Company

At ViZn Energy, we have assembled a visionary team of scientists, engineers and business leaders with the common goal of creating and commercializing a revolutionary energy storage technology. Through the innovative efforts of our employees and by leveraging the vast knowledge and experience of our world class team of technical and business advisors, we have created a truly breakthrough product. At ViZn Energy we share a common vision and passion for innovation. The result of our efforts is best described by our mission.

Mission Statement
At ViZn Energy, we will enhance the quality of life for tens of millions of people around the world who need consistent, efficient, and safe energy to use in their daily lives.  We will accomplish this by providing readily accessible, environmentally friendly, sustainable and safe energy storage solutions that eliminate the enormous waste in the world’s precious resources, and energy production and distribution system.

MANAGEMENT TEAM

Ron Van Dell - President and CEO

With more than 30 years of experience, Ron Van Dell has an exceptional track record of success and proven leadership skills in early-stage, turn-around and established businesses. His background covers a broad range of industries in semiconductors and electronics – power, communications, computing, industrial control, electrical distribution and clean tech. As President and CEO of SolarBridge Technologies, Van Dell led the development and launch of a ground-breaking microinverter solution for AC Solar Modules, reaching eight digits in sales, while raising four rounds of funding. Before SolarBridge, Van Dell served as President and CEO at Primarion (sold to Infineon), President and CEO at Legerity (spin off of Communication Division of AMD), General Manager for Dell Computer’s Dimension Line of Business ($6B in sales), and VP-GM of the Communication Products Business at Harris Semiconductor (now Intersil Corporation). He also held previous international management positions in the U.S. and in Europe at Groupe Schneider, Square D Company and General Electric.
Van Dell graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, with honors, from Michigan Technological University and was a member of Eta Kappa Nu. He received Key Technologist and Management Awards at General Electric, served on the Board of Directors – NC State University Engineering Foundation, on the Europe Committee of the Confederation of British Industry, was Cited as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum and Co-chaired a Session on High Performance Teams at the World Economic Forum, served as Chairman’s Delegate to the US-ASEAN Business Council, received the first-ever Technology Achievement Award by B’nai B’rith International, was inducted into ECE Academy – Michigan Technological University and has served on both public and private company Boards of Directors.
Van Dell currently chairs the Industrial Advisory Board for the College of Engineering at Michigan Technological University, served as Chairman of the Clean Energy Council for the Austin Chamber of Commerce in 2012, was appointed by Austin City Council to its Local Solar Advisory Committee in 2012, serves on the Oversight Committee for the M-TRAC commercialization program of the Michigan EDC and as an Advisory Fellow, NSF Center for Next Gen PV, University of Texas.

Paul Siblerud – Executive Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Alliances

Paul is the CEO of the competitive analysis consulting company Strategic Tech Analysis LLC.  Previous to starting the consulting firm in 2013, Siblerud worked at Semitool Inc. for 20 years in engineering, product management and marketing specializing in capital equipment for interconnect electroplating and advanced Wafer Level Packaging.  As VP of Marketing and Electroplating he managed a division of more than $100M.  In 2009, Applied Materials acquired Semitool and Siblerud assumed the position of CMO for the new division through 2012.  During his tenure in semiconductor equipment industry, Siblerud started and managed two international consortiums promoting the technology of 3-D interconnect using Thru-Silicon-Via (TSV) and electroplated flip chip.  Prior to his semiconductor career, Siblerud worked at Biola University in LaMirada California as a system manager in the for the university computer center.  Studies in Electrical Engineering and Bio-Medical Engineering at Pacific Lutheran University.

Kevin Waldher - Executive Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations

Kevin has 23 years of creative real estate financial structuring experience for acquisitions, development and resale. He has owned, financed and resold over 350 residential and commercial projects for his own account. Kevin began and is still the managing director of one of Montana’s oldest and most profitable consumer finance companies, Mission Financial Group, Inc. His other past companies specialized in hard to place residential and commercial real estate finance and property purchase and resale. Mr. Waldher is also the major share holder of a Glendale, AZ general construction company; AZCO Real Estate Sales, Inc. specializing in bank owned property acquisition, renovation and resale. Kevin received his BA in Finance with a minor in Financial Institutions from the University of Idaho in 1987.

Craig Wilkins - Executive Vice President of Sales

Craig has 25 years of proven sales and executive management experience with a variety of start-ups in the financial and technology sectors. Mr. Wilkins is currently the President of ViZn Energy, a privately held storage technology company.  Previously, Craig was the founder and President/CEO of Acceptance Capital Mortgage Corporation (ACMC), a nationwide mortgage broker with 100 offices in 30 states.  In 1996, Craig was a founder and principal owner in NetWireless, the largest distributor for Nextel Communications, which grew to $40M in revenue in less than 3 years before being sold.  When NetWireless sold to Bearcom, Craig managed the combined corporate account teams for the company.  Prior to his work at NetWireless, Craig was the Director of Sales for CSI Financial, the second largest purchaser of hospital receivables in the United States.  Craig has a BA in Finance from University of Montana and completed his graduate studies in Economics.

John M. Lowell – Executive Vice President of Engineering & Operations

John has responsibility for both the product configuration and manufacturing functions at ViZn Energy. John was previously General Manager with P&L responsibility for all operations and engineering functions in North America for the Healthcare market segment inside Celestica. John came to Celestica when Celestica purchased AlliedPanels, where John was president of the US based subsidiary, and he lead the integration of AlliedPanels into Celestica. Prior to joining Celestica, John was VP of world-wide operations for SonoSite, a diagnostic ultrasound company, where he had responsibility of all operations functions in 10 subsidiaries located world-wide. John grew SonoSite from ~$85M revenue in ’04 to over $240M by ’09. John has held other operations and engineering management/executive positions in Tektronix, Philips, and Esterline Technologies. John has a BS and MS in mechanical engineering from Montana State University, and has over 25 yrs experience in putting new products in the market in medical device, industrial, test and measurement, and computer peripheral industries.

Kirk Plautz - Vice President of Sales

Kirk is a former Director for Bearcom/Netwireless, where he managed a $20.8 million budget for 11 years. Kirk was part of the Executive Management team and also managed the Eastern U.S. region. Kirk has been involved in 3 successful start-ups, which include Airtel Comm., Nextel, and NetWireless. His strengths include business development, P & L management, sales training, and new market launches. Mr. Plautz has a BS in Health Sciences from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

BOARD OF ADVISORS

David A. Feffer - Former Executive Vice President Health Dialog, Board of Directors

David Feffer has been a health care executive and entrepreneur for 40 years with a focus on finance, planning and delivery of health care services.  During the past 30 years his career he has concentrated on the development of concepts, delivery mechanisms and companies to assist consumers become more effective decision makers regarding their health and health care.  .  In 1983 he co-founded Health Incentives, the first telephonic nurse decision support company and served as its’ CEO.  In 1993 he joined Aetna Health Plans to found and head Informed Health, an independent subsidiary company of Aetna.  Following Aetna, Mr. Feffer joined Health Dialog in 1997 (as one of the first 4 employees) as a partner and Senior Vice President with responsibilities, throughout the company’s growth, for development of products and services, business development and participation in strategy.  Mr.Feffer’s experience has included serving as an Administrative Officer with the Pan American Health Organization, Director of a Field Service Office for the United Mineworkers Health and Retirement Funds, Health Officer in Missoula Montana and head of his own consulting firm.   After leaving Health Dialog in 2009, Mr. Feffer has maintained an involvement in health care as an investor and senor advisor with Array Health, which offers a leading “end to end” platform to power private health insurance exchanges, and serving on the Board of Directors of North Valley Hospital in Whitefish Montana, where he is currently Vice-Chair.  Mr. Feffer received a BA in history and international affairs from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1971 and an MSPH in Health Administration from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health in 1975.  He is a full-time resident of Bigfork, Montana.

Jim Aivalis – CEO Prometheus Energy Group, Inc.

Mr. Aivalis is CEO of Prometheus Energy Group, Inc., producer, supplier and distributor of LNG for high horsepower, off-pipeline industrial and upstream energy users. Jim has over 30 years of domestic and international energy industry experience with a focus on the upstream market. Prior to joining Prometheus Energy, Mr. Aivalis was the CEO and President of ThruBit, LLC, now a Schlumberger company providing drilling technologies to oil and gas operations. Mr. Aivalis’ previous roles include Non-Executive Director of XACT Downhole Telemetry in Calgary, Canada, specializing in acoustic measurement-while-drilling telemetry systems, and Managing Director for one of the energy industry’s leading global pipe and premium connection manufacturers TenarisConnections B.V. Prior to Tenaris, Mr. Aivalis served over 20 years with Schlumberger in a variety of senior management roles, from commercial and technical management to engineering and business development. Mr. Aivalis’ intellectual blend of holding five patents, authoring numerous articles, and bringing nascent technologies to the energy markets are unique in the step change of maximizing well construction performance and hydrocarbon production. Mr. Aivalis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Ocean Engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology.

Bill Burger - Senior Advisor

Bill Burger has over 30 years of experience in a range of executive, sales, marketing and business development positions with both large and small Silicon Valley-based companies. More recently, Bill has been developing extensive skill sets in M&A from both acquiring and acquired sides.
Bill was most recently a Director of Business Development for Switching Products at Broadcom Corporation, a leading communications IC developer. He was responsible for the StrataSwitch Ethernet Chip family and closed significant design wins with Cisco, 3Com, Nortel, Lucent and Hitachi, among others. During his tenure at Broadcom, Burger also led the acquisitions of both AILayer Communications and Altima. Bill came to Broadcom via the Company’s 1999 acquisition of Maverick Networks, where he was a co-founder and served as Vice President of Sales and Business Development. He played an instrumental role in negotiating the acquisition by Broadcom. He negotiated Maverick key foundry process technology licensing deals and co-led the Company’s initial funding agreements.
Prior to Maverick Networks, Bill was Vice President of Business Development and Foundry Operations for IC Works, a startup specialty foundry and clock manufacturing company. He secured the company’s first tier customer base, which included IBM, HP, Compaq, Dell and Seagate. Bill also formed the company’s profitable, $20M Foundry Business Unit where he managed all business aspects of the Company’s foundry activities and led a subsequent $50M foundry expansion program.
Prior to his 6 years at IC Works, Bill spent 17+ years in various technical, sales and business development management positions at Hewlett-Packard, Intel and then Adaptec. Bill started his career as a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories and has an MSEE from Northwestern University and a BSME from the University of Wisconsin.

David Green – Former Global Marketing Officer, McDonald’s

Mr. Green is currently a business consultant and is serving on the board of Tuesday Morning Corporation (TUES). Mr. Green was Senior Vice President, Senior Marketing Officer – Global Marketing for McDonald’s Corporation when he retired in 2002. During Mr. Green’s 30-year tenure with McDonald’s Corporation, he directed and supervised all facets of marketing, advertising, marketing strategy, brand positioning and promotion and was ultimately responsible for the direction and overall supervision of McDonald’s marketing activities in the U.S. and around the world. Working closely with world-class advertising agencies and outstanding marketing professionals, he developed adverting and marketing programs, which positioned McDonald’s as the number one retail consumer brand in the world. As a result of his accomplishments, Mr. Green received numerous awards and commendations for advertising campaigns, product promotions, new product introductions and media strategies. He has also served as a member of the board of directors for the Association of National Advertisers, Anti-Defamation League – Chicago and the Aviation Profession Educational Center.

Greg Hayes – Marketing/Policy Advisor

Mr. Hayes is an expert communications strategist, entrepreneur and public policy advisor. He has more than 20 years experience advising political leaders, major corporations and start-up companies in the areas of positioning, brand management and strategic communication. Hayes began his career in the California Legislature and then branched out into advertising and public relations, including a stint at the global PR firm Hill and Knowlton. He then joined two entrepreneurs helping them to grow or build financial services firms. Among his efforts was starting a reverse mortgage company that in less than three years became the third largest in the country before being bought out by Genworth Financial. From there Hayes started Clean World Partners where he helped lead the company toward construction of the first commercial anaerobic digestion project in the U.S. converting organic waste into energy. Over the years, Hayes has consulted for a variety of companies large and small, including Wal-Mart and Allstate. He leads ViZn Energy’s efforts to create its brand and advises on a variety of business issues.

Jigar Shah – Former CEO, Sun Edison

Jigar works closely with some of the world’s leading influencers and guides policy makers around the globe on key issues to implement profitable solutions to climate change

Most recently Shah served as the first CEO of the Carbon War Room, the global organization founded by Richard Branson and Virgin Unite to harness the power of entrepreneurship to unlock the potential of proven climate change solution technologies to be deployed at scale.
Jigar founded SunEdison in 2003; today the world’s leading solar services company. SunEdison, through Shah’s perseverance and vision, simplified solar as a service through the implementation of the power purchase agreement (PPA) business model. That model changed the status quo, allowing organizations to purchase solar energy services under long-term predictably priced contracts and avoid the significant capital costs of ownership and operation of solar energy systems. The SunEdison business model is a recognized catalyst that turned solar PV into a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide.
Prior to that, Shah managed mergers & acquisitions, corporate strategy, and sales efforts for BP Solar, specializing in national commercial accounts. He also worked as a contractor for the Department of Energy on alternative vehicles and fuel cell programs.
Shah holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and an MBA from The University of Maryland. Besides the Carbon War Room, he also sits on the boards of the SolarNexus, KMR Infrastructure, Prometheus Institute and Greenpeace USA.

Roger Hollandsworth - Formerly of Lockheed Martin

Roger Hollandsworth retired as a Senior Staff Chemical Engineer after 40 years at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. He conducted basic R&D studies on the aqueous zinc redox, lithium and aluminum-air electrochemical systems for 25 years before he transitioned into the practical application of battery hardware. This included the silver-zinc battery for launch vehicles, the nickel hydrogen battery for the Hubble Space Telescope and government satellites, as well as conducting lithium-ion system design studies for satellite applications. During the period from 1977 to 1985 he was the Program Manager and Lead Investigator responsible for directing the technical R&D of the zinc redox battery for electric utility load leveling and solar photovoltaic applications. He is the author of 3 patents and 45+ technical papers, including 9 papers which detail the electrochemical design and operation of the zinc redox system. Roger Hollandsworth holds BS and MS degrees in Chemistry from San Diego State University.

J. Robert Selman, PhD - Illinois Institute of Technology

Professor Robert Selman has been a faculty member of Illinois Institute of Technology (I.I.T.), Chicago, for over 25 years, and served as Director of its Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering until his retirement from teaching in 2002. He is currently Emeritus Professor and Distinguished Research Professor of Chemical Engineering. He did his undergraduate engineering studies at Technical University Delft, in his native country, the Netherlands, graduating in chemical technology. Following graduate studies in chemical engineering at the University of Wisconsin (M.S. 1961) and the University of California (Ph.D. 1971), he worked at the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, IL. At IIT since 1975, Professor Selman established a research program focusing on electrochemical energy conversion and electrochemical engineering, in particular of high temperature fuel cells and advanced batteries. With colleagues Drs. Henry Linden and Said Al Hallaj he pioneered a “solar hydrogen” interprofessional project and demonstration at IIT, since widely adopted as an educational tool for undergraduate students in U.S. universities..
Prof. Selman authored or co-authored more than 120 refereed journal publications, edited more than 20 books and symposium transactions, and has been awarded 6 patents, among which a key patent for cooling of lithium batteries, by PCM. In 2002 he received the Electrochemical Society’s Energy Technology Research Award for research in high-temperature fuel cells. A recent high-profile publication is an invited perspective on “Poison Tolerant Fuel Cells” in Science (October 3, 2009). In October 2010, he received the Grove Medal 2010 in Fuel Cell Science and Technology.

John Cooper, PhD, - Director of Technology

Dr. Cooper received his Ph.D. in Chemistry at UC Berkeley (1975) in the Chemical Engineering group of Prof. Charles Tobias. He has conducted R&D in diverse topics of electrochemical science and engineering for 30 years, including research on fuel cells and batteries. Recently, he directed projects at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that are developing practical fuel cells of high efficiency for use in distributed power generation as well as specialty carbon batteries and fuel cells. He is the author of 120+ papers and 20+ patents. Recently retired from Lawrence Livermore, he was Sr. Scientist for Energy Technologies in the Chemistry and Materials Science Directorate.