GBL is Founded
Co-founders Jim Rogers and Joe Hale establish the Global BrightLight Foundation as a 501c3 not for profit to bring safe, healthy, and cost-effective solar power to people living without access to electricity. Joe Hale assumes the role of Executive Director.
Partnership with GSEP
The Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) and GBL partner to distribute 50,000 solar systems to communities living without access to electricity around the world. In 2013, GBL expands into nine countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
Key Milestone Reached
GBL deploys its 60,000 solar system. These solar lanterns and solar home systems provide economic opportunities and improve the health, safety, education, and quality of life of an estimated 330,000 people.
In April 2015 a devastating earthquake hits Nepal, killing over 8,000 people and displacing hundreds of thousands. GBL is a first responder, donating hundreds of solar lanterns to families affected by the tragedy. The lanterns aid in rescue and recovery efforts and allow people to charge their cell phones so they can communicate with family members.
New Social Enterprise in Latin America
Under the leadership of new CEO Ben Bunker, GBL refocuses its efforts on Latin America and launches a social enterprise operation in partnership with Amigos de la Aldea. This new approach will help GBL provide universal access to electricity in the Americas by 2030. Together GBL and ADLA develop the Light a Village program, which provides solar energy to every family living in a rural village without electricity.
Ben Bunker, CEO
Ben Bunker serves as the CEO of the Global BrightLight Foundation. He manages the organization’s daily operations and is passionate about achieving BrightLight’s vision of a world with universal access to clean, sustainable, and affordable energy. Ben has a long history with BrightLight, having volunteered as a member of BrightLight’s Advisory Team since the organization was founded in 2011.
Before joining BrightLight as CEO, Ben worked as a consultant with ICF International where he supported the United States Agency for International Development and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. He earned an M.S. in Sustainable Energy Systems from the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan and a B.A. in Political Science from Bates College. He also holds a professional certification from Solar Energy International with a specialization in Developing World Applications.
Amigos de la Aldea (ADLA) – “Friends of the Village”
In Latin America, Global BrightLight has formed an alliance with a grassroots non-profit organization called Amigos de la Aldea (translated from Spanish as “Friends of the Village”). Since it was founded in 2009, ADLA has developed and implemented the commercialization of several projects, including solar lanterns, clean cook stoves, water filters, and various micro-entrepreneurial initiatives. ADLA serves as our on the ground presence in Latin America and we are honored to consider them part of our team!
James E. Rogers
Co-Founder, Global BrightLight Foundation, Chairman, Retired President and CEO, Duke Energy
With 25 years experience in the utility industry, Jim Rogers recently served as chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy, the largest electric utility holding company in the U.S. Under his leadership, Duke Energy has been recognized as a leader in sustainability – balancing the “triple bottom line” of people, planet and profits. In 2010 and 2011, the company was named to the elite Dow Jones Sustainability World Index; it has been a part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for the past six years.
Jim has served in numerous roles in business, advocacy and environmental policy, including as deputy general counsel for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, vice chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, founding chairman of the Institute for Electric Efficiency, and board member of Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.
Co-Founder, Global BrightLight Foundation
Prior to Duke Energy’s merger with Cinergy Corp., Joe was President of The Cinergy Foundation, Chief Communications Officer for the company, and also served as President of The Cincinnati Gas and Electric Company. Before joining Cinergy, Joe was President of The Kasler Group, an architectural firm based in Indianapolis. He has served on numerous boards and has chaired fundraising campaigns that have raised over $100 million for non-profit organizations. An avid runner, Joe raised over $250,000 for the March of Dimes in 2005 by running seven marathons on seven continents in seven months. Joe is married to Linda Hale and they have three children.
Retired CEO, LDI Ltd., LLC
David Shane is the former Chief Executive Officer of LDI Ltd., LLC, an international distribution and logistics company based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Before joining LDI, David was a partner in the Indianapolis office of law firm Faegre Baker Daniels, with a practice centered in employment, education and work force issues.
David has worked for more than two decades to improve educational opportunities for youth and adults in Indiana and across the United States. He and his wife Anne have a long history of community service, including work with the AMPATH medical and community health efforts in Kenya, and its support from the Center for Global Health at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Anne and David have a daughter who is a physician in Chicago and a son who is a business executive in Toronto.
Retired Director, Procter & Gamble
Jeanne Reisinger is a retired Director from Procter & Gamble where she spent 32 years managing regional and global supply chains. Today she is a Global Supply Chain Strategist for Zinata Inc. utilizing her experience to help other companies deliver breakthrough sales, service, cost and cash results. Jeanne believes in the power of people to drive change – whether in a business or private setting. She has been bringing her energy and commitment to the Global BrightLights Foundation Board since 2013.
Retired Vice President, Duke Energy
John Stowell is a retired executive from Duke Energy where he served in a number of executive positions, including leading the company’s government affairs, energy and environmental policy and international policy groups. The early work researching and designing the Global BrightLight Foundation was centered in his group, led by Global BrightLight’s current CEO, Ben Bunker.
Prior to the Duke Energy-Cinergy merger, John launched one of the electric industry’s first sustainability programs and, in its first year, Cinergy achieved listing on the Dow Jones World Sustainability Index.
In addition to serving on the board of directors for Global BrightLight, he is the communications director for SonLight Power, an Ohio-based charitable organization that installs fixed solar in the developing world. He also works as a free-lance writer for Cincinnati Magazine.
Since the mid-1990’s, Paulina Keilhauer has been involved in several benevolent causes in Guatemala and abroad from providing indigenous women weavers access to foreign markets to helping migrants become financially independent through the Qualitas of Life Foundation. Currently, Paulina is President of the Fundación para Niños Quemados de Guatemala (Guatemala Burnt Children Foundation) which focuses on prevention of pediatric burns and raises funds to support the pediatric burn units at national hospitals. Paulina also sits on the Board of the Ixchel Museum whose aim is to preserve the culture and tradition of Mayan textiles. Paulina is an interior designer and resides with her family in Guatemala City.