Co-Founder & Chairman
Jim Illich is a seasoned executive in developing and executing complex infrastructure projects. After four years in the energy industry, Jim joined Bechtel Corporation in 1988 and served in a variety of roles including Thailand Country Manager, Corporate HR Manager, and Project Director for major projects in Africa and Asia. In the last ten years of his career with Bechtel, he managed some of firm’s largest global businesses including LNG, Upstream Oil/Gas, Pipeline, and Downstream Refinery & Chemicals.
Jim was elected a Partner of privately held Bechtel in 2005 and retired from the company in 2012. In 2013 he formed Freestone International, which is a vehicle for incubating and launching new business ideas in the areas of energy, environment, and education.In 2013 he founded GNL Quebec which will be the most sustainable LNG export project in the world due it is use of renewable hydroelectricity and in 2014 he co-founded Kintla, which offers unique neuroscience based solutions to organizations and individuals.
Passionate about education, Jim has been a guest lecturer at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business for the last 15 years and is a member of the Stanford University Advisory Board for the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences. He is also involved in philanthropic activities involving STEM/K-12 education initiatives. Jim earned a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from Stanford and an MBA from the Haas School of Business. He was born and raised in Montana, is married and has two children.