Lightning is the first company to bring a true electric superbike to the consumer market and has been the first in many other areas. We have focused on developing leading edge technology for the past 7 years. We are a leader in high performance electric vehicle development.

For the first time in history, a major motorsports competition was won by a vehicle powered solely by solar energy. Lightning competed in and won the EPower/TTXGP race during the MotoGP weekend at Laguna Seca in July 2012, on solar power alone. Then in Nov, Solar-Powered Lightning Motorcycle set New Speed Record at El Mirage.

Lightning set a new world land speed of 215.907mph (218 mph top speed) at Bonneville UT. Lightning had impressive 40 mph improvement from the world record just a year ago (which was also set by Lightning). Any motorcyclist understands this is not an easy task to push such improvement. Lightning was featured on Time Square, CNN morning news and other medias.

In October 2009, News Headline: “The Salt Flats Have Never Been This Quiet!”. Here’s the official release: “This week, at the historic SCTA World Finals at the Bonneville Salt Flats, a new player in the rapidly developing electric motorcycle industry emerged. Lightning Motors, running one of its pre-production prototypes was able to achieve a top speed of 166.388 mph. This exercise places the Lightning Motorcycle as the fastest production electric motorcycle in the world.“

To learn more about this pioneering and innovative transportation company, go to:

On October 6, 2017, Dr. Michael E. Mann will be the keynote speaker for the International Green Industry Hall of Fame, Conference and Induction Ceremony in Clovis, California. In addition to keynote speaking, Dr. Mann will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for those in the green industry demonstrating excellence, innovation, pioneering and best practice.

Dr. Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI). He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC).

Dr. Mann received his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Applied Math from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.S. degree in Physics from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University. His research involves the use of theoretical models and observational data to better understand Earth’s climate system.

Dr. Mann was a Lead Author on the Observed Climate Variability and Change chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report in 2001 and was organizing committee chair for the National Academy of Sciences Frontiers of Science in 2003. He has received a number of honors and awards including NOAA’s outstanding publication award in 2002 and selection by Scientific American as one of the fifty leading visionaries in science and technology in 2002. He contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union in 2012 and was awarded the National Conservation Achievement Award for science by the National Wildlife Federation in 2013. He made Bloomberg News’ list of fifty most influential people in 2013. In 2014, he was named Highly Cited Researcher by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and received the Friend of the Planet Award from the National Center for Science Education. He received the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication from Climate One in 2017. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also a co-founder of the award-winning science website

Dr. Mann is author of more than 200 peer-reviewed and edited publications, and has published three books including Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate ChangeThe Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, and most recently, The Madhouse Effect with Washington Post editorial cartoonist Tom Toles.

Jimmy/James Sheldon

Composer, pianist, bandleader, entertainment industry executive.

Born James Sheldon Geil, Jr. in Bandon, Oregon, September 20, 1926 to James and Beulah (Crow) Geil.  Beulah began teaching her son piano at age three.

The family moved to Livermore, California in 1935 where Jimmy’s mother worked as a cook in the kitchen of a tuberculosis medical treatment facility and young Jimmy first took formal piano lessons from retired Australian concert pianist Myrtle Hampson..  It was soon apparent that he had a tremendous gift for music, and by age twelve he was working part-time at home as a transposer, transcriber and copyist.  In 1940 the family moved to Richmond, California where Jimmy continued his lessons and began to perform.  Because he was exceptionally tall (6 foot 2 inches) at only fourteen years of age, he looked old enough to pass as adult and began playing piano with local bands in small clubs in the East Bay area.  He attended Richmond High School where he played piano and French horn in the school band and orchestra.  At 16 he graduated from high school and enrolled at University of California at Berkeley where he majored in English literature and mathematics.

As the US entered WWII, more young men, including musicians, went off to military duty.  This left a lot of employment opportunities for a still young, eager, talented pianist.  During this time Jimmy got work with bigger and better Bay Area band leaders including Del Courtney.  Through Del’s guidance he met Alvino Rey, Rod McKuen, Merv Griffin, the King Sisters and, in 1944, was eventually recommended to audition for Jan Savitt’s Orchestra, which was about to begin a tour featuring Frank Sinatra.  He secured the job that was to be the first big break in his career.  That 1945 tour which began at the Hollywood Palladium included performances at the Paramount Theatre, Madison Square Garden and Carnegie Hall in New York.  In March of that year he married Ann Elizabeth Robison of Los Angeles, California whom he’d met while performing at the Brockway Hotel, Lake Tahoe, California.  He was 18 and she was 17.

From February of 1946 through the end of 1948 he continued to tour and perform with various big bands and vocal groups including Will Osbourne, Freddy Martin, the Ink Spots, Jane Russell, Larry Stevens, Rhonda Fleming, the Merry Macs, and Peggy Lee.  In between touring gigs he divided his time working the clubs in Los Angeles and the Bay Area.   By 1949 he was the father of three small road weary children (James III, Terese, and Stephen) and returned to the Bay Area working day gigs on radio in both Oakland and San Francisco while performing at night at such famous clubs as Geary Cellar, Showboat, Cable Car Village, El Morocco, the Sunset Room at near-by Carmel’s Highlands Inn, and with Don Churchill and his Texas Mavericks on KRON-TV San Francisco.

It was during the ensuing years, 1949 through 1953, Jimmy composed the final movements, and arranged for full orchestra, his musical homage to San Francisco, a piano concerto, the Nob Hill Nocturne.  (The original theme, Blue Mist, had been composed in 1945.)  On November 17, 1953, shortly after his fourth child, Samuel, was born, the Nob Hill Nocturne was introduced.  As author and San Francisco columnist Dean Jennings later wrote:

“ After many years as a favorite piano showpiece for the composer, the first piano      and orchestra performance of James Sheldon’s Nob Hill Nocturne took place in San Francisco’s renowned sister-city across-the-bay with the highly acclaimed Oakland Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Dr. Orley See.  Because this musical portrait focuses on the nocturnal moods of San Francisco as seen from the Nob Hill vantage point, it was unusual that this major musical effort would be  launched from the nemesis-city of vaudevillians around the globe.  Performers built the legend ‘…if you can be a success in Oakland, you can make it anywhere!’  Thanks to the combined efforts and concern of a determined quartet of San Francisco Bay Area community leaders Sam Watts, Del Courtney, Jack DiMello and Bob Ramsey, young café-society radio-TV personality Jimmy Sheldon was encouraged to expand into a ‘white tie and tails’ composer and soloist to be reckoned with … more than somewhat like young song plugger George Gershwin graduating from Tin Pan Alley to Aeolian Hall in New York in 1924 with the prodding of Paul Whiteman and Ferde Groffe.

“The November 1953 concert was the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Oakland Symphony Orchestra and the evening was abounding in special tributes, including warm salutations from Oakland resident and ex-clarinetist Governor Earl Warren.

“ An apprehensive silence settled over the auditorium as Sheldon found his way to the Steinway following Listz’s ‘Les Preludes.”

‘  The standing room only audience was alert, but hopeful.   As this premier performance of the Nob Hill Nocturne proceeded, the attentiveness became absolute.  A mystical magic engulfed the cavernous Oakland Auditorium and it became apparent to all that history was in the making.

“As the final sweep of Dr. See’s baton brought the Nocturne to it’s electrifying conclusion, there followed a hush stunned silence.  Then, flying splinters of applause ricocheted from side to side … from top to bottom … gradually swelling to a furor.  Dr. See hastened to the piano to steady the limp composer, who openly wept at the impact of the tidal wave reaction.  The orchestra stood, joining in as the entire assemblage leaped up wildly ecstatic.  The seemingly endless ovation continued until sheer exhaustion re-established a semblance of order, enabling the special Anniversary to continue.

“No one in attendance will ever forget that night.  James Sheldon and his Nob Hill Nocturne had stepped forward from the diaphanous shadows of composers” dreams into a permanent place in the public light.

“I know, I was there.”

Shortly after the premiere of the Nob Hill Nocturne, Jimmy was tapped to be pianist for the Horace Heidt Orchestra.  Heidt had just secured a 2 year TV contract to take his show on the road for Swift and company as it celebrated it’s one hundredth year in business.  The Swift Centennial Show Wagon was a once-a-week variety and new talent program that aired on NBC.  The second year it became the Horace Heidt Show.   At the conclusion of the 1955 TV season, Jimmy moved his family to Los Angeles where the Heidt orchestra was now playing in the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

By 1956 the Big Band Era was over and Horace Heidt had retired and gone into real estate and hotel development in Las Vegas, NV, and Palm Springs and Hollywood, CA. But it was also a new opportunity for Sheldon. Jimmy began a long term relationship with Fred Hayman and the Hilton Hotel brand, where Jimmy and his quintet opened the Star-on–the-Roof nightclub and where he later was named Musical Director of the Beverly Hilton Hotel’s Showcase of New Stars.   Most of the young entertainers he was coaching were the children of some of Hollywood’s most venerable stars including Ronald Reagan, Charlton Heston, Lloyd Bridges, Harold Lloyd, Paul Henried, and William Bendix.

By 1965 Jimmy was a corporate VP for Unifilm Corp/Gemco where he supervised recording, publishing, and talent development while composing a film score for a Jayne Mansfield project, Single Room Furnished.

In 1966 James Sheldon was named Director of the USO-Hollywood Overseas Committee.  He was responsible for USO shows performing in the Pacific Theatre, specifically Viet Nam.  In 1967 he became Director of USO Shows worldwide where he remained for a decade, first in Hollywood, then in New York.

In 1977, the Viet Nam era closed, and Sheldon left the USO, returning to Southern California.

So began another chapter for Jimmy.   He was hired to travel and promote a new international chain of jet-set supper clubs owned by restaurateur Tony Roma and Dallas Cowboy’s president Tex Schram.  The clubs included an ambience that featured the solo pianist, a la Bobby Short, who could play for or accompany big names like Barbara Streisand or Liza Minnelli.  Openings and ensuing gigs in big cities like New York, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, London and Paris lasted up to 6 months each.

In 1981 Jimmy moved to Cambria, CA and DJ’d a nostalgic morning radio show featuring the music of the 30s and 40s on KOTR, a central coast station.  It was his semi-retirement gig.  Four years later he retired in earnest to a small farm near Silverton, OR, close to his roots.  He became an avid record and sheet music collector and a gentleman farmer.  He passed away there on February 2, 2000.





The City of Fresno Water Conservation Program is co-hosting a morning of great speakers, ideas and examples of water conservation. Event activities include: Workshops led by Master Gardners; Fresno State’s Water-wise Demonstration Garden in bloom; Access to irrigation and controller experts who can help answer questions concerning landscapes or vegetable gardens and Fresno State Nursery Plant sale.

The event is Saturday, May 2, 2015 from 8:00am to 12:00 noon at the Fresno State Horticulture Greenhouses at 3150 E. Barstow Ave. Fresno, CA. Kids are welcome to attend.

For more information, call 559-621-5480 or go on-line at

MAY 17-20, 2014

Climate Ride California 2014 is an exciting 4-day cycling adventure that begins in San Francisco, heads north up the coast and through Wine Country to California’s Capitol in Sacramento. Climate Ride California is more than a bike trip – it’s an inspiring journey with like-minded people who are united by their passion for sustainability, renewable energy, and bicycles – the ultimate carbon-free form of transportation.

On this year’s new California ride, we will experience epic biking, amazing scenery, and dynamic speakers that all combine to make this charitable event exciting, informative, and fun. There are four days of riding and each one is a new adventure. We’ll pedal from the City by the Bay – San Francisco – across the Golden Gate Bridge and along California’s scenic Marin coast. Then, turning east at Point Reyes Station, we’ll pedal past quaint dairy farms and through historic Petaluma to our first camp of the trip.

The next two days are spent pedaling through the verdant vineyards of California’s classic Wine Country growing regions – Russian River Valley, Dry Creek, Alexander Valley and eventually into the famed Napa Valley, where we’ll spend a whole day on the Silverado Trail. That night we’ll camp in the rolling hills above Napa at an out-of-the-way campground with panoramic views. Then, it’s up and over the final hill and across the flat Central Valley to Sacramento where we’ll make our voices heard at a speaking event in front of the iconic Capitol building.

Each evening, industry expert speakers will provide information, opinion, and discussion on topics such as renewable energy, climate science, sustainability, and bicycle infrastructure. Our professional Climate Ride staff takes care of all the details, so you can focus on riding the 30-60 miles per day of carefully planned routes on scenic back roads. It’s challenging yet doable, and you have all day to make it to the next rest stop. Meals, snacks, bike support, luggage transport, and all of the logistics are included when you reach your fundraising minimum. On the road, the Climate Ride support team is always nearby to assist you, keep you happy and healthy, and make your ride worry-free and memorable.  I am pleased to share with you that this will be my fourth Climate Ride and I can’t wait to get peddling. To join our team (Team IGIHOF), just contact us at

On August 31, 2013 Geil Enterprises Inc entered a new phase under the leadership of Ryan Geil.  In 2004, my brother Steve and his family offered me the opportunity to lead their family owned business started in 1986.  My mission was to develop my two newphews Ryan and Jason to some day lead the company and grow the value of the enterprise.  During a management retreat in 2011,  I announced that I

photowould retire August 2013 to hand-off the business to the next generation and design my next adventure.

With hard work, a dedicated team and great clients we accomplished both objectives.  I am pleased to be leaving Geil Enterprises Inc in good hands and great people.

Read more at:

Please join me at the 2015 Employee Ownership Conference on April 21, 2015 in Denver, Colorado.

I will be facilitating a break-out session on Business Sustainability. Panel members include: Cecil Ursprung, Sandy Shoemaker, and Gena Cooper from Alpine Bank. Our session starts at 1:30pm.

I am pleased to share with you that next year’s (2014) International Green Industry Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Conference will be held on March 28, 2014 on the campus of San Jose State University sponsored by the Mineta Transportation Institute.  This year’s list of nominees includes Google, Toyota, Honda Motor Company, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Emory Lovins, Bio Group USA, Seventh Generation, Donald Simon, Marc Richmond, Build It Green, Synergy International, Moon Valley Organics, Arbor Teas, and the San Francisco Giants Baseball Club.

As you can see, we have a great list of nominees making for an exciting event.  Registration will be available in December 2013 at



Back in March 2004, I had little idea of what I was getting into joining a family owned business and especially owned by a family member (my brother and sister-in-law).  I was in the final months of my 18 year career with Grundfos Pumps located in Olathe, KS, just south of Kansas City when I received a call from my brother Steve.

Steve asked if I would come to Fresno, California and meet with his family (Steve, Eileen, Jason and Ryan) regarding their business, Geil Enterprises Inc.  During one of the meetings, I was asked if I would join the business and assume Steve’s role as President/CEO.  After careful consideration and lots of doubts, I decided to accept the opportunity. My charter was to grow the value of the business and prepare my two nephews to eventually run the business.  Both objectives were achieved. This is a short story about the what I learned from the experience so that others can benefit if ever in this situation.

Let me start by saying it was a great decision to join the company, but not without it’s challenges, which is expected.  Not having background and experience managing a family owned business, especially my own family members, made the challenges more interesting and unique.

Here are the takeaways:

1.  Have clearly defined expectations, which I mentioned above.

2.  Business is business and the fundamentals do not change.

3. Engaging the non-family members (employees) is critical to success.

4. The first thing to go are all entitlements.

5.  It’s OK to challenge the norms and create a new culture, if necessary.

6. Move beyond the previous leadership as quickly as possible to establish focus and trust.

7. Develop a network of other family owned companies.

8. Maintain a sense of humor at all times

The last point was easy if you know our family.  We do not have issues laughing at ourselves and enjoying life.

This is just a sample of some of the learning elements to leading a family business.  There were other areas to cover, but they are more germane to our company, but very important.  Some of those areas include compensation, board governance, succession and exit strategies.  If you would like to know more about how to run a successful family owned business, please contact me at


October 2-4 2013  San Francisco, CA

“A Gathering of Champions” is this year’s theme at the ESOP Association-California/Western States Annual Conference to be held October 2-4 in San Francisco, CA.

This conference includes educational sessions ranging from ESOP basics to advanced issues and also includes several sessions for internal fiduciaries.  Additionally, there will be a full track developed for the most important part of an ESOP company: Its employee ownership culture.

If you are interested in learning more about ESOPs or want to network with the best and the brightest ESOP talent, I encourage you to attend.  Online registration can be found at