Progeneration Energy Blog! For all of you who took some time over the holiday season I hope you are well, rested and enjoying getting back into the groove of the new year!

A bit about us- We are here to help our clients make money. A bit about you, as a future client- You are spending too much on energy.

With the formalities out of the way what you can expect from this blog, is an inside track to energy management systems- renewables, solar, building management and maintenance, lighting as well as what an Energy Management System actually is and how it makes great business sense.

The writers of this blog are myself, Erika, my partners Anthony and Saurabh and a couple of our key team members. Collectively we have over $60 million in project management experience and have saved companies over $120 million in process improvements and have worked on energy projects of all sizes; we know how to run your projects effectively, and with two MBAs we know how to help you make money.

Posts will be varied and several times a week. Next week we will talk about what an energy management system is, and a little bit about effective lighting.

Please join the conversation, through the comments at the bottom of the page, or by emailing your questions or comments to If you want to talk about something, we want to hear about it!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Erika Elkington
Progeneration Energy

Anthony Shaw to Speak at Duke University

Progeneration founder, Anthony Shaw has been asked to speak at a power luncheon held by Duke University on Monday, April 3 from 11:30am to 1:00pm. For more information on seat availability, contact Bryan Koen at or click the following link: Anthony is very excited for the opportunity to help develop the minds of current students and faculty.

Anthony Shaw, a Duke alum and the Director of Business Development for Progeneration Energy, will discuss his work, with conversation to follow. Lunch will be provided; registration is required.

August Ties July for Hottest Month on Record

It just keeps getting hotter.

August has tied July for the distinction of being the hottest month since record-keeping began in 1880, NASA said in a news release on Monday.

And there’s a good chance 2016 will become the third year in a row of record heat.

An increase in greenhouse gas emissions and El Niño, a weather pattern that warms parts of the Pacific Ocean, has contributed to temperature increases in 2016, scientists said earlier this year.

“But we’ve had El Niños before, they haven’t given us the record-warm temperatures like this,” said Gavin Schmidt, the director for NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

The records being set continue to stack up.

  • August and July are now the hottest months on record.
  • Every month since October 2015 has set a new monthly high-temperature record.
  • The first six months of this year beat 2015 for the hottest half-year ever recorded.
  • Both 2014 and 2015 set new heat records, and 2016 is on pace to continue the trend.

Mr. Schmidt cautioned against putting too much significance on monthly rankings and emphasized that the long-term warming trend is more significant.

“This year really does stand out in comparison with all the other years,” Mr. Schmidt said.

The streak of record highs could end — for a while at least — if a weather pattern known as La Niña, in which sea surface temperatures fall below normal, takes hold soon, but Mr. Schmidt said it’s not clear that will materialize.

And even if it does, it is not likely to prevent 2016 from becoming the hottest year on record.

July 2016 Was The Hottest Month Ever Recorded

If July felt horrendously hot, that’s because it was.

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ― two leading global authorities on climate ― both say July 2016 was not only the hottest July on record, but the most sizzling month in the history of record-keeping.

NOAA on Wednesday said July’s global average temperature was 62.01 degrees, 1.57 degrees above the 20th-century average. NASA, which uses a slightly different methodology, said Monday the average global temperature in July was 1.51 degrees above average. Both agencies pegged July as the hottest month since monitoring began in 1880.

The record continues a global hot streak that scientists have linked to global warming, with average temperatures continuing to climb as extreme weather events occur more frequently. The July data underscores the fact that man’s role in climate change is “no longer subtle,” said Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University.

“We are seeing them play out in the daily headlines, and this is yet the latest example,” Mann told HuffPost in an email.

July’s high topples the previous record set in July 2015. The month of July, when the seasonal temperature cycle peaks in the Northern Hemisphere, usually sees the highest global temperatures, according to NASA.

NOAA said last month marks the 15th month in a row in which global heat records have been broken. That continues the longest streak of record-breaking temperatures since reporting began.

NASA, which analyzes weather data from from 6,300 locations around the world, considers July 2016 to be the 10th consecutive record-setting month.

By either tally, the trend is disturbing and has no end in sight.

With global temperatures between 1.62 degrees and 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit above historic averages, 2015 easily topped 2014 as the Earth’s hottest year in recorded history.

An international climate report described as Earth’s “annual physical” this month found that a devastating dose of long-term climate change combined with a strong El Niño in 2015 left seemingly every other major climate record on the books shattered.

Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in a statement that it “appears almost a certainty” that 2016 will go down as the warmest year on record.

Given that and the fact that July is usually the hottest month of the year, this record isn’t too surprising, Kevin Trenberth, a distinguished senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said in an email to HuffPost.

Perhaps most concerning, Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb told The Associated Press, is that “global temperatures continue to warm even as a record-breaking El Nino event has finally released its grip.”

El Niño, a phenomenon highlighted by warmer-than-usual sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, is capable of changing weather around the globe. Last year’s was “one of the strongest El Niño events the globe has experienced since at least 1950,” according to a NOAA-led report.

In 2015, Earth experienced declining global ice and snow cover, harmful effects on Arctic animal and fish species, widespread coral bleaching and extreme weather events, including a record-breaking cyclone season, flooding, severe droughts and fires.

Rather predictably, 2016 is off to a hellish start with extreme weather events, including wildfires in California and disastrous flooding in West Virginia, Texas and ― the latest ― Louisiana.

“[A] key message is all of the other events associated with this around the world, including especially the Louisiana floods,” Trenberth said.

Flooding that powerful is an example of how a hotter atmosphere turns ordinary weather events into more extreme ones, he explained.

“For every 1 degree Fahrenheit increase in temperature, the atmosphere can hold about 4 percent more moisture,” creating more intense storms and flooding, he told HuffPost previously.

“[T]his jump, and this record are both scary reminders how climate change can speed up and really catch society off guard,” Jonathan T. Overpeck, the co-director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona, told HuffPost. “Unusually bad flooding, likely made worse by a warmer atmosphere is in the news, but don’t forget that droughts are also being made worse by the warming, as is the risk of the biggest severe wildfires.”

Arizona suffered through both record-breaking heat in June and deadly flooding last fall.

Despite overwhelming scientific evidence, some politicians ― including Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) ― continue to scoff at man’s role in climate change.

This week, Australian senator-elect Malcolm Roberts, a member of the country’s One Nation party, took climate change denial to an extreme, claiming NASA is manipulating data to create an illusion of global warming. Unsurprisingly, he has been blasted on social media.

In response to Roberts’ claim, NASA spokeswoman Karen Northon told The Huffington Post that the science is “crystal clear.”

“NASA’s global temperature analysis uses three independent data sources provided by other agencies. Quality control checks are regularly performed on that data,” Northon wrote in an email. “NASA is confident in the quality of this data and stands by previous scientifically-based conclusions regarding global temperatures.”

Penn State’s Mann said Roberts’ comments show “we’ve truly reached the bottom of the barrel of climate change denial when we have elected representatives attacking NASA, the scientific institution that put us on the moon and engineered the modern space program.”

“We’ve reached a whole new level of conspiratorial thinking,” Mann added, “a brave new world of epistemic closure where the more authoritative the confirmation of our scientific understanding, the deeper and wider the conspiracy simply must extend.”

This record only further disproves the idea that a “global warming hiatus” proves climate change is a hoax, NOAA public affairs officer Theo Stein tweeted Wednesday morning.

But confronting the industries responsible for the rise of CO2 remains tied up in U.S. politics.

“This is not a drill,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) wrote to HuffPost. “This latest record is a measurement ― not a theory ― and it shows the real-time effects of our carbon pollution on the climate. One wonders how many headlines like this it will take for Republicans to decide addressing climate change is more important than abetting the fossil fuel industry.”

Whitehouse has long urged the U.S. to take stronger action on climate change, often going up against climate deniers such as Inhofe.

“July was the hottest month ever recorded,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted. “When do Republicans stop putting fossil fuel profits over people’s health?”

Bill McKibben, an environmentalist and co-founder of, told HuffPost the changes we’re living through right now are ones geologists will someday look back on in awe.

“Awe that we were here to see it happening and didn’t lift a finger to stop it,” McKibben said.

Progeneration Energy and NSL Aerospace Team Up to Reduce Inputs and Maximize Outputs

This press release targets rural manufacturing systems, in an effort to reach out and assist in grant applications as well as assistance with EAP and other government programs.

Progeneration Energy has announced a way maximize savings in energy and operating costs for rural manufacturing companies.

NSL Aerospace sought out a solar energy system

installation with a payback period of less than the 9 year local average. The facility’s energy use would normally warrant a 145kW solar system; however, the facility roof capacity, and local code regulations limited Progeneration to a 123kW system; however, Progeneration was able to find a solution.

Using cutting edge solar energy technology, Progeneration’s design team created a 123kW system with an efficiency of 86%, which is far above the industry average of 80%, while still providing the same production as a 145kW system. This success in technology has allowed them to offer a variety of services to their partners and clients.

Progeneration Energy is an expert at working with the USDA, and their Rural Energy for America Program, to provide qualified customers with a solution to financing needs at little to no cost. Along with reducing the size and cost of the NSL Aerospace project, Progeneration was able to work with federal and local programs to generate grants of over $97,000. This created system savings of over $185,000 when combined with the Investment Tax Credit! The result was a 5.5 year payback, and a very happy Progeneration Energy Partner.

Progeneration prides themselves in having a 100% record of acceptance for funding! They are experts in the government grant, and financing application processes. If your facility is in need of energy solutions, Progeneration makes it so you don’t have to stretch your budget in order to make it happen. Whether you are a school, rural business, or small business, Progeneration has the financing tools for you.

For more information on how Progeneration can help your company, email

Energy management package a huge win for Legends Sports Complex

Legends Sports Complex has engaged Progeneration Energy to provide a custom energy package that will combine to save and generate enough energy to replace the power of over 93 homes. This unique approach to business energy management will not only save money, it will also provide a safer environment for Legend’s customers.

Over the next several months, the pair will partner to provide state of the art lightning that will replace old fluorescent fixtures and double the lighting levels on playing surfaces. In addition, the energy package includes a combination of energy efficient solutions that not only benefit the company financially but will also make a safer, cleaner environment for Legends’ members, neighbors, and community. Expect to be updated with the completion of this project and the opportunities for the community to come and share in this unprecedented partnership.

About Legends Sports Complex: Legends Sports Complex, located in The Woodlands, TX, is a 100,000 sq ft indoor-outdoor sports, fitness, and events complex that provides a venue for athletes to compete and train in Houston. Known as a meeting and entertainment destination, Legends venues are used for corporate team building, company picnics, tournaments, parties, celebrations, and trade shows. With an emphasis on children, Legends offers children a safe place to explore, learn new skills, and become passionate about sports.

About Progeneration Energy: Progeneration Energy is the largest privately owned provider of energy management services in the southeast United States. Headquartered in Houston Texas, Progeneration currently serves clients in Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, and the Cayman Islands. By providing energy solutions through consulting, design, financing, and energy conservation programs, Progeneration has helped their clients achieve over $61M in combined utility savings and revenue generation and over $280M process improvement savings.

Progeneration seeks to collaborate with the top sporting facilities, churches, manufacturing facilities, and other event hosting arenas in need of energy efficient solutions in the Houston area. If you are looking for a company that provides facility maintenance, lower monthly electric bills, consistent energy expenses, and eliminates your need for maintenance on your commercial energy appliances, then Progeneration Energy is the company you have been searching for. Visit us on our website, Progeneration or like us on Facebook! Contact us at

High Energy at the High Performance Buildings Expo

What a Success!

Progeneration Energy attended the High Performance Buildings expo on June 2nd and 3rd. What a great event! Attended by facility managers and owners from across the country. There were great sessions to attend and we hope you were able to catch a number of tips, tricks and ideas from these knowledgeable speakers. In between sessions the expo floor was packed. We hope you were able make it out.

Facility managers were having some great success at the Progeneration Energy booth putting green, sinking putts and winning facility feasibility studies! We are working with many of these clients now, helping them to develop an energy strategy that enhances their current operations.

Saving on Energy Doesn’t Mean Compromise.

Energy usage is a big topic, and one filled with promises of reduction in your spending and reducing your carbon footprint… all at the cost of your comfort. You don’t want to work in a half-lit room, straining to read the contract on your desk, headache mounting. And while the undershirt-T-shirt-long sleeve-sweater-parka approach to getting dressed in the morning can leave you with your own method of temperature control, layering does have its limitations.

Your comfort and your workplace should be enhanced by working with your energy service company, not compromised. Better lighting designs improve productivity and comfort, reducing strain from light levels that are too high or low while saving energy. Advanced energy solutions reduce your maintenance fees throughout your building by reducing strain on equipment and A/C units and by incorporating elements of the system with lifetimes exceeding two decades!

We provide Energy Solutions that save you money, save you time and might even outlast your tenure. What if this was the last time you had to replace those lights, or search out the best energy plan for renewal? What might you have time for?