Adam Edelen

Adam Edelen

Founder & CEO

Adam Edelen is a dynamic leader with a demonstrated record of accomplishment in both the public and private sectors.

Adam is the founder of Edelen Renewables, which has garnered significant attention for structuring innovative partnerships between coal interests in Appalachia and global renewable energy giants.

As a chief of staff to former Kentucky governor, Steve Beshear, and later as the State Auditor of Kentucky, Adam earned a reputation as a modernizer and reformer in government. His efforts resulted in prison terms for corrupt politicians and school administrators, uncovered fraud and abuse in Kentucky’s nearly $3 billion system of “Ghost Government” (special taxing districts), and the testing of more than 3,000 previously unaccounted for rape kits..

Adam has been described in the media as “a man on a mission” and “a refreshing example of leadership”, and his record of accomplishments have garnered state and national recognition. He has been named the Outstanding Young Kentuckian and one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans by the United States Junior Chamber Commerce, an honor previously bestowed upon presidents Kennedy, Ford, Nixon, and Clinton. More recently he has been honored by the Aspen Institute, the German Marshall Fund, and the Kentucky Rural Health Association.

Adam is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and currently sits on its Board of Public Health. He is an avid sportsman, a proud father of twin sons, a student of history, and a University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball and football fan.

Nathan Cryder

Chief Operating Officer

Nathan Cryder has a broad range of executive and leadership experience in the business, government, non-profit, and education sectors.

In business, he is a founder or co-founder of several companies including Breakout, the world’s largest escape room company, headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky with over 1,000 employees and 45 locations throughout the U.S. and one in South Africa. Nathan is on the Board of the Kentucky Solar Energy Industry Association (KYSEIA) and the Chair of the Utility-Scale Committee. 

In the non-profit sector, he was the acting Director of the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation-U.S., founded by 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Kailash Satyarthi, who has dedicated his life to ensuring children’s rights in India and globally since 1981. Nathan continues to serve on a pro-bono basis as an advisor to Mr. Satyarthi and his son, Bhuwan Ribhu, the founder and director of India Child Protection Fund.

In government, Nathan was Senior Advisor and Policy Director to Edelen Ventures founder, Adam Edelen, when he was the Kentucky State Auditor, and in education, he has taught high school and college courses in economics, history, sociology, psychology, history, web design, graphic design, and video editing.

Nathan holds dual masters in diplomacy and sociology from the University of Kentucky and a B.A. in sociology from Miami (OH) University. He has a daughter and a son, and enjoys his free time traveling, reading, and writing.

Nathan Cryder

Meet Our Team

Chad Braden

CHAD BRADEN

Director of Operations

Chad is a results-oriented sustainability professional with proven abilities in strategic
planning, managing projects, improving efficiency of operations, and team-building.

He comes to the Edelen Renewables team with an extensive background in the field of sustainability consulting and as the former Director of Sustainability for Stonebridge Hospitality where his primary focus was to guide hotels through the process of retrofitting their energy systems to clean, modern and cost-saving alternatives.

Prior to his sustainability career, Chad was an Assistant Director in New York City working in feature films, commercials, and music videos. Three of his films have won top honors at the Sundance Film Festival.

His educational endeavors have earned him a Masters in Business Administration in Sustainability (Green MBA) from Antioch University, as well as an Associate in Film Production from Valencia College in Orlando Florida. He is also a LEED Accredited Professional. Chad has a son, Carter, who serves as both the center of his world and his primary motivation to make impactful environmental change. Together they enjoy camping, hiking, and staring at the stars.

seth steppe

SETH STEPPE

Director of Outreach & Engagement

Successful business deals are built on strong working relationships with clients and partners.

Seth Steppe works to build and support these relationships every day in his job as the Director of Outreach and Engagement for Eden Renewables.
Seth’s inter-personal skills have served him well in establishing strategic connections with professionals in politics, government relations, and economic development. In 2019 Seth launched Green Light Rural Development to push investment  from the east and west coasts into the rural south for economic development.  These projects include public private partnerships as well as higher education initiatives centered around rural job growth.

Through his wide array of contacts throughout the country, Seth recruits landowners interested in developing innovative solar projects into the Edelen portfolio as well as organizations that are interested in providing private capital to fund projects.

Seth is a Nashville, Tennessee native, a graduate of the University of Memphis, and an avid sports fan – following Memphis Tiger Football & Basketball, and anything SEC.

brad clark

BRAD CLARK

Director of Workforce Solutions

Brad Clark has a broad range of education, workforce, and economic development experience in the government, non-profit, for-profit, and philanthropic sectors along the cradle-to-gray continuum.

He is the Founder and CEO of Latent Talent Accelerator, an education and workforce consultancy, and currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, a Senior Advisor for several Appalachian non-profits, and the Senior Director of Advancement Courses at Wiley Education Services.

Before founding Latent Talent Accelerator, Brad was Hope Street Group’s National Director of Economic Opportunity and Professional Learning. He also served as the State Director of the Kentucky Teacher Fellows Network for Hope Street Group from 2015 to 2017. Prior to leaving the classroom, Brad was an upper elementary teacher for nearly a decade and has served in a number of advisory and community-based roles in education and workforce over the past 15 years. He holds a BA in History and certification in Gifted Education from Eastern Kentucky University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Morehead State University.

Brad spends his free-time traveling with his family (15,000 miles and 16 states in an RV in 2019 and 2020), supporting cultural investments in Eastern Kentucky, and being a thought partner to educators seeking to create social impact in their local communities.  

leslie parrish

LESLIE PARRISH

Operations Manager

Leslie Parrish is the Operations Manager at Edelen Renewables.  A retired state government employee, Leslie enjoyed an extensive career in public service.  She served as the administrative assistant for a Kentucky Lt. Governor, worked on the staff the Legislative Research Commission and in the Office of Kentucky’s Secretary of Finance.

From economic development to the drama of legislative deliberations, Leslie has worked at the commonwealth’s highest levels of government and politics—resulting in an expertise in scheduling, logistics and constituent relations.

At ESV, Leslie calls on these skill-sets daily in managing the operations of a business with interests as diverse as renewable energy, technology and finance.

She makes her home in Lexington and is crazy about her granddaughters Rylee and Harper.

Lee Ullman

LEE ULLMAN

Director of Structured Finance

Lee is Director of Structured Finance and steers the Edelen team in evaluating and growing its renewable energy portfolio, while assisting all parties to make the projects more efficient and profitable with solution-driven recommendations/implementations. Lee specializes in complex business transactions and serves as a consultant, active participant and partner, using traditional and non-traditional methods to finance the renewable energy transactions

Vance Nobe

VANCE NOBE

Chief Technical Advisor

Vance Nobe is President, CEO and Founder of Akari Energy which was established in 2008 in Houston, Texas.  Akari Energy is a solar power developer, with projects throughout the United States.  His combination of management, sales, and technical expertise has driven Akari Energy’s growth and profitability over the years.  

Akari Energy is a quality provider of solar power and energy efficient building envelopes.  The company is Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certified by the City of Houston, City of Philadelphia, State of Texas Historically Underutilized Business (HUB), and the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council (NMSDC).   Vance Nobe is also certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) as a solar PV Installation Professional.

Traveling extensively throughout the world, Vance has built key client relationships in the United States, Latin America, Asia and Europe.  As a solar power subject-matter-expert, he is regularly invited to speak at technical conferences and to international audiences, including the Energy Makers Show web interview on renewable energy, speaking engagements for Chinese, European, African events on energy and/or technology.  He has participated in travel delegations to Spain for engineering and technology conferences, as well as, as an expert speaker at an EPA hearing on biomass regulations. 

He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, Power Emphasis, from the California Polytechnic University at Pomona California.  He also has a MIT Sloan Certificate in Blockchain Technology.