Board Of Directors
Byron B. McCann, Co-Chairman
Byron is managing partner of Ascent Partners, an advisory firm to clean technology companies; venture partner at Prism Capital; a member of the Keiretsu Forum and Hawaii Angels, two angel investment networks; and NW Regional Co-chair of the Clean Tech Open. He was a founder of genSoft, which had the first Windows database and was acquired by Computer Associates; COO of a cable television advertising venture, acquired by TCI; and a senior consultant for Ernst & Young’s national telecommunications consulting practice.
He is on the board of the Northwest Entrepreneur Network; formerly vice chairman of the WTIA (Washington Technology Industry Association); on the board of the non-profit Broadway Bound Theatre and the NatureMapping Foundation. He is a cum laude graduate from Harvard and has an MBA from Stanford.
Lars Johansson, Co-Chairman
Lars has over 10 years’ experience as an angel investor, in recent years with an exclusive focus on Cleantech. He currently spends part of his time at the University of Washington as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Center for Commercialization.
His background is in IT where he was an executive at Microsoft for a combined 16 years. Lars joined Microsoft in Sweden and was responsible for the Nordic Enterprise business when in 1993 he relocated to Redmond to lead the development of the company’s initial volume licensing programs. Most recently he was responsible for the Worldwide System Builder business.
Lars has a Business degree from the University of Uppsala and a “Gymnasie-Engineer” degree from Älvkullegymnasiet in Karlstad, both in Sweden.
Eric Berman, Due Diligence Steering Committee Chair
Eric has spent much of the past twenty years at Microsoft and Expedia. Since leaving Expedia, he has turned his attention to cleantech and has made five investments with the Northwest Energy Angels over the past three years. Eric runs MyFlightbook.com, a service for pilots to track their hours. He spends much of his time volunteering with environment- and education-oriented non-profits. He is the board treasurer for Seattle-based Explorations in Math, a trustee for the Cheetah Conservation Fund, a national council member for the World Wildlife Fund, a partner at Social Venture Partners and a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight West. He has degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics from MIT and a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Stanford.
Bill Lemon, Screening Committee Chair
Bill has over 25 years in the energy industry starting with Pacific Gas and Electric where he was a key contributor to the financial evaluation of the full spectrum of electric generation technologies, current and emerging. His roll expanded there to include the commercialization of advanced technologies from PG&E’s R&D labs, partnering with energy-related companies ranging in size from start-up to General Electric.
He was later recruited by ConneXt (now part of by Alliance Data Systems), a provider of information technology products for the energy sector, where as the Senior Product Manager he led their efforts to identify the key technical and business implications of deregulation on energy IT.
Most recently, as Senior Vice-President at Source Capital Group, he leads fundraising efforts for a variety of cleantech businesses from start-ups to large renewable energy projects.
John L. Merrill
John is currently leading OneEnergy Renewables’ clean energy project development team and focuses primarily on utility-scale solar projects. John’s experience in energy began with 2 years in the oil fields of the Middle East and evolved into work on alternative energy projects in the 1980’s when he developed municipal waste-to-energy facilities, which dispose of waste and produce both electricity and thermal energy for district heating systems.
John also co-founded Merrill Images, LLC, a travel and cultural photography business and is active in Seattle Social Venture Partners, most recently serving on its environmental grant committee. He holds an engineering degree from Princeton University and is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University MBA program.
Corey Salka, Outreach Committee Co-Chair
Corey is a Cleantech investor and advisor; design thinking consultant; and environmental non-profit supporter. He has over 20 years’ experience in software design, R&D management, product management, and international business development.
Corey spent 17 years in senior roles at Microsoft, where he initiated the company’s entry into Business Intelligence (BI) and played a key role in growing a startup team into a billion dollar business. He led product development teams in multiple divisions, drove several highly successful acquisitions, and designed Excel data analysis features. Prior to Microsoft Corey held Senior Consultant and Product Manager positions with Information Resources in Boston. Among his clean tech interests are the application of data, analytics software and design to facilitate energy conservation behavior.
Corey serves on the Rocky Mountain Institute’s National Solutions Council Steering Committee, and is on the Board of Directors of the Greater Seattle Jewish Federation. He has an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of California, and an MBA from Northeastern University.
Alison Shaw, Outreach Committee Co-Chair
Alison Shaw, our newest Board Member, brings her marketing savvy to the NWEA Outreach committee. She also contributes the slightly different perspective of a fledgling angel investor learning how to translate an enthusiasm for clean-teach innovations into action. This is a valuable perspective for the Board as it expands its membership, all of whom want to quickly move up the learning curve of a pretty unique investment niche.
Alison spent over a decade at Microsoft Corporation in a variety of technical, marketing, and senior management positions. Since leaving the corporate world some time ago, she has been the founding Chair of KidsQuest Children’s Museum, and an active community volunteer with various non-profit groups, particularly Social Venture Partners and Hopelink, as well as a long-time advocate for quality public schools.
Alison has an Honours B. Math from the University of Waterloo in Canada and an M.B.A. from the University of British Columbia. Her first clean-tech investment was a Tesla Sedan, and she smiles every time she plugs it in or accelerates around a curve.
Northwest Energy Angels Founders
The Northwest Energy Angels was founded in 2006 by serial entrepreneur, angel investor and clean energy pioneer Martin Tobias, and Jeff Morris, then-Director of the Northwest Energy Technology Collaborative (NWETC) at the Washington Technology Center (WTC). Both have moved off the board but periodically consult with NWEA on issues of interest.