William T. "Bill" Yeates
The great American statesman Benjamin Franklin once wrote, "if you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." Like Benjamin Franklin himself, Bill Yeates has left behind a legacy worthy of note. Born in Natchitoches, Louisiana, Bill came of age fishing, hunting, and exploring the waters and woodlands surrounding his hometown, the oldest settlement in the entire original Louisiana Purchase. A champion swimmer, Bill set multiple AAU records during his high school years. He later went on to graduate from Louisiana Technical University with Bachelors Degrees in Electrical Engineering and Finance as well as a Masters of Business Administration. Bill was also a graduate of the University of Michigan's Global Executive Leadership Program.
As a member of the Roberts Energy Renewables team, Bill served as Chief Executive Officer of RER Holdings, Inc., a special project company devoted to the development of a portfolio of 60 megawatts of advanced bioenergy projects. A true believer in the value of using organic waste streams to efficiently produce clean energy, Bill was a pioneer in the development of technology and commercial projects in the biomass gasification industry. Bill's knowledge and expertise in finance, engineering, and operations strategy proved vital time and time again for all those who knew and worked with him. As an international business executive, Bill held numerous C-level executive roles in several major international corporations in the telecommunications and electric power conversion technology industries including executive roles at AT&T, Senus, Inc., Lucent Technologies, Biogen Corp., LTD., and Power-One, Inc., a publicly traded global electronics manufacturer specializing in power conversion and control technologies. It was perhaps during his time as CEO of Power-One where Bill enjoyed his greatest professional successes. At Power-One, Bill's leadership resulted in the company's membership in the S&P 500 and an eventual turnover sale of $1 billion dollars. Bill's global business career led him to destinations across the globe, making friends and lasting professional relationships with countless individuals.
While Bill excelled professionally, his true love was his family, especially his wife Laura and their children Austin, Summer, and Jessie. He was always very proud of his children's accomplishments, both in academics and extracurricular activities. When not discussing a host of business related topics with his colleagues at RER, Bill could often be found telling countless stories of adventures taken with his family and friends. From skiing in the mountain states to fishing in California, horseback riding in Mexico to enjoying Asian cuisine in China, Bill had enough stories to last a lifetime. We remember his legacy and all that he contributed to the RER family as our friend and colleague.
From left to right, Brad Godfrey, Managing Partner of Gennera Corp., Lenny Roberts, and Bill Yeates in 2014