Willard & Kelsey (WK) Solar grew out of the initial vision of the late inventor and philanthropist Harold McMaster. Dr. McMaster founded Glasstech, Inc. in Toledo, Ohio, and is credited as the father of glass tempering technology. In the mid-eighties he founded Glasstech Solar—his initial entry into the photovoltaic arena utilizing amorphous silicon (aSi) thin-film technology. Glasstech Solar eventually transitioned into Solar Cells, Inc. and pioneered the development of large area, thin-film, cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar modules. Several of the founding members of WK Solar worked alongside Mr. McMaster as he pioneered the solar industry, and they have founded WK Solar to build upon his developments while moving current technology to the next level. WK Solar’s founding members include James Appold, Michael Cicak, James Heider, and Gary Faykosh.
The WK Solar Management Team is committed to advancing solar technology while minimizing waste and raising efficiency to provide for more affordable clean renewable energy. Members of our Management Team bring a diverse set of skills and experiences to WK Solar, and many have years of experience in renewable energy strategies and technologies.
Mr. Appold oversees all day-to-day operations at WK Solar. He has over 40 years of experience in the Industrial Engineer and Business Management industry, and has grown one of the largest privately owned companies in the U.S.A. Mr. Appold has a particular expertise in product R&D, in house engineering, and equipment manufacturing. He holds an Bachelors Degree in Industrial Enginering from the General Motors Institute as well as a Master Degree in Industrial Engineering and Business Administration from the University of Toledo.
Michael J. Cicak
Mr. Cicak accompanies Mr. Appold in overseeing all day-to-day operations at WK Solar. Mr. Cicak has spent over 35 years in Business Management for the glass and automotive Industry. He has served as a director of ten major companies including Glasstech, in which all have dramatically prospered upon his arrival. Mr. Cicak is one of the leading founders, President and CEO for Solar cells, Inc. and First Solar, Inc., where he managed the development of pantented equipment used to produce large scale solar panels.
Chief Technical Officer
Mr. Heider’s experience includes 10 years developing systems for the handling, heating, and processing of hot glass at Glasstech, Inc. In addition, he has spent 15 years in the research, development, engineering, design, building, installation, and manufacturing of thin film CdTe panels. He served as the Director of Manufacturing Engineering at Solar Cells, Inc. where he managed the development of patented equipment used to produce large scale solar panels. Mr. Heider also worked at Owens-Illinois, Inc. where he invented 42 U.S. patents and 200 foreign patents in the field of plastic cup forming, plastic beverage containers and foam plastic manufacturing. He holds a Master of Science Degree from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Toledo.
Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Faykosh has spent over 35 years in the glass related industry, both in research and development and in field project management. His relevant work experience includes positions at Glasstech, Inc. and First Solar, Inc. Mr. Faykosh has a strong background in material sciences and controls and has made significant contributions to the design and control concepts used to produce thin film CdTe PV panels. Mr. Faykosh has also actively served as a consultant for glass and solar start-ups on a global scale. He holds an Associate Degree in Engineering Technology from the University of Toledo as well as a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology.
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Murphy has spent the last 20 years in the investment banking industry—the last five as a Director at Merrill Lynch Global Markets & Investment Banking. In his career Mr. Murphy financed over $2 billion in alternative energy projects and over $15 billion total in a Senior Role. Mr. Murphy is a graduate of Lehigh University.