Board of Directors

Founder and CEO Neal Verfuerth

Neal R. Verfuerth


  • One of the nation’s top 500 inventors
  • Founded Orion Energy Systems (OESX)
  • 1996-2012 CEO & Board member Orion
  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Nat’l Society of Professional Engineers New Product Award
  • Plant Engineering Product of the Year
  • US Green Building Council Wisconsin Alliance Transformation Award of Excellence

Neal’s accomplishments have been recognized by the White House, State of Wisconsin, global organizations and many other highly respected institutions for his innovation and leadership in both energy efficiency and business.

Vander Ploeg

Dave Vander Ploeg, CPA

Board of Directors

  • Independent Director Swift Transportation (SWFT)
  • Board Member Bellin Health Psychiatric Center
  • Served as CFO for School Specialties (SCOO)
  • Served as EVP & CFO for Schneider National
  • Served as COO for Dutchland Plastics Corp

Dave Vander Ploeg received his BS in accounting and MBA from Univeristy of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. 


Dr. Ken Katz

Board of Directors

Dr. Ken Katz is the Founder/Chairman of Dermatology Associates of Wisconsin and Forefront Dermatology with 400+ employees at locations serving the midwest and expanding nationwide. 

He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School and complete his residency at Hershey Medical Center – Penn State. 


Nilaksh Kothari, PE

Board of Directors

Nilaksh Kothari is the general Manager of Manitowoc Public Utilities (MPU) which supplies water, electricity and dark fiber broadband services, and has extensive utility sector experience. 

He received his MS in Engineering from South Dakota State University and his BS in Civil Engineering from M.S. University in Baroda, India. 


Peter Helander

Board of Directors

Peter Helander is the Founder/CEO of Heartland Business Systems, Avastone Technology, LLC and Heartland Label Systems, LLC. He is a Board Member of Fox Cities Performing Arts Center and is active in many community organizations. He received his MS from University of Arizona and his BS from University of Wisconsin – Madison.


Katherine L. Hust

Board of Directors

Katherine L. Hust is the retired Vice President of Community Affairs at US Cellular, and a Board Member of Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau of Chicago & Northern Illinois, Waukesha County Business Alliance, and the Zoological Society of Milwaukee. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee.

She received her BS in business administration from Mount Mary College, Milwaukee and certificate in management from Marquette University.

Advisory Board Members

energy bank has established an advisory board to assist in various strategic initiatives


Joseph Suttner, CPA

Advisory board member

Joseph Suttner is the Founder and Managing Partner of Suttner Accounting, Inc. and a Board Member of the Wisconsin Association of Accountants. He received his BS in Accounting from Marquette University.

Van Horn

Chuck Van Horn

Advisory Board Member

Chuck Van Horn is the owner of Van Horn Auto Group.


Stuart Ralsky, Ph.D.

Advisory Board Member

Stuart Ralsky is the Principal of SLR Consulting, and a member of the American Psychological Association and the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Michigan State University and both his B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Labor and Industrial Relations from the University of Illinois. 


James Voigt

Advisory Board Member

James Voigt is the Past President and Founder of American Innovations and the former CEO of Innosoft. He holds several patents for his inventions, including those used by Muth Mirror Systems and Kohler Co.