2016 40 Under 40: Richard Gerbe, EIT, 38
Co-founder, Highmark, New York City BS Mechanical Engineering, New York Institute of Technology
Richard Gerbe, EIT, 38
Co-founder, Highmark, New York City
BS Mechanical Engineering, New York Institute of Technology
Gerbe co-founded Highmark with Anthony Sannazzaro in 2013 to challenge the HVAC status quo and to bring efficiency to the built environment. He and his partner agreed that it was time to usher in a new era focused on making commercial buildings more efficient. Since its founding, the company has experienced double-digit annual growth and continues to expand its extensive client base. Prior to co-founding Highmark, Gerbe was a consulting and sales engineer at Trane for almost a decade and held several other top-level positions at leading engineering and consulting companies in the HVAC industry. He searches for technologies that will enable buildings in New York and the Northeast to operate more efficiently, use less energy and water, and reduce emissions while generating significant cost savings. According to Gerbe, buildings consume roughly 40% of the energy and more than 70% of the electricity used in the U.S. However, he believes that realizing a more sustainable future and mitigating climate change is possible by increasing building efficiency. He also believes very strongly in helping other engineering students succeed, and he serves as a regular mentor for Hofstra University engineering students. He sat on the ASHRAE building-efficiency board, he was president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' New York chapter, and he provides educational sessions to fellow engineers as part of the Practicing Institute of Engineering. When he has a few free moments, he uses gardening as a way to recharge and disconnect. Many of his thoughts on how to improve the business and further building efficiency have occurred while gardening. Gerbe is still able to find time to spend with his wife and three children.