Board of Directors
Michael Ahearn, True North Venture Partners
Michael J. Ahearn is the Chairman of the Board for Harvest Power. Michael founded True North Venture Partners based on a belief that early stage companies in socially disruptive business sectors require a fundamentally unique approach to funding, growth and market expansion. His perspective is based on his experience with First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR), the company he co-founded in 1999. Mike served as CEO of First Solar from 2000-2009 and currently serves as its Chairman. After an initial public offering in 2006, First Solar became a publicly-traded company on the NASDAQ and later became the first pure play renewable energy company to be listed on the S&P 500.
Mike also currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Cox Enterprises, Inc.; a member of the Board of Trustees of Thunderbird School of Global Management; a member of the Board of Trustees of The German Marshall Fund; a member of the Board of Directors of Endeavor; a member of the Global Advisory Board of Beijing Climate Policy Initiative.
Prior to First Solar, Mike was Partner and President of an early stage equity investment firm known as True North Partners, L.L.C. (later renamed JWMA, LLC), which was the majority stockholder of First Solar prior to its initial public offering. Mike graduated magna cum laude with B.S. and J.D. degrees from Arizona State University.
Hans Mehn, Generation Investment Management
Hans is a Portfolio Manager for the Climate Solutions Funds. He joined Generation in 2008 to help launch the firm’s Climate Solutions strategy. Prior to Generation, he worked at Swiss Re and affiliates for 13 years managing private and listed investments including responsibility for the then approximately CHF2 billion Direct Investments portfolio from 2003 to 2007. Previously, he worked in the Corporate Finance Department of Smith Barney Inc. after receiving a B.A. in Economics and Art History from Duke University. Hans serves and has served on the board of portfolio companies including AgraQuest, GreenRoad Technologies, Solar City and Tigo Energy.
Betty Jane (BJ) Hess
BJ Hess was Senior Vice President of Global Operations for Arrow Electronics, Inc. (NYSE) until her retirement in mid-2004. She had been a Corporate Vice President since 1989. Arrow is the world’s largest distributor of electronic components, with 11,000 employees and global sales of more than $16 billion.
BJ joined the company in 1967, when Arrow acquired a small electronics distributor where she was working as an inventory control clerk. For 37 years, BJ served in a variety of field and corporate operations management and information technology positions, and participated in or directed all of Arrow’s system conversion, mergers and acquisitions. She currently serves on the Boards of COTT Beverages (NYSE) and Philadelphia Biblical University, and is Chairman of the Board for Opportunity International, a microfinance organization.
Victor Hwang, Industry Ventures
Victor is a Managing Director at Industry Ventures, an investment fund focused on secondary and primary investments in leading venture-backed companies and venture capital funds. Prior to joining Industry Ventures, Victor was the founder of Agile Capital Partners, where he focused on opportunistic investments in growth stage companies. Prior to that he was with Internet Capital Group, where he was CEO and Chairman of ICG Asia and a Managing Director, Acquisitions. He began his career as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs where he helped build the Internet investment banking business by leading the IPOs of eBay and Yahoo!. Victor received his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller scholar, and his BA from Stanford University.
Kathleen Ligocki, Harvest Power
Kathleen is the CEO of Harvest Power, Inc. She joined the company in January 2014 from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where she worked as an Operating Partner with the firm’s greentech ventures on strategic challenges, scaling operations and commercialization.
Kathleen has served as chief executive officer of a Fortune 1000 auto supplier, Tower Automotive, and two early-stage companies — Next Autoworks Co., an American car company with a unique low-cost business model; and GS Motors, a Mexico City-based auto retailer owned by Grupo Salinas, a large Mexican conglomerate. Earlier in her career, she served as a corporate officer with Ford Motor Company and worked for United Technologies and General Motors. She has lived in both Europe and Mexico and has led operations in North and South America, Africa, the Middle East, Russia, China, Korea, Japan, India and Thailand.
Kathleen currently serves as a director of Lear Corporation, a Fortune 200 global auto supplier. She holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Indiana University, an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and honorary doctorates from Central Michigan University and Indiana University. Kathleen serves on the board of Indiana University Foundation and is an active volunteer in various community organizations that support women and children.
Bob Simpson comes to Harvest Power with a strong financial background. Before retiring in late 2011, Simpson served as both Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Waste Management. He was responsible for the Company’s accounting, strategy, business improvement, internal audit, investor relations, tax, treasury, risk management, real estate and financial analysis functions. Prior to being elected CFO in March 2004, Simpson was Waste Management’s Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer.