Examining the Possible Rossi-Industrial Heat-Cherokee Connection

Since coming across the information that seemed to connect Andrea Rossi with Cherokee Investment Partners, I have been doing quite a bit of research about them, and trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Fulvio Fabiani

Just to recap: The possible connection between Rossi and Cherokee rests on the LinkedIn profile of Leonardo Corporation engineer Fulvio Fabiani, who listed as one of his current projects (now deleted) working at Industrial Heat LLC. His job title was listed as ‘Freelance Tech Consultant R.D. department manager’, and his assignments there were listed as ‘Project Designer; head of the project of “Power” system; Team leader of HW & SW development of new designs & projects”. The Swedish blog Sifferkoll has preserved a screenshot of the page here.

Industrial Heat LLC

Who, or what is Industrial Heat LLC? There’s not a whole lot of information out there about them. Fulvio Fabiani’s LinkedIn page gave a location of ‘Raleigh-Durham, Triangle Research, North Carolina’. An SEC filing submitted by the company states it was founded in 2012 an gives the address as 111 East Hargett Street, Suite 300, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27601 — the same address as the headquarters of Cherokee. The SEC filing is a registration to sell $20 million worth of shares, and as of August 23rd, 2013 almost $12 million have been sold. 14 investors provided the funds in the form of equity, debt and options. An article published in the Research Triangle Journal in August of this year commented on the success of this fundraiser, and the author noted that neither Thomas Darden or JT Vaughn, who signed the document were available to comment at the time.

A report on the Chinese website bjxinghuyuan.com, on September 23, 2013, Thomas Darden, Chairman of Industrial Heat LLC, and an investor named Daniel Pike, went to Beijing and held a meeting with a Chinese co-founder of Industrial Heat and various businessmen (possibly potential investors) at Star Lake Park Spa Hotel to discuss “the development of clean energy projects with the United States”. (Pictures at link)

Thomas Darden

Who is Thomas Darden — chairman of Industrial Heat LLC? Mr. Darden is also the CEO of Cherokee Investment Partners, a private equity company that primarily has dealt with cleaning up brownfield sites in many parts of the world. Cherokee is also involved in funding solar projects around the world — focusing on putting solar installations on brownfield sites. One article I read today said that Mr. Darden “has the reputation of being the ‘green conscience’ of private equity investing in the South, if not the nation” (Incidentally that article reports on him entering into a partnership with Donald Trump who helped him to save a troubled project). Cherokee partners with American Designer William McDonough to sponsor the annual Cherokee-McDonough Challenge which provides seed funding to promising environmental business ventures. An interesting video of Darden and McDonough discussing their environmental and business philosophies can beseen here. As a side note, Mr. McDonough is well connected in the business world, having worked with many major businesses and governments — check out his dining companions here.

Thomas Darden is 57 years old, and has a wide range of experience in a variety of business and administrative arenas — many with an environmental focus. Among other things he has served on the boards of Shaw University, the Institute for The Environment at the University of North Carolina, Board of Governors of the Research Triangle Institute, and the Environmental Defense Fund (see full profile here at Forbes.com)

Is This The Partner?

That is obviously a question that people following the E-Cat story are asking. So far, I have not received any response to an inquiry I sent to Cherokee, and Andrea Rossi will not discuss the identity of the partner. So we shall have to wait and see for certain confirmation. A couple of clues dropped by Andrea Rossi in the past seem to fit with a Cherokee partnership. He has mentioned in the past that his partner has a presence in China — and this is true for Cherokee (see here for an article). Rossi also mentioned earlier this year that his idea for the ‘cat and mouse’ E-Cat configuration came to him when he was in North Carolina — where Cherokee is headquartered.

But we don’t have certain confirmation here, and won’t until there is a public announcement. Let’s hope it won’t be too long until all is officially revealed.

  • Frank M.

    “Silvio Caggia:
    As you explained in an email sent to me privately, “from cradle to cradle product” means essentially a product wasteless during the production, the working life and the dismission: in this case, yes, the E-Cat is a cradle to cradle product. All the components are recyclable and the “wastes” are recyclable metals.
    Thank you for the interesting question.
    Warm Regards,”

    Cradle to Cradle a term coined by Bill McDonough, although here Rossi essentially has the words put in his mouth by Silvio.

  • Daniel Maris

    OK, I am predicting a hell of a lot of interest in this subject come Monday when all the business folk get back behind their desks.

  • Daniel Maris

    I think someone is going to have to produce a Mind Map/Spider Diagram to plot all the connections soon.

    • Mr. Moho

      Wasn’t there one linked here a couple days ago? I wonder how it looks now.

      • Daniel Maris

        Yes, I think that was based on previous – much looser – speculation . I couldn’t view it on my computer for some reason. Perhaps you should produce a first effort Mr Moho since you seem up to speed! 🙂

  • ecatworld

    Anyone want to talk in real time on LENRConnect? I’m there in the main chat room.

  • Daniel Maris

    Both Europe and Japan have pretty high energy costs compared with US and China, so they may still be beneficiaries with licensed technology.

    I think you make a good point about the name of the company. Of course a company can adopt a trading name. It might call itself Nickel Power or whatever without changing the company name. I found the workmanlike name an encouraging sign.

    I agree that this is just a first tranche. That’s why I think the fact Cherokee is linked in with a $2 billion investment fund is significant. If this is a viable technology, the investment funds will flow in pretty quickly.

    • bachcole

      tranche: a division or portion of a pool or whole; specifically :
      an issue of bonds derived from a pooling of like obligations (as
      securitized mortgage debt) that is differentiated from other issues
      especially by maturity or rate of return

  • Buck


    I’m not inclined to think any will be left out in the cold, certainly not the countries you mention.

    It is the tension of this tipping point that triggers me to raise the question in the first place. The power of the legacy industries/academic disciplines is being shifted . . . and we get to watch.

  • Frank

    Darden is connected to Google through Cradle to Cradle architect William McDonough; McDonough is connected to Google. See http://cherokeechallenge.com/ and http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2006/11/01/8392027/. Don’t count Google’s involvement out yet.

    • ecatworld

      Very true, Frank. Bill McDonough is connected to lots of US and overseas companies and governments.

      Also we should note that Tom Darden’s son — also named Tom Darden — is executive director of Make it Right, a nonprofit founded by Brad Pitt to redesign and rebuild damaged communities, such as New Orleans. Bill Clinton is a champion of this organization.

      • Daniel Maris

        Seems to be quite a power network there.

  • Iggy Dalrymple

    Heat & Ice, Yin & Yang.

  • Daniel Maris

    I would just like to say, that what our industrious mice here have discovered does amount to a hard news story: big investors, nickel energy, Chinese government officials, Rossi links. I can’t see how the mainstream media can possibly ignore this. Can you?

    But what if they do ignore it? What does that tell you? I find it more and more amazing what does get ignored.

    • Mr. Moho

      I think Fulvio Fabiani might be in trouble now 😀

      However, nothing is official yet, and the connections that have been found today do not directly point to Rossi or even LENR. There’s not much that the mainstream media can write about for the general public.

      • Daniel Maris

        Well I don’t agree. They have the resources to investigate. They have all the leads here to begin their investigations. I think there’s a whole load they could write.

        Circumstantial evidence is admissable in a court of law – and there is more than enough circumstantial evidence linking Rossi with Cherokee and Industrial Heat:

        Fabiani, timings of his announcement linked to formation of Industrial Heat, Fabiani removing the reference as soon as it came to notice here, the perfect fit of the name “Industrial Heat” with what Rossi has been describing of their activities, Rossi’s mention of his American partner’s China contacts…

        Also, the clock is ticking. I am sure Frank has been asking Cherokee for comment. The more we don’t get a straight denial the more we get a confirmation.

        • ecatworld

          Yes I have, no response from Mr. Darden yet. And Andrea Rossi won’t discuss the partner either.

    • bachcole

      I believe that is takes too much study (and attention span) for a “nut job” case for them to see. Other fringe and specialty news media will have to look into it first. Then perhaps it will spread.

  • Daniel Maris

    Stephen Hartanto was involved with “JW Marriott Food and Beverage Department in Hong Kong” – I just point out that food processing companies often require hot water for their processing activities, which again could be a good fit for the E Cat.

    • Mr. Moho

      I find more interesting/curious that the two Hartanto’s have been seemingly involved involved in a deal between the companies they respectively work with (although Hady founded his one).

      • Daniel Maris

        Isn’t that how things work in Indonesia?