The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council is continuing its series of feature stories highlighting the mentors behind the Energy Mentor Network program offering industry specific expertise.

The Energy Mentor Network‘s goal is to foster the growth of Tennessee advanced energy technologies and startups by connecting entrepreneurs with mentors. This gives Tennessee yet another advantage in grabbing its more than fair share of the $1.4 trillion global advanced energy market.

The Energy Mentor Network is run by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council in partnership with Launch Tennessee.

In broad strokes, the Energy Mentor Network pairs mentors with promising new companies and entrepreneurs through a structured program involving panel presentations and mentoring sessions.

The purpose of the program is to develop quality startups. After completing the program, startups will have an investable pitch deck, a rock solid business model and a plan to establish more traction. These tools will position Tennessee’s entrepreneurs to raise capital, request other funds like SBIR grants, and scale their company.

TAEBC is highlighting Robbin Russell this week. Robbin began his career with Signal Energy, LLC in 2005 with the start up of the company which was then Signal Wind Energy, LLC; he is currently the Vice President of Construction. He is responsible for the construction of all projects from contract through final completion and the warranty period.

Prior to joining Signal Energy, Robbin was a project manager at several companies doing everything from apartment rehabs to installing diesel power plants in developing countries and radioactive waste cleanup at Oak Ridge. He has developed and/or built projects in Haiti, Honduras, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Burundi and Nepal. Prior to his project management experience Robbin was a Senior Reactor Operator at TVA’s Sequoyah Nuclear Plant and proudly served nine years as a nuclear trained Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy.

Robbin received his undergraduate degree in Naval Architecture from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in 1984 and his Master of Science in Engineering Management from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga in 1998. In addition, he also received his Professional Engineering license in 1996.

Robbin has been happily married to his wife, Donna, for thirty-three years; they are both natives of West Tennessee and now reside in Chattanooga.  Robbin and Donna actively serve in their church, community and around the world.  When time permits, Robbin enjoys biking and swimming and pursues his passion of flying as an instrument rated private pilot.

TAEBC is continuing to accept mentors for the Energy Mentor Program. If you are interested in this opportunity, please visit the “For Mentors” section of the Energy Mentor Network portion of TAEBC’s website.