Halter Joins Picasolar Board of Directors
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Picasolar Inc., a solar startup company affiliated with the University of Arkansas, has added a former Arkansas lieutenant governor to its board of directors.
Bill Halter, a fourth-generation Arkansan who was born and raised in North Little Rock, served as lieutenant governor from 2007 to 2011. Prior to that, he was a deputy commissioner and acting commissioner of the Social Security Administration in Washington, D.C.
“Bill is a tremendous addition to the board and complements the other members perfectly,” said Douglas Hutchings, Picasolar’s chief executive officer. “Picasolar’s technology represents a big step towards making solar one of the most cost effective energy sources. In recent months we have hit several key milestones and Bill’s background will be extremely beneficial as the company continues to grow and add jobs.”
Halter has served on the boards of directors of 10 technology companies in diverse industries and on the board of trustees of Stanford University, his alma mater. Halter will provide extensive experience in managing complex enterprises and help guide Picasolar as it moves from lab to market.
“Picasolar is a great example of Arkansas entrepreneurs competing in global markets I look forward to helping the company transition from technical progress to business growth,” Halter said.
Terry Tremwel, chairman of the four-person Picasolar board, said, “Picasolar is poised to have a significant impact on the solar industry and Bill will play an important role in reaching our potential.”
Picasolar’s technology, a hydrogen selective emitter invented by chief technology officer Seth Shumate — a doctoral student at the University of Arkansas — could improve the efficiency of solar cells by 15 percent. It is a key innovation in the fastest-growing segment of the fastest-growing energy source in the world.
Picasolar won more than $300,000 in cash while competing for the University of Arkansas at graduate business plan competitions in 2013, including $250,000 for winning the MIT NSTAR Clean Energy Prize. The team incorporated and is now located at the Genesis Technology Incubator at the Arkansas Research and Technology Park in Fayetteville.
Hutchings holds two graduate degrees from the University of Arkansas, including a doctorate in microelectronics-photonics. He recently received a Early Career Award from the U of A's College of Engineering.
Douglas Hutchings, chief executive officer
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