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Get to know the ‘DG’ behind DG+Design: Founder and CEO David Ganske

Kathleen Gill
November 2, 2021

David Ganske can find the beauty in almost anything.

From solar panels glinting in the sunlight to old postcards discovered at a flea market, the founder of DG+Design (DG+) has a keen eye for seeing – and artfully sharing with others – even everyday items in their best light.

David would start DG+ to use this special talent to help mission-driven clean energy and sustainability companies share the value of their products and services with the world. A unique combination of energy expertise and creative vision enables him to create beautiful, meaningful content and develop marketing strategies for his clients with industry-specific acuity.

Discovering a life-long passion for sustainable practices

Born and raised in the green rolling hills of rural Virginia, David spent childhood summers outside playing soccer and picking apples in nearby orchards. While in college, he studied abroad in Dortmund, Germany, where he got his first taste of working in sustainability. A professor at Technische Universität Dortmund connected him with an internship at the Heinrich Böll Foundation, a sustainability-focused organization affiliated with the Green political party. The work would give him exposure to emissions reduction policies and the benefits of renewable energy technologies.

After graduating from college at the University of Virginia, David wanted to see the world and do something that made a positive impact, so he joined the Peace Corps. While his work in Togo, West Africa was very rewarding, he also experienced firsthand the immense impact of human activity on the planet and its natural resources – and in turn, how this affects communities all around the world.

“I specifically remember looking out from a cliff in Mali during a hike with a local guide,” he recalled in a recent conversation. “He pointed at the land below and said, ‘Do you see the sand dunes along the horizon? They weren’t always there. The desert is growing and slowly swallowing our land.’”

His travels in China only reinforced the reality of climate change and its devastating effects. He recalled, “In Beijing, I never saw the sky. It became clearer than ever that human impact on the planet is real.”

David returned to the U.S. and joined an upstart residential solar company in Maryland called Astrum Solar. It was there that he truly launched his career in renewable energy and started honing industry skills by designing conceptual layouts, filing permits, and submitting incentive applications.

After more than a decade, he’s done it all, from scaling up rooftops to leading in-house solar marketing teams.

Communities in southern Mali, like the one pictured above, are dealing with the expanding Sahara Desert. David took this photo in 2008 while a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo.
While at Astrum Solar, David used a Solmetric SunEye to assess production of potential rooftop solar projects. Unfortunately, he was "shading" the array more than nearby trees when the photo was taken.

Bridging a gap in the market

In 2017, David initially started DG+ to create a documentary film on the transition away from coal to cleaner sources in Colorado. The film, Front Range Change, would feature at the Breckenridge Film Festival in 2019.

The company would then be the base for a new marketing agency in early 2020 to solve the issues that he experienced as an in-house marketing leader at SunEdison and ForeFront Power. David was inspired to establish DG+ because he saw a real communication gap between cleantech companies and their target audiences. What’s more, there didn’t seem to be many marketing agencies that could hit the ground running with industry-specific concepts, products, and services.

“What is net metering? How does the Federal tax credit work? What’s the difference between a community solar subscription and a virtual power purchase agreement? Our industry has a lot of nuances and lingo that take time to learn,” he commented. “It’s a real challenge for companies in the industry to source external marketing support that can meet them where they are and accurately convey their value.”

As a result, DG+ aims to solve this problem by offering industry-focused creative and marketing services to clean energy and sustainable brands. Whereas other agencies may have to spend time catching up on industry concepts and language, DG+ can hit the ground running to provide immediate value to clients.

The DG+ name even reflects this focus. Industry professionals will see ‘DG’ and first think of distributed generation. Along with demand generation (for marketing) and David’s initials, it forms a triple pun to describe the company’s activities.

A little less than two years after the true launch of DG+, David is proud of his growing team and a diverse portfolio of clients across cleantech and climate tech. He has been thoughtful in building a team of marketing, design, and industry professionals who can match him in passion and work ethic.

“We are all a little nerdy and it’s a lot of fun.” David laughed. “The same goes for our clients. We work with really cool, inspiring people. Everything we do is mission-based, making it easy to be passionate about our projects.”

What’s ahead for DG+

David’s long-term vision for DG+ is to not only to continue to expand and diversify his team, but also to increase impact beyond direct client projects. DG+ has already made great strides toward this goal by releasing a suite of solar, energy storage, and electric vehicle market research reports for Q3 2021. David hopes to continue to innovate and find new ways to contribute meaningfully to the clean energy transition.

Despite long work hours and the herculean effort required to lead a fast-growing company, David still finds humor, grace, and beauty in any situation. His positive attitude and genuine passion for helping others resonates throughout his team and shines through in his work.

“There’s so much need out there for the work that we are doing,” stated David. New businesses are starting every day and they need to artfully tell their story to the public. If our work is helping to reduce emissions and slow down climate change, it’s all worth the effort.”

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