LEEDCo Takes Critical Management Step in Offshore Wind Project

Non-Profit Development Organization Hires Dave Karpinski as VP of Operations

CLEVELAND, Ohio – January 28, 2013 – The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) has taken a critical step in its efforts to build the nation's first freshwater offshore wind project. The public-private, non-profit organization has hired Dave Karpinski as vice president of operations, LEEDCo and its partner NorTech announced today.


LEEDCo won a $4 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) and secured another $1 million from its private partners in December to build five to nine wind turbines seven miles off the coast of Cleveland in Lake Erie. The project is one of the first of its kind in the U.S. and the only one in the Great Lakes. As a result of winning the DOE award, LEEDCo is expanding its management team to execute the project successfully and compete for continued funding against six other projects across the country.

As VP of operations, Karpinski will implement policies, procedures and systems that support the DOE project to maximize LEEDCo's competitive position for future funding. In addition, he is responsible for budget and financial performance management for LEEDCo and the DOE project.

Karpinski is joining LEEDCo's staff after serving as chair of its board of directors for the past two years. He will be replaced in that position by Ronald B. Richard, president and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation, who has served on LEEDCo's board since its formation three years ago.

As NorTech vice president and director of its Energy Enterprise initiative, Karpinski has worked closely with LEEDCo since its inception in August 2009.

"Dave has been an invaluable resource and partner over the past three and a half years," LEEDCo President Dr. Lorry Wagner said. "Dave's work at NorTech laid the foundation for the success of our organization. His expertise in the advanced energy sector, particularly in wind technology, will guide us through the next phase in the process of building wind turbines in Lake Erie."

The project known as "Icebreaker" is the first step in efforts to stimulate an entire offshore freshwater industry in the region. To achieve that goal, LEEDCo was created by the Great Lakes Energy Development Task Force, and developed by NorTech, the Cleveland Foundation, the City of Cleveland, and Cuyahoga and Lorain counties. Lake and Ashtabula counties joined LEEDCo shortly after its launch.

NorTech, a regional technology-based economic development organization, has worked closely with LEEDCo through its Energy Enterprise initiative, which aims to accelerate the growth of the advanced energy cluster in Northeast Ohio. NorTech's Energy Steering Committee in 2009 identified wind energy as a high-potential growth sector and voted to support LEEDCo. Since then Karpinski has served as a strategic advisor for the growing organization.

"Dave's transition from NorTech to LEEDCo is a testament to our collaborative efforts. It is the logical next step and helps to accelerate the vision of wind turbines on Lake Erie," NorTech President and CEO Rebecca Bagley said. "Dave is well positioned to add significant value to the project."

Karpinski is joining LEEDCo immediately. He is transitioning to LEEDCo after more than five years as a key member of NorTech's executive management team. During that time he forged collaborations among Northeast Ohio's many stakeholders and marshaled resources required to accelerate growth in the advanced energy cluster.

Karpinski also led the development of a series of roadmaps that identified Northeast Ohio's advanced energy strengths and opportunities to determine the region's distinct advantages in this industry. He has over 25 years of experience in the manufacturing industry including the controls, plastics, rubber, primary metals, metal forming, defense and services sectors. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Tech Belt Innovation Center and the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition.

About LEEDCo:
Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) is a regional non-profit corporation leading efforts to deploy offshore wind projects in Ohio. As a public-private partnership, LEEDCo represents Northern Ohio's public interest in offshore wind and is working to develop an initial 20-30 megawatt (MW) project in Lake Erie seven miles offshore Cleveland with a 1,000 MW target by 2020. Founded in 2009, LEEDCo members include Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Lorain and Lake Counties; City of Cleveland; The Cleveland Foundation; and NorTech.

About NorTech:
NorTech is a technology-based economic development organization working towards the revitalization of Northeast Ohio by accelerating the growth of regional innovation clusters in targeted emerging industries. Serving 21 counties in Northeast Ohio, NorTech works as an intermediary to connect small, large and mid-size companies and universities for business, funding and research opportunities that result in job creation and capital attraction. NorTech is currently focused on three industries: advanced energy, flexible electronics and water technologies. Visit us at www.nortech.org.

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