Speakers for VX2017
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.
William Funderburk is an environmental lawyer with a keen understanding of the how to deal with the critical issues that our nation faces today. Since 2013 Mr. Funderburk has served as the Vice President of the Board of Commissioners for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and he has been managing partner in the Los Angeles office of a California business litigation and counseling firm, Castellon & Funderburk LLP, which he co founded in 1999. Based in Los Angeles, Mr. Funderburk is known for being a visionary when it comes to everything from sustainability to renewables to clean tech to water quality. Mr. Funderburk has been a key force in handling the water crisis in Los Angeles, California and around the Country including playing a lead negotiating role in the historic multiagency settlement of the Owens Lake PM-10 dust control dispute. He also played a key role as LADWP liaison in finalizing agreements to expand the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. He has advised clients on drafting environmental legislation and regulations on groundbreaking issues such as reducing lead drinking water in California, establishing net metering for stationary, hydrogen powered fuel cells and counseling early stage companies on renewables, water, air and soil remediation technologies.
On a national level, William has counseled clients on appearances before Congress and a number of federal councils under the jurisdiction of the White House. The agencies range from the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Departments of Energy, Interior, State, and Defense to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Mr. Funderburk has published various articles regarding California storm water regulations, clean power and distributed generation, Superfund reform and insurance recovery for environmental liabilities. He also speaks as an expert in environmental compliance, having given over 150 speeches in Washington, D.C. and California.
Mr. Funderburk is a member of the California State Bar and District of Columbia Bar. He graduated from Yale University (B.A. in Engineering and Applied Science) and Georgetown University Law Center (J.D.). He was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and two daughters.
Josh Sawislak is the global director of resilience for the firm AECOM. In this role, he works across the entire enterprise of AECOM's offerings in planning, design, construction, finance, operations, and development to help develop and leverage resilient strategies projects and clients to address issues such as sustainability, climate change, disaster preparedness, and enterprise risk management. He provides thought leadership and strategic advice to corporations, national governments, municipalities, NGOs, and international organizations across the globe. In 2015, he served as a speaker at the first US-China Climate Leaders’ Summit in preparation for the global climate negotiations in Paris in 2015 (COP-21) and led AECOM’s delegation to Paris. He also spoke at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and gave lectures and participated in symposia in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Oceana. He also serves as a subject matter expert for the Rockefeller Foundation on infrastructure and community resilience and sustainable development.
Prior to rejoining AECOM, he served in the Administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, most recently as the Associate Director for Climate Preparedness at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where he develop U.S. federal policy on climate adaptation and resilience and worked with foreign governments and international organization on multilateral and bilateral efforts. He also served as a senior advisor to two HUD secretaries focused on infrastructure and resilience at HUD and across government and led the development of the infrastructure recommendations for President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. In this role he was directly involved in the development of the Rebuild by Design competition co-sponsored by HUD and the Rockefeller Foundation and the development of the federal Infrastructure Resilience Guidelines. On the Sandy Task Force he worked closely with federal, state, and local officials as well as private owners and operators of infrastructure systems such as power and communications to direct over $25 billion in federal funding for infrastructure recovery and resilience in the impacted region and well as national policy changes.
Mr. Sawislak previously led a consultancy working with a range of companies from global corporations to startup technology entities. He provided advice and strategy on resilience, continuity, market capture, and risk management. His previous public service included an appointment as the Chief Emergency Response and Recovery Officer for the U.S. General Services Administration. As GSA’s representative on White House committees, he was responsible for agency support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Defense, and the US Agency for International Development in preparation and response to natural disasters other emergencies. Mr. Sawislak also served in state government, but spent most of his career in the private sector. He worked on signature projects such as Boston’s Big Dig, NYC’s Second Ave. Subway, and EPA’s Superfund Program. He is an environmental and transportation planner and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and serves on the boards of directors for the National Institute of Coastal and Harbor Infrastructure and evacuteer.org and is an advisor to several other organizations and programs in support of resilience and sustainability.
Mark Pestrella is Chief Deputy Director of the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works. He is responsible for all core business operations of the Department including water resources management, waste management, transportation, public building construction, development services, emergency management, financial management, and human resource management. One of his primary duties is to implement the Department Strategic Plan and initiatives, as well as oversee the application of the County Board of Supervisors' policies and directives.
A native of Southern California, Pestrella attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering with concentrations in structural engineering and water resource management. He is a licensed civil engineer in the State of California and has taught post-graduate classes in Civil Engineering and Land Development Entitlement at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Pestrella is a 29-year veteran of the Department and has held a variety of management positions throughout the Department. Over the last decade, Pestrella has been instrumental in Department leadership development, the adoption of County, State, and Federal policies related to Clean Water Act compliance, integrated water resource management, ecosystem restoration, and infrastructure sustainability.
Pestrella is also an active member of the American Public Works Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Water Works Association, Association of California Water Agencies, National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies (Board Member), Southern California Water Committee (Chair-Regional Stormwater Task Force), and Urban Water Institute (Board Member).
The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works is the largest public works agency in the United States with over 4,000 employee positions and an annual budget of more than four billion dollars. The Department designs, constructs, operates, and maintains roads, highways, bridges, airports, sewers, and flood control and water conservation facilities, as well as water distribution systems for the County, the Flood Control District, special districts, and contract cities. In addition, the Department provides management services for capital projects and serves as a first responder for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. The Department provides leadership in the countywide transportation system, traffic mitigation efforts, and solid and hazardous waste management planning.
Prior to joining SP Jay spent 17 years on Wall Street launching and growing three premier boutique investment banks as a Founding Partner, Head of Sales and Capital Markets for Wessels, Arnold and Henderson, DRW (now Royal Bank of Canada) and Thomas Weisel Partners (now Stifel Financial). He then spent the next 15 years launching and building alternative investment platforms such as Thomas Weisel Partners Asset Management and Crossover Venture Partners in various leadership positions including CEO and Senior Portfolio Manager. Throughout his Wall Street career Jay worked with many of the world’s most important investment managers, investors and growth companies.
Jay attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Business. He also served as a Board Member for UW’s Graduate School of Business and is a member of UW’s Beacon Hill Society. Jay is also an alumnus of the Applied Security Analysis Program.
Paul J. Silvern draws on over 25 years of experience to serve as the Partner in charge of HR&A’s Los Angeles area office.
In his time with HR&A, he has directed the analysis of major regional airport expansion plans, military base conversions, television and film studio expansions, hotels, office parks, high-rise office buildings, industrial developments, shopping centers, hospital complexes, university campus expansions, urban residential developments, mixed-use developments, and a wide range of planning initiatives. His work includes:
A 5.2 million square foot Specific Plan to guide future academic facility, housing and commercial development at the University of Southern California’s University Park campus;
Redevelopment of the Hollywood Park Racetrack in Inglewood into a major mixed-use development including 3,000 housing units, regional retail, office and public uses;
Two iterations of $3 billion Specific Plans to redevelop the NBC Universal entertainment studio, office, retail, theme park and hotel complex in Los Angeles;
The addition of two new theme parks at Disneyland in Anaheim, California;
2.4 million sf hotel, office and retail redevelopment of the Wilshire Grand, the first new high-rise office building to be built in downtown Los Angeles in over 20 years;
The Keck Graduate School for Applied Life Sciences, the seventh member of the Consortium of The Claremont Colleges;
Reconstruction of Saint John’s Hospital and Health Center in Santa Monica, in the wake of severe building damage caused by the 1994 Northridge earthquake;
Three new high-rise office buildings, and a 400-unit high-rise multi-family residential development in Century City, one of the most prestigious commercial office locations in Los Angeles;
10 million square feet of new commercial and residential development around Union Station in the City of Los Angeles;
The Red Building (400,000 sf), the final phase of the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood;
The 6.6 million s.f. Coyote Valley Research Park in San Jose, on behalf of a developer and business consortium including Cisco Systems, Inc.; and
Master Plans and redevelopment alternatives for Los Angeles International Airport, O’Hare International Airport, and San Diego International Airport.
Paul also has extensive experience in all aspects of housing policy and housing development, ranging from design of municipal regulatory programs to design and administration of affordable housing production programs and real estate advisory work on major private housing developments.
Paul’s clients include major development organizations as well as numerous local governments, redevelopment agencies, institutions and metropolitan planning organizations.
Paul earned a Masters Degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles and received a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, with Honors from the University of Illinois, Urbana.
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.
Sarah Potts Ashton
Sarah joined Uber in October of 2016, and oversees the company’s public affairs and policy work in Southern California.
Most recently, Sarah served as Faraday Future's Associate Director of Government Relations & Public Policy, where she developed and drove the emerging automaker’s first national government affairs strategy and portfolio. Sarah was previously with the Obama Administration, where she was the Director of the White House Climate Action Champions Program, launched by the President to accelerate sub-national climate action via cross-agency solutions.
In addition, Sarah also served on the President’s Community Solutions Task Force, a team developed to re-examine Federal programs to improve how the government designs and implements efforts to support local communities across environment, health, economic development, etc.
Prior to joining the Administration, Sarah served as the Deputy Director of Global Strategy for the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and the Los Angeles City Director of the Clinton Climate Initiative.
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.
James T. Butts
The Mayor has a combined 39 years in public safety, municipal government and education. He holds a Bachelor of Science (California State University at Los Angeles) and a Masters Degree in Business Administration (California Polytechnic University at Pomona). Mayor Butts has served as a general manager or assistant general manager of large and complex municipal organizations for the past 27 years.
The Mayor served the residents of Inglewood for nearly two decades as an Inglewood Police Officer, ultimately rising to the rank of Deputy Chief of Police. Between 1980 and 1990 he was promoted 5 times. In 1991 James Butts was selected to become Chief of Police for the City of Santa Monica where he served for 15 years. During his tenure in Santa Monica as Chief, crime fell 64% to its lowest level since 1956. Citizen complaints also fell by 50% and police liability payouts dropped by 99% as well. Mayor Butts retired as one of the longest serving police chiefs in the County of Los Angeles to serve as an Assistant General Manager (Deputy Executive Director)of the Los Angeles World Airports (which includes LAX) system responsible for Public Safety and Counter-Terrorism. He was responsible for a budget of 116 million dollars and 1100 employees. From 2006 to 2010, the Mayor was directly responsible for the safety of 60 million passengers that travel through LAX. In less than 4 years LAX went from being ranked near the bottom in airport security to being named the most secure airport in the United States by the Transportation Security Administration.
On January 11th, James T. Butts, Jr. was elected as the 12th mayor in the history of the City of Inglewood.
Michael (Mike) R. Markus is the General Manager of the Orange County Water District. With more than 36 years of experience, Mike is well known for his expertise in large project implementation and water resource management.
During his 26-year career at the District, Mike was responsible for managing the implementation of the $480 million Groundwater Replenishment System program. This program included a $35 million design effort and the construction of seven individual projects, which amounted to approximately $400 million. The largest of the projects was the $300 million, 70 million gallons per day, Advanced Water Purification Facility. This project is the largest planned indirect potable reuse project in the world and has won many awards including the 2008 Stockholm Industry Water Award, 2009 ASCE Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award, 2014 U.S. Water Prize and the 2014 Lee Kuan Yew Prize.
Mike currently serves on the board of directors of the American Academy of Water Resource Engineers, the California Section of the WateReuse Association and the WateReuse Research Foundation.
He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and a Master of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Southern California. He is also a registered civil engineer in the state of California.
Erica is the Advisor, Business Development, Energy Solutions, at Innovation Core SEI Inc., which is the US subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric. Erica is the former Vice President of Innovation Core SEI Inc. Erica leads the North America market development for Sumitomo Electric’s Smart Energy Solutions business, with a focus on energy storage. Prior to Sumitomo, Erica was the Business Development Manager at SANYO North America, where she developed new businesses and strategic partnerships in the areas of renewable energy, smart grid and consumer electronics. Erica holds a MS in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University and a BS in Electric Engineering from University College London.
Andrew Chastain-Howley is a Director at Black & Veatch and specializes in water system efficiency including macro-scale analysis of water usage for energy facilities. He is based in Fort Worth, Texas and has 26 years of experience in the fields of water conservation, demand management and power system cooling, including; District Metered Area planning, drought management, leakage detection, and water system auditing and economics. Andrew has worked across North America, the Middle East, Europe, and Australia for numerous government agencies and private entities.
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.
Debra Coy is a partner with XPV Water Partners, the largest water-focused growth equity fund in North America. She has been an advisor to XPV since 2010 and joined the firm full time in early 2015. From 2010 to 2015, she was also a principal with Svanda & Coy Consulting, providing strategic advisory services for investors, companies, and municipal utilities from a capital markets perspective. Ms. Coy is well known in the water sector from her 20 years on Wall Street as an equity research analyst, where she developed a leading franchise and broad expertise in covering the global water sector for investors at firms including Janney Montgomery Scott, Schwab Capital Markets, and HSBC Securities. She was named a Financial Times/Starmine “Best Brokerage Analyst” in 2008 and 2009 and a Forbes “Best Brokerage Analyst” in 2010 for water utilities coverage. She is a frequent speaker at industry events and a regular columnist on water finance and policy matters for Global Water Intelligence and other publications.
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.
Mike Levin is the Director of Government Affairs for FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: FCEL), a leading integrated fuel cell company that designs, manufactures, sells, installs, operates and services ultra-clean, highly efficient stationary fuel cell power plants for distributed power generation.
Mike is a passionate believer in clean technology and has over a decade of experience in government affairs and business development in the industry. Mike sits on the board of the Center for Sustainable Energy, and is also a co-founder and board member of CleanTech OC, Orange County’s clean technology trade association, where he served as the initial executive director.
Previously, he was part of the management team at a venture-funded clean tech startup. Prior to industry, Mike worked as an attorney at Bryan Cave LLP, where he assisted clients with environmental and energy regulatory compliance, project development, and government advocacy.
Mike has a BA in Political Science from Stanford University and a JD from Duke University School of Law. While at Stanford, Mike served as student body president. He is also a graduate of the CORO Fellows Program in Public Affairs.
In his role as Vice Chancellor, Dan led the launch of the Merced 2020 Project. The project opens a new chapter for infrastructure management in American public higher education through a performance-based, public-private partnership. The $1.3 billion project extends the first phase of campus onto a greenfield site and provides 1.2 million square feet of sustainable infrastructure, academic, housing and student life facilities. The university reached financial close in August 2016. The first facilities are scheduled to open 2018 with substantial completion in 2020. The project has been named as the 2016 Americas P3 Deal of the Year by Project Finance International. In addition, Vice Chancellor Feitelberg was named P3 Bulletin’s 2016 Individual Contributor of the Year.
With thirteen years of investment banking experience, Daniel has also helped raise debt capital for state and local governments in the taxable and tax-exempt capital markets. Mr. Feitelberg’s experience includes projects for transportation, energy, water, education and healthcare enterprises, as well as capital projects and operational funding for state and local governments through the financial crisis.
Abigale (Abby) Abel is the Global Director of GE Ecomagination, a strategic platform for delivering improved economic and environmental returns to GE customers. Abby’s primary focus is working with partners to identify and scale new commercial solutions. Prior to her current role, Abby served as the Strategic Marketing Leader for GE’s Renewable Energy business, responsible for leading a global team to provide wind industry analysis and insight to support strategic decision-making.
Abby holds an M.B.A. & Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) from the University of Michigan as well as a B.A. from Middlebury College. She lives in San Diego with her husband and daughter.
Colleen Quinn is a seasoned executive leader and government strategist with 30 years’ experience in government, business and non-profit sectors. She has served in the highest level government and political appointed positions, as well as a senior corporate officer and senior non-profit management and advocacy roles. These include California Governor Jerry Brown, the Partnership for New York City, Insight Communications, Pacific Telesis and the Revlon Foundation. Colleen has a B.A. from UC Berkeley and a JD from the University of California, Hastings College of Law and participated as a CORO Fellow in Los Angeles.
Colleen has led ChargePoint’s regulatory and government market development activities since 2010. She leads the Company’s advocacy issues at the Federal, State and Local arenas. Ms. Quinn serves on many organizations and stakeholder groups in the Electric Vehicle Industry including: Executive Committee of the California Plug In Electric Vehicle Collaborative; Founder and Chair of the Electric Vehicle Charging Association; Executive Committee and Board member of the Electric Drive Transportation Association; Gubernatorial appointee the Massachusetts ZEV Commission; Maryland Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council; Chair of the National Electric Manufacturers Association EV Charging Government Relations committee. Ms. Quinn represented ChargePoint at COP 21 in Paris accepting the United Nations Momentum for Change Award.
Professor Powell is a Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and also a Professor of Food Science and Technology at the University of California Davis. From 2002 until 2011 he was the Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. He has been Vice Chair and Chair of the Academic Senate of the University of California System. Currently he serves as the Science Advisor to the Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency and the Chair of the Science and Technology Committee of the Board of Governors that oversees Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
George Minter is Regional Vice President for External Affairs and Environmental Strategy for SoCalGas, the nation’s largest gas utility. He is responsible for the Company’s external affairs, communications, public policy and energy and environmental affairs functions.
Mr. Minter is a long time public policy professional specializing in energy and environmental matters, policy development, communications and political advocacy.
Prior to re-joining the Gas Company as the Senior Director of Policy and Environment, George was Managing Principal for the LA-based public affairs firms Greer/Dailey/Minter and GM Public Affairs from 2000 to 2013. There he managed public policy initiatives and communications programs to approve large energy and land use projects.
George also served in the capacity as director and manager of a number of other functions for SoCalGas from 1985 – 2000. Prior to his career at the Gas Company, George was a political consultant handling local, state and national political campaigns, responsible for strategy development, campaign management and television and radio production.
George has served as a board member of numerous civic associations and community organizations, including the Central City Assoc., Valley Industry and Commerce Assoc., L.A. Family Housing Corp. (as Board Chair), Coro Foundation, Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at Cal-State LA, Center for the Study of LA at Loyola Marymount University, Campaign to Clear the Air and the California League of Conservation Voters. He was one of the founders of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, a federal energy trade association and of the California CCS Coalition, a statewide energy advocacy organization.
He currently serves as Co-Chair of the Energy, Water & Environmental Sustainability Council of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; is a member of the Land Use (GLUE) Council for So Cal Assoc. of Governments (SCAG); and is a member of the Advisory Boards of the CA Alt Fuel Vehicle Coalition of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), and of Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL).
George has been the recipient of several awards and honors, and has been a regular speaker at state and national conferences on energy and environmental policy. He recently was awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, from the U.S. Council on Service and Civic Participation.
George is the father of two grown children, married, and lives in Pasadena, California. He is a Phi Beta Kappa and Honors graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.
Dan is the Assistant Deputy Director heading the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works’ Environmental Programs Division. The Division is responsible for providing waste management services for 1.1 million unincorporated area residents and 20,000 businesses; permitting, monitoring, and inspection services for hazardous substances underground storage tanks in the unincorporated County areas and 77 cities; industrial waste permitting and inspection services in the unincorporated County areas and 37 contract cities; stormwater inspection for commercial and industrial facilities in the unincorporated areas; integrated waste management planning for the unincorporated areas and the County as a whole; and implementing Countywide and unincorporated area waste reduction programs to achieve a waste free future.
Dan began working for the Department in 1986. In addition to his current assignment in the Environmental Programs Division, he has worked in the Water Resources, Watershed Management, Waterworks, and Sewer Maintenance Divisions and has served as the Department’s Disaster Services Coordinator during his career. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree from Marquette University and a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School. Dan is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of California and a member of the California Bar.
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.
Captain Gregory Nelson is a 34-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He currently commands the Bureau of Labor Relations and Compliance, and is the Department’s Sustainability Project Manager. He is leading a number of initiatives to enhance the Sheriff’s Department’s operational and fiscal sustainability and resiliency. Captain Nelson holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from California State University, Long Beach and a Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School, and is a member of the State Bar of California and the Federal Bar of the Central District of California.
Barbara Romero is the Deputy Mayor of City Services in the office of Mayor Eric Garcetti. She was appointed to this position in March 2015 after serving as a Board of Public Works Commissioner.
Romero spent a decade working for the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, where she was Chief of Urban Projects and the Watershed Planning Division. As the liaison to local, state, and federal legislators on park planning issues, Romero handled legislative policies and project funding strategies, and managed millions of dollars for urban park projects. She also focused on identifying, developing and implementing multiple park development, restoration, and acquisition projects primarily in urban areas along the Upper Los Angeles River and tributaries.
She currently serves as a Board Member for the Valley Presbyterian Hospital and has previously served on the boards of the Baldwin Hills Conservancy the L.A. River Revitalization Corporation. In addition, she was a member of the Los Angeles Planning Commission and previously worked for the L.A. Conservation Corps and Building Up Los Angeles, where she led an AmeriCorps program to develop school and community gardens and mural projects with high school and college students in East L.A.
Romero grew up in the East L.A. community of Boyle Heights. She holds a B.A. from UCLA.
Robb Whitaker has worked in the field of water resources engineering and planning for over 30 years. He has wide ranging experience with water distribution infrastructure, water supply forecasting, and groundwater basin management.
Robb is the General Manager of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD), a regional groundwater agency that manages two major groundwater basins located in southern Los Angeles County. These basins provide half of the total water supply for four million residents in 43 cities within the WRD service area. During his 25 years at WRD, Robb has developed and implemented many projects and programs to increase the safety and reliability of the Central and West Coast Groundwater Basins.
Mr. Whitaker received a B.S. in Civil Engineering with emphasis in Water Resources from the University of Southern California. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of California.
Kelli Bernard is chief executive for the Los Angeles Metro+ region of AECOM, a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm headquartered in Los Angeles. With more than 2,000 employees in the Los Angeles and Southern California area, Kelli is responsible for building on AECOM’s strategies to deliver its integrated services to meet the infrastructure and business needs of public and private sector clients.
Kelli has over 20 years of experience in economic development, land use planning, housing, redevelopment and public affairs. She also has in-depth knowledge of public/private partnerships, public finance and infrastructure investment.
Prior to joining AECOM, Kelli served as the deputy mayor of economic development for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. In this role as the city’s top economic advisor, Kelli championed business growth, economic development and job creation in Los Angeles. She managed eight city departments — including the Los Angeles World Airports and the Port of Los Angeles — with combined budgets of more than $6 billion and over 7,000 employees.
Prior to her position as deputy mayor, she was director of economic development at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the largest municipality in the United States, where she led the department’s Clean Technology Initiative that culminated in the development of the $40M La Kretz Innovation Campus.
She is a member of the Urban Land Institute and has served as a national urban advisor. Kelli sits on the board the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, a leading nonprofit organization working to create urban parks in the city. She is also a memberof the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Commission.
Kelli holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning from University of California, Los Angeles, and a BA in Sociology from University of California, Berkeley.
Joe is Chair of the South Bay Clean Power initiative where he works full time to bring Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) to the 20 cities of the South Bay and West Side Los Angeles County and other eligible cities in L.A. County. Joe worked with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to pass a resolution to explore CCA options and to fund a feasibility study. Joe is working to launch California’s largest Community Choice Power program by partnering South Bay Clean Power with areas like Long Beach and L.A. County.
Joe is the Organizer of the South Bay Los Angeles 350 Climate Action Group. Joe was the Director of Strategic Partnerships and Public Affairs for EcoMedia. Additionally, Joe has served on a number of environmental non-profits in the South Bay.
John Chiang was elected on November 4, 2014, as California’s 33rd State Treasurer. As the State’s banker, he oversees trillions of dollars in transactions every year. One of his top priorities is to conduct the State’s business in the most transparent manner possible.
Chiang sells California’s bonds, invests the State’s money and manages its cash. In addition, he manages financing authorities that help provide good-paying jobs, better schools, improved transportation, quality health care, more affordable housing and a cleaner environment. He handles those duties while sitting on the governing boards of the nation’s two largest public pension funds – the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS).
Chiang has made transparency a top priority, believing that sharing information with taxpayers enables them to hold government officials accountable. In November 2015, he unveiled DebtWatch, a website that offers the public easy access to three decades of data related to debt issued by State and local governments.
Prior to being elected Treasurer, Chiang served from 2007 through 2014 as State Controller, during which time he:
- Took steps during the Great Recession to preserve cash to meet obligations to education and bond holders. His cash management decisions – which included delaying payments and issuing IOUs -- were cited as instrumental in keeping the State’s credit rating from plunging into junk status, which saved taxpayers millions of dollars.
- Worked to ensure the fiscal solvency of the State’s pension plans, and was a leader in pension and corporate governance reform. He proposed a plan to address the unfunded liability of providing health and dental benefits for State retirees, and successfully sponsored legislation requiring all State pension systems to adopt disclosure policies regarding board members and placement agents. He also has sponsored bills to curb pension-spiking, require placement agents to register as lobbyists, and require CalPERS and CalSTRS board members to file more campaign contribution disclosure reports.
- Aggressively used his auditing authority to identify more than $9 billion in taxpayer dollars that were denied, overpaid, subject to collection, or resulted in revenues, savings and cost avoidance.
- Ensured that $3.1 billion in unclaimed property was returned to the rightful owners. He also led the effort to reform the State’s Unclaimed Property Program, which currently holds about $7.1 billion in bank accounts, utility deposits and other property that businesses have deemed abandoned by their owners.
Chiang was first elected to the Board of Equalization in 1998 where he served two terms, including three years as chair. He began his career as a tax law specialist with the Internal Revenue Service and previously served as an attorney in the State Controller’s Office.
The son of immigrant parents, Chiang graduated with honors from the University of South Florida with a degree in finance. He received his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Irma Muñoz is the founder and president of Mujeres de la Tierra (MDLT) – an environmental equity, non-profit focused on healing La Madre Tierra which has benefitted under-resourced neighborhoods of color since 2007. MDLT believes in the power of one and that community action starts with individual participation and has inspired local women and their children to take ownership of leadership of neighborhood issues and concerns.
Through the organization’s economic empowerment platform, Irma has brought sustainable and green opportunities to marginalized populations, proving that an investment in clean water is an investment in communities.
Irma Muñoz serves as a member of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board – currently serving as chair of both.
She is known for the development of creative, cultural relevant project to educate and engage members of the family including Telenovelas in the Park, Agua es Vida/Water is Life, La Paletera de Los Angeles and has worked with the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum on urban water parkways.
Michael Patrick George was appointed to a four-year term as Delta Watermaster beginning in January, 2015. The position of Delta Watermaster was created by the 2009 Delta Reform legislation. The Delta Watermaster is an independent officer of the State reporting jointly to the State Water Resources Control Board and the Delta Stewardship Council. The Watermaster has statutory responsibility for administering water rights within the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta. Additionally, the Delta Watermaster advises the Board and the Council on related water rights, water quality and water operations in and affecting the Delta, which is, simultaneously, a critical estuarine habitat, a vital agricultural area, and the hub of California’s water infrastructure.
Prior to starting his term, Mr. George was active in western water law and policy as a water lawyer, as the CEO of a publicly traded water resource management company, as a senior executive of an investor owned water company and as an investment banker serving both public and private entities in the water industry. He is an honors graduate of The University of Notre Dame where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and of the Georgetown University Law Center where he was an editor of Law and Policy in International Business. Mr. George has lectured on California water resource issues at the University of California San Diego, the University of Southern California and the University of California at Berkeley. He is a member of the California Bar.
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.
Brian Jordan is a Vice President at Tetra Tech and currently focused on the firm’s smart water initiative. Mr. Jordan recently joined Tetra Tech from MWH Global where he was Director of Global Corporate Development. In this capacity, he was responsible for coordinating and leading a variety of the company’s growth efforts including strategic partnerships and mergers and acquisitions, as well as organic growth initiatives aligned with the company’s strategic plan.
Prior to MWH, Brian was a Senior Vice President at AECOM where he was the executive responsible for profit and loss, sales and marketing efforts, and oversight of strategy and operations for the firm’s water business in a region that extended from the Rocky Mountains to continental Asia. Brian has been active in professional associations throughout his career. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Water Works Association and been elected, nominated, or appointed to leadership and chair positions for a half-dozen different industry organizations. He is also an active author and public speaker having published or presented several dozen papers. A licensed professional engineer in California, Brian has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute, and completed graduate studies in the same field at Virginia Tech.
Renata Simril is President and CEO of the LA84 Foundation (www.LA84.org). Formed in 1985, originally as the Amateur Athletic Foundation, the LA84 Foundation (“LA84” or the “Foundation”) is a legacy of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Summer Games. The LA84 Foundation transforms lives through its investment in youth sport programs, infrastructure, research, and education across eight Counties of Southern California, and is a national leader in elevating the role that sports play in positive youth development.
Ms. Simril is an accomplished civic and private sector trailblazer with more than 20 years of diversified experience with a commitment to leadership and service. She most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff to the Publisher of the Los Angeles Times, where she oversaw staff operations and special projects. Her earlier career included three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where she served as Senior Vice President of External Affairs overseeing the restoration of the Dodgers brand and the Dodgers Foundation; and over a decade in real estate development with Jones Lang LaSalle, Forest City Development and LCOR, Inc. Her public service included stints as Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Housing in the Hahn Administration, where she worked to expand rental and affordable housing in Los Angeles, and as a Development Deputy to Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, where she worked to help rebuild communities in South Los Angeles after the 1992 civil unrest. Ms. Simril began her career in the U.S. Army as a Military Police Officer in the U.S. and Germany.
Ms. Simril is active in the community outside of LA84 Foundation, currently serving on the Boards of the LA2024 Olympic Bid Committee; Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce; United Way of Greater Los Angeles; Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission; and Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation; and as a member of the Board of Regents of Loyola Marymount University (LMU). In 2016, she was named to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s inaugural list of The Los Angeles 500 Most Influential People.
Ms. Simril is a third generation Angeleno. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Loyola Marymount University and a Master’s Degree in Real Estate Development from USC. Ms. Simril resides in Studio City with her husband and two sons.
David Alexander is the Director of Information Security at Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation’s largest municipal utility. He continues to evolve a comprehensive Information Security Program. With over 20 years of IT and power operations experience, Mr. Alexander has levied his extensive technical and business operation experience to apply sound IT Security practices while meeting the demanding business requirements of the power industry. He is also responsible for the development and coordination of LADWP’s strategic and tactical IT security planning initiatives to reduce risks, respond to incidents, and limit exposure to liability that may result in financial and image loss to the utility.
Mr. Westly is the Founder & Managing Partner of The Westly Group. He and his partners have built one of the larger clean tech and sustainability venture firms in the US with close to $300 million under management. The Westly Group focuses on capital efficient, high growth companies in the sustainability, sharing economy, and the Internet of Things spaces. The firm has blue chip investors including Citibank, E.ON, and South Korea Telecom. The company has invested in 33 portfolio companies, three of which have gone public on NASDAQ, including Tesla Motors. The Net IRR on the investments Mr. Westly has led is 42% with a 1.35x cash-on-cash return
Prior to founding The Westly Group, Steve Westly served as the Controller and Chief Fiscal Officer of the state of California – the world’s seventh largest economy. As Controller, he chaired the State Lands Commission and served on 63 other boards and commissions, including CalPERS and CalSTRS, the nation’s two largest public pension funds, which together invest more than $350 billion.
In the 2008 election cycle Steve served as a California co-chair of the Obama for America campaign. He also served on the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board as a representative for the venture capital industry.
Before running for office, Steve helped guide the online auction company eBay through its period of most rapid growth, serving as the Senior Vice President of Marketing, Business Development, M&A and International. Steve helped bring eBay to Europe and Asia and developed the marketing and acquisition strategies that paved the path for the firm’s exponential growth. Steve helped take eBay public in 1998. Steve also served as an executive at a number of other technology firms including Netcom, WhoWhere?, Bridgemere Capital, and SPRINT.
Steve began his career in Washington, D.C., where he worked first on Capitol Hill and later in the Office of Conservation and Solar at the U.S. Department of Energy. Steve returned to California to become special assistant to the President of the California Public Utilities Commission. While there, he published two books on alternative energy and the utilities.
Steve holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, where he served as a lecturer for five years. Steve and his wife, Anita, run the Westly Foundation, which provides education and health care services for children and underserved communities throughout California. They have two children in high school.
Ronald R. Gastelum has a legacy of bringing stability and strong creative initiatives to the private and public sector organizations he has led in water, waste management, and energy arenas. Ron is WCP's President and Chairman of the Board.
As the Chief Executive Officer of The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California from 1999 until December 2004, Ron was responsible for managing the operations of the world’s largest wholesale water supplier serving the 18 million residents in urban Southern California with assets worth $11 billion with a $1 billion annual operating budget. Under Ron’s leadership MWD was successful in diversifying the region’s water supply with the development of new large water transfer, groundwater banking, reclaimed water, and cutting-edge conservation programs. Ron also led a major restructuring of MWD’s management, adopted a new Strategic Plan with unprecedented public participation, updated its long term resources plan, completed a $2 billion dollar new reservoir, adopted a long term capital improvement and finance plan, and completed a major overhaul of its rate structure. Since leaving Metropolitan Ron served as interim Executive Vice President of the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce to provide leadership and management during the transition to a new CEO. He is also interim Executive Director of the Southern California Water Committee.
Prior to 1999 Ron served as General Counsel for BKK Corporation, where he managed all environmental compliance matters, including extensive regulatory and legislative affairs in California and at the federal level.
Ron is a graduate of Whittier College and received is Juris Doctorate at U.C.L.A Law School.
Dr. Nathan S. Lewis is the George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology. Professor Lewis is Principal Investigator of the Beckman Institute Molecular Materials Resource Center. His research interests include artificial photosynthesis and electronic noses. Nate continues to study ways to harness sunlight and generate chemical fuel by splitting water to generate hydrogen. He is developing the electronic nose, which consists of chemically sensitive conducting polymer film capable of detecting and quantifying a broad variety of analytes. Technical details focus on light-induced electron transfer reactions, both at surfaces and in transition metal complexes, surface chemistry and photochemistry of semiconductor/liquid interfaces, novel uses of conducting organic polymers and polymer/conductor composites, and development of sensor arrays that use pattern recognition algorithms to identify odorants, mimicking the mammalian olfaction process.
Sunita Satyapal is the Director for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. She is responsible for the overall strategy, program execution and staff in the area of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, including oversight and coordination of approximately $100 million per year in research, development, demonstration and deployment activities. Dr. Satyapal has more than 20 years of experience in academia, industry and government. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University and did her postdoctoral work in Applied and Engineering Physics and Physical Chemistry at Cornell University. She has served as a visiting professor, managed programs at United Technologies and conducted research at Hokkaido University during her graduate studies.
Marcie L. Edwards is the retiring General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and was the first woman to lead the nation’s largest municipal utility.
Coming home to the utility where she previously worked for 24 years, Marcie brought decades of experience in the utility industry to the LADWP top job. She previously ran Anaheim Public Utilities for 13 years then was tapped to serve as Anaheim City Manager in July 2013. A past Governor on the California Independent System Operator Board, Marcie also served as interim CEO of that agency in 2004, and, in that role, assisted in avoiding statewide power outages during the Energy Crisis.
Information Security Professional recently retired from Metropolitan Water District of So. CA. Security specialist with over 28 years experience in Financial and Critical Infrastructure organizations. Active member of ISACA, ISSA, FBI Infragard working with these organizations to advise and protect Critical Infrastructure and continue to assist with Cyber Security initiatives.
Hayato Nakazono is a civil / environmental engineer with over 10 years of experiences in the planning, design, construction, operation and management of water supply sector. He has worked for many water related projects not only in Japan but also in several other countries, such as Vietnam, Bolivia, Jordan and South Sudan, solving the water related problems for global clients.
He is currently JFE Engineering’s team leader for SPF Projects. SPF is the special product, developed for the pipeline to secure the water supply even after the severe earthquake and ground deformation, and it is very unique in the world. Also, Mr. Nakazono is currently a member of the technical committee of Japan Water Steel Pipe Association.
He has a B.S. and M.S. in civil and environmental engineering and is registered as a Professional Engineer in Japan.
RADM Len Hering
Rear Admiral Len Hering is a prominent military and civilian sustainability leader with a broad background in energy and environmental issues. His passion in sustainability is educating people on the dangers the future holds without taking responsible actions to secure the nation’s energy independence and to preserve water, air quality and other resources. Currently serving as Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable Energy, RADM Hering oversees the mission-driven nonprofit organization as they provide critical and innovative clean energy program design and management, as well as technical advisory services to states and regions.
Steve Sullivan retired from Edison International in October 2013, after 35 years with the company. Edison is the parent company of Southern California Edison, a regulated electric utility. Mr. Sullivan led the two largest SCE organizations dedicated to serving government customers: first as Director of Local Public Affairs, and second as Director of Government & Institutional within the Customer Service organization. Since retiring from Edison, Sullivan has become actively involved in cutting edge businesses that advance emerging technologies and/or public policy issues affecting the electric industry in California. Some of his business ventures include:
Chief Operating Officer, Advanced Rail Energy Storage, LLC (ARES) – ARES is pioneering the use of electric locomotive technology for large-scale energy storage. By providing a completely non-polluting and low-cost solution to the need for grid scale storage and grid stability, ARES will allow America and the world to successfully and reliably integrate unprecedented amounts of clean energy.
Strategic Board Advisor, Ice Energy – Ice Energy is the leading provider of smart grid-enabled, distributed thermal energy storage to the local utility industry. Ice Energy delivers cost-effective solutions at grid-scale to reduce peak demand, improve energy system efficiency and reliability, and transform the way the utility system operates.
Minority Owner, Empire Water Corporation (EWC) – EWC was formed in 2008 to purchase assets of the West Riverside Canal Company (WRCC) and the 350” Mutual Water Company, located in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. EWC owns and manages the only private canal in the region. In addition to owning and/or controlling significant water resources, EWC is poised to expand production and add sufficient infrastructure to exceed historic production levels and help support the growing water needs of Southern California in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner.
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.
Tori Kjer, PLA, is the Program Director for the Trust for Public Land’s Los Angeles Program. She oversees the wide range of urban park and land protection projects implemented by The Trust for Public Land throughout Los Angeles County. Tori holds a Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture from CSU Pomona.
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.
Tom founded Rustic Canyon in 1999 and continues to be actively involved in the firm.
Prior to forming Rustic Canyon Partners, Tom was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Times Mirror Company. At Times Mirror, he led the acquisition and divestiture activity and oversaw the investment program. Prior to joining Times Mirror, Tom was one of California’s leading corporate attorneys, practicing first with Orrick, Herrington from 1969 to 1986 and then with Morrison & Foerster from 1986 to 1992.
Tom serves actively on the boards of the California Community Foundation, CalArts, Heal the Bay, and MOCA.
Education: Tom earned a BA from Princeton University and a JD from the University of Chicago.
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.
Janea A. Scott
Janea A. Scott is one of five Commissioners on the California Energy Commission. The Energy Commission is the State's primary energy policy and planning agency. Ms. Scott was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in February 2013 to serve as the Commission's public member. She is the lead Commissioner on transportation and western regional planning, and last year Ms. Scott led the 2014 Integrated Energy Policy Report Update. Ms. Scott serves as the chair of the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative, a public/private organization focused on accelerating the adoption of PEVs to meet California's economic, energy and environmental goals. She is also a member of the U.S. Department of Energy's Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee.
Prior to joining the Energy Commission, Ms. Scott worked at the U.S. Department of the Interior in the Office of the Secretary as the Deputy Counselor for Renewable Energy and at Environmental Defense Fund in both the New York and Los Angeles offices as a senior attorney in the climate and air program. Ms. Scott was also an AmeriCorps member working at the San Francisco Urban Service Project from 1996-1997. Ms. Scott earned her J.D. from the University of Colorado Boulder Law School and her M.S. and B.S. in Earth Systems from Stanford University.
Dr. Friedl is currently the Manager of the NASA Western Water Application Office as well as the Manager of the Earth Science Research and Mission Formulation Office in JPL’s Earth Science and Technology Directorate. In the former role he is responsible for the development of information products based on NASA data for use by western water decision-makers. In the latter role he leads the development of mission concepts to meet future Earth science needs identified by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. He is also the Associate Director of a joint institute (JIFRESSE) with UCLA on regional Earth system science and engineering and an Adjunct Professor within the UCLA Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.
Paula Daniels is co- founder and Chair of the Center for Good Food Purchasing, a social enterprise non-profit founded in July of 2015 as a national spin off from the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, which Paula founded in 2011. Paula was also Executive Director of California Central, a USC Villaraigosa Initiative, from April of 2015 to June 2016. She is a public policy leader in environmental food and water policy, with recognition through academic appointments and other awards. Some recent examples: September 2016, Resident Fellow of the Bellagio Center of the Rockefeller Foundation; 2015, Pritzker Environment and Sustainability Education Fellow at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability; 2013, Lee Chair in Real Estate Law and Urban Planning; 2012-2013, Stanton Fellowship (awarded by the Durfee Foundation). She has also had academic appointments at USC, and Vermont Law School.
Building on a successful career as an attorney in civil litigation, she served as a Los Angeles Public Works Commissioner (a fulltime position overseeing the Department of Public Works) and then Senior Advisor to Mayor Villaraigosa of Los Angeles. She has also been a commissioner with the California Coastal Commission, and a gubernatorial appointee on the governing board of the California Bay-Delta Authority. She was an appointee of Governor Brown to the California Water Commission, and served in his Office of Planning and Research as Senior Fellow for Food Systems, Water and Climate.
Gene Sykes is the Chief Executive Officer of LA 2024 and supervises all aspects of the BId Committee's business, operations, and activities. Prior to joining the Candidature Committee, Sykes was Co-Head of Global Merges and Acquisitions, Co-Chairman of the Global Technology, Media and Telecom Group, and a member of the Management Committee and Firmwide Client and Business Standards Committee of Goldman Sachs. Sykes is a trustee of the California Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, a board member of Common Sense Media, a member of the Advisory Council of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and a member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees.
Matt Petersen is the City of Los Angeles’ first Chief Sustainability Officer. In this role, he developed and is currently implementing the City’s first Sustainable City pLAn which is a data-driven pLAn that lays out the long and short term sustainability outcomes for the City of Los Angeles. Under the Mayor’s leadership, Matt led the City’s response to the Aliso gas leak and was able to bring together Mayors from other cities to combat climate change by playing a major role with organizations such as C40 and the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda. He also co-chairs the Mayor’s Water Cabinet, which is charged with meeting the City’s aggressive water conservation goals, and has resulted in Los Angeles residents reducing their water usage from 131 gallons to 106 gallons per capita daily.
Before joining the Mayor’s office, Matt served as President and CEO of Global Green USA for 19 years. Passionate about improving the lives of those in need, combatting climate change and greening communities, Petersen focused the organization on greening affordable housing, schools and cities (including LA). Petersen led the organization in the green rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and later to communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Matt is a board member of Global Green USA and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles, as well as is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative.
Robert Lempert is a principal researcher at the RAND Corporation and director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition. His research focuses on decisionmaking under conditions of deep uncertainty, with an emphasis on climate change, energy, and the environment. Lempert and his research team assist a number of natural resource agencies in their efforts to include climate change in their long-range plans. He has also led studies on national security strategies and science and technology investment strategies for clients such as the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Lempert is a fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Panel on Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Political and Social Stresses, and a lead author for Working Group II of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report and for the IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. Lempert was the Inaugural EADS Distinguished Visitor in Energy and Environment at the American Academy in Berlin.
A professor of policy analysis in the Pardee RAND Graduate School, Lempert is an author of the book Shaping the Next One Hundred Years: New Methods for Quantitative, Longer-Term Policy Analysis. Lempert received his Ph.D. in applied physics and S.M. in applied physics and science policy from Harvard University.
Mark is a Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at Morgan Stanley specializing in Impact Investing. He has been in the financial services business for over 30 years working as an advisor to institutional and individual clients. Mark manages a practice based in Atlanta, Georgia and is one of 20 investing with Impact “Champion” out of 17,000 advisors at Morgan Stanley. He is the only Morgan Stanley “Champion” advisor in the Southeast.
His interest in Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing goes back to his years growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the ‘60’s –‘70’s. He started transitioning clients to ESG screened investments in 2001. In April of 2011 Morgan Stanley recognizing the need to offer Impact Investing options to their retail clients and announced the formation of the Investing with Impact platform headed up by Hilary Irby, Executive Director of the Morgan Stanley Global Sustainable Finance (GSF) group and Head of the Morgan Stanley Investing with Impact Initiative. GSF harnesses the power and discipline of the capital markets to enhance environmental sustainability, advance economic opportunity and promote community development. The firm’s Investing with Impact initiative aims to provide clients with investment opportunities focused on providing financial returns as well as positive environmental and social impact. In November of 2013, James Gorman, President, of Morgan Stanley announced the creation of The Institute of Sustainable Investments, www.morganstanley.com/sustainableinvesting/ headed up by Audrey Choi, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and CEO of the Institute. The Institute for Sustainable Investing seeks to help businesses, institutions and individuals direct capital to these challenges in scalable ways. We focus on:
- Sustainable Investing: Financial solutions that enable sustainable investing at scale
- Thought Leadership: Groundbreaking insights that help mobilize capital to sustainable solutions
- Capacity Building: Programs and strategic partnerships that build capacity and best practices in the field of sustainable investing
5 years ago Mark started the Southeastern Corporate Sustainability Rankings, www.southeasterncorporatesustainabilityrankings.net whose goal it was to assess the advancement of corporate sustainability in the Southeast. He has also certified by Global Reporting Initiative and participated in US SIFs inaugural “Fundamentals of Sustainable and Responsible Investments” education program.
He served on 2 of the Callaway Family Foundations based in Georgia for over 25 years and in 1994 formed his own foundation, The Morning Star Foundation, Inc. to foster philanthropy in his kids. 4 of his 5 children currently serve on the board. All investments in Morning Star Foundation are screen for their ESG scores and both the Foundation and Mark are signatories of the Divest/Invest Pledge.
Mark received both his B. A. and M.B.A at LaGrange College and has completed post graduate studies at NYU, The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and will be back in England in April to attend Oxford Universities Impact Investing program and participate at the Skoll World Form. He has served in a number of leadership capacities on the boards of University of Georgia, The Georgia Institute of Technology and other Southeastern based organizations.
Elise Keddie is Manager of the Zero Emission Vehicle Implementation Section at the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Her group is responsible for coordinating compliance with California’s Zero Emission Vehicle regulation, and developing and implementing policies to promote and support advanced technology vehicle awareness, education, and consumer adoption. Prior to joining CARB in 2001, Elise held a research position at the University of California, Davis. She holds a BS degree from UC Davis, and a PhD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Marissa Aho, AICP, serves as Chief Resilience Officer in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, where she leads city-wide resiliency efforts, including those found in the Mayor’s “Resilience By Design” report, and as part of the 100 Resilient Cities program pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. Marissa has 15 years of policy, planning, and project management experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors where she worked with interdisciplinary teams to find creative solutions to complex problems. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Marissa held senior staff positions at two Los Angeles planning and land use consulting firms. She has a BA in Political Science from American University and a Master of Planning from the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy. She is an active member of the American Planning Association serving as AICP Commissioner, Region IV (California & Nevada) and is a member of the USC Price Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Akira Chiba assumed the post of Consul General of Japan, Los Angeles, in July, 2016. Born in Tehran, Iran, he is a third-generation career diplomat, after his father and grandfather before him. During his several decades career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), he has spent eight years in China, and the remainder of his overseas postings in Switzerland, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States. The post of Consul General in Los Angeles is his third US tour. During assignments in Tokyo, Chiba has been charged with legal affairs, grant aid and economic cooperation portfolios, in addition to Oceanian regional affairs and several years as MOFA's Assistant Press Secretary to the international media. He has written journal articles on Japan's global relations, and authored numerous texts, many published both in Japanese and Chinese on a wide variety of topics, from Japan-Sino relations to the intricacies of working with the US Congress. He is a graduate of the Law Faculty of Tokyo University, attended Peking University in China, and graduated with an M.A. in Asian Studies from UC Berkeley.
Gail Goldberg, Executive Director of ULI Los Angeles, a District Council of the Urban Land Institute, has been leading the organization since 2011. Prior to ULI Los Angeles, Goldberg was Director of Los Angeles City Planning Department and Planning Director of the City of San Diego.
John Laird has served as Secretary for the California Natural Resources Agency since 2011. A long-time resident of Santa Cruz, Secretary Laird has spent nearly 40 years in public service at the state and local level, including 23 years as an elected official. While serving the maximum three terms in the Assembly, Laird authored 82 bills that were signed into law. These bills established the landmark Sierra Nevada Conservancy, restored community college health services, expanded and clarified state civil rights protections, reformed the state mandates system, and significantly expanded water conservation.
As California’s Secretary of Natural Resources, Laird has prioritized climate change adaptation, water conservation and supply reliability, enhanced relationships with tribal governments, State Parks access, farmland conservation, and oceans sustainability. He provides administrative oversight to thirty departments, commissions, councils, museum, boards and conservancies – and is a sitting member of sixteen conservancies, councils, boards and commissions within the purview of the Agency.
Martin Adams is the Chief Operating Officer for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). With more than 30 years of experience with LADWP, Mr. Adams has worked throughout the Water System and was directly involved with the planning and implementation of sweeping upgrades centered on the removal of open distribution reservoirs and changes in water treatment to meet new water quality regulations. Prior to his current appointment, he spent ten years as the Director of Water Operations in charge of the day-to-day operation and maintenance of the Los Angeles water delivery system, including the historical Los Angeles Aqueduct and other supply sources, pump stations, reservoirs, water treatment, and management of Water System properties. Mr. Adams is a life-long resident of the Los Angeles area, and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Jim Newton is a veteran journalist, author and teacher. In 25 years at the Los Angeles Times, Newton worked as a reporter, editor, bureau chief, columnist and, from 2007 through 2010, editor of the editorial pages. He is the recipient of numerous national and local awards in journalism and participated in two staff efforts, coverage of the 1992 riots and the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, that were awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
Before coming to The Times, he was a reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and he began his career as the 1985-86 clerk to New York Times columnist James Reston. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College.
He came to UCLA full-time in early 2015 to teach in Communication Studies and Public Policy and to found Blueprint, a new UCLA magazine (blueprint.ucla.edu) addressing the policy challenges facing California and Los Angeles in particular. He serves as the magazine’s editor-in-chief.
Newton also is a respected author of three important, best-selling and critically acclaimed works of history: Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made (Riverhead, 2006); Eisenhower: The White House Years (Doubleday, 2011); and Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace (Penguin Press, 2014), a collaboration with former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. He is at work on a fourth book, tentatively entitled Jerry Brown and the Creation of Modern California, a history of the state since 1960 as well as a biography of its longest-serving governor. It is scheduled for publication in 2019 by Little, Brown.
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.
David Wright is recognized as an established utility industry executive with broad-based knowledge of both water and electric utility operations, having served as General Manager of Riverside Public Utilities for nearly ten years and as the Chief Financial Officer for the Las Vegas Valley Water District, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, and the Silver State Energy Association, overseeing a nearly $1 billion budget for the three water and electric organizations. He previously spent 15 years with the City of Riverside where he served as Deputy General Manager and as Riverside’s City Controller. His extensive experience in utility management, finance and customer service provides a solid foundation to lead LADWP.
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.
Los Angeles City Councilmember David E. Ryu represents the 4th Council District which includes the neighborhoods of Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silverlake, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont and a portion of Koreatown. Ryu studied economics at UCLA; Public Policy and Administration at Rutgers; won a prestigious United Nations graduate internship; and was a Netkal Fellow at USC’s School of Social Work.
As Senior Deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Burke, he worked for years on issues like public health, housing, children and family services, transportation and senior services. He helped oversee the County budget and worked for a time as a Special Investigator for the Auditor-Controller, rooting out waste and fraudulent expenditures. Ryu returned to the non-profit world and served as Director of Development and Public Affairs at one of Los Angeles’s largest non-profit health care providers: Kedren Acute Psychiatric Hospital and Community Health Center.
On July 1st, 2015 Ryu became the first Korean American to serve on the LA City Council and only the second Asian American.
Lewis C. Horne is the President of the Greater Los Angeles-Orange County Region for CBRE, Inc., the leading provider of commercial real estate services globally.
Mr. Horne is responsible for the strategic direction and performance of the firm’s eight regional offices, and oversees a 15-person management team to ensure excellence in client service across all CBRE business segments. Under his leadership, the region has grown to include nearly 1,200 employees with diverse expertise spanning the firm’s primary service lines and all specialty practices.
Mr. Horne and his leadership team support all regional professionals as they manage 80+ million SF of commercial properties and annually complete over 12,000 sale and lease transactions, 4,500 moves, 500 financial consulting assignments, hundreds of appraisals and over $315 million in capital expenditure assignments.
Mr. Horne is passionate about collaboration in service delivery, and actively promotes the integration of multiple disciplines to ensure well-conceived, strategic solutions for complex client assignments. He is partnering with CBRE’s Workplace Strategy group to better align the regional offices with this goal, beginning with the transformation of the firm’s global headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles. Together they are creating innovative work environments with cutting-edge technology to attract and retain top talent and better meet client needs.
Prior to his current role, Mr. Horne held a variety of leadership positions in the company, beginning as an industrial brokerage professional in 1984 and quickly growing to become one of the top 3% of brokerage professionals company-wide. He then moved into a management position, and has successfully grown his career in CBRE leadership for nearly 25 years.
- L.A. County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), Board Chairman
- CBRE Americas Operating Management Board (AOMB), Board Member
- Woodbury University, Board Member
- Urban Land Institute (ULI) Los Angeles, Executive Board of Directors
- ULI Mixed-Use Council (Silver Flight), Board Member
- Big Brothers / Big Sisters, Board of Directors
Awards & achievements
- Led CBRE Los Angeles Strategic Office Transformation Initiative (2012-2014)
- Created and led CBRE’s U.S. Client Care & Development Initiative (2012)
- Manager Innovation Award (2010)
- Manager of the Year Award, Nationwide (2003)
- Women's Network, Endurance of Spirit Award (2003)
- Benjamin Arthur Banker Educational Excellence Award (2001, 2002)
- James J. Didion Leadership Award (1999, 2000)
University of Southern California, Bachelor of Science in Business
Heather Rosenberg is a USGBC Ginsberg Fellow and is spearheading Building Resilience-LA, a USGBC-LA program that brings resilience to the building scale. She recently led the development of Building Resilience-LA: A Primer for Facilities. With more than 15 years working on the leading edge of green building and sustainability, she is co-author of the USGBC report "Social Equity in the Built Environment," co-authored the core curriculum for USGBC's Green Building and LEED Core Concepts Guide, and writes and blogs extensively on issues of social equity and resilience. An ecologist by training, Heather formerly served as a principal at CTG Energetics, where she worked on sustainability projects in buildings, communities and local governments. She was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve on the City of LA’s Innovation and Performance Commission, and serves on the National Institute of Standards and Technology Resilience Panel-Social and Economic Committee and the USGBC Social Equity Working Group.
Joshua L. Schank is the first ever Chief Innovation Officer at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), where he leads the Office of Extraordinary Innovation (OEI). The role of this office is to champion new ideas to improve mobility in LA County by informing the high-level vision for LA Metro, piloting and implementing new and experimental programs and policy, and serving as the primary liaison for new ideas relevant to LA Metro coming from entrepreneurs, established private sector entities, academia, or individual residents. The office is also responsible for LA Metro’s Public Private Partnership (P3), and strategic planning functions.
Prior to joining LA Metro, Dr. Schank was President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation, a national non-profit think-tank with the mission of improving transportation policy and leadership. Before joining Eno, he directed the National Transportation Policy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, which proposed a new vision for the Federal role in surface transportation policy.
Dr. Schank was Transportation Policy Advisor to Senator Hillary Clinton during the development of the last surface transportation authorization bill (SAFETEA-LU). He has also worked as a Consultant with PB Consult and Senior Associate at ICF International in Washington, D.C., as well as serving in positions at the Office of the Inspector General’s in the U.S. Department of Transportation, and with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City.
Dr. Schank’s extensive work in transportation policy and planning is well documented in his publications, including “All Roads Lead to Congress: The $300 Billion Fight Over Highway Funding,” co-authored with Costas Panagopoulos and published by CQ Press in 2007. He holds a Ph.D. in urban planning from Columbia University, a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.A. in urban studies from Columbia University.
He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Lindsey and his sons Max and Jonah.
As Global Director of Corporate Responsibility, Dave Pogue oversees CBRE’s development, implementation and reporting for all aspects of corporate social responsibility, including environmental stewardship, community engagement and corporate giving. Prior to his current role, Mr. Pogue led sustainability programs for CBRE’s property and facilities management portfolio around the globe, managing the development, introduction and implementation of a wide-ranging platform of sustainable practices and policies. His leadership in this area produced an award-winning sustainability platform leveraging thought leadership, service delivery and industry associations to raise worldwide green building standards. Program achievements included development of CBRE’s $1 million Real Green Research Challenge; aggressive endorsement of the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR® program; introduction of the Green Knights program; delivery of co-branded BOMA BEEP training to more than 16,000 attendees; and recognition as the first manager of commercial property to certify more than 400 buildings in the LEED® for Existing Buildings rating system.
CBRE has also been ranked in Newsweek’s list of the 500 greenest companies in the U.S., honored by the EPA as an eight-time ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year and recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council® with the Leadership Award for Organizational Excellence. CBRE has also been included in CDP’s S&P Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI), for three consecutive years, achieving a perfect score in 2015, and in the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for two consecutive years. Prior to leading sustainability programs, Mr. Pogue was a Senior Managing Director of Asset Services in the Western Region, responsible for overseeing service delivery for office, retail and industrial real estate properties totaling more than 250 MSF.
Former Ambassador Vilma Martinez
Ambassador Vilma Martinez, the first woman to represent the United States in Buenos Aires as Ambassador, was appointed to the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners by Mayor Eric Garcetti and confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council on November 19, 2013.
Ambassador Martinez was previously a partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson, where she specialized in federal and state court commercial litigation, advising companies on steps to enhance their equal employment opportunity policies and build diversity and inclusion initiatives into their business plans Prior to Munger, Tolles & Olson, Ambassador Martinez served as president and general counsel of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).
Ambassador Martinez's previous professional endeavors also include work as litigation associate at Cahill, Gordon & Reindel in New York, and as a staff attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Enriching Ambassador Martinez's experience is a history of continued public service on numerous nonprofit boards. She served as chairman of the Board of Regents of the University of California from 1984 to 1986, and was a regent from 1976 to 1990. She previously served as a board member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She chaired the Pacific Council's Study Group on Mexico and served on the advisory boards of Columbia Law School and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California.
Ambassador Martinez was appointed by President William Clinton to serve on his Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations from 1994 to 1996. She was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the United States Ambassador to Argentina from 2009 to 2013. In 2013, she was awarded the Order of May (the highest honor awarded by Argentina to a foreign national) in recognition for her tenure and for her work on behalf of improving mutual cooperation and understanding.
Steph Stoppenhagen is the Smart Cities Business Development Manager for Black & Veatch’s Smart Integrated Infrastructure business. She is recognized as a technology solutions expert, strategizing with clients to deliver value from smart infrastructure, networks and data. Her success includes creating consortiums to deliver complex, integrated smart city programs and products.
Stoppenhagen was responsible for the development of the technical mapping team of solar experts that have defined a patented methodology called SAFE™ Method (Solar Automated Feature Extraction) which automates the process of examining the Photovoltaic (PV) potential of rooftops/reduces the time to analyze this potential by 75 percent.
Prior to joining Black & Veatch and CH2M HILL in Portland, she served as a geo-integration officer and business consultant internationally with the Department of Defense in the United Kingdom. Stoppenhagen also was a Senior Consultant and Project Engineer with SCHLUMBERGER focusing on water and electric utilities. Steph has a strong history with the EPA and a background in Secret Service projects.
Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. is General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), the third largest municipal utility in California, and a Department of the City and County of San Francisco with a workforce of 2,500 employees providing retail drinking water and wastewater services to San Francisco; wholesale water to three Bay Area counties; and green hydroelectric and solar power to San Francisco’s municipal departments. Mr. Kelly, who previously served as the SFPUC’s Assistant General Manager, Infrastructure, oversees $10 billion in capital programs for water, sewer and power, including the $4.6 billion Water System Improvement Program, the $6.9 billion Sewer System Improvement Program, and the $1.8 billion Hetch Hetchy System Improvement Program. As an authority on water, sewer and power policy, he is in high demand as a speaker at numerous summits, forums and conferences throughout the country, and has provided expert testimony to the United States Senate on wastewater resource recovery. His civil engineering career spanning three decades includes his tenure as the City Engineer of San Francisco. He is on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), as well as the Bay Area Council. He co-founded the youth internship program Project Pull, which has been in continuous operation since 1995. His writing and insights are featured in The Value of Water – A Compendium of Essays by Smart CEOs. He and his wife, attorney and San Francisco City Administrator Naomi M. Kelly, and their two sons, reside in San Francisco.
Quist has served on the Rincon del Diablo Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors for the past 26 years and as a Director on San Diego County Water Authority Board for 12 years. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Urban Water Institute. Greg has worked as a technologist, manager and executive at Alcoa, McDonnell-Douglas, SAIC and has founded and successfully spun off several high technology start-up companies. He is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of SmartCover Systems, a leader in the emerging water Internet of Things market. He holds 14 patents and has several pending. Dr. Quist received his undergraduate degree in astronomy and physics with a minor concentration in economics from Yale College and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has held top-level government clearances and currently resides in Escondido, CA. In his rare free time he enjoys fly fishing, hiking, golf, basketball, and tennis.
Andy Lipkis is a practical visionary who began planting trees to rehabilitate smog and fire damaged Los Angeles area forests when he was 15 years old. He founded TreePeople at age 18 and has served as its President since 1973. TreePeople is a guiding light for urban climate resilience around the world. For more than 40 years this organization has created a greener future for Los Angeles by inspiring and activating people, along with their local governments, to plant and care for trees and harvest the rain. Since its founding, TreePeople volunteers have been responsible for the planting of 3 million trees and counting. Its environmental education program reaches more than 200,000 students per year, with millions of children touched over the decades. With climate change impacts already creating a chronic emergency for American cities, Andy’s work has demonstrated promising new ways for government agencies to collaboratively reshape urban tree canopy and water infrastructure to save lives and grow a more livable future.
Commissioner Liane Randolph was appointed to the CPUC by Governor Jerry Brown in January 2015. She formerly served as Deputy Secretary and General Counsel at the California Natural Resources Agency and was appointed to that position by Governor Brown in May 2011.
Commissioner Randolph is an expert in government and administrative law. She was formerly an attorney at the law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Commissioner Randolph served as Chair of the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) from 2003 to 2007. As Chair of the FPPC, Commissioner Randolph managed a staff of 70 in the implementation and enforcement of California's Political Reform Act. Prior to her service at the FPPC, Commissioner Randolph practiced municipal law and previously served as City Attorney for the Cities of San Leandro and Suisun City on a contract basis. Commissioner Randolph obtained her law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Go Mizoguchi is a General Manager at Mitsui & Co. (USA) where he oversees the firm’s infrastructure businesses in North America. He has extensive experience in the origination, development and acquisition of energy projects worldwide, including the investments to Distributed Energy Resources startups Stem and Sunverge, the acquisition of a 680 megawatt (MW) Canadian renewable energy portfolio--with the arrangement of approximately $800 million in project financing—and an investment in Astoria Energy LLC’s 750 MW gas-fired power plant in the Queens borough of New York City. Go holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tokyo and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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.
Supervisor Hilda L. Solis was sworn in as Los Angeles County Supervisor for the First District of Los Angeles County on December 1, 2014. Prior to becoming Supervisor she served as Secretary of Labor. Supervisor Solis was confirmed on February 24, 2009, becoming the first Latina to serve in the United States Cabinet. Before that, Supervisor Solis represented the 32nd Congressional District in California, a position she held from 2001 to 2009. In the Congress, Supervisor Solis’ priorities included expanding access to affordable health care, protecting the environment, and improving the lives of working families. A recognized leader on clean energy jobs, she authored the Green Jobs Act which provided funding for “green” collar job training for veterans, displaced workers, at risk youth, and individuals in families under 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
In 2007, Supervisor Solis was appointed to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the Helsinki Commission), as well as the Mexico — United States Interparliamentary Group. In June 2007, Solis was elected Vice Chair of the Helsinki Commission’s General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions. She was the only U.S. elected official to serve on this Committee. A nationally recognized leader on the environment, Supervisor Solis became the first woman to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2000 for her pioneering work on environmental justice issues. Her California environmental justice legislation, enacted in 1999, was the first of its kind in the nation to become law.
Supervisor Solis graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California. A former federal employee, she worked in the Carter White House Office of Hispanic Affairs and was later appointed as a management analyst with the Office of Management and Budget in the Civil Rights Division.
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.
Mr. Niko Järvinen has been the Chief Executive Officer of Naava since July 01, 2014 and is also responsible for the product development. Mr. Järvinen has been an entrepreneur since he turned 14. Previously he has designed and operated the biggest Algae Farm in Scandinavia, later continued by big corporations such as Fortum and UPM. He is a multi-talented innovator with a competitive sports history. He has originally designed the patented Naturbo™ technology
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.
As Chief Operating Officer of Brookfield Residential, California, Adrian Foley oversees the entire California business portfolio for Brookfield Residential - one of North America’s largest publicity traded real estate entities, with land development and homebuilding operations in eleven of the most dynamic regions across the United States and Canada. In his major leadership role, Foley is responsible for spearheading strategic planning, maximizing investment opportunities, and successfully resolving management issues in California’s premier markets, including the Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Diego. As a key member of the company’s Southern California management team, Foley lends his expert guidance and support to Housing and Land operations throughout the region.
Foley also serves as President of Brookfield Homes Southern California, where he is responsible for strategic planning oversight and management direction for one of Southern California’s most innovative and creative homebuilding teams. His current emphasis is on managing the group’s unique blend of development opportunities; expanding its presence in California’s rapidly growing Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino, and Orange County regions; and cultivating the potential of its multitalented individuals.
Foley has been an integral part of the Brookfield Homes Sr. Executive Team since 1996, and previously served as Senior Development Manager for Taylor Woodrow Homes where he was instrumental in the development of numerous award-winning neighborhoods in Orange, San Diego, and Los Angeles Counties.
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.
Veronica Siranosian, AICP, LEED GA is a senior project manager in the AECOM Ventures group, which focuses on integrating technology and innovation into the company's core business. Her areas of focus include future transportation, Smart Cities, and Internet of Things. She has experience managing and preparing feasibility studies, alternatives analyses, and environmental and planning studies for integrated transportation and land use projects across multiple existing and future modes (BRT, light rail, high-speed rail, streetcar, Hyperloop, autonomous and connected vehicles). With a background in transportation and land use planning, she brings ten years of experience in the public and private sectors to the role. Prior to joining AECOM she worked at the County of Los Angeles Department of Regional Planning on long-range community plans. Veronica received her Master of Urban Planning degree from the New York University Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and her Bachelor of Arts in International Development and Political Science from UCLA.
Dan leads the design, implementation, integration and construction of advanced energy storage and distributed generation projects for PDE. He led groundbreaking projects of grid tied lithium ion energy storage for a California Municipal Utility and completed a microgrid installation which combined solar, fuel cell, clean burning generator, and energy storage. He has managed design-build of over 30 MW in DC energy storage projects. Dan also is the Principal Investigator for the ESTCP 2012 Sodium-Metal-Halide Battery Energy Storage project at 29 Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. Forbes Online recognized this project as a “Top 12 Energy Project in 2012” and is the largest military type 2B microgrid in the US. Dan led the team on PDE’s leading-edge, Smart Microgrid project at the Electrical Training Institute. The system is a first of its kind, combining energy storage, solar generation, electrical vehicle charging and building load management in one unit. This project was awarded the 2013 Los Angeles National Electrical Contractor’s Excellence Award. Dan is currently leading the design efforts for a smart microgrid project for Penn State University and recently completed the Cuisinart microgrid in the Caribbean. This microgrid powers a reverse osmosis plant which produces between 250,000 to 300,000 gallons of water each day with solar being the sole generation source. This is the largest installation of its kind in the region and is a potential game changer for energy policy and delivery in the region. PDE was recently selected as EPC for the largest privately owned Net Zero Energy retrofit in the U.S. This project features a microgrid, advanced electronics, battery storage, solar, lighting controls and a high efficiency mechanical system. Dan has just completed the Port Hueneme off grid photo voltaic and flow battery micro grid for the CEC to demonstrate how flow batteries can provide: demand charge savings, increased renewable generation on military micro grids through ramp rate control, and provide reliable power during utility outages. Currently Dan is heading the engineering, procurement, and construction for the micro grid Test Bed for NAVFAC at the Port of Ventura. This project will build the AC and DC backbone for NAVFAC to test and integrate technologies of today and of the future to facilitate deployments of micro grids around the world. This project will be both grid connected and designed to island and will support Naval operations during power outages.
Prior to joining PDE, Dan was responsible for 5 western states at MCI Telecommunications (now Verizon) and successfully managed over 60 million dollars in electrical, mechanical, and control construction projects. Dan attended California State University Long Beach and holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.
Dr. Kelly Sanders is an Assistant Professor in the University of Southern California’s Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her research aims to ease tensions between human and natural systems through technical, regulatory and market intervention, with particular emphasis on reducing the environmental impacts of providing energy and water services. She has authored more than two dozen publications and has given dozens of invited talks on topics at the intersection of engineering, science, and policy. Sanders has been recognized in Forbes’ 30 under 30 in Energy and MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35 for her contributions to the energy field. Her research and commentary have been featured in media outlets such as NPR, Forbes, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and Scientific American. Sanders received her B.S. in Bioengineering from the Pennsylvania State University, as well M.S.E and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Environmental Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, respectively.
Stephen Cheung is the President of World Trade Center – Los Angeles (WTC-LA). The WTC-LA works to support the development of international trade and business opportunities for Southern California companies as the leading international trade association, trade service organization and trade resource in the Los Angeles region. Prior to his current role, Cheung served in various capacities at the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office and the Port of Los Angeles, focusing on policies and programs relating to international trade, ports, airports and clean technology. A proud Angeleno, Cheung was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Los Angeles where he received both his bachelor’s in Psychobiology and master’s in Social Welfare from UCLA.
Garrett Wong is the lead Sustainability Analyst for Climate and Energy Programs for the City of Santa Monica. As the primary author of the City’s first Climate Action Plan adopted in 2013, Garrett is responsible for implementing, monitoring and reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions within City operations and throughout the community. Additionally, Garrett manages programs and projects to support renewable energy, electric vehicle infrastructure and climate adaptation.
Steve Berberich is President and Chief Executive Officer at the California Independent System Operator (ISO).
Mr. Berberich has navigated the ISO through a series of major initiatives, including the world’s most expansive integration of renewable resources into the power grid. His vision for reducing the grid’s reliance on fossil fuels has catalyzed many significant new programs including the nation’s first Energy Imbalance Market, which welcomed several western states into the ISO’s bulk power markets.
With over 25 years of experience in the utility, consulting, banking and finance sectors, he also holds an undergraduate degree in finance and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tulsa.
Ms. Kerr joined the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power on November 14, 2016. Prior to joining the LADWP, Ms. Ker served in a number of positions at Riverside Public Utilities, including as the Assistant General Manager of Resources and the Assistant General Manager of Finance and Administration. Ms. Kerr has spent over 17 years working in the public utility industry, all in managerial positions. Prior to working in the utility industry, Mr. Kerr spent seven years working in the public accounting and finance field. Ms. Kerr has served on committees of the American Public Power Association and California Municipal Utilities Association and is a founding member and current board member of the Association of Women in Water, Energy and Environment. Ms. Kerr holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from California State University at San Bernardino and is a certified public accountant in the State.
As Bloomberg New Energy Finance's Clean Energy and Advanced Transport Specialist in San Francisco, Alejandro conducts research relating to transport and clean energy markets globally. His focus is on electric vehicles, storage technology, advanced fuels and chemicals, refuelling infrastructure deployment, and new vehicle technologies.
Alejandro previously tracked and examined various bioenergy technologies, in both the commercial and private sectors, examining feedstock; conversion and capital costs; compliance credits; and revenues from final product distribution. He also measured production and distribution margins as well as investment trends.
Alejandro holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana; and a Master of International Energy Management and Policy from Columbia University in New York City. He has been an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance since 2010.
As an advocate for sustainable urban planning, Amanda Eaken focuses on slashing transportation-related pollution. She played a key role in the formulation and implementation of California's 2008 Sustainable Communities Act, which gives regions funding and incentives to develop emission-reducing strategies. Before joining NRDC, Eaken managed affordable-housing construction for a nonprofit developer in San Francisco. She holds a bachelor's in environmental and evolutionary biology from Dartmouth College and a master's in transportation and land-use planning from the University of California, Berkeley. She is based in San Francisco.
Seleta Reynolds is General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) appointed by the Administration of Mayor Eric Garcetti. She leads the department as well as day-to-day operations of a multi-faceted organization with an annual budget of $526 million. LADOT’s 2,000 employees are responsible for managing over 6,500 miles of streets, 35,000 parking meters, and the most advanced traffic signal system in the country, with 4,500 traffic lights. The Department serves over 26 million trips each year on DASH buses, the second largest bus service in Los Angeles County; enforces parking laws; and facilitates over 2,000 special events each year. Ms. Reynolds is responsible for implementing Great Streets for Los Angeles, a plan to reduce traffic fatalities, double the number of people riding bikes, and expand access to integrated transportation choices for Angelenos and the region.
Ms. Reynolds has over 16 years of experience planning, funding, and implementing transportation projects throughout the United States. Prior to accepting her current position, Ms. Reynolds served as a manager in in the Livable Streets sub-division at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, where she led the section responsible for safety, innovation, policy, and coordination for complete streets projects citywide. She oversaw the creation of an implementation plan for Vision Zero, the City’s goal to reach zero traffic deaths. She is a past president of the Association for Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals and serves on the Transportation Research Board Bicycle and Pedestrian Committees and the WalkScore Advisory Board. Ms. Reynolds was on the Steering Committee for NACTO’s Urban Streets Design Guide and the National Safe Routes to School Toolbox.
Mr. Yamazumi is the Director for Advanced Energy Systems and Structure Division, within the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for the Government of Japan. He has previously held the position of Director, Advanced Energy Systems and Structure Division, within the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.
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.
Brian Fraser has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with over 25 years of experience in the water and wastewater treatment industry. He is currently leading MAI’s Ceramic Flat Sheet Membrane team’s business development activities for the Americas. Under his direction, they are focused on providing solutions for water reuse applications including direct and indirect potable reuse as well as industrial water reuse and recycle. Prior to MAI, Brian worked with many different innovative treatment technologies on projects around the world providing unique solutions to various water issues.
Jacob Lipa is the CEO of Micropolitan, a real estate development subsidiary of Psomas. Micropolitan builds, owns and operates apartment buildings. Prior to founding Micropolitan, Jacob served as the president of Psomas for over 10 years. Psomas is a consulting engineering firm serving public and private clients throughout the Western United States and headquartered in Los Angeles. The firm specializes in the land development, water, and transportation markets. In addition to Psomas and Micropolitan, Jacob in partnership with FMG founded PsomasFMG, a solar development company serving the public and educational markets.
Jacob Lipa is the past Chairman of the Los Angeles Business Council, the past President of the Friends of Ballona Wetlands, the past president of the LA County Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies. He is a Board member of the Engineering School of Cal Poly University, a board member of the Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, and serves as an advisor to several private local and international companies.
Dawn Weisz is the CEO for Marin Clean Energy and she coordinated efforts to explore, develop and launch MCE as the first Community Choice Aggregation program in California. Under her watch MCE has launched service to over 250,000 customers in 24 communities, entered into power supply agreements that have doubled the amount of renewable energy purchased in the region, initiated numerous local renewable generation projects, and achieved greenhouse gas reductions though energy efficiency and by exceeding state requirements for renewable energy supply.
Ms. Weisz has more than 20 years of experience developing and managing renewable energy and energy efficiency programs while working for leading public agencies in the field. Before joining MCE Ms. Weisz managed energy and sustainability initiatives for the County of Marin, served as the Executive Director for Sustainable North Bay, and was a labor and environmental justice organizer in Los Angeles.
Ms. Weisz is a highly sought after speaker at energy-related conferences and has been a guest lecturer at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National American Planning Association as well as a presenter at the 2015 COP21 Conference Paris. She has also received awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Power Association of Northern California.
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.
Brian is a national business development manager for Waste Management Sustainability Services. His background is in business development and consulting in the field of sustainability, and he currently focuses on the development of customized and scalable business strategies for Waste Management customers. Within his role, Brian works with different stakeholder groups to incorporate and leverage all internal and external Waste Management assets, emphasizing innovation and efficiency in solutions that span the entire value chain of materials management.
Brian holds a MS from The Johns Hopkins University in Environmental Science and Policy, and a BA from the University of Southern California in Literature.
Phillip A. Washington, formerly of Denver’s Regional Transportation District, was unanimously selected CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) by the Metro Board of Directors on March 12, 2015.
Washington came to Los Angeles at a time when Metro has five major rail, plus highway projects, under construction – together representing the largest modern public works program in the United States.
In his position as Metro CEO, Washington oversees an agency that transports 1.4 million boarding passengers on an average weekday, riding on a fleet of 2,000 clean-air buses and six rail lines. Metro also is the lead transportation planning and programming agency for Los Angeles County. As such, it is a major construction agency that oversees bus, rail, highway and other mobility related building projects.
Washington came to Los Angeles from Denver, where he was Assistant General Manager for nearly ten years, prior to being named CEO in 2009.
In Denver, Washington implemented the FasTracks program, one of the largest voter-approved transit expansion programs in the country. He was responsible for a total agency budget appropriation of $2.8 billion and managed more than $5 billion in active transit expansion projects. Under his management, Denver’s West Line Rail was completed under budget and eight months earlier than scheduled and the award-winning Denver Union Station was completed five months ahead of schedule.
Also in Denver, Washington spearheaded implementation of the first-of-its-kind $2.2 billion transit Public-Private Partnership (P3). His emphasis on measuring and managing agency performance led the agency to a nearly 90 percent on-time bus and rail service and 96 percent ADA on-time performance. In 2012, Washington’s emphasis on safety training led to a 40 percent decrease in preventable bus accidents.
Originally from the south side of Chicago – the Chicago Housing Projectsof Altgeld Gardens – Washington is a 24-year veteran of the United States Army where he held the rank of Command Sergeant Major, the highest non-commissioned officer rank an enlisted person can achieve. He holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Columbia College and an M.A. in Management from Webster University. He is current chair of the American Public Transportation Association.
Kerry Cavanaugh is an editorial writer covering City Hall and local politics. Prior to joining the board, she was a public radio producer on KCRW’s “To the Point” and “Which Way, L.A.” Before that, she spent a decade at the L.A. Daily News, where she covered L.A. and California politics, budget and environmental issues, and wrote a twice-a-week front-page column on local government issues. She’s a graduate of New York University and Columbia Journalism School.
ANN E. GRAY FAIA, FRICS is principal at GRAY Real Estate Advisors where she consults to property owners, attorneys, and appraisers on complex development issues. Clients include Citibank, Sheppard Mullin, the LA Times and the Los Angeles Episcopal Diocese. She has participated in nearly one billion dollars of development over the course of her career. Prior to launching her consulting practice, Ms. Gray was Executive Director of Design Development at Paramount Pictures responsible for pre-construction activity at the 65-acre studio lot, and Vice President at Indivest, a real estate development company. Ms. Gray is founder and publisher of FORM magazine, the AEC journal in Southern California and a frequent speaker at universities and conferences. She has a B.A. in Applied Mathematics and a Masters of Architecture both from UCLA. She is a licensed real estate broker, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and in 2015 was elected to the RICS Global Governing Council.
Louis Stewart currently serves as the Deputy Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), where he oversees the coordination and promotion of innovative programs, activities, and emerging technologies throughout the state of California. At GO-Biz, Mr. Stewart manages a robust statewide innovation-based economic development support network of regional innovation clusters called the California Innovation Hubs (iHubs). The 16 iHubs were designed to stimulate local, regional, and statewide job creation as well as enhance the awareness, visibility, and opportunities for commercialization of the technologies emerging from GO-Biz’ iHub partners.
Mr. Stewart’s role includes a priority to develop an ecosystem that endorses entrepreneurship as well as promotes approaches that will augment strategic business development opportunities. High profile business opportunities are coordinated and managed in order to retain and expand business investment, assist in job creation, and enhance economic opportunities through collaboration and innovation.
Gary Hildebrand is a Deputy Director and has been with the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works for over 33 years. He has held various management positions and is currently responsible for the Water Resources Core Service Area. He has been involved in all aspects of flood control and stormwater management throughout his career. Gary manages the Los Angeles County Flood Control District, which is responsible for providing regional flood risk management and stormwater conservation in the County; the Los Angeles County Waterworks Districts, which provides water supply to over 250,000 people; and the implementation of Federal Clean Water Act programs for both the Flood Control District and the unincorporated County. During his career Gary has been instrumental in many major water initiatives dealing with stormwater quality, local water supply sustainability, and flood risk management.
Gary is a registered civil engineer and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from University of Southern California with an emphasis in water resources. He is a licensed Civil Engineer in the State of California.
Susan Cline is the Director of the Department of Public Works for the City of Santa Monica. Cline oversees Santa Monica’s approach to staying on the cutting edge, cultivating creativity, and fostering streamlined collaboration among divisions, departments, and other municipalities.
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.
As a mechanical engineer and co-founder of Rackam, Jacques-Alexandre currently oversees the company’s technological development and commercial activities. He holds a master degree in renewable energy from the Hautes Écoles d’Ingénierie in Yverdons, Switzerland. He is passionate about solar power and how to overcome the engineering challenges that stem from adopting renewable forms of energy. As such, he was worked on developing many hybrid solar technology applications, the most promising of which is combined solar heating and cooling.
En tant qu’ingénieur et co-fondateur de Rackam, Jacques-Alexandre œuvre actuellement en développement technologique et en commercialisation au sein de l’entreprise. Il détient une maîtrise en énergie renouvelable des Hautes Écoles d’Ingénierie à Yverdons en Suisse. Il est passionné de l’énergie solaire et des défis d’ingénierie entourant l’adoption des énergies renouvelables. Il a notamment travaillé sur le développement d’applications hybrides, la plus prometteuse étant la production combinée de chaleur et de froid solaire.
Rusty Hicks is the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO (Federation). His election to the post makes him one of the youngest leaders and the first post-9/11 war veteran to lead one of the nation’s largest labor federations. The Federation is comprised of over 300 local unions that represent over 600,000 workers in every sector of our economy.
James Villeneuve was appointed Consul General of Canada, Los Angeles in February 2014. He is Canada's senior representative in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Villeneuve worked for Anheuser Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewing company and the parent company of Labatt Breweries, for more than 27 years. He started with Labatt in Toronto in sales and marketing and was later transferred to Vancouver, where he was regional director of government affairs for Western Canada.
In 1995, Mr. Villeneuve returned to Toronto to manage Labatt’s rebranding initiative and to run the company’s corporate and sports properties. He later became director of corporate affairs and then vice-president of corporate affairs for Canada. From 2007 to 2009, Mr. Villeneuve worked in Brussels to lead InBev’s global corporate affairs practice. After InBev purchased Anheuser Busch in 2009, Mr. Villeneuve moved to St. Louis to lead the company’s North American corporate affairs department.
Mr. Villeneuve has served on many boards during his career, including the Toronto Economic Development Commission, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the 2008 Toronto Olympic Bid, the Granville Island Trust, the Association of Canadian Advertisers, Carleton University, the Canadian Club, Teach for America, the United Way and the Regional Chamber and Growth Association in St. Louis. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Carleton University in 1985.
Mr. Villeneuve is married to Kim Walker-Villeneuve and they have two children, Grace and Andrew.
Brence Culp is Executive Director of Sustainability and Legacy and oversees LA 2024's work to deliver a sustainable Games that fits the long term plans of the greater Los Angeles area. Culp was also directly responsible for the planning and development of the Athletes Village. Prior to joining LA 2024, Culp served as the interim CEO of CDO of Los Angeles County. She has over a decade of experience in public service for the city and county of Los Angeles, including time spent working within the City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee and three years as Chief Financial Officer for the LA Redevelopment Agency. Culp practiced corporate tax and real estate law before her transition to local government. She received her BA for the University of Chicago and JD from New York University.
Walter Spansel is vice president and transmission officer, responsible for all real time operations, accountable for transmission strategy, services, system planning, engineering, asset management, operations, reliability and project delivery for NV Energy, a Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company.
Mr. Spansel was previously an executive with Southern California Edison, serving as director of transmission and also served as director of operations at Entergy Corporation, having progressed through several management assignments. He was also previously president and chief executive officer of a consulting firm and partner of an electrical engineering firm.
Mr. Spansel earned a bachelor of science in electrical engineering and a master in business administration from the University of New Orleans, a Louisiana State University system school. He also participated in an Executive Development Program of The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Spansel currently serves on the board of trustees of Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and previously served on the board of directors of the North American Transmission Forum.
Ryan is the Science and Technology Policy Advisor to the Chair at the California Air Resources Board, where he focuses on transportation, energy and climate policy issues. He is heavily involved in climate policy discussions related to 2030 targets and planning, and is also helping to develop a plan to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants in California, as required by SB 605 (Lara). Prior to his appointment at ARB by Governor Jerry Brown, McCarthy was chief writer of a strategic plan for plug-in electric vehicles in California and a Science and Technology Policy Fellow in the office of California Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter. Ryan received his master’s and doctorate degrees in civil and environmental engineering from UC Davis and bachelor’s degree in structural engineering from UC San Diego.
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.
Colin Cushnie is vice president of Energy Procurement & Management in the Power Supply unit at Southern California Edison (SCE). He is responsible for SCE’s energy contracting, energy and emissions trading, and energy market operations.
Previously, Cushnie was director of Portfolio Planning & Analysis in the Power Supply unit at SCE, responsible for the company’s wholesale market solicitation valuations, energy portfolio analysis and risk assessment, demand and price forecasting, and transmission congestion risk management.
Cushnie also served as director of Regulatory Affairs for SCE, based in the company’s San Francisco office. He was responsible for representing SCE before the California Public Utilities Commission and other agencies on matters relating to energy procurement and market design.
Cushnie was responsible for coordinating SCE’s energy requirements with the California Department of Water Resources during the state’s 2000-2002 electricity crisis, which required the state of California to assume responsibility for power procurement for the state’s financially distressed investor-owned utilities.
Cushnie joined SCE in 1987, serving in a variety of management and analyst positions related to natural gas fuel supply, contract management, and construction and material procurement.
Cushnie graduated cum laude from Whittier College with a bachelor degree in both economics and business administration.
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.
David Heurtel was first elected to the Québec National Assembly in December 2013 as MNA for Viau, a riding in the east part of the Island of Montréal. He was re-elected in the April 2014 general elections and appointed Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change on April 23, 2014. He is also a member of many committees, including the Committee for the Implementation of the Maritime Strategy, and the Economic and Sustainable Development Committee, making him a key player in advising the government on transitioning to a greener economy and a society more resilient to climate change impacts.
After practicing law for several years, he held management positions at various organizations including Director of International Television Sales for the Just for Laughs Group, Deputy Director of the Seattle Center, and Director of Public and Corporate Affairs at the events promoter company Evenko, before his appointment as president and CEO of the Montréal Olympic Park in 2011.
Since the beginning of his career, Mr. Heurtel has contributed actively to the development and vitality of society. He chaired the Québec Cinéma board of directors, in addition to serving on the boards of directors of several other organizations.
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.
Michael Woo is Dean of the College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona, one of the leading producers of architects, landscape architects, urban planners, and graphic designers working in Southern California. He was the first trained urban planner and the first Asian American elected to the Los Angeles City Council. As the Councilman representing the Hollywood area for eight years, Woo spearheaded the Hollywood Redevelopment Plan and played a key role choosing the route and station locations of the Metro Red Line subway. He also served as a member of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission for six years. Twenty-five years ago, Woo helped to start the Hollywood Farmers Market, now the largest certified farmers market in the City of Los Angeles. He is now on the committee overseeing a predevelopment analysis of the 308-acre former Lanterman State Hospital property in Pomona, recently transferred from state control to the Cal Poly Pomona campus, one of the largest contiguous parcels of land available for potential development in Los Angeles County.
Vince Bertoni was recently nominated by Mayor Eric Garcetti to be the next Planning Director for the City of Los Angeles. He is currently the Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Pasadena and has over 25 years of professional planning experience. Previously, Vince served as the Deputy Planning Director for the City of Los Angeles and as Planning Director for the cities of Beverly Hills, Santa Clarita, and Malibu.
Vince is a member of the California Planning Roundtable and has held several leadership positions with the California Chapter of the American Planning Association including President, Vice President for Policy & Legislation, Director of the Los Angeles Section, and Co-Chair of the American Planning Association’s 2012 National Planning Conference. In addition, he has served on the Board of Directors of the League of California Cities and as President of the League’s Planning & Community Development Department.
Vince has been active on statewide legislation; having served on the Housing Element Reform Working Group formed by the State Assembly and Senate and testified before the State Senate on infill real estate development strategies.
Vince has a Bachelor’s Degree in Transportation and Urban Geography from San Diego State University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Ron Galperin serves as Controller of the City of Los Angeles -- working as the watchdog for L.A.'s taxpayers. Controller Galperin oversees a team conducting independent audits, managing the City's payroll and disbursements, preparing reports on the City’s finances, pursuing waste and fraud, providing information about the City's finances and operations online -- and focusing on modernization, management and metrics.
Leading a Data Revolution
As Controller, Galperin launched ControlPanel.LA, the City’s first open data portal -- featuring the City’s checkbook, details on the goods and services the City buys, assets and liabilities, employee compensation, operating indicators and much more. Because of these efforts, L.A. was named the No. 1 Digital City according to the U.S. City Open Data Census. Likewise, Government Technology Magazine recently named Controller Galperin to its list of the Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers of 2015.
Under Galperin’s leadership, the Controller’s office has issued numerous financial and performance audits focused on improving the efficiency and accountability of City government -- and on delivering quality City services. Audits conducted by the Controller are helping to improve street services, how the City handles foreclosure properties, cable fees, funds for the arts, management of the City's many special funds, worker's compensation costs, development fees, airport operations -- and much more.
One of the Controller’s priorities has been to make the Dept. of Water and Power more transparent and responsive to ratepayers. He created UtilityPanel.LA, a data portal featuring key financial data about DWP spending and payroll. The Controller’s office conducted audits of the utility’s Joint Training Institute and Joint Safety Institute and released an Industrial, Economic and Administrative Survey of the DWP, with specific recommendations for structural reforms and creation of performance dashboards.
Prior to his being elected as Controller in 2013, Galperin built a reputation as a leading voice for government reform. He is the first Neighborhood Council member elected to city-wide office in Los Angeles. As an officer of his neighborhood council, he advocated for quality of life improvements and more responsible neighborhood planning. He also developed and taught “L.A. City Government 101” to new neighborhood council members throughout the city and served as a council budget advocate.
Controller Galperin has long promoted cutting waste and developing programs to help businesses create jobs. As Chair of the Los Angeles Commission on Revenue Efficiency, he worked to develop new revenue sources and budget savings to deliver more services to residents and businesses. He also served as President of the City's Quality & Productivity Commission.
Galperin brings to the Controller job more than twenty years of experience as a transactional and litigation attorney and small business owner. He received his J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He lives in West Los Angeles with his husband, Rabbi Zachary Shapiro, and their dog, Daisy.
Jake Levine is an associate and policy advisor in the Los Angeles office of Covington & Burling LLP. His practice focuses on energy, climate, technology, and public policy. Prior to joining Covington, Levine served as Senior Counsel and Principal Consultant to California State Senator Fran Pavley, where he led the successful campaign to enact new climate and environmental justice legislation (SB 32 and AB 197) in California. Levine was Chief of Staff to the President at Opower, a software firm that used big data, behavioral science technology to help consumers take control of their energy use. At Opower, Levine developed business in emerging markets, launching Opower's presence in Brazil, and laying the foundation for new business in China and Mexico. Prior to his work at Opower, Levine served in the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, where he worked on innovative energy policies, including the most stringent fuel economy standards ever set -- and the first-ever greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and trucks. Levine served as a member of President Obama's delegation to the U.N. Conference of Parties in Copenhagen, as a member of the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee, and during the 2008 presidential campaign, traveled with Senator Obama to more than 20 states and Europe, managing the national press corps. Levine graduated cum laude from Harvard College and received his law degree from Harvard Law School.
As COO for Chai Inc., Evan Birenbaum is responsible for all things related to business strategy and development, energy-market dynamics, customer engagement, disruptive technologies, and day-to-day business operations. Chai is building products that give consumers a simple and mobile way to understand and reduce their energy use by up to 20 percent. Leveraging these consumer products, Chai will provide multiple services for utility companies, including customer engagement, behavioral energy efficiency, and interactive demand response.
Prior to joining Chai, Evan was the program manager for Environmental Strategy and Sustainability at Southern California Edison (SCE), where he was responsible for the development, strategy, and implementation of SCE’s corporate responsibility and sustainability program. He worked with company executives, business managers, regulators, NGO’s, and internal and external stakeholders to identify and prioritize emerging issues in order to address challenges related to climate change, water impact, habitat protection and biodiversity, and energy and water availability. He has been partly responsible for Edison’s charitable contributions in the area of environmental giving. Evan also works with the Los Angeles Clean Tech Incubator to develop sustainable jobs in Southern California.
Lisa Alexander is vice president, customer solutions and communications for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), a Sempra Energy regulated California utility. She is responsible for developing new markets; driving clean technologies for commercial, industrial and residential customers; and delivering the information, products and services that meet customers’ energy needs and support state environmental and social policy objectives.
Alexander’s portfolio includes renewable natural gas, near zero emissions transportation, emerging technologies and energy efficiency, conservation and low income assistance programs. Previously at the company, she held increasingly responsible management roles in the areas of commercial and industrial services, customer strategy and new products and services.
Prior to joining SoCalGas, Alexander was a partner at a boutique consulting firm that advised energy companies on smart grid technologies and conservation behavior change. She has also held strategic marketing positions at E*TRADE, Ticketmaster and Omnicom companies, and as a consultant, she has advised Fortune 500 companies on growth strategies. She began her career as a management consultant with Accenture.
Alexander serves as vice-chairman of the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition and is on the board of directors of TreePeople and NGVAmerica. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science cum laude from the University of California, San Diego.
Cole Hershkowitz's career was born at the intersection of technology, liberal arts, and sustainability. Cole founded Chai Energy, a company that uses energy data and an intuitive user experience to show homeowners exactly where they are wasting money on their utility bill and what they can do to curb that waste. Chai is available today throughout California.
At Chai, Cole has brought 4 distinct products to market, patented deep machine learning technology used to decipher energy data, and raised over a million dollars from venture investors in support of technical development. Previous to Chai, Cole led Caltech's Solar Decathlon team to a second place win in the Engineering category with an incredibly innovative smart home system that was years ahead of its time. The home featured a first of it's kind gestural home control system that would use Machine Vision and 3d maps to allow homeowners to turn off appliances with a simple point. Cole also spent time at Southern California Edison working not he Smart Grid Deployment and time at Alsop-Louie Partners learning about Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship.
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
Katherine (Katy) Young is lead deputy for the environment and arts under Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. Katy is responsible for developing the Third District’s environment, water, and arts policy. Katy previously served as the General Counsel and Director of Government Affairs at the Climate Action Reserve, a Los Angeles-based environmental non-profit committed to developing and implementing market-based solutions to climate change.
Katy has also worked as a land use and environmental attorney at Latham & Watkins and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. An alumnus of the CORO fellowship program, Katy now serves on the Southern California CORO Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. Katy is a Los Angeles native and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA from UC Berkeley and received her law degree from UCLA.
City Manager Rick Cole was appointed City Manager of Santa Monica in June of 2015. Rick joins the city with 30 years of experience in public policy and administration.
Most recently, he served as Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation for the City of Los Angeles where he was responsible for a budget of $8.6 billion and oversaw five city departments with more than 3,000 staff. He also supervised LA's Chief Sustainability, Technology and Data Officers.
Prior to his role at the City of Los Angeles, Mr. Cole spent 15 years as City Manager of two Southern California cities, Ventura and Azusa. He has been recognized as one of “America's Public Officials of the Year” by Governing Magazine and one of the "Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers" by Government Technology Magazine. He has won awards for municipal management excellence from the American Society of Public Administrators and the Municipal Management Association of Southern California, as well as for urban planning leadership from the Congress for the New Urbanism.
Mr. Cole served 12 years on the Pasadena City Council and was Mayor when Pasadena adopted its landmark General Plan, an early model for smart growth. Called "one of Southern California's most visionary planning thinkers" by the Los Angeles Times, he has been an active leader in the International City Managers Association and the City Managers Department of the League of California Cities.
As Santa Monica’s City Manager, Mr. Cole is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the City of Santa Monica, which includes implementation of City Council ordinances and policies, oversight of all City departments and a budget of $564 million.
He received a degree in American Studies from Occidental College in 1978 and earned a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Columbia University in 1979.
Russell leads sustainability for Arup’s Los Angeles office. Russell’s work for public and private sector clients includes high-performance buildings, infrastructure master planning, sustainability policy, and resilience. Trained as both an Engineer and an Architect, Russell takes a research-based approach to developing new concepts for clients to tackle the increasingly complex and inter-connected environmental realm to address issues like climate change, resilience, resource scarcity, and social equity in the context of creating healthy and efficient buildings and cities. Over the past year, Russell Fortmeyer was the Technical Chair for the USGBC working closely with Heather Rosenberg on the Building Resilience Framework for Los Angeles that was launched at Greenbuild 2016 conference in September.
As an author and former editor with Architectural Record, his skills in communication allow him to connect with clients and stakeholders to identify innovative solutions to in passive design, smart cities, energy and water efficiency, and new technologies. He lectures widely on resiliency and sustainability topics and has been on the applied studies faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture since 2011. His book, Kinetic Architecture, which gauges the emerging field of dynamic facades, was published in 2014.
Bob Sipchen helps edit the Los Angeles Times California Section. In 2002 he and Alex Raksin won the Pulitzer Prize for “Helping People Off the Streets,” a series of editorials on Los Angeles’ homeless mentally ill population. In 1993 he shared in the Times’ Pulitzer for its team coverage of the Los Angeles Riots. In his many years at the Times, Sipchen has served as Sunday Opinion Editor, Senior Editor at the Los Angeles Times magazine, editor and creator of the Outdoors section, columnist, and staff writer.
From 2007 till 2015 Sipchen worked at the Sierra Club, America’s largest and most effective grassroots environmental organization, where he led a staff of up to 80 multi-media professionals and served as National Communications Director and Editor in Chief of Sierra magazine, an award-winning, 500,000- circulation bimonthly created by Sierra Club founder John Muir in 1893.
Sipchen is an adjunct professor at Occidental College, where he teaches journalism and communications classes. He and his wife, Pam, live in Los Angeles and are the parents of three adult children.
Liam Denning is a Bloomberg Gadfly columnist covering energy, mining and commodities. He previously was the editor of the Wall Street Journal's "Heard on the Street" column. Before that, he wrote for the Financial Times' Lex column. He has also worked as an investment banker and consultant.
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.
Nelson is a Vice President and Senior Audit Manager of IT Risk & Governance at Union Bank. He has over 21 years of experience in IT, encompassing roles with operational, professional services, consulting, and auditing responsibilities. He is a frequent industry publication contributor and a regular speaker at local, national and international technology conferences and seminars for ISACA, The IIA, ISSA, and MISTI. He received his MBA in Information Technology from UC Irvine, and his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from UC Santa Barbara. Nelson is currently completing his first term as a Director on the chapter board.
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.
Richard Harasick is the Senior Assistant General Manager of the Water System for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). Mr. Harasick has over 30 years of experience in water utility planning, design, construction, project and program management, and operations. He most recently served as the Director of Water Operations for LADWP, where he was responsible for the delivery and treatment of water that is served to the City of Los Angeles, including operation of the Los Angeles Basin "Metro" and the Los Angeles Aqueduct systems, which includes the operation and maintenance of pumping and treatment plants, tanks and reservoirs, aqueduct facilities, and control systems.
Prior to his service as Director of Water Operations, Mr. Harasick was Assistant Director of Water Resources where he directed the development of the Owens Lake Dust Mitigation Program. He has also served in progressively responsible positions within the Water System including Water Conservation Group Leader, Program Director for the Hollywood Water Quality Improvement Project and Water Engineering & Technical Services Division Planning Manager.
Ms. Griego has served, since 1986, as president and chief executive officer of Griego Enterprises, Inc., a business management company that has overseen several entrepreneurial ventures in Los Angeles.
In 2015, Ms. Griego founded the MLK Health and Wellness Community Development Corp. charged with economic development oversight of LA County’s MLK Medical Campus in Watts. Ms. Griego has held other civic-related appointments, including deputy mayor of the city of Los Angeles focused on economic development; president and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Community Development Bank charged with making loans in the federal economic empowerment zone; and president and chief executive officer of Rebuild LA, the agency created to coordinate a five-year economic recovery following the Los Angeles civil unrest.
For two decades, she has served on boards of directors of non-profit organizations and government commissions. She currently serves as a trustee of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation; and has served as a trustee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She also serves on the boards of directors of the Art Center College of Design and the Community Development Technologies Center. She has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations for twenty years; and was a founding member of the Pacific Council on International Policy.
For more than twenty years, she has served on the boards of corporations. Currently, she serves as a director of CBS Corporation, and a board member of AECOM Technology Corporation and American Funds. She was also a Los Angeles director of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Ms. Griego has maintained strong ties with UCLA since her graduation in 1975 when she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. She is a former senior fellow of the UCLA School of Public Policy and former chair of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Advisory Board. She currently serves on the UCLA Women’s Health Center advisory board. In 2008, she received the UCLA Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the university.
Governor Jerry Brown appointed Ellen Greenberg as the California Department of Transportation's (Caltrans) Deputy Director for Sustainability, a position the Caltrans Director created to lead the department's efforts in developing and implementing initiatives to align with California's goals on sustainability. Greenberg has over 30 years’ experience working with cities, transportation agencies and non-governmental organizations to guide development, conservation and transportation decisions. She comes to Caltrans from Arup, an independent design, planning and engineering firm, where she’s worked since 2010. Greenberg served in the leadership of Arup’s planning and infrastructure groups in San Francisco. During her time at Arup, she worked with transportation agencies including LA Metro, the Maricopa County (Arizona) Association of Governments, Translink (Vancouver Region) and the SF Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Ellen was lead author of Caltrans’ Smart Mobility Framework, which was initiated with support from the U.S. EPA Office of Sustainable Communities. Other areas of work with the EPA office have included urban eco-districts, reuse of obsolete shopping malls and sustainable street design. She also was appointed as the first visiting practitioner at the University of California, Davis National Center for Sustainable Transportation.
Evan directs the NASDAQ OMX corporate sustainability effort, which includes gathering, analyzing, and reporting key criteria across the organization. In addition to making NASDAQ OMX more transparent, efficient, and responsible, he manages investor and issuer company outreach on corporate sustainability topics, best practices, and compliance. Evan is also responsible for the research, analysis, and disclosure of various reports, including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Communication of Progress. He oversees media relations, sustainability partnerships, and events/sponsorships.
In the past two years, Evan has spoken at or otherwise participated in a wide variety of sustainability-related events, including the CERES INCR Summit, Ethical Business USA, SRI Conference, and GreenBiz Forum. He also co-organized the most recent UN Global Compact LEAD meeting in New York at the NASDAQ MarketSite, and was instrumental in securing NASDAQ’s acceptance into the Global Compact.
Evan joined the NASDAQ Stock Market in 2004 and ran the NASDAQ Online website – a data and thought leadership portal for C-suite executives – for many years. His background is primarily in marketing and communications, with a decade of professional experience in web strategy, content management, and data analysis disciplines.
He holds a BA and an MA from the University of Texas, and lives outside Washington DC with his wife and two children.
Heather Repenning directly oversees the Bureau of Sanitation and ensure the implementation of key trash and recycling programs as well as serving as lead from the Board on issues related to water and the L.A. River. She serves as liaison to Council Districts 1, 13, and 14.
Repenning was appointed as Director of External Affairs by Mayor Eric Garcetti in July 2013. In that role, she oversaw intergovernmental affairs, community and constituent services, and immigrant affairs for the Mayor's Office.
Repenning has served with Mayor Garcetti for eleven years in a range of roles. She previously served as Political Director on the Garcetti for Mayor 2013 campaign and as Field Deputy and District Director for Community Development in the Thirteenth Council District Field Office. She was a key part of the team that helped triple the number of parks and revitalize neighborhoods from Hollywood to Atwater Village to Echo Park while Garcetti served on the City Council, in addition to providing key policy guidance during Garcetti's six year tenure as Council President.
Repenning graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College and has a Master's Degree in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Irvine. She has one young daughter and resides in L.A’s Eastside.
Alex McDonough is a Vice President for Public Policy at Sunrun (Nasdaq: RUN), the largest dedicated residential solar company in the United States. He leads Sunrun’s Western states advocacy.
Alex formerly served as US Senate Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) top energy advisor. With 11 years of experience as an advisor to Reid, he counseled the Leader and a diverse group of high-profile government officials on energy and environmental policy matters nationally, internationally, and in Nevada.
Alex is a native of Las Vegas, Nevada. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Juris Doctor from the Washington College of Law at American University.
Michael Picker is a Commissioner at the California Public Utilities Commission. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Picker was a Senior Advisor for Renewable Energy in the Office of the Governor starting in 2009 and a member of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District Board of Directors since 2012. He was a principal at Lincoln Crow Strategic Communications from 2000 to 2009 and a consultant at Kaufman Campaign Consultants from 2000 to 2002. Mr. Picker was deputy treasurer in the Office of the California State Treasurer from 1998 to 1999 and chief of staff to Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna Jr. from 1992 to 1999. He was deputy assistant for toxic substances control in the Office of the Governor from 1981 to 1982 and an organizer at the Campaign for Economic Democracy from 1978 to 1982.
Sara Neff is the Senior Vice President of Sustainability at Kilroy Realty Corporation. In her first four years, she took Kilroy from having no sustainability program to being named the #1 real estate company across all asset classes on sustainability in North America by GRESB, an honor they have now won three times in a row. Since 2010, at Kilroy she has overseen all sustainability initiatives such as the implementation of all energy and water efficiency projects, recycling and green cleaning, LEED certifications, green leasing, and the greening of building standards. She chairs the Board of Directors of USGBC Los Angeles, and is a member of the USGBC National Advisory Council and a member of the Board of Directors of Young Professionals in Energy Los Angeles. Awards include: 2016 ULI 40 under 40; 2016 Bisnow Los Angeles Power Woman; 2015 BOLD Award; USGBC Orange County 2014 Individual Achievement Award; 2013 Northern California Real Estate Women of Influence Rising Star; and Generation BOMA 2011 Professional of the Year. She holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BS from Stanford 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.
Laura Renger is the Principal Manager of Air & Climate in the Regulatory Affairs organization at Southern California Edison (SCE). Laura leads a team responsible for the utility’s regulatory and legislative policy concerning air quality, climate change and transportation electrification. Prior to this position, Laura was a Senior Attorney in the SCE Law Department, primarily focusing on air quality, climate, safety, and transmission project licensing. Laura is the immediate past chair of the Environmental Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Treasurer of Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles. Laura holds a B.A. from Occidental College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. She lives in Los Alamitos, California with her husband and nine-year-old son, Jack.
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.
Wayne Ratkovich is the founder and CEO of The Ratkovich Company (TRC), a Los Angeles development firm whose mission is “to profitably produce developments that improve the quality of urban life.” Specializing in urban infill and rehabilitation projects, TRC’s accomplishments range from large-scale entitlement endeavors to retail, office, entertainment and mixed-use projects. His company engages in both new development and the imaginative reuse of existing buildings including seventeen buildings that are historic landmarks.
TRC is the developer of The BLOC, a massive remodeling of the former Macy’s Plaza in downtown Los Angeles. The property consists of a 496 room Sheraton Hotel, 430,000 square feet of retail stores, a 700,000 square foot office building and parking for 2,000 cars.
TRC developed the Hercules Campus, an eleven building complex of former Hughes Aircraft Company Buildings that have historic status. The eleven buildings total 525,000 square feet and are located on 28.3 acres of land in the Playa Vista area of Los Angeles. The project was originally developed in association with Penwood Real Estate Investment Management. Seven of the buildings are now owned in association with Invesco. The project is fully leased to two tenants, Google and the advertising firm 72 and Sunny.
The firm owns and continues to develop The Alhambra, a 45-acre and 1.0 million square foot urban community consisting of office, retail and residential uses in Alhambra, California. TRC is also the developer of the prominent landmark, 5900 Wilshire, a 30-story, 491,000 square foot high-rise office tower situated directly across from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the Miracle Mile District of Los Angeles. The City of Los Angeles recently selected TRC to develop a 31-acre waterfront site as the San Pedro Public Market.
In total, Ratkovich has developed over 16.0 million square feet of office, retail, industrial and residential properties. Projects the company has to its record include: The James Oviatt Building; The Fine Arts Building; The Pellissier Building and Wiltern Theatre; Chapman Market; Ladera Center; an urban campus for the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising; the City of Glendale’s Alex Theatre; and a variety of high technology complexes including the Irvine Technology Center and the Von Karman Corporate Center.
As a Trustee for the Urban Land Institute, Mr. Ratkovich has served two terms as a Vice Chairman and member of its Executive Committee. He has been a member of eleven ULI committees, three times Chairman of the Awards of Excellence Jury, Chairman of an Urban Development/Mixed-Use Council, a member of the Inner City Task Force, and Chairman of ULI’s Forum on Urban Neighborhood Revitalization. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of ULI Americas.
In 2011, ULI named Ratkovich a Life Trustee, an honor given to only 13 members in the 75 year history of the 35,000 member organization. He is also a Trustee Emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Kathy is responsible for developing, organizing and managing a nationwide environmental initiative for Kaiser Permanente, a leading health care provider and not-for-profit health plan/hospital system serving more than 10 million members in the United States. Under her leadership, Kaiser Permanente has become widely recognized as an environmental leader. Kathy has testified twice to the U.S. Congress on the need for federal chemical policy reform. Her book Greening Health Care, How Hospitals Can Heal the Planet examines the intersection between health care and environmental stewardship. Kathy is also responsible for eliminating workplace injuries, promoting healthy lifestyle choices, and reducing health risks for the organization’s 200,000 employees and physicians. She is on the boards of several non-governmental organizations focused on safety and environmental sustainability in health care.
Peter J. Taylor became President of the ECMC Foundation in 2014. The Foundation's mission is to inspire and to facilitate improvements that affect educational outcomes — especially among underserved populations — through evidence-based innovation. From 2009 2014, Taylor was Chief Financial Officer of the University of California system after spending most of his career in investment banking, as a Managing Director in municipal finance for Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital.
Taylor serves on the boards of Edison International, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Trust, where he Chairs the Audit Committee. Previously, he was Chair of the Boards of Directors of the James Irvine Foundation and the UCLA Foundation. He was also President of the UCLA Alumni Association Board of Directors, and the Alumni Representative on the UC Board of Regents for two years.
Taylor received his BA from UCLA, and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy Analysis from Claremont Graduate University. He participated in the Coro Southern California Fellowship in Los Angeles.
John Eddy has been leading Arup’s research into the potential impacts of driverless vehicles on the built environment. As the leader of Arup San Francisco’s Infrastructure Practice, John Eddy has the privilege of engaging in projects as diverse as an Automated Transit Network Feasibility Study in San Jose, California, the preliminary design of California High Speed Rail and the Presidio Parkway design and conversion to the State of California’s first P3 project. Recent speaking engagements include “Designing a Driverless World” Urban Land Institute, Sustainable Development Council, October 2014, “Driverless Vehicles - Disruption” Design Professionals Coalition, August 2014, and “Smart Civil Infrastructure” at ENR Futuretech Conference 2014. In addition John recently spoke on with Seleta Reynolds at the US Conference of Mayors Executive Committee. John Eddy has served in several leadership capacities in his 17 years at Arup including Global Civil Engineering Leader, Americas Infrastructure Practice Leader, Americas Board member, and Information Technologies Executive Chair.
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.
Mark Wallenrod is the Director of Demand Side Management (DSM) Programs at Southern California Edison Company (SCE). He manages one of the largest DSM portfolios in the country with over 100 energy efficiency, economic assistance, and demand response programs and an annual budget in excess of $1 billion dollars. SCE’s clean energy programs serve almost 14 million customers and save over 1 billion kwh and 1300 Mw annually. Mark also represents SCE on demand side management issues before regulatory authorities, state power agencies, and industry and trade groups.
Mark has more than 25 years of experience at SCE leading major regulatory and strategic initiatives, and developing and implementing DSM programs. He has previously worked for Regulatory Policy and Affairs, where he managed General Rate Case proceedings, and held positions in Customer Service as the manager of Business, Regulatory and Consumer Affairs, and manager of Tariff Programs and Services.
Prior to joining SCE, Mark was employed as an energy consultant for TRW Energy Engineering and as a consulting engineer for the power plant technical center of Davy McKee Corporation. Mark was also a research fellow for the Department of Energy at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Mark holds a Master of Science degree in Energy Management and Policy from the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently serving on the DSM Executive Council (E-Source) and boards of the National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO) and Consortium of Energy Efficiency (CEE). Mark was also appointed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to serve on the Low Income Oversight Board (LIOB), an advisory board to the CPUC on electric and gas low income customer issues.
Mr. Villegas is Vice President for K3DES, a technology consulting firm focused on the security of electronic payments systems. Mr. Villegas is a QSA, PA QSA, Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), a GIAC Security Professional (GSEC), and a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). He was the 2010-2012 President of the ISACA Los Angeles Chapter and the 2005-2006 President of the ISACA San Francisco Chapter. He has been Co-Chair for the SF ISACA Fall Conference since 2002 through 2008. He is currently Certification Chair for the ISACA Los Angeles Chapter, member of the LA Spring Conference Committee and COBIT Technical Review Committee for LA ISACA. He is also a member of ISSA, ISC2 and OWASP. Mr. Villegas is currently a contributing writer for SearchSecurity - TechTarget.
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 is executive vice president and global sports leader for AECOM. In these roles, he provides operational and design leadership for one of the largest, award-winning architecture and sports practices in the world. Previously, he was chief operating officer for EDAW, which joined AECOM in 2005.
Bill is a trained and qualified architect in the United States and has lived in London since 1996. His approach to clients’ challenges is based on creativity linked to leveraging the knowledge and skills inherent in the breadth of AECOM and applying this combination to provide innovative design solutions for clients.
His large-scale project experience focuses on major sports event planning and urban design at the city scale, where the positive impact of these projects can be measured in terms of accelerating regeneration, design quality, and the delivery of a long-term legacy.
He has worked in Europe, Asia, North America, Africa, Middle East and, most recently, in South America. His recent projects include the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Legacy Masterplan, the London 2012 Olympic Games and Legacy Masterplan, and the new arena for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. Additionally, he now leads the AECOM team advising on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Other key projects include the Kings Waterfront, a mixed-use development that includes a multi-purpose arena built on a World Heritage Site in Liverpool; a new campus extension for Cambridge University; and the Msheireb Masterplan in the heart of Doha.
In addition to his role at AECOM, Bill is commited to improving the quality of the built environment through his participation on the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE). He has a masters degree in Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and a BS from Washington University.
Robert "Bob" Hertzberg
Robert M. Hertzberg, twice unanimously elected Speaker of the California State Assembly, from 2000 – 2002, is now a State Senator, proudly serving nearly 1 million residents in the San Fernando Valley. Bob serves on, among others: the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance, the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications, and the Committee on Natural Resources and Water, and continues to address the big challenges facing California.
Bob has been an active entrepreneur and leader in global policy on renewable energy. The Guardian (UK) named him as one of the “50 People Who Could Save the Planet” and his former company won the “World Bank Award, for Lighting Africa,” for a project in Rwanda.
Bob has appeared on CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, CNN, BBC, Nightline, and has been featured in articles in The Economist, Fortune Small Business, and Financial Times. In addition, a solar company he was involved with in Los Angeles won the 2005 Wall Street Journal Innovation of the Year Award in the field of energy.
Bob has been to every VerdeExchange Conference & Expo since the beginning, including two in Toronto, Canada. He’s thrilled to be back for #9!
Jeff Berk is a Senior Vice President with AECOM where he serves as a Regional Water Business Leader in California. He has been a consulting engineer for over 28 years where he has held both national and regional leadership positions. In addition to the CASA Board, Jeff currently sits on the Deans Advisory Board for both the University of California Los Angeles and California Polytechnic State University in Pomona.
Jeff holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from California Polytechnic State University in Pomona and a Master’s of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He is a registered civil engineer in California.
Teveia Barnes was appointed by Governor Brown as Executive Director of the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) on July 12, 2013. IBank’s mission is to finance infrastructure, economic expansion, clean energy and water projects and to promote small business in California through the Small Business Finance Center. IBank’s statutory powers include the authority to issue bonds, make loans and provide financing and credit enhancements for a variety of infrastructure, clean energy, water and economic expansion projects to state and local governments, municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals.
Prior to joining IBank, Ms. Barnes was commissioner of the California Department of Financial Institutions, the chief state regulator of depository financial institutions responsible for the licensing, examination and supervision of banks, credit unions, savings associations, trust companies, foreign banking organizations, industrial development companies and money transmitters. Barnes was a partner at the law firm of Foley and Lardner LLP. Barnes worked at the Bank of America NT&SA as associate general counsel and senior vice president.
Ms. Barnes earned a Juris Doctorate from New York University School of Law in 1978 and received her BA degree in economics, political science and German studies from Rice University in 1975, where she was an Arthur B. Cohn Scholar.
Mr. Kim brings to BKT 19 years of extensive experience as a successful Investment Banker and Strategic Consultant across countless industries and global markets. Prior to joining BKT, Mr. Kim was a Managing Director of WorldVest Inc., a LA based merchant bank, where he structured many investment deals, private placement, and fund formations. At WorldVest, he advised several Strategic Investors, such as BestBuy Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Avery Dennison, for strategic investment into Korean high-tech companies.
Ken Masters is Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Lateral Investment Management, a direct- lending firm for mid-market companies, and is Board Chair and Co-Owner of Lumera, a private equity and project finance firm focused on infrastructure investment in the United States. Ken is considered a leading mind in the corporate credit markets. From 2007-2012, he was Co-Founder and Co-Portfolio Manager at White Oak Global Advisors, a middle market direct-lending firm based in San Francisco with reported AUM of $1.5 billion. From 2004-2006, Ken was a director at KKR Financial LLC, the credit arm of global private equity firm KKR. While at KKR Financial LLC, Ken assessed and underwrote more than $1 billion in loans to middle market companies across the insurance, media, pharmaceutical, franchise and other low beta industries including project finance and structured finance. Prior to KKR Financial LLC, Ken was a senior investment analyst for the High- Yield and Fixed Income Portfolio Group at Franklin Templeton from 2000 to 2004 where he led the representation of Franklin Templeton in distressed situations, including WorldCom, MCI, Charter Communications, Adelphia, McCloud, Global Crossing, and XO Communications. He received an M.B.A. from Harvard University (class of 2000), and a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University.
Andrew McAllister was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in May 2012. He fills the Economist Member position on the five-member Commission where four of the five members by law are required to have professional training in specific areas - engineering or physical science, environmental protection, economics, and law. Commissioner McAllister is the lead commissioner on energy efficiency.
Mr. McAllister has over 20 years of technical, programmatic and policy experience in the fields of energy management, efficiency and renewable generation. Before joining the Commission, he worked at the California Center for Sustainable Energy for six years, most recently as managing director and director of policy & strategy. Previously, he worked with NRECA International Ltd. in the electric sectors of countries in Central and South America, Southeast Asia and Africa on a variety of load management, generation and utility planning projects. He was a project manager at an energy consulting firm and worked as an energy efficiency analyst at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He has published on various energy topics in academic, trade, and popular journals.
Andrew studied both engineering sciences and art history at Dartmouth College and holds M.S. and PhD degrees from the Energy & Resources Group at UC Berkeley. He is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer.
State Controller Betty T. Yee was elected in November 2014, following two terms of service on the Board of Equalization. As Controller, she continues to serve the Board as its fifth voting member.
Ms. Yee was first elected to the Board of Equalization in 2006 where she represented 21 counties in northern and central California. She was elected to her second four-year term in 2010. Now serving as the state’s Chief Fiscal Officer, Ms. Yee also chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves as a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) Boards. These two boards have a combined portfolio of nearly $500 billion. Ms. Yee has over 30 years of experience in public service, specializing in state and local finance and tax policy. Ms. Yee previously served as Chief Deputy Director for Budget with the California Department of Finance where she led the development of the Governor’s Budget, negotiations with the Legislature and key budget stakeholders, and fiscal analyses of legislation on behalf of the Administration. Prior to this, she served in senior staff positions for several fiscal and policy committees in both houses of the California State Legislature.
Ms. Yee currently serves on the board of directors for the Equality California Institute. She is a cofounder of the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, which exposes California high school youth to the public service, public policy, and political arenas. A native of San Francisco, Ms. Yee received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her master’s degree in Public Administration from Golden Gate University, San Francisco.
Mr. Thomas Cain is CEO of Sustainability Partners LLC, a sustainable products finance company and Managing Partner of EFW Partners, a multi-strategy investment firm focused on energy, food and water.
Cain has directly invested hundreds of millions in a diverse array of young technology companies focused on sustainability including Kokam Ltd., Dow/Kokam, Townsend Advanced Energy, Sungevity, Quantum, Lime, Enerpulse, Flex Energy, Water Health International, Stem, Electratherm, Codexis, Solezyme, and Project Frog and has been a director in over 30 public and private companies. He is a frequent keynote speaker and co-authored Energy Venture Capital Best Practices.
Cain started his business career by founding Distribution Architects Int’l. (“DAI”) in 1977, which grew into one of the world’s largest supply chain and ERP software companies with offices around the world. Through both organic growth and accretive M&A, he retired as chairman of the acquisition corporation in 2001, with 2,500 employees and annual revenues of $120M. He next founded Starco Energy, an owner/operator of restored petrochemical fuel terminals, which he sold to Quintana Energy in 2006. He also founded Focus Capital Group of America, an extension of Focus Capital Group -Israel, through which 20 distressed turnarounds were accomplished and exited. One such turnaround was Evans Systems, Inc., a Texas-based public petrochemical company.
Cain is a member of WPO, founded the YPO Global Supply Chain Conference, served as chairman of their MIT Presidents Education, and group-led the Harvard Business School Presidents Education for a combined 10+ years.
Cain holds multiple patents for advanced ECM electric motors for networking and AI that are in commercial use today. As a software developer, Cain’s software has won prestigious national competitions as the Internet Computer Expo’s “Best Business Product” and the Retail Information Systems Conference’s “Best Innovation in Logistics.” He is considered the father of the modern day “DLL” architecture. DAI was DEC’s largest commercial OEM and Cain was a senior advisor for the design of DEC’s 64-bit alpha chip.
Cain’s interest in energy began in his collegiate days while serving as a consulting mathematician for Los Alamos Labs working on the analysis of magnetic flux fields in controlled fusion plasmas in an effort to directly produce electricity through neutron capture by lithium blankets. He is an alumnus of ASU with undergraduate and graduate studies in mathematics.
Erik Takayesu is the Director of Electric System Planning for Southern California Edison. The organizations he currently oversees include Grid Modernization, Distribution and Transmission System Planning and Engineering, Distribution Automation, Power Quality, Generation Interconnection Planning and Studies. He has held various roles at SCE, including managing Grid Operations, Reliability Engineering, and Asset Management. As part of modernizing the electric grid, Erik has been instrumental in leading the efforts to develop SCE’s Distribution Resource Plan. His organization is also developing the strategy for enabling the electric grid to integrate Distributed Energy Resources. Erik has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the California State University at Long Beach, is a licensed PE, and holds his master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.
Allan Emkin founded Pension Consulting Alliance, Inc. in 1988, with offices in Los Angeles, New York City, and Portland, Oregon.
Long a member of the consulting community, Mr. Emkin has 32 years of general consulting experience emphasizing public plan administration and investment policy, as well as international, global, and real estate investments.
Mr. Emkin was a Vice President at Wilshire Associates before forming PCA in 1988. Prior to his work in the consulting field, Mr. Emkin worked in the California Governor’s office in the Pension Investment Unit. Before joining the Brown administration, he was a registered lobbyist for 10 years specializing in affordable housing and other matters affecting low-income families.
Mr. Emkin is a frequent speaker at various conferences and educational seminars and has long standing relationships with Liberty Hill Foundation in Santa Monica, California as well as The Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard University.
Catherine Reheis-Boyd is the President of the Western States Petroleum Association and oversees the trade organization’s operations and advocacy in six states. Catherine Reheis-Boyd has been affiliated with WSPA since 1990 and previously was the Association’s Executive Vice President. She served as Chief Operating Officer and managed WSPA’s personnel as Chief of Staff since 2003.
Catherine Reheis-Boyd has managed a broad range of Association activities, including climate change and low carbon fuels, renewable fuels and alternative energy issues in WSPA’s six states, and beyond those borders into Canada and abroad. Ms. Reheis-Boyd received her bachelor’s of science degree in Natural Resource Management from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and pursued post-graduate studies in environmental engineering at the University of Southern California.
Supervisor Sheila James Kuehl, representing Los Angeles County’s Third District, was elected on November 4, 2014.
Since then, she has undertaken or collaborated in a number of initiatives and motions to improve quality of life and reform systems in the County, including increasing the minimum wage, providing unprecedented funding and services for our homeless population and those trying to find and keep affordable housing, innovating on issues of water conservation and recycling, protecting our arts venues and productions, and protection of the Santa Monica Mountains, as well as the Coast. She is also Chair of the Board of Commissioners of First Five, LA, and a member of the Boards of Directors of Metro, the Expo Authority, and the LA Local Agency Formation Commission.
Kuehl previously served eight years in the State Senate and six years in the State Assembly. She is the Founding Director of the Public Policy Institute at Santa Monica College and, in 2012, was Regents’ Professor in Public Policy at UCLA. She was the first woman in California history to be named Speaker Pro Tempore of the Assembly, and the first openly gay or lesbian person to be elected to the California Legislature. Kuehl served as chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Natural Resources and Water Committee, and Budget Subcommittee on Water, Energy and Transportation, as well as the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
Dr. Robert Garcia, 39, is an accomplished educator and the 28th Mayor of Long Beach. He was elected on June 3rd, 2014, becoming the youngest person ever to hold that office. Robert has taken a leadership role in balancing the city budget, reforming pensions, expanding park space, and investing in technology, and is committed to moving Long Beach forward by attracting tech and green jobs, creating new educational partnerships, and rebuilding our aging streets, sidewalks and alleys.
Robert has been a member public policy and communications faculty at the University of Southern California, and taught Communication Studies at both Cal State Long Beach and Long Beach City College. His passion for education led him to pursue a Doctorate in Higher Education, which he was awarded in 2010 after publishing his dissertation on California's Master Plan for Education. Robert also holds a Masters Degree in Communication Management from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies from California State University, Long Beach.
In 2007, Robert co-founded and launched the Long Beach Post, a Long Beach based media website and newspaper. By the time he left the company 2013, the small business had grown into an important source for community information and has over 45,000 online subscribers. As First District Councilmember, a position he held from 2009-2014, Robert served as the Chair of the Long Beach Public Safety Committee and the Long Beach Housing Authority, and on both the Federal Legislative and State Legislative Council Committees. He also served on the California Coastal Commission from January, 2013 until taking office as Mayor of Long Beach.
Robert was born in Lima, Peru, and immigrated to the United States at age 5 with his family. He grew up in Covina, California and was raised by three strong women in his life - his mother, grandmother and aunt. Robert was the first person in his family to attend and graduate college. While at CSULB, Robert was elected student body president.
Robert has been named one of Long Beach's "Most Innovative Minds" by Long Beach Magazine, to the Advocate Magazine's 40 Under 40 List in 2010, and to Instinct Magazine's Leading Men in 2009. He was the receipient of the 2014 Vanguard Leadership award from Equality California. Robert lives in downtown Long Beach.
Martin Howell has over 20 years’ experience with Arup and is an industry leader in applying low energy and environmentally responsible techniques to meet the needs of his clients for new and existing buildings as well as master planning studies. Martin is currently working with the City of Santa Monica on the Epic Grant Microgrid project. He has also worked with Los Angeles Community College District as a key member of their energy team providing technical advice ranging from renewable energy, retro-commissioning, central utility plants and utility incentives. He is also working with San Bernardino Community College District, developing their sustainable construction program. Martin has written corporate sustainability standards for a number of clients including Procter & Gamble and has developed low carbon approaches for projects such as the Treasure Island Master Plan in San Francisco and an 184-acre resort in Aqaba. Martin has also lectured on, sustainability, LEED and biomimicry at UCLA, SCIARC, ASHRAE and the USGBC Greenbuild National Conference. “Practical applications of energy harvesting and storage in the built environment,” and a Keynote presentation, on Energy Harvesting and Storage.
Jeffrey Reed is the Director of Business Strategy and Development for Southern California Gas Company. In that capacity he leads development of policies and initiatives aimed at supporting the development and deployment of sustainable energy solutions. In his current and prior roles Jeff has led the natural gas RD&D, energy efficiency technology transfer, venture investment and low-emission vehicle programs and he is responsible for the company’s long-range technology forecasting and strategic planning. Jeff is currently on the Leadership Council of the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator and is a board member of the California Hydrogen Business Council. Prior to joining the Sempra utilities, Dr. Reed was a senior strategy consultant with Booz-Allen and Hamilton and Accenture, and was an officer with ABB Power Generation in Switzerland. He holds a doctorate in engineering from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in management from Stanford University.
Osama Younan is an Executive Officer in the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS). He developed the Department’s Green Building Division to implement the Los Angeles Green Building Code. Osama Younan is a licensed Mechanical Engineer with the State of California and a LEED Accredited Professional with the U.S. Green Building Council. Osama Younan serves as the Chair of the Green Building Committee for the Los Angeles Basin Chapter which represents eighty-nine jurisdictions in Southern California, he serves on the Green Building Code Advisory Committee for the California Building Standards Commission that provides recommendations regarding the development of the CALGreen Code, and he serves on the ASHREA Standard 189.1 Committee “Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings”.
Gene Seroka is the Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, the busiest container port in North America. He was nominated by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on May 27, 2014, and confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council on June 11, 2014.
As Executive Director, Seroka is responsible for managing a more than $1 billion budget, advancing major capital projects, growing trade volumes and promoting innovative, sustainable practices that strengthen the region's economy. His duties involve interacting with a wide range of stakeholders, including Port customers around the globe, industry partners, elected and appointed officials at all levels, harbor area residents and business leaders. He has been appointed to the following national committees at the federal level to enhance the speed and efficiency of cargo movement and supply chain optimization: U.S. Department of Commerce Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness; U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Port Performance Freight Statistics Working Group; U.S. Maritime Administration Marine Transportation System National Advisory Committee; and Federal Maritime Commission Supply Chain Innovation Team.
Seroka brings more than 28 years of experience in shipping, global logistics and executive management. After several key overseas positions for American President Lines (APL) Limited, he returned to the U.S. in 2010 to become President - Americas for the shipping line in Phoenix where he managed APL's Liner Shipping business, including 1,000 employees, and was responsible for all commercial, port terminal, intermodal, land transportation and labor activities throughout the region.
Seroka joined APL in 1988 as a sales support representative in the company's Cincinnati office after earning an MBA and Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of New Orleans. Over the years, he has held various positions in sales and management with increasing responsibility and high-level assignments all over the world. Throughout his career, he played a key role in global marketing and corporate strategies for APL.
Seroka's first overseas posting was in Shanghai where he served as Director of Sales and Marketing for North and Central China from 1999 to 2003. He then moved to Jakarta where he was President Director of PT APL and APL Logistics in Indonesia for two years before relocating to Singapore in 2005 to become Vice President of APL Logistics' business units in 26 countries in the company's Asia/Middle East and South Asia regions. From 2008 to 2010, he served as Vice President for APL and APL Logistics Emirates LLC in Dubai where he managed APL's business in the Middle East and East Africa Region.
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.
Andy leads a team at Promise Energy that helps clients make smarter, healthier, more profitable projects by financing, designing, and installing sustainable solutions. Collaborating with many green building teams, architects, and energy modelers, Andy has designed solar systems for dozens of LEED and Zero Net Energy projects serving thousands of units of multifamily housing. Andy is a frequent speaker on issues of energy efficiency and sustainability, and an advisor on Sustainable Building Methods for industry leaders and state policymakers. He has 10 years experience working with clients on green design and innovation, environmental policy, climate change, clean energy, energy efficiency, and other sustainable solutions. His writing has been published in numerous publications dedicated to sustainability.
Kazuo Furukawa is chairman of NEDO, Japan’s largest public research and development management organization. His role is to guide the organisation towards achieving its twin missions of developing new energy and environmental technologies while increasing Japan’s industrial competitiveness. Prior to NEDO, Mr. Furukawa worked for Hitachi, Ltd. serving as President and CEO of the diversified industrial conglomerate from 2006 until 2009. He has also served as the President of Information Processing Society of Japan and Vice Chairman of Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation).
Kevin Kampschroer is the Director of the Office of Federal High Performance Green Buildings at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). He has created the framework for which GSA responds to the challenges of greenhouse gas emissions reductions and of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s mandate to move GSA’s Federal building inventory toward high-performance green buildings. He has devised a challenge for companies to dramatically improve the government’s ability to achieve deep retrofits through Energy Savings Performance contracts—which has doubled the amount of energy conservation from these contracts. His team manages the government’s implementation of a comprehensive improvement in the training and certification of facility managers and personnel across the entire Federal government (Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act of 2010). He is GSA’s Senior Climate Adaptation Official, and leads the agency in planning for climate change risks
Quay Hays has been on the forefront of renewable energy and “green” development throughout California.
As principal and CEO of GROW Holdings LLC (Grow Renewable Organic & Water), Mr. Hays is overseeing one of the largest renewable energy-powered environmental projects in the world, the planning and development of a “green” city of 22,000 homes located on 7,200 acres in Central California which incorporates innovations in solar energy, sustainable design, technical integration and 21st century building methodology.
In addition to growing up on construction sites as the son and grandson of real estate developers, Mr. Hays has over 25 years’ experience in real estate, company capitalizations, and marketing. His real estate experiences encompass project management, entitlements, land planning, complex financings, home building, and sales and acquisitions.
Mr. Hays is the past Chairman of the California Economic Summit’s Regulatory Reform Committee and led the Open Data team in helping the state of California establish its Open Data Policy. Mr. Hays serves on the board of the Palisades Malibu YMCA, The State of the Future Organization, and the Milken Institute’s Central Valley Initiative and is an active supporter of numerous environmental groups including The Sierra Club and NRDC.
Mr. Hays is the author of the Life’s Golden Rules series of books, including Bottom Lines, The Golden Rules for Executive Success.
Senator Bob Wieckowski was elected on Nov. 4, 2014 and represents the 10th Senate District in the California State Legislature. The district stretches from southern Alameda County into Santa Clara County and shares the member’s focus on job creation, clean technologies, protecting our environment and reducing unnecessary regulations.
Mr. Wieckowski chairs the Environmental Quality Committee and Budget Subcommittee 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation. He is also a member of the Senate committees on Judiciary; Budget and Fiscal Review; Transportation and Housing; and Ethics. He was appointed by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon to serve on the Energy and Environment Committee of the Council of State Governments West and in 2017 became the first Californian to chair the committee.
Senator Wieckowski’s district is home to more clean tech companies than any other district in the state. Whether it’s solar panels, electric vehicles or other breakthrough industries, the 10th Senate District is a major contributor to California’s clean economy. The Senator is a state leader in advocating for climate adaptation programs and has participated on state and regional panels examining green infrastructure investments.
A strong voice in the Legislature for consumers and low-income earners, he received the “Champion of Justice” Award from the East Bay Community Law Center for fighting against abusive debt collectors and oppressive wage garnishments. Statewide organizations have selected him Legislator of the Year and the California Judges Association gave him its “Scales of Justice Award” for his steadfast support for increased court funding. Tech America also named him “Legislator of the Year.”
Senator Wieckowski works with state departments and local officials to improve services, increase funding and to provide new opportunities to meet local challenges. He facilitated the sale of state surplus property to Santa Clara Unified School District to construct a new school campus and provide additional park space, and he passed legislation to modify the terms of another property sale to help increase access to affordable housing.
As a passionate advocate for his community, he has served on numerous boards and commissions, and previously served as Vice Mayor of the City of Fremont.
Mr. Wieckowski is a small business owner and a bankruptcy attorney. He has helped hundreds of families and seniors persevere through economic hardship, keep their homes and live with dignity. He received his B.A. from the University of California and his J.D. from Santa Clara University Law School.
Senator Wieckowski lives in Fremont with his wife, Sue.
Jim Wunderman is President and CEO of the Bay Area Council, a CEO-led public policy and advocacy organization formed in 1945 that works to make the Bay Area the most innovative, globally competitive, and sustainable region in the world. Since becoming CEO in 2004, Wunderman has honed the Council’s regionalist approach to advocacy in key areas that impact the Bay Area’s economy and competitiveness, including: business climate, housing, transportation, workforce, water, energy, communications, education, gender equity and cyber security. In 2015, he was named one of the Top 100 movers and shakers in California politics.
Wunderman has led the Council’s efforts to advocate for billions of dollars in federal, state and regional funding for major transportation projects completed or currently under construction. He has worked to expand the Council’s leadership outside the region, including opening an office in Sacramento and overseas offices in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing, and partnering with the state to reopen the California-China Trade Office. Wunderman positioned the Council to lead in developing an innovative early education program – Talk, Read, Sing -- and partnering with The Clinton Foundation to introduce it nationally. Under his leadership, the Council’s advocacy helped win important statewide education reform through local control funding. Wunderman has continued to play a key role in efforts to achieve consensus-based solutions to California’s water challenges, and is leading the region’s business community in the effort to make sure the economy is a primary driver of planning and regional sustainability efforts.
Prior to his work at the Bay Area Council, Wunderman’s career from 1984 to 2004 was split between both the private and public sectors. He served as Chief of Staff to San Francisco Mayor Frank M. Jordan from 1992-95, following five years of work for Mayor Dianne Feinstein. From 1997-2004 he served as Senior Vice President for External Affairs at Providian Financial Corporation. He also served as Vice President and General Manager of two major waste collection, disposal and recycling firms in the Bay Area under its parent, Recology, Inc.
Wunderman has served on numerous Boards and Commissions. He currently serves on the University of California Business Executive Council, the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) Board, the State of California’s International Trade and Investment Advisory Council, the Too Small to Fail Advisory Council, California-China Trade and Investment Advisory Board, ChinaFisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, Bridge Housing Board of Directors, Sierra Energy, TMG Partners, the East Bay Zoological Society Foundation, the Chabot Space & Science Center Foundation Leadership Council, the Human Needs Project, Ready Nation Advisory Board, and the SF Bay Restoration Authority. He also serves on the Transit Sustainability Project Steering Committee, the Clean Energy Working Group, EDA East Bay Economic Development Alliance, the REAL Coalition, and the Super Bowl Host Committee.
Wunderman is a Visiting Professor at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. He is a graduate of San Francisco State University, Majoring in Political Science, and received an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Kingsborough College, City University of New York. He has four children and resides in Contra Costa County.
Adam Krantz became CEO of NACWA on July 20, 2015. Before that Mr. Krantz was Managing Director of Government & Public Affairs at the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), where he has worked since May 2001. Mr. Krantz manages an unparalleled team in Washington, DC, that advocates on behalf of the nation’s public clean water agencies on an array of regulatory, legislative, and legal issues geared toward ensuring sustainable clean water agencies and a move toward the Utility of the Future.
Prior to his position at NACWA, Mr. Krantz was an associate editor/reporter at Inside Washington Publishers where his work focused on covering the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s and Congress’s national water quality initiatives. Before entering the environmental arena, Mr. Krantz worked as an attorney in the Washington, D.C. law firm, Dickstein, Shapiro, Morin & Oshinsky on litigation matters.
Mr. Krantz served three years as the President of the Federal Water Quality Association and also served as the first Vice President of the Clean Water America Alliance (now the U.S. Water Alliance). Mr. Krantz is currently a Board Member of the U.S. Water Alliance. Mr. Krantz has degrees from Columbia University in New York City, the American University’s Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C., and the University of Chicago. He is a member of both the District of Columbia and Maryland bar.
Adel Hagekhalil, P.E., BCEE is a registered civil engineer with the State of California and a national Board Certified Environmental Engineer. Adel is currently an Assistant Director with the City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Sanitation he is responsible for the Bureau’s wastewater collection system management, storm water and watershed protection program, water quality compliance, and facilities and advance planning. Adel is leading the City’s effort in green infrastructure and multi-benefit projects and embarking on the City 2040 One Water LA Plan. Adel led the study group on water resiliency for the President's National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC). Adel is currently a Board member and immediate past president with the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).
Steve Wirtel is Executive Vice President of Business Development for Kore Infrastructure. Steve is a Registered Professional Engineer with 30 years of progressive expertise in water treatment technology. Prior to joining Kore, Mr. Wirtel was Senior Vice President of Nutrient Recovery for Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies and before that he was an owner at Carollo Engineers, an engineering firm dedicated exclusively to water treatment planning, design, and construction services. Steve also spent seven years as Executive Vice President of Municipal Sales and Marketing with U.S. Filter, a large water treatment technology provider acquired by Siemens. Between Carollo and Ostara, Steve operated a consulting practice, providing communication and business development services to engineers, architects, and contractors. Steve received a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
On the personal side, Steve enjoys playing ice hockey, golfing, and sampling wine from around the globe. He splits time between Phoenix and Chicago with his wife Donna and two teenage sons.
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.