Board of DirectorsAn Experienced Management Team
Paragon Airheater Technologies is led by an experienced team of board members, with diverse skills and experience. Please click on a name to learn more.
Ken Fairleigh, President and Chief Executive Officer
Cannon Pearson, Chief Operating Officer
Karl Khoury, Board of Directors
Joseph Lipscomb, Board of Directors
Roger Ballentine, Board of Directors
Michael J. Hammons, Board of Directors
Lex Sant, Board of Directors
Mike Ledford, President/COO of Vanguard Construction Group
Mr. Fairleigh has over 30 years business experience, holding leadership positions with some of the world’s finest companies. His broad and diverse background includes start ups, turn arounds, and large global enterprises. Prior to joining Paragon, Mr. Fairleigh held executive positions at several companies including Danaher, GE, Schneider Electric and SPX. Mr. Fairleigh received an undergraduate degree in Economics from Duke University and a MBA from the University of Dallas, he has done further studies at Harvard University, Wharton School of Business, and Duke University Business School. Ken is also on the Board of Directors of Jigsaw Systems, a small distribution software company.
Prior to joining Paragon Airheater Technologies, Mr. Pearson practiced law for six years with Callahan, McCune & Willis, P.C., one of the largest law firms in Orange County, California. There he specialized in Business Formation, Business Litigation, Intellectual Property and Insurance Defense. Born and raised in Oklahoma, Mr. Pearson attended University of Oklahoma and earned his B.S. and J.D. while serving eight years as a United States Marine. Additionally, he worked with his father to expand Guthrie Corporation into an international company.
Karl Khoury is a founder of Arborview Capital, co-heads the investment team and co-manages the operations of the firm. Prior to founding Arborview Capital, he had twelve years of experience identifying, consummating and managing private equity investments with Columbia Capital, a sector-focused venture capital firm with over $2 billion under management. During that time, he invested in 13 companies with a primary focus on enterprise and communications software, security, and managed IT services. Prior to Columbia Capital, Karl worked at J.P. Morgan & Co. in New York and San Francisco where he specialized in corporate finance and capital markets for technology and communications clients.
Karl currently serves on the board of directors of Lighting Retrofit International and previously served on the boards of nine of the investments that he managed at Columbia Capital. He also currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Levine School of Music, a leading independent music school based in Washington, DC. Karl received a BS in Finance from Lehigh University in 1991.
Joe is a founder of Arborview Capital, co-heads the investment team and co-manages the operations of the firm. Prior to founding Arborview Capital, he had nine years experience identifying, consummating and managing private equity investments, first as a managing director at the Carlyle Group and then with the Maryland-based firm, Global Environment Fund. He has a long track record of working closely with high quality management teams to build successful, leading companies in high growth sectors. Prior to that, Joe had a nine year career at BT Alex Brown and First Boston, providing financing and advisory services to growth companies.
Joe currently serves on the board of directors of Lighting Retrofit International and previously served as a board member of numerous companies, both private and public. He also currently is the Chairman of the Board of the Nature Conservancy-Washington DC/Maryland Chapter, is a trustee and member of the Investment Committee of Kenyon College and is a member of the advisory board of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS). Joe received an undergraduate degree from Kenyon (1987), an MA from SAIS (1991) and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (1992).
Roger is a Venture Partner with Arborview Capital and is the founder and CEO of Green Strategies, Inc., a corporate consulting firm that assists clients with domestic and international public policy matters, marketing and business development strategies in the areas of energy, environment and sustainability. Representative clients for his consulting practice include Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts & Co. and Texas Pacific Group (on the TXU Corp. buyout), Goldman Sachs Group Inc., American Electric Power Co., Inc. and General Electric Company. Prior to Green Strategies, Mr. Ballentine served as the Chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force and Deputy Assistant to the President for Environmental Initiatives under President Bill Clinton. Previously, he was a partner with the Washington law and lobbying firm, Patton Boggs, LLP.
Mr. Ballentine has extensive public and private board experience and is a founding Board Member of the American Council on Renewable Energy and also serves on the boards of directors of the Biomass Energy Resource Center and the International Fund for China's Environment. Mr. Ballentine is a Lecturer on Law at Harvard University and a Senior Fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. He has a JD, cum laude, from Harvard University and a BA in Economics, magna cum laude from the University of Connecticut.
Mike is a Partner with SAIL Venture Partners. He has nearly 20 years of senior leadership experience in building operational value for companies. He has diverse domestic and international experience across multiple verticals such as telecommunications, energy, automotive, aerospace and defense, data storage, enterprise software, and electronic hardware. His diverse background has spanned the gamut of company life cycles from start-ups to large organizations.
Prior to joining SAIL, he held leadership positions including CEO at Vigilistics, CEO at Nexiant, CEO at ARGO Tracker, VP of Global Operations at Cogent Communication, and Director of the South American Automotive Practice at Ernst & Young Consulting. Recognized as an expert in supply chain, operations, manufacturing, product development and logistics, Mike has spoken at multiple conferences and written numerous articles.
Mike serves on several boards including the Advisory Board for California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He has also received multiple awards throughout his career, including Top 100 Most Innovative Vendors from Supply and Demand Chain Executive and Deloitte and Touche Fast 500. He earned a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
Lex Sant is co-founder and managing director of Persimmon Tree Capital. He is based in Washington, D.C.
Prior to founding Persimmon Tree Capital, Mr. Sant worked for five years at the AES Corporation, a leading global power company with electrical generation and distribution business in more than 20 countries. At AES, Mr. Sant was most recently a director in the Alternative Energy group, for which he was responsible for the origination and execution of transactions related to biofuels, wind and other forms of renewable energy. Prior to that position, Mr. Sant had responsibility for large-scale mergers and acquisitions and corporate strategy.
Before joining AES, Mr. Sant worked in public relations from 1994 to 2000 for the Carolina Panthers, a franchise of the National Football League. He is chairman of Island Press, a leading publisher of books on the environment; he is treasurer and trustee of the Summit Foundation; and serves on the executive committee of the board of trustees for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Mike Ledford is currently the President/COO of Vanguard Construction Group. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of Vanguard Construction Group. Mike also currently serves on the Board of Directors at Paragon Airheater Technologies.
Prior to joining Vanguard Mike served as President/COO of Aqulilex/SRO Inc. Aquilex/SRO is recognized as the global leader in providing specialty repair and overhaul services to the Energy/Industrial sectors. Throughout his career Mike has been recognized for his strategic leadership and strong business development efforts, helping to grow Aquilex from $50MM annual revenue into a $500MM global business. Mike attended the University of Georgia and received a BS in Finance from Georgia State University.