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
As LumiGrow’s vice president of marketing, Caroline is responsible for the company’s marketing, branding, advertising, public relations, communications and corporate social responsibility programs. Caroline has spent the last twelve years driving growth for early-stage clean- and high-tech companies that successfully introduced disruptive technologies. She has held marketing management positions with HydroPoint Data Systems, BuildPoint and Robert Half International. Caroline holds a BA degree in Economics from the University of California at 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
Sean Schickedanz, General Partner and Chief Investment Officer, Clean Pacific Ventures
Sean Schickedanz co-founded and is a General Partner and the Chief Investment Officer of Clean Pacific Ventures, an early-stage cleantech venture fund. He currently serves on the boards of portfolio companies Marrone Organic Innovations, Carbonflow, American Efficient and LumiGrow. Prior to Clean Pacific Ventures, Sean was Managing Partner of Sunflower Capital Partners, an early-stage generalist venture fund. Previously, he was a Managing Director and group head at Montgomery Securities in the consumer investment banking practice. Sean has made over 30 early stage venture investments in the last 12 years, including OpenTable, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPEN), ProClarity (acquired by MSFT), CallTower, USBX (acquired by Imperial Capital), SunLink, Marrone Organic Innovations, Carbonflow, American Efficient and LumiGrow. He has been on the board of directors of 14 different start-ups. Sean also serves on the Advisory Board of Bay Grove Capital. Sean received a BA in English from Brigham Young University, and a JD and an MBA from Duke University.