Our team has extensive operational and investment experience in the next generation mobility, transportation and sustainable industrial technology sectors. We believe the growth in these global, interconnected markets will be driven by fleets and individual consumers demanding increased connectivity, along with more sustainable, efficient and smarter transportation solutions.
We aim to partner with an exceptional, highly entrepreneurial, technology-oriented company in our target markets that has strong growth prospects, a defensible competitive position and appeal as a public company. By assisting our partner company to scale, grow and achieve their profit metrics, we can create value for all stakeholders.
Our management team has deep experience and networks across both incumbents and emerging technology companies in our target markets. We also have a collective set of experiences in growing businesses, strengthening operations, expanding globally, raising capital and creating long-term value that could help our partner in a business combination to realize their full potential as a public company.
Founder Barry Engle serves as our Chief Executive Officer and a Director of the company. Mr. Engle has experience in operational, financial and managerial roles within the international automotive sector, as well as growth-oriented companies across various industries. He has spent the past five years serving in senior executive roles at General Motors Company (“GM”). From April 2019 through August 2020, Mr. Engle served as President of GM North America, which is GM’s largest segment with $100+ billion in 2019 revenue. Under his leadership, GM frequently beat Wall Street research analysts’ consensus operating income expectations, including during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. During his tenure, GM also achieved significant retail market share gains in the important full-size pickup segment. In addition to his responsibilities for GM North America, Mr. Engle was Global Head of Chevrolet and served on the board of GM’s China joint venture. Before this, Mr. Engle served as the President of GM International, where he significantly restructured its Asian operations, including driving a rapid turnaround in its Korean business by working with unions, the government and suppliers. Mr. Engle joined GM in September 2015 as President of GM South America, leading the business unit through the region’s economic recession and achieving market leadership in Brazil, the region’s largest market, for 50+ consecutive months while reorganizing the business to improve its profitability. Prior to joining GM, Mr. Engle spent time leading high growth, private equity and venture capital backed companies, serving as Chief Executive Officer of Agility Fuel Solutions and of European electric vehicle manufacturer Think EV. Before joining Think EV, Mr. Engle spent two years as President and CEO of New Holland Agricultural Equipment in Turin, Italy. Mr. Engle also spent a number of years with Ford Motor Company where he served as President & CEO of Ford Canada, President of Ford Brazil, and led U.S. Marketing for the Ford brand. During his early career with Ford, Mr. Engle also spent time living and working in Mexico and Japan, where he was responsible for Mazda’s global brand strategy. Finally, Mr. Engle has previously led an entrepreneurial endeavor of his own. During the period 1997-2000, he sourced and executed an acquisition, purchasing and operating a retail automotive dealership in the Salt Lake City metro area, Barry Engle Chrysler-Plymouth-Jeep. Mr. Engle holds a BA in Economics, with a minor in Spanish, from Brigham Young University as well as an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Engle has also served on the National Advisory Council for the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University since 2006.
Founder Sam Gabbita serves as our Chief Financial Officer and a Director of the company. Mr. Gabbita has held a variety of positions across financial and managerial functions within the financial services industry. Until September 2020, Mr. Gabbita led OGCI Climate Investments’ (“CI”) San Francisco office. CI is a $1 billion dollar fund that invests in solutions to decarbonize pollutant sectors such as energy, industrials and commercial transportation. Prior to that, Mr. Gabbita served as Managing Director and Operating Partner at Element Partners, a sustainability-focused private investment fund that managed $850 million of capital and over 25 portfolio companies. At Element, he made venture and growth investments in sustainable technology companies in the clean transportation arena, including Agility Fuel Solutions where he and Mr. Engle worked together on various strategic and value enhancing initiatives, and where he served as Chairman after the sale to Hexagon Composites. In addition, he has served on boards of several high growth companies including XL Fleet, Qnergy, Kairos Aerospace, Soleras Advanced Coatings, Five Cubits and others. Mr. Gabbita spent the early part of his career working at various financial services firms: at Lazard Freres as an associate focusing on advising transportation and energy companies; at Nautic Partners, a private equity firm, as an associate focusing on growth, buyout and venture investments; and at Salomon Brothers, as a financial analyst covering firms in the industrial sector. Mr. Gabbita graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles, and earned an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization.
Kathleen Ligocki, is a Director of the company, and a serial CEO, having led four innovative early to growth stage venture capital backed companies (Agility Fuel Solutions, Harvest Power, Next Autoworks, GS Motors) and one Fortune 1000 public company (Tower Automotive). Ms. Ligocki also served as an Operating Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital providers, working with the firm’s sustainable industrial technology ventures on strategic challenges, scaling operations and commercialization. She brings 40 years of experience including Ford, United Technologies and GM where she led operations in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Russia, India and China. Ms. Ligocki currently serves as an Independent Director on three public boards (Lear Corporation, PPG, and Carpenter Technology) one private board (Farmers Business Network) and the Indiana University Foundation. Ms. Ligocki earned a BA with highest distinction from Indiana University Kokomo and holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where she was a GM Fellow. She has also been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Indiana University Kokomo and Central Michigan University.
Joseph Walker, who is a Director of the company, was an investment banker and a Vice Chairman and Managing Director with JP Morgan Chase & Co. (“JP Morgan”) before his retirement in June 2018, and provides expertise in operations management, corporate finance, capital budgeting, transaction execution and restructuring. He currently serves on the board of Immplecate, Inc., a privately owned early stage medical research company, and has prior experience serving on the boards of Hertz and Liquid Environmental Solutions. In addition to these corporate boards, Mr. Walker currently serves on the Advisory Board of Columbia University Medical Center and of Applied Innovation at the University of California Irvine. Before re-joining JP Morgan as a Vice Chairman in 2012, Mr. Walker co-founded KW Advisors, a strategic advisory partnership which advised a variety of major and start-up corporations, including Dana Holdings on a major restructuring, after spending 5 years as a senior adviser to General Motors. While there, he counseled GM on a variety of corporate finance, capital budgeting, M&A and restructuring issues. From 1998 to 2000, Walker served as the global head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications Investment Banking at JP Morgan. Mr. Walker also co-led JP Morgan’s mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”) group after helping the firm build their global M&A practice. Additionally, Mr. Walker was a member of the firm’s Investment Banking Management Committee as well as the firm’s Global Strategic Advisory Council. Mr.Walker spent the early part of his time at JP Morgan working in various capacities, including assignments in South Korea and Japan. Mr. Walker earned both a BA in Political Science and an MBA in Finance and Public Administration from Columbia University in New York.
Steve Adams, who is a Director of the company, is the Chief Operating Officer at North American Holding Company (“NAHC”), a privately held investment company and family office based in Brentwood, TN. NAHC makes early stage and venture investments, and manages a family office and charitable foundation. In addition, Mr. Adams served as a Director of Agility Fuel Solutions from 2010 to 2019, serving on its Audit and Compensation Committees. Before serving as a director, Mr. Adams served as Chairman and President of FAB holdings, an Agility Fuel Solutions predecessor company, from 2005 to 2010 and from 2000 to 2005, respectively. Before his roles at Agility, Mr. Adams held strategic and financial roles in the healthcare industry after beginning his career with Deloitte in 1982. Mr. Adams is a graduate of Drake University, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Ryan Popple, who is a Director of the company, has served since April 2016 as a partner at the venture capital firm R7 Partners and a director at Proterra, a leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission electric vehicles, since May 2014. Mr. Popple has served on the board of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group since April 2016 and is currently a member of the executive board. Before his current roles, Mr. Popple served as CEO of Proterra for over five years beginning in October 2014, leading the company through technology development, exponential revenue growth and the establishment of its Tier-1 EV component business unit. Before that, he was a partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, from April 2010 to October 2014. Mr. Popple was also an early employee at Tesla Motors where he served as a senior director of finance and was focused on strategic financial planning and corporate and business development. Mr. Popple served as an officer in the U.S. Army and has a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from the College of William & Mary and earned his MBA from Harvard University.
David Cozzens, who is a Director of the company, has served on the boards of revVana since January 2019 and Kareo since July 2018, each of which are venture and growth-stage technology companies seeking to revolutionize established markets. He was also an advisor and served on the board of Digital Map Products from January 2019 until its acquisition by Lightbox in June 2019. Prior to his current roles and from May 2007 to August 2016, Mr. Cozzens served as the CEO of Telogis, a global enterprise Software-as-a-Service company. Under his leadership, Telogis grew from a start-up to become one of the largest players in the connected vehicle/smart mobility market leading to its acquisition by Verizon Communications. Before joining Telogis, Mr. Cozzens served as Vice President of Operations for Novell Americas. Prior to this role,Mr. Cozzens held a number of senior executive positions at Novell including area vice president and general manager for the Midwest and Federal businesses as well as vice president of North America Consulting. Before joining Novell, Mr. Cozzens was the Vice President of Consulting at Cambridge Technology Partners before its acquisition by Novell. Mr. Cozzens earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and a dual MBA degree in International Business from the Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (Vienna University of Economics and Business)/University of South Carolina.
David Gluckman is a senior vice president, portfolio manager, and investment analyst for PIMCO’s Global Credit Opportunity Strategy where he focuses on credit relative value opportunities and special situations. Previously, he was a credit analyst responsible for the automotive and metals & mining industries. Prior to joining PIMCO in 2014, he worked for Ares Management, where he focused on senior loan and mezzanine investments. Previously, he was an analyst at Houlihan Lokey in the financial restructuring group. He has 11 years of investment experience and holds an MBA in finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Palmer Scholar. He received a BA in Business Economics, summa cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles.
In the News
|Bloomberg.com — 12/19/2020
Why a Former GM Executive Quit to Start a Blank-Check Company
|PRNewswire.com — 11/18/2020
Qell Acquisition Corp. Securities To Commence Separate Trading
|FreightWaves.com — 10/20/2020
Birth of a SPAC: Ex-GM executive hunting next-gen mobility target
|Automotive News (Subscribers Only) — 10/19/2020
Former GM Exec Barry Engle Discusses His Latest Project, Qell
|TheStreet.com — 10/12/2020
Why This Former GM Executive Launched a SPAC Aimed at Transportation and Sustainability Sectors
|Cheddar.com — 10/06/2020
Blank Check Company Qell Acquisition Explains Benefits of Companies Choosing SPAC Route - 10/06/2020
|PRNewswire.com — 09/30/2020
Qell Acquisition Corp. Announces Pricing of Upsized $330 Million Initial Public Offering - 09/30/2020
|PRNewswire.com — 09/28/2020
Qell Acquisition Corp. Announces Launch of $300 Million Initial Public Offering - 09/28/2020
We welcome inquiries regarding potential opportunities that meet our investment criteria. Please use the contact form below to reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you.
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