Bob East has Delta Solar of Little Rock just where he wants it these days after taking a 25% stake in the company last year: The solar array installer is in the hands of two experts and a born play-caller.
East, you’ll recall, built East-Harding Inc. of Little Rock into a construction powerhouse before buying Advanced Cabling, growing its value and selling it to ADT in January 2019 for millions.
East expects Delta, which built solar arrays mainly for farmers before his arrival, to see its revenue take off with additional non-farm commercial projects over the next few years.
A key piece of the playbook fell into place with the addition of a former Arkansas Razorback quarterback Tyler Wilson late last year as an equity investor and senior vice president of sales. Wilson, who was a standout for the Hogs and played briefly in the NFL after graduation in 2012, has continued his career in real estate at Commercial Realty LLC of Fayetteville and Little Rock.
“Tyler brought us a lot more business contacts around the state,” East told Whispers. “His fame and his work in real estate have really given him a big book of business, people that understand finance and the bottom line. He has also brought us some big projects, and we expect to grow quite a bit in the next two or three years.”
Delta already had solar engineer Doug Hutchings and agricultural solar pioneer AJ Hood as co-founders; Hutchings is also CEO of Picasolar of Fayetteville and Hood manages Tillar & Co., a large farm in Drew and Desha counties, working with 11 different growers on efficiency and profitability.
“Doug is probably the premier solar guy in the state with a doctorate in photovoltaics,” East said. “AJ has deep knowledge of farming, and he’s got solar on his farms. When he tells other farmers what he’s got and how much money it saves, a lot of them say that’s all they need to know.”