Executive Team Biographies
John R. Grizz Deal has over twenty years of experience in technology commercialization, tech-based startups, fast-growing ventures, and product development.
Grizz was CEO and a co-founder of Hyperion Power Generation, a Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) spinout developing a Small Modular Reactor (SMR). He has also served as the chief marketing officer for Space Imaging and was the founder and CEO of LizardTech, one of the more successful LANL spinouts. Additionally, Grizz has served as Entrepreneur in Residence for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) at Technology Ventures Corporation and as Visiting entrepreneur at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Grizz founded seven firms based on U.S. DOE technologies and holds graduate and undergraduate science degrees in geography from Texas A&M University.
Grizz is the Product Development Sensei for GVA Launch Gurus in Russia and Kazakhstan, an adjunct faculty member at the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo, a member of the Texas A&M University College of Geosciences Advisory Council, and a Steering Committee member of the JeffCo Energy Action Project.
Grizz is a frequent speaker and writer on energy technology and policy, product development, starting and growing advanced technology-based ventures, and issues in raising capital for such ventures.
Ms. Deal-Blackwell serves as the CEO of the IX Power Foundation. As the CEO of the five-state medical transportation charity Angel Flight Southeast, she resurrected the organization and doubled revenues and services in just one year. But her career did not begin in the nonprofit sector; initially, she started in broadcasting. After leaving television, Deborah honed what would become her 25+ years of experience in public relations and marketing by serving a wide variety of clients in computer software, real estate development, consumer and business travel, and politics. Her clients are spread across the U.S., Asia, the Caribbean, and Russia.
Deborah has served on the boards of countless non-profit, civic, cultural and industry-specific organizations. She is a co-founder of Hyperion Power Generation and was the firm’s first employee. Deborah was the top executive in Hyperion’s Washington, D.C. office and directed all interaction with Capitol Hill and federal agencies based in the city. Her degrees in journalism-public relations and radio-TV were earned at the University of Central Florida. She is an accredited public relations specialist (APR).
Dr. Libutti is responsible for business and technology development strategy.
Dr. Libutti is a co-founder and the former VP of Engineering and Strategy for Hyperion Power Generation and for the software company LizardTech. He is the author of the book “IBM’s Systems Application Architecture.” After working in industry as an electrical engineer and as an officer in the U.S. Army, Dr. Libutti began a 32-year career with the IBM Corporation. He held various positions ranging from the IBM Applied Science representative to NASA Langley during the Project Mercury space shots to IBM Group Director, holding executive marketing and executive product development positions in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Dr. Libutti created the corporate business case, led the development team, and introduced the personal computer in Japan. He has served on several corporate boards, including Sapiens International, a publically traded, Israeli software company where he became co-CEO. Dr. Libutti holds a BS in Engineering Physics from Lehigh University and an MBA and a Ph.D. in Business Administration. Dr. Libutti is also a graduate of IBM’s Systems Research Institute, earning the equivalency of a Masters degree in computer science.
Otis (Pete) Peterson
Chief Technical Officer, Chief Reactor Designer, IX Power companies
As Chief Technical Officer of IX Power, Dr. Peterson supervises the review of all energy technologies and the coordination of research efforts in the public and private sectors. Among his many career accomplishments, Dr. Peterson is the inventor of the original design for the unique Hyperion Power Module. He holds six patents including those for his inventions of the cw Dye Laser and Alexandrite Laser, which earned R&D 100 awards. In the 1990’s he served as science attaché at the American Embassy in London for environmental preservation and nonproliferation issues.
Dr. Peterson served as a group leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and held management positions at Eastman Kodak and Allied Chemical where he co-founded the laser-induced chemistry program. He was also a co-founder of laser isotope separation program (AVLIS) at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, which continued for 26 years. His inventions and many publications have been cited by other authors in the technical literature well over 1000 times. He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America. He earned his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Illinois.
Jim Jones is head of business and revenue development at IX Power. With 29 years of technology sales and in excess of $500 million in sales credits, Mr. Jones brings a wealth of experience to the team. He has served in key sales roles at Digital Equipment, SUN, and Interleaf as well as executive positions at Sybase and Informix.
For the past 10 years, Jones has lead successful ventures as Chief Revenue Officer. He has been responsible for helping deliver first revenues as well as building the sales and business development teams that secure consistent company growth. He says, “I enjoy the energy of the early stage companies. I’m especially fond of driving revenue growth under almost any circumstance.”
In recent years he has worked with mobile telecoms operators around the glove. At SNAPin Software, he built the sales teams in North America and Europe. He successfully secured customers such as British Telecom, Orange UK, Vodafone, Armenia Spain, KPN, T-Mobile UK, T-Mobile US, and Cingular.
While serving three years as Chief Revenue Officer for Hyperion Power, Jones negotiated first ever sales contracts for the Hyperion Power Module and built a pipeline of 134 committed buyers. He also built significant relationships in Russia, Canada, and South Africa. He likely knows more customer opportunities to provide new energy systems than any other single person on the planet. Mr. Jones’ other experience includes startups in enterprise software, energy conservation, telecoms, document management, and geospatial imaging. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in bioscience from the University of Washington and University of Texas.
Chief Financial Officer, IX Power companies
Randall Wilson is one of two key founders and was Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer of Technology Ventures Corporation (TVC), a private foundation funded by Lockheed Martin Corporation to commercialize national laboratory-developed technologies. He was instrumental in growing the business from a single-site, five-person enterprise into a multi-site, multi-funded operation with more than 40 employees. Over the course of 17 years, TVC fostered 115 start-up ventures, $1.18 billion in venture/equity capital investments, and 13,400 jobs. Mr. Wilson managed budgets and held oversight responsibility for grants from the US Department of Energy, US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, US Department of Labor, and State of New Mexico and corporate funding from Lockheed Martin. He set up and maintained five not-for-profit 501(c)3s and served as Secretary of TVC. He served in this capacity from 1993 to 2011 and remains active in the technology commercialization community.
In addition to his work at IX Power, Mr. Wilson serves as the CFO and Secretary/Treasurer of the Sandia Science & Technology Park Development Corporation, chair of the Sandia Science & Technology Park Tenant Association, and Treasurer of the New Mexico Angels (a private investment group).
Mr. Wilson was named a Top Performing CFO by the NM Business Weekly and served on New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson’s Business Advisory Council. In 1992 and 1993, he was part of Lockheed Martin’s successful bid to manage Sandia National Laboratories. A graduate of Emory University, he also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Rollins College and has completed numerous C-level professional development courses.