SOLON, Ohio, Oct. 5, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Energy Focus, Inc. (NASDAQ:EFOI), a leader in LED lighting technologies, today announced that Ronald B. Richard, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cleveland Foundation, has joined its advisory board.

Mr. Richard joined the Cleveland Foundation, the world's oldest community foundation, in 2003. Since then, the Cleveland Foundation has grown its assets from $1.5 billion to approximately $2.2 billion and its annual grants from $73 million to over $100 million. Prior to joining the Foundation, Mr. Richard was Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of In-Q Tel, the Central Intelligence Agency's venture capital fund where he worked to ensure the prompt and effective delivery of new technologies to the U.S. intelligence community. Before joining In-Q Tel, Mr. Richard spent 13 years at Panasonic in top management positions in its North American operations, including research and development, sales and marketing, and mergers and acquisitions.

From January 2009 to November 2010, Mr. Richard served then Ohio Governor Ted Strickland's administration as the appointed, volunteer infrastructure czar, overseeing the expenditure of all federal stimulus funds in the State. He currently serves on the Jobs Ohio oversight board, and is the lead director for Emergent Biosolutions (NYSE:EBS).

"Ronn is a highly respected, inspiring and accomplished community leader and we are extremely delighted and honored to have him join our Advisory Board as we expand into federal, state and local governments, as well as key international markets," said James Tu, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Energy Focus, Inc. "Ronn's exemplary leadership and collaborative efforts with government, for profit, and non-profit entities at all levels have enabled the Cleveland Foundation to make a profound impact in education, social services, and community and economic development in Cleveland and in Ohio over the past 12 years. Equally important, we are thrilled that Ronn shares our passion for applying the power of technology to improve the wellbeing of humanity, as demonstrated by his lifelong enthusiasm and success in hi-tech industries, from helping to spearhead the launch of Panasonic's DVD and flat panel display products throughout the 1990s, to playing a key role in the growth of the CIA's venture capital fund, to his ongoing, active lead director role at an important biodefense company."

"According to the Department of Energy, lighting is responsible for approximately 15% of energy consumption for U.S. local governments composed of 3,007 counties, whose buildings—be they municipal offices, schools, public hospitals, parking garages, fire or police departments—are lit mostly by fluorescent lights today. We believe that our proven quality and "Made in America" tubular LED products, which are able to reduce over 50% of the energy used in fluorescents today, are uniquely suited to help state and local governments meet their need to reduce building energy intensity by 2.5% per year through the end of 2025, per the President's Execute Order, "Planning for Federal Sustainability for The Next Decade", unveiled in March this year," continued Mr. Tu.

"I am more than delighted to join the Energy Focus team," said Mr. Richard. "I deeply respect the management, products and mission of this important sustainability-focused company. I believe it has great potential for growth and will make a superb contribution to the local economy and the national effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions."

"With a mission-driven organizational culture, steadfast operational and product focus, and markedly strengthened financial underpinnings, Energy Focus is now able to provide LED lighting solutions that encompass products, services and financing options to alleviate concerns of budget and capital constraints from governments entities, as well as small-to-medium size businesses to expedite their decision making. We very much look forward to leveraging Ronn's strategic, marketing and sales expertise to lead the charge in saving energy costs and reducing the carbon footprint across and beyond Ohio and the United States," concluded Mr. Tu.

About Ronald B. Richard:

Ronn Richard has been the president and CEO of The Cleveland Foundation, the country's first community foundation, since 2003. Previously, Mr. Richard was managing director and chief operating officer of In-Q-Tel, the CIA's venture capital fund. In this role, he worked to ensure the prompt and effective delivery of new technologies to the U.S. intelligence community. Before joining In-Q-Tel, Mr. Richard spent 13 years at Panasonic in key management positions, including president of the company's North American research and development operations; president of Panasonic Home & Commercial Products Company, a major sales and marketing division of Panasonic USA; president of Panasonic Strategic Ventures Company, in charge of mergers and acquisitions and strategic alliances; vice president for planning, technology, and public affairs, which included heading up Panasonic's corporate philanthropy; and vice president for Internet business development. 

From 1983 to 1988, Mr. Richard was a career U.S. Foreign Service officer, serving at the American consulate general in Osaka/Kobe, Japan. He was also a Pearson Program fellow in San Francisco, where he researched and reported on U.S.-East Asian and U.S.-Latin American trade, investment flows and technology transfers. Mr. Richard is a former member of the Council on Foundation. From January 2009 to November 2010, he served then-Ohio Governor Ted Strickland's administration as the appointed, volunteer infrastructure czar, overseeing the expenditure of federal stimulus fund in the State. He currently serves on the Jobs Ohio oversight board.

Currently, Mr. Richard serves on the board of director Global Cleveland, NewBridge Cleveland Center for Arts & Technology, and Hispanics in Philanthropy. He is board chair of the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine, Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation and Evergreen Cooperative Corporation, and lead director of the board of directors of Emergent Biosolutions, a NYSE-listed biopharmaceutical company (NYSE:EBS).

Mr. Richard holds a master's degree in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, a bachelor's degree in history from Washington University in St. Louis, and honorary doctorates from Notre Dame College and Baldwin Wallace University. He is a recipient of the African-American President's Council Champion Award for his work in inclusive economic development. In 2007, he received Wheaton College's Otis Award for Social Justice (previous recipients include Sen. Edward Kennedy, Gloria Steinem and Marian Wright Edelman). Mr. Richard was inducted into Hiram College's Garfield Society, the college's highest honor, and received Entrepreneurs for Sustainability's 2007 Champion of Sustainability award. In 2014, Mr. Richard received Case Western Reserve University's President's Award for Visionary Achievement.

Forward-Looking Statements:

Forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Generally, these statements can be identified by the use of words such as "believes," "estimates," "anticipates," "expects," "seeks," "projects," "intends," "plans," "may," "will," "should," "could," "would" and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. These forward-looking statements include all matters that are not historical facts. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from Energy Focus' forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to our history of operating losses; general economic conditions in the United States and in other markets in which we operate; our reliance on a limited number of customers, in particular our sales of products for the U.S. Navy, for a significant portion of our revenue; our ability to implement and manage our growth plans, which include plans to offer installation services and financing options, and our ability control expenses to increase sales and improve margins; our dependence on government customers and on the levels of funding available to such customers and our ability to satisfactorily fulfill our contractual obligations to such customers; market acceptance of LED lighting technology; our ability to respond to new lighting technologies and market trends with safe and reliable products; our ability to compete effectively against companies with greater resources; our ability to protect our intellectual property rights and the impact of any type of legal claim or dispute; our ability to obtain critical components and finished products from third-party suppliers on acceptable terms; risks inherent in international markets, such as economic and political uncertainty, changing regulatory and tax requirements and currency fluctuations; and our ability to maintain effective internal controls and otherwise comply with our obligations as a public company. In light of the foregoing, we caution you not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. For more information about potential factors that could affect the financial results of Energy Focus, please refer to the Company's SEC reports, including its Annual Reports on Form 10-K and its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Energy Focus disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

About Energy Focus, Inc.:

Energy Focus, Inc. is a leading provider of energy efficient LED lighting products and a developer of energy efficient lighting technology. Our LED lighting products provide energy savings, aesthetics, safety and maintenance cost benefits over conventional lighting. Our long-standing relationship with the U.S. Government continues to enable us to provide energy efficient LED lighting products to the U.S. Navy and the Military Sealift Command fleets. Customers include national, state and local U.S. government agencies as well as Fortune 500 companies and many other commercial and industrial clients. Company headquarters are located in Solon, OH. For more information, see our web site at
CONTACT: Investor Contacts:                  Energy Focus, Inc.         Investor Relations         (440) 715-1300                  or                  Darrow Associates, Inc.         Peter Seltzberg, Managing Director         (516) 510-8768

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