Speakers

John Onderdonk
Chief Sustainability Officer
California Institute of Technology
Biography

John Onderdonk

Chief Sustainability Officer
California Institute of Technology

John Onderdonk serves as the Senior Director of Facilities Services and Integrated Planning as well as the Chief Sustainability Officer at the California Institute of Technology. In this capacity, he is responsible for the executive leadership of campus planning, energy and utility services, procurement and material management, critical research logistics and sustainability programs.

At Caltech, John has led efforts to de-carbonize campus utilities, plan for infrastructure resilience and adaptive capacity, and integrate 17MW of distributed generation. He has supervised the execution of a $15M energy efficiency fund, served as the lead sustainability advisor for 12 capital projects and coordinated the deployment of a work management and asset tracking system. John also leads the Institute’s regulatory affairs with regard to energy, water, carbon and regional planning.

Prior to joining Caltech, John served as the Southwest Regional Manager for AIG Environmental where he managed environmental risk on behalf of corporate and brownfield redevelopment clients.

John holds a Masters in Corporate Environmental Management from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science and Economics from the University of Oregon. John is a LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design + Construction and a Certified Carbon Reduction Manager.

John is the chair of the Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Officer’s Taskforce and serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management.

Nash Hurley
Creative Director
VITAL Environments
Biography

Nash Hurley

Creative Director
VITAL Environments
Steve Glenn
Founder and CEO
LivingHomes, LLC
Biography

Steve Glenn

Founder and CEO
LivingHomes, LLC

Steve Glenn is the founder and CEO of LivingHomes, LLC (www.livinghomes.net), a premier developer of modern, prefabricated homes that combine world-class architecture with an unparalleled commitment to healthy and sustainable construction. The first LivingHome, designed by Ray Kappe, FAIA, was installed in eight hours. It was the first home in the nation to be certified LEED Platinum. Thirteen LivingHomes have been certified LEED Platinum and one LEED Gold, making the company one of the most experienced designers of homes at the highest level of LEED certification. LivingHomes are available in standard or customized configurations to builders, developers and individuals. LivingHomes have garnered significant industry recognition including the AIA’s top sustainable award, Green Builder Magazine’s Home of Year, Business 2.0 “World’s 11 Coolest Products”, and Business Week’s “Architectural Wonders of the World.” LivingHomes are available in standard or customized configurations to builders, developers and individuals. In addition to design, LivingHomes is current in production on our first development, a community of six single family LivingHomes and a commercial space in Los Angeles, and we’re working on affordable housing communities for Make It Right, at the Ft. Peck Indian Reservation in Montana and for an East LA non-profit in Los Angeles. Before LivingHomes, Glenn worked with the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) and managed the development of a $220 million program in Mozambique, the first program CHAI launched in Africa. Glenn is founder and former Chairman and CEO of PeopleLink, a leading provider of enterprise ecommunity solutions, which raised $35 million from AT&T Ventures, GE, Goldman Sachs, idealab and others. Glenn was a founding partner of idealab, a business incubation firm that raised $1 billion and that founded or invested in a number of successful companies including GoTo/Overture (OVER), NetZero/United Online (UNTD), CitySearch (TMCS), Tickets.com (TKTS), eToys and CarsDirect. Glenn worked for Walt Disney Imagineering as co-director of the Virtual Reality Studio. Glenn co-founded Clearview Software, which was sold to Apple Computer where Glenn later served as a marketing specialist. He holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from Brown University, studied Urban Planning at Harvard Graduate School of Design, and was a Coro Fellow. Glenn is a co-founder and chair of the Sustainable Business Council, www.sustainablebc.org, co-founder of the Kaia Parker Dance Endowment, www.kaiaparker.org, and a co-founder and former board member of Hope Street Group, www.hopestreetgroup.org and the Brown University Entrepreneur Forum, www.brownep.org. He was a a Judge for the US Energy Department's 2013 Solar Decathlon competition, www.solardecathlon.gov. Glenn was named the Clean Tech CEO of the Year by Clean Tech Week; Environmental Entrepreneur of the Year by LA City Council/Faith2Green; and Greatest Person of the Day by Huffington Post. Glenn holds two patents and wrote the treatment, produced and acted in a small part in the critically panned but commercially successful “Good Luck Chuck”, which starred Jessica Alba and Dane Cook.

Tensho Takemori
Partner
Gehry Partners
Biography

Tensho Takemori

Partner
Gehry Partners

Tensho Takemori graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1988 with a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture. For one year following graduation, Mr. Takemori worked for The Adkins Association, a small firm in St. Paul, Minnesota. Mr. Takemori continued his education at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received a Masters in Architecture in 1992. After graduating, Mr. Takemori joined Gehry Partners, and has been involved in a range of project types over the past 20+ years. 

PROJECT EXPERIENCE 

Mr. Takemori’s experience with Gehry Partners includes the following projects: 

  • GRAND AVENUE MIXED-USE – Los Angeles, CA; 1,000,000sf mixed-use project including hotel, residential apartments and condominiums, and retail. Involvement was on the second phase re-submission of the concept design in 2013. 
  • ALEXANDERPLATZ RESIDENTIAL and HOTEL – Berln, Germany; a competition for a 47,500sm project including a 150 room 4-star hotel, and 250 apartments. High-rise residential is unique for Berlin, and for this location. The design supports the goals of the 1993 master plan for the Alexanderplatz, and creates a new regional marker on the east side of the platz. 
  • BELMONTE HOTEL and MUSEUM - Belmonte, Portugal; a 22,600sm project comprised of a 110 room hotel and 6,600sm museum. In addition to rooms, the hotel would have banquet and meeting facilities, restaurant, café, spa/fitness, with pools spread out in landscaped gardens. The museum will capture the Jewish history of the local area, and would contain a gastronomy center, multi-purpose hall, and 500 seat auditorium. 
  • ADELAIDE RESIDENCE – Santa Monica, CA; 9,000sf private residence. House will be built without conventional air conditioning and heating. A detailed computer sustainability analysis was performed to establish a strategy that uses geothermal wells, radiant floor heating/cooling, a sophisticated ventilation system with shading and solar chimney, photovoltaics, and solar water heating. 
  • NATIONAL ART MUSEUM OF CHINA – Beijing, China; three phase competition for 128,600sm state-of-the-art national art museum. Located in the new cultural complex within the Beijing Olympic Park. Project included galleries, retail and dining, 5 auditoriums, an art institute, an art research facilities, and support services for the museum. 
  • OCEAN AVENUE MIXED-USE PROJECT – Santa Monica, CA; a 300,000gsf mixed-use complex located in downtown Santa Monica, containing a 120 room boutique hotel, meeting facilities, spa, retail and dining, residential, below grade parking, and an observation deck. Two existing landmarked residential buildings are to be incorporated into a new museum complex that will also include a new building and new public open space. 
  • NBC STUDIO LOT REDEVELOPMENT – Burbank, CA; the 37 acre site currently houses 1,050,000 sf of area for NBC Studios. The project transforms the site from a 
  • single user studio lot to an independent television studio lot with multiple tenants, adding 1 million gsf in additional sound stages, office, production space, and other support facilities. 
  • OPUS HONG KONG – Hong Kong; the project is located on the Mid-level of the Peak. It consists of twelve luxury residential units: two garden duplexes on the lower levels, and 10 super-flat units of 5000 plus SF each in a single tower above. 
  • MAGGIE’S CENTER HONG KONG – Hong Kong; 320sm care center. Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre is intended to provide a calming environment for cancer patients and their family members. The building includes a small reception area, several offices and physical therapy rooms, a library, a terrace, and a kitchen. 
  • MAKE-IT-RIGHT FOUNDATION HOUSE – New Orleans, Louisiana; duplex residential house for the Make-It-Right Foundation, 900sf each. Make-It-Right is a non-profit foundation committed to redeveloping housing in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. The Lower Ninth Ward was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in August, 2004. 
  • MARINA TOWER – Abu Dhabi, UAE; new commercial office tower of approximately 68,000 square meters, with retail areas at the base. The first project to be built in the Marina District of Saadiyat Island, the forty story, 195m tall building will become the visual marker for all entering the island over the Shiek Kalifa bridge. 
  • NEW CAMPUS GLASGOW – Glasgow, Scotland; a competition for the master re-planning of 78,000 square meters for the City and River campuses of the Glasgow Metropolitan College. 
  • SAADIYAT BEACH GOLF CLUB – Abu Dhabi, UAE; new facilities of approximately 20,000 square meters including a golf clubhouse, restaurants, meeting and banquet facilities, a small boutique hotel, gym, spa, and detached villas. 
  • ANAHEIM REGIONAL TRANSPORTION INTERMODAL CENTER – Anaheim, California; a competition for a new multi-phased project centered on a transportation terminal for high-speed rail and ground transportation in Orange County. Surrounding development would include commercial, retail, cultural, housing, and a rehabilitation of the Santa Ana Riverbed. Total development area of approximately 3 million square feet on a 15 acre site. 
  • MOSCOW HOTEL – Moscow, Russia; 180 room boutique hotel on the Garden Ring in central Moscow. 20,000sm total area with facilities including restaurants, meeting facilities, and retail. 
  • SERGIEV POSAD HOTEL – Sergiev Posad, Moscow District, Russia; 150 room luxury hotel located directly adjacent to the Trinity-Sergiev Lavra. 25,000sm total area with facilities including villas, restaurants, and a spa. 
  • BROOKLYN ARENA – Brooklyn, New York; a new state-of-the-art multi-use 18,000 seat arena for the Nets professional basketball team of approximately 850,000 square feet, connected to public transportation through a large enclosed public urban room. 
  • ATLANTIS SENTOSA IR – Singapore, Singapore; a competition for a 340,000 square meter Integrated Resort on Sentosa Island in Singapore for the Singapore Tourism Board. The project included an aquarium, a glass covered conservatory and amphitheater, a casino, a convention center, four hotels, a spa, an 11 acre waterpark, 40 restaurants, and waterfront promenade. 
  • BROOKLYN ATLANTIC YARDS – Brooklyn, New York; an 8,000,000 plus square foot masterplan on 22 acres over 7 city blocks in Brooklyn at the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues. The project includes a new multi-use arena, two commercial buildings, fourteen residential buildings, and more than eight acres of publicly accessible open space. 
  • PARQUE MAYER -- Lisbon, Portugal; a 500,000 square foot neighborhood redevelopment project including the design and construction of a multi-use performing arts center, a museum, a hotel, residential apartments, and retail shops. 
  • CORCORAN GALLERY OF ART -- Washington, DC; the expansion of an existing museum of fine arts and an associated school of design, involving the renovation of an existing 140,000 square foot facility and the design and construction of a new 140,000 square foot facility, including galleries, studios, and related support spaces. 
  • MILLENNIUM PARK MUSIC PAVILION -- Chicago, Illinois; an open air music pavilion accommodating approximately 9000 visitors and including an orchestra stage house, a choral terrace, warm-up rooms and ancillary support areas. 
  • VITRA DESIGN MUSEUM EXPANSION -- Weil am Rhein, Germany; an expansion to an existing museum originally designed by Gehry Partners. 
  • CONDE NAST CAFETERIA -- New York, New York; an 8,200 square foot, 260 seat corporate dining room including food preparation and serving areas. 
  • SCHMIDT MUSEUM OF COCA-COLA MEMORABILIA -- Elizabethtown, Kentucky; a 90,000 square foot museum including exhibition areas, administrative areas and support areas. 
  • DZ BANK BUILDING -- Berlin, Germany; a 20,000 square meter mixed-use office and residential building adjacent to the Brandenburg Gate. 
  • DER NEUE ZOLLHOF -- Düsseldorf, Germany; a 28,000 square meter office development in three distinct buildings located on the Rhine River. 
  • ÜSTRA TOWER -- Hanover, Germany; a 20,000 square foot mid-rise office building. 
  • TELLURIDE RESIDENCE -- Telluride, Colorado; a 6,000 square foot private residence. 
  • UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI CENTER FOR MOLECULAR STUDIES – Cincinnati, Ohio; a 132,000 square foot state-of-the-art laboratory building for 
  • neuroscience and cancer research, including laboratory spaces, classrooms, administrative offices, and mechanical and storage spaces. 
  • THE LEWIS RESIDENCE -- Cleveland, Ohio; a 25,000 square foot private residence designed in collaboration with Philip Johnson and several internationally recognized artists. 
  • WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL -- Los Angeles, California; a 2,400 seat concert hall with extensive back stage areas, practice rooms, a pre-concert area, a choral room, an underground parking garage, a café, a retail store and a garden. 

EDUCATION 

University of California, Los Angeles, Master of Architecture, 1992 

University of Colorado, Boulder, Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture, 1988 

REGISTRATION 

Registered and licensed in the State of California 

NCARB Registered

Christian Lafrance
Vice President Sales Marketing
Effenco
Biography

Christian Lafrance

Vice President Sales Marketing
Effenco

Christian Lafrance is a senior business developer with over 18 years of experience in high-tech and high-end consumer products companies. During these 18 years, he has successfully conducted business in North America, Europe and Asia. He is now Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Effenco Development where he leads the adoption of electrification solutions worldwide through strategic partnerships. He holds a bachelor's degree in engineering physics (École Polytechnique Montréal) and specialized graduate diplomas in technology management (École Polytechnique Montréal).

Joe Byrne
Chair
California Water Commission
Biography

Joe Byrne

Chair
California Water Commission

Joseph Byrne is an of counsel attorney in the Los Angeles office of Best Best & Krieger and is a member of the firm's Environmental Law & Natural Resources, Special Districts, Municipal and Business Services practice groups. He advises both public and private sector clients on water law, public law and government and legislative strategies, with additional experience in general business law.

Joseph has considerable experience advising public and private clients on various issues related to water, including helping clients secure water supply, negotiating and drafting many types of water-related agreements, analyzing water rights, and advising on regulatory and policy issues. He also advises a number of public entities — primarily cities and special districts — on a broad range of issues, including various contracts, the Brown Act, CEQA, conflicts of interest, personnel, public works bidding and contracts, the Public Records Act, land use and general compliance with state and federal laws. He works closely with a number of cities and districts on a daily basis.

Joseph is also very familiar with California’s legislative process as well as water policy issues. He worked on water policy issues at the State Capitol for a number of years and recently taught a water policy class at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Policy. In May 2010, Joseph was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve on the California Water Commission, where he serves as chair. He was re-appointed to another term by Gov. Jerry Brown in July 2014. The Commission has a number of important statewide responsibilities related to water.

In addition to his public sector work, Joseph advises private sector clients on a wide variety of general business law issues, including general litigation, corporations, employment, contracts and general counsel work. He has specific experience working with apparel and water technology companies on many aspects of their businesses, including negotiating and drafting licensing agreements, purchase and sale agreements, manufacturing and distribution agreements, and employment and settlement agreements.

Joseph worked in the government practice group at Mayer Brown, where he advised clients on transactional matters and gave strategic advice on state legislative and regulatory matters. He also worked at Burke, Williams & Sorensen for a number of years in its public law practice group. From 1998-2002, he worked in the California State Assembly, serving two years as counsel to the speaker of the California State Assembly and as the speaker's chief policy consultant on water/environment and public safety. He also served as the speaker's appointee to the California Court Reporters Board and the California Earthquake Authority.

He was born, raised and continues to lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. Joseph enjoys spending time in the outdoors, sports and learning about California history.

Brian Goldstein
Executive Director
Energy Independence Now
Biography

Brian Goldstein

Executive Director
Energy Independence Now

Brian Goldstein is the Executive Director of Energy Independence Now, an environmental nonprofit whose mission is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and harmful air pollution by advancing clean hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and renewable hydrogen infrastructure for transportation, renewable energy storage and deep industrial decarbonization. With a background in finance, Brian has professional experience in the alternative fuels, renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation technology and financial services sectors. He has served as CFO of a motorcycle design and manufacturing firm as well as CFO of a hydrogen transportation technology company, where he focused on public and private financing initiatives, infrastructure acquisitions, automotive technology development and fleet adoption of hydrogen technology.

Brian has worked to develop alternative fuel distribution networks in California and Colorado. He is an Eagle Scout and has also served as a technical and financial consultant to the US Department of Energy, as well as a judge for the Clean Tech Open business plan competition and the DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition.

Brian graduated with a B.S. in International Business from the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado, and earned his MBA with a focus on Finance and International Business at the Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business Management, where he received a Merit Scholarship.

Kristin Eberhard
Legal Director, Western Energy & Climate Projects, Energy & Transportation Program
NRDC
Biography

Kristin Eberhard

Legal Director, Western Energy & Climate Projects, Energy & Transportation Program
NRDC

Kristin Eberhard is the Legal Director of Western Energy and Climate Projects in NRDC’s energy program. Ms. Eberhard leads NRDC's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California and throughout the West. She has taught "Climate Change Law" at Stanford Law School and "Energy Law" at UCLA Law School. In the past, Ms. Eberhard has worked as a litigator at a private law firm, as an energy consultant for PG&E, and conducting independent research on renewable energy and sustainable building practices in rural areas of Latin America. She graduated cum laude from the Duke University School of Law, while concurrently earning a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. She also holds a B.A. in Science, Technology and Society, with interdisciplinary honors in Environmental Science and Technology Policy, from Stanford University.

Osama Younan
Executive Officer
Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety
Biography

Osama Younan

Executive Officer
Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety

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”.

Aaron Klemm
Energy Project Manager
City of Huntington Beach
Biography

Aaron Klemm

Energy Project Manager
City of Huntington Beach
Douglas Nordham
Energy Director
Arup
Biography

Douglas Nordham

Energy Director
Arup

Mr. Nordham’s professional career has involved all phases of the management and growth of businesses in the distributed generation, microgrid, demand response, energy storage, and electric utility industries. With more than 40 years of hands-on experience in both the public and private sectors, he has directed operations for a local division of a $2 billion international energy company and supported more than a dozen electric utility distributed energy and microgrid programs. Mr. Nordham was president of two energy services companies that were specifically formed to assist clients in reducing energy costs and creating distributed power generation-based revenue streams.

Doug is currently the Project Director for John Wayne Airport’s (JWA) upgrade of their 7-MW cogeneration system and Central Utility Plant (CUP). This project involves energy engineering and business consulting services related to improving and optimizing the operations/functionality of the existing CUP serving the airport, and includes the addition of a 2.4-MW solar PV and 8-MWh battery storage system, which will be the largest solar/battery enabled airport microgrid in the U.S.

Mr. Nordham is also the Project Director for a $1.5 million California Energy Commission EPIC Grant to evaluate the feasibility of a multi-user microgrid for the City of Santa Monica. The intent of the project is to integrate a localized energy grid (microgrid) consisting of onsite renewable generation and energy storage based at the City Yards and surrounding community.

Edward Randolph
Director, Energy Division
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Edward Randolph

Director, Energy Division
California Public Utilities Commission

The Energy Division provides technical support to the Commissioners and their offices, and the Administrative Law Judges. The Energy Division drafts resolutions for formal consideration by the Commission. Resolutions generally result from informal utility requests called Advice Letters, which are submitted by utilities to request rate and tariff adjustments. 

The Energy Division through its Federal Policy and Ratemaking Section represents the Commission in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and court proceedings. 

The Energy Division assists the Commission in its regulation of four types of Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs): Electric, Natural Gas, Steam and Petroleum Pipeline Companies. Commissionapproved tariffs (official rates and terms of service) for these four types of IOUs are maintained by the Energy Division.

Manjeet Ranu
Senior Executive Officer, Long-Range Transportation Planning and Mobility Corridors
Los Angeles Metro
Biography

Manjeet Ranu

Senior Executive Officer, Long-Range Transportation Planning and Mobility Corridors
Los Angeles Metro

Manjeet Ranu is a Senior Executive Officer for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), leading the Long Range Transportation Planning and Mobility Corridors Department. This department is responsible for the long range plan that guides the programming of a half-trillion dollars in transportation improvements, service operations and system maintenance in Los Angeles County over a 40-year period. He also leads the planning, design and environmental clearance of new high capacity transit corridors, along with regionally-significant active transportation corridors, with a combined capital valuation exceeding $30 billion. Mr. Ranu has 21 years of public and private sector planning experience in the Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver and Tucson regions. He also has community leadership experience, having co-authored a land use ballot measure in San Diego, which passed with 71 percent of the vote. Mr. Ranu holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Master of Public Administration and Master of Urban and Regional Planning degrees from the University of Colorado at Denver. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and Urban Land Institute. Manjeet is an avid mountain biker and cyclist, and a long-time user of transit. 

Zoltan Tompa
Director, Partnerships
Sustainable Development Technology Canada
Biography

Zoltan Tompa

Director, Partnerships
Sustainable Development Technology Canada

As Director Partnerships, Zoltan Tompa is responsible for identifying and forging strategic relationships with industry.  Zoltan leads SDTC’s regional offices and works closely with SDTC’s portfolio companies, helping them connect to later stage sources of capital and corporate strategic partners.  Previously, Zoltan spent over five years as Director, Applications at SDTC where he led deal flow and oversaw the screening of thousands of cleantech investment opportunities, coaching and advising many early-stage companies prior to SDTC investment.

Prior to joining SDTC, Zoltan held a variety of Management roles in both technology and financial services.  He was a Product Manager for a $3B Small Business credit portfolio at CIBC, was the first employee in venture-backed software start-up taking on various roles from Business Development to Product Management, and previous to that held engineering roles at CRS Automation Solutions and Spar Aerospace Limited.

Zoltan received his Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Mechanical Engineering from Queens , University.

Tim Psomas, PE
Chairman
Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure
Biography

Tim Psomas, PE

Chairman
Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure
Tyler Laferriere
Associate Economist, Institute for Applied Economics
LAEDC
Biography

Tyler Laferriere

Associate Economist, Institute for Applied Economics
LAEDC

Mr. Laferriere is an Associate Economist at the Institute for Applied Economics at LAEDC. His work portfolio at IAE includes data management and analysis; model building and forecasting; and economic consulting. His research focuses include data management, economic forecasting, economic policy studies, foreign direct investment and trade, and labor and occupational research. Recent projects include analysis of Southern California’s economic ties to Canada and Hong Kong, as well as labor market analysis of LA’s middle-skill occupations that are growing. He joined LAEDC in 2017.

Before joining LAEDC, Mr. Laferriere was a graduate student at Washington State University pursing joint degrees in applied economics and statistics. His graduate education also included internships with the Federal Reserve Board and USDA Economic Research Service in Washington, D.C., focusing in the former on consumer spending patterns and the latter on technological adoption models. His applied economics master’s thesis involved a cross-sectional study on work-life policies aimed at improving gender balances in economics and applied economics. He also worked extensively in student affairs and as a copy editor and columnist for the WSU newspaper, the Daily Evergreen.

As mentioned above, Mr. Laferriere received his Master of Science degrees in Applied Economics and Statistics from Washington State University. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Gonzaga University. In addition to his role at the LAEDC, Mr. Laferriere is also the vice president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE).

Liz Crosson
Director of Infrastructure
Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Biography

Liz Crosson

Director of Infrastructure
Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Liz Crosson joined Mayor Eric Garcetti's Sustainability Team as Water Policy Advisor after serving as the Executive Director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper for five years. Liz led Waterkeeper’s efforts to protect, conserve and restore Los Angeles' waterways through advocacy, community education and litigation. She previously worked with Lawyers for Clean Water, Inc. where she represented non-profit organizations in water pollution enforcement actions. She has a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School with an emphasis in environmental law.

Logan Goldie-Scot
Head of Clean Power Research
Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Biography

Logan Goldie-Scot

Head of Clean Power Research
Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Logan Goldie-Scot is global head of Clean Power research at BloombergNEF. He oversees BNEF’s solar, wind, storage, and decentralized energy research divisions. Prior to this, he was manager of the Energy Storage insight team at BloombergNEF. He also ran BNEF’s Supply Chain focus area, a cross-company effort to provide insights on the battery supply chain, manufacturing, sustainability and advanced materials.

He advises utilities, technology companies, investors and policymakers across these fields. He has authored numerous research papers and regularly speaks at international conferences and in the mainstream media.

Ed Kjaer
Director, Transportation Electrification
Southern California Edison
Biography

Ed Kjaer

Director, Transportation Electrification
Southern California Edison

 

Edward Kjaer is the Director of SCE’s Transportation Electrification program.  In his role, Kjaer is responsible for this broad corporate wide effort supporting transportation connecting to the SCE’s electrical system.  Kjaer’s responsibilities include; company strategy, external stakeholder engagement, regulatory and legislative strategy, and internal company wide program coordination.  Prior to this position, Kjaer has been a leading proponent of electric transportation at Edison holding key leadership positions since joining the company in 1996.  In 2011, Kjaer received the prestigious “Hall of Fame” award from the Electric Drive Transportation Association and has been named to the Automotive News “Electrifying 100” most influential people leading industry towards a more electric powered transportation future.

Diane Wittenberg
Chair
California State Parks and Recreation Commission
Biography

Diane Wittenberg

Chair
California State Parks and Recreation Commission

Wittenberg was executive director at the California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative from 2010 to 2012. She was executive director at the Climate Registry from 2007 to 2010 and president of the California Climate Action Registry from 2001 to 2006. Wittenberg held multiple positions at Edison International from 1985 to 2000, including vice president of corporate communications, president of Edison EV, president of the Edison Utility Alliances and vice president of corporate communications at Southern California Edison. 

Nate Lewis
George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry
California Institute of Technology
Biography

Nate Lewis

George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry
California Institute of Technology

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.

Robert Freeman
Airport Environmental Manager
Los Angeles World Airports
Biography

Robert Freeman

Airport Environmental Manager
Los Angeles World Airports
Thomas Van Dyck
Managing Director, Financial Advisor
RBC Wealth Management
Biography

Thomas Van Dyck

Managing Director, Financial Advisor
RBC Wealth Management

Tom has been a leader in the field of socially-responsible investing for more than 30 years.  As Senior Vice President – Financial Advisor of the SRI Wealth Management Group at RBC Wealth Management, Tom consults on $1.5 billion of ESG-screened assets. Tom is also the founder of As You Sow, a shareholder advocacy organization, which engages corporations on environmental, human/labor rights and corporate social responsibility initiatives. In 2014 Tom was a featured guest on Bill Moyers and Company. In 2013, Tom was named one of the Financial Times’ Top 400 Financial Advisors. Tom was also a featured speaker at the TedX Wall Street conference in 2012 and provided his expertise on SRI investing for long-term safety and returns. Van Dyck graduated from Duke University in 1980 with a B.A. in Political Science. He is a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) and holds his Series 7 and Series 66 FINRA licenses.

Effie Turnbull Sanders
Executive Director
SLATE-Z
Biography

Effie Turnbull Sanders

Executive Director
SLATE-Z

Effie Turnbull Sanders is a passionate and dedicated advocate for economic, environmental, and social change. She brings over two decades of experience advancing the rights of underserved Los Angeles communities to lead the South Los Angeles Transit Empowerment Zone (SLATE-Z) as its Executive Director.  As Executive director, Sanders leads SLATE-Z’s efforts to promote neighborhood revitalization, educational excellence, and economic empowerment to help realize the tremendous promise and potential of South Los Angeles.

Prior to joining SLATE-Z, Sanders worked in service of the children of Los Angeles as Assistant General Counsel to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) on real estate development, facilities management, and employment law. Through her legal career, she has worked as counsel to public and private organizations such as the City of Los Angeles and Richards, Watson & Gershon.

As a social justice leader, Sanders has served as an appointee to state and federal entities. Currently, she is the Environmental Justice Commissioner with the California Coastal Commission. She is also member of Representative Karen Bass’ Congressional Council. Sanders was a Presidential Appointee for Vice Chair Cruz Reynoso with the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Throughout her career, Sanders has led a number of non-profit organizations as an active board member for Social Action Partners and the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. She also served as an advisory board member to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and Mark Ridley Thomas’ African American Voter Registration, Education, and Participation Project.

Sanders received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from the University of California, Los Angeles, her Juris Doctorate from UCLA School of Law and is a graduate of the University of Southern California Ross Program in Real Estate.  She and her husband live with their two children in Los Angeles.

 

 

 

Nancy Sutley
Sr. Asst. General Manager of External & Regulatory Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
Biography

Nancy Sutley

Sr. Asst. General Manager of External & Regulatory Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Nancy Sutley is LADWP’s Senior Assistant General Manager of External and Regulatory Affairs, and the Chief Sustainability Officer. In this role, Ms. Sutley oversees the Department’s customer service operations, energy efficiency and water conservation programs, environmental regulation, public affairs and legislative teams. Over the course of her tenure with the Department, Ms. Sutley has initiated LADWP’s corporate sustainability programs, spearheaded LADWP’s La Kretz Innovation Campus, promoted the electrification of the transportation network and coordinated the Clean Grid L.A. plan.

Prior to joining LADWP in 2014, Ms. Sutley served as Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Under her leadership, the Council played a central role in shepherding the Obama Administration’s signature environmental projects and was one of the chief architects of President Obama’s 2013 Climate Action Plan.

Ms. Sutley has an extensive background in public service that includes posts as Deputy Mayor for Energy and Environment for the City of Los Angeles, Board Member of the Metropolitan Water District, Member of the California State Water Resources Control Board, Energy Advisor for California Governor Gray Davis, Deputy Secretary for Policy and Intergovernmental Relations at the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Senior Policy Advisor for the US EPA during the Clinton Administration.

Ms. Sutley holds a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University.

Madeline Janis
Executive Director
Jobs to Move America
Biography

Madeline Janis

Executive Director
Jobs to Move America

Madeline Janis is the Executive Director of Jobs to Move America, an organization that she helped to found in 2013. Previously, she co-founded and served as national policy director of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE). Under her stewardship as executive director from 1993 to 2012, LAANE became an influential leader in the effort to build a new economy based on good jobs, thriving communities and a healthy environment.

From 2002 to 2012, Ms. Janis served as a volunteer commissioner of the City of Los Angeles’ Community Redevelopment Agency.

Over the past three decades, she has led numerous economic, social and environmental justice campaigns in California.  She has provided training and assistance to community organizations and unions in dozens of cities across the country, and is widely regarded as an innovator in devising strategies to create good jobs and healthy communities.

Ms. Janis has received many honors, including being a Durfee Foundation Stanton Fellow (2014-15), a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs, the UCLA Law School’s Antonia Hernandez Public Interest Award,  and commendations from the Los Angeles City Council and the California Assembly and Senate. She received degrees from UCLA Law School and Amherst College in Massachusetts and was granted an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Amherst College in 2013.

Ms. Janis also served as executive director of the Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) from 1989 to 1993 and, as an attorney, represented tenants and homeless people in slum housing litigation, and advocated for homeless disabled people who had been denied government benefits. She also worked for two years at the law firm of Latham & Watkins on commercial litigation and land use matters, representing many large companies throughout Los Angeles.

Jonathan Parfrey
Executive Director
Climate Resolve
Biography

Jonathan Parfrey

Executive Director
Climate Resolve

Jonathan Parfrey is founding executive director of Climate Resolve, LA's leading climate advocacy organization. Jonathan served as a commissioner at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (2008-2013). Jonathan is a founder and Vice Chair of CicLAvia, the popular street event, as well as a founder of the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability and the statewide Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation. He served as director of the GREEN LA Coalition (2007-2011), and as the Los Angeles director of Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization Physicians for Social Responsibility (1994 to 2007). Prior to that, Jonathan directed the Orange County Catholic Worker (1987-1993). He is currently a gubernatorial appointee to the State of California Climate Adaptation Technical Advisory Committee and Vice Chair of the BizFed Institute.

Martin Howell
Energy Group Leader
ARUP
Biography

Martin Howell

Energy Group Leader
ARUP

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.

 

Jim Lane
Publisher
Biofuel Digest
Biography

Jim Lane

Publisher
Biofuel Digest
Ron Mayuyu
Senior Process Engineer
Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment
Biography

Ron Mayuyu

Senior Process Engineer
Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment

Ron is the Senior Process Engineer of the City of Los Angeles, LA Sanitation, Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant (HWRP). HWRP is one of the largest plants in the world, with a 450 million gallon per day (MGD) average dry weather capacity and highly technical operations, including full secondary treatment with pure oxygen activated sludge, Class A anaerobic digestion, cryogenic oxygen generation, biogas power generation, and a variety of offsite biosolids reuse alternatives.  Ron has been with the LA Sanitation for over 20 years, serving in other capacities including solid resources planning, industrial pretreatment, and environmental education & outreach.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and is a registered chemical engineer in the State of California.

Phillip Washington
CEO
LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Biography

Phillip Washington

CEO
LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

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.

Christine Kehoe
Commissioner
California Transportation Commission
Biography

Christine Kehoe

Commissioner
California Transportation Commission

Christine Kehoe was appointed to the California Transportation Commission on January 11, 2016 by the Speaker of the Assembly, Toni Atkins. Christine is the former Executive Director of the Plug in Electric Vehicle Collaborative where she started service in January 2013. Previously, Christine served 19 years in elected office including four years in the California Assembly and eight years in the State Senate. During her twelve years in the State Legislature she distinguished herself with a strong legislative record and her ability to build consensus among her colleagues.

Christine served as the chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications and she also chaired the Senate Committee on Appropriations for four years. She was a member of the Transportation and Housing Committee, Natural Resources and Water and Environmental Quality committees among others. She was a Senate member of the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative (PEVC) until she left office in November 2012.

Christine’s legislation in both houses consistently focused on the public benefit of expanding and strengthening California’s policies for renewable energy, energy efficiency, alternative fuels and vehicles, resource protection and water quality and conservation.

Christine was first elected in 1993 to the San Diego City Council and served there until 2000. From 1997-2000 she was a member of the California Coastal Commission. She lives in San Diego with her spouse Julie Warren.

Kevin Kampschroer
Director, Office of Federal High Performance Green Buildings
U.S. General Services Administration
Biography

Kevin Kampschroer

Director, Office of Federal High Performance Green Buildings
U.S. General Services Administration

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

Adi Liberman
Founder and Principal
Liberman and Associates
Biography

Adi Liberman

Founder and Principal
Liberman and Associates
Haruo Soga
Executive Director
East Japan Railway Company
Biography

Haruo Soga

Executive Director
East Japan Railway Company

Haruo Soga is the Executive Director of East Japan Railway Company, New York.

Over a more than 30 year career with JR East, he has been engaged in marketing activities in expanding the company's railway business and developing new business sectors for one of the world’s largest and most profitable railway companies – with  fiscal year 2018 passenger volume of nearly 6.5 billion riders (over 17 million passengers per day), and annual operating revenues of $27.8 billion. In addition to developing new products and services to create demand for railway use, he spearheaded massive promotional activities in synergy with local government agencies and economic organizations. Success in these activities resulted in the Government of Japan designating him as an advisor in revitalizing regional economies within Japan.

His long experience and deep expertise in the field of transportation led to his selection to serve as Director of Japan’s oldest and most authoritative institute of transportation economics.  He has also served as Editor of Japan’s journal for the transportation industry, operators and researchers, promulgated through Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism (MLIT).

He graduated from the Faculty of Business and Commerce, Keio University in Tokyo, 1989.

Ashley Hand
Transportation Technology Strategist Fellow
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Ashley Hand

Transportation Technology Strategist Fellow
City of Los Angeles

Ashley Z. Hand, AIA, LEED AP BD+C was appointed to the Transportation Technology Strategist Fellow for the City of Los Angeles by Mayor Eric Garcetti in August 2015 and is charged with developing a multi-disciplinary strategy to address mobility and transportation policies and services in a rapidly changing environment. With the proliferation of emerging sharing economy technologies and the advent of autonomous vehicles, it is anticipated that new urban forms and mobility options will greatly impact this region and Ashley developing a cross-jurisdictional strategy to ensure access and equity.

Previously, Ashley served Mayor Sylvester "Sly" James as the first Chief Innovation Officer of the City of Kansas City, Missouri and the first female municipal CIO in the country. Working collaboratively across departments, Ashley focused on process improvement through strategic planning, staff involvement and the use of lean methodology and design thinking. In addition, she championed an unprecedented public-private partnership to make Kansas City the most comprehensive smart city in North America by bringing digital infrastructure to a new streetcar line in the downtown core. Prior to joining the public sector, Ashley was an architectural designer and planner for the global firm AECOM where she worked for both public and private sector clients across North America to adopt sustainable best practices and process improvement through community engagement, policy, and operational change management.

Ashley holds a BA in political science from McGill University and a Masters of Architecture from the Pratt Institute and is a registered architect in the State of Missouri. She has been recognized by the Central Exchange as a 2014 Rising Star in Technology in the inaugural STEMMy Awards, the American Institute of Architects Kansas City as the 2012 Emerging Professional of the Year, the Kansas City Business Journal as the inaugural NextGen class of 2013, and NextCity as the Vanguard Class of 2014 for urban leadership.

Andrée-Lise Méthot
Founder and Managing Partner
Cycle Capital Management
Biography

Andrée-Lise Méthot

Founder and Managing Partner
Cycle Capital Management

Andrée-Lise Méthot is the Founder and Managing Partner of Cycle Capital Management, an impact investor and the most active cleantech venture capital platform in Canada. She has over 25 years of experience in venture capital, management and engineering. In the last few years, she has fundraised almost $400M from strategic and industrial players and she recently closed a fund with a strategic institutional investor in China.

Andrée-Lise serves on many boards of directors for public and private companies, including some of CCM’s portfolio companies. She is the co-founder and Chair of the Ecofuel Accelerator, for which she also championed the Ecofuel Fund. She sits on the Board of directors of Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), Transition énergétique Québec (TEQ) and Société québécoise des infrastructures (SQI). She also co-founded Écotech Québec, the Quebec cleantech cluster and SWITCH, the Alliance for a green economy.

Andrée-Lise sits on the North-American advisory Board of the Cleantech Group, the selection committee of Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance’s New Energy Pioneers, the Private Sector Advisory Board for the Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada and the External Advisory Committee to the Vice Principal Research and International Relations at McGill University. She co-chaired a Task Force under the auspices of the UNEP and the SETAC on the Life Cycle Initiative. She sat on various recognition committees, including the Grand prix du Génie Québécois, the Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards, and the EY Entrepreneur of the Year contest.

Andrée-Lise was recognized as one of Canada’s Clean16, named one of the Top 20 cleantech investors by CleanTechnica and amongst the most influential women in sustainable development and in the cleantech industry by Corporate Knight.

Marvin Moon
Director of Engineering
LADWP
Biography

Marvin Moon

Director of Engineering
LADWP
Tom Drischler
Acting Chief, Bureau of Franchise & Taxicab Regulation
City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation
Biography

Tom Drischler

Acting Chief, Bureau of Franchise & Taxicab Regulation
City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation

Tom Drischler is the Acting Chief of the Bureau of Franchise & Taxicab Regulation for the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation.  He is also concurrently the Los Angeles Taxicab Administrator, a position he has held since 1999.  From 1986 through 1999, he was a Management Analyst with Los Angeles World Airports at LAX , where he was instrumental in writing and implementing the LAX Ground Transportation Permit Program.  Tom’s office issues permits to more than 7,000 drivers and attendants of private ambulances, taxicabs and other vehicles for hire and more than 4,000 vehicles.

A graduate of Daniel Murphy High School of Los Angeles, Tom has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science from the University of Oregon and a Masters degree (MPA) in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.  He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Transportation Regulators (www.IATR.org) and is an Accredited Airport Executive with the American Association of Airport Executives.   

Emil Abdelshehid
LADWP
Biography

Emil Abdelshehid

LADWP

I graduated from the University of California Irvine, with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 2005.  I have been working with the City of Los Angeles since 2006 and with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power since 2007.  I have been working with the Smart Grid Programs since 2009 and have worked on the Smart Grid Regional Demonstration Program, a DOE project to demonstrate the various use cases of advanced technology, and to further develop these advanced technologies for practical and scalable purposes. I currently supervise the control systems applications group and am working to further develop LADWP’s Smart Grid Programs.

Dr. Yasuhiro Matsui
Project Manager, Research & Development
Yokogawa
Biography

Dr. Yasuhiro Matsui

Project Manager, Research & Development
Yokogawa

Dr. Yasuhiro Matsui, he received his doctorate in the urban engineering from The University of Tokyo (Engineering, 2007) and Japanese professional engineering license (Water Supply & Industrial Water Supply, 2004). He was involving in global water environment businesses (water supply, desalination, water reuse, and groundwater) for 20 years. He is a director of Japanese Desalination Association. He has been employed by Yokogawa since April 2019 in the Research & Development, Innovation Center of Market Division. He was Vice President of METAWATER USA, INC, in charge of R&D department for business development and International Business Division since 2014. While affiliated to METAWATER, engaged in desalination projects in the Middle East and The South Asia. Focused on ceramic membrane (Microfiltration) integrated in a pretreatment of reverse osmosis in the desalination process. Being in head of collaboration research works with Saline Water Conversion Corporation in the Kingdom of Saudi.

Sachiko Yoshimura
Chief Executive Director
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
Biography

Sachiko Yoshimura

Chief Executive Director
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)

Sachiko Yoshimura joined JETRO in April 1988. JETRO is a Japanese Government Agency under Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) that promotes trade and investment between Japan and other countries. JETRO Los Angeles supports businesses of all sizes and industries to expand their business in Japan and provides, through comprehensive research, information on current developments, the economy, and trade in Japan to support entering into the Japanese market.

Ms. Yoshimura has worked in various departments overseeing international trade fairs, research and economic analysis supporting Japanese companies, especially small and median companies looking to expand their business overseas. Most recently she served as the Director of Intellectual Property Division, helping Japanese companies to protect their intellectual properties abroad. She graduated from Sophia University in Tokyo with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature.

Joel Cesare
Sustainable Projects Manager
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Joel Cesare

Sustainable Projects Manager
City of Santa Monica

As Sustainable Building Officer for the City of Santa Monica's internationally recognized Office of Sustainability and the Environment, Joel Cesare implements programs and policies that contribute to the City's ambitious goals related to energy, water and climate. He is Project Director of what will be the world’s largest, and first municipal Living Building Challenge project. Building Design & Construction Magazine selected Joel for its 2017 40 Under 40 list. USGBC-LA awarded Joel with the inaugural “First in the World” acknowledgement for his work spearheading Santa Monica’s zero-net energy ordinance. He has a Masters in Environmental Science & Management from the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara and BA in Geology from Lafayette College. His masters thesis investigated the energy efficiency gap between how green buildings are modeled to perform and how they actually perform. The AECOM sponsored research included collaboration with a team of graduate students at Nanjing School of the Environment in China as part of UC Santa Barbara's Sino-American Working Group. Joel brings over 10 years of experience integrating sustainability into the culture of financial institutions, NGO's, municipalities, construction companies and transportation agencies.  He has managed Engineers Without Borders teams in Peru, is Vice-Chair of Surfrider Los Angeles, an adjunct professor in Santa Monica College's Sustainable Technologies Program and serves on the executive committees of the Los Angeles Living Building Challenge Collaborative and USGBC-Los Angeles Chapter. In his spare time, Joel manages the innovative action sports sharing economy startup he co-founded, StokeShare.com.

Hampik Dekermenjian
Senior Vice President
CDM Smith
Biography

Hampik Dekermenjian

Senior Vice President
CDM Smith

Mr. Hampik Dekermenjian is a Senior Vice President with CDM Smith.  He is responsible for managing CDM Smith’s public sector business in Southern California and Arizona.  Mr. Dekermenjian has over 20 years of experience working with cities and municipalities in the areas of water resources, stormwater management, water and wastewater treatment, and municipal strategic planning.  He has been part of the leadership team in southern California in developing stormwater compliance strategies and TMDL implementation plans.  He has also been involved in numerous stakeholder outreach initiatives, focusing on reaching consensus in the development of these strategic plans.  He holds a Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in environmental engineering and a Master of Business Administration; the latter two from the University of Southern California.

Gene Seroka
Executive Director
Port of Los Angeles
Biography

Gene Seroka

Executive Director
Port of Los Angeles

Dr. 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.

Catherine Reheis-Boyd
President
Western States Petroleum Association
Biography

Catherine Reheis-Boyd

President
Western States Petroleum Association

Catherine Reheis-Boyd has served as the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) since January 1, 2010. She oversees the trade organization’s operations and advocacy in five Western states – California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon. Over her 27 year career at WSPA, Ms. Reheis-Boyd has held a variety of leadership roles, including a 2003 appointment as Chief of Staff and subsequent promotions to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining WSPA, Ms. Reheis-Boyd was with Getty Oil and Texaco working on environmental compliance at the Kern River Field in Bakersfield, California.

She currently manages a broad range of Association activities, including legislative and regulatory issues associated with transportation fuels policy, air and water quality, climate change, renewable fuels and alternative energy issues, crude oil and natural gas production and many other issues in WSPA’s five states, and beyond those borders into Canada and abroad.

In 2004, Ms. Reheis-Boyd was appointed by the California Resource Secretary to the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Blue Ribbon Task Force to an eight-year term. The MLPA is charged with protecting ocean resources off the California coastline from Oregon to Mexico. In addition, Ms. Reheis-Boyd was appointed to the National Marine Protected Areas Center’s Federal Advisory Committee which recommends strategies to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Department of Interior on how to strengthen and protect the nation’s systems of Marine Protected Areas. Ms. Reheis-Boyd is a member of, or advisor to, a number of climate change policy panels and regulatory agencies in all five WSPA states.

In 2016, Ms. Reheis-Boyd was named Distinguished Woman and Petroleum Advocate of the Year by the California Latino Leadership Institute.

Ms. Reheis-Boyd received her Bachelors of Science degree in Natural Resource Management from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and pursued postgraduate studies in environmental engineering at the University of Southern California.

The Western States Petroleum Association represents major integrated petroleum companies, independent refiners and oil and natural gas producers that explore for, produce, transport, refine and market petroleum, petroleum products, and natural gas as well as advanced alternative and renewable transportation fuels in the West. On behalf of the industry, WSPA works to encourage public policies that promote socially and environmentally responsible economic growth and prosperity.

Evan Harvey
Managing Director of Corporate Sustainability
The NASDAQ OMX Group
Biography

Evan Harvey

Managing Director of Corporate Sustainability
The NASDAQ OMX Group

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. 

Henry Stern
State Senator
California State Senate
Biography

Henry Stern

State Senator
California State Senate

Henry Stern is an educator and environmental attorney, who most recently served as senior advisor to California State Senator Fran Pavley. In that capacity, he helped craft legislation to address climate change, fracking, the drought, teacher shortages, and women's health.  He also spearheaded the Senator’s ongoing efforts to clean up the SoCal Gas leak in Porter Ranch with SB 380.

A graduate of Harvard University and UC Berkeley Law, Henry has public and private sector experience in education, the environment, and infrastructure investment. Prior to serving the 27th District, he served as counsel to Congressman Henry Waxman on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, helped businesses construct clean energy projects, taught civics, advocated for juvenile justice, and founded a tech incubator.

Henry also teaches law at UCLA, volunteers at the Boys & Girls Club, and is a member of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Committee, the Jewish Federation, and the Truman National Security Project.

Nat Gale
Transportation Manager
Mayor’s Office of Transportation, City of Los Angeles
Biography

Nat Gale

Transportation Manager
Mayor’s Office of Transportation, City of Los Angeles

As Great Streets Program Director, Nat Gale oversees the coordination and collaboration across City Departments and with community stakeholders related to Great Street Projects. In the near-term, project implementation will focus on temporary treatments, including plazas and parklets, as well as robust community partnerships and programming. Outside of the project specific role, Nat will be overseeing the development of citywide policy guidance to help change burdensome regulations or promote innovative solutions that help create and sustain vibrancy on our streets.

Nat has an undergraduate degree from Columbia University in Civil Engineering with a minor in History, and a dual Master’s degree from USC in Urban Planning and Public Administration. He is an avid cyclist, dedicated transit-user, and a proud pedestrian. Nat previously worked as a transportation planner in NYC, a geotechnical engineer in Portland, OR, and an environmental engineer in LA.

Joe Mathews
California Editor
Zocalo Public Square
Biography

Joe Mathews

California Editor
Zocalo Public Square

Joe Mathews is California columnist and editor for Zócalo Public Square,, the media nonprofit in Los Angeles. He writes the weekly syndicated Connecting California column for Zócalo; it appears in 30 media outlets around California.

Joe was formerly a reporter at the LA Times, Wall Street Journal and Baltimore Sun, and served as a senior fellow at the New America Foundation.

Joe is co-president of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy (2019globalforum.com), through which he led the process of creating a new Magna Charta for Democracy Cities, adopted in Rome in 2018. He is co-author, with Mark Paul, of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (University of California Press, 2010). Joe’s previous book was The People’s Machine: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rise of Blockbuster Democracy (PublicAffairs, 2006).

 

Jason Rondou
Director, Clean Grid LA Strategy
LADWP
Biography

Jason Rondou

Director, Clean Grid LA Strategy
LADWP

Jason Rondou is the Director of LADWP’s Clean Grid LA Strategy Division, where he oversees LADWP’s Strategic Long-Term Resource Plan, utility-scale renewable and energy storage procurement, as well as the Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Planning, Development and Program groups. Additionally, he oversees LADWP’s LA100 Study, which aims to identify the major investments required to reliably and cost-effectively transition LADWP to 100% renewable energy. Jason formerly was responsible for LADWP’s Strategic Development & Programs section, responsible for LADWP’s entry into the California Independent System Operator’s Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) as well as its demand response, local solar development, and community solar programs. Jason previously worked at the Los Angeles Department of Transportation on light rail development and bus rapid transit. Jason graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and has a Master of Public Administration from USC and an MBA from UCLA. Jason is a licensed Electrical and Transportation Engineer in the state of California and is the former Chair of the Los Angeles IEEE Power & Energy Society.

Jim Kelly
Director
S&C Electric
Biography

Jim Kelly

Director
S&C Electric

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.

Sarah Potts Ashton
Public Affairs, Southern California
Uber
Biography

Sarah Potts Ashton

Public Affairs, Southern California
Uber

Sarah Ashton runs Public Affairs for Uber in Southern California, where she oversees all government relations, policy, and community relations.

Before joining Uber, Sarah was the Associate Director of Government Relations and Public Policy at Faraday Future, an autonomous and electric vehicle company in Los Angeles. Prior to that role, Sarah served as the Director of the White House Climate Action Champions Program for the Obama Administration, a 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 was appointed to the executive team of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group to launch and lead a new department managing global partnerships, the C40 Board of Directors, fundraising and grant management, and all aspects of C40’s city diplomacy strategy and UN engagement in the lead up to COP 21. Sarah also previously served as the Deputy Director for Global Strategy for C40, and the Los Angeles City Director of the Clinton Climate Initiative.

Michael Allman
President and CEO
Southern California Gas Company
Biography

Michael Allman

President and CEO
Southern California Gas Company

Michael W. Allman is president and CEO of Southern California Gas Company. He has held this position since 2010. Prior to his current role, Mike was the president and CEO of Sempra Generation, where he led the company’s growth in renewable energy. Before joining Sempra Energy he spent eight years as an international management consultant. Mike has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Michigan State University. 

Philip Recht
Partner
Mayer Brown
Biography

Philip Recht

Partner
Mayer Brown

Partner in charge of Mayer Brown’s Los Angeles office and leader of the firm’s California Government Relations & Public Law practice, Phil Recht represents clients in legislative, regulatory, enforcement and litigation matters before and involving federal, state and local governments. He also handles grants, approvals, permits and other government transactions. He has particular expertise in transportation, tribal gaming, health care, trade association, government contracts, and election law matters.

Phil also has extensive government experience. Prior to joining the firm, he served as Chief Counsel (1994-95) and Deputy Administrator (1995-99) for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US Department of Transportation. He also worked as a Legislative Assistant in the Office of US Rep. David L. Cornwell (Ind.) (1976-78), as a consultant with the Joint Center for Political Studies in Washington, DC (1975) and as a Legislative Aide with the Office of US Rep. John Moakley (Mass.) (1975).

Catherine Burke
Associate Professor Emerita
USC, Sol Price School of Public Policy
Biography

Catherine Burke

Associate Professor Emerita
USC, Sol Price School of Public Policy

Catherine Burke, Ph.D., Associate Professor Emerita, University of Southern California, Sol Price School of Public Policy.  She received her doctorate in Political Science from University of California, Los Angeles with major fields in American Politics, Public Administration and Management (Business School).  She is also a graduate of Cornell University with an AB degree, government major. 

She became interested in the problem of innovation as a doctoral student and was curious as to why the planners and transportation agencies were actively trying to avoid learning about Personal Rapid Transit as then being presented by the Aerospace Corporation.  Later she wrote the book, Innovation and Public Policy:  The Case of Personal Rapid Transit, D.C. Heath and Company, Lexington Books, 1979.  The book is out of print, but can be downloaded free of charge at:  http://www.advancedtransit.net/content/innovation-and-public-policy-book

She has been a member of the Advanced Transit Association (ATRA) since its inception and has served on its Board and as President.

Dr. Burke has been a panelist and consultant to the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress and a member of the Los Angeles County Economy and Efficiency Commission.  Burke was instrumental in developing the Price School’s metropolitan simulation program.  She has been a consultant to a large public utility (Communications and Computing Services, Regulatory Policy and Affairs, Environmental Health and Safety, and Public Affairs Departments),), cities (Los Angeles and Pasadena) and county (Los Angeles) governments, an international mining and manufacturing firm based in Australia, an ISP (internet service provider), a regimental commander (Colonel) of Royal Engineer Commandos in the British Army as well as several non-profit social service organizations.

Her primary professional focus has been in the fields of organization structures, systems design, leadership and management, as well as issues of innovation.  Recently her focus has been on the issues of climate change and the need to reduce GHG emissions, which has returned her focus on the potential of Automated Transportation Networks to improve urban transportation, freight movement and inter-city travel.  Only by providing public transit, which gives full access to an urban area, will we be able to significant reduce the use of carbon based fuels for automobiles and trucks.  

Her most recent book written with Ian Macdonald and Karl Stewart is Systems Leadership:  Creating Positive Organisations, Gower Publications, Ltd., 2006.

Eric Corey Freed
Sustainability Disruptor
Morrison Hershfield
Biography

Eric Corey Freed

Sustainability Disruptor
Morrison Hershfield

Eric Corey Freed is an award-winning architect, author, and global speaker. As Sustainability Disruptor for Morrison Hershfield, he identifies solutions to problems most teams didn't know were holding them back. He was Founding Principal of organicARCHITECT, a visionary design leader in biophilic and regenerative design.

His past roles include Vice President of the International Living Future Institute and Chief Community Officer of EcoDistricts, both nonprofits pushing innovative new paradigms for deep green buildings and communities.

Eric is the author of 11 books, including "Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies.” In 2012, he was named one of the 25 "Best Green Architecture Firms" in the US, and one of the "Top 10 Most Influential Green Architects." In 2017, he was named one of Build's American Architecture Top 25. He holds a prestigious LEED Fellow award from the US Green Building Council.

Stephen Cheung
President
World Trade Center Los Angeles
Biography

Stephen Cheung

President
World Trade Center Los Angeles

Stephen Cheung is the Executive Vice President of LAEDC and the President of World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA).

Cheung leads investment attraction to the LA County region on behalf of both LAEDC and WTCLA, and facilitates successful location of new businesses, projects, and deals from both international and U.S. investors into the region.  He also supports international trade and international connections for organizations based in LA County.

Prior to his current role, Stephen Cheung was the Secretary General of International Trade and Foreign Affairs for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and was responsible for managing policies and programs related to the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports, International Affairs and Global Trade. In this role, he was the lead organizer for Mayor Garcetti’s previous international trade missions to Mexico, China, Korea and Japan.  Furthermore, Cheung implemented the city’s strategic plan to make Los Angeles a global capital of clean technology by building the infrastructure to support research, development and manufacturing with key partners.

Concurrently, Cheung was the Director of International Trade for the Port of Los Angeles – the busiest container port in North America, and was responsible for developing programs to increase trade through the Port of Los Angeles, and facilitate goods movement through the Southern California region.

Cheung currently sits on the Board of Advisors of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs and Sister Cities of Los Angeles, while also serving on LA Metro’s Sustainability Council and Biz-Fed’s International Trade Committee. He has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Regional Export Council and the Los Angeles Business Council.

Stephen was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Los Angeles where he received both his Bachelor of Arts in Psychobiology and Master of Arts in Social Welfare from UCLA. He is fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese.

Harlan Kelly
General Manager
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Harlan Kelly

General Manager
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. has been a speaker at the Verdexchange Conference and Expo for many years, and is the General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), the third largest municipal utility in California, which provides 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 began his tenure as General Manager in 2012, and has been in San Francisco government for 35 years in various capacities including City Engineer from 1996 to 2003.  He serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, and other entities.  His writing and insights are featured in The Value of Water – A Compendium of Essays by Smart CEOs

Gail Kennard
President
KDG Architects
Biography

Gail Kennard

President
KDG Architects

Gail Kennard is president of Kennard Design Group (KDG), a Los Angeles architectural firm founded in 1957 by Gail’s father, the late Robert Kennard, FAIA.  KDG is the oldest African-American-owned architectural practice in the West.  Work includes public infrastructure, transportation, and other public works projects.  Since 2010, she has served on the City of Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission and is currently the commission’s vice-president.  She is a strong advocate for sustainable design and seeks opportunities to serve the twin goals of historic preservation and sustainability through adaptive re-use of existing structures.

Jaime Carlson
Senior Advisor
SoftBank Energy
Biography

Jaime Carlson

Senior Advisor
SoftBank Energy

For over a decade, Jaime Carlson has specialized in renewable energy investment throughout the Americas. Jaime is currently Senior Advisor for SoftBank Energy’s Strategy and Investments Team. Prior, she was Executive Vice President at Cypress Creek Renewables, second-largest utility-scale solar developer in the US. Jaime served in President Obama’s first term as an advisor for finance and operations to then Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. During her three years, Jaime advised on financial instruments to expand US energy innovation and directly oversaw the deployment of over $35B in Recovery Act funds. Bloomberg New Energy Finance named her one of the country’s thought-leaders in Alternative Energy. Previously, Jaime was also Global Finance Director of TerraForm, a $2B publicly-traded renewable energy company operating 4GW globally. Prior to TerraForm, Jaime led mergers & acquisitions in US, Asia and South America for Rentech, Inc., a Blackstone-backed $550MM revenue natural resource company. She served as a financial associate at both private equity group Global Environment Fund and Launch Capital. Jaime was a founding member of Apertura Films, producer of “The Other Side,” an environmental and social documentary TV series named one of the best Latin American TV series of all times by Rolling Stone Magazine. Jaime received an MBA and MEM from Yale University and a BS from Tufts University. She is currently a Yale University alumni board member, Aspen Institute scholar, Truman National Security Project fellow and Pacific Council on International Policy member.

William Funderburk
Vice President
LADWP Board of Commissioners
Biography

William Funderburk

Vice President
LADWP Board of Commissioners

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.

Jeff Bleich
Former U.S. Ambassador to Australia
Biography

Jeff Bleich

Former U.S. Ambassador to Australia

Hon. Jeff Bleich is a partner in Dentons Public Policy and Regulation practice. He served four years as US ambassador to Australia and also as special counsel to President Obama in the White House. As ambassador, Jeff's term was marked by the US rebalance to the Asia­Pacific, with Australia being the focal point for that shift.  In addition to his professional practice and federal service, Jeff has served the state of California overseeing the nation’s largest higher education system as chair of the California State University Board of Trustees (2008–09), and the nation’s largest bar association as President of the California State Bar (2007–08). Jeff currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, appointed by President Obama. He also serves by appointment of Governor Jerry Brown on the Governor's 11-member International Trade and Investment Council. Jeff has been elected as a life member to the Council on Foreign Relations. 

Frank Bush
Executive Officer
Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety
Biography

Frank Bush

Executive Officer
Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety

Mr. Bush has over 26 years of experience with the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety and more than 37 years of experience in the construction industry. He holds a General Contractor’s License from the State of California and a Certification as a Combination Dwelling Inspector from the International Code Council (ICC). 

As the Executive Officer for the Department of Building and Safety (LADBS), Mr. Bush is responsible for managing operations of the department which includes approximately 1000 employees. He ensures that the LADBS mission, “to protect lives and safety of the residents and visitors of the City of Los Angeles and enhance the quality of life, housing, economic prosperity, and job creation citywide and to advise, guide, assist customers to achieve compliance with the Building, Zoning, Plumbing, Mechanical, Electrical, Disabled Access, Energy and Green codes local and State laws to Build Safe, Well and Fast”, is accomplished. 

Mr. Bush has developed and implemented numerous operational policies and procedures that have improved customer service and created many efficiencies. 

He has received numerous awards and recognition from City and State and Federal elected officials, community leaders, property owner associations, Los Angeles Police Department and other city departments for his dedication to public service and for resolving community blight issues throughout the City of Los Angeles. 

Mr. Bush began his City career as an inspector and promoted through the ranks to his current position as Executive Officer. 

Prior to his City service he was a licensed General Contractor and operated his own construction company where he was involved in new construction and remodel of large and small commercial and residential projects. 

Mr. Bush is married to Judy; they have four children and nine grandchildren. Together, they are actively involved in community service work. 

PROFESSIONAL LICENSES / CERTIFICATIONS 

• Member - California Building Officials (CALBO) 

• Certified Combination Dwelling Inspector – International Code Council 

• General Contractor – California State Contractors License Board 

• Certified Public Information Officer and Disaster Recovery – California State Training Institute 

• Certified Disaster Service Worker – California Office of Emergency Services ID#73398 / Building Inspector - CALBO 

• Certified FEMA Advanced Incident Command, Complex ICS, National ICS – Homeland Security

 

Rachel Malarich
City Forest Officer
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Rachel Malarich

City Forest Officer
City of Los Angeles

 In keeping with the Mayor’s city and global agenda, the City of LA appointed Rachel Malarich to be its first City Forest Officer, asked with overseeing the city’s urban forest management, guiding the city to goal on its plan for planting 90,000 trees by 2021, and facilitating cooperation between the City’s departments to achieve a more equitable urban canopy. Prior to her appointment, Malarich was the environmental services manager for Koreatown Youth and Community Center and has been working in urban forestry in the Los Angeles area for more than a decade, focused on serving and increasing tree canopy in high-need communities. Rachel is also a Street Tree Seminar board member, an ISA-Certified arborist, and the former director of forestry for TreePeople.

 

 

Nate Lewis
Scientific Director and Principal Investigator, Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis
Department of Energy; California Institute of Technology
Biography

Nate Lewis

Scientific Director and Principal Investigator, Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis
Department of Energy; California Institute of Technology

Dr. Nathan S. Lewis is the George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology and Principal Investigator in the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, the DOE’s Energy Innovation Hub in Fuels from Sunlight.

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.

John Withers
Board of Directors Member
Irvine Ranch Water District
Biography

John Withers

Board of Directors Member
Irvine Ranch Water District

John Withers applies his extensive background in project management, land development, real estate asset enhancement, water resource management and local government to find solutions to challenging regulatory, resource and development issues.

John Withers brings to California Strategies more than 28 years of results-oriented experience in water resources and regulation; real estate development, entitlement and asset protection, and government relations.  He is able to find pathways to solutions that others miss because he has worked on all sides of the issues, attacking problems as an applicant, an elected official, a regulator and a consultant.

Since joining California Strategies, Withers has:

  • Worked with developers of large master-planned communities, including Lennar, Lewis Operating Corp, DMB and Suncal, to solve complex issues
  • Helped leading merchant builders and REITS, including William Lyon Homes, Centex, Shea, Sares Regis and Western National Properties, strategically reposition assets in a challenging  marketplace
  • Assisted public agencies such as the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District, Inland Empire Utility Agency, Palmdale Water District, the City of Chino, the City of Desert Hot Springs and others accomplish key goals
  • Guided companies such as Fluor, RBF, HDR, Turner Construction and others wishing to do business with government understand the context and intricacies of that process.

Withers spent more than 10 years as a director for Psomas and Associates, a leading civil engineering firm, where he helped establish a successful water resources practice that grew to 22 employees, generating annual revenue of $2.4 million.  Withers also has served in a variety of development and policy assignments including Director of Governmental Affairs for the Orange County chapter of the California Building Industry Association and as a Legislative Advocate in Sacramento for the statewide chapter.

Recognizing his management and regulatory expertise, Lewis Operating Corporation, one of the nation's premier land development and real estate investment firms, hired him as Vice President, responsible for the entitlement and development of a 9,000-unit master-planned community in the Chino agriculture preserve.

California Strategies clients also benefit from the government relations insights Withers has gained from his numerous elected and appointed government positions.  He has served for over 20 years as an elected director (and former Board President) of the Irvine Ranch Water District, for 17 years as a commissioner (and former Chairman) of the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), and as a governor's appointed board member (and former Chairman) of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board.  He is especially proud to have been appointed to the Water Quality Control Board by both Republican Governors Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic Governor Gray Davis.

His expertise in water issues has been recognized by the National Water Research Institute,and the Urban Water Institute, which have invited him to serve on their Boards of Directors.  He also serves on the statewide AB331 Blue Ribbon Committee that is working to remove obstacles to expand the use of recycled water.

A native Southern Californian, Withers attended Los Angeles city schools and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and urban studies from UCLA. He was one of the few selected to be a Coro Foundation fellow and earned a Master of Arts degree in urban studies from Occidental College.

Harry Atwater
Director
Resnick Sustainability Institute at Caltech
Biography

Harry Atwater

Director
Resnick Sustainability Institute at Caltech

Dr. Harry A. Atwater is the Founding Director of the Resnick Sustainability Institute at the California Institute of Technology and Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science. He is the founder of venture-backed solar energy companies Alta Devices and Caelux, and also currently directs the DOE Light Material Interactions Energy Frontier Research Center at Caltech. Dr. Atwater's research interests include photovoltaics, solar energy conversion, optical metamaterials and nanoscale optical phenomena. He has over 400 papers in journals, conferences and technical magazines, and 30 issued patents.  He is recipient of the 2012 Eni Award for Renewable and non-Conventional Energy and the 2012 Green Photonics Award of the SPIE.

He has Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and has served as a faculty member at Caltech and Harvard. 

Debra Coy
Partner
XVP Water Partners
Biography

Debra Coy

Partner
XVP Water Partners

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. 

Gary Gero
Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles County
Biography

Gary Gero

Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles County

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors appointed Gary Gero to be the County’s first Chief Sustainability Officer in November 2016.  His duties include: building and launching the largest community choice energy program in California; creating a countywide sustainability plan that addresses regional environmental, economic, and equity issues; and serving as the key environmental advisor to the Board of Supervisors.

Gary previously served as the President of the Climate Action Reserve, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Los Angeles and operating across North America.  He now serves as the Vice-Chair on its Board of Directors. He has also served on the CFTC’s Energy and Environmental Markets Committee, the board of California Invasive Plant Council, and the Glendale City Planning Commission.

Gary’s career includes many years in local government including having served as the Assistant General Manager for the City of Los Angeles Environmental Affairs Department.  He also worked for several years at the LADWP where he oversaw energy efficiency, renewable energy, and distributed generation programs.

Gary earned his Master's degree from the London School of Economics and his undergraduate degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Gaurav Sant
CEO
CO2Concrete
Biography

Dr. Gaurav Sant

CEO
CO2Concrete

Gaurav is an Associate Professor and a Henry Samueli Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Sant’s research interests include interfacial solid-liquid, solid-vapor, and solid-liquid-vapor reactions including dissolution, precipitation, and electrochemical corrosion with applications to (i) cement, concrete, porous media, (ii) hard biological tissues, (iii) metals and alloys, (iv) natural and synthetic minerals, and (v) glasses. In his research, special focus is placed on understanding the origin of formation, degradation and aging dynamics of such materials in aqueous environments of relevance to engineered, biological and geological systems. Dr. Sant received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Purdue University in 2009. Gaurav is also the CEO of CO2Concrete LLC, an early-stage company that is developed a transformative mineralization technology to convert flue gas borne CO2 into concrete products. CO2Concrete is a Finalist in the Carbon XPRIZE competition and was recognized as a Global Top10 Innovation at the Innovation for Cool Earth Forum in Tokyo in 2018.

Michael Keating
Founder & CEO
Scoot Networks
Biography

Michael Keating

Founder & CEO
Scoot Networks

Michael Keating is the Founder & CEO of Scoot Networks, the largest personal electric transportation service in the United States. Michael founded Scoot to bring fast, affordable, electric transportation to cities everywhere. Prior to founding Scoot, Michael built a successful transportation software business at OpenPlans, and was a management consultant with GreenOrder and The Boston Consulting Group. Michael is a graduate of Wesleyan University, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Harvard Business School.

Sean Chigusa
President and Chief Executive Officer
TATSUNO North America, Inc.
Biography

Sean Chigusa

President and Chief Executive Officer
TATSUNO North America, Inc.

Dr. Sean Chigusa is a President and Chief Executive Officer at TATSUNO North America, INC., which is the US subsidiary of TATSUNO Corporation (Tokyo, Japan) and supervises all aspects of the hydrogen infrastructure equipment  business, operations, and activities in North America. He has more than 25 years of experience in the automotive industry include Fuel Cell Technology for FCV. Prior to joining TATSUNO, Sean served for four years as Senior Manager of the Kobelco Compressors America, where he provided leadership for the business development for hydrogen station equipment in North America.  Sean works with ISO/TC 197 (hydrogen technology) working groups as U.S. delegation, SAE Fuel Cell Interface Task Force and CSA/HGV as committee member for build code and standard of hydrogen station related technology. He also works with HySUT (The Association of Hydrogen Supply and Utilization Technology - Tokyo, Japan) as technical program adviser. He makes a significant contribution to build a great relation in hydrogen technology between United States and Japan. Sean has more than over 25 years of automotive advanced technology research in research experience in Toyota Motor Corporation (United States and Japan) such as the intelligent diagnostic system for Li-ion battery life prediction, Fuel Cell System diagnostic system using artificial intelligence technique.

Richard Hammond
Senior Vice President
GRIDiant
Biography

Richard Hammond

Senior Vice President
GRIDiant

Richard Hammond has an extensive background in energy, environmental, and natural resources law and policy, with emphasis on development and implementation of new policies, programs, and technologies. He has been involved for twelve years in marketing, structuring, funding, and implementing GRIDfast technology applications and projects, through which GRIDfast product applications have progressed through testing, verification, development, and commercialization. Mr. Hammond was a partner in an international corporate law firm from 1986-2000. He served previously as an environmental policy consultant to a major gold mining company, as a Special Assistant to Governor Brown of California, as Undersecretary for Resources in the State of California Resources Agency, as Senior Energy Advisor in the California Governor’s Office of Planning & Research, and as Legal Counsel to the California Coastal Commission, where he led the research, development, and early applications of the Commission’s initial coastal energy facility siting plans, policies, and procedures. Mr. Hammond is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia Law School. He is admitted to the Bar Associations of California and New York, and is an active member of the California Bar Association.

Kraig Schwigen
Senior Vice President, World Wide Operations
CMB Export, LLC
Biography

Kraig Schwigen

Senior Vice President, World Wide Operations
CMB Export, LLC

The Senior Vice President for Worldwide Operations of the CMB Regional Centers is Kraig A. Schwigen. CMB Export, LLC and CMB Summit, LLC were founded by Patrick F. Hogan who still serves as the President of both companies. CMB Export, LLC was authorized as a Regional Center in 1997 under the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service and the EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program. CMB, as a Regional Center, pools investor capital from around the world with the ultimate goal of obtaining permanent residency in the United States for their investors and the creation of new American jobs as a result of each investment. Since 2008, CMB has raised $400 million in EB-5 investor capital that has been married up to well over $3 billion in total project spending which has lead to the creation of no fewer than 10,000 new American jobs.

 Mr. Schwigen has had a professional relationship with Mr. Hogan since 1998. Mr. Schwigen served with the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department for over twenty three years. Prior to his retirement from law enforcement in 2008 he rose to the rank of Lieutenant. During his career he was responsible for overseeing numerous divisions within the department including Investigation, Fugitive, Patrol, Professional Standards and Administrator of the County Jail. Additionally, Mr. Schwigen has over fifteen years involvement in the new home construction and real estate development industries, recently completing one of the largest home subdivisions in Western Illinois.

Currently, Mr. Schwigen oversees all aspects of CMB’s worldwide operations including the development and expansion of CMB’s presence in the EB-5 industry and investor marketplace. He is very active in the Invest in the USA (IIUSA) organization and chairs the Best Practices Committee. He and Mr. Hogan have worked closely with the Ohio Department of Development in developing the framework that would allow EB-5 infrastructure investments to become a part of the State’s future infrastructure plans. Mr. Schwigen’s recent focus within CMB has become more related to Project Development as other senior staff  have been added and primary responsibilities have shifted freeing up more time for the development of future CMB investment projects.

Keith Lilley
Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works
Biography

Keith Lilley

Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works

Mr. Lilley is an Assistant Deputy Director with Los Angeles County Public Works and has over 25 years of experience in water resources engineering.   His efforts at the department have included managing the Departments Dam Safety Program and developing infrastructure enhancement programs to increase stormwater capture for water supply and to reduce flood risk to downstream communities.  He currently oversees integrated water resources planning for the Los Angeles County Flood Control District which operates and maintains 14 major dams, 26 spreading grounds, 162 debris basins, and 500 miles of open channel.  His current focus includes updating the County’s 1996 Los Angeles River Master Plan thru a robust stakeholder driven process, and  implementing the Los Angeles County’s new Safe, Clean Water Program to build multi-benefit local and regional stormwater capture, treatment and reuse projects to be funded with a parcel tax approved by County voters in 2018.  Mr. Lilley received his B.S in Civil Engineering from Louisiana State University and a Certificate in Engineering Management for Construction from University of California, Los Angeles.

Robb Whitaker
General Manager
Water Replenishment District
Biography

Robb Whitaker

General Manager
Water Replenishment District

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.

Dr. Ren Orans
Founder and Managing Partner
E3
Biography

Dr. Ren Orans

Founder and Managing Partner
E3

Dr. Ren Orans founded E3 in 1989. An economist and engineer, he has focused throughout his career on the most pressing challenges facing the electricity industry. Most recently his major focus has been on advising California’s regulators and stakeholders on the most effective ways to implement the state’s clean energy and greenhouse gas mitigation policies.

Ren began his career by demonstrating the potential of deploying distributed energy resources to defer infrastructure investments, saving costs and enabling the integration of renewables into the grid. During the restructuring era of the 1990s, he devised a rate-making mechanism that enabled Texas utilities to recover stranded costs while giving retail customers access to wholesale market prices. He also supported the opening of transmission markets by developing FERC-compliant tariffs for Canadian utilities and assisting the California ISO in developing tariffs and evaluation processes for transmission projects.

Ren is a longtime advisor to policy makers and executives in every corner of the electricity arena: government agencies, utilities, system operators, regulators, independent power producers, energy technology companies, public interest organizations, and investors. He has also published his work widely in top scholarly journals and served as an expert witness on numerous occasions.

Even after 25-plus years of analyzing the industry, Ren still finds the electricity sector fascinating. He’s particularly excited by the accelerating pace of change, which technological innovation and public policy are driving. He enjoys applying E3’s deep analytic models and years of experience to new challenges and new markets.

Brad Copithorne
Vice President of Commercial PACE Programs
Renewable Funding, LLC
Biography

Brad Copithorne

Vice President of Commercial PACE Programs
Renewable Funding, LLC
Alexander McDonough
Vice President, Public Policy
Sunrun
Biography

Alexander McDonough

Vice President, Public Policy
Sunrun

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. 

Jonathan Naimon
Founder/Managing Partner
Light Green Advisors
Biography

Jonathan Naimon

Founder/Managing Partner
Light Green Advisors

Mr. Naimon is the founder of Light Green Advisors (LGA), a sustainable asset management company, which manages climate change funds for institutional investors including one of California’s public employee pension funds.  LGA has advised a series of environmental funds and trusts for investors in Europe and the US that utilize the firm’s “best-in-class” model for resource efficiency and sustainability.  In 2011, the Chinese government adopted the emissions rates metrics pioneered by LGA in the late 1990s to gauge its climate efficiency progress.

Mr. Naimon has particular expertise in solar finance, having advised Sun Edison on the development of its third party tax equity finance model. Sun Edison, now part of MEMC, is among the top owner & operators of solar projects in the US and worldwide.   Prior to founding LGA, Mr. Naimon held both management and technical positions at a think tank (IRRC) acquired by MSCI, Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), ICF International, and the Energy & Commerce Committee of the US House of Representatives.  Mr. Naimon has served as a visiting professor on sustainable finance at the Norwegian School of Management in Norway and taught cost benefit analysis at Carnegie Mellon University Heinz School. He has a MS in Environmental Management from the University of North Carolina and a BS in Biology and Cognitive Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Frances Spivy-Weber
Board Member
State Water Resources Control Board
Biography

Frances Spivy-Weber

Board Member
State Water Resources Control Board

Frances Spivy-Weber was re-appointed as the Public Member of the State Water Resources Control Board on March 1, 2009.  She serves as Vice Chair of the Board and is the Board liaison to the Los Angeles, San Diego, Central Coast, and Lahontan Regional Boards and the Ocean Protection Council Steering Committee.  She represents the Secretary of CalEPA on the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission.  

Prior to joining the Board, she was the Executive Director of the Mono Lake Committee for almost ten years; International Programs Director of National Audubon Society for almost ten years.  Fran has served on numerous state and regional water advisory groups and task forces, including the Bay-Delta Public Advisory committee, co-chairing its Water Use Efficiency Subcommittee; State Water Plan 2005 Advisory Committee; California Landscape Task Force 2005; State Water Recycling Task Force 2003; Governor’s Advisory Drought Planning Panel 2000.

Ms. Spivy-Weber has served as convener and on the Board of the California Urban Water Conservation Council, co-convener of the Southern California Water Dialogue, and on the Boards of the Water Education Foundation, California Council of Land Trusts, and Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund.  Fran has a BA from the University of Texas in history and political science and an MA from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.  She has four years of graduate coursework in biology from Sacramento and San Francisco State Universities.

Chris Pak
Founder and Principal
Archeon Group
Biography

Chris Pak

Founder and Principal
Archeon Group

An award-winning architect, the founder and principal of Archeon International Group, Mr. Pak has developed Archeon into a multi-disciplined Development, Architectural, Planning, Construction Management and Project Management firm, providing comprehensive professional services to both domestic and international clients.  Strengthening its global presence, Archeon has forged strategic international alliances with many premier companies in Asia: Marubeni, Sun Wah Group, Shimizu Constructors, Hanil Cement, Asia Financial Group, Kowloon Development and more.  The firm has spearheaded notable projects in China and South-East Asia, such as the 22-story Sun Wah Tower in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam the first major construction of its kind by an American architect since the Vietnam War. 

As a developer, Mr. Pak was a General Partner/Developer and Architect in the development of Solair, one of the first mix-use transit oriented project in Los Angeles.  The Solair is a $160 Million, 22-story development comprised of 40,000 SF of retail and 186 luxury condominiums above a MTA Subway portal.  The Solair was completed on time and on budget in May of 2009.  Currently, Mr. Pak is the principal development consultant to Jamison Services providing feasibility, planning and architectural services on numerous office building conversions to residential and new mix use residential and retail construction projects.

Domestically, Archeon has developed a reputation as a diverse, creative and results-oriented design firm.  Mr. Pak has directed both public and private sector projects for such clients as the LA Unified School District, LA County MTA, City of LA Housing Department, City of LA Community Redevelopment Agency, Belmont Village Corporation, Legacy Partners, Shamrock Holdings, Jamison Services, Atlas Capital Group, Hazens USA.  Some of the significant local projects include the renovation of the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the first hotel built in Hollywood, and the former I. Magnin Building; high-end Assisted Living Facilities throughout Southern California; designed over 2,000 units affordable housing projects for various communities; development of a 350,000 SF Wholesale Condominiums in the Fashion District, Downtown Los Angeles; and 150,000 SF Retail/Health/Sports facility in Wilshire Center, Los Angeles with the first enclosed golf driving range.

Mr. Pak actively contributes and demonstrates his leadership in various capacities with several civic, professional, and non-profit organizations.  Mr. Pak was the CEO/President of a start-up community website, Asia America Online, in 2000 and successfully launched the website in the same year.  Mr. Pak was recruited by Brainrush, an internet incubator firm in Oakland, California.  Formerly on Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, he was the first Asian-American Board Member since its inception in 1927.  Appointed by Mayor Riordan, Mr. Pak has also served the City of LA as the Chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Board of Airport Commissioners, responsible for the operations and expansion of the third busiest airport in the nation, and a Member of the Board of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, a board responsible for establishing a new system of neighborhood councils to increase government responsiveness to its citizens.  Mr. Pak served the State of California as Commissioner to the Southern California Water Quality Control Board, appointed by then Governor Gray Davis and was a Board Member of the California League of Conservation Voters, a politically influential environmental organization.  Also, Mayor James Hahn appointed Mr. Pak to the Board of Recreation and Parks Commission.  In his local community, he currently serves the Los Angeles Archdiocese as a member of the Building Commission, the Board of Governors for the Little Tokyo Service Center and has been involved as a Board Member to the Westchester YMCA, Lend-A-Hand Foundation, and Asia America Symphony.  Promoting diversity in businesses, Mr. Pak has shared his expertise as a Community Advisory Member to the National Bank of California, Southern California Edison.

Mr. Pak received his Bachelor of Architecture from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Miguel Sangalang
Deputy Mayor for Budget & Innovation
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Miguel Sangalang

Deputy Mayor for Budget & Innovation
City of Los Angeles

Miguel Sangalang serves as the Deputy Mayor for Budget & Innovation for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and coordinates general functions of the city: budget, performance management, sustainability, technology, data and innovation. In this role, he serves as a senior consultant to city departments and the direct policy branches of the Mayor’s Office. Miguel also manages a portfolio of five city departments with over 3,000 personnel. Prior to this role, he served as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Director of Performance Management. Born in the Philippines and raised in Southern California, he graduated from UCLA with a degree in Japanese and public policy and was active on the Men’s Sabre Team.

Steve Sullivan
Former Managing Director
Southern California Edison
Biography

Steve Sullivan

Former Managing Director
Southern California Edison

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.

Hiroshi Katayama
Deputy Director, Advanced Energy Systems and Structure Division
Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
Biography

Hiroshi Katayama

Deputy Director, Advanced Energy Systems and Structure Division
Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)

Deputy Director, Advanced Energy Systems and Structure Division/ Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Strategy Office, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)

Hiroshi Katayama is the Deputy Director responsible for the energy policy focusing on new technologies including hydrogen and fuel cells as well as batteries and distributed energy resources. His mission is to promote Japan’s energy transition towards low carbon, sustainable and secure energy systems. He is responsible for a number of R&D and demonstration projects with over $300 million annual budget. As a main editor he recently led the formulation of “Basic Hydrogen Strategy” by the Ministerial Council on Renewable Energy, Hydrogen and Related Issues in December 2017.

He is a technical official of METI with a Master of Engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology, and a Master of Public Administration from London School of Economics. Over 10 years, he was engaged in policy planning and coordination in several divisions including information technology policy, intellectual property policy and energy policy.

Ben Stapleton
Executive Director
US Green Building Council
Biography

Ben Stapleton

Executive Director
US Green Building Council

Ben Stapleton is an LA native who brings a creative mind and consultative approach to a wide range of projects with a focus on building teams and designing programs to deliver impactful results. His current work is based on coordinating an ecosystem leveraging the built environment as the entry point and connective fabric to help create a more sustainable society for all as Executive Director for the U.S. Green Building Council - Los Angeles. 

He launched and then managed the La Kretz Innovation Campus in Downtown LA while leading operations, finance, and major program initiatives for the LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI). The Campus has become an epicenter for sustainability in the region and an iconic green building for the LADWP and the City of LA, featuring events with prominent thought leaders, while being home to a community of cutting-edge businesses and nonprofits. 

His other past work has included real estate advisory, energy efficiency consulting, facilities operations, site selection, and project management as well as business and strategy development for a wide range of companies and real estate investors. His talents and insight have proven invaluable in managing, negotiating, and executing on complex real estate projects while delivering technology startups and community programs that exceed expectations.

In 2008, he founded JLL's global Cleantech Practice Group, which focused on representing renewable energy and clean technology companies in addressing their real estate needs. This only fueled his passion to explore the nexus of energy and real estate, coming to the belief that increasing the efficiency of our buildings is one of the most powerful tools to create a truly sustainable society. 

He is a recipient of JLL's distinctive Da Vinci Award for Innovation and CoStar’s Power Broker designation in the Los Angeles market, and served as the Managing Director for the LA Better Buildings Challenge, launching the program in 2011 and growing participation to over 60M square feet of commercial buildings.

Panama Bartholomy
Director
Building Decarbonization Coalition
Biography

Panama Bartholomy

Director
Building Decarbonization Coalition

Forging partnerships among varying disciplines and stakeholders, Panama Bartholomy has managed and facilitated the creation and implementation of some of the largest climate and energy programs in the United States. Panama’s work focuses on finding policy and program solutions for communities facing energy efficiency, renewable energy, land use and climate change challenges. Panama combines frontline experience with state and local government policy and has dealt extensively in the regulatory and utility arenas.  

Previously, Panama was the Advisor on Energy and Natural Resources to California Assembly Speaker John A. Perez where he oversaw the State of California’s energy and environmental legislation and budget. He earlier served as Deputy Director of the California Energy Commission’s Efficiency and Renewables Division and advisor for Chairmen Douglas and Pfannenstiel, worked for the California Conservation Corps on vocational environmental education, and ran the Sustainable Schools program for the Division of the State Architect. Panama served on the City of Sacramento Planning Commission and the County of Sacramento Environmental Commission, and is a former board member on the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and past president of the Northern California Chapter of the USGBC.

Adam Krantz
CEO
National Association of Water Agencies
Biography

Adam Krantz

CEO
National Association of Water Agencies

Adam Krantz is currently CEO of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), where he has served in a number of positions since May 2001.  Mr. Krantz directs an unparalleled team in Washington, DC, that advocates on behalf of the nation’s public clean water agencies on an array of regulatory, legislative, legal and communication initiatives 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 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. 

 

Tom Martinez
Executive Director Business Development
I.B.E.W. Local #11
Biography

Tom Martinez

Executive Director Business Development
I.B.E.W. Local #11
Zaib Shaikh
Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles
Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles
Biography

Zaib Shaikh

Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles
Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles
Tom Walsh
Consultant
Kanaflex
Biography

Tom Walsh

Consultant
Kanaflex

WALSH CONSULTING SERVICES/ supporting Kanaflex for more than 10yrs

Executive Director of the Plastics Pipe Institute. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Boston College

Dr.Tom Walsh is Kanaflex Corporation's (Vernon Hill) consultant for plastic pipe engineering and sales division for more than 10 years. He is over viewing Kanflex product development as well as sales strategies.

Walsh Consulting Services  Houston, Texas

Walsh Consulting Services provides strategic business and market analysis as well as failure analysis, expert witness and technical consulting in plastics applications. Walsh Consulting has a broad in-depth industrial background in R&D, product development, technical services, application development, sales, failure analysis, standards development, product approvals, regulatory relations, government relations, marketing, market development, business development, as well as business unit and trade association management.

Walsh Consulting has experience and knowledge over a broad range of plastics including polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP),
polyvinyl chloride (PVC), fluoropolymers (PVDF), engineering thermoplastics, thermoplastic alloys, and filled and reinforced compounds. I have experience in polymer processing including injection molding, blow molding, shhet extrusion, film extrusion, pipe extrusion, fibers, strapping, thermoforming, compression molding and rotational molding. Walsh Consulting provides internationally recognized expert consulting in the areas of plastic piping materials, plastic pipe testing, and long term durability of plastics.

Honors & Awards

American Society for Testing and Materials - Special Service Award - 2012

American Society for Testing and Materials - Committee F17 - Plastic Piping Systems

American Society for Testing and Materials - Award of Merit - 2007

American Society for Testing and Materials - Fellow - 2007

American Society for Testing and Materials - Committee F17 Plastic Piping -Certificate of Appreciation – 2006

American Society for Testing and Materials - committee F17 Plastic Piping - Paul Finn Memorial Award - 2005

American Society for Testing and Materials - Special Service Award - Committee F17 Plastic Piping – 2003

Society of Plastics Engineers - South Texas Section - Award in Recognition of Long Term Service - 2006

Society of Plastics Engineers - Honored Service Award - 2003

 

Carl Stills
Vice President, Imperial Valley Development and Storage Integration
8minutenergy
Biography

Carl Stills

Vice President, Imperial Valley Development and Storage Integration
8minutenergy

Carl has over 40 years of utility industry experience managing energy for California’s sixth largest utility, the Imperial Irrigation District, as the Energy Manager and the Portfolio Management Officer. During his tenure at the utility, Carl initiated strategic project management, implemented processes that saved hundreds of millions in costs, and oversaw the implementation of battery storage projects. As a member of the Geothermal Energy Association board, Carl helped initiate the use of renewable energy as a catalyst for addressing the Salton Sea environmental issues.

Carl is the Vice President of Imperial Valley Development and Storage Integration for 8minutenergy. He oversees the development of renewable projects in Imperial Valley and works with 8minutenergy’s storage team to bring energy storage projects to fruition.

Carl has over 40 years of utility industry experience managing energy for California’s sixth largest utility, the Imperial Irrigation District, as the Energy Manager and the Portfolio Management Officer. During his tenure at the utility, Carl initiated strategic project management, implemented processes that saved hundreds of millions in costs, and oversaw the implementation of battery storage projects. As a member of the Geothermal Energy Association board, Carl helped initiate the use of renewable energy as a catalyst for addressing the Salton Sea environmental issues.

Carl is the Vice President of Imperial Valley Development and Storage Integration for 8minutenergy. He oversees the development of renewable projects in Imperial Valley and works with 8minutenergy’s storage team to bring energy storage projects to fruition.

Lauren Faber O'Connor
Chief Sustainability Officer
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Lauren Faber O'Connor

Chief Sustainability Officer
City of Los Angeles

Lauren Faber O'Connor is the Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Los Angeles. In her role as Deputy CSO she drove the implementation of the Sustainable City pLAn, released in April 2015, which puts forth an actionable vision for transforming LA's environment, economy and equity. Working across every city department, Lauren focuses on strategic integration of the pLAn's pillars in order to reach the City's ambitious climate and clean energy goals, ensure benefits accrue to all communities in LA, and pursue regional and international collaborations. Prior to joining the Garcetti Administration, Lauren served for four years as the West Coast Political Director for the Environmental Defense Fund in San Francisco. At EDF she worked on building successful strategies and constructive partnerships to win support on innovative approaches to protecting and promoting climate, clean energy, land, water and wildlife. In 2010 Lauren was appointed to Assistant Secretary for Climate Change Programs at the California Environmental Protection Agency, where she was dedicated to the design and implementation of California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act. Prior to her work at CalEPA, Lauren served as senior director for Lighthouse Consulting Group in Washington, D.C., where she advised on comprehensive national climate change and energy strategies for domestic and international companies, and non-government organizations, and in particular, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership. From 2005-2009 Lauren served at the British Embassy as the Senior Policy Advisor for climate change and energy.

Lauren sits on the Board of the California League of Conservation Voters, is a member of the Catto Fellowship for environmental leadership at the Aspen Institute, and a member of the Truman National Security Project Political Partnership. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Earth Systems and Economics from Stanford University, and Master’s degree in Climate and Society from Columbia University.

Akihiko Tobe
Senior Director
Smart City Business Management Division Hitachi, Ltd.
Biography

Akihiko Tobe

Senior Director
Smart City Business Management Division Hitachi, Ltd.
Thomas Small
Councilmember
Culver City City Council
Biography

Thomas Small

Councilmember
Culver City City Council

Thomas Aujero Small was elected to City Council in 2016, having previously served as Commissioner of Cultural Affairs. Culver City is the place where the cities of the world come to see their future, an historic, urbanist mecca at the heart of the LA metropolis, home to Apple and Amazon Studios. Small’s work with the city has focused on excellence in urban planning, sustainable design and mobility, including the Transit Oriented District Visioning process. He recently led the effort for the city to win grants from the Mayor’s Innovation Project, the Harvard Behavioral Insight Group, and the National Institute for Civil Discourse, for programs to enhance public outreach for neighborhood planning and alternative modes of transportation. He leads the Ballona Creek Revitalization Task Force, and the General Plan Update subcommittee. He serves on the LA Metro Sustainability Council, and the Transportation Policy Committee for the Southern California Association of Governments. He represents the API Caucus of the League of CA Cities on the League’s Housing and Econ Dev. Policy Committee. At a national level, he participates in New American Leaders and Local Progress, both based in Washington, D.C.

Small has been featured or quoted on design or mobility in the New York Times, the LA Times, NPR and the Washington Post, and was recently interviewed live on CNBC on new transit technology. He has moderated design awards juries in New York and Copenhagen, and made numerous international presentations, most recently including keynote speeches at the RAND Corporation and the International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure. As an architectural writer and consultant, he has worked on projects in urban and sustainable design and planning, development and historic preservation in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He taught Sustainability for Organizational Change at UCLA, and studied at Yale, the University of Paris, and the Columbia School of Journalism. He is the Chair of the Board for Jacaranda Music, an internationally renowned producer of modern classical music concerts. He lives with his wife Joanna Brody, and their two children and two giant sheep dogs, in the sustainably designed, much published home that they built in 2007.

As an architectural writer and consultant, he has worked on projects in urban and sustainable design and planning, development and historic preservation in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. These projects include the development of White City, Baku, in Azerbaijan, the restoration of the Japanese House and Gardens at the Huntington Library, and the design of modern services for Zhouzhuang, the ancient water-town in China known as the Venice of the East.

Thomas has moderated international design awards juries in San Francisco, New York and Copenhagen, and made presentations at the World Green Building Conference in Tokyo and the International Livable Cities Conference in London. At UCLA, he taught Sustainability for Organizational Change in the Business Section of the Sustainability Certificate Program. He is the Chair of the Board for Jacaranda Music, an internationally renowned producer of modern classical music concerts. He graduated from Yale University with honors, held a French National Fellowship at the Nouvelle Sorbonne of the University of Paris, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship at the Columbia School of Journalism.

Lauren Michele
Principal/Founder
Policy in Motion
Biography

Lauren Michele

Principal/Founder
Policy in Motion

Lauren earned a Master's of Science degree from the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies after working as a transportation planning professional at Fehr & Peers, a climate change policy analyst at the Center for Clean Air Policy in Washington D.C., and an air quality program assistant at the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.  At the UC Davis Urban Land Use and Transportation Center (ULTRANS) she focused on the links between California’s Senate Bill 375 and developing federal climate/energy legislation and the transportation reauthorization.  Her academic work includes teaching undergraduate courses in Transportation Policy at UC Davis and experiential learning while living and researching multi-modal transportation planning in Europe.

Lauren currently serves as Policy Director for the Transportation Coalition for Livable Communities -- an organization which includes the California Alliance for Jobs, California Transit Association, National Resources Defense Council, League of California Cities, State Association of Counties, and the Metropolitan Planning Organizations and Councils of Governments throughout the state. The Coalition promotes the investment of cap and trade revenue to address both the greenhouse gas reduction goals of AB 32 and critical transportation system maintenance and operation needs that build on the framework of SB 375 and other GHG reduction strategies.

Her firm, Policy in Motion, specializes in sustainable transportation policy.  Policy in Motion offers planning practitioners, policy makers, and public agencies an understanding of how to integrate sustainability policy into transportation infrastructure and land use decisions.  Lauren Michele’s book, "Policy in Motion: Transportation Planning in California after AB 32" explores the State's evolving policies for sustainable living through transportation planning, and identifies how outdated regulatory frameworks must be aligned with supporting paradigm shifts if California is to move forward in a truly unified vision for “People-Oriented Development” and transportation.  Lauren's 2012 film documentary, "Policy in Motion: Growing Beautiful Communities" continues to explore how an integrated approach to transportation planning and funding based on "People-Oriented Development" (POD) can improve community quality of life while meeting California’s environmental and economic goals. Policy in Motion’s book and film are available for purchase on-line at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and www.policyinmotion.com.

Kelvin Hiraishi
Director, R&D Engineering West
Mazda North American Operations
Biography

Kelvin Hiraishi

Director, R&D Engineering West
Mazda North American Operations

Works to develop attractive products that contribute to successful North American Business Plan, focusing upstream in Advance Development Research, Technical Development and Brand / Quality Enhancement.

Brian Watt
Business Reporter
KPCC
Biography

Brian Watt

Business Reporter
KPCC

Brian Watt covers working and entrepreneurship for KPCC. He joined the KPCC news team in 2007. Prior to that, he worked as a producer at "Marketplace," where he filed a number of his own stories and even filled in some mornings as host. Brian's work for KPCC has won numerous awards. In 2008, Brian won “First Place for Business and Financial Coverage – Broadcast” from the Los Angeles Press Club. He’s won two Golden Mike awards from the Radio and TV News Association of Southern California, including Best Consumer/Financial Reporting in 2010. 

Jeff Guido
Director, Special Programs
Planet
Biography

Jeff Guido

Director, Special Programs
Planet

Jeff Guido is the Director, Special Programs for Planet, leading cross-functional teams in incubating future space missions, improving the company’s operational space systems and maturing business processes. Leveraging an earlier career in the USAF, Jeff acts as a conduit for management ideas and methods to flow between DoD space and Silicon Valley. A subscriber to servant leadership, Jeff believes that through nurturing healthy and trusting environments for teams, no matter if they are operational military units or highly technical engineering teams, any group can achieve ambitious goals. At Planet, Jeff guided a cross-functional team that improved the productivity and reliability of the SkySat constellation driving imagery throughput up by 10x over a 12-month period. While at Google, Jeff led a 14-person operations team in automating the operations of the largest ever high-resolution satellite constellation, ending the 24-hour operations cycle and achieving “light’s out” operations at night. In his Air Force career, Jeff led satellite sub-system development programs, operated the US’s most secure satellite communication system, and executed rocket tests for missile defense programs. Jeff has his bachelors and masters in Electrical Engineering.

Joe Jankosky
Director, IntelligentHome New Verticals
Time Warner Cable
Biography

Joe Jankosky

Director, IntelligentHome New Verticals
Time Warner Cable

Joe develops new businesses for Time Warner Cable’s IntelligentHome platform, specifically in energy (Management, Retail Electricity, Solar) and healthcare (Independent Living, Mobile PERS). Prior to TWC, he managed Southern California Edison's strategic alliances with service providers in the home energy management industry; he originally negotiated energy contracts for SCE.  Joe has also held leadership positions in the private equity, HVAC manufacturing and management consulting industries. He holds BA, MBA and MPA degrees from Stanford, USC and Harvard.

James Stahl
Board Member
Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board
Biography

James Stahl

Board Member
Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board


Jim is a Registered Professional Engineer in California, a Board Certified Environmental Engineer of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists and a Member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is President of JFS Environmental Engineering and the former Chief Engineer & General Manager of the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts. Jim has extensive experience in the planning, design, operation and management of cost effective and environmentally sound wastewater collection and treatment, water reuse and solid waste systems. He has a BS in Civil Engineering from Loyola Marymount University and a MS in Environmental Engineering from Stanford.

 

Jean-Phillipe Brisson
Partner, Environmental, Land and Resources Department
Latham & Watkins LLP
Biography

Jean-Phillipe Brisson

Partner, Environmental, Land and Resources Department
Latham & Watkins LLP

JP Brisson is a partner in Latham & Watkins’s Environmental, Land and Resources Department and Vice-Chair of its Air Quality and Climate Change Practice. He has close to fifteen years of experience advising oil and gas, industrial and financial institution clients on a range of environmental-related matters including carbon finance, renewable energy and commodities and is ranked by Chambers for his work in this area. He was previously Vice President in Goldman Sachs’ Global Commodities business where he established Goldman’s US carbon trading desk.

Jay Jacobs
Managing Director
Sustainability Partners
Biography

Jay Jacobs

Managing Director
Sustainability Partners

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.

James Marston
Head of Energy Programs
Environmental Defense Fund
Biography

James Marston

Head of Energy Programs
Environmental Defense Fund
Rhetta deMesa
Advisor to Commissioner Janea Scott
California Energy Commission
Biography

Rhetta deMesa

Advisor to Commissioner Janea Scott
California Energy Commission
Ken Devore
Director (retired), Edison SmartConnect
Southern California Edison
Biography

Ken Devore

Director (retired), Edison SmartConnect
Southern California Edison

Ken Devore serves the utility industry as a consultant, strategic advisor, and thought leader on smart grid strategic planning, development, implementation, and operations.

Ken retired from Southern California Edison (SCE) following a 26-year career that spanned executive leadership roles in Customer Service, Transmission and Distribution, Regulatory Operations, and Corporate Communications.

Ken was one of the early pioneers of the smart grid, helping develop a strategic roadmap for a smarter, safer, more reliable, and more environmentally responsible electric grid.  He served as Senior Director and program lead for SCE's $1.6 billion, award-winning advanced metering program - Edison SmartConnect®.  SmartConnect replaced 5 million traditional electric meters and associated metering systems with digital, two-way communicating smart meters, and delivered more than 30 advanced information and operations technology systems that empower SCE's customers to effectively manage their energy use and costs, while providing a solid foundation for the advancement of the smart grid.

Angela George-Moody
Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works
Biography

Angela George-Moody

Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works

Angela George-Moody is a Deputy Director with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.  She has been with the County for over 24 years.  She has extensive governmental experience in water resource planning, construction management and transportation planning.

Angela currently manages the Los Angeles County Flood Control District, which is responsible for providing regional flood risk management and stormwater conservation and recharge in the County; the Los Angeles County Waterworks Districts, which provides water supply to over 250,000 people; and implementation of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Municipal Permit for both the Flood Control District and Unincorporated County Areas.  Over the course of her career, Angela has been instrumental in many major water initiatives dealing with flood risk management and stormwater quality.

Angela is a registered civil engineer with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Davis.

Henry Wang
China Chief Representative
Los Angeles County Investment and Trade Office
Biography

Henry Wang

China Chief Representative
Los Angeles County Investment and Trade Office
Bob Foster
Board Member
EPCOR Utilities
Biography

Bob Foster

Board Member
EPCOR Utilities

Bob Foster has spent more than 40 years in the energy policy arena in California.  He began his career working on energy efficiency for the State Senate and then led the energy efficiency program for the California Energy Commission.  He then joined Southern California Edison working his way up in the company, eventually serving as its President from 2002 to 2006.  After retiring from SCE, he ran for and was elected Mayor of Long Beach, Ca., serving for 8 years from 2006 to 2014.  He also served as Chair of California’s Independent System Operator (CAISO) from 2011 to 2014.  He now operates Prometheus Advisors, providing consulting on energy, water, entitlements, and public policy issues. He serves on the boards of EPCOR in Edmonton Canada, the American Transmission Company in Milwaukee, and Port Solutions in Los Angeles.  Bob is an ardent baseball fan and in 1983 coached a team from Sacramento to the Little League World Series in Williamsport Pa.

Gary Horvat
Vice President, e-Mobility
Navistar, Inc.
Biography

Gary Horvat

Vice President, e-Mobility
Navistar, Inc.

Navistar Vice President of eMobility Gary Horvat has over 35 years of experience in the automotive industry, with an educational background in both industrial and manufacturing engineering, including a Ph.D. in industrial engineering. Gary started his career at Eaton Corporation working on Heavy Duty Truck Axles and Transmissions.  The majority of his career was at General Motors where he was responsible for the engine controls on the third-generation small block V8 and as assistant chief engineer, launched the 3900 V6 Engine, winning the Popular Mechanics “Breakthrough” Award.  Gary’s last position at GM was as Executive Director of engineering operations, managing powertrain global development, testing and validation facilities. After his GM career he was Vice President of Product Development at Fisker Automotive as well as Vice President of Powertrain at DENSO International. Gary was the CTO at Proterra from 2015 through 2018.  At Proterra, Horvat was responsible for all engineering and technology development for that company’s electric bus product line. Accomplishments included setting a world record of 1101.2 miles for the longest range of any electric vehicle on one charge.  At Navistar, Horvat is responsible for augmenting and aligning Navistar’s eMobility team in all commercial, technical, and implementation activities for Navistar’s various product lines.

Dan Feitelberg
Principal
KPMG
Biography

Dan Feitelberg

Principal
KPMG

After serving the University of California as Vice Chancellor of Planning and Budget at the Merced campus, Dan joined KPMG in 2017 to help lead its California government and national social infrastructure practice.  At UC Merced, Dan led the Merced 2020 Project, a $1.3 billion investment in higher education in the San Joaquin Valley.  The project was named the Project Finance International Americas P3 Deal of the Year and the North American Social Infrastructure Deal of the Year by IJGlobal. With thirteen years of investment banking experience, Dan has also helped raise debt capital for governments in taxable and tax-exempt capital markets.

Benoit Couture
President
Lithion Recycling
Biography

Benoit Couture

President
Lithion Recycling

Benoit Couture is the President and Founder of Recyclage Lithion, a sister company of Seneca Experts-Conseils, an engineering firm that he co-founded and has led as President for over 23 years.

Recyclage Lithion has developed a green technology for recycling lithium-ion batteries and is currently starting up its first plant in Montreal, Canada.  The process used by Lithion was developed in collaboration with Seneca's team of experts.  Based on hydrometallurgy, it allows the recovery of 95% of battery components and generates battery-grade materials that can be reused for this purpose.  This breakthrough innovation closes the circular economy loop for all strategic Li-ion battery components.

Benoit holds a mechanical engineering degree from the École Polytechnique (Université de Montréal). Throughout his career spanning more than 30 years, he has headed many process development projects applied to extractive metallurgy and energy. Responsible for the strategic direction of his companies, Benoit positions his teams so that they work primarily on sustainable development projects that have a real impact on society, today and tomorrow.

Go Takizawa
Chief Representative
NEDO Silicon Valley Office
Biography

Go Takizawa

Chief Representative
NEDO Silicon Valley Office

Go Takizawa is a senior official of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), which is the largest Japanese public funding agency in the areas of new energy, energy efficiency, smart grid and other industrial technologies. As the Chief Representative of NEDO Silicon Valley Office, he is closely involved in NEDO smart grid projects demonstrated in New Mexico and Hawaii. He also initiates EV and energy Storage related demonstration projects in California.

Prior to the NEDO position, he was a Director in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Government of Japan (METI), where he was responsible for auditing the electricity price increase and planning the power supply and demand measures for Japan, as well as revitalizing a law concerning energy efficiency. As a government officer, he has a wide range of experiences in many policy planning fields such as global warming, intellectual property, space industry development, economic cooperation and human resorces.

He graduated from Tokyo University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Duke University.

Matt Horton
Chief Commercial Officer
Proterra Inc
Biography

Matt Horton

Chief Commercial Officer
Proterra Inc

As COO of Proterra, Matt Horton is accelerating the transition to electric vehicles by developing the transit industry's most loyal customer base. Mr. Horton is focused on our customers' needs, including sales, marketing, financing and customer service.

 
Matt Petersen
CEO
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
Biography

Matt Petersen

CEO
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator

Matt Petersen is the President and CEO of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI.) LACI is creating an inclusive green economy by unlocking innovation (e.g., incubating leading startups), transforming markets (i.e., creating aspirational partnerships), and enhancing community (i.e., inspiring future entrepreneurs). LACI's three priorities are accelerating transportation electrification, clean energy, and sustainable cities.

Prior to joining LACI, he was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti as the first ever Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Los Angeles. Serving as CSO for four years, Petersen was the chief architect of the groundbreaking Sustainable City pLAn, helped LA become a global leader in EVs, solar and water conservation, and helped create the Climate Mayors. Petersen co-founded Global Green USA and led the organization for 19 years as President and CEO.

Petersen is chair of the Climate Mayors board, and a board member of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles, Center for Environmental Health, and the Sir Edmund Hilary Institute for International Leadership. Petersen also created Citizen E to find and support individuals taking responsibility for a corner of their world. Petersen is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Pacific Council on International Policy, the LA Sustainability Leadership Council. He and his son live in Santa Monica, and Matt is a retired AYSO coach.

Andrew McIlroy
Senior Manager
Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore Vallery Open Campus Development
Biography

Andrew McIlroy

Senior Manager
Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore Vallery Open Campus Development
Bill Van Amburg
Senior Vice President
CALSTART
Biography

Bill Van Amburg

Senior Vice President
CALSTART

Bill is the Senior Vice President of CALSTART and leads CALSTART’s commercial truck and off-road vehicle Initiative as well as business development.  Bill has nearly 40 years of experience in technology development, commercialization and marketing.  He oversees program teams in a range of commercial vehicle demonstration, validation, incentive and policy activities, including the NAFA Sustainable Fleet Accreditation Program. He personally leads projects in fleet sustainability standards, creating national truck and bus incentives and effective fuel economy regulations.  Bill is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Anthropology, is a graduate of the Executive Management Program at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, has a certificate in brand management from Stanford and served on the founding Board of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency.

Rafael Spears
Director, Commercial Systems
Aerospace, Corp.
Biography

Rafael Spears

Director, Commercial Systems
Aerospace, Corp.

Mr. Spears leads the Commercial Programs directorate and executes the corporation's commercial space portfolio mission assurance model for space assets while leading all business development efforts as well as building new program office operational relationships within incumbent government, international and domestic commercial new space markets. Increasing the impact and value of Aerospace’s commercial offerings, Mr. Spears develops and implements a service directorate strategy around Aerospace’s exquisite test, characterization and evaluation capabilities, as well as physical sciences laboratories and subject matter experts from across the corporation. Mr. Spears also leads the Aerospace Corporation's Science and Technology Grants Line of Business integrating the space enterprises technology development road map with the Aerospace Corporation's Principle Investigators to develop and licenses innovative technology integral to DoD, Civil and Commercial Space customers

Seleta Reynolds
General Manager
Los Angeles Department of Transportation
Biography

Seleta Reynolds

General Manager
Los Angeles Department of Transportation

Seleta Reynolds is General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), the second largest municipal transportation agency in the country. Reynolds is responsible for 1,300 employees and 52 different business lines – from parking meters to traffic signals to buses. Reynolds was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2014 to implement the Mayor’s vision of safe and sustainable transportation choices for all. Under Reynolds’ leadership, LADOT has installed hundreds of data-driven safety improvements in high needs locations, launched the largest scooter program in the world, launched the largest electric vehicle car-share program in the country, and created a first-of-its-kind digital platform to manage for-profit mobility companies. 

Reynolds is a true believer that LADOT should reflect the city that it serves. Over 90 percent of her executive team are women and people of color. Reynolds has over 20 years of transportation experience in both the public and private sectors. She served as president of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) for four years, which represents cities and transportation agencies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. She is the Board Chair and founding member of the Open Mobility Foundation (OMF), a public-private forum created to tackle technical issues surrounding emerging mobility technology. In 2019, she also joined the board of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITSA).

Chris Higgins
VP Public Sector & Infrastructure
Goldman Sachs
Biography

Chris Higgins

VP Public Sector & Infrastructure
Goldman Sachs

Chris has worked in public finance for nearly 20 years and currently serves as the head of the western region water utility practice. 

Chris has extensive industry experience having worked with a number of water utilities including, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, San Diego County Water Authority, Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency, East Bay Municipal Utility District, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, California Department of Water Resources, Colorado Springs Utilities and Las Vegas Valley Water District amongst others. 

Chris has lead and participated in roughly $30bn in public infrastructure financings over the course of his career including tax-exempt and taxable municipal bond offerings and project financings. 

Pete Skala
Program Manager
California Public Utilities Commission’s Demand-Side Analysis branch
Biography

Pete Skala

Program Manager
California Public Utilities Commission’s Demand-Side Analysis branch

Pete Skala is the Program Manager of the California Public Utilities Commission’s Demand-Side Analysis branch. In this capacity, Mr. Skala oversees the Commission’s analysis of the existing potential and corresponding cost-effectiveness of the various demand-side energy resources being pursued by the state’s large investor-owned utilities (energy efficiency, demand response, and distributed generation).  This branch of the CPUC’s Energy Division is also responsible for evaluating the success of the utilities’ demand-side energy resource programs.   

Mr. Skala has worked at the CPUC in various capacities for over ten years.  Prior to running the Demand-Side Analysis program, he supervised the Commission’s Climate Strategies section, working closely with the Air Resources Board in the design of the cap and trade program (particularly with respect to its impact on the electricity sector).  Before this, he was responsible for overseeing the development of the utilities’ long-term (10-year) procurement plans.

Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Skala spent over a decade working with various environmental consultancies as an environmental engineer and project manager, designing and implementing state superfund site remediation projects, waste reduction programs, and environmental assessments in support of military base closures.

Josh Sawislak
Global Director of Resilience
AECOM
Biography

Josh Sawislak

Global Director of Resilience
AECOM

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.  

Torbjorn Millang
Owner
Avancee Marketing
Biography

Torbjorn Millang

Owner
Avancee Marketing
Marcel Christians
Chief Operating Officer
IceEnergy
Biography

Marcel Christians

Chief Operating Officer
IceEnergy
David Kramer
President
Hudson Companies, Inc.
Biography

David Kramer

President
Hudson Companies, Inc.

David Kramer is the President of the Hudson Companies, Inc. (www.hudsoninc.com) which he joined in 1995 and currently runs with fellow principal William Fowler. Hudson has developed 5,600 residential apartments since 1986. Hudson’s projects range from market rate condominiums (J Condo, Riverwalk Court, Third + Bond, The Marais) to institutional housing (Cornell Tech residential tower, NYU Dormitory, staff housing for Memorial Sloan Kettering) to renovations (345 West 13th Street, Cobble Hill Tower, The Knick) to market rate rentals (Riverwalk Crossing, Hudson East, The Crossroads, The Clinton) to affordable housing (Atlantic Center, Dumont Green, Gateway).  In 2011, Hudson was named Private Developer of the Year by the New York State Housing Conference. In 2013, Hudson was selected by the New York City Pension Funds to manage an investment fund to rebuild areas affected by Superstorm Sandy.

Prior to joining Hudson, Kramer developed affordable housing as the Housing Director of the Venice Community Housing Corporation in Los Angeles, and a project manager for the Skid Row Housing Trust.  In 1989, David was one of the founders and the first Executive Director of People for Parks, a Los Angeles non-profit coalition of parks advocates.

David has a Bachelor Degree from Yale University and graduated from the Coro Foundation's Public Affairs Program. David serves on the Alumni Council of the Collegiate School and the board of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and has served on the boards of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, the Coro Foundation and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, where he also served as Chair.  David founded the quarterly Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable to benefit the Brooklyn Historical Society.  He lives in Brooklyn Heights with his wife, three children and poorly trained dog. He is a long suffering New York Giants fan, has completed 5 New York City Marathons, 5 Century Bike Races and knows the lyrics to most Broadway musicals. He has finished in the money in both KenKen and Su Doku tournaments. 

Su Wei
Director General, Climate Change Department
China's National Development and Reform Commission
Biography

Su Wei

Director General, Climate Change Department
China's National Development and Reform Commission

Mr. Su Wei, Director General of the Department of Climate Change, National Development and Reform Commission 

A veteran on climate change, Mr. Su Wei has been working in the Department of Treaties and Law, Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more than 20 years until Nov. 2007 and is well-known on the international arena for his professionalism as a chief negotiator on climate change. On his new position as Director General of Department of Climate Change, NDRC, Su Wei is involved in leading and coordinating China’s efforts in combating climate change, both domestically and internationally, and is a key member on national climate change policies and international negotiation strategies. 

Jean-François Lamy
President
Aquartis
Biography

Jean-François Lamy

President
Aquartis
Jonathan Weisgall
Vice President, Government Relations
Berkshire Hathaway Energy
Biography

Jonathan Weisgall

Vice President, Government Relations
Berkshire Hathaway Energy

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 chairman of the Geothermal Resources Council’s Policy Committee. 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 been named one of the top Washington, DC corporate lobbyists by The Hill since 2004. Weisgall graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia College and from Stanford Law School and has published articles in Legal Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, and The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Dave Edwards
Director and Advocate for Hydrogen Energy
Air Liquide
Biography

Dave Edwards

Director and Advocate for Hydrogen Energy
Air Liquide

Dave is responsible for establishing and maintaining internal and external partnerships with industry, academia, and government entities as needed to advance the technology and business opportunities in Hydrogen Energy for Air Liquide in the US. Dave has more than 20 years with Air Liquide in R&D and the Hydrogen Business roles with responsibilities for Air Liquide’s investment and project efforts in California and other regions in US driving towards the adoption of Hydrogen Energy in the transportation and power sectors.

 

Jocelyn Boudreau
CEO, Co-Founder
Hortau
Biography

Jocelyn Boudreau

CEO, Co-Founder
Hortau

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Jocelyn Boudreau is the CEO of Hortau smart irrigation management systems, co-founding the company in 2002.

Mr. Boudreau holds a Bachelor of Engineering and Masters degree in soil physics from Laval University (Québec).

He has spoken at a number of regional, national and global events, including GAI AgTech Week in San Francisco and the Rural Opportunity Investment Conference at the White House in 2015.
 

VIDEO: Jocelyn Boudreau speaks about “Technology to Address the Water Challenge” at AgTech Week.
 

ABOUT THE COMPANY

Hortau is an industry leader in wireless, web-based irrigation management systems for agriculture. Hortau’s patented irrigation management solutions help growers monitor plant stress and soil moisture in real-time using soil tension, ensuring optimal crop growth while reducing water use, energy consumption and environmental impacts such as fertilizer leaching.

With U.S. operations based in San Luis Obispo, Calif., Hortau has offices, representatives and technicians throughout North America, including a Canada headquarters in Quebec.

Learn more about Hortau precision irrigation management systems at Hortau.com

Irene Burga
California Climate & Energy Manager
Environmental Defense Fund
Biography

Irene Burga

California Climate & Energy Manager
Environmental Defense Fund

Prior to joining EDF, Irene worked on creating and implementing policies and programs that cut energy waste, boost local economies, and reduce harmful pollution in cities for NRDC’s City Energy Project.

During her time in law school, Irene held several internships, including at the South Coast Air Quality Management District, where she supported prosecutors in air quality enforcement cases.

Irene also spent a semester at the Conservation Law Foundation organizing and educating environmental justice communities about the harmful health effects of air pollution.

Additionally, Irene has experience in employment law and policy from her time working at the Greater Boston Legal Services and Bet Tzedek Legal Services, where she represented indigent workers against employers who had committed wage and hour violations and had failed to provide proper meal and rest breaks.

Brad Copithorne
Financial Policy Director
Environmental Defense Fund
Biography

Brad Copithorne

Financial Policy Director
Environmental Defense Fund

Brad Copithorne is Financial Policy Director at EDF.  His work is primarily focused on removing market barriers and developing new strategies for investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.  This effort involves close coordination between individual and institutional investors, lenders, fund managers, environmental service companies, solar installers, tax equity providers, real estate owners, utilities, regulators, government officials and other private and public sector stakeholders.  Brad is leading the effort to develop On-Bill Repayment programs in California, Texas, Ohio, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and other states. 

Brad has over 20 years experience in the financial services industry.  He started his career at Salomon Brothers/Citi where he worked on fixed income origination and new product development.  More recently, Brad worked for Morgan Stanley’s Technology Investment Banking team in Silicon Valley where he covered the enterprise hardware, contract manufacturing and IT distribution industries.  In 2008, Brad was a partner at a fixed income hedge fund.

In 2009 Brad re-enrolled at Stanford University to study energy policy and graduated in June, 2010.

Jeffrey Milanette
Executive Director
PortTechLA
Biography

Jeffrey Milanette

Executive Director
PortTechLA

Jeffrey Milanette is the Executive Director of PortTechLA (www.PortTechLA.org) a clean / green technology commercialization center and incubator sponsored by the Port of Los Angeles, the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, and the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce.  PortTechLA serves the technology needs of the Port’s customers and related businesses seeking to create employment and improve the quality of the environment in the San Pedro Bay region of Los Angeles.

Jeff has been involved in the incubation industry since 1986 when he formed Innovative Partners, Inc. (IPI).  He founded the San Diego Incubator Corporation, the first incubation program in San Diego and served as Chairman of the Board (1986-89).  In 1989, IPI was engaged by Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ) to establish the Rutgers Business Innovation Center, a technology incubator program affiliated with the University which he then directed for six years.

As President of IPI, Jeff has conducted numerous feasibility studies and evaluations of incubation programs in the US and overseas for public and private sector clients, including both the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.  In addition to successfully commercializing technology himself as President of SpeakEZ, Inc., Jeff has also been a founder or director of several technology start-ups, including Aereon, Inc., La Jolla Design Corp., and The Venture Information Network for Entrepreneurs.  He served as President of the New Jersey Entrepreneurs Forum from 1995 to 2009, and was a co-founder of the annual Russian Venture Fair (now in its 11th year).  Jeff is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and holds an MBA in finance from the George Washington University.

Gary Breaux
Chief Financial Officer
Metropolitan Water District
Biography

Gary Breaux

Chief Financial Officer
Metropolitan Water District

Gary Breaux is the Assistant General Manager and Chief Financial Officer for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.  He manages all of Metropolitan’s financial programs, including financial planning, investments, debt management, the biennial budget, and accounting operations.  He is also responsible for developing Metropolitans water rates and charges.

Prior to Metropolitan, Gary was the Director of Finance for East Bay Municipal Utility District.  He has extensive experience working for local governments since 1983.  He joined EBMUD in 1994 and was responsible for all financial areas including treasury operations, debt management, rates, internal audit, accounting and reporting, risk management, and customer and community services.  Prior to joining EBMUD, he was Director of Finance for the City of Oakland, CA.

A native of Colorado, Gary received a bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Colorado in 1977, and a master’s in Public Administration in 1987 from Virginia Commonwealth University.  He is on the Board of Governors for the California Municipal Utilities Association, and a member of the American Water Works Association.

Debra Gerod
President
American Institute of Architects, California
Biography

Debra Gerod

President
American Institute of Architects, California

Debra Gerod, FAIA, LEED AP, is a partner of Gruen Associates, an 80-person planning, landscape and architectural firm headquartered in Los Angeles. Debra’s specialty is the collaborative design and delivery of complex, public-use projects. These projects include large-scale, significant civic and cultural projects such as courthouses, embassies, performing arts centers, museums, libraries, transportation projects, parks and streetscapes. Current projects include the adaptive re-use of the historic Tower Theater for Apple, the renovation of Pershing Square, the Audrey Irmas Pavilion at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, and Metro’s Airport Metro Connector/96th Street Station.

Currently serving as the 2020 President for AIA|California, Debra is also a past president of AIA|Los Angeles. Debra volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and Heal the Bay and was a long-time board member for the ACE Mentor Program of Los Angeles. Debra was elevated to a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 2013.

 

Mark Callaway
Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager
Morgan Stanley
Biography

Mark Callaway

Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager
Morgan Stanley

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.  

Laura Friedman
Assemblymember, 43rd District; Chair, Assembly Natural Resources Committee
California State Legislature
Biography

Laura Friedman

Assemblymember, 43rd District; Chair, Assembly Natural Resources Committee
California State Legislature

Laura Friedman was elected to the California State Assembly in November 2016 to represent the 43rd Assembly District which encompasses the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and La Cañada Flintridge, as well as the communities of La Crescenta and Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Beachwood Canyon, Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Franklin Hills, and Silver Lake.

Laura has been a prominent figure in the community and taken on leadership roles in a variety of areas; as a small business owner, film and television producer, Mayor and City Councilmember, and on several boards and advocacy committees.

Laura got her start in the private sector working as a film and television executive and producer after receiving her B.A. from the University of Rochester, New York.  In 2001, she launched her own web-based small business.  Building on her years of community service, she was elected to the Glendale City Council in 2009, served as Mayor from 2011-2012 and was re-elected in 2013.

Laura has been active in local government for years, working to build a more sustainable future for all communities. She served for seven years on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. She is a Past President of the Independent Cities Association, was a Hollywood-Burbank Airport Commissioner, and a Board Member of the Southern California Association of Governments where she was a member of the Energy and Environment Committee. Laura also spent five yea rs on the Glendale Design Review Board.

She has long been recognized as a steadfast advocate for the environment and the arts community.  Laura was honored in 2014 with the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters’ Smith-Weiss Environmental Champion Award, and has been active with both the Society of Architectural Historians and the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee.

Her work in the private sector and activism in the community have shaped her work in Sacramento.  In her first term in the Assembly, Laura has authored a package of bills to encourage water conservation, strengthen environmental sustainability, improve access to higher education and health care, and create new avenues for communities to tackle the affordable housing crisis.  In early 2017, she was appointed the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.  Laura also serves as a member of the Assembly Committees on Appropriations; Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media; Transportation; Rules; and Water, Parks, and Wildlife.

Laura is a Glendale resident and lives with her husband Guillaume Lemoine, a landscape designer, and their daughter Rachel.

Jordanna Rubin
Client Program Manager
Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure
Biography

Jordanna Rubin

Client Program Manager
Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure

Ms. Rubin is a client program manager for Shaw’s Sustainability Services National Practice Program. She holds a Masters in Public Administration, with a concentration in Environmental and Energy Policy, and a certificate in Conservation Biology from Columbia University in New York City.

Mrs. Rubin has a diverse professional background in environmental management and resource conservation. She has managed projects that developed and implemented sustainability programs, green infrastructure and high efficiency design, environmental stewardship reports and capital planning, energy strategies and audits, industry benchmark assessments, and GHG inventories.  Mrs. Rubin has been involved in several green conferences and workshops, presenting infor­mation on ARRA funding opportunities, sustainable and green infrastructure design, and strategies for program implementation to city, county, state officials, and other stakeholders.

Prior to joining Shaw, Ms. Rubin was the Environ­mental Resources Manager for the City of Miami Beach, FL. She was responsible for the management of all environmental projects and education programs and served as a liaison to local and state environmental regulatory agencies. Mrs. Rubin was the project manager for the design, engineering, and construction of over 15 public works construction projects, including South Beach’s “Beachwalk”.

Ms. Rubin served as Co-Chair of the Florida Green Building Coalition, Local Government Committee for over 5 years and is a member of numerous organizations including: USGBC, the C4 Central Coast and the Association of Environmental Professionals. 

Donald Paul
Executive Director
USC Energy Institue
Biography

Donald Paul

Executive Director
USC Energy Institue

Donald Paul is the Executive Director of the USC Energy Institute, Professor of Engineering, and holds the William M. Keck Chair of Energy Resources.

The USC Energy Institute supports university-wide research, education, and workforce development initiatives with industry and governments in the areas of advanced energy systems and infrastructures.

Dr. Paul had a distinguished 33-year career with the Chevron Corporation, retiring in June 2008 as Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.  During his career, he advanced through positions of increasing responsibility in research and development, exploration and production operations, and executive management, including appointment as the president of Chevron’s Canadian subsidiary.

Dr. Paul serves as a Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C. and in 2014, was re-appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Energy to the National Petroleum Council. He participates in advisory roles at several universities (including MIT, Harvard, Texas and Stanford), governments, national laboratories, oil and gas companies, utilities, and technology companies. He is frequently recruited to speak at national and international forums on the future of energy, the security of energy systems, intelligent energy infrastructures, and energy careers.

 He holds B.S., M.S., and PhD degrees from MIT and an honorary doctorate from the Colorado School of Mines. 

 

 

Andrew Kingman
Executive Vice President
Poseidon Water
Biography

Andrew Kingman

Executive Vice President
Poseidon Water
  • Mr. Kingman has over 30 years of experience in the development, construction and financing of major industrial and infrastructure capital projects including over 15 years of project development and project financing experience at Poseidon.   He is currently responsible for providing executive oversight of the Huntington Beach project development efforts and new business development opportunities.   As Poseidon's CFO, he was responsible for Poseidon's investor relations and financing, including the Carlsbad equity and debt financing and was a lead on the various project contract negotiations.
  • Before joining Poseidon, he was a vice president of AT&T Capital Corporation and General Electric Capital Corporation project finance groups, and prior to that he was a nuclear test and startup engineer for General Dynamics' submarine business.
  • B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from the University of Virginia's Darden School.
Philippe P. Huneault
Délégué
Government of Québec
Biography

Philippe P. Huneault

Délégué
Government of Québec

​Philippe P. Huneault has been Québec’s delegate in Los Angeles since July 1, 2019.

Previously chief Officer for the representative office in Canada of B&C Plc (Bank and Clients), a London-based bank, Mr. Huneault,  manager, entrepreneur and seasoned administrator, boasts nearly 30 years of experience in public and private corporate financing, business development and innovation.

From 1996 to 2004, he held several positions, including Vice-president, Strategic Opportunities, at Telesystem International Wireless (TIW), a leader in the field of cellular operators in Central and Eastern Europe.
In 2006, he co-founded Echo Capital, a private investment fund manager that supports the development of small and medium-sized businesses. He served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the company. He was also a Managing Partner at Mayfair Strategic Consulting, a firm specialized in providing strategic consulting services for tech companies as well as for municipalities to implement digital strategies and develop Smart City initiatives. In this capacity, he participated in the feasibility analyses of Montreal Digital Metropolis and Gatineau Intelligent et Numérique.
In late 2007, Mr. Huneault was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Medical Intelligence Technologies, a publicly listed company that provides mobile teleassistance solutions for the health and safety sectors.
Before joining TIW, he held management positions at a number of companies, including Cantel, Ericsson, Telezone, Vidéotron, YRH and Bell Canada International.

He has served on a number of boards of directors, including those of Montréal’s Quartier de l’innovation and the Cancer Research Society. He is also a founding member of Capital Intelligent Mtl.
Philippe P. Huneault holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and a certificate in technological innovation from École Polytechnique de Montréal.

Rob Del Core
Business Development Director
Hydrogenics
Biography

Rob Del Core

Business Development Director
Hydrogenics

Rob Del Core has extensive experience in the fuel cell, energy storage and heavy duty hybrid electric drive systems industry and for the last 6 years has been focusing on the transit bus and heavy duty vehicle markets in US. Rob’s expertise is in system integration for zero emission transport, with focus on fuel cell and energy storage systems. He has successfully led more than 20 zero emission drive system programs, managing all aspects of the program including design, build, test, delivery and deployment to customer relationship. His most recent project is leading the design and development of the Fuel Cell Hybrid Buses for Transport for London, UK while he was the project director at ISE. Rob also held various technical leadership positions at Hydrogenics and ISE Corporation before recently re-joining Hydrogenics Corporation as Business Development Director for Medium and Heavy Duty Mobility Applications.

Justin X. Thompson
Partner
Nixon Peabody
Biography

Justin X. Thompson

Partner
Nixon Peabody

Justin X. Thompson is a partner advising commercial and industrial developers, investors, lenders and property owners on all aspects of real estate transactions— including financing, development, leasing, loan restructurings, land exchanges, sale-leasebacks, property management arrangements and joint ventures

 
Katie Sloan
Director of eMobility
SCE
Biography

Katie Sloan

Director of eMobility
SCE
Rick Gustafson
Executive Director
Portland Streetcar, Inc.
Biography

Rick Gustafson

Executive Director
Portland Streetcar, Inc.
Dan Lafferty
Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works
Biography

Dan Lafferty

Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works
Dan Lafferty has over 30 years of public service experience working for Los Angeles County Public Works.  He has served in a variety of positions during his career, nearly all within Public Works’ Water Resources Core Service Area where he currently serves as the Deputy Director.  Dan is responsible for managing the 
Los Angeles County Flood Control District, stormwater quality compliance efforts within the County unincorporated areas, and the Los Angeles County Waterworks Districts.
Dan has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Marquette University and a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School.  He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of California and a member of the California Bar.
Jack Baylis
President and CEO
The Baylis Group
Biography

Jack Baylis

President and CEO
The Baylis Group
Anuj Gupta
Deputy City Manager
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Anuj Gupta

Deputy City Manager
City of Santa Monica

Anuj Gupta is the Deputy City Manager and Director of Policy for the City of Santa Monica, a role he has held since 2017, serving on the City’s executive team and working across City departments to coordinate and lead a variety of initiatives on policy issues including mobility, homelessness, and both environmental and economic sustainability. Previously,

Anuj served in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, holding the positions of General Counsel for the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs and Director of Operations for Mayor Garcetti.

From 2011 to 2014, Anuj served in the White House as President Barack Obama's Associate Staff Secretary, managing the flow of briefings and decision memos to and from the President, and traveling with him on 12 trips domestically and abroad. Prior to the White House, he worked as counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, serving on the judicial nominations team at DOJ's Office of Legal Policy.  He worked on Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign in several states and began his legal career as an associate at O'Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles.  He has also worked at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund.  He earned his B.A. from Stanford University and his J.D. from NYU School of Law, is a native of the Los Angeles area, and resides in Santa Monica with his family.

Walter Spansel
Vice President and Transmission Officer
NV Energy
Biography

Walter Spansel

Vice President and Transmission Officer
NV Energy

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.

Larry Kosmont
President & CEO
Kosmont Companies
Biography

Larry Kosmont

President & CEO
Kosmont Companies

Larry J. Kosmont, CRE®, is President and CEO of Kosmont Companies, which he founded in 1986. Kosmont Companies is an industry leader in public/private real estate transactions and economic development. In 1990, he founded Kosmont Realty Corporation, a real estate brokerage firm. In 2015, he launched Kosmont Transactions Services which sources private financing for public projects, P3 initiatives, and infrastructure funding. He’s also a Principal of California Golden Fund, an approved EB-5 Regional Center.

His 40-year career encompasses public/private financial structuring and negotiations, development, and management of real estate and public finance transactions exceeding $12B. He has an extensive track record as a consultant and advisor who has assisted hundreds of local government agencies and guided over 1,000 private sector projects.

Dan Rosenfeld
Community Partners
Biography

Dan Rosenfeld

Community Partners
Paul Krekorian*
Councilmember, District 2
Los Angeles City Council
Biography

Paul Krekorian*

Councilmember, District 2
Los Angeles City Council

Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Paul Krekorian has spent more than a decade in public service. Since 2010, he has served on the Los Angeles City Council where his leadership of the Budget and Finance Committee helped guide the city through the Great Recession. Paul also serves on the board of the LA County Metropolitan Transit Authority, Metrolink and the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments.

A former member of the California State Assembly, Paul is the first Armenian-American to be elected in the City of Los Angeles.

Jill Stewart
Executive Director
Coalition to Preserve LA
Biography

Jill Stewart

Executive Director
Coalition to Preserve LA

Jill Stewart is executive director of the Coalition to Preserve LA, a non-profit dedicated to advocating for open government, strategic land-use planning, affordable housing, environmental stewardship and community empowerment. 

A lifelong, award-winning journalist and political commentator, she has an extensive background in government and politics, poverty and housing, environment and open space, and children's rights and public schools. In 2016, she jumped into political activism as campaign director for the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, a March 2017 Los Angeles ballot measure that aimed to reduce excessive developer influence over elected officials, land-use decisions and the environment.

The non-profit Coalition that arose following the March ballot measure is pursuing reform of Los Angeles city government regarding the General Plan, Community Plans and related environmental and economic impacts, as well as campaign finance reform and reform of city sustainability and housing practices.

As L.A. Weekly Managing Editor and News Editor for nine years, she was chiefly concerned with how the paper and website covered news and culture to benefit readers and society. She oversaw the print edition and laweekly.com website. Online, Jill managed the news and culture verticals and executive produced the site's videos. Joining L.A. Weekly in 2006, Jill oversaw 60 staff and freelance journalists.

She has appeared on hundreds of hours of live TV and radio, generally focused on analyzing political races, ballot and bond measures and government policies and controversies. She was a political analyst for KNX News Radio's coverage of the 2014 California gubernatorial race; for FOX-11's coverage of the 2010 California gubernatorial race, and KCAL-9’s live TV analysis of the 2005 Los Angeles mayoral race.

She has analyzed California issues for MSNBC, FOX, CSNBC and CNN, and has appeared extensively on BBC, KPCC, KCRW, KFI and KABC radio. From 1996 to 2002, Jill wrote an award-winning column for New Times-Los Angeles that analyzed the civic institutions and power players who shaped California.

Jill draws on six years as an urban affairs and government reporter at the Los Angeles Times and four years as self-syndicator of a weekly newspaper column on California statehouse politics, Capitol Punishment, which reached 1 million readers weekly. Her op-ed work frequently appeared in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

In 1998, Jill joined the non-profit Los Angeles Press Club Board of Directors and played a leading role in rebuilding the dying 100-year-old organization. She served on its board for 15 years, including as president, focused on branding the Press Club as a force for strengthening ties between journalists across all platforms.

In 1991 and 1992, she lived in Prague and wrote about the Czech transition to democracy.

Jill has twice been named top columnist at the Southern California Journalism Awards, and was honored with its Journalist of the Year nod. National honors include the American Society of Newspaper Columnist's award for best column in the U.S., and the Benjamin Fine Award for top education writing in the nation.

Jill Stewart holds a master’s degree in journalism from Stanford University.

Sohinaz Sotoudeh
Director of Power Marketing
EDF Renewables North America
Biography

Sohinaz Sotoudeh

Director of Power Marketing
EDF Renewables North America

For the last 5 years, Sohinaz has served as Director of Power Marketing in the Valuation and Transactions Team at EDF Renewables, one of the nation’s leading renewables developer. In this position, she is the commercial deal lead for contract negotiation, acquisitions, divestures and all aspects of power marketing for North American renewables and battery projects for the company. Previously, Sohinaz served as vice president of Business Development for Ogin-New Dimension Energy Company, a start-up wind development company where she was in charge of wind development strategy and acquisitions. She also served as board member on the board of CALWEA for two terms.

Sohinaz started her career at GE Capital's Equity Capital Group where she was in charge of capital investment in energy technology start-up companies for GE. She has a BA in Economics from Tufts University and an MBA with Honors from Columbia Business School. Sohinaz currently lives in Los Angeles with her two children.

Darrell Steinberg
Mayor
City of Sacramento
Biography

Darrell Steinberg

Mayor
City of Sacramento

Darrell Steinberg is Mayor of the City of Sacramento. Prior, Darrell was a California State Senator representing the Sacramento Region (6th District) in the state legislature for 14 years, including the last 6 as the President of the Senate. Before he was elected to the Assembly in 1998, Darrell also served on the Sacramento City Council for 6 years.

During his legislative tenure, Darrell worked on agreements that protected California's water supply, overhauled workers compensation laws, revamped zoning rules to combat urban sprawl and global warming, enhanced workplace safety, tackled school dropout rates, and reduced governmental red tape to benefit the economy. He led the charge in passing pension reform that eliminated flagrant abuses of the system. Darrell aided in sending AB 900 to the governor to expedite the legal process for large scale environmentally sustainable projects, and also introduced SB 946 to mandate insurance companies cover treatment of people with autism and related disorders. He is well known for his commitment to mental health, authoring the legislation that became Proposition 63 to provide greater funding for mental health care. He is recognized in Sacramento and with the leadership of the National Basketball Association for securing the passage of SB 743 that made changes to the California Environmental Quality Act, allowing the Kings’ arena to be built in downtown Sacramento. In the 2013/2014 session, he authored bills on insurance (SB 476), political reform (SB 477), medical practice (SB 670), flood protection (SB 753), redevelopment (SB 1129), and the statewide ballot initiative process (SB 1253), a measure strongly supported by former Chief Justice Ron George.

Darrell is also the Founder and Board Chair of The Steinberg Institute for Advancing Mental Health Policy.

Mark Nydam
President & CEO
Green Conversion Systems
Biography

Mark Nydam

President & CEO
Green Conversion Systems
Frances Keeler
Of Counsel
Keesal, Young & Logan
Biography

Frances Keeler

Of Counsel
Keesal, Young & Logan

Frances Keeler is Of Counsel in the firm’s Long Beach office, where she specializes in environmental law.  Her emphasis is in the district, state & federal Clean Air Acts; district, state and federal regulatory development; and CEQA.

Prior to joining Keesal, Young & Logan, Ms. Keeler was a Senior Deputy District Counsel with the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the air pollution control agency for the Los Angeles air basin.  Ms. Keeler has over 23 years of experience with the agency.  Ms. Keeler has been involved in the development of air quality management plans and rules that implement the plan and has extensive experience in permitting and compliance issues.  Ms. Keeler represented the District in the development of credit trading programs and has been actively involved in the state and federal programs to regulate non-road sources such as locomotives, marine vessels and  ground support equipment.  Ms. Keeler’s litigation experience in both state and federal courts has primarily focused on the Clean Air Act and CEQA.  Prior to joining District Counsel, Ms. Keeler worked for eight years in the Operations Management and Enforcement Divisions of the District as an industrial operations inspector and staff specialist.  Her undergraduate degree is in chemistry.

Andy Lipkis
Founder and President
TreePeople
Biography

Andy Lipkis

Founder and President
TreePeople

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 45 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 cities around the world, 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, and Andy has worked with other global cities to help them plan for Climate Resilience and Adaptation. The Society of American Foresters, and the American Society of Landscape Architects have respectively (and respectfully) honored Andy with the honorary titles of Forester and Landscape Architect.

Andrea Redford
Chief Business Development Officer
Enerkem
Biography

Andrea Redford

Chief Business Development Officer
Enerkem
Kazuo Furukawa
Chairman
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
Biography

Kazuo Furukawa

Chairman
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

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).

Nick Vyas
Executive Director & Professor
USC Marshall Center For Global Supply Chain Management
Biography

Nick Vyas

Executive Director & Professor
USC Marshall Center For Global Supply Chain Management

A specialist in Operation Excellence, Application of Lean Six Sigma(LSS) and an expert in Global Supply Chain Management(GSCM), Nick Vyas has implemented process improvements for over 300 projects globally that have increased efficiency for clients in the fields of health care, service, military, retail, and end-to-end supply chain. As the Executive Director and Co-founder of USC Marshall’s Center for GSCM and as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Data Sciences & Operations, Vyas is educating the next generation of business leaders. Previously, Vyas had taught GSCM and LSS courses at CalPoly Pomona.

Working closely with students, Vyas consulted for over 25 global operations across various sectors. He integrated technology and directed teams that both optimized speed-to-market and managed cost/quality.

Phoebe Yee
Vice President of Design
Related California
Biography

Phoebe Yee

Vice President of Design
Related California
Irma Muñoz
Chair
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Biography

Irma Muñoz

Chair
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy

Irma R. Muñoz is the Founder/President of Mujeres de la Tierra an environmental equity non-profit focused on healing La Madre Tierra and re-defining the traditional “green” dialogue in Los Angeles, California. 

Irma firmly believes in the power of one and that community action starts with individual participation.  She believes that the families and residents of the neighborhood should have the power and right to lead/own their issues and determine what’s best for them, their families and community. 

She currently serves on the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Board of Directors as an appointee of the Mayor of Los Angeles and is a Governor’s appointee to the Los Angeles County Regional Water Quality Control Board. 

She has held many positions in the public sector and the position she is most proud of is being a presidential appointee with the Clinton Administration serving in Washington D.C. with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

She earned her BA from the University of California, San Diego and her Juris Doctorate from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California.

Martha Davis
Executive Manager
Inland Empire Utilities Agency
Biography

Martha Davis

Executive Manager
Inland Empire Utilities Agency
Robert Ferrante
Assistant Chief Engineer and Assistant General Manager
Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts
Biography

Robert Ferrante

Assistant Chief Engineer and Assistant General Manager
Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts
Joseph Lyou
President & CEO
The Coalition for Clean Air
Biography

Joseph Lyou

President & CEO
The Coalition for Clean Air

Dr. Joseph K. Lyou believes everyone has the right to breathe clean air.  He has worked for more than 25 years to improve public health and environmental conditions in California’s most polluted and disadvantaged communities.  Dr. Lyou serves as President and CEO of the Coalition for Clean Air, a state-wide organization dedicated to restoring clean and healthful air to all of California.  He advocates for effective public policy and practical business solutions that reduce air pollution, protect public health, and prevent climate change.

Since 2007, Dr. Lyou has also served as the Governor’s Appointee to the South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board, the public agency responsible for improving air quality for more than 16 million people living in Southern California.

Dr. Lyou founded the California Environmental Rights Alliance in 2003 and served as Executive Director through August 2010.  He previously held management positions with the California League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and the Committee to Bridge the Gap.

He received his Ph.D. from the University of California Santa Cruz in 1990.

Craig Scott
Director, Advanced Technologies Group
Toyota Motor North America
Biography

Craig Scott

Director, Advanced Technologies Group
Toyota Motor North America

Mr. Scott is Director of Advanced Technologies, Corporate Strategy & Planning at Toyota Motor North America. Within his role in the Advanced Technologies Group, Craig is responsible for product planning and program development for alternative fuel vehicle programs including the Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle and Project Portal, the world’s first OEM-produced Class 8 heavy duty fuel cell truck. Previously he also managed vehicle programs including Prius, Scion iQ EV and the Toyota i-Road urban mobility vehicle. In addition to vehicle development, Craig also oversees all US hydrogen infrastructure planning and implementation activities. He is responsible for the development of proprietary research work related to global energy issues and sustainable transportation systems. Prior to Toyota, Craig was an assistant portfolio manager with Pacific Investment Management Company in Newport Beach, CA.

Mr. Scott has a BS in Finance and Japanese Studies and a MBA in Strategy and Finance from the University of Southern California.

Matt McClory
Manager
Toyota Technical Center
Biography

Matt McClory

Manager
Toyota Technical Center

Matt McClory is a Manager with TTC’s Powertrain System Control department located in Torrance, CA.  His primary responsibilities include the development, testing, and evaluation of prototype fuel cell vehicles, as well as coordinating Toyota’s contributions to the SAE Fuel Cell Vehicle Safety Codes & Standards Working Groups.  In addition, he is involved in activities supporting development of the hydrogen refueling infrastructure, and external affairs promoting Toyota’s message for sustainable mobility.  Mr. McClory earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Davis.

John Drayton
Manager of Vehicle Technology
Los Angeles Metro ((Bus Operations))
Biography

John Drayton

Manager of Vehicle Technology
Los Angeles Metro ((Bus Operations))
Norihiko Saeki
Executive Director
JETRO Los Angeles
Biography

Norihiko Saeki

Executive Director
JETRO Los Angeles
Executive Director, JETRO Los AngelesNorihiko Saeki serves as the Executive Director of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Los Angeles and coordinates the collaborations between the U.S. and Japanese Industries in the area of innovation, entertainment and investment. Norihiko extensively tries to contribute to solve the social issues in California and the U.S. by forefront and user-oriented technology with Japanese industries.  In this capacity, he is responsible for the overall strategy and execution on innovation policy and the industries collaboration especially in hydrogen energy, water, smart cities, vehicle, aerospace and health care. Norihiko also serves as a Special Advisor to Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and his task is to recommend the policy options as well as promote collaboration at the governmental level. He joined the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan in 2001 and has been in charge of various high-tech areas, such as aerospace, metals & materials, bio, health care and information technology.  He received his law bachelor degree from University of Tokyo in 2000 and served as a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS in 2009-2010. He lives and enjoys his life with his wife and daughter in Playa Vista, L.A. as known as “Silicon Beach.”
RADM Len Hering
Executive Director
Center for Sustainable Energy
Biography

RADM Len Hering

Executive Director
Center for Sustainable Energy

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. 

Brett Oakleaf
Partnership Manager
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Biography

Brett Oakleaf

Partnership Manager
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Brett Oakleaf has over 25 years of experience in the energy industry across a broad range of roles.  Brett is currently a Partnership Development Manager for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, leading the Airport and Port sectors collaborations.   Brett has a MBA from Georgia Tech, and a BS in Engineering & Management from Clarkson University in New York.

Peter Bryant
President and Founder
TransTech USA, LLC
Biography

Peter Bryant

President and Founder
TransTech USA, LLC

Peter Bryant, the Founder and President of TransTech USA, LLC has over twenty four -year experience working within the global technology industry both as an entrepreneur and in general management for larger enterprises such as GE Information Services and Computer Associates. Peter is widely known within the global enterprise software industry and is rapidly being recognized as one of the leading authorities on successful commercialization of technology and technology innovation. As an executive, Peter has consistently increased shareholder value through the successful implementation of aggressive growth strategies complemented by a laser like focus on profitability and cash management. Peter has built successful companies in the US, UK and APAC regions.

Prior to founding TransTech USA Peter spent 2 years as CEO of Clear Technology where he was responsible for directing all of Clears global operations as the company launched its breakthrough advanced Business Process Management and Automation solution. Prior to Clear Technology Peter spent one year as President of InfoNow Corporation, a NASDAQ company and a leading provider of Enterprise Channel Management solutions. Prior to that he was Vice President of Operations North America for Mincom, Inc. where he was responsible for all Sales, Marketing and Alliance functions. His previous 13 years were spent at Computer Associates International, the 3rd largest global provider of enterprise software solutions.  In his last position as Vice President for New Business, he managed domestic new business opportunities.

In his earlier positions at Computer Associates, Peter managed and directed a variety of groups in Computer Associates Sydney, the Asia Pacific Headquarters and was on the board from 1987 to 1995. These positions included Chief Operating Officer for 6 years (all customer facing operations), Executive Director of the Enterprise Applications Products Division Asia Pacific. He has also held executive positions with GE Information Services, OpenPlus International and Compuware Solutions in Sydney.

Peter’s operational experience, ability to identify and extract value from complex technologies and his familiarity raising capital and working within the aegis of the private equity industry provide him unique insights into what is necessary for successful commercialization of a technology company. Peter also leverages for the advantage of his clients a high value global network of the leading thinkers in the technology world and within the broader vendor, analyst and investor community.

Peter has a unique ability to rapidly understand complex business processes and map, at a macro level, technology solutions that will improve, automate and speed up those processes.

Peter holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration from Victoria University in Wellington New Zealand and has completed studies at the Kellogg School of Management. Peter is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a CA of the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants. Mr. Bryant has been a speaker at various IT and industry conferences in the US, UK and APAC. Peter is an active member of the Colorado Governor’s Commission for Technology and Science, The Rocky Mountain Venture Club, the ANZA Technology Network and is an active advisor to the CTEK Angel Investor group. Peter also sits on the Board of Advisors of several emerging technology companies and technology incubators.

Ken Masters
Board Chair
Lumera
Biography

Ken Masters

Board Chair
Lumera

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.

David Stickler
NRG Energy Services
Biography

David Stickler

NRG Energy Services

 

David Stickler directs distributed generation strategy at NRG Energy, Inc. a Fortune 300 company that is at the forefront of changing how people think about and use energy. In addition to 47,000 megawatts of generation capacity, NRG’s retail electricity providers serve more than two million customers. David has over 30 years of experience in the power industry that started in US Navy in nuclear power plant operations. He received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Penn State University and an MBA from Penn State’s Smeal College of Business.

Malia Cohen
Supervisor, District 10
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Biography

Malia Cohen

Supervisor, District 10
San Francisco Board of Supervisors

Supervisor Malia Cohen was elected in November 2010 to represent the residents of San Francisco’s 10th District, including the Bayview Hunters Point, Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, and Visitacion Valley neighborhoods.

Supervisor Cohen serves as Chair of the Transportation Authority Finance Committee, Chair of the Government, Audit and Oversight Committee, member of the Rules Committee. She also serves as Vice Chair of the San Francisco Retirement System (SFRS), member of the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board and member of First 5 Commission of San Francisco.

Since being elected Supervisor for San Francisco’s tenth district in 2010, Supervisor Malia Cohen has prioritized developing policies and legislation that keeps the residents of San Francisco’s Southeastern neighborhoods working, healthy and safe. Consistent with these principals in her first three years in office Supervisor Cohen sponsored the Pregnancy Information Disclosure and Protection Ordinance prohibiting limited services pregnancy centers from making false or misleading statements about their services. After passage, this measure was challenged in court and upheld in its entirety. Supervisor Cohen championed legislation that increased penalties for illegal dumping and after seeing the financial and public safety impacts of metal theft, successfully passed first-of-its-kind legislation to strengthen permitting regulations and enforcement on our City’s junk dealers. Additionally, Supervisor Cohen co-sponsored legislation establishing parking restrictions for oversized vehicles as a response to widespread constituent complaints about long-term recreational vehicle (RV) parking and resulting safety and health problems.

In this short amount of time in office Supervisor Cohen has sponsored three ordinances regulating types of especially lethal ammunition, high capacity firearm magazines and giving law enforcement additional tools to combat gun violence. These ordinances increase San Francisco’s already tough stance on firearm regulation. Additionally, she has passed legislation that increases neighborhood notification and community participation in land use decisions and sponsored legislation facilitating the expansion of the California College of the Arts and the revitalization of historic buildings at Pier 70. 

Supervisor Cohen came to the Board from Power Forward Consulting, a public affairs, media and policy consulting firm helping businesses and nonprofits create sound public policy. She is a former member of the Corporate Strategy and Communications team for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco where she worked to supervise and regulate America’s banking institutions.

Supervisor Cohen was born and raised in San Francisco and attended Lowell High School.  She earned a BA in Political Science from Fisk University and a MS in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Gwynne Pugh
Principal
Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio
Biography

Gwynne Pugh

Principal
Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio

Gwynne Pugh has been practicing architecture, planning, civil, structural, and design engineering since 1971. He launched Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio in 2010 after leading Pugh + Scarpa Architects for 22 years. During his time as Principal, the firm received over 20 national and international awards, including the AIA National and State Architecture Firm of the Year Award in 2010, and six AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Project Awards, in addition to numerous local awards. 

Gwynne became a Fellow of the AIA in 2010. He has served as the Chair of the Santa Monica Planning Commission and the President of the Planning Department of the League of California Cities. Gwynne has been on the AIA|LA board for the last three years, was the past Chair of its Political Outreach Committee, and is currently a Representative to the AIA California Council.

Jessie Buckmaster
Sustainability Manager
Hathaway Dinwiddie
Biography

Jessie Buckmaster

Sustainability Manager
Hathaway Dinwiddie

Jessie Buckmaster is Sustainability Manager at Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company with almost 10 years’ experience in commercial construction. She provides sustainability expertise and consultation for Hathaway Dinwiddie’s projects from preconstruction through certification. Jessie has worked on numerous LEED projects, and is currently working on a project pursuing Living Building Challenge certification. Her specialty is in evaluating healthy building materials after spending nearly 4 years researching Red List compliant products. She loves providing training and sustainability education. Jessie is an active member of USGBC and ILFI, and she was Co-Facilitator for the Living Building Challenge Los Angeles Collaborative in 2016. 

David Yale
Special Services
Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink)
Biography

David Yale

Special Services
Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink)
Michelle Sullivan, ASLA
Principal-Landscape Architecture
Studio-MLA
Biography

Michelle Sullivan, ASLA

Principal-Landscape Architecture
Studio-MLA

Michelle Sullivan, ASLA, has focused on ecologically and culturally sensitive design in her three decades of landscape architecture. Her strength is a broad understanding of design with specific knowledge in horticulture, materials, and construction. She is an ever-present leader in the firm and mentor to our project teams. In addition, she manages large visitor-oriented projects such as Dodger Stadium’s improvements as well as biodiverse projects such as the Nature Gardens at Los Angeles County Natural History Museum and UCLA’s Mildred Matthias Botanical Garden.  Michelle’s work focuses on connecting the public to the natural environment, and on making nature’s restorative and beautiful qualities tangible through design. Michelle is both a landscape architect and certified arborist.

Michelle Sim
Commercial Development Manager
SoCalGas
Biography

Michelle Sim

Commercial Development Manager
SoCalGas

Michelle Sim is Commercial Development Manager at SoCalGas, primarily focused on hydrogen. She joined the Sempra utilities in 2013 and have served in various business and policy development roles in clean transportation, residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Prior to joining SoCalGas, Michelle worked at a global A&E firm, Parsons, working primarily on department of defense contracts related to facility asset management, renewable technologies, and zero net energy strategies.

Michelle received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley and earned her Certified Energy Manager certificate from the Association of Energy Engineers. Michelle served a two-year term in 2016 appointed by the then-U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz to the Department of Energy’s Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee. She has also served as the chair of the San Joaquin Valley Natural Gas Partnership and a steering committee member of the California Natural Gas Partnership. Michelle also serves as a Board Member of the Asian American Professionals Association (AAPA).

Bert Dezzutti
Senior Vice President
Brookfield Properties
Biography

Bert Dezzutti

Senior Vice President
Brookfield Properties
Andrew Chastain-Howley
Director, Water System Efficiency
Black & Veatch
Biography

Andrew Chastain-Howley

Director, Water System Efficiency
Black & Veatch

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.

Bill Allen
President and CEO
LAEDC
Biography

Bill Allen

President and CEO
LAEDC

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.

David Hodgins
Executive Director
Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge
Biography

David Hodgins

Executive Director
Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge
Jay Keating
President COO
Sekisui SPR American and Heitkamp Inc.
Biography

Jay Keating

President COO
Sekisui SPR American and Heitkamp Inc.

Mr. Jay Keating is the President COO for the infrastructure renewal division based in the USA. The Division is comprised of two Sekisui companies, SSPRA and Heitkamp offering manufacturing, sales, and engineering and construction services to repair underground municipal and industrial pipelines. Service lines include pipe lining renewal options for Drinking Water, Sanitary & Storm Sewer, Gas and Industrial utility pipes.

Sekisui is a global leader in providing pipelining renewal systems with worldwide operations focusing on the repair of aging underground infrastructure. Sekisui systems have been successfully installed in Japan domestic market as well as every country in the world. The value of the technology is geared to protect the environment while providing economical alternatives to replacement of underground pipes.

Jay began his career with Sekisui in 2007 as the V.P. of Operations on the west coast. In 2010 he was promoted to President of the drinking water rehabilitation company “Sekisui NordiTube” In 2012, Jay was promoted to President of the SSPRA and Heitkamp. The combined companies earn $50M in annual revenues based out of Atlanta and Watertown Connecticut

Jay is a licensed professional engineer, and a 1987 graduate of Michigan Technological University in Houghton Michigan

Manuel Pastor
Director
USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity
Biography

Manuel Pastor

Director
USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity

Dr. Manuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He directs the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE)  and USC's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) and is the inaugural holder of the Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change at USC.

Recognized for his work at the intersection of the academy and activism, he received the Wally Marks Changemaker of the Year Award from the Liberty Hill Foundation for his many research partnerships with social justice organizations. His current research is looking at the last several decades of economic, social, and environmental transformations in California – and what they can tell us about the road ahead for the U.S.

Wenhuang Huang
Director of International Cooperation, Division of Climate Change
China's National Development and Reform Commission
Biography

Wenhuang Huang

Director of International Cooperation, Division of Climate Change
China's National Development and Reform Commission

Ms Huang Wenhang, Director of International Cooperation Division of Climate Change Department in the NDRC.

Prior to joining in the NDRC, she has worked in the Ministry of Finance (MOF) for 19 years on various posts. During her services in the MOF, she was sent to work in Foreign Investment Advisory Service of the International Finance Cooperation of the World Bank in Washington between 2001 and 2005. After she came back in China, she was appointed as an acting head of International Financial Organization Division of International Department of the MOF, where she participated in various activities associated with climate change and environment, including drafting CDM regulation, establishing CDM fund, drafting Management Method for GEF Grant, supervising the operation of GEF grant in China and participating in a number of UNFCCC negotiations.    

Aura Vasquez
Commissioner
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Biography

Aura Vasquez

Commissioner
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Ms. Aura Vasquez was appointed to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners by Mayor Eric Garcetti and confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council on May 3, 2017. Her term continues through June 30, 2020.  Ms. Vasquez is an organizer, advocate, and activist for environmental and social justice issues with more than 10 years of experience in New York, Washington D.C, and California. A native of Colombia, she brings her experiences as a Latina immigrant, woman of color and successful environmental leader to many issues concerning frontline communities.

Ms. Vasquez is the Climate Justice Director for the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) where she oversees the 14 organizations that carry out CPD’s national climate justice efforts. She also represents CPD on national committees such as the Ready for 100% campaign, the People's Climate March, and the U.S. Climate Action Network. 

Since moving to California to continue her career in advocacy, policy, and social change, Ms. Vasquez has advocated for state and federal immigrant rights with the PICO Network, helped spearhead the ban of single use plastic bags in Los Angeles, pass the California Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act (SB 350), and establish the Feed-in Tariff Initiative – the largest rooftop solar program in the country. As an organizer with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, Ms. Vasquez was instrumental in securing an announcement by former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to make Los Angeles the largest U.S. city to go coal-free by 2025. Ms. Vasquez also serves as board member of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters.

Through her appointment on the Board of Water and Power Commissioners, Ms. Vasquez will focus on policies that make the municipal utility more equitable, inclusive and sustainable.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Lehman College in New York City and recently graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education’s Leadership, Organizing and Action program.

Ms. Vasquez is a thorough world traveler and enjoys learning about diverse cultures. Growing up, she trained as a professional dancer and to this day continues to dance and appreciates music and arts festivals.

Jonathan Carley
Vice-President, Business Development
CO2 Solutions
Biography

Jonathan Carley

Vice-President, Business Development
CO2 Solutions

Mr. Carley was appointed Vice-President, Business Development of CO2 Solutions on October 30, 2008.  He joined the Company as Director, Business Development, in May 2008, to lead the Company's efforts to secure deployment, partnership and licensing arrangements for its technology.  Mr. Carley's career spans more than 15 years of progressive experience in the areas of business development, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions.  Prior to joining CO2 Solution, Mr. Carley was Director, Development & Projects for Permolex International, L.P. a leading North American biofuels producer.  Mr. Carley also spent several years in the venture capital industry with an Ontario-based private equity fund focused on active investments in renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and information technology.

Based in Quebec City, Canada, CO2 Solutions is commercializing a biocatalytic platform for the efficient capture, sequestration and reuse of carbon dioxide from power plants, oil refineries and other large sources of carbon emissions.  CO2 Solutions’ process is an industrial lung which utilizes the powerful enzyme catalyst carbonic anhydrase which is responsible for the efficient management of CO2 in living systems.  Supported by the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta and several major energy companies, the technology is undergoing scale-up for the low-cost reduction of petroleum production emissions in the Alberta oil sands. 

Phillip Isenberg
Chair
Delta Stewardship Council
Biography

Phillip Isenberg

Chair
Delta Stewardship Council

Chair of the Delta Stewardship Council.  Previously, he served as a Sacramento City Council member from 1971-1974, Mayor of Sacramento from 1975-1982 and as a member of the California State Assembly representing portions of Sacramento, Contra Costa and San Joaquin Counties from 1982 to 1996.  His state legislative district contained major parts of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  His subject area focus as an elected official included land use planning, water and resource issues, state budget and fiscal matters, redevelopment reform and healthcare issues.

Isenberg holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law and a Bachelor of Art in Social Science and Government from California State University, Sacramento. He was in private practice and also served as President of Isenberg-O’Haren Government Relations from 2004 to February 2010.  He is currently an inactive member of the California State Bar.

Isenberg served as chair of the California Marine Life Protection Act Blue Ribbon Task Force from 2004 to 2006 and served as chairman of the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force from 2007 to 2008.  The recommendations of the Delta Vision Task Force provided much of the structure of the major water/Delta policy changes adopted by the legislature in 2009 and signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger.

He was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to a six year term on the Delta Stewardship Council, and elected Chair of the Council by his colleagues.

Jacob Atalla
Vice President of Sustainability
KB Homes
Biography

Jacob Atalla

Vice President of Sustainability
KB Homes

Educated as an architect, Jacob has over 25 years of technology and green building experience. He developed KB Home’s “Double Zero” homes.  These ground-breaking homes are designed to produce as much energy as they’re expected to consume, and include energy storage.  At the same time, they recycle greywater, eliminating the need for fresh water in landscape irrigation.  Other recent projects include launching nearly 100 solar-powered communities, and building over 150 LEED certified homes.  Previously, Jacob developed KB Home’s Energy Performance Guide, which provides KB homeowners with information on the relative energy efficiency and estimated gas and electricity costs.

Jacob serves on the board of directors for Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET).  He also serves on the technical committee for Leading Builders of America, and on the advisory board for TecHome Builder.  In recent years he chaired Orange County’s Urban Land Institute’s Sustainable Communities Council. 

Jessica Reinhardt
Director, Public Policy
Sunrun
Biography

Jessica Reinhardt

Director, Public Policy
Sunrun

Having more than 15 years of policy experience, Jessica has worked with business, engineering, regulatory, and legal teams to advise on a wide range of issues across the country. In December of 2018, Jessica joined Sunrun as Director of Public Policy where she manages teams in regulatory and legislative efforts to advance the deployment of residential solar, energy storage, and grid services in California, the Southwest, and New York. This includes the development, coordination, and implementation of lobbying strategies, grassroots campaigns, media campaigns, and legal interventions. In this capacity she serves on several industry association boards including the Colorado Solar & Storage Association, the Arizona Solar & Storage Association and the NY Solar Energy Industry Association. 

A native New Yorker, Jessica grew up on Long Island in one of the country’s most prolific solar markets. She received her bachelors in political science from the University at Albany where she began working in the policy sector. After earning her law degree, she served as Energy Counsel in the New York Assembly advising legislators on issues across all sectors of the energy industry. During this time, she also earned an LLM in Energy and Natural Resources Law. She graduated from the program Summa Cum Laude and was published several times on solar-related topics such as amending local codes to accommodate rooftop solar.  

She then spent several years as government relations manager for the Consolidated Edison Company of New York (ConEd), providing her with another unique perspective on energy policy. During her tenure at ConEd, Superstorm Sandy devastated New York forcing policymakers to reexamine the way electricity is generated and delivered. New York’s well-known REV initiative followed with a new focus on the need for a cleaner, distributed grid. Witnessing the effects of Superstorm Sandy affirmed her passion for clean energy and led to her work as a solar advocate beginning in 2016 at SolarCity. 

As Deputy Director of Policy & Electricity Markets for SolarCity, she worked closely on issues such as permitting, interconnection, rate design, consumer protection, economic development and more in the Northeast residential and commercial sectors. She was instrumental in the bi-partisan and unanimous enactment of New York’s energy storage target, among the strongest in country, paving the way for a robust energy storage market.  

Guanbin Zhang
Commercial Consul
Chinese Consulate, Los Angeles
Biography

Guanbin Zhang

Commercial Consul
Chinese Consulate, Los Angeles

Guanbin Zhang joined the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles in February 2012. In his current capacity as a Commercial Consul, Zhang observes trade issues, serves and provides guidance for Chinese companies in Southern California, promotes investments and exhibitions between China and the Consulate area of Southern California, Hawaii, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Prior to his appointment as Commercial Consul in LA, Mr. Zhang worked in the Department of Foreign Trade of Ministry of Commerce of China (MOFCOM). As Vice Director of his sub-section, Mr. Zhang was in charge of import policy on some important industrial products and foreign trade structural adjustment.

Mr. Zhang received his Ph.D. in economics from China Central University of Finance and Economics, and his Master in International Trade from the China Agricultural University.

Terry Tamminen
CEO
Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
Biography

Terry Tamminen

CEO
Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

Terry has deep international expertise in business, agriculture, education, public policy and the environment. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency and later Cabinet Secretary, the Chief Policy Advisor to the Governor, where Terry was the architect of many groundbreaking sustainability policies, including California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, the Hydrogen Highway Network, and the Million Solar Roofs initiative. In 2010 Terry co-founded the R20 Regions of Climate Action, a public-private partnership bringing together subnational governments, businesses, financial markets, NGOs, and academia to implement measurable, large-scale, low-carbon and climate resilient economic development projects that can simultaneously solve the climate crisis and build a sustainable global economy. Since 2007 he has provided advice to Pegasus Capital Advisors and numerous global businesses on sustainability and “green” investing. In 2016, Terry joined the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation as CEO. An accomplished author, Terry’s books include “Cracking the Carbon Code: The Keys to Sustainable Profits in the New Economy” (Palgrave Macmillan). In 2011, Terry was one of six finalists for the Zayed Future Energy Prize and The Guardian ranked Terry No. 1 in its “Top 50 People Who Can Save the Planet.”

Jean-Yves Benoit
Director of the Carbon Market
Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development
Biography

Jean-Yves Benoit

Director of the Carbon Market
Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development

Mr. Jean-Yves Benoit graduated with honors from Montréal University and received a Master of science in Economics.  He worked for many years in the private sector before joining Quebec’s Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wild Life and Parks in 2006.   Jean-Yves represents the government of Québec in the Western Climate Initiative and is a member of the WCI Board of Directors. 

For the last several years Mr. Benoit has been working on the establishment of a cap-and-trade carbon market in Quebec.  This market will be a key driver for Quebec to achieve the targeted 20% reduction in GHG levels by 2020. 

Because of their mutual commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gasses, Quebec and California have agreed to work to link their two markets in 2013.  Mr. Benoit is the director of the Carbon Market Division leading the team that is responsible for both developing and implementing Quebec’s cap and trade system as well as linking Quebec’s market with that of Califoria.

Charles Herbertson
Director & City Engineer
Culver City Department of Public Works
Biography

Charles Herbertson

Director & City Engineer
Culver City Department of Public Works


 

Mickey Kantor
Partner, Mayer Brown LLP
Former US Secretary of Commerce
Biography

Mickey Kantor

Partner, Mayer Brown LLP
Former US Secretary of Commerce

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.

Marqueece Harris-Dawson
City Councilmember
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Marqueece Harris-Dawson

City Councilmember
City of Los Angeles
Mike Hopkins
CEO
Ice Energy
Biography

Mike Hopkins

CEO
Ice Energy

Mike Hopkins is the CEO of Ice Energy (www.ice-energy.com). Ice Energy is the leading provider of thermal energy storage for the grid, with its award winning Ice Bear system deployed in more than 40 utility service territories. Ice Energy’s most recent win was an award of 16 contracts from Southern California Edison for 25.6 MW of thermal energy storage capacity.

Prior to joining Ice Energy, Mike practiced law for 18 years as a partner with Bennett Jones LLP, a pre-eminent Canadian law firm recognized internationally as a leader in the fields of energy and climate change. He specialized in the development and financing of power projects around the world, served on the firm's Executive Committee and led their Utilities Group, International Group and Independent Power Group. Mike left Bennett Jones at the end of 2002 to lead the workout of a private data center developer that resulted in its sale. After the sale of that company, Mike co-founded a geomatics company and assisted several other startups.

Mike is a member of the Board of Chancellors of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, a member of the Board of Chancellors and Past Chairman of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Canada, a member of the Board of Trustees and Past Chairman of William Sansum Diabetes Center, a member of the Board of Directors of Integrated Marine Education and Research Expeditions and a member of the Board of Directors of Orthoshop Geomatics Limited, a spin-off of the geomatics company he co-founded. He holds a BA and a law degree from the University of Ottawa, an MA (Law & Economics) from the University of Miami and an MBA from the University of Alberta.

Eva Pauly-Bowles
International Sales Director
Ciel & Terre
Biography

Eva Pauly-Bowles

International Sales Director
Ciel & Terre

Eva Pauly-Bowles, born in Poitiers France, graduated in 2010 with a double MBA, MSc in Business management from the Bordeaux (KEDGE) Business School in France and the Strathclyde Business School in Glasgow, UK.

She initially worked for a French gas and energy company, Europlasma developing new biogas renewables known as CHO Power. In June 2010, she Joined Ciel et Terre group developing floating PV projects in over 10 countries including the largest worldwide floating PV power plant grid connected in Japan. 

She started the Japanese subsidiary, Ciel et Terre Japan in Tokyo, and was their Representative Director from June 2013 to December 2014 developing an autonomous Japanese team. Thereafter she accompanied the UK subsidiary in developing Floating Solar UK ltd, which developed 11 MWp of floating PV projects within a year.

Since February 2016, she has been managing the new US subsidiary group, Ciel et Terre USA Inc, which is fully dedicated to the US market. With more than 7 years of experience in the specialized field of floating solar, she has provided technical and financial expertise to the achievements of more than 85 MWp of grid connected floating PV plants worldwide, and more than 200 MWp worldwide of floating PV projects under development.

Damon Nagami
Senior Attorney
Natural Resources Defense Council
Biography

Damon Nagami

Senior Attorney
Natural Resources Defense Council

Damon Nagami is a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the director of NRDC’s Southern California Ecosystems Project. He works to protect parkland and open space and advocates for sustainable land use planning in southern California.

Damon’s recent projects include working to stop a controversial toll road from paving over San Onofre State Beach, implementing the historic Tejon Ranch conservation and land use agreement, protecting communities from the impacts of expanded oil drilling and hydraulic fracturing in Baldwin Hills and throughout California, and advocating for urban parks and the revitalization of the Los Angeles River.

Prior to joining NRDC, Damon practiced environmental law at Bingham McCutchen LLP, specializing in contaminated property litigation, Clean Air Act compliance, and litigation under various environmental laws including CERCLA and the Clean Water Act. Damon earned his J.D. at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and his undergraduate degree in environmental sciences at U.C. Berkeley.

Damon’s blog can be found at http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dnagami/.

Gary Doer
Ambassador
Canadian Embassy to the United States
Biography

Gary Doer

Ambassador
Canadian Embassy to the United States
Geoff Gunn
Electrical Engineering & Energy Business Leader
Arup
Biography

Geoff Gunn

Electrical Engineering & Energy Business Leader
Arup
Geoff leads Arup’s work in distributed energy, EV planning and energy resilience in Arup’s Boston office where he is both the Electrical Engineering and Energy Business Leader.
He has led the design of numerous solar photovoltaic systems and other renewable, and distributed, energy systems, such as CHP, fuel cells, battery energy storage, demand response, and microgrids. He has performed energy resilience assessments and provided electrical design to enhance resilience. Geoff has electrification and grid interconnection experience in a range of projects, including transit providers, campus facilities, zero net energy buildings, data centers, educational facilities, and hospitality. He is currently working on the fleet electrification strategy and related charging infrastructure for Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority.
Brian Jordan
Vice President
Tetra Tech
Biography

Brian Jordan

Vice President
Tetra Tech

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.

Jared Ficker
Partner
Axiom Advisors
Biography

Jared Ficker

Partner
Axiom Advisors
Christian Felske
Technical Specialist - Processing, Research & Regulatory
Waste Management Services, City of Edmonton
Biography

Christian Felske

Technical Specialist - Processing, Research & Regulatory
Waste Management Services, City of Edmonton

 Christian received his Civil Engineering Diploma and his Ph.D. in Solid Waste Management from the University of Essen in Germany. Prior to moving to Canada, he was a project engineer with the AGR mbH in Essen, Germany from 1999 to 2003. During that time he was involved in the design and operation of several landfills, composting plants and anaerobic digestion/waste to energy facilities in the Ruhr Region in Germany. From 2003 to 2009 Christian worked as a Research Scientist in the Waste Management Technologies program at the Alberta Research Council during which he lead several landfill gas biofiltration/ bioreactor and waste to energy projects. In his current role with WMS of the City of Edmonton Christian is responsible for overseeing the Branch’s processing activities, interactions with regulators, and for providing technical and scientific expertise through the Branch’s Research & Development activities. Christian is also managing the Advanced Energy Research Facility which houses a pilot municipal solid waste gasifier and waste-to-biofuel process based on Enerkem technology.

Clare DeBriere*
Chair
Urban Land Institute - Los Angeles
Biography

Clare DeBriere*

Chair
Urban Land Institute - Los Angeles
Clare De Briere is a native Angeleno and has spent her career creating special places for the citizens and visitors of Los Angeles.
 
Clare joined The Ratkovich Company as a summer intern in 1991 after graduating from UCLA and worked her way through property management, leasing, construction, financing and development management while earning her graduate degree at USC's prestigious Lusk Center for Real Estate. In her career with the company she has overseen the acquisition, entitlement, planning, development and/or disposition of millions of square feet from The Wiltern Theatre, 5900 Wilshire, 800 Wilshire, The Alhambra, The Hercules Campus in Playa Vista and, most recently, The Bloc in downtown Los Angeles.  Clare retired from the Company after 26 years, the last decade of which she spent as its Chief Operating Office and Executive Vice President.  She remains affiliated with the Company through its Advisory Board.
 
Clare and her husband, Chef Christopher Barnett, have started a new company, C+C Ventures, a Los Angeles based experience company to develop places that inspire creativity, curiosity and delight whether through a wonderful neighborhood restaurant or a fantastic renovated work or living space.
 
Clare is an active member of the Urban Land Institute serving on the National Advisory Committee for Building Healthy Places and Building Healthy Corridors, and on the Los Angeles District Council'€™s Executive Committee and Advisory Board.  She has served on a ULI Advisory Panel in the City of Denver and on a local Technical Assistance Panel for the Huntington Hospital and Cal Poly Pomona. She has been named on the Los Angeles Business Journal's Women Making a Difference list and has been on the Real Estate - Southern California's Women of Influence list every year since 2003. Clare is also on the Advisory Board of the UCLA History Department; and served on the Executive Committee of the Board of the Los Angeles Conservancy.
Dan Sturges
Transport Designer
Biography

Dan Sturges

Transport Designer

Dan Sturges is a leading transportation designer, entrepreneur, and educator. Early in Dan’s career, he designed and commercialized the first Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV), and led the charge to create a new “right-sized” vehicle category for local trip needs. In 1998, Dan launched the first New Mobility program in North America, while working with the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC-Davis, focusing on the future of smart multi-mobility systems. Since then, Dan has spent several decades focusing on the future of urban mobility and working for a diverse number of companies / organizations that includes: Southern California Metropolitan Planning Organizations (SCAG, SANDAG, SBCCOG). He has supported General Motors, Ford, Daimler, Nissan Future Lab, Disney, Segway, V-Ride, Fehr & Peers, NRDC and Rocky Mountain Institute, among others. Dan was named one of 40 top designers in the U.S. by ID Magazine, and served on the Transportation Research Board for 10 years as a member of the New Public Transportation committee.

Joel Levin
Vice President, Business Development
Climate Action Reserve
Biography

Joel Levin

Vice President, Business Development
Climate Action Reserve

As the Climate Action Reserve’s Vice President of Business Development, Joel Levin is responsible for strategic development of the Reserve and has overseen its development from inception to its current status as the recognized environmental standard for carbon offset projects in the United States. He is the Reserve’s primary liaison to the business community and is a frequent and popular speaker on the Reserve’s programs and other climate change topics.

Joel has served as staff to the California Market Advisory Committee and the California Climate Action Team. Prior to working at the Reserve, Joel worked at Feeva Wireless in Berkeley and APX in Santa Clara. He has also served on the Capitol Hill staff of Senator Timothy E. Wirth (D-Colorado).

Joel holds an M.B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and an M.A. in International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University.

Michael Dieden
Founder
Creative Housing Associates
Biography

Michael Dieden

Founder
Creative Housing Associates

Founded in 1997 as an alternative approach to traditional real estate development, Creative Housing Associates LLC. (CHA) is a neighborhood and transit-oriented builder. The company models itself after the historic concept of the town builder – a partner to the community and facilitator for growth and maturity in alignment with local values. Since its inception, the company has focused on building small-town downtowns near transit stations, to encourage accessibility to diverse, vibrant neighborhoods, while decreasing car use. Specifically, CHA regularly teams up with municipalities and transportation agencies in order to bring forth some of California’s most respected and tasteful civic revitalizations. In 2006, the company’s Mission Meridian Village, in South Pasadena won several coveted awards including the Congress for the New Urbanism’s Charter Award, and Best Transit Oriented Project by the Urban Land Institute. 

Currently, CHA is competing for the development rights of several TOD parcels in Southern California, including Solana Beach and Rancho Cucamonga, and in the process of developing an mixed-use, affordable housing project in Watts, Los Angeles.

Diana Limón
Training Director
Net Zero Plus Electrical Training Institute
Biography

Diana Limón

Training Director
Net Zero Plus Electrical Training Institute

Diana Limon is the Training Director at the Net Zero Plus Electrical Training Institute (NZP ETI), the largest labor-management electrical apprenticeship program in the United States.  The NZP ETI was designed to be a state of the art facility using a set of comprehensive strategies transforming the way the facility uses, produces, stores, and monitors energy while training apprentices and advanced skilled journey level courses in the electrical industry.  The NZP ETI is a showcase of innovation in integrated sustainable energy technology and training.

Diana started her career as an apprentice in Los Angeles in 1995.  Upon completion of her apprenticeship, she began teaching the electrical apprenticeship and supervising work as a foreman and general foreman out in the field.   She served on the staff of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 11’s Staff for fifteen years.  She received her BA in Labor Studies from the National Labor College and M.P.A. from the University of Baltimore.     

Suzanne Witt
‎Marketing Development Manager and Corporate Responsibility Officer
Chubb Insurance
Biography

Suzanne Witt

‎Marketing Development Manager and Corporate Responsibility Officer
Chubb Insurance
Laura Genao
Managing Director, Regulatory Affairs
Southern California Edison
Biography

Laura Genao

Managing Director, Regulatory Affairs
Southern California Edison

Laura Genao is the Managing Director of State Regulatory Affairs for Southern California Edison. In that role, she leads the company’s San Francisco office, which advocates on issues pending before the CPUC, including rates, transmission siting, safety, and procurement policy.  Prior to taking the position in San Francisco, Laura was based in the company’s Rosemead office and was the manager of Regulatory and Legislative Matters in the Renewable and Alternative Power group. There she coordinated the development of the company’s policies with regard to renewable electricity and alternative power.  An attorney by training, Laura began her career at Southern California Edison as a regulatory attorney working on issues such as long-term procurement planning, issues surrounding cost recovery for new generation, cost of capital, and development of a regulatory framework for greenhouse gas emissions reductions. 

Laura received her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and an undergraduate degree in History and Literature from Harvard College. Before becoming an attorney, Laura was a member of Teach for America, where she taught middle and high school English, Spanish, and Journalism in Pasadena, California. She also spent a few years as a newspaper reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she was part of a team of reporters nominated for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize.

Rick Cameron
Director of Environmental Planning
Port of Long Beach
Biography

Rick Cameron

Director of Environmental Planning
Port of Long Beach

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.

Colleen Quinn
Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy
ChargePoint
Biography

Colleen Quinn

Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy
ChargePoint

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.

Peter Beattie
Premier (Former)
Queensland, Australia
Biography

Peter Beattie

Premier (Former)
Queensland, Australia
Wes Marstaller
Chief Financial Officer
Avalon Battery
Biography

Wes Marstaller

Chief Financial Officer
Avalon Battery

Wes is the CFO of Avalon Battery, a leading developer and manufacturer of Vanadium Flow Batteries. At Avalon Wes works with renewable energy developers, investors, lenders, industrial businesses and others to deploy stationary energy storage projects. 

Wes has spent 14 years investing in and developing sustainable infrastructure and real estate. As a Vice President in the Macquarie Group, Wes completed over $2bn of financing in the infrastructure and renewable energy industries, investing in projects throughout North America and Europe. Wes also served as COO of Rennie, one of the leading players in sustainable, transit oriented real estate development in the Pacific Northwest. 

Wes has a Masters degree in Finance from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France and a Bachelors of Commerce degree from McGill University. 

John Simpson
Program Director, Water Resources Division
Marine Corps Installations West/ Marine Corps Base
Biography

John Simpson

Program Director, Water Resources Division
Marine Corps Installations West/ Marine Corps Base

John is the Water Resources Program Director for Marine Corps Installations West and the General Manager of Camp Pendleton’s Water Resources District. He is focused on the fact that the Water Security of the Dept of the Navy’s installations in the southwest equals their Mission Security which in-turn equates to National Security.

Prior to coming to Camp Pendleton, John was a Program Manager at the US General Services Administration in Washington, DC, where he founded the Facilities Management Institute (FMI.gov) - a cloud based institute developed to implement the Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act.

Prior to GSA, John was a Principal at Rocky Mountain Institute where he was the Water Practice Leader working on projects in China, Singapore, Colorado and the six cities of the Salinas Valley.

Prior to that, he spent 20 years in the US Navy - serving in the Submarine Force, Naval Diving and Salvage Community and the Civil Engineer Corps (Seabees).

John is a registered Professional Civil Engineer, and is a Doctoral Candidate in the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California, after earning his Masters degree from Stanford University and his Bachelors degree from the University of South Carolina – both in Civil and Environmental Engineering. 

Josh Richman
Vice President of Business Development
Bloom Energy
Biography

Josh Richman

Vice President of Business Development
Bloom Energy

Josh Richman is the Vice President of Business Development for Bloom Energy Corporation where his responsibilities include market development, strategic partnerships, and legislative and regulatory affairs. Before joining Bloom, Josh was an associate at Greenrock Capital, a private equity fund focused exclusively on clean energy investments. Prior to his work in the energy sector, Josh spent six years in the political arena serving as Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s Political Director and as a senior member of the Richard Gephardt for President campaign. 

Josh graduated with honors from Brown University and received his MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business. While at Stanford, Josh co-founded the GSB Energy Club and worked at Technology Partners, a Silicon Valley cleantech venture capital firm. Josh served on the board of the Clean Tech Advisory Council for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, and on the Sunnyvale Mayor’s Green Ribbon Sustainability Taskforce.

Gregory Nelson
Captain
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Biography

Gregory Nelson

Captain
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

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. 

Mike Wallace
Managing Director
BrownFlynn
Biography

Mike Wallace

Managing Director
BrownFlynn

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.

Terra Carver
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Humboldt County Growers Alliance
Biography

Terra Carver

Co-Founder and Executive Director
Humboldt County Growers Alliance

Terra J. Carver has been involved in Humboldt County’s cannabis community for over a decade.  After her first few years of farming, she began studying Sustainable Agriculture at College of Redwoods to gain a deeper understanding of best management practices and responsible land stewardship. Currently, Terra is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Humboldt County Growers Alliance (HCGA) a local trade association with over 250 members. The mission of HCGA is to “Preserve, protect and enhance Humboldt County’s world-renowned cannabis industry.” Terra also served on the Board of Directors for California Growers Association and chaired their Policy Committee from late 2016-2019.

Linda Griego
Board Member
AECOM
Biography

Linda Griego

Board Member
AECOM

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. 

Clare Fox
Executive Director
Los Angeles Food Policy Council
Biography

Clare Fox

Executive Director
Los Angeles Food Policy Council

Clare Fox has served as Executive Director of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC) since 2015.  In this role, she supports and collaborates with a large network of public, private, non-profit and community leaders to catalyze policy and systems change for a sustainable and fair food system. Clare joined the staff of the LA Food Policy Council in 2011, eventually serving as the Director of Policy and Innovation. Since then, she has led numerous programs and legislative wins leading to improved access to healthy food for low-income residents, improved conditions for food workers, and improved coordination among food agencies and stakeholders. Previously, she created and led a food access investment program at the City of Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA-LA), piloted in South Los Angeles in partnership with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and a coalition of community-based organizations and residents. In her first career, she was a radio producer at National Public Radio and Youth Radio, where she taught radio and media production to young people throughout Los Angeles – from Boyle Heights to Inglewood. She currently serves on Mayor Garcetti’s Los Angeles Promise Zone Leadership Council, the Board of Directors for LA Compost, chair of the women’s committee of CLUE (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice), and was a founding board member of Critical Mass Dance Company. She has a bachelors of arts in Critical Social Thought from Mount Holyoke College, a Masters in Urban Planning from UCLA and all her work is informed by a lifelong commitment to social and racial justice.

Cisco DeVries
President
Renewable Funding LLC
Biography

Cisco DeVries

President
Renewable Funding LLC

Cisco DeVries is President of Renewable Funding, which designs, administers and finances clean energy programs.

Renewable Funding provides innovative solutions to state and local governments – as well as private sector clients – in the United States and internationally.  The firm creates new approaches, administers all aspects of energy programs, builds technology systems to simplify program and consumer engagement, and delivers financing for energy improvements.  Renewable Funding has provided services to over 200 state and local governments, including the California Energy Commission and Public Utilities Commission, Los Angeles County, the City of Seattle, the U.S. Department of Energy, ICLEI, the City of Melbourne (Australia) and many others. 

Previously, as Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Berkeley, he envisioned and led the initial development of BerkeleyFIRST, the model for Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE) programs, which allow property owners to pay for solar installations and energy efficiency projects as a line item on their property tax bill. DeVries also served as an appointee in the administration of President Bill Clinton, serving as an aide to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation and the U.S. Secretary of Energy.   

Carl Zichella
Director of Western Transmission
Natural Resources Defense Council
Biography

Carl Zichella

Director of Western Transmission
Natural Resources Defense Council

Carl Zichella is the director for western transmission for NRDC. He is the organization’s lead staff for western U.S. renewable energy transmission siting and serves on a nationwide team working on renewable energy development issues.   In this role he works with stakeholders from environmental organizations, renewable energy development and transmission industries, local, state and national governments, regulatory agencies and the public to find renewable energy transmission solutions that accelerate renewable energy development while respecting wildlife and land conservation efforts.

Before joining NRDC he was the director for western U.S. renewable projects for the Sierra Club.  He served in leadership capacities on the Sierra Club staff for 23 years.

Mr. Zichella is a former director of the Climate Action Reserve, founding steering committee member of the California Apollo Alliance, a director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technology (CEERT), environmental representative on the Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI), environmental representative to the Western Governor’ Association Renewable Energy Zone identification process, environmental representative for the Western Electricity Coordinating Council’s Transmission Expansion Planning Policy Committee, and was a founding director of the American Wilderness Coalition. 

He lives in Davis, California with his wife Sarah and their dogs Lambchop and Dudley.

Deven Upadhyay
Biography

Deven Upadhyay

Deven Upadhyay is the manager of the Water Resource Management Group at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. He is responsible for managing the district’s planning activities and policy guideline development related to Metropolitan’s water supply plans and integrated resources plans. He also oversees the development and implementation of Metropolitan’s resources programs for conservation, local resources projects and groundwater recovery and conjunctive use programs. In addition, he directs the management and negotiations of resource contracts related to the State Water Project and Colorado River deliveries as well as water transfers and purchases.

Upadhyay began his career with Metropolitan in 1995 as a resource specialist in the Planning and Resources Department. In 2005 he left Metropolitan to work for the Municipal Water District of Orange County as a principle on policy issues. In 2008 he returned to Metropolitan as the manager of the Budget and Financial Planning Section in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, where he managed Metropolitan’s annual budget process. He also handled the district’s process for administering rates and charges and managed business continuity and financial planning.

An avid tennis player and a devoted Angel’s baseball fan, Upadhyay earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from California State University, Fullerton and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of La Verne.

Robin Hughes
President & CEO
Abode Communities
Biography

Robin Hughes

President & CEO
Abode Communities

Robin Hughes is president and chief executive officer of Abode Communities, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit architect, developer, manager and operator of service-enhanced affordable housing. She has been actively involved in affordable housing and community development for over 30 years and in her 23 years as leader of Abode Communities, Hughes has transformed the organization into an Affordable Housing Finance Top 50 Developer nationwide and the premier provider of environmentally sustainable affordable housing in California.

 

Jerry Callahan
CEO
ISI Technology
Biography

Jerry Callahan

CEO
ISI Technology

Jerry grew up on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and studied naval architecture at MIT and Stevens Institute of Technology. He began his career as a civil engineer at the second largest dredging and marine construction company in the world, and rose to General Superintendent (COO) 7 years later. After that, he began a series of business “turnarounds”, including some “fast track” plant relocations. He also started up a few companies, such as Blue Rhino Propane Cylinder Exchange, and National Packaging Solutions Group. He has been a principal in a private equity group, has run several portfolio companies for private equity firms, and has also provided a broad range of management consulting from strategy development to M &A advisory services. Along the way he received an MBA from the University of Chicago. Jerry has recently patented and developed the world’s first fully electronic water heater, and as the CEO of ISI Technology (www.isitechnology.com), is focused on commercializing this technology in 2014.

Jerry enjoys competitive sailboat racing, cycling, and many other outdoor activities. He is an active member of WPO and CEO, and lives on Sullivan’s Island, SC. He and his wife Susie have a daughter who graduated from Tufts and is a research analyst in Cambridge, MA, and a son who graduated from University of South Carolina and works in the marine construction business.

Melani Smith
Senior Director, Transit Oriented Communities
LA Metro
Biography

Melani Smith

Senior Director, Transit Oriented Communities
LA Metro

Melani Smith is a Senior Director in LA Metro’s Transit Oriented Communities planning group, where she focuses on integrating sustainable and healthy urban design, first/last mile connections and equitable access for all, into Metro mobility corridor projects in LA County.  She led Metro’s team preparing a TOD Strategic Implementation Plan for the 12 station areas that have been identified along the future West Santa Ana Branch transit corridor through southeast Los Angeles County. She is now developing a multi-year implementation program for the Plan, through which Metro will continue to support West Santa Ana Branch cities in undertaking strategic, coordinated, and sustainable transit supportive planning and placemaking in their station areas.

Much of her career prior to Metro has focused on building and leading led vision-driven urban design and planning practices in Southern California.  She has done this in her many years as CEO/President and Principal at Meléndrez (now RELM Studio) in downtown Los Angeles, and as Director of Governmental Services at The Planning Center (now Placeworks), in Costa Mesa, CA. Her professional life started in marketing for professional services firms focusing on transforming the built environment, including six years at Arup in Los Angeles.

She is an active ULI and Los Angeles Advisory Board member, and in 2017 was appointed a member of the Institute’s first national Health Leaders cohort, working to build cross-disciplinary partnerships and communities of practice around health and the built environment. She is also an Adjunct Faculty Member in the Price School of Policy at the University of Southern California, in the sustainable land use concentration.

Melani is a fourth generation Los Angeleno, with a B.A. in History from UCLA, and a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from UC Irvine.

Paul Silvern
Partner
HR&A Advisors
Biography

Paul Silvern

Partner
HR&A Advisors

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.

Traci Minamide
Chief Operating Officer
Los Angeles Sanitation & Environment
Biography

Traci Minamide

Chief Operating Officer
Los Angeles Sanitation & Environment

Traci is the Chief Operating Officer for the City of Los Angeles , 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. 

John "Woody" Wodraska
President
Wodraska Partners, Inc.
Biography

John "Woody" Wodraska

President
Wodraska Partners, Inc.

Woody Wodraska is a veteran of the water industry and started his professional career with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). He was then recruited to serve as the CEO of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). Wodraska has worked in a variety of positions in the private sector of the water industry.  This included Azurix, a subsidiary of ENRON and a stint with large to mid-sized Architectural & Engineering Consulting firms, specializing in water.  Presently he is President of Wodraska Partners, a small firm specializing in providing comprehensive problem solving strategies for public and private entities in the water industry.

Frank Gehry
Founder and Partner
Gehry Partners
Biography

Frank Gehry

Founder and Partner
Gehry Partners

Raised in Toronto, Canada, Frank Gehry moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1947.  Mr. Gehry received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California in 1954, and he studied City Planning at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. In subsequent years, Mr. Gehry has built an architectural career that has spanned over five decades and produced public and private buildings in America, Europe and Asia.  His work has earned Mr. Gehry several of the most significant awards in the architectural field, including the Pritzker Prize.

Notable projects include Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California; Eight Spruce Street Residential Tower located in New York City; Opus Hong Kong Residential; Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France; the Biomuseo in Panama; and the Dr. Chau Chak Wing Building for the University of Technology, in Sydney, Australia. Current projects include: King Street Development in Toronto, Ontario; Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia; Battersea Power Station Development, London, United Kingdom; Grand Avenue Development, Los Angeles, California; Facebook Campuses in New York City, Seattle, London and Dublin; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; and the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C. Projects under construction include the LUMA / Parc des Ateliers in Arles, France; Divan Orchestra in Berlin, Germany; the Ohr O. Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, Mississippi, and the West Campus for Facebook in Menlo Park, California.

Photo: dbox

Gideon Kracov
General Counsel
California Waste and Recycling Association
Biography

Gideon Kracov

General Counsel
California Waste and Recycling Association

Mr. Kracov is a lawyer in private practice in Los Angeles, where he represents clients in civil law, environmental and land use cases.  His work includes high-stakes litigation and complex regulatory matters.  Mr. Kracov offers experience honed by work for diverse business, labor and non-profit clients, and as a government lawyer.  He has served for over a decade as General Counsel of the California Waste and Recycling Association, a trade organization including the region's leading recycling and waste management companies.



Previously, Mr. Kracov served as a Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney where he counseled the Departments of Planning and Sanitation.  He was on the team that negotiated the $168 million settlement to remove trash from the Los Angeles River and he advised the City's contaminated property redevelopment program.

  Before his public sector work, Mr. Kracov practiced at Rose, Klein & Marias LLP, a trial law firm.  There he handled toxic tort and environmental matters that helped shape these areas of the law. 

Mr. Kracov served as 2014-2015 Chair of the State Bar of California Environmental Law Section.  Elected by his peers to that role, he led education and program activities on behalf of the Section's 2,500+ environmental lawyer members.

From 2015 to 2018, he served as a Governor's appointee and Chair of the California Mining and Geology Board that oversees the State's interests in seismic hazards, mineral resources and mine reclamation. He also chaired the California Department of Toxic Substances Control Independent Review Panel tasked with recommending improvements to the agency's permitting, enforcement, outreach and fiscal management.  From 2007 to 2011, Mr. Kracov served as Vice-Chair of the Los Angeles Proposition O Bond Committee administering $500 million to protect the City's rivers and beaches.  He also was a Governor's appointee and Acting Chair of the State Committee supervising California's vehicle smog check program. Currently, Mr. Kracov sits on the Los Angeles County Integrated Solid Waste Management Task Force that reviews plans for facility development and coordinates recycling and waste policy within the County.  Mr. Kracov also is an alternate member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District Hearing Board.

Deana Carrillo
Executive Director
California Alternative Energy & Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA)
Biography

Deana Carrillo

Executive Director
California Alternative Energy & Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA)

Deana Carrillo is the Executive Director of the California Alternative Energy & Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA) – housed in the State Treasurer’s Office – which provides financial assistance for facilities needed to develop and commercialize advanced transportation and alternative energy technologies that conserve energy, reduce air pollution, and promote economic development and job creation.  She earned her Master’s degree in Public Policy at UCLA, where she concentrated on regional economic development and urban poverty issues, and her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at UC Santa Cruz.

She has over 17 years’ experience working on California policy and fiscal issues.  Prior to joining CAEATFA, Deana oversaw a brownfield cleanup financing program and a sustainable communities grant and loan program for the State.  Previously, she spent several years working on California policy issues as Director of Outreach and Special Initiatives for State Treasurer Phil Angelides.  Ms. Carrillo also served as a policy analyst for the California Budget Project, focusing on the California budget and workforce development issues.  

Karen Hamberg
Vice President, Industry and Government Relations
Westport Fuel Systems
Biography

Karen Hamberg

Vice President, Industry and Government Relations
Westport Fuel Systems

Ms. Hamberg joined Westport in 2001 and was appointed Vice President, Sustainable Energy Futures in 2012 and Vice-President, Strategy in 2013.  Westport Fuel Systems engineers, manufactures, and supplies advanced clean-burning engines, systems, and components that enable the deployment of low-carbon fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), hydrogen, and renewable natural gas (RNG).  Headquartered in Vancouver, Westport Fuel Systems serves customers in more than 70 countries with leading global transportation brands. Karen’s current portfolio includes responsibilities for Corporate Strategy, Market and Competitive Intelligence, Sustainability and Environmental Performance, and Government and Regulatory Affairs.

Ms. Hamberg holds a Master of Arts degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandon University in Brandon, Manitoba.  Karen is also Chair of the Board of Directors of Calstart in Pasadena, California, an organization accelerating the growth of a clean transportation technologies industry and a Board Member of the Van Horne Institute at the University of Calgary. Karen was named to Canada’s Clean 50™ in 2017 for her contributions to advance sustainability in the transportation sector.  She is currently serving on the Government of Canada’s Economic Strategy Table on Clean Technology tasked with driving transformative innovation and clean growth across all business sectors of the economy.

An active volunteer, Karen is also Vice-Chair of the United Way of the Lower Mainland’s Campaign Cabinet for 2018 leading the organization’s annual fundraising campaign. 

Gregory Huynh
Operating Agent Manager
LADWP
Biography

Gregory Huynh

Operating Agent Manager
LADWP

Greg Huynh manages the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s 100% Clean Energy Innovation group that is currently engaged in several initiatives to bring clean power into the Southern California. Most notably, Greg is spearheading LADWP’s efforts to conduct a comprehensive study of how the City of Los Angeles can get to 100% Renewable Energy. He and his team are also investigating how new technologies such as green hydrogen, compressed air energy storage, and carbon capture, to see how they would fit into LADWP’s clean energy future. Greg has worked on a wide range of projects in the utility industry from design & construction of electrical infrastructure, power plant operations, and planning.

Jerry Meral
Former Deputy Secretary
California Natural Resources Agency
Biography

Jerry Meral

Former Deputy Secretary
California Natural Resources Agency

Dr. Gerald (Jerry) Meral is the director of the California Water Program at the Natural Heritage Institute.  He works on funding for California water, Delta infrastructure, and a variety of other California water programs.  He formerly served as Deputy Director of the California Department of Water Resources, Deputy Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, Executive Director of the Planning and Conservation Director, and Staff Scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund.  He has placed 9 initiatives on the California statewide ballot, and has been involved in many statewide ballot measures affecting California water, parks, wildlife, health, and transportation.  He has a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of California, Berkeley.  He serves as the campaign director of the Water Supply and Water Quality Initiative Bond Act of November 2018 campaign.

Sunita Satyapal
Director, Fuel Cell Technologies Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
U.S. Department of Energy
Biography

Sunita Satyapal

Director, Fuel Cell Technologies Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
U.S. Department of Energy

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 has been responsible for roughly $100 million per year in hydrogen and fuel cell research, development and demonstration activities and has over two and a half decades of experience across academia, industry and government. In addition to managing research, business development, and international collaborations in various roles, she managed programs and staff at United Technologies and was a visiting professor at Vassar College.

She joined DOE in 2003 serving first as hydrogen storage lead and then chief engineer, and has been the Director since 2010. She has numerous publications, including in Scientific American, 10 patents, and a number of recognitions including a Presidential Rank Award. She received her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Columbia University and did her postdoctoral work in Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University. 

Fiona Ma*
State Treasurer
California
Biography

Fiona Ma*

State Treasurer
California

Fiona Ma is an American politician and Certified Public Accountant. She was elected California State Treasurer on November 6, 2018 with more votes than any other candidate for Treasurer in the state's history and will be inaugurated on January 7, 2019. She served as a member of the California Board of Equalization since 2015 representing the 2nd district which covers 23 counties in California and a population of approximately 9.5 million people, Ma served in the California State Assembly (2006–2012) and on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (2002–2006).

A member of the Democratic Party, Ma was the first Asian American woman to serve as California Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore, the second highest ranking office in the California Assembly. Ma is also only the second Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to be elected to the Board of Equalization.[9] She was selected as Chairperson of the California Board of Equalization in 2016, ordered three external audits of the agency, and helped lead the biggest reforms for accountability and efficiency in that agency’s history.
Eiji Ohira
Director General, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Group
Japan New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
Biography

Eiji Ohira

Director General, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Group
Japan New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

Eiji Ohira is the Director General of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)’s Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Group within the Advanced Battery and Hydrogen Technology Department. In this capacity, he is responsible the overall strategy, execution and coordination of NEDO’s research, development and demonstration project on fuel cell and hydrogen.

He has also coordinated fuel cell and hydrogen activities with international stakeholders, through International Energy Agency’s Technology Collaboration Program (IEA TCP: Advanced Fuel Cell & Hydrogen), and International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE).

He joined the NEDO in 1992, just after graduation from the Tokyo University of Science. He served as a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1997-1998.

Before taking up the current position in April 2013, he served in several positions, including Representative at NEDO Asian Representative Office, Director of the Energy Storage Technology Division.

Jeffrey Chernick
CEO & Co-Founder
RideAmigos
Biography

Jeffrey Chernick

CEO & Co-Founder
RideAmigos

Jeffrey Chernick is the CEO and Co-Founder of RideAmigos, a global leader in Transportation Demand Management software, which works with local governments across 3 counties to eliminate traffic and increase air quality. RideAmigos develops multi-modal transportation solutions, providing regional commuter networks, multi-modal travel dashboards, ridesharing, certified transportation commute surveys, trip trackers, reward systems, and GIS reporting tools. He has been featured on FOX, NBC, ABC, NY1, New York Post, Newsday, and the LA Times. Jeffrey is also the Director of the teen foster mentorship program M4, and the drummer of electro band, Story of the Running Wolf.

Melanie Nutter
former Director
San Francisco Department of Environment
Biography

Melanie Nutter

former Director
San Francisco Department of Environment

Melanie Nutter is the Principal of Nutter Consulting and provides sustainability and smart cities strategy development and implementation for cities, foundations and companies. Prior to this role, Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed Melanie as the Director of the San Francisco Department of Environment where she continued to serve for Mayor Edwin Lee through February 2014.

Nutter led the Department, which helps all San Francisco residents and businesses take an active role in protecting the urban environment, develops "first in the nation" policy initiatives, conducts outreach and education on sustainable practices, and runs innovative environmental programs including on zero waste, green building, climate and energy, toxics reduction and clean transportation. 

During her tenure, San Francisco achieved an 80% waste diversion rate, reduced its carbon emissions to 14.5% below 1990 levels and was named the Greenest City in North America by Siemens and the Economist Intelligence Unit. Under Nutter’s leadership, the Department expanded its focus on community outreach and engagement, released an updated Climate Action Strategy, launched a citywide adaptation effort and started a biodiversity program. Nutter also championed smart city strategies to help the City meet its sustainability goals. 

From 2005-2010, Nutter served as the Deputy District Director for the U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, where she helped managed the Speaker’s district office and advised on local policy issues.

Nutter is a frequent speaker on urban sustainability and smart cities, having presented at TEDx, South by Southwest Eco, the Urban Environmental Accords Summit, GreenBiz’s VERGE conference, the Aspen Ideas Festival, and the Smart Cities World Congress, among other events. She has been featured as a contributor on CNN.com and the Today Show.

Pierre-Luc Desgagné
Vice-President Public and Governmental Affairs
Hydro Quebec
Biography

Pierre-Luc Desgagné

Vice-President Public and Governmental Affairs
Hydro Quebec

A native of Québec, Mr. Desgagné holds a Bachelor of Law degree from Université Laval. He has been a member of the Québec Bar since 1992, the year in which he joined the Montréal law firm Grondin, Poudrier, Bernier, where he specialized in commercial and civil litigation. 

In 1996, he joined the Québec government, working for the Ministère de la Métropole. In the fall of 1997, he moved to the Office of the Premier of Québec, where he became Deputy Chief of Staff.

After joining Hydro-Québec in 2001, Mr. Desgagné held several management positions in Public Affairs, Environment and Government Affairs. In 2007, he was named Senior Director – Strategic Planning, a position he held until his appointment in May 2013 as Vice President – Public and Government Affairs. In this capacity, he is also responsible for coordinating Hydro-Québec’s initiatives related to the electrification of transportation, including roll-out of the Electric Circuit. 

In 2007, Mr. Desgagné received the Arista award from the Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal for his achievements in the Young Québec Manager category.

 Actively involved in the community, he is vice-president of the 2011–2016 Fondation Hôpital Pierre-Boucher fundraising campaign and vice-chairman of the board of the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec. Mr. Desgagné also serves on the board of the Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain and sits on the Board of Directors of TM4, a Hydro-Québec subsidiary which develops and manufactures electric motors. 

Kimberly Kupiecki
Senior Vice President; Group Lead, Cleantech
Edelman
Biography

Kimberly Kupiecki

Senior Vice President; Group Lead, Cleantech
Edelman
Richard VanSant
President and CEO
UV Pure
Biography

Richard VanSant

President and CEO
UV Pure

Rick is President and CEO of UV Pure Technologies, a Canadian environmental technology company that develops and manufactures advanced UV water disinfection technology. It has an installed base of over 14,000 applications in North America, LATAM and ASEAN countries, and the EU. 

UV Pure is a global award winner: Frost and Sullivan Best Practices, an Artemis Project Top 50 Company; Going Green Global 200, and the Canadian Drinking Water Association award for innovation. 

An aerospace version of UV Pure’s technology was chosen by Boeing onboard its new 787 Dreamliners. 

Rick is a Director of WaterTAP, Ontario’s Water Technology Acceleration Project.

Prior to UV Pure, Rick founded several public and private companies and was a member and Director of the Young Presidents’ Organization, in Toronto.

He has a degree in Astro-geophysics from Colgate University, a Masters of Education from St. Lawrence University, and is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business’ Institute of Corporate Directors program. 

Julia Balas
Attorney
Morrison Foerster
Biography

Julia Balas

Attorney
Morrison Foerster

Julia primarily represents developers of renewable energy projects, and assists them with all aspects of their project development needs, including negotiation of construction and balance of plant contracts, equipment and services supply agreements, power purchase agreements, interconnection matters, buy-side and sell-side purchase and sale agreements, build-own-transfer agreements, financing agreements, tax equity agreements, and other contracts that arise in the context of developing, constructing, selling, and owning renewable energy projects.Julia also has experience advising clients on such matters as private equity investments, sponsor-backed leveraged buyouts, mergers, debt and equity securities offerings, and commercial lending and structured finance transactions, as well asgeneral corporate matters, corporate governance, and securities law compliance.In addition to conducting her legal work, Julia currently serves on the firm’s pro bono committee, is co-chair of the Los Angeles Women’s Affinity Group, served on the firm wide Women’s Strategy Committee from 2016 to 2019, and has co-chaired theLos Angeles office’s summer associate program multiple times. She is also an active member of Women in Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy, Women in Cleantech and Sustainability, the American Wind Energy Association, and the SolarEnergy Industries Association

Abigale Abel
Affiliate
CityFi
Biography

Abigale Abel

Affiliate
CityFi

Abigale (Abby) Abel is a strategy and marketing professional with extensive corporate experience developing and delivering on clean energy growth strategies.

As a Cityfi Senior Associate, Abby has worked on standing-up the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, a statewide platform designed to accelerate the adoption of innovative technology and practices to enhance the quality of life for all Coloradans. She has also served as a Strategic Advisor to the City of Aurora Smart City Strategic Planning process, and supported the roll-out of a mobility data platform to cities nationwide. 

Prior to joining Cityfi, Abby led commercial partnerships for GE Ecomagination, a cross-GE innovation platform to identify and test new technology and commercial solutions to environmental challenges. Abby also served as the Chief Marketing Officer for GE’s Renewable Energy business where her team led market analysis and strategic planning. 

Abby’s strengths are applying clear thinking, creative problem solving and a collaborative leadership style to uncover and deliver on unique marketopportunities. She is passionate about linking innovation to the urban environment in support of cleaner, more equitable and resilient communities.

Abby holds a Master of Business and Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan.  She lives in Denver, CO with her husband and two children.

Masahiko Takei
Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
Biography

Masahiko Takei

Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

Masahiko Takei is a career official of Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), assigned to the Los Angeles Consulate General of Japan as the Consul leading infrastructure and transportation issues.  A civil engineer by training, Takei has tackled issues as varied as highway planning and construction management, airport planning, enhancing bicycle infrastructure, and the challenging task of creating seawalls to mitigate disaster risk in tsunami-prone Japan.  Takei is a graduate of the Engineering Department of Hokkaido University.    

Mike Levin
Congressman, California's 49th District
US House of Representatives
Biography

Mike Levin

Congressman, California's 49th District
US House of Representatives

For the last two decades, Mike has been involved in a variety of local, state and federal political campaigns and community organizations.

Mike is a passionate believer in clean energy and has over a decade of experience in the industry, helping to accelerate the transition towards more sustainable power generation and transportation options. Mike has served for several years on the board of the Center for Sustainable Energy, based in San Diego, and co-founded Sustain OC in Orange County. For his work in clean energy, Mike was named to the OC METRO 40 under 40.

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 lives in San Juan Capistrano with his wife, Chrissy, a graduate of the University of Arizona and Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and their two children, ages 6 and 4.

Sam Polk
Founder and Executive Director
Groceryships
Biography

Sam Polk

Founder and Executive Director
Groceryships

Sam Polk is the founder and Executive Director of Groceryships, a Los Angeles non-profit working at the intersection of poverty and obesity, and co-founder of Harvest, a for-profit social enterprise that sells fresh, healthy ready-to-eat meals affordable for all ($3.50 in low-income areas, $7 in higher income areas). Prior to becoming a social entrepreneur, Sam was a hedge fund trader on Wall Street. Sam’s memoir, For The Love of Money, will be published in July 2016 by Scribner. His writing has been published in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, CNBC.com, and The Huffington Post. Sam has been featured on The Today Show, Morning Joe, CNN, Tavis Smiley, NPR, and more. He is a graduate of Columbia University and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. 

Jane Oates
President
WorkingNation
Biography

Jane Oates

President
WorkingNation

Jane Oates has served as President at WorkingNation since 2018. Prior to her time at WorkingNation, Jane was appointed by President Barack Obama as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Labor for Employment and Training in June 2009. Jane led the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) in its mission to design and deliver high-quality training and employment programs for our nation’s workers.

Prior to her appointment, Jane served as Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and Senior Advisor to Governor Jon S. Corzine. For a decade before, Jane served as Senior Policy Advisor to Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Jane began her career as a teacher in the Boston and Philadelphia public schools and later as a field researcher at Temple University’s Center for Research in Human Development and Education. She received her BA in Education from Boston College and an M.Ed in Reading from Arcadia University.

Phil Huber
Partner
Marstel-Day
Biography

Phil Huber

Partner
Marstel-Day

Mr. Huber has more than 40 years of military, federal government civil service, and private sector consulting experience. As a partner of Marstel-Day, Mr. Huber is responsible for the firm’s Sustainment Program portfolio. The portfolio includes a wide range of issue identification and problem solving associated with encroachment analysis, comprehensive planning, interaction with stakeholders, and understanding and influencing of state and federal legislation and regulations. Mr. Huber has worked on many projects that produce strategies, policies, decision support tools, training modules, and comprehensive plans, and he has conducted and facilitated many encroachment partnering and management workshops throughout the United States. He supports projects for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force.

Mr. Huber’s military career spanned 30 years in both active and reserve status. His major deployments were to Viet Nam, Saudi-Arabia/Kuwait, and Bosnia. He retired as a colonel. Concurrent with his military career, he completed 28 years of federal civil service in a wide variety of environmental positions, culminating as the Assistant for Environmental Quality, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (DASA) for Environment, Safety, and Occupational Health (ESOH). Mr. Huber’s assignments included managing two Army installation environmental programs, working on the environmental staffs of two Army major commands (one in Europe), and managing worldwide general support programs as a staff member for the U.S. Army Environmental Center. He has extensive experience in working multiple environmental challenges associated with DoD’s encroachment issues and integrating environmental considerations into various DoD business processes such as installation management, logistics, acquisition, training and education, and military training and operations. Mr. Huber’s last civil assignment was as an information technology specialist supporting the Air Force’s Chief Information Officer.

Mr. Huber has a BS in forest science from Pennsylvania State University, PA; an MBA from Jacksonville State University, AL; and an MA in national resourcing from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Washington, DC.

Amanda Von Almen
Green Building Program Manager
Salesforce
Biography

Amanda Von Almen

Green Building Program Manager
Salesforce

Amanda von Almen is the green building program manager for Salesforce.

David Peterson
Director, Fleet Solutions
ChargePoint, Inc.
Biography

David Peterson

Director, Fleet Solutions
ChargePoint, Inc.
David leads ChargePoint’s Fleet Solutions team focused on developing market-leading products and services for managing and operating light, medium and heavy-duty electric vehicle fleets. 
 
David joined ChargePoint from Nissan where he led electric vehicle market development and charging infrastructure strategy. Prior to Nissan, David was an investment analyst based in Shanghai providing M&A advisory for Benelux-China joint ventures, as well as a project finance consultant to governments and private clients across Asia and the Middle East. 
Tori Kjer
Los Angeles Program Director
The Trust for Public Land
Biography

Tori Kjer

Los Angeles Program Director
The Trust for Public Land

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.

Coby Skye
Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works
Biography

Coby Skye

Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works

Coby Skye is an Assistant Deputy Director at Los Angeles County Public Works, overseeing the Environmental Programs Division.  Mr. Skye is a registered Civil Engineer in the State of California, and received a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering from Polytechnic University as well as a Masters in Public Administration from California State University at Long Beach.  Mr. Skye provides insight and direction for solid waste management policies in Los Angeles County and is responsible for administering a variety of waste reduction and recycling programs and initiatives.  He is passionate about environmental preservation, and volunteers with various environmental organizations.

Patrick Holland
Principal Engineer
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works
Biography

Patrick Holland

Principal Engineer
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

Patrick Holland joined Los Angeles County Department of Public Works in 2003. He has been a registered Professional Engineer in the State of California since 2006. Patrick is an Assistant Division Head of the Environmental Programs Division where he oversees multiple teams involved with waste collection, waste diversion programs, legislation and policy development, and education/outreach.  Patrick spent several years working in stormwater management where he focused on increasing flood protection, expanding water conservation, and improving water quality. Patrick currently serves on the Board for the California Product Stewardship Council.  Patrick holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Utah State University and a Masters in Business Administration from California State University Long Beach. 

Doug Campbell
Principal Advisor
Southern California Edison
Biography

Doug Campbell

Principal Advisor
Southern California Edison

Doug Campbell retired from Edison International (EIX) on January 18, 2016, after almost 19 years with the company.  EIX is the parent company of Southern California Edison, a regulated electric utility, and Edison Mission Group, an independent power company.  Mr. Campbell has over 30 years of experience in the utility and telecommunications industries in marketing, product development and engineering.

Prior to Edison, Mr. Campbell served as a Principal Manager in Edison’s Advanced Technology Organization which monitors, identifies, tests, and evaluates technologies that support SCE efforts to maintain a safe, reliable, affordable, and secure electric grid while empowering the customer with more options and greater control to manage their energy use.  Prior to Advanced Technology, Mr. Campbell was involved in overseeing Edison’s Energy Education Centers and lead development of the Smart Energy Experience, an immersive and interactive exhibit that allows visitors to experience the benefits of the smart grid, energy efficiency and renewable generation.  He was also involved in development and delivery of demand side management and sustainability programs for new construction.

Campbell previously worked for Itron, Inc. where he was responsible for development of automated meter reading solutions for the gas industry, expanding the product line and increasing market penetration.  He has also worked for EF Johnson and Ericsson where he was responsible for development of radio communication solutions for the utility and public safety markets.

Campbell has also previously served as Vice Chair of the Irwindale Chamber of commerce and as a trustee on the board for the Pacific Clinics Foundation. 

Naomi Kelly
City Administrator
City and County of San Francisco
Biography

Naomi Kelly

City Administrator
City and County of San Francisco

Naomi Maria Kelly is San Francisco’s City Administrator, the highest-ranking non-elected official of San Francisco City and County government.  In this capacity, Ms. Kelly oversees the General Services Agency consisting of 25 departments, divisions, and programs that include the Public Works Department, Department of Technology, Office of Contract Administration/Purchasing, Real Estate, County Clerk, Fleet Management, Convention Facilities, Animal Care and Control, Medical Examiner, and Treasure Island.  She is responsible for a 2,700-strong workforce, and an annual budget of nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars.

Ms. Kelly is strongly committed to strengthening the local economy; ensuring the efficacy of government services; increasing the City’s safety and resiliency; and optimizing the City’s capital planning and infrastructure.  Since her appointment and re-appointment by Mayor Edwin Lee in 2012 and 2017, her accomplishments include:

  • The appointment of City and County leaders such as:  Public Works Department Director; Director of Real Estate; Chief Information Officer and Department of Technology Director; Mayor’s Office on Disability Director; Animal Care and Control Director; City Hall Events Director; Treasure Island Director; Contract Monitoring Division Director; Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement Director, Office of Short Term Rentals Director; Purchaser; Chief Medical Examiner, Deputy City Administrator, and Chief Resilience Officer; 
  • The launching or absorbing of new programs such as:  Committee on Information Technology (COIT); Office of Short Term Rentals; Contract Monitoring Division; and Earthquake Safety Improvement Program / Office of Resilience and Recovery; 
  • The creation of a Budget and Planning team to improve budgeting, financial management, policy analysis, and program evaluation, and to utilize financial models for citywide work order programs and the elimination of structural deficits;
  • Service on numerous boards and committees including:
  • Capital Planning Committee:  As Chair of this Committee, Ms. Kelly oversees  a $35 billion, 10-year capital plan for the long-term safety, accessibility and modernization of San Francisco’s public infrastructure and facilities; sea level rise planning, and securing bond approvals in the areas of public health and transportation;
  • Committee on Information and Technology (COIT):  As Chair, Ms. Kelly oversees 5-year communication technology (ICT) plans, budgets and projects for all City departments;
  • Workforce Investment San Francisco (WISF) Board:  WISF is responsible for creating strategic workforce connections among industry, business, labor, educational institutions, and community based organizations to serve the needs of workers and employers in the region, and to support the City’s vision for economic competitiveness;
  • SF Community Investment Fund (SFCIF) Board:  SFCIF is a California nonprofit public benefit corporation that serves as a community development entity to apply for a new market tax credits allocation from the U.S. Treasury to help underserved communities, and provide private capital investment to projects that may not otherwise be completed; and
  • Mayor’s “Our Children, Our Families” Council: The Council is responsible for developing a five-year plan to coordinate available resources and services for data-sharing between the City and schools to better serve families, children and youth in the City.  The Council will also create, maintain and make available an inventory of all citywide services for children and youth, including state and federally funded programs.
  • Oversight and management of major private-public partnerships such as the celebration of the San Francisco City Hall Centennial, and the Bay Area Women’s Summit;
  • Coordination of efforts to re-envision San Francisco’s public housing policy by conducting various stakeholders’ meetings to identify the challenges and issues facing public housing, and make recommendations to help improve the Housing Authority;
  • Strategic direction and management of initiatives in the areas of public housing, community benefits, local business development, earthquake safety and disaster preparedness, Local Hiring Ordinance, Digital Services, and renewable diesel;
  • Oversight and management of Moscone Convention Facilities expansion, new Medical Examiner’s Office building, Animal Care Shelter, Central Shop relocation, and 1500 Mission Street project;
  • Authorization of same-sex marriage license issuances at San Francisco City Hall in late June 2013 just hours after a federal appeals court cleared the way for the State of California to lift a 4.5 year freeze;
  • Facilitation of major program accomplishments, such as: 
  • Treasure Island development: completed first land transfer, new ramps, Naval remediation, increased commercial leasing and business activity, readied Yerba Buena Island for new construction;
  • Convention Facilities:  renegotiated contract with significantly improved terms to increase revenue, transparency, and capital contribution;
  • Fleet (3 fleets of multiple vehicles and more than 500 users):  expanded use of telematics, and launched Vehicle on Demand System (VoDS). 

Prior to her City Administrator position, Ms. Kelly was appointed City Purchaser and Director of the Office of Contract Administration by Mayor Gavin Newsom.  She previously served as Special Assistant in the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, and the Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs, under Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr.  She also served as the City’s Executive Director of the Taxicab Commission. 

Ms. Kelly, a native San Franciscan, is the first woman and African American to serve as City Administrator of the City and County of San Francisco.  She received her undergraduate and law degrees, respectively, from New York University, and the University of San Francisco.  Ms. Kelly is a member of the California State Bar.  She and her husband, Harlan L. Kelly, Jr., General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and their two sons reside in San Francisco.  

Daniel Breton
Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier for Transport Electrification
National Assembly of Québec
Biography

Daniel Breton

Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier for Transport Electrification
National Assembly of Québec

Born in Montréal on June 18, 1962

Daniel Breton is a member of the Québec National Assembly. He has been elected as Member for Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques in the general election held on September 4, 2012. He’s currently Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier of Quebec for Transport Electrification since May 2013. He was previously Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks. Over the past 20 years, Mr. Breton has been engaged in a number of major issues of interest to Québec related to transportation, energy, natural resources and climate change. Social activist and community leader, he has been the first green car columnist in Canada, the spokesperson and co-founder of the Québec/Kyoto Coalition, as well as Co-founder of the Green Party of Québec, back in 2001.

Daniel’s studied International Relations and Communications at Université du Québec à Montréal, where he was competing on the ski racing team. From 85-88, he was a professional wind surfer, which gave him the opportunity to travel around the world.

John Fenton
Chief Executive Officer
Southern California Regional Rail Authority
Biography

John Fenton

Chief Executive Officer
Southern California Regional Rail Authority

Throughout his career, John Fenton has built a reputation as a leader who gets results. His ability to motivate people and align teams around his vision of operational excellence has resulted in measurable improvements in safety, productivity, and financial well-being in organizations.  Through his exceptional relationship-building skills with key stakeholders, and his expertise in the transportation industry, Fenton has been able to successfully introduce new efficiencies and deliver measurable results in domestic and international markets.

John Fenton joined Metrolink as its CEO in April 2010. Fenton’s commitment to excellence in service, efficiency, transparency and fiscal responsibility has brought substantial changes to the railroad, including enhancing the safety culture, improving equipment utilization and capitalization, and instituting a fuel conservation program that has improved emissions and saved millions. Under Fenton’s short tenure, Metrolink has launched the nation’s safest fleet of passenger rail cars, and progressed with its accelerated strategy to have Positive Train Control operational in advance of the 2015 federal deadline. 

Prior to joining Metrolink, Fenton was an Operating Partner with CIH Capital Partners, a full service investment bank. He previously served as President and CEO of OmniTRAX, Inc., Denver-based short line railroad transportation services company. His railroad experience is extensive, including posts as General Manager and Vice President of the Canadian National Railway, Canada's largest freight railroad; Vice President of the Kansas City Southern Railway; an executive with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, which later became part of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway; and as a manager at Union Pacific Railroad. 

John Fenton has a Master’s Of Science in Systems Management (MSSM) from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Transportation management from Indiana University, Bloomington. Fenton lives in Pasadena with his wife of 33 years, Monica.

Lorraine Paskett
Director at Large
California Hydrogen Business Council
Biography

Lorraine Paskett

Director at Large
California Hydrogen Business Council

Lorraine Paskett has more than 25 years of experience in the energy, water, and environmental sectors, with 15 years of focused experience in the energy sector. Ms. Paskett has served as a director for a California investor-owned utility, leading a team through the California energy crisis and sponsoring a suite of initiatives including energy market reform, climate change policy, renewable energy market development, and corporate tax reforms. Ms. Paskett later served as a senior executive for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, leading a comprehensive approach for sustainable utility practices. The focus of her service included revamping utility programs to support accelerated adoption of alternative vehicle fuel sources in Southern California, overseeing electric system transmission permitting, new wind and solar electric generation project permitting, and managing greenhouse gas emissions programs across the utility operations.

Currently, Ms. Paskett owns and manages Cambridge LCF Group. Cambridge LCF Group works with conventional and emerging energy companies, focusing on alternative energy, energy markets, climate change policies, and improving air quality in the Los Angeles and San Joaquin Valley basin.

Akira Chiba
Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles
Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles
Biography

Akira Chiba

Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles
Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles

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.

Jim McDermott
Co-Founder and Managing Director
Rusheen Capital Management
Biography

Jim McDermott

Co-Founder and Managing Director
Rusheen Capital Management

Prior to co-founding RCM, Jim has started, invested in and run numerous companies. These include: US Renewables Group (Founder & Managing Partner), Stamps.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:STMP – Founder), Spoke Software, Inc. (Founder & CEO), Archive, Inc. (Founder & CEO – sold to Cyclone Commerce), NanoH2O, Inc. (Founder & Board Member – sold to LG Chemical), SolarReserve (Founder & Board Member), Fulcrum Bioenergy, Inc. (Founder & Board Member), Common Assets (Founder & Board Member – sold to NASDAQ:SCTY), SET Technology (Board Member) and OH Energy, Inc. (Founder & Board Member). Jim holds a BA in Philosophy from Colorado College and an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA.

Tim Romer
Managing Director
Goldman Sachs
Biography

Tim Romer

Managing Director
Goldman Sachs

Tim is head of the Western Region Public Sector and Infrastructure (PSI) Banking Group and a member of the PSI National Operating Committee. He joined Goldman Sachs in 2003 in Los Angeles and was named managing director in 2004. 

Tim has more than 30 years of experience in infrastructure finance, project finance, public private partnerships and government finance throughout the United States with a specific focus on the 13 Western states. He provides a diverse background in various forms of infrastructure and government financing, completing projects that cover a broad range of assets, including surface transportation, transit, power, renewable energy, water, sewer, toll roads, schools, real estate and general government, among other financings needs. Tim has financed over $75 billion in projects, using various financing vehicles and credit structures, including taxable, tax-exempt securitizations, revenue bonds, GO bonds, lease financings and SPV project financings. He has been actively involved in public private partnerships and government privatizations efforts, including the first and largest US transit P3 and various US military privatization efforts. Tim has also been active in providing both sell side and buy side advisory services in connection with infrastructure projects. 

Prior to joining the firm, Tim was a managing director and co-head of Merrill Lynch’s Western Region Public Finance Group and a managing director in Bank of America Securities’ Real Estate Secured Finance Group. He also spent three years as chief financial officer of Adexa, Inc., a privately held supply chain software company. 

Tim earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA, with honors, from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He serves on the board of the South Bay Lacrosse Association and is active with various local charities in the Los Angeles area. 

Matt Wartian
Regional Global Practice Manager
Burns & McDonnell
Biography

Matt Wartian

Regional Global Practice Manager
Burns & McDonnell
Paul Clark
Director
Climate Change & Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC)
Biography

Paul Clark

Director
Climate Change & Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC)
Mark Fillinger
Director of Development
First Solar
Biography

Mark Fillinger

Director of Development
First Solar

Mr. Fillinger is responsible for developing First Solar’s utility-scale solar projects and leading the origination team in the US. A 20+-year energy industry executive, Mr. Fillinger has extensive experience with siting, permitting, financing and negotiating all project related contracts.

Prior to First Solar, Mr. Fillinger worked with NextLight and OptiSolar where he led both development and project finance activities where he developed the company’s power purchase agreement offering, negotiating and closing the first $40 million of projects developed under this structure. While at the California Consumer Power and Conservation Financing Authority, he developed a third party PV acquisition program for State agencies. Mr. Fillinger also worked at Enron North America, where he served as Director of Power Origination. Mr. Fillinger holds a B.S in Energy Economics from the University of California, Davis and an M.B.A in Finance from Columbia University.

Barbara Romero
Deputy Mayor of City Services
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Barbara Romero

Deputy Mayor of City Services
City of Los Angeles

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.

Randall W. Lewis
Executive Vice President
Lewis Group of Companies
Biography

Randall W. Lewis

Executive Vice President
Lewis Group of Companies

Randall Lewis oversees the sales and marketing operations of the Lewis Groups. Randall received his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College. He is regarded as an industry leader in promoting the arts, education, healthy living and sustainable development initiatives. He has been President of the Inland Empire Arts Foundation, Secretary of the Los Angeles County Citizens Planning Council, director of the HomeBuilder’s Council, and national director of the National Association of HomeBuilders. Randall was named in the Los Angeles Times 2006 “West 100” list as one of the top 100 influential people in southern California. He has also received the California Business Properties Association Champion of the Industry Award and has been inducted into the California Building Industry Association Hall of Fame. Randall is a long time ULI member as well as a Governor of the ULI Foundation. Randall serves on several executive boards, including the USC School of Policy, Planning and Development, the UCLA School of Public Policy, Loma Linda University Medical Center’s Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Institute Advisory Council, Cal Poly Pomona’s National Development Council, and co-chairs the San Bernardino County Alliance for Education. He is recognized as an expert in the real estate industry and is frequently quoted in various newspapers, magazines and trade journals. Randall has over 30 years of experience in the real estate industry.

A.G. Kawamura
Founder and Chair
Solutions from the Land
Biography

A.G. Kawamura

Founder and Chair
Solutions from the Land

A.G. Kawamura is third generation fruit and vegetable grower and shipper from Orange County. He is the former Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (2003-2010). He is co-chair of Solutions From the Land, a non-profit organization that collaborates with farmers, ranchers, foresters and stakeholders to implement climate smart land management practices and strategies.

He currently serves on several boards and committees including: The Ag Advisory Committee for the AGree Initiative; the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources (BANR), a policy arm of the National Academy of Sciences’ Natural Resource Council; Ag Advisory Committee for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs; American Farmland Trust; The 25x’25 Alliance, a national alliance of renewable energy stakeholders; External Advisory Board for the Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI) at U.C. Davis. He is a former chairman and current board member of Western Growers.

As a progressive urban farmer, A.G. has a lifetime of experience working within the shrinking rural and urban boundaries of Southern California. Through his company, Orange County Produce, LLC, he is engaged in building an exciting, interactive 21st century 100 acre agricultural showcase at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California.

A.G. was elected to the board in 1994, and served as chairman in 2002.

Martin Hermann
CEO & Founder
8minutenergy
Biography

Martin Hermann

CEO & Founder
8minutenergy

Martin is a serial entrepreneur with 26 years of experience in the solar, clean-tech and high-tech industries, who has closed business transactions in excess of $5.3B. He founded 8minutenergy, which is now among the largest independent developers of solar PV in the U.S. with a portfolio of more than 5,500 MWs and a track record of 1,500 MWs in executed PPAs.

Martin also developed a 100 MW solar PV module manufacturing plant as Chief Strategy Officer with Advent Solar. Prior to his engagement in renewables, he owned a semiconductor tools company for 10 years, which he sold to Intel in 2001. For six years after the acquisition, Martin served on the executive management team with Intel’s wireless business group.

Cynthia Williams
Global Director, Sustainability, Homologation and Compliance
Ford Motor
Biography

Cynthia Williams

Global Director, Sustainability, Homologation and Compliance
Ford Motor

Cynthia Williams is the Global Director, Sustainability, Homologation and Compliance, effective December 1, 2019. She will be responsible for sustainable business plans and policies, environmental negotiations with regulatory bodies around the world, reporting on the company’s environmental and social performance, and engaging with non-government organizations and other external stakeholders. 

Previously Cynthia was Assistant Director, Global Automotive Safety Office. In this position she has been responsible for leading the safety governance process, including identifying, analyzing and making recommendations on potential safety and compliance concerns. She also has been responsible for developing and coordinating responses to all government agency investigations. 

Since joining Ford in 1992, as part of the Ford College Graduate Program in the Automotive Emissions and Fuel Economy Office, Cynthia has held several positions, which include Ford’s Sustainability, Environment and Safety Director in Asia Pacific, Environmental Policy Manager, Energy Planning and Compliance Manager, and On-Board Diagnostics Production Compliance Programs Manager. Cynthia is the past chair of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers Mobile Source Policy Committee. 

In Asia Pacific, she was the Executive Champion for the Professional Women’s Network and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender Employee Resource Groups. Cynthia also held the position of Vice President of Operations for the Ford Employees African Ancestry Network (FAAN) and is committed to mentoring young engineers, peers and FAAN members. 

A native of Flint, MI, Cynthia earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University and a Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Detroit Mercy. Cynthia is married with two children. 

Cynthia is based in World Headquarters, Dearborn, Michigan. 

Bill Bogaard
Mayor
City of Pasadena
Biography

Bill Bogaard

Mayor
City of Pasadena

Bill Bogaard is the in his fourth term as Mayor of Pasadena, after taking office in 1999 as the City’s first directly elected mayor.  The subsequent time has been an active period in the City’s history, including the arrival of the Gold Line light rail system; development of new housing; construction of a new convention center; establishment of new arts institutions; and reform of the public schools.  He serves as chair of Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative, a technology enterprise incubator, and the Pasadena Emergency Services Council.  He is a member of the Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority, and is President of the League of California Cities.

Mayor Bogaard graduated from Loyola Marymount University and the Michigan Law School.  He practiced law in Los Angeles, and then joined the First Interstate Bancorp until its merger with Wells Fargo & Co. in the late 1990’s.

Joe Galliani
Chair
South Bay Clean Power
Biography

Joe Galliani

Chair
South Bay Clean Power

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.

 

 

Hope Boonshaft
Executive Vice President, General Manager LA Office
Gibraltar Associates
Biography

Hope Boonshaft

Executive Vice President, General Manager LA Office
Gibraltar Associates
Ken Alston
Chief of Staff
New Nexus Energy
Biography

Ken Alston

Chief of Staff
New Nexus Energy

Ken Alston is Chief of Staff at New Energy Nexus. He also serves as Investment Manager at CalCEF Ventures.

Prior to these roles, Ken worked from 2012-2016 in the Obama Administration, first at the White House and then as Special Advisor to the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy. His past experience also includes investment firms Penta Group and Investor’s Circle, battery startup Simbol Materials, and strategy consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton. Ken is also a board member of Clean Energy Works.

He holds a BA from the University of Virginia and an MBA and MS from Stanford University.

Carter Rubin
Mobility and Climate Advocate
Natural Resources Defense Council
Biography

Carter Rubin

Mobility and Climate Advocate
Natural Resources Defense Council

As the Mobility and Climate Advocate for the Natural Resources Defense Council, I'm driven to make California's communities more sustainable, livable, and equitable by improving our transportation systems. 

I previously served in Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's administration as Senior Program Manager on the Great Streets Initiative, which seeks to create vibrant community places along Los Angeles's commercial corridors.

As a resident of Santa Monica, I serve on the board of directors of the Santa Monica Pier Corporation, and have previously served as an appointed member of the Santa Monica Planning and Housing Commissions.

Born and raised on the Westside of Los Angeles, I'm committed to improving the region's quality of life by improving the delivery of public services and by tackling its persistent land use and transportation challenges. I'm passionate about our regional transportation investments and want to ensure that their full promise is delivered to Angelenos. To me that means incorporating the expanding rail system into the urban fabric with a suite of transportation choices and land uses that support vibrant, safe and healthy communities.

I am a founding board member of the California Streets Initiative, the non-profit publisher of Streetsblog LA, SF and California, which connect community leaders and activists to information about sustainable transportation and livable communities.

Tom Buttgenbach
President & Co-Founder
8minutenergy
Biography

Tom Buttgenbach

President & Co-Founder
8minutenergy

Tom is president and co-founder of 8minutenergy. He brings over 20 years of executive management experience in large-scale project development, solar and utility power markets, land entitlement, M&A, capital structuring and finance. Tom has led transactions totaling over $5 billion in power purchase agreements and project finance deals.

Prior to co-founding 8minutenergy, Tom was a successful entrepreneur, real estate developer, and project manager for McKinsey & Company in Europe and the U.S. He earned his Ph.D. in physics and astronomy from the California Institute of Technology (CalTech).

Denny Zane
Executive Director
Move LA
Biography

Denny Zane

Executive Director
Move LA

Denny Zane is founder and Executive Director of Move LA, an organization that coalesces environmental, labor, business, faith, senior and community leaders and organizations to support development of a robust transit system, reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and development of affordable housing near transit in Los Angeles County.  Move LA initiated the campaigns and built coalitions that championed Measure R, approved by more than 2/3 of voters in 2008, and Measure M, approved by more than 2/3 of voters in 2016, in Los Angeles County.  Together these measures will generate over $120 B for transportation investments over 40 years, almost 70% of which will be invested in transit system development and operations creating the most extensive transit system development and modernizations in North America.  Zane and Move LA also initiated discussions with LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas that led to Measure H, approved by voters in LA County in 2017 to raise $300 M/yr. for affordable housing and services for homeless persons. 

Move LA continues its efforts developing strategies for building affordable housing near transit in Los Angeles County, including restoration of redevelopment authority for cities in California, and developing strategies to address the need for reductions of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and regional transit modernization in Southern California.

Deanna Haines
Director, Policy & Environmental Strategy
Southern California Gas Company; San Diego Gas & Electric
Biography

Deanna Haines

Director, Policy & Environmental Strategy
Southern California Gas Company; San Diego Gas & Electric

Deanna Haines has worked for the Utilities since 1988 and has held various leadership positions primarily in the engineering and environmental areas. Currently, Deanna leads the Utilities’ Policy & Environmental Strategy area to support sensible and balanced policies that are consistent with the primary directive of the Utilities to deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy. Before Deanna’s current position, she was the Director of Gas Engineering overseeing the engineering standards, training and research programs related to the design, operation and construction of the gas infrastructure.  In her engineering role, Deanna developed the Utilities’ first Risk Assessment Mitigation Phase (RAMP) filing on Climate Adaptation & Resiliency for the gas infrastructure.  Prior to leading the Engineering department, she was the Director of Environmental Services responsible for permitting major projects and developing and implementing policies and programs to drive environmental stewardship and support operations with environmental compliance requirements.

Ms. Haines has served on several scientific committees, including the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s Best Available Control Technology Scientific Review Committee (BACT SRC) and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Industrial Combustion Coordinated Rulemaking (ICCR) Committee. She further served on the American Gas Association’s Distribution, Transmission and Engineering and Environmental Committees. Ms. Haines is on the College of Engineering, Computer Science & Technology Dean’s Advisory Board for Cal State Los Angeles.  She currently serves on the Board of the American Cancer Society. 

Ken Alex
Director
California Office of Planning and Research
Biography

Ken Alex

Director
California Office of Planning and Research
Dean Florez
Board Member
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Dean Florez

Board Member
California Air Resources Board

Dean Florez is a proven leader in the air quality arena having served as the past Chairman of the California Senate Select Committee on Air Quality. While in the Senate, he authored a series of ground-breaking anti-pollution laws focused on the San Joaquin Valley's dirty air and repealed the agriculture industry's historic exemption from air operating permits that had lasted for 63 years.

Sen. Florez served in the California Assembly from 1998 to 2002 and in the Senate from 2002 to 2010, representing the Central Valley including Bakersfield, Fresno and 18 other cities. Sen. Florez is now President and CEO of Balance Public Relations which specializes in education and technology.

Senator Florez also served as the Senate's appointee to the Committee on Awards for Innovation in Higher Education and served as President of the Twenty Million Minds Foundation. Florez is a thought leader on higher education issues and has been a featured speaker at the New York Times and White House.

A former investment banker, Sen. Florez received his MBA from Harvard in 1993. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from UCLA, where he also served as Student Body President.

David Patterson
Chief Engineer, Mobile Emissions Certification and Regulatory Affairs
Mitsubishi Motors
Biography

David Patterson

Chief Engineer, Mobile Emissions Certification and Regulatory Affairs
Mitsubishi Motors

Mr. Patterson is Chief Engineer responsible for Mobile Emissions Certification and Regulatory Affairs maintaining Mitsubishi Motor’s vehicle environmental compliance.

He began his professional career with the California Air Resources Board.  Among his varied assignments, he evaluated the first generation of electric and hybrid vehicles.   He left state service to work with solid oxide and hydrogen fuel cell systems. 

In 2004, Mr. Patterson joined Mitsubishi Motors R&D of America. 

Mr. Patterson was a founding member of the US i-MiEV project responsible to bring Mitsubishi Motors electric vehicles to North America.  Currently, he works toward the US introduction of the Outlander PHEV and evaluating V2X technologies to the US. 

Dave attended California State University Fresno and obtained a BS Mechanical Engineering.  He is a Professional Engineer of Mechanical Engineering, Vice President of the Coordinating Research Council, and a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Ken Lewis
President, Firm Sustainability Leader
AC Martin Partners
Biography

Ken Lewis

President, Firm Sustainability Leader
AC Martin Partners

Ken Lewis is the President of AC Martin Partners, and has been with the firm for 30 years.  He is a designer first, with an inherent ability to bring people, ideas and technology together, helping to create and influence the built environment. An uncharacteristically, hands-on President, Ken has designed and managed a long list of projects for the firm, involving himself from the earliest stages of the project, through the construction and final commissioning.  He now focuses exclusively on facility programming, large projects and sustainable design leadership on all projects in the office.

A long time advocate of Sustainable Design Principles, Ken strongly believes in a holistic approach to architecture – an approach that goes beyond a narrow focus of checklists and measurements.  He is recognized in Southern California as an expert in Green Building Design, recently participating in the effort for the City of Los Angeles’ first green building legislature for private sector, new construction.  He was appointed by the City of Burbank to the city’s task force for a “Sustainable Burbank” in 2009, and now serves as the Vice Chair/Commissioner for Burbank’s Sustainability Commission.

Ken received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern California, and is a registered architect in California and a LEED™ Accredited Professional.  He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, the Society of College and University Planners, and served as a member of the Los Angeles Business Council – Energy and Environment Committee.  As part of Ken’s commitment to furthering the field of the architecture and engineering, he was an adjunct faculty member for the School of Engineering at Cal State Fullerton from 1990 to 1995, is currently an adjunct faculty member for the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California.  Ken is a frequent guest lecturer at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California.

Walker Wright
Director of Public Policy
SunRun
Biography

Walker Wright

Director of Public Policy
SunRun

Walker Wright is Director of Public Policy for Sunrun, America’s largest dedicated home solar company. Walker focuses on helping Western state markets attain long-term rooftop solar growth via legislative, regulatory and public opinion outcomes.  Over the years Walker has testified in numerous regulatory and legislative hearings and provided leadership within various industry trade associations. Walker also serves as public spokesperson for The Alliance for Solar Choice and is a board member to the Solar Neighbor Alliance.  Prior to Sunrun he led western policy and business development efforts for Petra Systems, the New Jersey based utility and smart grid solutions provider. Walker is a published author and researcher covering the carbon markets and solar panel performance.  Walker holds a BA from Princeton University and an Msc from The London School of Economics and Political Sciences.

John Sanders
CEO & President
Innovative, Information, and Intelligence Solutions LLC
Biography

John Sanders

CEO & President
Innovative, Information, and Intelligence Solutions LLC

John Sanders is a Cybersecurity Policy Consultant and a high impact business leader focused on growth, revenue and generating client solutions while promoting ethics, compliance, and employee advocacy.  He recently advised the Department of Homeland Security on their Cybersecurity Exercise Scenario Development efforts for National Level Cybersecurity Exercise 2020 as it relates to the protection of Critical Infrastructure. He previously served as a contracted Senior Cybersecurity Research Subject Matter Expert/Consultant on the Director of National Intelligence staff, National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) providing Subject Matter Expertise on Intelligence Community Cyber Policy and Strategy, Risk Management, Wireless/Mobility, Cyber Threat Intelligence, and Insider Threat.  John is a true industry leader who has over 20 years of experience as an Army intelligence professional in the U.S. Government including multiple combat tours.  John served as an Executive Officer to the Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Policy, Plans, and Requirements with significant interaction with the 16 members of the Intelligence Community, DoD, Congress, and the National Security Council.  John is Army Combat Veteran, Bronze Star recipient, Army Intelligence - Knowlton Award recipient, Airborne RANGER and Senior Parachutist. He is also an Army Intelligence Strategist and Computer Network Operations Planner.  John’s academic background includes:  Master of Telecommunications Management (MA), Webster University, St. Louis, MO, Master of Military Arts and Science (MMAS) from the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), Operational Art, Ft Leavenworth, KS, Command General and Staff College, Ft Leavenworth, KS, Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (BBA), Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, TX. 

Dennis McGinn
Fmr. U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Senior Advisor and Board Member, Customer First Renewables
Biography

Dennis McGinn

Fmr. U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Senior Advisor and Board Member, Customer First Renewables

Dennis McGinn is a Senior Advisor and Board Member at CustomerFirst Renewables.

Dennis, who served 35 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy, also served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment from September 2013 until January 2017. He is a former President of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), a past member of the Steering Committee of the Energy Future Coalition, United States Energy Security Council, Bipartisan Policy Center Energy Board, and CNA Military Advisory Board and currently serves on several boards, including the Rocky Mountain Institute. He is also a senior advisor to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the Center for Climate and Security.

Audrey Vinant-Tang
Supplier Sustainability Manager
CBS Corporation
Biography

Audrey Vinant-Tang

Supplier Sustainability Manager
CBS Corporation

Audrey Vinant-Tang graduated from UCLA with a major in Environmental Science and Engineering and a minor in Film & Television. After working as an air quality engineer for three years, Audrey was able to blend these two passions at CBS. She built the CBS Eye on the Environment green supply chain program from scratch to reduce the carbon footprint of CBS television productions and company operations. Under Audrey’s leadership, the CBS Eye on the Environment program won a 2017 Green Supply Chain Award. As a supplier sustainability manager, Audrey manages renewable energy projects and energy procurement activities at CBS.

Audrey was also elected VP of Education for the Green Business Council of Southern California and recognized on the 2018 Green Biz 30 Under 30 list.

Chip Clements
President
Clements Environmental Corporation
Biography

Chip Clements

President
Clements Environmental Corporation

Mr. Clements has over 35 years of experience in the environmental field and has managed more than 150 projects in his career.  As the founder of Clements Environmental Corporation, he is responsible for overseeing all aspects of business development, project performance, client liaison, and administration.  He is expert in Zero Waste planning and the development of solid waste and recycling infrastructure including: Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) and transfer stations, composting operations, C&D processing plants, recycling centers, and e-Recycling facilities having permitted over 70 such projects throughout California.  In addition, he has extensive experience in innovative/alternative technologies for converting solid waste into renewable electricity and fuels and has been working on the development of such facilities for the past 10 years.

Ron Gastelum
President and Board Chair
Water Conservation Partners
Biography

Ron Gastelum

President and Board Chair
Water Conservation Partners

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.

Malcolm Jacques
Executive Director
Wasabi Energy
Biography

Malcolm Jacques

Executive Director
Wasabi Energy
Louis Ting
Director, Power Planning Development & Engineering
LADWP
Biography

Louis Ting

Director, Power Planning Development & Engineering
LADWP

Louis Ting is the Director of Power System Planning Development & Engineering for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.  In his 26th year at LADWP, currently he is responsible for the transition to a clean energy future and the overall regulatory, resource, grid, and strategic planning for the LA’s Power System.  Previously, he led teams in completing major renewable, transmission, reliability, and compliance projects for the largest municipal utility in the County.  Prior to electric utility experience, he managed water system infrastructure replacement and redevelopment programs for the City of Los Angeles, and engineered fleet replacement programs for LADWP.

Vince Bertoni
Director of Planning
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Vince Bertoni

Director of Planning
City of Los Angeles

Vince Bertoni is the Director of Planning for the City of Los Angeles.  With over 30 years of professional planning experience, Vince leads the largest city planning department in the nation.  He is charged with developing policies that shape the future of the City and guide development decisions for a diverse and dynamic metropolis of over 4 million people.  Prior to arriving in Los Angeles, Vince was the Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Pasadena where he successfully managed Pasadena’s city planning program through a General Plan update, a comprehensive visioning process that happens just once every 20 years.  He has also served as Deputy Director for the City of Los Angeles and held lead planning posts 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.

Wendell McCain
Managing Director/Capital Partner
Onset Capital Partners/Floating Solar Solutions LLC
Biography

Wendell McCain

Managing Director/Capital Partner
Onset Capital Partners/Floating Solar Solutions LLC

Mr. McCain is a Co-Managing Director of Onset Capital and Capital Partner of Floating Solar Solutions, LLC. In addition, he serves as the Chairman of Onset Capital Partners, a global asset management firm  that works with the Onset Capital team.

Mr. McCain serves on the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian National African Art Museum and is on the Board of Trustees for the NC Nature Conservancy, UNC College of Arts and Sciences, UNC Civil Rights Center and North Carolina Central University. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Union Independent School.

Mr. McCain received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School, where he was a Toigo Fellow and a Bachelors of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar.

Prior to Onset Capital, Mr. McCain was the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Parish Capital Advisors, a global private equity firm with $2 billion under management. He has spent the last twenty years focused on alternative asset classes and has also experienced the private equity business from the perspective of advisor, direct investor, and limited partner. Prior to founding Parish Capital, Mr. McCain served as Vice President at BancBoston Ventures, where his group managed a $600 million diversified private equity portfolio, and he managed a direct investment portfolio of eleven companies and four limited partnerships. Mr. McCain was active as a board member or board observer of seven of those companies. Mr. McCain aggressively sourced new investment opportunities and reviewed over two hundred opportunities annually.

Dennis Luna
Managing Partner
Luna & Glushon
Biography

Dennis Luna

Managing Partner
Luna & Glushon

Dennis is the managing partner of Luna & Glushon, a firm headquartered in Century City.

Dennis is a graduate of Harvard Law School, and holds a Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Southern California, School of Petroleum Engineering.

He has served on many commissions in the City of Los Angeles, including Commissioner and Treasurer for the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, and as a Commissioner of the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department.

He is also a former Director and Member of the Executive Committee of the Economic Development Corporation of Los Angeles County.

Dennis is a frequent speaker on matters related to energy, water resources, and the economy.

Peter Gross
Vice President, Mission Critical Systems
Bloom Energy
Biography

Peter Gross

Vice President, Mission Critical Systems
Bloom Energy

 Peter Gross, leads the Mission Critical Systems group at Bloom Energy, the leading manufacturer of solid oxide fuel cells.  Peter is recognized as a thought leader in the mission-critical information and infrastructure design realm, has published numerous technical papers in the field, and is a frequent speaker at international events. His focus centers on mission-critical facilities, high-reliability design, energy and sustainability.  Peter has more than 25 years’ experience in the engineering and design of power systems as applied to data centers, trading floors, command and control centers, and telecommunication and broadcasting facilities.

Peter has been at the forefront of many innovative concepts that have contributed to the data center industry evolution, such as the HP modular, pre-fabricated FlexDC product and he was co-awarded a patent for Direct Current power distribution topology. He is presently focused on transforming the data center architecture through the use of fuel cells.

Janice Lin
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Strategen
Biography

Janice Lin

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Strategen

Janice Lin is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Strategen. Janice has over than two decades of experience in clean energy strategy, market development, and corporate strategy. Janice uses the Strategen platforms of consulting, association management, and events to achieve measurable global impact in growing the clean energy sector. Through Association Management, she has distinguished herself as a leading clean energy changemaker. Janice co-founded and for a decade served as Executive Director of the California Energy Storage Alliance, where she helped create the world’s most robust energy storage market. Janice is an internationally recognized thought leader in energy storage and grid decarbonization and won the 2019 Cleanie Award for Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2019 Janice also launched the Green Hydrogen Coalition, an educational non-profit dedicated to transitioning to a sustainable, carbon-free energy supply with green (renewable) hydrogen.

John Emerson
Vice Chairman
Capital Group International
Biography

John Emerson

Vice Chairman
Capital Group International

John Emerson is a global relationship manager and vice chairman of Capital Group International, Inc. He has 16 years of industry experience, all with Capital Group. He was most recently the United States ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2015, John was awarded the State Department's Susan M. Cobb Award for Exemplary Diplomatic Service, which is given annually to one non-career ambassador. Prior to accepting the ambassador posting, John was president of Private Client Services for the Capital Group Companies. Before joining Capital, he was deputy assistant to President Clinton where he coordinated his economic conferences, served as the president’s liaison to the nation’s governors, and led the administration’s efforts to obtain congressional approval of the GATT Uruguay Round Agreement and the extension of China’s MFN trading status. Before that, John served as Los Angeles Chief Deputy City Attorney, and was a partner in the law firm of Manatt, Phelps, Rothenberg, and Phillips. Additionally, he was appointed by President Obama to serve on his Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. He holds an honorary doctor of laws degree from Hamilton College, a juris doctorate degree from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Hamilton College. John is based in Los Angeles.

Brandon Hurlbut
Co-Founder
Boundary Stone Partners
Biography

Brandon Hurlbut

Co-Founder
Boundary Stone Partners

Brandon Hurlbut is a co-founder of Boundary Stone Partners where he advises clean energy and mobility companies.  He previously served as Chief of Staff to Secretary Steven Chu at the U.S. DOE, where he managed the Department's principal initiatives and oversaw day-to-day operations of a federal agency with a $29 billion budget and a 115,000 person workforce.  Brandon provided leadership and counsel to the White House and Cabinet Secretaries during high profile challenges including the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, the Gulf oil spill, and Hurricane Sandy. He served on the board of directors for DOE's $38 billion investment fund in clean energy, which is the largest of its kind in the world.
 
He began working in the Obama Administration by serving in the White House as the President's liaison to the energy and environment cabinet agencies. He previously served in senior positions on Barack Obama's first presidential campaign and practiced law at Baker & Daniels after obtaining a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.
 
Brandon currently serves as a member of the board of directors to Sparkfund and The Solutions Project.  He is a co-host of “Political Climate,” a Greentech Media podcast about energy and environment issues.  Previously, he served on the advisory board of GE Current and as a senior fellow at Center for American Progress.

Lin Midkiff
The Aerospace Corporation
Biography

Lin Midkiff

The Aerospace Corporation

Everett L. (Lin) Midkiff III has 36 years of experience in the aerospace, aviation and information systems fields. He currently supports system architecting, engineering, integration and technical analysis efforts in a variety of market sectors, including transportation, energy, and homeland security.

He joined The Aerospace Corporation in 1997, with initial responsibilities for systems engineering, operational transition support, and long-range planning for the Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN).  He transitioned to the Civil and Commercial Operations group in 1998, supporting commercial space launch and advanced space vehicle concepts. In 2000, he became a private consultant for data communications, information technology and entertainment service applications in the commercial aircraft industry.  He returned to Aerospace in 2010 to focus on new initiatives in interplanetary space, automated transportation networks, and related science and technology domains.

Mr. Midkiff holds a B.A. degree in Business Administration from William Jewell College, Liberty, Missouri, and an M.S. degree in Computer Science from Missouri Science & Technology (formerly the University of Missouri-Rolla).

RADM Yancy Lindsey
Rear Admiral
U.S. Navy
Biography

RADM Yancy Lindsey

Rear Admiral
U.S. Navy

Rear Adm. Yancy B. Lindsey is a native of Phoenix, Arizona. He is a 1986 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley where he received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He also holds a Master of Military Science from Marine Corps University and a Master of Science in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego. In addition, he completed a Federal Executive Fellowship at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Lindsey was commissioned through Aviation Officer Candidate School in October 1986 and designated a naval aviator in December 1987.

Lindsey's sea duty assignments have included Antarctic Development Squadron (VXE) 6 flying LC-130 aircraft and twice with Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 113 flying the E-2C Hawkeye. During these tours of duty, he completed three deployments to Antarctica and two deployments to the Arabian Gulf aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72).

Ashore, Lindsey served on the Joint Staff (J6); at Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet; with the U.S. European Command staff in Stuttgart, Germany; as chief of staff to the Commander, Navy Region Southwest; and most recently as executive assistant to the assistant secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment.

Lindsey commanded the VAW-117 Wallbangers, earning the Battle Efficiency Award and completing an Arabian Gulf deployment aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also commanded Naval Base Coronado, a consortium of eight Navy installations. Lindsey was the 89th Commandant of Naval District Washington, June 2015 to August 2016. He assumed command of Navy Region Southwest in September 2016.

His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, four Legions of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, four Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medals, Joint Service Achievement Medal and three Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

Colin Tetreault
Senior Policy Advisor of Sustainability, former
Office of Mayor Stanton, City of Phoenix
Biography

Colin Tetreault

Senior Policy Advisor of Sustainability, former
Office of Mayor Stanton, City of Phoenix

Colin Tetreault serves as the Senior Policy Advisor of Sustainability to Mayor Stanton of Phoenix, Arizona. Colin oversees the development and recommendation of policy germane to sustainability over the 520 mile2, 1.5 million person population of the City of Phoenix. Acting with a City and regional emphasis, Colin seeks to advance Phoenix’s future: create robust and resilient economic opportunity for all; protect and expand environmental and natural systems while looking to them for use-inspired solutions; foster and grow a beautiful, vibrant, pluralistic and socially just culture. 

As a proponent of education at all levels, Colin leverages his background, work ethic, and personal experiences to advance the education of students. Colin currently serves as a Faculty Associate – focusing on business & sustainability strategy and energy & environmental policy – at Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability. Colin holds a Master of Arts from Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability, the first program of its kind in the United States. Colin holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. He has studied international business and development at the Baltic Business School while living and consulting in Sweden. 

Colin actively leads civic and community organizations focused on advancing sustainability issues. As Vice President of the Board for the Green Chamber of Commerce, Colin advances sustainable economic development and business within the Phoenix region. As a Director of the Valley Forward Association, Colin acts as an advocate for a balance between economic development and environmental quality; he and the organization seek to convene business, community and civic leaders in thoughtful public dialogue on critical sustainability issues. Colin actively advances sustainability via guest writing for various organizations, and is a featured dynamic speaker at numerous community engagement meetings, academic forums, professional conferences, and business conventions. Colin passionately volunteers in his community in an effort to promote economic security, social justice, and environmental responsibility. 

Colin serves as Principal and “Executive Hippie” for S2 Consulting, LLC, an innovation-driven sustainability and management consulting firm. Colin is charged with enabling organizational structure, culture, and operations to be more profitable and sustainability minded through business acumen and scientific rigor. His efforts impact all levels of systems from employees and managers to suppliers and customers. 

Colin includes his position as a competitive age-group triathlete a point of pride. In the summer of 2009, he finished the Ironman triathlon in Japan and Arizona. Colin completed his third Ironman triathlon in Arizona in November of 2011 and continues to compete each season. Colin is an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast. 

Nancy Ryan
Deputy Executive Director
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Nancy Ryan

Deputy Executive Director
California Public Utilities Commission
Hiromu Nishimura
Infrastructure Systems Department Manager, Business Development Department, Global Water Systems
Hitachi
Biography

Hiromu Nishimura

Infrastructure Systems Department Manager, Business Development Department, Global Water Systems
Hitachi

Hiromu Nishimura joined Hitachi in 2011, after working for thirty years at the Mitsubishi Corporation. Active in the water industry since 1998, Mr. Nishimura is an expert on business development for water projects and the management of private water companies. He served on the Board of Directors of the Manila Water Company from 2001 to 2009 and is a current member of the Board of Directors of the Malé Water and Sewerage Company.

Mr. Nishimura brings the expertise of Hitachi’s innovative Remix Water technology. An integrated sweater desalinization and sewage treatment system, Remix consumes about 36% less water and 40% less energy than conventional desalinization plants, presenting opportunities for water and energy efficiency improvements of crucial importance to California’s drought-affected water supply. 

Loni Mahanta
Vice President, Public Policy Development
Lyft
Biography

Loni Mahanta

Vice President, Public Policy Development
Lyft

Loni Mahanta is Lyft’s VP, Public Policy Development.  In that role, Loni leads the Policy Development & Research team at Lyft, which focuses on high level strategic solutions to Lyft’s long-term policy issues as well as shaping and driving operational and programmatic priorities within the company. Her team is responsible for policy creation and problem-solving in the areas of future of work, sustainability, city and transportation planning, and policy research/analytics.

Loni also leads Lyft’s Future of Work initiatives, where she focuses on Lyft’s policy work and thought leadership in the future of work space, including general labor policy, portable benefits, the creation of a modern, flexible safety net, and addressing worker displacement due to automation.

Previously, Loni was Associate General Counsel, overseeing Lyft’s labor and employment department on the Legal team.  

Prior to joining Lyft, Loni was an attorney at Folger Levin LLP and Crowell & Moring LLP, where she specialized in employment litigation. She obtained her B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University and graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif from Hastings College of the Law.

 

James Villeneuve
Consul General
Canadian Consulate-Los Angeles
Biography

James Villeneuve

Consul General
Canadian Consulate-Los Angeles

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.

Dr. Zeynep Erdal
Los Angeles Regional Business Line Leader for Water
AECOM
Biography

Dr. Zeynep Erdal

Los Angeles Regional Business Line Leader for Water
AECOM

Dr. Zeynep Erdal, PE is a water industry executive, technology developer and project manager with over 20 years of hands-on experience in business development and implementation of water reclamation, resource recovery, water recycling, and advanced technologies, organics-to-energy systems, energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste solids treatment and handling, greenhouse gases, renewable energy, as well as regulatory and policy issues, resource recovery, and sustainable solutions metrics and implementation through process development, piloting, modeling and design. She has led policy development and advocacy to further solutions dealing with climate change resiliency and carbon management issues. She holds leadership positions on advisory boards in collaboration with public and private representatives, research and technical practice committees. Her extensive project development and implementation experience covers development, design, construction and commissioning of water and energy projects.

As the Los Angeles Regional Business Line Leader for Water, Dr. Erdal is currently responsible for the marketing, development and execution of AECOM Water projects, and manages the Water Business P&L in LA Metro region covering Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii.

Gene Rodrigues
Director of Energy Efficiency
Southern California Edison
Biography

Gene Rodrigues

Director of Energy Efficiency
Southern California Edison

Gene Rodrigues is the Director of Customer Energy Efficiency and Solar for Southern California Edison Company. In this capacity, Gene oversees SCE’s portfolio of Energy Efficiency, Low Income Energy Efficiency, Low Income Rate Assistance, California Solar Initiative and Self Generation Incentive programs.  SCE is a national leader in helping customers to save energy, money and the environment through its award-winning energy efficiency programs. 

In addition to his duties at SCE, Gene serves as chairman of the board of directors for the Consortium for Energy Efficiency.  He also serves on the boards of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the China-US Energy Efficiency Alliance.  Gene is a member of the executive leadership group for the U.S. DOE/EPA-sponsored State Energy Efficiency Action Network, the strategy committee for EEI's Institute for Energy Efficiency, and the steering committee for the Alliance to Save Energy's Global Action Network for Energy Efficiency Education.

David Alexander
Director of Information Security
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Biography

David Alexander

Director of Information Security
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

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.

Frederuck O. Terrell
Vice Chairman
Credit Suisse
Biography

Frederuck O. Terrell

Vice Chairman
Credit Suisse
Vance Fong
Environmental Indicator Program Manager
US Environmental Protection Agency
Biography

Vance Fong

Environmental Indicator Program Manager
US Environmental Protection Agency

Vance S. Fong, P.E. is the Manager of the Environmental Indicator program leading Region 9 efforts to develop environmental indicators across media programs, working with the U.S. EPA Headquarters to develop the Report on the Environment, and providing support to states and tribes to develop their own indicators.  He was the Chief of the Quality Assurance Office managing the Region 9 Quality Assurance Program and environmental data collection activities.  He worked in Hawaii Department of Health and provided programmatic advice and technical assistance in the development and implementation of the Hawaii Hazard evaluation and Emergency Response Rules.  He joined the Pacific Southwest Regional Office in 1987 where he was a Superfund Project Manager, responsible for leading and overseeing environmental remediation efforts at Federal Facilities on the National Priority List. 

Vance has been designated by the EPA Science Policy Council to be a member of EPA Group on Earth Observation (GEO) representing EPA Region 9.  Vance has been the Principal Investigator for two Advanced Monitoring Initiative projects -- Satellite and Surface Monitoring of Ozone Concentrations in Support of U.S.-Mexico Border 2012 Program and the California Sustainability Indicators Suite.

Cheryl Santor
Information Security Manager (retired)
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Biography

Cheryl Santor

Information Security Manager (retired)
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

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.

Michael George
Delta Watermaster
State of California
Biography

Michael George

Delta Watermaster
State of California

Michael Patrick George was appointed to a four-year term as Delta Watermaster beginning in January, 2015; he was re-appointed for a second four-year term through January of 2023.  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 and the Suisun Marsh.  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 being appointed, 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 utility 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.

 

Dr. Nebojsa Nakicenovic
Acting Deputy Director General and CEO
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Biography

Dr. Nebojsa Nakicenovic

Acting Deputy Director General and CEO
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

Nebojsa Nakicenovic is Deputy Director General and CEO of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). Until 2014, he was full Professor of Energy Economics at Vienna University of Technology.

Among other positions, Prof. Nakicenovic is the Executive Director of The World in 2050 (TWI2050); Member Ad Hoc Informal Multi-stakeholder Technical Group of Advisors on Sustainable Development Goal 7, United Nations; Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute for Networked Energy Systems Analysis; Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Potsdam Institute from Climate Impact Research (PIK); Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM); Member of the Panel on Socioeconomic Scenarios for Climate Change Impact and Response Assessments; Steering Committee Member of the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21); Member of the International Academy for Systems and Cybernetic Sciences; Member of the International Advisory Board of the Helmholtz Programme on Technology, and Member of OMV Advisory Group on Sustainability.

He is Editorial Board Member of the following journals: Climate Policy; Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability; Energy, Ecology and Environment; Energy Policy; Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions; Energy Strategy Reviews; Global Perspectives; and Technological Forecasting and Social Change.

Prof. Nakicenovic was Deputy Director General of IIASA from 2008 to August 2018, Member of the United Nations Secretary General Special Advisory 10-Member Group to support the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM), 2016 - 2018; Co-Chair and Steering Committee Co-Chair of the Global Carbon Project (GCP), 2013 - 2016; Member of the Advisory Council of the German Government on Global Change (WBGU), 2008-2016; Director of the Global Energy Assessment (GEA), 2005-2012; Co-Leader of the Austrian Climate Change Assessment, 2007-2014; Board Member of the Austrian Center for Climate Change (CCCA), 2014-2015; Member of the International Council for Science (ICSU) Committee on Scientific Planning and Review, 2009-2015; a Member of the United Nations Secretary General Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change, 2009-2011; Chair of the Advisory Board of OMV Future Energy Fund (Austrian oil company), 2006-2011; Lead Author of Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC (2008-2015); Member of the Advisory Board of the World Bank Development Report 2010: Climate Change, 2009-2010; Expert Panel Member of the World Banks’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) on Sustainable Energy Supply, Poverty Reduction and Climate Change, 2010; Coordinating Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Fourth Assessment Report, 2002-2007, Coordinating Lead Author of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2001-2005, Director, Global Energy Perspectives, World Energy Council, 1993-1998, Convening Lead Author of the Second Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 1993-1995, Convening Lead Author of the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios, 1997-2000, Lead Author of Third Assessment Report of the IPCC, 1999-2001, Convening Lead Author of the World Energy Assessment, 1999-2000, and Guest Professor at the Technical University of Graz, 1993-2003.

Prof. Nakicenovic holds bachelors and master’s degrees in economics and computer science from Princeton University, New Jersey, USA and the University of Vienna, where he also completed his PhD. He also holds Honoris Causa PhD degree in engineering from the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Among Prof. Nakicenovic's research interests are the long-term patterns of technological change, economic development and response to climate change and, in particular, the evolution of energy, mobility, and information and communication technologies.

Adam Lovell
Executive Director
Water Services Association of Australia
Biography

Adam Lovell

Executive Director
Water Services Association of Australia
Woodie Tescher
Los Angeles Principal
PlaceWorks
Biography

Woodie Tescher

Los Angeles Principal
PlaceWorks

Woodie Tescher, Principal, for PlaceWorks, is recognized for his leadership in advancing the principles of placemaking, sustainability, health, environmental justice, and smart growth in the development of policy and regulatory planning documents for communities throughout the state. His experience is represented by general plans for the cities of Pasadena, Sacramento, Los Angeles (Framework Plan), Newport Beach, West Hollywood; Redondo Beach, Temple City, La Habra, and Corona; specific plans for Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, Temple City’s Crossroads District, Long Beach’s East Village Arts District, and San Gabriel’s Valley Boulevard Neighborhoods; framework plan for the integrated development of the 10th campus of the University of California at Merced and surrounding community; and transit-oriented community plans for Santa Monica’s Bergamot Mixed-Use Creative District, Jefferson-La Cienega Boulevards’ Metro Exposition Light Rail Line station area, and Laguna Niguel’s Amtrak Station Gateway. He currently is leading the station planning team for the Palmdale to Burbank segment of the California High Speed Rail Project.

Mr. Tescher is the Immediate Past President of the California Planning Roundtable and recipient of the American Planning Association California Chapter’s Distinguished Planner Award, the Planner Emeritus Network’s Award of Honor, and UCLA Extension’s Distinguished Instructor Award. He serves as an Adjunct Instructor for the Masters of Planning Program in USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. He received a Master of Architecture, Urban Design from UCLA and Bachelor of Architecture from USC.

Erica He
Senior Advisor, Energy Solutions
Innovation Core SEI Inc. (Sumitomo Electric)
Biography

Erica He

Senior Advisor, Energy Solutions
Innovation Core SEI Inc. (Sumitomo Electric)

Erica is the Senior Advisor, 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 has been leading 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. 

Margot Wirth
Director of Private Equity
California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS)
Biography

Margot Wirth

Director of Private Equity
California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS)

Margot Wirth is the Director of Private Equity at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS). CalSTRS is the second largest public pension fund in the United States with total assets of $145 billion (of which private equity assets comprise $23 billion). Prior to joining CalSTRS in 2001, Margot was a valuation consultant/manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York and San Francisco. She was also previously Vice President at 3-E Development Corporation, a residential real estate developer in the Washington DC area and a chemical engineer with DuPont in Beaumont, Texas. Margot is a member of the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia.

Cris Liban
Executive Officer, Environmental Compliance and Sustainability
Metro
Biography

Cris Liban

Executive Officer, Environmental Compliance and Sustainability
Metro

Dr. Cris B. Liban, P.E. is LA Metro’s Executive Officer, Environmental Compliance and Sustainability.  Cris oversees LA Metro’s internationally recognized Environmental, Sustainability, and Energy initiatives.  A published author and national speaker, he is also very involved with transportation and environmental industry and research activities particularly as Chair of several American Public Transportation Association sub-committees; Member of the Transportation Research Board ADC60 Resource Conservation and Recovery Committee; Chair of two National Academies’ Transportation Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) studies related to Climate Change Impacts to transit; and a Member of the National Cooperative Highways Research Program (NCHRP) study to determine a lifecycle and cost framework to determine climate change solutions implementation.  He is also a Commissioner in the City of Los Angeles Board of Transportation Commissioners.  This past year, he was also appointed to the Los Angeles County Beach Commission, which oversees all LA County Beach activities including environmental, transportation, and construction issues.  Cris has degrees in geology (magna cum laude), civil and environmental engineering, and environmental science and engineering.

Dr. Thomas Becker
Vice President Sustainability, Mobility
BMW Group
Biography

Dr. Thomas Becker

Vice President Sustainability, Mobility
BMW Group

Since 10/2019 Dr. Thomas Becker holds the position as Vice President Sustainability, Mobility at the BMW Group.

Dr. Thomas Becker was Vice President Government and External Affairs at the BMW Group in Munich from 2007 to September 2019. During his time in the area of Government and External Affairs he supervised the worldwide representation of the BMW Group’s political interests, the company’s approach to integrate political topics into the product as well as business communications and the steering of the sustainability communication of the company.

Dr. Thomas Becker started his career as an expert in the department of environmental policy at the Association of the German Industry (BDI) in Berlin. He later held several leadership positions at the Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) in Frankfurt. Before his current role with the BMW Group Dr. Becker worked as Deputy Managing Director at VDA, where he was responsible for the association’s co-management. From 1988 until 2003 Dr. Thomas Becker served as a reserve officer with the rank of Captain in the German Air Force.

Dr. Thomas Becker received his PhD degree (Dr. rer. pol.) with Professor Dr. Ekkehard Kappler at the Reinhard-Mohn Foundation Chair for Management, Economics, and Social Evolution at the University of Witten / Herdecke with magna cum laude. He also holds a diploma in economics from the University of Cologne.

Tommy Moala
Assistant General Manager
SFPUC
Biography

Tommy Moala

Assistant General Manager
SFPUC

Tommy T. Moala has overseen operations for the City’s combined sewer system since 2007. A former US Naval Propulsion Engineer, Tommy has more than 15 years experience in wastewater in-plant management. He joined the agency as a Stationary Engineer in 1990, moving up steadily the ranks to become Operations Manager, and setting the Enterprise’s standard for zero-violations along the way.

A team recipient of the National Protection Agency O & M award and the National Association of Clean Water Agency award, Tommy received Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Public Managerial Excellence award and our O’Shaughnessy award for organizing the Emergency Response Team dispatched to Hurricane Katrina. He is a member of the Water Environment Federation, the California Water Environment Association, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies and the American Water Works Association. Tommy is also on the board of the Bay Area Clean Water Agency.

Alex Spataru
President
The ADEPT Group
Biography

Alex Spataru

President
The ADEPT Group

Mr. Alex Spataru has worked in the aerospace, oil and gas, and management consulting industries in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Mr. Spataru served as an U.S. Army Officer from 1969 to 1973. His undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering and business were completed at UCLA. 

Mr. Spataru has extensive experience with alternative fuels and engines. He has consulted to state and federal regulatory entities, large and small manufacturers, oil and gas companies, as well as to utilities, laboratories (research, certification, testing), and trade associations.

Mr. Spataru has been involved in the commercialization of numerous technologies including: liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) dedicated engines, compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations, fuel additives, diesel engine enhancement systems, low NOx ceramic burners, co-generation systems, gas detection systems, and high efficiency gas boilers. 

Mr. Spataru occasionally speaks at energy or environment related conferences. He is a member of the American Society of Gas Engineers, the American Society for Testing and Materials, the International Standards Organization, the International Society for Measurement and Control, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and has served as Director of the Gas Detection Industry Association. 

Michael Wehner
Assistant General Manager
Orange County Water District
Biography

Michael Wehner

Assistant General Manager
Orange County Water District

 

Mike Wehner is the Assistant General Manager at Orange County Water District (OCWD) and manages Water Quality and Technology programs at the District.  Mike was also responsible for obtaining regulatory approval and bolstering public support for the Groundwater Replenishment System, the world’s largest potable reuse system, which currently provides 70 MGD of high purity recycled water to prevent seawater intrusion and replenish the Orange County groundwater basin.  Prior to joining OCWD, he spent 20 years with Orange County Environmental Health where he was Water Quality Program Chief. 

Mike is an internationally recognized expert in water quality, public health and advanced water purification technology and has served on advisory panels for the National Water Research Institute, WaterRF, the WateReuse Research Foundation, the NRC, US EPA, CDPH, the State Water Resources Control Board, UK Water Industry Research, Thames Water, CSIRO in Australia and the PUB in Singapore.

Adel Hagekhalil
General Manager
Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services
Biography

Adel Hagekhalil

General Manager
Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services

Adel Hagekhalil is a registered civil engineer with the State of California and a national Board Certified Environmental Engineer.  Adel is currently the Executive Director and General Manager with the City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Street Services (StreetsLA) where he is responsible for managing, maintaining and upgrading the City’s street network including streets, sidewalks, trees and bikeways with focus on safety, mobility and sustainability.  Under his direction, Adel will integrate green infrastructure and multi-benefit elements into the City’s street renewal efforts.

Recently, Adel was the Assistant Director for the City’s Bureau of Sanitation where he was responsible for the Bureau’s wastewater collection system management, storm water and watershed protection program, water quality compliance, and facilities and advance planning.  Under his direction, the City has prepared an award winning 2040 One Water LA Plan “One Water” which relies on public input and participation and integrates water supply, water reuse, water conservation and storm water management with wastewater facilities planning through a regional watershed approach. 

Adel served for 9 years as Board member and recently President with the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).  Adel is a WEF Fellow. Adel is a member of WEF and APWA.

Teveia Barnes
Executive Director
California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank
Biography

Teveia Barnes

Executive Director
California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank

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.

Carol L. Folt
President
University of Southern California
Biography

Carol L. Folt

President
University of Southern California

Dr. Carol L. Folt serves as the twelfth president of the University of Southern California. She is a highly experienced leader, internationally recognized life scientist, and award-winning teacher. In leading USC, Dr. Folt brings broad executive and leadership experience across the academy, including arts and sciences, professional schools, and academic medicine.

Throughout her career, Dr. Folt has earned a reputation for always placing students at the center, advancing academic excellence and innovation, setting ambitious goals, prioritizing shared governance, and focusing on the future.

Prior to her appointment at USC in July 2019, Dr. Folt led the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – one of the nation’s most distinguished and research-intensive universities – from 2013 to 2019. At UNC, she set a bold course for the university’s future by spearheading a historic capital campaign, raising billions of dollars; building the school’s first-ever strategic plan in collaboration with every school and department; fighting to make college education accessible and affordable; and inspiring thousands of Tar Heels to embrace the arts and sustainability. Under her leadership, UNC was repeatedly named the No. 1 value in public higher education, surpassed $1 billion in annual research expenditures for the first time in school history (No. 5 in the nation overall), and set admissions records every year.

Prior to her tenure at UNC, Dr. Folt served in various leadership roles at Dartmouth College, including as interim president, provost, dean of faculty, and Dartmouth Professor of Biological Sciences.

Ted Tanner
Senior Vice President of Real Estate
AEG
Biography

Ted Tanner

Senior Vice President of Real Estate
AEG
Jonathan Rosenthal
Managing Partner
Saybrook Management Services
Biography

Jonathan Rosenthal

Managing Partner
Saybrook Management Services

Jonathan Rosenthal is a serial entrepreneur. He has repeatedly conceived of a world different than that which existed and launched companies to harness macro industry change. Each new venture was designed to capture opportunity, as markets adapted to transformation.

In 1983 he recognized the inevitable upheaval in transportation that would come after deregulation of the airline industry and the end of the Civil Aeronautics Board. In anticipation, Rosenthal launched his first company – NetAir International. He foresaw the realignment of airline networks from point to-point service to a hub-and-spoke system and the difficulties that would befall time sensitive executives. The solution was to disrupt the fragmented jet charter business by building the first multi-city on demand jet charter company, providing immediate access through centralized dispatch, standardized training, national accounts, and uniform branding.

That which now seems obvious wasn’t easy to evangelize in ‘83. But with the help of active investors Jay Chiat, Linden Blue, Wally Schirra, Honorable John Lindsay, Hycliff Ventures and others NetAir was born. As Chairman and CEO Mr. Rosenthal grew NetAir into the largest certificated non-scheduled carrier in the U.S with 18 flight centers and over 100 jets providing “random access” transportation to 1,700 cities. A public offering in 1985 helped spur growth, and in 1989 Rosenthal successfully exited with a sale of his shares to a private equity investor at a time when rival NetJets had a dozen aircraft.

Again seizing upon transformation, in 1990 Rosenthal saw the proliferation junk bonds of the 80’s creating distressed opportunities. Rosenthal launched Saybrook Partners, a merchant bank specializing in complex municipal and corporate turnarounds and restructurings. Timing was fortuitous, resulting in more than $200 billion in transactions across nearly 100 platform entities (1990-2006), including Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Orange County, Adelphia, Kmart, Foster Wheeler, and United Airlines.

The success of SRA provided impetus to launch a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and ultimately 9 closed end funds across 4 strategies, deploying capital for institutional investors. In 2007 Rosenthal recognized the transformative impact of the internet on the supply chain and began to focus on principal investing.  9 years later Saybrook Corporate Opportunity Funds (SCOF) has 2 institutional closed end private equity vehicles, and has invested approximately $300 million of discretionary equity in 21 core investments with 11 realizations.

Rosenthal currently serves as Chairman of TTSI, one of the largest port trucking companies in the Los Angeles / Long Beach Harbor; Taylored Services, a bi-costal mid-size third party logistics provider (3PL) operating approximately 1.5 million square feet of warehouse, and Accretive Solutions, a finance and accounting staffing and consultancy firm with approximately 800 professionals in 11 cities. He is the Founder / Chairman / CEO of the Los Angeles Harbor Performance Enhancement Center, and a technology data management start-up, WherehouseIT.com.

Rosenthal was recently appointed by the U.S. Department of Transportation to the Marine Transportation System National Advisory Committee, and by the Mayor of Los Angeles to the Los Angeles Sustainable Freight Advisory Committee. Mr. Rosenthal was elected by his peers to the International Board of Trustees of the Turnaround Management Association. He is the Founding Chairman of the Harvard Graduate School Leadership Institute, and is on the Board of Directors of the University of Southern California, Center for Supply Chain Management. Rosenthal is the immediate past Chairman of the Los Angeles chapter of Young President’s Organization (YPOg) and is currently a member of the WPO Pacific Regional Board. He has lectured in the area of transformational change at the University of Chicago, UCLA, and Harvard College. He is a Member of the Colorado, New York, and Federal bar associations, and is married with 2 children.

Shari Afshari
Deputy Director
LA County Public Works
Biography

Shari Afshari

Deputy Director
LA County Public Works

Shari Afshari has been with Los Angeles County for 36 years. Currently, she serves as a Deputy Director for Los Angeles County Public Works over Environmental Services. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring the environmentally sustainable management of solid waste and recycling for over one million unincorporated area residents and 20,000 commercial accounts; operation and maintenance of sewer infrastructure for a population of over 2 million people within the County Unincorporated area and a total of 39 cities;

the operation of Public Works’ fleet which includes more than 3,000 pieces of on- and off-road vehicles and equipment as it transitions to a clean fleet through the use of alternative fuel and zero emission vehicles; as well as enterprise-wide services that consist of providing survey, mapping, and real property management services, as well as claims, litigation, and risk management support services. These essential services aid Public Works in delivering sustainable regional infrastructure and help ensure our communities and employees are safe.

Ms. Afshari also has extensive experience in local government and Public Works operations in the areas of design, construction, project management, water resources, transportation, infrastructure sustainability, and public buildings. She is a licensed civil engineer with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and a Master's degree in transportation and city planning from the California State University, Los Angeles.
John A. Pérez
Chair
University of California Board of Regents
Biography

John A. Pérez

Chair
University of California Board of Regents

John A. Pérez is the current Chair of the Board of Regents. He was elected to the Assembly in November 2008, representing Downtown Los Angeles and communities of East Los Angeles. In January 2010, his colleagues elected him California's 68th Assembly Speaker. He was subsequently reelected in 2010 and 2012, making him one of the longest serving Speakers in the era of term limits.

Prior to his service in the Assembly, Speaker Emeritus Pérez was a lifetime member of the Labor Movement, eventually serving as the Political Director for the California Labor Federation. His lifetime spent fighting for working families can clearly be seen in the legislation and policy initiatives he pursued in the Assembly. He fought for policies that put people back to work and helped workers on the jobsite.

As Speaker, he brought together his colleagues to end California's era of chronic budget deficits. He worked with Governor Brown and members of the Senate to eliminate the structural deficit that left California's budget imbalanced for more than a decade, and successfully passed back-to-back balanced, on-time budgets that resulted in across the board upgrades in California's credit rating.

He has made affordability and accessibility of higher education one of the most important statewide priorities through passage of the Middle Class Scholarship Act. This effort, which brought together thousands of California's students and parents, sought to reduce student fees by two-thirds for middle class families, and was later adopted in a modified capacity by the 2013 State Budget. The landmark Middle Class Scholarship Act, has provided tuition relief of up to 40 percent for nearly 100,000 California State University and University of California students.

Speaker Emeritus Pérez's victories and accomplishments have received prominent national attention. In 2012, he was the only state legislative leader in the United States to address the Democratic National Convention. In August of 2012, he was elected by fellow Speakers from across the nation to serve as President of the National Speakers Conference. He has previously been appointed by President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush to serve on the President's Commission on HIV/AIDS and is a longtime member of the Democratic National Committee.

Jack Sahl
Founding Executive Director
EH&S Management & Sustainability
Biography

Jack Sahl

Founding Executive Director
EH&S Management & Sustainability

Jack is the founding executive director of a boutique executive management advisory firm focused on healthy cities, Corporate Responsibility, environment and resource sustainability, safety & health @ work, and environmental protection.   Jack is the PI for an ‘energy-water’ nexus project in Tulare County and a ‘urban forest management master plan’ for the City of Colton.  Jack also co-founded the Friends of the Angeles Forest, a California Public Benefit Corporation dedicated to working with the diverse Southern California community on the Angeles National Forest and the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.  Jack is a former executive at Southern California Edison, where he led the Corporate EH&S and Sustainability functions.  Jack is an Adjunct professor at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, in the Epidemiology department.  Jack serves on the Board of Sequoia Riverlands Trust, supporting agricultural and environmental conservation easements in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, Syzergy, the Global Technical Advisory Board for Lloyd’s Registry Quality Assurance, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Advisory Board for Occupational Health and Safety.

Jeffrey Kightlinger
General Manager & CEO
Metropolitan Water District
Biography

Jeffrey Kightlinger

General Manager & CEO
Metropolitan Water District

Jeffrey Kightlinger is general manager and chief executive officer for The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The Metropolitan Water District is the largest municipal water provider in the nation delivering an average of over 2 billion gallons of water a day to 19 million customers across Southern California.  Metropolitan serves one out of every two Californians in the six counties of Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego.

Kightlinger was appointed general manager in February 2006.  Prior to that, he served as the general counsel for the agency.

Geof Syphers*
CEO
Sonoma Clean Power
Biography

Geof Syphers*

CEO
Sonoma Clean Power

Mr. Geof Syphers is the Chief Executive Officer of Sonoma Clean Power, a position he has held since the program’s inception in 2013. Under his leadership, SCP now serves 600,000 people throughout Sonoma and Mendocino counties with cleaner power at competitive rates.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Syphers worked for 20 years as an energy consultant to utilities, public agencies and private companies. His work has spanned micro grid design, zero-carbon community design and energy efficiency program implementation. He served as the Chief Sustainability Officer for Codding Enterprises and was the founding Director of DNV’s Green Building Group.

Jim Avery
Senior Vice President, Power Supply
San Diego Gas & Electric
Biography

Jim Avery

Senior Vice President, Power Supply
San Diego Gas & Electric
Andréa Traber
US West Sustainability + Resilient Design Leader
Integral Group
Biography

Andréa Traber

US West Sustainability + Resilient Design Leader
Integral Group

Andréa Traber contributes over 25 years of experience as Project Architect and Principal on numerous green building projects, sustainable master plans, climate action plans and energy programs to the Integral Group team. Throughout her career, Andréa has dedicated herself as an industry leader in sustainability and resilience having served on numerous committees and Boards. As Sustainability + Resilient Design Leader, Andréa focuses on accelerating innovation and our collective response to climate change through sustainable master planning, resilient community design strategy, high-value and performance-driven building design, and low-carbon, net zero development. She works with clients in the public, institutional and private sectors.

Jeff Morales
CEO
California High Speed Rail Authority
Biography

Jeff Morales

CEO
California High Speed Rail Authority
Jeff Morales is the Chief Executive Officer of the California High-Speed Rail Authority and has a distinguished record of experience managing large and complex transportation issues and projects. As the former Director of the California Department of Transportation, Morales managed a $10 billion program and more than 23,000 employees working to build, maintain and operate the largest state transportation system in the U.S.
 
Morales most recently was Senior Vice President of Parsons Brinckerhoff , where he worked with transportation agencies across the United States and internationally to develop and implement major capital programs and is the past executive vice president of the Chicago Transit Authority where he spearheaded major reforms at the nation’s second-largest transit agency.
 
His experience at the federal level includes serving as a member of President-Elect Obama’s transition team focusing on transportation, Vice President Al Gore’s National Performance Review, the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security, the United States Department of Transportation and as U.S. Senate staff.
Tom Georgis
Senior Vice President, Development
SolarReserve
Biography

Tom Georgis

Senior Vice President, Development
SolarReserve

Mr. Georgis has over 20 years of development and operational experience in the energy, technology, and government service sectors, holding several senior management positions, most recently as Managing Director of International at GlobalTec Solutions, a privately held technology company where he was responsible for all aspects of the company's international expansion. Mr. Georgis was a Principal and Managing Director at Exodus Energy LLC a Houston based privately held power and natural gas firm. While at Exodus, Mr. Georgis focused on the development and acquisition of energy assets, acting as lead developer on several multi million dollar innovative technology energy facilities including natural gas storage, offshore LNG regasification, and petroleum coke gasification. Previously, Mr. Georgis was a manager at Enron Corp. where he was responsible for developing and structuring energy asset projects internationally; negotiating and closing over 500 MW of power generation agreements. Mr. Georgis's experience includes structuring transactions for energy and infrastructure projects, negotiating with lenders, and advising investors in all aspects of energy project acquisition and project development including: storage and transportation capacity sales, gas and alternative fuel power generation, natural gas pipeline arrangements, and power purchase agreements. Mr. Georgis also served nine years as a Naval Special Warfare Officer in the United States Navy. Mr. Georgis graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in International Studies and obtained a Masters of Business Administration degree from the Anderson School at the University of California Los Angeles.

Vaughan Davies
Director of Urban Design
AECOM
Biography

Vaughan Davies

Director of Urban Design
AECOM

As an architect and urban designer, Vaughan Davies has over 25years of professional experience producing  visionary plans and designs with a solid basis in reality, both in their authenticity and in their ability to be implemented successfully – a pragmatic visionary.  Collaborating with major developers, cities, and agencies, he has demonstrated a unique ability to create significant added value for all interests involved, by creating one-of-a-kind addresses and focusing his design solutions on the establishment of a superior public realm as a unique and memorable address & amenity. Vaughan based in AECOM’s Los Angeles office has for the past 20 years has led the design and implementation efforts for many of the region’s precedent setting projects. 

Alison Brown
President & Founder
Flux Energy Systems
Biography

Alison Brown

President & Founder
Flux Energy Systems

Alison Brown has over 12 years of experience in renewable energy. She has worked with solar, battery, electric vehicle, fuel cell and smart grid technologies on projects ranging from remote, off-grid mountain cabins to industrial microgrids. In 2016, Alison founded Flux Energy Systems to simplify the design and installation of alternative energy projects.  When not working, Alison enjoys all that LA has to offer: her family, trail runs, the beach and exploring fantastic food scene. 

Alison holds a B.A. in Physics from Middlebury College and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She was a recipient of the 2009 Transatlantic Renewable Energy Fellowship. She is currently the Director of the LA Chapter of WRISE.

Sue Minter
Former Secretary of Transportation
Vermont Agency of Transportation
Biography

Sue Minter

Former Secretary of Transportation
Vermont Agency of Transportation

Sue Minter is currently running for Governor of Vermont during the 2016 election cycle. Sue is a proven leader who brings people together in the toughest times to solve problems. This quality has led to her success as Vermont’s Secretary of Transportation, Deputy Secretary of Transportation, Irene Recovery Officer, and as a State Representative. Sue helped lead Vermont’s recovery in the wake of catastrophic flooding from Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011. Following her oversight of the successful rebuilding of over 500 miles of damaged roads and bridges in less than four months, Sue was appointed to be Vermont’s Chief Irene Recovery Officer in December 2011. Sue’s skills have been sought out nationally. She was asked to help Colorado with its disaster recovery when that state was hit with extreme flooding in September 2013. In 2014, she represented Governor Shumlin on the White House Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, where she co-chaired the Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Resilience. Sue was elected four times as State Representative in the Vermont legislature, where she was known as a bipartisan problem solver.

Sue is a graduate of Harvard University (B.A.) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.A. in City Planning). She has worked in the public, private and non-profit sectors as a professional planner at the local, state, and international levels.

Ben Allen
California State Senator
26th District
Biography

Ben Allen

California State Senator
26th District

California State Senator Ben Allen was elected in 2014 to represent the 26th Senate District, which consists of the Westside, Hollywood and coastal South Bay communities of Los Angeles County.

Ben serves as chair of the Senate Education Committee and the legislature's Joint Committee on the Arts.  He is a member of the Senate Committees on Elections and Constitutional Amendments, Natural Resources and Water, and Transportation and Housing.  He co-chairs the Environmental Caucus and is vice-chair of the Jewish Caucus.

Ben has authored several measures that have become law, including the groundbreaking bill to boost vaccination rates among schoolchildren and a landmark river protection bill.  He authored laws that protect veterans from pension scams; improve the diagnosis, treatment and care for persons with Alzheimer’s disease; strengthen the regulation of underground gas wells, and enable HIV-positive persons to donate life-saving organs to other HIV-positive persons.

While serving as chair of the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee in 2015-16, he championed campaign reform and transparency issues.  He authored a new law that will increase voter turnout and civic engagement by transforming how elections are conducted.  This reform, which was praised by the Los Angeles Times editorial page, will allow people to vote in the 10 days preceding an election at conveniently-located vote centers.  He also authored the bill that placed an initiative on the statewide ballot urging Congress to overturn the Citizens United ruling, and a measure that allows cities and counties to use binding independent redistricting commissions.

As chair of the Joint Committee on the Arts, Ben authored successful legislation that reinstated teaching credentials for Theatre and Dance educators.  He is fighting for increased access to the arts in schools, especially in disadvantaged communities, and is working to keep entertainment industry jobs in California.

Ben coauthored the Senate’s historic climate change legislation, which requires 50% of the state’s energy to come from renewable sources, and doubles energy efficiency in buildings, by 2030.  He authored bills to expand the state’s efforts to combat climate change even further, including establishing the first standard to increase the use of renewable gas, and reducing toxic motor oil waste.  He is leading the effort to end the use of harmful drift gillnets in commercial fishing off the coast that injure and kill endangered sea turtles and other marine life.

Ben received the Freshman Legislator of the Year award from the California School Boards Association, and was named Legislator of the Year by the County Superintendents’ Educational Services Association, the Alzheimer’s Association and Technet, an association of technology companies that includes Apple, Google and Microsoft.

Ben grew up in the 26th District.  He is a former board member, and board President, of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, where he was a leader on issues of environmental sustainability, financial accountability, and community engagement. He helped pass a $385 million bond measure which upgraded district facilities using environmental best practices and created good local jobs.  During his tenure, the district enacted policies to provide all students with high-quality educational opportunities regardless of their background or means.  He helped start the Los Angeles Spark Program, a nonprofit organization that connects at-risk middle school students with apprenticeships.

While in law school, Ben served as a voting member of the University of California Board of Regents, and was a judicial clerk with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.  As an attorney, he worked for the law firm of Richardson & Patel LLP, and previously was a litigator with Bryan Cave LLP.

Prior to his law career, Ben worked for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and then as communications director for Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY).  He is a senior fellow with the international human rights organization Humanity in Action, an Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellow, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a graduate of the Jewish Federation's New Leaders Project.  He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in History; a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Cambridge, and a Juris Doctor degree from UC Berkeley.  He is fluent in Spanish.

For three years prior to his election to the Senate, he was a lecturer at UCLA’s Law School, where he taught education law and policy.

He is married to Melanie Luthern, an attorney.  They are expecting their first child in October.

Wendy James
President and CEO
The Better World Group, Inc.
Biography

Wendy James

President and CEO
The Better World Group, Inc.

Wendy James is President and CEO of The Better World Group, Inc. The company has been a recognized leader in political and environmental strategy, policy development and coalition management for more than a decade, working closely with the environmental community, progressive businesses and policymakers.

Over the past 35 years, James has developed unique expertise in political strategy, media and coalition building, with a special focus on clean energy and transportation issues. Prior to creating BWG, she led the Environmental Media Association, Southern California Edison’s Electric Transportation Division and the American Gas Association’s environmental communications program. She also worked as a congressional press secretary and a daily newspaper reporter.

Wendy has been honored by the California League of Conservation Voters, the Coalition for Clean Air, and was named Small Business Woman of the Year by her state legislators. She also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Institute for Transportation Studies at the University of California-Davis, on the Board of Trustees for the California State Parks Foundation, and the Community Advisory Council for Southern California Gas Company. 

Stan Tomsic
Executive Director
PortTechLA
Biography

Stan Tomsic

Executive Director
PortTechLA

Stan Tomsic is Executive Director of PortTechLA , a business commercialization and incubation center for Port related technologies in environment, energy, security/safety and transportation/logistics.  As a serial entrepreneur, Stan's experience in the technology and green/clean tech industries spans over 25 years. He was founder and co-founder of several companies where he held management, executive and CEO positions. Stan was the administrator of the Business Technology Center of Los Angeles County, an accelerator incubator for high technology entrepreneurial companies. He is a partner of ACODA Technology & Investments, LLC, a firm specializing in strategic assistance, business consulting, investments and mergers and acquisitions for technology and services companies. Stan is also a Pasadena Angel, serves as a member of the board of directors and advisors for several technology companies, and is a member of numerous professional organizations. He is chairman emeritus of the Executive Committee of the Caltech/MIT Enterprise Forum, co-founder and chairman of the Business Incubation Network of Southern California (BINS) and LA Metro Director for Cleantech Open. Stan frequently presents and speaks on entrepreneurship, incubation and high tech start-ups.

Stephanie Wiggins
Chief Executive Officer
Metrolink
Biography

Stephanie Wiggins

Chief Executive Officer
Metrolink

Stephanie Wiggins was named chief executive officer of Metrolink by a unanimous vote of the board of directors in December 2018. Wiggins assumed leadership in January 2019 and leads the 275-employee strong commuter railroad with a budget of $793 million.

As CEO, Wiggins directs an agency that operates a commuter rail network on seven routes across a six-county, 538 route-mile system. Wiggins has held high-level positions at three of the five-member agencies that comprise Metrolink and is well-known as a customer -focused leader who finds solutions from a regional perspective.

Wiggins’ vision for the agency is to create value and exceed expectations by prioritizing a customer-first orientation with three pillars to provide an outstanding customer experience: safety and security, an integrated system, and modernizing business practices.

Prior to leading Metrolink, Wiggins was Deputy CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) where she assisted the CEO in providing leadership and formulating and achieving strategic public transportation objectives, including the passage of Measure M, a half-cent sales tax approved by 71 percent of voters in LA County. During her tenure at LA Metro, Stephanie also served as the Executive Director of Vendor/Contract Management, where she implemented procurement streamlining initiatives and greatly expanded Metro’s utilization of small and historically underutilized businesses.

Prior to that role, Stephanie was the Executive Officer and Project Director of the Congestion Reduction/ExpressLanes Program where she launched the first high occupancy toll lanes in LA County, the I-10 and I-110 Express Lanes, which improved travel times and travel reliability on two of the County’s most congested freeway corridors. Prior to Metro, she served as Regional Programs Director for the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) and oversaw transit, commuter rail, rideshare, goods movement and rail capital projects. Wiggins began her career in transportation when she accepted a temporary assignment at the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority and fell in love with the mission of the agency. The six-month temporary assignment turned into more than four years. She then accepted a policy analyst position with the RCTC where she worked for an additional nine and a half years in management and senior management roles.

Feeling the need for personal and academic growth, Wiggins earned a Master of Business Administration from the USC Marshall School of Business in 2007. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Whittier College in 1992.

Wiggins is a self-proclaimed “military brat” whose father made his career in the Air Force. She credits her experience moving from base to base and country to country as a child for teaching her the importance of diversity.

Wiggins is the founding president of the Inland Empire Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar. She is the recipient of many awards including the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials 2018 Women Who Move the Nation Award. She is a Board Member of the Los Angeles Chapter of Friends of the Children, the LA Division of the American Heart Association, and an Advisory Board Member for the UCLA Lewis Center. 

Renata Simril
President and CEO
LA84 Foundation
Biography

Renata Simril

President and CEO
LA84 Foundation

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.

Warren Olney
Host, 'To the Point' and 'Olney in L.A.'
KCRW