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Tom Rooney

Chairman of the Board - Private Equity Portfolio Companies

Work experience


Managing Partner

RCI Consulting

International consulting practice focused on Infrastructure, Energy, Water, Sustainability and Renewable/Clean-Tech issues around the world.  Serving on corporate boards, including as Chairman of the Board.  Advising clients operating in private equity, venture capital, public corporations and governments on issues such as the evaluation of established technologies, new technologies, operational effectiveness, assessment of developing markets in India and China, as well as econometrics and ever evolving matters of regulation and policy.


President & CEO

Energy Recovery, Inc. (NASDAQ: ERII)

Energy Recovery, Inc. designs, manufactures and sells energy recovery devices that harness reusable energy from industrial fluid flows and pressure cycles in the United States and internationally. The company is a global technology leader in the water/desalination industry and the oil & gas industry with its revolutionary VorTeq fracking device.  It pioneered a line of energy recovery systems comprising turbines and industrial pumps for oil and gas operators and energy generating systems that enable oil and gas operators to capture hydraulic energy and generate electricity from high-pressure fluid flows. Energy Recovery, Inc. was founded in 1992, has offices in Shanghai, Madrid & Dubai and is headquartered in San Leandro, California.


President & CEO

SPG Solar

SPG Solar (a private equity portfolio company) was the second largest solar integrator in California and one of the largest solar integrators in the United States.  A proven leader in the manufacture, design, financing and installation of solar photovoltaic power systems, with over 1,500 grid-connected photovoltaic systems in service throughout the United States and a senior staff with decades of experience in manufacturing, project finance, electrical engineering, construction and project development.  SPG was ultimately sold to a strategic buyer.


President & CEO

Insituform Technologies (Now Aegion Corp. NASDAQ: AEGN)

$880-million, 3,000-employee publicly traded company; global leader in sophisticated plastics and water infrastructure technologies for municipalities/government ministries, industrial manufacturers and oil/gas companies worldwide.


Board Member - Technology Advisory Board

Advanced Energy Industries

Advanced Energy is a publicly-traded (NASDAQ: "AEIS") global leader in innovative power and control technologies for high-growth, thin-film manufacturing and solar power generation. The company targets solar grid-tied inverters, solar cells, semiconductors, flat panel displays, data storage products, architectural glass, and other advanced product applications.

Served as a member of the corporation's five-person Technical Advisory Board.


Board Member

International Centre For Democratic Transition

Twenty-person international board comprised of presidents, ministry officials, ambassadors, business leaders and royalty. Actively involved as one of the twenty international board members as well as involved with the strategic planning committee and as a water infrastructure development expert.


Senior Vice President


$3-billion leading design-build construction management firm for the commercial, institutional and governmental sectors


Various Positions

Turner & Centex

$8-billion leading commercial/industrial construction and project management company specializing in multi-purpose office buildings, airports, sports/ entertainment complexes and manufacturing facilities.




Dr. Prem Krish / Chief Technology Officer - Energy Recovery

Tom is an absolutely outstanding CEO. In my 34 year career, I find Tom unique in his ability to combine vision, attention to detail, and hands-on direction. Empowering people to perform beyond their own expectations is a special talent that Tom has and I can personally vouch for that. Under his leadership, I have been able to leverage my best talents to the advantage of ERI. Tom is passionate about building a culture of innovation, generating motivation and inspiration in the team, and uncompromisingly hiring brilliant talent to actualize his vision. He brought me into the CTO role at ERI and fully supported the development of a world class R+D team and the acquisition of the development tools needed to bring about breakthrough technologies that are poised to lead the market. The transformation of ERI from a single product, single industry company to one that addresses multiple industries with a suite of revolutionary products was a formidable challenge which Tom took on and brought to fruition. This is an absolutely remarkable achievement and is completely a result of Tom’s vision and execution. I recommend him highly as a change agent. February 1, 2015

Audrey Bold / Chief Marketing Officer - Energy Recovery

Tom Rooney is the best leader I have worked for in my 20+ year career as a marketing professional. His vision, passion and drive for innovation and success are unmatched. He took the helm as CEO of Energy Recovery at a difficult time and transformed it into a vibrant, innovative culture where courage and trust were valued. Tom took the company from a $50M desalination company and exploded its potential value by discovering new untapped markets in many industries worth $5B – while launching new products during his time as Chief Executive Officer. Some would say he also acted as the company’s Chief Innovation Officer by racing to the development of the company’s disruptive VorTeq product and entrance into the hydraulic fracturing market. Under his leadership, the company turned around and is now primed for future growth and success.

On a personal level, I found Tom to be genuine, warm, generous and very supportive of advancing his team and others in the organization, pushing them to be the best they can be. So much so that because of him, I decided to go back to school and earn my MBA. He has been a true mentor and supporter, and I’m privileged to also call him a friend.  January 22, 2015

Andrew Stroud / VP HR - Energy Recovery

I have had the pleasure of working with Tom Rooney at Insituform, SPG Solar, and now at Energy Recovery. The common denominator at all three places is Tom’s focus on employee engagement, hiring great talent, and his ability to effectively turn things around. It’s no secret that CEO’s set the “tone at the top” and Tom places a premium on building a work place culture that fosters discretionary effort from employees. At Energy Recovery Tom’s leadership was critical to the highly engaged culture that we enjoy. Tom encourages open communication through regular town hall meetings, bagel breakfast on Fridays, and small group activities that give employees an opportunity to bond. The “Lunch and Learn” programs we recently started have been a huge success as employees get to not only learn from their peers but also hone their presentation skills. Tom has a keen eye for talent and his track record for hiring “A” players is well documented. Tom Rooney is a charismatic leader who inspires his people to go the extra mile by setting a fast pace with an “All In” mentality. Tom Rooney’s “no nonsense - no excuses” style has been effective in turning around the businesses he has led. In fact, every business Tom has led is significantly better after his tenure than before.  January 21, 2015

Rodney Clemente / VP Operations - Energy Recovery

I have had the pleasure to work alongside Mr. Tom Rooney for the past 4 years. During a critical turning point in ERI's history, Tom was brought in to turn things around. As advertised, Tom wasted no time and made some extremely difficult decisions that had a positive and immediate impact on our bottom line while keeping one eye fixed on the company’s future growth areas. In the 4 years Tom ran our company; he not only got us through a rough downturn in the water space by increasing our gross margins and market share but has also positioned ERI to have an extremely bright future for many more years to come. Tom used his “ALL IN” mentality in leading our extensive R&D efforts, improving customer engagement and building a culture of innovation. Mission accomplished! From a personal standpoint I learned tremendously under Tom’s guidance. He taught me how to apply science and process in making critical decisions. Tom always challenged me to exceed expectations. When he joined ERI he not only asked me to help grow the business but he asked I not sacrifice one ounce of quality or customer service in doing so. He not only demands the best out of his people but he also gives you the necessary tools and resources you need to succeed. I remember a recent conversation I had with Tom that I think sums things up well. He asked what I wanted to do and where I saw myself in the next 5 years. I mentioned that I was very interested in returning to school to get my Executive MBA. A few weeks later we spoke again, Tom told me that going back to school was my decision but he ensured me that I had his full support and the support of the company. He then went on to say, “I am not suggesting you go back to continue your education, I am challenging you to figure out how to get it done!”…and that’s Tom for you!  February 3, 2015

Dr. JinMing Liu / SVP Equity Research - Ardour Capital Investments

Out of all the public company executives I interacted over the past eight years, Tom certainly stands out. He has been vital for setting up a solid foundation for his company to diversify into other markets. It's always pleasant to talk to Tom as he tries his best to be transparent, making my work less challenging.  January 19, 2015

Ted Walsh / VP Sales – SPG Solar

Tom Rooney is one of the most remarkable business leaders I have had the good fortune to work with. As an executive, he was creative and experienced strategy partner for the executive team, recruiting world-class talent and empowered the leadership team to drive their team with a perfect amount of collaboration and departmental accountability and independence. As CEO, he was an inspiration leader, always positive, always accessible - the kind of guy you just want to deliver for. Tom is a big-picture, high energy leader that was equally skilled going head to head with commentators on national television as he was talking shop with the field employees at a construction site. Just a great leader - I learned a great deal from Tom and feel fortunate for the experience, and proud of the great results he helped our company achieve..  January 14, 2015

Michael Mittleman / COO - SPG Solar

When Tom was brought in as the CEO of SPG Solar, the directive from our Board of Directors was to take a struggling, family owned company and turn it into a successful, marketable company, which he quickly accomplished. The toolbox that Tom possesses is what makes Tom Rooney so valuable. He was able to turn our firm into the third largest solar company in the United States, by megawatts completed, within 6 months of his arrival. Under his leadership, our profit margins soared to the heights unheard of in our industry, all the while maintaining the highest standards of quality and safety. He drove innovation by re-engineering our Floatovoltaic products (floating solar on bodies of water).
Tom became the spokesperson, advocate and cheerleader for our company and all its employees. As the COO of SPG Solar, I found Tom to be a great listener who presented the team with questions allowing us to come up with solutions, rather than be told what should be done.  If you are a fan of “Good to Great”, Tom Rooney is the bus driver! January 22, 2015

Alex Buehler / Insituform Technologies

“Tom Rooney is a visionary leader with razor-sharp strategic insight. Dynamic, charismatic, and highly intelligent--Tom launched significant, and often difficult, strategic initiatives at Insituform that are sure to better position the company for sustained value creation. Working under Tom for over three years, I observed a chief executive with an amazingly diverse skill set and an uncanny ability to think on his feet. Importantly, he challenged me repeatedly with positions of increasing responsibility while standing behind me as a true mentor. I will always be grateful for his professional development, and I would welcome the opportunity to work for or with him again.” January 11, 2008

Chris Farman / CFO - Insituform Technologies

“Shortly after being promoted to the CEO position at Insituform Technologies, Tom recruited me to upgrade the Finance function and to partner with him in the company's turnaround. Tom is an intelligent, highly-driven and decisive CEO who operated in a very challenging environment. He is highly articulate and was very passionate about the company's business and the global need for infrastructure renewal.” January 10, 2008

Andrew Stroud / VP HR - Insituform Technologies

“Tom hired me as his VP of HR in December 2005 @ Insituform Technologies. Tom Rooney is a charismatic and visionary leader who gave me "carte blanche" to transform Insituform to a "Good to Great" company. Under Tom's leadership we were able to put into place world class HR best practices. Tom created a culture at Insituform that was inclusive, high performing, and fun. During my 22 years as an HR professional and eight years as an executive, I have never worked for a more talented CEO. Tom's "out of the box" thinking put Insituform on the map and he made the sewer industry an exciting place to be. I would strongly endorse Tom Rooney for any company looking for "breakthrough" results from a high energy and integrity leader. I am proud to say I worked with Tom and would invest my money in any company smart enough to hire him.” January 17, 2008

Jim Sokolowski / Insituform Technologies

“Tom Rooney is a laser focused executive that enhances his visionary leadership with passion, energy and charisma….he possesses quite simply, infectious enthusiasm. He inspires greatness in those that he interacts with, and constantly demonstrates his passion for developing individuals and teams. This was clearly demonstrated through his commitment and support of company wide training and organizational development efforts. Tom’s ability to engage a workforce, maintain high morale, and drive results through people is impeccable. If there is a need for a strong leader, one who leads with integrity, and can produce tangible bottom line results, Tom has my vote. I will invest in any company that he leads.” May 6, 2008

Susan Slater / Consultant

“As an industrial psychologist, I have met many senior executives across different industries and I feel that Tom Rooney is one of the most focused and capable executives I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Tom is exceptionally skilled at turning around and developing businesses to exceed everyone's expectations. When people work for Tom they are captured by his enthusiasm and energy and perform at significantly higher levels than before Tom became their leader. He particularly excels in challenging situations where creative strategies are needed for success. His leadership will take any organization to the next level of performance.” January 27, 2008

Grant Whittle / Competitor

“Tom is a consummate professional who dramatically improved the culture at his company, which just so happens to be the largest competitor in my industry. I was always impressed with his vision for the future of our industry and his effective efforts to take his company into the future and beyond a simplistic and precarious focus on one 30-year old technology. He, and the team of professionals he built, were able to see emerging market opportunities and to position his company to take advantage. His prior employers will benefit for years from the cultural improvements (specifically more professional marketing and valiant efforts at controlling construction risk exposure) and the foundation that has been laid for diversified product and service offerings. Tom Rooney helped his company function like a true industry leader should function, and in so doing healed many past industry wounds. He accomplished all of this during a time of industry tumult caused by the rapid commoditization of their core 30-year old foundational technology. The industry is poised for exponential growth, but with expiring patents the industry is fragmenting into hundreds of smaller scale competitors. In such a hostile environment, Tom managed to navigate his company towards sustainable success. It was no ordinary feat.” March 1, 2008



Published Articles / Features appearing in New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, C|NET, Engineering News Record, Construction Financial Management Association magazine and other worldwide publications

Business Speaker / Commentator for NBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, C-SPAN, FOX News and NPR Radio