40 Under 40 The Class of 2016

Lamont Clemons

Executive Vice President, S-Cel-O Painting; Senior Vice President of Commercial Energy Sales, Proton Energy Group; Age 38

Lamont Clemons

Lamont Clemons

Lamont Clemons was born and raised in Springfield. At this particular time in its history, he’s glad to be back.

“I think about my humble beginnings here, and watching the transformation of Springfield has made me passionate about the city,” he said.

His role at Agawam-based Proton Energy Group — which brokers deals with energy suppliers to reduce the costs of commercial customers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York — follows positions with Dominion Power, Wachovia Securities, and Capital One in Richmond, Va.; American Express in Greensboro, N.C.; and Northrop Grumman in Elkridge, Md., jobs that gave him an appreciation for cities in other regions. “I felt that there were a few things I could take back to my hometown.”

At the same time, Clemons plays a role at his family’s 30-year-old business, S-Cel-O Painting. “There’s definitely not a dull moment. We’re dealing with high-end clients who are used to getting excellent customer service, and they want you to pick up the phone and respond to them immediately. So excellent customer service, building relationships, is a main focus.”

Besides his dual career, Clemons is involved in a host of community organizations, serving as president of the McKnight Neighborhood Council, assistant treasurer of the Greater Springfield YMCA, and second vice president of the Springfield Rotary Club.

“Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of role models in the minority community, especially here in Springfield, and I wanted to add that value, to give back to the community,” he went on.

He’s particularly proud of programs he’s helped launch at the Dunbar Community Center, including one where teenagers run a concession stand at basketball games and learn about supply and demand, revenue and expenses, in order to make decisions on what to stock and how to maximize profits.

“We show them the value of running a business, and along the way, they learn about workforce management and process improvement,” he said. “To give those kids that skill set is a huge value to add. Sometimes decisions don’t go well, and that’s life — they make adjustments. When you see the light go off in their head, it’s really phenomenal.”

And hugely gratifying, he went on.

“These kids are really the future of the city. We’re at a tipping point into a really good era for Springfield, and I’m very interested in contributing something to this city that built me.”

—Joseph Bednar

Photography by Leah Martin Photography

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