Speakers for VX2012
H. Eric Schockman, Ph.D. is the Vice president of the California League of Conservation Voters Educational Fund and oversees Green California, the largest coalition of environmental organizations in California working collectively for sound public policy. He also conducts environmental public opinion polling and statewide voter engagement. In his spare time, he is President and founder of the Global Hunger Foundation. He served as CEO and president of a prestigious international anti-hunger organization for over a decade pumping out some $60 million in grants to the field and helping to pass major public policy legislation.
A public policy expert and an authority on hunger and poverty and environmental issues, Dr. Schockman previously served as Associate Dean/Associate Professor of Political Science for the University of Southern California. He was also a top consultant to the California State Assembly and the Los Angeles City Council. Dr. Schockman was the founder of the National Anti-Hunger Organizations (NAHO), an alliance of all major national anti-hunger organizations in the United States. Additionally, Dr. Schockman is a member the National Interfaith Hunger Director's Committee . He was on the founding board of directors of the Global FoodBanking Network. He was former Chair of the California Post Secondary Education Commission , an appointment made by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Appointed by California State Assembly Speaker Emeritus Antonio Villaraigosa, Eric has also served on the Little Hoover Commission, a bipartisan, independent body whose function is to promote efficiency, effectiveness and economy in state programs. He served in the Peace Crops in Sierra Leone, West Africa, teaching agricultural and sustainable development.
Dr. Schockman speaks before elected officials, professional and community organizations across the country and is frequently quoted in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, CNN, NPR and other national publications and electronic media.
He has also written several books and edited many articles on politics in California, the nation and international affairs, and presented on panels on these same topic.
Dr. Schockman holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations from the University of California.
Arthur T. Leahy is CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). Metro is the third largest public transportation agency in the United States with an annual budget of $4.2 Billion and more than 9,000 employees with an operating fleet of over 2200 buses and 5 rail lines with annual rider ship exceeding 400 million boardings.
Leahy is heading one of the nation’s largest public works programs through Measure R that will, literally, change the urban landscape and shape the future of Los Angeles for generations to come.
He began his career 40 years ago as a bus operator. Having worked through the ranks, he rose to lead 3 major transportation agencies. He was recently recognized by his peers in Metro Magazine –a trade publication as being one of the country’s most influential leaders in the transit industry.
Leahy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from California State University, Los Angeles (CSLA) in 1974 and a master’s degree in public administration from USC.
Stephen Mullennix is Senior Vice President, Operations at SolarReserve where he leads the company’s efforts in asset management and corporate development. SolarReserve’s leading technology includes integrated energy storage that can deliver utility scale renewable electricity on demand - day or night. In September 2011, SolarReserve began construction of its flagship Crescent Dunes project in Nevada – the world’s largest solar thermal power plant with advanced energy storage technology. The project will provide clean power to approximately 75,000 homes and create more than 4,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs.
Mr. Mullennix has 16 years of experience in the infrastructure and energy industries. He has held senior positions in numerous successful infrastructure companies in the energy, engineering design services, and wastewater sectors. Mr. Mullennix has led asset management activities and overseen projects in the solar, biomass, landfill methane and other renewable energy sectors. Mr. Mullennix has negotiated numerous power purchase agreements, EPC contracts, technology supply agreements, fuel contracts and O&M relationships. Throughout his career, Mr. Mullennix has worked with technical teams to commercialize breakthrough first-of-its-kind technologies in the infrastructure industry.
Prior to joining SolarReserve, Mr. Mullennix was a Managing Director at US Renewables Group, the founding investor in SolarReserve. While at US Renewables Group, he was actively involved in the initial founding of SolarReserve and has worked with the management team and the company’s investors since inception in 2007. In addition to his work with SolarReserve, Mr. Mullennix successfully led acquisition, management and disposition of multiple investments in US Renewable Group’s three investment funds totaling more than $750 million of equity capital. Prior to US Renewables Group, Mr. Mullennix was Asscoiate Vice President at AECOM Technology Company (NYSE: ACM) and Co-Founder of Ennix Incorporated.
Mr. Mullennix earned an MBA with Honors from the Anderson School at UCLA, an AB degree in Economic Geography from Dartmouth College where he graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.
Tom Soto is a Managing Director and an Investment Committee Member at TCW|Craton. Tom has been a member of the board of many of Craton’s portfolio companies such as Liquid Environmental Solutions and Propel Alternative Fuels.
Tom is one of the country's leading voices on the economics of climate change and the prosperity tied to reducing greenhouse gases. He has been an active contributor to much of the state and federal legislation regarding climate change, Cap and Trade, and greenhouse gas emission reduction.
As a business leader, Tom's companies have included Cabrillo Fuels, where it was the largest minority producer of ethanol fuel in Southern California. During this period and prior to Craton Equity Partners and then TCW|Craton, Tom built his management consulting company, PS Enterprises, into the country's leading consulting firm working with government and fortune 500 companies such as American Airlines, Verizon, and the White House in insuring their compliance with new and stricter environmental regulations.
Tom was an appointee of President Bill Clinton to the State Department's Border Environmental Cooperation Commission, and was President elect Barack Obama's Co-lead of the Executive Office of the President's Transition Team for The White House Council on Environmental Quality from November of '08 to January of '09.
Tom was recently recognized by Poder 360 Magazine as one of the Nation’s Top 100 Latino Green Leaders and was one of Hispanic Business Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Latinos of 2010.
During his limited spare time, Tom is the long time Board Secretary of the Mono Lake Committee and the former Chair and current Vice Chair of the California Science Center Board of Trustees. He is a leading voice in the emerging manager sector promoting diverse fund managers in finance as Chairman of the board of the New America Alliance.
Tom received a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA.)
Jonathan Weisgall is Vice President for Government Relations for Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. He joined CalEnergy (Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s predecessor company) in 1993 as Vice President for Legislative and Regulatory Affairs.
Weisgall also serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies and vice president of the Geothermal Energy Association. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught a seminar on energy issues since 1990 and recently received the Charles Fahy Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award as outstanding adjunct professor of the year. He has also guest lectured on energy issues at Stanford Law School, Haverford, and the Johns Hopkins Environmental Science and Policy Program.
Weisgall graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia College and from Stanford Law School. He previously practiced law in Washington, D.C. at Covington & Burling, has written several law review articles and has published articles in Legal Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, SAIS Review, and The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Riggs Eckelberry is founding CEO of OriginOil, a publicly-traded technology firm that helps algae growers extract oil from algae for use as a feedstock for the commercial production of transportation fuels, chemicals and foods. He transitioned into clean technology from a thirty-year career in high tech, having previously helped take Los Angeles-based CyberDefender public as its president and chief operating officer. Earlier, he was a key member of the team that developed YellowPages.com, resulting in its sale for $100 million; and he contributed to numerous other company successes in a lengthy career during and after the dot-com era. In January of 2011, Riggs Eckelberry was named to the Advisory Board of the National Algae Association. He speaks regularly on algae industry trends and writes the Algae Business column for Algae Industry Magazine.
Suzy Amis Cameron is a model, actress, a proud mother of five children, happily married to James Cameron, and an educational and environmental activist. In 2005, she founded MUSE School CA with her sister Rebecca Amis, an experience-based elementary school with a mission to 'Inspire and Prepare Young People to Live Consciously with Themselves One Another and the Planet. Suzy also developed the Red Carpet Green Dress contest, an international competition to raise funds for global scholarships through MUSE School CA and MUSE Global. Dress designs were submitted from all over the world, with the mandate that the dress be created from sustainable materials. Suzy chose the winning design, wore it on the red carpet at The Academy Awards in 2010, and the 2011 design was presented on a model on the green carpet at the Global Green Pre-Oscar Party. MUSE Global outreach program provides educational and financial resources to Good Morning School in Mae Sot, Thailand- a MUSE inspired school educating children of migrant workers who have escaped genocide in Burma.
Michael Woo is Dean of the College of Environmental Design at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. The College is one of the few university programs in the U.S. linking the allied disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban and regional planning, and also includes a large art department and the interdisciplinary sustainability programs at the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies.
Since the 1980s, Dean Woo has been one of the leading figures in Southern California planning and other efforts to shape the urban environment. He was the first trained urban planner elected to the Los Angeles City Council (1985 – 1993) and has served as a member of the L.A. City Planning Commission for the pat six years. During his two terms as the Councilman representing the Hollywood area, Woo initiated the Hollywood Redevelopment Plan which set forth the 30-year legal and financial framework underlying Hollywood’s current revitalization. He also played a key role planning the route and station locations of the Metro Red Line subway connecting downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood. Woo chairs the national board of directors of Smart Growth America and also chairs the nonprofit organization which runs the Hollywood Farmers Market, the largest certified farmers market in the City of Los Angeles. He earned a B.A. in Politics and Urban Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and received his Master of City Planning degree from UC Berkeley.
John "Woody" Wodraska
Woody Wodraska is a veteran of the water industry and started his professional career with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). He was then recruited to serve as the CEO of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). Wodraska has worked in a variety of positions in the private sector of the water industry. This included Azurix, a subsidiary of ENRON and a stint with large to mid-sized Architectural & Engineering Consulting firms, specializing in water. Presently he is President of Wodraska Partners, a small firm specializing in providing comprehensive problem solving strategies for public and private entities in the water industry.
David is a proven senior executive with experience as COO, CEO and Director on several corporate Boards. As Executive Director of The Climate Registry, David is responsible for providing strategic direction; liaising with state and provincial Board members; and overseeing The Registry’s program, services and staff. He also serves as co-director of the Northern California chapter of Environmental Entrepreneurs. In his previous position, David oversaw U.S. business development for a leading carbon management organization, and prior to that was an entrepreneur in the high tech sector, founding and/or leading innovative internet start-ups. David has an MBA from Oxford University and is based in San Francisco.
Michael W. Allman is president and CEO of Southern California Gas Company. He has held this position since 2010. Prior to his current role, Mike was the president and CEO of Sempra Generation, where he led the company’s growth in renewable energy. Before joining Sempra Energy he spent eight years as an international management consultant. Mike has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Michigan State University.
James N. Goldstene is the Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board. The Board has 11 members appointed by the Governor and is responsible for promoting and protecting the public health and ecological resources of California through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering the effects of its actions on the state’s economy. To achieve this goal, the Executive Officer oversees the development and implementation of regulations and policies adopted by the Board and represents the ARB before the Legislature and in a wide variety of state, regional, national and international forums. The California Air Resources Board has more than 1300 employees.
Goldstene was appointed Executive Officer in October 2007. Since then the Board has passed major rules to reduce diesel emissions from trucks, construction equipment and ships. It also adopted a comprehensive plan to reduce global warming pollutants under AB 32, California’s pioneering climate change legislation, and developed a range of measures and regulations to implement this plan, including the groundbreaking Low Carbon Fuel Standard and the establishment of a greenhouse gas emissions-trading program. In 2008 the Obama administration adopted California’s standard for greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles as the standard for the entire nation. Currently, ARB is working with the U.S. EPA and the Department of Transportation to develop more stringent standards for vehicles from model year 2018 to 2025.
Prior to his appointment as Executive Officer, Goldstene served first as a specialist to coordinate the Board's involvement in California's Smog Check program. Later, as Senior Advisor to the Board's Office of Climate Change, he was also responsible for providing policy guidance and direction for the implementation of AB 32.
Prior to joining the Board, Goldstene served as Deputy Chief at the California Department of Consumer Affairs' Bureau of Automotive Repair, the agency responsible for regulating automotive repair dealers and running the state's Smog Check program. His career history also includes key management positions with the Bureau of Barbering and Cosmetology, the State Contractors License Board, the California Pollution Control Financing Authority and other financing authorities in the Office of the State Treasurer. Goldstene served as Lieutenant Governor Leo McCarthy's environmental advisor in the early 1990s.
Goldstene also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Clean Air Agencies and is currently co-chair of the Western Climate Initiative Executive Committee.
Goldstene holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Government from California State University, Sacramento, where he served as part-time faculty in the Government Department for many years. As part of his graduate studies, he completed a year studying in the Department of Politics at the University of Bristol in England. Goldstene taught American government and political theory at California State University, Sacramento for many years.
Frank Harris is the Manager of Corporate Environmental Policy at Southern California Edison. In this capacity he manages SCE’s greenhouse gas policy activities and represents SCE before the California Air Resources Board, the California Public Utilities Commission, and the California Energy Commission. Additionally, he is responsible for evaluating environmental and energy legislation and regulation, providing policy recommendations to SCE management and coordinating and communicating SCE policy recommendations to external stakeholders. Dr. Harris holds B.A. degrees in Economics and Finance from the University of Texas at Dallas and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Irvine where he specialized in Energy Policy and Public Choice. His most recent publication “California Dreaming: The Economics, Politics, and Mechanics of Meeting California’s Carbon Mandate” was included in Generating Electricity in a Carbon Constrained World
Noah Garrison is a Project Attorney with the Water Program at NRDC. Working from each of NRDC’s U.S. offices, the Water Program seeks to ensure safe and sufficient water for people and ecosystems in the United States. Noah joined NRDC in 2007, and has spent the past four years working on legal, policy, and technical water related issues that include urban runoff and storm water; green infrastructure and Low Impact Development (LID) implementation and its relationship to water supply, energy use, and climate change; enforcement of the Clean Water Act and California Porter-Cologne Act; and groundwater supply and the relationship between groundwater and the public trust in California. Noah is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, with a specialization in Public Interest Law and Policy. Noah also holds a M.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he served as a Lecturer in 2004.
Consul General Niimi joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1979 after graduating from Tokyo University’s Faculty of Law. His previous international assignments were in England, Kenya, France, Iran, Russia, and Thailand. At Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Tokyo, he has served as Director of the Overseas Public Relations Division, Director of the Consular Policy Division, Director of the Overseas Establishments Division, and as Assistant Vice-Minister. The post of Consul General at Los Angeles is his first assignment in the United States.
As director of Technology Development, Mark Irwin leads SCE’s Energy Storage Ownership Initiative, the energy storage and transportation research and development activities, and the project management of Advanced Technology’s research portfolio.
Mr. Irwin has 30 years in the energy business, which includes 23 years with Edison International, leading teams that develop, manage or contract with significant power generation and fuel assets.
Mr. Irwin earned an MBA in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in accounting from the University of Southern California.
Susan Kennedy is Founder and CEO of Advanced MicroGrid Solutions. Kennedy served for two decades at the highest levels of state and federal government, most recently as chief of staff to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, cabinet secretary and deputy chief of staff to Governor Gray Davis and communications director for California’s senior U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. Ms. Kennedy served from 2003-2006 on California’s Public Utilities Commission, regulating the state’s investor-owned electric utilities, telecommunications providers and private water companies.
Ms. Kennedy was at the center of many of California’s groundbreaking environmental policies, including the carbon reduction mandate and cap & trade program under AB 32, the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard, auto emission standards and Renewable Portfolio Standard. She coordinated the State’s emergency demand response efforts during the energy crisis of 2000-2001 and as a member of the California Public Utilities Commission Ms. Kennedy authored what was then the largest energy efficiency program in utility history. Ms. Kennedy joined the Leadership Council for the China-US Energy Efficiency Alliance in 2003, working with the Natural Resources Defense Council to design China’s first large-scale demand response program.
Doug McPherson serves as Idealab's General Counsel and Vice President of Corporate Development. Prior to joining Idealab, he served as Chief Legal Officer and Vice President, Business Development for Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch and its predecessor company, CitySearch. Before working at CitySearch, Doug was with the law firm of HellerEhrman LLP. He also served as a law clerk for a federal district judge and worked for The Rockefeller Foundation in New York City. He holds a B.A. in Classics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar, an M.A. in Greek and Roman History from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School where he served on the Stanford Law Review and Environmental Law Journal. He enjoys running, wine, time with his family and live performances of all kinds.
As deputy executive director at the Port of Los Angeles, Michael R. Christensen, P.E., is the second in command at the nation’s number one container port and head of the Port’s Development Bureau.
Christensen oversees the Engineering, Environmental, Goods Movement, and Construction divisions, which employ approximately 200 professional, technical, and clerical staff plus hundreds of consultant and contractor personnel in support of the permitting, design, construction, maintenance, and environmental management of the infrastructure and development projects at the 7500-acre complex. He also oversees the Board of Harbor Commissioners’ office and is liaison with outside transportation agencies on goods movement projects related to the Port.
Christensen has more than 35 years of engineering and management experience related to maritime, rail, and general transportation projects. Prior to joining the port in October 2006, Christensen served as vice president at Parsons Transportation Group where he was responsible for a broad range of local, regional, and national goods movement, port, and rail projects.
His career-to-date also includes holding senior management positions at several other transportation consulting firms plus 16 years of service to the Southern Pacific Railroad, where he held various posts including assistant chief engineer for design and construction and chief environmental affairs officer. He has held key leadership positions on a number of major projects that include the Alameda Corridor rail expressway serving the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex, the Port of Los Angeles’ Transportation Master Plan, the Port of Oakland’s Maritime Development Alternative Study, and Reno’s ReTRAC grade separation project.
Christensen earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Arizona State University and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association. A third-generation civil engineer, Christensen is a registered professional engineer in California and nine other states. He currently resides with his wife and four children in Redondo Beach, Calif., where he volunteers on a school board committee, as a youth soccer league referee, and as a local Boy Scout leader.
Dr. Rajit Gadh is a Professor at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at UCLA, and the Founding Director of the UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center. He is also Founder and Director of the Wireless Internet for Mobile Enterprise Consortium. Dr. Gadh's research interests include Smart Grid Architectures, Smart wireless communications, sense and control for Demand Response. He has over 150 papers in journals, conferences and technical magazines, and, 3 patents granted.
He has a Doctorate degree from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), a Masters from Cornell University and a Bachelors degree from IIT Kanpur. He has taught as a visiting researcher at UC Berkeley, has been a Assistant, Associate and Full Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and did his sabbatical as a visiting researcher at Stanford University for a year.
In his role as Executive Director of CTLA and LACI, Fred combines experience as an entrepreneur with his passion for clean technology. Prior to joining this new public/private partnership, Fred worked as a technology entrepreneur and an advisor on the City’s cleantech business strategy.
As Executive Director, Fred lead’s the strategic, policy, industry partner and outreach efforts of CLTA and LACI.
Fred brings sixteen years of entrepreneurship to this effort, having co-founded The Propellant Group, a management consulting group, Full Moon Interactive (FMI), an Internet architect, and LAI, Inc., a consulting company focusing on leveraging technology in traditional businesses. Fred built FMI from startup to $25 million in annual sales with 14 consecutive quarters of profitability. Fred also started one of the first interactive divisions of a global advertising agency in 1995. Prior to his experience in “new media,” Fred spent 15 years with global communications companies in various executive capacities. Fred ran the Apple computer account on a worldwide basis for BBDO and was GM of their San Francisco office, doubling the billings of the office and returning it to profitability in 18 months.
Fred has been involved -- either as a consultant, principal, employee or investor -- in the startup of several-dozen technology companies. He served as COO of Snap.com, a next-generation venture-backed search engine. Previously, Fred was a Strategic Advisor at Idealab in which he led the efforts to develop operating plans for a number of their portfolio companies. Fred served as the Interim CEO for Geocities, helping to author its first business plan, gain its first round of venture backing, and crystallizing its advertising-driven business model. Geocities went public and was later sold to Yahoo in 1999.
Starting in 2008, Fred began advising the Mayor’s Office, CTLA, the CRA/LA, LAEDC, and UCLA on various early efforts to develop a clean technology commercialization ecosystem.
Fred speaks often to groups on creating cleantech innovation ecosystems, harnessing the region’s strengths to build a large green economy, entrepreneurship, the role of economic development in creating jobs, and public/private partnerships.
Fred received his BA from New York University.
As Managing Director, Mike is responsible for expanding BrownFlynn’s market penetration across North America, developing new and existing strategic partnerships, providing innovative corporate responsibility and sustainability solutions to clients and helping shape the strategic direction of the Firm. Having helped establish and then direct GRI’s North American operations from 2010 to 2014, Mike was instrumental in driving sustainability reporting across the North American economy.
Mike’s 20 years of international experience in the sustainability field provides BrownFlynn clients and business partners with a global view of the sustainability landscape. Having given expert testimony to the European Commission, U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, Environmental Protection Agency and the General Services Administration, and having presented on the topic of sustainability and reporting at many of events, Mike’s expertise in the field is highly regarded and valued by a wide range of colleagues and organizations.
Bill Abolt is a Vice President of Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure and leads its Sustainability, Energy & Carbon Management National Practice. Prior to joining Shaw, he served as Environment Commissioner, Director of the Office of Budget and Management and Chief of Management, Office of the Mayor, for the City of Chicago, where he was responsible for developing Chicago's strategy to become one of the greenest cities in the United States.
Mr. Abolt has over 28 years of experience managing complex energy, environmental and public issues including energy planning, sustainability program design, multi-stakeholder budget processes and enterprise-wide analysis of critical infrastructure and electrical system performance. As a part of his responsibilities at Shaw, he manages and directs specific consulting projects for corporate and public clients including but not limited to assignments involving renewable energy, energy efficiency, green infrastructure and sustainable design.
He is a member of the Green Ribbon Committee of the Chicago Climate Action Plan, the Midwest Advisory Council of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Civic Consulting Alliance Leadership Council and has served as an adjunct instructor in Public Policy and Administration at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University.
Christopher Cannon is the director of environmental management for the Port of Los Angeles, a position he has held since October 2010.
Cannon has worked at the Port of Los Angeles as a consultant since 2004, most recently helping to manage the implementation and daily operation of the highly successful Clean Truck Program.
In his new role, Cannon will be responsible for balancing commerce and growth with ecological sustainability at the nation’s busiest container port. The division assesses environmental impacts of development projects and determines appropriate mitigation measures. It also prepares and distributes any environmental documentation mandated by state and federal law; special studies involving dredging, noise abatement, water quality and air quality; contamination characterizations; wildlife management; and establishment of policies regarding environmental quality issues.
Before his work on the Clean Truck Program, Cannon worked with the Port Environmental Management Division’s Air Quality and CEQA groups, supporting the development of key air projects such as the Clean Air Action Plan and its efforts to complete critical environmental impact reports for Port-related projects.
Cannon has 21 years of experience in the environmental services industry, working on a range of projects while employed by ENVIRON International Corporation and TRC Environmental Solutions.
Cannon also spent two years as a legislative assistant for environmental policy on the Washington, D.C. staff of U.S. Representative Martin Sabo of Minnesota.
Cannon received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Dartmouth College and a law degree from University of California at Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. He currently lives in Los Angeles.
Sigal Admony-Ravid is the Israel Consul for Economic Affairs to the West Coast. Her office is responsible for enhancing bi-national trade relations between the local and Israeli business communities across a broad spectrum of industries.
Sigal began her career at the Ministry of Industry and Trade in the Foreign Trade Administration as the Deputy Director of the North American Department. Afterwards, she was assigned the duties of overseeing a national program that promoted the international commercialization of alternative energy technologies.
Before joining the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Sigal worked as an attorney for a leading Israeli firm specializing in intellectual property. She also worked as an attorney for the State Advocacy Fiscal Department within the Ministry of Justice.
Sigal received her degree in law from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Sigal also holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Tel Aviv University's Eitan Berglas School of Economics and an MBA from the TelAviv University and the Anderson school of business ,UCLA.
The Government of Israel Economic Mission is responsible for enhancing bi-national trade relations between the West Coast and Israeli business communities. By leveraging its networking capacity and industry knowledge in Israel and the Western United States, the Economic Mission is able to seamlessly engage prospective business partners half a world apart. Our operations span a variety of industry sectors, with a focus on high-tech, security, new media, cleantech and biotechnology.
David Kanani, PhD EECD
Timon Meyer is Senior Advisor for Cleantech Business Park, a 220-acre industrial and commercial park for Clean Tech companies, and Managing Director of Berlin Solar Network, the association of solar companies and institutions in Berlin and its surrounding “Capital Region”.
Timon was Head of the Business Unit “Manufacturing Industries, Mobility & Clean Technologies” at Berlin Partner. Previously, Timon was with TOTAL Germany from 2002 through 2006, serving as Strategic Controlling Manager, among other positions. During his tenure, the company opened its first LH2 / CH2 hydrogen filling station in Berlin and initiated several other sustainable development projects, most notably a CO2 emission reduction formula for trucks. Timon holds a European Master in Management degree from ESCP Europe.
Paul has twenty years experience as an executive directing the growth or turnaround of engineering, technology, and infrastructure companies. Paul has led company and divisional operations in Canada, the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, specializing in strategy development and execution.
Experience includes: clean energy technologies; transportation technologies (rail, air, transit); transport planning, demand forecasting, environmental assessment, and design/construction; building design/construction; lean engineering & operations; and expert system development/deployment.
Paul is President of Mertes Management and Technology, Managing Director of Verdexchange Canada Inc, and serves as a business advisor to the MaRS Cleantech Group, and as Advisory Board Member of Clean Transportation Group Inc. Previous positions include CEO of CleanEnergy & Board Member of the Canadian Geoexchange Coalition, Senior Vice President Giffels Engineering & Chairman AGM Program Managers; President Canac Remote Control Technologies; and Vice President International, Cole,Sherman Associates.
David Nahai is the President of David Nahai Consulting Services, LLC, which advises public and private entities in the renewable energy, energy efficiency and water sectors. He is also a partner at the law firm of Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith and co-chair of its energy, water, and real estate practice areas. He is also the former Commission President and General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). Mr. Nahai’s administration expanded LADWP’s renewable portfolio to 15% and paved the way for its attainment of the 20% level. Under David Nahai’s watch, the LADWP achieved multi-fold increases in energy efficiency levels, as well as record reductions in water consumption in the City of Los Angeles. Mr. Nahai is also the former Chair of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, where he served in the administrations of 3 California Governors. He sits on the Boards of the California League of Conservation Voters, Heal the Bay, and the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and has served as Senior Advisor to the Clinton Climate Initiative.
Robyn Beavers started her career as an energy efficiency consultant and then moved on to become the founding member of Google’s Green Business & Operations strategy team. In this role she delivered several green strategic programs including the country's largest corporate solar installation at the time, energy efficiency retrofits for Google's global offices, employee incentive programs, and the creation of a large scale renewable energy investment program. While pursuing her MBA, Robyn served as a Fellow for the Department of Energy. In 2011, she joined Vestas Wind Systems where she created WindMade, a global NGO that issues the first global consumer label for brands and products made with wind energy. She then joined DEKA Research & Engineering to commercialize their various distributed water and power technologies. Her most recent corporate involvement has been as Sn VP for NRG Energy. She holds both a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an MBA from Stanford University.
Steve Glenn is the founder and CEO of LivingHomes, LLC (www.livinghomes.net), a premier developer of modern, prefabricated homes that combine world-class architecture with an unparalleled commitment to healthy and sustainable construction. The first LivingHome, designed by Ray Kappe, FAIA, was installed in eight hours. It was the first home in the nation to be certified LEED Platinum. Thirteen LivingHomes have been certified LEED Platinum and one LEED Gold, making the company one of the most experienced designers of homes at the highest level of LEED certification. LivingHomes are available in standard or customized configurations to builders, developers and individuals. LivingHomes have garnered significant industry recognition including the AIA’s top sustainable award, Green Builder Magazine’s Home of Year, Business 2.0 “World’s 11 Coolest Products”, and Business Week’s “Architectural Wonders of the World.” LivingHomes are available in standard or customized configurations to builders, developers and individuals. In addition to design, LivingHomes is current in production on our first development, a community of six single family LivingHomes and a commercial space in Los Angeles, and we’re working on affordable housing communities for Make It Right, at the Ft. Peck Indian Reservation in Montana and for an East LA non-profit in Los Angeles. Before LivingHomes, Glenn worked with the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) and managed the development of a $220 million program in Mozambique, the first program CHAI launched in Africa. Glenn is founder and former Chairman and CEO of PeopleLink, a leading provider of enterprise ecommunity solutions, which raised $35 million from AT&T Ventures, GE, Goldman Sachs, idealab and others. Glenn was a founding partner of idealab, a business incubation firm that raised $1 billion and that founded or invested in a number of successful companies including GoTo/Overture (OVER), NetZero/United Online (UNTD), CitySearch (TMCS), Tickets.com (TKTS), eToys and CarsDirect. Glenn worked for Walt Disney Imagineering as co-director of the Virtual Reality Studio. Glenn co-founded Clearview Software, which was sold to Apple Computer where Glenn later served as a marketing specialist. He holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from Brown University, studied Urban Planning at Harvard Graduate School of Design, and was a Coro Fellow. Glenn is a co-founder and chair of the Sustainable Business Council, www.sustainablebc.org, co-founder of the Kaia Parker Dance Endowment, www.kaiaparker.org, and a co-founder and former board member of Hope Street Group, www.hopestreetgroup.org and the Brown University Entrepreneur Forum, www.brownep.org. He was a a Judge for the US Energy Department's 2013 Solar Decathlon competition, www.solardecathlon.gov. Glenn was named the Clean Tech CEO of the Year by Clean Tech Week; Environmental Entrepreneur of the Year by LA City Council/Faith2Green; and Greatest Person of the Day by Huffington Post. Glenn holds two patents and wrote the treatment, produced and acted in a small part in the critically panned but commercially successful “Good Luck Chuck”, which starred Jessica Alba and Dane Cook.
Mickey Kantor concentrates his practice on corporate and financial international transactions. He has extensive experience in market access issues, as well as the expansion of client activities in foreign markets through trade, direct investment, joint ventures, and strategic business alliances.
Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Mickey was the United States Secretary of Commerce (1996-1997) and the United States Trade Representative (1993-1996). He has been called “arguably the finest trade negotiator in the world”(Chambers Global 2006) and is said to be “blessed with fantastic political insights and connections”(Chambers USA2007).
He was recognized in The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers-Trade & Customs 2009. Among them any awards and honors he has received are the following: the Order of the Southern Cross Award by The Government of Brazil, 2001, the William O. Douglas Award by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the Thomas Jefferson Distinguished Public Service Medal from the Center for the Study of the Presidency, the Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award from the Hugh O'Brien Youth Foundation, and Elihu Root Distinguished Lecturer, Council on Foreign Relations.
Dean Taylor is a manager and scientist at Southern California Edison in the electric transportation area, where is works on technical and strategic analysis as well as regulatory and legislative policy for the last 21 years. He has been involved with battery EVs since 1991 and plug-in HEV analysis and research since 1995. He has co-lead or chaired several legislative or technical coalitions or task forces for the industry, including the federal ad hoc PHEV and BEV coalition that worked on the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the California EV Task Force, and the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Working Group. He has over 15 years experience in creating or co-managing legislative coalitions that resulted in over 50 bills being signed into law. He has project managed dozens of technical studies covering over 30 electric drive technologies, including non-road vehicles, high-speed rail, and heavy duty vehicles. His chapter on plug-in vehicle federal policies was published in 2009 by the Brookings Institute Press, and he has many other publications. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science, Policy Analysis and Planning from the University of California, Davis.
Tom Drischler is the Acting Chief of the Bureau of Franchise & Taxicab Regulation for the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation. He is also concurrently the Los Angeles Taxicab Administrator, a position he has held since 1999. From 1986 through 1999, he was a Management Analyst with Los Angeles World Airports at LAX , where he was instrumental in writing and implementing the LAX Ground Transportation Permit Program. Tom’s office issues permits to more than 7,000 drivers and attendants of private ambulances, taxicabs and other vehicles for hire and more than 4,000 vehicles.
A graduate of Daniel Murphy High School of Los Angeles, Tom has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science from the University of Oregon and a Masters degree (MPA) in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Transportation Regulators (www.IATR.org) and is an Accredited Airport Executive with the American Association of Airport Executives.
The Senior Vice President for Worldwide Operations of the CMB Regional Centers is Kraig A. Schwigen. CMB Export, LLC and CMB Summit, LLC were founded by Patrick F. Hogan who still serves as the President of both companies. CMB Export, LLC was authorized as a Regional Center in 1997 under the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service and the EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program. CMB, as a Regional Center, pools investor capital from around the world with the ultimate goal of obtaining permanent residency in the United States for their investors and the creation of new American jobs as a result of each investment. Since 2008, CMB has raised $400 million in EB-5 investor capital that has been married up to well over $3 billion in total project spending which has lead to the creation of no fewer than 10,000 new American jobs.
Mr. Schwigen has had a professional relationship with Mr. Hogan since 1998. Mr. Schwigen served with the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department for over twenty three years. Prior to his retirement from law enforcement in 2008 he rose to the rank of Lieutenant. During his career he was responsible for overseeing numerous divisions within the department including Investigation, Fugitive, Patrol, Professional Standards and Administrator of the County Jail. Additionally, Mr. Schwigen has over fifteen years involvement in the new home construction and real estate development industries, recently completing one of the largest home subdivisions in Western Illinois.
Currently, Mr. Schwigen oversees all aspects of CMB’s worldwide operations including the development and expansion of CMB’s presence in the EB-5 industry and investor marketplace. He is very active in the Invest in the USA (IIUSA) organization and chairs the Best Practices Committee. He and Mr. Hogan have worked closely with the Ohio Department of Development in developing the framework that would allow EB-5 infrastructure investments to become a part of the State’s future infrastructure plans. Mr. Schwigen’s recent focus within CMB has become more related to Project Development as other senior staff have been added and primary responsibilities have shifted freeing up more time for the development of future CMB investment projects.
David W. Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Special Assistant to the President of Oberlin College and Executive Director of the Oberlin Project.
In 1996 he organized the effort to design the first substantially green building on a U.S. college campus. The Lewis Center purifies all of its waste water and is the first college building in the U.S. powered entirely by sunlight. His recent projects include a two year $1.2 million collaborative project to define a 100 days climate action plan for the Obama administration where the actions of the present generation might deprive posterity. He is presently the Executive Director of the Oberlin Project which is focused on making the City of Oberlin a model of full-spectrum sustainability and replicating that effort through a National Sustainable Communities Coalition.
Terry is responsible for product strategy and market development for EVgo. The company is the leading provider of fast charging to electric vehicles of all makes. Terry’s responsibilities include a $100 million investment to build electric vehicle (EV) charging networks throughout California, regulatory and legislative initiatives, marketing, communications, technology demonstration programs and pricing strategy.
Prior to joining EVgo, Terry was Executive Director of Environment Now foundation, a strategic, entrepreneurial, activist leader in California. The organization founded dozens of activist environmental organizations protecting air, land and water quality in California and Mexico. In 2007, Terry cofounded Move LA and developed LA County’s Measure R, which over 67% of voters approved in 2008 and is contributing over $40 billion to transit investment countywide.
Terry began his career with Edison International, where he contributed to founding four businesses in energy, security services, and electric vehicle charging. He went on to cofound EV Rental Cars, which was the first rental company in the United States to offer only environmental vehicles, such as hybrid, natural gas, and electric cars to the general public. It served fifteen airports in six states and more than 500,000 customers, with over 700 cars. Terry has served on various start-up boards and in advisory roles for companies in energy, technology, transportation and infrastructure.
He holds an MBA from The UCLA Anderson School of Management and completed the Coro Public Affairs Fellows Program in Los Angeles. He earned a BA with honors in Public Policy at Stanford University, with a thesis addressing public finance and demand management of electricity.
Terry was first elected as Councilmember for the City of Santa Monica in November 2010. He has served two years as Mayor Pro Tempore and currently serves as a Councilmember. The city serves over 90,000 residents and a daytime population up to 300,000, with 1,700 employees, a $650 million annual budget and an AAA bond rating. Terry led a six-year process to update the City’s General Plan, which became the leading example of environmental land use planning in the state, reducing projected per capita greenhouse gas emissions from land use by 31 percent in 25 years. He has been active with community organizations throughout California and Mexico; including Waterkeeper Alliance, Coro Southern California; The USC Center for Sustainable Cities, Environmental Entrepreneurs and as the Board Chair of the Coalition for Clean Air.
Robert "Bob" Hertzberg
Robert M. Hertzberg, twice unanimously elected Speaker of the California State Assembly, from 2000 – 2002, is now a State Senator, proudly serving nearly 1 million residents in the San Fernando Valley. Bob serves on, among others: the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance, the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications, and the Committee on Natural Resources and Water, and continues to address the big challenges facing California.
Bob has been an active entrepreneur and leader in global policy on renewable energy. The Guardian (UK) named him as one of the “50 People Who Could Save the Planet” and his former company won the “World Bank Award, for Lighting Africa,” for a project in Rwanda.
Bob has appeared on CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, CNN, BBC, Nightline, and has been featured in articles in The Economist, Fortune Small Business, and Financial Times. In addition, a solar company he was involved with in Los Angeles won the 2005 Wall Street Journal Innovation of the Year Award in the field of energy.
Bob has been to every VerdeExchange Conference & Expo since the beginning, including two in Toronto, Canada. He’s thrilled to be back for #9!
Jeff Joyner is co-founder and co-chair of the E4 Mobility Alliance which focuses on advanced transportation including alternative fuels, autonomous vehicles and energy storage.
Jeff has been very active in serving as outside general counsel to CleanTech businesses whose goals are start-up funding, acquisition and protection of intellectual property, public offerings, incentives, grants, and joint venture partners, among others. In this role, Jeff uses his vast experience in patent, trademark, and copyright acquisition, protection, licensing, enforcement, litigation, trials and appeals. Jeff advises and is a limited partner of one of the first clean technology venture funds that focuses on energy, water, agriculture and materials. He also advises other companies using technologies for solar, wind, biomass, solar thermal, waste-to-energy, green building material, transportation, infrastructure and smart grid projects, among others.
Jeff is on the Board of Directors for CleanTech LA and chairs several working groups and task forces dedicated to the green economy for CleanTech businesses for the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. Jeff was named one of the “75 Top IP Litigators” in California by the Daily Journal; selected by Super Lawyers magazine, ranking him in the top 2.5 percent of Southern California lawyers; and selected by Forbes as one of “America's Premier Lawyers.”
Works to develop attractive products that contribute to successful North American Business Plan, focusing upstream in Advance Development Research, Technical Development and Brand / Quality Enhancement.
Jonathan leads the Cleantech Practice at MaRS Discovery District where he assists Ontario based Cleantech companies in growing their business and raising capital. He has an extensive background in early stage and high growth alternative energy companies. Prior to joining MaRS, Jon led Business Development for Hydrogenics Corporation where he focused on strategic partnerships, product development, and sales and marketing. During his time with Hydrogenics he was involved in the introduction and launch of both the company’s fuel cell and hydrogen generation divisions.
Jon was also previously with the Pembina Institute where he led corporate consulting services on low-impact renewable energy and energy policy. In 1997, Jon co-founded Sustainable Energy Technologies, which is a leading Canadian provider of power electronics for the solar power industry.
Jeffrey Milanette is the Executive Director of PortTechLA (www.PortTechLA.org) a clean / green technology commercialization center and incubator sponsored by the Port of Los Angeles, the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, and the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. PortTechLA serves the technology needs of the Port’s customers and related businesses seeking to create employment and improve the quality of the environment in the San Pedro Bay region of Los Angeles.
Jeff has been involved in the incubation industry since 1986 when he formed Innovative Partners, Inc. (IPI). He founded the San Diego Incubator Corporation, the first incubation program in San Diego and served as Chairman of the Board (1986-89). In 1989, IPI was engaged by Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ) to establish the Rutgers Business Innovation Center, a technology incubator program affiliated with the University which he then directed for six years.
As President of IPI, Jeff has conducted numerous feasibility studies and evaluations of incubation programs in the US and overseas for public and private sector clients, including both the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. In addition to successfully commercializing technology himself as President of SpeakEZ, Inc., Jeff has also been a founder or director of several technology start-ups, including Aereon, Inc., La Jolla Design Corp., and The Venture Information Network for Entrepreneurs. He served as President of the New Jersey Entrepreneurs Forum from 1995 to 2009, and was a co-founder of the annual Russian Venture Fair (now in its 11th year). Jeff is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and holds an MBA in finance from the George Washington University.
Fred Johring is President of the Harbor Trucking Association, an industry group that provides trucking to/from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The Harbor Trucking Association is the leading advocacy group and advocates to keep Ports competitive and world leaders in promoting clean air and job growth.
Fred is also the President of Golden State Express, Inc. (GSE) and GSL Transportation Services, Inc. (GSL), a midsized trucking and warehousing group based in Rancho Dominguez, CA. Mr. Johring has extensive experience at Union Pacific Railroad in the international and intermodal arena, before he founded his current companies in 1996. He is a commissioner on the board of the Workforce investment Board in Long Beach. He is active with the American Trucking Association, the CTA, and the Harbor Transportation Club.
Frances Keeler is Of Counsel in the firm’s Long Beach office, where she specializes in environmental law. Her emphasis is in the district, state & federal Clean Air Acts; district, state and federal regulatory development; and CEQA.
Prior to joining Keesal, Young & Logan, Ms. Keeler was a Senior Deputy District Counsel with the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the air pollution control agency for the Los Angeles air basin. Ms. Keeler has over 23 years of experience with the agency. Ms. Keeler has been involved in the development of air quality management plans and rules that implement the plan and has extensive experience in permitting and compliance issues. Ms. Keeler represented the District in the development of credit trading programs and has been actively involved in the state and federal programs to regulate non-road sources such as locomotives, marine vessels and ground support equipment. Ms. Keeler’s litigation experience in both state and federal courts has primarily focused on the Clean Air Act and CEQA. Prior to joining District Counsel, Ms. Keeler worked for eight years in the Operations Management and Enforcement Divisions of the District as an industrial operations inspector and staff specialist. Her undergraduate degree is in chemistry.
Elected to the State Assembly in 2008 and reelected in 2010, Assembly member Nancy Skinner has been involved throughout her career in efforts to promote energy conservation. During the oil crisis of the late 1970s, Ms. Skinner and others lobbied the City of Berkeley to establish an Energy Office and a citizen’s Energy Commission.
An early champion of integrating economic development with environmental protection, Ms. Skinner authored the legislation to establish Berkeley’s Community Energy Services Corporation, which continues to provide energy efficiency services to small businesses and homeowners throughout the East Bay. During her time in the Assembly, Ms. Skinner has carried major legislation governing energy storage, net energy metering, renewable energy, and energy upgrade financing. Ms. Skinner founded ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability. As Executive Director of ICLEI’s US office, Ms. Skinner launched the Cities for Climate Protection program — the US movement of mayors and cities working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Ms. Skinner also served on the California Energy Commission's Climate Change Advisory Committee and San Francisco’s Clean Technology Task Force. She also serves on the board of directors of a number of non-profit organizations involved in environmental and energy issues.
Cecilia V. Estolano is an expert in sustainable economic development and urban revitalization. The many projects she has directed as co-founder of ELP Advisors include advising local governments, non-profits and foundations on redevelopment dissolution and economic revitalization; overseeing research on green infrastructure and job creation in Philadelphia; and managing complex multi-stakeholder processes, including the creation of economic development implementation plans and the LA 2050 visioning project for the Goldhirsh Foundation.
Prior to co-founding ELP Advisors, Ms. Estolano was Chief Strategist of State and Local Initiatives for Green For All, a national organization that advocates for broad access and opportunity in the clean-energy economy. Ms. Estolano oversaw Green For All’s State and Local Initiatives and the Capital Access Program and was charged with spearheading the organization’s effort to scale public-private partnerships as a means to grow family-supporting jobs in energy efficiency, water and transportation infrastructure, green manufacturing and other green sectors, particularly in under-served communities.
Ms. Estolano previously served as Chief Executive Officer of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA). Under Ms. Estolano’s tenure, CRA/LA was the largest redevelopment agency in California, with an annual budget of over $726 million and a work program covering 32 project areas. Ms. Estolano redefined the role of CRA/LA, developing and implementing the CRA/LA five-year Strategic Plan. She rebuilt the organization’s housing department, shepherded CRA/LA’s adoption of a landmark policy on local hiring in construction jobs, directed the adoption of a Healthy Neighborhoods policy, and created a $42 million Land Acquisition Fund to jumpstart development in underserved markets like South Los Angeles.
Prior to joining CRA/LA, Ms. Estolano was Of Counsel in the Los Angeles office of the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She represented developer, private equity fund and lender clients in land use, zoning, redevelopment, environmental, real estate, energy and telecommunications matters.
Ms. Estolano was the Deputy Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency Review Team, Energy and Environment Group for the Obama Presidential Transition Team. Her career includes service as a Special Assistant Los Angeles City Attorney, as a Senior Policy Advisor with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and as Environmental Policy Advisor to former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley. She also served on the California Coastal Commission.
Ms. Estolano is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law and holds an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA. She received her undergraduate degree in Social Studies with honors from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges. Ms. Estolano has taught urban planning at UCLA and UC Berkeley. She serves as Vice President of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and sits on the boards of directors of Manufacturing Renaissance and the National Employment Law Project.
Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. is General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), the third largest municipal utility in California, and a Department of the City and County of San Francisco with a workforce of 2,500 employees providing retail drinking water and wastewater services to San Francisco; wholesale water to three Bay Area counties; and green hydroelectric and solar power to San Francisco’s municipal departments. Mr. Kelly, who previously served as the SFPUC’s Assistant General Manager, Infrastructure, oversees $10 billion in capital programs for water, sewer and power, including the $4.6 billion Water System Improvement Program, the $6.9 billion Sewer System Improvement Program, and the $1.8 billion Hetch Hetchy System Improvement Program. As an authority on water, sewer and power policy, he is in high demand as a speaker at numerous summits, forums and conferences throughout the country, and has provided expert testimony to the United States Senate on wastewater resource recovery. His civil engineering career spanning three decades includes his tenure as the City Engineer of San Francisco. He is on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), as well as the Bay Area Council. He co-founded the youth internship program Project Pull, which has been in continuous operation since 1995. His writing and insights are featured in The Value of Water – A Compendium of Essays by Smart CEOs. He and his wife, attorney and San Francisco City Administrator Naomi M. Kelly, and their two sons, reside in San Francisco.
Chair of the Delta Stewardship Council. Previously, he served as a Sacramento City Council member from 1971-1974, Mayor of Sacramento from 1975-1982 and as a member of the California State Assembly representing portions of Sacramento, Contra Costa and San Joaquin Counties from 1982 to 1996. His state legislative district contained major parts of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. His subject area focus as an elected official included land use planning, water and resource issues, state budget and fiscal matters, redevelopment reform and healthcare issues.
Isenberg holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law and a Bachelor of Art in Social Science and Government from California State University, Sacramento. He was in private practice and also served as President of Isenberg-O’Haren Government Relations from 2004 to February 2010. He is currently an inactive member of the California State Bar.
Isenberg served as chair of the California Marine Life Protection Act Blue Ribbon Task Force from 2004 to 2006 and served as chairman of the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force from 2007 to 2008. The recommendations of the Delta Vision Task Force provided much of the structure of the major water/Delta policy changes adopted by the legislature in 2009 and signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger.
He was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to a six year term on the Delta Stewardship Council, and elected Chair of the Council by his colleagues.
V. John White
V. John White has been a writer, commentator, advocate, and leader of the green energy movement in California for 35 years. He is executive director of CEERT, the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies in Sacramento, and principal of the environmental and energy lobbying practice, V. John White Associates, representing public interest environmental and local government organizations, and new energy technology companies.
White's career has been devoted to air quality improvement and clean energy development. As chief consultant to the California Assembly Subcommittee on Air Quality, he became the leading legislative expert on air quality technology and regulation, helping to draft the California Clean Air Act and subsequent clean air and energy statutes.
In 1990 he co-founded CEERT, which has become the premier energy advocacy voice for key environmental public interest groups and clean energy technology companies. He played a central role in the passage of the Pavley Clean Car bill, AB 32, and many of California’s renewable energy incentive and regulatory programs.
He serves on a number of nonprofit boards and organizations.
John is a graduate of U.C. Riverside – Political Science
Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Paul Krekorian has spent more than a decade in public service. Since 2010, he has served on the Los Angeles City Council where his leadership of the Budget and Finance Committee helped guide the city through the Great Recession. Paul also serves on the board of the LA County Metropolitan Transit Authority, Metrolink and the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments.
A former member of the California State Assembly, Paul is the first Armenian-American to be elected in the City of Los Angeles.
Carl Zichella is the director for western transmission for NRDC. He is the organization’s lead staff for western U.S. renewable energy transmission siting and serves on a nationwide team working on renewable energy development issues. In this role he works with stakeholders from environmental organizations, renewable energy development and transmission industries, local, state and national governments, regulatory agencies and the public to find renewable energy transmission solutions that accelerate renewable energy development while respecting wildlife and land conservation efforts.
Before joining NRDC he was the director for western U.S. renewable projects for the Sierra Club. He served in leadership capacities on the Sierra Club staff for 23 years.
Mr. Zichella is a former director of the Climate Action Reserve, founding steering committee member of the California Apollo Alliance, a director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technology (CEERT), environmental representative on the Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI), environmental representative to the Western Governor’ Association Renewable Energy Zone identification process, environmental representative for the Western Electricity Coordinating Council’s Transmission Expansion Planning Policy Committee, and was a founding director of the American Wilderness Coalition.
He lives in Davis, California with his wife Sarah and their dogs Lambchop and Dudley.
Throughout his career, John Fenton has built a reputation as a leader who gets results. His ability to motivate people and align teams around his vision of operational excellence has resulted in measurable improvements in safety, productivity, and financial well-being in organizations. Through his exceptional relationship-building skills with key stakeholders, and his expertise in the transportation industry, Fenton has been able to successfully introduce new efficiencies and deliver measurable results in domestic and international markets.
John Fenton joined Metrolink as its CEO in April 2010. Fenton’s commitment to excellence in service, efficiency, transparency and fiscal responsibility has brought substantial changes to the railroad, including enhancing the safety culture, improving equipment utilization and capitalization, and instituting a fuel conservation program that has improved emissions and saved millions. Under Fenton’s short tenure, Metrolink has launched the nation’s safest fleet of passenger rail cars, and progressed with its accelerated strategy to have Positive Train Control operational in advance of the 2015 federal deadline.
Prior to joining Metrolink, Fenton was an Operating Partner with CIH Capital Partners, a full service investment bank. He previously served as President and CEO of OmniTRAX, Inc., Denver-based short line railroad transportation services company. His railroad experience is extensive, including posts as General Manager and Vice President of the Canadian National Railway, Canada's largest freight railroad; Vice President of the Kansas City Southern Railway; an executive with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, which later became part of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway; and as a manager at Union Pacific Railroad.
John Fenton has a Master’s Of Science in Systems Management (MSSM) from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Transportation management from Indiana University, Bloomington. Fenton lives in Pasadena with his wife of 33 years, Monica.
Mike Levin is the Director of Government Affairs for FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: FCEL), a leading integrated fuel cell company that designs, manufactures, sells, installs, operates and services ultra-clean, highly efficient stationary fuel cell power plants for distributed power generation.
Mike is a passionate believer in clean technology and has over a decade of experience in government affairs and business development in the industry. Mike sits on the board of the Center for Sustainable Energy, and is also a co-founder and board member of CleanTech OC, Orange County’s clean technology trade association, where he served as the initial executive director.
Previously, he was part of the management team at a venture-funded clean tech startup. Prior to industry, Mike worked as an attorney at Bryan Cave LLP, where he assisted clients with environmental and energy regulatory compliance, project development, and government advocacy.
Mike has a BA in Political Science from Stanford University and a JD from Duke University School of Law. While at Stanford, Mike served as student body president. He is also a graduate of the CORO Fellows Program in Public Affairs.
David is a Fellow of the Public Policy Forum, the former Chair of the Waterloo Innovation Summit, a member of the advisory board of the Institute for Quantum Computing, and an advisor to companies and organizations in Ottawa, Toronto, Waterloo and Los Angeles.
Over his 34 year career, David has served as a senior executive in government, academia, and the diplomatic corps, leading large interdisciplinary teams in path-breaking R&D, policy and program areas. As a senior official at the Privy Council Office, a director general at Health Canada, an ADM at Industry Canada, the first Executive Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing, and Canada’s Consul General in Los Angeles, David has provided strategic leadership across a wide range of policy and program sectors. David led in the creation, and then served as a member, of the founding Board of Governors of the Council of Canadian Academies. He also served as a member of the board of directors of Canadian Commercial Corporation, of the Standards Council of Canada, and as the Secretary of the Minister of Industry Canada’s Expert Panel on Commercialization, chaired by Joe Rotman.
David has a PhD from the University of Toronto, a BA and MA from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor of Theology from Canadian Mennonite University. He and his wife have two children and seven grandchildren
Ronald O. Nichols is president of Southern California Edison (SCE). He is responsible for external affairs, compliance, power production and procurement, and other operations. Nichols has more than 35 years of experience in the electric and water utility industry. He has been a strategic and operational advisor to utilities, state and local government, power suppliers and the financial community on complex energy and utility matters throughout the United States, particularly in the West. Previously, Nichols was senior vice president of Regulatory Affairs and Nuclear for SCE, overseeing regulatory policy and affairs, regulatory operations and environmental affairs. Prior to joining SCE in 2014, Nichols served for three years as General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), where he provided leadership for the utility in supplying reliable and competitively priced water and electricity while continuing to maintain and implement environmentally conscious policies and priorities. Previously, Nichols was a managing director at the energy practice of Navigant Consulting, an international consulting organization with over 2,000 employees. From 1980 to 1997, before his position at Navigant, he was a co-founder and Senior Vice President of the energy and water utility consulting firm, Resource Management International, which was headquartered in Sacramento with offices throughout North America and in Europe and Asia. Prior to starting his energy and water utility consulting career in 1980, he held positions with the California Department of Water Resources and the California Energy Commission. Nichols is a graduate of the University of California, Davis with a degree in agricultural economics and business management.
Since he was overwhelmingly elected in 2008 and reelected in 2012 and 2016 to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Mark Ridley-Thomas has distinguished himself as a strong advocate for more than two million Second District residents. He presently serves as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, President of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission and a member of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
He has promoted the District’s interests on a variety of fronts, including transportation, job creation and retention, and local hiring. In the area of health policy, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas has overseen the construction of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, as well as a network of cutting-edge health care facilities throughout the District. He has facilitated the use of technology and encouraged an integrated approach to wellness that includes mental health care and a prominent role for school-based clinics. His advocacy has helped secure an equitable share of funding for public-private partnership health clinics in underserved areas.
Prior to his election to the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas served the 26th District in the California State Senate where he chaired the Senate’s Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development. He served as Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus in 2008 and led the Caucus in unprecedented levels of cooperation and collaboration with counterparts in the Latino and Asian-Pacific Islander Legislative Caucuses.
Mark Ridley-Thomas was first elected to public office in 1991 and served with distinction on the Los Angeles City Council for nearly a dozen years, departing as Council President pro Tempore. He later served two terms in the California State Assembly, where he chaired the Assembly Democratic Caucus. His legislative work addressed a broad range of issues with implications for economic and workforce development, health care, public safety, education, budget accountability, consumer protection and civic participation.
He is widely regarded as the foremost advocate of neighborhood participation in government decision-making. By virtue of his founding of the Empowerment Congress, arguably the region’s most successful 24-year experiment in neighborhood-based civic engagement, he is considered the founder of the Neighborhood Council movement.
Ridley-Thomas’ political career was preceded by a decade of service as executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles, which followed a brief but successful five-year stint as a high school teacher.
The Supervisor is a graduate of Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles and earned a baccalaureate degree in Social Relations with a minor in Government and a master’s degree in Religious Studies with a concentration in Christian ethics from Immaculate Heart College. Supervisor Ridley-Thomas went on to receive his Ph.D. in Social Ethics from the University of Southern California focusing on Social Criticism and Social Change.
He is married to Avis Ridley-Thomas, Co-Founder and Director of the Institute for Non-Violence in Los Angeles. They are the proud parents of Sinclair and Sebastian, both Morehouse Men. Sinclair recently earned an MBA degree at USC’s Marshall School of Business, works in the investment banking industry, and resides with his wife Shaunicie, an attorney, in San Francisco. Sebastian is a member of the California State Assembly representing the 54th District, which includes Southwest Los Angeles, Culver City, Century City and Westwood.
Ken Lewis is the President of AC Martin Partners, and has been with the firm for 30 years. He is a designer first, with an inherent ability to bring people, ideas and technology together, helping to create and influence the built environment. An uncharacteristically, hands-on President, Ken has designed and managed a long list of projects for the firm, involving himself from the earliest stages of the project, through the construction and final commissioning. He now focuses exclusively on facility programming, large projects and sustainable design leadership on all projects in the office.
A long time advocate of Sustainable Design Principles, Ken strongly believes in a holistic approach to architecture – an approach that goes beyond a narrow focus of checklists and measurements. He is recognized in Southern California as an expert in Green Building Design, recently participating in the effort for the City of Los Angeles’ first green building legislature for private sector, new construction. He was appointed by the City of Burbank to the city’s task force for a “Sustainable Burbank” in 2009, and now serves as the Vice Chair/Commissioner for Burbank’s Sustainability Commission.
Ken received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern California, and is a registered architect in California and a LEED™ Accredited Professional. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, the Society of College and University Planners, and served as a member of the Los Angeles Business Council – Energy and Environment Committee. As part of Ken’s commitment to furthering the field of the architecture and engineering, he was an adjunct faculty member for the School of Engineering at Cal State Fullerton from 1990 to 1995, is currently an adjunct faculty member for the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California. Ken is a frequent guest lecturer at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California.
Wayne Ratkovich is the founder and CEO of The Ratkovich Company (TRC), a Los Angeles development firm whose mission is “to profitably produce developments that improve the quality of urban life.” Specializing in urban infill and rehabilitation projects, TRC’s accomplishments range from large-scale entitlement endeavors to retail, office, entertainment and mixed-use projects. His company engages in both new development and the imaginative reuse of existing buildings including seventeen buildings that are historic landmarks.
TRC is the developer of The BLOC, a massive remodeling of the former Macy’s Plaza in downtown Los Angeles. The property consists of a 496 room Sheraton Hotel, 430,000 square feet of retail stores, a 700,000 square foot office building and parking for 2,000 cars.
TRC developed the Hercules Campus, an eleven building complex of former Hughes Aircraft Company Buildings that have historic status. The eleven buildings total 525,000 square feet and are located on 28.3 acres of land in the Playa Vista area of Los Angeles. The project was originally developed in association with Penwood Real Estate Investment Management. Seven of the buildings are now owned in association with Invesco. The project is fully leased to two tenants, Google and the advertising firm 72 and Sunny.
The firm owns and continues to develop The Alhambra, a 45-acre and 1.0 million square foot urban community consisting of office, retail and residential uses in Alhambra, California. TRC is also the developer of the prominent landmark, 5900 Wilshire, a 30-story, 491,000 square foot high-rise office tower situated directly across from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the Miracle Mile District of Los Angeles. The City of Los Angeles recently selected TRC to develop a 31-acre waterfront site as the San Pedro Public Market.
In total, Ratkovich has developed over 16.0 million square feet of office, retail, industrial and residential properties. Projects the company has to its record include: The James Oviatt Building; The Fine Arts Building; The Pellissier Building and Wiltern Theatre; Chapman Market; Ladera Center; an urban campus for the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising; the City of Glendale’s Alex Theatre; and a variety of high technology complexes including the Irvine Technology Center and the Von Karman Corporate Center.
As a Trustee for the Urban Land Institute, Mr. Ratkovich has served two terms as a Vice Chairman and member of its Executive Committee. He has been a member of eleven ULI committees, three times Chairman of the Awards of Excellence Jury, Chairman of an Urban Development/Mixed-Use Council, a member of the Inner City Task Force, and Chairman of ULI’s Forum on Urban Neighborhood Revitalization. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of ULI Americas.
In 2011, ULI named Ratkovich a Life Trustee, an honor given to only 13 members in the 75 year history of the 35,000 member organization. He is also a Trustee Emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Mr. Georgis has over 20 years of development and operational experience in the energy, technology, and government service sectors, holding several senior management positions, most recently as Managing Director of International at GlobalTec Solutions, a privately held technology company where he was responsible for all aspects of the company's international expansion. Mr. Georgis was a Principal and Managing Director at Exodus Energy LLC a Houston based privately held power and natural gas firm. While at Exodus, Mr. Georgis focused on the development and acquisition of energy assets, acting as lead developer on several multi million dollar innovative technology energy facilities including natural gas storage, offshore LNG regasification, and petroleum coke gasification. Previously, Mr. Georgis was a manager at Enron Corp. where he was responsible for developing and structuring energy asset projects internationally; negotiating and closing over 500 MW of power generation agreements. Mr. Georgis's experience includes structuring transactions for energy and infrastructure projects, negotiating with lenders, and advising investors in all aspects of energy project acquisition and project development including: storage and transportation capacity sales, gas and alternative fuel power generation, natural gas pipeline arrangements, and power purchase agreements. Mr. Georgis also served nine years as a Naval Special Warfare Officer in the United States Navy. Mr. Georgis graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in International Studies and obtained a Masters of Business Administration degree from the Anderson School at the University of California Los Angeles.
Margot Wirth is the Director of Private Equity at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS). CalSTRS is the second largest public pension fund in the United States with total assets of $145 billion (of which private equity assets comprise $23 billion). Prior to joining CalSTRS in 2001, Margot was a valuation consultant/manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York and San Francisco. She was also previously Vice President at 3-E Development Corporation, a residential real estate developer in the Washington DC area and a chemical engineer with DuPont in Beaumont, Texas. Margot is a member of the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia.
Supervisor Malia Cohen was elected in November 2010 to represent the residents of San Francisco’s 10th District, including the Bayview Hunters Point, Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, and Visitacion Valley neighborhoods.
Supervisor Cohen serves as Chair of the Transportation Authority Finance Committee, Chair of the Government, Audit and Oversight Committee, member of the Rules Committee. She also serves as Vice Chair of the San Francisco Retirement System (SFRS), member of the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board and member of First 5 Commission of San Francisco.
Since being elected Supervisor for San Francisco’s tenth district in 2010, Supervisor Malia Cohen has prioritized developing policies and legislation that keeps the residents of San Francisco’s Southeastern neighborhoods working, healthy and safe. Consistent with these principals in her first three years in office Supervisor Cohen sponsored the Pregnancy Information Disclosure and Protection Ordinance prohibiting limited services pregnancy centers from making false or misleading statements about their services. After passage, this measure was challenged in court and upheld in its entirety. Supervisor Cohen championed legislation that increased penalties for illegal dumping and after seeing the financial and public safety impacts of metal theft, successfully passed first-of-its-kind legislation to strengthen permitting regulations and enforcement on our City’s junk dealers. Additionally, Supervisor Cohen co-sponsored legislation establishing parking restrictions for oversized vehicles as a response to widespread constituent complaints about long-term recreational vehicle (RV) parking and resulting safety and health problems.
In this short amount of time in office Supervisor Cohen has sponsored three ordinances regulating types of especially lethal ammunition, high capacity firearm magazines and giving law enforcement additional tools to combat gun violence. These ordinances increase San Francisco’s already tough stance on firearm regulation. Additionally, she has passed legislation that increases neighborhood notification and community participation in land use decisions and sponsored legislation facilitating the expansion of the California College of the Arts and the revitalization of historic buildings at Pier 70.
Supervisor Cohen came to the Board from Power Forward Consulting, a public affairs, media and policy consulting firm helping businesses and nonprofits create sound public policy. She is a former member of the Corporate Strategy and Communications team for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco where she worked to supervise and regulate America’s banking institutions.
Supervisor Cohen was born and raised in San Francisco and attended Lowell High School. She earned a BA in Political Science from Fisk University and a MS in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.
Wendy James is President and CEO of The Better World Group, Inc. The company has been a recognized leader in political and environmental strategy, policy development and coalition management for more than a decade, working closely with the environmental community, progressive businesses and policymakers.
Over the past 35 years, James has developed unique expertise in political strategy, media and coalition building, with a special focus on clean energy and transportation issues. Prior to creating BWG, she led the Environmental Media Association, Southern California Edison’s Electric Transportation Division and the American Gas Association’s environmental communications program. She also worked as a congressional press secretary and a daily newspaper reporter.
Wendy has been honored by the California League of Conservation Voters, the Coalition for Clean Air, and was named Small Business Woman of the Year by her state legislators. She also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Institute for Transportation Studies at the University of California-Davis, on the Board of Trustees for the California State Parks Foundation, and the Community Advisory Council for Southern California Gas Company.
Richard Katz was elected to the California State Assembly in 1980, serving continuously for 16 years. As Democratic Leader in 1995, Katz led the Party to majority status by winning 43 seats in the 1996 elections. California’s term limits law prohibited Katz from seeking re-election.
For 10 years, Richard Katz served as Chair of the powerful Assembly Transportation Committee. He created the Congestion Management Plan, requiring cities and counties to measure and mitigate impacts of land use decisions on their streets, highways and transit systems.
Katz was California’s lead negotiator for the landmark Colorado River Agreement between the State of California, the Federal Government, four California Water Agencies, and the six Colorado River Basin States, furthering his expertise as a negotiator on issues of statewide significance.
Katz had already played a pivotal role in renegotiating $30 billion worth of California’s Energy contracts and developing California’s Transportation Blueprint for the 21st Century, which the voters approved as Proposition 111 in 1990.
In June of 2005, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Katz to serve with him on the Governing Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where Katz served for 8 years. In 2008, the Mayor appointed Katz to the Metrolink Board after the horrendous Chatsworth accident, “to make sure this never happens again.” Katz served on the Metrolink Board for 7 years, focused on safety issues and leading the effort that resulted in Metrolink being the first railroad in the country to implement Positive Train Control (PTC) a state of the art life saving satellite based technology.
When Mayor Garcetti was elected in 2013, he appointed Richard Katz to the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, where he continues to serve.
Richard Katz is the owner of a successful public policy/government relations firm, Richard Katz Consulting (RKC), Inc. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Valley Economic Alliance and on the Boards of Heal the Bay and the Jordan farmer Foundation.
A native of Los Angeles, Richard Katz lives in Studio City with his eight year-old son Mitchell Robert.
Jeffrey Kightlinger is general manager for The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. As general manager, he is responsible for implementing the policy directives of the Board, including working with elected officials and member agencies to carry out the Metropolitan's mission. The General Manager reports directly to the Board of Directors and provides leadership and management of the water district's public policies and strategic initiatives, assets and resources, and all administrative, operational, and financial activities for Metropolitan.
Kightlinger was appointed general manager in February 2006. Prior to his appointment as general manager, he was general counsel for Metropolitan. He was responsible for directing Metropolitan's legal staff and consulting attorneys; leading the district's legal strategies in pending and potential litigation; and protecting Metropolitan's interests in all legal matters.
Before becoming general counsel, Kightlinger represented Metropolitan in environmental issues and water right matters. At Metropolitan he worked primarily on Colorado River matters, water rights issues and a number of the district's water transfer and storage programs. Before joining Metropolitan in 1995, he worked in private practice representing numerous public agencies including municipalities, redevelopment agencies and special districts.
Kightlinger earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of California, Berkeley in 1981 and a law degree from the Santa Clara University Law School in 1985.
As the Climate Action Reserve’s Vice President of Business Development, Joel Levin is responsible for strategic development of the Reserve and has overseen its development from inception to its current status as the recognized environmental standard for carbon offset projects in the United States. He is the Reserve’s primary liaison to the business community and is a frequent and popular speaker on the Reserve’s programs and other climate change topics.
Joel has served as staff to the California Market Advisory Committee and the California Climate Action Team. Prior to working at the Reserve, Joel worked at Feeva Wireless in Berkeley and APX in Santa Clara. He has also served on the Capitol Hill staff of Senator Timothy E. Wirth (D-Colorado).
Joel holds an M.B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and an M.A. in International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University.
As the fourth generation of his family in the taxicab business, William J. Rouse serves as General Manager of five taxicab fleets in the greater Los Angeles area, including Yellow Cab of Los Angeles, Long Beach Yellow Cab, United Checker Cab, South Bay Yellow Cab and Fiesta Taxi. ASC is the largest taxicab organization in the Western United States with more than 1200 vehicles in its combined fleet.
Mr. Rouse is also affiliated with the management of San Diego Yellow Cab, with 330 vehicles in service, and California Yellow Cab, in Orange County, California, with over 200 vehicles.
Mr. Rouse graduated from the University of Southern California in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Finance and Business Economics. He received his law degree from the University of Southern California and was admitted to the bar in 1992.
Mr. Rouse is the past President of the Taxicab Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA), his industry’s international taxicab trade association. He is also serving his second term as President of the Taxicab Paratransit Association of California (TPAC), the industry’s statewide trade association. He also recently completed a two-year term as Chair of the Long Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Lee Kanon Alpert
Mr. Fillinger is responsible for developing First Solar’s utility-scale solar projects and leading the origination team in the US. A 20+-year energy industry executive, Mr. Fillinger has extensive experience with siting, permitting, financing and negotiating all project related contracts.
Prior to First Solar, Mr. Fillinger worked with NextLight and OptiSolar where he led both development and project finance activities where he developed the company’s power purchase agreement offering, negotiating and closing the first $40 million of projects developed under this structure. While at the California Consumer Power and Conservation Financing Authority, he developed a third party PV acquisition program for State agencies. Mr. Fillinger also worked at Enron North America, where he served as Director of Power Origination. Mr. Fillinger holds a B.S in Energy Economics from the University of California, Davis and an M.B.A in Finance from Columbia University.
Marshall Parsons is responsible developing and testing products and solutions to meet the needs of the Edison SmartConnect™ smartmeter program. Specific focus areas include Home Area Networks, Programmable Communicating Thermostats, Graphical Information Displays, Smart Appliances and Plug-in Electric Vehicles.
Before assuming his current position Parsons was Program Manager of laboratory and field test programs for the Edison SmartConnect™ meters and telecommunications. Under his leadership, two field trials were successfully completed with an installed base of 8,000 smart meters and associated telecommunications infrastructure.
Prior to joining Southern California Edison in 2003, Parsons was a Senior Consultant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, implementing major CRM and business systems. Parsons has worked internationally in telecommunications and aerospace R&D in the United Kingdom and South Africa and as the Integration Manager at the new airport in Hong Kong.
Parsons earned his Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering in the United Kingdom and is a Member of the IET (UK). He is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute.
Mary D. Nichols is Chair of the California Air Resources Board, a post she has held since 2007.
Nichols has devoted her entire career in public and nonprofit service to advocating for the environment and public health. In addition to her work at the Air Board, she has served as Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Air and Radiation program under President Clinton, Secretary for California's Resources Agency from 1999 to 2003 and Director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Her priorities as chairman include moving ahead on the state's landmark climate change program (AB 32), steering the Board through numerous efforts to curb diesel pollution at ports and continuing to pass regulations aimed at providing cleaner air for Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley. She values innovation, partnerships and common-sense approaches to addressing the state's air issues.
Hank Lee has been in the equipment leasing industry for over 20 years with the last 12 years focusing on financing energy assets. Hank specifically has financed distributed generation assets such as central plants, energy efficiency equipment, co-generation and renewable energy projects for institutions, commercial, municipals and the federal government.
Hank has brought his energy equipment financing expertise to East West Bank as a First Vice President in the International Banking Department specializing in financing renewable energy projects. He has financed solar projects at the Port of West Sacramento, City of Brea, San Diego Community College District, Edwards Air Force Base as well as solar projects in New Jersey and Massachusetts.
Hank is a graduate of Duke University with a degree in Economics.
Doug Failing serves as the Executive Director of the Highway Program for Los Angeles County Metro where he is responsible for Delivery of the nearly $8 billion Measure R Highway Program. Failing was chosen by the Los Angeles Times’ West Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in Southern California. Failing earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University in Houghton and Caltrans as a Junior Civil Engineer.
Antonio R. Villaraigosa is the 41st Mayor of Los Angeles.
Born on January 23, 1953 in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East Los Angeles, Antonio is the oldest of four children raised by a single mother, Natalia Delgado.
Villaraigosa’s sense of civic justice and political action began at a young age. As a high school student, he volunteered with the farm workers movement, led student walkouts and organized an African-American student union.
During his junior year of high school, Villaraigosa dropped out, but eventually returned to school at the encouragement of his English teacher, Herman Katz. After graduating from Theodore Roosevelt High School, Villaraigosa attended UCLA, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in History. He went on to attend the People’s College of Law, a night school dedicated to public-interest law.
By the age of 25, Villaraigosa was elected president of a local union representing civil rights workers and lawyers in six states. Over the next fifteen years, Villaraigosa continued this work as a union organizer for the Service Employees International Union, United Teachers Los Angeles, and then as President of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Federation of Government Employees.
In 1994, Villaraigosa was elected to the California State Assembly and, four years later, his colleagues elected him the first Assembly Speaker from Los Angeles in 25 years.
While in the Assembly, Villaraigosa spearheaded a $9.1 billion initiative to rebuild and modernize California schools, led a $2.1 billion initiative effort to provide parks and open space throughout the state, funded an extensive expansion of water quality enforcement by the state, and authored the state health insurance program, Healthy Families.
Elected as the Councilmember to Los Angeles’ 14th District in 2003, Villaraigosa was widely credited with resolving the Metropolitan Transit Authority transit strike, creating the largest passive park on the Eastside and Los Angeles, and protecting funding for the Arts.
In 2005, Villaraigosa ran for Mayor of Los Angeles on a platform of bringing the City together to take on the big challenges. He was elected on May 17, 2005 and sworn in as Mayor on July 1, 2005.
During his first term, Mayor Villaraigosa built the police force to its largest size in history, oversaw the steepest reduction in crime since the 1950’s, and developed Los Angeles’ first comprehensive anti-gang strategy.
Mayor Villaraigosa dedicated much of his first term to reforming Los Angeles’s public schools because of his passionate belief that Los Angeles will never succeed as a great global city if every child isn’t given a world-class education.
Fighting for reform from both inside and outside of the school district, the Mayor now oversees the Partnership for LA Schools, which runs ten of the lowest-performing schools. Within one year, test scores are already rising.
With the launching of GREEN LA, the Mayor set Los Angeles on the path to becoming one of the greenest big cities in the nation. The City has met the Kyoto targets for reducing greenhouse gases four years ahead of schedule; taken over 2,000 dirty diesel trucks off the road; met the first target of getting 10% of energy from renewable sources and is on track to reaching 40% by 2020; and put into place the most aggressive green building program of any large city.
Teaming up with transportation leaders throughout Los Angeles County, Mayor Villaraigosa led the effort to pass a once-in-a-generation investment in the mass transit system of Los Angeles. With the passage of Measure R, LA County is poised to invest in $40 billion in new transit, rail and highways.
On March 3, 2009, Mayor Villaraigosa was re-elected and took the oath for a second term on July 1, 2009.
Pledging to finish the work begun in his first term, Mayor Villaraigosa laid out an agenda centered on five focused goals for four years.
First and foremost of these goals, will be his effort to lead Los Angeles out of the recession and create jobs. The Mayor will also work to shut down failing schools and reconstitute them as innovation campuses, public charters or members of the Partnership Schools; set the city’s Department of Water and Power on a path to becoming coal free by 2020; oversee the largest mass transit construction program in America; and fight to keep Los Angeles one of the safest big cities in the nation by keeping the police force at 10,000 officers strong and crime at historic lows.
Medhanie Ephrem is the Deputy Director of Facilities for the Long BeachCommunity College District. Mr. Ephrem has 16 years experience in highereducational facilities management. He also provides leadership to a teamthat oversees a general obligation bond construction program in excess of$600 million. He also is a key contributor to the California CommunityColleges Investor Owned Utility management team (CCC/IOU). This teamdevelops and implements a permanent framework for a sustainable, long-term,and comprehensive energy management program at the 112 campuses served byCalifornia¹s four large IOUs. He is a graduate of the University ofCalifornia at Irvine and resides in Long Beach, CA.
Joseph Andrew (Andy) Thompson is the marketing communications Director for Shaw’s Power Group. Shaw is a fully integrated nuclear services provider offering licensing, design, engineering, construction, pipe fabrication, maintenance, modularization, startup and test, and new plant services worldwide.
Mr. Thompson joined Shaw’s Power Group in 2011. In his current role, he is responsible for marketing communications, community relations and internal communications.
Mr. Thompson has over 32 years of experience in nuclear and fossil generation communications. In 1980, he participated in the industry response to the Three Mile Island Unit 2 nuclear event by providing on-site communications support.
Prior to joining Shaw, Mr. Thompson worked as a newspaper reporter and spent 32 years with Duke Energy serving in a number of communications roles, including manager of the Catawba Nuclear Station’s community relations program, nuclear media relations, fossil media relations and employee communications.
Mr. Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina.
Bill Allen is the Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation and its subsidiary, the World Trade Center Los Angeles. Mr. Allen is also Co-Chair of the California Stewardship Network, a Vice Chair of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley and a member of the Board of Directors of the Weingart Foundation, Regional Economic Association Leaders of California Coalition, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs, FilmL.A., Unite L.A., and Sister Cities of Los Angeles.
Active in regional economic development for more than twenty years, Mr. Allen was the first CEO of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley from 1996-2000, and in 2000 was named California’s Civic Entrepreneur of the Year by the California Center for Regional Leadership.
Mr. Allen has served as a trustee of the University of Southern California, chair of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Chair of Film LA, and cochair of the “Shaping Tomorrow” capital campaign for the Valley Presbyterian Hospital, on whose board he served for fifteen years.
Mr. Allen was previously a television network and studio executive with nearly twenty years experience in entertainment production and management, where he supervised the development and production of hundreds of episodes of network, syndicated and cable television, as well as several highly rated TV movies and specials.
A cum laude graduate of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California in 1979, Mr. Allen also received his Masters Degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 1983.
Carla J. Peterman is the California Public Utilities Commission’s assigned Commissioner for the Renewable Portfolio Standard, alternative transportation, and energy storage proceedings.
Commissioner Peterman’s previous positions include: California Energy Commissioner, researcher at the University of California Energy Institute and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and investment banking associate at Lehman Brothers.
Mr. Youssef is the Technology Development Manager for the Southern California Gas Company. Mr. Youssef has 35 years of experience in the energy industry with past responsibilities in Marketing, Human Resources, Operations and Engineering. He is responsible for managing a $10 million per year R&D program. This program is focused on developing and demonstrating new products and technologies to help customers use energy more efficiently, meet their environmental regulations, use renewable energy and use alternative fuel vehicles.
Mr. Youssef has a Bachelor and Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California.
C. Scott Miller
C. Scott Miller, MBA, is the President of the Miller De Wulf Corporation - a bioenergy communications and marketing firm in Los Angeles. His clients include the Bioenergy Producers Association, Ineos Bio, New Planet Energy, Price BIOstock, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works. He is a nationally recognized spokesman for sustainable biomass aggregation for bioenergy projects. Scott was recently elected President of "Victory Plant" - a non-profit biorefinery certification and outreach collaboration whose mission is to educate, certify, and promote the deployment of integrated biorefineries in North America. He is an active member of the American Council on Renewable Energy, 25x'25, and the California Biomass Collaborative. Scott is also a certified social media strategist who writes bioenergy blogs and participates regularly on Twitter #Biochat as "BioBlogger."
Gregory Trimarche is an environmental and energy attorney in Greenberg Traurig's Orange County Office, with particular focus on regulatory and government affairs issues relating to energy and “clean technology” matters. Mr. Trimarche represents many clients that are part of the “clean tech” industry, including but not limited to solar and wind power facility developers, biofuel companies, alternative fuel vehicle manufacturers, and a wide range of other clients involved in energy facility siting and permitting, “smart grid,” and other energy and resource conservation matters. Among other things, Mr. Trimarche has assisted clean tech clients in their efforts to obtain “stimulus” grants, tax credits, and other government incentives under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“ARRA”) and other government programs. Mr. Trimarche is a co-founder and currently serves as Chair of Clean Tech OC, a nonprofit trade association serving the clean tech industry in Orange County, California.
Catherine Reheis-Boyd is the President of the Western States Petroleum Association and oversees the trade organization’s operations and advocacy in six states. Catherine Reheis-Boyd has been affiliated with WSPA since 1990 and previously was the Association’s Executive Vice President. She served as Chief Operating Officer and managed WSPA’s personnel as Chief of Staff since 2003.
Catherine Reheis-Boyd has managed a broad range of Association activities, including climate change and low carbon fuels, renewable fuels and alternative energy issues in WSPA’s six states, and beyond those borders into Canada and abroad. Ms. Reheis-Boyd received her bachelor’s of science degree in Natural Resource Management from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and pursued post-graduate studies in environmental engineering at the University of Southern California.
Pat Proano, a licensed Professional Civil Engineer in California, has a dynamic background providing leadership and coordination for Public Works projects and services in Los Angeles County. He has worked in and/or managed nearly all facets of Public Works including environmental, transportation, and land development services, and emergency management.
Mr. Proano has expertise in strategic planning and performance management. He spearheaded the development and implementation of the County’s unincorporated areas’ strategic plan and served as the lead County manager for the Florence-Firestone unincorporated area. Pat has most recently been at the forefront of developing a Sustainable Waste Management Future for Los Angeles County including efforts to integrate conversion technologies into the municipal waste system. He was instrumental in sponsoring legislation to define these technologies and develop incentives for projects in California.
With a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Masters in Public Policy and Administration from California State University in Long Beach, he has also served as an adjunct professor in the Graduate Center of Public Policy and Administration at his alma mater.
As a fluent English and Spanish speaker, he has represented the County at various media events, has published numerous Op Eds advocating sustainability, and has been asked to speak at conferences and forums.
Mr. Andrew Orrell is the Director of Nuclear Energy & Fuel Cycle Programs for Sandia National Laboratories, responsible for laboratory development initiatives involving all facets of the nuclear fuel cycle. Mr. Orrell has over 20 years of industry experience in nuclear waste management and repository systems spanning low-level, intermediate (transuranic), spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste types. He headed Sandia’s Lead Laboratory for Repository Systems program and led the completion of the postclosure performance assessment portions of the Yucca Mountain License Application. Prior to working on the Yucca Mountain Program, he was the Sandia manager for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and the National Transuranic Waste Management program. His professional experience spans technical and managerial efforts at the WIPP and YMP, and technical support for international programs, including repository development, licensing, national policy development, regulatory framework development, site characterization studies, safety case development and performance assessments, transportation programs, and public confidence. His work also includes systems studies for advanced nuclear energy systems for the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy, small modular nuclear reactor systems for industry, safety and security applications for the NRC regarding transportation, reactor safety and balance of plant systems, as well as laboratory directed research in advanced nuclear energy and repository systems. Most recently, Mr. Orrell also managed a multi-disciplinary team of internationally recognized experts supporting the severe accident analysis and consequence management for the accident at Fukushima, Japan.
Mr. Orrell regularly consults with leaders of government on nuclear energy and nuclear waste policy. He is versed in the complex issues regarding the treatment, storage and disposal of radioactive waste and the interdependencies between the technical, program and policy elements of nuclear waste management and nuclear energy.
Danny Wong is the senior director of corporate sustainability for Avery Dennison Corporation, leading the company’s vision and strategy to embed sustainability into everyday practices across its global operations. Danny chairs the company’s Sustainability Steering Committee of corporate and business unit leaders who identify and implement the priorities for the company. He directs a team of six full-time sustainability professionals, four of whom report directly into business operations or product innovation. Danny has over 25 years of experience in sustainability, industrial hygiene and safety, and holds a doctorate in environmental sciences from UCLA.
Céline Bak is an author, speaker and consultant on clean technology, innovation, and commercialization. She published and authored the 2010 SDTC Cleantech Growth & Go-to-Market Report and the 2011 Canadian Clean Technology Industry Report which builds on the 2010 baseline data set for Canada’s multi-billion dollar clean technology industry. She is the co-founder of the Canadian Clean Technology Coalition that was struck to create the conditions required to make Canada’s clean technology industry.
Céline is on the Clean Tech Advisory Board for the Department of Foreign Affairs and is a technical advisor to the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy for Climate Prosperity. She was the co-chair of the 2011 Canadian Cleantech Summit, the Canada-Brazil Working Group for Clean Technology and Green Energy and sits on the nominations committee for the Canada Clean50.
Felicia Marcus was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the State Water Resources Control Board (Board) for the State of California in 2012, and designated by the Governor as Chair in April of 2013. The Board implements both federal and state laws regarding drinking water and water quality, and it implements the state’s water rights laws. The Board sets statewide water quality, drinking water, and water rights policy, hears appeals of local regional board water quality decisions, decides water rights disputes, and provides financial assistance to communities to upgrade water infrastructure.
Before her appointment to the Water Board, Marcus served in positions in government, the non-profit world, and the private sector. In government, Felicia served as the Regional Administrator of the U.S. EPA Region IX in the Clinton Administration where she was known for her work in bringing unlikely allies together for environmental progress and for making the agency more responsive to the communities it serves, particularly Indian Tribes, communities of color, local government, and agricultural and business interests. While at USEPA, Felicia worked extensively on the range of environmental issues under EPA’s jurisdiction, most heavily in air quality, Bay-Delta water, tribal, and US-Mexico border issues.
Prior to that, Felicia headed Los Angeles’ Department of Public Works at a time when the City went from garnering lawsuits to garnering national awards for environmental excellence. Felicia came to Public Works after extensive experience as a public interest lawyer and community organizer in Los Angeles, including being a co-founder and general counsel for Heal the Bay.
In the non-profit world, she was the Western Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a national environmental leader in bringing science, law, and policy expertise to solving our world’s pressing environmental and conservation challenges. Prior to joining NRDC, Felicia was the Executive VP/COO of the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national non-profit devoted to conserving land for people. She also was a private and non-profit sector attorney in Los Angeles. S
he currently serves or has served in the past on many non-profit boards and Advisory Councils including the Public Policy Institute of California Statewide Leadership Council, Sustainable Conservation, USC-Kesten Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy, and the Center for Diversity and the Environment. She is also currently an Obama Administration appointee to the Commission on Environmental Cooperation-Joint Public Advisory Council (US, Mexico, Canada) and was a Schwarzenegger Administration appointee to the Delta Stewardship Council prior to being appointed to the Water Board.
Michael Berg, J.D. is an environmental, social and governance (ESG) expert with a focused specialization on how financial markets, regulators and large supply chains are addressing climate change and sustainability.
Michael is an advisor to leading Fortune 200 companies, investment firms and organizations on ESG strategy and reporting. Michael is a regular contributor to the American Bar Association on leading edge disclosure issues. His work has been cited by the Harvard Business School, Austin Business Journal and Greentech Media.
Henry Hilken is the Director of Planning and Research at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The Air District is responsible for assuring clean air in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Hilken oversees preparation of regional air quality plans, transportation and land use programs, climate protection activities, amendments to Air District regulations, air quality modeling analyses, preparation of emission inventories, and the Community Air Risk Evaluation program. Mr. Hilken has a Masters of City Planning from UC Berkeley and has worked at the Air District since 1988.
Donald Paul is the Executive Director of the USC Energy Institute, Professor of Engineering, and holds the William M. Keck Chair of Energy Resources.
The USC Energy Institute supports university-wide research, education, and workforce development initiatives with industry and governments in the areas of advanced energy systems and infrastructures.
Dr. Paul had a distinguished 33-year career with the Chevron Corporation, retiring in June 2008 as Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. During his career, he advanced through positions of increasing responsibility in research and development, exploration and production operations, and executive management, including appointment as the president of Chevron’s Canadian subsidiary.
Dr. Paul serves as a Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C. and in 2014, was re-appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Energy to the National Petroleum Council. He participates in advisory roles at several universities (including MIT, Harvard, Texas and Stanford), governments, national laboratories, oil and gas companies, utilities, and technology companies. He is frequently recruited to speak at national and international forums on the future of energy, the security of energy systems, intelligent energy infrastructures, and energy careers.
He holds B.S., M.S., and PhD degrees from MIT and an honorary doctorate from the Colorado School of Mines.
Liz Logan leads PricewaterhouseCooper's (PwC) Risk Assurance practice for Southern California and Phoenix, which includes Sustainable Business Solutions, Internal Audit, and information technology services. For the past two years, Liz served as the partner leading PwC's work as advisor in the U.S. to the Carbon Disclosure Project, an investor backed organization which holds ㅁ database of primary corporate climate change information. She is a frequent speaker on matters associated sustainability challenges and author of PwC's 2010 publication: Typico Inc., a Framework for Greenhouse Gas Reporting.
Previously, Liz spent two years in PwC's National Professional Services Group, advising other PwC professionals on audit related matters. In 2004, she represented PwC on an AICPA task force associated with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, formed to address Sarbanes-Oxley for insurers.
She received her MBA from Baruch College in New York and serves on the Board of Minds Matter of Los Angeles.