Proven Management Team
We are experts in water electrolysis. We’re also scientists, and business people. At Next Hydrogen, we believe strongly in the greening of industrial processes, transportation systems, and energy systems and we know our on site hydrogen generators can help us all get there.
Raveel Afzaal, B.Math, B.Econ, CFA
President, CEO and Director
Mr. Afzaal brings deep capital markets expertise through a distinguished career in equity research over the past decade with a focus on Sustainability and Industrial Technologies. Prior to joining Next Hydrogen, he was an equity research analyst covering the Canadian Sustainability and Special Situations verticals for Canaccord Genuity. During his equity research career, Raveel was ranked in Brendan Wood surveys based on Buy Side nominations as well as by Thomson Reuters for estimates accuracy. Prior to joining equity research, Raveel worked in venture capital with XPV Capital. He graduated with a Bachelor of Mathematics and a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) from the University of Waterloo. He is also a CFA charter holder.
Rohan Advani, CPA, CA
Mr. Advani brings over 10 years of finance and leadership experience working in many industries, including manufacturing and distribution environments. From his previous experiences, Rohan has gained a deep understanding in reporting, budgeting, and forecasting. As a part of his past operational duties, he was responsible for reducing costs and establishing pricing and rebate strategies. Rohan hopes to bring a new perspective and ensure the company is ready to go to the next level. After graduating from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Business Administration, Rohan earned his CA/CPA designation.
Jim Franchville, BSc CEM, MSc IA
Mr. Franchville is a broadly successful manufacturing operations, supply chain, quality, and process improvement executive. His track record includes business improvements in 5 different industries (automotive electronics – Delphi, medical devices – GE Healthcare, aerospace – Cessna, oil and gas – NOV and alternative energy) over 30+ years. Jim’s organizations/teams have delivered results in these diverse industries via an end to end value stream approach with process focus. The improvements are shown in key, fundamental performance indicators such as capital/resource utilization, inventory turns and cash management. His leadership approach is to institutionalize operational efficiency by continuously streamlining the product delivery processes to provide better quality, manufacturability and resulting cost. Jim is a native of Indiana and graduated with a BS in Construction Engineering and Management, and a MS in Industrial Administration from Purdue University.
Jim Hinatsu, Ph.D
Mr. Hinatsu has more than 20 years of experience designing and developing electrochemical and hydrogen systems. Jim was the VP of Advanced Engineering for Stuart Energy Systems, where he led both R&D and IP development. Jim has also worked in the areas of fuel cells, electrochemical synthesis and corrosion protection. He holds a Ph.D, an M.A.Sc, and a B.A.Sc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto.
Michael Stemp, Ph.D
Mr. Stemp has more than 20 years of experience designing and developing hydrogen systems, including as Director of Advanced Engineering for Stuart Energy Systems. Mike holds a Ph.D in Materials Science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, and an M.A.Sc and B.A.Sc in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Toronto.
Allan MacKenzie, BSc, BA, MBA
Chair of the Board
Allan MacKenzie is private equity investor with more than 25 years experience of leading private equity and venture capital investments in energy, Internet, and ESG companies. Previously a partner in Octane Venture Partners an energy technology fund he now exclusively invests on his own account through his personal investment vehicle Disruptive Ventures. Allan is presently the Chair of MetOx a high temperature superconducting wire manufacturer and Chair of Optessa which is the leading scheduling platform for the automotive industry. Mr. MacKenzie was formerly the CFO of Quack.com which raised $4.5 million and was purchased 18 months later for $200 million by AOL. He holds degrees in Economics and Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from Ivey Business school.
Matthew Fairlie, M.Sc, DBA
Vice Chairman and Director
Mr. Fairlie is the former CTO and Executive VP of Stuart Energy Systems where he pioneered new concepts in water electrolyzer systems. He is also a former Vice Chair of the National Hydrogen Association in Washington, the former Chairman of the Hydrogen Business Council of Canada and is a Director of the California Hydrogen Business Council. Matthew holds an MSc in Physics from the University of Toronto and a DBA from Queens Business School in Kingston, Ontario.
Walter Howard, M.Eng, MBA
Mr. Howard brings extensive experience in operations, business development, finance, and M&A in the utility industry. He has held CEO, EVP and SVP positions with innovators in related syngas, wind energy, and cogeneration firms including Westinghouse Plasma Corp, Zegen, Noble Environmental Power (developer/owner of 486 wind turbines), General Electric Capital, and US Generating, as well as the water industry. Mr. Howard’s career spans more than 35 years of successfully executed technology development and implementation, project development and execution, and project finance. His projects have won multiple industry awards. He holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard University.
Mr. Pyle is the Chief Executive Officer of Exchange Income Corporation, a diversified, acquisition-oriented corporation focused on opportunities in aerospace, aviation services and equipment, and manufacturing. Mr. Pyle holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (Economics) and an MBA (Finance) from the University of Manitoba and served in positions of increasing seniority culminating as President of The Arctic Glacier Income Fund (and its predecessor, The Arctic Group Inc.) from 1998 to 2002. Mr. Pyle is currently a director of CentrePort Canada Inc. and a director of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Football Club. Mr. Pyle has been a member of the ICD since 2017.
Jens Peter (JP) Clausen, B.Sc, M.Sc
Mr. Clausen has held executive roles in manufacturing, engineering, and operations at LEGO Group, Tesla, and Zymergen. Currently he is VP of Engineering – Data Center Advanced Technology Innovation at Google where he leads global technology, product, and process innovation for Google Data Centers. Over the span of his career, he has led large operations teams in in Hungary, Mexico, and the US. His career highlights include co-creating the manufacturing network strategy at LEGO, building manufacturing capabilities at Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 from the ground up, leading powertrain manufacturing at Tesla, and creating advanced materials based on genetically engineered microbiology at Zymergen. Mr. Clausen holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering with a diploma in leadership from Aarhus University and a master’s degree in MMT innovation and technology from Aalborg University.
Ms. Uthayakumar is a business executive with almost 25 years of experience in finance and executive management, who currently serves as Chief Sustainability and Energy Officer of Prologis. She was previously with Schneider Electric, an energy technology company, for 15 years, serving most recently as President of Schneider Electric Canada, with overall responsibility for Canadian operations. She began her career as a CA with Deloitte, where she held positions of increasing responsibilities before joining McCain, where she executed global growth strategies and acquisitions across North America, Europe and Asia. Ms. Uthayakumar is a CA and CPA and has an Executive MBA from the Kellogg School of Management as well as a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Accounting from the University of Waterloo.
Mr. Guglielmin is a seasoned executive, having recently retired as SVP and Chief Financial Officer of Ballard Power Systems, a global leader in clean energy fuel cell products and solutions, having originally joined Ballard in June 2010. Mr. Guglielmin holds a BA in Economics and Political Science and an MBA from McGill University. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the Financial Executives Institute. He serves on the Board of Westport Fuel Systems, Information Services Corporation, as well as a number of private and not-for-profit organizations. He was awarded the Business in Vancouver 2017 CFO of the year in the Transformation Agent category.