Our Team

Strong, deep, proven

Accio Energy’s management team is led by Jen Baird (CEO) and Dawn White (CTO). With previous firms, they have raised over $60M in VC and contract R&D funding as well as achieved a recent $205M exit at 10x revenue and 5-6x return for investors. The Board of Directors includes the retired COO of Detroit Edison and multiple experienced investors. Accio’s world class technical team comprises master engineers, physicists, and technicians having backgrounds that include the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, Bell Labs, General Electric, Ford, and the Fulbright Scholar Program. The team is a strong blend of thought leaders in EHD wind energy and engineers with extensive hands-on utility installation and fieldwork. The team has amassed a formidable intellectual property portfolio, and they are the only team to ever achieve commercially compelling results.

Executive Team

Jennifer Baird, CEO

Ms. Baird is CEO of Accio Energy. She brings her track record of successfully commercializing transformational technologies to develop Accio’s revolutionary EHD wind energy systems. From 2005 to 2010, Ms. Baird was President and CEO of Accuri Cytometers, a rapidly growing company developing and marketing breakthrough life science products for research and clinical use. Ms. Baird co-founded Accuri and led the company from inception through development and commercialization. She raised over $30 million in venture equity and debt funding and achieved more than $10 million in sales, a global reach and near-profitability in just five years time. In 2011, Accuri was successfully sold to Becton Dickinson for $205 million, generating 5-6x returns for investors. Previously, Ms. Baird was a key member of the senior management team at Integrated Sensing Systems, Inc., a technology development firm focused on using micro-electromechanical systems for medical and scientific sensing applications. Earlier in her career, as a Vice President at Keane Consulting Group, she managed over $10 million in projects and helped the firm quintuple in size to over 150 staff.

Ms. Baird began her career in commercial banking. She received her MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where she shared Top-of-Class honors, and a BA degree from the University of Michigan.

Dawn White, PhD, President/CTO

Dr. White is a co-founder, President/CTO, and a board member of Accio Energy. She provides her exceptional innovation skills to lead the technical team developing Accio’s EHD wind energy technology. Dr. White founded venture backed, Ann Arbor-based Solidica, Inc. where she invented and commercialized the Ultrasonic Consolidation rapid prototyping process as the Form-ation rapid prototyping machine. Prior to founding Solidica, Dr. White was a serial intrapreneur, commercializing technologies to create new business opportunities in multiple industries.

Dr. White earned a BS and MS in Materials Science and Engineering, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, from the University of Illinois. She has a continuous record of commercial innovation in a range of materials processing fields, including welding and joining science, metal spray forming, intelligent processing of materials and rapid prototyping and tooling. She has published dozens of technical papers, and is a productive inventor, having been awarded 27 US Patents.

Jeffrey Basch, Business & Operations Manager

Mr. Basch provides Accio Energy a single resource with full responsibility for business and operating functions including: Finance, Human Resources, Business Development, Legal, Sourcing, Quality, and IT. His adaptive managerial and technical skills were built over 17 years at General Electric and 7 years at early-stage start-ups. Mr. Basch was a cross-functional leader within GE’s $7B Advanced Materials business where he was progressively promoted from Manufacturing Engineer to Market Director of Business Development for North American Automotive Sales. Within sales, he designed and implemented a new Business Development organization, increased new business opportunities by 200% in 2 years, and translated the new structure and business processes to Europe and Japan. As Director of Technical Sales, he managed a 13 member technical sales team growing and servicing $650M of sales.

Mr. Basch is a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt, completing multiple Six Sigma quality projects with customers and developing and presenting Six Sigma Seminars to more than 500 global customers. He received his MBA from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.

Board of Directors

Mary Campbell, Chairperson

Mary Lincoln Campbell is a Managing Director and Founder of EDF Ventures. She has been an active investor both in healthcare and technology companies for over twenty-five years. Currently, Ms. Campbell is a board member or board observer for the following companies: Cerenis Therapeutics and Lycera (pharma); IntelePeer (telecom); ValenTx (med tech); AlertWatch (HIT). Her leadership within EDF Ventures resulted in several successful exits including Aastrom Biosciences (pharma), Arxan (IT), Greenplum (IT), Handylab (med tech), Pixelworks (IT), and Sircon (IT).

Ms. Campbell is an advisor to Reservoir Venture Partners, Resonant Venture Partners, and Tappan Hill Ventures. She is active with The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at The University of Michigan and currently serves as an advisor to the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, as well as its student-run venture activity, the Wolverine Venture Fund. She also serves on the advisory board of The Charles F. Dolan School of Business at Fairfield University where she has been instrumental in launching several innovations in the school’s entrepreneurial curriculum. She is past president of the Michigan Venture Capital Association, the State’s premier public policy advocate for the venture capital industry and a past Trustee of Northern Michigan University. Ms. Campbell received her MBA and BA in English from The University of Michigan and a Master of Special Education from Fairfield University.

Robert Buckler

Robert J. Buckler as Accio Energy Board Member and also Chairman of Accio Energy’s Technical Advisory Board provides expert leadership regarding utilities. Mr. Buckler is past President and Chief Operating Officer of Detroit Edison, the largest business unit of DTE Energy Co. (NYSE: DTE), a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Mr. Buckler was responsible for power generation, fuel supply, electric distribution, customer service, marketing and assorted support functions. He joined Detroit Edison in 1972 as an engineer; garnering positions of greater responsibility throughout his career. He was elected Vice President in 1990; Senior Vice President in 1992 and Executive Vice President in 1997. He was then elected President and Chief Operating Officer in 1998. He retired in 2009.

Mr. Buckler is a past member of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor national advisory board for the school of engineering. He is past Chairman of the Michigan Economic Development Foundation; past Vice Chairman of the Downtown Detroit Partnership; Vice Chairman of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce; and past director of the Electric Power Research Institute and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. He is currently Chairman of Next Energy Corporation and a member of the Board of Directors of the Rackham Foundation and Huron River Ventures.

Michael Godwin

Michael Godwin is a Founder and Managing Director of Resonant Venture Partners, an emerging seed stage venture capital firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Mr. Godwin is a veteran of the early-stage venture-backed technology company space and currently serves on the board of directors of Accio Energy and Pinoccio as well as several non-profit boards in the Ann Arbor area. Since 1996 he has worked with several notable firms including: WebCrawler, Excite, AT&T Mobility, Independent Online Distribution Alliance, Zengine, MCSI and Menlo Innovations. As an engineer with Menlo Innovations, Mr. Godwin helped develop the software for the first production release of Accuri Cytometer’s C6 Flow Cytometer. Before Menlo, he was a principal engineer with the Independent Online Distribution Alliance. IODA was named one of Fortune magazine’s 25 Breakout Companies for 2005 and a “Rising Star” in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 for Silicon Valley. Sony Music Entertainment acquired IODA in June 2009. Prior to his role with IODA, Mr. Godwin cut his technology teeth in the search industry as a software engineer with WebCrawler, Excite and AT&T@Home.

Mr. Godwin is a former managing director of the Wolverine Venture Fund’s student advisory board at the University of Michigan. He holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music, Boston.

Thomas C. Kinnear, PhD

Dr. Kinnear is the D. Maynard Phelps Collegiate Professor of Business Administration, former Executive Director of the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, and a Professor of Marketing at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Previously, Dr. Kinnear was Senior Associate Dean of the Ross School of Business and former Vice President for Development and Executive Officer for the University. Earlier in his career, he held visiting faculty appointments at Harvard University and Stanford University.

In addition to his academic accomplishments, Dr. Kinnear is currently president and chair of the board of directors of the Venture Michigan Corporation, a $450 million venture capital fund of funds, and the Michigan Venture Capital Association. He has been a member of the board of directors or corporate advisory boards for a number of companies, including Accuri Cytometers (acquired by Becton Dickinson), BlueGill Technologies (acquired by CheckFree), Domino’s Pizza, and Mobius Microsystems. Dr. Kinnear holds an undergraduate degree and an LLD (honorary) from Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario, an MBA from Harvard University, and a PhD in Business Administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Board of Advisors

Robert Buckler, Chairperson

Robert J. Buckler as Accio Energy Board Member and also Chairman of Accio Energy’s Technical Advisory Board provides expert leadership regarding utilities. Mr. Buckler is past President and Chief Operating Officer of Detroit Edison, the largest business unit of DTE Energy Co. (NYSE: DTE), a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Mr. Buckler was responsible for power generation, fuel supply, electric distribution, customer service, marketing and assorted support functions. He joined Detroit Edison in 1972 as an engineer; garnering positions of greater responsibility throughout his career. He was elected Vice President in 1990; Senior Vice President in 1992 and Executive Vice President in 1997. He was then elected President and Chief Operating Officer in 1998. He retired in 2009.

Mr. Buckler is a past member of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor national advisory board for the school of engineering. He is past Chairman of the Michigan Economic Development Foundation; past Vice Chairman of the Downtown Detroit Partnership; Vice Chairman of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce; and past director of the Electric Power Research Institute and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. He is currently Chairman of Next Energy Corporation and a member of the Board of Directors of the Rackham Foundation and Huron River Ventures.

Richard Pearson

Richard Pearson provides Accio Energy’s Advisory Board expert leadership regarding manufacturing. He has a diverse manufacturing and organizational management background that spans over 40 years. He started his career at Ford Motor Company in process design and development and rose through a series of manufacturing positions that spanned the range from pilot production to management of some of Ford’s largest plants. He became one of Ford’s senior Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Technology leaders, benchmarking processes, developing and implementing new manufacturing technologies, and creating corporate strategies to improve Ford’s manufacturing competitiveness worldwide.

After leaving Ford, Richard Pearson became the President of the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, the largest cross-industry collaborative manufacturing research consortium in the United States devoted exclusively to manufacturing technologies, processes and practices. Richard has served on Board of Directors for NACFAM (National Council for Advanced Manufacturing) and ESD (Engineering Society of Detroit), External Advisory Board for AMT (Association for Manufacturing Technology), External Advisory Board for Tauber Institute at University of Michigan and Advisory Boards for the National Science Foundation and National Academy of Science and Engineering. Richard is currently serving as Chairman of the Board for Sustainable Water Works. In addition he has authored numerous patents and publications.

Robert Nelson

Robert Nelson provides Accio Energy’s Advisory Board expert leadership regarding utility regulation. He is a former Commissioner of the Michigan Public Service Commission. During his tenure as a Commissioner, he chaired The Telecommunications Committee and two task forces under the auspices of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. He testified before three Congressional committees. Following his tenure as Commissioner, he was a shareholder of the law firm Fraser Trebilcock, Davis and Dunlap for five years, specializing in energy and telecommunications law. For three years, he taught Energy Law and Regulation at the Michigan State University College of Law.

Mr. Nelson received his B.A. from Wayne State University and his J.D. from the University of Michigan. After law school, he was employed by the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C. as a trial attorney. He worked for two years as an Assistant Prosecutor in Ingham County, Michigan and for 11 years in various Staff positions at the Michigan Public Service Commission, including Director of Policy. He headed the Michigan Electric and Gas Association for 11 years, before being appointed to the Commission. Mr. Nelson has served on numerous boards and commissions including the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association and represented the Michigan Sustainable Energy Commission in their efforts to enact a Renewable Portfolio Standard for the state.

Thomas Zurbuchen, PhD

Professor Thomas Zurbuchen provides Accio Energy’s Advisory Board expert leadership regarding science and engineering. Professor Zurbuchen, who holds a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Bern, Switzerland, was a recipient of a Swiss National Science Foundation award before coming to the University of Michigan, where he has received numerous awards, including the prestigious U.S. Presidential Early Career Award. He has been at the University of Michigan for over 17 years where he is a Professor in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, and the Department of Aerospace Engineering, at the University of Michigan College of Engineering. His technical expertise is in the modeling and detection of dynamic plasmas and engineering systems. Widely regarded as a specialist in this area of research, he as been on technical advisory committees for NASA, NSF, and also the National Research Council.

Professor Zurbuchen is the Founding Director of the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship and now oversees the Center as an Associate Dean of Entrepreneurial Programs. In 2013, he was appointment by the University’s Provost’s Office to be the Senior Counselor for Entrepreneurial Education.