Kevin Wells, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Kevin Wells is the chief executive officer of LumiGrow. He co-founded LumiGrow in November 2008 with the goal of bringing cost and energy efficiencies to the $20 billion greenhouse crops market. In its first full year of operation, LumiGrow introduced a range of solutions for commercial growers, researchers and expert gardeners, and by 2011 the company became the US market and technology leader for energy-efficient horticultural lighting. Prior to LumiGrow, Kevin developed award-winning software for companies such as Amazon and Logitech in the US and the UK. Kevin holds BS degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Nevada, Reno. A longtime gardening enthusiast, Kevin closely monitors basil and tomato growth tests in the company’s R&D facilities.
Neil Coppinger, Vice President of Sales
As LumiGrow’s vice president of sales, Neil Coppinger is responsible for driving revenue and building and managing the sales team. Neil’s career in sales and sales management spans more than two decades with high-tech and clean-tech companies. He previously held senior-level positions with HydroPoint Data Systems, Sprint and SHL Systemhouse. His background is best characterized as selling disruptive technologies to enterprise-level commercial and government accounts. Neil holds a BS degree in Business Administration from the University of Missouri at St. Louis.
Caroline Nordahl Wells, Vice President of Marketing
A co-founder of LumiGrow, Caroline has significant experience in developing smart lighting solutions that address growers’ most pressing challenges. Instrumental to the rapid growth of LumiGrow, Caroline currently leads the company’s global brand, communications, digital and marketing strategies. She draws on more than a decade of experience in successfully introducing and implementing clean technology solutions that yield measurable and lasting customer value. Earlier in her career, she held management positions with smart water management leader HydroPoint Data Systems and Robert Half International ($4.7B revenue). Caroline holds a BA degree in economics from the University of California, San Diego.
Melanie Yelton, Director of Research
As head of the LumiGrow research program, Melanie leads the entire horticultural lighting industry forward in discovering new ways to elicit desirable crop characteristics through the use of LEDs. Prior to joining LumiGrow, Melanie served as a lecturer and research scientist at Stanford University. Melanie completed a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship in microbial signaling between Rhizobium and alfalfa at Stanford University. She earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of California, Davis, where her work focused on plant pathogens. She holds an M.S. in the biochemistry of photosynthesis from the University of South Carolina, Columbia and a B.S. in biology from Virginia Tech. The recipient of numerous academic awards and accolades, Melanie is a patent holder for her work involving filamentous fungus such as Aspergillus strains. Earlier in her career, she served as director of sequencing at the Stanford DNA Sequence and Technology Center, a division of the Human Genome Project.
Board of Directors
Jeff Barnes, General Partner, Clean Pacific Ventures
Jeff has had three successful results with start-ups, providing a strong operational and strategic experience base for managing venture investments. Prior to co-founding Clean Pacific Ventures, Jeff spearheaded business development and marketing for Purfresh, a venture-backed clean technology water and food purification company with a long list of Fortune 500 customers. Jeff also was the first marketing and business development executive of three successful technology start-ups, VocalPoint (acquired by Telecom Italia), Acendi, and RocketLawyer. Previously, Jeff spent five years at Bain & Company in the Private Equity and Technology practices consulting to private equity funds and to major technology companies. Jeff has invested in Blingo (acquired by Publishers Clearing House), VocalPoint (acquired), Advanced Educational Corporation (acquired) and Purfresh. Jeff is a Board Director of LumiGrow and American Efficient. He served as interim CEO and Chairman of HydroNovation (acquired), was Board Director of Aquacue (acquired by Badger Meter (NYSE: BMI)) and previously served on the board of Clean Power Finance. Jeff holds a BBA in Finance from Southern Methodist University and a MS in Management from the London School of Economics.