Left to Right: Mike Weich- CEO, Daryl Hart- COO, Ivan Zyla- CCO
Valor Infrastructure Partners
Mike Weich, Ivan Zyla, and Daryl Hart are no strangers to challenge. All three are seasoned energy industry veterans, and Mike and Daryl also bring in the dedication, drive, and grit that comes with being military veterans, making Valor Infrastructure Partners (VIP) a formidable contender in the renewable development sector. Co-founded by the trio, VIP competes in a dynamic, challenging industry as Mike, Ivan, and Daryl bring 40 years and over 20-gigawatts of utility-scale wind and solar experience to the renewable development firm.
VIP’s team of creative thinkers and entrepreneurs is comprised of 40% veterans, who, like Mike and Daryl, build upon a foundation of perseverance and integrity. They also have industry experts like Ivan, bringing multifaceted, detailed knowledge to every project. Today, Mike serves as CEO, overseeing VIP’s long- and short-term goals and M&A transactions. Ivan is their CCO, handling commerce and finance, while Daryl, COO, manages prospecting, land and project management, and the continued improvement and mentoring of the whole VIP team. Through it all, VIP celebrates and encourages diversity of thought and perspective to ensure they’re always making the best data-driven decisions and moving ahead as a unified team. This, along with dedication to their core goals, has become a defining trait, ensuring the delivery of successful projects.
We joined Mike, Ivan, and Daryl to learn more about how they’re creating a renewable future right now.
How do your backgrounds inform what you do with VIP?
Mike: Before entering the energy industry, I spent five years in the Army as an infantry officer. I started my career at Bank of America, then worked my way from project manager to director of renewable energy at NextEra Energy Resources.
Ivan: My background is in finance, and I’ve been working in energy for 20 years. I started at First Wind, then Advanced Power and Omega Energia, and my work culminated in founding VIP with my partners. My favorite saying is “Be Prepared.” Preparation is key to success.
Daryl: After 10 years as a USAF intelligence officer, I started out designing wind farms for NextEra Energy, working my way up to director, then was vice president of utility scale development at Borrego Solar/New Leaf Energy. In the Air Force, I trained officer candidates to become second lieutenants, which developed the mentoring style I bring to VIP to help everyone perform their best.
What distinguishes VIP from the other renewable energy companies out there?
Mike: I think a lot about our corporate culture as we evolve. Great culture is a significant contributor to success if maintained over time. I also always remember “keep grinding.” Renewable development can be a grind, so it’s important to remain committed every day to accomplish our goals.
Ivan: I’m focused on detail: digging in and finding deeper meaning. I bring that to VIP as one of our values, and our mission is to become a world-class renewable development partner without sacrificing any of those values.
Daryl: My partners and I exhibit grit and integrity in everything we do, and we expect the same from our staff as they enter communities, talk to landowners and local leaders, and build support for renewable energy projects. VIP’s combination of military and energy industry experience is a core building block. Our detailed development processes and precise project execution distinguish us from our peers.
What are some of VIP’s greatest accomplishments?
Ivan: Definitely the people we’ve hired and the processes we have in place. This will remain an ongoing accomplishment as we continue to hire the best people and evolve our processes.
Daryl: For me, it was taking the leap from the corporate world with its safety net and starting VIP with my partners. It was exhilarating and challenging, but that challenge and fear of failure keeps the entire team moving forward.
What drives you?
Mike: Personally, and as a firm we’re all driven by the opportunity to leave a real legacy. Our ability to leverage what we’ve learned and what we can still learn to deliver quality renewable projects will have a positive lasting impact on society as a whole.
Ivan: I’m driven by the desire to succeed without sacrificing my morals and values. VIP places a lot of value on partnerships. A company can’t function without the right partners, so we’re driven to find the best people and firms to join us.
Daryl: Although I entered this space in 2007, the renewable energy industry is still in its infancy. We’re on the cusp of energy transformation. These are exciting times to be at the forefront of history and contributing to an industry that’s far from maturity.
Mike Weich, Co-Founder & CEO
Daryl Hart, Co-Founder & COO
Ivan Zyla, Co-Founder & CCO
Valor Infrastructure Partners