Hardware Scaleup Advisory Board

Dan O_Connell

Daniel O’Connell is Site Manager of Rochester operations for Plug power. He oversees Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA). Daniel was previously the co-founder and CEO of American Fuel Cell (AFC), which was acquired by Plug Power. He also was previously the co-founder and COO of Standard Hydrogen Corporation. Daniel worked at General Motors for over 30 years, retiring as the Director of Advanced Technology Demonstration Vehicles. He led numerous electric vehicle projects in his time there. Daniel remains active with NYSERDA, FCHEA, DoE, DoD, DOT, Oak Ridge National Lab, NREL, and others to promote the Hydrogen economy. He has a B.S., M.S., and is a Doctoral candidate.

Dan Radomski

Dan Radomski is currently the Director of the Lawrence Technological University Collaboratory, a program that helps accelerate and scale small manufacturers and innovators of new hardware products. Dan was formerly the Chief Strategy/Operating Officer for the Optimal Group. While at Optimal, Dan was responsible for diversifying the company’s business model, growing the revenue, and scaling the business globally. In his prior role as Vice President of Industry and Venture Development at NextEnergy, Dan led all market and technology analytic efforts to support the growth of energy technology firms. Prior to NextEnergy Dan co-founded a clean energy technology consultancy.

Daniel Vaughn

Dan Vaughn is the Manager of External Technology Collaborations and Intellectual Assets at Corning. Prior to working for Corning, Dan worked in merger and acquisition roles for two publicly traded companies where he had the opportunity to lead the successful acquisition of several companies. Dan is active in upstate New York’s entrepreneurial ecosystem as a mentor and coach of entrepreneurs, a judge of business competitions, and as a Director of IncubatorWorks. Dan has an M.B.A from Cornell, a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Nuclear Power School.


Erica Iannotti is a serial entrepreneur, engineer, mentor, and investor with nearly 20 years of experience in energy innovation. She currently serves as a program manager for Technology to Market programs for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Frank Gayle

Dr. Frank Gayle is the Deputy Director of the Office of Advanced Manufacturing at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is responsible for extramural advanced manufacturing programs and serves as a liaison to industry and academia. Frank is also deputy director of the interagency Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office. Frank’s past roles at NIST include Division Chief of the NIST Metallurgy Division, where he developed programs in energy, microelectronics, and mechanical properties. Frank earned an Sc.D. in Materials Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and degrees in Civil & Mechanical Engineering from Duke.

James LoGerfo

Jim LoGerfo has been working with energy and environmental technology companies for nearly two decades as an investor, advisor, board member, mentor and founder. Jim is currently a partner at Earthrise Capital, a venture fund investing in clean technology companies. He is also the founder and principal of Vortex Energy, a strategic advisory firm providing consulting services, fundraising and M&A support, and interim management solutions.

Jim Senall

Jim Senall is President of NextCorps, where he leads the organization in creating entrepreneurship and innovation-based regional growth. During his tenure at NextCorps, the organization has launched a software accelerator program, clean tech accelerator, and an optics, photonics, and imaging accelerator. Prior experience includes co-founding the Rochester Angel Network, which he continues to lead as Managing Director; experience with multiple startup companies; and engineering and manufacturing roles at multi-billion dollar firms. Jim holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology, and an M.B.A. from the Simon Business School. 

Michael Lightman

Mike Lightman has played the role of entrepreneur, investor, incubator director, and startup program developer. He has worked with companies that have won Tech Crunch Disrupt, appeared on Shark Tank, and made millions via Kickstarter. Mike led teams on diligence at Excell Partners, advised hardware and software companies as the interim director of the Urban Future Lab, and spent time in Shenzhen, China advising hardware companies with Hax (a $400M hardware accelerator). He is currently juggling a few startups at Moonshot, a startup studio in Denver. Mike loves practicing sales pitches, market research, hiring and retaining top talent, and finding ways to improve operations.

Jason Salfi

Jason Salfi is CEO of solar fuel company Dimensional Energy, a startup focused on building photothermal reactors that convert waste carbon dioxide into usable fuels and feedstocks. Jason’s continuing work as an entrepreneur, executive, advisor, and educator is focused on mainstreaming profitable and regenerative business models. In his first business, Comet Skateboards, a founding B Corporation, he pioneered several strategies for sustainability through upcycling waste. Jason believes that through creative branding, product design, logistics, and supply chain development, companies can create market competitive solutions to the worlds’ most pressing problems.

Theresa Mazzullo

Theresa Mazzullo is the CEO of Excell Partners. In her role as CEO, her duties include governance, compliance, reporting, community integration, finance and fundraising. Theresa spent six years as President & Principal of EPIC Advisors, where she built an infrastructure that supported annual revenue growth of 20%. She also directed business planning regarding business strategy and tactics in the areas of finance, sales, marketing, administration, operations and IT. Theresa is adept at streamlining operations, identifying problems and defining and implementing solutions that increase top and bottom-line performance. She also serves the community on various boards, councils, and committees.


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