Richard Johnson – CEO, CTO – MBA, PhD in Engineering Mechanics (UW-Madison). Dr Johnson is the creator of Rockwind Venture Partners. He has been actively involved in wind turbine rebuilding and research for the past 8 years. Dr. Johnson has 40 years experience in advanced manufacturing and machinery technology research - including gear and bearing research, condition monitoring, and remanufacturing. He started his career working on research of advanced rocket engines for NASA and over the years has headed materials and manufacturing process research departments at large US equipment manufacturers (i.e. Borg Warner and GATX Corp). His IITRI group pioneered the use of “superfinishing” for gears in helicopter and, later, for wind turbine drivetrains. His groups were among the earliest to explore the use of condition monitoring systems for industrial machinery – now commonly used on the most expensive utility scale turbines. His team at IITRI won an R&D 100 award for development of laser cladding for use in rebuilding components such as drive shafts. He has been a business consultant to start-ups that have become listed on NASDAQ (Psych Systems) or otherwise have become large entities (still privately owned).
Chet Kolodziej Business Development & CFO, CPA, MBA-Finance
Mr. Kolodziej is the past Executive Director of Freedom Field Renewable Energy in Rockford Illinois. He has 40 years experience in Financial and Operational affairs, including a number external start ups and corporate initiatives. Hehas been a program peer reviewer for NSF, National Academies of Science, and DOE Washington, who specializes in the commercial aspects of Renewable Energy. He has been a participant in the NREL Growth and Investment conferences in Denver the last 5 years. Also, he is a presenter mentor for the Clean Energy Trust (Chicago) business plan contests, as well as 5 years a judge in the regional Fast Pitch business plan events. Mr Kolodziej initiated and obtained $200,000 of start-up capital for RockWind thru the County of Winnebago (Illinois) and is very experienced in regulatory, tax, and investor structuring.