About Violet Power

Unrivaled quality at affordable prices, improved manufacturing systems, automation and carbon footprint reduction are key differentiators for Violet Power. Supporting US energy self-reliance, sparking job creation with good-paying manufacturing sector jobs, and reduction of climate change impacts, round out Violet’s competitive advantage as a first-of-its-kind operation in the United States.

The company’s production blueprint gets us to full vertical integration in a short period of time with plans to replicate our efforts across the country and beyond.

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Violet Power Story

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I am pleased they are committed to supporting the continued development of a complete solar manufacturing supply chain.

 

Jay Inslee
Governor of Washington

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People Powered

 

At Violet, we recognize that our product excellence depends on the expertise, commitment, and effort of our extraordinary team. From our founder and manufacturing CEO’s Desari Strader and Charlie Gay to the engineers on our line, Violet believes in and invests in people.

We have a strong team of award-winning experts and innovators, along with exclusive partnerships with leading research institutions. Our team also has strong government relations bona fides, and we have qualified experts in human resources/workforce development, finance and sales.

Desari Strader

Founder, Chairwoman, and CEO Violet Energy

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A seasoned solar industry veteran, Ms. Strader started the company nearly three years ago with the vision of creating high quality, high efficiency solar cells at reasonable prices.  She is a committed catalyst for US manufacturing within the framework of the global economy.

Strader is unique in this effort because she has solar, government relations as well as brand, sales, and marketing experience.   She also served in elective office on the Washington County, Oregon Board of Commissioners (2007-2010) with a focus on workforce development.

Prior to starting Violet Energy, Strader headed up Government Affairs for Solar World for nearly six years.  While there, she directed and was lead strategist in one of the largest US trade cases in history, filed against China manufacturers of solar panels and cells.  Her tenacity paid off and they eventually won the cases.

 

Desari also served as the Executive Director of the Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association (OSEIA) from 2008-2010.  Prior to that, she was Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Ryka, a women’s athletic shoe company, and served as Brand Manager of Athlete Relations for 12 years at Nike.

 

Desari entered the US solar industry as an energy policy advisor for then US Congresswoman Darlene Hooley, who participated on the frontlines and recovery efforts from the 2001 Enron collapse.  Ms. Strader was part of the state’s Federal Stimulus team responsible for setting the criteria and enforcing clawbacks in defining shovel ready infrastructure and energy projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Ms. Strader led the efforts and developed in the 2009 Legislative Session to pass Oregon’s first and only solar feed-in tariff, following Vermont’s feed-in tariff passage 30-days prior. Oregon’s feed-in tariff was fully subscribed in two minutes upon the opening bell.

In 2018, Ms. Strader began collaborating with several global and domestic solar industry veterans to build a successful business case for US solar manufacturing and value chain.

Dr. Charlie Gay

Chief Executive Officer

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Dr. Gay has over 45 years of experience in renewable energy. Currently, he serves on the Sandia National Laboratories Energy and Homeland Security External Advisory Board and on the Board of Directors for Solpad, Inc.

He has significant private and public sector experience, including past tenures as president of Applied Solar for Applied Materials, Chairman of the Technology Advisory Board for SunPower Corp, President and Chief Executive Officer of ASE Americas, President and Chief Operating Officer of Siemens Solar Industries, and President of ARCO Solar.

Dr. Gay’s public service includes Director of the Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office and Director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. He is the creator of the Greenstar Foundation, an organization that delivers solar power and internet access to villages scaling microenterprise in the developing world.

Charlie has a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Riverside. He holds numerous patents for solar devices; won the Gold Medal for Achievement from the World Renewable Energy Congress; was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering in 2013 for leadership in the development of the global photovoltaics industry; and in 2019 received the Charles Greeley Abbot Award from the American Solar Energy Society.

Dr. Markus E. Beck

Chief Technology Officer

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Dr. Beck is an innovator and strategist with 20 years of senior and executive R&D, project & operations management expertise in the renewable energy industry and has been recognized as one of the top thin-film photovoltaic technologists in the world. His career in PV spans over almost 30 years. Dr. Beck helped built the US PV manufacturing industry with his roles as CTO at Siva Power, Vice President of the PV Development Team at Samsung, Chief Technologist at First Solar, and Senior Scientist at Global Solar Energy.

In addition to his industry tenure, Dr. Beck held a research sabbatical at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as well as a research scientist position at the Hahn-Meitner Institute, a postdoctoral fellowship at NREL and has an extensive patent portfolio.  He has advised global companies in the Renewable Energy sector on technology and business-related aspects and sees significant synergies between the proliferation of renewable energy, hydrogen & battery storage, intelligent energy network interactions through advanced software integration, transformation of the transportation sector to battery and fuel cell based electric vehicles as well as energy efficient construction in creating greater value for society.

Ryan Lambert, J.D.

Chief Investment Officer

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Mr. Lambert is an experienced finance expert and securities attorney, as well as the founder or co-founder of multiple solar companies. His roles include founder of Alliance Solar, a residential fulfilment company with over 3,000 successful installations; co-founder and President of Vision Solar; VP of Business Development for sPower where he led a 500% increase in their portfolio; Founder and EVP of Solar Nation. At Vision Solar, Ryan was responsible for all things related to solar fulfillment, including but not limited to market selection, sales strategy, strategic partnerships, financing, installation, supply chain management, and final completion.  At sPower Ryan was involved in all aspects of projects, including project acquisition, financial structuring, project management, construction management, commissioning, ownership and operation.  He was also involved in various sPower acquisitions, including the acquisition of Tioga Energy, as well as helping sPower secure additional sources of tax equity.

Bob Beisner

Chief Financial Officer (acting)

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Mr. Beisner has over 25 years of experience in manufacturing and 30 years in finance, accounting, government relations, and human resources.

At Siemens Solar, Shell Solar, and SolarWorld he was in charge of human resources, facilities, health, safety and environment, ethics and compliance, and served as corporate secretary.

At SolarWorld, Bob was elected as one of three managing directors in the USA and from 2006 until 2011, was the American point person for SolarWorld in the United States, and responsible for legal, HR, government relations and public relations. He was the advance operator in acquiring a 97-acre semi-conductor factory in Hillsboro, Oregon, helping to refurbish a 700,000 square foot plant into a site with 500 megawatts of annual production capacity and hiring the leadership of the operation.  Oversaw the integration of the former Shell assets into SolarWorld, establishing the US headquarters in Hillsboro, and populating that site with over 1,000 employees.

Bob was with Stion Corporation from 2011 until 2018 leading finance, IT and HR.

Lisa Grove

Chief Information Officer (acting)

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Ms. Grove joined Violet Power after three decades as one of the most accurate and insightful public opinion researchers in the United States. She has a reputation for providing rock-solid research and unique insight that provides a foundation for successful messaging, communications and strategy.   She is known as a “code-cracker,” helping to develop values-based messaging that cuts through and moves people difficult and emotional issues.  She has an exceptional ability to dig in on the details while never losing sight of the big picture, and she has an innate ability to understand what will motivate and move people. The result is highly accurate and actionable data, insights, and strategies for her clients.

 

Ms. Grove was also early sustainability advocate and entrepreneur, co-founding IF Green, the first 100% sustainable furniture company in the US and she is currently consulting with Larry Ellison’s Pulama Lānaʻi, managing a broad portfolio, ranging from carbon sequestration, to ungulate game management to household energy savings.  In addition, she helps run her family’s seven-acre, organic, non-GMO tropical fruit farm, Ola Kamoku Farm.

Paige Richardson

Chief of Staff

Paige has spent her 30-year career focused on building stronger communities by helping civic and community leaders and organizations achieve their goals.  She has managed and facilitated teams ranging in size from half a dozen, to over 1,500 members on both urgent and long-term endeavors. She specializes in strategic planning, communications, including crisis communications, positioning and tactics, along with team building, team management, and project management. Her professional passions include leveraging investment in renewable energy to create good paying US jobs and triple bottom line decision making and management.

Russ Wright

Senior Vice-President (Strategic Solutions and Project Development)

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Russ Wright’s career spans 25 years of entrepreneurial success and Executive level Management in Sales and Business Development.  After 13 years in the Wholesale Mortgage Lending industry with positions as Regional Manager and SVP of Sales and Marketing for some of the largest lenders in the market, Russ’ experience has since included Executive roles in Commercial and Utility Scale Solar Project Development, Finance and Construction.

He successfully started his own company, Renewable NRG,  in Commercial Solar Sales and Construction and subsequently sold the company to SunEdison, where he stayed on initially as Regional Sales Manager for the Pacific NW and then as National Sales Manager – Channels.

Emmanuel Van Kerschaver, Ph.D.

Chief Device Scientist

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Emmanuel brings more than 20 years of solar R&D experience to Violet Power. He began his career with IMEC, which is known for their development of silicon solar cells with world-record efficiencies, and has held senior positions at Solexel, Hanwha Solar America, and First Solar.

Claire White

Finance Director

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Claire has over 40 years of experience in finance, sales, and manufacturing.  White’s experience in manufacturing began with Precision Castparts Corporation where she served as a sales engineer for the company’s largest French client. White also developed Precision’s export licensing program to ensure compliance for their exported products.

Michael Lawrence

Instrumentation & Operations Director

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Michael began his career as an entry level technician and worked his way up to general management positions overseeing all aspects of project management including, engineering, operations, and construction management. He is OSHA certified and has served as a Safety Officer and Job Hazard Analysis specialist. Michael EMRS specialist who works to reduce and eliminate electromagnetic radiation.

Terry Jester

Chair of Violet Power Advisory Board

Terry Jester is CEO of SolPad and a nearly 40-year veteran of the renewable energy business. Her tenure in solar has been focused on technology and operations leadership, with emphasis on product development and cost optimization in emerging businesses. She has held executive leadership positions at SunPower, SolarWorld, Silicor and Solaria prior to joining SolPad. She worked at Arco Solar, Siemens Solar and Shell Solar as well. At Arco Solar, she helped developed solar module materials that are still in use today.

Ms. Jester holds a mechanical engineering degree from California State University, Northridge and has received numerous awards in the solar business for her contributions to the technical development of the solar industry. She has co-authored more than 50 papers on solar energy and holds three patents on solar module development. She was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer and one of the “15 Women Changing the World in 2015” and was awarded the American Solar Energy Society’s Women in Solar Award. She is part of the B20 Committee on Financing Growth, which advises the G20 on various topics having to do with emerging technologies and small businesses.