Speakers

Christiane Waldron
Business Development Director, Kaneka Biopolymers
Kaneka Americas Holding, Inc.
Biography

Christiane Waldron

Business Development Director, Kaneka Biopolymers
Kaneka Americas Holding, Inc.

Christiane is a Chemical Engineer with more than 25 years of experience in the food, pharmaceutical and Biotech industries with special expertise in Bio-fermentation and process scale-up. Christiane has worked for Kaneka for 15 years, in multiple roles as a process engineer, engineering manager, Director of engineering and now, she is part of the sustainability effort of the companies’ Biopolymers Division.  Kaneka has developed unique biopolymers that are not only Home and Industrially Compostable but also Ocean Safe. Kaneka has invested in the development of a unique plant based Biopolymer called PHBH and we are focused on helping brands meet their sustainability goals because we believe our oceans and our landfills need a break from environmental pollution.

Kevin Kushman
President
Integral Analytics
Biography

Kevin Kushman

President
Integral Analytics

Kevin Kushman is President of Integral Analytics, the software unit of Willdan Group, where he is responsible for revenue generation, product management, marketing, customer success and team growth.  Kevin’s twenty years in the energy and utility space include CEO, CFO and numerous board roles with utilities, energy technology and software firms, founding leadership of Cinergy Ventures’ $200 million corporate venture fund and as founder of CleanBridge Energy Partners, a distributed energy asset investor and developer.  Kevin holds an MBA from Xavier University and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

James Larsen
CEO
e-Zinc
Biography

James Larsen

CEO
e-Zinc

James has over two decades of business and engineering leadership experience in cleantech and energy, including strategy, operations, finance, design, and engineering.  Currently, James is CEO of e-Zinc, a Toronto-based energy storage company with a proprietary long-duration technology that economically enables 100% renewable energy solutions.  James has successfully raised over $40 million for the company and is responsible for the formation and execution of the company's strategic plan to lead e-Zinc’s commercialization journey.  

Prior to e-Zinc, James was Director of Business Development with MaRS' Advanced Energy Centre, developing and leading a new consulting business focused on the adoption of innovative clean energy technologies by businesses.  His other experience includes management consulting with Bain & Company to develop strategic solutions for market-leading companies in North America and Europe.  James also spent many years as an engineer working in the renewable energy industry with a variety of technologies, including hydrogen fuel cells, as well as micro-hydro and geothermal generation. 

James holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Queen's University (Honours) and an MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University (Dean's List).  James is also a registered Professional Engineer.

LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/jamesflarsen

Sheila Kuehl
Los Angeles County Supervisor
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Biography

Sheila Kuehl

Los Angeles County Supervisor
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Supervisor Sheila James Kuehl, representing Los Angeles County’s Third District, was elected on November 4, 2014.

Since then, she has undertaken or collaborated in a number of initiatives and motions to improve quality of life and reform systems in the County, including increasing the minimum wage, providing unprecedented funding and services for our homeless population and those trying to find and keep affordable housing, innovating on issues of water conservation and recycling, protecting our arts venues and productions, and protection of the Santa Monica Mountains, as well as the Coast. She is also Chair of the Board of Commissioners of First Five, LA, and a member of the Boards of Directors of Metro, the Expo Authority, and the LA Local Agency Formation Commission.

Kuehl previously served eight years in the State Senate and six years in the State Assembly. She is the Founding Director of the Public Policy Institute at Santa Monica College and, in 2012, was Regents’ Professor in Public Policy at UCLA. She was the first woman in California history to be named Speaker Pro Tempore of the Assembly, and the first openly gay or lesbian person to be elected to the California Legislature. Kuehl served as chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Natural Resources and Water Committee, and Budget Subcommittee on Water, Energy and Transportation, as well as the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Scott Haase
Partnership Development Manager
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Biography

Scott Haase

Partnership Development Manager
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Scott has been at NREL since 2007. He presently manages NREL’s development of lab-wide strategic partnership programs (SPP) with state and local agencies. In this capacity, he works to develop new partnership agreements between NREL and local entities (including municipal utilities, ports and airports) that address critical energy system issues and challenges. An example of this is the recent agreement between NREL and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to conduct LADWP’s 100% Renewable Energy Study. Scott also coordinates SPP for NREL’s Scientific Computing and Energy Analysis Directorate.

Prior to his current role, Scott was NREL’s Lab Program Manager for the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), Office of the Secretary (2010-2016). In this capacity, he worked closely with DOI leadership to coordinate NREL’s overall relationship and partnerships with DOI and its Bureaus, including the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and the Office of Insular Affairs.

Prior to joining NREL, Mr. Haase worked for a variety of companies including Lockheed Martin, McNeil Technologies (acquired by AECOM) and NEOS Corporation. He is a former Peace Corps Volunteer (Lesotho, southern Africa), and holds an M.S. in Engineering and Policy from Washington University in St. Louis, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Vermont.

Pat Proano
Former Deputy Director of Transportation
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works
Biography

Pat Proano

Former Deputy Director of Transportation
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

Pat Proano, a licensed Professional Civil Engineer in California, has a dynamic background providing leadership and coordination for Public Works projects and services in Los Angeles County.  He has worked in and/or managed nearly all facets of Public Works including environmental, transportation, and land development services, and emergency management. 

Mr. Proano has expertise in strategic planning and performance management.  He spearheaded the development and implementation of the County’s unincorporated areas’ strategic plan and served as the lead County manager for the Florence-Firestone unincorporated area.  Pat has most recently been at the forefront of developing a Sustainable Waste Management Future for Los Angeles County including efforts to integrate conversion technologies into the municipal waste system. He was instrumental in sponsoring legislation to define these technologies and develop incentives for projects in California.

With a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Masters in Public Policy and Administration from California State University in Long Beach, he has also served as an adjunct professor in the Graduate Center of Public Policy and Administration at his alma mater. 

As a fluent English and Spanish speaker, he has represented the County at various media events, has published numerous Op Eds advocating sustainability, and has been asked to speak at conferences and forums. 

 

 

 

 

 

Dan Rosenfeld
Fmr. Sr. Deputy for Economic Development
LA County Board of Supervisors
Biography

Dan Rosenfeld

Fmr. Sr. Deputy for Economic Development
LA County Board of Supervisors
Dan Rosenfeld is a real estate investor who alternates between private and public-sector service. 

In the private-sector, Mr. Rosenfeld served as a senior officer with The Cadillac Fairview Corporation, Tishman-Speyer Properties, and Jones Lang LaSalle. He was a founding member of Urban Partners, LLC, a nationally recognized developer of urban infill, mixed-use and transit-oriented real estate. Among the firm’s major projects are Del Mar Station, Wilshire/Vermont Station and the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters. Mr. Rosenfeld is currently developing and managing real estate in Los Angeles and Seattle. 

In the public sector, Mr. Rosenfeld served as Director of Real Estate for the State of California and City of Los Angeles, and as a Senior Deputy for Economic Development with Los Angeles County. 

Mr. Rosenfeld is a graduate of Stanford University and the Harvard Business School. He is married to noted choreographer Heidi Duckler and lives in Los Angeles. The couple have three grown children Anya, Austen and Ellery. 

 

R. Rex Parris
Mayor
City of Lancaster
Biography

R. Rex Parris

Mayor
City of Lancaster

R. Rex Parris is a Lancaster, California native who was first elected as Mayor in 2008. Currently serving his fourth term, Parris’ leadership revolves around the overall well-being of Lancaster residents, with emphasis on public safety, crime reduction, community health and wellness, as well as community and civic pride; all of which have resonated well among citizens and constituents, in addition to gaining Parris nationwide recognition.

Upon taking office, Mayor Parris embarked on a mission to dramatically reduce Lancaster’s crime rate. As a result of his steadfast resolve, the City’s crime rate plummeted nearly 40% during his first three years in office. 

Community health and wellness issues are also a priority, having engaged Parris to work aggressively with City staff, the medical community, and faith-based organizations in Lancaster to foster a three-pronged approach to tackling total-health problems facing high-needs neighborhoods. The result is the addition of numerous Neighborhood Impact Homes, Wellness Homes and Community Gardens throughout the City. A new Lancaster Health District is also being cultivated to integrate healthcare services with active lifestyle amenities centered within a high-quality, mixed-use, health-oriented development.

Focused on community engagement, Parris was a catalyst for Lancaster’s downtown renaissance, which completely transformed the heart of the City into a massive cultural epicenter concentrated around The BLVD. The BLVD, which is home to the Lancaster Performing Arts Center (LPAC) and Museum of Art and History (MOAH), hosts a number of annual mega-events such as the Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix; as well as seasonal outdoor concerts, a weekly year-round farmers market, and a unique array of shopping and dining venues. The BLVD experience has contributed to Lancaster’s branding as a “Destination for the Senses.”

Demonstrating the City’s municipal fortitude and progressiveness, Parris has been at the forefront of repositioning Lancaster as a global leader in the field of alternative energy. His vision of making Lancaster the Alternative Energy Capital of the World, and his various successes in this endeavor, has garnered worldwide media attention. Under his auspices, Parris has led the City into forward-thinking unique partnerships with innovative organizations from all over the world. In August 2009, eSolar completed its 20-acre 5MW solar project in Lancaster, unveiling the nation’s first solar thermal power tower plant. China-based technology and manufacturing giant Build Your Dreams (BYD), one of the world’s largest suppliers of advanced battery technology, was paired with KB Home, one of the nation’s premier homebuilders, to create a never-before-attempted affordable solar-energy residential community. These relationships led to the establishment of many more residential solar communities and municipal solar ordinances, as well as Lancaster becoming home to BYD’s first North American electric bus manufacturing plant and battery storage facility.

While these and many other substantial collaborative efforts have fueled the ongoing success of Lancaster’s alternative energy achievements, perhaps most notable is the City’s inaugural footprint as a Community Choice Aggregator. With the establishment of Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE), residents and local businesses have been empowered to choose from a tier offering of renewable, cleaner energy sources at cost points more affordable than traditional power sources.

Mayor Parris’ tenacity for serving his community with a “can do” attitude has garnered many municipal “firsts,” including shepherding the City of Lancaster to becoming one of the world’s first Zero-Net Energy Cities.

Pierre Fitzgibbon
Minister of Economy and Innovation
National Assembly of Québec
Biography

Pierre Fitzgibbon

Minister of Economy and Innovation
National Assembly of Québec

Pierre Fitzgibbon was born in Montréal. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Montréal (HEC) and is a Quebec Chartered Professional Accountant.

Before becoming involved in politics, Mr. Fitzgibbon served as managing partner at Walter Capital Partners, a private equity Firm, between 2015 and 2018.

From 2007 to 2014, Mr. Fitzgibbon assumed the role of president and chief executive officer at Atrium Innovations, a company that develops, manufactures and markets value-added products for the health and nutrition industry.

From 2002 to 2007, he put his skills to work at National Bank Group, where he occupied the position of vice-chairman of National Bank Financial, where he mainly acted as head of investment banking and corporate finance services. He was also senior vice president of finance, technology and corporate affairs at National Bank of Canada.

Previously, Mr. Fitzgibbon also held executive positions in finance, as well as in company and business development at Télésystème Mobiles International, Chase Capital Partners Hong Kong, Domtar and Peerless Carpet Corporation. He began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in auditing and consulting services.

Over the last few years, Mr. Fitzgibbon has served on several boards of directors, including that of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, WSP, Héroux-Devtek, TC Transcontinental, Cycle Capital Management, Neptune Technologies, Lumenpulse and Arianne Phosphate.

This committed businessman is involved in his community and in several organizations, including until recently, the Fondation du Dr Julien.

 
Cathy Green
President, Division 6
Orange County Water District
Biography

Cathy Green

President, Division 6
Orange County Water District

Cathy Green was elected to the Orange County Water District (OCWD) Board of Directors in November 2010 and was re-elected in 2012. She was selected by the board to serve as its 2013 and 2014 1st vice president and as its 2015 president.

Prior to Director Green's service on OCWD's board, she was elected to two consecutive terms on the Huntington Beach City Council where she served two terms as mayor. Director Green has been involved as a council liaison and committee member on many city boards, commissions and committees.

Her community involvement includes serving as chair of the Orange County Emergency Medical Care Committee; vice chair of Finance Explorer’s/Learning for Life; and director of the Huntington Beach Hospital, Boy Scouts of America Council and American Family Housing. She is a founding member of Amigos de Bolsa Chica, three-time chair and board member of the Huntington Beach Community Clinic and served as president of the Therapeutic Riding Center. She also is a member of the Community Emergency Response Team.

Director Green is the recipient of many awards. In September 2010, she was the recipient of the Spurgeon Award, and, in 2005, she was named Woman of the Year by then State Senator John Campbell. Other awards include the 2006 United Way Excellence in Child Care Planning, the 2007 Peace Maker Award from the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council and the Golden West College Pillar of Achievement Award. She has also been recognized as Huntington Beach’s Citizen of the Year by the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce, a Huntington Beach Soroptimist’s Woman of Distinction and a Bolsa Chica Conservancy Conservator of the Year.

Director Green is a registered nurse and holds a degree in law. As a nurse, Director Green worked in the health care areas of intensive care, student health, community health, and patient advocacy. In addition to nursing, she gained experience with a variety of environmental projects while associated with Lockhart and Associates. Director Green and her husband Peter have been residents of Huntington Beach for more than 40 years where they raised their two children Teresa and Tom.

Torbjorn Millang
Owner
Avancee Marketing
Biography

Torbjorn Millang

Owner
Avancee Marketing
Joe Edmiston
Executive Director
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Biography

Joe Edmiston

Executive Director
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy

Joseph Edmiston was appointed Executive Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy by Governor Jerry Brown in 1979. Under his leadership, the Conservancy has preserved over 60,000 acres of public parkland within and surrounding the Los Angeles Metropolitan region, in a zone extending from the edge of the Mojave Desert to the Pacific Ocean. From north to south, these areas drain into the Santa Clara River, Calleguas Creek, numerous smaller coastal watersheds in the Santa Monica Mountains, and the Los Angeles River and Rio Hondo. Joe has lectured extensively on environmental planning, park development, and urban land use. He and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, have been the recipient of numerous national awards including, most recently, the highest honor of the National Planning Association, the Daniel Burnham Award.

Robert Griffin
Vice President, Business Development
Customer First Renewables
Biography

Robert Griffin

Vice President, Business Development
Customer First Renewables

Robert (Bob) M. Griffin is Vice President, Business Development for CFR. Bob retired from the U.S. Navy with more than 36 years of public service and was selected to the Senior Executive Service in July of 2000. He served as Head of Contracts for Naval Facilities Engineering Command for 15 years and was the Executive Director of the Navy’s Renewable Program Office, tasked with the overall planning, coordination, and integration of large-scale renewable energy projects to meet the Secretary of the Navy’s goal to bring 1 GW of renewable energy in procurement to increase the Navy’s energy security and operational capability. Bob has been with CFR since 2016.

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.

Bryce Conacher
Head of Corporate Development Organization
Hydrogen Optimized
Biography

Bryce Conacher

Head of Corporate Development Organization
Hydrogen Optimized

Bryce leads our carbon market strategy. Bryce is a serial entrepreneur who has spent 20 years developing renewable energy carbon management programs. Bryce developed the cleanairpass, a voluntary carbon emissions offset program that was acquired by investors back in 2008. Most recently, Bryce was Director of Business Development for the performance optimization of existing buildings at one of Canada’s leading construction firms. Bryce is an invited member of the ISO Climate Finance Working Group (TC207/SC7/WG10) for the new Carbon Finance standard 14097.

Robert Lempert
Principal Researcher
RAND Corporation
Biography

Robert Lempert

Principal Researcher
RAND Corporation

Robert Lempert is a principal researcher at the RAND Corporation and director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition. His research focuses on decisionmaking under conditions of deep uncertainty, with an emphasis on climate change, energy, and the environment. Lempert and his research team assist a number of natural resource agencies in their efforts to include climate change in their long-range plans. He has also led studies on national security strategies and science and technology investment strategies for clients such as the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Lempert is a fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Panel on Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Political and Social Stresses, and a lead author for Working Group II of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report and for the IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. Lempert was the Inaugural EADS Distinguished Visitor in Energy and Environment at the American Academy in Berlin.

A professor of policy analysis in the Pardee RAND Graduate School, Lempert is an author of the book Shaping the Next One Hundred Years: New Methods for Quantitative, Longer-Term Policy Analysis. Lempert received his Ph.D. in applied physics and S.M. in applied physics and science policy from Harvard University.

Julie Johnson
Manager, National Business Development, Advanced Technologies
Ryder System
Biography

Julie Johnson

Manager, National Business Development, Advanced Technologies
Ryder System

Julie Johnson is Manager, National Business Development – Advanced Vehicle Technologies for Ryder System, Inc., a $7.3 billion FORTUNE 500® commercial fleet management, dedicated transportation, and supply chain solutions company with more than 36,000 employees. Ms. Johnson partners with leading companies to establish a business case and develop fleet deployment strategies for converting to advanced vehicle technologies such as electric vehicles. Her mission is to leverage her sustainability and corporate business experience with Ryder’s investment and industry leadership to establish and grow the use of advanced vehicle technologies in both large and small truck fleets.

Prior to Ms. Johnson’s current role, she was a leader in the Pulp & Paper industry during her time with New Leaf Paper, a Public Benefit Corporation. Embracing her core values of integrity, innovation and growth, she supported a successful shift in demand towards high post-consumer waste and FSC-certified fine printing papers through collaboration with NGOs, Government organizations and impacting industries such as Fashion, Publishing, Natural Foods and Entertainment. While Ms. Johnson was with GlaxoSmithKline, she worked on a global distribution sustainability initiative with a focus on moving to more ecofriendly product packaging solutions as well as take back programs.

During her career, Ms. Johnson has served in a variety of key B2B sales management and marketing executive positions at leading companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Salix Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, JCP Disclosures/First American Title, New Leaf Paper, Solbright Inc., Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.

Ms. Johnson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of Delaware.

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.

Leslie Starck
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Policy & Affairs
Southern California Edison
Biography

Leslie Starck

Senior Vice President, Regulatory Policy & Affairs
Southern California Edison
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.

Sharon Mustri
Analyst
BloombergNEF
Biography

Sharon Mustri

Analyst
BloombergNEF

Sharon Mustri is an analyst at BloombergNEF in New York. Her research spans the battery supply chain, sustainable industry and mining, and market trends in North and Latin America. Prior to joining BNEF, Sharon conducted research across energy and environmental topics more broadly. She holds BAs in Economics and in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, specializing in Energy and Resources.

Diarmuid O'Connell
Vice President of Business Development
Tesla Motors
Biography

Diarmuid O'Connell

Vice President of Business Development
Tesla Motors

Diarmuid joined Tesla in 2006, and currently serves as the Vice President of Business Development in which capacity he manages commercial relationships and all aspects of government affairs. Before joining Tesla, Diarmuid served as Chief of Staff for Political Military Affairs at the US State Department, where he was involved in policy and operational support to the U.S military in various theaters of operation. 

Before his tenure in Washington, Diarmuid worked in corporate strategy as a management consultant for Accenture, as a founder of educational software developer, Real Time Learning, and as a senior executive with both McCann Erickson Worldwide and Young and Rubicam. Over the course of his career, he has managed international operations, projects and marketing for such brands as Coca Cola, Gillette, and AT&T, among others. 

Diarmuid has earned a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College, a master's degree in Foreign Policy from the University of Virginia, and an MBA from Kellogg. 

Adam Rasken
Director of Origination
True Green Capital Management
Biography

Adam Rasken

Director of Origination
True Green Capital Management
Fran Pavley
Former Senator, 27th District
California State Senate
Biography

Fran Pavley

Former Senator, 27th District
California State Senate

Senator Fran Pavley was most recently the State Senator representing the 27th District of California, In 2000 she won election to the California State Assembly, serving three terms, or six years. She was elected to the state Senate in 2008. Currently, Senator Pavley represents about 900,000 people in the 27th Senate District, which includes parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Senator Pavley was the chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and was a member of the: Energy, Utilities, and Communications committee, Environmental Quality, Budget and Fiscal Review committee, and Governance and Finance and Legislative Ethics committee, among others.

During her 14 years in the Legislature, Senator Pavley received national acclaim for her work on three historic pieces of climate legislation that established California as a worldwide leader in promoting clean energy and reducing climate pollution. Most recently, she was the author of SB 32, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 8, 2016. It sets a target for California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Senator Pavley also passed critical legislation regarding ending unregulated hydraulic fracturing, regulating greenhouse gas emissions from automobile tailpipes, and requiring rigorous safety testing at all wells before gas injection can resume at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field.

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. 

Margaret Kirkpatrick
Of Counsel
Pearl Legal Group PC
Biography

Margaret Kirkpatrick

Of Counsel
Pearl Legal Group PC

Margaret Kirkpatrick, of MDK/Pearl LLC, joined Pearl Legal Group PC as Of Counsel in January 2016, where she advises clients on public policy and strategy, with an emphasis on energy and the environment. She is also the Director of Brighter Oregon, The Oregon Business Plan Coalition.

Margaret served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Northwest Natural Gas Co. from June 2005 through 2014 and as the Company’s Senior Vice President of Environmental Affairs from 2014-2016.  Before she joined NW Natural, Margaret was a partner with Stoel Rives, LLP. She currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Oregon Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. She is also on the Board of Trustees for Portland State University and on the boards of The Classroom Law Project and The Children’s Institute.

Margaret has a Bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster (1976), a JD from Lewis and Clark College (1982) and an LLM from the University of Edinburgh (1987). Margaret lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, Earl Blumenauer.

Norihiko Saeki
Executive Director
JETRO Los Angeles
Biography

Norihiko Saeki

Executive Director
JETRO Los Angeles

Mr. 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.

He extensively tries to contribute to solve the social, environmental and energy 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 defense and health care.

Mr. Saeki 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 and directly coordinate Japanese governmental support to the specific project.

Mr. Saeki supported to establish Japan Hydrogen Forum (JH2F) in December, 2022 to support the US decarbonization efforts.  He reaches many leaders of hydrogen energy in California and other regions across the United States.

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 and defense, metals & materials, bio, health care and information technology.

He received his law bachelor’s degree from University of Tokyo in 2000 and served as a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS in 2009-2010 and completed Management Acceleration Program in the Anderson School of Management, UCLA in 2022.

He lives and enjoys his life with his wife, daughter and son in Playa Vista, L.A.

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

Mike Quindazzi
Business Development Leader-Pacific Southwest
PwC
Biography

Mike Quindazzi

Business Development Leader-Pacific Southwest
PwC
Mike Quindazzi is the Business Development Leader for the Pacific Southwest region for PwC. He has 25 years of management consulting and industry experience.  He is currently leading revenue growth and market development for a $600 million business unit to record growth. He consults with diverse clients across our marketplace on a wide range of business and technology issues and opportunities. 
 
Within his responsibility, he has a unique view across many sectors (including technology, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, higher education, financial services and international trade) of the Global Megatrends that are changing the face of the world. Mike explores the potential business, technology, and societal impacts of these macro trends, uncovering both risk and opportunities. 
In his professional management consultant experience, he has provided objective advice for clients with the aim of maximizing growth, improving business performance, optimizing organizational performance, and utilizing technology for competitive advantage.
 
Work examples include: helped develop and launch a new business unit resulting in $2+ billion business today; eliminated operational bottlenecks and increased cash flow by $74 million by streamlining a 5-week order-to-cash process to less than 2-day; team created $225 million sales uplift for another leading client by delivering data-driven ability to make marketing allocation decisions and measure return on marketing spend.
 
Mike stays active in his local communities and is responsible for PwC’s local community service team and efforts. In 2011, PwC celebrated 100 of services in Los Angeles and engaged the community with 100 ways of giving back in that same year.  In 2013, the local team set a Guinness Book of Record for youth education. Mike is also active with the LAEDC Board of Governors and on multiple economic development committees.
 
Mike holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Montclair State University where he graduated with highest honors, Summa Cum Laude, and was granted honorary membership from the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Jean Lachance
VP Deployment and Operations
EVLO Energy Storage
Biography

Jean Lachance

VP Deployment and Operations
EVLO Energy Storage

Jean Lachance is Vice President Deployment and Operations at EVLO Energy Storage Inc.

A seasoned executive, Jean has a strong background in operations, large-scale project management and engineering. In his role, he is responsible for the management of customer projects, including commissioning, project engineering, operations and maintenance.  He is also responsible for health and safety.

Prior to joining EVLO, Jean has accumulated 30 years of operations management & development experience in the Advanced Technology and Telecommunications sectors with leading companies such as Videotron, Solvision Inc, MindReady Solutions Inc, CAE Inc and ATS Aerospatiale Inc. 

Jean has a proven track record in high growth markets, an important asset given the rapid growth expected in the energy storage systems sector. Throughout his career, he has been involved in more than 9 M&As, one IPO and several dozen product launches. In particular, he successfully led the integration and deployment of the Helix brand within the operations overseen by the Vice President of Networks at Videotron. 

Jean studied mechanical engineering at Université de Laval and is a member in good standing of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. Based in Montreal, he has served on several boards of directors - including Microtech-10 and the Product Development Institute.

John Eddy
Principal & Infrastructure Leader
Arup
Biography

John Eddy

Principal & Infrastructure Leader
Arup

As the leader of Arup San Francisco’s Infrastructure Practice, John has the good fortune to have clients as diverse as Silicon Valley tech giants, Amtrak, State and City governments and private developers.  Having a broad resume in the delivery of transportation and urban infrastructure projects, John brings a multi-faceted perspective to planning and designing solutions for the opportunities embraced by our communities.

He is a member of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s ENVision Review Board, has served on Prospect Silicon Valley’s Transportation Advisory Board and is the former co-chair of the Bay Area Council’s Transportation Subcommittee.

John’s contribution to Arup’s global research portfolio on urban mobility includes exploring opportunities to positively adjust the built environment as self-driving technology expands into the vehicle fleet.

Licensed as a professional engineer in seven states, John holds a bachelor’s in Civil Engineering and a master’s in Geotechnical/Structural Engineering from Syracuse University.

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.

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.

Gregory Trimarche
Environmental and Energy Attorney
Greenberg Traurig
Biography

Gregory Trimarche

Environmental and Energy Attorney
Greenberg Traurig

Gregory Trimarche is an environmental and energy attorney in Greenberg Traurig's Orange County Office, with particular focus on regulatory and government affairs issues relating to energy and “clean technology” matters. Mr. Trimarche represents many clients that are part of the “clean tech” industry, including but not limited to solar and wind power facility developers, biofuel companies, alternative fuel vehicle manufacturers, and a wide range of other clients involved in energy facility siting and permitting, “smart grid,” and other energy and resource conservation matters. Among other things, Mr. Trimarche has assisted clean tech clients in their efforts to obtain “stimulus” grants, tax credits, and other government incentives under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“ARRA”) and other government programs. Mr. Trimarche is a co-founder and currently serves as Chair of Clean Tech OC, a nonprofit trade association serving the clean tech industry in Orange County, California. 

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.

Mary Patton
Founder
Nutopia
Biography

Mary Patton

Founder
Nutopia

Mary Patton is a seasoned business executive and veteran cannabis activist whose professional career path has taken her from award-winning marketing campaigns, working with clients such as Intel and Sun Microsystems for L!VE Marketing, to high profile entertainment industry positions with KZOK FM Radio, Harpo Studios, Rhino Entertainment, and Amoeba Music, before settling full-time into the cannabis industry with a focus on policy reform and business development.

What began as a volunteer passion project in the early 1990s, eventually became a life’s mission when she left her career in media, marketing and entertainment, to join a top cannabis policy organization, The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) as Director of VIP Relations in 2008. Combining business savvy with her production, marketing and communications skills, Ms. Patton enlisted and engaged high-profile celebrity advocates to speak out on cannabis prohibition, organized star-studded fundraising events and helped to change the social narrative and attitudes surrounding marijuana to advance the legalization movement. After leaving MPP, Mary worked with Gov. Gary Johnson’s Our America Initiative, then joined his campaign team on his 2012 run for President of the United States.  Since 2010, Ms. Patton has been a sought-after cannabis industry consultant, lending her expertise and advice to state policy initiatives and cannabis industry start-ups, many of which have gone on to become some of the top companies in the cannabis industry.  A key area of focus in Ms. Patton's work revolves around guiding her clients into compliance while implementing responsible and sustainable business practices.

Judy Johnson
Vice President, Client Accounts Manager
Jacobs
Biography

Judy Johnson

Vice President, Client Accounts Manager
Jacobs
Jim Lucas
Market Development Manager
SoCalGas
Biography

Jim Lucas

Market Development Manager
SoCalGas

Jim Lucas is a Market Development Manager for the Southern California Gas Company.  One of his group’s missions is to support, promote and further develop the biogas market by educating customers on the benefits of renewable natural gas and how to create value from their organic waste.  Jim’s team also manages SoCalGas’ Biogas Conditioning/Upgrading Services Tariff, the Compression Services Tariff, and the recently approved Distributed Energy Resources Tariff.  Since starting with SoCalGas over 20 years ago, Jim has held a variety of positions relating to Product Development, Project Management, Energy Efficiency, Pipeline Operations, Financial Analysis, and Engineering on both the regulated and unregulated sides of the business. 

Neal Aronson
President
Oceanus Power & Water
Biography

Neal Aronson

President
Oceanus Power & Water

At Oceanus, Mr. Aronson is directly responsible for strategy, finance and new opportunities.  Mr. Aronson has 25+ years of experience in development of large real estate projects throughout Western U.S. and Mexico; and seven years of renewables development.  Previously he was CFO at Hix Rubenstein, a privately held land developer, and Director of Operations at LoopNet.  Mr. Aronson has extensive experience with complex land transactions; environmental permitting; construction management; and project finance.  In addition, he has started companies in the health, service and information technology sectors. 

Mr. Aronson earned a B.A. in Economics from Whitman College and a MBA from the Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley. 

James Marston
Head of Energy Programs
Environmental Defense Fund
Biography

James Marston

Head of Energy Programs
Environmental Defense Fund
Matthew Harris
Senior Director, Executive Office
San Diego County Regional Airport Authority
Biography

Matthew Harris

Senior Director, Executive Office
San Diego County Regional Airport Authority
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.

Xiaoting Wang
Energy Specialist
BloombergNEF
Biography

Xiaoting Wang

Energy Specialist
BloombergNEF

Xiaoting Wang is an energy specialist in BloombergNEF. Xiaoting has been conducting research on Photovoltaic industry since 2012 and published more than 200 insight notes. Her research scope covers PV technologies along the value chain, from equipment manufacturing to project development with trackers and storage. After seven years focusing on solar, Xiaoting broadened her research scope to the hydrogen industry and published the report Hydrogen: The Economics of Production From Renewables.

Before joining BloombergNEF, Xiaoting worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Center of Energy and Environmental Policy in University of Delaware, following a five-year Ph.D program at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in University of Delaware. Xiaoting’s academic research spans a range of photovoltaic module research and development, performance measurement and modeling, and assessment of the value of high efficiency modules. A PV module developed by a team she led was confirmed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to have 36.7% efficiency and was cited in the Solar Cell Efficiency Tables (Version 35) of Progress in Photovoltaics as having: “probably the highest efficiency yet measured for the experimental conversion of sunlight to electricity by any means.” Xiaoting published 20 articles on international journals and books.

Xiaoting has a BA of Science in Optical Engineering from Zhejiang University in China, and a MSc in Electrical engineering and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware in the US.

 

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.

Janet Clayton
Senior Strategist
Vectis DC
Biography

Janet Clayton

Senior Strategist
Vectis DC

Janet Clayton is senior strategist at VectisDC, a public relations and public affairs agency headquartered in El Segundo. She also was senior vice president of communications for Edison International/Southern California Edison. Previously she held key positions at the Los Angeles Times, including editor of the editorial pages.

Prior to joining Edison International, Clayton was president of ThinkCure, a community-based nonprofit that raises funds for cancer research and was the official charity of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Prior to ThinkCure, Clayton had a distinguished career at the Los Angeles Times as a key member of its leadership team. She represented the largest media organization in the West during live television presidential and gubernatorial debates and public affairs news programs. She held numerous positions, including editor of the editorial pages, where she determined the Times’ official opinions, and California section editor, where she managed the largest news staff at the Times. She also was a vice president of the Times Mirror Corporation, the original parent company of the Times. She started her career as a general assignment and politics reporter.

Clayton has received many accolades for excellence in her profession, including recognition as the editor of two Pulitzer Prize-winning series. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. She is a member of the boards of Town Hall, United Way Los Angeles and the Lincoln Club, a nonpartisan organization that honors the legacy of President Lincoln.

Elise Keddie
Manager, Zero-Emission Vehicle Implementation
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Elise Keddie

Manager, Zero-Emission Vehicle Implementation
California Air Resources Board

Elise Keddie is Manager of the Zero Emission Vehicle Implementation Section at the California Air Resources Board (CARB).  Her group is responsible for coordinating compliance with California’s Zero Emission Vehicle regulation, and  developing and implementing policies to promote and support advanced technology vehicle awareness, education, and consumer adoption.  Prior to joining CARB in 2001, Elise held a research position at the University of California, Davis.  She holds a BS degree from UC Davis, and a PhD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Bonnie Reiss
Global Director
Schwarzenegger Institute of State and Global Policy at USC
Biography

Bonnie Reiss

Global Director
Schwarzenegger Institute of State and Global Policy at USC
Christopher Cabaldon
Mayor
City of West Sacramento
Biography

Christopher Cabaldon

Mayor
City of West Sacramento

Christopher Cabaldon became the first mayor directly elected by West Sacramento voters in November 2004; he was re-elected in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Prior to his election as mayor by voters, Mr. Cabaldon had been elected to four single year terms as mayor by the West Sacramento City Council. Voters first elected Mr. Cabaldon to the City Council in 1996.

Mayor Cabaldon currently is chair of the Jobs, Education and Workforce committee with the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He's the former chair of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments’ groundbreaking Blueprint for the Future project. He also chaired the region’s Partnership for Prosperity, and has served on a variety of transportation and air quality agency boards. He worked on state water and habitat issues for more than a decade, as a member of the state’s Delta Protection Commission, as well as the Regional Water Quality Control Board.

As mayor, Mr. Cabaldon has represented the City as a member of the Sacramento-Yolo Port District Commission and the River City Regional Stadium Financing Authority. His local and regional leadership on school facilities and programs, along with his efforts to advance universal preschool, have established him as a visionary leader for education.

Mr. Cabaldon served as a director for the League of California Cities, and was the founding co-chair of both the Asian Pacific and Gay / Lesbian caucuses. He was also president of Asian and Pacific Americans in Higher Education, founding chair of the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, and president of the Asian Pacific Legislative Caucus.

From 1997 to 2003, Mr. Cabaldon was vice chancellor of the California Community Colleges System.

He earned his B.S. in environmental economics from UC Berkeley, where he’s also been a member of the alumni association board, in addition to a Master of Public Policy and Administration degree from CSU Sacramento, where he subsequently received the Distinguished Alumni Award.

 

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.

Kelli Bernard
Chief Executive, Los Angeles Metro Area
AECOM
Biography

Kelli Bernard

Chief Executive, Los Angeles Metro Area
AECOM

Kelli Bernard is chief executive for the Los Angeles Metro+ region of AECOM, a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm headquartered in Los Angeles. 

With more than 2,000 employees in the Los Angeles and Southern California area, Kelli is responsible for building on AECOM’s strategies to deliver its integrated services to meet the infrastructure and business needs of public and private sector clients. Her extensive background in economic development and deep relationships in the Southern California region are valuable assets as AECOM looks to enhance its market presence. AECOM is the largest company headquartered in Los Angeles.

Kelli has more than 20 years of experience in economic development, land use planning, housing, redevelopment and public affairs. She also has in-depth knowledge of public/private partnerships, public finance and infrastructure investment.

Prior to joining AECOM, Kelli served as the deputy mayor of economic development for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. In this role as the city’s top economic advisor, Kelli championed business growth, economic development and job creation in Los Angeles.  She managed eight city departments including the Los Angeles World Airports and the Port of Los Angeles, with combined budgets of more than $6 billion and more than 7,000 employees.

Kelli was also responsible for the development and implementation of the city’s International Trade policy, and was instrumental in the overseeing Garcetti’s Asia Trade Mission, where she led a delegation of business leaders to China, South Korea and Japan. She gave the keynote address at the 2015 Kaohsiung International Harbor Cities Conference which explored strategies for transforming industrial port cities through urban innovation, infrastructure investment, and land use redevelopment.

Prior to her position as deputy mayor, she was director of economic development at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the largest municipality in the United States, where she led the department’s Clean Technology Initiative that culminated in the development of the $40M La Kretz Innovation Campus.

Earlier in her career, Kelli worked as director of planning and economic development for Mayor Garcetti when he served as president of the Los Angeles City Council. In this role, she oversaw key development activities, including the $110 million Emerson College and the $390 million mixed-used Columbia Square projects.

Kelli is a commissioner for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), an organization created in 1993 to address the challenges of homelessness in Los Angeles. She also serves on the boards for the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce and Town Hall Los Angeles.

Kelli holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning from University of California, Los Angeles, and a BA in Sociology from University of California, Berkeley.

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.

Doug Kobold
Executive Director
California Product Stewardship Council
Biography

Doug Kobold

Executive Director
California Product Stewardship Council

Doug has worked in the Solid Waste and Recycling industry for over 28 years. He accepted the position of Executive Director for the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) in August 2018. As Executive Director, his duties include responsibility for leading strategic coalition development, including long-term program strategy and resource development. The Executive Director is also responsible for leading staff and coalition members, while adhering to CPSC’s goals, mission, and vision. Over all, the Executive Director is specifically responsible for financial management, fundraising, governance, personnel supervision, and special programs.

Prior to CPSC, he worked at Sacramento County for over 18 years, where he last held the position of Waste Management Program Manager. That position provided oversight of the Business Development & Special Waste Division of the Department of Waste Management & Recycling. Those duties included the department’s Contracts Administration function (negotiations and management of 100+ contracts annually), trend analysis, management of the Special Waste Program (Household Hazardous Waste), preparation and presentation of reports to the County Board of Supervisors, and serving as the Department’s Legislative Liaison.

As the Manager of Technical Services for Edgar & Associates, Inc. (EAI), he assisted clients throughout California with permitting and design of landfills, transfer stations, material recovery facilities, and compost facilities. Before those 2 ½ years at EAI, Doug worked as the Solid Waste Operations Manager and as a landfill design engineer for Yolo County for over 5 years. Doug received his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from California State University, Chico, with a minor in Planning in 1992. He also received SWANA certifications for Manager of Landfill Operations (MOLO) in 1997, Manager of Collection Systems (MOCS), and Manager of MSW Management (MMSWM), both in 2008. He has served on the Northern California SWANA Gold Rush Chapter Board of Directors as Chapter Secretary, Vice President, and President and currently serves as Vice-Chair on the SWANA California Chapters Legislative Task Force (LTF).

He was the Chair of the Board for CPSC and was the Founder and President of the National Stewardship Action Council (NSAC). He has served as the Chair on the California Product Stewardship Council Page 2 Mattress Advisory Committee for the California program, as a committee member of the California Carpet Recycling Advisory Committee, and as a member of the California Carpet Council. Other industry involvement includes Committee Member for the Joint Committee on Sustainable Carpet for NSF International and Group Member for the E-Waste Policy Working Group for the Municipal Waste Management Association for the US Conference of Mayors. Doug frequently presents at conferences, including WasteCon, SWANAPalooza, SWANA Western Regional Symposiums, CRRA, CalRecycle’s Used Oil Conference, and the North American Hazardous Materials Management Association (NAHMMA) annual conferences. He has also provided presentations at events, such as the California Household Hazardous Waste Information Exchanges (HHWIE) and the California Opioid Safety Network (COSN)

Alejandro Zamorano
Clean Energy and Advanced Transport Specialist
Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Biography

Alejandro Zamorano

Clean Energy and Advanced Transport Specialist
Bloomberg New Energy Finance

As Bloomberg New Energy Finance's Clean Energy and Advanced Transport Specialist in San Francisco, Alejandro conducts research relating to transport and clean energy markets globally. His focus is on electric vehicles, storage technology, advanced fuels and chemicals, refuelling infrastructure deployment, and new vehicle technologies. 

Alejandro previously tracked and examined various bioenergy technologies, in both the commercial and private sectors, examining feedstock; conversion and capital costs; compliance credits; and revenues from final product distribution. He also measured production and distribution margins as well as investment trends. 

Alejandro holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana; and a Master of International Energy Management and Policy from Columbia University in New York City. He has been an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance since 2010. 

Kate White
Associate Principal & Highways Leader
Arup
Biography

Kate White

Associate Principal & Highways Leader
Arup

Kate White, EcoDistrict AP, MPA, is Restorative Communities Leader in Arup’s San Francisco office, where she works with public and private sectors in delivering on ambitious mobility, climate and sustainable development goals. Arup is a global independent firm of engineers, planners, and technical specialists working across the built environment. Kate leads an Arup Americas cross-disciplinary team focused on reconnecting communities historically harmed by urban roadways. In Kate’s 25 years in the sustainable mobility and development fields, she has championed innovative public policy and programs. As a California Governor Jerry Brown appointee, Kate served as Deputy Secretary for Environmental Policy at the California State Transportation Agency, where she worked with state, regional, and local agencies to advance sustainable growth and climate policies.  Kate is a social entrepreneur, launching mission-driven initiatives, including serving as the first director of the ULI Bay Area chapter and founding San Francisco’s first car-sharing service. Kate received her BA in Politics from Oberlin, and her MA in Public Administration from San Francisco State University.

Timon Meyer
Senior Advisor
Cleantech Business Park
Biography

Timon Meyer

Senior Advisor
Cleantech Business Park

Timon Meyer is Senior Advisor for Cleantech Business Park, a 220-acre industrial and commercial park for Clean Tech companies, and Managing Director of Berlin Solar Network, the association of solar companies and institutions in Berlin and its surrounding “Capital Region”.

Timon was Head of the Business Unit “Manufacturing Industries, Mobility & Clean Technologies” at Berlin Partner. Previously, Timon was with TOTAL Germany from 2002 through 2006, serving as Strategic Controlling Manager, among other positions. During his tenure, the company opened its first LH2 / CH2 hydrogen filling station in Berlin and initiated several other sustainable development projects, most notably a CO2 emission reduction formula for trucks. Timon holds a European Master in Management degree from ESCP Europe. 

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. 

Richard Bloom
Assemblymember, 50th District
California State Assembly
Biography

Richard Bloom

Assemblymember, 50th District
California State Assembly

Richard Bloom was first elected to the 50th District of the California State Assembly in 2012 where he proudly represents the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga, West Hollywood, and West Los Angeles. Shortly after his election, Assemblymember Richard Bloom was appointed to the Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Resources and Transportation where he quickly established himself as a leader on one of the biggest issues facing this generation - climate change.  As Chair, Assemblymember Bloom has pushed for increasing renewable energy development and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and promoting smart and sustainable planning that expands affordable housing and reduces traffic congestion and commute times.  Through his leadership, Assemblymember Bloom has made reducing our carbon footprint and enhancing the quality of life now and for future generations a core mission of the committee. As a steward of the environment, Assemblymember Bloom also helped establish the most stringent protections in the country against the dangers of hydraulic fracking and pushed for improved rail safety and oil spill response preparedness in light of the exponential growth of oil imports by rail.  Assemblymember Bloom also introduced the strongest protections in the country against the use of rodenticides which are harming wildlife at alarming levels and against the use of plastic microbeads in personal care products that are contaminating our rivers, streams, and oceans.

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).

Dr. Shane Stephens
Co-Founder
FirstElement Fuel, Inc.
Biography

Dr. Shane Stephens

Co-Founder
FirstElement Fuel, Inc.

Dr. Shane Stephens is a Co-Founder of FirstElement Fuel, Inc. and serves as the company’s Chief Development Officer.  FirstElement is a California based company dedicated to building the first true “Network” of hydrogen fueling stations.  The company was recently awarded a Grant from the State of California of $27.6 Million to bring the first phase of its hydrogen station Network to life.  Shane is deeply committed to the advancement of clean energy, particularly the electrification of the automobile and the successful launch fuel cell electric vehicles as a way to combat climate change, air pollution, and the world’s overall addiction to petroleum.  Shane brings vast experience as a scientist and thought leader in the clean energy space from his time at UC Irvine’s Advanced Power and Energy Program, the National Fuel Cell Research Center and The White House.

Takashi Yano
General Manager, Energy Systems Division
Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.
Biography

Takashi Yano

General Manager, Energy Systems Division
Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.

Mr. YANO is the General Manager of Energy Systems Div. in Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. He is engaged in the Smart Energy Systems Business, incl. Redox Flow Battery Systems. Prior to his current role, he was the R&D manager for Network Systems products, where he successfully led the launch of Connected-home Services for telecom carriers and Vehicle-to-Grid (VGI) systems for OEMs. He received the B.E. and M.E. degrees from Kyoto University and joined Sumitomo Electric in 1985.

Mark Wallenrod
Director, Demand Side Management Programs
Southern California Edison
Biography

Mark Wallenrod

Director, Demand Side Management Programs
Southern California Edison

Mark Wallenrod is the Director of Demand Side Management (DSM) Programs at Southern California Edison Company (SCE). He manages one of the largest DSM portfolios in the country with over 100 energy efficiency, economic assistance, and demand response programs and an annual budget in excess of $1 billion dollars. SCE’s clean energy programs serve almost 14 million customers and save over 1 billion kwh and 1300 Mw annually. Mark also represents SCE on demand side management issues before regulatory authorities, state power agencies, and industry and trade groups. 

Mark has more than 25 years of experience at SCE leading major regulatory and strategic initiatives, and developing and implementing DSM programs. He has previously worked for Regulatory Policy and Affairs, where he managed General Rate Case proceedings, and held positions in Customer Service as the manager of Business, Regulatory and Consumer Affairs, and manager of Tariff Programs and Services.

Prior to joining SCE, Mark was employed as an energy consultant for TRW Energy Engineering and as a consulting engineer for the power plant technical center of Davy McKee Corporation. Mark was also a research fellow for the Department of Energy at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Mark holds a Master of Science degree in Energy Management and Policy from the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently serving on the DSM Executive Council (E-Source) and boards of the National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO) and Consortium of Energy Efficiency (CEE). Mark was also appointed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to serve on the Low Income Oversight Board (LIOB), an advisory board to the CPUC on electric and gas low income customer issues.

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.

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.

Ted Bardacke
Executive Director
Clean Power Alliance
Biography

Ted Bardacke

Executive Director
Clean Power Alliance

Ted Bardacke is Chief Executive Officer of Clean Power Alliance, the not-for-profit electricity provider for 32 communities and approximately one million customers across Los Angeles and Ventura Counties and the largest supplier of 100% renewable energy in the nation. Ted works with CPA’s elected Board of Directors and the organization’s experienced staff to implement CPA’s mission to rapidly decarbonize Southern California’s electricity system, provide customer choice and competitive rates, and deliver customer programs that benefit the CPA community. Ted has led CPA since it began serving customers in 2018, growing annual revenue to over $1 billion in CPA’s fifth year of operations.

Prior to CPA, Ted served Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as Director of Infrastructure for the City of Los Angeles and Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Sustainability Office. Ted has also worked in the Green Urbanism Program at Global Green USA, and in the 1990s served as a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times of London, based in Mexico City and Bangkok. Ted holds degrees from Wesleyan University and the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University and taught at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs for 10 years. He currently serves as Vice President of the California Community Choice Association, where he actively works on energy market issues and decarbonization efforts across California.

Siva Gunda
Vice Chair
California Energy Commission
Biography

Siva Gunda

Vice Chair
California Energy Commission

Commissioner Siva Gunda is serving his first term on the California Energy Commission.

Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Gunda in February 2021 to serve as the Energy Commission’s public member. Gunda was later appointed to Vice Chair in September 2021. He is the lead commissioner on energy assessments.

Gunda served as manager of the Demand Analysis Office and deputy director for the Energy Commission’s Energy Assessments Division. The division forecasts and assesses energy demands and supplies.

Before joining the Energy Commission, he served in a variety of capacities at the Energy Efficiency Institute at the University of California, Davis, including as the director of research, where he directed the institute’s operations and research portfolio.

He holds a master of science in mechanical and aeronautical engineering from Utah State University. Gunda is pursuing his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from UC Davis. He is a serious cricket fan and former captain of his college team. He lives with his family in Davis.

Alex Helou
Assistant Director
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation
Biography

Alex Helou

Assistant Director
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation

Mr. Helou is an Assistant Director of the City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Sanitation. At this position, Mr. Helou heads the Solid Resources Group that is responsible for managing solid waste for the entire City of Los Angeles, including collection, transport, and processing of source separated recyclables, green materials, and municipal solid waste from 750,000 residential customers. 

Mr. Helou leads a workforce of over 1,300 employees in 5 Divisions, with annual operating budget of 180 million dollars. Mr. Helou is in charge of implementing many key solid waste management strategies to help the City of Los Angeles achieve Zero Waste by 2025, including the Solid Waste Integrated Resources Plan and the Commercial Franchise System. The City has exceeded the 75% diversion rate and continues moving toward the zero waste goal. 

A 22-year veteran of the City of Los Angeles, Mr. Helou is a registered Chemical Engineer with a Masters degree in Environmental Engineering. 

Yoshihiro Hirata
President and CEO
Innovation Core SEI Inc. (Sumitomo Electric)
Biography

Yoshihiro Hirata

President and CEO
Innovation Core SEI Inc. (Sumitomo Electric)

Dr. Hirata is the President and CEO of Innovation Core SEI Inc. (ICS), which is the US subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric. After joining Sumitomo Electric, he developed micro fabrication technology using X-ray lithography and launched some businesses. His team was awarded the 34th Ichimura Industrial Prize and 51st Ogouchi Technology Prize. In January 2010, he moved to Corporate Strategy Planning Division and contributed to making mid-term vision of Sumitomo Electric. He was dispatched to ICS in July 2013 for smart energy solutions business. Dr. Hirata holds a PhD in Electro-Mechanical Engineering from Tohoku Univ., MS and BS in Nuclear Engineering from the Univ. of Tokyo, and MBA from Kobe Univ.

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
Kevin Ratner
President
Forest City
Biography

Kevin Ratner

President
Forest City
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.

Eric Guter
Vice President, Hydrogen for Mobility Solutions
Air Products
Biography

Eric Guter

Vice President, Hydrogen for Mobility Solutions
Air Products

Eric Guter became vice president, Hydrogen for Mobility Solutions in 2020. In this role, he has regional responsibility for the Company’s Hydrogen for Mobility business in the Americas and the global Hydrogen for Mobility activities and team, driving growth, profitability, and operational excellence.

Mr. Guter joined Air Products in 1995 in California and commissioned the Company’s Wilmington hydrogen facility, helping develop its regional franchise serving national and global refining partners. In 2004, Mr. Guter transitioned to the commercial business area, taking on roles of increasing responsibility, including accountability for the P&L, customer contracts and supply relationships in California. In 2015, he became general manager for the HyCO Western Region and transitioned to executive director – Americas Growth Platforms in 2019. Prior to joining Air Products, Mr. Guter served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Albuquerque nuclear submarine.

Mr. Guter holds a degree in Business Management and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

Won-Sok Yun
Director General and Chief Trade Commissioner
KOTRA- Los Angeles
Biography

Won-Sok Yun

Director General and Chief Trade Commissioner
KOTRA- Los Angeles
Rick Gustafson
Executive Director
Portland Streetcar, Inc.
Biography

Rick Gustafson

Executive Director
Portland Streetcar, Inc.
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

Tim DeMoss
Environmental Affairs Officer
POLA
Biography

Tim DeMoss

Environmental Affairs Officer
POLA

Tim DeMoss has served at the Port of Los Angeles for 15 years. Currently, DeMoss serves as the Environmental Affairs Officer. Previously, he held positions as Marine Environmental Supervisor, Clean Truck Program Manager, and Environmental Specialist III spanning from 2007 to 2019. 

He acquired his Civil Engineering degrees of Master of Environmental Science and Bachelor of Science in Loyola Marymount University. 

Shad Balch
Manager, New Product and Public Policy Communications
General Motors
Biography

Shad Balch

Manager, New Product and Public Policy Communications
General Motors
Janea A. Scott
Vice-Chair
California Energy Commission
Biography

Janea A. Scott

Vice-Chair
California Energy Commission

Janea A. Scott is vice-chair on the California Energy Commission. The Energy Commission is the State's primary energy policy and planning agency. Ms. Scott was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in February 2013 to serve as the Commission's public member. She is the lead Commissioner on transportation and western regional planning, and last year Ms. Scott led the 2014 Integrated Energy Policy Report Update. Ms. Scott serves as the chair of the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative, a public/private organization focused on accelerating the adoption of PEVs to meet California's economic, energy and environmental goals. She is also a member of the U.S. Department of Energy's Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee.

Prior to joining the Energy Commission, Ms. Scott worked at the U.S. Department of the Interior in the Office of the Secretary as the Deputy Counselor for Renewable Energy and at Environmental Defense Fund in both the New York and Los Angeles offices as a senior attorney in the climate and air program. Ms. Scott was also an AmeriCorps member working at the San Francisco Urban Service Project from 1996-1997. Ms. Scott earned her J.D. from the University of Colorado Boulder Law School and her M.S. and B.S. in Earth Systems from Stanford University. 

Dean Wiberg
VP of Strategy and Partnerships
Gemini Motor
Biography

Dean Wiberg

VP of Strategy and Partnerships
Gemini Motor

Dean Wiberg is the VP of Strategy and Partnerships at Gemini Motor, Inc (https://geminimotor.com), which is focused on the development and implementation of an autonomous, Hydrogen fuel cell powered, large scale (class 8) highway transportation system.   

Dean spent nearly 25 years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), an operating division of Caltech, developing technology and sponsored research. Prior to leaving JPL, Dean was the manager of the Commercial Technology Partnerships Office with responsibilities to develop and execute technology development opportunities at JPL with non-NASA, commercial sponsors. Before assuming this role, Dean was a project lead in JPL’s Microdevices laboratory for over 10 years, in which he was named in about 15 patents and new technology disclosures around the theme of MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS). Before joining JPL, Dean held technical, management and business development positions at the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), IBM, Westinghouse, Northrop Grumman (TRW), Sarcos Research/University of Utah and was a co-founder of Vaporfab, a venture funded, high tech materials company.

Dean holds a BS in Chemistry, an MS in Chemical Engineering and an Executive MBA.

Yasuhiro Kasai
Director, Office for Int'l Project Promotion, Infrastructure System & Water Industry
Ministry of Economy Trade & Industry (METI) Japan
Biography

Yasuhiro Kasai

Director, Office for Int'l Project Promotion, Infrastructure System & Water Industry
Ministry of Economy Trade & Industry (METI) Japan

Since joining Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in 2002, Kasai has been seconded to both the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and Ministry of Finance (MOF) over the course of his career, and blends expertise in export finance and policy measures to introduce to global markets Japan’s “Quality Infrastructure,” which are superior in terms of ecological impacts and energy conservation.

After assuming his current position in July 2019, Kasai has been working with organizations and stakeholders worldwide to help address the critical global challenge of achieving safe and stable water supplies, and solutions that might be offered by Japanese technologies.  

In the United States, his office is currently supporting feasibility studies on potential Japanese technology solutions in sewage treatment and water quality monitoring in both New York and California.

Nathan Gardner-Andrews
Chief Advocacy Officer
National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA)
Biography

Nathan Gardner-Andrews

Chief Advocacy Officer
National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA)

Nathan Gardner-Andrews serves as the Chief Advocacy Officer (CAO) for the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) in Washington, DC, where he has worked since 2006. In his role as CAO, he is responsible for coordinating all of NACWA’s advocacy initiatives and integrating the Association’s legislative, regulatory, legal, and communications advocacy work. He has written articles and spoken nationally on a wide range of clean water issues.

Mr. Gardner-Andrews previously served as NACWA’s General Counsel, advising the Association and its municipal clean water utility members on a variety of legal matters and managing NACWA’s litigation portfolio.

Prior to joining NACWA, Mr. Gardner-Andrews served as a law clerk for the Hon. Michael E. Loney of the Maryland Circuit Court.

Mr. Gardner-Andrews is a member of the Maryland and District of Columbia bars. He received his B.A. from Columbia University in 2001 and his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law in 2005.

Naeem Farooqi
Director of Sustainable Transit and Transport Asset Management Solutions
Wood PLC
Biography

Naeem Farooqi

Director of Sustainable Transit and Transport Asset Management Solutions
Wood PLC

Identifying industry interest in alternative fuel propulsion technologies for transit fleets, Naeem pioneered a Canadian advisory practice group which expanded globally to Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. He co-developed the Battery Optimization Lifecycle Tool, a one-of-a-kind tool that evaluates the triple-bottom-line impact of implementing battery electric buses (BEBs). Additionally, Naeem has been leading the expansion and implementation of BEBs in European, North and South American markets in which the tool now predicts over 30 models and 100 battery configurations. Naeem led the first-of-its-kind low emissions pilot of inter-city coaches using CNG. This two-month pilot across various northern Ontario inter-city routes enabled an agency to participate in exploring carbon reduction research.

Liz Crosson
Chief Sustainability, Resiliency, Innovation Officer
Metropolitan Water District
Biography

Liz Crosson

Chief Sustainability, Resiliency, Innovation Officer
Metropolitan Water District

Liz Crosson has been the Chief Sustainability, Resiliency, Innovation Officer at Metropolitan Water District since March of 2022.

Previously, Crosson was a sustainability consultant for the Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office, and is currently an adjunct instructor in urban sustainability at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. As director of infrastructure for the city of Los Angeles from 2018 to 2021, Crosson was Mayor Eric Garcetti’s policy lead on water, power, waste and public right of way infrastructure issues. From 2017 to 2018, she served as the city’s deputy chief sustainability officer and was the city’s first appointed water policy advisor. She served as executive director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper from 2010-2015. 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.

Anne Baker
Deputy State Controller, Environmental Policy
California State Controller's Office
Biography

Anne Baker

Deputy State Controller, Environmental Policy
California State Controller's Office

Anne Baker serves as the Controller’s designee on the State Lands Commission, California Coastal Commission, Pollution Control Financing Authority, Ocean Protection Council, Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority, and California Transportation Financing Authority.  Anne also serves on all bond oversight committees involving environmental policy.  Anne previously served as senior advisor on renewable energy siting at the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies.  As Deputy Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency from 2004 through 2008, she was the agency’s lead staff on climate policy that led to the adoption of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32).  In 1978, Anne was an elected member of the Maryland General Assembly’s House of Delegates.  She holds a master’s degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Peter Brown
past Chairman and Secretary of the Board
OASIS
Biography

Peter Brown

past Chairman and Secretary of the Board
OASIS
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. 

Dean Kubani
Chief Sustainability Officer
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Dean Kubani

Chief Sustainability Officer
City of Santa Monica

Dean Kubani is the Chief Sustainability Officer and Assistant Director of Public Works for the City of Santa Monica.  Since 1994 Dean has directed the ongoing development, implementation and evaluation of the Santa Monica Sustainable City Program, and he currently oversees the City’s efforts related to sustainability, climate change, energy, water, and sustainable business and community programs.  As the Assistant Director of Public Works Dean is also responsible for the City’s Water Utility, Architectural Services Division, Civil Engineering Division and Office of Sustainability and the Environment. He lectures on sustainability at universities throughout the country, and has presented information about Santa Monica’s programs at state, national and international conferences.  Dean has served on the advisory boards of the International Sustainability Indicators Network, the University of Southern California Center for Sustainable Cities, the Institute for Market Transformation to Sustainability, and several non-profit organizations.  Dean is also past president of the Board of Trustees of Ocean Charter School in Marina del Rey, CA and past president of the Board of Directors for Co-opportunity, a cooperatively-owned natural foods store located in Santa Monica.   Prior to his employment at the City of Santa Monica, Dean worked as a Policy Analyst in the non-profit sector and was a Project Manager for an environmental engineering firm in Southern California.  He lives in Santa Monica with his wife and two daughters. 

Dr. Aaron Hoskin
Senior Manager, Intergovernmental Initiatives, Fuel Diversification
Natural Resources Canada
Biography

Dr. Aaron Hoskin

Senior Manager, Intergovernmental Initiatives, Fuel Diversification
Natural Resources Canada

Dr. Aaron Hoskin is Senior Manager responsible for Federal, Provincial and International  activities within the Fuel Diversification Division at Natural Resources Canada. He has over 10  years of experience in fostering greater production and use of low carbon fuels across the  economy. He has led and contributed to the development of various programs and policies,  aimed to decarbonize Canada’s economy, including The Hydrogen Strategy for Canada,  electrification of transportation, electric and alternative fuels infrastructure, and greening  government fleets. His work extends internationally, including representing Canada on several  initiatives under the Clean Energy Ministerial. He has a PhD in chemistry, with a focus on  catalytic activation of small molecules, including hydrogen, and methane.

Randall Winston
Executive Director
Strategic Growth Council
Biography

Randall Winston

Executive Director
Strategic Growth Council

Randall Winston was appointed Acting Executive Director of the Strategic Growth Council in July 2015 and was officially sworn in as Executive Director in December 2015. Prior to his appointment, Randall served in Governor Brown's office as Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary, where he helped lead implementation of Governor Brown's Executive Orders on Green Buildings and Zero Emission Vehicles as well as international climate change policy. Randall has professional experience in architecture, urban development, venture technology and finance, most recently having worked for the architecture and integrated design practice Foster + Partners prior to joining Governor Brown's office as an Executive Fellow through the Center for California Studies' Capital Fellows Program. Randall was a founding director at Causes, a venture technology company led by Facebook's founding president, and worked in Beijing, China for SOHO China, an integrated urban development and architecture firm, as well as Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities, a China mainland joint-venture with Goldman Sachs.

Randall received a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in Government from Harvard University. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, Urban Land Institute and Pacific Council on International Policy.

Peter Beattie
Premier (Former)
Queensland, Australia
Biography

Peter Beattie

Premier (Former)
Queensland, Australia
Homer Williams
Chairman
Williams & Dame Development
Biography

Homer Williams

Chairman
Williams & Dame Development
Charles Bovet
Vice President Operations
BONE Structure
Biography

Charles Bovet

Vice President Operations
BONE Structure

Charles is leading BONE Structure’s expansion efforts in California and is on a constant quest for innovations that can be applied to the lagging construction industry.

Prior to joining the family business full time, he completed a Masters in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Stanford, and a BS in Structural Engineering from McGill University in Canada. During his graduate degree, Charles worked as a teaching and research assistant in Virtual Design and Construction and co-organized the Industrialized Construction initiative at Stanford to encourage knowledge exchange between students with some of the world’s most prominent companies and leading researchers of innovative construction methods.

About BONE Structure

BONE Structure® has developed and patented a technology that allows to design, manufacture and assemble residential and light commercial buildings in days with zero waste, efficiently and without compromising architectural creativity. BONE Structure buildings are healthy, energy efficient and adaptable. Since 2005, BONE Structure has partnered with architects and builders to complete over 200 custom projects across North America using its proprietary technology.

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.  

David Brulotte
Delegate General of Los Angeles
Québec
Biography

David Brulotte

Delegate General of Los Angeles
Québec

David Brulotte was appointed Delegate General of Québec in Los Angeles on April 4, 2022. Previously, he represented the government of Québec in Japan for three years as Delegate General of Québec in Tokyo.
 
In June 2018, Mr. Brulotte was appointed Director for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East for Invest Québec (IQ), the province of Québec’s financing corporation and economic development agency. Based in Japan, Mr. Brulotte managed the operations of IQ’s offices in Japan, Korea, China, and India, as well as business development in the wider region.
 
Before his posting in Tokyo, he was based in Paris from 2014 to 2018 as the business development director for France, Italy, and Benelux in IQ’s Paris office. Prior to his role in Paris, Mr. Brulotte worked as a trade commissioner for over two years at the Québec Government Office in London.
 
Before joining the Québec civil service, he worked in disarmament affairs for the United Nations in Kathmandu, Nepal.
 
Mr. Brulotte speaks French, English, and Japanese. He studied in France and Singapore, holds a B.A. in political science from Université Laval, an M.A. in international studies and diplomacy from the University of London, and a certificate in management from the University of Oxford. He has been involved in cultural philanthropy in Québec and has represented Canada at the Triathlon World Championships in 2017. He was also an Ironman All World Athlete the same year. He received the Université Laval Foundation’s Raymond Blais distinction in 2015 and Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellowship in 2018.

Steph Stoppenhagen
Smart Cities Business Development Manager
Black & Veatch
Biography

Steph Stoppenhagen

Smart Cities Business Development Manager
Black & Veatch

Steph Stoppenhagen is the Smart Cities Business Development Manager for Black & Veatch’s Smart Integrated Infrastructure business. She is recognized as a technology solutions expert, strategizing with clients to deliver value from smart infrastructure, networks and data. Her success includes creating consortiums to deliver complex, integrated smart city programs and products.

Stoppenhagen was responsible for the development of the technical mapping team of solar experts that have defined a patented methodology called SAFE™ Method (Solar Automated Feature Extraction) which automates the process of examining the Photovoltaic (PV) potential of rooftops/reduces the time to analyze this potential by 75 percent.

Prior to joining Black & Veatch and CH2M HILL in Portland, she served as a geo-integration officer and business consultant internationally with the Department of Defense in the United Kingdom. Stoppenhagen also was a Senior Consultant and Project Engineer with SCHLUMBERGER focusing on water and electric utilities. Steph has a strong history with the EPA and a background in Secret Service projects.

Michael Samulon
Sustainability Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Biography

Michael Samulon

Sustainability Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Michael Samulon heads up electric vehicle efforts in the Sustainability Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. His focus is on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution through electrification, as well as reducing energy and water consumption in municipal facilities. He has overseen the deployment of over 750 electric vehicles in the City fleet, charging infrastructure for employees and the public, and runs the City's monthly EV Task Force. Michael is working on long term infrastructure planning with LADWP, LA Metro and the Port of Los Angeles in anticipation of a fully electrified bus fleet and goods movement sector. He also oversaw the energy and water benchmarking of the City's facilities in preparation for the Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency ordinance.
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.

Jan van Tilburg
Principal
Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh
Biography

Jan van Tilburg

Principal
Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh
James Simonelli
Executive Director
California Metals Coalition
Biography

James Simonelli

Executive Director
California Metals Coalition

James Simonelli is the Executive Director of the California Metals Coalition. For 20 years he has represented the state’s metalworking sector, which consists of nearly 4,000 businesses employing over 350,000 Californians.

He served as the organization’s chief lobbyist for 15 years, authoring several pieces of legislation into law. He currently runs two metals storm water compliance groups, and is co‐Chair of Sacramento’s WATER Coalition.

Most recently he served as project lead for the state’s first fuel cell generation system at an aluminum ingot manufacturer, and was project lead with UCLA and the Japan Industry Federation to find lead free alternatives for potable water system components.

Heather Arias
Transportation and Toxics Division Chief
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Heather Arias

Transportation and Toxics Division Chief
California Air Resources Board

Heather Arias has nearly twenty years of experience at the California Air Resources Board (CARB), most recently as the Chief of the Transportation and Toxics Division.   In her current capacity she oversees regulatory and non-regulatory activities to: reduce air toxics, criteria air pollution, and greenhouse gases from freight transportation (including implementation of existing  rules, development of new rules and plans, and administration of incentive programs); characterize the health risk from toxic air contaminants; and develop and implement regulatory measures and other programs to cut the localized health risk from air toxics emitted by stationary sources.   Her previous experience at CARB includes overseeing the policy development of the Community Air Protection Blueprint in the Office of Community Air Protection.  In addition, she oversaw the development and implementation of CARB’s portion of Governor Brown’s California Sustainable Freight Action Plan and the Sustainable Freight Pathways to Zero and Near-Zero Emissions Discussion Document. Heather has also served as Deputy Director in the Legislative Office, managed implementation and audits for various incentive programs, developed regulations, and worked on State Implementation Plans. 

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.

Francie Stefan
Chief Mobility Officer/Assistant Director of Planning & Community Development
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Francie Stefan

Chief Mobility Officer/Assistant Director of Planning & Community Development
City of Santa Monica

Francie Stefan is the Acting Chief Mobility Officer/Assistant Director of Planning & Community Development for the City of Santa Monica. She leads the City’s transportation policy, strategy and implementation efforts such as the Expo Light Rail extension, Colorado Esplanade, Bike and Pedestrian Plans, GoSaMo mobility campaign, COAST open streets, Breeze Bike Share and now the Shared Mobility Pilot Program.

Previously she worked at the City of West Hollywood where she initiated their Green Building Program and General Plan update.

She has a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from UCLA, and a B.S. in Geography from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Felicia Marcus
William C. Landreth Visiting Fellow
Stanford University Water in the West
Biography

Felicia Marcus

William C. Landreth Visiting Fellow
Stanford University Water in the West

Felicia Marcus is an attorney who has served in leadership and management positions in the government and non-profit sectors. She is currently the Landreth Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Water in the West Program and is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Felicia was most recently Chair of the California State Water Resources Control Board after having served as Regional Administrator of the U.S. EPA Region IX and as head of the Los Angeles Department of Public Works in addition to leadership in national non-governmental organizations and experience as a private and public interest sector attorney. She is also a member of the Water Policy Group, an international network of former and current high level water officials dedicated to assisting developing nations.  She is also one of the three US members of the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation.

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.

Tom Gilmore
Chairman
Gilmore Associates
Biography

Tom Gilmore

Chairman
Gilmore Associates

Tom Gilmore is a downtown Los Angeles-based developer of residential and commercial properties whose early projects in the city's historic core led to the largest resurgence of real estate investment and development the city has experienced in nearly a century.

Gilmore began his career by building a small architectural firm in New York and eventually relocated to Los Angeles, leading to his partnership with Jerri Perrone. In 1998, Gilmore and Perrone formed an independent development firm, Gilmore Associates, to embark upon the redevelopment of the Historic Core of Downtown Los Angeles.

His vision for Downtown Los Angeles as a thriving, self-sustaining urban community led him to purchase four abandoned historic buildings: the Continental, the Hellman, the San Fernando, and the Farmers and Merchants National Bank—all of which are located in Downtown Los Angeles and collectively renamed by Gilmore and Perrone as the “Old Bank District.” Gilmore was the first developer to utilize the newly minted Adaptive Reuse Ordinance of 1999, which enabled him to convert historic commercial buildings into mixed- use residences, ultimately catalyzing the widespread redevelopment and revival of Downtown.

His ingenuity and tenacity has been recognized through major projects he has spearheaded— notably— Vibiana, a development of the former St. Vibiana’s Cathedral as a performing arts center and event facility that also houses the renowned restaurant, Redbird. Gilmore’s most recent ongoing projects include mixed-use redevelopment in Los Angeles' Chinatown and the transformation of the historic spaces within the Hellman Building and the former Farmers and Merchants National Bank into a contemporary museum showcasing Los Angeles based art on S Main St in Downtown, aptly named the Main Museum.

Since Gilmore's first historic building opened to residents in 2000, more than 60,000 new residents now call downtown Los Angeles home and more than $5 billion in residential, business, entertainment and arts projects have been introduced to the city center.

Tom Gilmore's commitment to the civic identity of Los Angeles is evident in his roles as the former Commissioner Chair for the LA Homeless Services Authority, Chairman of Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Mayoral- appointee as Chairman of Sister Cities of Los Angeles, Executive Committee member of Central City Association, Executive Committee member of Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Bureau, and Board member of Los Angeles Parks Foundation.

Lorraine Paskett
Vice President
AES Corporation
Biography

Lorraine Paskett

Vice President
AES Corporation

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.

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.

Snuller Price
Principal
Energy + Environmental Economics
Biography

Snuller Price

Principal
Energy + Environmental Economics

Mr. Price leads Energy + Environmental Economics’ climate policy practice area.  He has more than 20 years of experience supporting state, utility, and federal government clients with greenhouse gas policy, renewable resource evaluation, distributed generation, energy efficiency and utility resource planning.  Under his direction, the E3 team has recently completed or has underway the assessment long term climate scenarios for California, and the United States.  Mr. Price is also co-author of the 2012 paper in Science exploring pathways for California to meet the deep GHG reductions called for by 2050 of 80% below 1990 levels, and manages the team working on the United Nations Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP).  Mr. Price has an M.S. in Engineering Economic Systems from Stanford University (’97) and a B.S. in Engineering and B.A. in Economics from Swarthmore College (’93).

David Libatique
Deputy Executive Director, Stakeholder Engagement
The Port of Los Angeles
Biography

David Libatique

Deputy Executive Director, Stakeholder Engagement
The Port of Los Angeles

David Libatique is the Deputy Executive Director of Stakeholder Engagement for the Port of Los Angeles, a position that oversees and manages all communications on behalf of America’s Port® via the Community Relations, Media Relations, Government Affairs, Trade Development, and Labor Relations and Workforce Development Divisions.

In this role, Libatique works with diverse stakeholders, including local communities, organized labor, beneficial cargo owners, terminal operators, international customers, shipping and cruise lines, railroads, the trucking industry, media, and regulatory agencies to advance the Port’s goals and initiatives. He also interacts on a broader scale with an array of local, regional, statewide, and national elected officials and stakeholders.

Working alongside Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka, Libatique helped to spearhead the Logistics Victory Los Angeles (LoVLA) COVID-19 response effort in March 2020 to assist in getting critical personal protective equipment (PPE) into the hands of healthcare workers. Throughout the pandemic, Libatique has worked to build relationships with public and private sector partners and further guide the initiative’s efforts.

Libatique first joined the Port in January 2011 as Senior Director of Government Affairs, where he led the Port’s intergovernmental advocacy at a critical time of increasing engagement with local, regional, state, federal, and even transnational and international levels of government.

Prior to joining the Port, Libatique served as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Director of Energy Policy, where he was responsible for advancing the Mayor’s environmental policies at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Before assuming that role, he served as the Mayor’s Senior Policy Analyst and acted as a liaison with the Port of Los Angeles, where he advanced priority initiatives, including the Clean Air Action Plan and Clean Truck Program.

Before joining the Villaraigosa Administration, Libatique served as Senior Deputy for Los Angeles City Councilmember Martin Ludlow, where he led policy development and legislative strategies to reform the City’s gang prevention and intervention efforts.

Libatique has conducted extensive experience in economic research, including working as a Research Analyst at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. There, he was a part of Working Group VI of the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health that analyzed the economic impact of investment in improved health outcomes for poor and middle-income countries.

Libatique holds a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of California, Berkeley and a master of public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Martin Howell
Associate Principal
ARUP
Biography

Martin Howell

Associate Principal
ARUP

Martin Howell is an Associate Principal in Arup’s Los Angeles office with over 30 years of experience, working and consulting on projects around the globe. For the past 18 years, he has been based in Los Angeles and working with clients in Southern California on a range of energy and sustainability projects and programs for both public and private sector clients. His clients value his broad knowledge base in the field of energy and sustainability, and his drive to find simple solutions to complex issues. Some of Martin’s key projects include leading a multi-user microgrid project with the City of Santa Monica and helping develop and implement an Energy Assurance program with the County of Santa Barbara. Within the firm, Martin is the Energy Skills Leader for the Americas region. In this role, he is responsible for ensuring Arup’s energy sector skills remain at the cutting edge of the industry and that global best practice knowledge is shared and disseminated throughout the firm.
 

 

Rob Del Core
Chief Strategy Officer
Hyzon Motors
Biography

Rob Del Core

Chief Strategy Officer
Hyzon Motors

Rob Del Core is a seasoned zero emission drive system integration engineer in the medium and heavy duty mobility industry and has been focusing on the zero emission transit bus, truck and heavy duty vehicle markets in US and in Europe. Rob’s expertise is in drive system design and integration for zero emission and low carbon transport, with specialty in hydrogen fuel cell, battery energy storage systems and all electric drive systems. His experience also includes fuel cell hybrid and diesel hybrid architectures. Over the last 20 years, he has successfully led more than 20 zero emission vehicle programs, managing all aspects of the program including design, build, test, delivery and deployment to customer relationship. One of his signature integration projects is leading the design and development of the Fuel Cell Hybrid Buses for Transport for London, UK while with ISE Corporation.

After rejoining Hydrogenics in 2012, Rob Del Core has been focusing on fuel cell technology advancement in mobility sector through new fuel cell product development and business development and has a vision of closing the gap between fuel cell technology and hybrid vehicles development by introducing disruptive fuel cell technology that will accelerate the commercialization of fuel cell hybrid heavy duty vehicles. His brainchild, Celerity, Hydrogenic's fuel cell power system purposely built for medium and heavy duty commercial vehicles, was debuted in APTA 2014. After successfully secured government funding to integrate Celerity fuel cell into a 40 foot transit bus and a class 8 drayage truck, Rob has also broke ground and managed the first California facility for Hydrogenics. Firm believer in clean hydrogen economy, Rob Del Core is also an active proponent for Renewable Hydrogen Fuel through electrolysis for mass applications from transportation fuel, energy storage, and power-to-gas.

Rob is an active speaker in various technical conferences and has established solid relationships with major industry players and government bodies in the vehicle industries. 

Arnab Pal
Policy Advisor to Sen. Ed Markey*/Fmr. Director
US Senate/Center for Sustainable Energy
Biography

Arnab Pal

Policy Advisor to Sen. Ed Markey*/Fmr. Director
US Senate/Center for Sustainable Energy

Focused on the intersection of grid decarbonization, analytics, and economic development, I develop strategies and models for designing markets where societal benefits are accounted for alongside economic benefits, and where public funds are leveraged with private ones.

I use these strategies to facilitate sustainable infrastructure project deal flow by building stakeholder consensus, providing thought leadership, and influencing policy makers.

I passionately believe that projects that take advantage of these new market designs and deploy energy infrastructure projects will provide economic and environmental benefits to local communities around the world.

Henry Hilken
Director of Planning and Research
Bay Area Air Quality Management District
Biography

Henry Hilken

Director of Planning and Research
Bay Area Air Quality Management District

Henry Hilken is the Director of Planning and Research at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.  The Air District is responsible for assuring clean air in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.  Mr. Hilken oversees preparation of regional air quality plans, transportation and land use programs, climate protection activities, amendments to Air District regulations, air quality modeling analyses, preparation of emission inventories, and the Community Air Risk Evaluation program.  Mr. Hilken has a Masters of City Planning from UC Berkeley and has worked at the Air District since 1988.

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.   

Nancy Barba
Senior Program Manager
Frontier Energy
Biography

Nancy Barba

Senior Program Manager
Frontier Energy

Nancy Barba is a Senior Program Manager with Frontier Energy, Inc. Ms. Barba works with utilities and government clients to deliver energy efficiency program design and management, stakeholder and client engagement, and community outreach. Her ability to manage diverse priorities and effective communication skills contribute to her engaged, results-driven leadership. She has worked closely with financial authorities, Regional Energy Networks, and Community Choice Energy implementers leading in program design, implementation, marketing and outreach, financing, measurement and reporting.

Ms. Barba has experience working in both sustainability education and project management. She collaborated in the design of several successful pilots under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants that are were later funded by the CPUC. Besides program design, Ms. Barba manages costs, schedules, and performance of component projects, while working to ensure the ultimate success and adoption of programs.

As a Los Angeles native, she is actively engaged and committed to a sustainable and equitable future – locally, regionally and globally. 

Kevin Maggay
Program Manager
SoCalGas
Biography

Kevin Maggay

Program Manager
SoCalGas

Kevin is currently a Program Manager at SocalGas working on policy, strategy and external relations on a variety of issues, with a specialization in the transportation sector.  He has almost 20 years of experience in the transportation and environmental world in a variety of roles.  Prior to coming to SoCalGas, Kevin was the Assistant Director of Environmental Operations at BNSF Railway where he oversaw air, carbon and policy issues nationwide; the Air Quality Supervisor at the Port of Los Angeles where he oversaw the air team in developing and implementing breakthrough programs to track and reduce air emissions; and the contract Environmental Manager for the Alameda Corridor East.  He has a degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Southern California.  Kevin also is an instructor at CalState Long Beach’s Global Logistics Program.

Jacob Lieb
Sustainability Policy Manager
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Biography

Jacob Lieb

Sustainability Policy Manager
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Jacob Lieb is currently the Sustainability Policy Manager for LA Metro where he leads the agency’s efforts to incorporate sustainability into planning and project implementation.  Jacob oversees the implementation of Metro’s Sustainability Planning Policy and First Mile/Last Mile Strategic Plan, among other efforts.  Jacob comes to Metro after a long tenure with the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).  While at SCAG Jacob was responsible for major regional planning functions including the preparation of the Sustainable Communities Strategy, the Regional Comprehensive Plan, and the Regional Housing Needs Assessment.  Jacob also participated in key legislative negotiations, including the discussions leading to the enactment of SB 375, and oversaw environmental review and compliance for multiple plan cycles.  Jacob began his career working on homeownership, homelessness, and social service issues for the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.  Jacob is a graduate of UC Berkeley.

Sandra Berg
Board Member
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Sandra Berg

Board Member
California Air Resources Board

Sandra Berg is a proven leader with experience serving on private, public policy, and nonprofit boards. As President & CEO of the Berg Family of Companies, Chairman of the Board of American Coatings Association, and a member of the California Air Resources Board, Ms. Berg’s leadership has successfully combined two worlds that are often seen as oil and water – the chemical industry and air quality public policy. Berg Family of Companies has two cornerstone businesses: Ellis Paint Company, a specialty paint manufacturer, celebrating 126 years in business, and Pacific Resource Recovery Services, an EPA permitted Treatment Storage and Disposal Facility that recycles paint related waste streams. Ms. Berg’s innovative leadership, proactive compliance and community outreach have been key elements which set both Ellis Paint Company and Pacific Resources apart from their national and international competition. 

In 2004, Ms. Berg was appointed to the California Air Resources Board by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Air Resources Board is California's lead air quality agency, responsible for protecting public health by reducing air pollution. The Air Resources Board is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in policy, innovative technology, and driving business in California to develop clean air solutions. Combining her business acumen and community involvement, Ms. Berg brings a practical perspective to the Board. In Ms. Berg's capacity as a Board Member, she has chaired several committees overseeing a billion dollars of public incentive funding and facilitated key policy implementation groups, while always emphasizing the need to protect public health and the environment while also keeping business strong.

In addition to her service with the California Air Resources Board and the American Coatings Association, Ms. Berg has a passion for our youth and education. She is a past Board Member of the Hollenbeck Police Activity League and has served eight years on the 34th Congressional District Student Art Competition board. She is a member the World Presidents’ Organization City of Angels Chapter, and C-200, a leading philanthropic organization of businesswomen.

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.

Paul Sellew
CEO
Harvest Power Canada Ltd. and Harvest Power, Inc.
Biography

Paul Sellew

CEO
Harvest Power Canada Ltd. and Harvest Power, Inc.

PAUL SELLEW is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Harvest Power Canada Ltd. and of Harvest Power, Inc. Paul has been a leader in the organics industry for more than 25 years. In 1982 he founded Earthgro, Inc., which grew to be the second largest producer of compost-based lawn and garden products in North America. He has also founded and led International Process Systems, Inc. (composting technology provider), Allgro, Inc. (compost marketing firm), Environmental Credit Corp. (carbon credit creation and trading), and Backyard Farms (hydroponic greenhouse tomato producer). Paul graduated from Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Josh Boone
Director
Veloz
Biography

Josh Boone

Director
Veloz

Josh Boone is the director of Veloz.  Previously, Boone was the deputy executive director of the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative upon which Veloz was founded.  He lead all Veloz development efforts to foster the initial concept, including directing work efforts to give the organization a name, brand, visual identity, philosophy and workplan while also spearheading board development.

At the PEV Collaborative, Boone advised the executive director and chair in development and implementation of the strategic plan, goals and policies to accelerate the electric car market in California.  He was responsible for day-to-day operational strategy across all programs, including guidance to staff.  He maintained strong relationships with members, led business development activities and initiated on-trend, innovative member meeting content.

Boone holds MS and BS degrees from the University of California, Davis, and has authored several scientific publications.  He and his wife have three children and drive electric.

Alisa Kreynes
Chief Development Officer
Solar Skyrise
Biography

Alisa Kreynes

Chief Development Officer
Solar Skyrise

Alisa is a strategist, a team leader, and expert in renewable energy leveraging 17 years of industry experience in 20+ countries, to advance global markets towards a clean energy future. She is a co-founder of SolarSkyrise, a company that transforms the value of renewables within building envelopes by energizing vertical real estate. Prior to the formation of SolarSkyrise, Alisa championed and managed the port and industrial sector efficiency program of the DOE’s  Better Communities Alliance, supported the technical and advisory teams on the 2050 Masterplan for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and delivered the 2020 CO2 free roadmap for BMW project.

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.

Felicia Williams
City Councilmember
City of Pasadena
Biography

Felicia Williams

City Councilmember
City of Pasadena
Felicia Williams has a background in finance and public policy, and was elected to the Pasadena City Council in 2020. She represents the north central part of the City, and is the City's representative on several Boards, including the Burbank Glendale Pasadena Airport and Foothill Transit. Prior to joining the Council Felicia served on several City commissions for 14 years, most recently as Chair of the Planning Commission. 
 
Currently, Felicia is the President of FWD Consulting LLC working with cities and clean energy companies on financing infrastructure projects and public/private partnerships. 
Her prior professional experience includes municipal finance (Kosmont Companies, PFM Financial Advisors LLC), investor relations (Edison International), and investment banking (RBC Capital Markets, First Albany Capital, Goldman Sachs). Felicia attended Polytechnic School in Pasadena and received her B.A. from Stanford University in Public Policy, M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA, and M.B.A. from The University of Michigan Ross School of Business. 

 

Greg Quist
Director
Rincon Water District
Biography

Greg Quist

Director
Rincon Water District

 Quist has served on the Rincon del Diablo Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors for the past 26 years and as a Director on San Diego County Water Authority Board for 12 years. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Urban Water Institute. Greg has worked as a technologist, manager and executive at Alcoa, McDonnell-Douglas, SAIC and has founded and successfully spun off several high technology start-up companies. He is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of SmartCover Systems, a leader in the emerging water Internet of Things market. He holds 14 patents and has several pending.  Dr. Quist received his undergraduate degree in astronomy and physics with a minor concentration in economics from Yale College and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has held top-level government clearances and currently resides in Escondido, CA.  In his rare free time he enjoys fly fishing, hiking, golf, basketball, and tennis. 

Dr. Bernd Fischer
Consul General
German Consulate - Los Angeles
Biography

Dr. Bernd Fischer

Consul General
German Consulate - Los Angeles

Dr. Bernd Fischer is currently the Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany in Southern California and the states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Utah. In his role as Consul General in Los Angeles he seeks to foster and deepen German-American relations and has lectured at prestigious universities on Germany’s reunification and the important role it plays in the European Union.

He holds a Doctorate in Philosophy from Heidelberg University and was a Fulbright fellow at the University of Arizona. Key posts of his Foreign Service career include German Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia, Head of the Economic Department at the Embassy in Washington, Deputy Ambassador in Tokyo and he served in the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations in New York as well as various positions at the German Foreign Office headquarters in Bonn and Berlin.

Dr. Fischer also co-authored the Germanbook Zwischen Wilhelmstrasse und Bellevue: 500 Jahre Diplomatiein Berlin in 1998, an overview of the history of foreign diplomacy in Berlin.

Kevin James
President
City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commission
Biography

Kevin James

President
City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commission

Kevin James moved to Los Angeles from Texas in the late 1980s to begin his career as an attorney with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Kevin immediately began his involvement in local politics and working with local charities. Kevin left Gibson Dunn to join the United States Attorney's Office. After a few years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, Kevin returned to private practice focusing on an entertainment litigation practice, and soon began an evening talk-radio show on KABC and then KRLA focusing on local issues and covering City Hall.

Today, Kevin serves in Mayor Garcetti’s Administration as the President of the Board of Public Works where he, along with his 4 colleagues on the Commission, are the chief administrators of the Department of Public Works, which consists of more than 5,000 employees who are responsible for design, construction, renovation and operation of public projects ranging from bridges to wastewater treatment plants and libraries; curbside collection and graffiti removal; and maintenance of streets, sidewalks, sewers, streetlights and trees. Kevin also serves as the Director and Chief Liaison of the Mayor’s Film and Television Production, where he oversees the relationship between numerous City departments and the entertainment industry to make sure that film, television, commercial, and music video production feels at home in the City of Los Angeles.

Gary Doer
Ambassador
Canadian Embassy to the United States
Biography

Gary Doer

Ambassador
Canadian Embassy to the United States
Laura Wisland
Senior Energy Analyst
Union of Concerned Scientists
Biography

Laura Wisland

Senior Energy Analyst
Union of Concerned Scientists

Laura is a Senior Energy Analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists, where she works on state and regional policies related to clean energy, air quality, and global warming. As part of her work on renewable energy issues, Laura provides technical and policy analysis to legislative and regulatory agencies that develop and implement several clean energy laws, including California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS). She is the author of a recent report - “The Clean Energy Race: How do California’s Public Utilities Measure Up?” – which analyzed the degree to which California’s largest publicly-owned utilities have been promoting the development of new clean energy resources. 

Prior to coming to UCS, Laura was the Director of the California Hydropower Reform Coalition where she helped design several state and federal policies to reduce the environmental impacts of California’s existing network of hydropower dams.

Laura has a masters degree from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, and was a Morehead-Cain scholar at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she received a bachelor’s degree in public policy.  

Dr. Jerry Schubel
President and CEO
Aquarium of the Pacific
Biography

Dr. Jerry Schubel

President and CEO
Aquarium of the Pacific

Dr. Jerry R. Schubel has been president and CEO of the Aquarium of the Pacific since 2002. He is president and CEO Emeritus of the New England Aquarium, and from 1974-1994 was Dean of Stony Brook University’s Marine Sciences Research Center. For three of those years he served as the University’s provost and is Distinguished Service Professor emeritus. Prior to 1974, Dr. Schubel was an adjunct professor, research scientist and associate director of The Johns Hopkins University's Chesapeake Bay Institute.

Throughout his professional life he has worked at the interfaces of science-management-policy on issues dealing with the ocean with an emphasis on the coastal ocean. He has published more than 225 scientific papers and has written extensively for general audiences. He is a member of the California Ocean Science Trust Board, and the Science Advisory Team for California’s Ocean Protection Council. He chaired the NOAA Science Advisory Board; National Sea Grant Review Panel; the National Research Council (“NRC”) Marine Board; the NRC Committee on the St. Lawrence Seaway, Phase I and Phase II, the Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel, and the NRC Committee on the Value and Sustainability of Biological Field Stations, Marine Laboratories and Nature Reserves in 21st Century.

At the Aquarium of the Pacific, he created the Aquatic Forum that brings together scientists, policy-makers and stakeholders to explore alternative ways of dealing with important, complex, and often controversial environmental issues facing the nation. He also directs the Aquarium’s Marine Conservation Research Institute and the Aquarium’s Aquatic Academy programs.  He has been interviewed by hundreds of media outlets on a variety of environmental and scientific topics for international, national and local stories. 

John Shegerian
Co-Founder & Executive Chairman
ERI
Biography

John Shegerian

Co-Founder & Executive Chairman
ERI

John Shegerian – the serial entrepreneur responsible for co-founding Homeboy Industries, FinancialAid.com, Engage (www.letsengage.com) and many other impactful organizations -- currently serves as co-founder, Chairman and CEO of ERI, the largest cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction and electronic waste recycling company in the United States. 

 
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

Melissa Ruhl
Transportation Planner
Arup
Biography

Melissa Ruhl

Transportation Planner
Arup

Melissa Ruhl is a transportation planner for Arup in San Francisco where she manages autonomous vehicles strategies and policy efforts. Partnering with cities and transit agencies, Melissa helps communities plan for tomorrow while improving quality of life today. She co-authored the Autonomous Vehicles: A Horizon Initiative Perspective Paper on behalf of the San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and she regularly speaks in both the San Francisco Bay Area and nationally on autonomous vehicles and the future of cities. In June 2018, the Northern California American Planning Association granted her the Special Recognition Award – Emerging Planner. Melissa earned a Master of Urban Planning from San Jose State University and a Master of Arts in History from the University of Oregon. 

Christian Gräff
District Council
Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Berlin
Biography

Christian Gräff

District Council
Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Berlin

Christian Gräff is District Council of Marzahn-Hellersdorf, a district of Berlin in charge of  Economic development and city planning. Christian has been a member of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) since 1995. From 2002-2009, he was a member of the CDU’s City Board. In 2008, Christian found Cleantech Business Park (CBP), a 220-acre area to be tailored to the needs of companies from the Clean Technologies sector expected to be finished in 2014. In 2006, he was elected District Council, a position he has held since. Prior to his political career, he was the CEO of a medium-sized retail business. 

Traci Minamide, PE, BCEE
Chief Operating Officer
City of Los Angeles, LA Sanitation & Environment (LASAN)
Biography

Traci Minamide, PE, BCEE

Chief Operating Officer
City of Los Angeles, LA Sanitation & Environment (LASAN)

Traci serves as Chief Operating Officer for City of Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment (LASAN), a department of over 3,500 employees with an annual revenue of over $1billion. She has been with the City for over 30 years serving in many capacities, including wastewater treatment, water reclamation, biosolids, water planning, environmental regulations, stormwater management, and solid resources.

Traci 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 through the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. She is past President of the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) and currently serves on the Board of the Southern California Alliance of POTWs (SCAP). Traci also served as a member of the State of California’s Advisory Panel on Direct Potable Reuse.

Robert Jernigan
Regional Managing Principal
Gensler
Biography

Robert Jernigan

Regional Managing Principal
Gensler
As Co-Managing Principal for the Southwest Region, Rob is responsible for Gensler offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, Newport Beach, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Denver; and he also serves on Gensler’s Board of Directors and Management Committee. Known to peers and clients as an accomplished architect, practice leader and collaborator, Rob is committed to design innovation, technical quality and a belief that we are only as good as the people we mentor to succeed us. Rob’s technical expertise spans more than 32 million square feet of built projects that have reshaped city landscapes worldwide. A strong proponent of community service, he has shepherded Gensler’s gServe program, which encompasses the firm’s community outreach activities and socially conscious design efforts. Rob is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a member of the Urban Land Institute, and he serves on the Boards of the Design Build Institute of America’s Southern California Chapter and the Los Angeles Business Council. In 2012, the AIA California Council awarded Rob its Presidential Citation for changing the face of architecture in Los Angeles.
 
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. 

James Stinson
Client Technical Professional, Financial Performance Management
IBM
Biography

James Stinson

Client Technical Professional, Financial Performance Management
IBM

James Stinson is a client technical professional for IBM Business Analytics and has devoted the last 10 years helping companies realize their analytic vision. Prior to that James was a Director of Finance and a Software Engineer. He has an MBA and holds degrees in both Finance and Accounting. 

Steve Burger
Deputy Director, Transportation
LA County Department of Public Works
Biography

Steve Burger

Deputy Director, Transportation
LA County Department of Public Works

Steve Burger is Deputy Director of the Los Angeles Public Works Transportation core service area. Steve is responsible for traffic safety and mobility, transportation project planning and road maintenance in County unincorporated areas, as well as the County’s five general aviation airports.

With an annual budget of more than $3.6 billion and a workforce of 4,000 employees, Los Angeles County Public Works is the largest municipal public works agency in the United States, providing vital public infrastructure and civic services to more than 10 million people across a 4,000-square-mile service area.

Steve has more than 30 years of Public Works experience in developing and implementing programs and civil infrastructure projects to enhance the communities of Los Angeles County.

Steve is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of California and a Licensed Surveyor. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Ohio State 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”.

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.

Stephanie Wiggins
Chief Executive Officer
LA Metro
Biography

Stephanie Wiggins

Chief Executive Officer
LA Metro

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. 

Laurence Frank
President
Los Angeles Trade-Technical College
Biography

Laurence Frank

President
Los Angeles Trade-Technical College

Laurence Frank came to Los Angeles Trade-Technical College in 2013, as it continued to build its leadership role in career-technical education, competency-based learning models, and Guided Pathways. Trade-Tech’s rigorous focus on workforce development has led to significant industry partnerships, grant opportunities and a re-vitalized relationship with the communities served by the college.

Los Angeles Trade-Technical College continues to thrive. It houses a National Weatherization Center. It received FTA-sponsored support to start its regional Transportation Workforce Institute that partners with regional transit providers. The college has been honored with a prestigious Innovation Grant from the state chancellor’s office. It is now the lead agency for the South Los Angeles Promise Zone. Earlier in 2018, the campus was awarded the Exemplary Program Award in Guided Pathways from the California Academic Senate in Advanced Transportation and Manufacturing. The campus has hosted President Obama, President Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Governor Jerry Brown, Senator Kamala Harris, six U.S. cabinet members, and a panoply of state and local leaders, based upon the work the college has offered and its success in serving students. The college’s creation and implementation of a pathway model to academic, career and transfer success helps lead the work of community colleges around the country. This higher education strategy of Guided Pathways has led to the doubling of certificates and degrees among Trade Tech students.

His earlier, eight years as deputy mayor for the City of Los Angeles gave him a keen sense of workforce trends and a strong understanding of where the good jobs are in Los Angeles. In that capacity as deputy mayor, Frank was responsible for several city departments including community development, public works, neighborhood councils and the city’s workforce development programs. Frank had seen the innovative nature of Trade-Tech first-hand, while serving in the mayor’s office, and he worked closely with the college in creating training partnerships for Los Angeles residents. Frank also has been a faculty member at UCLA, working with the school’s Center for Labor Research and Education. He holds a law degree from UCLA School of Law and a B.A. in Religious Studies from St. Lawrence University. 

Erika Pham
Senior Manager, Strategy
Mote Hydrogen
Biography

Erika Pham

Senior Manager, Strategy
Mote Hydrogen

Ms. Pham holds a degree in mechanical engineering and has six years’ experience as a project engineer on natural gas pipeline projects.  She was most recently a Senior Project Manager at Trillium, managing alternative fueling station design build projects and a team of project managers.  During her time at Trillium, she managed the hydrogen refueling station project for Orange County Transit Authority and the electrolysis production and fueling facility for Champaign Urbana Mass Transit District.  She recently joined Mote as the Senior Manager of Strategy and is part of a team that will create a first of a kind biomass to Hydrogen production and carbon removal facility.

Ron Galperin
City Controller
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Ron Galperin

City Controller
City of Los Angeles

Ron Galperin serves as Controller of the City of Los Angeles -- working as the watchdog for L.A.'s taxpayers. Controller Galperin oversees a team conducting independent audits, managing the City's payroll and disbursements, preparing reports on the City’s finances, pursuing waste and fraud, providing information about the City's finances and operations online -- and focusing on modernization, management and metrics.

Leading a Data Revolution

As Controller, Galperin launched ControlPanel.LA, the City’s first open data portal -- featuring the City’s checkbook, details on the goods and services the City buys, assets and liabilities, employee compensation, operating indicators and much more. Because of these efforts, L.A. was named the No. 1 Digital City according to the U.S. City Open Data Census. Likewise, Government Technology Magazine recently named Controller Galperin to its list of the Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers of 2015.

Results-Oriented Audits

Under Galperin’s leadership, the Controller’s office has issued numerous financial and performance audits focused on improving the efficiency and accountability of City government -- and on delivering quality City services. Audits conducted by the Controller are helping to improve street services, how the City handles foreclosure properties, cable fees, funds for the arts, management of the City's many special funds, worker's compensation costs, development fees, airport operations -- and much more.

One of the Controller’s priorities has been to make the Dept. of Water and Power more transparent and responsive to ratepayers. He created UtilityPanel.LA, a data portal featuring key financial data about DWP spending and payroll. The Controller’s office conducted audits of the utility’s Joint Training Institute and Joint Safety Institute and released an Industrial, Economic and Administrative Survey of the DWP, with specific recommendations for structural reforms and creation of performance dashboards.

Background

Prior to his being elected as Controller in 2013, Galperin built a reputation as a leading voice for government reform. He is the first Neighborhood Council member elected to city-wide office in Los Angeles. As an officer of his neighborhood council, he advocated for quality of life improvements and more responsible neighborhood planning. He also developed and taught “L.A. City Government 101” to new neighborhood council members throughout the city and served as a council budget advocate.

Controller Galperin has long promoted cutting waste and developing programs to help businesses create jobs. As Chair of the Los Angeles Commission on Revenue Efficiency, he worked to develop new revenue sources and budget savings to deliver more services to residents and businesses. He also served as President of the City's Quality & Productivity Commission.

Galperin brings to the Controller job more than twenty years of experience as a transactional and litigation attorney and small business owner. He received his J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He lives in West Los Angeles with his husband, Rabbi Zachary Shapiro, and their dog, Daisy.

Bobby Bailie
Business Development Director, Energy Storage
Dresser-Rand, a Siemens business
Biography

Bobby Bailie

Business Development Director, Energy Storage
Dresser-Rand, a Siemens business

Bobby Bailie has been with Dresser-Rand, a Siemens business, for over twelve years and is the Business Development Director for Energy Storage.  Prior to this role, he was a Project Development Manager responsible for numerous Oil & Gas clients. He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering and minors in mathematics and management of technology.  Bobby is also a licensed attorney in the state of Texas and a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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.

Varun Sivaram
Philip D. Reed Fellow
Council on Foreign Relations
Biography

Varun Sivaram

Philip D. Reed Fellow
Council on Foreign Relations

Varun Sivaram is the Philip D. Reed fellow for science and technology at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, a nonresident fellow at the Columbia University Center for Global Energy Policy, and a member of the advisory boards for the Stanford University Woods Institute for the Environment and Precourt Institute for Energy. Forbes named him one of the 30 under 30 in Law and Policy, Grist selected him as one of the top 50 leaders in sustainability, and Klout ranked him as one of the top 5 global thought leaders on solar energy. He is the author of the book, Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet (MIT University Press, March 2018). 

Dr. Sivaram also serves as strategic advisor to the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Reforming the Energy Vision, and he was formerly a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he counseled Fortune 500 companies on adapting to the modern competitive landscape in energy. Prior to this role, he served as senior advisor for energy and water policy to the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, and oversaw the city’s Department of Water and Power. 

Dr. Sivaram’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial TimesForeign Affairs, the Journal of Applied Physics, the Journal of Physical ChemistryNatureNature EnergyNature Climate ChangeScientific American, and Issues in Science and Technology. He has also given talks around the world, including at the Aspen Ideas Festival and World Economic Forum. A Truman and a Rhodes scholar, he holds degrees from Stanford University in engineering physics and international relations, with honors in international security. Dr. Sivaram holds a PhD in condensed matter physics from St. John’s College, Oxford University, where he developed third-generation solar photovoltaic coatings for building-integrated applications. He lives in Washington, DC.

Paul Relis
Senior Vice President
CR&R Environmental Services
Biography

Paul Relis

Senior Vice President
CR&R Environmental Services

Paul Relis is Senior Vice President of CR&R Incorporated, an environmental services company that provide recycling and waste services to 40 cities in Southern California. He leads the company’s efforts to develop technology to convert the organic fraction of the municipal solid waste stream to renewable natural gas, a zero carbon fuel, and soil products for California agriculture. This technology will be the first of its kind in the United States. In this capacity Relis works closely with the state’s major regulatory agencies, environmental organizations, industry associations and local government.

Prior to his private sector position, Mr. Relis served as an executive in the California Environmental Protection Agency as the Governor’s environmental appointee to the California Integrated Waste Management Board (now CalRecycle). He oversaw California’s solid waste system, including recycling composting, landfills and incinerators, working closely with the state’s other major regulatory agencies including the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Commerce. He was a U.S. Information Services Speaker to the People’s Republic of China and Germany.

In 1970, while still a student at UCSB, Relis was at the forefront of the fledgling environmental movement. He became the first Executive Director of the Community Environmental Council, an NGO that pioneered recycling, waste minimization, renewable energy and sustainable agriculture. Forty years later the Council is working on a multi-decade effort to wean the region from its dependency on fossil fuels.

Jack Brouwer
Director, National Fuel Cell Research Center
UC Irvine
Biography

Jack Brouwer

Director, National Fuel Cell Research Center
UC Irvine

Jack Brouwer is Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Associate Director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC) and Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

Science and engineering of energy conversion with coupled mass, energy and momentum conservation, chemical and electrochemical reaction and heat transfer; steady-state and dynamic modeling of fundamental processes that govern energy conversion devices such as fuel cells, electrolyzers, and gas turbine engines; solid state ionics and electrochemistry; fuel processing; synthesis and experimental investigation of novel fuel cell materials sets; analyses of integrated energy systems comprising fuel cells, photovoltaics, fuel processing, gas turbines, and wind turbines; experimental analyses and model validation; renewable energy; life cycle analyses of energy conversion technologies.

Through Dr. Brouwer’s leadership, NFCRC and APEP are focusing research, education, beta testing, and outreach on high-efficiency, environmentally preferred energy conversion and power generation technology advancement with fuel cell and gas turbine systems as the principal targets.  Current research projects address ultra-high efficiency and ultra-low emissions high temperature fuel cell systems, integrated hybrid fuel cell gas turbine systems, renewable power intermittency and integration, battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle evaluation and infrastructure development, advanced fuel cell and gas turbine dynamic operations, hydrogen and electricity infrastructure development, and power electronics and energy conversion devices for the smart grid.  Prior to joining UCI, Dr. Brouwer was on the faculty at theUniversityofUtah, a senior engineer at Reaction Engineering International, and a staff scientist at Sandia National Laboratories.

Jack Brouwer holds a doctor of philosophy degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with master and bachelor of science degrees in mechanical engineering from UCI.

Nancy Skinner
Chair
California State Assembly Committee on Rules
Biography

Nancy Skinner

Chair
California State Assembly Committee on Rules

Elected to the State Assembly in 2008 and reelected in 2010, Assembly member Nancy Skinner has been involved throughout her career in efforts to promote energy conservation. During the oil crisis of the late 1970s, Ms. Skinner and others lobbied the City of Berkeley to establish an Energy Office and a citizen’s Energy Commission.

An early champion of integrating economic development with environmental protection, Ms. Skinner authored the legislation to establish Berkeley’s Community Energy Services Corporation, which continues to provide energy efficiency services to small businesses and homeowners throughout the East Bay. During her time in the Assembly, Ms. Skinner has carried major legislation governing energy storage, net energy metering, renewable energy, and energy upgrade financing. Ms. Skinner founded ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability. As Executive Director of ICLEI’s US office, Ms. Skinner launched the Cities for Climate Protection program — the US movement of mayors and cities working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Ms. Skinner also served on the California Energy Commission's Climate Change Advisory Committee and San Francisco’s Clean Technology Task Force.  She also serves on the board of directors of a number of non-profit organizations involved in environmental and energy issues.

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.

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. 

Gene Sykes
CEO
LA 2024
Biography

Gene Sykes

CEO
LA 2024

Gene Sykes is the Chief Executive Officer of LA 2024 and supervises all aspects of the BId Committee's business, operations, and activities. Prior to joining the Candidature Committee, Sykes was Co-Head of Global Merges and Acquisitions, Co-Chairman of the Global Technology, Media and Telecom Group, and a member of the Management Committee and Firmwide Client and Business Standards Committee of Goldman Sachs. Sykes is a trustee of the California Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, a board member of Common Sense Media, a member of the Advisory Council of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and a member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees. 

Lew Horne
Divisional President, Southern California, Arizona and Hawaii
CBRE
Biography

Lew Horne

Divisional President, Southern California, Arizona and Hawaii
CBRE

Lewis C. Horne is a Divisional President with responsibility for CBRE’s business in Southern California, Arizona and Hawaii. 

In this role, Mr. Horne leads the strategic direction and performance of the firm’s Advisory Services business, which includes Advisory & Transaction Services, Asset Services, Capital Markets, Local Project Management and Valuations. 

Mr. Horne is passionate about collaboration and actively promotes the integration of multiple disciplines to ensure well-conceived, strategic solutions for complex client assignments. This passion led him to become an early adopter and champion for workplace transformation, including Workplace Strategy, Experience Consulting, Change Management and Occupancy Management. 

Mr. Horne is an active and well-respected leader in the Los Angeles community, regularly lending his voice, experience, and time to help create meaningful solutions for a wide variety of business and social issues, including the complex challenges around homelessness. 

Prior to his current role, Mr. Horne held a variety of leadership positions in the company, beginning as an industrial brokerage professional in 1984 and quickly growing to become one of the top 3% of brokerage professionals company-wide. He has successfully grown his career at CBRE for more than 30 years.

Professional Affiliations

-  L.A. County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), Board Chairman

-  CBRE Americas Operating Management Board (AOMB), Board Member

-  Woodbury University, Board Member

-  Urban Land Institute (ULI) Los Angeles, Executive Board of Directors

-  ULI Mixed-Use Council (Silver Flight), Board Member

-  Big Brothers / Big Sisters, Board of Directors 

Awards & achievements

-  Led CBRE Los Angeles Strategic Office Transformation Initiative (2012-2014) 

-  Created and led CBRE’s U.S. Client Care & Development Initiative (2012)

-  Manager Innovation Award (2010)

-  Manager of the Year Award, Nationwide (2003)

-  Women's Network, Endurance of Spirit Award (2003)

-  Benjamin Arthur Banker Educational Excellence Award (2001, 2002)

-  James J. Didion Leadership Award (1999, 2000)

EDUCATION

University of Southern California, Bachelor of Science in Business

John Saez
Business Development Lead, Smart City Team NTT Inc.
NTT Data
Biography

John Saez

Business Development Lead, Smart City Team NTT Inc.
NTT Data

Business Development Lead for NTT SmartCity/SmartPlatform, overseeing direct and indirect sales activities for all NTT Operating Companies and Business Units. Key founding member of startup Business Unit.

Jodie Muller
Vice President, Government Affairs
Western States Petroleum Association
Biography

Jodie Muller

Vice President, Government Affairs
Western States Petroleum Association

Jodie Muller is Vice President, Government and Association Affairs for WSPA where she is responsible for government relations in Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Nevada, as well as regional government affairs in California.  Jodie works with the President in implementing the strategic vision of the Association and assists the President in representing the Association in key political, regulatory and media venues.  She coordinates outreach to various third parties and coalitions.   

Prior to joining WSPA, Jodie was employed as a Legislative Analyst to the Long Beach City Council for five years, worked for several trade associations in Washington DC and served in the White House Communications Office under President George HW Bush.

Jodie received her Master of Public Administration degree and her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

Eric Coene
RD&D Group Manager
SoCalGas
Biography

Eric Coene

RD&D Group Manager
SoCalGas

Eric Coene is the Research, Development, and Demonstration (RD&D) group manager for SoCalGas. In this role, Eric is responsible for managing the portfolio and activities of the RD&D group within the Clean Energy Innovations organization of Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).

Previously, Eric was manager of commercial development for Sempra LNG where he was responsible for the successful execution of natural gas infrastructure needed to support the commercialization of Sempra’s ECA LNG project. Prior to that, Eric was the manager of power origination at Sempra US Gas and Power and has held several corporate finance roles of increasing responsibility within Sempra Energy.

Eric received a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in business administration-finance from San Diego State University.

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.

Melinda Hanson
Senior Manager, Sustainability
Bird
Biography

Melinda Hanson

Senior Manager, Sustainability
Bird

Melinda Hanson, Senior Manager for Sustainability, joined Bird from the National Association of City Transportation Officials, where she served as deputy director of NACTO's international programs. Before that, Melinda was a consultant for the Asian Development Bank, helping design and implement public transit projects in Pakistan and the Philippines. Earlier in her career, she was a founding staff member of the ClimateWorks Foundation where she managed the sustainable transport portfolio.

David Rosenheim
Executive Director
The Climate Registry
Biography

David Rosenheim

Executive Director
The Climate Registry

David is a proven senior executive with experience as COO, CEO and Director on several corporate Boards. As Executive Director of The Climate Registry, David is responsible for providing strategic direction; liaising with state and provincial Board members; and overseeing The Registry’s program, services and staff. He also serves as co-director of the Northern California chapter of Environmental Entrepreneurs. In his previous position, David oversaw U.S. business development for a leading carbon management organization, and prior to that was an entrepreneur in the high tech sector, founding and/or leading innovative internet start-ups. David has an MBA from Oxford University and is based in San Francisco.

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.
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. 

P. Kevin Smith
Managing Partner
IAG Mobility and Electrification Fund
Biography

P. Kevin Smith

Managing Partner
IAG Mobility and Electrification Fund

Kevin is a proven leader with success in Commercial and Public Sector ventures with deep technical competence, analytic skill and ability to quickly produce results. He has travelled extensively throughout the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa; growing start-up ventures; driving revenue for various Fortune 100 companies; successfully implementing solutions and strategies for numerous Public and Private sector entities (Accenture and Computer Sciences Corporation). Most recently, Kevin joined the founding team of LTU technologies (in 2005) and grew the company’s revenue from nascent start-up to significant annual sales and profitability; ultimately leading the company to acquisition by JASTEC, Inc (TSE: 9717).

A graduate of Morehouse College, presenter/participant in various advanced leadership and training programs at the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is regularly cited in business trade journals and endeavors to consistently share industry subject matter expertise at various conferences and speaking engagements.

 

Nurit Katz
Chief Sustainability Officer
UCLA
Biography

Nurit Katz

Chief Sustainability Officer
UCLA

UCLA’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, Nurit Katz is working to foster partnerships among academic, research, and operational departments to facilitate creating a world class living laboratory for sustainability at UCLA. As Executive Officer for UCLA Facilities Management, Nurit provides strategy support to make the university more operationally efficient and coordinates with Emergency Management on resilience planning. Facilities Management provides energy to the campus through a highly efficient cogeneration plant, as well as managing landscaping, renovations, operations, and maintenance. Nurit is also an Instructor for UCLA Extension’s Sustainability Certificate Program. Her course Principles of Sustainability I was recently included in LA Weekly’s Best of LA 2012 as one of the 10 Best Classes in LA. Nurit holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, a Masters in Public Policy from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, and a BA in Environmental Education from Humboldt State University. Nurit was honored as one of 100 Inspirational Alumni for the 75th Anniversary of UCLA Anderson. Recently she was recognized as one of the top 100 business trailblazers in the Women Worth Watching 2015 issue of Profiles in Diversity Journal. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Luskin Center for Innovation and on the Advisory Boards of the LA Sustainable Business Council and the Southern CA Green Business Council as well as the Steering Committee for the USGBC Resilience LA Initiative, the Built Environment Advisory Board for the LA Cleantech Incubator, and the leadership team for Path to Positive LA. Nurit is also working on developing national metrics and ratings for sustainability through the AASHE STARS Steering Committee and building statewide collaboration and best practice sharing through the CA Higher Education Sustainability Conference Steering Committee. In 2010 Nurit completed a full Ironman distance triathlon with Team in Training in support of the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. 

Frederuck O. Terrell
Vice Chairman
Credit Suisse
Biography

Frederuck O. Terrell

Vice Chairman
Credit Suisse
Bruce Karas
Vice President, Environment & Sustainability
Coca Cola Refreshments
Biography

Bruce Karas

Vice President, Environment & Sustainability
Coca Cola Refreshments
Ruth Cox
Vice President of Power Marketing
Centauri Energy
Biography

Ruth Cox

Vice President of Power Marketing
Centauri Energy

Ruth Cox leads the marketing and sales programs for Centauri Energy LLC, a clean energy developer with solar and wind projects across the western U.S.  She brings extensive experience in strategic marketing and business development for the clean tech, computing and telecommunication industries to this position. Most recently, Ms. Cox served in a presidential appointment as the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA’s) Pacific Rim Regional Administrator, overseeing a 36-million-square-foot real estate portfolio, a $1 billion supply chain, 1,000 associates, and a budget of almost $1 billion. She also served as the GSA’s Senior Sustainability Officer and Senior Official for Executive Order 13423, “Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy and Transportation Management.” In this role, she led efforts to integrate sustainability into all aspects of GSA’s operations, significantly increasing clean power consumption and energy efficiency in GSA’s buildings, reducing fossil fuel use in the Federal fleet and greening the supply chain.  Ms. Cox’s enterprise sales and marketing experience in the tech sector includes work as a marketing executive at Hewlett-Packard and Tandem Computers where she built high-growth lines of business serving the telecommunications industry. In 2004, she entered politics and government to help stimulate economic growth and improve quality of life through clean-power generation, energy efficiency and sustainable business practices.

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.

Garrett Wong
Sustainability Analyst, Climate and Energy Programs
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Garrett Wong

Sustainability Analyst, Climate and Energy Programs
City of Santa Monica

Garrett Wong is the lead Sustainability Analyst for Climate and Energy Programs for the City of Santa Monica. As the primary author of the City’s first Climate Action Plan adopted in 2013, Garrett is responsible for implementing, monitoring and reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions within City operations and throughout the community.  Additionally, Garrett manages programs and projects to support renewable energy, electric vehicle infrastructure and climate adaptation. 

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.

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.

Dan Adler
Managing Director
CalCEF
Biography

Dan Adler

Managing Director
CalCEF

Dan Adler is Managing Director of the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), a nonprofit, evergreen investment fund created to advance the clean energy economy. Mr. Adler is responsible for CalCEF's investments across six funds in venture capital and project finance, and leads the firm's efforts to identify catalytic new investment theses. Prior to joining CalCEF, Mr. Adler was a senior analyst in the Division of Strategic Planning at the California Public Utilities Commission, where he was responsible for the design and implementation of California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard and was senior staff for climate change policy. He serves as Board co-chair of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), on the Board of Directors of the Coalition for Green Capital, and on the Board of Advisors of the Clean Tech Open.

Joe Mathews
California & Innovation Editor
Zócalo Public Square
Biography

Joe Mathews

California & Innovation Editor
Zócalo Public Square
Amy Ryan
Senior Engineer, Fuel Cell Development
Toyota Motor North America Research and Development
Biography

Amy Ryan

Senior Engineer, Fuel Cell Development
Toyota Motor North America Research and Development

Amy Ryan is currently a Senior Engineer in the Fuel Cell Development Department of Toyota Motor North America Research and Development, specializing in high-pressure hydrogen storage systems. Amy has held several roles in Toyota North America – from strategic planning on the business side to component testing and standards development in the R&D unit. Prior to joining Toyota, Amy was a senior consultant at KPMG LLP and an aerospace engineer at Northrop Grumman Space Technologies. Amy received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA and an MBA in Marketing Strategy from the University of Southern California.

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.

Julia Pyper
Senior Editor
Greentech Media
Biography

Julia Pyper

Senior Editor
Greentech Media

Julia Pyper is Senior Editor at Greentech Media covering clean energy policy, the solar industry, grid edge technologies and electric mobility.  She previously reported for E&E Publishing, ClimateWire and has covered clean energy and climate change issues across the U.S. and abroad, including in Haiti, Germany, Israel and the Maldives. Her work has been published in Scientific American and The New York Times. 

 

K.Y. Cheng
Director of Strategic Markets
East West Bank
Biography

K.Y. Cheng

Director of Strategic Markets
East West Bank
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.

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. 

Ann Rogan
Sr. Advisor - Economic Development
Edge Collaborative
Biography

Ann Rogan

Sr. Advisor - Economic Development
Edge Collaborative

Ann Rogan combines entrepreneurial and global partnerships experience to help define business strategy and new services for early-stage companies. Her work in emerging markets has spanned sectors, including education, healthcare, clean energy, and digital identity. Ann has cofounded two companies, one in renewables, and one in 3D printing. Most recently, she served on the Government of Estonia’s e-Residency Advisory Group to advance digital entrepreneurship. Prior to that, she led the team responsible for global strategy and community development at Singularity University in Silicon Valley. Ann earned a B.A. from McGill University in international development and English literature.

Mia Lehrer
Commissioner
LADWP Board
Biography

Mia Lehrer

Commissioner
LADWP Board

Mia Lehrer is the founder and president of Studio-MLA, an L.A. urban design and landscape architecture firm. Her firm specializes in the design and implementation of public and private sector projects, such as urban waterway programs, local and regional parks, and mixed-use developments. Mia has a breadth of experience in the public sector, including service as a member of Los Angeles’ Cultural Affairs Commission, Zoning Advisory committee, and the Mayor’s Design Advisory Panel.

Mia is also known as a long-time champion for the Los Angeles River, notably through her work as a member of the team that delivered the City’s River Revitalization Master Plan and the 2020 Upper LA River and Tributaries Revitalization Plan.

A native of El Salvador, Lehrer earned a B.A. from Tufts University and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. She was named a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2010. If confirmed, she would replace former Commissioner Mel Levine.

Mia was appointed to the LADWP Board of Commissioners, making it the first ever all-female board, but LA Mayor Eric Garcetti in September 2020. 

Rossana D'Antonio
Deputy Director
LA County Public Works
Biography

Rossana D'Antonio

Deputy Director
LA County Public Works

Rossana D’Antonio serves as Deputy Director for Los Angeles County Public Works.  She provides executive leadership for the development of sustainable communities, resilient housing, private sector commercial marketplaces and jobs, and emergency management. 

With an annual budget of more than $2.7 billion and a workforce of 4,000 employees, Los Angeles County Public Works is the largest municipal public works agency in the United States, providing vital public infrastructure and civic services to more than 10 million people across a 4,000-square-mile service area.

A 30-year veteran of Public Works, Ms. D’Antonio has extensive background in many disciplines of engineering, management, operations, and business processes. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Fresno State University and a Master’s in Business Administration with emphasis in leadership and organizational development from Pepperdine University. She holds dual registrations in the State of California in Civil and Geotechnical Engineering. She is also credentialed as an Envision Sustainability Professional with the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. 

In 2020, Ms. D’Antonio was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to the California Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists. She is a Fellow with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and served a three-year term as ASCE Governor for Region 9 (California). She is an active member of the Society of Women Engineers and the American Public Works Association (APWA).

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.  

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.  

Kirsty Jenkinson
Investment Director
CalSTRS
Biography

Kirsty Jenkinson

Investment Director
CalSTRS

Kirsty is the Investment Director, Sustainable Investment & Stewardship Strategies for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), the largest educator-only public pension fund in the world with $240 billion of assets under management. She joined CalSTRS in January 2019 and is responsible for managing over $6 billion placed with sustainability-focused and corporate governance activist managers, overseeing the fund’s stewardship activities including corporate engagement and proxy voting, and outreach with the fund’s stakeholders.

Prior to joining CalSTRS, Kirsty was a Director at Wespath Benefits and Investments and the World Resources Institute (WRI), in the U.S. and at F&C Asset Management (now BMO Global Asset Management) and Goldman Sachs in the U.K. Kirsty sits on the board of the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre and is a member of WRI’s Sustainable Investment Advisory Council. She received an M.A. degree in International History from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Mike Woo
Dean, College of Environmental Design
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Biography

Mike Woo

Dean, College of Environmental Design
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Michael Woo is Dean of the College of Environmental Design at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.  The College is one of the few university programs in the U.S. linking the allied disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban and regional planning, and also includes a large art department and the interdisciplinary sustainability programs at the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies.

Since the 1980s, Dean Woo has been one of the leading figures in Southern California planning and other efforts to shape the urban environment.   He was the first trained urban planner elected to the Los Angeles City Council (1985 – 1993) and has served as a member of the L.A. City Planning Commission for the pat six years.  During his two terms as the Councilman representing the Hollywood area, Woo initiated the Hollywood Redevelopment Plan which set forth the 30-year legal and financial framework underlying Hollywood’s current revitalization.  He also played a key role planning the route and station locations of the Metro Red Line subway connecting downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood.  Woo chairs the national board of directors of Smart Growth America and also chairs the nonprofit organization which runs the Hollywood Farmers Market, the largest certified farmers market in the City of Los Angeles.  He earned a B.A. in Politics and Urban Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and received his Master of City Planning degree from UC Berkeley.

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. 

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.

Takahiro Obase
Program Manager
JGC Holdings Corporation
Biography

Takahiro Obase

Program Manager
JGC Holdings Corporation

Takahiro Obase joined JGC Corporation in 2007 and has spent most of his tenure with the company as a process engineer, primarily for gasification and related industrial processes.

In 2020, Takahiro transferred to the Sustainability Co-creation Department within JGC Holdings Corporation and has been working as program manager of plastic waste chemical recycling by gasification.
Ronen Olshansky
Co-Founder and CEO
Cross Campus
Biography

Ronen Olshansky

Co-Founder and CEO
Cross Campus

Ronen Olshansky is a co-founder and CEO of Cross Campus, a Los Angeles based real estate platform re-imagining the office experience for creative professionals through a combination of shared workspace, services, business events, and community.

Ronen’s background in finance and technology includes having worked for companies like Lehman Brothers, Arthur Andersen and JPMorgan in countries including Russia, UK, Turkey, and Brazil. He has been a founder or early stage executive in software, climate change, and real estate businesses.

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).

Malcolm Jacques
Executive Director
Wasabi Energy
Biography

Malcolm Jacques

Executive Director
Wasabi Energy
Mark Schleich
Director, Resource Recovery & Waste Management Division
Santa Barbara County Public Works Department
Biography

Mark Schleich

Director, Resource Recovery & Waste Management Division
Santa Barbara County Public Works Department

Mark Schleich has been a civil engineer for over 25 years at the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department. He has been directly involved in solid waste policy and projects as the director of the Resource Recovery & Waste Management Division for the past 15 years. Mr. Schleich’s division manages three recycling & transfer stations as well as one regional landfill that in total employ over 90 people. During Mr. Schleich’s tenure, the County has increased its recycling rate from 30% to over 70% and received numerous awards for innovative solid waste management including: Landfill Management Excellence Silver Award (SWANA, 2001), Integrated Solid Waste Management Gold Award (SWANA, 2008), and Household Hazardous Waste Management Excellence Award (CalEPA, 2002).

Boris von Bormann
CEO
Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas
Biography

Boris von Bormann

CEO
Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas

Boris von Bormann, born in Hamburg, Germany, has been in the international trade industry for over 17 years and in the solar industry for over 8 years. 

Boris von Bormann is the CEO for Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas, LLC manufacturer of stationary storage systems for the utility, commercial and residential sectors. .

In addition Boris has ownership in SK Solar, Inc. a residential and commercial solar installation and engineering company with headquarters in Los Angeles, CA. SK Solar operates US wide with its parent company located in Germany (www.sksolar-usa.com). Prior to opening SK Solar, Boris von Bormann was the CEO for Sonnen, Inc. the pioneer and manufacturer of energy storage solutions and prior the Director for Soltecture, Inc., US subsidiary for the German CIGS solar module manufacturer Soltecture GmbH. In 2002 Boris von Bormann founded accessio an independent consulting company that focuses on cross-cultural business aspects. 

Through his position with accessio, he held various interim positions in IT, Film & Entertainment & Biotech industries. Boris founded the German American Business Association - Southern California Chapter, a non- profit organization in Southern California. 

Boris von Bormann holds a dual-citizenship (Germany and USA) and currently lives in Los Angeles, California.

Michael Cano
Dep. Executive Officer, Goods Movements/State Policy & Programming
LA Metro
Biography

Michael Cano

Dep. Executive Officer, Goods Movements/State Policy & Programming
LA Metro

Michael Cano serves as the Deputy Executive Officer for Goods Movement Planning and State Policy and Programming for Los Angeles County Metro’s Countywide Planning Department.  In this capacity he leads Metro’s development of the Los Angeles County Goods Movement Strategic Plan, multimodal corridor planning, grant applications for state and freight-related programs, project development and multimodal integration, and local-state-federal policy analysis for all things goods movement-related at Metro.  Michael created and leads Metro’s Regional Clean Truck Initiative, which seeks to expedite the deployment of cleaner truck technology into Los Angeles County, and Metro’s Freight Working Group, which brings together key stakeholders from state, local, and private entities directly involved with goods movement in Los Angeles County.  He also serves as Metro’s representative on the California Freight Advisory Committee. 

Jim Avery
Senior Vice President, Power Supply
San Diego Gas & Electric
Biography

Jim Avery

Senior Vice President, Power Supply
San Diego Gas & Electric
Susumu Okamoto
President and Representative Director
Choshu Industry Co., LTD.
Biography

Susumu Okamoto

President and Representative Director
Choshu Industry Co., LTD.

Choshu Industry Co., LTD.                                                       July 2012-present

  • President and Representative Director                 (January 2016- present)
  • Senior managing Director                        (June 2014 - January 2016)
  • President’s Office Manager                                  (January 2013 - June 2014)
  • President’s Office                                     (July 2012 - January 2013)

Choshu Sake Brewery Co., LTD.                                               March 2018-present

  • President and Representative Director                             (March 2018- present)

Daini Electric Power Co., LTD.                                     November 2019-present

  • President and Representative Director                             (November 2019- present)

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry                                 April 1996- July 2012

  • Responsible for intergovernmental negotiation, climate change policy/negotiation, industrial policy, economic analysis, trade policy/regulation, etc.

EDUCATION

  • Graduated from School of International and Public Affairs, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, New York(May 2003)
  • Master of Science and Engineering, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, WASEDA UNIVERSITY, Tokyo(March 1996)
  • Bachelor of Science and Engineering, WASEDA UNIVERSITY, Tokyo (March 1994)

INTERESTS & HOBBY

Reading, Jogging, Cycling, Hiking and Traveling

Reiko Kerr
Senior Assistant General Manager, Power System Strategic Policy
LADWP
Biography

Reiko Kerr

Senior Assistant General Manager, Power System Strategic Policy
LADWP

Reiko Kerr works for the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Water & Power—the largest publicly owned utility in the country. She is the Senior Assistant General Manager of Power System, and manages all aspects of the Power System’s critical engineering and planning functions. She is responsible for the Power System’s strategic planning, resource acquisition, system planning, regulatory compliance, power plant projects, external generation, and major projects, as well as modernization of its generation, transmission and distribution facilities to ensure the long-term reliability of the power system to meet customer expectations. 

In addition to maintaining system reliability, Ms. Kerr is responsible for developing strategies to transition toward a sustainable energy future, improving public accountability, and developing the next generation workforce. 

Prior to joining LADWP in 2016, Ms. Kerr served in various capacities for another Southern California Publicly Owned Utility, including the Assistant General Manager for Power Resources, Assistant General Manager/Chief Financial Officer, Energy Risk Manager, and Finance/Rates Manager. 

Ms. Kerr is a Certified Public Accountant and an experienced utility professional, with over 25 years in the financial and utility utilities industries, with a strong leadership background in both the technical and financial aspects of water and power utilities. 

David Agnew
Managing Director, Government Affairs
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets
Biography

David Agnew

Managing Director, Government Affairs
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets

David Agnew currently serves MIRA as Managing Director, Government Affairs. In this new role, Agnew acts as MIRA’s liaison with federal, state and local governments, building on MIRA’s existing presence in the marketplace while also exploring new investment opportunities.

Prior to joining Macquarie, David served at the White House, where he was Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. In this role, David oversaw the Obama Administration’s relationship with state, city, county, and tribal elected officials across the country. David previously served as Deputy Director of the office and was the President’s liaison to America’s mayors and county officials.

Before working in the White House, David was a businessman and community leader in Charleston, South Carolina. He has served as a top deputy to Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., a Special Assistant in the Office of U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, and a management consultant at Price Waterhouse. David has been active in public affairs and urban policy throughout his career, and has served in leadership roles for numerous non-profit organizations, including the Trust for Public Land, the Charleston Parks Conservancy, and the College of Charleston Riley Center.

David received his Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He is a Harry S. Truman Scholar, a European Union Visiting Fellow, and a Liberty Fellow.

 

Kiran Srivastava
Lead Associate
Energy Practice Booz Allen Hamilton
Biography

Kiran Srivastava

Lead Associate
Energy Practice Booz Allen Hamilton

Kiran Srivastava is a renewable energy policy professional with over fifteen years of professional experience. Over the last ten years, she has focused on strategic development and management of federal energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Her work has included research and analysis in order to develop reports and white papers on renewable energy technologies, market assessments and policy recommendations.  Ms. Srivastava’s notable contributions include extensive support to federal agencies such as the Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office (EERE) and the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E).  Ms. Srivastava used her expertise to build a number of tools and resources to help Islands such as Hawaii in converting from fossil-based to renewable energy generation. She assisted in crafting a road map detailing how the State of California can convert its fossil-based hydrogen supply to a renewable supply for its transportation sector.  Kiran is a founding member of the Women in CleanTeach (WICT) diversity initiative at the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator and a board member of the Los Angeles chapter of the Young Professionals in Energy (YPE).

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.

Diane Long
Executive Director
California-China Office of Trade and Investment
Biography

Diane Long

Executive Director
California-China Office of Trade and Investment

Diane Long was appointed the Executive Director for the California-China Office of Trade and Investment on October 17, 2013.  The California-China Office of Trade and Investment, a private-public partnership under California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, provides Californian companies increased access to Chinese business contacts, provides Chinese investors with access to California projects that will benefit from increased investment, and facilitates new investment and trade growth between California and China.  Ms. Long will be responsible for expanding California brands and businesses into China and facilitating Chinese investment into California.

Diane’s unique skills and over 28 plus years of on-the-ground China experience enable her to assist first-to-market as well as established firms that want to focus on execution strategies.  She has worked with a variety of consumer products from fashion, wine and cosmetics to education and non-profit services.  Since 2009, Diane Long had been Managing Director for Xanadu Enterprise Shanghai Ltd., a bilingual, bicultural China strategic market entry firm providing a range of consulting and business support services to support companies in various stages of entering and operating in the China market.  Xanadu Enterprise recently led the organization of the first annual “California Week Shanghai 2013” a platform to showcase the very best of California products in the China market.   

Diane joined Xanadu from UBS International, a China based management consultancy working with manufacturing firms to optimize their operations in China.   Before UBS, she led adidas’ post-acquisition of Reebok’s global apparel operations, as well as served as the company’s China country manager.  Prior to adidas, she spent 10 years with Liz Claiborne as vice president and general manager of China operations.  In the 1990s she established the China office for Pacific Rim Resources, a boutique market entry consulting firm from San Francisco, assisting Fortune 1000 companies entering the China market. 

Diane has been a leader in the non-profit arena, having co-founded and led several social and business organizations.  She recently was elected president of the Stanford Club of Shanghai.  She currently is lead director for a medical services philanthropy that funds medical support services for economically disadvantaged children and adults suffering from heart disease, leprosy, and cancer.  She is a founder and board director of Active Kidz Shanghai.  She also was a past chairman and governor of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.  Diane is a graduate of Stanford University and is married with 3 sons.

Naoki Hara
President
JFE Engineering America
Biography

Naoki Hara

President
JFE Engineering America

Naoki Hara was appointed as President & CEO of JFE Engineering America in 2017 after serving more than two decades as marketing and business development specialist to implement JFE Engineering Corporation’s cutting-edge technologies in the energy utilization business fields in both Southeast Asian countries and the United States. He has high aspirations towards the realization of a decarbonized society, and for JFE’s technological capabilities to contribute and play a leading role in achieving this goal. The major members of the JFE Group, one of the largest steel conglomerates in Japan, consists of comprehensive engineering, steel manufacturing, steel trading firm, as well as a large shipbuilder of Japan Marine. He graduated from Keio University (Tokyo) and holds a degree in Master of Business Administration, and a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University (New York). Naoki is a big fan of the college men’s basketball (NCAA).

Adam Minter
Columnist
Bloomberg Columnist
Biography

Adam Minter

Columnist
Bloomberg Columnist

Adam Minter is a columnist at Bloomberg Opinion where he writes about China, technology, and the environment. He is the author of Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade, a critically-acclaimed bestselling insider’s account of the hidden world of globalized recycling, and Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale.

Adam has covered the global recycling industry for almost two decades. In 2002, he began a series of groundbreaking investigative pieces on China’s emerging recycling industries for Scrap and Recycling International. Since then, he has been cited, quoted, and interviewed on recycling and waste by a range of international media, most recently The New York Times, Vice, NPR, BBC, The Huffington Post, and CBC. He regularly speaks to groups about the global waste and recycling trade including colleges, universities, trade groups, TEDx, and an invited lecture to the Royal Geographic Society in London.

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. 

Jon Bonanno
CXO
New Energy Nexus
Biography

Jon Bonanno

CXO
New Energy Nexus

Jon Bonanno serves as the CXO of the New Energy Nexus (Nexus) and California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF). His responsibilities are in capacity expansion and financial innovation to support diverse entrepreneurs solving the Climate Crisis.  At Nexus/CalCEF, Jon is focusing on educating and enabling clean energy entrepreneurs to use and benefit from Opportunity Zone finance. Prior to Nexus/CalCEF, Bonanno co-founded and served as the CCO of Empower, a power electronics design firm focused on solar, energy storage and EV applications, which was sold in 2018 to SunGrow. His professional career includes twenty five years of entrepreneurial experience with Interbill (internet billing), Global Internet Billing (internet billing), SolidStreaming (mobile video streaming), Cool Earth Solar (concentrated solar power systems), HelioPower (solar utility), Earth Class Mail (SaaS for the postal industry), Azure Power (India solar utility, NYSE listed), Heartland Resources (soy-based adhesive for UF replacement), Principle Power (floating offshore wind foundations) and Array Power (module level power electronics).

 

David Orr
Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Special Assistant to the President
Oberlin College
Biography

David Orr

Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Special Assistant to the President
Oberlin College

David W. Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Special Assistant to the President of Oberlin College and Executive Director of the Oberlin Project.

In 1996 he organized the effort to design the first substantially green building on a U.S. college campus. The Lewis Center purifies all of its waste water and is the first college building in the U.S. powered entirely by sunlight. His recent projects include a two year $1.2 million collaborative project to define a 100 days climate action plan for the Obama administration where the actions of the present generation might deprive posterity. He is presently the Executive Director of the Oberlin Project which is focused on making the City of Oberlin a model of full-spectrum sustainability and replicating that effort through a National Sustainable Communities Coalition. 

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.

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.

Jason Hills
Manager of Substation Engineering & Electrification
LADWP
Biography

Jason Hills

Manager of Substation Engineering & Electrification
LADWP

Jason is the Manager of Substation Engineering and Electrification at the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP).  LADWP supports the growth in adoption of electric vehicles and aims for 10,000 public, workplace, and fleet charging stations in Los Angeles by 2022 and 25,000 by 2025. In this role, Jason oversees the implementation of various electric transportation programs that include the installation of charging stations at LADWP properties and the development of customer-facing EV incentive programs. Jason also manages various substation programs aimed at supporting the reliability and growth of LADWP’s Power System.

Tim Dafeta, P.E.
Assistant General Manager
City of Los Angeles Hyperion Treatment Plant
Biography

Tim Dafeta, P.E.

Assistant General Manager
City of Los Angeles Hyperion Treatment Plant

Tim Dafeta is a registered civil engineer with the State of California.  Tim is currently the Plant Manager of the City of Los Angeles Hyperion Treatment Plant. Hyperion Treatment Plant 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, air emission controls and odor management facilities, biogas power generation, and a variety of offsite biosolids reuse alternatives. Approximately 35 MGD of secondary effluent is transported to a neighboring water district for further treatment and reuse by other local users.

Michael Lord
Executive Engineer - Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs
Toyota Motor North America
Biography

Michael Lord

Executive Engineer - Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs
Toyota Motor North America

Mike Lord is an Executive Engineer for Toyota Motor North America.  He started his career with Toyota over 35 years ago and is currently responsible for California regulation and policy related to zero emission vehicles (ZEV), greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria emissions reduction.   He works closely with product planning and engineering on developing Toyota’s technology roll-out strategy and acts as the interface with regulatory authorities on implementation, policy, infrastructure and incentive issues related to advanced powertrains, such as Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV), Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV).

Mr. Lord has a B.A. in Physics from the University of Pennsylvania and studied Japanese language at Sophia University in Japan.

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.

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.

Jennifer Gress
Chief of the Sustainable Transportation and Communities Division
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Jennifer Gress

Chief of the Sustainable Transportation and Communities Division
California Air Resources Board

Jennifer is the Chief of the Sustainable Transportation and Communities Division at the California Air Resources Board, and is focused on promoting policies that provide a range of affordable housing and transportation options that reduce vehicle miles traveled and accelerate the transition to a zero-emission future.  Prior to this position, Jennifer was a Senior Policy Advisor to Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, where she was responsible for policy development related to housing and community development, transportation, and sustainability.  From 2011 until 2017, Jennifer served as the Legislative Director for the California Air Resources Board. In that role, she served as the Board’s representative to the California Legislature, advised Board Chair Mary Nichols and the Executive Office on legislative matters, and made policy recommendations to the Chair, the Secretary for Environmental Protection, and the Governor’s Office on pending legislation. From 2005 until 2011, Jennifer was a consultant to the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, where she focused on air quality, ports and goods movement, active transportation, and public-private partnerships, among many other transportation-related issues. Jennifer has a Ph.D. in Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine, where she studied housing and community development.   

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.

Jennifer Hernandez
Partner
Holland & Knight
Biography

Jennifer Hernandez

Partner
Holland & Knight

Jennifer Hernandez has practiced land use and environmental law for more than 30 years, and leads Holland & Knight's West Coast Land Use and Environmental Group. Ms. Hernandez divides her time between the firm's San Francisco and Los Angeles offices.

Ms. Hernandez is the only California lawyer ranked by her clients and peers in Chambers USA in the top tier of both land use/zoning and environmental lawyers. In addition, she was recognized as the top environmental litigator of the year in the San Francisco Bay Area by Best Lawyers, and received a California Lawyer of the Year award from the State Bar of California for her work on California's largest and most innovative land use and conservation agreement between her private landowner client and five major environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council. She also has received numerous civil rights awards for her work on overcoming environmentalist opposition to housing and other projects needed and supported by minority communities.

During his tenure as mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown named October 9, 2002, as "Jennifer Hernandez Day" in San Francisco in honor of her work as a "warrior on the Brownfields" to restore and redevelop former industrial lands. Ms. Hernandez is the longest-serving minority board member (23 years) of the California League of Conservation voters, was appointed by President Clinton to serve as a trustee for the Presidio National Park in San Francisco, and serves on the board of directors for California Forward and Sustainable Conservation.

Ms. Hernandez works for private sector, public agency and nonprofit clients on a broad range of projects in Bay Area, Southern California and Central Valley communities, including infill and master-planned mixed-use housing and commercial projects, university and research facilities, transportation and infrastructure projects, renewable and other energy projects, and local agency plan and ordinance updates. She has written three books, and more than 50 articles, on environmental and land use topics, and regularly teaches land use, environmental and climate law in lawand business schools, colleges and seminars. She also serves on the firm's Directors Committee and received the firm's highest honor – the Chesterfield Smith Award – for her community service.

Ms. Hernandez graduated with honors from Harvard University and Stanford Law School, and clerked for Region 20 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) before beginning her land use and environmental law career. Ms. Hernandez is the daughter and granddaughter of steelworkers and was raised in Pittsburg, California. She and her husband live in Berkeley and Los Angeles.

Heather Repenning
Executive Officer of Sustainability Policy
LA Metro
Biography

Heather Repenning

Executive Officer of Sustainability Policy
LA Metro

Heather Repenning is the Executive Officer for Sustainability Policy at LA Metro, setting policies to reduce climate emissions and improve sustainability outcomes from transportation programs in Los Angeles County. Heather also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Water District, which provides water for 26 member public agencies across Southern California.

Repenning previously held the role of Vice President of the City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works where she oversaw Sanitation, Streets LA, Street Lighting, Engineering and Contract Administration. Heather graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College and has a Master’s Degree from the University of California, Irvine in Comparative Literature. 

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.

Nancy Ryan
Deputy Executive Director
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Nancy Ryan

Deputy Executive Director
California Public Utilities Commission
George Minter
Regional Vice President for External Affairs and Environmental Strategy
Southern California Gas Company
Biography

George Minter

Regional Vice President for External Affairs and Environmental Strategy
Southern California Gas Company

George Minter is currently Regional Vice President for External Affairs and Environmental Strategy for SoCalGas, the nation’s largest gas utility. He is responsible for the Company’s public affairs, community relations, and energy and environmental affairs functions. 

He’s been a long time public policy professional specializing in energy and environmental matters, policy development, communications and political advocacy. Previously, he’s been a managing principal for LA-based public affairs consulting firms, Greer/Dailey/Minter and GM Public Affairs, handling approvals for large energy and land use projects.  He began his career as a political consultant managing local, state and national political campaigns.

George has served as a board member of numerous civic associations and community organizations, has been the recipient of several awards and honors, and has been a regular speaker at state and national conferences on energy and environmental policy. 

He’s the father of two grown children, is married, and lives in Pasadena, California; and is a Phi Beta Kappa and Honors graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.

Bradley Shuckhart
California Division President
Freehold Communities
Biography

Bradley Shuckhart

California Division President
Freehold Communities

Mr. Shuckhart directs the day-to-day development and construction activities of Freehold Communities within the state of California. Prior to joining Freehold, Mr. Shuckhart served as Vice President of Land Acquisitions at SunCal Companies, a privately-held real-estate developer of residential and commercial properties in the US. Over the course his career, Mr. Shuckhart has led the acquisition and development of more than a dozen master-planned communities in California, Nevada, and Texas, with a total sellout value in excess of $2 billion. Mr. Shuckhart has extensive experience with every aspect of land development, including acquisitions, entitlements, and, dispositions.

Mr. Shuckhart is a graduate of Pomona College and earned his MBA from USC’s Marshall School of Business with an emphasis on real estate finance.

Kevin Peng
IPP Renewal Project Generation Project Manager
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
Biography

Kevin Peng

IPP Renewal Project Generation Project Manager
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
Mr. Kevin Peng was appointed as the Generation Project Manager in August 2018, and had supported the IPP Renewal Project through conceptual scoping, financing, and stakeholder approval phases as the Engineering Supervisor for LADWP's Operating Agent Group from 2016. He joined LADWP’s Major Projects group in 2009 as a Project Engineer for the Haynes and Scattergood Repowering Projects, two of LADWP's largest in-basin generation projects in the last decade.
 
David Fransen
Chief Strategy Officer
Next Generation Manufacturing Canada
Biography

David Fransen

Chief Strategy Officer
Next Generation Manufacturing Canada

Over his 34-year career, David has served as a senior executive in government, academia and the diplomatic corps. He provided strategic leadership across a wide range of economic policy and program sectors as a senior official at the Privy Council Office and Health Canada, as an Assistant Deputy Minister at Industry Canada, as the first Executive Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing, and as Canada’s Consul General in Los Angeles.

David is also a former Special Advisor to the President of the National Research Council, former Chair of the Waterloo Innovation Summit, and a member of the boards of Waterloo Economic Development Corporation, the Institute for Quantum Computing, and Quantum-Safe Canada. He led in the creation, and then served as a member, of the founding Board of Governors of the Council of Canadian Academies. He also served as a member of the board of directors of Canadian Commercial Corporation, the Standards Council of Canada, and as Secretary of the Minister of Industry Canada’s Expert Panel on Commercialization chaired by Joe Rotman.

David has a PhD from the University of Toronto, a BA and MA from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor of Theology from Canadian Mennonite University. He is currently a Fellow of the Public Policy Forum.

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.

Adam Lovell
Executive Director
Water Services Association of Australia
Biography

Adam Lovell

Executive Director
Water Services Association of Australia
Nandhu Nandhakumar
Senior Vice President
LG Technology Center of America
Biography

Nandhu Nandhakumar

Senior Vice President
LG Technology Center of America

Dr. Nandhakumar has been serving (since 2006) as Senior Vice President - Advanced Technology in the office of the CTO of LG Electronics Inc.  He has been leading technology initiatives, partnerships and corporate investments in areas of long-term strategic interest to LG Electronics, such as connected entertainment, connected health, connected energy and connected vehicle. 

Dr. Nandhu Nandhakumar was also the founding head of the LG Technology Center of America, a recently established Silicon Valley-based incubator for emerging technologies relevant to the various companies under LG Corp. The Technology Center invests in new ventures via LP arrangements with leading Venture Capital funds, and collaborates with university research centers and national government laboratories.

Earlier, he served as CTO, VP Engineering and a Board Director of Triveni Digital, which has deployed products for the management and monitoring of metadata and data in broadcast DTV signals. 

He has also served on the faculties of the University of Texas, Austin and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. 

Dr. Nandhakumar has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications Engineering from Madras University, Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from UT Austin. He is a senior member of the IEEE. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Telecommunication Industry Solutions, Board of Directors of the Telecommunications Industry Association, Advisory Board of Independa, the EvoNexus Startup Incubator Committee of CommNexus, and Dean’s Advisory Committee of USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering.

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.

Charles Wilson
Executive Director and CEO
Southern California Water Coalition
Biography

Charles Wilson

Executive Director and CEO
Southern California Water Coalition

Charles Wilson serves as Executive Director and CEO of the Southern California Water Coalition, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public education partnership between cities, counties, business, industry, agriculture, and water agencies dedicated to securing reliable, affordable, quality water for Southern California.

Spanning Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Kern and Imperial counties, SCWC's approximately 200 member organizations include leaders from business, regional and local government, agricultural groups, labor unions, environmental organizations, water agencies, as well as the general public.

The diversity of its membership sets SCWC apart and enhances its influence, giving the organization the unique ability to take an all-inclusive approach to education efforts as they facilitate productive dialogue and build consensus to solve California's most critical water issues.

In addition, SCWC is the largest coalition of interested public and private entities dedicated specifically to securing a reliable supply of water for Southern California.

Wilson also serves as principal owner of PC Consulting Services Inc. A consulting firm dedicated to providing strategic counsel, public affairs, government relations and communications to public agencies, private sector business clients and non-profits.

As a leading public affairs professional in Southern California for more than 30 years and Charles is a recognized leader in the industry. Wilson spent 25 years in the electric utility industry with Southern California Edison where he led the development and implementation of third-party strategic planning and communication efforts that aligned company interests with local, state, and federal government officials and agencies.

Wilson also served as an elected board member of the Santa Margarita Water District for over 19 years and as a member of the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission until 2018 where he was an active and dynamic force in providing leadership to the second largest and fastest growing retail water agency in Orange County.

As a recognized organizational leader, consensus builder and strategic communications specialist, Charles was most recently asked to chair the Association of California Water Agencies Energy Committee in recognition of his cross-utility expertise.

Prior to his tenure in the utility industry, Wilson served as director of community and media affairs for State and U.S. Senator John Seymour.  He has also worked in sports radio and television with ABC, ESPN, and the Netherlands Broadcast Company.

A frequent lecturer and university level instructor, Wilson was invited to provide advanced political campaign and communications seminars to train candidates and political parties in Novosibirsk, Russia.

A graduate of UCLA, Charles earned his BA degree in political science with an emphasis in international relations and public administration.  Wilson also earned his M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University.

 

N. Jonathan Peress
Senior Director of Business Strategy and Energy Policy
SoCalGas
Biography

N. Jonathan Peress

Senior Director of Business Strategy and Energy Policy
SoCalGas

Jonathan Peress serves as Senior Director of Business Strategy & Energy Policy for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).  Mr. Peress leads SoCalGas’ Energy & Environmental Strategy to encourage and support sensible energy policies and regulations to advance SoCalGas’ efforts to decarbonize the gas system as California moves towards carbon neutrality. Mr. Peress has extensive experience and understanding of electricity and natural gas markets, state and federal utility regulation of those markets, and environmental and climate change policy. He has worked collaboratively with utilities to advance climate solutions that are commercially and technically feasible, without putting a financial burden on customers.

Prior to joining SoCalGas, Mr. Peress served as Senior Director of Energy Markets and Utility Regulation for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).  During that time, he worked closely with federal agencies and state public utility commissions on issues related to wholesale and retail energy regulation. In that role, Mr. Peress focused particularly on natural gas and electric system coordination issues. Mr. Peress has a bachelor’s degree in management from C.W. Post College, Long Island University and a JD from Brooklyn Law School.

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.

Aaron Thomas
Director, Economic Initiatives & Opportunity Zones
Accelerator for America
Biography

Aaron Thomas

Director, Economic Initiatives & Opportunity Zones
Accelerator for America

Aaron is the Director of Economic Initiatives & Opportunity Zones at Accelerator for America, a nonprofit focused on scaling and replicating local solutions to matters of economic insecurity. He’s spent the majority of his career in the investment banking sector, where he traded equity derivatives and facilitated equity transactions. More recently, he worked in middle-market private equity before pivoting into the public sector, first as a fellow in the California Senate and now with the Accelerator. He’s a graduate of Harvard College and received his MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

Fred Walti
Executive Director
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
Biography

Fred Walti

Executive Director
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator

In his role as Executive Director of CTLA and LACI, Fred combines experience as an entrepreneur with his passion for clean technology.  Prior to joining this new public/private partnership, Fred worked as a technology entrepreneur and an advisor on the City’s cleantech business strategy.

As Executive Director, Fred lead’s the strategic, policy, industry partner and outreach efforts of CLTA and LACI.

Fred brings sixteen years of entrepreneurship to this effort, having co-founded The Propellant Group, a management consulting group, Full Moon Interactive (FMI), an Internet architect, and LAI, Inc., a consulting company focusing on leveraging technology in traditional businesses.  Fred built FMI from startup to $25 million in annual sales with 14 consecutive quarters of profitability.  Fred also started one of the first interactive divisions of a global advertising agency in 1995.  Prior to his experience in “new media,” Fred spent 15 years with global communications companies in various executive capacities.   Fred ran the Apple computer account on a worldwide basis for BBDO and was GM of their San Francisco office, doubling the billings of the office and returning it to profitability in 18 months.

Fred has been involved -- either as a consultant, principal, employee or investor -- in the startup of several-dozen technology companies.  He served as COO of Snap.com, a next-generation venture-backed search engine.  Previously, Fred was a Strategic Advisor at Idealab in which he led the efforts to develop operating plans for a number of their portfolio companies.  Fred served as the Interim CEO for Geocities, helping to author its first business plan, gain its first round of venture backing, and crystallizing its advertising-driven business model.  Geocities went public and was later sold to Yahoo in 1999.

Starting in 2008, Fred began advising the Mayor’s Office, CTLA, the CRA/LA, LAEDC, and UCLA on various early efforts to develop a clean technology commercialization ecosystem.

Fred speaks often to groups on creating cleantech innovation ecosystems, harnessing the region’s strengths to build a large green economy, entrepreneurship, the role of economic development in creating jobs, and public/private partnerships.

Fred received his BA from New York University.

Evan Birenbaum
Managing Partner
Valkyrie Security Group
Biography

Evan Birenbaum

Managing Partner
Valkyrie Security Group

An expert in the development of cross-infrastructure analytics and technology for Big Data applications, he is one of the most sought-after providers in the U.S. market for the design and development of technology tools to power e-commerce, and he has been at the forefront of the development and market application of behavioral energy efficiency technology. He was among the pioneers in developing mobile apps, including, in 2003, the development of the mobile customer relationship management (CRM) application with the German software giant SAP SE and Canadian multinational developer of enterprise software and Internet of things Research in Motion (RIM), now known as BlackBerry Limited, providing the catalyst for SAP's mobile CRM platform used by such giants as McCormick & Company. His career in technology began in high school when he worked for IBM, and while at John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, he worked for Deutsche Bank as a consultant deploying real-time trading technologies developed by Bloomberg, and in 2004 he co-founded his first technology company, SOS Technology Group, providing an array of IT services. By 2010 he was at Southern California Edison as its lead corporate strategist and company-wide program manager for Environmental Strategy and Sustainability, then in 2014 he co-founded and served as Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Executive Officer for Chai Energy. He is a leader in many organizations, including Young Professionals in Energy (LA) and Reef Check Foundation, serving as a member of the Boards of Directors of both, is on the Steering Committee of the Sustainable Business Council, and has been a featured speaker on cutting-edge technology issues at numerous forums, including SXSW Eco 2015, and VerdeXchange, 2015-2019. He is frequently quoted, or featured, in media outlets covering technology developments, such as appears in "L.A. Startup Pays Users to Save Power," Annlee Ellingson, L.A. BIZ Journal, 8/15/16, and "Can the Golden State Go Green," Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News, 3/13/17.

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.

Samantha Bricker
Chief Sustainability and Revenue Management Officer
Los Angeles World Airports
Biography

Samantha Bricker

Chief Sustainability and Revenue Management Officer
Los Angeles World Airports

Samantha Bricker was named the Chief Sustainability and Revenue Management Officer for Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) in September 2020. She is responsible for overseeing Commercial Development, Mobility Strategy, Sustainability and Environmental Programs, as well as a new Procurement Center of Excellence. Commercial Development will consolidate and manage all key revenue-generating activities, including real estate, concessions and Non-Exclusive License Agreements, or NELAs, as well as all parking and ground transportation. Mobility Strategy will include the Rideshare group and will focus on developing and directing the implementation of new initiatives and policies designed to improve airport access for employees and passengers. The Procurement Center of Excellence Team will develop and implement a consolidated and consistent procurement process for the entire organization. Ms. Bricker will continue to oversee Environmental Sustainability and Compliance Programs, including all noise initiatives.

Ms. Bricker was named Chief Environmental and Sustainability Officer in August 2019 with responsibility for overseeing environmental and sustainability programs for LAWA including air quality and conservation initiatives, noise programs, environmental planning, regulatory compliance as well as transportation and mobility strategy. Ms. Bricker also oversaw the third party coordination with external agencies and stakeholders in support of LAWA’s Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP) and Capital Improvement Program. Ms. Bricker joined LAWA in July 2016 as Deputy Executive Director for Project Management and Coordination and in November 2016 was named Deputy Executive Director for the Environmental Programs Group.

Prior to joining LAWA, she was the Chief Operating Officer of the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority. In that role, she coordinated the design and construction of Metro’s Expo rail line, where she managed a budget of $2.5 billion and directed the Authority’s environmental planning, third party and external agency coordination, procurement, contract compliance, real estate program, as well as community and government relations.

Before her position with the Expo Construction Authority, Bricker served as a senior legislative deputy to former Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky from 1994 to 2006. In this role, she developed policy and worked on environmental and transportation projects including the Orange Line busway in the San Fernando Valley and the Red Line subway to Hollywood and North Hollywood.

Bricker earned a Master of Arts in Political Science from UCLA and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Northwestern University.

Pierre Sacre
Director
Schneider Electric
Biography

Pierre Sacre

Director
Schneider Electric

Pierre is responsible for developing and leading the EV charging station business for Schneider Electric across the US, Canada and Mexico. The company has been deploying over 40.000 charging station across the globe at home, at work and in public spaces.

Pierre has been with Schneider Electric since 2003 and has played a key role in developing and launching new products and solution providing better energy management for lighting and building control. He has worked across Europe until 2014 when he moved to the US. He joined the EV business as an offer manager in March 2015 and accepted the leadership role for North America in November the same year.

Prior to his employment by Schneider Electric, Pierre was a sales director for Kepen Cable in UK and Ireland where he supported the growth on IBM ACS offer via his network of distributors. Pierre also worked at Thomas & Betts in various roles within their Nevada Western and IBM ACS division. Pierre also taught as a part time lecturer at Coventry university where he worked on European research. 

Pierre has had active roles with BS, EN, IEC and NEMA standards organisation over his career. He has a BA with Hons in Arts et Sciences de la Communication from the University of Liege in Belgium.

Yufu Cheng
China Country Director
R20 Regions of Climate Action
Biography

Yufu Cheng

China Country Director
R20 Regions of Climate Action
Mark Gold
Executive Director/Deputy Secretary for Oceans & Coastal Policy
Ocean Protection Council/California Natural Resources Agency
Biography

Mark Gold

Executive Director/Deputy Secretary for Oceans & Coastal Policy
Ocean Protection Council/California Natural Resources Agency

Mark Gold joined OPC in July of 2019. As Executive Director of OPC and the Deputy Secretary for Ocean and Coastal Policy for the California Natural Resources Agency, Mark serves as a key advisor to Governor and the Secretary of Natural Resources and directs policy, scientific research, and critical partnerships to increase protection of coastal and ocean resources in California. Prior to his appointment, he was the UCLA Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability where he led their Sustainable Los Angeles Grand Challenge effort. Prior to UCLA, Mark was the first hire at Heal the Bay, where he served as their President for 18 years. During that time, he worked on ocean and coastal legislation and policy, stormwater, watershed management, and marine conservation and coastal restoration issues, projects and programs. Over the course of his career, his research focused on beach water quality and health risks, as well as sustainable water resources management. Mark received his bachelor’s and master’s in Biology as well as his doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering, all from UCLA.

Tom Doughty
Director of Regulatory Strategy
California ISO
Biography

Tom Doughty

Director of Regulatory Strategy
California ISO

Tom Doughty is Director of Regulatory Strategy at the California ISO.  He accountable for optimizing the ISO’s interactions with the State agencies, such as the CPUC, Energy Commission, Air Board and Water Board. Prior to assuming his current role, Tom was responsible for the ISO’s customer care functions.  He is the architect behind The Voice-of-the-Customer and TouchPoint Mapping, which are among the ISO’s most successful customer partnering programs.  Tom is also the creator of the ISO’s Stakeholder Symposium, which has become the largest annual gathering of energy executives on the West Coast.  This year marks the beginning of Tom’s fourth decade in the electric industry. 

His résumé includes senior leadership positions with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Xcel Energy, and several entrepreneurial energy service providers.  25 years ago, Tom was among a small group of innovators that drove the launch of a brand new technology…electric vehicles.   We take EVs for granted now, but 25 years ago, they were nearly completely unknown.  Tom is a licensed engineer and holds degrees in engineering and business administration from UC Davis and UCLA, respectively.   

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.

Susan Cline
Director of Public Works
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Susan Cline

Director of Public Works
City of Santa Monica

Susan Cline is the Director of the Department of Public Works for the City of Santa Monica. Cline oversees Santa Monica’s approach to staying on the cutting edge, cultivating creativity, and fostering streamlined collaboration among divisions, departments, and other municipalities. 

Philippe P. Huneault
VP - Technology and Funds Management, and Head of International Business Development
Fonds de Solidarité FTQ
Biography

Philippe P. Huneault

VP - Technology and Funds Management, and Head of International Business Development
Fonds de Solidarité FTQ

​Philippe P. Huneault has been the VP of Technology and Funds Management, and Head of International Business Development at Fonds de Solidarité FTQ since March 2022.


Previously  Québec’s delegate in Los Angeles and 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.

Ron Goodman
Manager of Market Development
Southern California Gas Company
Biography

Ron Goodman

Manager of Market Development
Southern California Gas Company
Jon Naimon
Founder and Managing Director
Light Green Advisors
Biography

Jon Naimon

Founder and Managing Director
Light Green Advisors
Angela Konert
Head of Government and External Affairs
BMW Group
Biography

Angela Konert

Head of Government and External Affairs
BMW Group

Angela Konert has been heading the Government and External Affairs Office of the BMW Group in Sacramento, California since April 2017. In this function she coordinates corporate positioning with all relevant stakeholders in the fields of environmental, mobility and sustainability policies in CA, OR and WA.

Prior to this, Ms. Konert was responsible for coordinating the political communication of the BMW Group in Munich with regards to human resources related issues as well as sustainability engagements and electric mobility. In collaboration with the markets worldwide Ms. Konert managed the communication activities with key opinion leaders, government representatives as well as city officials to promote policies fostering the uptake of electric vehicles. She started her career at BMW Group in London working at the Representative Office for the UK and Ireland representing the BMW Group in a broad range of bodies and initiatives covering the whole range of relevant policy issues.

Angela Konert grew up in Hannover, Northern Germany and holds a Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from both the London School of Economics and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

Magid Elabyad
Vice President, International Programs
International Road Federation (IRF)
Biography

Magid Elabyad

Vice President, International Programs
International Road Federation (IRF)

Magid has over 16 years of management experience in organizations focusing on national and international transportation and construction industry issues with a special focus on Road Asset Management and Public Private Partnerships. He has a strong background in transportation policy analysis, stakeholder engagement and international relations. He is a Certified Public Private Partnership Professional (CP3P) and has given numerous lectures and webinars around the world on the benefits of well-planned Public-Private. He is a graduate of the George Mason University School of Management and holds an MBA from Ohio 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.

Michael Galvin
Director, Waterfront and Commercial Real Estate
Port of Los Angeles
Biography

Michael Galvin

Director, Waterfront and Commercial Real Estate
Port of Los Angeles

Michael Galvin is the Director of Waterfront and Commercial Real Estate at the Port of Los Angeles, the nation’s leading container port. The Port of Los Angeles is a landlord seaport, covering 7500 acres of land and water, with more than 300 leaseholders including the Port’s visitor serving LA Waterfront which comprises over 400 acres and 8 miles of waterfront spanning the communities of San Pedro and Wilmington. The Port of Los Angeles is committed to creating and improving public access to the water’s edge through continual investment in word class infrastructure that will activate the LA Waterfront and attract private investment on port property and in the adjacent communities of San Pedro and Wilmington.

In this role, Mr. Galvin is responsible for development and management of the Port’s LA Waterfront including commercial development opportunities, cruise passengers, hotels, restaurants, recreational marinas and commercial fueling. Mr. Galvin oversees a team of Real Estate and Planning professionals that manage the LA Waterfront properties, plan for future public access investment, market new development opportunities and engage with stakeholders to ensure maximum linkage with local communities and regional visitor serving interests. 

Mr. Galvin also oversees the Port’s $200 million redevelopment program for marine oil terminals under the State of California Marine Oil Terminal Engineering and Maintenance Standards (MOTEMS).  The MOTEMS redevelopment program will provide support to regional refinery operations, LAX aviation fuel logistics and the San Pedro Bay shipping fuel market.

Mr. Galvin first joined the Port in 2004 and promoted to Director of Real Estate in 2007. He began his City career in 2000 in real estate for the Bureau of Engineering.

Mr. Galvin holds a bachelor of arts in U.S. History from the University of California, San Diego and a Juris Doctorate degree from Western State College of Law. Mr. Galvin is a licensed attorney and real estate broker in the State of California.

Jacob Lipa
CEO
Micropolitan
Biography

Jacob Lipa

CEO
Micropolitan

Jacob Lipa is the CEO of Micropolitan, a real estate development subsidiary of Psomas.  Micropolitan builds, owns and operates apartment buildings.   Prior to founding Micropolitan, Jacob served as the president of Psomas for over 10 years.  Psomas is a consulting engineering firm serving public and private clients throughout the Western United States and headquartered in Los Angeles.  The firm specializes in the land development, water, and transportation markets. In addition to Psomas and Micropolitan, Jacob in partnership with FMG founded PsomasFMG, a solar development company serving the public and educational markets.

Jacob Lipa is the past Chairman of the Los Angeles Business Council, the past President of the Friends of Ballona Wetlands, the past president of the LA County Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies.  He is a Board member of the Engineering School of Cal Poly University, a board member of the Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, and serves as an advisor to several private local and international companies.

Anthony Ravitz
Real Estate and Workplace Services, Green Team Lead
Google
Biography

Anthony Ravitz

Real Estate and Workplace Services, Green Team Lead
Google
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.

 
Joseph Cappello
Executive Officer
Iwatani
Biography

Joseph Cappello

Executive Officer
Iwatani

Joe Cappello began his career as a Chemical Analyst on Wall Street. After 8 years, Joe joined Praxair, now known as Linde, LLC where he spent the next 15 years. Joe’s first assignment was leading Investor Relations, followed by business roles managing the US CO2 business, Global Helium Group and Product Management. Joe also held the roles of Vice President, North America and President of Praxair Asia, based in Shanghai. Joe subsequently shifted to Private Equity and led business units in two companies that culminated in successful liquidity events. Joe’s relationship with Iwatani Corporation spans 20 years with the last two as an Executive Advisor helping the company establish a new US Platform before being named Executive Officer, Iwatani Corporation and CEO of Iwatani Americas in September, 2019. Joe earned a BS in Business Administration and an MBA from NYU, Stern School of Business.

Tomio Tamakoshi
General Manager of Design Department
NGK Insulators, LTD. NAS Battery Division
Biography

Tomio Tamakoshi

General Manager of Design Department
NGK Insulators, LTD. NAS Battery Division

Professional Summary:

Tomio Tamakoshi received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree both in electrical engineering from Nagoya University in 1986, 1988, respectively. In 1988, he joined NGK INSULATORAS, LTD.

He joined NAS Battery Development Program in 1988, where he engaged in module design and its performance evaluation.  Then he worked on developing battery controller, which included specific battery management unit.

Then, he worked as sales engineer for Kyushu Electric Power Company to promote several NAS battery project in Kyushu area. In 2005, he was involved in the wind-battery hybrid project and contributed the 34MW NAS battery system installation which battery make the 51MW wind farm to schedulable power source. In 2008, he was involved in Abu Dhabi 108MW project.

Today, he has been managing design department in NAS battery division as a general manager.

Education & Qualification:

·       Nagoya University, Japan – B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree both in electrical engineering 1981 – 1987

·       The Third Class Electric Chief Engineer                     1992

·       The Second Class Electric Chief Engineer                  1994

·       The First Class Electric Chief Engineer                       1997

Related Industry & Project Experience:

·       Project Manager of 1 MW NAS Battery Project for Fukuoka metro in 2003.

·       Project Manager of 2 MW NAS Battery Project for Kitakyushu speedboat racecource  in 2003.

·       Project Manager of 0.6 MW NAS Battery Project for Saga city hall in 2003.

·       Project Manager of 2 MW NAS Battery Project for Fukuoka metro in 2004.

·       Project Manager of 34 MW NAS Battery Project for Futamata wind farm in 2005

·       Project Manager of 108 MW NAS Battery Project for Abu Dhabi in 2008

 

Uduak-Joe Ntuk
State Oil and Gas Supervisor
CA Geologic Energy Management Division
Biography

Uduak-Joe Ntuk

State Oil and Gas Supervisor
CA Geologic Energy Management Division

Uduak-Joe Ntuk is the 17th California ​State Oil and Gas Supervisor, responsible for managing the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM). He was appointed by Governor Newsom in October 2019.​​​

Ntuk directs a statewide regulatory, technical, and field operations organization designed to emphasize the safe development of oil and natural gas, which includes: protecting public health and safety, environmental quality, and the reduction and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the development of hydrocarbon and geothermal resources in a manner that meets the energy needs of the state. He also serves as a Governor's representative to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and as a governing board member of the Baldwin Hills Conservancy. 

Prior to joining the State of California, the Supervisor served as the Director of Petroleum Administration for the City of Los Angeles. As Director, he provided technical advice to the Mayor, City Council, and various city departments on energy and environmental policy for the second largest city in America. He completed a citywide audit of oil and gas production, modernized pipeline franchise agreements, monitored compliance at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, converted former drilling sites into housing developments, and published a comprehensive public health report on urban oil & gas operations. Ntuk also represented the City of Los Angeles on the South Coast Air Quality Management District's Multiple Air Toxic Exposure Study (MATES V) Technical Advisory Group, AB 617 Community Air Monitoring Steering Committee and on the Baldwin Hills Community Standards District Advisory Panel for the Inglewood Oil Field. 

Before his work at the City of Los Angeles, Ntuk worked in both government and industry for more than a decade with the City of Long Beach and Chevron Corporation​. Ntuk is a former Green for All Fellow, Alliance for Climate Protection Ambassador, and Startingbloc Fellow for the Institute for Social Innovation at the London Business School. He also worked as an adjunct faculty member in the Chemical Engineering Department and as academic advisor at the California State University, Long Beach. 

Ntuk earned his Master of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering with an emphasis in Smart Oilfield Technologies from the University of Southern California, Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from California State University, Long Beach, and Associate of Arts degree from Long Beach City College.

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.

Ted Tanner
Senior Vice President of Real Estate
AEG
Biography

Ted Tanner

Senior Vice President of Real Estate
AEG
Dan Carol
Director
Milken Institute Center for Financial Markets
Biography

Dan Carol

Director
Milken Institute Center for Financial Markets

Dan Carol is a Director in the Center for Financial Markets, expanding our work with local governments and stakeholders to foster best practice implementation of the Opportunity Zones Initiative and accelerate community and regional innovation.  Prior to joining Milken, Dan worked for Governors Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom of California directing the state’s Opportunity Zones working group and serving on the Executive Committee of the US Climate Alliance, a bi-partisan alliance of 24 states implementing the Paris agreement.   Before that, Dan served the Obama Administration as a member of the U.S. DOE State Energy Advisory Board and led efforts to create the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange, a 2015 winner of the Harvard Ash Center award for government innovation.  Outside of government, Dan co-founded two clean energy acceleration groups (The Apollo Alliance and the Clean Economy Network) and founded CTSG, a 70-person online civic engagement company and software company, sold in 2004.  Dan has also served as a U.S. Presidential Management Fellow, a senior campaign advisor to the Clinton-Gore 1992 and Obama-Biden 2008 campaigns, and as adjunct professor at Georgetown University.  Carol holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MRP from the University of North Carolina. 

 

Michael Christensen
Deputy Executive Director, Development
Port of Los Angeles
Biography

Michael Christensen

Deputy Executive Director, Development
Port of Los Angeles

As deputy executive director at the Port of Los Angeles, Michael R. Christensen, P.E., is the second in command at the nation’s number one container port and head of the Port’s Development Bureau.

Christensen oversees the Engineering, Environmental, Goods Movement, and Construction divisions, which employ approximately 200 professional, technical, and clerical staff plus hundreds of consultant and contractor personnel in support of the permitting, design, construction, maintenance, and environmental management of the infrastructure and development projects at the 7500-acre complex. He also oversees the Board of Harbor Commissioners’ office and is liaison with outside transportation agencies on goods movement projects related to the Port. 

Christensen has more than 35 years of engineering and management experience related to maritime, rail, and general transportation projects. Prior to joining the port in October 2006, Christensen served as vice president at Parsons Transportation Group where he was responsible for a broad range of local, regional, and national goods movement, port, and rail projects.

His career-to-date also includes holding senior management positions at several other transportation consulting firms plus 16 years of service to the Southern Pacific Railroad, where he held various posts including assistant chief engineer for design and construction and chief environmental affairs officer. He has held key leadership positions on a number of major projects that include the Alameda Corridor rail expressway serving the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex, the Port of Los Angeles’ Transportation Master Plan, the Port of Oakland’s Maritime Development Alternative Study, and Reno’s ReTRAC grade separation project.

Christensen earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Arizona State University and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association. A third-generation civil engineer, Christensen is a registered professional engineer in California and nine other states. He currently resides with his wife and four children in Redondo Beach, Calif., where he volunteers on a school board committee, as a youth soccer league referee, and as a local Boy Scout leader.

Ian Parker
Vice President, Public Sector and Infrastructure Banking
Goldman Sachs
Biography

Ian Parker

Vice President, Public Sector and Infrastructure Banking
Goldman Sachs

Ian is a member of the Public Sector and Infrastructure Banking team, focusing on municipal clients located throughout the western region of the United States. In his current role, he works with clients in the transportation, water and general government space. Ian has led the execution of over $20 billion of long-term debt and $8 billion of short-term debt financings as a senior or joint lead underwriter since he joined Goldman Sachs in 2008 as a vice president. He was named managing director in 2010. 

Prior to joining the firm, Ian worked at Merrill Lynch for nearly two decades in various roles, including municipal housing finance from 1989 to 1999 and municipal capital markets from 2004 to 2008. He also spent four years in London as a member of the structured finance group, where he specialized in providing capital market solutions for European public sector clients and financial institutions. 

Ian serves on the Board of Directors and Finance Committee of the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA), based in Burlingame, California. PHS/SPCA is a private nonprofit committed to humane ethics and building healthy relationships between people and animals, and is the provider of animal rescue and control services for all of San Mateo County. 

Ian earned a BA, with honors, from Harvard College in 1989. 

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. 

Andrew Jory
Minister-Counsellor (Trade)
Embassy of Australia
Biography

Andrew Jory

Minister-Counsellor (Trade)
Embassy of Australia

Andrew Jory is the Minister-Counsellor (Trade) at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC. Prior to this position he was the Assistant Secretary, Goods and Market Access Branch, Office of Trade Negotiations in Canberra. In this role  Mr Jory was Australia’s Deputy Chief Negotiator in the EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement and ran the goods agenda. Mr Jory was Australia’s Chief Negotiator in the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement and Pacific Alliance Free Trade Agreement. Prior to this Mr Jory ran Australia’s goods team in Australia’s Mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Geneva, Switzerland, where he played a key role in the WTO Decision which eliminated export subsidies in agriculture. Mr Jory was also Australia’s lead goods market access negotiator in the TPP and closed market access deals with the US, Mexico and Canada.  

Val Menotti
Chief Planning & Development Officer
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District
Biography

Val Menotti

Chief Planning & Development Officer
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District
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.

Jonathan Dogterom
Practice Lead, Cleantech
MaRS
Biography

Jonathan Dogterom

Practice Lead, Cleantech
MaRS

Jonathan leads the Cleantech Practice at MaRS Discovery District where he assists Ontario based Cleantech companies in growing their business and raising capital. He has an extensive background in early stage and high growth alternative energy companies. Prior to joining MaRS, Jon led Business Development for Hydrogenics Corporation where he focused on strategic partnerships, product development, and sales and marketing. During his time with Hydrogenics he was involved in the introduction and launch of both the company’s fuel cell and hydrogen generation divisions.

Jon was also previously with the Pembina Institute where he led corporate consulting services on low-impact renewable energy and energy policy. In 1997, Jon co-founded Sustainable Energy Technologies, which is a leading Canadian provider of power electronics for the solar power industry.

Bill Strang
Chairman
TOTO Mexico
Biography

Bill Strang

Chairman
TOTO Mexico

President, Americas – Operations Group and Chairman of TOTO Mexico; Bill has responsibility for all operations, including supply chain, design and development engineering, Quality, ISO, Environmental and management of the five TOTO North America plants:  Morrow, GA; Lakewood, GA; Fairburn, GA; and Ontario, CA, Monterrey Mexico with 1.8 million sq ft under roof.  

Under Bill’s leadership, TOTO has received awards for 5S implementation, US EPA Water Efficiency Leadership Award, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue’s Water Conservation Leadership Award, the Argon Award, the City of Atlanta Phoenix Award, and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper sustainability award.   TOTO is one of the largest users of Green Energy from Georgia Power.   

TOTO USA has also developed secondary uses or recycling channels for the waste streams from the manufacturing process, converting them from waste to raw material feed stocks for other manufacturers. 

Argon Award for leadership in sustainability, previous winners of this award have been Ted Turner – Chairman of the Turner Foundation, Arthur Blank – co founder of Home Depot, Jim Jacoby – Founder and CEO of Jacoby Development and Ray Anderson – Chairman of Interface Company.

Miguel Santana
CEO
Weingart Foundation
Biography

Miguel Santana

CEO
Weingart Foundation

Miguel A. Santana has over 30 years of experience leading numerous fiscal, legislative, political, and community issues. He served as President and C.E.O. of Fairplex since 2016, a nonprofit community benefit regional organization based in Pomona, CA. Previously, Miguel was the City Administrative Officer for the City of Los Angeles, where he oversaw the City’s $9 billion budget and designed the City’s first comprehensive homeless strategy, resulting in a $1.2 billion voter-approved housing bond and a doubling of the City’s general fund investment on programs to end homelessness. Prior to joining the City, Miguel served as one of five Deputy Chief Executive Officers for Los Angeles County, overseeing all social service programs supporting children, families, veterans and persons experiencing homelessness.

Miguel was appointed President & C.E.O. of the Weingart Foundation in 2021. He engages in numerous civic efforts to create a more equitable Southern California region, including serving as Chair of the Committee for Greater L.A. He also serves on numerous nonprofit boards, including the Whittier College Board of Trustees.

Miguel has a B.A. in Sociology and Latin American Studies from Whittier College and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University.

Dr. Gil Crozes
Senior Vice President
Carollo
Biography

Dr. Gil Crozes

Senior Vice President
Carollo

Dr. Gil Crozes, Ph. D. has been involved in water treatment for 30 years, leading various planning, water resources, applied research, and engineering projects. He is a senior vice president with Carollo and is serving clients in the greater Los Angeles. His background includes extensive water and wastewater treatment process work, pilot- and demonstration-scale testing, as well as full-scale facilities planning and design. His areas of focus include groundwater treatment, surface water treatment, wastewater treatment, and solids and biogas utilization, as well as reuse of wastewater for irrigation, groundwater recharge, and various industrial applications such as power plant cooling water and boilers. His experience includes projects in more than 12 states.

Bob Sipchen
Senior Editor, California Section
Los Angeles Times
Biography

Bob Sipchen

Senior Editor, California Section
Los Angeles Times

Bob Sipchen helps edit the Los Angeles Times California Section. In 2002 he and Alex Raksin won the Pulitzer Prize for “Helping People Off the Streets,” a series of editorials on Los Angeles’ homeless mentally ill population. In 1993 he shared in the Times’ Pulitzer for its team coverage of the Los Angeles Riots.  In his many years at the Times, Sipchen has served as Sunday Opinion Editor, Senior Editor at the Los Angeles Times magazine, editor and creator of the Outdoors section, columnist, and staff writer.

From 2007 till 2015 Sipchen worked at the Sierra Club, America’s largest and most effective grassroots environmental organization, where he led a staff of up to 80 multi-media professionals and served as National Communications Director and Editor in Chief of Sierra magazine, an award-winning, 500,000- circulation bimonthly created by Sierra Club founder John Muir in 1893. 

Sipchen is an adjunct professor at Occidental College, where he teaches journalism and communications classes. He and his wife, Pam, live in Los Angeles and are the parents of three adult children. 

Claudia Gutierrez
Senior Deputy for Legal Affairs
LA County Supervisor Holly Mitchell's Office
Biography

Claudia Gutierrez

Senior Deputy for Legal Affairs
LA County Supervisor Holly Mitchell's Office

Claudia Gutierrez is currently serving as Senior Deputy for Legal Affairs with County-Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. Previously, Gutierrez served in the same position for former Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in 2017-2020. 

Before working for the County of Los Angeles, she was a Senior Associate with Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.

Jacques Alexandre-Fortin
Vice President
Rackam
Biography

Jacques Alexandre-Fortin

Vice President
Rackam

As a mechanical engineer and co-founder of Rackam, Jacques-Alexandre currently oversees the company’s technological development and commercial activities. He holds a master degree in renewable energy from the Hautes Écoles d’Ingénierie in Yverdons, Switzerland. He is passionate about solar power and how to overcome the engineering challenges that stem from adopting renewable forms of energy. As such, he was worked on developing many hybrid solar technology applications, the most promising of which is combined solar heating and cooling.

En tant qu’ingénieur et co-fondateur de Rackam, Jacques-Alexandre œuvre actuellement en développement technologique et en commercialisation au sein de l’entreprise. Il détient une maîtrise en énergie renouvelable des Hautes Écoles d’Ingénierie à Yverdons en Suisse. Il est passionné de l’énergie solaire et des défis d’ingénierie entourant l’adoption des énergies renouvelables. Il a notamment travaillé sur le développement d’applications hybrides, la plus prometteuse étant la production combinée de chaleur et de froid solaire.

Gabe Klein
Partner
CityFi
Biography

Gabe Klein

Partner
CityFi

Gabe is the former Commissioner of the Chicago and Washington DC Departments of Transportation. In both cities he revamped technology platforms and government processes while focusing on putting people first vs. automobiles on city streets. This included launching two of the first and largest bikeshare systems in the U.S. and building protected bike lanes and better pedestrian infrastructure for vulnerable citizens citywide, as well as facilitating private services like carshare and rideshare that could help each cities mobility goals. Gabe honed his creativity and leadership skills working in business, including Zipcar, where he served as Vice President, Bikes USA as national Director of Stores and his own electric powered, organic food truck chain, On The Fly.

Post-government, and after an enriching fellowship with the Urban Land Institute in 2014, Gabe joined Fontinalis Partners as a Special Venture Partner on their $100 million 2nd fund. Gabe also advises governments and companies worldwide on innovation in cities including Singapore where Gabe has been a visiting fellow for the Centre For Livable Cities, working on creating a “car-lite” city-state.  In 2015, Gabe also published Start-Up City with David Vega-Barachowitz on Island Press, a manifesto on revamping how (and how fast) we innovate in cities and rethinking public-private partnerships with a triple-bottom line approach as technology shapes a dramatically different future.

Gabe sits on the boards of Streetsblog, Carma, and advisory boards of NACTO, Sensity Systems, Zendrive, and advises next-gen start-ups including Phone2Action and Transit Screen. As Commissioner, he has worked to bring a new Riverwalk to Chicago as well as the breathtaking Bloomingdale Trail, 100’s of miles of bike lanes, new policies combined with technology solutions to revamp parking, permitting, and many other arcane government processes.

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.

Bill Witte
President
Related California
Biography

Bill Witte

President
Related California
Bill Hasencamp
Manager, Colorado River Resources
Metropolitan Water District
Biography

Bill Hasencamp

Manager, Colorado River Resources
Metropolitan Water District

Bill Hasencamp is the Manager of Colorado River Resources for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, where he develops and manages water supply programs to augment Metropolitan’s Colorado River supplies.  He has been with Metropolitan for 12 years, negotiating transfer agreements with irrigations districts, exchange agreements with municipal agencies, and funding new water supply projects which have more than doubled Metropolitan’s Colorado River water supplies since 2003.  Bill is one of California’s representatives to the Colorado River Salinity Control Forum.

Bill’s hobbies include long distance bicycle touring, which led him on a three-month bicycle ride across the United States.

Hiroaki Ishizuka
Chair
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
Biography

Hiroaki Ishizuka

Chair
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

Mr. Hiroaki Ishizuka was appointed chairman of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) effective as of April 1, 2018.

 Mr. Ishizuka held a series of senior executive management level positions within Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Japan's largest chemical company, between 2009 and 2018. From June 2009 to March 2011 he served as Managing Executive Officer and Executive Officer. Following this, he served as Senior Managing Executive Officer from April 2011 to March 2012. He then served as President and Chief Executive Officer from April 2012 to March 2017. He also served as Senior Corporate Advisor from April 2017 to March 2018.

Mr. Ishizuka graduated from the Faculty of Chemical Science of the University of Tokyo in March 1972.

Rita Kampalath
Sustainability Program Director
LA County Chief Sustainability Office
Biography

Rita Kampalath

Sustainability Program Director
LA County Chief Sustainability Office

Rita Kampalath a Sustainability Program Director for the LA County Chief Sustainability Office. Prior to her time with the county, Rita served as the Science and Policy Director of Heal The Bay, an environmental group working to make Santa Monica Bay and Southern California coastal waters and watersheds safe for people and marine life.

Rita earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University and a M.S. & Ph.D. from UCLA in Chemical Engineering and Civil/Environmental Engineering. Her doctoral research focused on toxic mercury in the environment. She previously worked as an environmental engineer for Geosyntec Consultants on stormwater pollution and the U.S. Air Force in environmental and safety policy compliance.
 

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. 

Marcius Extavour
Executive Director
NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE
Biography

Marcius Extavour

Executive Director
NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE

Marcius Extavour is a leader and expert working at the intersection of science, technology and public policy. At XPRIZE he leads the Energy team, including the $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, a global competition to recycle CO2 into valuable products. Before joining XPRIZE he was focused on technology and policy in clean energy as an independent consultant, at the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, in the Canadian electric power sector, and in academia.  Dr. Extavour holds a PhD and MSc in quantum optics and atomic physics, and a BASc in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto. Outside of the office and the lab Dr. Extavour loves teaching, the intersection of art and science, and is active in engaging young and early-career scientists interested in careers outside of academia.

Fred Johring
President
Golden State Express, Inc.; Golden State Services, Inc.
Biography

Fred Johring

President
Golden State Express, Inc.; Golden State Services, Inc.

Fred Johring is President of the Harbor Trucking Association, an industry group that provides trucking to/from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The Harbor Trucking Association is the leading advocacy group and advocates to keep Ports competitive and world leaders in promoting clean air and job growth.

Fred is also the President of Golden State Express, Inc. (GSE) and GSL Transportation Services, Inc. (GSL), a midsized trucking and warehousing group based in Rancho Dominguez, CA. Mr. Johring has extensive experience at Union Pacific Railroad in the international and intermodal arena, before he founded his current companies in 1996. He is a commissioner on the board of the Workforce investment Board in Long Beach. He is active with the American Trucking Association, the CTA, and the Harbor Transportation Club.

Jason Gremillion
Vice President of Development & Investment
Trammell Crow Company
Biography

Jason Gremillion

Vice President of Development & Investment
Trammell Crow Company

Jason Gremillion serves as Vice President of Development & Investment for Trammell Crow Company where his primary focus is on the industrial pursuit and development initiative. Mr. Gremillion’s current projects include: Carson Industrial Center North, La Verne Technology and Trade Center , and the CleanTech Manufacturing Center. Mr. Gremillion has accumulated 20 years of commercial real estate development and construction experience specializing in providing comprehensive expertise in site selection, valuation and market analyses, entitlements, design and construction management, transaction management, and partner relations.

Thomas Aujero Small
President & CEO
Culver City Forward
Biography

Thomas Aujero Small

President & CEO
Culver City Forward
 
Thomas Aujero Small served as Mayor of Culver City from 2018-2019, during his four-year term as a Culver City Council Member (2016-2020). He is also Chair of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (LA METRO) Sustainability Council, and on the Transportation Policy Committee of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). On the Culver City Council, he served on several Subcommittees, including: the General Plan Update; Economic Development; Mobility, Traffic and Parking; Financial Planning and Budget; and the Ballona Creek Revitalization Task Force.

Small’s work with the city focused on excellence in urban planning, sustainable design and mobility, including initiating and leading the Transit Oriented District Visioning process. He led efforts 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 represented the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus of the League of California Cities on their Housing and Economic Development Policy Committee. At a national level, he has participated in the US Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities, the New American Leaders and Local Progress, all based in Washington, D.C.

He has been featured in the New York Times, the LA Times, NPR and the Washington Post, and on CNBC. He is often invited to speak internationally, including recent keynotes at the International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure with the American Society of Civil Engineers, and for the RAND Corporation at the international conference on Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty. As an architectural writer and consultant, he worked on projects in urban and sustainable design and planning, development and historic preservation in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He moderated design award juries in New York and Copenhagen, and taught Sustainability for Organizational Change at UCLA. He studied at Yale, the University of Paris, and the Columbia School of Journalism, and speaks four languages. He lives with his wife Joanna Brody, and their two children and two giant sheep dogs, in the sustainably designed, often published Culver City home that they built in 2007.

 

Mike Gravely
Research Program Manager
California Energy Commission
Biography

Mike Gravely

Research Program Manager
California Energy Commission
Omar Moghaddam
Regulatory Affairs
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation
Biography

Omar Moghaddam

Regulatory Affairs
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation
  • Over 30 years of experience in management, operations, R&D, permitting, and regulatory compliance of water/ wastewater, renewable energy, sustainability, biomass and biogas-to-energy conversion and capital projects, chemical and refinery processes; climate change and greenhouse gases’ inventories and modeling; air quality and biosolids management, and environmental regulatory and legislative affairs.
  • 30 years with the City of Los Angeles
  • Currently: Director of Regulatory Affairs, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation
  • Formerly:
    • Division Manager of Energy and Applied Research
    • Senior Operations Manager at Hyperion Energy Recovery System
    • Senior Air Quality Manager
    • Senior Energy & Utility Manager
    • Resource Development Engineer at LADWP
  • Education:
  • B.S. in Chemical Engineering, AIT
  • M.S. in Petroleum Engineering, USC
  • M.S. in and Mechanical Engineering, USC
  • Post-graduate and research studies in thermal science, USC
Art Bilger
Founder & CEO
WorkingNation
Biography

Art Bilger

Founder & CEO
WorkingNation

Art is the founder and CEO of WorkingNation.He has been an investor in, and director of, various private companies. He has been the President & COO of New World Communications Group; a Founding Partner of Apollo Advisors; and Executive Vice President & Co-head of Corporate Finance at Drexel Burnham Lambert. During this period, Art was deeply involved in the media world as an investment banker for Turner Broadcasting and CNN, a board member of Telemundo, and a top executive running the Fox Network’s largest group of local stations. Additionally, he was an executive producer on the film 20 Feet from Stardom, which won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Art earned an economics degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Chicago. 

Art also has been active in philanthropy throughout his career. He recently completed 16 years as a board member on the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School Board of Overseers. During his term, he was engaged in a wide range of Wharton-related activities including being the founding funder in 2008 of the Wharton School’s Data and Analytics program. He is Vice Chairman of the Skirball Cultural Center. Art is an advisory member for both the Milken Institute Center for The Future of Aging as well as the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream. He has also been a board member of Bet Tzedek for many years, during which time Bet Tzedek has provided extensive legal aid for those in need. He serves on the Executive Committee for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, and he is also a board member of Bet Tzedek. 

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

Charles Herbertson

Director & City Engineer
Culver City Department of Public Works


 

Sue Minter
Executive Director
Capstone Community Action
Biography

Sue Minter

Executive Director
Capstone Community Action

Sue Minter is the Executive Director of Capstone Community Action, a regional anti-poverty non-profit in Vermont dedicated to creating resilient communities and advancing social, economic and environmental justice. In 2021 she was appointed to serve on the Vermont Climate Council, established to create the state’s climate action plan, where she co-chair of the Just Transitions Committee.

Minter has served the state of Vermont as the Secretary of the Agency of Transportation (2015), Deputy Secretary (2011-2014) and as the state’s Chief Recovery Officer (2011-2013) following the devastation from Tropical Storm Irene. Sue also served on President Obama’s White House Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience (2015) as a sub-committee co-chair and also led a Vermont disaster response team to support Colorado DOT after 2013 flooding. Minter was the Democratic candidate for Vermont Governor in 2016.

Minter’s public service included elected office as State Representative in the Vermont legislature from 2004–2010, serving as a member of the House Appropriations Committee and House Transportation Committees, when she was selected to be an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership (2009-11) and was designated as a 2008 Emerging Political Leader by the State Legislative Leadership Foundation.

A graduate of Harvard University (BA) and M.I.T. (MA in City Planning), Sue and her husband, David Goodman, live in Waterbury Center and have two adult children.

Bill Gross
Founder and CEO
Heliogen
Biography

Bill Gross

Founder and CEO
Heliogen

Bill Gross is a pioneering renewable energy entrepreneur who has created 7 billion-dollar-plus exits. Starting with creating a company called Solar Devices in High School, he has created more than 150 companies with more than 50 IPO’s and acquisitions over the last 30 years.

Bill is the creator of one of the first, and now longest-running technology incubators – Idealab – which he founded in 1996 and still runs as the world’s premiere startup studio.

Bill is a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship, climate change, renewable energy, and more at TED, DLD, Davos, and college campuses around the world, including Caltech, where he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering, and where he serves on the board of trustees.

Three of Bill’s most impactful recent energy companies include Energy Vault for low-cost energy storage, Carbon Capture, for low-cost direct air capture of CO2, and Heliogen, pioneering high temperature solar concentration to both replace fossil fuel and create green fuel from the sun.

Bill is committed to showing that while climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time, using technological innovation to address it can make it one of the biggest economics opportunities at the same time.

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.

 

Bernie Kotlier
Executive Director
Sustainable Energy Solutions, IBEW-NECA Labor Management Cooperation Committee, California and Nevada
Biography

Bernie Kotlier

Executive Director
Sustainable Energy Solutions, IBEW-NECA Labor Management Cooperation Committee, California and Nevada

Bernie Kotlier directs the development, promotion, and delivery of sustainable energy business development programs, education, and training for NECA contractors and IBEW electricians in California and Nevada including energy efficiency, photovoltaics, zero net energy buildings, energy storage + micro-grids, electric vehicles, and cyber-electric hard wired security. Bernie also works with regulatory agencies in California and Nevada: The Public Utilities Commission, the Air Resources Board, and the Energy Commission including membership on numerous advisory boards, panels, and advocacy coalitions. Most recently Bernie served as a member of the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Advisory Group to CalEPA, and is currently chair of the Workforce and Communities Committee of Li-Bridge, a U.S. DoE initiative to scale up the American battery industry. He is a member of the board of directors of CalCharge, New Energy Nexus, NAATBatt, and the California Energy Alliance.

Mark Irwin
Director, Technology Development, Advanced Technology
Southern California Edison
Biography

Mark Irwin

Director, Technology Development, Advanced Technology
Southern California Edison

As director of Technology Development, Mark Irwin leads SCE’s Energy Storage Ownership Initiative, the energy storage and transportation research and development activities, and the project management of Advanced Technology’s research portfolio.

Mr. Irwin has 30 years in the energy business, which includes 23 years with Edison International, leading teams that develop, manage or contract with significant power generation and fuel assets. 

Mr. Irwin earned an MBA in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in accounting from the University of Southern California. 

 

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.

 

Cherif Youssef
Technology Development Manager
Southern California Gas Company
Biography

Cherif Youssef

Technology Development Manager
Southern California Gas Company

Mr. Youssef is the Technology Development Manager for the Southern California Gas Company.  Mr. Youssef has 35 years of experience in the energy industry with past responsibilities in Marketing, Human Resources, Operations and Engineering.  He is responsible for managing a $10 million per year R&D program. This program is focused on developing and demonstrating new products and technologies to help customers use energy more efficiently, meet their environmental regulations, use renewable energy and use alternative fuel vehicles.

 

Mr. Youssef has a Bachelor and Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California.

Susan Bitter Smith
Commissioner
Arizona Corporation Commission
Biography

Susan Bitter Smith

Commissioner
Arizona Corporation Commission
Scott Maloni
VP Project Development
Poseidon
Biography

Scott Maloni

VP Project Development
Poseidon

Mr. Maloni is a public affairs specialist with seventeen years of professional experience in media relations, and government advocacy, crisis communications, and national and local political campaigns. He is responsible for corporate public affairs and managing project development in the State of California. Mr. Maloni attended school in Providence, Rhode Island, and graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy.

William A. Zobel
Executive Director
California Hydrogen Business Council
Biography

William A. Zobel

Executive Director
California Hydrogen Business Council

William (Bill) Zobel serves as Executive Director of the California Hydrogen Business Council (CHBC), a non-profit trade association advancing the commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cells in California. 

As Executive Director, Bill is responsible for all aspects of CHBC operations, staff and resources and serves as the organization’s chief advocate.  He works closely with the membership, the CHBC Policy Director and supporting staff to identify areas where CHBC’s engagement in the legislative and regulatory process will increase awareness and support the development of the hydrogen and fuel cell industry. 

Bill has over 30 years of experience in the energy sector covering a wide range of issues and responsibilities.  Prior to joining the CHBC, Bill was Vice President of Business Development & Marketing for Trillium which designs, builds, owns and operates alternative refueling stations across the US serving the CNG/RNG, Electric and Hydrogen transportation markets. Bill also managed Market Development and Strategy for Trillium as an affiliate of the Wisconsin Energy Corporation (WEC) and Integrys.  During this period the company realized considerable growth, becoming one of the largest providers of CNG in the US.  

Prior to joining Trillium, Bill managed the SempramUtilities Natural Gas and Electric Vehicle Clean Transportation programs.  Recognized as the premier utility Clean Transportation program in the US, the Sempra team executed an alternative fuels strategy which focused on customer education & outreach, sound alternative transportation fuel policy, and the demonstration/commercialization of promising natural gas and electric vehicle technologies.        

Before entering the alternative fuels market, Bill served as the Director of Environmental and Climate Change Policy for Sempra Energy, and as Director of Strategy and Business Analysis for BP North America where he helped develop BP’s US brand and domestic policy following the acquisitions of Amoco and ARCO.  In his 15 years with ARCO, Bill was instrumental in the development and execution of the nation’s first regional smog trading program, RECLAIM, and worked on the development of nation’s first reformulated gasoline, EC-1.             

Bill has previously served as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for CalStart, and served on the Board of Directors for the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA), the California Electric Transportation Coalition (CalETC), the California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA), NGV America, the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition (CNGVC), California Natural Gas Vehicle Partnership the Conservation Corps of Long Beach, and the Moonlight Cultural Foundation.  Bill was honored to serve as part of a select group under US Energy Secretary Stephen Chu to develop the National Petroleum Councils “Future Transportation Fuels Study”, published in 2012 under the Obama administration. 

Bill is a graduate of Columbia University’s executive business program and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from California State University Long Beach.   

 
Kaylynn Kim
Managing Partner
Tierra Global Advisors
Biography

Kaylynn Kim

Managing Partner
Tierra Global Advisors
Eliot Abel
Co-Owner / Director of Commercial Project Development
Namaste Solar
Biography

Eliot Abel

Co-Owner / Director of Commercial Project Development
Namaste Solar
Eliot leads commercial sales & project development at Namaste Solar, guiding the development of solar projects ranging from 50kW to 10MW. Prior to joining Namaste Solar, Eliot was the Founder and Principal of Abel Clean Energy Advisors, a consulting firm that helps commercial property owners and developers utilize innovative financing, such as C-PACE, to implement renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions that increase value, reduce operating costs, and enhance the sustainability of their properties. Earlier in his career, Eliot worked in business development roles at a UK-based thin film solar startup, GE’s global Renewable Energy business, and San Diego-based Renovate America. Eliot serves on the Boards of the Colorado Solar and Storage Association and Namaste Solar, and holds a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.
 
Joe Sullivan
Director of Energy Solutions
Los Angeles IBEW & NECA
Biography

Joe Sullivan

Director of Energy Solutions
Los Angeles IBEW & NECA
Deborah Flint
CEO
Los Angeles World Airports
Biography

Deborah Flint

CEO
Los Angeles World Airports

Deborah Flint was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) in June 2015, with oversight of Los Angeles International (LAX) and Van Nuys (VNY) general aviation airports.

Flint leads the team responsible for returning LAX to iconic status, creating a world class, modern airport for the modern traveler and building a transportation system that will give passengers a first-class, swift, convenient, and reliable way to access the airport.  Flint’s responsibilities involve managing the largest public works project in the history of the City of Los Angeles and investing more than $8.5-billion to innovate retail, food and beverage, terminal redevelopment and create an airport wide hospitality mindset.  As well, Flint oversees the development and advancement of security policies and strategies that comply with federal security regulations and provide world-class law enforcement for the protection of the public and property.

She leads the procurement and delivery of the Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP,) the $5.5 billion solution to the crowded roadways and curbsides at and around LAX.  Elements include an Automated People Mover (APM), Consolidated Rent-a-Car Center (ConRAC), Intermodal Transportation Facilities (ITFs) and comprehensive Roadway Improvements. Working in partnership with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), the system will provide travelers with a seamless connection to public transit.  Flint is committed to building the complex structures with leading edge innovation and design, while creating new jobs and opportunities for small, local and diverse business.

Flint managed the transition of Ontario International Airport to its new local authority.  She continues to position VNY, one of the world’s busiest general aviation airports, as a vital community partner which contributes more than $1.3 billion each year to the Southern California economy.

Flint came to LAWA from the Port of Oakland where she had held the position of aviation director since 2010, being the primary executive responsible management, business development and operation of Oakland International Airport (OAK). 

While there, she delivered the $480-milliion BART Airport Rail project after years of effort and challenges; executed strategies to stabilize and reverse passenger traffic decline in a difficult market environment; redesigned OAK’s customer experience to make the airport more competitive; and marketed, developed and negotiated numerous development and investment transactions in terminal renovation and hangar development.

Prior to serving as aviation director at the Port of Oakland, Flint held the position of assistant aviation director.  Other professional experience includes leading OAK's Capital Program in which she coordinated the design, financing and implementation of major airport projects, and participated in the issuance of more than a half billion dollars in revenue bonds.  She also served as acting port executive director of the Port of Oakland (maritime).  She began her career with the port in 1992 in port finance and advanced through the port’s Finance and Aviation divisions.    

Flint serves on the Board of the Airports Council International World Board, is on the Oversight Committee of the Transportation Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program; and is the Chair of the California Airports Council. 

Doane Liu
Executive Director
Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development
Biography

Doane Liu

Executive Director
Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development

In March 2017, Doane Liu was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development (CTD), with the goal to further enhance and increase Los Angeles’ prominence and attraction as a world class tourist and convention destination. 

Liu joined the CTD after serving as Deputy Executive Director and Chief of Staff at the Port of Los Angeles, where he was the second in command at the busiest container port in North America and head of the Port’s External Affairs Bureau.

Before the Port, Liu was Deputy Mayor for the City of Los Angeles. He managed the Mayor's Office of City Services and helped the Mayor oversee 15 City Departments, including the Los Angeles Department Water and Power, Public Works, Transportation, Recreation and Parks, Public Library, and LA Zoo. He also established the Great Streets Studio and LA RiverWorks in the Mayor’s Office. A first-generation Korean-American, Liu also was a liaison in the Mayor’s Office to the Korean-American community in Los Angeles.

Liu was previously Chief of Staff for Councilman Joe Buscaino and served as Chief of Staff for Councilwoman Janice Hahn, Deputy Mayor for Mayor James K. Hahn and District Director for Congresswoman Jane Harman. He was also Senior Vice President of Government Banking at JP Morgan Chase and Vice President in the Real Estate Industries Group at Security Pacific National Bank.

Liu currently serves on the boards of AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Fleet Week Foundation, and Sister Cities of Los Angeles. He has previously served on the boards of the LA24 Olympic Bid Committee, LA County Business Federation, Harbor Interfaith Shelter, Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative, Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, Mary Star of the Sea High School, and Holy Trinity School.

Liu graduated from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania and received an MBA from University of Southern California. He and his wife have four grown children and have lived in San Pedro for nearly 30 years.

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.

 

Charlie Woo
Board Chair
Los Angeles Workforce Development Board
Biography

Charlie Woo

Board Chair
Los Angeles Workforce Development Board

Charlie Woo is an entrepreneur with a passion for public policy and civic engagement.

He is a co-founder and CEO of Megatoys, an international toy manufacturing company headquartered in Los Angeles. He also turned the once run-down industrial area in downtown Los Angeles into a thriving toy wholesale district by attracting hundreds of immigrant entrepreneurs to start toy businesses there. Charlie is also a developer of housing and commercial mixed- use projects in Downtown Los Angeles.

He chairs the Workforce Development Board for the City of Los Angeles, a commission that oversees the nation’s second largest workforce development system. Known for his innovative approach to workforce development, he was appointed and re-appointed by five successive mayors of Los Angeles to chair this board.  He is also a former Chairman of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, a former member of the California Economic Development Commission as well as the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs.

Charlie, an immigrant from Hong Kong, received both his M. S. and B. S. degrees in Physics from UCLA.

Susan Moulton
Sr. Public Sector Solutions Director
Waste Management
Biography

Susan Moulton

Sr. Public Sector Solutions Director
Waste Management

Susan Moulton is a successful executive for Waste Management, the leading provider of comprehensive waste and environmental services in North America.

She has a long track record of helping businesses and communities achieve their challenging environmental goals. Susan understands the issues the public and private sector face in meeting various government mandates and private sector environmental goals. She has nearly two decades of experience working in the waste and recycling industry.

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.

Michael Schneider
Vice President, Clean Transportation & Asset Management
SDG&E
Biography

Michael Schneider

Vice President, Clean Transportation & Asset Management
SDG&E

Michael M. Schneider is vice president of clean transportation and asset management at San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). 

In this role, Schneider oversees clean transportation, asset management, growth and technology integration, strategic planning and business optimization. 

Most recently, he was chief environmental officer and vice president of operations support for both SDG&E and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), Sempra Energy’s regulated utilities in California. His responsibilities included: facilities, fleet services, environmental services, real estate, and land services for both companies. 

Previously, Schneider served as vice president of customer operations, where he oversaw billing, collections, customer contact center and meter reading organization, remittance processing and credit. 

Schneider holds a master's degree in business administration from George Mason University with an emphasis in finance and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Arizona. 

He serves on the Advisory Board and Director's Circle for the Lamden School of Accountancy at San Diego State University, the board of directors of the San Diego River Park Foundation, and the National Board of Advisors of the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. 

Paul Mertes
President
Mertes Management and Technology Inc.
Biography

Paul Mertes

President
Mertes Management and Technology Inc.

Paul has twenty years experience as an executive directing the growth or turnaround of engineering, technology, and infrastructure companies. Paul has led company and divisional operations in Canada, the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, specializing in strategy development and execution.

Experience includes: clean energy technologies; transportation technologies (rail, air, transit); transport planning, demand forecasting, environmental assessment, and design/construction; building design/construction; lean engineering & operations; and expert system development/deployment.

Paul is President of Mertes Management and Technology, Managing Director of Verdexchange Canada Inc, and serves as a business advisor to the MaRS Cleantech Group, and as Advisory Board Member of Clean Transportation Group Inc. Previous positions include CEO of CleanEnergy & Board Member of the Canadian Geoexchange Coalition, Senior Vice President Giffels Engineering & Chairman AGM Program Managers; President Canac Remote Control Technologies; and Vice President International, Cole,Sherman Associates.

Michael Picker
President
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Michael Picker

President
California Public Utilities Commission

Michael Picker was named President of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on December 23, 2014, by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., who first appointed President Picker as a Commissioner on January 29, 2014. Prior to his appointment, President Picker was Senior Advisor for Renewable Energy in the Office of the Governor from 2009 to 2014. He was a principal at Lincoln Crow Strategic Communications from 2000 to 2009, Deputy Treasurer in the Office of the California State Treasurer from 1998 to 1999, Chief of Staff to Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna Jr. from 1992 to 1999, and Deputy Assistant for toxic substance control in the Office of the Governor from 1981 to 1982. He was a member of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District Board of Directors from 2012-2014. President Picker is a former lecturer at UCLA’s Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning, and instructor at Occidental College’s Urban and Environmental Policies Institute. He holds an MBA from UC Davis, specializing in marketing, social marketing, and nonprofit management.

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.

Kevin Minne
Biography

Kevin Minne

Kevin is a registered civil engineer and traffic engineer with the state of California with over 16 years of experience working in transportation and street improvement.  Kevin currently oversees various advanced planning functions for City of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services (StreetsLA) including the integration of new innovative technologies into current operations, the deployment of a new enterprise asset management system, the procurement and management of over $200M in various federal, state, and local grants, and management of bureauwide IT systems.  Prior to this role, Kevin oversaw StreetsLA’s design-build program which included the delivery of capital street improvement projects with in-house engineering and construction staff.  Kevin currently also serves as a voting member on LA Metro’s Technical Advisory Committee and serves as a Public Works Commissioner

Quay Hays
Principal and CEO
GROW Holdings LLC
Biography

Quay Hays

Principal and CEO
GROW Holdings LLC

Quay Hays has been on the forefront of renewable energy and “green” development throughout California. 

As principal and CEO of GROW Holdings LLC (Grow Renewable Organic & Water), Mr. Hays is overseeing one of the largest renewable energy-powered environmental projects in the world, the planning and development of a “green” city of 22,000 homes located on 7,200 acres in Central California which incorporates innovations in solar energy, sustainable design, technical integration and 21st century building methodology.

In addition to growing up on construction sites as the son and grandson of real estate developers, Mr. Hays has over 25 years’ experience in real estate, company capitalizations, and marketing. His real estate experiences encompass project management, entitlements, land planning, complex financings, home building, and sales and acquisitions. 

Mr. Hays is the past Chairman of the California Economic Summit’s Regulatory Reform Committee and led the Open Data team in helping the state of California establish its Open Data Policy. Mr. Hays serves on the board of the Palisades Malibu YMCA, The State of the Future Organization, and the Milken Institute’s Central Valley Initiative and is an active supporter of numerous environmental groups including The Sierra Club and NRDC. 

Mr. Hays is the author of the Life’s Golden Rules series of books, including Bottom Lines, The Golden Rules for Executive Success.

David Nahai
Partner
Lewis Brisbois LLP
Biography

David Nahai

Partner
Lewis Brisbois LLP

David Nahai is a recognized expert in energy, water, and real estate matters. 

He has served as the General Manager and Commission President of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), Chairman of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Board, and Senior Advisor to the Clinton Climate Initiative. 

Currently, he is the President of David Nahai Consulting Services, Inc., which advises clients in the water and energy sectors, a Partner at the Lewis Brisbois law firm and co-chair of its water, real estate, and energy practice areas, and a Managing Partner at AQORA Capital Management Company, LLC, a growth capital firm focusing on the water and sustainability industries. 

As the CEO and Commission President of the LADWP, the largest municipal utility in the United States, he led an overall transformation of the utility, including the origination of the City’s Water Supply Plan; the attainment of historic reductions in water consumption; and the expansion of the utility’s renewable energy portfolio and energy efficiency programs. 

In his capacity as a member and Chairman the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Board, Mr. Nahai served in the administrations of 3 California Governors. The Regional Water Board oversees an area with over 11 million residents. 

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.

David Pogue
Global Director of Corporate Responsibility
CBRE
Biography

David Pogue

Global Director of Corporate Responsibility
CBRE

As Global Director of Corporate Responsibility, Dave Pogue oversees CBRE’s development, implementation and reporting for all aspects of corporate social responsibility, including environmental stewardship, community engagement and corporate giving. Prior to his current role, Mr. Pogue led sustainability programs for CBRE’s property and facilities management portfolio around the globe, managing the development, introduction and implementation of a wide-ranging platform of sustainable practices and policies. His leadership in this area produced an award-winning sustainability platform leveraging thought leadership, service delivery and industry associations to raise worldwide green building standards. Program achievements included development of CBRE’s $1 million Real Green Research Challenge; aggressive endorsement of the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR® program; introduction of the Green Knights program; delivery of co-branded BOMA BEEP training to more than 16,000 attendees; and recognition as the first manager of commercial property to certify more than 400 buildings in the LEED® for Existing Buildings rating system.

CBRE has also been ranked in Newsweek’s list of the 500 greenest companies in the U.S., honored by the EPA as an eight-time ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year and recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council® with the Leadership Award for Organizational Excellence. CBRE has also been included in CDP’s S&P Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI), for three consecutive years, achieving a perfect score in 2015, and in the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for two consecutive years. Prior to leading sustainability programs, Mr. Pogue was a Senior Managing Director of Asset Services in the Western Region, responsible for overseeing service delivery for office, retail and industrial real estate properties totaling more than 250 MSF. ​

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.

Emilio Cruz
Assistant General Manager
SFPUC
Biography

Emilio Cruz

Assistant General Manager
SFPUC

Emilio Cruz is the Assistant General Manager, Infrastructure, overseeing all water, power and sewer capital programs and projects, including the Water System Improvement Program, Sewer System Improvement Program, and Hetchy System Improvement Program. He leads the Infrastructure Division, coordinating the work of the following Bureaus: Environmental Management, Construction Management, Engineering Management, Project Management, Project Controls, and Contract Administration. Emilio brings to the SFPUC all the attributes of a dynamic career encompassing twenty-five years serving the City and County of San Francisco, and private and non-profit sectors. He was Program Manager of the Waterfront Capital Improvement Program under the Chief Administrative Officer of San Francisco; Director of Facilities and Operations for the Port of San Francisco; Chief of Staff to the Mayor; General Manager of the Municipal Railway; Vice President of URS Corporation; Director of Economic Development for the City and County of San Francisco; Chief Operating Officer of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund; Vice President and Partner of EPC Consultants; and most recently, Program Manager for the $4.2 billion Transbay Terminal Program. He is a graduate of Stanford University, with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He has led numerous boards, including the San Francisco Board of Education, and San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR), for which he served as President and Vice President, respectively.

Lisa Alexander
Vice President, Customer Solutions and Communications
SoCalGas
Biography

Lisa Alexander

Vice President, Customer Solutions and Communications
SoCalGas

Lisa Alexander is vice president, customer solutions and communications for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), a Sempra Energy regulated California utility. She is responsible for developing new markets; driving clean technologies for commercial, industrial and residential customers; and delivering the information, products and services that meet customers’ energy needs and support state environmental and social policy objectives. 

Alexander’s portfolio includes renewable natural gas, near zero emissions transportation, emerging technologies and energy efficiency, conservation and low income assistance programs. Previously at the company, she held increasingly responsible management roles in the areas of commercial and industrial services, customer strategy and new products and services.

Prior to joining SoCalGas, Alexander was a partner at a boutique consulting firm that advised energy companies on smart grid technologies and conservation behavior change. She has also held strategic marketing positions at E*TRADE, Ticketmaster and Omnicom companies, and as a consultant, she has advised Fortune 500 companies on growth strategies. She began her career as a management consultant with Accenture.

Alexander serves as vice-chairman of the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition and is on the board of directors of TreePeople and NGVAmerica. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science cum laude from the University of California, San Diego.

Gideon Kracov
Board Member
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Gideon Kracov

Board Member
California Air Resources Board

Gideon Kracov is a lawyer in Los Angeles, where he represents clients in environmental and land use cases. His practice includes high-stakes litigation and complex regulatory matters. Mr. Kracov has worked for diverse business, labor and non-profit clients, and as a government lawyer. He served for more than fifteen years as General Counsel of the California Waste and Recycling Association, a trade organization including leading recycling and waste management companies. 

Mr. Kracov was appointed to the California Air Resources Board by Governor Gavin Newsom in December 2020. He also serves as the Governor’s appointee to the South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board responsible for improving air quality in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The region is home to more than 17 million people.

Previously, Mr. Kracov served as a Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney where he counseled the Departments of Planning and Sanitation. 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 started his legal career at the prominent Los Angeles firm Weston, Benshoof LLP (now Alston & Bird LLP), where his practice involved environmental tort defense for Fortune 500 clients.

Mr. Kracov is the former Chair of the State Bar of California Environmental Law Section Executive Committee. Elected by his peers, 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. Kracovserved as Vice-Chair of the Los Angeles Proposition O Bond Committee administering $500 million to protect the city’s rivers and beaches.

Mr. Kracov teaches land use law and regulation at Loyola Law School. In 2019, he coached the Loyola Law School team to first place in the 20th Annual California Lawyers Association Environmental Law Student Negotiation Competition.

He received his Juris Doctorate and Environmental Law Certificate from the University of California Berkeley Law School in 1995, and graduated from the University of California Berkeley with high honors in 1992.

In 2001, Mr. Kracov was one of the "emerging leaders from the United States" selected for a German Marshall Fund Memorial Fellowship to foster transatlantic relationships among "those capable of affecting real and lasting change.”

Hank Lee
Vice President, International Banking
East West Bank
Biography

Hank Lee

Vice President, International Banking
East West Bank

Hank Lee has been in the equipment leasing industry for over 20 years with the last 12 years focusing on financing energy assets.  Hank specifically has financed distributed generation assets such as central plants, energy efficiency equipment, co-generation and renewable energy projects for institutions, commercial, municipals and the federal government.

Hank has brought his energy equipment financing expertise to East West Bank as a First Vice President in the International Banking Department specializing in financing renewable energy projects.  He has financed solar projects at the Port of West Sacramento, City of Brea, San Diego Community College District, Edwards Air Force Base as well as solar projects in New Jersey and Massachusetts. 

Hank is a graduate of Duke University with a degree in Economics.

Nash Hurley
Creative Director
VITAL Environments
Biography

Nash Hurley

Creative Director
VITAL Environments
Ruben Dagstanyan
Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
Tabuchi Electric Company
Biography

Ruben Dagstanyan

Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
Tabuchi Electric Company

Ruben Dagstanyan joined Tabuchi Electric in June of 2017, and currently serves as Executive Vice President and CTO.  For the past several years Ruben has been involved in renewable energy related projects and products. He joined Tabuchi Electric to lead the company’s effort in developing and bringing to the market residential, as well as commercial inverters in North America.

Prior to joining Tabuchi Electric Ruben was with Panasonic serving as Vice President, Eco Solutions Group for Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company (PESCO). In his recent years with PESCO he had been responsible for developing new technological solutions, systems architecture and product portfolios in PESCO's Eco sector with a heavy emphasis in the solar plus storage and micro-grid space. Just prior to becoming VP, Ruben headed Engineering, Project Management and Operations Departments as part of then PESCO's Eco Group's EPC activities at the commercial scale. Under his leadership, the Eco Group implemented in excess of 200MW solar generation plants since 2011.

Prior to Panasonic, Ruben worked for seven years at the Sony Systems Development Center with responsibilities ranging from Implementation Project Manager, deploying DirecTV Japan multi-channel satellite broadcast system, to Senior Systems Architect providing systems solutions for clients interested in digital content management and digital rights management.  He was responsible for various solutions related to the broadcasting industry.

Ruben has a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from Riga Polytechnic Institute, Latvia.  He is passionate about performance cars, cooking, and watchmaking, and currently resides in California.

Moshik Mah
Design Principal
HDR
Biography

Moshik Mah

Design Principal
HDR

Practicing at the intersection of imagination and urban settings, Moshik is an architect whose innovative designs strive to bring a community together.  In his 27 year career, he has lead the vision for award winning projects that enhance the design experience in the public domain to improve the quality of life for the people whom his designs serve.  Design that is representative of the desires and needs of a diverse community must be inviting to all, offer a delightful setting, and promote active participation.  Landmark projects as Link Union Station, Kansas City Street Car and the Portland Aerial Tram are emblematic of the positive influence design has to express culture to reinforce and bind a community.  Moshik has extended these principles across an array of civic and transportation projects including stations, transit orient development, trams, streetcars, campus master plans, bridge design, civic buildings, street design and multimodal hubs.  The architecture embraces and communicates the common values of a place to cultivate a vibrant public life that enjoys an enduring social and economic prosperity. 

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. 

Jill Anderson
Vice President, Customer Programs & Services
Southern California Edison
Biography

Jill Anderson

Vice President, Customer Programs & Services
Southern California Edison

Jill Anderson is vice president of Customer Programs and Services at Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the nation’s largest electric utilities. She is responsible for leading SCE's energy efficiency, demand response and clean self-generation program portfolios as well as customer strategy, marketing, e-commerce and strategic alliance functions.

Previously, Anderson was executive vice president and chief commercial officer at the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the country’s largest state power organization. She directed all wholesale and retail operations. She was responsible for sales, marketing, new products and technology, and energy efficiency programs. In this role, Anderson also oversaw the marketing of NYPA’s generation assets, trading, fuel operations, hedging and business development for new transmission and generation activities. Prior to serving in this position at NYPA, she led energy policy, sustainability, corporate communications, regulatory affairs and government relations departments at the organization.

Before joining NYPA, Anderson worked for Hess Corporation, leading global process improvement projects focused on revenue enhancement, cost reduction and environmental excellence, including greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts.

Anderson has also worked for Consolidated Edison Company of New York, leading teams responsible for natural gas and electric substation construction and operation, redesign of the distribution system to improve efficiency and integrate new technologies, and electricity and natural gas procurement.

Anderson received a Master of Business Administration degree from New York University and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree from Boston University.

Julian Gresser
Director
Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips
Biography

Julian Gresser

Director
Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips
Alex Fay
Business Development Manager
Quallion
Biography

Alex Fay

Business Development Manager
Quallion

Alex Fay manages business development efforts for clean transportation and medical devices, and he oversees research and development programs at Quallion, a manufacturer of lithium ion batteries for advanced applications.  

Alex’s portfolio includes the company’s effort to expand its manufacturing capabilities through a grant from the California Energy Commission.  He also works closely with Quallion’s R&D and engineering teams to develop novel lithium ion battery chemistries, cell designs, and safety features. 

Prior to joining Quallion, Alex worked as a clean technology advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.  Alex is a graduate of UCLA.

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.
Huub Cox
Water Recycling Implementation Division Manager
LA Sanitation and Environment
Biography

Huub Cox

Water Recycling Implementation Division Manager
LA Sanitation and Environment

Huub is a Principal Environmental Engineer in LA Sanitation and Environment and was appointed manager of the Water Recycling Implementation Division in August 2019. His primary responsibility is to coordinate the 100% Recycled Water Program at the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant, transforming the plant from a full secondary treatment facility today to a 100% recycled water facility by 2035.

Huub started at LA Sanitation and Environment in 2002 and has worked on Class A biosolids and air pollution control at Hyperion. In 2007, he joined the Watershed Protection Program and was responsible for water quality compliance in the Santa Monica Bay and Ballona Creek watersheds, the development and implementation of the City’s Enhanced Watershed Management Programs, and the Safe, Clean Water Program.

Huub holds a Master’s degree in Chemical and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wageningen and a Ph.D. from the University of Groningen, both in the Netherlands.

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.

Jawaad Malik
Vice President of Strategy and Sustainability and Chief Environmental Officer
SoCalGas
Biography

Jawaad Malik

Vice President of Strategy and Sustainability and Chief Environmental Officer
SoCalGas

Jawaad Malik is vice president of strategy and sustainability, and chief environmental officer for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), a Sempra regulated California utility. Malik is responsible for the development of a comprehensive strategy and sustainability plan to position SoCalGas as a long-term leader enabling California’s clean energy future. The comprehensive strategy focuses on the vital role the gas grid provides to support California’s energy system objectives.

Previously, Malik was vice president of gas acquisition and vice president of accounting and finance for SoCalGas. Since joining SoCalGas in 2007, Malik has served in a number of increasingly responsible management positions, including director of financial and operations planning, financial planning manager and General Rate Case program manager. Prior to this, he held various finance and auditing related roles at the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and the California Department of Insurance.

Malik holds a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from California State University, Los Angeles and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant. He currently serves on the board of directors for LA’s BEST, a nationally recognized after school program serving more than 20,000 children in neighborhoods of Los Angeles.  Malik also sits on the Dean’s advisory council of Cal Poly Pomona’s college of business administration and the UC Davis Energy & Efficiency Institute board of advisors.

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.

Rodger Schwecke
Vice President of Customer Solutions
Southern California Gas Company
Biography

Rodger Schwecke

Vice President of Customer Solutions
Southern California Gas Company

Rodger R. Schwecke is Vice President of Customer Solutions for SoCalGas. In this role, he is responsible for customer programs promoting energy efficiency, sustainability, low-income assistance, commercial and industrial customer services, advertising, customer communications, customer research, web services, and the development of new emerging technologies including SoCalGas’ natural gas vehicle program.  He serves on the Discovery Science Center Board, Orange County Business Council, NGVAmerica Board and Executive Committee, and UCLA Extension Global Sustainability Certificate Program Advisory Board. 

Jennifer Phillips
Senior Scientist on Climate
Governor's Office of Planning & Research
Biography

Jennifer Phillips

Senior Scientist on Climate
Governor's Office of Planning & Research

Jenn Phillips joined the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) in November 2018 as senior scientist on climate. In this role, she works closely on OPR’s Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program, supports the advancement of key science and data initiatives to support the state’s climate goals and enhance our resilience to climate change, and engages with partners throughout California, other U.S. states, and internationally. Previously she was at the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) and led OPC’s work on climate impacts on the ocean and coast, including on sea level rise and ocean acidification. Before OPC, she worked in the NOAA Administrator’s Office in Washington, D.C. where she started as a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow and then spent a year on the Administrator’s key staff. During this time, she helped with the development and execution of NOAA’s priorities, such as community resilience. Jenn has a master’s from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.S. in Biology from Cornell University.

David Kanani, PhD EECD
Managing Partner
Grid Solar, LLC
Biography

David Kanani, PhD EECD

Managing Partner
Grid Solar, LLC
Anthony Eggert
Executive Director
UC Davis Policy Institute
Biography

Anthony Eggert

Executive Director
UC Davis Policy Institute
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.

Emily Cloke
British Consul General in Los Angeles
UK Consulate General
Biography

Emily Cloke

British Consul General in Los Angeles
UK Consulate General

Emily Cloke is British Consul General in Los Angeles. She is the senior representative of the UK government in Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Hawaii. In this role, she promotes trade and investment, scientific cooperation, tackling climate change, creative and media collaborations and educational partnerships between the UK and the southwestern United States. She also oversees delivery of essential consular services to a 600,000-strong British resident community and British visitors.

Emily has a range of policy, commercial and international experience working for the British Government. Her recent roles include as Deputy CEO for the UK-Africa Investment Summit hosted by the Prime Minister in 2020, and as a senior leader in the Department for International Trade’s Sectors Group, overseeing export and investment promotion for industry sectors including aerospace, advanced manufacturing and education. She has worked overseas as Trade Director for the British Embassy Tehran, setting up and leading the UK’s trade section and strategy following the re-opening of the British Embassy in 2015, and as Head of Trade at the British Embassy Sweden. Her wider experience includes advising on the creation of the world’s first Green Investment Bank, and leading the Ministerial private office for the Minister of Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs/Minister for Women & Equalities. Emily started her career as a lawyer in the City of London and studied law at Cambridge University.

Marc Fenigstein
Co-Founder and CEO
Alta Motors
Biography

Marc Fenigstein

Co-Founder and CEO
Alta Motors

Marc grew up building or taking things apart and being a menace to rural Ohio before straightening up his act to nab Fine Art, Engineering, and Management degrees at Dartmouth College. Marc has worked in venture capital, in strategy consulting at BCG, and at frog design inc. His products include HP's SkyRoom software, Carmanah's 1700 series solar lighting, and a couple that he isn't allowed to talk about.

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 Technology Office 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.

Randy Wu
Vice President, N.A. Business Development
First Solar
Biography

Randy Wu

Vice President, N.A. Business Development
First Solar
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.

Edgar Westerhof
National Director for Flood Risk and Resiliency
ARCADIS North America
Biography

Edgar Westerhof

National Director for Flood Risk and Resiliency
ARCADIS North America
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.

Michael Carlin
Deputy General Manager and Chief Operating Officer
SFPUC
Biography

Michael Carlin

Deputy General Manager and Chief Operating Officer
SFPUC
Carolina Romo
Assistant Director of Community Development
Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA)
Biography

Carolina Romo

Assistant Director of Community Development
Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA)

With 20+ years as a LACDA team member, Carolina Romo is a seasoned professional with direct experience in community and affordable housing development.  She is currently the Assistant Director of Community Development at the LACDA. Carolina provides day-to-day management and operations expertise to the Community Development Division (CDD).  The CDD consists of four units with approximately 90 full-time staff members. Community Development Block Grant Planning & Administration, Construction Management, Collaborative of American Rescue Plan, Permanent Local Housing Allocation, and special projects and the Community Resource Center in South Whittier.  She also manages capital development projects from procurement through lease up.   Additionally, Carolina is the Administrator of the Los Angeles County Housing Development Corporation, a nonprofit affordable housing developer.

Carolina is a graduate of California State University Los Angeles and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an option in Finance and a minor in Economics. She is also a graduate of USC’s Ross Minority Program in Real Estate.  She is a California licensed Real Estate Broker and has an NMLS endorsement. She also holds a number of certifications on affordable housing programs administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She is the Board Chair of Canopy Communities, a nonprofit affordable housing developer.

Laura Renger
Principal Manager, Air and Climate
Southern California Edison
Biography

Laura Renger

Principal Manager, Air and Climate
Southern California Edison

Laura Renger is the Principal Manager of Air & Climate in the Regulatory Affairs organization at Southern California Edison (SCE).  In this position, Laura leads a team responsible for the utility’s regulatory and legislative policy concerning air quality, climate change and transportation electrification.  As the regulatory lead for transportation electrification programs, Laura routinely speaks to a wide-variety of audiences, including conferences and industry events domestically and internationally.  She has testified twice before California Public Utilities Commission concerning the implementation of the transportation electrification provisions of SB 350 and serves as SCE’s lead for the transportation electrification proposal that was filed at the CPUC on January 20, 2017.

Prior to this position, Laura was a Senior Attorney in the SCE Law Department, primarily focusing on air quality, climate, safety, and transmission project licensing.  She is the immediate past chair of the Environmental Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the current Treasurer of Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles.  Laura also serves as the Secretary of CalSTART (an organization dedicated to the growth of the clean transportation industry) and as the Treasurer of the California Electric Transportation Coalition (a non-profit association dedicated to the promotion of economic growth, clean air, fuel diversity and energy independence through the use of electric transportation). Laura holds a B.A. from Occidental College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.  She lives in Los Alamitos, California with her husband and ten-year-old son, Jack.

Mel Levine
President
LADWP Board of Commissioners
Biography

Mel Levine

President
LADWP Board of Commissioners

Mel Levine is counsel in the Century City office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.  He served as a member of the United States Congress from 1983 until 1993 and as a member of the California Assembly from 1977 to 1982.  He is a member of the California bar and the District of Columbia bar.

Mr. Levine’s practice concentrates on counseling clients on the Public Policy aspects of complex domestic and international transactions.  His clients have included companies involved in a range of industries, including banking, transportation, high technology, energy, entertainment, health care, defense, manufacturing, construction and telecommunications.

Mr. Levine was named one of the “100 Most Influential” lawyers in California and has been consistently recognized by his peers as one of The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Administrative and Regulatory Law, most recently in their 2019 publication.  The Los Angeles Business Journal has listed him repeatedly, as one of the “500 Most Influential People in Los Angeles.”  Mr. Levine is the President of the Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners, on the Advisory Board of the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California (Berkeley), and a Director of the Pacific Council on International Policy.  Mr. Levine has served as U.S. Chair of the U.S.-Israel-Palestinian “Anti-Incitement” committee established by the Wye Plantation peace agreement, as a Presidential appointee to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, as a U.S. government appointee to the U.S. – Israel Science and Technology Advisory Commission as President of the American Friends of the (Yitzhak) Rabin Center in Israel, and as Board Chair of the Los Angeles Police Foundation.

Mr. Levine’s Congressional committee assignments included the Committee on Foreign Affairs and its subcommittees on International Economic Policy and Trade, Europe and the Middle East, and Asia; the Committee on the Judiciary and its subcommittee on Intellectual Property; and the Committee on the Interior and Insular Affairs.  Mr. Levine was especially engaged in U.S. foreign policy involving international trade and Middle East policy.  He served as Chair of the House Task Force on Exports.  He also served as co-chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and chair of the Democratic Caucus Task Force on Latin America.  Mr. Levine founded and co-chaired Rebuild America, an educational foundation to improve American competitiveness by increasing support for high-technology industries, improving education and rebuilding infrastructure.  Between 1993 and 1997, Mr. Levine served, at the request of Vice President Gore, as co-President of Builders for Peace, the private sector effort to assist the Middle East peace process.

Mr. Levine received his law degree cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1969, a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University in 1966, and a bachelor’s degree cum laude from the University of California at Berkeley in 1964.

Mr. Levine is married to journalist Connie Bruck, a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine.  They have four children, Adam Levine, Jake Levine, Cara Levine and Ari Schlossberg.

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.

Tony Salazar
President, West Coast Operations
McCormack Barron Salazar
Biography

Tony Salazar

President, West Coast Operations
McCormack Barron Salazar
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.

Michael Owh
Chief Procurement Officer
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Michael Owh

Chief Procurement Officer
City of Los Angeles

As Chief Procurement Officer, Owh works to identify cost savings in the City’s spending, increase transparency, and reduce contracting time. A core priority of the Garcetti Administration is delivering inclusive economic growth, and the Chief Procurement Officer will play an important role in moving that commitment forward.

Owh builds on the work of the Mayor’s Operations Innovation Team (O-Team) — an initiative Mayor Garcetti launched in 2015 through the support of the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, and in partnership with the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs, as well as a number of private funders. The O-Team’s focus is to improve the City’s core business systems, deliver operational efficiency, and maximize the value of taxpayer dollars.

Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Owh was appointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to serve as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services and the City’s Chief Procurement Officer. In these roles, Owh was responsible for acquisition policy and the oversight of more than $21 billion coordinated through 40 city agencies. Previously, Owh was General Counsel at the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development and Deputy General Counsel at the Department of Small Business Services.

Ana Pacheco
Quality Assurance Manager
Homeboy Electronics
Biography

Ana Pacheco

Quality Assurance Manager
Homeboy Electronics
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.

Jeff Addison
Subterra Renewables
Biography

Jeff Addison

Subterra Renewables

Jeff Addison is an experienced finance professional and award-winning entrepreneur who has founded and successfully exited multiple startups within the CleanTech space. Prior to joining Subterra Renewables, he acted as Managing Director of Kiko Water Systems, which grew to become a leading CleanTech company with operations across North America and was named the 2017 Product of the Year by the Canada Green Building Council under his leadership.

Deborah Weintraub
Chief Deputy City Engineer and Chief Architect
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering
Biography

Deborah Weintraub

Chief Deputy City Engineer and Chief Architect
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering

Deborah is the Chief Deputy City Engineer for the Bureau of Engineering, and the highest-ranking architect in the City. She provides leadership for an integrated architecture and engineering organization of approximately 1,000 people, with approximately 480 active projects totaling $3.6 billion. The projects she oversees include Homeless Facilities, LA River projects, cultural facilities, transportation facilities, recreational buildings, parks, general office facilities, City maintenance yards, and bridges.

Richard Atwater
Executive Director
Southern California Water Committee
Biography

Richard Atwater

Executive Director
Southern California Water Committee

 

Richard Atwater was recently appointed as the Executive Director of the Southern California Water Committee (August 2010). He previously was the CEO/GM of Inland Empire Utilities Agency (1999-2010), President of Bookman-Edmonston Engineering ( 1996-1999), GM of West Basin and Central Basin MWDs (1990-1996).

Mr. Atwater has over thirty-five years experience in water resources management and development in the western U.S.  He has pioneered many award-winning water projects and implemented numerous innovative water resource management programs that meet today’s high standards for quality, reliability and cost-effectiveness.  Mr. Atwater has testified extensively before the U.S. Congress and the California Legislature on water policy issues.  In 1994 Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt awarded Mr. Atwater the Conservation Service Award, the highest citizen award for resources management. And has received from three separate Governors the Economic and Environmental Balance Award (Wilson, Davis and Schwarzenager).  Mr. Atwater was a member of the California Water Commission, the 2001 Drought Task Force, 2003 Water Recycling Task Force and the 2006 Desalination Task Force.

Mr. Atwater has participated in policy formulation workshops and expert panels for the National Academy of Sciences, Western Governors Association, Western Water States Council, and the National Water Research Institute.  In addition, Mr. Atwater has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of California Water Agencies, Urban Water Institute, WateReuse Association (President 2007-2009), Southern California Alliance of Publically Owned Treatment Works (SCAP, President 2007-2010) and the Western Urban Water Coalition

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