Back in 2004, on the very day that Ormat Technologies, Inc., began trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Eyal Hen began working as an assistant controller for the geothermal energy company in Israel.
The transition to being NYSE traded company opened a transformative chapter not only for Ormat but also for Hen, who—after having been with the firm for only a few short weeks—agreed to relocate to company’s new Reno, Nevada, headquarters.
“It was a very small office at that time, with only seven people,” recalls Hen, who would for the next 11 years help to build out a U.S. finance team while accruing growing worldwide responsibilities for Ormat’s electricity-segment.
Along the way, Hen says, a number of unforeseen developments helped to advance Ormat’s steady U.S. expansion, including the U.S. government’s response to the 2008 financial crisis.
“Ormat benefited from the response after it received $600 million in cash grants to build renewable energy power plants,” explains Hen, while citing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which stipulated that energy companies be offered government grants instead of tax credits.
“This was an enlightening moment for me, as it demonstrated how much impact a government can have when a company is prepared,” remarks Hen, who says that Ormat went on to build renewable energy plants in rural parts of Nevada and southern California.
After serving several years as a vice president of finance, Hen would leave Ormat and step into the CFO office for the first time at a life sciences company before being named finance chief for Rekor Systems in 2019. –Jack Sweeney
Guest: Eyal Hen
Company: Rekor Systems
Headquarters: Columbia, MD