StraightUp Solar Founder & President Dane Glueck's Story
Over a decade ago, while working full-time as an orthopedic surgeon, starting a solar company was not just an idea, it was a compulsion. I couldn’t abide by the old way of doing it — passively receiving electrical power from those who controlled the source of the power without seeming to care for the people that used the power or worked hard to produce the power.
I could not abide by the old way that sold power without choice and used up people and planet in the process. I could not abide by the old way that knocked down mountains and covered over streams, that literally stripped away our shared future of a healthy environment. I saw it first hand, the ancient Appalachian mountains levelled and the local environment of the people that worked there sacrificed for profit. It was a compromise that was not tolerable. I also started to recognize there was another way, a way that we could, with compassion and vision, create both better jobs and a clean energy future.
As I neared the end of orthopedic residency, a journey of intense learning of how to care for others, this idea of changing the energy paradigm kept tugging at me. By definition, orthopedic surgery is providing direct care for another human — a straightforward interaction wherein someone hurts and I have the opportunity to provide care for them. I can start with something broken and heal it. I can start with something worn and replace it. It is healing another human, a noble cause that that for me was, and remains today, profoundly rewarding.
Yet, something else compelled me as well. It was the idea of caring by changing the paradigm for how we get our electricity. It was the idea of empowering others by providing a choice. It was the idea of building a team that builds a Tribe — a group of people that choose to make change for the better, for all of us, not a select few.
We are built to care and care by building together.
For the same reason that I learned medicine I learned solar, to care for others. Once I built this foundation for myself, the next level of caring became possible – to share the education and build a culture that deeply cares about changing the paradigm. From this, StraightUp Solar was born. Today, at StraightUp, we still always “Start With Why” – and this is our Why: to care for others by creating a path for clean energy and a sustainable economy that honors our values and everyone’s healthy, shared future.
Dane Glueck, M.D., is a practicing orthopedic surgeon and Founder/President of StraightUp Solar. He is the first nationally certified solar installer (NABCEP) in Missouri and past-President of the Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association.