Power Profile: Caleb Arthur, Founder/CEO, Sun Solar
Growing up, Caleb Arthur watched his father and grandfather run a family-owned business in south central Missouri installing water pumps. Being in business was clearly in his genes, but he went his own way and pumped it up considerably. At the age of 32, Arthur is now CEO of Sun Solar, a company that grossed more than $24 million in sales in 2016.
After graduating from high school in 2004, he became a certified firefighter and police officer. An on the job injury sidelined him for a bit and gave him time to think about installing solar panels at his own home. He discovered not only could he use them for his house, but “there was a serious need for a solar company” in the area. So, he started one, and it has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since.
Starting a new business was not easy. Banks would not provide a loan to the new entrepreneur, so he borrowed money from his grandparents. That $13,000 startup loan grew to a $2 million company in 2014 and saw a nearly 900 percent increase just two years later. His company is now being hailed as the #1 Residential Solar Installer in Missouri and the fastest growing business in Springfield, Missouri. It was also honored as a “Fast Track” recipient by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.
While he has worked to grow his own business, he has also worked to improve the business climate for the solar industry across the state. He recently completed a term as president of the Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association (MOSEIA). In that post, he closely followed the passage of the energy bill passed and signed into law in Missouri earlier this year.
“It’s hard to sell solar in Missouri, compared to the rest of the United States,” Arthur noted in a recent interview. “Our energy laws could be improved; energy costs are low.” But renewable energy, and solar in particular, is a focus of companies like Ameren Missouri. Arthur has no doubt put his own youthful energy to work making things happen for the solar industry.
His goal is to make Sun Solar a $300 million company by 2021. His company currently employs more than 100 workers, and he would like to employ 300, with an emphasis on hiring military veterans. “I like to hire military vets,” he said, and to let them be managers. “If you want to be a successful solar company, hire veterans. Great things will happen.”
Caleb Arthur trusts veterans, and he also believes in his own generation.
“My generation has the opportunity to end wars, feed everyone, and create a 100 percent sustainable planet for every human and animal,” he said.
He’s into his business, but his family, as well. He and his wife, Rachel, have five children and he notes that a good work/life balance is a must. He also has a lot of friends. In fact, 38,000 of them on Facebook! Apparently for Caleb Arthur its “go big or go home” in just about all aspects of his life.