Randy Zechman: Solar Energized
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter
SAN JOSE — A self-described “serial entrepreneur,” Randy Zechman knows a good business opportunity when he sees it, so as soon as he looked into the solar energy industry, he knew he needed to get involved. “Clean Solar, Inc. is the third business I’ve started—I previously owned a publishing company and a catering business,” he says. “When I started looking at solar a decade ago, I saw a lot of opportunity. There was a lot of room for growth, and the industry was inundated with contractors that were good at installation but struggled with aspects like marketing and customer relations. I decided to found a solar company that could excel at all these aspects and raise the bar for the industry. Eight years later, that’s exactly what Clean Solar has done.”
Today, Randy expresses an enjoyment for numerous aspects of his career. “I like talking to our clients, as well as training our employees and watching them develop from rookies into solid, contributing members of the team,” he says. “I also enjoy the sales process behind solar. Compared to most products, it’s a pretty easy sell. The truth is, if your monthly electric bill is more than $125 and you get sun on your roof, you’re going to benefit from the investment.”
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Randy migrated to the Bay Area 16 years ago, where he now resides with his wife, Alisa, and their children, Maya and Shae. “I’m a big believer in the idea that you have to find a place and people you feel at home around,” he says. “As an energetic, active-minded guy, the pace and mentality of the Midwest never really suited me, but when I came to California, I immediately felt like I was in my element.”
Outside of work, Randy engages in a variety of active pastimes. “I’m the kind of guy who’ll climb the tallest mountain one day and swim the deepest sea the next,” he laughs. “I really like physical activities like hiking, scuba diving, basketball and competing in triathlons. However, I also like to exercise my mind with activities like yoga and meditation.” Additionally, Randy says he enjoys taking his family on outdoor excursions. “I like my girls to get outdoors, explore and get a little dirty, which is something I don’t think kids do enough of these days. We do a camping trip every year, but even if we’re just driving and I happen to see a good climbing tree, I’ll pull over so we can climb it!”
In his life and career, Randy espouses the importance of seizing the day. “I really take the phrase ‘carpe diem’ to heart,” he says. “I think a lot of people sleepwalk through life, so I try to be extra intentional and make the most of every moment and opportunity. Like I said earlier, when I see a climbable tree, I pull over and climb it instead of saying, ‘Let’s remember that tree,’ only to forget about it a month later.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Randy says he’d take his family on an international expedition. “I would get a one-way plane ticket and travel the world with my wife and kids. Just kind of take that ‘carpe diem’ idea to the next level.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: Do you have a favorite sports team?
A: I’m from Cleveland, so I’m a fan of the Browns, Cavaliers and Indians.
Q: Did you play any sports in high school?
A: I played golf, basketball and baseball.
Q: What’s your favorite TV show?
A: My favorite show of all time is “Lost,” but my current favorite is “True Detective.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: The Galápagos Islands.
Q: If you had a theme song, what would it be?
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A: “Lose Yourself” by Eminem.