By David Bjorkgren, Editor

Special to the Hellenic News of America

Salvatore Ritorto is in a good position to pass on energy saving solutions to the business owners at this year’s Hermes Expo.

As the new business development manager for WGL Energy, Ritorto knows he can reduce energy costs for those owners. WGL Energy offers efficient and environmentally-friendly energy technology solutions to its customers, from natural gas to renewable energy and carbon reduction.

Sal Ritorto exhibiting at the 26th Hermes Expo.

The Expo’s location in Philadelphia this year is particularly timely for WGL, which is looking to expand its regional presence with a new office in Philadelphia. The Expo, set April 25, takes place at the Arts Ballroom on Locust Street in Center City.

This is the 27th year for the Expo, an annual event that brings Greek American, regional and international business owners together to network and create business opportunities and partnerships.

This will be Ritorto’s second year at the Expo as he continues to talk with restaurateur and hospitality business owners and industrial customers about how to reduce energy consumption and lower energy bills.

Working with Expo creator and organizer Paul Kotrotsios, Ritorto has already been able to help more than 40 clients save on their utility bills. “We’ve been able to provide over $300,000 in annual savings for the contacts so far, so that’s pretty good,” he says.

“I provide an analysis based on what we’re able to do for them, both on the electricity and the natural gas side of the utilities, and beyond that we have a larger conversation regarding sustainability, which technologies can help them with sustainability,” Ritorto says.  Many of the clients come from the Brandywine Restaurant Association or are Hellenic News of America customers, Ritorto says.

Last year, he was able to sign up a client right on the spot at the Expo in Concordville PA.

“From a business perspective we saw an immediate return on our investment from participating with the Expo,” he says. The Expo gives a chance for Ritorto to keep in touch with his contacts and communicate his services to potential customers, even if they are currently locked in with other energy agreements.  That can lead to follow up conversations and connections, he says.

Even better, the Expo allows past happy customers to mingle with strangers, “that are only going to say good things about the company and about Paul’s integrity, my integrity and the lengths we’ll be willing to go to keep customers happy and help folks to continue to save on their utilities,” Ritorto says.

Last year, Ritorto hosted a booth, interacted with customers and attended the awards dinner. “It’s just a great day of networking,” he says. He will be hosting a booth again this year. WGL is planning to be a sponsor.

“Paul’s really conscious of who each vendor should be speaking to,” Ritorto says. “Very much he will go out of his way throughout the day to make sure the right people are connecting with one another.”