Management Team

Annette Finsterbusch

PRESIDENT & CEO

ANNETTE FINSTERBUSCH, PRESIDENT & CEO

Annette is a serial entrepreneur with more than 30 years of operating, management, and venture capital investing experience. She was named in May 2022 to a two-year term as a voting member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

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.

Shari Vanloo

CFO

SHARI VANLOO, CFO

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).

Earl Wiggins

COO

EARL WIGGINS, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Earl Wiggins serves as Chief Operating Officer at EnPower. He brings over 30 years of operations and technical leadership spanning both the energy storage and computer hardware industries, most recently serving as Senior Director of Cell Production at Tesla Motors. There, he spent 2 years bringing up the new battery manufacturing facility predominately focusing on electrode manufacturing after Tesla acquired Maxwell Technologies.

Previously, at Maxwell Technologies, he was Vice President of Worldwide Operations, responsible for all of the manufacturing operations including process engineering, product development, operations, and supply chain to scale a novel approach to battery electrode manufacturing. During his time at Maxwell he brought on line 3 new manufacturing facilities in Asia and the United States.

Prior to Maxwell, Earl spent 21 years in the data storage industry with Quantum Corporation and Maxtor in engineering and operations senior management roles.

He grew up in the Bay Area in the Campbell/Los Gatos area. He is a graduate of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, IN with a degree in electrical engineering.

Mike Millar

VP, MARKETING & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

MIKE MILLAR, VP, MARKETING & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Michael Millar joined EnPower in July 2022 as Vice President of Marketing & Business Development.  He comes to EnPower from Navistar, where he helped drive the adoption of zero-emission vehicles. As a key leader on the eMobility team, he was responsible for NEXT eMobility Solutions marketing, business development, and supporting International Truck and IC bus fleets as they convert to zero-emission solutions.

Before joining Navistar, Michael was a founding member of PPG’s lithium Ion battery group. As part of that team, Michael was responsible for marketing and launching innovative cathode binders and other automotive-grade battery coatings.

Board of Directors

Annette Finsterbusch

PRESIDENT & CEO

ANNETTE FINSTERBUSCH, PRESIDENT & CEO

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.

T.J. Unterbrink

BOARD DIRECTOR

T.J. UNTERBRINK, BOARD DIRECTOR

T.J. Unterbrink joined EnPower’s Board of Directors in 2022 bringing 17 years of investment management experience.  Outside of EnPower, Mr. Unterbrink currently serves as a Managing Director/Structured Products Portfolio Manager at Barrow Hanley and was previously a Partner and Managing Director – Strategic Projects at Carlson Capital.  Prior to structuring a sale of Carlson Capital’s CLO business unit, Mr. Unterbrink was Co-Head of Credit and was responsible for CLO business development, fund structuring, analysis and negotiation of CLO fund documentation, portfolio risk and compliance, operations, investor relations and marketing.  During Mr. Unterbrink’s tenure at Carlson, he raised over $3.25 billion of assets in numerous CLO vehicles and was a member of the firm’s Operating Committee, CLO Investment Committee and CLO Committee Chair.  Prior to Carlson, he held positions at WhiteHorse Capital, Corriente Advisors and Deloitte.  Mr. Unterbrink is an accomplished public speaker at both domestic and international conferences.

Mr. Unterbrink earned B.B.A. and M.S. degrees in accounting as well as a Certificate in International Business from Texas A&M University.  He is a licensed CPA in the state of Texas.

Bill Ott

BOARD DIRECTOR

BILL OTT, BOARD DIRECTOR

Bill Ott joined EnPower’s Board of Directors in 2020, bringing 20+ years of experience in business development, sales, and management in the energy storage industry. 

Mr. Ott is currently a Principal at William Ott Consulting, LLC, focused on the Li-Ion Energy Storage market. His wealth of experience includes Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Valence Technology, a global leader in lithium iron phosphate energy storage solutions; Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of ActaCell, Inc., a lithium-ion startup now part of Contour Energy Systems; and Vice President of Field Operations at Active Power (ACPW), a leading manufacturer of UPS and modular infrastructure solutions. In addition to these corporate roles, Mr. Ott was an entrepreneur-in-residence at StarTech Early Ventures. 

Mr. Ott holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from the University of Missouri at Columbia.

Advisory Committee

EnPower Advisor Jim Akridge Headshot

James Akridge

PH.D.

JAMES AKRIDGE, PH.D.

James Akridge, a renowned expert for lithium-ion and a battery industry veteran, brings 40+ years of experience in battery development, manufacturing, and management to EnPower’s Advanced Technology Group.

Mr. Akridge is the former CEO of Valence Technology (2006-2008), a public company traded on NASDAQ (VLNC). Valence manufactured rechargeable cells and battery packs for Segway and other customers. Production was in Suzhou, China, R&D in Las Vegas, NV and headquarters in Austin, TX.

From 1999-2006, Mr. Akridge served as Vice President and Treasurer for Sion Power Corporation in Tucson, AZ, who was developing a rechargeable Lithium metal/Sulfur battery. 

Mr. Akridge spent 20 years at ENERGIZER (Eveready Battery Company) in Cleveland, OH, moving from the lab bench to management and finally to Senior Director of Technology by 1996. During his tenure, Mr. Akridge managed the general exploratory research group, researched miniature battery technology, took Ultimate Lithium primary AA and AAA Lithium metal/ pyrite battery development to full production, developed Lithium Ion 18650 for Gainesville, FL production facility and built the manufacturing plant, redesigned Carbon/Zinc cell with the group in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, U.K. and installed a redesign specification globally for Energizer. The last three years of his tenure were spent searching the globe for new battery technology and reporting to the most senior levels of management making recommendations for the development of new products.

Currently, Mr. Akridge is the President of JRA Advisors, LLC, a global consulting company for battery technology and applications. 

Mr. Akridge has written scores of publications, several patents and many public scientific presentations from mid 1970’s to current. His last presentation was at LBIS 2019 in Shenzhen, China (www.LBIS.net), where Mr. Akridge presented on Solid State Batteries.

1978 Ph. D. University of California Santa Barbara, CA in Chemistry. Dissertation subject was sodium ion conducting solid electrolyte beta-alumina for application in liquid sodium metal/Sulfur rechargeable batteries.

1976-1977 NATO Exchange of Scientists recipient at Domaine University of Grenoble, France where studies continued on solid state electrolytes for oxygen sensing and  battery applications.

1978-1979 University of Colorado Boulder, CO for Post Doctoral research on X-ray crystallography of solid electrolytes; Dr. Seymour

EnPower Advisor Dee Strand Headshot

Dee Strand

PH.D.

DEE STRAND, PH.D.

Dr. Deidre (Dee) Strand brings expertise in lithium ion battery materials technology development, R&D management, and product commercialization from her 30+ years of experience in the Li-ion industry.

Dee currently serves as Chief Scientific Officer 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 B.S. in Chemistry at North Dakota University, an M.S. in Chemistry at California Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been an active member of the American Chemical Society.

EnPower Advisor Terry Copeland Headshot

Terry Copeland

PH.D.

TERRY COPELAND, PH.D.

Terry Copeland is an established, innovative leader in the battery technology industry, with a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from MIT and over 25 years of corporate operations experience in both domestic and international arenas. Terry has led several battery technology companies throughout his career, including as CEO at companies such as Premium Power Corporation and Altairnano, Inc., and held senior R&D roles at Duracell and Millennium Cell. He has served on the Board of Directors for the National Alliance for Advanced Technology Batteries (NAATBatt), as well as on the Advisory Board for the College of Engineering at University of Nevada, Reno. 

Terry holds four U.S. patents in membrane and battery technology and has further catalyzed the battery marketplace through leading T.M. Copeland Associates, a consulting group specializing in battery technology commercialization and operational improvement. In addition to his technical expertise, Terry is skilled in capital development, sales expansion, operating in complex international markets, and boosting operational efficiency and productivity.

Tetsuya Ishikawa

TEDDY ISHIKAWA, TECHNICAL ADVISOR

Tetsuya (Teddy) Ishikawa has over 35 years of experience in the capital equipment industry, with emphasis on product development and a strong track record of creating corporate-level engineering infrastructure, best practice, and discipline. He joined EnPower as a Technical Advisor in August 2021.

Teddy’s experience includes 31 years at Applied Materials developing semiconductor equipment and manufacturing processes as well as leading exploratory projects for energy storage devices. He most recently served as Senior Engineering Manager and Lead Researcher at Apple, Inc., where he developed battery manufacturing technologies.

Currently, Teddy serves as Vice President and CTO at iLabo Corporation, an engineering company aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by providing conversion technologies for hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engines and consultations for the associated hydrogen ecosystem.

Teddy is a hands-on engineer with expertise across design, computer modeling, fabrication, and experimental work. He has led large product development teams and has a significant track record in patent filings. Teddy holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan.

EnPower Advisor Eric Miller Headshot

Eric Miller

ERIC MILLER, CO-OWNER & PRINCIPAL, PADT

Eric Miller is a co-owner of Tempe based PADT, Inc., a provider of tools and services to companies who design and manufacture physical products. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley and started his career focusing on the application of Computer Aided Engineering to turbine engine components. As a co-founder of PADT in 1994, Eric also pursues his interests in IT, graphic design, 3D printing, database programming, and small business management.

Eric is often called upon to write and speak on simulation, design, and 3D printing as well as on startups and the high-tech sector, and he hosts to podcast All Things ANSYS. He is currently Chairman of the Arizona Technology Council Board of Directors and a member of the BioAccel Board of Directors and the screening committee of Arizona Technology Investors. Eric also serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Arizona Commerce Authority. He regularly contributes to the Phoenix Business Journal website with close to 200 posts on technology, small business, and the Arizona ecosystem. He enjoys traveling, writing, history, cooking, and learning about new things.

Adrian Yao

ADRIAN YAO

Adrian Yao is a tireless, exceptionally creative, and hands-on former CTO of EnPower. He moved to an advisor role in August 2022 to pursue his graduate studies at Stanford University. He was responsible for driving the 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 developed a uniquely broad range of engineering skills in hardware and software applications. This pragmatic approach 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 gained 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 is experienced 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’s technology development. He has presented at various battery industry conferences, including NAATBatt International’s Annual Conference, Global Automotive Management Council’s Battery Congress, Energy Tech Summit’s Founders & Venture Summit, and the Military Power Sources Committee Graphite Symposium.

Meet our High-Voltage,

High Ampere team