Akeena Solar appoints Gary Effren as new president, promotes Margaret Randazzo to CFO


Akeena Solar has made some changes in the executive suite, appointing current CFO Gary Effren as its new president, and naming Margaret Randazzo, the current controller, as CFO. Effren (pictured) joined Akeena in September 2007, while Randazzo came on board in late 2008.

“Business activities at Akeena have expanded well beyond the residential installation work we began in 2001,” said Barry Cinnamon, CEO of Akeena. “As we expand our distribution activities of Andalay panels, which includes developing our installer network throughout the U.S., selling to installers and distributors worldwide, and establishing a retail beachhead with Lowe’s, our operations are becoming more diverse and require an expanded management team. It is therefore a natural time for me to delegate more of the day-to-day operational responsibilities to proven Akeena executives with successful track records at much larger companies.

“Since joining Akeena as CFO in 2007, Gary has put in place a top-notch financial and accounting team, enhanced our financial processes and systems to support a larger company and steered Akeena to a substantially stronger financial position,” the CEO continued. “Over the past year he has assumed a greater operating role in the company, managing our purchasing, installation activities, and back-office operations.

“Margaret has been an important part of our financial team since the beginning of 2009, and has stepped up to manage all aspects of our accounting and SEC financial reporting, including tax, treasury, budgeting, internal financial controls, audit and risk management activities. She is eminently qualified and ready to assume all of the CFO responsibilities seamlessly.”

“To be perfectly clear, I plan on increasing my efforts in expanding the worldwide distribution of our plug and play Andalay AC solar panels and developing a number of strategic partnership opportunities that are a natural fit with Andalay. Just as importantly, I will also be able to spend more time on developing public policies and standards that complement the widespread availability of safe and easy-to-install solar panels sold through solar installers, retail stores and traditional electrical/HVAC distribution channels,” concluded Cinnamon.

Prior to joining the company, Effren held various executive financial positions, including VP of finance and CFO at Knight Ridder. Effren is a CPA with a BS in commerce from Rider College and an MBA from the University of Miami.

Randazzo, a CPA, graduated from the University of Oklahoma, where she earned a BBA in accounting. She began her career as a manager at Arthur Andersen, then in 1996 she joined the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as a financial planning manager, moving up the ranks until she became VP/controller and special assistant to the president at the paper’s parent company, Knight Ridder. After the McClatchy Co.’s acquisition of Knight Ridder in 2006, she was named president and publisher of The Modesto Bee and had oversight of the Merced Sun-Star. 

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