The SLS Grow Team

Alex H. Edwards III 
Founder & Chief Executive Officer  
"​SLS Grow systems are poised to change food production for the better at home & worldwide." 
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Currently Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Holdings Inc. SLS Grow, SLS Wind and Solar, and SLS Power. Mr. Edwards is also the founder and managing member of Bradshaw’s 4 Ring Protection, a company specializing on chemical free insect repellents and sunscreens. ​Mr. Edwards was previously a founding member of BioFuels Development International and served as its Chairman of the Board as well as Chairman of its wholly owned subsidiaries Channel BioRefinery and Terminals and Louisiana BioDiesel.  Mr. Edwards currently serves as Managing Partner of Trident Consulting Partners, a private consulting firm specializing in executive leadership and structured finance for micro-cap companies.  Mr. Edwards has served in multiple executive leadership roles and on numerous Boards of Directors in developmental companies from 2004 through 2010.  From May 2002 through December 2004, Edwards was a managing partner of 360 Partners as well as president and CEO of 360 Energy.  Before that, he was in private consulting practice utilizing his experiences with leadership in healthcare growth companies.  During this period, Edwards served in numerous corporate capacities including a directorship at American Enterprise Corporation.  From January 1997 to May 2002, Edwards was an executive with SRI/Surgical Express.  He served in roles that ranged from vice-president/general manager to spending his last year with the company as President. Mr. Edwards also served as an officer in the United States Navy with duty assignments ranging from shipboard divisional leadership to executive assistant for the Naval Surface Group Commander in Norfolk, Virginia.  Alex Edwards is a 1987 graduate of the United States Naval Academy.

Levi Dinkla 
Senior Advisor
"Imagine homes going Net Zero while growing produce independently ! It's an awesome idea..."  
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Levi Dinkla is a co-founder of SLS Grow where he is focused on business development and real estate. Mr. Dinkla has developed over $100m in property ​including retail strip centers across multiple states including acquisitions, rezoning, assemblages, right of way acquisition, railroad easement vacancies, and variances to develop properties. Mr. Dinkla has served as the COO of a Gigabit fiber-optic Telecommunications provider focused on bringing high speed Internet to underserved communities, President of a Cellular Repair Franchise system, Founder of a kiosk reverse osmosis water distribution company, President of Enterprise Development for Highland Ventures, Regional Director of Real Estate, and Advisor to numerous Boards. Mr. Dinkla’s passion for business has compelled him to serve as a mentor with several organizations aimed at assisting entrepreneurs looking to launch their own companies. His passion for sustainable agriculture and energy is rooted in his family’s farm in Iowa and manifested in his participation in  SLS Grow.  

Admiral Michael T. Franken
"Growing up on the western side of Sioux County, great produce was easy to find, one of life's basics..." 
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Mr. Franken led a defense agency, commanded a combined joint task force in Africa, a multinational task force of ships and aircraft in the Persian Gulf, ​a squadron of US Navy combatants, and a guided missile destroyer. He served in operations, policy-making, and technical offices on the Joint Staff, in the office of the Secretary of Defense, at US Central and US Africa Commands, and in four Department of the Navy staff positions. He held multiple postings in congressional affairs including the Dept of the Navy’s Chief of Legislative Affairs and on a personal staff in the US Senate. He has worked high technology, ocean policy, good governance, and development issues for multiple research institutions. He started Chartwell Strategic Advisors, LLC, working in the diplomacy, development, and defense sectors. He is an advisor with the Center for Naval Analysis, the Stimson Center, and other research entities. His formal education includes technical and public policy degrees from the U. of Nebraska, the Naval Postgraduate School, MIT, and the U. of Virginia. He is a retired U.S. Navy vice admiral.

Robert J. Pierson
Online Strategy Advisor
"When I discovered the SLS Grow system it was a 'Wow' - I decided I had to help get this growing." 
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Celebrated outlier, iconoclast and workaholic, Robert is a highly driven social entrepreneur and CEO, with a proven ability to focus on results ​and how to achieve them through imagination and tenacity. Having obtained his BSc from Greenwich University London, his early career was in retail and transportation, focused on systems and customer satisfaction, before turning to his passion to construction. As a developer in both the UK and Continental Europe, he proved his versatility in different methodologies and cultures, before moving full time to France.  After a brush with mortality and a period of reflection Robert discovered the internet.  He then spent 2 years co-creating a world top-1000 web portal for expats while learning how to leverage online perception into tangible commercial assets, something his many clients and partners have come to rely on. Twenty years later, and still embracing opportunities to learn and contribute to in diverse professional fields, Robert loves and lives his passions – which include being Development Director for a 1m user per month web platform centered on low-carbon construction. He is excited to be working with this Team on SLS Grow and helping to changing the future of Sustainable Organic Vertical Farming Systems.

Bill Shevlin
"Plants, Carbon Negative Power, the Planet and Profits. What are you doing to save the planet?" 
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Bill has successfully started several ventures from the ground up including Real Estate, Construction, Energy, Technology and the Cannabis industry. He has transformed existing companies from small operations to large regional and multi-state or national companies. He's generated over $1.5B in direct negotiation opportunities and developed & negotiated over $400M in high net margin business over the past 15 years. He's developed & financed over 100 MW of DER solar. He is an expert in creating sales strategies and market approaches that eliminate the competition before even going into the market. Established several SPVs and a $25M rotating credit facility for Power Purchase Agreement finance for projects. Bill has worked with several Central American governments to finance upgrades that reduced energy costs that resulted in a 90% net saving for local communities. One of Bill's greatest accomplishments is having offset over 3M tons of CO2 through renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies.

Johnny Helms
Native American Affairs Advisor
"​​Helping bring food security and independence to  underrepresented communities is a cause close to my heart."  Read More about Johnny...

Mr. Helms is President and CEO of Lumbee Group which he founded in 2012, President and CEO of Johnny Helms Consulting which he founded in 2013, Founder and CEO of Chocolate Legacy Candy Company which he founded in 2015 and partners in a few other companies based in Jacksonville, FL. Lumbee Group is an 8(a) Native American Indian Owner Company and Certified Minority Owned Business headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida and offices in Atlanta, Ga., Athens, Ga, and Republic of Turkey. The Company provides its customers with assistance in IT-Managed Servers, IT equipment procurement, Cloud Solutions, Tele-health On-Demand Services, Medical Equipment & Supplies, Pharmaceuticals, Nursing Services, Healthcare Technology, Staffing Employee Placement, Consulting, Technology Solutions and Motivation Speaking. The Company has worked with various branches of the United States Federal Armed Forces, DOJ-Department of Justice, NOAA- U.S Department of Commerce, Homeland Security, HHS, IHS, ICE, BIA including the City of Jacksonville, FL., Jacksonville Jaguars and multiple cities, police departments, Hospitals, small and large business all over the U.S. Mr. Helms also sits on multiple boards in North Florida – USO, Jax. Chamber Military Issues Committee and AFCEA, City of Jacksonville Information Technology Council and Jax Chamber TTC- Tech Coast Conference. Outside of his role with the Companies, Mr. Helms volunteers his time with many charities, including Celebration Church and many others out reach programs.  

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