itek Energy’s Team

itek Energy’s team is composed of highly qualified engineers, technicians and production experts involved in all aspects of solar and inverter manufacturing, design, engineering and installation. We are local to the bone, building our panels with precision and care knowing they will be installed on our neighbor’s homes and businesses.

Team Members:

John Flanagan
John Flanagan
President and Founding Principal

John’s experience owning and operating manufacturing enterprises spans over 20 years both internationally and in the U.S.  His passion for manufacturing and his concerns over climate change drove John to conceive, design and found itek Energy.





Kelly Samson
Kelly Samson
Vice President and Founding Principal

Kelly has over 25 years of experience as a successful entrepreneur, establishing companies in Europe, Asia and North America. Most recently his focus has been on sustainable development in association with the Asani Group. Current efforts include his role as a Zero Carbon consultant for Asani’s upcoming Grow Community project. Kelly is active in a variety of non-profit activities and is a founder of, dedicated to bringing solar power to rural Africa.




Eric Schuler
Eric Schueler
Director of Operations

Eric joined itek’s founding team in 2011 and brings over 25 years of experience overseeing manufacturing facilities in renewable energy and power electronics industry. From Reno, Nevada to Sydney, Australia, Eric has successfully run manufacturing operations, performing the duties of Plant Manager and Director of Operations. He holds a degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology with a particular emphasis on manufacturing efficiencies and inventory control.




Dean Van Vleet
Dean Van Vleet
Process Engineering Manager

Dean is a founding itek team member. He brings over 20 years of design, and production engineering in solar product manufacturing.   Prior to Itek Energy, Dean was the senior application engineer and as a design and process engineer for the development of new solar module technologies. He has also worked closely with regulatory agencies on product compliance, and has served as an ISO auditor for manufacturing process documentation and compliance. Dean is currently a board member of Solar Washington, representing Washington’s manufactures.




Bill Hoffer
Bill Hoffer
Chief Consulting Engineer and NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer

Active in the Pacific Northwest solar industry for the past 16 years, Bill’s experience spans design, installation and testing of large residential, commercial and government systems. In addition to his role at Itek Energy, Bill runs Sunergy Engineering Services, which focuses on utility scale and building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems. Recently he volunteered with SunEPI to install solar in the developing world.




Karl Unterschuetz
Director Of Business Development

Karl has 15 years of environmental and green business development experience. Trained as an ecologist and rooted in sustainable entrepreneurship, Karl co-developed growth strategies for one of the first and renowned organic agriculture businesses in Washington State. Karl established science based waste reduction and pollution programs for the US Department of Energy, US Environmental Protection Agency and private companies.  As Washington State Energy Project Lead for NEBC, Karl launched the Washington Energy Forum and supported the inaugural year of the NW Clean Tech Open as the Sustainability Chair. Passionate about sustainable business, Karl spends his free time building handcrafted skis and exploring the waters and mountains of the Pacific Northwest.




Alex Smirnov
Alex Smirnov,
Senior Manufacturing Engineer

Alex is a Project Engineer with over 17 years of experience designing and delivering solutions for major photovoltaic development projects. He specializes in microelectronics, electronics and renewable energy systems using the latest components and techniques. Alex has lead engineering teams to support factory start up using theoretical model analysis, prototype testing and operations. His skills have been in demand around the globe, supporting factoring development in Austria, Germany, Canada, Poland, Netherlands, and Taiwan. Alex earned a Six Sigma Black Belt Certification in 2010 saving over 1.5 million dollars for a 100 megawatt manufacturing facility.




Kristen Bio Picture
Kristen Bergerson
Office Manager

Kristen joined the itek Energy team with an extensive background in finance. She has held finance manager positions for other Bellingham companies and is currently the treasurer/board member for the nonprofit organization, The Somero Project. She continues to broaden her finance and communication knowledge through courses at Whatcom Community College and plans to attend Western Washington University in the near future. She has done a lot of traveling in her own time and loves to explore new places. When she is not at itek Energy or traveling you can find her spending time outdoors, running, biking, hiking, or kayaking.




Whitney Denning
Whitney Denning
Human Resources Manager

Whitney joined itek Energy in 2012 and leads the executive team in the critical financial and HR systems during itek’s rapid growth.  Before coming to itek Whitney was Program Coordinator for the continuing education certificate program in Green Building and Sustainable Design at the University of California, Davis.  She is committed to environmentally and people focused organizations.  When she is not at itek, Whitney can be found near local lakes or bays with her dog Strudel or baking bread in a warm kitchen.




Mathew Johnson,
Customer Support Specialist

Originally from Memphis, TN, Matthew traveled through the Pacific Northwest on his way to Alaska to work in the fisheries. Falling in love with the water and mountains, he settled here permanently in 1997. Matthew joined the itek team in March of 2014 after living on San Juan Island where he was the Global Outreach Coordinator for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. In addition to working at itek, he’s pursuing his Master’s degree in Leadership for Sustainability Education at Portland State University. When he’s not scheduling orders, Matthew enjoys being outside- hiking, snowshoeing, and camping- exploring Canadian cities, cooking and eating!, making art, and bumming rides on other people’s sailboats.




Dana Hickenbottom
Dana Hickenbottom,
Technical Support Engineer and NABCEP Certified Solar PV Technical Sales Professional

Dana joined the itek Energy team after studying Renewable Energy Engineering for 2 years at the Oregon Institute of Technology.  He has also taken extensive classes through Solar Energy International, earning two Solar Professional Certificates in Residential and Commercial Photovoltaic Systems as well as Solar Business and Technical Sales.  When he isn’t helping people design solar electric systems or offering technical support to itek Energy customers he enjoys anything that takes him into the great outdoors, including skiing, climbing, mountain biking, and trying to keep up with his dog on the trails.




Nick VanDyken
Nicholas VanDyken
Quality Manager

A trained statistician, Nicholas brings a keen eye for system and material analyses. Originally from Michigan, Nicholas joined itek Energy in 2011 to support the development and production itek’s first generation PV module. Previously Nicholas managed bio-statistics databases for the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement and Point Reyes Bird Observatory. In addition to crunching numbers he has spent years hiking miles of trail from valleys to summits in the Sierra Nevada’s to Cascades. He also is a talented electronic music producer; some tracks are featured on itek’s production videos.




Adam Railing
Adam Railing
Production Manager

Adam was raised on the shores of Lake George in upstate NY seated in the heart of the Adirondacks.  Adam majored in Political Science and focused on Environmental Law as well as Anthropology at Plattsburg State University.  He spent years as a hiking, kayak and team building guide in New York until he took these skills to Washington as a kayak guide/instructor in the Olympics.  After pursuing a Masters in Comparative Political Science at Western Washington University Adam settled in Bellingham.  When Adam is not managing the factory floor he spends his time in the woods hiking and camping, working on his motorcycle, traveling, or playing hockey a few nights a week.




Adam Railing
Jesse Wear
Procurement Specialist

Jesse joined the itek team after graduating from Western Washington University with a B.A. in Psychology. He was highly involved in several research laboratories focused on cognition, political reasoning, and children’s development. These experiences afforded him the opportunity to hone his communication, scheduling and statistical analysis skill sets. Since joining the company he has become a key component in day-to-day operations by ensuring timely material procurement. Outside of itek, Jesse is a passionate sailor and values above all else experience nature’s mysteries. When he isn’t found sailing on Bellingham Bay or hiking you will likely find him at one of Bellingham’s various music venues taking in a show.



James Martin
Materials Manager

James’s career spans a wide range of manufacturing- from designing & building pellet stoves to being Implementation Manager of Lean Manufacturing practices. Passionate about sustainable practices, James’s favorite pastime at itek is finding ways to reduce waste at the work-place. When he’s not managing the flow of materials at the factory, James can be found at home with his wife on their “funny farm” spending time with their horses and dogs, taking the goats for an evening stroll and growing organic fruits and vegetables. He joined itek in December 2014 and is pleased to be working with the team building sustainable energy products, supporting his passion to leave the Earth a better place for future generations.




Doug DeMars
Doug DeMars
Customer Service Coordinator

Doug joined the itek team in February 2015 – bringing with him almost two decades of experience in logistics and distribution center management in the dietary supplement industry. A Bellingham resident since 1995 he enjoys exploring the hills and trails that the area is famous for…often on his mountain bike. In his spare time Doug volunteers with a local mountain bike team that helps support a pediatric cancer foundation, and assists young cyclists who are interested in mountain bike racing. He loves spending time with his wife and two boys, eating at Bellingham’s many fine restaurants and breweries, and hanging out with friends and neighbors.




Paul Krumrich
General Manager, Minnesota Operations

Paul brings more than 12 years of high tech business development in Minnesota to the itek team. He is the founder of the renowned technology company, Spye. His active leadership, knowledge, and management ability is proven through continued growth and success. Krumrich promotes client engagement and technical innovation and is skilled at growing a dealer base and reputation both in Minnesota and throughout the United States. He has driven his success through strategic positioning, strong financial administration, and an instinctive ability to surround himself with creative people that collaborate daily to ensure the best ideas are fostered and developed. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.



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