Ken Hayes - Executive Director
Ken Hayes

Ken Hayes helps start-ups grow, get financed, increase revenue and build value. He is Venture Partner and Co-Founder of Canyon Creek Capital's Fund II, a VC fund focused on SoCal tech companies from Seed to Series A, with 40+ investments since August 2014.  He is a Director Emeritus of the Pasadena Angels, where he was responsible for operations of this 100-member group, and he continues to focus on deal sourcing, mentoring entrepreneurs, and performing due diligence.  In 2016, Ken became an Adjunct Instructor based at USC for the NSF's I-Corps program, teaching Lean Startup to university teams commercializing advanced technologies.  Finally, Ken is a "recovering entrepreneur" who has built and sold several companies in Europe and the USA, in the SaaS, ed-tech and ad-tech sectors.  He earned an MBA at INSEAD, France, and a BA Economics at Pomona College.

Jessica Smothermon - Director of Operations
Jessica Smothermon

Jessica Smothermon is Director of Operations with Cleantech Open. She also is the Senior Advisor for Human Capital Management for the smallMatters Institute. Jessica served as the Governor's Liaison for two Arizona governors to the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. She directed Arizona's 2010 census campaign, staffed the Arizona Data Estimates and Projections Taskforce, and oversaw the development of the state's population estimates, forecasts, and labor statistics. With Apollo Education Group she worked as Director of Strategic Partnerships in External Affairs working with nonprofits in STEM. She previously served on Cleantech Open's National Board. Jessica has a BS from New York University Stern School of Business in both Economics and International Business. Her master's degree is in industrial/organizational psychology.

Susan Conner-Steeb - Director of Finance
Susan Conner-Steeb

Susan started with Cleantech Open in 2010 helping create a budget for the Los Angeles metro. Her role has grown to include accounting, finance and budgeting for CTO’s headquarters and acting as a finance specialist mentor. In 2017 Susan took on creating the Central Coast Metro.

She has over 20 years of financial and operations experience in music, entertainment and mobile technology with small, medium and large companies. Susan is the founder and principal of Segue Consulting Services, providing interim CFO or finance and operations management for early stage or growth companies. She began her career as an accountant for Ernst and Young in Los Angeles and holds a BA in accounting from California State University Northridge. She also enjoys flying her Bonanza, hiking and traveling to new places.

Emily Lundberg - Director of Marketing and Communications
Emily Lundberg

Emily Lundberg is Cleantech Open’s Director of national Marketing and Communications, responsible for planning, development and implementation of CTO’s national marketing strategies and communications. Emily received her Ph.D. in Communications from Columbia University School of Journalism. Emily wrote her dissertation about the history of American collaborative electricity sector research and development. Prior to receiving her Ph.D., Emily worked for over a decade as a journalist in magazines, newspapers, online international intelligence, and documentaries—for PBS, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and other news outlets. She was the recipient of a number of documentary film-making awards, including the Society of Professional Journalist's Sigma Delta Chi Award for Best Documentary.

Ibolya Tarsoly - Director of National Partnerships
Ibolya Tarsoly

As the National Partnership Director, Ibolya develops and manages the organization’s relationships with strategic partners, major stakeholders and sponsors in the cleantech field. Her work brings greater overall value to the Cleantech Open’s initiatives and helps expand and facilitate new and innovative programming for its member startups. Ibolya has an extensive background in environmental issues and entrepreneurship, and she strongly believes in the positive impact of technology on the evolution of the energy landscape and sustainability. By applying creativity, innovative thinking and well-honed management skills, she identifies, directs and supports strategic initiatives across the Cleantech Open organization. She leads with the mission of accelerating the world’s transition to renewable energy and sustainable technologies, and seeks to promote responsible management of natural resources.