Posted on: 02-16-2012 at 1:34pm
By Internal Communications Editor Brian Hale
About eight years ago, a small group of people led by Rob Snyder and Pierre Koshakji put into action a ground-breaking business plan. The idea was to adopt a multi-level network marketing approach similar to those used by extremely successful direct-selling companies like Avon and Mary Kay, and apply that strategy to the recently deregulated energy market in Texas.
As details began to take shape, new investors committed to the idea; a PUC license was obtained; and a small amount of office space was leased in one of the most recognizable buildings in Dallas – the INFOMART. As a basic framework became operational, Stream Energy and Ignite were born.
In the more than seven years since Stream Energy was awarded a PUC license to operate in the state of Texas, Stream Energy has grown to over half a million customers in five states (Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey), employed hundreds of exceptional people at the headquarters in Dallas, and allowed thousands of Independent Associates the opportunity to seize control of their financial future and build relationships that can last a lifetime.
Along this journey, Rob, along with the executive staff and more than 260 Stream Energy employees, has been graciously thanked countless times by IAs who appreciate the vision, dedication and commitment to the plan first conceived in 2004.
While Stream Energy and Ignite have enjoyed record success in our short time, none of it could have been possible without the hard work and dedication of thousands who have worked to ensure our success.
The Stream Energy headquarters in Dallas employs more than 260 employees on a daily basis. When needed, these employees have worked weekends, overnight and incredibly long hours to ensure the success of Stream Energy and Ignite. They believe in this business—in helping people succeed. To the employees of Stream Energy: thank YOU.
Thousands of IAs bought into the idea of warm marketing and asking friends and family for their business. They have done so with such success that Stream Energy is in the record books as one of the fastest-growing companies in American business history. The success of this firm and the employment of over 260 Stream Energy employees would not have been possible without the hard work of our thousands of dedicated Associates. To the Ignite Independent Associates: thank YOU.
As most people know, the success or failure of a company hinges on its customers. Stream Energy and Ignite are in the business of helping our customers save money on one of life’s necessary commodities (energy) and doing it with a successful business model. With variety of different service providers offering energy service, customers in deregulated service areas are free to choose any service provider they like. To the loyal customers who continue to choose Stream Energy as their service provider of choice: thank YOU.
The hundreds of thousands of IAs who have joined us along the way, have attended at least one business presentation in a variety of venues to get more information on Ignite’s award-winning success model. Managers and owners of restaurants, hotels and motels have opened their doors to Ignite. Homeowners have opened their homes to new and prospective Associates. To all those who allowed the Ignite Opportunity and the Stream Energy story to be told: thank YOU.
There are countless people who have contributed in some form or fashion to the success of our business. To anyone who has contributed to this business; to anyone who has positively affected our firm; to everyone who remains loyal, committed and dedicated to the continued success of Stream Energy and Ignite: thank YOU.
Although our achievements and successes are exciting, inspirational and motivational, Stream Energy and Ignite still have a lot of unfinished work. With over a half-million customers in five states, Stream Energy has proven it is a powerful and permanent force in the deregulated energy market.
What began as a simple business plan eight years ago has emerged into a business that has changed and bettered the lives of so many. With our spectacular team, Stream Energy is primed to continue our national expansion for a long time come.
Posted on: 01-28-2011 at 12:59pm
Posted by Senior Managing Director – National Expansion Pierre Koshakji
This little thing that we like to call “The Stream Experiment” has been going strong now for six years. During that time, we have achieved an astounding level of growth in the energy industry and have catapulted from just a few guys with laptop computers and BIG ambitions to one of the largest retail energy providers in Texas.
How did we do it?
There are many ways to answer that. One thing that may not be obvious to someone looking in from the outside, however, is what I would have to characterize as perhaps the most unique work environment in my professional career.
My favorite thing about Stream Energy is living up to the culture we established. This firm was started as a place and culture that fosters and encourages individuals to create great things from vision and drive. It works optimally when everyone collectively believes and gets involved.
The way we’ve done that and continue to do that is through a set of principles that were formulated by Stream Energy Chairman Rob Snyder called The Four Mantras:
- Be transparent – be fair and equitable in all your dealings with customers, employees and Associates. And if you make a mistake, own it and ask for help.
- Take out the panic – naturally, panic is many times the first reaction to a new challenge. So remove it from the equation so you can focus clearly on the task at hand.
- Work the problem – A challenge won’t resolve itself or simply go away. Buckle down, attack it head on, and again don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Best idea wins – Encourage creative thinking from everyone. No one has a monopoly on good ideas; they can come from anyone on the team. Put egos aside and choose the course of action that’s best for the team and our customers.
Now, we have an unspoken fifth mantra – Wash some feet. This one goes to the heart of what we aspire to be as an organization – namely, a team of servant leaders. When we put the needs and cares of other people before our own self interests, it is amazing what we accomplish. Time and again I am struck by stories in our office and out in our Ignite sales field of individuals who go above and beyond to help someone in need.
The Four Mantras (plus One) really provide a sense of direction to our firm. Our employees know that we are trying to do something more noteworthy than simply drive the bottom line – we’re imbuing our efforts with purpose, with a zeal for improving our interactions with each other and providing our customers the best possible experience.
I give Rob Snyder lots of credit for creating the Mantras, because they all build on each other in simple yet interdependent fashion. They really do. Each one is important. Also, they all funnel down to treating others as you would like to be treated. In addition, if you have a HEALTHY respect for yourself, you will most likely have a healthy respect for others.
We’ve been asking our employees their thoughts on the Mantras, and I’d like to share some of the comments they came back with.
Of the Stream Energy Mantras, which one is your favorite and why?
I like Best Idea Wins. It lets everyone know they are being heard and that they have a voice in the firm, no matter what position they hold. – Gretchen Stealey, Associate Support Representative
Wash Some Feet would be the most relevant to me because I have always been taught to treat others the way you wish to be treated. I am no better than anyone else, and I am always learning new things from the people around me. I can’t imagine refusing a task because I felt it was beneath me to help out another person. – Allison Johnston, Commercial Sales Executive
Be Transparent. I think everything else works itself out. Working the same problem in parallel paths and not sharing information is doing double the work. I think transparency is the best thing. If people are transparent and share information, the efficiency level goes up. – Mike Rowley, Director of Market Research
Wash Some Feet. Be kind to everyone around you. – Karina Moreno, Customer Loyalty Analyst
I like Best Idea Wins because it challenges the mind and keeps people excited about coming to work. – Tommy Hall, Commercial Client Services
I like Wash Some Feet. I think everyone at Stream Energy really wants to take care of each other. – Jim Rafferty, Associate Support Representative
It’s a tie between Best Idea Wins and Wash Some Feet. I’d give the same advice to a Stream Energy veteran that I’d give someone new. We, as a group, need to listen to the team. The leadership team looks to the employee family to step up, be vocal and be the creative minds we know them to be. From my perspective, servant leadership is about clearing obstacles so our teams can look behind them and be proud of the path they left behind. – Matt McGaughey, Managing Director – Information Technology
Wash Some Feet, because it’s most important to lead by example. – Mike Jones, Senior Manager of Associate Support
I really like Be Transparent because in the type of environment and markets we are in, you have to be ready for challenges. You have to be transparent in your work to make sure everything gets done. – John Viquez, Manager of Treasury Remittance
Wash Some Feet because I love the Christian undertone. I consider myself a leader but my style is servant leadership so it resonates with me. It’s all about the other people and making life better for other folks, making them happy, and trying to help out and make the little things easier, so, I love Wash Some Feet. – Greg Martin, Director of New Market Implementation
I really like Take Out the Panic and Be Transparent. However, I think my favorite is Wash Some Feet because I really believe in that. I think it’s a critical part for a good team to work well with each other. – George Nemer, Director of IT Infrastructure Operations
The fifth Mantra (Wash Some Feet) is the one that resonates with me the most because it demands our attention to serving and supporting each other on a daily basis. – Deanna Shelton, Senior Director of Human Resources