ARES Management Team
Francesca Cava, VP of Operations of ARES, shares this, "The genesis of ARES was in response to the global environmental challenges facing our planet. How can we provide energy without continued contribution to global climate change and how can we reduce our need to use one of our most precious natural resources, water. ARES innovative use of gravity for energy storage emerged to both reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and our use of water. Our company believes that we have a responsibility to help guarantee a reliable electric grid AND to help protect our environment. With this approach, ARES promotes the concept of environmental integrity in our business model."
Meet the ARES management team:
James Kelly, Chief Executive Officer – James Kelly worked at Edison International for 38 years. Prior to his retirement he was the Senior Vice President of Transmission & Distribution for Southern California Edison (SCE), and was responsible for the operation and maintenance of an electrical grid comprised of about 12,000 miles of transmission and 100,000 miles of distribution lines spread across a 50,000-square-mile service area.
Mr. Kelly was also President of Edison ESI, a subsidiary company that operates one of the largest electrical and mechanical repair facilities in the U.S. Prior to that position, Mr. Kelly was the Vice President of Engineering & Technical Services, responsible for planning, engineering, and designing SCE's electrical grid, as well as research and development, safety and training.
Steve Sullivan, Chief Operations Officer – Steve Sullivan worked at Edison International for 35 years. Prior to his retirement he led the two largest Southern California Edison organizations dedicated to serving government customers; first as Director of Local Public Affairs, and then as Director of Government & Institutions of the Business Customer Division.
Sullivan was responsible for ensuring SCE’s compliance with approximately 200 local city and county franchises necessary for SCE to conduct its business, including development of legislation, franchise negotiations, land use policies, siting and permitting of major generation, transmission and distribution facilities, and divestiture of company assets.
Todd German, Chief Financial Officer – Todd has held numerous executive level finance positions with both private and public manufacturing companies over the past 20+ years, most recently with Data Exchange Corporation and Semtech Corporation, both headquartered in Southern California. During this time he served as company Treasurer and helped develop and implement “Best in Class” financial systems, controls and processes to improve operating margins, profitability and cash flow while maximizing shareholder value.
Responsible for complex modeling, strategic growth and profitability, Todd has been a leader in identifying tactical and strategic growth opportunities both organically and through acquisition. His role in the acquisition, funding and integration of five companies over a six year period while at Semtech contributed to revenue growth during that period of over 200%. Additionally, while at Semtech Corporation Todd served as
the company’s interface with institutional investors.
Francesca Cava, VP of Operations and Board member for ARES – Prior to this position, she served as the Arctic Policy Project Manager for the Aspen Institute Dialogue and Commission on Arctic Climate Change. She also served as the ocean literacy project manager at the National Geographic Society and was a submersible pilot and project manager for the 5-year exploration of the ocean during the Sustainable Seas Expeditions.
She was appointed as a Coastal Commissioner on the California Coastal Commission for 4 years. Additionally, she completed a 21-year career in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA], where she served as the Director of the U.S. National Marine Sanctuary and National Estuarine Research Reserve Programs, overseeing over 200 employees.
William Peitzke, Founder and Director of Technology Development and Board member for ARES – Bill has 29 years of experience in the energy business. He founded Williams Resources Corporation, a California company providing a wide range of energy, strategic alliance and project conceptualization services in the deregulated California utility marketplace.
In the mid-1980's he pioneered private brokering of long-term natural gas contracts to large co-generation facilities in California as well as providing the enabling economic studies for many significant pipeline expansions and generation facility acquisitions. Before deregulation of the California gas and electricity marketplace, his investment banking practice successfully consummated the sale of numerous large oil and gas reserve packages including major utility natural gas reserve portfolios.
Matt Brown, Director, Engineering – As President of Matt Brown Performance Design Inc., Mr. Brown specialized in developing advanced solutions to difficult engineering challenges. His company provided complete services from concept inception, engineering, and construction management through to deployment. Companies he has worked with include, Advanced Aeromechanisms Corporation, Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Reichel Pugh Yacht Design, CBTF Co., Clipper Windpower and Advanced Rail Energy Storage.
Matt holds a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and has designed and built numerous aircraft including an advanced variable span RPV (Remote Pilot Vehicle) for the US military, beating competing organizations such as Naval Research Laboratory and NASA. Much of his design expertise has been in the marine field including four America’s Cup sailboat race campaigns, a wave piercing trans-sonic hull power boat and winning Sailing World Magazine’s “Boat of the Year” with the Schock 40, the world’s fastest production monohull sailboat.
Delving into the Renewable Energy field, Matt brought his experience to the development of large wind and ocean current turbines, wave energy converters and unconventional high-efficiency fluid pump designs. As Vice President of Engineering for Advanced Rail Energy Storage Matt is applying his skills to develop grid-scale electricity storage to allow for expanded use of renewable energy.
Matt spends his free time with his wife of 24 years, Niza; raising their 2 children; and is a competitive sailor.
Mike Katz, Director of Strategic Planning and Regulatory Affairs – Mike Katz has over 30 years experience in electric and natural gas markets, risk management, strategic planning and operations of physical assets. He has been consulting for the last 10 years. He has been an Independent Evaluator for San Diego Gas & Electric's and Southern California Edison’s procurement RFOs. He worked at Pacific Gas & Electric for over 20 years, including the positions of VP of California Gas Transmission, Lead Director of Power Generation, Director of Generation Portfolio Management and positions in various planning groups.
Mike graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and earned an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a registered Mechanical Engineer in California.
Nancy Saracino, FERC/CAISO Strategy and Policy – Nancy Saracino is a partner in Crowell & Moring's San Francisco office. She advises clients on a broad spectrum of matters including: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulatory and litigation issues; infrastructure development, interconnection and siting; regional transmission organization and independent system operator markets and how best to do business with such entities. She advises ARES in finding economic ways to develop low-carbon alternatives embraced by California policy. Nancy was also the former vice president, general counsel, and chief administrative officer for the California Independent System Operator Corporation (CAISO), where she oversaw all legal, compliance, governance, and control functions of the Independent System Operator (ISO).