Speakers for VX2013
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.
Thomas Day Jr
Thomas Day was named Chief Sustainability Officer in June 2011. He leads the USPS effort of being a sustainability leader by creating a culture of conservation throughout the Postal Service and leading the adoption of sustainable business practices. Prior to serving in this role, he was Senior Vice President, Intelligent Mail and Address Quality (2007-2011) and Senior Vice President, Government Relations (2005-2007). From 2001-2005, he was Vice President, Engineering.
Day is a third generation employee who entered the Postal Service as a management associate in the Northeast Region in 1984 following five years’ service as an officer in the U.S. Army. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering in 1978. He represented the Postal Service as a Sloan Fellow at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, where he earned a master of science degree in management in 1996.
Mr. Whitton obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from McGill University in 1991. He began his career pursuing mandates in applied research, process engineering, and production management with ICI Explosives, Noranda, and Recyclex. In 2001, Mr. Whitton joined PyroGenesis, where he occupied several roles in production, contract management and business development, principally with the company’s Advanced Materials division. With the sale of this division in 2004, Mr. Whitton was transferred to Raymor Industries, becoming Director of Business Development, with responsibilities for growing the company’s powders and nanotechnology businesses along with presenting the company to the investment community in Canada and the US. After a year-long stint as the powders division’s Director of Operations, Mr. Whitton returned to PyroGenesis in 2009 to his current role. At PyroGenesis, with his background and experience in engineering, operations, technology and business development, Mr. Whitton helps lead the company’s efforts in growing their plasma-based waste-to-energy and metallurgical technology businesses. Mr. Whitton was an original elected board member of Ecotech Québec, the province’s new clean technology cluster, and continues to participate in the organization’s Regulatory and Fiscal Framework study group. Mr. Whitton is also currently a sitting City Councillor for Deux-Montagnes, a suburb of Montreal, having been elected in 2009.
Xiaomei Tan is the Deputy China Country Director and Director of China Sustainable & Livable Cities Initiative. She is charged with steering WRI’s research agenda in China, fostering high-level dialogues around critical environmental and development issues, and leading a team of over 10 researchers to contribute to China’s sustainable urbanization and overseas investment.
Xiaomei previously was a senior associate leading WRI’s Emerging Actors in Development Finance project. Her research on how to channel China’s rapidly growing overseas investment to low-carbon development in developing countries has facilitated the communication between Chinese overseas investors and host countries. Prior to that, Xiaomei was the project manager of WRI’s China Climate and Energy Program. Her research sought to understand how low-carbon technology was introduced, adapted, deployed and diffused in China and other developing countries; the respective capacities of developed and developing countries in innovating and manufacturing low-carbon technology; and the concerns over intellectual property rights.
In her various roles, Xiaomei has published widely in mainstream and professional journals such as Energy Policy, Ecological Economy, Overseas Investment and Export Credits, and etc.
Xiaomei holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from American University in Washington DC. Her master’s degree is in Economics and BA in Political Science. Xiaomei is an avid hiker and tree hugger and has completed many sections along the Appalachian Trail and several parts of the Rocky Mountains. Her other passions include jogging and yoga.
Senator Fran Pavley was most recently the State Senator representing the 27th District of California, In 2000 she won election to the California State Assembly, serving three terms, or six years. She was elected to the state Senate in 2008. Currently, Senator Pavley represents about 900,000 people in the 27th Senate District, which includes parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Senator Pavley was the chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and was a member of the: Energy, Utilities, and Communications committee, Environmental Quality, Budget and Fiscal Review committee, and Governance and Finance and Legislative Ethics committee, among others.
During her 14 years in the Legislature, Senator Pavley received national acclaim for her work on three historic pieces of climate legislation that established California as a worldwide leader in promoting clean energy and reducing climate pollution. Most recently, she was the author of SB 32, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 8, 2016. It sets a target for California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Senator Pavley also passed critical legislation regarding ending unregulated hydraulic fracturing, regulating greenhouse gas emissions from automobile tailpipes, and requiring rigorous safety testing at all wells before gas injection can resume at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field.
Dr. Mory Gharib is Vice Provost for Research and the Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Bio-Inspired Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. He received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tehran University (1975) and then pursued his graduate studies at Syracuse University (M.S., 1978, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering) and Caltech (Ph.D., 1983, Aeronautics). After two years as a senior scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA/CIT), he joined the faculty of the Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences Department at UCSD in 1985. He became a full professor of fluid mechanics in 1992 and, in January 1993, he joined Caltech as a professor of aeronautics.
Dr. Gharib’s current research interests include bio-inspired engineering for the development of medical devices, wind energy harvesting and propulsion systems. His other active projects include the development of advanced 3-D imaging systems, and nano and micro-fluidics. His biomechanics work includes studies of the human cardiovascular system and physiological machines. His honors and affiliations include: Fellow, American association for the advancement of science (AAAS), Fellow, American Physical Society (APS), Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME), He has received 5 new technology recognition awards from NASA in the fields of advanced laser imaging and nanotechnology. For his 3-D imaging camera system, he has received R&D Magazine’s “R&D 100 innovation award” for one of the best invention of the year 2008. Dr. Gharib holds 182 publications in refereed journal and 50 U.S. Patents
Joseph Edmiston was appointed Executive Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy by Governor Jerry Brown in 1979. Under his leadership, the Conservancy has preserved over 60,000 acres of public parkland within and surrounding the Los Angeles Metropolitan region, in a zone extending from the edge of the Mojave Desert to the Pacific Ocean. From north to south, these areas drain into the Santa Clara River, Calleguas Creek, numerous smaller coastal watersheds in the Santa Monica Mountains, and the Los Angeles River and Rio Hondo. Joe has lectured extensively on environmental planning, park development, and urban land use. He and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, have been the recipient of numerous national awards including, most recently, the highest honor of the National Planning Association, the Daniel Burnham Award.
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.
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.
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.
Dean Wiberg is the manager of the Commercial Technology Partnerships Office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) with responsibilities to develop business opportunities with non-NASA entities to solve sponsor requirements using JPL technologies and capabilities leading to transfer and commercialization. Before assuming his current role, Dean was a project lead in JPL’s Microdevices laboratory in which he was named in about 15 patents and new technology disclosures. Before joining JPL, Dean held technical, management and business development positions at the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), IBM, Westinghouse, Northrop Grumman, Sarcos Research/University of Utah and was co-founder of a venture funded, high tech materials company.
Dean is on or has served on the board of directors for a number of companies and organizations including the Foothill Municipal Water District, one of the 26 regional Southern California water districts, the Bernard Schreiver chapter of the Air Force Association (AFA) and the Board of Advisors for CleanTech Los Angeles, the City’s business incubator for early stage cleantech companies. He has also been active in local governance having served as the Chairman of a municipal planning commission and an elected City Councilman.
Dean holds a BS in Chemistry and an MS in Chemical Engineering, and has done additional graduate studies in Materials Science and Business Administration.
Paul Helliker was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in October, 2012 to the position of Deputy Director, Delta and Statewide Water Management. In that role, Paul oversees DWR's Bay-Delta Office, FloodSAFE Environmental Stewardship and Statewide Resources Office, Division of Environmental Services, and the Inter-State Water Resources Manager. Paul has worked in environmental and resource management programs for 26 years, with experience at the federal, state and local levels. Prior to joining DWR, Paul served for eight years as the General Manager of the Marin Municipal Water District, where he also served as chair of the Bay Area Water Agencies Coalition (composed of the major wholesale and retail water supply agencies in the Bay Area), and chair of the regional water management group responsible for the Bay Area Integrated Regional Water Management. Paul also served under Governor Gray Davis as the Director of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation from 1999-2004, and in other executive and management positions prior to 1999 at CALSTART, the California Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Paul holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, and a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering, all from Stanford University.
Peter Gross, leads the Mission Critical Systems group at Bloom Energy, the leading manufacturer of solid oxide fuel cells. Peter is recognized as a thought leader in the mission-critical information and infrastructure design realm, has published numerous technical papers in the field, and is a frequent speaker at international events. His focus centers on mission-critical facilities, high-reliability design, energy and sustainability. Peter has more than 25 years’ experience in the engineering and design of power systems as applied to data centers, trading floors, command and control centers, and telecommunication and broadcasting facilities.
Peter has been at the forefront of many innovative concepts that have contributed to the data center industry evolution, such as the HP modular, pre-fabricated FlexDC product and he was co-awarded a patent for Direct Current power distribution topology. He is presently focused on transforming the data center architecture through the use of fuel cells.
Wahid Nawabi is senior vice president and general manager of Efficient Energy Systems (EES) at AeroVironment. With 20 years’ experience in advanced technology in diverse industries such as fuel cells, clean tech, industrial manufacturing, and energy management, Wahid is responsible for architecting the roadmap of AeroVironment’s Electric Vehicle “ecosystem” solutions offering. As a former segment manager at American Power Conversion (a division of Schneider Electric), Wahid played a key role in revenue growth of $50 million to more than $2.4 billion, helping to establish the company as a world leader in power protection. Wahid sees similar potential in the electric vehicle industry and is committed to enabling the mass adoption of EVs and the advancement of the clean transportation movement.
Rick J. Caruso is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Caruso Affiliated, recognized as one of the country’s most innovative and influential real estate companies. Caruso Affiliated owns and manages a dynamic portfolio of outdoor lifestyle properties -- including The Grove in Los Angeles, The Americana at Brand in Glendale, The Commons at Calabasas and The Promenade at Westlake, delivering 5 -star customer service with a neighborhood scale and community feel, and creating a unique guest experience that attracts over 60 million visitors annually.
Mr. Caruso has been widely honored for both his business innovations and philanthropic contributions to the Greater Los Angeles community. He recently endowed the Caruso Catholic Center at the University of Southern California, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of Southern California, the Board of Councilors of Pepperdine School of Law and the Board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation. His numerous community and philanthropic commitments include service on the boards of Para Los Niňos, St. John’s Health Center Foundation, The California Medical Center, USC School of Policy, Planning and Development and The National Institute of Transplantation. Mr. Caruso has been inducted into the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Business Hall of Fame.
Together with his wife, Tina, he also founded the Caruso Family Foundation, dedicated to supporting organizations that improve the lives of children in need of healthcare and education.
Mr. Caruso believes strongly in public service and civic responsibility. He served as President of the Los Angeles Police Commission, President of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Board of Commissioners and served as the Governor’s appointee to the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission.
Mr. Caruso holds a a Juris Doctor degree from Pepperdine University School of Law, where he was a Brock Scholar, and a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Southern California.
He is a native of Los Angeles, and continues to reside in the city with Tina, their three sons and a daughter.
Gary Gero was recently appointed to be the first Chief Sustainability Officer for the County of Los Angeles where his duties include creating a countywide sustainability plan that addresses regional environmental, economic, and social justice issues. Gary previously served for the past 9 years as the President of the Climate Action Reserve, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Los Angeles and operating across North America. He now serves on its Board of Directors. Gary’s career includes nearly 20 years of work in local government, primarily in the City of Los Angeles where he served as Assistant General Manager for the Environmental Affairs Department and at LADWP where he oversaw energy efficiency and renewable programs.
Mr. Naimon is the founder of Light Green Advisors (LGA), a sustainable asset management company, which manages climate change funds for institutional investors including one of California’s public employee pension funds. LGA has advised a series of environmental funds and trusts for investors in Europe and the US that utilize the firm’s “best-in-class” model for resource efficiency and sustainability. In 2011, the Chinese government adopted the emissions rates metrics pioneered by LGA in the late 1990s to gauge its climate efficiency progress.
Mr. Naimon has particular expertise in solar finance, having advised Sun Edison on the development of its third party tax equity finance model. Sun Edison, now part of MEMC, is among the top owner & operators of solar projects in the US and worldwide. Prior to founding LGA, Mr. Naimon held both management and technical positions at a think tank (IRRC) acquired by MSCI, Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), ICF International, and the Energy & Commerce Committee of the US House of Representatives. Mr. Naimon has served as a visiting professor on sustainable finance at the Norwegian School of Management in Norway and taught cost benefit analysis at Carnegie Mellon University Heinz School. He has a MS in Environmental Management from the University of North Carolina and a BS in Biology and Cognitive Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
PAUL SELLEW is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Harvest Power Canada Ltd. and of Harvest Power, Inc. Paul has been a leader in the organics industry for more than 25 years. In 1982 he founded Earthgro, Inc., which grew to be the second largest producer of compost-based lawn and garden products in North America. He has also founded and led International Process Systems, Inc. (composting technology provider), Allgro, Inc. (compost marketing firm), Environmental Credit Corp. (carbon credit creation and trading), and Backyard Farms (hydroponic greenhouse tomato producer). Paul graduated from Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
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.
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!
Gary Lee Moore
Gary Lee Moore is the City Engineer of the City of Los Angeles, leading a world-class organization of 800 professional engineers, architects, surveyors and technical support staff dedicated to sustaining and transforming Los Angeles into the world’s most livable city. As the general manager of the Bureau of Engineering, he is responsible for the City’s vast network of public infrastructure, which includes the planning, design, and construction of all public facilities, management of billions of dollars of voter-approved public bond funds, and the delivery of cross-sector local government programs that serve millions of residents and businesses in diverse neighborhoods and industries. With more than 27 years of public service, Mr. Moore is an accomplished executive and professional engineer, who is responsible for an annual operating budget of more than $140 million and 430 active projects totaling nearly $2.1 billion. Since he began his tenure as City Engineer in 2003, Mr. Moore has been responsible for the completion of 1277 projects totaling more than $3.8 billion.
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
Dr. Piao joined Daikin Industries, Ltd, after he got his doctoral degree, since 1992. He mainly worked at Daikin research lab, and involved in many projects, such as development of fundamental thermodynamic properties of HFCs refrigerant, evaluation and development of natural working fluids air-conditioning system, feasibility study of latent/sensible heat separate air-conditioning system, feasibility study of micro co-generation system, etc. Recently, he is more interested in introducing outside advanced technologies into Daikin’s technology portfolio, to make an innovation in HVAC, an established traditional industry.
As one of the founding partners (1981) of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3), Richard Maullin has provided opinion research and consulting services to a wide variety of domestic and international clients. Dr. Maullin often serves as the principal researcher on opinion research, strategic planning and communications consulting projects involving state, regional and local government. Dr. Maullin has also provided voter research services and strategic advice to numerous ballot measure campaigns. In the candidate election arena, Dr. Maullin has been a successful gubernatorial campaign manager and has provided opinion research and strategic consulting to candidates for governor, mayor and other state and local elective offices.
Dr. Maullin has held high-level executive positions both in government and in the private sector. He was the California Deputy Secretary of State from 1971 to 1974 and served as Chairman of the California Energy Commission from 1975 through 1979. Dr. Maullin currently serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the California Independent System Operator Corporation which operates California’s electric grid. From 1980 to 1985, Dr. Maullin was President and Chief Executive Officer of MCR Geothermal Corporation. Dr. Maullin was also a member of the Social Science Research Staff at the RAND Corporation from 1965 through 1971, specializing in Latin American politics and economics. He has taught international relations at UCLA (1968), and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute at the Vilnius University in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Richard Maullin was born in Los Angeles, California and received his bachelor’s (with honors. 1962), master’s (1964) and PhD (1972) degrees in Political Science from UCLA.
Linda S. Adams, former Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, is a founding partner of Clean Tech Advocates, a firm dedicated to promoting innovative technologies.
Prior to forming this new team in the private sector, Linda served in cabinet-level positions with three governors during her distinguished career with the State of California. Ms. Adams held key positions in both the Executive and Legislative branches during her many years in public service.
In 2006, Ms. Adams was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as Secretary of the California Environmental Agency (CalEPA), the first woman to serve in that position. Immediately upon her appointment, she was designated the governor’s lead negotiator on AB 32, California’s ground breaking climate change and clean energy measure. When Governor Jerry Brown was elected in 2010, Linda was asked to continue as Secretary of CalEPA and to assist in the transition.
Ms. Adams holds the position of the chair of the Climate Action Reserve, North America's premier carbon registry. She also serves on the boards of the Pacific Forest Trust, the Delta Vision Foundation, the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance, and is the founding President of R 20-Regions of Climate Action.
David Stickler directs distributed generation strategy at NRG Energy, Inc. a Fortune 300 company that is at the forefront of changing how people think about and use energy. In addition to 47,000 megawatts of generation capacity, NRG’s retail electricity providers serve more than two million customers. David has over 30 years of experience in the power industry that started in US Navy in nuclear power plant operations. He received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Penn State University and an MBA from Penn State’s Smeal College of Business.
Mark Schleich has been a civil engineer for over 25 years at the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department. He has been directly involved in solid waste policy and projects as the director of the Resource Recovery & Waste Management Division for the past 15 years. Mr. Schleich’s division manages three recycling & transfer stations as well as one regional landfill that in total employ over 90 people. During Mr. Schleich’s tenure, the County has increased its recycling rate from 30% to over 70% and received numerous awards for innovative solid waste management including: Landfill Management Excellence Silver Award (SWANA, 2001), Integrated Solid Waste Management Gold Award (SWANA, 2008), and Household Hazardous Waste Management Excellence Award (CalEPA, 2002).
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.
Jim Kelly retired from Edison International (EIX) on July 1, 2011, after almost 38 years of service with the Company.
Prior to his retirement, Mr. Kelly was the senior vice president of Transmission & Distribution for Southern California Edison, responsible for the operation and maintenance of an electrical grid comprised of over 12,000 miles of transmission and 100,000 miles of distribution lines spread across a 50,000-square-mile service area.
Mr. Kelly was also president of Edison ESI, a subsidiary company that operates one of the largest electrical and mechanical repair facilities in the U.S..
Kelly was previously the vice president of Engineering & Technical Services, responsible for planning, engineering, and designing SCE’s electrical grid, as well as research and development, safety and training. Mr. Kelly was one of the early pioneers of the Smart Grid, developing a roadmap for a smarter, safer, more reliable and more environmentally responsible electric grid. Among many other awards and honors, Jim was selected as the IEEE’s “Leader in Power” in 2009.
Kelly also previously served as the vice president of Regulatory Compliance and Environmental Affairs, and has in-depth experience with environmental regulation, permitting and licensing.
Since his retirement, Jim has advised or directed a number of firms in the energy space.
Jim earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach, and a master’s degree from California State Polytechnic University. He holds teaching credentials in several subjects and has taught at a number of colleges and universities throughout his career.
Renowned architect and urban planner Janet Marie Smith was named the Dodgers’ senior vice president of planning and development on Aug. 6, 2012. Smith is overseeing upgrades and enhancements to Dodger Stadium. This post reunites Smith with Dodger President, Stan Kasten. Smith worked for Kasten in a similar position to create the Atlanta Braves’ Turner Field and the Atlanta Hawks’ Philips Arena.
Smith is probably best known in the baseball world, for her work on the influential Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Smith worked for the Orioles from 1989-94 as vice president of planning and development during the design and construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Opening in 1992, Camden Yards immediately became the standard-bearer for a new wave of traditional baseball parks that have been built in subsequent years. Smith played an instrumental role in the design of the ballpark, creating a state-of-the-art unique facility that blends with the urban context of downtown Baltimore while taking inspiration from baseball parks built in the early 20th century.
Prior to joining the Dodgers, Smith worked for the Baltimore Orioles as vice president of planning and development from September 2009 to August 2012. In that role, Smith directed renovations and expansion of the Orioles’ new spring training facility in Sarasota, Florida as well as upgrades and enhancements to Oriole Park at Camden Yards to celebrate the park’s 20th anniversary.
From 2002 to 2009, Smith served as senior vice president of planning and development for the Boston Red Sox, overseeing the preservation of historic Fenway Park and leading the program that placed this significant ballpark on the National Historic Register.
From 1994-2000, Smith held the position of president of Turner Sports and Entertainment Development, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, and was the vice president of Planning and Development for the Atlanta Braves. Her work in Atlanta helped transform the 1996 Olympic Stadium into Turner Field, home of the Braves, and she also oversaw the development of the Philips Arena, home of the NBA Atlanta Hawks and NHL Atlanta Thrashers.
Smith also worked as senior advisor of planning and design with Baltimore-based Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse on many of their development and rehab projects from Nashville, Tenn. to Providence, R.I., including concept planning for the renovation of the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, Calif. She was also part of the THINK team, one of the final two teams in the competition for the World Trade Center site in New York City in 2002.
In 2012, the Boston Baseball Writers honored Smith with a Special Achievement Award for her work at Fenway Park. In 2011, she was named in the Inaugural Class of the Sports Business Journal “Game Changers: Women in Sports Business.”
Before working in sports, Smith worked on urban development projects including Pershing Square in Los Angeles and Battery Park City in New York City, where she served as coordinator of Architecture and Design.
Smith holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from City College of New York and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Mississippi State University. She is an associate member of the Urban Land Institute, American Institute of Architects, and the American Planning Association. She also serves on the board of directors for Berklee College of Music in Boston and the advisory board for the University of Michigan Sports Management Program.
A native of Jackson, Miss., Smith resides in Baltimore with her husband, Bart Harvey, and their three children.
Mr. Hoyle leads Terra-Gen’s wind and solar development initiatives. Over the past three years his team has successfully developed and constructed 1,320MW of wind energy composed of nine projects and represents a $2.8 billion investment in California. In 2011, Terra-Gen was recognized as the #1 wind developer in the United States based on installed capacity during the year. Prior to joining Terra-Gen, Mr. Hoyle was Managing Director at Edison Mission Energy, the unregulated affiliate of Edison International, responsible for business development activities related to a national wind energy platform. From 1994 to 2005, Mr. Hoyle was employed by NextEra Energy Resources, the unregulated affiliate of NextEra Energy, Inc. (formerly FPL Group). He last served as Director, Development accountable for originating and developing an industry-leading wind franchise in the southern Mid-Continent region. Previous to that assignment at NextEra, he provided leadership in natural gas development, mergers and acquisitions, and financial analysis roles. Mr. Hoyle earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Miami (FL) and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Finance from Iowa State University.
Earl Blumenauer was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and has been a life-long resident of Oregon's 3rd Congressional District.
Through his years as a local official in the Oregon Legislature, Multnomah County Commission, and Portland’s City Council, Earl developed a national reputation for his advocacy of public transportation, land use planning, protection of the environment, and school funding.
Elected to Congress in 1996, Blumenauer has been a champion for cleaning up America’s most polluted sites and has introduced legislation to reinstate the federal Superfund tax. He is also a leader in public lands protection, in particular for protecting Oregon’s crown jewels such as Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge. He is the former Vice Chair for the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and has strongly defended the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, as well as EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases in the fight against climate change. Blumenauer has also led an initiative to reform federal flood insurance policies by protecting environmentally sensitive and disaster prone areas from development, and modernizing the policies of the US Army Corps of Engineers. His environmental priorities are geared towards helping the federal government be a better partner to local communities in improving and sustaining the health of our land and water.
Blumenauer currently sits on the Ways and Means Committee.
David Jacot, P.E., is the Director of Efficiency Solutions for the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP). LADWP operates the largest public power portfolio of energy efficiency programs in the nation, comprised of a broad array of energy resource acquisition and market transformation programs serving LADWP’s customers and trade ally networks. In this role, David oversees all aspects of LADWP’s offerings and strategies designed to overcome market barriers to the comprehensive adoption of energy efficiency by LADWP’s customers. David also oversees the implementation of LADWP’s class-leading water conservation and efficiency programs, as well as the customer-facing integration of water and energy efficiency program delivery both within LADWP and also through a nation-leading joint program partnership with the natural gas utility serving Los Angeles, the Southern California Gas Company.
David has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, and a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, as well as 15 years of experience designing high performance building systems, modeling building energy usage, and managing cost-effective and investment-grade energy efficiency programs.
Michael R. Montoya is the director of Grid Advancement for Southern California Edison’s Transmission and Distribution. The Advanced Technology group, previously Engineering Advancement, was created in November 2004 to evaluate, test, demonstrate, and analyze technologies for implementation on SCE’s grid. Under Montoya’s leadership, Grid Advancement teams investigate advancements in power systems modeling and analysis, transmission and distribution automation, distributed energy resources, home area networking, communications and security, infrastructure improvements, asset management, and a variety of devices and systems to make the electric grid more reliable, safe and affordable.
Mr. Montoya has made many contributions throughout his 37-year career at SCE. Prior to heading research, development and demonstration at SCE, Montoya was director of TDBU’s Project Management Organization and director of Grid Operations, Protection and Controls. During his tenure at SCE he served in both technical and managerial capacities.
Montoya earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of La Verne and certificates in I.T. Essentials for Business Leadership from Pepperdine University and Sustaining the Innovative Organization from the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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.
Mark is the UCLA Associate Vice-Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability and was recently the Acting Director of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. In his current position, he works to increase interdisciplinary environmental research, and he is leading UCLA’s Sustainable LA Grand Challenge - with goals of achieving 100% local water supply and 100% renewable energy in Los Angeles County while enhancing biodiversity and human health and wellbeing by 2050. He worked with 28 faculty to develop the Sustainable LA workplan, and there are over 150 faculty that are part of the Sustainable LA research team.
Also, he was the long-time President of the environmental group, Heal the Bay.
Mark received his Bachelors and Masters in Biology and his doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering from UCLA. He has worked extensively over the last 29 years in the field of coastal protection, water management, and urban sustainability; he created Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card for the west coast of the U.S., served as vice chair of the Santa Monica Bay Commission for over a decade, helped create Santa Monica’s sustainable city plan – the first in the U.S., and helped co-author numerous California and local government coastal protection, water quality and environmental education bills and ordinances.
Recently, he led efforts to develop LA County’s first environmental report card and assisted the City of LA on the development of their first ever sustainable city plan.
He is currently leading a research effort on sustainable water management in the city of Los Angeles, and he sits on the Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors for the city of Los Angeles, Mayor Garcetti’s Water Cabinet and the Proposition O stormwater bond Citizens Oversight and Advisory Committee.
President, Americas – Operations Group and Chairman of TOTO Mexico; Bill has responsibility for all operations, including supply chain, design and development engineering, Quality, ISO, Environmental and management of the five TOTO North America plants: Morrow, GA; Lakewood, GA; Fairburn, GA; and Ontario, CA, Monterrey Mexico with 1.8 million sq ft under roof.
Under Bill’s leadership, TOTO has received awards for 5S implementation, US EPA Water Efficiency Leadership Award, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue’s Water Conservation Leadership Award, the Argon Award, the City of Atlanta Phoenix Award, and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper sustainability award. TOTO is one of the largest users of Green Energy from Georgia Power.
TOTO USA has also developed secondary uses or recycling channels for the waste streams from the manufacturing process, converting them from waste to raw material feed stocks for other manufacturers.
Argon Award for leadership in sustainability, previous winners of this award have been Ted Turner – Chairman of the Turner Foundation, Arthur Blank – co founder of Home Depot, Jim Jacoby – Founder and CEO of Jacoby Development and Ray Anderson – Chairman of Interface Company.
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.
Bob Foster's career spans more than 40 years, beginning with his tenure as Chief Consultant to the California State Senate Energy Committee, advancing to division head and Deputy Director of the California Energy Commission, and culminating with his serving as President of Southern California Edison. He has been at the forefront of energy efficiency and renewables; pioneering the first energy standards for buildings in the nation in 1972 and leading Edison's renewable policy for a voluntary 20 percent of its energy portfolio well before it was mandated. He has been one of the leading policy developers in the energy space. He currently serves as a director on the Boards of S Power, Epcor, and TTSI, and sits on the Advisory Board of Philips Electronics. He recently stepped down as Chairman of the California Systems Operator. Bob is married to Nancy Foster his wife of 46 years and has two sons and three Grandchildren. In 1983 he coached the Pacific Little Team from Sacramento to the Little League World Series in Williamsport Penn. He splits his time between Long Beach and La Quinta California.
Douglas J. Sereno, P.E., has been the Director of Program Management for the Port of Long Beach, California since August 2007 where he oversees the Port’s 5-year, $4.5B capital improvement program. Significant current projects under his direction are the $950M Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement, the $1.2B Middle Harbor Redevelopment Program and the $600M Pier G Redevelopment Program. Doug holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He is a Registered Engineer in the State of California and is credentialed as a Envision Sustainability Professional by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI).
Doug is involved in sustainable infrastructure initiatives with ASCE’s Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI) as the chairman of its Sustainability Committee and as the secretary of the ASCE - LA Chapter’s Sustainability Committee. He serves on ASCE‘s Subcommittee on Sustainable Infrastructure Certification that is developing an international certification standard for the Sustainable Infrastructure Professional, ASCE’s Committee on Sustainability as a member of the Strategic Communications Committee and ISI Envision Infrastructure Rating System Leadership Credits Sub-Committee. He was the initial chair of the Port’s Sustainability Task Force and is a founding member of the Joint West Coast Ports Technical Committee for the Development of Sustainable Design and Construction Guidelines. He is an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Water Environment Federation and the U.S. Green Building Council, LA Chapter.
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.
Mr. Hampik Dekermenjian is a Senior Vice President with CDM Smith. He is responsible for managing CDM Smith’s public sector business in Southern California and Arizona. Mr. Dekermenjian has over 20 years of experience working with cities and municipalities in the areas of water resources, stormwater management, water and wastewater treatment, and municipal strategic planning. He has been part of the leadership team in southern California in developing stormwater compliance strategies and TMDL implementation plans. He has also been involved in numerous stakeholder outreach initiatives, focusing on reaching consensus in the development of these strategic plans. He holds a Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in environmental engineering and a Master of Business Administration; the latter two from the University of Southern California.
Enrique was originally appointed Director of the Bureau of Sanitation in 2007 and reappointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti in September 2013. Sanitation oversees the City of Los Angeles Clean Water, Solid Resources and Watershed Protection programs, which combined have a revenue value of over $1.1 billion, with a staff of nearly 3000 employees. LASAN is also the lead environmental department for the City.
Through Sanitation’s efforts, the City has been at forefront of environmental stewardship, from the restoration of Santa Monica Bay, to achieving one of the highest recycling rates among large cities in the world, over 76%, to the implementation of the Low Impact Development (LID) Ordinance for stormwater capture and infiltration. Mayor Garcetti has made environmental sustainability one of the primary pillars of his administration, and LA Sanitation plays a critical role in his initiatives.
The City of Los Angeles has embarked on an ambitious goal of making LA a Zero Waste City, a 90% reduction in landfill disposal by the year 2025. Resource recovery is at the center of the City’s solid waste management strategy. LASAN has embarked, jointly with LADWP, on the development of the One Water LA Plan to integrate all water-related planning efforts in support of Mayor Garcetti’s Water Executive Directive No. 5.
Enrique serves on the board of several organizations such as the US Water Alliance, the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission and others. Enrique is a registered civil engineer. He and his wife Brenda, have three children, sons Enrique Jr. and Alonzo, and daughter Carina.
Hector De La Torre
Hector De La Torre serves on the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as a gubernatorial appointee, where he focuses on goods movement, mitigation in impacted communities, and bringing the benefits of new technologies to these communities. De La Torre is the Executive Director of the Transamerica Center for Health Studies, a nonprofit focused on empowering consumers and employers to achieve the best value and protection from their health coverage, as well as the best outcomes in their personal health and wellness.
De La Torre is also a member of the Board of Trustees at Occidental College (his alma mater) in Los Angeles and the Board of L.A. Care, the largest public health plan in the United States. De La Torre served as a State Assemblymember for California’s 50th District from 2004-2010. Prior to that, he was Mayor and Councilmember in his hometown of South Gate.
Before founding Climate Resolve, Jonathan Parfrey served as a commissioner at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (2008-2013). Jonathan is a founder and Vice Chair of CicLAvia, as well as the founder of the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability, and the statewide Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation. He served as director of the GREEN LA Coalition (2007-2011), and as the Los Angeles director of Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization Physicians for Social Responsibility (1994 to 2007). Jonathan was awarded a Durfee Foundation Fellowship (2002), a Stanton Fellowship (2010), and was appointed a Senior Fellow at the USC Marshall School of Business (2011). He is currently a fellow at the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities.
Kristin Eberhard is the Legal Director of Western Energy and Climate Projects in NRDC’s energy program. Ms. Eberhard leads NRDC's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California and throughout the West. She has taught "Climate Change Law" at Stanford Law School and "Energy Law" at UCLA Law School. In the past, Ms. Eberhard has worked as a litigator at a private law firm, as an energy consultant for PG&E, and conducting independent research on renewable energy and sustainable building practices in rural areas of Latin America. She graduated cum laude from the Duke University School of Law, while concurrently earning a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. She also holds a B.A. in Science, Technology and Society, with interdisciplinary honors in Environmental Science and Technology Policy, from Stanford University.
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.
Sanjay Ranchod is Vice President, Policy & Electricity Markets and Regulatory Counsel at SolarCity, a national leader in clean energy services that provides homeowners, business and government organizations cleaner, more affordable alternatives to their utility bills. Ranchod leads SolarCity’s legislative, regulatory, and advocacy interests in California and other western states. Prior to joining SolarCity, Ranchod represented renewable energy companies and other businesses on regulatory matters as an attorney at the Paul Hastings law firm. He serves on the board of directors of the California Solar Energy Industries Association and The Sierra Club Foundation. He also serves as an Alternate Commissioner on the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. Ranchod received a BA from Brown University and a JD from Stanford Law School.
Elected to the State Senate in 2004 and re-elected in 2008, Kehoe represents the 39th Senate District, which includes much of San Diego, the cities of Del Mar and Lemon Grove, and neighboring communities.
As a Senator, Kehoe has established herself as an environmental leader and dedicated ‘good government’ advocate. She chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, and is a member of the Banking & Financial Institutions Committee; Governance & Finance Committee; Natural Resources & Water Committee; Transportation & Housing Committee; and also chairs the Joint Emergency Management Committee.
Prior to being elected to the Senate, Kehoe served two terms as State Assemblymember representing the 76th District from 2000 through 2004. Before that, she served seven years as City Councilmember representing San Diego's Third District. Previously, Kehoe was a volunteer with the Center for Women's Studies and Services, editor of the San Diego Gayzette newspaper, and served as executive director of the Hillcrest Business Association.
Kehoe is a member of the Sierra Club, the National Organization for Women (NOW), National Women's Political Caucus, Uptown Democratic Club, California Women in Government, the San Diego Democratic Club, and the Women's Transportation Seminar. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the California Elected Women's Association for Education and Research (CEWAER).
Kehoe lives in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood with her partner Julie Warren.
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.)
Ms. Rubin is a client program manager for Shaw’s Sustainability Services National Practice Program. She holds a Masters in Public Administration, with a concentration in Environmental and Energy Policy, and a certificate in Conservation Biology from Columbia University in New York City.
Mrs. Rubin has a diverse professional background in environmental management and resource conservation. She has managed projects that developed and implemented sustainability programs, green infrastructure and high efficiency design, environmental stewardship reports and capital planning, energy strategies and audits, industry benchmark assessments, and GHG inventories. Mrs. Rubin has been involved in several green conferences and workshops, presenting information on ARRA funding opportunities, sustainable and green infrastructure design, and strategies for program implementation to city, county, state officials, and other stakeholders.
Prior to joining Shaw, Ms. Rubin was the Environmental Resources Manager for the City of Miami Beach, FL. She was responsible for the management of all environmental projects and education programs and served as a liaison to local and state environmental regulatory agencies. Mrs. Rubin was the project manager for the design, engineering, and construction of over 15 public works construction projects, including South Beach’s “Beachwalk”.
Ms. Rubin served as Co-Chair of the Florida Green Building Coalition, Local Government Committee for over 5 years and is a member of numerous organizations including: USGBC, the C4 Central Coast and the Association of Environmental Professionals.
Experienced Senior Consultant with in-depth Business Transformation, Corporate Real Estate, Project and Change Management skills and an exemplary record of achievement.
Retired Senior Corporate Real Estate strategy executive for Nissan Americas based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with responsibility for Nissan's Business Transformation practice for the Latin America Region including operations in 30+ countries. More than 30 years of international experience including corporate real estate, facilities, transportation & fleet management, corporate security, organization design and business process outsourcing program management.
Exceptional results-oriented leader with proven strategic and operational abilities. Strong record of success in developing, launching and managing local, regional and global programs. Applies multifaceted tool set, innovative approaches and outstanding multicultural team building talents to enhance enterprise-wide business performance resulting in sustainable growth and profits. Superior verbal and written communications proficiency, vendor management and P&L management skills. Extensive community and civic affairs experience.
Specialties: Corporate Real Estate Strategy, Global Project and Change Management, Communications, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Six Sigma based organization development and Business Process Reengineering.
Dr. Harry A. Atwater is the Founding Director of the Resnick Sustainability Institute at the California Institute of Technology and Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science. He is the founder of venture-backed solar energy companies Alta Devices and Caelux, and also currently directs the DOE Light Material Interactions Energy Frontier Research Center at Caltech. Dr. Atwater's research interests include photovoltaics, solar energy conversion, optical metamaterials and nanoscale optical phenomena. He has over 400 papers in journals, conferences and technical magazines, and 30 issued patents. He is recipient of the 2012 Eni Award for Renewable and non-Conventional Energy and the 2012 Green Photonics Award of the SPIE.
He has Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and has served as a faculty member at Caltech and Harvard.
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.
Chris Hill is the President & CEO of Electric Mobility Canada, Canada’s leading voice for industry members providing electric-powered solutions to the economic and environmental issues in the transportation sector. This not-for-profit association has 125 members in the automotive industry, energy utilities, research and development centres, universities and end-user fleets. Electric Mobility Canada is presenting its 5th annual conference, the largest EV event in Canada, in Ottawa in October 2013.
Chris has an MBA from the University of Toronto and has received several awards for his work in implementing low emission automotive technology. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario.
Pete Skala is the Program Manager of the California Public Utilities Commission’s Demand-Side Analysis branch. In this capacity, Mr. Skala oversees the Commission’s analysis of the existing potential and corresponding cost-effectiveness of the various demand-side energy resources being pursued by the state’s large investor-owned utilities (energy efficiency, demand response, and distributed generation). This branch of the CPUC’s Energy Division is also responsible for evaluating the success of the utilities’ demand-side energy resource programs.
Mr. Skala has worked at the CPUC in various capacities for over ten years. Prior to running the Demand-Side Analysis program, he supervised the Commission’s Climate Strategies section, working closely with the Air Resources Board in the design of the cap and trade program (particularly with respect to its impact on the electricity sector). Before this, he was responsible for overseeing the development of the utilities’ long-term (10-year) procurement plans.
Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Skala spent over a decade working with various environmental consultancies as an environmental engineer and project manager, designing and implementing state superfund site remediation projects, waste reduction programs, and environmental assessments in support of military base closures.
JP Brisson is a partner in Latham & Watkins’s Environmental, Land and Resources Department and Vice-Chair of its Air Quality and Climate Change Practice. He has close to fifteen years of experience advising oil and gas, industrial and financial institution clients on a range of environmental-related matters including carbon finance, renewable energy and commodities and is ranked by Chambers for his work in this area. He was previously Vice President in Goldman Sachs’ Global Commodities business where he established Goldman’s US carbon trading desk.
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.
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.
Mr. Su Wei, Director General of the Department of Climate Change, National Development and Reform Commission
A veteran on climate change, Mr. Su Wei has been working in the Department of Treaties and Law, Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more than 20 years until Nov. 2007 and is well-known on the international arena for his professionalism as a chief negotiator on climate change. On his new position as Director General of Department of Climate Change, NDRC, Su Wei is involved in leading and coordinating China’s efforts in combating climate change, both domestically and internationally, and is a key member on national climate change policies and international negotiation strategies.
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.
Traci is the Chief Operating Officer for the City of Los Angeles, LA Sanitation, an organization of approximately 3,000 employees with annual revenue of nearly $1 billion. In this capacity, she assists the Director by maintaining Bureau-wide oversight of operational activities in a program that consists of three core services: wastewater collection, treatment, and water recycling; solids resources; and watershed protection (stormwater). Her main area of focus is in wastewater treatment, water recycling, and biosolids management where over 450 million gallons a day are collected and treated.
Traci has been with the LA Sanitation for over 25 years and has previously worked with the City’s Department of Water and Power and the Irvine Ranch Water District serving in other capacities including water planning, industrial pretreatment, and environmental regulations. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, a Master of Science degree in environmental engineering from Loyola Marymount University and certification in Executive Management for State and Local Government from Harvard University. She is also a licensed professional civil engineer in the State of California and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer. Traci currently serves as a Board Director for the California Association of Sanitation Agencies and is a member of the State Water Resources Control Board Advisory Panel for Direct Potable Reuse.
Bill Bogaard is the in his fourth term as Mayor of Pasadena, after taking office in 1999 as the City’s first directly elected mayor. The subsequent time has been an active period in the City’s history, including the arrival of the Gold Line light rail system; development of new housing; construction of a new convention center; establishment of new arts institutions; and reform of the public schools. He serves as chair of Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative, a technology enterprise incubator, and the Pasadena Emergency Services Council. He is a member of the Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority, and is President of the League of California Cities.
Mayor Bogaard graduated from Loyola Marymount University and the Michigan Law School. He practiced law in Los Angeles, and then joined the First Interstate Bancorp until its merger with Wells Fargo & Co. in the late 1990’s.
Gary Petersen is a partner in Environmental Problem Solving Enterprises, which he co-founded in 1997. The firm specializes in advancing environmentally preferable products and services, including the development of renewable energy and fuels, emerging green technologies, and sustainable design and development. He is a national leader on recycling and sustainability issues. As founder and president of Ecolo-Haul Recycling (1972-1988), he built a regional network of nearly 60 recycling centers serving much of southern California. He established Los Angeles´s first curbside recycling program in 1972 and was the first citywide recycling contractor for Los Angeles and Santa Monica from the mid-1970s into the late 1980s. Ecolo-Haul Recycling was later acquired by Waste Management Inc., and Mr. Petersen served as a vice-president and director of environmental affairs for the company's Recycle America program from 1988 to 1997. Mr. Petersen has advised local, State, and federal agencies, corporate entities, businesses, and environmental organizations. He was a member of the task force for the Greening of the White House. He is Chairman of the Board of Green Seal and co-chairs the Corporate Board of the Environmental Media Association (EMA). Mr. Petersen is a co-founder of the California Resource Recovery Association and was a founding member of the National Recycling Coalition. He was appointed as the environmental member of the California Integrated Waste Management Board in 2005 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and served until 2008.
Richard D. “Rick” Cameron is the Managing Director of Planning and Environmental Affairs for the Port of Long Beach, California, named to the post in January 2014 by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, governing body for the Port.
Mr. Cameron joined the Port in 1996 as an Environmental Specialist, was promoted to Manager of Environmental Planning and named Director of the newly-created Division of Environmental Planning in 2007 before being appointed Managing Director after the retirement of 23-year Port veteran, Dr. Robert Kanter.
As Managing Director, he oversees the Planning and Environmental Affairs Bureau that includes Environmental Planning, Master Planning, and Transportation Planning.
As Director of Environmental Planning, he led the Division most directly responsible for the Port’s signature environmental program, the Green Port Policy, and the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan. Under the Green Port Policy, the Division coordinates programs to improve air, water and soil quality, preserve wildlife habitat and integrate sustainability into Port practices.
Early in his Port career, as an Environmental Specialist, he worked in the areas of water quality, air quality, and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) documentation. Prior experience included management of various environmental programs for the Port of Los Angeles and other clients as a Project Manager for Essentia Management Services.
Mr. Cameron has a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is a resident of Manhattan Beach.
Mr. Jean-Yves Benoit graduated with honors from Montréal University and received a Master of science in Economics. He worked for many years in the private sector before joining Quebec’s Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wild Life and Parks in 2006. Jean-Yves represents the government of Québec in the Western Climate Initiative and is a member of the WCI Board of Directors.
For the last several years Mr. Benoit has been working on the establishment of a cap-and-trade carbon market in Quebec. This market will be a key driver for Quebec to achieve the targeted 20% reduction in GHG levels by 2020.
Because of their mutual commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gasses, Quebec and California have agreed to work to link their two markets in 2013. Mr. Benoit is the director of the Carbon Market Division leading the team that is responsible for both developing and implementing Quebec’s cap and trade system as well as linking Quebec’s market with that of Califoria.
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.
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.
Josh Richman is the Vice President of Business Development for Bloom Energy Corporation where his responsibilities include market development, strategic partnerships, and legislative and regulatory affairs. Before joining Bloom, Josh was an associate at Greenrock Capital, a private equity fund focused exclusively on clean energy investments. Prior to his work in the energy sector, Josh spent six years in the political arena serving as Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s Political Director and as a senior member of the Richard Gephardt for President campaign.
Josh graduated with honors from Brown University and received his MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business. While at Stanford, Josh co-founded the GSB Energy Club and worked at Technology Partners, a Silicon Valley cleantech venture capital firm. Josh served on the board of the Clean Tech Advisory Council for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, and on the Sunnyvale Mayor’s Green Ribbon Sustainability Taskforce.
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.
Mike Wehner is the Assistant General Manager at Orange County Water District (OCWD) and manages Water Quality and Technology programs at the District. Mike was also responsible for obtaining regulatory approval and bolstering public support for the Groundwater Replenishment System, the world’s largest potable reuse system, which currently provides 70 MGD of high purity recycled water to prevent seawater intrusion and replenish the Orange County groundwater basin. Prior to joining OCWD, he spent 20 years with Orange County Environmental Health where he was Water Quality Program Chief.
Mike is an internationally recognized expert in water quality, public health and advanced water purification technology and has served on advisory panels for the National Water Research Institute, WaterRF, the WateReuse Research Foundation, the NRC, US EPA, CDPH, the State Water Resources Control Board, UK Water Industry Research, Thames Water, CSIRO in Australia and the PUB in Singapore.
Gerald Meral, Ph.D. was appointed Natural Resources Agency deputy secretary for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) on Jan. 19, 2011. Dr. Meral will be charged with guiding completion of the BDCP to restore the Bay-Delta ecosystem and create water supply reliability for California. In addition, he will also be responsible for the development of any revenue and funding proposals necessary to complete the plan.
Dr. Meral was executive director of the Planning and Conservation League from 1983 to 2003. He previously served as deputy director of the California Department of Water Resources from 1975 to 1983 under Governor Brown, and director of the western water program of the Environmental Defense Fund from 1971 to 1975. Dr. Meral holds a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of California, Berkeley. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan. He lives in Inverness, Calif. with his wife Barbara.
David Peterson is responsible for electric vehicle market acceptance strategy and implementation in the Western United States. David previously led electric vehicle research at the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation where he focused on developing sustainable business models and public policy. Prior to joining Nissan he was a financial analyst (M&A, wholesale banking) at ING Bank, N.V. in Shanghai, and an economist with AECOM Technology Corp. in Asia and California.
He holds a master’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
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.
Gene Rodrigues is the Director of Customer Energy Efficiency and Solar for Southern California Edison Company. In this capacity, Gene oversees SCE’s portfolio of Energy Efficiency, Low Income Energy Efficiency, Low Income Rate Assistance, California Solar Initiative and Self Generation Incentive programs. SCE is a national leader in helping customers to save energy, money and the environment through its award-winning energy efficiency programs.
In addition to his duties at SCE, Gene serves as chairman of the board of directors for the Consortium for Energy Efficiency. He also serves on the boards of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the China-US Energy Efficiency Alliance. Gene is a member of the executive leadership group for the U.S. DOE/EPA-sponsored State Energy Efficiency Action Network, the strategy committee for EEI's Institute for Energy Efficiency, and the steering committee for the Alliance to Save Energy's Global Action Network for Energy Efficiency Education.
Mr. Clements has over 35 years of experience in the environmental field and has managed more than 150 projects in his career. As the founder of Clements Environmental Corporation, he is responsible for overseeing all aspects of business development, project performance, client liaison, and administration. He is expert in Zero Waste planning and the development of solid waste and recycling infrastructure including: Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) and transfer stations, composting operations, C&D processing plants, recycling centers, and e-Recycling facilities having permitted over 70 such projects throughout California. In addition, he has extensive experience in innovative/alternative technologies for converting solid waste into renewable electricity and fuels and has been working on the development of such facilities for the past 10 years.
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.
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.
Vance S. Fong, P.E. is the Manager of the Environmental Indicator program leading Region 9 efforts to develop environmental indicators across media programs, working with the U.S. EPA Headquarters to develop the Report on the Environment, and providing support to states and tribes to develop their own indicators. He was the Chief of the Quality Assurance Office managing the Region 9 Quality Assurance Program and environmental data collection activities. He worked in Hawaii Department of Health and provided programmatic advice and technical assistance in the development and implementation of the Hawaii Hazard evaluation and Emergency Response Rules. He joined the Pacific Southwest Regional Office in 1987 where he was a Superfund Project Manager, responsible for leading and overseeing environmental remediation efforts at Federal Facilities on the National Priority List.
Vance has been designated by the EPA Science Policy Council to be a member of EPA Group on Earth Observation (GEO) representing EPA Region 9. Vance has been the Principal Investigator for two Advanced Monitoring Initiative projects -- Satellite and Surface Monitoring of Ozone Concentrations in Support of U.S.-Mexico Border 2012 Program and the California Sustainability Indicators Suite.
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.
Jason Gremillion serves as Vice President of Development & Investment for Trammell Crow Company where his primary focus is on the industrial pursuit and development initiative. Mr. Gremillion’s current projects include: Carson Industrial Center North, La Verne Technology and Trade Center , and the CleanTech Manufacturing Center. Mr. Gremillion has accumulated 20 years of commercial real estate development and construction experience specializing in providing comprehensive expertise in site selection, valuation and market analyses, entitlements, design and construction management, transaction management, and partner relations.
At Renovate America, Eliot is responsible for creating, developing, and launching innovative financial products for the residential energy/water efficiency and solar market.
Renovate America (RA) is the leader in Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, which enables homeowners to borrow money to pay for certain home energy and water improvement products and repay it through their property tax bill. Among other unique features, PACE financing offers consumers fixed payments, potential tax-deductible benefits and, if a property is sold, any remaining balance can often be transferred to the new owners.
Prior to joining Renovate America, Eliot Abel was Financial Products Manager for GE Renewable Energy, responsible for leading the development of new commercial offerings designed to optimize financing for wind projects. He began his career at GE in August 2011 as a member of the Renewable Energy Leadership Program.
Eliot received a M.B.A. from Yale School of Management in 2011 and a B.A. from Stanford University in 2003.
Catherine Dunwoody is the executive director of the California Fuel Cell Partnership. She has led the organization since 1999 when it was announced as a fuel cell vehicle demonstration program. Today the CaFCP is globally recognized as a leader in promoting hydrogen fuel cell vehicle commercialization. Catherine leads the CaFCP’s team of industry and government members in their collaborative planning, technical and outreach activities. She has long championed the cause for clean air and a better environment, having started her career at the California Air Resources Board in the mid-1980’s as a laboratory chemist, then managing teams responsible for stationary source testing and implementing clean vehicle regulations. In 2011 Automotive News named Catherine as one of the “Electrifying 100” most influential players in the move to electric drive vehicles. Catherine graduated with highest honors in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis.
Bob Savage has spent majority of his career in government working in the field of integrated resource management and land use planning in Alberta. Over the past 10 years, he has focused on climate change policy where he was a lead in the development of Alberta’s greenhouse gas regulatory system, the offset system and the establishment of the Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund and Corporation. Currently, Bob is the Director of Alberta Environment’s Climate Change Secretariat, where he is responsible for the implementation of Alberta’s Climate Change Strategy, including both greenhouse gas mitigation and adaptation policy.
Bob’s education has been focused on land use planning and resource economics and he holds an MBA in project management.
Frances Spivy-Weber was re-appointed as the Public Member of the State Water Resources Control Board on March 1, 2009. She serves as Vice Chair of the Board and is the Board liaison to the Los Angeles, San Diego, Central Coast, and Lahontan Regional Boards and the Ocean Protection Council Steering Committee. She represents the Secretary of CalEPA on the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission.
Prior to joining the Board, she was the Executive Director of the Mono Lake Committee for almost ten years; International Programs Director of National Audubon Society for almost ten years. Fran has served on numerous state and regional water advisory groups and task forces, including the Bay-Delta Public Advisory committee, co-chairing its Water Use Efficiency Subcommittee; State Water Plan 2005 Advisory Committee; California Landscape Task Force 2005; State Water Recycling Task Force 2003; Governor’s Advisory Drought Planning Panel 2000.
Ms. Spivy-Weber has served as convener and on the Board of the California Urban Water Conservation Council, co-convener of the Southern California Water Dialogue, and on the Boards of the Water Education Foundation, California Council of Land Trusts, and Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund. Fran has a BA from the University of Texas in history and political science and an MA from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. She has four years of graduate coursework in biology from Sacramento and San Francisco State Universities.
Dave Ramslie is the City of Vancouver’s Senior Sustainability Programs Manager. In this role Dave is responsible for overseeing the development of programs and policies that address Vancouver’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions targets and the ongoing development of Vancouver’s Green Building Strategy. Dave’s work on green building standards and land use policy has won national awards from the Canadian Institute of Planners, and from the Canadian Green Building Council, for Government Leadership in Green Building. In 2012 Dave was recognized by the International Living Future Institute with their Public Sector Leadership award in recognition of decade of work on urban sustainability issues.
Some signature projects include:
- Developing Canada’s first municipal energy efficiency financing program,
- Developing Vancouver’s green building code,
- Authoring Vancouver’s carbon neutral buildings strategy.
- Developing Vancouver’s electric vehicle charging by-law
- Creating Vancouver’s green rezoning policy and passive design guidelines
- Developing the policy frame work for large site redevelopment that included district energy
Dave formally served on the Board of Directors for the Cascadia Regional Green Buildings Council. He also lectures throughout the Northwest on Urban Sustainability issues and helps develop sustainability curriculum for local universities and colleges.
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.
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.
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.
Danny Kennedy, formerly the Executive VP for Sungevity, recently took the helm of the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF). CalCEF started as an evergreen fund and has added a seed-stage fund and CalCharge, a battery breakthrough consortium. Kennedy co-founded Sungevity in 2007 and also co-founded SfunCube, an Oakland-based solar incubator and accelerator.
Mr Östen Ekengren, MSc, graduated from the Royal Institute for Technology in Stockholm in 1978. The same year he joined IVL-The Swedish Environmental Research Institute. He has been responsible for the build-up of the Environmental Technology department. He is also responsible for the business area Sustainable production and consumption. Mr Ekengren is now Vice President for IVL. He has been project leader for more than hundred national and fifteen international /European Environmental Technology projects during the years. Mr Ekengren is also member of the Euroenvironment umbrella (EUREKA) where he has been active to adopt a new strategy based on the ETAP. He has been engaged in the development of the ETAP as an expert but also as a representative for EUREKA and the Swedish Ministry of Environment. He is also member in the European Water Technology platform WSSTP. He has also helped the Latvian Ministry of Economy to define how they can introduce environmental issues not as a problem but also to find the business opportunities.
Doug Kim is the director of Advanced Technology, Southern California Edison’s technology evaluation organization. This Transmission and Distribution Business Unit group operates as part of the Engineering and Technical Services division and is responsible for SCE’s smart grid development, which includes advanced grid technologies, energy storage, electric transportation, and the integration of energy smart consumer products.
Before taking the helm at Advanced Technology, Mr. Kim led SCE’s Plug-In Electric Vehicle Readiness efforts to ensure SCE’s grid and services are prepared to support the integration of the many new electric vehicles being marketed by automobile manufacturers.
Prior to leading the PEV Readiness group’s activities, Mr. Kim served as general manager for Edison Carrier Solutions, a business unit of SCE that provides large capacity fiber optics-based broadband services to local and long distance telephone, alternative telecommunications service providers, wireless carriers, cable television, and internet access companies.
Kim began his tenure at Edison International (EIX), the parent company of SCE, in 1996 where he was engaged in the company’s strategic planning and new business development. He also served as an internal consultant for many of EIX’s operating units. Mr. Kim went on to manage a variety of SCE organizations where he led the assessment of new business opportunities, development of strategies, and detailed business plans.
Mr. Kim earned a Master of Business Administration degree from UCLA and his Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA.
Dr. Lei He is a professor at UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and the founding director of clean energy research center, Los Angeles. The center is a US-China EcoPartner awarded by the Department of State.
Dr. He obtained several technical awards from ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) and IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). He also has consulted a number of IT companies including Cisco, Hewlett-Package, and Intel, and was a founding technical adviser to two VC-supported software startups. He is now the chief scientist for Pride Power Systems and DB New Energy.
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.
Eric Garcetti is the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles. His "back to basics" agenda is focused on job creation and solving everyday problems for L.A. residents.
Garcetti was elected four times by his peers to serve as President of the Los Angeles City Council from 2006 to 2012. From 2001 until taking office as Mayor, he served as the Councilmember representing the 13th District which includes Hollywood, Echo Park, Silver Lake, and Atwater Village -- all of which were dramatically revitalized under Garcetti's leadership.
Garcetti was raised in the San Fernando Valley and earned his B.A. and M.A. from Columbia University. He studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and the London School of Economics and taught at Occidental College and USC. A fourth generation Angeleno, he and his wife, Amy Elaine Wakeland, have a young daughter. He is a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy reserve and is an avid jazz pianist and photographer.
Chair Robert Weisenmiller was appointed as member and Chair to the California Energy Commission in January 2011 by Governor Jerry Brown and re-appointed in January 2015. He fills the Engineer/Scientist position on the five-member Commission. Commissioner Weisenmiller brings more than 30 years energy experience to the Commission including expertise in electricity and gas markets and California regulatory policies. Chair Weisenmiller has served as an expert witness in more than 100 state and federal regulatory commission proceedings and has authored numerous publications on electricity and natural gas markets.
Before his appointment, Chair Weisenmiller, a co-founder of MRW & Associates, used his expertise to assist businesses, financial institution, regulatory commissions, and public agencies in strategic planning, policy development, analyzing energy markets and regulations, rate design and implications of utility mergers.
Chair Weisenmiller's career also included a previous period of public service with the Energy Commission as Advisor to Commissioner, Manager of the Special Projects Office, and Director of the Office of Policy and Program Evaluation in the period between 1977 and 1982. Chair Weisenmiller holds a Doctorate in Chemistry and a Masters in Energy and Resources from University of California Berkeley and received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Providence College.
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
Mr. Romo is currently responsible for all business development for JFE Engineering America including diverse technologies such as waste to energy, produced water treatment, waste heat generation, electric vehicle chargers and steel bridge construction. With a strong background in international business Mr. Romo has created sales and market strategies for each of JFE’s target markets.
Mr. Romo has helped create various startup companies in the green tech industry serving as business development lead. He was involved in the creation of Calnetix, a Southern California engineering company focusing on high tech clean energy technologies, and VYCON an energy storage flywheel technology company. With expertise in the design of magnetic power systems Mr. Romo has also served as Vice President of Engineering and Director of Business Development for Integrated Magnetics a leading Southern California manufacturing group. As an Electrical Engineer designing high speed motor and generator systems for Allied Signal Aerospace (now Honeywell), he was the Program Manager responsible for the electrical power systems group.
Tim Psomas, PE
Alex Fay manages business development efforts for clean transportation and medical devices, and he oversees research and development programs at Quallion, a manufacturer of lithium ion batteries for advanced applications.
Alex’s portfolio includes the company’s effort to expand its manufacturing capabilities through a grant from the California Energy Commission. He also works closely with Quallion’s R&D and engineering teams to develop novel lithium ion battery chemistries, cell designs, and safety features.
Prior to joining Quallion, Alex worked as a clean technology advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Alex is a graduate of UCLA.
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 $30 billion worth of California’s Energy contracts and developing California’s Transportation Blueprint for the 21st Century, which the voters approved as Proposition 111 in 1990.
In June of 2005, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Katz to serve with him on the Governing Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where Katz served for 8 years. In 2008, the Mayor appointed Katz to the Metrolink Board after the horrendous Chatsworth accident, “to make sure this never happens again.” Katz served on the Metrolink Board for 7 years, focused on safety issues and leading the effort that resulted in Metrolink being the first railroad in the country to implement Positive Train Control (PTC) a state of the art life saving satellite based technology.
When Mayor Garcetti was elected in 2013, he appointed Richard Katz to the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, where he continues to serve.
Richard Katz is the owner of a successful public policy/government relations firm, Richard Katz Consulting (RKC), Inc. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Valley Economic Alliance and on the Boards of Heal the Bay and the Jordan farmer Foundation.
A native of Los Angeles, Richard Katz lives in Studio City with his eight year-old son Mitchell Robert.
Ms. Gillian Holcroft, MEng, serves as the Chief Operating Officer and VP Business Development of PyroGenesis Canada Inc. Previously she had served as its Director of Waste Treatment. Ms. Holcroft joined PyroGenesis Canada Inc. in 2003 as Product Development Manager. She also served at Noranda Inc. where she was involved in many aspects of the companies operations from production, technology development, business modeling and was involved in the design, engineering and start-up of a ¾ of a billion (CDN$) production facility. She has been a Director of PyroGenesis Canada Inc. since June 2006. Ms. Holcroft holds a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering and a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering both from McGill University, Montreal.
Adam Sulkowski specializes in research and teaching in the fields of sustainable business, corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability reporting, and law. He received his JD and MBA from Boston College and was a manager for several years before becoming a full-time professor. Since then, Prof. Sulkowski has authored over 30 published works of scholarship and his research has been cited by MSN, The Times of India, Inc. magazine, and Science Daily. He led MBA students in producing the first sustainability report in the world by a university that attained an A level of compliance with the world’s preeminent standard, the GRI’s G3.1 standard. Most recently, this report became the first by a university to attain the A+ level of compliance with the G3.1 standard, and Sulkowski's students produced the first sustainability report by a city (Fall River, MA) and small town (Dartmouth, MA) in the United States to use the GRI's standard - these reports are the first in the world by municipalities to report on enough metrics to qualify as A level.
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.
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.