Energy Vault Inc.
Novus Capital Corp II
- Technology, Telecommunications, Artificial Intelligence, Software, Logistics, IoT, Sustainability, Agriculture
Robert J. Laikin has served as our Chief Executive Officer and a member of our board of directors since our inception. Mr. Laikin cofounded and served as Chairman of Novus Capital Corporation [NASDAQ: NOVSU; NOVS; NOVSW] since its inception in March 2020. Mr. Laikin has served as a managing member of Novus Capital Associates, LLC, one of our initial stockholders, since its formation in October 2020. Mr. Laikin currently serves as the non-executive Chairman of the Board of Washington Prime Group Inc. (NYSE:WPG), where he has held a director role since May 2014. Mr. Laikin held the Lead Independent Director role at Washington Prime Group Inc. until the position was eliminated by the Board in 2016 and he at that time became Chairman of the Board. Mr. Laikin has also been the managing member of L7 Investments LLC, a closely held company that invests primarily in multi-family apartments as well as single purpose buildings, hotels, divestitures and single-family homes, since January 2015. Mr. Laikin served as Executive Advisor to the CEO and Government Relations Executive of Ingram Micro Inc. (NYSE:IM), a wholesale technology distributor and supply chain management and mobile device lifecycle services company, from November 2012 to December 2019. Previously Mr. Laikin served as the founder, Chief Executive Officer and member of the board of directors of Brightpoint, Inc. (Nasdaq:CELL) from August 1989 until it was acquired by Ingram Micro Inc. in November 2012. Mr. Laikin holds a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University. We believe Mr. Laikin is well qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his significant experience in the areas of executive leadership, corporate management, retail, real estate, business strategy and corporate finance, banking, financing, accounting, corporate management, general business and global business operations, accounting, corporate governance, public company compliance, political/governmental matters, audit/compliance, entrepreneurism, real estate development, sales, charitable/philanthropic matters, marketing, risk management/insurance, legal, investor, media and public relations, negotiation and deal structure.
Larry M. Paulson has served as our non-executive Chairman since our inception. Mr. Paulson co-founded Novus Capital Corporation and has served as its Chief Executive Officer and a director since its inception in March 2020. Mr. Paulson has served as a managing member of Novus Capital Associates, LLC since its formation in October 2020. He has also served as principal and founder of Rancho Santa Fe Solutions, a wireless industry consulting company he founded in February 2010. From 2013 to January 2020, Mr. Paulson was with Qualcomm (Nasdaq:QCOM) where he served as Vice President of Product Management (2013-16), Vice President and President India and SAARC (2016-2018) and Vice President Sales NA and Australia (2018-Jan 2020). Prior to Qualcomm, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Brightpoint, Inc., a provider of worldwide distribution and integrated logistics services to the wireless communications industry, from 2011 to 2013. Prior to that he served with Nokia (NYSE:NOK) from 1987 to 2009 where he had numerous roles including global Senior Vice President and General Manager CDMA Product line. Mr. Paulson holds a BA in Communications from Point Park University. We believe Mr. Paulson is well qualified to serve as our Chairman because of his more than thirty years of global senior management positions in the tech industry with expertise in wireless communications.
Hersch Klaff has served as a member of our board of directors since our inception. Mr. Klaff is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Klaff Realty which he formed in 1984. Klaff Realty deploys several entrepreneurial strategies to unlock value for its investors, including its flagship business line of acquiring distressed and under-utilized retail real estate and operating businesses. To date, Klaff Realty (including through partnerships and entities managed by it or its affiliates) has acquired properties and invested in operating entities that control in excess of 200 million square feet with a value in excess of $10 billion. Mr. Klaff is currently on the board of directors of Albertsons Companies, Inc. (NYSE: ACI), Tienda Inglesa (Uruguay), and Chlorum Solutions (Brazil). Mr. Klaff began his career with the public accounting firm of Altschuler, Melvoin and Glasser in Chicago. Mr. Klaff holds a degree in Economics and Accounting from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. We believe Mr. Klaff is well qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his expertise in the farming industry and retail development, his accounting and investment experience, as well as his extensive knowledge of merger and acquisitions which broadens the scope of our board of directors’ oversight of our financial performance.
Vincent Donargo has served as our Chief Financial Officer since our inception. Mr. Donargo co-founded Novus Capital Corporation and served as its Chief Financial Officer since its inception in March 2020. Since August 2020, Mr. Donargo has served as the Chief Accounting Officer for Calumet Specialty Products Partners, LP, a leading producer of specialty hydrocarbons and fuels. From December 2019 to August 2020, Mr. Donargo provided financial advisory and consulting services to private clients. From May 2019 to December 2019, Mr. Donargo served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Celadon Group Inc. (OTC:CGIPQ). From November 2017 to April 2019, he was Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer of the Celadon Group Inc., where he was brought in to assist with Celadon Group’s financial restructuring. Celadon Group filed a voluntary petition for bankruptcy on December 8, 2019. From August 2016 to November 2017, Mr. Donargo was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Beaulieu Group LLC, a North American carpet and flooring manufacturing company, where he assisted the company with its financial restructuring process. Beaulieu Group LLC filed a voluntary petition for bankruptcy on July 16, 2017. Prior to joining Beaulieu Group, Mr. Donargo held senior finance positions at several publicly traded companies, including Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Brightstar Corporation from April 2014 to August 2016 and Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Brightpoint, Inc. from September 2005 until it was acquired by Ingram Micro Inc. in November 2012. From 1998 to 2005, Mr. Donargo was the strategic business unit controller, director of finance and corporate controller of Aearo Company, a safety products manufacturing company. Prior to that, from 1990 to 1998, Mr. Donargo was employed in various financial positions with National Starch and Chemical Company, a specialty chemical manufacturing company. Mr. Donargo holds a BA in Accounting from Rutgers University.
Jeffrey Foster has served as a member of our board of directors since our inception. Mr. Foster is an active real estate investor, managing a portfolio of multi-family, commercial and single-family assets. Mr. Foster has been the managing member of New Frontier LLC since its inception in 2012. Mr. Foster was a professional basketball player, playing for the NBA’s Indiana Pacers from 1999 through 2012. Mr. Foster holds a B.A.A.S. from Texas State University. We believe Mr. Foster is well qualified to serve on our board of directors because experience in mergers and acquisitions, investments experience and the healthcare, technology and logistics industries, and his knowledge of the public markets broadens the scope of our board of directors’ oversight of our financial performance.
Heather Goodman has served as a member of our board of directors since our inception. Ms. Goodman has served as a director of Novus Capital Corporation since its inception in March 2020. Since March 2007, Ms. Goodman has served as the Chief Operating Officer and President of True Capital Management, a boutique multi-family office specializing in business management and investment advisory services for athletes, entertainers and high net worth individuals. Previously Ms. Goodman acted as Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney from February 2002 to February 2007. Ms. Goodman holds a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She is a Certified Public Accountant and maintains Series 63, 65 and life insurance licenses. We believe Ms. Goodman is well qualified to serve as a director given her experience in building infrastructures which have created scalable platforms to achieve goals.
Ronald J. Sznaider has served as a member of our board of directors since our inception. Previously Mr. Sznaider has held executive leadership positions in several global technology companies. In January 2020, Mr. Sznaider founded Sznaider Consulting LLC, a firm which provides expert business advisory services, and has served as its President since its formation. Mr. Sznaider serves as a member of the board of directors of the TBG AG ownership group overseeing DTN LLC, where he has served as Vice Chairman since December 2018. Mr. Sznaider held several executive positions with DTN LLC from 1998 serving as its chief executive officer from November 2018 through his retirement in December 2019. Mr. Sznaider is also currently a member of the American Meteorological Society Commission on Weather, Water, and Climate Enterprise. Mr. Sznaider holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We believe Mr. Sznaider is well suited to serve as a Board member because he has significant operational experience in multiple technology business disciplines, considerable M&A experience, and private-public-partnership experience relating to environmental and sustainability topics including active initiatives with the United Nations.