BOARD OF DIRECTORS
John Banigan, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Over 30 years’ experience in international financial services and management throughout Latin America, Asia, and the U.S. He has demonstrated client relationship and risk and asset management skills, as well as diverse business unit and regional management capabilities plus strategic planning, project analysis, and negotiation experience. Mr. Banigan has held senior management positions at HSBC and Chemical Bank (JPMorgan Chase); is a member of Japanese Equity Long Short Partners; and was formerly a director of Trophy Property GP Ltd., a US$ 1.0 billion investor in large scale, multi-use prime city developments in China. He was additionally Chairman of Sustainable Forest Holdings Ltd, a Hong Kong-based publicly listed timber products and sustainable forest management firm operating in China, Russia, and Brazil; and a founder of three U.S.- and Asia-based merchant banks: GlobalNet Venture Partners, Buckingham Partners, and BAII (Asia) Ltd. He is a graduate of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University - BS, International Economics.
Sue Barr, Board of Directors
Chairs the UK’s Marine Energy Council and has more than 20 years’ experience in the offshore wind, wave, and tidal power industries in the U.K, U.S., Canada, China, Japan, and France. Ms. Barr is additionally a board member of each Marine Energy Wales, Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum, Marine Power Systems, and Cambrian Offshore. She was recently announced as the winner of a prestigious new industry award launched by Ocean Energy Europe in recognition of her contribution to the ocean energy sector. Her work has had an important bearing on efforts to convince the U.K. government to introduce revenue support for the marine energy sector, including ministerial meetings, a joint parliamentary letter, and a new economic blueprint. Ms. Barr has also advised and supported U.K. government ministries on both the first offshore wind arrays and the first marine energy projects, driving industry policy. She holds a BSc in Marine Science and an MSc in Environmental Management.
Dean Corren, Board of Directors & Chief Technology Officer
More than 35 years of experience in the fields of energy research and systems design. At Verdant Power he has been responsible for all system research conducted from theory to model tests and full-scale prototypes. As the inventor and ongoing innovator of the Company’s tidal power systems, Mr. Corren has successfully led the advancement of Verdant Power’s industry leading Free Flow System to a NASA/DOE-based technology readiness level (TRL) 8 (0-9 scale). He was a Research Scientist for the New York University Department of Applied Science. He also served four terms in the Vermont House of Representatives and chaired the Burlington Electric Commission. He holds an MS in Energy Science from New York University and a BA from Middlebury College.
Joseph Helpern, PhD, Board of Directors
With over 40 years of experience, Dr. Helpern currently is Chief Science Advisor to The Litwin Foundation and Executive Director of New Vision Research. He also is Professor Emeritus at the Medical University of South Carolina, where since 2010 he has held an Endowed Chair and served as Director for the Center for Biomedical Imaging and Vice Chairman for Research in the Department of Radiology. Dr. Helpern was a tenured faculty member at New York University School of Medicine and served as Vice Chairman for Research in the Department of Radiology and Founding Director of the Center for Biomedical Imaging. His numerous honors include a Distinguished Investigator award from the Academy of Radiology Research and an Excellence in Research Award from New York State. Dr. Helpern received his PhD in Medical Physics from Oakland University, Rochester, MI, his MA in Organic Chemistry from The University of North Carolina, and a BA in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University.
Joseph Klein, Board of Directors
Over 20 years’ experience in investment banking, with a concentration on providing capital raising and capital structure advice to public companies. He worked initially in fixed income products and spent time in U.S. government debt trading as well as high yield corporate debt analysis. Mr. Klein has served as Managing Director and Head of Fixed Income Capital Markets for Leerink Partners, a privately held investment bank catering exclusively to the healthcare space and was a Partner and Co-Founder of KKS Securities, a startup broker / dealer serving institutional money managers in sales and trading of equity, derivative, and convertible securities. He also served as Principal and Head of Convertible Security Capital Markets for Thomas Weisel Partners, an investment bank advising growth companies in the technology, consumer, and healthcare sectors. Mr. Klein holds an MBA from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Yale University.
William Rogers, Board of Directors
Manages his own investment company and advises three large Private Equity firms on operational issues for energy and utility clients. Previously, he was EVP and CFO of CenterPoint Energy, which serves over seven million electric gas customers through regulated operations in 10 states and unregulated operations in almost 40 states. His responsibilities included strategic planning, business development, and investor relations. Mr. Rogers has also served as vice president and treasurer at American Water Works Company, Inc., the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility, and CFO for NV Energy, Inc., an investor-owned utility headquartered in Las Vegas. He has also served as a managing director in capital markets for Merrill Lynch and in a similar role at JP Morgan Chase in New York. He holds an MBA from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Military Academy – BS, Engineering and Economics.
David Sharpless, Board of Directors
More than 30 years of experience as a business lawyer in international finance, corporate governance, structural finance, and mergers and acquisitions, Mr. Sharpless currently serves as Chairman and CEO of the New Carbon Economy Fund, an investment fund established to invest in the green economy. This fund had three investee companies: Carbon Offset Management Inc., E3 Solutions Inc., and WirieIE International Holdings Inc., all of which have now been sold. He is also Chairman and CEO of Maverick Inc., a family investment and consulting company. Previously, Mr. Sharpless served as Chairman of Canaccede Financial Group Inc. He also served as Executive Chairman of Hunter Keilty Muntz & Beatty Limited, and Executive Chairman of Newcourt Credit Group Inc, which was the world’s second largest publicly traded asset finance company listed on the NYSE. He holds a C.Dir. from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University and an LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School.
Marc Stewart, Board of Directors
Most recently was CFO for a leading renewable energy company where he raised capital to support the construction of solar and energy storage facilities utilizing multiple financing structures and capital sources, including private equity, tax equity, and debt. Mr. Stewart has extensive experience working in close partnership with shareholders, boards, CEOs, and executive leadership teams on a broad range of strategic and operational initiatives. He has led deal teams in executing successful capital raising initiatives for large international (corporate and project financings) as well as private equity scale-up companies, successfully executing on over $10 billion in debt and equity financings. He served as CFO for InterGen, a leading privately-owned international energy company specializing in the development, ownership, and operation of power generation and related energy infrastructure assets. He began his career at Price Waterhouse Coopers. Mr. Stewart is a graduate of the University of Richmond E. Claiborne Robins School of Business.