Jim Jewitt, Chief Executive Officer, BSCE, MBA, University of Calgary: Jim manages operational and financing activities. Jim began his career in upstream oil and gas, focusing mainly on project and group management roles, except for a period when he was negotiating large gas contracts.
He was recruited to the independent power industry by ESBI Energy, where he rose to become CEO. ESBI traditionally served several money-center banks with engineering due diligence and project developers with development services; pivoting to grow owners engineering and contract operations of power plants and transmission administration under his watch. While CEO at ESBI he started the first for-profit transmission administrator, serving the province of Alberta.
Jim has held joint operational and financial leadership roles while guiding 4 turnarounds and also at a biofuel start-up. He co-founded a power focused private equity business at El Paso Corporation and subsequently was an MD at a family capital firm.
John W. Kermath, President & Chief Financial Officer: John spent 9+ years as President (COO and later CEO) of Ritchie Capital, a multi-strategy hedge fund that had peaked at $4 billion in assets under management. He joined the organization in mid-2006 to address problems arising from heavy investor redemption requests, and over the next 7-8 years, he restructured the firm’s main funds, in some cases in multiple steps, and took over management of the organization and portfolios with over $1 billion in holdings, largely private equity & venture in nature. He served as a board member of ten portfolio companies and was directly involved in monetizing the funds’ interests in them. He created over $260 million in new value for investors in settling long-standing litigation.
Prior to Ritchie, he worked as an advisor and investment banker to several technology ventures and raised a $65 million fund of private equity funds. He had also assisted in managing a $250 million portfolio of LP and direct interests in private equity for a major family office and advised several NFL investor groups. He served as a board member and President of the Houston Private Equity Association. He is an alumnus of Citibank, Deutsche Bank, the U.S. Army and Princeton.
Lou Castellani, Founder & Chairman Emeritus, BSME, NJIT: Lou manages executive and planning activities, as well as business development, finance and government efforts. Lou started his career as an application engineer with a Brown Boveri (ABB) power plant equipment subsidiary. Subsequently, he has been involved in the ownership, management, sale, and acquisition of technology businesses for more than 30 years.
Lou was the founder and CEO of the Adirondack group of companies, which participated in the development of power, cogeneration, and infrastructure projects worldwide with utility and private power company partners such as Southern Co., Entergy, Enron, Cogen Technologies, and China Power & Light.
He was also the founder and CEO of Clearwater Engineering, a 300 employee technology company that designed and built high tech water treatment systems. A successful exit occurred in a sale to the public company, Envirotech Systems, Inc.