Westmont Magazine An Entrepreneur with Energy
Rudy Sains Jr. ’84 didn’t realize he was an entrepreneur until he started a business. Willing to take risks and comfortable not knowing what work was coming in, he has thrived as president of Heritage Energy Group LLC.
Based in Irvine, Calif., the 16-year old business has provided Title 24 energy calculations in accordance with California state law. All new construction must meet certain energy efficiency ratings, and Heritage does the analysis and produces the required documentation.
Heritage Energy Group specializes in residential analysis and consults primarily with large, tract-home builders. His role focuses on administration and special projects; his employees do most of the analysis. Even when the company must do two weeks of work in one week, Rudy takes pride in meeting deadlines.
“We get it done when we say we will get it done,” he says. “In Southern California, demand for housing still exceeds the supply, and builders are very busy. It’s typical to promise something you can’t deliver, but we don’t do that. I like the challenge of providing a service rather than a product. It keeps me focused on what clients expect and what I can do to keep them coming back. Some customers have been with me since day one.”
Acquiring a competitor added stability to Heritage and broadened the customer base. Instead of seeing this move as risky, Rudy considered it a challenge and an opportunity. “Some people fear these things, but I understand the risk financially and look at it from a business standpoint. I’ve learned that I think like an entrepreneur. I didn’t know that about myself 10 years ago.”
One of the benefits of owning a business is the flexibility it provides. “I get to take my kids to school and coach their sports teams,” he explains. “My wife, Cheri, and I consider stewardship of our kids our highest priority.” Their four children range in age from 3 to 10 years. The couple met when they both worked with the high school program at Calvary Church in Santa Ana, Calif.
Rudy has also had time to volunteer for Westmont as an alumni chapter leader in Orange County with Doug ’84 and Sandy Heinrichs ’85 Mathews. “It was great to be involved and learn more about Westmont,” he says. “It stirred up my pride as an alum.”
His best college experience was going to Europe with Professors Paul Wilt and Ed Bouslough. An economics and business major, he played on the junior varsity basketball team and got involved in Potter’s Clay as a translator when one of his teammates discovered he was fluent in Spanish.
“God has given me great opportunities,” he says. “I was blessed to go to Westmont, and I love running a business. I stopped worrying about next month’s work years ago. God provides.”
During college, Rudy developed an appreciation for community and the friendships that develop between like-minded people. He sought that same kind of community after he graduated, and found it at Calvary Church. “Friendships with families at church have been an asset to our parenting and a blessing in our lives,” he says. “And I will always value my Westmont friends.”