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Board of Directors
Mr. McDonald has successfully built businesses in the cleantech, energy efficiency and HVAC industries over the past 10 years. Prior to joining Surna’s board of directors he led sales and business development as Vice-President-Sales for Coolerado Corp., a manufacturer and marketer of innovative, energy-efficient air conditioning systems for commercial, government, and military use. He led the sales of the company, growing revenue from near zero to become an INC. 600 high-growth company award winner. Along with the company’s CEO, he was instrumental in securing growth equity funding from a cleantech investment fund. The company was later acquired by a large strategic competitor.
Most recently, Mr. McDonald was Vice-President-Sales and outside advisor for SunTech Drive LLC, a solar energy equipment supplier located in Boulder, Colorado. He is also the author of Cleantech Sell: The Essential Guide To Selling Resource Efficient Products In The B2B Market.
Prior to joining Coolerado, Mr. McDonald spent over ten years in the private equity and M&A industry where he was involved in numerous transactions in the technology, manufacturing, and power development industries. As a business development officer with private equity acquisitions groups, and later as founder and principal of a specialty M&A finance firm, he identified, financed or acquired numerous transactions with total enterprise value in excess of $200 million.
Mr. McDonald was previously a consultant to international banks with KMPG’s Financial Services Practice and served as a director for Keating Capital, Inc., a publicly-traded business development company that made investments in pre-IPO companies. He has served as a mentor for companies in the CleanTech Open and as a judge in the competition.
He is a U.S. Army veteran and former Cavalry officer in the 10th US Cavalry. He earned a B.S. degree in Engineering and Economics from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. and an M.B.A. degree from the Harvard Business School.
Mr. Keating was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors on March 14, 2017 and is a member of the Audit Committee. Mr. Keating brings more than 32 years of Wall Street experience, including 17 years as the principal owner of Keating Investments, LLC. Mr. Keating also served on the Equity Capital Formation Task Force and is the chairman of the Denver chapter of Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs. Mr. Keating is currently the President of Keating Wealth Management, LLC, a Denver-area financial planning and investment advisory firm serving high net worth investors and their families.
Mr. Keating served as the President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Keating Capital, Inc. from its inception in 2008 to 2015. Mr. Keating was a member of Keating Investments, LLC from its founding in 1997 to July 1, 2014, when the members of Keating Investments sold 100% of their membership interests to BDCA Adviser, LLC. Mr. Keating also served as a member of the Investment Committee of Keating Investments from 2008 to 2015. Mr. Keating served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Keating Investments from its founding in 1997 to 2015. Mr. Keating previously served as the President of Keating Securities, LLC, formerly a wholly owned subsidiary of Keating Investments and a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) registered broker-dealer, from August 1999 to August 2008. Prior to founding Keating Investments, Mr. Keating was a proprietary arbitrage trader and also head of the European Equity Trading Department at Bear Stearns International Limited (London) from 1994 to 1997. From 1990 to 1994, Mr. Keating founded and ran the European Equity Derivative Products Department for Nomura International Plc in London. Mr. Keating began his career at Kidder, Peabody & Co., Inc. where he was active in the Financial Futures Department in both New York and London.
Mr. Keating is a cum laude graduate of Harvard College with an A.B. in Economics.
J. Taylor Simonton
Mr. Simonton was appointed a director on May 31, 2017 and is the chairman of the Audit Committee. Mr. Simonton spent 35 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC (PwC), including 23 years as a partner in the firm’s Assurance Services, before retiring in 2001. Mr. Simonton was a partner for seven years in PwC’s National Professional Services Group, which handles the firm’s auditing and accounting standards, SEC, corporate governance, risk management and quality matters. He has extensive experience with SEC filings, including assistance with over 100 initial public offerings during his PwC career.
In May 2017, he was appointed an independent director, a member of the Audit Committee (elected its Chairman in May 2018) and a member of the Governance Committee of Master Chemical Corporation (d/b/a Master Fluids Solutions), a developer and marketer of specialty chemicals. In May 2014, he was elected an independent director and chair of the Audit Committee of Advanced Emissions Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADES), an environmental technology and specialty industrial chemicals company, where he currently also serves as a member of the Nominating & Governance Committee and a member of the Compensation Committee. Since October 2013, Mr. Simonton has served as an independent director, chair of the Audit Committee and member of the Nominating and Governance Committee of Escalera Resources Co., a natural gas exploration and development company (OTC: ESCR) and a member of the Compensation Committee since July 2014.
From May 2008 to July 2015, Mr. Simonton served as the lead independent director and chair of the Audit Committee of Crossroads Capital, Inc. (f/k/a BDCA Venture, Inc. and Keating Capital, Inc.), a publicly-traded closed-end fund regulated as a business development company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, where he also served as a member of the Valuation Committee which he chaired from 2008 to 2011. From October 2008 to January 2014, Mr. Simonton served as an independent director and chair of the Audit Committee of Zynex, Inc. (OTC: ZYXI), a company that primarily engineers, manufactures, markets and sells its own design of electrotherapy medical devices used for pain management and rehabilitation. Mr. Simonton served as a director from September 2005 to May 2013 of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ: RRGB), a casual dining restaurant chain operator serving high quality gourmet burgers where he was a member of the Audit Committee, of which he was chair from October 2005 until June 2009, and a member of the Nominating and Governance Committee. From January 2003 to February 2007, he also served as a director and the chair of the Audit Committee of Fischer Imaging Corporation, a public company that designed, manufactured and marketed medical imaging systems.
Mr. Simonton served for 10 years until 2015 on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), where he served over time as its Treasurer, President, and Chairman. He is a Board Leadership Fellow, NACD’s highest director credential, and was honored as Colorado’s 2014 Outstanding Public Company Director by the Denver Business Journal and NACD-Colorado.
He is admitted as an expert witness in accounting, auditing, and corporate governance in U.S. District Court, Colorado Division. Mr. Simonton is a 1966 graduate of the University of Tennessee – Knoxville with a B.S. in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in Colorado.