Advisory Council

Haven Allen

Haven Allen

CEO and Co-Founder, mHUB

Haven Allen, chief executive officer and co-founder of mHUB, is an entrepreneur and technology strategist who most recently concentrated on growing the manufacturing industry and strengthening its community throughout Chicagoland. In 2018, Haven was named to the Chicago Tribune Blue Sky Vault Blue Network of Chicago tech and innovation leaders and the 2018 Crain’s 40 under 40 class. In addition, Haven was recently appointed to a three-year term to the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership Board of Directors, participated in the P33 Business, Civic and Culture planning committees, and selected for Argonne National Laboratories Chain Reaction Initiative’s Advisory Board.

Gary Brinkworth

Gary Brinkworth

DIRECTOR OF ENTERPRISE RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION, TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY

Gary Brinkworth has over 34 years of utility industry experience in generation and transmission planning, forecasting, and demand-side management evaluation. He began his career at Southern Company in Birmingham, AL, in generation and transmission planning, and then moved to the municipal utility in Tallahassee, FL, where he worked in various assignments related to system planning, rate and debt analysis, power contract negotiations, and customer care and billing. He joined Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in 2009 to manage the development of long-term capacity plans, resource portfolio evaluations, and capacity optimization studies. He now leads the team responsible for coordinating the TVA’s R&D efforts.

Sara Chamberlain

Sara Chamberlain

MANAGING DIRECTOR, ENERGY FOUNDER

Sara Chamberlain has more than 15 years of experience in the energy and environment sector. She co-founded Energy Foundry, an early-stage cleantech venture capital fund and leads investment activity for the high-profile fund, whose portfolio companies have gone on to raise over $100 million in additional capital and contracts. Prior to Energy Foundry, Sara built a government advisory practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and helped energy startups raise $300M in non-dilutive funding. She has also held roles with GE Energy and environmental consulting firm, GaiaTech. Sara holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and an undergraduate degree from Emory University. She sits on the Board of e-Zinc, Tank Utility, NanoGraf, Azumo and Polystyvert and is a member of the Investment Committee for accelerator Clean Energy Trust. In 2015, she was recognized by Midwest Energy News “40 Under 40.”

 

K'Lynne Johnson

K'Lynne Johnson

BOARD DIRECTOR, FMC CORPORATION

An entrepreneurial leader leveraging over 25 years of experience, K’Lynne Johnson successfully bridges the capability to both build new innovative new technology businesses and transform existing large multi-billion traditional commodity organizations. Her broad experience includes identifying and commercializing transformational technology and implementing growth strategies for existing businesses. K’Lynne was the founding CEO of Elevance Renewable Sciences, a leading specialty chemicals company utilizing renewable feedstocks, and has a broad background of global operational management in both P&L and functional leadership roles within Innovene, BP and Amoco Corporation.

Karen Kerr

Karen Kerr

VENTURE CAPITALIST

Karen Kerr is passionate about partnering with entrepreneurs to build technology-based companies.  She has spent more than two decades as a venture investor, instigator, and advisor to intrepid entrepreneurs. Most recently she was Executive Managing Director at GE Ventures where she lead a team investing in advanced manufacturing, supply chain, logistics, and enterprise software companies that drove productivity at General Electric.  She was previously a Managing Director at ARCH Venture Partners and started her career as a Sr. Associate and Kauffman Fellow at Patricof & Co.  Karen was a Director at Intellectual Ventures and helped to launch numerous startups as Senior Director of New Ventures and Alliances at the University of Southern California.

Steve Kloos

Steve Kloos

PARTNER, TRUE NORTH VENTURE PARTNERS

Steve Kloos is a Partner with True North Venture Partners, a Chicago-based firm that invests in early stage disruptive innovations in cleantech and supports those companies on their journey to transform and lead global industries over time.  At True North, Steve focuses on identifying technology trends and market needs, sourcing and leading investment opportunities, assisting portfolio companies, and helping with firm management.  Steve is the Chairman of the board of Current, a non-profit platform for water innovation, he serves on the ImagineH2O Advisory Board, and is as a judge for the Global Cleantech 100.  Prior to joining True North, Steve worked in various R&D roles at General Electric in the US and Asia.

 

William Lese

William Lese

CO-FOUNDER AND MANAGING PARTNER, BRAEMAR ENERGY VENTURES

Bill Lese is a Co-founder and Managing Partner of Braemar Energy Ventures. Since Braemar began investing in 2003, Bill has led or co-led investments across multiple segments and stages, including EnerNOC “ENOC”, Enerkem, Renew Financial, General Fusion, Utility, Carbon Free Chemicals, Sirrus, LusBio, TerraVia, Verenium “VRNM”, Ioxus, Katech, Flywheel, Proterro, OPX BIO and BrightVolt. He was formerly the Chairman of the Board of Ioxus and BrightVolt. Bill serves on the Advisory Committee of the New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy (NYC ACRE) and Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) which operates out of Argonne National Laboratory to accelerate emerging energy technologies from lab to market.

S.J. Maxted

S.J. Maxted

DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC INITIATIVES, THE ENGINE

S.J. Maxted accelerates innovation ecosystems at organizations and broader regional, national, and global levels. At The Engine, she focuses on early stage investment and support for tough technology that will enhance the world’s innovation ecosystem. She is also on the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Innovation Ecosystems. Prior to The Engine, she scaled an MIT start-up, the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program; held positions at Harvard Business School’s Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness; and spent time working on innovation ecosystems, technology transfer and commercialization at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and 17 DOE National Laboratories.

 

James Schulte

James Schulte

PARTNER & CO-FOUNDER, SUNFOX CAPITAL

James Schulte is a Partner & Co-Founder at Sunfox Capital, a growth equity and private equity fund focused on the clean energy economy. He brings over a decade of experience in power & utilities, finance, strategy, principal investing, business development, policy, and entrepreneurship to this role. He is passionate about mitigating climate change by helping our world decarbonize and electrify. Previously, he led Exelon’s venture studio building and investing in new businesses, and led energy policy at ComEd, an Exelon company. He also has experience as a Managing Director at Energy Impact Partners as well as a member of McKinsey’s Electric Power practice. He graduated with a joint JD/MBA from the University of Chicago Law School and Booth School of Business, and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Yale College.

Brian Tolliver

Brian Tolliver

GLOBAL CORPORATE & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, STRATEGY

Brian Tolliver brings more than 20 years of Fortune Global 500 experience spanning high-technology, energy, corporate development, strategy, business development, and investment banking. At Cabot Microelectronics, he was Senior Director of Corporate Development. Previously, he was  Director of Strategy & Business Development at Schneider Electric. His prior experience includes corporate development, business development and finance at Microsoft; and at Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown’s Technology Investment Banking Group, he focused on private equity, IPOs and M&A transactions for companies ranging from early stage to blue chip multinationals. Earlier in his career he gained deep expertise in software development, consumer finance and capital markets.

Eric Toone

Eric Toone

EXECUTIVE MANAGING DIRECTOR FOR TECHNOLOGY, BREAKTHROUGH ENERGY VENTURES

Dr. Eric Toone is currently Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Biochemistry at Duke University. Professor Toone has authored over 220 original papers, reviews, book chapters and abstracts in physical organic and biophysical chemistry.  He is also listed as an inventor on more than 20 patents in a range of biomedical fields and is a scientific founder of three research-based pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Toone is currently the Executive Managing Director for Technology at Breakthrough Energy Ventures, $1 Billion investment fund of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a group of the world’s most influential leaders assembled by Bill Gates to advance clean energy technologies.

 

Mark Werwath

Mark Werwath

DIRECTOR, MASTER OF ENGINEERING PROGRAM, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

Mark Werwath, (PMP), has a history of managing complex system (software) and product development, IT, and manufacturing and system implementation projects in four continents. Most of Mark’s career has been spent program managing high-tech R&D and change management programs in large Fortune 500 firms. Mark is an investor who sits on the boards of several startups in the Chicagoland area. He is a clinical associate professor at Northwestern University, the director of Northwestern’s Master of Engineering Management program, and co-director of the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Jetta Wong

Jetta Wong

SENIOR FELLOW, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION FOUNDATION

Jetta Wong has over 18 years of experience developing policies that support energy and environment technologies. She is currently a consultant working to develop strategic partnerships for her clients that bring new clean energy technologies to the market. One of her main clients is the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. Jetta is LACI’s representative in the cleantech ecosystem of northern California. Her objective is to coordinate engagement with entrepreneurs, funders, investors, R&D institutions, and governmental organizations. Prior to consulting, Jetta Wong established the Office of Technology Transitions for the United States Department of Energy in 2015 and served as its first Director.