Management and Board Members

Rob Watson
Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

With 25 years of green building and market transformation experience, Rob is an internationally renowned green building expert. Pulitzer Prize winning author Tom Friedman has characterized Rob as “one of the best environmental minds in America.”

As the founder of the LEED Green Building Rating System, Rob has extensive experience growing a team of multi-disciplinary experts to deliver complex, integrated products. As Chairman of LEED, he oversaw its growth and development from a five-person volunteer committee to a 300-person, multi-product development effort supported by 15 paid staff.

Rob founded EcoTech International (ETI) in 2007. He grew the company in China to 10 million RMB revenues in three years focusing on LEED certification services. In 2010, ETI was chosen to advise the Skolkovo Innovation Center on LEED Certification options and the Sochi Olympics on energy and water saving methodologies. In total ETI has provided LEED Certification analysis and support services to nearly 40 million square feet of commercial space.

To address the significant U.S., opportunities in existing building upgrades and real estate portfolio management, Rob merged ETI with E|CON Building Systems to form ECON Group in 2012.

Rob has a BA from Dartmouth, an MSc from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Columbia University.

Minot Frye
President, Board Member

With over 35 years in commercial real estate and finance, Minot has built a career on his ability to discern discrete market opportunities and to deliver their inherent returns.

After serving as the first Risk Manager for both Winthrop Financial Associates and Fidelity Investments, Minot led Bank of Boston’s Comingled Investment Fund (REIT) where over three years he increased annual returns by 30% and achieved 100% occupancy in office and industrial properties located in some of the most depressed markets in the country.

As a Principal with Boston Financial Group, Minot created the first of its kind real estate risk consulting subsidiary, achieving 53% annual growth.

Collaborating with Nobel Laureate Harry Markowitz (Investment Portfolio Theory–1990), Minot founded and led Zurich Financial Group’s global consulting unit. Here, with Markowitz, he co-designed the Strategic Diversification Model—management strategy software—which continues as a core operating tool for many EU based global corporations.

Subsequently, he launched Anthem Partners LLC and raised $20 million to undertake high-end condominium conversions of large commercial and residential properties in the suburbs north of Boston. Anthem generated 30% gross returns in a rapidly deteriorating local market.

Anthem became E|CON Building Systems, which developed revolutionary energy investment optimization software, and later merged with EcoTech International to form ECON Group.

John Pitcher
Chief Technology Officer

John has over 40 years of hands-on and business management experience in the fields of building automation and facility operations and management. John is well known as a subject expert in building diagnostics, as well as in mechanical systems, air and water balance, building controls and energy auditing. John has held senior technology and management positions at several fast-growing technology firms.

In 2007, he founded the first automated fault detection company, Scientific Conservation (currently SCIEnergy), raising nearly $80 million in three rounds. Subsequently, he became Senior Vice President for Serious Energy, Inc., helping pioneer new glazing technologies.

John holds awarded and pending patents on energy use prediction, self-calibrating sensors and calorimetric sensor technology. He has received many awards for his innovations including the prestigious General Electric Eco-Imagination award in 2011 and the Frost and Sullivan award in 2010. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Fast Company and The Wall Street Journal.

Diego Ibarra
Chief Information Officer

Over the last decade, Diego has focused his professional and academic experience on sustainability and energy efficiency in buildings. He is a PhD candidate at Harvard University, and focuses his research on building simulation workflows and the effective implementation of these tools in practice.

Diego is also Principal and Founder of EnergyARQ, a consulting firm based in Santiago, Chile and the U.S. The firm focuses on sustainable design, building performance simulations and LEED Certification. EnergyARQ is an approved LEED Project Certification Reviewer and Diego has been involved in the review and certification of more than 20 million square feet of projects. These include commercial towers, manufacturing facilities, academic institutions and residential high-rise in North and South America and Europe.

Diego is a Teaching Fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Design, is a Guest Lecturer at MIT, and has presented on advanced simulation techniques at numerous prestigious international conferences.

Additional Founding Members
of the Board

Wilhelm W. Merck
President of the Board of Trustees, Woods Hole Research Center

Mr. Merck is the founder and Managing Member of Essex Timber Company, LLC, a timberland management company. Prior to Essex’s creation in1999, he was an analyst and investment manager at Adams, Harkness & Hill in Boston. He has served on the board of the New England Forestry Foundation where he was co-chair of the Pingree Campaign, is past President of the Merck Family Fund, and is now a Trustee of the Merck Family Fund and Board Chairman of the Woods Hole Research Center.

Michael P. Totten
Founder & Principal,

Mike Totten is a leading thinker in next generation environmental business strategy. Mike spent over fifteen years leading the environmental business promotion efforts of Conservation International and World Resources Institute during which he managed multi-million dollar end-use efficiency projects. Prior to that, Mike developed pioneering energy education programs for the Department of Energy. He also was Senior Environmental Advisor to RI Congresswoman, Claudine Schneider.