Mischa Steiner  CEO

Mischa Steiner


Mischa is our founder at Awesense and in his role as CEO has expanded Awesense across the globe, reaching new heights in its efforts to save energy for our customers while significantly combating climate change.

Mischa is a frequent speaker and panelist at industry conferences, university programs and government events on the future of the clean economy and the innovation potential of technology to transform business and society. He represented Awesense as a voting and participating member during the inception of the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and is now an active member of the Smart Electrical Power Alliance (SEPA). He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and an active volunteer at Science World to encourage school children to pursue careers in math, science, and engineering.

Mischa is a Member of the Board at Vancouver Economic Commission with a focus to make Vancouver a globally recognized city for innovative and sustainable businesses. Mischa is also a Member Board of Directors at PROXXI Industrial Wearables which is the world’s first industrial wearable capable of warning the wearer if they are breaching the limits of approach near live electrical lines reducing the risk of electrocution.

Mischa holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Victoria and Wireless, Electronics, Engineering Technology from the British Columbia Institute of Technology after leaving a Ph.D path at Simon Fraser University in Mathematics.

Karel Dietrich-Nespesny  President & COO

Karel Dietrich-Nespesny
President & COO


Karel oversees company finances, operations, and is a key contributor to Awesense’s strategic planning and European market development. Prior to Awesense, Karel held increasingly senior roles in one of Europe’s largest utility holding companies, E.ON AG. Karel joined E.ON in 1998 and rose quickly to the head of electricity strategy for E.ON Bohemia in the Czech Republic. Karel was a central player in E.ON’s acquisition of three major regional utilities and led their merger into a single entity, becoming the Czech Republic’s second largest utility. Karel then managed the company’s separation into distinct entities: Generation & Transmission and Distribution as the Managing Director of E.ON Czech Holdings. Post-separation, Karel's role was Managing Director of E.ON Servisni. For Transmission and Distribution, Maintenance, and Expansion/Construction, Karel held the role of Chief Operating Officer for E.ON Czech responsible for over 1,600 employees.

Karel has held numerous Board of Director roles including Chairman of the Board at Jihomaravska energtika, a.s., Chairman of the Board at Teplarna Kyjov, a.s. and a member of the board at E.ON Ceska republika, s.r.o.

His Supervisory and non-corporate board memberships have included: Supervisory Board Member at Czech Association of Energy Sector Employers, Czech Association of Regulated Electrical Energy Companies, Scientific Board Member at Faculty of Business and Economics at Mendel University in Brno and Supervisory Board member at Prague Gas.

Karel holds a Business degree from FH Würzburg.

John Chase  CFO

John Chase


John Chase brings a wealth of experience in all aspects of financial management with 18 years serving as CFO.
John comes to Awesense from AbeBooks, an online marketplace for used books specializing in rare and out-of-print editions. Prior to that, John was CFO at Power Measurement Ltd., a manufacturer of enterprise energy management hardware and software. John has direct experience with Internet retail, manufacturing, service and venture capital.  As a veteran of multiple mergers & acquisitions, he does consulting for private equity firms.  John’s background, both inside and outside the utility sector supports Awesense’s financial and growth strategies.

A member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, John attained a Masters Degree in Finance from the Boston College Carroll Graduate School of Management.




Dr. Ake Almgren

Dr. Ake Almgren



Dr. Ake Almgren is the President and 2003 founder of ORKAS Inc. and lends his experience and guidance to Awesense.  Formerly Dr Almgren was the President & CEO of Capstone Turbine Corporation (NASDAQ:CPST), the world’s premier developer and manufacturer of micro-turbine systems. Prior to Capstone, Dr. Almgren spent an accomplished 26 year career at ABB (NYSE:ABB), a worldwide power solutions company. He served as President of various business entities, including Business Area manager Distribution Transformers (with 36 plants in 28 countries), ABB Power T&D Co, Inc., ABB Power Distribution and ABB Power Systems. In these capacities he led operations ranging from high volume commodity products to advanced engineered system solutions with a worldwide presence.

Dr. Almgren holds a PhD in Engineering from Sweden’s Linköpings Tekniska Högskola and a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology.

David Berkowitz

David Berkowitz


Mr. Berkowitz serves as the Senior Vice President of Ventures West Capital Ltd. focusing on investment opportunities in energy technology. David has become one of the most active and best-known cleantech investors in Canada. He speaks regularly at industry conferences and is frequently quoted in the media.

Prior to Ventures West, David worked with Motorola New Enterprises, the venture arm of Motorola, and previous to that he was a consulting engineer and entrepreneur.

David's past investments include Cellex Power Products (acquired by Plug Power, NASDAQ: PLUG), Astropower (NASDAQ:APWR, acquired by GE), 6N Silicon Inc. (merged with Calisolar Inc.), NCompass Labs (acquired by Microsoft, NASDAQ:MSFT), Serveron Corporation (merged with BPL Global Inc.), Greenlight Power Technologies (acquired by Hydrogenics Corp, NASDAQ:HYGS), TIR Systems, (acquired by Royal Philips Electronics, NYSE:PHG) and Angstrom Power (acquired by BIC Group).

David earned a Bachelor of Applied Science from Queen's University and a MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management.