M. Ryan Manchee is a 26-year-old Algonquin College grad who has found himself enamored with the world of renewable energy, currently positioned in the OSEA as the Business Development Manager. Finding ways to make sustainable energy profitable and appealing to the private sector is a large part of his day-to-day, but he faces the challenge with never-ending enthusiasm and passion. Find out more about this YP in today's feature.
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I reverse engineer renewable energy economies by establishing integrated policy and procurement mechanisms that create hospitable environments for private sector investment into clean energy technologies. More specifically, I identify strategic market opportunities and work with industry stakeholders to develop models that meet their need to make a coin, and my need to help communities develop locally-owned renewable energy generation facilities.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
When I first became engaged with OSEA (Ontario Sustainable Energy Association) it was with an interest in volunteer work. My intention was to get some good volunteer experience to put on scholarship applications. Three days later I was the first Membership Manager.
Although I had already solidified my interest in renewable energy, it was quickly reinforced and became my passion. As it turns out, energy is the genesis of all of the material and immaterial things we have come to love in our lives. But this essential system is fraught with hidden consequences thanks in large part to the highly toxic and hazardous fuel sources we use to produce our energy.
I quickly learned that being the primary input into all of our economic output, the energy system could be reshaped to not only be delivered more efficiently, but to stimulate our economy in a way that didn’t previously exist. Local ownership of small scale renewable energy generation has a few immediate effects: 1) Energy generated at point of consumption means less transmission lines and less net loss of energy; 2) Energy dollars flow into local economies instead of out; and 3) We can all invest so wealth becomes redistributed in a truly democratic fashion!
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part about what I do is getting to work across the entire spectrum of value chain in a well regulated industry. I get to work with some of the most innovative technologies and companies that currently exist. I also work with the people and elected officials that are making local renewable energy economies a reality.
The most challenging part comes in two very frustrating forms. The first is the way the political process interferes with good economic policy. Because energy is entirely essential and massively misunderstood, it is a way of reaching everyone as a means of garnering votes. The second comes in the form of the complexity of the system and just how disengaged society is from it. Communicating the process and means to anyone outside of the industry is normally met with little or no concern. These are, however, both external forces and it’s a waste of time, and energy, being upset about something you have no control over.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I’d like to be exporting the lessons we will have learned and the industries we will have created in Ontario. The world needs to transition to low carbon means of goods production and materials extraction. I want to help developing nations skip the volatility of fossil fuel-based markets and slide smoothly into stable and democratic renewable energy-based economies, at the local and national scales.
What does success look like to you?
Success takes on a few forms for me. Selfishly looking inwards, it comes in the form of providing for my family and ensuring that my children will get to experience greater joys than I have. Existentially, it comes in the form of sustained prosperity and abundance for the generations that have yet to join us.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Considering I’m less than three years in my current post, the best has yet to come. However, nearly quadrupling revenue year over year has been interesting. Implementing organizational infrastructure I have found to be stimulating. Perhaps the most memorable has come in the form the steady growth of my professional network. The age old verbiage “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is partially accurate. Who knows you is almost certainly more important.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Get civically engaged and encourage your peers to do the same. The world isn’t going to change itself and we all need consider our impact and our personal legacy. I’d also say read more because there is no such thing as too much reading. Volunteer whereever and whenever you can.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I support WWF and Environmental Defence with monthly donations. Others like breast and prostate cancer research I support where I can. The monetary contribution isn’t great by any definition, but a healthier environment and a healthier population is something that needs to be supported.
What to you is notable?
Integrity. Humility. Passion. Sincerity. A person that demonstrates a continual desire to be and do better from one day to the next will succeed in life no matter the definition.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Blackberry, Windows and MS Office. I know of only one Fortune 500 that runs on a mac.