Annette is a serial entrepreneur with more than 30 years of operating, management, and venture capital investing experience. Her career has been dedicated to driving growth and building value through successfully identifying, financing, and developing innovation into products and businesses in untapped markets. Her global corporate board experience spans multiple industries, including compound semiconductors, energy storage, lighting, advanced materials, 3-D printing, and the Internet-of-Things. Annette serves as President and CEO of EnPower, Inc.
Previously, Annette was the Founder of Applied Ventures, the venture arm of Applied Materials. She was responsible for developing the venture group’s investment strategy and execution plan. She sourced, led, syndicated, and managed Applied Material’s investments while also managing a group of investment professionals. From 1996 to 2000, she was based in Russia, where she led Applied’s expansion into Eastern Europe, chartering Applied’s first office in Moscow.
Other notable positions include CEO of MindShadow.com, a technology spin-out of DaimlerChrysler’s Research and Technology Center; Investment Manager at DaimlerChrysler Venture Capital, where she was responsible for enterprise software and fuel cell investments; and CEO of Ketra (formerly Firefly Green Technology), an IoT company based on LED lighting and wireless controls.
Annette has been a member of the National Science Foundation’s SBIR/STTR Advisory Committee since 2014 and was named the chair in 2019. She is a Kauffman Fellow, Class 11, where she was honored with the first annual Jeffrey Timmons Memorial Award. She is currently serving as a Mentor for Class 23.
Philanthropic Directorships include seats on the Board of Directors at the Junior League of San Jose, the Exceptional Women Executives of San Jose State University, and Los Gatos Rowing Club. She also serves on the Board of GLAC (Global Leadership Advancement Center). Annette holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Geology and Economics from the University of Houston and an MBA from San Jose State University. She received the Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award in 2004 from the faculty at SJSU.
Adrian Yao is a tireless, exceptionally creative, and hands-on CTO. Managing a highly qualified team of battery professionals, he is responsible for EPI’s technology roadmap and IP strategy.
Adrian is an all-around engineer driven by a passion to solve complex challenges with a deeply hands-on attitude. Drawing from years of experience “building stuff” - designing, machining, fabricating, assembling, programming, and testing - he has acquired a uniquely broad range of engineering skills in hardware and software applications. This engineering mindset, and his drive to be lightyears ahead of anyone else in experimenting and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, is what sets EnPower apart.
From developing high-voltage, continuous thin-film material deposition equipment to building an all-electric motorcycle utilizing EnPower’s battery cells, his projects span the gamut of engineering disciplines. In fact, a large majority of EnPower’s cell assembly equipment and processes were designed and built by Adrian in the early years of EnPower.
Adrian also has significant hi-tech manufacturing experience and exposure in both U.S. and Asia - including polycrystalline solar panels, semiconductor wafers, carbon and glass-fiber reinforced composites, and Li-ion batteries. He has extensive experience in intellectual property and patent strategy and has aggressively driven the effort to establish EnPower’s strong IP portfolio today.
Adrian has a B.S. in Material Science & Engineering from Rice University. Upon graduation, he co-founded the company that eventually became EnPower and his vision continues to drive the company forward.
Shari VanLoo is the owner of a management consulting practice specializing in virtual CFO services to early stage venture backed technology companies, focusing on software and cloud computing industries. She works with EnPower part-time.
With over 33 years of combined Big Four Accounting and industry experience, her broad expertise includes developing and implementing all aspects of financial control and management processes; driving debt and equity financing activities ranging from venture funding to initial public offerings; in-depth knowledge of accounting rules to structure software sales to maximize revenue recognition; and thorough knowledge of equity compensation regulations and reporting requirements.
Building on this depth of experience, she was instrumental in driving the exit strategy in numerous venture backed private companies through successful acquisitions by multi-billion dollar entities. Her well-developed skills and expertise enable her to consistently achieve above goal results.
Shari earned her Bachelor of Science degree, summa cum laude, in accounting from Western Michigan University. She is also a Certified Public Accountant (Inactive).
Deidre (Dee) Strand brings expertise in lithium ion battery materials technology development, R&D management, and product commercialization to her role as VP of Engineering to EnPower.
She was previously CSO at Wildcat Discovery Technologies, a VC-backed battery company in San Diego, CA specializing in high throughput/combinatorial R&D for battery materials.
Prior to Wildcat, Dee was a Research Fellow at Dow Chemical in Midland, MI. Dee worked on a variety of successful technologies at Dow, with focus on applications for the semiconductor industry. Dee was the technical lead for Dow Energy Materials and was part of the team that established Dow Kokam battery manufacturing. She has over 25 granted patents, mainly in the area of lithium ion battery materials.
Dee earned a BS in Chemistry at North Dakota University, an MS in Chemistry at California Institute of Technology, and a PhD in Chemistry at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been an active member of the American Chemical Society.
Lucien Fontaine joined EnPower as Senior Director of Engineering in November 2020. He brings 30+ years of technical and leadership experience to EnPower’s engineering team, with expertise in product design and development from concept through production.
Lucien has proven leadership expertise from his roles as Chief Engineer at Power Horizon R&D and Director of Engineering at Landmark Battery Innovations. At Landmark Battery Innovations, his accomplishments included setup of a pilot manufacturing and testing facility and design and implementation of new electrode manufacturing processes.
Previously, Lucien developed extensive engineering and project management experience in the battery and electronics industry at companies including Duracell, Texas Instruments, and A123 Systems. At A123, Lucien led the development of Lithium-ion cell components and processes for electric vehicle applications in China and Taiwan.
Lucien has authored 15 U.S. patents and has extensive experience in intellectual property development. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI.