Our team is in the race for advanced battery technology. We are reaching new heights in power, performance, economics, safety and environmental compatibility.
Leadership, Team and Board
On a day to day basis Lightening Energy is led by Michael Epstein, CEO and President; Dr. Christopher K. Dyer, Chief Technical Officer; and Duncan Culver, Director of Engineering and Manufacturing . In brief, the Lightening Energy team includes leading scientists and engineers with combined experience of more than 100 years in the powering technology field. Our collective accomplishments for example include including advanced powering innovations for aviation, aerospace, telecommunications, transportation, backup power and medical devices.
Additionally, Lightening Energy is governed by a four-member Board of Director comprised of executive and non-executive members: F. Chandler ("Chan') Coddington, Gerald Hale, Christopher Dyer and Michael Epstein. Our board of directors brings extensive experience in business and industry, entrepreneurship, and in the introduction off advanced technology.
Michael Epstein, Chief Executive Officer, President, and Co-Founding Board Director
Mr. Epstein was among the founding team and senior management at USCAR (a joint venture of Chrysler, Ford and General Motors). He also brings over 20 years experience as an entrepreneur. For more than a decade at USCAR, he managed a portfolio of programs that advanced automotive-related technology towards commercial feasibility. He served as a member of the USCAR's management committee, chaired its business and policy groups, and was instrumental in drafting the original program plan for the “Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles.” PNGV included automakers, national laboratories, and the White House. It advanced several key energy technologies including advanced batteries and hybrid electric vehicles.
Mr. Epstein has successfully led several automotive and non-automotive technology ventures. He was awarded by USCAR "for many accomplishments and tireless effort." He also has served as Advisor and Director to several prominent companies including Chameleon Systems, PlasmaSol, and Vianix. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Carnegie-Mellon and
Christopher Dyer, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founding Board Director
Dr. Dyer is well recognized internationally as a leader in developing both batteries and fuel cells for high tech applications. His accomplishments at Bell Laboratories, Telcordia and Motorola included inventing innovative power supplies for satellite systems and portable electronic devices. He is an important leader in the battery and fuel cell power industry through his Editorship of the prestigious international Journal of Power Sources – the world’s leading peer-reviewed journal for batteries, fuel cells and capacitors, which reports on the latest advances in all these fields. Dr Dyer has a Ph.D. from
F. Chandler Coddington, Co-Founding Board Director
Mr. Coddington, brings several years experience as investor and Founding-Director in carefully selected ventures. He has participated in notable achievements including LifeBank
Gerald Hale, Chairman-Emeritus
Mr. Hale is founder and President of Hale Resources Inc., an industrial/natural resource investment and management company. Gerald was formerly a Board Director of and Executive Vice President of Engelhard Minerals & Chemicals Corporation,
Duncan Culver, Director of Processing and Manufacturing
Mr. Culver has 37 years of experience in materials development, product design and manufacturing, the last 12 years involving lithium ion and lithium metal batteries. He was a member of the Telcordia Technologies team that invented the world’s first lithium polymer battery, where he worked on scale-up processes and supported a successful licensing program. His position prior to joining Lightening Energy was Director of Manufacturing with Lithium Technology Corporation, where he managed design and implementation of high-energy and high-power integrated battery systems for applications that included aviation, submarine and electric vehicles, for customers that included Boeing, NASA, and US Navy. As Director of Process Development with two other battery companies: Solicore and Caleb Corporation, he brought battery technologies for smart-cards and low-cost consumer applications from laboratory to pilot-scale manufacturing. He holds degrees in metallurgy and corrosion science from Manchester University (UK), and is registered as a Professional Engineer.
Mr. Sokol is a Senior Partner of the firm he established in 1975. He serves as Counsel to a variety of corporate clients, and has served as Counsel to the New Jersey Senate from 1976 to present. Mr. Sokol also supervises the firm's regulatory practice, which includes health, banking/insurance, and telecommunications.
He has represented clients before the United States Supreme Court and New Jersey Supreme Court in several landmark Constitutional cases. His special appointments include Counsel to the New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission, Counsel to the New Jersey Legislative Apportionment Commission, and Environmental Counsel to several public agencies.
Mr. Sokol brings to the law an extensive background in business and engineering. He spent 15 years in the chemical and computer industries after receiving degrees in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from New York University before entering the legal profession.
Michael Helmer is a partner in DLA Piper's Corporate and Securities practice. Mr. Helmer focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance (including venture capital and private equity financings), contractual matters, corporate governance and general corporate counseling. Mr. Helmer also acts as outside general counsel to numerous companies.
As an M&A lawyer, Mr. Helmer has extensive experience in over 20 years of practice representing numerous purchasers and sellers in a wide variety of acquisition, sale, merger, joint venture and other business combination and divestiture transactions. These matters include tax free reorganizations, asset transactions, management buyouts and exit transactions for founders. In venture capital, he has represented both companies and funds in equity, convertible debt and bridge financing transactions, including seed, angel, early, expansion and mezzanine round financings. In later stage private equity transactions, he has represented companies (including special committees) and investors in joint ventures, leveraged recapitalizations, special dividend transactions, dispositions and PIPE offerings for numerous emerging and established entities. Mr. Helmer provides general corporate representation including advice to boards of directors and management concerning corporate governance matters, and structuring and incentive compensation arrangements financing and M&A transactions.
Prior to joining DLA Piper, Mr. Helmer was a partner at another international law firm and Managing Partner of Thacher Proffitt & Wood's New Jersey office. While attending law school, he was an officer in the Commodity Finance Department of The Chase Manhattan Bank.
New Jersey Business News named Mr. Helmer as one of its top attorney "Deal Makers". He has also been recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer.
Mr. Helmer has served as an Adjunct Professor at Seton Hall University Law School teaching Corporate Finance. He is a frequent panelist on topics involving venture capital, mergers and acquisitions and financings and other issues affecting emerging companies.
Mr. GEHRIS received his undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering from Princeton University in 1988. He then worked as an examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office for automotive transmission control system technology. In 1992 he received his law degree from Columbia University.
Mr. Gehris prosecutes and litigates patents and is partner of Davidson, Davidon, Koppel in New York, New York. As an example, for his client Oyster Optics, Mr. Gehris helped form the company, prosecuted a patent portfolio related to phase-modulated optical fiber transmission technology and successfully litigated and licensed the technology. The company sold in 2011 on the basis of the patent portfolio. Mr. Gehris also represents large corporate clients in the printing, automotive, aerospace, energy and telecommunications fields. He is fluent in German, and gives speeches regularly in Germany on United States patent issues.
Bar Admissions: New York State, Southern District of New York, Eastern District of Texas, District of Columbia and United States Patent and Trademark OfficeRepresentative litigations (representation highlighted): Traffic Information LLC v. Mercedes-Benz (ED Tex); Oyster Optics Inc. v. Discovery Semiconductor (SDNY); Oyster Optics Inc. v. Fujitsu Ltd. (SDNY); Goss International Americas, Inc. v. KM Newspaper Services (ND Ill); Goss International Americas, Inc. v. GMA (ND Ill); Muller Martini v. Goss International Americas, Inc. (D. Del); Muller Martini v. Goss International Americas, Inc. (D. Minn); Perouse S.A. v. Gore Medical (SDNY).