SAN FRANCISCO, CA — (Marketwired) — 11/25/15 — Blue Earth, Inc.(NASDAQ: BBLU), a renewable and low carbon emissions power generation solutions company, announced today that four experienced energy executives will be joining the organization. Zeina El-Azzi as SVP Corporate Development, Judith Hall as CLO and General Counsel, John Knight as VP Business Development and Peter Defazio as VP M&A and Project Finance, are joining the Company in November and December 2015.
“I am ecstatic that we have been able to bring to Blue Earth, four very successful and seasoned power industry executives to our team that are expected to substantially increase our ability to grow our projects and to successfully execute our ambitious business plans,” stated Bob Powell, CEO of Blue Earth, Inc. “It is indicative of the great team we are building by bringing Zeina, Judith, John and Peter to our team.”
Prior to joining Blue Earth as SVP Corporate Development, Zeina El-Azzi was with SunEdison, Inc. Ms. El-Azzi will lead the Company’s efforts in acquiring portfolios of power generation projects and will assist with strategy development. Ms. El-Azzi has fifteen years of renewable energy experience in development, origination and acquisitions. She most recently worked on expanding SunEdison’s solar plus storage micro-grid business in India and sub-Saharan Africa. She was previously responsible for SunEdison’s North American business development team, leading acquisitions and joint venture agreements. In her role at SunEdison, she and her team were responsible for acquiring numerous projects and companies, including many that are now part of SunEdison’s yieldco portfolio and development portfolios. At Clipper Windpower, she led an initiative establishing international wind energy business in Eastern Europe, Turkey and Mexico and was responsible for setting the development, strategy and execution for U.S. wind operations. She began her career at Enron, focused primarily on natural gas facility development and financing. Ms. El-Azzi graduated with honors from UT Austin with an MA in Energy and Mineral Resources and a BA in Economics and Middle Eastern Studies.
Judith A. Hall is joining Blue Earth as Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel. She has over twenty years of experience providing strategic and tactical legal guidance to high-growth companies, start-up operations and non-profit organizations, and an extensive prior background in the energy industry. Before joining Blue Earth, Ms. Hall was Chief Legal Officer for Recurrent Energy, one of North America’s largest solar developers. She was a key player in growing the business from a nascent start-up to a $1B industry leader, building a top-flight in-house legal team, securing billions of dollars in project debt and equity financing, and directing multiple complex transactions and partnerships. In 2014, she successfully negotiated the sale of Recurrent Energy to a multinational conglomerate. Previously, Ms. Hall served as Associate General Counsel in the San Francisco office of Babcock & Brown. In this role, she managed domestic and international commercial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, business line divestitures, joint ventures, and a complex Australian IPO. Prior to becoming an attorney, Ms. Hall worked as a mechanical engineer for energy companies and governmental agencies where she developed special expertise in environmental analysis, regulatory compliance, and probabilistic risk assessment. She holds a JD and an LLM both from the University of California Hastings – School of Law, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California Berkeley.
John Knight is joining Blue Earth as VP Business Development where he will focus on expanding the Company’s project base across different forms of power generation technology. He has over 12 years of experience in the energy industry and has held senior level positions at several multinational organizations. Most recently, he was VP of Business Development at Tradewind Energy and was previously the Managing Director of Business Development, leading the global strategic accounts group, at SunEdison. He has helped start a nationally recognized renewable energy IPP and had his own consulting business that he built up and later sold. Mr. Knight brings an in depth knowledge of the energy industry and historical success in originating numerous power projects with commercial and industrial customers. He is a graduate from the University of Wyoming and performed his graduate studies at Portland State University.
Peter Defazio is joining Blue Earth as VP of M&A and Project Finance. Mr. Defazio has ten years of experience in the energy sector and over $10 billion in energy transaction experience. Prior to joining Blue Earth, he was a senior member of the commercial execution team with NRG Renew, a subsidiary of NRG Energy, where his focus was evaluating, structuring, and executing on acquisitions, debt financing, and tax equity structures for utility scale wind and solar projects. From 2011 to 2014, Mr. Defazio held management roles in Project Finance at Sempra Energy and also in Origination at SDG&E, a subsidiary of Sempra. At Sempra he led in the successful project financing of wind, solar, LNG, and gas infrastructure assets in the U.S., Mexico, and Latin America. At SDG&E, Mr. Defazio led in utilities’ renewable and CHP strategy including: contract evaluation, structuring, and origination activities. Prior thereto, he was employed by PacifiCorp Energy, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. At PacifiCorp, he was employed, last as an energy market trader in Commercial and Trading, where his focus was on monetizing PacifiCorp’s generation and transmission portfolio. Prior to joining PacifiCorp, he held engineering roles with Flintco and ESCO Corporation. Mr. Defazio received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Gonzaga University an MBA in Finance from the University of Portland.
The Company will grant to the four above-named officers options to purchase an aggregate of 3,400,000 shares of common stock, including 1,400,000 to Judith Hall, the sole executive officer. All but the maximum number of incentive stock options will be non-qualified stock options granted outside of the Company’s 2009 Equity Incentive Plan, as amended, pursuant to Nasdaq’s Employment Inducement Awards exemption from Nasdaq listing. Of the total, an aggregate of 1,300,000 options will be exercisable at fair value on the grant date and 700,000 options at $2.00, $3.00 and $4.00 per share.