Silicon Ranch Stories
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Director, Project Finance at Silicon Ranch
“You see the results at the end of the day, that a veteran that came to a company is able to really grow within that role and accrue more responsibility offload from their manager, help train other folks on their team – that pure leadership piece that is extremely valuable for military folks because they had to do it the whole time with their fellow officers or their fellow enlisted.
And that’s where you really get that synergy just by entrusting veterans to really come onto a team and embrace the culture, but also offer some unique perspective. They may not have the years of experience, but the solar industry is constantly evolving, right? So, years of experience could potentially lead you down a rabbit hole in a different direction from where the actual path of solar is going to be in the next five years. You bring in some unique perspectives, somebody that’s not afraid to speak up, but is tactful about it, then you really can have some good discussion on direction down the road…
I think that adaptability kind of lends itself to adversity. Veterans tend to see challenges as something they need to overcome, not as something that shuns them away from getting to the desired solution. I’m not saying that this is unique to the military, but I would say that the majority of folks in the military will definitely look at a challenge and say, this is something that we as a team shall overcome.”
Managing Director, Mountain Group Partners
Byron is a Managing Director of Mountain Group Partners, an investment firm dedicated to investing in and actively guiding transformational businesses in the Life Sciences and Technology sectors. Founded in 2002, Mountain Group Partners principals have invested in more than 30 seed and early stage companies in these sectors. Within technology, Mountain Group Partners’ investments focus on Business Services and Consumer & Healthcare, targeting those ideas with quantifiable development risk and a rapid path to market.
Byron has also taught entrepreneurship as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management and been an active angel and venture capital investor.
Managing Director and Head of Global Infrastructure Investments
Jeff leads the TDAM Infrastructure Team and is responsible for investment strategy, asset sourcing and execution, and oversight of acquired assets. He was previously part of the Infrastructure Investments Team at Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments, with multi-sector responsibility for global deal sourcing and execution and developing emerging markets investment strategy for equity investing and project financing within the infrastructure and energy sector. Jeff received his B.Eng in Civil Engineering from Memorial University and an MBA in Finance from McGill University.
Chairman of the Board
Managing Director, Power & Infrastructure Investment Group at John Hancock Financial Services
Mr. Killamsetty is a Managing Director in Manulife’s infrastructure investment group. He joined John Hancock / Manulife in 2012 and is responsible for origination, execution and asset management of investments in various infrastructure sectors. Over the last ten years with John Hancock, Pradeep has led investments in infrastructure equity and public/ private/ project finance debt of over $5 billion. Pradeep has worked in the infrastructure sector since 2006, as an investor, developer, and a financial advisor. After graduating from business school in 2006, he joined Credit Suisse’s power & utilities investment banking group. At Credit Suisse, he was involved in M&A advisory and financing assignments for various power sector clients. Prior to joining John Hancock, he was at Competitive Power Ventures where he helped develop and finance about 1,000MW of renewable energy and gas fired power projects. Pradeep holds an MBA from University of North Carolina and an M.S in Mechanical Engineering from University of Alabama.
Philip Bredesen served as Tennessee’s Governor from 2003 until 2011 and Mayor of Nashville from 1991 until 1999. He is known for his bipartisan approach to problem-solving and his careful fiscal management. Among those who have served in senior elected positions, Governor Bredesen has a unique depth of healthcare experience in both the private and public sectors.
Prior to entering public service, Bredesen worked in the healthcare industry. Between research trips to the public library, he drafted a business plan at his kitchen table that led to the creation of HealthAmerica Corp. in 1980, a Nashville-based healthcare management company. The company eventually grew to more than 6,000 employees and was traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The company was sold in 1986. Additionally, Gov. Bredesen is considered a serial entrepreneur, having helped start and mentor several successful companies, many of which subsequently became publicly traded on various stock exchanges.
Clearloop CEO & Founder
Laura Zapata is the CEO and co-founder of Clearloop, a Nashville-based startup that helps companies of all sizes—from established companies like Intuit to innovative startups like Rivian—cut their carbon footprint and expand access to clean energy in the United States. Zapata made a career in crisis communications and reputation management having worked in Congress, political campaigns, and Uber. She’s now helping companies reach their net-zero and other climate goals with tangible climate action that ensures that the environmental, health, and economic benefits of new solar projects reach American communities getting left behind. Zapata is a strong believer that solar can do more if we’re intentional about the communities where we invest and is eager to tap into the economic power of more companies as they seek to tackle their carbon footprint and strive for an equitable clean energy transition. Zapata immigrated from Colombia, was raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a graduate of Dartmouth College.
Vice President, Engineering
Vice President, Human Resources
Jen is responsible for leading our HR function. People are our biggest asset at Silicon Ranch and the people strategies she is creating is helping grow and sustain our team. Jen joined Silicon Ranch with 22 years of HR experience in various industries, most recently in manufacturing with Bridgestone.
Senior Legal Counsel
Amanda counsels Silicon Ranch’s business development, finance, and executive teams, where she supports the negotiation and management of significant transactions and execution of Silicon Ranch’s strategic plans. Prior to joining Silicon Ranch, Amanda practiced in a large regional law firm advising clients in M&A, corporate finance, and project finance transactions across an array of industries.
Vice President, Projects
As Vice President of Projects, Morgan is responsible to oversee and execute the day-to-day operations of the LPC (Local Power Companies) and Clearloop portfolio of projects. Responsibilities include planning for projects, estimating, deploying and managing resources including labor, equipment, and subcontractors, and confirming proper close out of projects including ensuring the projects are achieving maximum resource efficiency and effectiveness. Morgan has more than 27 years’ experience with a proven track record of safe, high-quality project execution on time and under budget. His experience spans the power industry from gas turbines to coal fired boiler units and has been primarily focused in renewable energy and solar projects since 2017.
Vice President, Controller
Vice President, Projects
Jennifer Cain has been at Silicon Ranch for 6 years. She has worked leading the project management group that is responsible for the construction of utility scale solar facilities. Jennifer spent the beginning of her career working in utility consulting, primarily in the areas of transmission and distribution design. She is a Licensed Professional Engineer in multiple states, including her home state of Tennessee. Jennifer has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Tennessee Technological University and an M.E. in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Construction Management from Vanderbilt University.
Vice President, Business Development
Matt serves as Vice President, Business Development for Silicon Ranch and has been with the company for nearly 9 years. Prior to joining Silicon Ranch, Matt worked in various management capacities at TVA both in renewable energy program management and economic development. Matt and his team are responsible for developing community and utility solutions for distributed and utility scale solar projects across multiple geographies in the Southeast, developing win-win-win solutions for all partners.
Senior Vice President, Project Development
Senior Vice President, Process Improvement
Tyler works with the Executive Team and other members of the organization to develop and implement processes to support and streamline several of the Company’s initiatives, as well as addresses ad-hoc requests for the Executive Team during rotational assignments. Prior to joining Silicon Ranch, Tyler worked at Mountain Group Partners, a venture capital firm where he served as Vice President and either in board or visitor roles for multiple portfolio companies, and successfully executed on over 150 financings and transactions across more than 45 different companies. Before starting at Mountain Group Partners, Tyler worked as an Investment Banker at Sagent Advisors (now DC Advisory) in the Automotive and Industrial vertical groups. Tyler graduated Cum Laude from Vanderbilt University in 2010 with a BS in Engineering Science and a minor in Financial Economics.
Senior Vice President, Technology and Asset Management
Nick is responsible for managing all aspects of the company’s operating portfolio, as well as technology decisions for new projects. Nick has more than 20 years of diverse renewable energy, semiconductor, and military experience that inform his current work, including executive positions at SolarCity, Phoenix Solar, and Applied Materials.
Nick’s renewable energy industry expertise spans module and cell manufacturing, photovoltaic project design and operation, auxiliary grid services, as well as the prediction and demonstration of the energy harvest of novel PV technologies. He has also worked on manufacturing amorphous silicon modules, and on process machine control of cell splitting and cascading cell bonding processes with heterojunction crystalline cells. Silicon Ranch owns—and Nick now operates—projects that he himself designed nearly a decade ago, including the first transmission interconnected PV plant in the Southeast. Nick holds patents in both PV module manufacturing and design.
While at Applied Materials, he advanced the use of statistical process control to enhance the reliability of production equipment. He has led the commissioning of process equipment at Intel semiconductor factories in both the U.S. and Europe, and entire solar cell factories in India, Germany, Spain, and China.
Nick served his country on active duty as an Infantry Captain in the United States Army, with tours in Kuwait and Bosnia-Herzegovina. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University.
Nick is a regular speaker at industry events and has authored several articles. His current passions are the use of predictive analytics to improve performance of solar power plants and the integration of solar farms with regenerative agriculture practices—mostly with sheep and cattle. Hear him talk about it about it on NPR.
Senior Vice President, Project Delivery
Senior Vice President, Business Development
John leads the business development and origination efforts for Silicon Ranch and the expansion of utility-scale power plants, storage, and value-added energy services into new geographies. The origination team works electric cooperatives, investor-owned utilities, and commercial clients to achieve their economic and sustainability goals through cost-effective energy solutions. John has worked in the renewable energy industry for over two decades, covering all aspects of the value chain, from small-scale, off-grid power systems to heading up US origination for a global distribution company. John joined Silicon Ranch in 2015 following several years with the global engineering procurement and construction (EPC) firm that built Silicon Ranch’s early projects.
Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning and Initiatives
Senior Vice President, Engineering and Constructions
Executive Vice President, Strategy & Corporate Development
Chief Development Officer
Boris Schubert has been driving the energy transition for more than 20 years with a focus on global renewable power development. As Silicon Ranch’s Chief Development Officer and Chairman of Clearloop, Boris is charged with leading the future growth of Silicon Ranch by expanding its project inventory into new markets and use cases across the U.S. His role helps bridge together the unique offerings of Silicon Ranch’s carbon solutions provider Clearloop and its agrivolatics solution Regenerative Energy to meet growing customer climate ambitions and deliver tangible environmental, social, and economic impact for customers and local communities. Prior to joining Silicon Ranch, Boris served as General Manager of Renewable Power Development at Shell, globally leading a push to provide cleaner energy solutions.
Chief Financial Officer
Michael is responsible for managing all aspects of Silicon Ranch Corporation’s finance and accounting functions. Michael oversees the company’s internal and external financial reporting, regulatory and reporting compliance, and accounting operations. Michael brings over 20 years of financial reporting and accounting experience in a wide variety of industries for both public and private companies. Prior to joining Silicon Ranch, Michael worked on the corporate finance team of Asurion and previously worked for Ernst & Young in Nashville and Brussels, Belgium.
Chief Commercial Officer
As Chief Commercial Officer, Matt manages the interface between Silicon Ranch and external stakeholders, including customers, local communities, and the broader industry, with additional focus on business development and corporate strategy. Matt is also a member of the Company’s Board of Directors. Since Matt joined the team in early 2015, Silicon Ranch has grown from an early-stage startup to become one of the largest and fastest-growing independent power producers in the country.
Matt brings more than twenty years of global communications expertise, business development leadership, and entrepreneurial experience to the company’s executive leadership team. Prior to joining Silicon Ranch in 2015, Matt held assignments in New York, Tokyo, and London to develop and implement marketing strategies for large multinational clients. He later led business development efforts across a range of strategic initiatives for one of the country’s premier infrastructure firms. From late 2015 to early 2019, Matt served as President of the Tennessee state chapter of the Solar Energy Industries Association (TenneSEIA).
Matt graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned his MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.
Project Manager II at Silicon Ranch
“Ryan, you mentioned the entrusting to other people – it was kind of wired within all of us while we were in the military. You had to learn how to trust the people you’re with, because you were working so closely on teams and with teams. At the end of the day, teamwork was the hallmark of success. So that’s just instilled in us to – not to automatically just trust everyone, but to learn how to cultivate that trust. Because at the end of the day, that’s what’s going to make an organization successful and what you really need for any sort of team to be successful. Especially, like we said, in this high-pace, changing environment…
I think it’s extremely important to be pulling in vets, not just at Silicon Ranch, but to the whole energy industry, because the soft skills and the adaptability are really key to the person doing well in that kind of volatile, robust industry. Those skill sets will help grow the industry through these volatile and robust times.
It’s been really refreshing also to see at Silicon Ranch that we’re not just pulling in from one branch. There hasn’t been one cliche or cookie-cutter pathway of the same community from the military where we’re recruiting from. It’s all across the board. We have several Navy, we have a bunch of Army, we have some Air Force. So that’s also a key thing to remember in the recruitment of vets – it’s such a wide spectrum of experiences that can be capitalized on, and can contribute from different branches and communities in the military. So that’s been really cool to see here at Silicon Ranch as well.”
President & Chief Executive Officer
As Co-Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Silicon Ranch, Reagan is responsible for ongoing operations and execution of the company’s strategic growth plan. Under his leadership, Silicon Ranch has grown from an idea to become one of the largest independent power producers in the United States, while successfully commissioning every project the company has contracted since it began operations in 2011. From developing the initial ambitious plan for Silicon Ranch to growing a company that has earned a global reputation as one of the premier solar energy providers in the industry, Reagan has been instrumental to the company’s growth. Reagan also serves on Silicon Ranch’s Board of Directors.
Reagan grew up in Baton Rouge, LA. He graduated from Louisiana State University in 1993 and from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1998 with a law degree. He worked for both KPMG and Ernst & Young in the area of state and local taxes from 1998 until 2003, when he joined the Bredesen administration as Deputy Commissioner of Revenue. He became Commissioner of Revenue in 2006, and when Bredesen left office in 2011 joined with him and Matt Kisber in forming Silicon Ranch.