Jim has over 21 years of wind industry experience and 33 years of combined wind and aircraft industry experience.
Prior to founding RENEW in 2009, Jim started his career in the industry with Zond, Enron Wind and later GE Wind first as the Midwest Service Rep responsible for Commissioning, troubleshooting and scheduling of man-hours to meet project deadlines for several wind projects in the Midwest. In 2000, Jim was promoted to Site Manager of the 107.25 MW wind project at the Lake Benton I wind farm where his management helped maintain the site at an impressive 98% availability.
Jim was the VP of Operations for Energy Maintenance Services (EMS). While at EMS, Jim grew the organization from 15 technicians in 2002, to over 200+ technicians overall with revenues estimated at approximately $30 million. Responsibilities included: overseeing the field operations, remanufacturing and engineering to include division budgets and preparation and review of contracts, agreements and bid proposals.
Prior to his career in the wind industry, Jim spent 10 years as a Project Manager in the aviation industry as an A&P licensed mechanic. Jim has been an active participant in various American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) working groups over the years.
Chief Financial Officer
Gary has over 35 years of energy and transportation industry experience with public and private companies. Gary is one of the founding shareholders of RENEW Energy Maintenance, LLC that was founded in September 2009.
Gary served as the Vice President of Finance and Accounting for Energy Maintenance Services (EMS) from August 2008 to August 2009. While at EMS, Gary focused on increasing cash flow/profitability and integrating EMS into the public company of Broadwind Energy Inc. (BWEN).
Prior to joining EMS, Gary was the Vice President-Treasurer of Cedar American Rail Holdings (CARH), the holding company of the largest regional railroad in North America. As the #2 financial executive, Gary had broad financial responsibilities including a support role for the $2.4 billion sale of the Company to Canadian Pacific Railroad and the financing of the Company's proposed $2.5 billion expansion into the coal fields of Wyoming. Gary executed approximately $300 million of debt financings and $100 million of lease financings while employed with CARH.
VP - Remanufacturing & Specialty Services
Curt Eliason started in the wind industry working for Zond Energy Systems in the spring of 1998. He began as a field technician at the 107 MW Lake Benton Power Partners I wind turbine facility in SW Minnesota.
Following the completion of commissioning, there were numerous retrofits, component upgrades, component failure studies and other turbine reliability exercises that Curt actively participated in. During this time, Curt developed tooling and written work instruction to implement numerous repairs and upgrades. During the 6 years Curt spent at this facility, he held the positions of Safety Coordinator, Lead Technician, Technical Trainer and the last two years he served as Site Supervisor. During his time as Site Supervisor, Curt participated in many GE training seminars as well as Six Sigma training and certification.
Curt left GE Wind Energy in February 2004, to establish a gearbox repair service for Energy Maintenance Services (EMS). While with EMS, Curt served as the Director of Remanufacturing, overseeing repair facility operations as well as specialized field repair and inspection services.
Curt grew up farming and ranching in South Dakota. Prior to starting in the wind industry, he attended SDSU to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
VP - Service
Mike Sherman began his career in the wind industry in July 2000. He most recently served as the Service Manager for Energy Maintenance Services (EMS). His responsibilities included managing 70+ technicians, day-to-day operations and bid estimating.
In addition, Mike has also traveled North America performing various retrofits and maintaining and servicing all makes and models of turbines. He also has several years of experience as a Construction Foreman where he was responsible for the construction of MW size turbines such as the GE 1.5, NM 72, V82, N60, DeWind and new technology such as EWT and Goldwind.
Wade Wiechmann has over 18 years of wind industry experience. Prior to joining Renew Energy Maintenance in 2009, Wade worked for Energy Maintenance Services (EMS) as Technical Director. Wade joined the EMS team soon after inception and was responsible for control system design, programming and SCADA system development, retrofitting, and wind turbine performance optimization. Wade also worked to develop and implement a service-tracking database that enables service history and turbine performance to be recorded and later analyzed for root cause analysis.
Prior to EMS, Wade gained practical field experience while working on constructing the 108 MW Zond turbine Storm Lake I wind farm and later as a wind turbine technician at the 107 MW turbine Lake Benton I wind farm first developed and owned by Zond, Enron Wind and later GE Wind. Wade's duties included field service and operations, converter system troubleshooting and component repair, engineering change deployment and spare part inventory management.
Wade attended the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in the chemical engineering program where he had his first exposure to the math and modeling skills, process control and automation systems later used in his career.
Nick Siddens has over 17 years of wind industry experience. He joined the wind industry in 2000, with a focus on Construction Management where he participated in projects throughout North America both on the technical and management level.
Prior to joining Renew in 2009, Nick was the Operations Manager for Energy Maintenance Services (EMS) where he was responsible for the Operations & Maintenance contracts and asset management activities of over 500 MW of wind projects.
Prior to joining the wind industry, Nick worked as an aquatic ecology research technician with the Illinois Natural History Survey. Nick holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Environmental Science from the University of Illinois at Urban/Champaign.
Director of Safety
Steve Tolrud began his career in the wind industry in August of 2005. Before joining the wind industry, Steve had extensive experience working in the ethanol and electrical industries.
Prior to joining RENEW, Steve held several technical positions at Energy Maintenance Services. At the time of his departure, Steve was the Safety/Training Manager.
Steve joined Renew in May of 2010, and is an authorized instructor for OSHA 10/30 Hour Construction, CPR/First Aid and Rough Terrain Forklift through the National Council. He also holds Tower Rescue instructor certificates through SKYLOTEC, Siemens, ENSA, Tractel, and Capital Safety.