About Us

Corporate Overview

Safari Energy was founded in 2008 with a vision of reducing energy expenses for commercial customers while also helping the environment. Safari Energy saw an opportunity to apply its finance and construction management acumen to the dynamic and rapidly unfolding market for distributed solar power in the United States, particularly for large real estate owners.

Our team consists of dedicated professionals with expertise in real estate, finance, energy, and construction, backed by a group of top-tier strategic investors. We are passionate about delivering superior energy solutions for commercial, industrial and institutional real estate clients nationwide.

We would love to start working with you today - contact us for a free portfolio analysis.

 

Interested in joining our dynamic team? Click here for current opportunities.

Our Management Team

Matthew Rudey

Chief Executive Officer

Matt brings an extensive background in finance and operations to the solar industry. In 2000, Matt co-founded Global Realty Outsourcing (GRO), a pioneering firm focused on outsourcing financial analysis for the real estate industry. Under Matt's operational expertise the business grew to more than 1,300 employees in five years, serving over 75 institutional clients, including many of the United States’ largest real estate owners and financers. In 2006, GRO was acquired by private equity fund GTCR. Matt now leverages proven real estate finance and analysis techniques to develop sophisticated solutions for the distributed generation solar market, including diligence, modeling and structuring. Matt holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.B.A. from UCLA. 


John Nordeman

President

John brings extensive financial experience as well as deep expertise in the clean tech sector to Safari Energy. In 2003, John joined Eagle Capital Partners, a premier, value-oriented investment fund serving endowments, family offices and high net worth individuals.  At Eagle, John played a key role analyzing and investing in bankruptcy re-emergences, spin-offs and other special situation investments.  In addition he helped grow fund assets from $100 million to over $1 billion.  Previously, John was an equity analyst with Merrill Lynch.  John provides leading solutions in solar project finance to Safari Energy’s portfolio of public and private real estate clients, and oversees the company’s client development efforts.  John holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.


John Towle

Chief Operating Officer

Prior to joining Safari Energy in 2010, John held leadership positions in construction operations and land development for 16 years with one of the largest national homebuilders and 5 years with an environmental remediation contractor. He has expertise in process development, change management, continuous improvement and sustainable cost reductions. He has led the implementation of several hundred commercial scale solar projects for Safari Energy and is responsible for multiple functional areas including purchasing and product design, contractor and supply chain development, operational team building and all phases of project management and construction. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Planning and Design from Rutgers University.


David Heyman

Chief Financial Officer

As Chief Financial Officer, David has responsibility for upholding strong financial management and accountability while providing timely, accurate, and reliable financial information for the company. Prior to joining Safari Energy David was CFO of QBS, a real estate services firm, where he led the company’s financial turnaround with several growth and cost cutting initiatives. He was previously SVP of Accounting Policy at Citigroup Investment Bank and a Senior Manager in Ernst & Young’s Financial Services Office where he advised clients and audit teams on structured products, derivatives and financials instruments. David holds a B.S. from Rutgers University, an M.S. from the University of Virginia, and an MBA from Columbia University.


Andrew Rubin

Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing

Andy leads Safari’s sales and marketing efforts across targeted markets.  Andy has over 25 years of diverse sales management, marketing, business development, and account management experience in various finance and energy markets, including renewable power projects, demand side management, energy conservation, and traditional utility assets. His principal leadership experience includes Senior VP, Business Development at GE Capital, and Managing Director, Business Development at Ameresco. Andy holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Andrew Blevin

Senior Vice President Project Finance

Andrew manages the financing of Safari’s projects, including debt financing, operating leases and capital leases.  He brings many years of experience in financing renewable and conventional power projects, including solar, wind, biomass and gas-fired power generation, as well as transmission and distribution assets.  His principal investing experience includes Senior VP, Finance with Viseon Energy, a portfolio company of the Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Fund, and Managing Director at Abatis Capital and AllCapital.  He also worked with the Macquarie Bank Group in Sydney, London and New York, specializing in asset financing transactions in the power, infrastructure, and transportation sectors, and has extensive consulting experience.  Andrew holds degrees in Law and Economics from the University of Adelaide.


John Lind

Senior Vice President Business Development

John previously served as Managing Partner with real estate advisory firm NOI Strategies where he implemented operational cost saving strategies for large REITs. He was previously SVP of Commercial Services with Zenta, an Accenture company, in charge of managing key accounts including Cushman & Wakefield, Blackstone, Weingarten Realty, Capital Trust, Wachovia. He joined the firm as a start-up and helped establish Zenta as a leading real estate business process outsourcing company with offices in four countries.  John has over two decades of diverse business development and account management experience, and has extensive relationships in the commercial real estate industry. He holds a BS in Resource Economics from The University of Maryland.


Shawn Johnson

Senior Vice President General Counsel

Shawn manages the legal affairs of Safari Energy.  He brings over 20 years of experience counseling public and privately-held companies in a broad array of matters.  He has advised renewable energy companies in distributed generation and utility scale solar projects in the United States and Canada.  After graduating from law school, Shawn spent a decade in private practice, beginning his career in the New York and Atlanta offices of the international law firm Holland and Knight.  During his time in private practice, he advised clients broadly in corporate and financing matters, construction and regulatory matters as well as other complex commercial transactions.  Shawn holds an A.B. from Washington University in St. Louis, and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law.


John Sowka

Senior Vice President Controller

John manages all the financial reporting and controls as well as the accounting and tax department for Safari Energy. His previous experience includes more than 2 decades of business controllership, finance and accounting experience, including, most recently, vice president and controller of Ipsos North America, a billion dollar public company, and Chief Financial Officer of Blum Shapiro & Co. He also held leadership roles at both KPMG and GE Capital. He is a Certified Public Accountant from Connecticut and holds a MBA degree from Sacred Heart University.


Operations Team

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The Safari Energy Operations Department is comprised of inveterate construction professionals, with almost 100 years of combined experience, and over 40 years in solar. All team members are OSHA certified project management professionals to ensure safe and timely delivery of completed projects. Degrees and certifications include environmental management, urban planning, project management and solar installation. The department’s focus is turnkey delivery and maintenance of high-quality assets and the provision of a seamless on-site customer experience.


Business Development and Finance Teams

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A dedicated in-house sales team ensures customer needs are met. With strong backgrounds in real estate investment and management, consulting, finance, economics and solar, these relationship managers execute the Safari Energy strategy through a highly targeted market approach. These senior staff members lead the company’s deal teams through the portfolio analysis, opportunity selection, contracting, feasibility and execution processes. The team includes MBAs, NABCEP solar certifications, certified project managers and environmental policy professionals.


Project Development Team

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Project Development includes engineering, finance and banking professionals. The department includes design engineers with architectural, mechanical, electrical and environmental engineering backgrounds. This team is continually improving the design process and brings value engineering to every phase of the project life cycle. All utility requirements are handled in house. Finance and economics professionals conduct utility rate analysis, obtain incentives and ensure project economics are maximized by deploying optimal deal structures.