The proven offshore wind developer with a vision for 21st century U.S. energy


Team Bios

Riccardo Toto, Director and President

Innovator and entrepreneur. Riccardo manages the company’s portfolio of offshore wind projects and oversees contracting and investor relations. As sole director and president of US Wind, Riccardo brings his 15+ years of experience in the fields of finance, corporate management and business to launch a new industry and Silicon Valley for Offshore Wind in the US. Riccardo has successfully led start-up companies in the aviation and renewable energy sectors, serving in previous roles as CEO of EAS and Managing Director of Air One. Riccardo is a graduate of the Institute for Technical Geometer in Foggia, Italy.

Paolo Sammartino, Executive Vice President

With a doctorate in geological studies and subsurface modeling and 15+ years in renewable energy business development, Paolo brings his vision for offshore wind in the US and passion for renewables to launch a new industry in offshore wind for the US. Paolo leads the team in evaluating new opportunities and is the leader for the team in participating in lease auctioning process for offshore wind development sites around the globe. Paolo received his BS in Computer Science, his Masters in Geology and Geotechnical Science, and his PhD from D’Annunzio University in Chieti, Italy.

Paul Rich, Director, Project Development

Paul oversees development of projects in the US drawing on his over 15 years of experience in the renewable energy sector. Paul oversees overall development activities, including permitting, stakeholder relations and leads the development of federal and state policies governing the leasing, permitting, and commercialization of offshore wind and transmission projects. Recently, Paul served as Development Officer for Deepwater Wind before joining the US Wind Team. Paul holds a BS in Marine Engineering from Maine Maritime Academy and a Master Degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Paul was recently appointed as Vice Chair of the American Wind Energy Association Offshore Wind Steering Committee, the leading wind industry advocacy organization in the U.S.

Salvo Vitale, General Counsel

Over 10 years of legal experience in the areas of corporate governance, business law, sales and mergers and acquisitions, Salvo has worked in the fields of international commercial law and renewable energy. Salvo oversees all contracts, business commitments, formal legal arrangements and agreements for the portfolio of projects in the US and Europe. Salvo joined the Toto Group in 2011 and previously practiced law in Rome, Italy at Bonelli Erede Pappalardo law firm. Salvo attended Guido Carli International University (LUISS) in Rome, Italy, where he earned his Master Degree in Law and PhD in Commercial Law.

Armando Tarquini, Finance Officer

Armando Tarquini oversees all financial services activities for USWind, Inc. He has over 20 years of experience serving in senior positions in renowned international companies, such as Arthur Andersen, BASF, TXU, ICQ and RTR. Armando has worked exclusively in the renewable energy field since 1999. As CFO, he has completed many M&A transactions and project finance deals across the full spectrum of renewable energy technologies. Armando graduated with degrees in business and economics at the Luigi Bocconi University in Milan and has a Master’s in Finance from Esade University in Barcelona.

Elena Starchenko, Technical Lead

Elena Starchenko oversees the evaluation of all technical solutions and for the project, assisting in supporting technical aspects for the various permitting processes, coordination of engineering and technical aspects, coordination of compliance and payments. Elena has over 5 years of experience in the fields of electrical engineering, civil engineering, construction management and logistics, providing cost-effective services in projects for Maryland SHA, BGE and State DOT agencies. Elena holds a Master Degree in Science of Transportation Engineering from Moscow University, Russia.

Francesco Onorio, Technical Program Manager

Francesco brings 10 years of experience in civil/structural engineering management in the energy field to guide the technical program of US Wind. Francesco has held senior multi-disciplinary positions in engineering management, project management and program management in Australia, Kazakhstan, and Asia. Francesco oversees technical schedules, budgets, contracts and procurement. Francesco holds a BS in Civil Engineering and a Masters in Structural Engineering from University of Naples, Italy.

Jennifer Banks, Environmental Permitting Specialist

Over 10 years of experience in the wind energy field, with roles serving as subject matter expert on offshore wind issues and environmental matters for NGOs and public institutions. Jen leads the permitting effort including outreach to key stakeholders, Native American tribes, federal and state agencies, and national environmental advocacy organizations.  Jen received a BS in Environmental Technology from North Carolina State University and a Masters from Clemson University.

Dominique Brooks, Office Manager

Bio coming soon.


US Wind was founded in 2011 and is fully owned by Renexia S.p.A., a leader in renewable energy development in Italy and a subsidiary of Toto Holding Group. Toto Holding Group has more than 40 years of experience specializing in large infrastructure construction projects, rail transportation and aviation.
In 2014, US Wind bid on and was awarded two leases offshore of Ocean City, Maryland by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). Combined, the leases cover more than 85,000 acres and provide enough renewable wind energy to generate more than 750MW of offshore wind electricity, powering more than 500,000 Maryland homes.
The Maryland project involves a total investment of $2.5 billion and is part of the President Obama’s comprehensive Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop domestic clean energy resources and cut carbon pollution.
US Winds holds the lease for the North Lease Area in New Jersey, and has responded to a Call for Information and Nominations to acquire commercial wind leases in four areas offshore South Carolina.