Man at the top: Jed Alldredge – the person behind the title of Legend Solar president
Dec 19, 2016
If you ask Jed Alldredge about his greatest accomplishments in life, his answer will likely be led with a proud discourse on his family, expressing gratitude for his wife, the kind of people his children have become and his opportunity to witness their success.
Professionally, however, after a life filled with a wide range of careers, he stands by the fact that true success is the ability to work hard doing something you enjoy.
Recently, he’s been able to combine those two worlds.
After witnessing his son, Shaun Alldredge, and business partner Shane Perkins, launch Legend Solar roughly four years ago, Jed was impressed by their rapid success. Landing in the 29th spot on the INC 500 list of fastest growing businesses in the United States it soon became clear Legend Solar was growing more quickly than anyone anticipated.
That’s where Jed’s experience as a business consultant proved a valuable resource.
“Companies with that kind of growth either drive over a cliff at full speed, or they take off,” Jed says.
At the request of Shaun and Shane, Jed came in to help manage Legend Solar as the business side of things became more and more complex.
“Jed has business experience and business wisdom that was invaluable to us and our business,” Shane says.
One part of that wisdom was Jed’s encouragement to brand the company as offering more than just solar energy.
“One thing I told everyone when I started as company president, we are not a solar company. We are a clean energy company,” Jed says. “We are always looking for the latest technology that will be the best solution for our customers.”
That kind of attitude, and Jed’s ability to see and manage the company from “30,000 feet” is something he learned after years of writing for, consulting with and managing businesses on a national and international playing field.
In Jed Alldredge’s previous life
Reflecting back on his mentality as a college student, Jed says he “never thought in a million years” that he would be a business executive.
“I was a creative. A writer and a singer,” he says.
Majoring in writing and vocal performance at Brigham Young University, Jed served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Italy before marrying his wife, Starlyn, in 1978. After starting a family that would eventually grow to include three sons, two daughters and 11 grandchildren, with one more on the way, Jed realized music, particularly musical performance, was not a viable option to support his family.
Instead, he started writing, eventually picking up some gigs with a publishing company in Utah Valley that published financial books.
That job led to ghost writing for a Simon and Schuster client named Charles Givens, author of “Wealth Without Risk” which was on the New York Times bestseller list.
“As a young man, I learned to learn about things,” Jed says of the diversity of work that filled his career.
No matter how unfamiliar each new opportunity seemed — like the time he worked on a textbook discussing computer aided design (CAD) systems management, or the technical writing he did for Novell — his mindset was always, “I’ll learn it.”
And he did. Not only did the Novell writing job teach him a lot about technical writing, he eventually was involved with marketing as a product line manager and soon he was doing a lot of travel for the global management side of things.
Despite being a mountain person himself and his wife being a beach person, Jed eventually moved his family to St. George, Utah so he could work with a startup Internet services company. They immediately fell in love with the area.
“My wife cried all the way here. Then, within a few months, you couldn’t have dragged her from here with a team of wild horses,” Jed says.
That was 17 years ago.
During those years, Jed continued to travel, doing stints in the Middle East as a business consultant and working on other projects. He found the work and the travel “fascinating” but he was gone a lot. Then, just as he was going into semi-retirement mode, Shaun and Shane reached out to him about their company, Legend Solar, and the need for additional help to manage its growth.
“He is objective and punctual in his desire to move our business in the direction we want to go and at the pace we want to see it accomplished,” Shane says. “He is a forward thinker and amazing strategist.”
Although Jed says he did not feel any strict obligation to step into this role with Legend Solar, he likely wouldn’t have taken the project on at this stage of his career had it not been a family affair.
“This is an opportunity to spend more time with my sons,” Jed says.
Time, that they are all careful to compartmentalize when necessary.
“We’ve done a really good job of separating family and business,” Jed says. “We very quickly learned not to talk business away from the office.”
By Lisa Larson