Get to know us! Each month, we sit down with one of our employees to get their perspective on the industry and share a little more about them with you. This week, our “5 Questions With” features Jason Birn, our Senior Vice President of Project Finance.
As SVP of Project Finance, Jason assists Project Finance VPs and deal teams with what they need to be successful in executing their strategies and financings. He works to build capital relationships and advance Pine Gate’s strategic project finance initiatives.
1. What does Pine Gate Renewable’s mission of “getting solar done” mean to you?
Pine Gate has four company values: Collaboration, Ownership, Grit and Creativity. These embody what “getting solar done” at Pine Gate means to me. As competitive as the solar industry has become, we work together as a team to find creative solutions to overcome everyday obstacles, both big and small. Pine Gate is a place where we don’t ask whether something is possible, but “what needs to be done to make it possible?” This, combined with our never-quit attitude, and our collective sense of ownership and purpose, enables us to constantly exceed our own expectations and do our part to fight climate change.
2. What are you most optimistic/excited about in this industry?
When I started in solar 10+ years ago, the industry was just starting to hit the mainstream. It’s exciting to see how much it has grown and how commonplace technologies have become. Instead of spending our time inventing best practices and convincing lenders to lend and investors to invest, we can now access extremely competitive capital to deploy new solar quickly and efficiently.
3. What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
I’ve been fortunate to learn many valuable lessons over the years, some easy, others not. The one that has stuck with me most, however, is that strong interpersonal relationships are key to getting anything done – both internally and externally. We all have different communication styles and processes. Learning to recognize not just that we are different, but how we are different is critical to bridging a divide when one exists..
4. What is an unknown skill you possess outside of your day job?
I was never known to be particularly handy and to be honest, I never really had to be until I became a homeowner a few years ago. However, during the last year of COVID seclusion, I have learned that I can be quite capable at converting a 2-minute YouTube video into actual handyman skills. Over this time, I have learned electrical, plumbing and carpentry and now I’m the kind of guy that carries a utility knife in my pocket. Go figure.
5. What’s one thing still on your bucket list that you hope to achieve in the next 5 years?
In the realm of larger ambition, I’d love to find a way to significantly reduce or even eliminate single-use plastic bags. On the personal front, I greatly look forward to my wife and I hitting the ski slopes with our 3-year-old and 1.5 year daughters.