Chris Boggiano – Co-Founder of Everblue Training Institute

Chris Boggiano is the director of curriculum development and a senior level instructor at Everblue Training Institute, the largest green training provider in the United States. He graduated the United States Military Academy from West Point with a BS in General Engineering. Chris is a certified Home Energy Rater (HERS), BPI Building Analyst, BPI Envelope Professional, BPI Multifamily Building Analyst, LEED Green Associate, LEED Accredited Professional for Homes and LEED AP for New Construction. He is also currently a course reviewer for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Education Provider Program. Before joining Everblue Energy, Chris served as an officer in the United States Army with deployments in Korea, Germany, Kosovo and Iraq, where he was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor for his actions during combat.

What are you working on right now?

My organization, Everblue Training Institute, conducts green jobs training on topics such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainability and green building.  Right now I’m creating new courses with my curriculum development team.  We’re rolling out several new programs over the next few months so there are a lot of moving pieces to coordinate to make sure everything goes smoothly for our students.

Where did the idea for Everblue Training Institute come from?

When my brother and I were deployed to Iraq we realized that America has a broken energy policy, so we wanted to do something to help fix the problem when we left active duty.  Coming from the military and with engineering backgrounds, we realized we could have the largest impact by training people about energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability.

What does your typical day look like?

I don’t have a typical day.  Some days I’m traveling to meet customers and assess their needs.  Other days I’m training new instructors that we’ve hired.  When I’m not traveling, I’m in our office working with all of our wonderful employees figuring out what we need to do to deliver the best quality classes possible.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I like coming up with analogies that translate a complex concept into something everyone can understand.  I try to do this all of the time because no one buys into an idea until they understand it.

3 trends that excite you?

  1. Sustainability used to be something that stood out and now it’s becoming part of everyday life.
  2. The development of a smart electric grid is going to change the way we live our lives as much as the Internet has over the past 20 years.
  3. The military’s adoption of sustainable practices because of the importance of energy security to national security.

What is the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

When I was in Iraq we did a raid on an insurgent’s home in the wee hours of Christmas morning.  When I came outside, my armored truck had sunk into the muddy street full of raw sewage because it was so heavy and we had to dig it out.  My big takeaway from that experience was that next time I’m driving a heavy truck, I shouldn’t park it in the middle of a sewage filled cesspool.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I’d take more risks sooner.

What is the one thing you did/do as an entrepreneur that you would do over and over again and recommend everybody else do?

Most people who aren’t good at a particular skill set avoid confronting that weakness.  When I identify those weaknesses, I like to confront them head on and learn something new in the process.

Tell us a secret…

The world is getting warmer.  It really is.

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

Anything in the energy efficiency and renewable energy realm.  Those markets are among the fastest growing in the world right now.

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

I’m a fan of Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat.

If you weren’t working on green jobs training, what would you be doing?

Working on finding my next idea.  I don’t think I’ll ever stop working just because I like staying busy doing things that are meaningful to me.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why.

Everblue, the US Green Building Council, and the Building Performance Institute.  All 3 are leaders in sustainability and energy efficiency training.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

This morning from the noises coming from my 6 week old daughter.

Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?

Richard Muller.  He recently did a peer review of global warming research to date.  He went into the review as a global warming skeptic yet still concluded “Global Warming Is Real.”  He was also funded by global warming skeptics so the conclusion is unambiguous and compelling.

What is the best part about owning a company?

All of the wonderful employees, instructors and students that I get to interact with on a day to day basis.  It is amazing how many people believe in improving U.S. energy security as a means of supporting our troops overseas.

What is your favorite color?

Blue.  Most of the planet is that way.