, President & CEO
Mr. Hart, President and CEO of Sierra Energy, has over 24 years of active entrepreneurial experience in
forming and running industrial companies with a proven track record of success. Mr. Hart has served as Sierra’s President since he founded the company in 2004. He also serves as President of Sierra Railroad, a company he has expanded from four employees to over 140 since 1994 when he started the company.Hart was named an “Environmental Hero” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for his work in biodiesel and was recently named a “Champion of Change” by the White House.
Prior to joining Sierra and Sierra Railroad Company, Hart acted as a management consultant for FMC,
NASA (Mars Mission), TRW, Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, GMMVO, ARS, and Hay Systems, and worked as a developer for Apple Computers Federal Systems. He led the platform development for the Intelligence All Source Analysis System for the DOD, DIA, CIA in a joint project with Steve Job’s NeXT Computers. Hart has also created a variety of software tools for the analysis of future weapon systems and operational impacts, including developing advanced weapons systems for the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. He holds a B.A. in political science from the University of California at Davis and a Stanford Advanced Management Program Certificate.
, Executive Vice President, Secretary & General Counsel
Mr. Nilsson been with Sierra Energy since 2004 and has extensive intellectual property, corporate
governance, and corporate finance experience. Prior to joining Sierra, Mr. Nilsson worked for various
law firms and companies including Thelen Reid & Priest LLP, Gartenberg, Jaffe, Gelfand & Stein LLP,
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and NASA. After earning two B.A. degrees from the University of
California, Davis, Mr. Nilsson received his law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law,
where he was an editor of the Santa Clara Law Review and received the American Jurisprudence Award.
Mr. Nilsson has also completed studies in comparative law at Magdalen College, Oxford University.
, Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Taylor has over 17 years of corporate accounting and finance experience. With over a decade at
Ernst & Young (one of the Big 4 public accounting firms) and as the chief financial officer of an early
technology startup, Ms. Taylor brings holistic, handson financial expertise and practical business
development perspectives to Sierra Energy’s team.
Mr. Magaw has extensive experience in the electric power industry, as an engineer, a staff attorney, as
Manager of Power Marketing for a federal power agency Western States Power, and as a partner with
Henwood Energy. He has worked with electric and water utilities in maintenance, construction, power
marketing, regulation, and power and facility contracts since 1974.
, Chief Information Officer
Mr. McGinnis has extensive experience at building and supporting enterprise software solutions. Most
recently he served as Technical Architect and Development Lead for an online community serving the
varying needs of veterinarians worldwide. Mr. McGinnis has worked on several high value projects with
clients such as Honda and Toyota in the USA and with numerous large financial companies in the UK
such as GE Information Systems and Deutsche Morgan Grenfell. Mr. McGinnis earned a Bachelors
Degree with Honors in Electrical Engineering from the University of Abertay in Scotland.
The Honorable Paula Stern
, Chief of Overseas Markets
A former chairwoman of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and distinguished scholar, The
Honorable Paula Stern founded The Stern Group, Inc. in 1988 and leads its practice, serving national and
multinational companies and organizations on business, political and technological issues that affect their competitiveness in a global economy.
Daniel Mark Dodd
, Vice President, Engineering
Mr. Dodd earned a Masters of Engineering, with first class honours, in aerospace and mechanical
engineering from the University of Bristol in England. Prior to joining Sierra Energy, Mr. Dodd’s
professional experience included engineering work for Goodrich Aerospace Corp., Bridgestone UK Ltd.,
Atkins Engineering Consultants, The European Space Agency (ESA) and Tidal Generation Ltd. In 2003
Mr. Dodd was awarded the prestigious Engineering Leadership Award Scholarship from the Royal
Academy of Engineering in London, England.
, Sales Engineer
Mr. Mitchell recently earned a Mechanical Engineering degree with an emphasis in Materials Science
from University of California, Davis. His efforts in research in fuel cell technology and assistance with
cryomilling of high strength aluminum alloys adds valuable and dynamic experience to the Sierra
development team. His dedication to the development and implementation of renewable and green
technologies is a driving force in his career.
, Project Engineer
Mr. Jones earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Mr. Jones worked collaboratively through college helping reform California’s recycling and composting regulations towards sustainable and progressive standards. Most recently Mr. Jones worked with Adaptive Arc designing, installing, and operating 25 TPD plasma gasifiers converting waste into electricity.
, Chief Marketing Officer
Ms. Parker brings over a decade of experience in design and communications to the Sierra Energy Team.
Prior to Sierra Energy she led a team of designers and developers as the creative director and coowner of
Studio66, a graphic design and web development firm in Davis. In which time she worked with clients such as: Target Corp., AllState Insurance, UC Davis, Regency Centers, and many other companies nationwide.
She has also held design and communication positions in the television and publishing industries. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science in graphic design from California State University, Sacramento.
, Graphic Designer
Ms. Bieda comes to Sierra Energy with over ten years of design, web development, and marketing
experience. Over the course of her career, she served as the Art Director for Fortune 100 scientific
manufacturing conglomerate: Thermo Fisher Scientific, the Marketing Manager for a technology start-up, and the Creative Director for a green building manufacturing concern. She holds a bachelor’s degree
in Art and Technology from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania.
, Executive Assistant
Sylvia Pham is currently the Executive Assistant to CEO Mike Hart. Ms. Pham earned a Bachelor of Science in Managerial Economics and a Minor in Communication from the University of California, Davis. Prior to joining Sierra Energy, Ms. Pham worked in finance and sales/marketing at a Molecular Matrix, Inc.
, Office Manager
Kathleen brings to Sierra Energy 30+ years of office/administrative management experience. She has worked in a variety of fast-paced environments that demanded strong organizational, technical and interpersonal skills. Her commitment towards excellence and high performance will most definitely assist Sierra Energy in the exciting years to come.
Dr. David H. Wakelin
Dr. Wakelin received his B.Sc and Ph.D degrees in engineering metallurgy from Imperial College,
University of London. He has been employed by LTV Steel Company, and its predecessors Jones and Laughlin, his entire career. He began as a Research Engineer in the steelmaking group at the Graham
Research Laboratory in Pittsburgh in 1966. After transferring to Development Engineering in 1974, he became Supervisor of Ironmaking Engineering in 1979. Upon the merger of Republic Steel with LTV
Steel in 1984, he assumed his current position of Manager, Development EngineeringPrimary. Dr. Wakelin has authored numerous papers on iron and steelmaking and is the holder of a patent for the manufacture of high chromium steels. He is a member of AISE, Eastern States Blast Furnace and Coke Oven Association, and the Iron and Steel Society of AIME, for whom he has lectured on blast furnace topics at continuing education courses. He served as Chairman of the Ironmaking Division of ISS from 199596
and was a member of the ISS Board of Directors from 1995 to 1997.
Laura Carroll, P.E.
Ms. Carroll earned a Civil Engineering degree from University of California, Davis, with some additional coursework at University of Sussex in Brighton, England. Obtaining her professional license in 2010, Ms. Carroll brings wellrounded experience from the civil and environmental engineering field including work and study in the areas of renewable energy, air quality, climate change effects, land development, and utility planning.
Dr. WeiKao Lu
, Professor Emeritus, University of McMaster, Canada
Dr. Lu received his B.S. from National ChengKung University and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Lu holds the position of Professor Emeritus of Materials Science and Engineering at McMaster University, Canada where he is engaged in research into heterogeneous kinetics and mechanisms of ironmaking reactions in blast furnaces and rotary hearth furnace, carbonization, reducibilities of iron ore agglomerates, melting of DRI and HBI, and waste oxide recycling. Dr. Lu has authored numerous papers on iron and steelmaking and received the Josef S. Kapitan Ironmaking Best Paper Award from the Association for Iron and Steel Technology in 2007 for a paper entitled “Blast Furnace Performance and Tuyere Practice at Stelco Hamilton No. 5 Blast Furnace”, Indianapolis, Indiana, May 2007.