President and Chief Executive Officer
Derek began his career in finance with Crowell, Weedon & Co, the largest independent broker- dealer on the West Coast. In his 6 years there, Derek became a partner and Branch supervisor where he was responsible for sales of over $10 Million. Derek was offered an opportunity to build a southern Orange County presence for Wachovia Securities, where he became a 1st Vice President and Branch Manager for their Mission Viejo Location. He was instrumental in growing that office from the ground up, into the $15 million dollar office it is today. After his term at Wachovia, Derek accepted an opportunity for a Senior Vice President position with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, where he and his team oversaw combined assets of close to $100 Million. In addition, he has also been involved in several public and private equity financings, where he has personally funded several projects from Angel to Mezzanine levels. Derek is a CFP® Professional and holds his Series 7, General Securities Sales Supervisor Series 9 and 10, National Commodity Futures Series 3, Series 65 and California Insurance License. Derek holds a degree in Business Management from Pepperdine University.
Ken Vande Vrede
Ken started his career at Gro-rite, Inc. in 1995, working in every capacity—growing, sales, marketing, finance and operations—to gain comprehensive knowledge and experience in all facets of the family agriculture business. When Ken took his first management role in 2006, Gro-rite was faced with operational challenges and a tough economy posing threats to many businesses nationwide. With a focused, strategic vision and a complete restructuring of the company’s framework, Ken implemented a substantial plan for new growth. Ken played an integral part in founding Naturally Beautiful Plant Products (NB Plants), a sustainable grower of fresh herbs and lettuces. While maintaining its profitability, NB Plants has seen remarkable growth of 20% in each of the past 7 years. Today, Ken is president of the family-owned company, Gro-rite. Under his leadership, Gro-rite was voted a top 100 revolutionary garden center for 2010, 2011, and again for 2013. In addition to reinventing the company’s sales and marketing strategy across all divisions, Ken offers a wealth of knowledge in greenhouse technology, innovation, and Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA). Ken has a passion for travel, and has visited many remote places to experience the local “flavor” through food and agriculture. His goal is to make sustainable, fresh, and local produce available to every family, on every plate.
In addition to his role at Terra Tech, Michael James became CFO of Inergetics, Inc (NRTI) on July 1, 2010 and has served as a member of the Company's Board of Directors since September 2009. Previously, Mike served as CEO of Nestor, Inc. where he successfully completed a financial restructuring of the Company prior to its sale in September 2009 from the Receiver's Estate in Superior Court of the State of Rhode Island. He also served on Nestor's Board of Directors from 2006 to 2009 and has been the Managing Partner of Kuekenhof Capital Management, LLC, a private investment management company, for the past ten years where he serves as Managing Director of Kuekenhof Equity Fund, L.P. and Kuekenhof Partners. Michael is also a director of Guided Therapeutics, Inc. where he serves as Chairman of the Compensation Committee and serves on the Audit Committee. During his career, Michael James has served as a Partner at Moore Capital Management, Inc., a premiere private investment management company as well as Chief Financial and Administrative Officer at Buffalo Partners, L.P., a private investment management company and Treasurer and CFO of National Discount Brokers. Mr. James began his career in 1980 as a staff accountant with Eisner, LLP.Top
Director of Design
Edward Piatt is an experienced, LEED Accredited Architect. He received his Bachelors of Science in Design (2002) and his Masters of Architecture (2004) from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Edward has worked in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco where he has been involved in a variety of projects requiring him to work closely with engineers and contractors as well as independently. He has gained knowledge of design and construction by working on projects from the beginning conceptual design phase through to construction documentation and administration. Current and recent projects include Yahoo! Corporate Headquarters, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory-New General Purpose Lab, Princeton University Campus Masterplan and Creative Performing Arts Initiative, Kaohsiung International Competition, and many other notable projects in commercial, retail, higher education, and industrial/product design.Top
Amy Almsteier's experience in running and managing small businesses for others led her to start her own interior design firm at a young age. She quickly gained recognition for her unique approach to design and has won several awards for high end projects throughout Southern California. Amy's desire to branch out led her to GrowOp where she brings expertise in project management, business administration, and bookkeeping. Amy graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Design from the University of Nebraska Lincoln's College of Architecture.
Director of Operations
Lindsay Wiemer is an experienced LEED Accredited Designer. For the past several years, she has been working as an interior designer at a commercial architectural firm in San Francisco. Over this period of time, she has played a key role in a wide array of architectural practices, including space planning, custom design, the production of construction documents, construction administration, project management and 3D modeling, rendering and graphic work. While remaining engaged in her career, she has always maintained an interest in philanthropies and has made an effort to volunteer for organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco and LEAP. Lindsay graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Design from the University of Nebraska Lincoln's College of Architecture.Top