Thomas Francis Darden, II is a North Carolina businessman and the CEO of Cherokee Investment Partners, and one of the co-founders of Industrial Heat, LLC (which owns the rights to Andrea Rossi's E-Cat technology) where he serves as chairman.
Beginning in 1984, he served for 16 years as the Chairman of Cherokee Sanford Group, the largest privately-held brick manufacturing company in the United States and previously the Southeast's largest soil remediation company. From 1981 to 1984, Mr. Darden was a consultant with Bain & Company in Boston. Mr. Darden is on the Boards of Woodberry Forest School, Shaw University and the University of North Carolina's environmental department. He was Chairman of the Research Triangle Transit Authority and served two terms on the N.C. Board of Transportation through appointments by the Governor and the Speaker of the House. Mr. Darden serves on the Board of Governors of Research Triangle Institute in Research Triangle Park, NC. Mr. Darden earned an MRP in environmental planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a JD from Yale Law School and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Darden gave his first major public comments about LENR in an address at the ICCF19 conference in Padua, Italy on April 13, 2015. In this talk he shared his environmental philosophy and said that Cherokee had invested in LENR because they thought it was possible it could make a positive difference in producing non polluting energy. Regarding the prospects of this technology he said:
As provocative as it may sound, we’ve reached a tipping point. The potential of your work is so great. The signs of progress are now so significant. This is our simple manifesto: to pass on a world that is better than the one we received. Abundant non-polluting energy, widely available can make the greatest contribution to this goal. That’s a manifesto pledge for us to keep. It’s a promise to you, to those who went before you, to our children, and their children’s children.