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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:

  • Certified Minority Ownership—Addresses history and ongoing exclusion of people of color from the business sector and green economy. The “Imani” in Imani Energy means faith. 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.

Ben Clayton

Vice President of Marketing & Co-Founder

Prior to the founding of Imani Energy Inc., Mr. Clayton provided business and training development services to a Southern California start-up, solar venture focusing on developing accessible web based training.

Ben worked with Empowerment Works, a non-profit working to bring a World Social, Economic and Environmental Forum called the Global Summit. Ben worked with a team on Developing a Partners in Empowerment (PIE), a global network & online think-tank of technical systems to support re-defining the way we see ourselves, our resources, economies, how we work (or don’t), being secure, empowering ourselves and assuring a sustainable future. Members include Sustainable Businesses, Responsible Media Groups, Educational Institutions, Artists, Collaborating Non-Profits and Social Entrepreneurs.

Ben helped take contemporary, green lifestyle company G Living, Corp. (http://gliving.tv) from basic website to dynamic web presence and network. He helped develop the initial stages of sales, public relations, investor relations, finding network’s voice, look and feel and worked on 40 segments of the online show G Living Live. The network focuses on finding and highlighting leaders in modern, sustainable, solution-based business and entertainment.

Board of Advisors

Lance A. Williams, Ph.D., LEED AP

Lance A. Williams is Executive Director of the US Green Building Council-Los Angeles Chapter. He is a LEED® Accredited Professional. A primary area of Dr. Williams’ interest is the relationship between culture and sustainability.

He is a frequent program moderator and speaker on LEED®, green building and sustainability. He was the keynote speaker at the 2008 Urban Marketplace, hosted by the Los Angeles chapter of the Urban Land Institute.

He has also served as an advisor on green building policy development to Los Angeles County and various corporate organizations. He participated in the 2007 Annual Congress of the World Green Building Council held in Toronto, Canada. He is a also member of the Social Equity Task Force of USGBC national, charged with expanding parameters of the LEED® rating system.

At the 2007 Greenbuild Annual International Conference and Expo, USGBC-LA received two national awards from USGBC: First Place Award of Excellence, Advocacy, and Honorable Mention, LEED®. USGBC-LA has also recently produced a 2008 Membership Directory, published by McGraw-Hill Construction. Dr. Williams was editor and principal photographer for the Directory.

In recent years, Dr. Williams has traveled extensively throughout Brasil. He was recently a featured speaker at the Third Annual Brasilian Conference on Sustainability in Sao Paulo, speaking on the relationship between culture and sustainability and the potential of applying LEED® strategies in that country. He is also currently completing a documentary of his travels.

Dr. Williams holds a Ph. D., in Anthropology, an M. A. in Folklore and Mythology, and a B. A. in History, all from UCLA in Los Angeles. He has amassed over thirty-five years of experience as a professional educator, having taught at fifteen universities and colleges.

He has published over 300 articles and essays on American culture and is co-author of a textbook on the music industry. He has many production credits in radio, cable television and commissioned projects. He is also an accomplished photographer.

Rodolfo Archbold

Rodolfo is a Global Operations executive with over 30 years of experience leading technology-oriented firms through accelerated expansion and improving competitiveness across the product supply chain.

Most recently Rodolfo was Vice President of Operations at Evergreen Solar where he was responsible for developing and executing a global expansion strategy. Rodolfo oversaw the build out and start up of the first in the world solar panel factory based on Evergreen’s proprietary technology,
enabling 300% revenue growth in less than one year.

Prior to joining Evergreen Solar, Rodolfo served as an operations advisor to Teradyne, Inc., a $1 billion global leader in semi-conductor test equipment and to other leading electronics manufacturing firms.

Previously, he held executive roles at NYPRO and at Manufacturers’ Services Limited (now part of Celestica) where he enabled rapid growth by expanding operations and services, creating technology alliances and executing accretive acquisitions.

Rodolfo holds an MBA from New York University, a BS in ChemicalEngineering and has completed advanced international management studies at INSEAD. Rodolfo and his family reside in Massachusetts.

Jennifer Henderson

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

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.

Larry Santoyo

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.