Frank Zhu is an experienced executive with more than fourteen years spent in the solar and renewable energy industries on multiple continents. Frank’s skillset includes business development, solar module sales, mergers and acquisitions for U.S. solar manufacturing companies, structural financing, EPC management and the operation of utility-scale PV solar projects. Over the past decade, he has successfully overseen the development of solar projects and sales of solar modules exceeding 10 GW globally.
After moving to the United States in the 1990s and becoming a U.S. citizen, Frank demonstrated a profound commitment to the renewable energy sector. His unwavering belief in the mission of Illuminate USA, coupled with the promising opportunities presented by Central Ohio, led him to relocate his family from the California Bay Area and raise his children in Columbus.
Prior to his role at Illuminate USA, Frank achieved an impressive career trajectory at Golden Concord Group Limited (GCL). He held the positions of President and CEO at GCL Solar Energy, Inc. and Executive President at GCL New Energy Inc. Before his tenure at GCL, he served as both the Vice President of Hanergy Holding Group, a multinational hydro and solar company in Hong Kong, and as the CEO for Hanergy’s Asia Pacific region. Illuminate USA could not have any better leadership or experience at the helm.
Our CFO is a global finance executive with an extensive track record of working with investors to lead and transform businesses to deliver shareholder value. A hands-on problem solver, Kurt prides himself on his ability to drive a culture of financial ownership throughout organizations. He brings a wealth of experience managing global businesses to achieve sustainable, profitable growth. Kurt is a long-time resident of Central Ohio going back to his studies at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, where he earned both an undergraduate degree in accounting and MBA. Prior to joining Illuminate USA, Kurt spent more than two decades at Hexion, based in Columbus. He held numerous leadership roles in financial management, business development, mergers and acquisitions and shared services. In his time with Hexion, he worked with various ownership groups including KKR, Apollo and American Securities. Kurt has held oversight roles for several international joint ventures and business expansions.
Brittany brings to Illuminate USA nearly 20 years of human resources, talent and culture leadership in dynamic, multicultural and global organizations. A future forward and strategic thinker with a passion for people and business innovation, Brittany works to enable not only high-performing people and teams, but a culture built on the values of authenticity, trust, and continuous growth. Her expertise includes human business partnerships, leadership development, culture and engagement, talent acquisition, talent management, organization design and executive coaching.
Brittany is a lifelong resident of Central Ohio where she and her husband are now raising their children. She is a proud Buckeye with a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University. Brittany is also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) which requires the completion of a multi-year global executive training program.
Our Chief Legal Officer is an experienced executive and seasoned leader committed to visionary plans and building effective, cohesive teams in the energy sector. John brings to Illuminate USA operational and legal expertise as an executive with start-up, private equity-backed and institutional companies, as well as deep international experience. John’s primary focus is to realize Illuminate’s business strategy and objectives, anticipate and mitigate risks facing the company, and provide strategic advice to management and the board of directors.
Born in Chicago and raised in New York City, John received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, his M.S. in Business Administration from Boston University, and his J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law. With both of their children in college, John and his wife are looking forward to spending time together exploring Ohio.
Prior to his role at Illuminate USA, John served as an executive with three energy companies and one health technology company after spending more than 20 years in private practice in New York and London specializing in debt capital markets and acquisition finance. Before practicing law, John was a field artillery officer in the United States Army.
Jim is responsible for the general management of the company, leading and overseeing the legal, finance, government affairs, communications and administrative functions. He sets the direction for Energize Ventures, the venture capital fund managed by Invenergy, as a founding member of the investment committee.
Murphy has negotiated more than $40 billion in private equity and debt investments, power plant acquisitions and sales and project financing over his 40 years in the energy industry. He has also managed organizations across the continuum from start-up, growth and liquidity events. Murphy serves on the board of the American Clean Power Association (ACP) and formerly served on the board of directors of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).
Prior to the formation of Invenergy, Murphy was chief financial officer at SkyGen Energy LLC, vice president at The Deerpath Group, Inc. and manager at Arthur Andersen. Murphy has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, magna cum laude and a CPA certification from the University of Illinois.