Our Team

Zuleica Lozada, Senior Scientist

Dr. Zuleica Lozada has more than 9 years of experience in development of advanced materials and processes in the power/energy related field, including advanced technology for synthesizing power and energy materials. Prior to joining Lightening Energy, Dr. Lozada held joint appointments in the Chemical Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering Departments at the Polytechnic Institute of Puerto Rico. In winter 2014, she started to work at Lightening Energy as a Senior Material Development Chemist in development of advanced solid polymer electrolyte materials for Li-ion battery applications. Dr. Lozada also participates as a senior engineer and scientist in advanced solid state electrolyte development relevant to the military applications for the Navy and Army. 

Gerald Hale, Chairman-Emeritus

 Mr. Gerald Hale passed away in October 2013, but we continue to be inspired by his memory. Gerald was 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, Menlo Park, NJ, where the initial precious metal auto catalyst was developed, and President of Chemetron Inc, Chicago, IL, a multi million dollar diversified producer of computer and automotive components. He has served as director of several companies such as Bio-Oxidation, Inc., NJ Manufacturers Insurance Company, the NJ Business and Industry Association, and PlasmaSol that was a spinout of Stevens Institute.

In Memory

Jaime Siegel, Esq., Advisor

 Mr. Siegel joined Acacia in June 2013 as Senior Vice President. He was appointed to Executive Vice President of Licensing and Litigation in May 2014. Experience. Mr. Siegel has extensive experience in international IP monetization, enforcement and strategic acquisitions, having spent more than 15 years at Sony Corporation of America, most recently serving as its Vice President and Senior Intellectual Property Counsel as well as its representative to Taiwan. His responsibilities at Sony included the worldwide licensing of technology in and out of Sony, the enforcement of Sony's patent rights, the defense of Sony against third party intellectual property claims and strategic intellectual property acquisitions. In his position, Mr. Siegel supported intellectual property matters for all of Sony’s network companies. He also is an expert in patent pools and served as the Chairman of the Board of MPEG LA, the world’s largest patent pool administrator. He has been a member of the AVS ad hoc IPR Experts group in China and the representative for Sony on the AVS Patent Pool Administration Executive Committee. Prior to joining Sony, Mr. Siegel was an associate attorney at the leading intellectual property firms of Kenyon & Kenyon and Fish & Neave in New York City. Mr. Siegel worked as an engineer in the aerospace industry prior to embarking on his legal careet. He holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University and a J.D. degree from Brooklyn Law School. Mr. Siegel also is a National Trustee of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Michael Helmer, Esq. Advisor

 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.

Leon J. Solol, Esq. Advisor

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 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. He is a member of the Sigma Xi National Research Honorary Society, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, UJA Federation of Bergen County and North Hudson, and the Jewish Horne and Rehabilitation Center, and the Advisory Board of Spectrum for Living.

Ferguson Strategies, Advisors; The Honorable Mike Ferguson

 The Honorable Mike Ferguson is Chairman and CEO of Ferguson Strategies LLC, a government affairs and strategic business consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. Congressman Ferguson served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001-2009, representing New Jersey’s 7th District. He also currently serves as Senior Fellow at the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest (CMPI), on the Advisory Board of Petra Solar, a NJ-based solar energy company, on the Board of Directors of The Heights School in Potomac, MD, on the Board of the National Italian American Foundation, and as a member of the Communications Committee for the United States Golf Association. Ferguson served as a senior member of the transition team of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Treasury. Previously he had served as Co-Chairman of the Christie for Governor campaign. Governor Christie nominated Ferguson to be a board member of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, and the New Jersey Senate approved his nomination March 21, 2011. In the House, Congressman Ferguson served as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has wide jurisdiction over the healthcare, telecommunications and energy industries. He served as vice chairman of the panel’s Health Subcommittee, and he served as a member of the Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee, and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. Congressman Ferguson also served as a member of the House Financial Services Committee, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the Small Business Committee. While in Congress, Congressman Ferguson developed a reputation as one who could bridge the partisan divide and find practical solutions to legislative challenges. He successfully led the congressional effort to secure House and Senate passage of the Lifespan Respite Care Act – legislation he authored – which authorized $289 million for states to train volunteers and provide other services to an estimated 50 million families caring at home for adults and children with special needs. President Bush signed Congressman Ferguson’s bill into law on December 21, 2006. 

Our Advisors

Leadership Team, and Board

Eric Materniak, Program Manager and Engineer

Mr. Eric Materniak, is a graduate of Princeton University with a “Bachelors of Science in Engineering” in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Eric joined Lightening Energy during the summer of 2013 through a program co-funded by the Princeton Environmental Institute. Eric has developed innovative technology at LE where his work and analysis has resulted in invention disclosures related to battery management systems and recharging technology for electric vehicles. Eric’s experience at LE has included project management such as cost analysis of battery manufacturing and recharging products. Project management experience grew from Eric’s undergraduate thesis, where he was a team leader for a successful project which demonstrated an increased power output from a vertical axis tidal turbine using a channeling device. Eric aspires to become a Professional Engineer, and has already completed the first steps of this process. Eric’s main interests include swimming, in which he competed as a Varsity athlete at Princeton and qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Other hobbies include skiing and hiking.

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 USA where he served on its board of directors until its sale to Celgene; PlasmaSol Corp. that was sold to Stryker, and Hunterdon County Micro Brewery. He also is founding Director of Kaesu.com and is a Founding Director Vemics, a provider of multipoint video/voice and data technologies and services. Mr. Coddington brings over 40 years of experience in the insurance and financial industries. He is presently a Director of the Hilltop Community Bank. He also has served on various advisory board positions including Travelers, St. Paul, Cigna, and Connecticut General Life Insurance Company. Further, he has maintained an active role in many community efforts including United Way, Overlook Hospital, Summit Chamber of Commerce, and the YMCA. Mr. Coddington served 4 years in the United States Army as an infantry officer and retired as a Captain. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maine.

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 Cambridge University in the UK.

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 Boston University. 

On a day to day basis, Lightening Energy is led by Michael Epstein, CEO and President; Dr. Christopher K. Dyer, Chief Technical Officer. 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 collaborative accomplishments include advanced powering innovations for aviation, aerospace, telecommunications, transportation, backup power and medical devices. Additionally, Lightening Energy is governed by a four-member Board of Directors comprised of executive and non-executive members: F. Chandler ("Chan") Coddington, Christopher Dyer and Michael Epstein. Our board of directors brings extensive experience in business and industry, entrepreneurship, and in the introduction of advanced technology.

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