Name: Chris Froelke
Graduation Year: 2002
Current Position: President
Place of Employment: Retro Green Energy
Please give a brief description of your current position and where you're working.
I am the Owner/President of Retro Green Energy in St. Cloud, MN.
What path did you follow to arrive at your current job?
When I was walking the aisle for graduation in the Abbey, I was unsure of what I wanted to do. I wanted something that I was passionate about and interested in, but I didn't know what specifically at the time. After graduation, I spent three to four years in a variety of jobs, including commercial waterproofing, commercial construction, trim carpentry, walling and siding, etc. After that, I got my contractor's license and started the company Architectural Assets, where I spent two years performing contract work, mostly residential remodeling. I then started Retro Green Energy and invested in a product called Retrofull. I eventually moved to work with a new line. Now, Retro Green Energy specializes in thermal enveloping of attics and walls in buildings to provide insulation for those buildings.
What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career?
The advice that I would have for students interested in my career is to get your feet wet by working in your intended field. Also, be willing to get dirty (get to the root of the problem), because not many people are willing to do this. Work for a specific company to gain skills, especially if it is a new industry, where on-the-job training is key.
What skills are important in your field?
There are many skills important to my field, but I would say that communication with my clients and engineers is one that is critical. Alongside communication, complex problem solving is key. The problem solving often needs to be very fast, as clients need a quick answer to a problem.
What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for this career?
SJU provided a rigorous schedule, which helped me learn to manage stress, such as when finals arose. My education also helped me learn to channel stress into focusing on the task at hand. The experiences and situations I was put in while attending CSB/SJU allowed me to develop those skills, as well as others, and ultimately prepared me for the workplace.
What is the most satisfying/rewarding part of your job?
I would say that the most satisfying/rewarding part of my job is transforming personal houses and changing lives through both an increase in comfort and a decrease in utilities costs, as well as health benefits that come with a cleaner greener living environment.