BUFFALO, New York – Viridi Parente, Inc., a developer of innovative battery technology that can be safely installed and operated in nearly any environment or location, announced that Steve Finch is joining the company as president of manufacturing and community engagement. Finch, a Buffalo native and well-known business and civic leader throughout Western New York, will leverage more than 40 years of automotive operations and management experience with General Motors (GM) to guide the manufacturing of green technology that generates employment and training opportunities while fostering strong community relationships.
“Steve has the extraordinary ability to focus on complex problems and lead organizations through constantly changing environments while continuing to make sure his team and the community have opportunities to grow and develop. His approach will benefit Viridi Parente as we continue innovating green tech solutions that benefit all our stakeholders,” said Jon M. Williams, founder and CEO of Viridi Parente.
Finch established his expertise in all facets of automotive manufacturing over four decades with GM, working his way up from the assembly plant floor to management positions. He most recently served as plant manager of GM’s Powertrain plant in his hometown of Tonawanda, N.Y., where he served from 2007 until his retirement in 2017. During this timeframe, he oversaw a team of more than 1,600 employees through economic downturns, new engine design initiatives and a multi-billion-dollar plant renovation. Before returning to Tonawanda, Finch managed GM’s engine plant in Flint, Mich.
Following his retirement from GM, Finch was appointed senior vice president of automotive services for AAA Western and Central New York, a not-for-profit organization that provides its members with travel, insurance, driver training, and automotive services. He served on the Auto Club’s board of directors from 2011-2018.
Throughout Western New York, Finch is a highly respected community leader, advocate, and role model. He currently serves as chair of the board of directors for the Buffalo Urban League, a nonprofit that empowers African Americans, other minorities, and disadvantaged individuals. He is also a former board chair for United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. In 2003, Finch earned the Award of Excellence from Buffalo Black Achievers and was declared Buffalo’s 34th most influential person in 2017.
Finch earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Kettering University (formerly the General Motors Institute) in Flint, Mich. While pursuing his education, Finch was a member of the Engineering Society of Detroit and a board member of the Michigan Technical Education Center at Mott Community College.
Viridi Parente deploys safe lithium-ion battery technology into applications that have been historically dominated by fossil fuel energy sources. The company’s architecture for its Green Machine mobile energy solution for the industrial market and its Volta Energy Products energy storage system for industrial, medical, commercial, municipal, and residential users is the only design in the market that can be safely installed and operated in nearly any environment or location. The company’s 42-acre campus, a former GM manufacturing facility, is bringing green jobs and workforce training opportunities to one of the nation’s most impoverished zip codes while also serving as a model of how adaptive reuse projects can spur the economy and revitalize communities.