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.
Bruce Henne is a results-driven leader with over 35 years of experience in the Lithium-ion battery field. He specializes in the manufacturing industry, with extensive expertise in industrial automation, Lean Six Sigma, electrical engineering, design of experiments, research and development, molecular electronics, chemical physics, global quality assurance, ISO and GMP, change management, and process improvement. He holds the Director of Engineering position at EnPower.
Previously, Bruce was the Engineering Manager at EaglePicher Technologies, where he led and mentored Lean project teams while leading overall manufacturing excellence. He also has experience as a Black Belt Specialist, Senior Research and Development Chemist, and Research and Development Scientist. He has a proven aptitude in creating high level partnerships and for delivering forward-thinking solutions to reduce expense, improve efficiency, and drive performance with effective and efficient utilization of resources.
Bruce earned a B.S. in Chemistry and M.S. in Electroanalytical Chemistry with minor in Electrical Engineering from the University of North Dakota.
Jane Funk, PHR, SHRM-CP, has over 20 years’ diverse human resources and management experience spanning start-ups and established organizations. She has extensive hands-on experience leading global HR initiatives to include compensation & benefits, performance management, M & A, talent acquisition and immigration. She has a record of accomplishment of supporting fast growth companies by linking people strategies to business strategies.
As an Independent HR Consultant, Jane collaborates with clients providing leadership, guidance, and mentoring in all areas of human resources including talent acquisition & care, organization development, total rewards immigration, and legal compliance globally. She has developed and implemented cost-effective & scalable programs, infrastructure, and systems for both HR Operations & Talent Acquisition for a diverse range of clients & industries.
Jane has presented at various HR focused events to include The Commonwealth Club - “Winning the Talent War”, NCHRA - “Solo HR Department” and GuideSpark’s “ENGAGE – The Art & Science of Employee Communications”.
Jane is an active member of the Society of Human Resources (SHRM) and Silicon Valley Compensation Association (SVCA) as well as an advisor for ICA/FundGood Jobs. She also serves in a number of volunteer roles in her community.