About

Optimum Energy software and engineering expertise help customers reduce energy use in heating and cooling systems, which are the largest consumer of energy in buildings. Our software is being utilized in hospitals, data centers, universities and commercial office buildings. Energy savings and lighter carbon footprints in commercial buildings are becoming increasingly important to the bottom line of corporations.




Leadership

Bert Valdman

Bert Valdman

President and CEO

Bert Valdman, President and CEO, comes to Optimum Energy from Edison International, where he was senior vice president and chief strategy officer since 2011. He has served on the Optimum Energy board of directors since 2013. Prior to joining Edison International in 2011, Valdman was the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Puget Sound Energy where he was responsible for regulated electric and natural gas distribution operations, as well as the Customer Service, Information Technology, and Community Affairs functions. He also served as Puget Sound Energy’s chief financial officer from 2003 through 2007.

Before joining Puget Sound Energy, Valdman was a managing director with JP Morgan where he spent 16 years in a variety of positions in the investment bank in New York and Paris. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Northwestern University, as well as masters and doctoral degrees from Stanford University.

Ben Erpelding, P.E., C.E.M

Ben Erpelding, P.E., C.E.M

Chief Technology Officer

Ben Erpelding, P.E., C.E.M, Chief Technology Officer, has more than 13 years of experience in energy efficiency, distributed generation, renewable energy, and demand response. Erpelding has performed over 500 detailed energy assessments at public, commercial, and industrial facilities in Southern California. For six years, Erpelding measured and verified actual performance and cost savings for energy efficiency retrofits, photovoltaic installations, demand response audits, and combined heat and power projects. According to the County of San Diego’s administration analyst, his efforts over those six years resulted in a 16% decrease in the County’s energy consumption (roughly 16,000,000 kWh/yr cut from jails, courts, and office buildings). Erpelding received his Master of Science, with an emphasis in Combined Heat and Power, a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering, Magna Cum Laude, from San Diego State University. Erpelding is a Registered Professional Mechanical Engineer in the State of California and a member of the HPAC Engineering magazine Editorial Advisory Board.

Bert Hogue

Bert Hogue

Chief Financial Officer

Bert Hogue, Chief Financial Officer, has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting and as Chief Financial Officer for technology companies ranging start-up to middle market in size and from private, venture-backed to public ownership. Following 14 years at KPMG LLP in its Seattle and New York offices, Hogue has held leadership positions at Wetpaint.com, Who’s Calling, Epoch Biosciences, Apex Learning, Verio, and NorthWestNet. In his CFO roles, Hogue has had a broad range of externally facing responsibilities including significant experience with mergers and acquisition and in the public and private debt and equity markets. Hogue received his bachelors degree in business administration from the University of Puget Sound.

Ian Dempster

Ian Dempster

Sr. Director of Product Innovation

Ian Dempster, Sr. Director of Product Innovation, Ian manages product development at Optimum Energy from ideation and development to distribution and support. In 2005, Ian became one of the first members of Optimum; now he directs multiple simultaneous R&D projects, drawing on a 16-year engineering career that spans three continents. After graduating from the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, he spent the next eight years applying his interest in controls to increasingly large and complex industrial plants and building systems across Johannesburg and London. Ian, a certified energy manager (CEM), maintains Optimum’s industry-leading standards and collaborates with all stakeholders in the product development process. His projects realize 30% to 60% reductions in HVAC energy consumption.

Larry Stapleton

Larry Stapleton

Vice President, Sales & Marketing

Larry Stapleton, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, comes to Optimum with an outstanding background in global sales leadership with high growth companies. Most recently, Larry has served as President of Ballard Fuel Cell Systems where he led the U.S. based subsidiary, Ballard Power. Larry brings to Optimum over 25 years of experience in sales, engineering, marketing, and product development. Prior to Ballard Power Systems, Larry led worldwide sales & marketing for the software firm, BSQUARE, where he increased sales from below $30M to over $100M in five years. Larry has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from San Jose State University, and an MBA from University of Washington Foster School of Business.

Danielle Ullmann

HR Manager and Assistant Controller

Danielle Ullmann, HR Manager and Assistant Controller, comes to Optimum Energy with 12 years of accounting expertise. Prior to joining Optimum Energy she has worked primarily for start-up technology companies. Danielle started in the accounting department but with strong personnel skills and business background, she transitioned into also managing the HR team. Danielle has a BS in Accounting from Northern Arizona University.



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