Board of Directors
David C. Michaels
Chairman of the Board
Mr. Michaels, was appointed to MTI’s Board of Directors on August 28, 2013. Mr. Michaels served as the Chief Financial Officer of the American Institute for Economic Research, Inc., an internationally recognized economics research and education organization, from December 2008 until his retirement in May of 2018.
Before joining the Institute, Mr. Michaels served as Chief Financial Officer at Starfire Systems, Inc. and prior to that, he worked at Albany International Corp. as Vice President, Treasury and Tax and Chief Risk Officer. Mr. Michaels also worked at Veeco Instruments in various roles including Controller and Tax Manager. Mr. Michaels is a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Audit Committee of Iverson Genetic Diagnostics, Inc. Mr. Michaels served as a member of the Board of Governors and Vice President of the Country Club of Troy from 2007 through 2014. Mr. Michaels also served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Starfire Systems, Inc. from June 2009 through November 2010.
Mr. Michaels has a B.S. degree with dual majors in Accounting and Finance and a minor in Economics from the University at Albany. Mr. Michaels completed graduate-level coursework at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University. Mr. Michaels also completed the Leadership Institute Program at the Lally School of Management & Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Edward R. Hirshfield
Mr. Hirshfield, has served as a director since October 21, 2016. In 2018, Mr. Hirshfield is a Managing Director in the restructuring group at B Riley Securities, Inc. where he is advising stressed and distressed companies and their constituencies.
Mr. Hirshfield began his career as a loan officer at CIT Group Inc. and then became a restructuring advisor at a boutique investment bank, CDG Group.
In 2003, Mr. Hirshfield moved over to the buy side and joined Longacre Fund Management, LLC, a $2.5 billion distressed debt fund. Mr. Hirshfield continued as a distressed investor at Del Mar Asset Management, LP, Ramius LLC and CRG, LLC from 2012 through 2014.
From 2015 until 2018, Mr. Hirshfield served as a partner at Steppingstone Group, LLC, a special situations private equity fund located in New York. Mr. Hirshfield’s responsibilities in this role included business development activities, conducting extensive credit analysis on target companies, as well as portfolio management.
Mr. Hirshfield has a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Union College and an M.B.A. from Fordham University Graduate School of Business.
William Hazelip was appointed to our Board on February 23, 2021. Since 2015, he has served as Vice President of National Grid PLC, and also holds the positions of President, Global Transmission (US) since 2017, and President of Strategic Growth for National Grid Ventures since August 2019, developing new business opportunities in electric transmission, energy storage, and renewable energy. Previously, he was the Managing Director, Business Development at Duke Energy Corporation and the President of Path 15 Transmission, an independent electric transmission company in California, where he led the acquisition for Duke Energy Corporation. Mr. Hazelip also has extensive experience serving on the board of directors of companies.
He currently serves as member of the board of directors of Millennium Pipeline Corporation, a multi-billion dollar natural gas pipeline company, the Vice-Chairman of the board of directors of New York Transco, a growing electric transmission company, and a board of directors representative of Clean Energy Generation, a renewable energy and battery energy storage joint venture with NextEra Energy Resources. Mr. Hazelip began his career as an Area Director for CWL Investments, LLC, a Michigan investor group, that owns and operates restaurant franchises including Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwich Shops.
Mr. Hazelip earned a Bachelor of Arts, from Emory University, Atlanta, GA, and an International Master of Business Administration (IMBA), from the Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. Mr. Hazelip is an accomplished leader in the energy industry, with deep experience in utility project development, financing, regulation, and operations.
Mr. Lipman, was appointed to MTI’s Board of Directors on October 21, 2016. Mr. Lipman joined Brookstone Partners, a lower middle market private equity firm based in New York, in 2004. Mr. Lipman’s responsibilities include identifying and evaluating investment opportunities, performing transaction due diligence, managing the capital structure of portfolio companies, and working with management teams to implement operational and growth strategies. In addition, Mr. Lipman is responsible for executing add-on acquisitions and other portfolio company related strategic projects. Prior to 2004, Mr. Lipman was a member of the mergers and acquisitions group at UBS Financial Services Inc. responsible for formulating and executing on complex merger, acquisition and financing strategies for Fortune 500 companies in the industrial, consumer products and healthcare sectors.
Mr. Lipman currently serves on the Board of Directors of Virginia Abrasives, Soluna, Instone, Capstone Therapeutics and Denison Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Lipman has a B.S. in Business Administration from Babson College.
Alykhan Madhavji was appointed to the Board on February 24, 2021. Mr. Madhavji has served as Managing Partner at Blockchain Founders Fund since 2018. Prior to that, Mr. Madhavji served as a Senior Associate at PwC in its Assurance & Consulting division from 2012 through 2014. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of CryptoStar Corp. (TSXV: CSTR) since August 2020. Mr. Madhavji consults leading organizations, such as the United Nations, on emerging technologies.
Mr. Madhavji is a Limited Partner at Loyal VC and Draper Goren Holm, an award-winning author, a Senior Blockchain Fellow at INSEAD and recognized as a “Blockchain 100” Global Leader by Lattice80.
He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto, a Master of Business Administration from INSEAD, earned in 2017, and a Master of Global Affairs, as a Schwarzman Scholar, from Tsinghua University, earned in 2018. Mr. Madhavji has deep expertise in emerging technologies and blockchain start-ups.
Thomas J. Marusak
Mr. Marusak, was appointed to MTI’s Board of Directors on December 16, 2004. Since 1986, Mr. Marusak has served as President of Comfortex Corporation, a manufacturer of custom window shades and components. Mr. Marusak was previously a member of the Advisory Board of Directors for Key Bank of New York from 1996 through 2004. Mr. Marusak served on the Board of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority from 2000 until 2006 and served as Chairman of the Board for the Capital Region’s Center for Economic Growth from 2006 through 2007.
In 2011, Mr. Marusak was elected to the Board of Directors of the Capital District Physician’s Health Plan, Inc., in Albany, in which he is also a member of the Finance, Compensation, Audit and Executive Committees of the Board. Mr. Marusak has a B.S. in Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and an M.S. in Engineering from Stanford University.
William P. Phelan
William Phelan was appointed to MTI’s Board of Directors on December 16, 2004. Mr. Phelan is a serial entrepreneur active in a number of industries. Mr. Phelan is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bright Hub, Inc., a software company founded in 2005 focusing on the development of natural language generation systems and tools for online media and e-commerce applications. In 2017 Mr. Phelan co-founded and was the CEO of Just Healthy LLC in the cannabis industry, sold to Green Growth Brands in 2019.
Mr. Phelan has served on the Board of Trustees of Capital District Physician’s Health Plan, Inc. and active on its Executive Committee, chair of the Compensation and Investment Committees, and a member of the Finance Committee. Mr. Phelan also serves on the Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Paradigm Mutual Fund Family. Mr. Phelan is a board member of Soluna Inc. serving as MTI’s representative on the Board.
Mr. Phelan has also held numerous executive positions at Fleet Equity Partners, Cowen & Company, First Albany Corporation, and UHY Advisors Inc. Mr. Phelan has a B.A. in Accounting and Finance from Siena College, an M.S. in Taxation from City College of New York, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Mr. Toporek, was appointed to MTI’s Board of Directors on October 21, 2016. Mr. Toporek serves as the Managing General Partner of Brookstone Partners, a lower middle market private equity firm based in New York. Prior to co-founding Brookstone Partners in 2003, Mr. Toporek was both an active principal investor and an investment banker. Mr. Toporek has successfully invested in growth equity as well as more traditional buyouts. Notable investments include eToys, The Theory Center, Advanced Mining Systems and Blacor Steel.
As an investment banker, Mr. Toporek worked extensively with Fortune 100 companies to formulate and execute complex merger, acquisition and financing strategies in diversified sectors such as manufacturing, building products, medical and analytical instruments, environmental services, technology and transportation/logistics. Mr. Toporek began his career in Chemical Bank’s Investment Banking Group, later joined Dillon, Read and Co., which became UBS Warburg Securities Ltd. during his tenure, and SG Cowen and Company.
Mr. Toporek currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Harlem Academy. Mr. Toporek has a B.A. in Economics and an M.B.A from the University of Chicago.
John Belizaire, age 49, has served as Chief Executive Officer of SCI since its inception and of HEL since 2018. He is a serial entrepreneur who successfully founded, scaled, and sold multiple technology companies over the course of his 25-year career. For example, from 2006 to 2016, Mr. Belizaire was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of FirstBest Systems, Inc., an insurance software company that focused on being innovative through consistently trying out new ideas and offering new services, that was acquired by Guidewire Software, Inc. in 2016. He served as Senior Industry Advisor to Guidewire Software, Inc. from 2016 to 2017. In addition, from 1997 to 1999 he served as Chief Executive Officer of TheoryCenter, Inc., an e-commerce software company acquired by BEA Systems in 1999.
Mr. Belizaire is on the Board of Directors of several software-as-a-service, data analytics, and insurance technology startups including Center for American Entrepreneurship, BanQu, Inc., and Metabiota, Inc. He is on the board of IFG Companies, one of the largest privately-held insurance groups in the United States. He is also a trustee of Harlem Academy, an independent school in New York, an Operating Advisor for Pilot Growth Equity, and Founder and Managing Editor of CEOPLAYBOOK, a blog for ﬁrst-time CEOs. Mr. Belizaire will bring strategic and ﬁnancial expertise to the Board as a result of his involvement in the companies and industries noted above, which the Board believes qualiﬁes him to serve as a director.
Before becoming an entrepreneur, Mr. Belizaire was the lead architect for Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group.
Mr. Belizaire holds a BS in Computer Science and an MS in Engineering from Cornell University.
John Bottomley, age 54, has served as Co-Founder, Chief Development Officer, and member of the Management Board of v-ridium Power Group and v-ridium Europe, a multi-market, utility-scale European renewable energy development company, since June 2020. In this role, he manages all international growth for the company. He has also serves as Deputy Strategic Director of the Blockchain & Climate Institute, a London-based think- and-do tank providing expertise in emerging technologies for climate and sustainability actions, since July 2021. As part of this volunteer position, he provides expertise in emerging technologies for climate and sustainability actions. He has also served as a Director of SCI since its inception and of HEL since June 2020.
From August 2017 to March 2020 Mr. Bottomley previously served as Senior Vice President, Global Development, of Vestas Wind Systems, a wind turbine manufacturer, and he served as Global Development Leader at GE Capital EFS from September 2014 through May 2017, where he oversaw global development efforts across the core areas of strategic planning, opportunity origination, and project execution for the GE Renewables & Energy division. Mr. Bottomley has served on the HEL board and various joint venture boards as part of his corporate employment and as a result of his experience and expertise in renewable energy development companies, the Board believes he is qualiﬁed to serve as a director.
Mr. Bottomley holds an MBA in Finance and International Business from New York University and a BSc in Computer Engineering from Clemson University. Mr. Bottomley is also a CFA charter holder.