Lighting the Way to Greener Ag

Management Team

Shami Patel

Shami Patel, Chief Executive Officer
Shami J. Patel is CEO of LumiGrow, the market and technology leader in spectrum control solutions for horticulture.  An early-stage investor in LumiGrow, Shami joined the leadership team to directly contribute his 14 years of experience as an investor and operator of numerous private and public high-growth companies. Prior to joining LumiGrow, Shami was a managing partner at Pacific View Ventures and a venture partner at Clean Pacific Ventures, both early stage clean resources venture funds. Earlier in his career, Shami served as COO of Alesco (NYSE: AFN), senior partner at Cohen & Co., CFO of TRM Corp. (NASDAQ: TRMM) and CEO of iATMglobal.net (acq: NCR). He has been a board member or observer of LumiGrow, American Efficient, The Renewable Exchange and iATMglobal.net as well as vice chairman of Golden Pacific Bancorp. Shami currently serves on the board of the Duke University Law School where he is also senior lecturing fellow. Shami received a BA in economics and philosophy from Trinity University and a JD/MBA joint degree with honors from Duke University

Neil Coppinger

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

Caroline Nordahl Wells, Co-Founder and 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 (NYSE: RHI, $5B revenue). Caroline holds a BA degree in economics from the University of California, San Diego.

Melanie Yelton, Director of Research

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.