National Staff

Ken Hayes - Executive Director
Ken Hayes

Ken Hayes helps start-ups grow, get financed, increase revenue and build value. He is Venture Partner and Co-Founder of Canyon Creek Capital's Fund II, a VC fund focused on SoCal tech companies from Seed to Series A, with 40+ investments since August 2014.  He is a Director Emeritus of the Pasadena Angels, where he was responsible for operations of this 100-member group, and he continues to focus on deal sourcing, mentoring entrepreneurs, and performing due diligence.  In 2016, Ken became an Adjunct Instructor based at USC for the NSF's I-Corps program, teaching Lean Startup to university teams commercializing advanced technologies.  Finally, Ken is a "recovering entrepreneur" who has built and sold several companies in Europe and the USA, in the SaaS, ed-tech and ad-tech sectors.  He earned an MBA at INSEAD, France, and a BA Economics at Pomona College.

Jessica Smothermon - Director of Operations
Jessica Smothermon

Jessica Smothermon is Director of Operations with Cleantech Open. She also is the Senior Advisor for Human Capital Management for the smallMatters Institute. Jessica served as the Governor's Liaison for two Arizona governors to the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. She directed Arizona's 2010 census campaign, staffed the Arizona Data Estimates and Projections Taskforce, and oversaw the development of the state's population estimates, forecasts, and labor statistics. With Apollo Education Group she worked as Director of Strategic Partnerships in External Affairs working with nonprofits in STEM. She previously served on Cleantech Open's National Board. Jessica has a BS from New York University Stern School of Business in both Economics and International Business. Her master's degree is in industrial/organizational psychology.

Kevin Braithwaite - Vice President of Global Programs

Kevin_0711.jpgKevin is the Vice President of Global Programs for the Cleantech Open, where he is responsible for international expansion and for all operations outside the United States. He works closely with international agencies, governments, investors, corporations and universities to launch new Cleantech Open accelerators and programs around the world. Kevin leads the Cleantech Open's partnership with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to launch cleantech accelerators around the world through the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP). Based on the successful Cleantech Open Accelerator, this initiative aims to spur local innovations in energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste to energy, and water efficiency. To date, accelerators have been launched in Armenia, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey. As Chair of Cleantech Open Global Ideas, he is focused on finding the most innovative early stage cleantech ventures on the planet in collaboration with Global Entrepreneurship Week. Kevin has founded and built a number of companies, encompassing both service and product based ventures in multiple technology sectors.

Ibolya Tarsoly - Director of National Partnerships

As the NationaIbolya%20Tarsoly_photo.jpgl Partnership Director, Ibolya develops and manages the organization’s relationships with strategic partners, major stakeholders and sponsors in the cleantech field. Her work brings greater overall value to the Cleantech Open’s initiatives and helps expand and facilitate new and innovative programming for its member startups. Ibolya has an extensive background in environmental issues and entrepreneurship, and she strongly believes in the positive impact of technology on the evolution of the energy landscape and sustainability. By applying creativity, innovative thinking and well-honed management skills, she identifies, directs and supports strategic initiatives across the Cleantech Open organization. She leads with the mission of accelerating the world’s transition to renewable energy and sustainable technologies, and seeks to promote responsible management of natural resources.

Emily Lundberg - Director of Marketing and Communications

headshot.fw.pngEmily Lundberg is Cleantech Open’s Director of national Marketing and Communications, responsible for planning, development and implementation of CTO’s national marketing strategies and communications. Emily received her Ph.D. in Communications from Columbia University School of Journalism. Emily wrote her dissertation about the history of American collaborative electricity sector research and development. Prior to receiving her Ph.D., Emily worked for over a decade as a journalist in magazines, newspapers, online international intelligence, and documentaries—for PBS, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and other news outlets. She was the recipient of a number of documentary film-making awards, including the Society of Professional Journalist's Sigma Delta Chi Award for Best Documentary.