Director of Operations
Joseph “Joe” Cunningham is a co-founder and director of operations of Tempe-headquartered Sunny Energy, one of Arizona’s largest providers of residential and commercial solar energy systems.Joe is also a founding member and president of the Distributed Energy Resources Alliance (DERA), a non-profit trade organization dedicated to the development of distributed energy resources, including solar, battery storage, active demand management, distributed grid services and smart grid solutions for a reliable and sustainable energy supply. He has recently earned the solar industry’s leading recognition of installation expertise from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP®), and is now a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional.An industry leader, Joe is active in photovoltaic (PV) standards development with The SunSpec Alliance as chairman of the Orange Button Construction working group. He has co-authored two white papers, through SunSpec, on PV System Performance Metrics and PV System Commissioning for Performance Guidelines. He is recipient of the SunSpec Open Standards Champion award for years of voluntary standards work.
Along with SunSpec, Joe works closely with standards working group members from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sandia Labs and others. Through this work he is intimately knowledgeable on the value of PV system standards and certifications.
Prior to co-founding Sunny Energy, Joe was director of operations for five years for Centrosolar, a solar energy equipment supplier. He managed operations for North American markets, overseeing logistics, system design, sourcing and purchasing, private label manufacturing and outsourcing, order fulfillment, a nationwide technical services network and online systems.
Prior to Centrosolar, Joe spent three years in the PV integration business. He managed, at various times, operations, business development, maintenance programs, sales and marketing.
Prior to joining the PV industry, Joe worked for more than 20 years in wireless telecommunications and cable TV, and as an entrepreneur. He has held the positions of president, chief operating officer, vice president, and business development with various companies. He helped develop advanced wireless technology and services, as well as industry standards, government regulations, hardware and software to increase wireless spectrum use efficiencies and performance. He was instrumental in forming and managing a nationwide organization of operators and manufacturers to address equipment reliability and warranty issues. He has been recognized by the Wireless Communications Association International as a Wireless Pioneer and for outstanding contributions throughout his career.
Joe has a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Cornell University, where he was a four-year letterman in crew. He lives with his wife, Resa, in Carefree, Ariz. and is an avid road cyclist, riding more than 5,000 miles annually. He is a past Arizona State Road Racing age-group champion.
Director of Field Operations
Terry Rials is a co-founder and director of field operations for Tempe-headquartered Sunny Energy, one of Arizona’s largest providers of residential and commercial solar energy systems. He is responsible for customer service operations, trouble-shooting, overseeing the installation teams, and creating operating systems that help them become more efficient on each job.
Terry was instrumental in developing techniques and procedures that have enabled residential solar installs to go from a two-week install period, to a less than one- day job. This has allowed Sunny Energy to maximize its efficiency, reduce installation time at the customers’ homes and increase the company’s capacity as the demand for solar energy systems continues to grow across the state.
Prior to co-founding Sunny Energy, Terry owned Valley Pro Electric for 10 years. He also owned Valley Pro Solar, a subsidiary, where he led a team that completed a 200,000-watt commercial solar energy system installation, at that time the largest solar project in Salt River Project’s service area and one of the largest in Arizona. He had the foresight and expertise to use one of the most technologically advanced racking systems on the project, incorporating three different technologies into one.
He also oversaw a 50,000-watt commercial solar system installation project at a warehouse in south Phoenix that took just one week to complete. Valley Pro Solar was known for its speed, efficiency and quality which made the company a highly-sought after vendor for solar energy installation projects.
He started his career in residential construction, first as a residential electrician, and then spent 10 years as a superintendent for a production home builder before founding Valley Pro Electric.
In his spare time, you can find Terry restoring and showing classic cars. He is a Tempe resident.
Director of Business Dev.
Chris Wood is a co-founder and business development director for Tempe-headquartered Sunny Energy, one of Arizona’s largest providers of residential and commercial solar energy systems. He is responsible for all of the company’s business development needs including recruiting, hiring and training of the sales team, as well as conducting financial analysis of the products Sunny Energy creates and sells. He also oversees Sunny Energy’s vendor relations.
Prior to co-founding Sunny Energy, Chris was the director of North American sales for Centrosolar, an international solar energy equipment supplier. As Centrosolar’s second U.S. employee, he was responsible for taking the company from a garage start-up to a successful U.S. operation. During his seven-year tenure with the company, he built a network of 720 solar contractors spanning from New Jersey to Guam.
His professional career includes work in land development, commodities trading and the food and beverage industries.
Chris is a Florida native who grew up in Montreal. Fluent in English and French, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in finance from McGill University in Montreal.
He enjoys playing tennis and poker. He and his family reside in North Scottsdale.
Jake Stainbrook is a co-founder and operations manager for Tempe-headquartered Sunny Energy, one of Arizona’s largest providers of residential and commercial solar energy systems. He manages field operations and logistics for the company’s construction teams, including scheduling, determining equipment needs and quality control on each site.
Jake plays a key role in streamlining the residential solar energy system installation process, reducing the time needed from weeks to just several hours. This innovation and expertise has allowed Sunny Energy to maximize its efficiency, reduce installation time at the customer’s homes and expand the company’s capacity as the demand for solar energy systems continues to grow across the state.
He has been involved in the construction and solar energy installation field for the last 15 years, including five years at Valley Pro Electric prior to co-founding Sunny Energy. While at Valley Pro Electric, he was part of a team that completed a 200,000-watt commercial solar energy system installation, at that time the largest solar project in Salt River Project’s service area and one of the largest in Arizona.
He also worked on a 50,000-watt commercial solar energy system installation project at a warehouse in south Phoenix that took just one week to complete. His work in the field helped Valley Pro Solar become known for its speed, efficiency and quality which made the company a highly-sought after vendor for solar energy installation projects.
Jake and his family reside in Glendale. He enjoys camping, participating in sports, cheering on the Arizona Cardinals and riding the sand dunes with his ‘tricked-out’ Polaris RZR.