The core management of Stellarwind  Bio Energy is built around a seasoned  team of executive management, business development and engineering experts.  Each individual has successful backgrounds in multiple industries and experience with startup operations. 

William R. Kassebaum, P.E., co-founder, President, CEO and member of the Board of Directors. With over 23 years working in the private and government sectors, Mr. Kassebaum has extensive engineering, executive management, and entrepreneurial experience. His pioneering work at the Naval Air Warfare Center earned him and his team the prestigious National Performance Review ”Heroes Of Government Reinvention” award presented by the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on behalf of Vice President Al Gore. While working with private companies such as Escient, LLC, he led teams that developed award winning products and generated the majority of the company’s revenue. Mr. Kassebaum is a Senior Member of the IEEE and currently serves as a Director of the Central Indiana section of the IEEE (of which he is a former Chair), Co-Chair of the Central Indiana Engineering Consultants’ Network, Chair of the Alliance of IEEE Consultants’ Network (AICN) for IEEE-USA, and Pre-College Educational Activities Coordinator for Region 4 of the IEEE and member of the PEC committee for IEEE-USA. Mr. Kassebaum holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Indiana.

John A. Kassebaum, Ph.D., P.E., co-founder, Chief Technical Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors, is the chief architect of the company's intellectual property. He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical & Computer Engineering specializing in computational intelligence with extensive experience in software architecture, signal processing, Bayesian analysis, pattern recognition and neural networks.Dr. Kassebaum has over 22 years of technical leadership experience in private and defense (DOD) sectors in areas as diverse as navigation systems, sonar systems, hardware and software architecture, audio/visual consumer electronics design, physics, and bio-technical applications research. His technical vision is the primary guidance for the mission and objectives of the company. Dr. Kassebaum is a Senior Member of the IEEE, former Chair of the Central Indiana Section of the IEEE, and a Founder and former co-Chair of the Central Indiana Engineering Consultants’ Network. He is also a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Indiana.

Thomas B. Gabbert, CPA,
 Acting CFO, Managing Partner of Milestone Financial LLC.   With twenty years experience in accounting and financial management, his emphasis has been dealing with issues unique to dynamic, high growth startup businesses.  His prior work experience includes serving as CFO at Escient, Inc., CFO at Cybo Robots, Inc.; Chief Accounting Officer at Compression, Inc.; Accounting Officer at NBD Bank; and Senior Accountant at Price Waterhouse.  Mr. Gabbert graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in business administration.  He is a member of the Indiana CPA Society and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and serves on the Leadership Cabinet of the Indiana CPA Society.


Karla W. Yale, VP of Business Development. Ms. Yale holds a bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Kellogg with a double major in quantitative methods and operations management. With over 30 years of experience in executive corporate management Ms. Yale has held senior positions such as Chief Engineer for General Electric Aerospace and Senior Vice President for General Electric Capital Market Research. As Senior VP At GE, Ms. Yale developed systems controlling over $18 billion of net earning assets saving over $1 billion for GE. Ms. Yale has also held such positions as Director of Information Services for Continental Can Company and Program Leader for Cummins Engine Company with many technical and strategic management responsibilities. Ms. Yale is a senior member of the IEEE and has held volunteer positions as Chairman of the Daytona Section of the IEEE and Chairman of the NY Institute of Management Sciences. Ms. Yale is also a past Director of the Indiana R&D Coalition.


Steven H. Larsen, Ph.D., Senior Microbiologist, Associate Professor of Microbiology/Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, BA, Utah State University, 1968, MS, Utah State University, 1970, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1974, Postdoc. University of Wisconsis, 1975, John Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1979. Dr. Larsen has recently retired as a full member of the Graduate Faculty at IUPUI. He has consulted for the Indiana Business Modernization and Technology Corporation between 1987 and 2002. Nationally, he has been an Outside NIH Program Project Reviewer and the Microbiology Judges Co-Chair at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in 2006.


Louis A. Sherman, Ph.D., Consultant/Senior Plant Biologist, Professor of Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University.  Dr. Lou Sherman is a leading expert in the area of microalgae and cyanobacteria. He holds a doctorate in Biophysics from the University of Chicago and formerly served as the Head of the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, with over 40 years of academic and research experience in the area of plant microbiology. Over his career Dr. Sherman received numerous research grants from the NIH, USDA,  DOE, and NASA, and authored over 140 technical papers.

David A. Spoelstra, VP of Engineering. Mr. Spoelstra holds a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and has extensive hands-on experience designing solutions to vexing problems, managing and growing teams, and commercializing and supporting products in diverse markets, including process automation, IT networking, automotive, financial services, and broadcast video industries. David's record of success at startups (Truevision), as executive management at Fortune 100 companies (Delco Remy, SallieMae) and as an independent engineering consultant (ACM SIGGRAPH, Monster, Blackmagic Design, Integral Technologies) have uniquely prepared him to tackle Stellarwind Bio Energy's system design, process automation, and manufacturing challenges and guide the company's engineering department.

Patricia J. SolenbergSenior Research Scientist,  has thirty years of life science research experience in diverse discovery and applied research projects at Eli Lilly and Company. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University. Ms. Solenberg’s expertise spans both prokaryotic and eukaryotic biological research using cutting-edge tools in the areas of molecular and cell biology, microbiology, genomics, and bioinformatics. While at Eli Lilly, Ms. Solenberg provided leadership on concurrent diverse projects involving both company teams and outside partners. Her innovative approaches contributed to the discovery of new genes as drug targets, novel microorganisms, and new research tools.  Among her honors and awards are Lilly Research Labs President’s Recognition Award (the top award granted in Lilly Research), the Lilly Gold Award (a divisional award granted by Research Management), and Lilly Elite Awards (departmental awards granted by research peers). She is an author on numerous publications and an inventor on sixteen U.S. patents.