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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 -
Dr. Shea has spent more than 35 years in Photovoltaics, including device design, research and development, manufacturing process development, technology transfer, and engineering and operations management. As Chief Engineering Officer, Steve leads Suniva's manufacturing design implementation, proprietary processes and growth. Prior to his current role, Steve was Vice President of Manufacturing at Suniva, leading the creation of the company's operations group, which successfully implemented the first Suniva process line in a record-setting 14 weeks from start of construction to first product. His team has also tripled production in the Norcross facility during 2009, and collaborated with Suniva R&D to optimize the company's production process to achieve average cell conversion efficiencies above 18% with no increase in capital cost and with reduced variable cost.
Prior to joining Suniva in 2007, Steve's work covered all aspects of the PV manufacturing value stream. From 2004 to 2007, Steve worked primarily as an independent PV consultant, with a portfolio of work covering process optimization, cost modeling of next-generation manufacturing processes, advanced metallization research, staff training, and a full factory installation in Egypt which included process design and documentation, staff training and factory start-up.
During 2005-2006, Steve was Senior Visiting Photovoltaic Manufacturing Specialist at Xerox-PARC in Palo Alto, CA. Prior to that, he spent more than 20 years with Solarex (later BP Solar), one of the largest vertically-integrated PV companies in the world, with factories in Maryland, Madrid, Bangalore, and Sydney. As Director of Technology in the Crystalline Division of BP Solar, Steve was responsible for technology development and implementation across the entire PV value stream, from raw material to modules. Before joining Solarex in 1983, and after completing his Ph.D., Steve ran the Materials Analysis Lab at the University of Delaware's Institute of Energy Conversion, working with a wide range of emerging thin-film materials and devices.
Steve earned an M.S.E.E. and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware, where his graduate work concentrated on Electron Beam Induced Current (EBIC) measurements of carrier transport in thin film solar cells. He also earned both a B. S. in Engineering Science and a B. A. in English Literature from Swarthmore College. Steve is the author of more than 25 papers on photovoltaics.Close -
As Vice President of Research and Development at Suniva, Bruce and his team of scientists are responsible for successfully advancing the ARTisun® Series of monocrystalline cells. The team's impressive 20% cell efficiency results are being incrementally deployed into manufacturing, using low-risk steps that maintain low manufacturing costs. Working closely with Dr. Steve Shea, Chief Engineering Officer, Bruce transitions ideas from the R&D lab environment into full-scale, viable manufacturing. Together, Suniva's R&D and manufacturing teams have recently added more than 1% cell efficiency gains without adding any new manufacturing processes.
Bruce also works closely with Suniva's founder and CTO, Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi, and Georgia Tech's University Center of Excellence in Photovoltaics (UCEP), in all aspects of cell design, fabrication and characterization. An important part of Bruce's role is managing the Suniva development lab, a 5,000-square-foot cell development lab fully equipped to conduct comprehensive experiments as well as confirm promising advances within a pilot environment. Additionally, Bruce oversees Suniva's module application lab, which includes state-of-the-art environmental test chambers, cell stringing equipment, and lamination and flash testing capability. The module application lab enables Suniva to research new module designs and improvements to module bill-of-material components. Key focus areas include improving module performance and streamlining installation and module integration.
Bruce is the co-author of several advanced cell structure patent applications that are currently in progress. Prior to joining Suniva, Bruce was Vice President of Strategy/Product for Tradex, which was acquired by Ariba; he held a similar position with DWL, which was purchased by IBM. Bruce's career also includes management roles in research and development, product management and strategic planning.Close -
Greg has nearly 25 years’ experience in the energy industry, including 18 in solar manufacturing and operations. As Vice President of Module Operations, Greg oversees all aspects of Suniva’s module design and manufacturing.
Prior to joining Suniva, Greg was Vice President of Module Operations for SunPower. Most recently, he spent the past three years managing SunPower’s internal and contract module operations worldwide from its Philippines base, completing construction of a 500-megawatt (MW) site and expanding operations from a single line of 30 MW to 10 lines totaling 400 MW. Greg also grew SunPower's contract manufacturing capacity from 40 MW per year in Asia to 400 MW in Asia, Europe and North America.
During his career, Greg has also held leadership positions in operations and engineering at Shell Solar, SolarWorld and Siemens Solar. He was Director of Capital Equipment and Facilities for Shell Solar and SolarWorld, and participated on a team that purchased and designed a 250-500 MW integrated solar operations facility.
Greg began his career as a research scientist in the field of crystal growing in Goleta, CA and later entered the field of solar energy as an engineer with Siemens Solar. Greg developed an energy-efficient Silicon crystal growing process and received the Green Energy award from the DOE, the State of Washington's Governor's Award on Sustainability, and the Bonneville Power Administration Green Energy Award.
Greg holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Yale University and an MBA in Management Sciences from Golden Gate University. Greg has authored and co-authored publications in both of his fields of expertise, crystal growing and solar energy.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, including UPS, AEG Power Solutions, Tenesol, and Heliene Energy and Solar City. 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, including strategic partners such as Sonepar, Gexpro, AEE and Soligent.
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 -