Board Member Profiles
Jay Lifton, Chairman of the Board
Jay Lifton is the Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Persephone Capital Partners. Mr. Lifton has over 25 years of corporate finance, capital markets, private equity/distressed investing and corporate restructuring experience. Most recently, Mr. Lifton was co-head of J.P. Morgan’s Investor Driven Capital Markets. His previous position was as Managing Director in J.P. Morgan’s Fixed Income Credit Trading Group. Mr. Lifton played a prominent role in building the franchise in Distressed Debt and High Yield at J.P. Morgan during his 12 years in Credit Trading. Prior to J.P. Morgan, Mr. Lifton was in the Corporate Restructuring Group at The Bank of New York, and in International Trade Finance at Irving Trust.
Mr. Lifton has served as chairperson on several international lender committees and numerous boards of directors, and is currently on the board of Renewable Biofuels, Inc. and had been most recently on the boards of Bally Total Fitness and Safety Kleen Inc. Previously, Mr. Lifton has served on boards for companies in the chemical, healthcare, manufacturing, power and transportation sectors. Mr. Lifton currently serves as an observer on the New York State Financial Control Board.
Mr. Lifton received a B.A. in Economics from S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook, and an M.B.A. from Baruch College.
Alex Sorokin, Executive Director
Mr Sorokin is an Executive Director and also CEO of Cella Energy. He is also Co-Founder and General Partner of Persephone Capital Partners. He has been a business adviser, Chief Executive Officer and director of US and international companies across industries in his 30 year career.
Prior to joining Cella Energy, he was CEO of Ener1, a lithium-ion battery manufacturer and system developer, responsible for reorganising the business. Other industries served include IT, consumer products, medical services, media technology, defence, automotive and various manufacturing. Companies served have ranged from start-ups to multi-billion revenue, large scale enterprises.
Mr Sorokin is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University.
Nicholas Brunero, Executive Director
Mr. Brunero is an Executive Director and also Chief Administrative Officer of Cella Energy and an associate of Persephone Capital Partners. Prior to joining Cella Energy, Mr. Brunero was President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Ener1, Inc., a lithium-ion battery company and system developer previously listed on NASDAQ, where he worked with Mr. Sorokin on reorganising the business.
In addition to holding various management and board positions, Mr. Brunero has extensive law firm and general counsel experience delivering practical business solutions to complex legal issues in connection with general corporate matters, restructurings and turnarounds, public and private financings, cross-border joint ventures and acquisitions, governance and compliance, employment and immigration, intellectual property matters, commercial litigations and arbitrations, and SEC and FINRA investigations.
Mr. Brunero received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bates College and graduated with honors from Brooklyn Law School, and he also serves as a registered FINRA arbitrator.
Frank DiBello, Non-Executive Director
Frank is a Non-Executive Director of Cella Energy. Frank is also the President and CEO Space Florida, in charge of developing and executing programs designed to retain, grow and expand aerospace business in Florida. He has more than 40 years of direct aerospace and defense industry-related experience.
Frank is also the founding partner for Aerospace Capital Partners, an infrastructure investment fund in formation, investing in aerospace, technology and telecommunications initiatives. He is also the president and CEO of a strategic advisory and investment banking firm serving the aerospace and high-technology industry.
Formerly, Frank served as the founding Officer and Vice Chairman of SpaceVest Management Group, Inc. the sponsoring organization of the SpaceVest family of funds, and as Managing Director of several SpaceVest Venture Capital Funds. Prior to joining SpaceVest, Frank was the founder and Managing Partner of KPMG Peat Marwick’s Commercial Space and Advanced Technologies Practice.
Frank received his BSc in Mathematics from Villanova University and went on to do graduate studies at American University and George Washington University.
David Moard, Non-Executive Director
David Moard is a Non-Executive Director of Cella Energy. He is the founder of PowerHouse Energy. Mr. Moard is a leader, strategist, engineer and businessman with extensive domestic and international experience in energy technology development and commercialization from start-ups to “Fortune 500” companies.
Mr. Moard’s early involvement with fuel cells includes handling a $10 million budget to establish a commercial venture for the Southern California Gas Company in on-site cogeneration using fuel cells. As the Manager of Fuel Cells for The Gas Research Institute, Mr. Moard managed and directed the use of a $60 million budget for the field testing of 50 fuel cells followed by final product development and commercialization of 200kW fuel cells in the U.S.
In 1993, Mr. Moard founded Hydrogen Burner Technology, Inc., (HBT) where he served as Chairman and CEO. In this capacity, Mr. Moard was responsible for all aspects of equipment, market and business development of co-invented hydrogen equipment. By the end of 2000, Mr. Moard had positioned HBT for an IPO by raising over $30 million through international investment capital and joint ventures. Currently as founder and CEO of PowerHouse Energy Americas since 2003 he works on international power generation solutions that includes waste to energy equipment his company manufactures.
Mr. Moard graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo with post-graduate work in market and business management. He has written over 50 papers and publications on energy equipment development, market and business strategy. He founded and chaired the 150-member California Hydrogen Business Council. From 1997-1999 he served on the National Hydrogen Association Board of Directors and, from 1990-1993 on the Fuel Cell Commercialization Group Board of Directors. Mr. Moard currently serves on the Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo Engineering Industry Advisory Board.