In a company in which four of the six partners are family members—parents and two daughters—you might expect some good old-fashioned squabbles now and then. Not so with the Scholl family at R3 Energy, a 15-person Tarrytown-based energy consulting firm assisting businesses with cost-effective energy solutions and management of energy uses. “We generally don’t intercept into one another’s niches,” says Jennifer Williams, partner/director of marketing. “It all works,” says sister Tanya Scholl (not shown), partner/director of sales.
Considering the strong family relationships at R3, it’s no surprise that adeptness in establishing and maintaining strong client relationships is an important part of what each sister does. For Williams, who has a background in finance working at Barclays, and is responsible for branding, research, and internal communications, this means writing presentations, developing strategic partnerships, and making sure all staffers are able to interact effectively with clients—engineers, for example, are expected to stand up and talk to a room full of developers. “It takes a special person to wear many hats,” she says. “Internally, I make sure we’re accountable and effective.”
And for Scholl, who has background in sales at Morgan Stanley and recently relocated to London to spearhead the opening of R3’s UK branch, being sales director means knowing your sales market and knowing people’s personalities. Her mother taught her that a businessperson has to know a client not in a superficial way, but in a real way.
Typical R3 clients are businesses with a large campus (e.g. hospitals, universities), many of which have been with the firm five years or more. Larger clients include the The Macquesten Companies and the Hebrew Home in Riverdale. A portion of R3’s work in New York City is related to PlaNYC, an effort by the City to confirm buildings are tackling energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, something that’s helped revenues grow 20 percent between 2010 and 2012. And with further expansion into different markets, revenues are currently on pace to exceed 2013 budgeted projections.
The proudest moment for Tanya as a partner has been R3’s work in LEED. “I feel sustainability needs to be focused on, especially with climate change,” she says. “We’ve seen significant energy savings and carbon emissions reductions through our LEED projects; four completed, two in process, one due to start in 2014. We are aiming to take the initiative global by focusing on buildings in London.”