VIASPACE Press Release
VIASPACE ANNOUNCES NEW CEO
July 13, 2015 - Walnut, California - VIASPACE Inc. (OTC: VSPC) announced today that effective July 10, 2015, Mr. Haris Basit became the new VIASPACE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and was also appointed to the VIASPACE Board of Directors. Mr. Basit comes to VIASPACE with a proven and successful track record as a senior executive and technology entrepreneur. He has worked as a Staff Engineer at IBM, a Manager at Rockwell International, a Manager at Bell Labs, Vice President of Business Development for OEA International and then Founder/CEO of Multigig, Inc. and Founder of Mobius Power, LLC. More recently, he has worked as a Corporate Strategy Consultant to advise executives of publicly traded companies such as Peregrine Semiconductor and Teledyne to identify new growth opportunities and related partnerships. Most recently, from July 2014 through the present, he became the Founder/CEO of Almaden Energy Group (AEG), LLC. On April 20, 2015, VIASPACE announced that it was partnering with AEG to grow Giant King Grass in the USA for animal feed.
VIASPACE Chairman, Dr. Kevin Schewe, commented, "Mr. Basit is the right choice for VIASPACE at the right time. He has a proven capability to innovate, identify key strategic advantages/alliances and raise funds from venture capital firms, private investors, public corporations and government entities. He has built and led world-class technical teams, managed through crises, initiated/negotiated business partnerships/acquisitions and delivered high-margin revenue through diverse business models. He has valuable experience with the licensing of intellectual property. He was a Consultant to Liebman and Associates, the premier clean energy lobbying firm in Washington, DC. He is so passionate about being an entrepreneur that he also has been an Entrepreneurship Mentor for University of California Berkeley MBA students."
Dr. Schewe continued, "I initially met Haris when he traveled to Denver to discuss his proposal to develop a USA-based animal feed business line via a partnership between AEG and VIASPACE. He is focused on the science and mechanics of using Giant King Grass as a highly-productive, water conserving animal feed and understands the business importance of generating high-margin revenue sooner than later. He is already spending significant time at our University of California GKG plot in Holtville, California (Imperial Valley) with plans to rapidly build up the acreage of Giant King Grass and to develop the market and supply chain to customers in the US and internationally. I have been impressed with his background, entrepreneurship and business work ethic and challenged him to join VIASPACE as our CEO with a larger vision to change the world with highly productive biomass both for animal feed and bioenergy. He has accepted this challenge and we will work together to make VIASPACE successful."
Mr. Basit stated, "I am extremely pleased to join VIASPACE and work alongside Carl and Kevin to lead VIASPACE. My work at AEG has me particularly excited by the potential Giant King Grass presents as a cost effective animal feed that is less taxing on land, chemical and water resources. I feel challenged and excited to work as CEO of this publicly-traded company and will do my best to help VIASPACE succeed."
Dr. Carl Kukkonen, who is transitioning to VIASPACE Chief Technology Officer, commented, “I have been working closely with Haris and our animal feed partnership with AEG. In addition, we have also been working together with the University of California Giant King Grass project in Imperial Valley. Haris is a superb choice to move into the VIASPACE CEO role and I have fully supported and helped facilitate this planned succession of leadership.”
Dr. Schewe concluded, "I want to thank Dr. Carl Kukkonen for all his hard work as VIASPACE CEO. He has been a diligent scientist, visionary and pioneer in laying all the groundwork to use Giant King Grass as the world's most productive biomass/animal feed platform. As Mr. Basit moves into the CEO position, Dr. Kukkonen is transitioning to a position as the VIASPACE Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Dr. Kukkonen will continue to develop our bioenergy business line, especially to insure the continuing development and success of our showcase 12 MW, GKG-fueled, Energia Reino Verde biomass power plant in Nicaragua. Dr. Kukkonen will also assist Mr. Basit as needed with our active work and expansion in Imperial Valley, California. We are enthusiastic and excited to refine and focus our business strategy toward more near-term positive revenue generation with our animal feed business line and getting our Nicaragua power plant across the finish line. This new leadership and transition should help us to accomplish these objectives."
About VIASPACE Inc.
VIASPACE grows renewable Giant King® Grass as a low-carbon fuel for clean electricity generation; for environmentally friendly energy pellets; and as a feedstock for bio-methane production and for green cellulosic biofuels, biochemicals and biomaterials. Giant King® Grass is a proprietary, high yield, dedicated biomass energy crop. Giant King® Grass when it is cut frequently at 4 to 5 feet tall is also excellent animal feed. The USDA granted approval for planting Giant King® Grass throughout the US and cooperates in exporting by performing the required inspections and issuing the phytosanitary certificate needed for import into foreign countries. Giant King® Grass is being grown in California, Hawaii, St. Croix Virgin Islands, Nicaragua, South Africa, China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines and Guyana. For more information, please go to www.VIASPACE.com or contact Dr. Jan Vandersande, Director of Communications, at 800-517-8050 or IR@VIASPACE.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Information in this news release includes forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation, risks outlined in our periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, and other factors over which VIASPACE has little or no control.