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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
After long days of work at home cooking, cleaning and taking care of her husband and kids, Josefina goes to work in the evening on her sewing machine to fix and make clothes for sale so she can earn extra income. She used to work under the dim and flickering light of a candle, which was very difficult and irritated her eyes.
Today, Josefina can enjoy the bright light of her solar lamp and works comfortably on sewing clothes. Her son Juan also really enjoys spending time with his mom while she works!
In addition to increasing her family’s income, she also saves at least $15-$20 a month because she does not need to buy candles or batteries anymore. She saves this money and uses it to provide food, clothes and education for her family. With the power of the sun, she lights up her home and provides a better future for her family.
Juan dreams of working as a professional one day. He is not sure exactly what he wants to be but he knows that he wants to break away from the difficult conditions of life in rural Guatemala.
In order to achieve his dream he has to study hard. Juan wakes up every morning and goes to school with a strong desire to improve his life and that of his family. But things are hard in the village. When he returns from school, Juan helps with chores in the fields and at home, leaving very little time to study before nightfall. Around 6 PM the sun sets and darkness descends on the village.
His home has no electricity. His family uses candles and kerosene lamps to light their home. Still Juan sits at the only table in his home and tries to do his homework but the trembling light of the kerosene lamp makes it very hard for him to study. Even more, he inhales toxic kerosene fumes while he studies.
With a solar lantern provided by the Global BrightLight Foundation, his life has changed. Juan now has access to clean solar energy that makes it easier for him to study. When night comes, he can go to the table and work on his homework before going to bed. He now has a critical tool to ensure that his dreams come true.
For Maria, the simple task of taking care of her infant in the middle of the night was a complicated challenge.
With her battery powered flashlight, she would first check on the baby to see if she needed attention. If the answer was yes, she would light a candle with a box of matches because the batteries for the flashlight were too expensive to waste. It was often hard to find a safe place to set the candle. Sometimes she even had to try to balance it in the crook of her arm. She worried that the candle might tip over when she was not looking, possibly burning her child or starting a fire that could destroy her house. She tried to put these thoughts out of her mind and concentrate on changing her daughter’s diaper.
Today Maria is relieved that she can turn on her solar lantern and focus on taking care of her beautiful baby without worrying about the what ifs. She can even dim the light to the lowest of the three settings and use its gentle brightness to help sooth her child. Even more, she now saves at least $15 a month because does not need to buy candles or batteries anymore. She uses this money to buy more food for her baby and her family. With the power of the sun she lights up her home and unlocks precious additional income.