River City Six: Drew Coffey
Serving clients statewide, J-Tech Solar (jtechsolar.com) is a family owned and operated company specializing in renewable energy. J-Tech Solar’s parent company, J-Tech Construction, was established in 2004 and specializes in exterior remodeling. Drew Coffey is the Head of Solar Design and Procurement for J-Tech Solar.
How did you get started in the business?
I have been involved in the solar industry since 2010, when I graduated high school. I did not know what I wanted to do in college, so I started with a company based out of Denver as an electrical apprentice. I contributed to utility scale solar projects, commercial solar rooftop installations, and commercial electrical work. I fell in love with the solar industry so I decided to go back to school. After completing my program and working in project management for a year and a half, I took the position with J-Tech Solar in January of 2017. Solar is still relatively new to the state of Nebraska so I wanted to challenge myself with pushing solar policy, education, and development in communities that may have never thought of solar as an option. Our owner Jason Olberding has the same kind of passion as I do in developing a solar landscape here, which is something I find extremely invaluable.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Communication in any sort of construction is crucial. It’s always a challenge when there are so many moving parts, i.e. the customer satisfaction, subcontractors, in-house production crew, utilities, city planning, etc…
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
The point I’ve reached in my career at a young age.
Tell us a little about your family.
I grew up in an Air Force family. We moved around a ton and it taught me life lessons I wouldn’t trade for the world. I have one little sister, Madison, who is a junior at George Mason in Virginia. She is extremely involved in various philanthropic ventures, one being Wolftrap Animal Rescue. My parents, Ryan and Deanna, had me when they were 16 and are still married today. They are both extremely successful and they drive my sister and I to be better people every day. We wouldn’t be where we are now without their sacrifice and hard work. I take any chance to brag about my family I can because they are so instrumental to everything I do.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Golf, adventure with my dog Kira, barbecue with friends, baseball, hiking, fly fishing – anything outside really.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
I have lived in 14 different places and counting.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Take the time to really be genuine and listen to everyone you come in contact with, because you never know what you can learn from them.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
The ability to teleport. My family is so spread out that it’s hard to see them as often as I’d like. Problem solved!
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
We’re associated with quite a few in Lincoln where our headquarters is located, as well as Nebraskans for Solar. We feel it’s important to give back in any way we can.