The SolarGaines team has been built upon the foundation of integrity, competence and experience with a strong focus on customer service. Together with our partners, vendors and clients we strive to promote the use of solar power as agents of change in the way we power our lives.
Tom Gaines, CEO
Tom has a more than 30-year history leading construction projects in Maryland. His achievements stand, solidly, all over the state — in public, private and institutional buildings. He continues to grow and evolve, achieving the LEED AP designation. He’s a recognized thought leader in the solar and construction industries. Tom entered construction 35 years ago, working on and, later, leading complex commercial projects. In 1997 he became CEO of our affiliate, Hencken and Gaines. Before taking the reigns, Tom learned all facets of the business, including estimator and project manager. Tom is a Trustee of the prestigious Boys’ Latin School of Maryland and is a former board member of the Baltimore Building Congress and Exchange. Tom and his wife, Alden, reside in Roland Park with their three children, Carson, Ellie and Evan.
Henry “Hans” Wittich, IV, President
Hans is a seasoned professional and business leader with more than 20 years’ experience. He has held top positions in all facets of an organization, including business development, management, relationship management, team building, transaction execution and investment. Hans spent ten years in the commercial real estate mortgage industry before shifting gears and entering technology as the regional real estate director for a start-up fiber optic telecom company. As one of the first employees, he helped the company grow to a staff of more than 200. He wasn’t done growing companies. Later he accepted a position as part of a small but innovative management team. They led the first real estate investment trust (REIT) in the country focused solely on medical office buildings. Upon its sale to a larger REIT Hans joined one of his former clients, a Colorado based real estate development and acquisition firm, and established an east coast office. Hans holds a degree in economics from Washington College, and an M.B.A. in Finance from Loyola College.
John Hencken, LEED AP, NABCEP, Vice President
John’s experience at SolarGaines runs deep. He started as a project manager, ascended to supervisor and now serves as vice president. The secret of John’s success is a hands-on approach. He has designed, estimated and engineered large commercial solar systems and actually installed smaller residential photovoltaic systems himself. John attended James Madison University College of Business where he graduated with honors one year ahead of schedule. He recently earned the LEED AP designation, and a NABCEP Certification. John and his wife, Melissa, reside in Catonsville with their sons Elias and Dean.
Mark Manthy, Business Development Manager
Mark came to SolarGaines with six years’ solar experience already behind him. He helped grow Howard County based Astrum Solar from a small regional installer into one of the nation’s largest solar companies. A nationwide utility company ultimately acquired that company. He is excited to again be part of a company focused on installing excellent custom solar systems across Maryland, from Deep Creek Lake to Ocean City. Mark graduated with a degree in Marketing from Boston College and continued on to earn his MBA at the University of Maryland. Prior to entering the professional world Mark was a Peace Corps volunteer in Almaty, Kazakhstan where he taught English and basic business to Afghanis for two years. Today, when he isn’t covering rooftops with solar panels, you can find Mark on the yoga mat or leading his son’s cub scout troop on an adventure through the woods. Mark lives in Baltimore County with his family, in a house that has a 7.5 kW solar array on the roof.
Paul Miller, Sales
Paul joined Solargaines in May, 2015. After serving as project coordinator to learn the details of Solar construction and permitting he has moved into a sales role. He brings a wealth of knowledge to his position, having previously worked in high-level sales, management and technical positions. Paul is a graduate of Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland where he received his BS in Business Management in 1988. When he is not at work Paul enjoys spending time with his family, running and doing crossword puzzles.
Lee Diffenderfer, Project Manager
Lee has been a construction industry professional since 2003. Like many on the SolarGaines staff, he has picked up experience in a variety of positions including field labor, sales, estimating, and project coordination. He entered the solar energy industry in 2011 and has risen from an installer to his current position as project manager. Lee has been with SolarGaines since 2015. A Towson University graduate, Lee resides in Baltimore with his family. Lee enjoys travel and spending time with his friends and family.
Matt Clemmens, Project Manager
Matt has his degree in Business Management from Wesley College in Dover, Delaware. He has worked in the solar industry for five years as an installer. Whether it be a commercial or residential project, roof or ground mounted, he can do it all. He has completed his OSHA 10-hour training. Outside of work, Matt enjoys snowboarding and playing golf.
Dallin Stott, Crew Leader
Dallin came all the way from Utah to join our company in 2013 and has been a great asset to our team. Dallin has his OSHA 10-hour training. On weekends he stays busy performing service work through his Church. He also enjoys mountain biking, hiking, canoeing and in general being outside.
Mike Palmer, Crew Leader
With more than 15 years providing jolts to homes and commercial properties, Mike Palmer is a veteran and highly skilled electrical worker. He ensures SolarGaines clients have safe systems that work to maximum efficiency. Before moving into solar, Mike worked on industrial and commercial projects. When he’s not on the job, Mike is a rabid Ravens and Orioles fan. He also enjoys video games and cards. His two children, one an adult and the other just a baby, are his greatest passion.
William Fernekes, Crew Leader
Installer “Bill” Fernekes has more than five years’ experience in construction. The last three years of his career have been spent in installing state-of-the-art solar systems. Bill has more than 500 installations on his resume and has installed on roofs all over the state without a single leak. Bills has lived in Maryland all his life. When he’s not capturing sunshine he enjoys target shooting, metal-working and motorcycle riding.
Marcy Piet, Controller
Marcy Piet brings 25 years of accounting experience to her position as controller. Marcy takes great pride in handling our company’s day-to-day accounting. She spends most of her time with her husband, daughter and son. As long as the sun is shining, you’ll catch her sporting around with the top down in her convertible.
Brandy Perkins, General Office
Brandy started with Hencken & Gaines in 2007 and made the switch to Solargaines in October, 2013. She is now back at Hencken & Gaines as a Project Coordinator and still assists Solargaines where needed.
Sara Vogtman, Office Administrator
As the Office Administrator, Sara has a strong background in customer service and is involved in many aspects of SolarGaines. In addition to managing the day-to-day operations, Sara oversees quality control and customer relations and provides administrative support to the residential and commercial sales teams. Sara also assists in various factions of the project management division, assisting with scheduling and service/warranty claims as needed. Sara interacts with our customers throughout the entire installation process, from start to finish, gathering the necessary items for financing, utility interconnection, and financial incentives that are available for clean energy installations. Away from the office, Sara loves being with her friends and family. Sara has a 5 year old daughter who takes up most of her time outside of work. When the time is available, some of her favorite things to do are reading, going to the beach, road trips, and horseback riding. .