“Energy for the Moment” – ‘Phins Under 40

Our Vice President, Kevin Nickels, was recently chosen as one of three inaugural recipients of a new alumni recognition: ‘Phins’ Under 40. ‘Phins Under 40 accepts nominations for Le Moyne College Alumni that make a difference in the world in ways large and small. Kevin recently provided comment: “Being recognized in the inaugural class of ‘Phins Under 40 is truly an honor. Congratulations to Linsey Donovan & Grant Farrokh as well. I am proud to represent the inaugural class of ‘Phins Under 40 with you! Choosing Le Moyne College for my education continues to pay off for me in my professional and personal life. I look forward to continuing my education at Le Moyne in the near future.”

Kevin was recently invited to join Le Moyne College’s Board of Regents. The members of the Le Moyne College Board of Regents play a crucial role in helping Le Moyne to further its mission of preparing its graduates for lives of leadership and service. Among their chief responsibilities are to raise the College’s profile in Central New York and beyond. In addition, the Regents are deeply involved in some of the College’s most important initiatives. Kevin proudly serves on the Personal & Professional Development Committee and Founders’ Day Committee.

“What does it take to start a successful company? For Kevin Nickels ’13, the answer to that question is threefold – a good idea, a sound business plan, and a proven strategy to execute that plan. Nickels ’13 is the vice president of Nickels Energy Solutions (NES), a Liverpool, N.Y., based company that specializes in the installation of solar panels. Since founding the company with his brother, Steven, in 2015, Nickels has dedicated his professional life to field that supports a number of national priorities, including climate change mitigation, national security and economic growth.

NES is growing at a time when more and more Americans are searching for environmentally friendly sources of energy. Solar power in particular is more affordable, accessible and prevalent in the U.S. than ever before. Nickels acknowledged that when NES first entered the field, it wasn’t a known entity. He and Steve had to win people over with what they consider to be the foundation of their business – “honesty and communication.” The company recently expanded its services and, in addition to solar panels, now sells and installs smart thermostats and chargers for electric vehicles.

“Establishing a strong relationship with a potential customer is just as important as closing a sale,” he said. “We want to form long-lasting relationships with our customers. They feel like family to us. If they are happy, we are too.”

When it comes to the future, Nickels is nothing but optimistic. “Using clean, renewable energy is one of the most important things we can do to reduce our impact on the environment, and I am really excited about the opportunity to be part of the green-energy revolution,” he said. “People are more focused on the decisions they make, and how those decisions impact the world around them. They are more environmentally and socially conscious, and I think that is a good thing for all of us.”

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