Jonathan W. Postal (J.W.) — Chief Executive Officer
J.W. has been a driving force behind multiple innovative companies in the renewable energy industry. He founded Nikola Power and led the formation of the company through its seed round while positioning it for future growth and success. He was also the co-founder of Main Street Power, a pioneer in the distributed generation power purchase agreement space and an innovator in clean energy finance. While at Main Street Power, J.W. spearheaded the first combined New Market and Investment Tax Credit portfolio in the country. J.W. has also served as an executive, Chief Development Officer, and Chief Operating Officer with Milender White Construction, SunShare, and Clean Energy Collective respectively.
J.W. is a leader in clean energy in Colorado and across the county. He has worked on trailblazing legislation for distributed solar, community solar, and renewable energy finance and has traveled the country developing solar projects in AZ, CA, CO, MA, MN, NJ, NM, SC, and TX. He has been a frequent speaker at industry events around the nation for topics such as clean energy finance, community solar, and now solar + storage and entrepreneurship.
Prior to his work in solar, J.W. had a successful 13-year career in the investment management business with A.G. Edwards and his own fiduciary investment advisory firm. In 1997, with nothing more than a pile of index cards and a telephone, J.W. built a nationally renowned fiduciary advisory practice with hundreds of millions of dollars under management.
J.W. is a graduate of the University of Colorado and has a Master in Public Policy degree from Georgetown University. He married to his college sweetheart, Jennifer, and they have three amazing kids – Carly, Jackson, and Calvin. J.W. is active in Colorado politics, non-profits, and community work. He currently serves on the board of the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA), Solar Electric Light Fund (www.SELF.org), and is the 2018 co-chair of the Denver Public School Foundation Gala with his wife. In his spare time, he enjoys fly fishing, cycling, fiction writing, and coaching youth baseball.
Dan Rivers — Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Rivers has 40 years of experience in research, design, management, and execution of high technology commercial and military programs in the fields of batteries, power electronics, motors, electric vehicles, and RF and IR systems. Dan was the Tier 1 program manager for the General Motors EV1 electric car power train subsystem. He co-founded and led Enova Systems (OTCQB:ENVS.) He co-founded and led LG Chem Power Inc. (originally Compact Power, Inc., "CPI"), and directed the initial work leading to the LGCPI-GM contract for the Chevrolet Volt battery pack. He also co-founded and led American Electric Vehicles (AEV). Dan earned his Ph.D. in mathematics at UCLA.
Ben McConahey — Executive Vice President
Mr. McConahey has spent over ten years working in business development, project management, operations, and strategic planning roles for a variety of environmentally-based industries including agricultural trade, conservation, renewable energy, sustainable development, and water. Most recently, Mr. McConahey was a Partner at Hydro Venture Partners where he was responsible for the operations of a multi-million dollar water acquisition, storage, efficiency, and transfer investment in Colorado. Mr. McConahey has also worked closely with the environmental community, coordinating transformational land conservation work and cutting-edge strategies to restore and protect stream flows in Colorado at The Nature Conservancy and the Colorado Water Trust, and conducting aerial avian studies for energy development based on existing protocols for habitat monitoring as an independent contractor.
Mr. McConahey has a bachelor’s degree in Politics from Princeton University, and an MBA in International Business & Markets, Management & Strategy, and Management & Organizations from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Evan Hung — Vice President, Business Operations
Evan is a skilled leader and entrepreneur with a track record of success in marketing strategy, product management, and business development. He has led various verticals for multiple start ups as well as Fortune 500 companies. Most recently, he was the Co-Founder and CEO of Zipskee, a travel-tech start up in Denver, CO — he brings a passion for team-building, technology, and entrepreneurship to the Nikola Power team.
Evan received his B.A. in Economics & Chinese and his M.A. in Management from Wake Forest University.
Dr. Mahdi Motalleb — Sr. Engineer, Battery Systems & Product Development
Most recently, Mahdi was a research scholar at MIT working on transactive control architectures for enhancing demand response in the US power grid. He graduated with a PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on smart grids and power systems from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and wrote his thesis on contingency management in power systems and demand response market for ancillary services in smart grid with high renewable energy penetration. He has published 25 articles in journals and for conferences during his academic career. Mahdi’s list of publications can be found at the following link: https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=97Y7PagAAAAJ
Mahdi has over seven years of experience as an R&D power electrical engineer, project manager, and head of electrical group in energy and power industry with an emphasis on improving efficiency, productivity, quality, and organizational consistency. He has over six years of experience in research and teaching in energy and power systems and has a strong background in programming power system tools, power systems operations and control, smart grids, storage systems, renewable energy integration, demand-side management, big data analysis, and electricity markets.
Saurabh Mishra — Engineer, Energy Systems
Saurabh completed his Bachelor’s of Technology in Electronics & Communication Engineering at Uttar Pradesh Technical University in India and his Master’s in Energy Science, Technology & Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. He holds a certification for business and financial modeling from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and also completed a four-week training course on financial management. He has more than six years of experience working as an officer for a state-sponsored electricity generation corporation where he dealt in techno-economic feasibility of various energy projects, valuation of coal-based power plants, and procurement of inventory required for O&M as well as for new projects. He has also worked as a Testing & Commissioning Engineer at a 400/220 kV substation where he was responsible for pre-commissioning as well as routine testing for various electrical equipment.
William Bakker — Chief Financial Officer (Fractional)
Mr. Bakker previously served as the Chief Financial Officer of Whydah LLC, a converted family office of Doubloon Capital LLC (formerly named Pirate Capital LLC, an investment adviser of event-driven/activist hedge funds and separately managed accounts). Prior to his roles as Chief Financial Officer of Whydah, Doubloon, and Pirate in 2005, Mr. Bakker was with Resurgence Asset Management LLC where he most recently served as their Chief Financial Officer and formerly as their Controller.
Mr. Bakker earned a B.S. in 1990 from the University of Rhode Island, majoring in Accounting. He received his license as a Certified Public Accountant in 1993.