Travis Stevenson credits good advice from a family friend for steering him along his current path.
"An early mentor told me the utilities space is going to be going through a dramatic change in the next 10 to 15 years," Stevenson said. "I was originally going to go the path of engineering, and he suggested I might want to think about business."
It's fitting that the genesis for his current company came from a trusted mentor, because Stevenson has made relationship-building the cornerstone of his company, JTS Consulting.
The business works with utility companies to help them take advantage of new technological solutions for energy consumption and delivery. That work involves acting as a "translator" between different industry players to help them understand what is possible.
Smart meters are just one example of new technology that is transforming the way we use and conserve electricity. The industry has historically been slow to change.
"If Tesla or Edison woke up tomorrow, they'd recognize a lot of the way the infrastructure works," Stevenson said.
"We're at the forefront of [the new technology] and it's going to overhaul how people use energy."
Stevenson explained that JTS does not work directly on end-user energy efficiency. Instead, his business works with utilities to enable them to support and promote energy conservation.
Stevenson got his start in energy by working in the Power Smart program at BC Hydro; he then worked for a company that sold software billing systems to utility companies across North America.
He started JTS Consulting nine years ago. The company now employs a team of 30 consultants and boasts year-over-year revenue growth of 25%.
JTS has recently worked as a subcontractor for IBM and Microsoft, helping utilities and the tech companies understand how they can work together. Recently, JTS broke into the competitive U.K. energy market, where, Stevenson said, the company hopes to get more work in the future.
"If someone's willing to fly you halfway across the world to share your experience, you know you're doing something right," he said.
Stevenson is also currently serving as the youngest-ever president of the ALS Society of BC.