INDEPENDENCE LED Lighting’s Management Team works in a cross-functional capacity to ensure that the Company continues to produce the most technologically advanced and cost-effective lighting products with top thermal management and quality assurance. The team focuses on STRATEGY, OPERATIONS and FINANCE to identify growth opportunities in the dynamically changing global LED Marketplace and add value for the Company’s Shareholders, Clients and growing national and international Authorized Reseller Network.
CHAIRMAN and CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER - Charlie Szoradi
Charlie Szoradi is the Founder and Chairman of Independence LED Lighting, LLC a leading U.S. Manufacturer of high-efficiency LED tubes and fixtures that save 50% or more in energy costs over the less efficient fluorescent tubes that dominate commercial lighting. Mr. Szoradi brings multiple decades of hands on experience to the culture of sustainability and cost-savings for property design and property retrofits. He focuses on ‘high performance’ architecture, and in the early 90s he wrote his Master of Architecture thesis on sustainable design, entitled ‘Eco-Humanism’. Mr. Szoradi is a LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - Accredited Professional), a Certified Building Performance Institute (BPI) Energy Auditor, and he has taken an eco-leadership role at the regional and national level. In 2009, Mr. Szoradi was elected to the Board of the Sustainable Business Network and selected as a member of the Green Economy Task Force, with direct participation on the Capitol Hill Delegation. The next year, he moved the Company’s LED tube manufacturing from China to Boyertown, Pennsylvania. Mr. Szoradi led the team, wrote the primary claims, and developed the key figures for the July 21st, 2011 Patent Filing for: LIGHT ENGINE DEVICE WITH DIRECT TO LINEAR SYSTEM DRIVER. The Patent file has 20 different claims and over 30 figures. In that same year, the Company won the Green Business of the Year Award by the Main Line Chamber of Commerce. Independence LED has since earned the trust of facility managers and engineers across the market with installations ranging from Fortune 100 clients to the U.S. Military. The Company has also provided the lights for the largest LED tube retrofit in U.S. history with over 2 miles (38 football fields) of installed energy saving tubes. Mr. Szoradi graduated from the University of Virginia and went on to earn his Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. From the cover profile of Inventors Digest Magazine to a speaker at the Made in America State of the Region panel, Mr. Szoradi has dedicated his career to innovation in clean energy technology.
Prior to Independence LED, Mr. Szoradi founded and ran GREENandSAVE, a leading efficiency resource focusing on Return on Investment (ROI), that was one of the finalists of the Sustainability Awards. Mr. Szoradi has always been inspired by the potential of making environmentally sensitive architecture accessible to mainstream Americans. Rather than just defaulting to techniques from 1970s technology and aesthetics, he created a platform to produce active/passive integrated systems. The design solutions focus on function, style, significant cost-savings, and environmental sustainability. Mr. Szoradi encourages the adaptive re-use of existing structures and materials, all while maintaining functionality and an overall aesthetic that appeals to the traditional as well as contemporary aesthetics. Mr. Szoradi and his wife Cynthia, completed the renovation and a major addition to a formerly in-efficient 1950s residence that they were able to ‘re-use’ and transform rather than tear down. The home focuses on saving money as well as the environment, and it is one of the most eco-friendly homes in America. This adaptive-reuse concept is also core to the business model of Independence LED, in that the LED tubes replace the less efficient fluorescent tubes while re-use the existing fixture housing for cost-effective results.
Mr. Szoradi is a sought-after subject matter expert and speaker on adaptive re-use and sustainable design with appearances at a diverse range of leading institutions such as the Green Building Council, Brain Reserve Think Tank, and the Wharton Business School. He has served multiple years as the Senior Lecturer at the University of the Arts, where he has created programs such as Urbitec, which focus on innovative product design through recycling and re-use. He has also been featured in a documentary film that received the Director's Award at the Black Mariah Film Festival. The film specifically profiles his vision and follows the process of adaptive re-use in converting a massive 22,000 square foot abandoned church complex into a mixed-use residential and commercial property. Mr. Szoradi has also served as a consultant to the Philadelphia Office of Recycling across many years. He created the education kiosk program and the website as the cornerstone of the interactive marketing initiative.
1993 and 1994 were benchmark years that 'seeded' the growth of Independence LED. In 1993, the company's founder, Mr. Szoradi completed his Masters Thesis on ‘Eco Humanism’ and secured US Patent #5,215,490 on the Building block set of tenon engaging edge connecting members. The thesis set the stage for the groundbreaking new approach to energy efficient and environmentally sustainable architecture, and the invention set the stage for the development of a new generation of Educational Building Construction Sets, High Performance Concrete as well as Structural Insulated Panels.
In 1994, Mr. Szoradi conceived and produced a pilot Eco-Culture/Recycling show “Fix the Hut.” The show was the culmination of over twenty-five interview segments shot across the country over a two-year period. The show focused specifically on people that had created innovative habitats, furniture, fashion, and lifestyles related to adaptive re-use and environmental sustainability. This interest in communicating through eco-education programs, speaking engagements, and media has coincided with Mr. Szoradi’s ongoing work in architecture, energy smart real estate development, and high performance lighting. Mr. Szoradi has purchased over 200,000 sq. ft. of urban space that he has had a hand in converting from ‘left for ruin’ factories, warehouses, and schools into mixed-use residential and commercial property. Transforming neighborhoods and salvaging urban landscape has been an integral part of overall sustainability in his career. Over the course of energy auditing, Mr. Szoradi continued to see commercial properties with fluorescent tubes that had not been optimized for decades. He found that lighting accounted for over 25% of commercial electricity, which inspired the LED technology which now cots the wattage and cost by more than half.
Mr. Szoradi’s early inspiration to focus on sustainability came at the end of the 1970s when he sat at a young age in a gas line with his Dad during the gas crisis. His father, who is also an architect, introduced him to colleagues that were then pioneering active and passive solar powered houses. He learned that Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House, and Mr. Szoradi teamed up with two friends at St. Albans School for Boys and proceeded to build ‘Omega – The Boat of the Future’ and subsequently won the Grade School Science Fair Popular Prize with the solar powered ship. Years later, major influences have also included working in Northern California’s bay area, working in Japan for the celebrated eco-architect Kenya Maruyama, living in Eastern Europe hubs like Budapest and Prague, and rural villages and Amish communities that rely almost exclusively on sustainable living practices.
Over his academic and professional career, Mr. Szoradi has traveled extensively throughout Asia, Africa, Central and North America, and Central and Eastern Europe, where he has studied specifically how people build cost-effective and environmentally sensitive homes, commercial structures, and communities. Mr. Szoradi grew up in Washington, DC and graduated from St. Albans School for Boys. He then earned his undergraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Virginia and went on to earn a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Szoradi is a registered architect and currently lives in Greater Philadelphia with his wife, son, and daughter in their self-sustaining home.
Mr. Szoradi also comes from a four generation line of patent holders, U.S. manufacturers, and innovators across the built world. 100 Years of Family Innovation
Chief Operating Officer - Michael Smith
Michael Smith is a seasoned, successful and visionary Chief Executive. In 2005 he accomplished what others said could not be done; forging a network of regional, independent logistics companies into one cohesive and competitive company operating under one powerful and recognized brand. With over $50 MM in annual revenues and 123 locations throughout the United States, he built America’s most recognized and successful transport packaging and logistics services company.
He counts among his many national and global clients, companies such as Home Depot, International Paper, Staples and more. His strong sense of operations and order and his commitment to consistently deliver more than expected has won him the respect and admiration of businesses across the corporate landscape. He has always found savings solutions for every client he has worked with.
In keeping with his core values of waste elimination and continuous improvement, in 2012 he changed his focus from logistics to energy awareness. He combined his business experience, entrepreneurial insight and the desire to help business owners significantly reduce their energy spend and built a successful LED lighting solutions company; Round 2 Lighting. He believes in LED lighting technology and that it is not just lower cost energy but that it is free energy.
Michael has actually taken Round 2 Lighting from concept to execution, growing revenues over $1 million in just 2 years. In this highly competitive marketplace where mere pennies often determine the acceptance of a proposal; Michael changes the game and focuses on innovation and service while helping business's 'green' their bottom line.
Michael's strengths reach from the executive suites to back office operations and his intimate knowledge of "how things really work" has allowed him to introduce innovative systems which have simplified and revolutionized the way businesses are managed with maximum efficiencies. He is a strong people person both inside and out. His skills at building confidence is propelled by his in-depth knowledge of organizations, procurement, problem solving and leadership and the needs of a business.
Into his complex and busy life he manages to find time to remain active with his 4 children's activities. That alone is testament to his diplomatic skills and abilities. Michael lives with his wife and 4 young children in southern New Jersey where he is an involved, admired and respected member of the local community. He also makes a mean turkey and stuffing for Thanksgiving every year, complete with all the trimmings!
VP of Engineering - Glenn Baker
Glenn Baker has over 25 years of experience as a project leader and technical innovator on cutting edge technology. He understands the meaning of meeting customer requirements and has had a history of rapid promotion leading to full responsibility for development, implementation, operations, and support of company products. Mr. Baker takes a hands-on approach and is highly results oriented. He has been an Engineering Leader and Program Manager from R&D to production for complex optical, electronic, and mechanical equipment in the medical, commercial, military or industrial markets. His specialties include, Product Development, Technology Development, Program Management, Manufacturing, and Systems Engineering.
In addition to authoring multiple lighting patents individually and jointly, Mr. Baker brings to Independence LED a depth of LED lighting experience. Prior to joining Independence LED, Mr. Baker was the Director of Solid State Lighting (SSL) Engineering for Dialight, the New Jersey based Public Company with 1,000 employees. For the electronic manufacturing company, Mr. Baker managed optical, electrical, mechanical engineering resources and programs to develop and transition to production of advanced LED luminaries. Mr. Baker was the VP of Engineering for BWT Lighting where his responsibilities included overseeing the engineering to Design, Develop and Manufacture specialty LED light sources for government and commercial applications. As Independence LED rolls out its American Made LED Tubes and Multi-Tube Fixtures on the General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule for Q4 2012, Mr. Baker’s government experience adds value across the significant public sector opportunity. Over his career, Mr. Baker has also served as the Director of Product Development for Light Path Technologies and the Engineering Manager for Cogent Light.
Mr. Baker is a graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Engineering in Engineering Physics. He earned his Master’s of Science in Applied Optics from Tufts University. Mr. Baker’s overall experience and perspective in the LED and lighting sector is a key asset as Independence LED strives to continue providing advanced lighting products and leadership in the global energy reduction marketplace.
VP of Business Development - Meade Hinton
Meade Hinton brings over 20 years of experience in both sales and business development on the distribution, management and integration sides of the business. Mr. Hinton has been part of the Mid Atlantic and Northeastern landscape for the last 18 years with his experience coming from the High Tech industry in the telecommunications hardware, software, and medical device sectors. He has worked with many cutting edge companies that have fostered innovation. Meade is an entrepreneurial, innovative, and creative business development executive with broad-based expertise in all facets of sales, marketing, public relations, and account management. He brings a critical methodology to understanding customer behavior that has helped his companies deliver tailored solutions that have met and exceeded customer satisfaction and retention.
Prior to joining Independence LED, Mr. Hinton was the Mid Atlantic Business Development Manager for Vu Telepresence, a leading manufacturer of video conferencing hardware. During his tenure, he helped build a channel reseller network as well as working with end users in the Fortune 2000 market and was instrumental in growing market share from zero to 8% internationally. After successfully working for seven years in Philadelphia with DePuy Orthopedics, a division of Johnson and Johnson, Mr. Hinton became the owner of OHMM Holding Group, Inc. which controlled one of the largest independent franchises in the retail specialty market, based in suburban Philadelphia. He successfully sold this business in 2008.
Mr. Hinton holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and English from the College of Charleston and enjoys spending time with his three children in Wayne, PA. His leadership, technical and overall sales experience is a key asset in the ongoing development of the distribution network for Independence LED across the U.S. and the growing international marketplace.
Director of Business Development - Brian Sokolow
Brian Sokolow has over 15 years experience in the advertising, franchise brokerage and energy efficiency sectors. Brian’s creative problem solving skills combined with his ability to develop effective marketing strategies have resulted in an accomplished track-record of helping companies in the lighting retrofit, Internet advertising, and franchise development field grow revenue and expand into new markets.
Prior to joining Independence LED, Mr. Sokolow spent the previous five years in various sales, marketing, and management roles with a value added reseller of turnkey lighting retrofit projects and energy efficiency software. During that time, Mr. Sokolow developed multiple lead generation platforms and marketing campaigns to acquire new business. He also built and managed an inside sales department from the ground up as part of a pilot program targeting new business opportunities for lighting and other energy conservation measures in partnership with one of the nation’s largest electrical distributors.
Mr. Sokolow graduated Magna Cum Laude from Temple University’s Fox School of Business with a double major in Finance and Real Estate. He also holds two Associate of Science degrees from Colorado College in Wilderness Para-Medicine and Outdoor Leadership. While living in Colorado, Brian held certifications for Class V swift water rescue from Rescue III International, as well as avalanche rescue certifications from the National Ski Patrol. Brian currently resides in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania with his wife and daughter.
Director of Western Region Sales - Peter Musser
Growing up in California, Pete Musser has always been environmentally minded. His work with the leadership of Independence LED began in 2010, when the Company moved its manufacturing from China to Southeastern Pennsylvania. Mr. Musser gained insight into the clean energy market and quickly moved to become involved in lighting audits and savings reports. Bringing progressive approaches to the marketing and sales team, he has established groundbreaking industry firsts with retrofits ranging from restaurant chain locations to structured parking. The turn of the first decade of the 21st Century set in motion the LED Lighting Revolution, and he was been at the forefront since the beginning.
Mr. Musser received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Connecticut College. His insight into the fundamentals of Return on Investment, as it relates to the LED value proposition, has been key to refining the Independence LED ROI Calculator software and reporting tools. His strong economic foundation is coupled with a profound sense of environmental stewardship, as evidenced by his work prior to joining Independence LED founding a sustainable beach-recycling program for the East Beach Association in Rhode Island. Overall, Mr. Musser is a consummate team player at heart, dating back to playing four years of Varsity Lacrosse in Division 3 NCAA.
Director of Marketing - Chris Crafton
Chris Crafton has worked with Independence LED’s Chairman and CEO on marketing initiatives for over 15 years. He has served in roles ranging Program Manager and Product Marketing Manager to Project Manager and Copywriter. Currently Mr. Crafton is focused on marketing Independence LED using a combination of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), content development, email marketing and Analytics. He works with Independence LED’s Director of International Business Development, Ben Stammen, to develop global digital strategies for regions within the more than 40 countries where Independence LED has filed patents. As the demand for LED technology increases worldwide, so too has the interest in the Independence LED tube and LED fixture technology. Mr. Crafton’s work has been instrumental in significantly elevating direct and reseller sales inquiries, and traffic to IndependenceLED.com.
Mr. Crafton also develops and refines the web site architecture of the pages, back end analytics, and performance reporting to the CEO. Mr. Crafton received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, and he proactively takes a critical thinking approach to communicating the value proposition of Independence LED across the global energy landscape. Outside of his work for Independence LED, Mr. Crafton volunteers for local charitable organizations such as the Delaware County Community Foundation and Homers for Hope, that helps to provide a monthly income to families who have suffered a tragedy or severe hardship.
Fulfillment Manager - Tyler Simays
In sport, a utility player is one who can play several positions competently. Tyler Simays is a top utility player for the Independence LED team. The Company takes pride in attracting and cultivating utility players, and Mr. Simays is well on his way to becoming an all-star 5 tool player. Baseball has its variables that add to the excitement of the sport, and fulfillment in the dynamically changing field of play for the LED industry also has its variables that add to the excitement.
1) Hitting for Power – Innovative solutions that save time and money
2) Hitting for Average – Consistency in delivery at every turn
3) Fielding Ability – Adjusting to whatever comes at him
4) Throwing Ability – Getting the job done accurately
5) Speed – Delivering ahead of expectations
Just as hitting for power and speed don't usually go hand in hand in baseball, innovative solutions and delivering ahead of expectations are not typically hand in hand in the workplace. This makes the multi-tool player all the more impressive. Mr. Simays also brings a very positive attitude to the field every day that exemplifies a spirit of cooperation and problem solving. Mr. Simays is a graduate of the Smeal Business College at the Pennsylvania State University with a marketing degree and an International Business Minor. He also studied abroad in New Zealand at Victoria University of Wellington, ran the Philadelphia Marathon, Volunteered at the SPCA homeless shelter, and he has served as a counselor for disadvantaged children.
Account Manager - Dan Boyle
Dan Boyle brings to Independence LED experience in the clean tech energy sector through both the production and reduction sides of the industry. On the energy production side, Mr. Boyle, founded Central Virginia Wind Energy (CVAWE), an energy conservation and renewable technology company. Mr. Boyle earned his Bachelor of Science from Florida Institute of Technology in Aviation Management and started looking into harvesting wind for power instead of avoiding it in aircraft. As a certiﬁed Bergey Wind Turbine dealer and installer, Mr. Boyle learned the value of a consulting sales approach via a Return on Investment (ROI) that is now so key to LED sales. This consulting mindset is in stark contrast to the commodity sales approach that is often the standard across the pre-LED lighting industry. Mr. Boyle understands that Independence LED is in the energy reduction business not just the lighting business and the nuances of lifetime value over short-term gain are key differentiators. Mr. Boyle, also has the tenacity to navigate the paths to secure top rebates . Independence LED has a disruptive technology over the incumbent fluorescent tubes and metal halide fixtures, so the Company has also sought out energy professionals over the years, such as Mr. Boyle, that have perspective and experience beyond lighting.
Mr. Boyle realized relatively quickly that energy conservation was a better place to start projects than the slower payback of renewable energy production. He began looking for domestic US technologies that cost-effectively conserve energy, and he found Independence LED. In 2011, Mr. Boyle jumpstarted his work with the Company through the Independence LED Boot Camp training program. He saw the value of the linear lighting as a game changing opportunity. He has leveraged his problem solving and project management skills from his pilot training and renewable energy work into the LED energy market. Prior to joining Independence LED, Mr. Boyle was an Authorized Distributor for Independence LED and other Made in the USA conservation products. In 2012, Mr. Boyle sold the US Veteranʼs Affairs Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina on a retrofit with the Independence LED tubes. The VA Hospital is the first of its kind to retrofit with LED tubes, and there are over 170 other VA healthcare facilities across the US. Mr. Boyle now works to support members of the growing roster of Independence LED Authorized Resellers across the sales network. He is well equipped to support resellers having been one himself. Earlier in his career, Mr. Boyle managed a multi-million dollar warehouse for race car safety equipment, and that experience gives him first-hand insight into the high cost of metal halide high bays. Independence LED offers one of the most cost-effective LED high bay solutions on the market, so Mr. Boyle is able to effectively work with the Authorized Resellers to match the right LED products to the facilities for their clients.
Account Manager - Kevin O’Keefe
Kevin O’Keefe brings a wealth of knowledge and dedication to Independence LED. Initially as a Sales Channel Partner dating back to 2009, he has sold and managed LED retrofits across a range of different property types. From auditoriums and aquatic centers to classrooms and hallway troffer fixture retrofits. Mr. O’Keefe has exceeded expectations for many clients, most notably in the private school sector. He has not only developed ways to provide the schools with economical LED retrofit solutions, but also helped to develop the Green Eco Education platform, that was a beneficial awareness program for students and parents at St. Aloysius Academy, Malvern Preparatory School and the Goddard Schools of Exton, Pennsylvania. Mr. O’Keefe has also worked with multiple leading commercial property owners on Energy Auditing and Energy Deregulation opportunities for their buildings. His complete understanding of how to make LED tube and LED fixture technology work cost-effectively for given applications and property owners is simply outstanding. He helps each account see the value of their investment.
Mr. O’Keefe’s previous experience in Executive Search/Human Capital Management, focused his efforts in several vertical markets, and allowed for a great understanding of Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices Biotech, Precious Metals and Powders. His primary focus had been Regulatory Affairs, Engineering (Pharmaceutical Manufacturing), Quality and Clinical Affairs, and Information Technology. Kevin’s ability to interact with all levels of management has made his transition to Specialty Benefits Corporation beneficial. Mr. O’Keefe is also very active with the Malvern Preparatory School Alumni Association, where he has led an effort over the last 12 years to raise in excess $750,000 for the Alumni Association. He is the co-chairman of the Alumni Golf Classic.
Commercial Property and REITs - Steve Marshall
Steve Marshall has spent his career finding solutions to complex problems related to real estate and sustainability. In his work for Independence LED he has been instrumental in securing sales for industry leading accounts such as Brandywine Realty Trust (NYSE: BDN), one of the largest, full-service, integrated real estate companies in the U.S. Organized as a real estate investment trust (REIT), Brandywine owns, leases and manages an urban, town center and suburban office portfolio of over 40 million square feet. Brandywine’s commitment to energy efficiency earned them the Energy Star 2013 Partner of the Year Award. Since 2011, Mr. Marshall has demonstrated the insight and tenacity to secure key sales for Independence LED as well as rebates for clients such as Ship’s Tavern in Wilmington, DE, that received major incentives through Energize Delaware. Beyond his work with the Independence LED tubes and parking garage fixtures, Mr. Marshall has managed custom LED solutions, most notably for one of New York's signature Midtown Manhattan high rises.
Mr. Marshall brings to Independence LED a profound understanding of the needs of the end user. He has worked on the ownership side as both Director of Real Estate Development and Director of Acquisitions and Leasing for BioMed Realty Trust (BMR). BMR is a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE- BMR) providing real estate to the life sciences industry through a portfolio of over 11 million square feet of lab/office space. His accomplishments while at BMR include acquisition, development and leasing of the state of the art Center for Life Science Boston (CLSB), a 700,000 square foot, 18 story research facility adjacent to Harvard Medical School. At the time of its completion in 2009, CLSB was believed to be the largest LEED Gold certified building of its kind in the world. Mr. Marshall previously practiced law at Kaplin, Stewart, a nationally recognized real estate law firm, where he specialized in land use and environmental law. He has lectured extensively on real estate entitlement and transactional issues and holds a B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the Temple University School of Law. Mr. Marshall is a licensed attorney in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey and a Pennsylvania licensed real estate broker.
Financial Advisor - Gretchen Yankanich
Gretchen Yankanich has over two decades of experience in finance and management consulting. Over the course of her career, she has worked as a CFO and also provided Consulting for Group Instruction and Training and CPE Credit Instruction. Mrs. Yankanich has experience in a range of business sectors from Consumer Goods to Business Equipment, from Health Care Medical Equipment to Industrial Metal Fabrication, from Small Tools & Accessories to Environment Consultants, and from Mortgage Investment to Real Estate Development. This breadth of experience is key for Independence LED Lighting as it relates to the company’s LED equipment manufacturing and role in optimizing operating costs within the Real Estate sector.
From 2004 to 2009, Mrs. Yankanich served as the Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Controller for IVY WALLS MANAGEMENT CO., LLC, & MARSH VIEW ASSOCIATES, Inc., the Berwyn, PA based Holding Companies in focused on Service, Technology, Finance, Materials. She was the executive managing $100M+ in private equity business assets, resulting in a 65% increase in overall earnings during her tenure. Her work included serving as the lead advisor/negotiator on M&A activity and financial due diligence. She provided strategic analysis and tax planning strategies, and directed and reengineered the finance process, controls, and policies. She reported on risk management strategies at corporate and business asset levels. She also developed revenue, margin and cash management strategies, managed corporate, treasury, tax matters and the inter-company allocations. Mrs. Yankanich administered $11M in corporate bonds & other debt instruments. She directed all capital and operating budgets for regulatory and external audits. Mrs. Yankanich also prepared the consolidated financial statements, routine internal audits, and provided leadership to 6 senior managers, 4 direct reports and indirect oversight of 80 employees.
Prior to working with IVY WALLS, Mrs. Yankanich was the Chief Financial Officer and Controller for HUMAN CAPITAL SOLUTIONS, LLC, a West Chester, PA based technology company. She was the also the CFO at JOBNET.COM, INC. , and prior to her roles as CFO, she worked as an Accountant and Tax Preparer for BRANDYWINE OUTFITTERS, MCFADDEN & CO., CPA’s, and KERRIGAN, ROWAN & JOHNS, based out of Exton and West Chester, PA. Mrs. Yankanich earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University and also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Film Production.
Inquiries from around the world for Independence LED tubes and multi-tube fixtures have increased from one or two each month to multiple requests each week. Now, Independence LED receives daily contacts from property owners and managers as well as companies overseas that would like to distribute or co-produce the advanced LED energy saving technology. Benjamin Stammen manages the growing international demand and global expansion planning for Independence LED. Mr. Stammen is ideally suited to run the LED export business given his rigorous training in electricity and mechanics, two decades of international lighting experience, command of five languages, and legacy of European family engineering excellence.
Director of International Business Development - Benjamin Stammen
Benjamin Stammen has seventeen years of experience in senior level international operations in lighting. He worked for five years in Belgium and twelve years as Managing Director in Hungary for the category leading European company Massive Lighting (www.massive.be), now a Philips Lighting brand. Mr. Stammen developed and led their quality champion factory with more than 700 employees and 2,000 contractors. Buyers from IKEA used to order on condition “Made in Tamasi”, which was specifically Mr. Stammen’s top quality performance plant. In 2002 Mr. Stammen became a shareholder of the Massive Lighting Group. Mr. Stammen earned his Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering in Electricity and Mechanics at H.I.C. in Geel Belgium. His experience and insight into quality assurance make him a key asset for Independence LED as the company continues to develop Best in Class A-10 LED tubes.
After more than a decade of weekly flights between Brussels and Budapest, Mr. Stammen came to the U.S. to work as the Senior Project Manager for the $1.2 Billion Swiss Datwyler Group. For almost 100 years, Datwyler Group companies have stood for leading materials expertise and comprehensive process know-how. They operate worldwide with focus on serving the needs of the pharmaceutical, automotive, civil engineering and the manufacturing industries. Mr. Stammen started their new Plant in Pennsauken. N.J. and became the Plant Manager. The manufacturing experience in multiple countries gives Mr. Stammen excellent perspective and insight as Independence LED explores opportunities for sister production partnerships around the world. After consulting in green wastewater treatment and building a network over in Europe, Mr. Stammen found his way back to lighting in joining the strong management team of Independence LED. His professional experience and command of five languages adds tremendous value as the company continues to grow internationally.
Legacy of Engineering Excellence:
Benjamin Stammen carries on the legacy of engineering excellence and quality performance of his grandfather Gerard and his father Antoon. Since the early 1920s his grandfather Gerard Stammen succeeded in elevating the textile weaving process to the highest level of quality performance standards. The finest automobiles and furniture of the day included the textiles woven in the factory that he managed. Many classic Rolls-Royce Motor Cars still have their original textile lining from the celebrated Belgian factory “Tissage de Velours”. Gerard Stammen steered his high-tech factory through the difficult 1930s by continuing to innovate and lift his products up to the highest new quality standards.
In the early 1950s his son, Antoon Stammen, graduated in chemistry and applied his knowledge to textile printing. He built up to eight factories in Holland, Belgium and France. The French printing plant “Boussac” became a milestone in the leading French fashion industry. He developed his own machinery and advanced chemical applications. The multi-color, wash and sun resistant fabrics inspired iconic designers from Pierre Cardin to Christian Dior, who’s creations were chosen by First Lady Jackie Kennedy, Celebrities, and European Princesses of the day. Antoon followed in his father’s quality philosophy that Ben continues to champion: Even the best is not good enough and can be improved.
International Strategic Business Advisor - Robert Dornau
Robert Dornau has significant global perspective on energy and sustainability, having traveled to over 50 countries across his professional career. Mr. Dornau has held executive positions as well as personally holding training workshops. His understanding of different cultural nuances has been essential in his success to motivate people and develop meaningful business relationships. As CEO of Carbonflow, Mr. Dornau provides its clients with an excellent understanding of all aspects of the carbon market, in which he has participated in different professional roles since 1999. From 2006-2009, Mr. Dornau was Vice President at SGS, heading the SGS Climate Change Programme to become the leading Green House Gas (GHG) verification company. SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. They are recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 75,000 employees, they operate a network of more than 1,500 offices and laboratories around the world.
From 2004-2005 Robert was an independent carbon market consultant, with clients including the Endesa Climate Initiative, the trading platform NewValues, and the World Bank, for which he worked as conference director of CARBON EXPO. Between 2001 and 2004, Mr. Dornau was manager of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). He was elected to the IETA Board in his capacity at SGS in 2008. Before working for IETA he worked as Project Manager for Deutsche Börse Group, as one of the first advocates of emission trading in Germany. Mr. Dornau has a Master’s Degree in economics from the University of Konstanz, Germany. He also has several publications in refereed journals and participated in numerous conferences as speaker or chair.
(Please call 484-588-5401 or Contact Us for more information on the Management Team, Staff, Reseller Support or our U.S. Made LED Tube and LED Fixture product offerings.)