Following a vote by its board of directors, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has announced that Tom Starrs, vice president of market strategy and policy for SunPower Corp., has become chair of the national solar trade group’s board. Michael Maulick, president and CEO of SunLink Corp., will serve as vice chair.
Starrs had been serving since 2014 as the SEIA board vice chair to Nat Kreamer of Spruce Finance, whose term as board chair expired earlier this year. Before then, he served as a director.
“The level of experience and passion these two men bring to their careers and to SEIA’s executive committee is going to help advance our organization and the industry as a whole,” says Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s president and CEO. “It’s an exciting chapter for the U.S. solar industry, and on behalf of SEIA, we welcome their strong leadership and guidance.”
Starrs has been at vertically integrated solar company SunPower since 2009. He has more than 20 years of experience in and around the solar power industry, including senior management positions with Avangrid Renewables, PPM Energy and Schott Solar. In addition to SEIA’s, Starrs has served on the boards of the American Solar Energy Society, the California Foundation on the Economy and the Environment, the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, the Solar Alliance, SEPA, and Vote Solar.
“Driven by dramatic cost reductions and rapid growth, solar energy is one of the fastest-growing energy sources in the U.S. and around the globe,” says Starrs. “SEIA is leading the way in encouraging policymakers and the public in recognizing the importance of solar energy to the U.S. economy. I’m delighted to be able serve SEIA as chairman of the board of directors, working with my industry colleagues to deliver the promise of a clean, reliable, and secure energy future.”
Prior to joining solar mounting and tracker provider SunLink, Maulick served as managing director of Maulick Capital, an investment and consulting firm that he founded in January 2009. His initial exposure to solar came as a board member for XE Solar, a concentrator and tracking company. Maulick’s experience includes tenures as CEO of three international technology companies, a 20-plus year career in engineering and sales executive management at IBM, and private and public board service – most notably as independent director for the IPO of Rackable Systems.
“Coming off a year of record-breaking growth, solar is now an integral part of the clean energy mix driving the national economy and job growth,” comments Maulick. “Technology innovations in areas like energy storage and grid security are exciting developments that are making solar the ‘smart’ solution for utilities. I am honored to serve as vice-chairman to collaborate with the industry’s top leaders to help SEIA successfully reach its goals to ensure the continued growth of solar in the U.S. and a technologically-advanced clean energy economy.”