Energy to Expand

Newberry is a small town and yet big things are coming out of Newberry Commercial Park. Lex Jacobs, Richard Hudson, Gene Kropp and Dave Baggaley founded Inspired Energy in 2002, after working for Energizer Power Systems and saw the need for improved batteries for smaller manufacturers who could not produce their own  batteries.

Inspired Energy has been growing by buying pre-made lithium ion cells and adding their own small battery component on it to improve the battery overall. The company began with only 13 employees manufacturing 8 products to now around 88 employees and 600 products! Options to manufacture abroad in more economical places such as China and Mexico are always an option for any booming business, but the founders have chosen to keep the manufacturing within the US.  “We were manufacturing in America before onshoring became popular,” Gene Kropp, the operations director, said. Because the company is continuing to grow, the need for a larger building is critical. The company has a 10,000 square foot expansion next to its current space set up to open next year. 

Click here for the full article from The Gainesville Sun, or click here for more Front Street news... 

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Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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