Imani Energy Inc., represents a unique way to bring solar power to the people. Imani’s new paradigm starts with a demonstrated commitment to community and human transformation. Our company links concerns for environmental equity and care for our planet with a cutting edge private sector clean renewable energy venture. Imani is pointing the way to a new economy and doing it’s part to ensure that the new economy includes people of color and low-income people as full participants. We believe our approach is good for the nation, economy and environment.
Why Imani Energy, Inc. is Different (The Imani Energy Advantage)
Imani distinguishes itself from other solar installation and energy ventures in the following ways:
- The “Imani” in Imani Energy means faith and is based on the Kwanzaa principle–Faith in the future and in the desire of most of the people, most of the time, to do that which is fair, honest , just and healing for our world.
- Commitment to base operations in Empowerment and Enterprise Zone communities—addresses the historic and ongoing disinvestment in people of color and low-income communities with the resultant economic disparities.
- Community Eco-mobilization–Integrates 25 years of community organization experience in low-income and community of color communities into a private sector model to generate business and deepen customer education on environmental issues and opportunities for citizen action
- Creates Distributed Energy Applications—Contributes to the growth of distributed energy through solar and in the future wind and other forms of renewable energy through installations based in and around population centers utilizing existing spaces. This approach reduces your communities carbon footprint, environmental impacts and infrastructure costs and advances energy security by spreading the risk of energy failure over a greater number of power generation centers.
Imani Management Team
Jeffrey L. Richardson
President and Co-Founder
Mr. Richardson has over twenty years of experience in organizational management, fundraising/resource acquisition, and strategy development with a primary focus on increasing the accountability of systems to low-income and people of color communities and building effective and equitable partnerships between businesses, nonprofits, communities and government entities to achieve this end.
Jeffrey served as interim executive director of the Liberty Hill Foundation and directed a component of the largest union organizing effort of a predominantly African-American workforce in the nation’s history for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Los Angeles. Jeffrey also served as the District Office Interim Deputy Director for Karen Bass, currently Speaker of the Assembly, State of California. He was the Leadership Development Director for the National Congress for Community Economic Development (NCCED) based in Washington, DC. and has traveled to West Africa, Cuba, Central America and the Caribbean on fact finding and cultural missions. He received his BS Journalism and Masters in Philosophy from Ohio University.
Jennifer Henderson is CEO/Manager and co-founder of Strategic Decisions, LLC. She is an experienced trainer, facilitator and technical assistance provider in the areas of strategic planning, organizational transformation, cultural diversity, community development, management assistance and capacity building.
Before founding Strategic Decisions, LLC, Jennifer spent fifteen years as senior staff in organizational, community and leadership development at the Center for Community Change in Washington, DC. During that time, Jennifer designed and managed the Community Change Agents Project, a rigorous leadership and management program for senior staff of nonprofit organizations. The program successfully increased the skills and acumen of nearly 100 leaders who continue to use the experience from the program in the community, government and corporate sectors.
A master trainer, Jennifer is a sought-after expert in curriculum design, fellows programs, organizational redesign and capacity building. More than 200 tools have been developed directly from work with scores of organizations, businesses and agencies over three decades.
Jennifer has considerable experience with nongovernmental organizations around the world. She spearheaded the firm’s training and development assistance to NGOs and businesses in South Africa and the Newly Independent States of Eastern Europe.
Since 1996, Jennifer has been a board member of the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Company and served as the chair of the board for seven years. Jennifer is also active in the social venture field and currently serves as the chair of Sweet Beginnings, LLC, a honey-based personal products company which trains and employs ex-felons and marginalized persons. Jennifer has consulted with the Boeing Company and other corporations to identify and support innovative social enterprises.
Jennifer has authored articles that have been published by the Hitachi Foundation, the Presbyterian Church, and the Grassroots Fundraising Journal. Jennifer holds a degree in Politics and Journalism from N.C. State University.
Brian Hurd is an instructor at the East Los Angeles Skills Center (ELASC), an employment preparation and training center serving a diverse community. Mr. Hurd developed a course of study to prepare ELSAC students to enter the growing field of photovoltaics. Mr. Hurd has shown an extraordinary ability to bring together politicians, instructors, contractors, companies, union and private companies in support of creating a well trained and prepared workforce for PV installation. As a result of Mr. Hurd’s work, the ELASC has received tremendous support from area PV contractors, the IBEW, The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), the City of Los Angeles Dept. of Water & Power (LADWP), and local government, including now Labor Secretary, Hilda Solis. The ELASC has recently been featured on Good Morning America, the Wall St. Journal, and local Los Angeles television news.
Mr. Santoyo is an ecological designer, land use planner and business consultant. Santoyo is among the most experienced Permaculture Designers and Educators in the US and has taught environmental design at colleges and universities nationwide including UC Berkeley and California State PolyTechnic University. First mentored by Bill Mollison in the mid 80’s, Larry went on to teach design courses with Mollison till the mid 90’s in the US and in Australia.
Santoyo is an ex-lawman, he retired from public service to homestead in the Great Northwest. Since 1989, Santoyo has helped to initiate Permaculture Guilds from Bellingham, Washington south to San Diego, California. For over twenty years, L. Santoyo has assisted private individuals in the design and construction of “Home Ecosystems” and has assisted companies in developing industrial ecologies and sustainable business practices. Among a variety of projects in various stages of development, L. Santoyo is working on innovative applications of Permaculture Design Principles to community economic development strategies.
L. Santoyo is Director of EarthFlow Design Works, Vice President of the Permaculture Institute (USA), Co-director of The Terra Foundation, and is the founder of the MicroVillage Network.
Adrian Hightower, Ph.D.
Adrian is a Materials Scientist who studies and develops metal alloys used in the electrodes of rechargeable batteries and ethanol fuel cells. Adrian strives to engineer nanostructured electrode/electrolyte interfaces for direct ethanol fuel cells and rechargeable lithium batteries.
Adrian also teaches renewable education programs in West Africa. Through partnerships with West African NGOs, universities, and the United States Agency of International Development, Adrian has taught classes on solar panel installation and maintenance. This work has lead to the installation of photovoltaic lighting systems on a school, Mosque, and community center in Mali, Africa.
Adrian received a BS, MS and Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. His doctoral work on “Study of Electronic Microscopy and Mossbauer Spectroscopy in Metal Hydrides and Lithium Rechargeable Batteries,” was conducted in Brent Fultz’s Materials Science Laboratory. After graduate school, Adrian worked as a Senior Scientist with Nanostream, Inc. in Pasadena, designing polymer microfluidic systems for the drug discovery and biosciences industries. Adrian returned to academics as a Research Associate with Bruce Koel’s Surface Science laboratory in the Chemistry Department of the University of Southern California, studying chemical bonding on single crystal Pt-Sn alloys. Adrian has two patents on metal hydride composition for rechargeable battery electrodes and two patents on the design of polymer microfluidic devices.
Lance Williams, Ph.D.
Former Executive Director of the US Green Building Council-Los Angeles Chapter. He is a LEED® Accredited Professional. Dr. Williams is an experienced leader with thirteen recent years as a nonprofit CEO and proven fundraiser. He has raised and managed over $30 million dollars acquired through contracts, grants, and donor resources.
Dr. Lance Williams’ creative interests have been very broad-based. He has been a professional writer since the age of eighteen. He published over 300 articles and co-authored the book The Anatomy of a Record Company: How to Survive the Music Business. He previously served as Artistic Director of the Quincy Jones Production Workshop and owned a video production company, the Edutainment Institute.
He was the first African-American student to earn an M. A. in Folklore and Mythology from UCLA. His Ph. D. dissertation at UCLA in Anthropology was the first ethnographic study of the culture of Martin Luther King Hospital. He later staged a version of his dissertation while teaching drama and ethnomusicology at the Claremont Colleges.