NEW YORK, July 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- SmartHeat Inc., (NASDAQ: HEAT; website: www . smartheatinc . com ), announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Michael Wilhelm as SmartHeat's Chief Financial Officer and Kenneth Scipta as an independent director of the company, who will also serve on the company's audit committee as its chairman.
Mr. Wilhelm is a graduate of Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management with a Masters of Management in Accounting and is an experienced senior financial manager for both public and private companies. Since 1984, Mr. Wilhelm worked in various financial positions for the Proquest Company, a $1 billion publicly traded company, and became its corporate treasurer in 1998. In 2001, Mr. Wilhelm joined the Bowe Bell + Howell Company, a $300 million privately held company which was formed through a leveraged buyout of Proquest. Following the spin-off, Mr. Wilhelm served in multiple capacities for Bell + Howell, including vice president of finance, treasurer and president of its leasing company subsidiary. Following the acquisition of Bell + Howell by Bowe Systec AG, a publicly traded German company, Mike served as chief financial officer for North America and served in this capacity through the eventual sale of the Bell + Howell assets to Versa Capital Management and the court supervised liquidation of Bell + Howell. The Board believes that Mr. Wilhelm's experience in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, accounting and auditing will be a valuable addition to SmartHeat's management team.
Mr. Scipta, a certified public accountant, has over 35 years of accounting experience and has served on several boards of directors. From 1993 to 1996, Mr. Scipta was the president and a board member of Mid-West Springs Manufacturing Company, a NASDAQ traded company, where he was responsible for day to day operations, planning, administration and financial reporting. Upon Mr. Scipta's resignation he assumed the duties of president of the special products division, which included catalog sales, die springs and the development of international sales. Previously, from 1979-1993, Mr. Scipta served in various positions such as president, vice president of finance and vice president of sales and marketing for Mid-West's primary subsidiary. The Board has determined that Mr. Scipta is an "audit committee financial expert" as defined under Item 407(d) of Regulation S-K, and qualifies as an independent director, as defined by the listing standards of NASDAQ currently in effect and all applicable rules and regulations of the SEC.