John Sheptor: A Life of Empathy, Action and Impact

By Traver Kennedy, Chairman and CEO on March 14, 2016
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One week ago today I lost a good friend, Joi Scientific lost a charismatic leader, and the world lost a force for good. John Sheptor, our Chief Operating Officer and a driving force behind our “Village Quality of Life” initiative, passed away on March 7.


Few of us can say, as John could, that millions of lives were spared because we passed through this world. Literally.

In the 1980s, John was instrumental in organizing the incredibly effective distribution network for AIDS drugs in Africa. His work as deputy director for operations, procurement and logistics for the nonprofit international consortium servicing President George H. W. Bush’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) helped to save millions of lives by expanding distribution of medicine from 200,000 to 1.8 million people in 30 developing countries while driving down per-patient annual costs from $2,000 to $180.

While leading the logistics of the PEPFAR Drug Supply Initiative, John saw first-hand the negative effect that lack of electricity and fresh water had on entire towns and villages around the world. This, he pointed out, was the main source of the healthcare crisis and eventual social collapse. In his words, “1.3 billion people on this Earth have no access to electricity. This forces them into poverty and all of the challenges of poverty.” John’s deep sense of empathy and social responsibility is what made him such a powerful force at Joi Scientific and the reason we will deeply miss him.

Making clean and affordable energy, available to all

Today, in this era of ubiquitous WiFi and social media, 20% of the world’s population still live without access to power for education, medicine or infrastructure. That’s zero power for things we take for granted, such as preserving food, responding to emergencies and communicating with the rest of the world. John saw this first hand through his work in the developing world.

A like-minded social entrepreneur and exceptionally bright chemical engineer by training, he instantly grasped the implications of the Joi Scientific mission to expedite the world’s transition to clean and affordable hydrogen energy and make it available to all. We are honored that he chose to be a part of our journey.

At Joi Scientific, John worked hard to lay the groundwork to ensure we bring the clean energy and clean water that our Hydrogen 2.0 technology makes possible to those who need it the most. “With these two gifts, fresh water and electricity, we enable those people to join in the global economy who are left out today because of their lack of resources,” he said just a few months ago.

Introducing Joi Scientific’s “Village Quality of Life” initiative

So with the action-oriented mindset that characterized him, John went on to enthusiastically formulate our “Village Quality of Life” initiative with the goal to bring energy and water relief to developing economies.

While we were not planning to introduce this program until later in the year, timing is not always ours to control. As such, I wanted to dedicate this blog post to my friend and colleague John Sheptor by announcing John’s humanitarian initiative to the world and pledging that Joi Scientific will fulfill his vision.

At its core, our Village Quality of Life initiative is based on a “One-for-One Program,” whereby Joi Scientific commits to donating one royalty-free license to our Hydrogen 2.0 based technology to a village of need for every commercial license we sell.

Our plan is to collaborate with our partners to construct a facility for education, healthcare, fresh water production and electricity generation in the villages of developing economies in every corner of our planet. Together, we believe these crucial elements of life quality will be catalysts for change. With clean water and electricity, food production and small business ventures will thrive, people will be healthier, and they will be able to focus on enhancing the quality of their lives, not just in struggling to survive.

Village Quality of Life: Launching soon

We are working to launch this exciting program alongside the introduction of our Hydrogen 2.0 technology. Making this initiative a success, and in so doing, improving people’s lives through access to clean energy and water, will be our way to honor John Sheptor’s invaluable contribution to our company and the world at large. We invite all NGOs, foundations, non-profits, developing countries and companies around the world who are interested in partnering with us on this initiative to contact us at

We invite all NGOs, foundations, non-profits, developing countries and companies around the world who are interested in partnering with us on this initiative to contact us at

Click here to watch a short video about Joi Scientific’s Village Quality of Life initiative.

Click here to read our Village Quality of Life data sheet.


Photography courtesy of Silicon Valley entrepreneur and photographer Christopher Michel.


© Copyright 2016 Joi Scientific, Inc. All rights reserved. JOI SCIENTIFIC and HYDROGEN 2.0 are trademarks of Joi Scientific, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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