Why SMG Rocks

Our team is embedded in photovoltaics (PV) and clean tech experience, with specific expertise in brand marketing and communications. With more than a decade of industry experience, we have seen it all and retain a deep understanding of what drives customer adoption and growth. We will apply our knowledge and partnerships to energize your business!

EOh Professional Headshot_rev Liz Oh, President and Co-founder – Liz is a marketing expert with over 12 years of broad marketing experience across business and consumer-facing industries. She has managed P&L’s of over $50M and led cross-functional teams for Fortune 500 companies including Wells Fargo and DHL Worldwide. She has managed large-scale events and strategic marketing programs for Genentech, Bear Naked Granola, and Nike. Her past roles and responsibilities include product development, product marketing and management, mobile marketing tour manager, social media account manager and solar evangelist. She received a BS in Finance from MIT and an MBA in Marketing from The Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. She is an avid runner and has completed six marathons including the Boston Marathon. When not working or running, Liz travels the world and plays with her dog Jakey.
Barry Cinnamon_Headshot Barry Cinnamon, Advisor – Barry is a long-time advocate of solar power and is a widely recognized solar power expert. He started his illustrious career in solar energy in the late 1970’s as a researcher into new flat plate and concentrating collector designs. In 2001 Barry founded Akeena Solar one of the largest national residential solar installers, then partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and merged the company with CBD Energy in 2012. His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems led to over 30 issued or applied-for patents, including products that transformed the solar industry. He co-founded Solar Freedom Now to work on ways to eliminate the paperwork and red tape that doubles the price of solar installation in the U.S. Barry earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and an MBA in Marketing from Wharton. He is currently Vice Chairman of SEIA and former President of CALSEIA.
Christian Bennett, Advisor – Chris has over 13 years of experience in the solar power industry and 15 years in promotional management. He has consulted for private corporations, construction agencies, and municipalities interested in solar. As an independent consultant, Chris worked with many solar integrators and has developed strong relationships with suppliers and policy makers alike. He has worked for top U.S. brands such as SolarCity, groSolar, Real Goods Solar, Perpetual Energy Systems, and HID Labs. He has implemented successful PR, promotional, and field marketing campaigns which have resulted in increased brand awareness and market saturation in each targeted area.  He is an early adopter of solar power and has been deeply engaged in the solar marketplace since 1999. As such, he brings invaluable knowledge and talent to clients. When he’s not trying to change the world, Chris spends time biking, dining out and brainstorming his next big idea.
Cortneay Rothen, Creative Expert – Cortneay is a graphic design specialist with 10 years of design experience. Her portfolio consists of sophisticated collateral, reports and logo designs for well-known brands across industries. Some of her clients include Equal Rights Advocates, Swisseau, BMC Direct and SpaLook.com, among others. Previously, Cortneay was also a full-time print Graphic Designer at salesforce.com for 4 years. During her tenure at salesforce.com, she was responsible for producing all corporate collateral including sales tools and datasheets, event and tradeshow material and annual reports. Cortneay obtained BA in Liberal Arts from U.C. Berkeley in 1993 and a Masters in Graphic Design from U.C. Berkeley in 2003. In her spare time, she likes to salsa dance, take continuing education courses and spend time with good friends.
Carter Lavin, Business Development Manager – Since 2008 Carter Lavin has helped a variety of solar companies connect with their audiences. His experience includes launching inside sales campaigns, organizing and managing conferences and trade show exhibits, conducting market research, creating product and corporate presentations, and managing social media campaigns. Carter has worked in nearly every sector of the solar industry including thin-film and crystalline module manufacturers, trade groups, installers, micro and string inverter manufacturers, hybrid power systems providers, energy monitoring software developers, and rackers. He earned a BS from Georgetown University where he studied international energy and environmental security. He also took courses on ecological sustainability at the University of Salamanca in Spain. Carter is a passionate solar advocate, bicyclist, salsa dancer, and occasional blogger.
Melissa Wang, Communications Associate – As the Communications Associate for Solar Marketing Group, Melissa specializes in social media communications, client account services, and market research. Her client account experience includes press release development and distribution, event coordination, database creation and management, and social media management. Melissa’s abilities as an accomplished writer and meticulous organizer have assisted software developers, small domestic manufacturers, and developing non-profits to reach out to wider audiences. Melissa earned a BA in psychology from the University of Michigan, where her courses included the psychology of environmental sustainability. When she’s not cheering on the Michigan Wolverines, Melissa can be found playing the violin, testing new recipes, or taking photos around the Bay Area.
Jakey Oh, VPO – Though he could get by on his looks alone, Jakey has many qualities that led to his prestigious post as Vice Pooch of Operations. As our president’s right-hand man, he has excellent people skills and is often the first to greet a guest in the office. Jakey is generally an easy-going guy, but he isn’t afraid to take on a competitive attitude. He is fiercely loyal to the SMG team (and the San Francisco Giants) and consistently spends long hours at the office. Jakey spends his free time running, socializing, and trying new foods.