Gradient is led by Craig Mataczynski as Chief Executive Officer, a 29-year veteran of the independent power and renewable energy industry. Mr. Mataczynski leads a team whose senior members have over 150 years of combined experience exploring for, drilling, developing, constructing and operating geothermal resources and geothermal power generation facilities worldwide. As a specialized field, the geothermal sector draws skills from the oil and gas industry as well as the power generation sector. Few organizations worldwide possess the detailed knowledge and direct expertise across the geothermal value chain that Gradient currently possesses. This expertise is required to successfully identify, evaluate, drill, and develop geothermal resources.
The resource evaluation team has been exploring for and analyzing geothermal resources since the 1970s. The geothermal drilling group has overseen the development of thousands of thermal gradient wells and over 500 geothermal production wells on three continents across a variety of geological conditions. The engineering team has constructed and operated geothermal power plants for leading energy companies around the world including Caithness, Calpine, Magma Energy, Ormat, Pertamina and Ram Power.
The Company’s proven management team has extensive knowledge across the geothermal value chain and is backed by experienced, energy-focused financial sponsors and a strong Board of Directors.
Craig Mataczynski – Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Mataczynski has 29 years of utility and energy industry experience. Prior to joining Gradient Resources, Craig spent five years serving as CEO of Renewable Energy Systems Americas (“RES Americas”), one of the largest developers and constructors of wind projects in North America. He has a proven record of growing profitable businesses, both organically and through mergers and acquisitions, and excels at leading early-stage businesses through intensive growth periods.
As CEO and President of RES Americas Mr. Mataczynski built an organization that successfully constructed 30 wind farms and which now generate more than 3500 MW of renewable energy. Before joining RES Americas, Mr. Mataczynski was President and CEO of NRG North America. Mr. Mataczynski serves as Chairman of the Board of Ecologic Analytics, a developer of meter data management software. He also serves on the Board of TransAmerican Strukturoc, a manufacturer of exterior cladding for the pre-fabrication metal building industry. Mr. Mataczynski earned a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1982; he also holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota, and completed the Advanced Management and International Strategic Managers Program at Harvard Business School.
Richard Atkinson - Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Atkinson has 31 years of public company, corporate finance experience. He spent over 23 years with Sierra Pacific Power Resources, currently known as NV Energy. During his tenure he was directly responsible for financial forecasting, planning, and finance. As Vice President and CFO, he spearheaded efforts in the financial markets and in the regulatory arena to fund ongoing operations, refinance maturing obligations, and fund construction expenditures for two of the fastest growing utilities in the Country. More recently, Richard served as CFO for US BioEnergy, a major ethanol producer. While there, he was instrumental in completing $477 million of project financing to fund the construction of new Ethanol plants as well as an Initial Public Offering of the Company’s common stock.
In addition to his role as CFO at Gradient Resources, Richard holds a Board seat with Capstone Turbine Corporation, a leading producer of low-emission micro turbine systems. Richard received an MBA at the University of Nevada, Reno, as well as a Bachelor of Science at the University of Oregon.
David Lloyd – Senior Vice President & General Counsel
Mr. Lloyd was appointed Sr. Vice President & General Counsel on May 3, 2011. Prior to joining Gradient, Mr. Lloyd served in various capacities for NRG Energy, Inc., in its Western Region corporate offices, including Regional General Counsel and Director, Community Affairs for 12 years, where he was actively engaged in permitting, developing, financing, operating and transacting large steam plants, cogeneration, biomass, hydro, wind and waste to energy projects. Before joining NRG, he was a partner in the energy group of Stoel Rives LLP, a western law firm with a large utility and renewable energy practice, for 6 years. Prior to that, he was General Counsel for Pacific Generation Company, a PacifiCorp independent power subsidiary, formed by the merger of Utah Power & Light Company with Pacific Power & Light Company. He was a General Counsel for Energy National, Inc., the UP&L independent power subsidiary that merged into Pacific Generation Company. He has participated in the development and financing, operations and sales of various renewable and cogeneration plants in the US and Canada. While in Southern California, he was Board Vice Chair of the Carlsbad Chamber for public policy, on the Executive Committee of the Board for the San Diego North Economic Development Council, a member of the SANDAG TransNet Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee, a member of SANDAG’s Energy Working Group, and on the boards of environmental and social charities. He received the Environmental Steward Award from the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce in 2010, and the Carlsbad Chamber Corporate Citizen Award 2010. He has a J.D. from the University of Utah where he was Managing Editor of the Utah Law Review, and was briefly an Assistant Professor of Law at the BYU Clark Law School. He is married to Jeanne Harrington-Lloyd, a real estate broker and interior designer, and has two children.
Joe Lessard – Senior Vice President, Development
Mr. Lessard has worked in power plant operations and energy sector development for 22 years. Most recently, he served as the Chief Financial Officer and VP Americas for EnDevCo, Inc. Prior to joining EnDevCo, Mr. Lessard served as Vice President, Americas for Globeleq, Inc., where he led the company’s business development activities in Latin America. Under his direction, Globeleq successfully entered the power markets in Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. Mr Lessard was directly responsible for originating, negotiating and closing 5 greenfield and M&A transactions representing over $300 million, together with several bond and bank financings.
Mr. Lessard has also served as Principal and Vice President for Hart Energy International, a start-up power development company focused on the emerging markets. From 1994 to 1999, he was Regional Managing Director of Coastal Power Company, where he managed regional business units in Southeast Asia and the northeast United States. Mr. Lessard holds a B.S. in electrical engineering and an MBA in finance from Texas A&M University.
Fred Manuel – Senior Vice President, Engineering and Construction
Mr. Manuel has over 30 years experience in the energy industry. From 1980 to 1987, he held oil and gas drilling and production engineering positions at Chevron, then moved into Chevron’s geothermal operations as an engineer from 1987 to 1990. In 1990, Mr. Manuel continued engineering duties as an oil and gas subsea drilling engineer, before joining CalEnergy in 1991 as Operations Manager at the 270 MW Coso Geothermal Power Plant in Southern California. From 1991 to 1997, Mr. Manuel held increasingly responsible geothermal management positions, including Vice President of Geothermal Operations over CalEnergy’s 585MW geothermal portfolio, which included Coso, Imperial Valley, Desert Peak, Roosevelt Hot Springs well field and Beowawe. From 1997 to 1999, Mr. Manuel served as VP Indonesia and later Chief Operating Officer, Asia, for CalEnergy in Jakarta, Indonesia, and was responsible for well drilling, resource engineering, power plant construction, and operations and maintenance planning for three 400MW concessions at Dieng, Patuha, and Bali, Indonesia. In 1999, Mr. Manuel joined Calpine as Vice President – Geothermal, where he was responsible for nineteen geothermal units (880 MW) at The Geysers geothermal field. From 2000 to 2006, Mr. Manuel held various senior management positions at Calpine, overseeing operation of nearly 28,000 MW of gas turbine based generation. From 2007 to 2010, Mr. Manuel provided power industry consulting services in the U.S. and Middle East, and held positions of Senior VP and Chief Technology Officer at Advanced Power Projects. Mr. Manuel joined Gradient Resources in September 2010. Mr. Manuel holds a Bachelors of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.
Stuart D. Johnson - SVP, Chief Scientist
Stuart Johnson is a recognized expert in the design and application of exploration, development and production methods to utilize geothermal resources for electrical power production. Mr. Johnson has managed successful resource development projects for both major energy companies including Phillips Petroleum and Chevron Resources as well as for Independent Geothermal Power Producers (Oxbow Geothermal, Ormat, Caithness and Nevada Geothermal) and was a co-founder of Ram Power Corporation. Specifically, he has played significant roles in the development of commercially-producing fields in California (Heber, and East Mesa), Nevada (Steamboat Hills, Jersey Valley, Brady/Desert Peak, Dixie Valley, Soda Lake, Stillwater, McGinness Hils, Beowawe, Blue Mountain), Hawaii (Puna) and Utah (Roosevelt Hot Springs, Cove Fort). Exploration activities and independent evaluations have been focused on more than 100 projects throughout the Western United States and Alaska but include as well evaluation and development activities for projects in Central and South America and Indonesia. Additionally, he is also known for innovation in the geothermal sector, having directed award-winning geothermal silica co-production research and field implementation of pioneer scale inhibition programs that are now industry standard and for conceptual models relating to origins of geothermal, epithermal metal deposits and petroleum development. He is active in market development and promoting public awareness of geothermal energy as a principal source of sustainable energy.
Mr. Johnson holds an M.S. in Economic Geology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a B.A. in Geology from Western Michigan University. Mr. Johnson is a Past President of the Geothermal Resources Council (2003 – 2004) and sits on their Board of Directors (1996 – present). As well he served as an Advisory Board Member to the Great Basin Geothermal Research Center and has also served on the Board of Directors of the Geothermal Energy Association. Stuart is the recipient of the Geothermal Resources Council Pioneer Award and of an R&D 100 Award for research on nano-silica production from geothermal brines.
Brian Rasmussen – Vice President, Development
Mr. Rasmussen has worked in the power and energy development sector for 13 years in both domestic and foreign markets. Most recently he served as Director of Project Development for BrightSource Energy, where he opened and managed their Arizona office, and was responsible for all development activities in Arizona, New Mexico, and Southern California. Prior to BrightSource, Mr. Rasmussen served as Director of Project Development for Globeleq, Inc., where he focused on project development in the Caribbean and Latin America. Mr. Rasmussen was responsible for managing existing projects, developing greenfield projects (including negotiation of PPA, financing, and EPC contracts) and integrating project and company acquisitions. In fulfilling these responsibilities, he lived in the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, and Panama. Mr. Rasmussen holds a BS in International Finance from Brigham Young University and is fluent in Spanish.
Neil Liddle - VP Health, Safety, Quality & Environment
Mr. Liddle started his professional career as an engineering apprentice with British Gas. His career and education progressed in the gas industry for nineteen years, where he held several management posts. While employed with McNicholas Construction in Northern Ireland, he primarily worked on a contract to re-introduce natural gas to the Belfast area.
Mr. Liddle has more than eleven years’ experience in the renewable energy industry. He has developed documented safety management systems in the U.S., U.K., France and Portugal. He developed the Quality and Environmental Management Systems for RES, Ltd and was the driving force in achieving certification to the ISO 9001 quality management standard and ISO 14001 environmental management standard prior to moving full time to RES Americas. He has worked in the wind industry in – U.K., Ireland, Sweden, Jamaica, France, Portugal, U.S., Mexico and Canada.
At Gradient Resources, he is responsible for maintaining, developing and implementing the safety, quality and environment management systems. Mr. Liddle identifies training needs with regard to health, safety, quality and the environment (HSQE) and implements training programs to ensure that these needs are addressed. He is responsible for monitoring the Company’s performance on safety, quality and environmental issues and taking any actions necessary to address deficiencies or achieve improvements. As a member of five professional institutions, he continues to maintain his professional engineering status as an Incorporated Engineer with the Engineering Council in the UK. He is also registered as a Chartered Quality Professional in the UK.
Craig Fraser - Vice President, Human Resources
Mr. Fraser has been associated with Gradient Resources since 2008. He is an experienced Human Resources professional with over 19 years of management experience in various industries—both domestically and internationally, including HR consulting and hospitality. Mr. Fraser has been active in local HR communities and has served on the board for local HR chapters. He holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the HR Certification Institute. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Brigham Young University and is fluent in Spanish.