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John is the founding Chairman and CEO of Suniva, Inc., the leading American manufacturer of highly-efficient, affordable solar cells and modules. Suniva evolved in 2007 from John's collaboration with Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi, Regent's professor and founding director of Georgia Tech's University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaics (UCEP). Under John's leadership, Suniva has raised over $250 million from top venture capital firms and private equity companies, including New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Warburg Pincus, and Goldman Sachs.
Suniva was named 2010's Commercial Technology of the Year by Platts Global Energy and Renewable Energy Exporter of the Year by the Export-Import Bank of the United States where John had the honor of accepting the award and introducing President Obama before his major policy speech on U.S. exports. For two consecutive years, the Wall Street Journal ranked Suniva #2 in its list of the Top 10 Venture-Backed Clean Technology Companies and placed them on the Top 50 Venture-Backed Companies across all industries list. Suniva has also earned top rankings in Greentech Media's Top Fifty Green Start-ups and by AlwaysOn GoingGreen as one of the Top 50 green technology companies in the Eastern U.S.
John has more than 20 years' experience in early and late-stage private and public companies. Prior to founding Suniva, John was an operating partner at H.I.G. Ventures, providing overall strategy for the fund as well as development of portfolio companies.
From 2001-2005, John was president and CEO of DWL, the leader in customer data integration software. Under John's leadership, DWL was profitable and cash-flow positive for 20 consecutive quarters, and was named one of the fastest-growing technology companies in North America three years in a row by Deloitte and Touche. DWL and was acquired by IBM in 2005.
Earlier in his career, John served as the Chief Operating Officer of TRADEX Technologies, during which time TRADEX became the market leader in digital marketplace
platforms. In March of 2000, TRADEX was acquired by Ariba for $5.6 billion, making it one of the largest software acquisitions in history.Previously, John directed worldwide field operations for Infinium Software, where he led a successful initial public offering, and acquired two companies.
John graduated from Colorado College with a BA in Business/Economics, and is a graduate of the AeA Stanford Executive Institute. He is a former director of Procuri, Inc., which was sold to Ariba in 2007; and former director of Marketmax, which was sold to SAS in 2003. John currently serves on the Board of Directors for Gwinnett Technical College and on the Board of Directors of the Technology Association of Georgia.Close -
Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi is a Regents’ Professor and a John H. Weitnauer, Jr. Chair in the College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He joined Georgia Tech’s ECE faculty in 1985 and is regarded as one of the world’s leading research scientists in photovoltaic (PV) technology. Dr. Rohatgi is also a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, the founding director of the University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaic Research and Education (UCEP, where Suniva got its start) and the founder and CTO of Suniva®, Inc.
Dr. Rohatgi has positioned Suniva as a U.S. leader in the research, development and manufacturing of high-efficiency, low-cost crystalline silicon cells using unique technology that evolved from his work at UCEP. Dr. Rohatgi continues his research on the development of low-cost high-efficiency cells, innovative cell designs, and cost and technology roadmaps for attaining grid parity with silicon PV.
Under Dr. Rohatgi’s leadership, Suniva has accomplished several industry firsts and achievements, including the fastest ramp-up to 100MW production in the industry (and current expansion to 170MW); the raising of $270 million in capital since Suniva’s inception; the successful production of cell efficiencies exceeding 19%, and R&D cell efficiencies exceeding 20%.
Honored as an IEEE Fellow, Dr. Rohatgi has published more than 400 technical papers in the PV field and has been awarded 16 patents. Dr. Rohatgi is recognized globally for his research and development contributions:
Dr. Rohatgi received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, in 1971, and a M.S. degree in Materials Engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA in 1973. He received a Ph.D. in Metallurgy and Material Science from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, in 1977.
Prior to joining the Electrical Engineering faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Dr. Rohatgi was at the Westinghouse Research and Development Center in Pittsburgh, PA in 1977 and became a Westinghouse Fellow while working on the science and technology of photovoltaic and microelectronic devices.Close -
Jim Modak is an experienced financial executive with more than 30 years experience in high growth businesses. His career has included three public offerings, four sell-side M&A transactions and more than 50 buy-side M&A transactions.
As CFO of Suniva, Jim assisted in raising over $250 million in capital and led the debt financing for the company's manufacturing equipment. Jim continually focuses on efforts of constant improvement for operational cost efficiencies throughout Suniva. These efforts were recognized by The Wall Street Journal's Next Big Thing survey, which ranked Suniva #2 in the 2010 Top 10 Venture-Backed, Clean Technology Companies. In addition, Jim manages the human resources aspects of Suniva, which has seen steady growth since the company was founded in 2007.
In March 2010, Suniva received the Renewable Energy Exporter of the Year by the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Jim presented at EX-IM Bank's annual conference, where President Obama addressed attendees and announced his export initiative.
Before joining Suniva, Jim was the CFO of Datapath, a $300 million company providing mobile satellite communications. While at Datapath he led the company's private placement of $350 million in 2006. His career has included COO and CFO roles at companies such as DWL, a private enterprise software company which was grown from $5 million in revenues to over $35 million in four years, ultimately leading to the sale of the company to IBM.
Additionally, Jim was the CFO at Tradex Technologies where he helped build the business into one of the leaders in developing digital marketplaces. Jim and the executive team ultimately sold the company to Ariba in one of the largest software M&A transactions at the time of $5.6 billion.
He has held senior financial executive positions at such companies as Total System Services-NYSE, American Software and Logility-NASDAQ and FFMC-NYSE (sold to First Data in 1995). In addition to public financing experience, Jim has significant operational and business development experience.
Jim began his career with KPMG Peat Marwick where he spent 12 years after graduating from the University of Notre Dame. He currently serves on the Library Council of Notre Dame.Close -
Marc brings more than 25 years' experience to Suniva, spearheading corporate services and project management for large capital developments, including more than $2 billion worth of construction projects during his career. He is responsible for Suniva's supply chain operations; real estate, construction and manufacturing project management; insurance and purchasing logistics, and facilities management operations. He acts as Suniva's chief procurement officer.
Marc joined Suniva as Senior Director of Corporate Services, helping to secure the most appropriate site for Suniva and negotiate the incentive packages. He was responsible for the build-out of Suniva's corporate offices and manufacturing plant, taking the building from an empty shell in July 2008 to full production in October 2008 -- achieving the fastest production ramp-up in solar manufacturing. Marc is also focused on Suniva's continued growth, achieving speed-to-market for Suniva's manufacturing expansions in 2009 and 2010.
Prior to joining Suniva, Marc was Vice President of Real Estate and Construction for Aarons, a public furniture company based in Atlanta. Under Marc's leadership, Aaron's successfully grew from 300 to 1,500 locations in seven years.
Previously, Marc was Vice President of Corporate Services for Health Images (later acquired by HealthSouth), managing the construction, facilities and equipment purchasing for all of the company's medical outpatient diagnostic centers.
Marc graduated from Georgia Tech with a B.S. degree in Architecture and Building Construction.Close -
Matt Card brings over 20 years of marketing, business development, sales and product management experience working and leading in high-technology companies ranging in size and diversity from engineering start-ups, established software development firms and global telecommunications providers.
One of Suniva's first 20 employees, Matt has been instrumental in building Suniva's worldwide customer base since 2008, having led or managed the development of many of the company's key customer relationships. Under Matt's guidance, Suniva's sales organization has developed strategic commercial relationships with leading EPCs nationally and internationally, with major customers in North and South America, Asia, and Europe, and developed an industry-leading distribution channel.
In October, 2014, Matt was appointed to a two-year term with the U.S. Department of Commerce's Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee, chartered with improving export competitiveness of these sectors.
He has also held senior positions in Sales, Marketing, Channel Development, Strategic Alliances, Product Management, and Systems Development, at various high-technology companies including Air2Web, Infinium Software, Xcellenet, KnowledgeWare andSprint Telecommunications after starting his career in application development at MCI.
Matt holds degree a degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Georgia, and has done graduate studies, majoring in International Business, at Georgia State University.Close -