Serving Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun
(Originally published Friday, November 14, 1997)
Sutz' Twin Towers...
The Literacy Company
Frank Agardy, former President of Evelyn Wood companies
Louis Osin, Vice President, Science and Technology Center for Education Technology, Israel
Consultant's Solutions are Blowing in the Wind|
By MARY VANDEVEIRE
Phoenix Business Journal
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Call him the Don Quixote of Scottsdale Airpark.
Richard Sutz has been jousting with windmills for more than 10 years.
He wants to make them a tool to bring clean water to third-world countries.
Following a transaction that closes this week, his Renewable Energy Systems & Technology company (RESTEC) is now expected to see more flexibility and potential for growth.
Sutz, a former marketing executive with Grumman Aircraft who now is a consultant, has paired RESTEC together with The Literacy Company, with his marketing background being the main commonality between the two. He has developed The Literacy Company based on his experience as a former consultant to Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics.
The strategy of The Literacy Company is to provide speed reading and remedial reading software products through marketing on the Internet and television infomercials.
Sutz has lived in Scottsdale since 1975, and in 1992 opened his office in Scottsdale Airpark.
While working with Grumman, Sutz said he "became familiar with the need for water in northern Africa and sub-Saharan Africa." His career includes working as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Energy as as the assistant director of the Arizona Energy Office under former Gov. Raul Castro.
Sutz, who has a college degree in mechanical engineering, shepherded the design of a windmill that would work at a wind speed of 4 miles per hour, which generally occurs 90 percent of the time. The windmill is designed to provide water-pumping, water-purification, water-desalination and low-power electrical generation. "The Chinese made technical developments that finally made it feasible," he said.
Sn agreement with Jilin Daxin Industry Corp. (JDIC) and Jilin Civil Engineering Machinery Works (JJCEMW) will provide for manufacture of the windmills. "if you combine that with their lower labor costs, it was a wonderful marriage," he said. "They're much better at manufacturing than marketing."
Sutz has his eye on Africa as a prime export market, a strategy that makes sense to a manager at the Phoenix-based International Foundation for Education and Self-Help (IFESH). The foundation, started by the Rev. Leon Sullivan, works to improve conditions for people in Africa.
"It's needed -- water is a big issue," said Elrick Williams, a program administration for the group. "Health and the basic need for systaining life are paramount, but a steady supply of clean drinking water would also assist in entrepreneurial development and create jobs. There are private business people who would welcome such a steady mechanism for brining a clean water supply."
IFRESH is working on raising money to erect demonstration models of the windmill to display in certain areas of Africa.
"The long-term plan is to bring the technology to Africa on a self-sustaining, profitable bases," Williams said. "I am hopeful that success in China will lead to success elsewhere, especially in Africa, but also in Latin America. The key would be cost. Since manufacturing costs would be low, the price would be relatively low."
Sutz said manufacture of the windmill requires entry-level mechanical skills. "In this country, where 70 percent of the cost is in labor," he said, "it's difficult to pay $35 to $40 per hour and then ship it to Third-World countries that have to pay in hard currency."
The agreement with Jilin Daxin gives exclusive manufacturing and sales rights to JDIC in China, exclusive worldwide sales rights outside China for RESTEC, which also would receive 20 percent of JDIC's profits. The agreement was reached in September.
"Except for the language, it was like dealing here," Sutz said. "The only difference is the enormous social aspect -- the dinners, and the parties, the signing ceremonies, so to speak. An enormous amount in the private sector depends on personal chemistry between individuals. It's more important than paper contracts."