Speakers

Gary Lee Moore
City Engineer
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Gary Lee Moore

City Engineer
City of Los Angeles

Gary Lee Moore is the City Engineer of the City of Los Angeles, leading a world-class organization of 800 professional engineers, architects, surveyors and technical support staff dedicated to sustaining and transforming Los Angeles into the world’s most livable city. As the general manager of the Bureau of Engineering, he is responsible for the City’s vast network of public infrastructure, which includes the planning, design, and construction of all public facilities, management of billions of dollars of voter-approved public bond funds, and the delivery of cross-sector local government programs that serve millions of  residents and businesses in diverse neighborhoods and industries. With more than 27 years of public service, Mr. Moore is an accomplished executive and professional engineer, who is responsible for an annual operating budget of more than $140 million and 430 active projects totaling nearly $2.1 billion. Since he began his tenure as City Engineer in 2003, Mr. Moore has been responsible for the completion of 1277 projects totaling more than $3.8 billion.

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

Michael Woo

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

Michael Woo is Dean of the College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona, one of the leading producers of architects, landscape architects, urban planners, and graphic designers working in Southern California.  He was the first trained urban planner and the first Asian American elected to the Los Angeles City Council.   As the Councilman representing the Hollywood area for eight years, Woo spearheaded the Hollywood Redevelopment Plan and played a key role choosing the route and station locations of the Metro Red Line subway.  He also served as a member of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission for six years.  Twenty-five years ago, Woo helped to start the Hollywood Farmers Market, now the largest certified farmers market in the City of Los Angeles.  He is now on the committee overseeing a predevelopment analysis of the 308-acre former Lanterman State Hospital property in Pomona, recently transferred from state control to the Cal Poly Pomona campus, one of the largest contiguous parcels of land available for potential development in Los Angeles County.

Cecilia Estolano
Co-Founder
Estolano LeSar Advisors
Biography

Cecilia Estolano

Co-Founder
Estolano LeSar Advisors

Cecilia V. Estolano is a foremost expert on contemporary urban planning issues ranging from economic and workforce development to land use, environmental equity and urban revitalization for cities and communities across the country.

During her nearly 30-year career, she has worked directly with public, private, institutional and non-profit clients to plan, finance, design, implement and operate policy-driven programs and projects that promote sustainable solutions tailored for each community.

Cecilia is President of the California Community College Board of Governors, and has served on the California Coastal Commission and many other boards and commissions. She received her A.B. from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges, M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA and J.D. from UC Berkeley.

Prior to founding Estolano LeSar Advisors in 2011, Cecilia served as CEO of CRA/LA; practiced land use and environmental law while Of Counsel at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher; Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. EPA during the Clinton Administration, and as Environmental Policy Advisor to former L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley.

Estolano LeSar Advisors is an award-winning urban planning and public policy firm. We work with public agencies, non-profits, philanthropies, and businesses to craft innovative solutions to address complex problems.

Dr. Yaniv Scherson
Managing Director, Western U.S.
Anaergia
Biography

Dr. Yaniv Scherson

Managing Director, Western U.S.
Anaergia

Dr. Yaniv Scherson is the Managing Director for the western U.S. region for Anaergia. Dr. Scherson is based in Carlsbad California where he leads Anaergia’s projects integrating organics recycling from solid waste with anaerobic digestion and wastewater for production of renewable power and renewable natural gas. He leads Anaergia’s turnkey system offering and supports Anaergia’s Design, Build, Own, Operate, and Finance arm. Dr. Scherson has wastewater and research experience at the doctoral level focused on resource and energy recovery from wastewater. Dr. Scherson has published his work in leading peer reviewed journals, patents, and book chapters and has presented internationally as an invited speaker. He is a licensed professional engineer in California and holds Ph.D. and Master degrees from Stanford University.

Robert Powell
Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and of Food Science and Technology
University of California, Davis
Biography

Robert Powell

Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and of Food Science and Technology
University of California, Davis

Robert Powell is a Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Food Science and Technology at the University of California Davis (1984-present). He was the Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (2002-2011); Vice Chair (2011-12) and Chair (2012-13) of the Academic Senate of the University of California; and Chair of the UC Davis Academic Senate (2008-2011).  He is the Science Advisor to the California Natural Resources Agency and the Chair of the Science and Technology Committee of Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His research has applications to foods and fiber systems. He has over 110 peer-reviewed papers. He is a member of numerous professional organizations and a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Yehudi Gaffen
Founder and CEO
Gafcon
Biography

Yehudi Gaffen

Founder and CEO
Gafcon

Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen takes a vested interest in delivering complex projects that power vibrant communities. He has more than 35 years of construction and program management experience and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Management from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He immigrated to San Diego in 1979 to work in real estate development with Sunroad Enterprises. In 1987, he and his wife founded Gafcon, Inc. and under his leadership as CEO it has grown into a globally respected program and construction management consulting firm. It has been responsible for the success of hundreds of projects including high profile projects such as: The City of San Diego North Embarcadero Visionary Plan; the Port of Los Angeles Waterfront and Promenade; AltaSea, a $135 million adaptive reuse at the Port of Los Angeles the Redevelopment of the Los Angeles Forum; and $46.25 billion in education bond programs throughout San Diego and Los Angeles. In 2016, the Unified Port of San Diego awarded the $1.2B redevelopment of Seaport Village to Protea Waterfront Development with Gaf as the active Managing Partner. He will steward the project to its successful completion by providing leadership and direction for the strategy and execution with Gafcon, Inc. providing program management services. 

Philippe Bouchard
Eos
Biography

Philippe Bouchard

Eos

Philippe joined Eos after 5 years of in-depth experience leading emerging technology and regulatory initiatives within the utility energy industry. While working previously within Southern California Edison’s Advanced Technology Organization, Philippe co-authored SCE’s Smart Grid Deployment Plan and managed a $3 million portfolio of diversified R&D and technology evaluation projects. Philippe also completed SCE’s 2-year Marketing Analysis & Planning Strategy (MAPS) rotation program where he lead keystone projects within the arenas of Advanced Technology, Demand Response and Regulatory Policy & Affairs. In this rotational capacity, Philippe lead development of General Rate Case testimony for SCE’s Plug-in Vehicle Readiness Program and helped to propose and implement customer demand response programs leveraging newly implemented smart metering and home area network technology platforms. Philippe previously worked as a research analyst for E Source—an energy research and consulting firm– where he specialized in demand-side management programs, smart grid technologies, and corporate greenhouse gas consulting. Philippe brings an interdisciplinary background in chemistry and environmental sciences and graduated with a B.A. from Pomona College.  

Suzy Amis-Cameron
Founder
MUSE School CA
Biography

Suzy Amis-Cameron

Founder
MUSE School CA

Suzy Amis Cameron is a model, actress, a proud mother of five children, happily married to James Cameron,  and an educational and environmental activist.  In 2005, she founded MUSE School CA with her sister Rebecca Amis, an experience-based elementary school with a mission to 'Inspire and Prepare Young People to Live Consciously with Themselves One Another and the Planet.  Suzy also developed the Red Carpet Green Dress contest, an international competition to raise funds for global scholarships through MUSE School CA and MUSE Global. Dress designs were submitted from all over the world, with the mandate that the dress be created from sustainable materials. Suzy chose the winning design, wore it on the red carpet at The Academy Awards in 2010, and the 2011 design was presented on a model on the green carpet at the Global Green Pre-Oscar Party. MUSE Global outreach program provides educational and financial resources to Good Morning School in Mae Sot, Thailand- a MUSE inspired school educating children of migrant workers who have escaped genocide in Burma.

Max Aram
Co-Founder and CEO
Pick My Solar
Biography

Max Aram

Co-Founder and CEO
Pick My Solar

Max Aram, Co-founder & CEO: Max is a serial entrepreneur with a diverse background including playing soccer professionally, working in Lean Management, MLM, and publishing a seasonal advertising magazine with more than 20K subscribers. 

He has a passion for renewable energy, specifically solar (triggered during his time at Fraunhofer Institute in Berlin) and was always fascinated how online marketplaces like TrueCar, Expedia and LendingTree have changed the relationship dynamic between vendors and the consumers. He is marrying these two together with Pick My Solar. This disruptive platform is solving a real problem in one of the fastest growing markets in US.

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 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.

George Hawkins
General Manager
DC Water and Sewer Authority
Biography

George Hawkins

General Manager
DC Water and Sewer Authority

George Hawkins serves as General Manager of the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water). On his arrival in 2009, Mr. Hawkins launched an ambitious agenda to transform DC Water into a customer-oriented enterprise that is driving innovation and delivering improved value to its ratepayers.  The core goal is to improve aging infrastructure while complying with stringent regulatory requirements. DC Water is implementing the $2.6 billion Clean Rivers Project to nearly eliminate overflows of sewage and stormwater to the Anacostia and Potomac rivers and Rock Creek.  DC Water is also nearing completion of a $470 million waste-to-energy program to help manage solids being removed from reclaimed water while generating 13 megawatts of green power.  DC Water is also driving industry-leading efforts in customer engagement, including a vibrant social media presence, in science and engineering research and development, and in product development and licensing.  DC Water is designing a social media program to encourage innovative ideas from staff and to support a utility driven business incubator for businesses and local jobs. 

In 2014, DC Water devised a creative solution to better match the financing of its $2.6 billion Clean Rivers Project with the project’s life-expectancy. The Authority became the first U.S. water/wastewater utility to issue century bonds with a 100-year final maturity. This issuance enables DC Water to spread the costs of the project over the minimum expected life of the tunnels and be supported by future ratepayers who will also benefit. The $350 million sale was also the first “green” bond issue in the U.S. debt capital markets certified by a third party.

Mr. Hawkins began his career practicing law for the Boston firm Ropes & Gray, and is a member of the Bar in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Princeton University and Cum Laude from Harvard Law School. Since 1999, Mr. Hawkins has taught Environmental Law and Policy for the Princeton Environment Institute at Princeton University.

Ryan Tinus
Senior Director, Engineering and Environmental Sustainability
Hudson Pacific Properties
Biography

Ryan Tinus

Senior Director, Engineering and Environmental Sustainability
Hudson Pacific Properties

Ryan Tinus is Senior Director, Engineering and Environmental Sustainability of Hudson Pacific Properties (NYSE: HPP), a Los Angeles-based real estate investment trust focused on owning, operating and developing office and studio properties along the West Coast.  Tinus oversees the company’s green building certifications and reporting initiatives, and manages strategic efforts to enhance operating efficiencies across the portfolio. 

Prior to Hudson Pacific, Tinus served as the Director of Sustainability at Tishman Speyer, where he developed sustainability strategies, which included managing asset level certifications, resource efficiency programs, health and wellness initiatives and investor reporting. Previously, he worked as a Sustainability Manager and Assistant Property Manager with the company. He currently serves on the board of the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Los Angeles chapter. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, and a Master’s of Business Administration degree in Finance from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management. 

Paul Helliker
Deputy Director, Delta and Statewide Water Management
California Department of Water Resources
Biography

Paul Helliker

Deputy Director, Delta and Statewide Water Management
California Department of Water Resources

Paul Helliker was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in October, 2012 to the position of Deputy Director, Delta and Statewide Water Management.  In that role, Paul oversees DWR's Bay-Delta Office, FloodSAFE Environmental Stewardship and Statewide Resources Office, Division of Environmental Services, and the Inter-State Water Resources Manager.  Paul has worked in environmental and resource management programs for 26 years, with experience at the federal, state and local levels.  Prior to joining DWR, Paul served for eight years as the General Manager of the Marin Municipal Water District, where he also served as chair of the Bay Area Water Agencies Coalition (composed of the major wholesale and retail water supply agencies in the Bay Area), and chair of the regional water management group responsible for the Bay Area Integrated Regional Water Management.  Paul also served under Governor Gray Davis as the Director of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation from 1999-2004, and in other executive and management positions prior to 1999 at CALSTART, the California Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Paul holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, and a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering, all from Stanford University.

Colin Cushnie
VP Energy Procurement & Management
Southern California Edison
Biography

Colin Cushnie

VP Energy Procurement & Management
Southern California Edison

Colin Cushnie is vice president of Energy Procurement & Management in the Power Supply unit at Southern California Edison (SCE). He is responsible for SCE’s energy contracting, energy and emissions trading, and energy market operations.

Previously, Cushnie was director of Portfolio Planning & Analysis in the Power Supply unit at SCE, responsible for the company’s wholesale market solicitation valuations, energy portfolio analysis and risk assessment, demand and price forecasting, and transmission congestion risk management.

Cushnie also served as director of Regulatory Affairs for SCE, based in the company’s San Francisco office. He was responsible for representing SCE before the California Public Utilities Commission and other agencies on matters relating to energy procurement and market design.

Cushnie was responsible for coordinating SCE’s energy requirements with the California Department of Water Resources during the state’s 2000-2002 electricity crisis, which required the state of California to assume responsibility for power procurement for the state’s financially distressed investor-owned utilities.

Cushnie joined SCE in 1987, serving in a variety of management and analyst positions related to natural gas fuel supply, contract management, and construction and material procurement.

Cushnie graduated cum laude from Whittier College with a bachelor degree in both economics and business administration.

Martha Welborne
Senior Advisor
HR&A
Biography

Martha Welborne

Senior Advisor
HR&A

Martha Welborne is a nationally-recognized leader in urban development. Her exceptional career as a civic and organizational change-maker has spanned the country, with a focus on complex development and mobility management in Los Angeles. With experience in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, Martha has spearheaded some of Los Angeles’ most innovative public transportation and revitalization projects in recent history—including the installation of the county’s first rapid bus lines and the redevelopment of the Grand Avenue corridor.

Prior to joining HR&A, Martha was the Senior Vice President of Corporate Real Estate for the Walt Disney Company, where she oversaw all corporate real estate development, design, construction; asset and portfolio management; and facilities support and services. From 2010-2016, Martha served as the Chief Planning Officer at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). Responsible for planning the long-range mobility future of the county, Martha led a staff of more than 200 to accelerate the delivery of voter-approved projects funded by Measure R and execute strategic initiatives, such as the Master Plan of the historic Union Station property. From 2001-2011, Martha was the Managing Director of the Grand Avenue Committee, a public/private initiative involving both the City and County of Los Angeles to spur cultural and mixed-use private development on Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles, including the redevelopment of Grand Park.

Martha began her career as an architect and planner, working on both individual building design and large-scale projects as an associate partner of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP and a principal of Sasaki Associates, Inc. She has served on the board of the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority and as President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Martha is a former member of MIT’s Visiting Committee for the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, the Board of the Community Foundation Land Trust, and the Board of Councilors for USC’s School of Architecture and for KUSC.

In addition to her role as Senior Advisor at HR&A, Martha will also serve as Project Director of LA Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies, LLC, the first permanent public transit link to Dodger’s Stadium since it was built nearly 60 years ago.

Martha earned a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Notre Dame, and Master’s degrees in both Architecture and City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was also a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects.

Rudy Bakalov
Managing Director
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Biography

Rudy Bakalov

Managing Director
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Rudy Bakalov is a Managing Director in PwC’s Cybersecurity & Privacy practices, focused on serving Financial Services clients and other heavily regulated industries. Through his career in cybersecurity, Rudy has worked with various organizations on solving their most difficult information security challenges, such as establishing an effective cybersecurity strategy, designing enterprise security architectures, remediation of data breaches and regulatory compliance issues, and other similar projects. Most recently Rudy has focused his work on Cloud transformation strategies, including security strategy and GRC, architecture, and operating model design.

Mr. Bakalov has earned a Bachelor degree in Computer Engineering & Science as well as a Master’s of Business Administration degree.

Some of Rudy’s professional roles and assignments include the following:

• Designed a strategy and security capabilities to enable the provider’s customers to satisfy Financial Services and data privacy laws and regulations in the top 10 global markets for one of the world’s largest SaaS providers.
• Chief Security Officer of Accenture Cloud Platform, a $2B business.
• Interim Chief Security Officer of one of the largest hedge funds.
• CISO of a top global law firm, responsible for designing and establishing an information security organization focused on protecting clients’ sensitive information, M&A deal details, and other confidential information along with ensuring the resiliency of IT operations.
• Global Head of Technology Assurance of a major online publisher, provided independent and objective assurances to the Board and group executive management on the adequacy and effectiveness of the company’s technology controls, including information security, privacy, disaster recovery, regulatory compliance, and investment spend.
Josh Roper
Vice President of Advanced Metering Infrastructure
Silver Spring Networks
Biography

Josh Roper

Vice President of Advanced Metering Infrastructure
Silver Spring Networks

Josh Roper is the Vice President of Advanced Metering Infrastructure for Silver Spring Networks, delivering networking, hardware, and software solutions that comprise the foundation of the Smart Grid.  Josh has spent more than 20 years in the utility industry.  Early in his career, Josh served in several distribution engineering, account management, and project management roles at Dallas-based TU Electric, which has since become Oncor.  His background also includes product management leadership positions at Siebel Systems and SAP. 

Josh holds a BSEE from Rice University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

Jon Liberzon
Vice President
Tomorrow Water (BKT)
Biography

Jon Liberzon

Vice President
Tomorrow Water (BKT)

Jon Liberzon is Vice President at Tomorrow Water (BKT), an Anaheim-based firm with over 10-years’ experience in developing and delivering advanced water and wastewater treatment technologies for municipal and industrial clients. Prior to joining Tomorrow Water, Jon consulted for a range of industrial and multinational clients including the World Bank, Technoserve, DFAT and Digested Organics. From 2012-2017, he was director of water technologies at Algal Scientific. Jon also has experience working on drinking water and agricultural development projects in least developed countries (LDCs), including Haiti and Vanuatu. Jon holds a Masters from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and a Bachelors degree from the University of Michigan.

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.

Enrique Zaldivar
Director
LA Sanitation & Environment
Biography

Enrique Zaldivar

Director
LA Sanitation & Environment

Enrique has been at the helm of LA Sanitation & Environment (LASAN) as the Director and General Manager for over eight years. He was originally appointed in 2007, and then reappointed by Mayor Garcetti in September 2013.  LASAN is one of the largest agencies in the City of Los Angeles with nearly 3,300 employees and an annual revenue budget of over $1.1 billion. Through Mr. Zaldivar's leadership and management, LASAN oversees important environmental and infrastructure programs such as the City's Clean Water program, one of the largest in the world with its iconic flagship Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant; the Solid Resources program, which has achieved one of the highest recycling rates in the nation at 76.4% and climbing, and includes the recently implemented recycLA Franchise Initiative; and the Watershed Protection program, which is among the most innovative in the country with its use of green infrastructure for achieving water quality objectives for urban stormwater runoff, while delivering on multiple other benefits like open space, urban habitat support, and water supply. 


Under Enrique's leadership, LASAN has had some very significant accomplishments of great benefit to the City at large, such as:

  • The adoption of the Low Impact Development Ordinance (LID), which brought in the expanded participation of the private sector for achieving stormwater quality and capture;
  • Successfully implemented the Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance; 
  • Laid the policy groundwork for the adoption of the Solid Waste Private Hauler Exclusive Franchise Initiative; 
  • Made a persuasive case to the Mayor, City Council and the ratepayers for the approval  of a 10-year Financial Rate Plan for the City's Clean Water Program, providing financial stability and efficiency to one of the most critical  infrastructure programs of the City; 
  • Placed LASAN at the forefront of the larger City's strategy for water sustainability through its recycled water and watershed protection programs in alignment with Mayor Garcetti's Executive Directive No. 5 and City Council Policies;
  • Established a full-service Customer Care Center with 24/7 coverage to address customer requests at any time, in recognition of the fact that LASAN is a 24/7 operating agency and fully integrated with the MyLA311 system;
  • Successfully made the Solid Resources Program a Full Cost Recovery service as a quasi-Enterprise Fund with full accountability to the  ratepayers;
  • Implemented the brand new Clean Streets Initiative (CSI) through the leadership of the Mayor and City Council, with the ultimate goal of making  every corner of Los Angeles a clean, livable, and sustainable environment; 
  • Established a productive and collaborative Joint Labor/Management process across the entire organization where work issues get addressed and just as importantly, a process where innovation and work efficiency are fostered and promoted. 


Originally from the state of Zacatecas, Mexico, Enrique graduated from Azusa High School in the City of Azusa, attended UCLA long enough to have Bruin blood in him, and calls himself a proud Bronco from Cal Poly Pomona where he graduated as a Civil Environmental Engineer in 1985. He has also done graduate studies there and now serves as the Vice Chair of their College of Engineering’s Dean’s Leadership Board. Enrique is active in several organizations and serves on several of their Boards, including the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), and others. He also serves on Cal Poly Pomona's School of Engineering Dean's Leadership Council where he has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame and honored as a distinguished alumni. Enrique has been honored by several organizations for his environmental leadership stewardship, including the Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LACC), Friends of Ballona Wetlands, Heal the Bay, Community Conservation Solutions, and others.  Enrique also has an interest in furthering the relationship between the U.S., Mexico and Canada by sharing industry best practices and technical exchange missions between the three countries.

Enrique started his career with the City of Los Angeles in 1985 straight out of college as an associate engineer. Twenty-two years later, he became the General Manager of LA Sanitation and Environment.

Enrique and his wife, Brenda, have three children: Enrique Jr., Alonzo, and Carina.

 

Richard Harasick
Sr. Assistant General Manager
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Biography

Richard Harasick

Sr. Assistant General Manager
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Richard Harasick is the Senior Assistant General Manager of the Water System for the City of Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP). The LADWP is the largest municipal utility in the United States. Mr. Harasick has over 30 years of experience in water resources development, utility planning, design, construction, project and program management, and operations. As the head of the Los Angeles Water System, he manages a $1.5 billion annual budget and leads 2,200 employees to provide its customers with reliable, high quality and competitively priced water services in a safe and publically and environmentally responsible manner.

Jack Nicholson
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Biography

Jack Nicholson

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Paul Cook
General Manager
Irvine Ranch Water District
Biography

Paul Cook

General Manager
Irvine Ranch Water District

Paul A. Cook is the General Manager of Irvine Ranch Water District. As General Manager Mr. Cook is responsible for all aspects of day-to-day District operations including a staff of nearly 325 and a combined annual Operating and Capital Budget of over $225 million.

During his tenure as General Manager, IRWD continues its long-standing commitment to water supply reliability, sustainability and innovation with capital projects that include the largest project in IRWD’s history, the Biosolids and Energy Recovery Facilities Project. IRWD has expanded the production and use of recycled water, and added to its water supply portfolio with new local wells, additional water treatment facilities, and an innovative water banking program. Customer rates continue to be among the lowest in Orange County.

Mr. Cook is a registered civil engineer with more than 22 years of experience in water and wastewater system projects in both the public and private sectors. Previous to his appointment as General Manager, Mr. Cook was the IRWD Assistant General Manager. Prior to joining IRWD, he served as the Manager of Engineering for Central and West Basin Municipal Water Districts in Los Angeles County where he was responsible for a $350 million, five-year capital improvements program that included one of the largest water recycling projects in the nation. Mr. Cook began his career in public service as the District Engineer for Los Alisos Water District, and prior to that spent five years in the private sector working in the construction industry.

Mr. Cook received his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from University of Pacific in Stockton, CA. He went on to earn a Master of Science degree in civil engineering from California State University Long Beach and an MBA degree from the University of California at Irvine. In 2002 he was elected to the Board of the Orange County Water District where he served through 2005, including a term as Vice President.

Mark Rothleder
Vice President, Market Quality and Renewable Integration
California ISO
Biography

Mark Rothleder

Vice President, Market Quality and Renewable Integration
California ISO

Mark Rothleder is Vice President, Market Quality and Renewable Integration at the California Independent System Operator Corporation and is leading of the ISO’s renewable integration work. Mr. Rothleder has held several critical positions at the ISO after joining the grid operator as one of its first employees in 1997.  He is now the longest serving ISO employee.  Before being named vice president, he was Executive Director of Market Analysis and Development.  His previous positions included Principal Market Developer and Director of Market Operations.

Eamon Ryan
Leader of the Green Party
Republic of Ireland
Biography

Eamon Ryan

Leader of the Green Party
Republic of Ireland

Eamon Ryan was elected to represent Dublin Bay South in the 2016 General Election.

He was born in Dublin and raised in Dundrum and Dartry. He studied commerce in UCD before taking  a job managing a marketing course in the university’s School of Business. He went on to found a cycling tourism company, Irish Cycling Safaris, in the late 1980's and in 1996 won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. The business still trades successfully as Cycling Safaris.

He was the founding chairperson of the Dublin Cycling Campaign and began his political career as a Dublin City Councillor for the Rathgar – Rathmines ward. He then went on to serve both as a TD for Dublin South and as a Government Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

In recent years, Eamon has worked for a European climate organisation (www.e3g.org) and chaired the digital policy group in the Institute of International and European Affairs (www.iiea.com). He is currently leader of the Green Party/Comhaontas Glas (www.greenparty.ie) and is married to writer Victoria White, they have four children.

Kathleen Brown
Partner
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Biography

Kathleen Brown

Partner
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Kathleen Brown’s practice focuses on business counseling, government and regulatory affairs, particularly as they relate to the healthcare, energy and financial services industries.

Ms. Brown brings to her practice a background that includes 18 years as a senior executive in the banking and financial services industry and 16 years of public sector experience, including a term as California’s state treasurer.

Ms. Brown joined Manatt after more than 12 years at Goldman Sachs, Inc., a global investment banking and securities firm, where she served as chairman of Midwest Investment Banking and, prior to that, as managing director and head of the firm’s Western Region Public Sector and Infrastructure Group.  Ms. Brown also held various senior positions with Bank of America, including president of the private bank.

During her tenure with Goldman Sachs, she worked closely with healthcare institutions in California and the Midwest in both an investment banking and strategic advisory capacity, with a particular focus on helping firms navigate the challenges and leverage the opportunities presented by healthcare reform. She also worked with energy clients and participated in over $4.2 billion of water and power bond financings, working extensively with municipal utilities in California, including on projects to meet California’s renewable energy standards.

Ms. Brown’s experience in the government arena includes serving a term as California state treasurer, where she managed a $25 billion bond portfolio, oversaw a $32 billion cash management fund and served as a trustee on the boards of CALPERS and CALSTRS, two of the largest pension funds in the nation.  During that time she was Co- Chair of the Council of Institutional Investors.  She was the Democratic Party nominee for Governor of California in 1994, the Co-Chair of the Presidential Commission on Capital Budgeting, a commissioner of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, and a two term member of the Los Angeles Board of Education.

Before beginning her campaign for treasurer, Ms. Brown was an attorney in the New York and Los Angeles offices of a global law firm, where she was a member of the Capital Markets Group specializing in public and corporate finance.

Ms. Brown serves on the Board of Directors of Sempra Energy, Renew Financial, Stifel and FivePoint Communities, the Mayor’s Fund Los Angeles and the Advisory Board of the Stanford Center on Longevity.

Garret Graves
Chair
Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana
Biography

Garret Graves

Chair
Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana
Timothy O'Connor
Senior Director, Senior Attorney
Environmental Defense Fund
Biography

Timothy O'Connor

Senior Director, Senior Attorney
Environmental Defense Fund

Tim O’Connor is a Senior Director and Senior Attorney in Environmental Defense Fund’s Energy Program in California.  Since joining EDF in 2007, he has been involved at state regulatory agencies and the legislature on climate and clean energy initiatives, with particular focus on oil and gas production and delivery, clean energy, cap-and-trade, transportation fuels and clean vehicles. During this time, Mr. O’Connor has also managed EDF’s participation in both state and federal courts in California on issues related to climate change, fuels and energy. Prior to joining EDF, Tim was a senior governmental compliance inspector at heavy industrial facilities, including petroleum refineries and power plants, in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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.

 

David Kaiserman
CEO
SunStreet Energy Group (Lennar)
Biography

David Kaiserman

CEO
SunStreet Energy Group (Lennar)
Albert Cheung
Head of Global Analysis
Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Biography

Albert Cheung

Head of Global Analysis
Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Albert manages the global research team at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), the leading provider of independent research on transformation in the energy sector. Albert’s group is responsible for BNEF’s research in renewable energy, energy storage, energy smart technologies and advanced transport, as well as cross-sector modelling. Albert joined BNEF in 2009 and has previously led the company’s product management group, as well as its energy smart technologies analyst team. Albert holds a MEng in Electrical and Information Engineering from the University of Cambridge.

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.

Chris Thompson
Vice President, Local Public Affairs
Southern California Edison
Biography

Chris Thompson

Vice President, Local Public Affairs
Southern California Edison

Chris Thompson is vice president of Local Public Affairs for Southern California Edison, responsible for community and government relations at the municipal and county levels.

Thompson has served in several leadership roles since joining Edison International in 2013. During 2013 and 2014, he served as vice president for Decommissioning at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. In that role, he led the development and implementation of an integrated strategy for all technical, external, financial, regulatory, and legal tasks related to the plant’s decommissioning.   He also worked at Edison Water Resources, an Edison International subsidiary.

Previously, Thompson served as chief of staff to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein in Washington, D.C. He was the senator’s principal advisor and oversaw all office operations, including the legislative agenda, communications, and political strategy.  During his 10 years on her staff, Thompson developed significant expertise in water, energy, and environmental policy.   

Prior positions include executive director of a nonprofit agency designed to improve U.S.–United Nations relations and humanitarian efforts related to landmine removal.  He also worked on the Capitol Hill staff of U.S. Representative Julian Dixon.

Thompson serves on several boards, including the Board of Trustees of PBS SoCal, California Science Center, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Coalition for Clean Air, and Mobility 21.

Thompson majored in Political Science at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

 

Sharon Wolcott
Mayor
City of Surprise
Biography

Sharon Wolcott

Mayor
City of Surprise

Mayor Sharon Wolcott was elected in 2011 on a platform of job creation, new education opportunities and improved mobility through transportation. She also committed publicly to bringing fiscal accountability and transparency to municipal government and setting a course for progress in Surprise. Her Jobs, Education and Transportation (J.E.T.) initiative has generated strong results and impressive reviews from residents, local businesses and regional and national stakeholders.

Under her leadership, the city has adopted new financial policies, ordered sweeping reviews of financial records and cut budgets to address serious shortfalls without raising taxes or impacting essential services. The current FY15 annual budget is testament to the city’s rapid financial turnaround in a very short time. In just two years, Surprise has turned a $500,000 general fund balance into a $29 million general fund balance and restored the city’s two-month operating reserve. The completion of an exhaustive review of the city’s financial activities has also added transparency to her promise of fiscal accountability.

Mayor Wolcott uses a team approach to job creation — working with Economic Development staff, the Greater Surprise Chamber of Commerce team and regional partners, such as the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, where she serves as a board member. Since taking office, more than 700 new permanent jobs and 300 construction positions have been created in Surprise as a result of $55 million in new capital investments. In addition, Mayor Wolcott continues to support “the arts” to help fuel community and economic development. Most recently, she was instrumental in bringing a new 2,500-square-foot art museum and performance space operated by the West Valley Arts Council to the Surprise Civic Center in July 2014.

She spearheaded the implementation of the Rachel’s Challenge anti-bullying initiative in local schools, and is active with the innovative Arizona Charter Academy, where she recently delivered an inspirational speech to graduating students. She presided over a City Council vote to approve a new agreement between Surprise and the Dysart Unified School District to share facilities and reduce costs. The Mayor has also encouraged development of youth leadership initiatives to include involvement with the City Council and summer employment at the city. She is sharply focused on securing a four-year liberal arts university in Surprise.

Mayor Wolcott is a strong advocate for a broad transportation vision for Surprise and Arizona. She is a board member of the I-11 Coalition, promoting the development of a congressionally authorized freeway linking Phoenix and Las Vegas and recognizing its vast economic potential for the West Valley. She serves on the Transportation Policy Committee of the regional Maricopa Association of Governments, and is active on the Transportation, Infrastructure & Services Policy and Advocacy Committee of the National League of Cities. She also has taken on a leadership role with the Grand Avenue Coalition, an initiative to redevelop Grand Avenue by involving regional leaders from all communities along its length. Her leadership revived a decades-old plan to solve the congestion at the city’s main gateway at Bell Road and Grand Avenue.

A life-long communicator and bridge builder, Mayor Wolcott is an effective advocate for Surprise at the State Legislature and with her colleagues around the Valley. She has led the way to improve communications between Council and residents through regularly held community meetings, a constantly updated web presence and social media tools.

Mayor Wolcott has 25 years of experience in 3 states as an elected official, serving at both the state and local levels. As a mother of two and a grandmother of three, she brings a well-balanced perspective to her passion for public service and for making Surprise a great place to live and work.

Wade Crowfoot
CEO
Water Foundation
Biography

Wade Crowfoot

CEO
Water Foundation

Wade Crowfoot directs the Water Foundation and led its transition into an independent organization early in 2017. Wade brings more than 20 years of public policy and environmental experience to his role, with expertise in water, climate and sustainability issues. He came to the Water Foundation from California Governor Jerry Brown’s Administration, where he served since 2011, most recently as deputy cabinet secretary and senior advisor to Governor Brown, leading the administration’s drought response efforts.

Before joining the Brown Administration, Wade was west coast regional director for the Environmental Defense Fund and a senior environmental advisor to former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Linda Adams
Former Secretary
California EPA
Biography

Linda Adams

Former Secretary
California EPA

Linda S. Adams, former Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, is a founding partner of Clean Tech Advocates, a firm dedicated to promoting innovative technologies.

Prior to forming this new team in the private sector, Linda served in cabinet-level positions with three governors during her distinguished career with the State of California. Ms. Adams held key positions in both the Executive and Legislative branches during her many years in public service.

In 2006, Ms. Adams was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as Secretary of the California Environmental Agency (CalEPA), the first woman to serve in that position. Immediately upon her appointment, she was designated the governor’s lead negotiator on AB 32, California’s ground breaking climate change and clean energy measure. When Governor Jerry Brown was elected in 2010, Linda was asked to continue as Secretary of CalEPA and to assist in the transition.

Ms. Adams holds the position of the chair of the Climate Action Reserve, North America's premier carbon registry.  She also serves on the boards of the Pacific Forest Trust, the Delta Vision Foundation, the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance, and is the founding President of R 20-Regions of Climate Action.

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.

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

K.Y. Cheng

Director of Strategic Markets
East West Bank
David Sudolsky
President and CEO
Anellotech
Biography

David Sudolsky

President and CEO
Anellotech

David Sudolsky is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Anellotech, which is developing the Bio-TCat™ process to produce cost-competitive renewable aromatic chemicals (benzene, toluene and xylenes, "BTX") from non-food biomass for use in making plastics such as polyester, nylon, polycarbonate, polystyrene, or for renewable transportation fuels. Anellotech is currently evaluating loblolly pine and eventually other sustainable bio-feedstocks at its seven-story tall TCat-8® pilot plant. Anellotech complements its world-class R&D team with in-depth, long-term alliances with leaders to leverage decades of successful experience in developing and commercializing process technology. IFPEN is Anellotech's process development and scale-up partner, Johnson Matthey is the company's catalyst development partner, and Axens is Anellotech's partner for commercialization, global licensing and technical support. Industry-leading strategic partners in the BTX supply chain, including Suntory and Toyota Tsusho, as well as other confidential strategic investors, have provided funding to Anellotech. Prior to founding Anellotech, Sudolsky was a business officer or CEO of five biotechnology, specialty pharmaceutical and bioprocessing start-ups, one of which (Dura Pharmaceuticals) was sold for $1.8 billion. Sudolsky has hands-on chemical engineering experience in process design and refinery plant startups with Union Carbide, and work at Booz, Allen & Hamilton. He is a firm believer in environmental education and co-led a successful five-year effort ending in 2011 to build a multi-faceted Eco Center on the roof of a public school in the middle of New York City. David attended Columbia University where he earned an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the University's Business School and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. 

John Chiang
California State Treasurer
State of California
Biography

John Chiang

California State Treasurer
State of California

John Chiang was elected on November 4, 2014, as California’s 33rd State Treasurer. As the State’s banker, he oversees trillions of dollars in transactions every year. One of his top priorities is to conduct the State’s business in the most transparent manner possible. 

Chiang sells California’s bonds, invests the State’s money and manages its cash. In addition, he manages financing authorities that help provide good-paying jobs, better schools, improved transportation, quality health care, more affordable housing and a cleaner environment. He handles those duties while sitting on the governing boards of the nation’s two largest public pension funds – the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS). 

Chiang has made transparency a top priority, believing that sharing information with taxpayers enables them to hold government officials accountable. In November 2015, he unveiled DebtWatch, a website that offers the public easy access to three decades of data related to debt issued by State and local governments. 

Prior to being elected Treasurer, Chiang served from 2007 through 2014 as State Controller, during which time he: 

  • Took steps during the Great Recession to preserve cash to meet obligations to education and bond holders. His cash management decisions – which included delaying payments and issuing IOUs -- were cited as instrumental in keeping the State’s credit rating from plunging into junk status, which saved taxpayers millions of dollars. 
  • Worked to ensure the fiscal solvency of the State’s pension plans, and was a leader in pension and corporate governance reform. He proposed a plan to address the unfunded liability of providing health and dental benefits for State retirees, and successfully sponsored legislation requiring all State pension systems to adopt disclosure policies regarding board members and placement agents. He also has sponsored bills to curb pension-spiking, require placement agents to register as lobbyists, and require CalPERS and CalSTRS board members to file more campaign contribution disclosure reports. 
  • Aggressively used his auditing authority to identify more than $9 billion in taxpayer dollars that were denied, overpaid, subject to collection, or resulted in revenues, savings and cost avoidance. 
  • Ensured that $3.1 billion in unclaimed property was returned to the rightful owners. He also led the effort to reform the State’s Unclaimed Property Program, which currently holds about $7.1 billion in bank accounts, utility deposits and other property that businesses have deemed abandoned by their owners. 

Chiang was first elected to the Board of Equalization in 1998 where he served two terms, including three years as chair. He began his career as a tax law specialist with the Internal Revenue Service and previously served as an attorney in the State Controller’s Office. 

The son of immigrant parents, Chiang graduated with honors from the University of South Florida with a degree in finance. He received his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Sidney Bomer
‎Public Works & Engineering Operations Manager-Houston Water
Houston Department of Public Works & Engineering
Biography

Sidney Bomer

‎Public Works & Engineering Operations Manager-Houston Water
Houston Department of Public Works & Engineering

Mr. Sidney Bomer has been with the City of Houston for over 26 years, starting out as a Plant Operator Trainee to his current position of Public Works Operations Manager. In his role, Mr. Bomer oversees Capital Improvement Projects, budgets, service contracts, and resource management, including coordination and management of the operations and bio-solids management of 7 EPA and TCEQ Permitted Class “A” Waste Water Treatment Plants of which one is a Dryer Facility and one is a Lime Application Facility plus 8 TCEQ Permitted Class “B” Waste Water Treatment Plants. Mr. Bomer leads a team of highly talented staff experienced in disaster recovery and relief and with expertise in recovery efforts after hurricanes, tropical storms, and floods. Mr. Bomer is the President of the Texas Water Utility Association – Gulf Area District Chapter for 3 years and also a member of the Sam Houston Water Utility District for many years. He is currently serving as the newly elected Vice Chair on the Board for the Texas Water Utility Association - Southeast Regional School held annually in Beaumont, Texas, aiming at training Public Officials, engineers, laboratory personnel, operators and mechanics in Water and Wastewater as well as prepare them for regulated required license testing. Mr. Bomer received the “Operator of the Year” award during the WEFTEC 2017 conference in Chicago.  

Larry Pizzi
President
Currie Tech Corporation
Biography

Larry Pizzi

President
Currie Tech Corporation

Larry is the President of the Currie Tech Corporation, the leading US developer and of electric bicycles that are marketed under the brands IZIP, eFLOW and Haibike electric bicycles, and has been with the company since May of 2002.

Prior to joining Currie and getting involved with electric bicycles, Larry has had years of experience within the bicycle industry. He was the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the bicycle division at Schwinn and GT and also held Senior Sales and Marketing Management roles at Brunswick Bicycle Division, the former owner of Mongoose Bicycles. He has also held Sales Management roles at Bell Sports, Service Cycle Corporation and Derby Cycle Corporation. He owned and operated Bike Tech Stores, a successful chain of Specialty Bicycle shops in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1978 to 1990 and has served on the board of the National Bicycle Dealers Association as a Director. Currently Larry serves as a Director of the Light Electric Vehicle Association (LEVA) and the California Electric Bicycle Association (CALEBA).

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.

Rafael Villegas
Program Manager - Operation NEXT
LADWP
Biography

Rafael Villegas

Program Manager - Operation NEXT
LADWP

Rafael Villegas is a Civil Engineer with 20 years of experience in public infrastructure and water utilities. He is the Program Manager for the Operation NEXT Water Supply Program for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. This program, LADWP’s largest since construction of the original aqueduct, will recycled 100% of wastewater from the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant and provide up to 40% of the City’s water supply.

Mr. Villegas actively engages in water resource policy development, strategic planning, inter-agency coordination, water rights issues and program development relating to regional water storage.

His experience includes development of Operation NEXT; direct engagement in the Measure W Watershed Area Steering Committees, countywide Integrated Regional Water Management Program (IRWMP), Los Angeles River issues and development of the LA’s Stormwater Capture Master Plan.

Through his experience, Mr. Villegas has developed a strong background in project delivery that includes strategic planning, program management and most importantly, consensus building. He actively seeks and forges partnerships with outside entities with the shared goals of water conservation, local water supply development and sustainability.

James Kim
COO
BKT Co., Ltd.
Biography

James Kim

COO
BKT Co., Ltd.

Mr. Kim brings to BKT 19 years of extensive experience as a successful Investment Banker and Strategic Consultant across countless industries and global markets. Prior to joining BKT, Mr. Kim was a Managing Director of WorldVest Inc., a LA based merchant bank, where he structured many investment deals, private placement, and fund formations. At WorldVest, he advised several Strategic Investors, such as BestBuy Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Avery Dennison, for strategic investment into Korean high-tech companies.

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.

Austin Beutner
Publisher and Chief Executive Officer
Los Angeles Times
Biography

Austin Beutner

Publisher and Chief Executive Officer
Los Angeles Times
Dr. Kelly Sanders
Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Southern California
Biography

Dr. Kelly Sanders

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Southern California

Dr. Kelly T. Sanders is an Assistant Professor in the University of Southern California’s Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her research aims to ease tensions between human and natural systems through technical, regulatory and market intervention, with particular emphasis on reducing the environmental impacts of providing energy and water services.

She has authored more than two dozen publications and has given dozens of invited talks on topics at the intersection of engineering, science, and policy. Sanders has been recognized in Forbes’ 30 under 30 in Energy and MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35 for her contributions to the energy field. Her research and commentary have been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, Forbes, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and Scientific American.

Sanders received her B.S. in Bioengineering from the Pennsylvania State University, as well M.S.E and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Environmental Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, respectively. She teaches classes related to energy and the environment.

David Roberti
Former President pro tem
California State Senate
Biography

David Roberti

Former President pro tem
California State Senate
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. 

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.

Carol Zabin
Director
UC Berkeley Labor Center Green Economy Program
Biography

Carol Zabin

Director
UC Berkeley Labor Center Green Economy Program

Carol Zabin (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley) directs the Labor Center’s Green Economy Program and the new High Road Training Partnership Institute. She is a labor economist whose research has addressed low-wage labor markets, labor standards, workforce development, and other economic development and labor issues in the United States and Mexico. Zabin has consulted with numerous unions and non-profits on strategies and policies to improve jobs in human services and the green economy. Her current research focuses on the impact of climate and clean energy policy on California's economy, workers, and labor unions. Recent publications include “Diversity in California’s Clean Energy Workforce,” “Advancing Equity in California Climate Policy,” and “Workforce Issues and Energy Efficiency Programs.” Appointed by Governor Brown, Zabin sits on the executive council of the California Workforce Development Board and chairs the board’s Green Collar Jobs Council. Before joining the Labor Center, Zabin was on the faculty at Tulane University and UCLA.

Chris Margaronis
Project Manager
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Biography

Chris Margaronis

Project Manager
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Chris Margaronis works on innovative infrastructure delivery and financing, with specialties in local transportation and energy. His unique perspective has evolved through years of experiences on staff for a California Congressional Representative in Washington DC, as a Coro Fellow in Los Angeles, and in his current role as Project Manager for the Accelerated Regional Transportation Improvements Project (LA Metro’s first Public Private Partnership). Chris' passion for transportation is a Greek-American family tradition, with both his father and grandfather having owned shipping companies. In his spare time, Chris' nonprofit start-up works to use existing transportation resources in LA County to provide an opportunity to for underserved youth to visit the beach. 

Norma Garcia
Chief Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation
Biography

Norma Garcia

Chief Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation

Norma E. Garcia was appointed the new Chief Deputy Director for the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation.  Ms. Garcia is the first woman to serve as Chief Deputy Director since the Department was created on July 1, 1944.    

In her role as Chief  Deputy Director, she will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Department with a  $186 million budget, more than 1,600 full-time employees and 6,477 registered volunteers.  

Ms. Garcia has been with the Department for nine years and, prior to her new appointment, held the position of Deputy Director of the Department’s Planning and Development Agency.   She has led the work of the Department in planning, acquisition, development, and asset management of 180 park facilities, 71,249 acres of parkland and 210 miles of trails.  Most recently, she served as a principal leader for key region-wide initiatives such as the Countywide Park Needs Assessment, the Master Plan for Magic Johnson Park, and the transformation of Puente Hills Landfill to a County regional park.     

Ms. Garcia earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Urban Planning, both from the University of California, Los Angeles. 

She fills the position held by previous Chief Deputy Director, John Wicker, who was appointed Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation on March 29, 2016.  

Laura Cortez
Community Organizer
East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice
Biography

Laura Cortez

Community Organizer
East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice

Laura Cortez (She/Her/Hers) is lifelong Bell Gardens resident. Laura received a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from CSU, Los Angeles and her Master of Arts degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Community Development from CSU, Long Beach. She has been an Spanish-English interpreter since 2010, including interpreting for domestic violence victims, health, and immigration organizations.  Before coming to EYCEJ, Laura focused on youth in Southeast LA and Long Beach to transition into college and work toward health equity. More recently, she organized community in Long Beach and Wilmington around air quality and health advocacy with Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma. Laura’s focus is to work toward equity that improves the lives of families of color through community-led leadership in the Southeast cities for current and future generations.

Wahid Nawabi
Senior Vice President and General Manager, Efficient Energy Systems
AeroVironment
Biography

Wahid Nawabi

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Efficient Energy Systems
AeroVironment

Wahid Nawabi is senior vice president and general manager of Efficient Energy Systems (EES) at AeroVironment.  With 20 years’ experience in advanced technology in diverse industries such as fuel cells, clean tech, industrial manufacturing, and energy management, Wahid is responsible for architecting the roadmap of AeroVironment’s Electric Vehicle “ecosystem” solutions offering. As a former segment manager at American Power Conversion (a division of Schneider Electric), Wahid played a key role in revenue growth of $50 million to more than $2.4 billion, helping to establish the company as a world leader in power protection.  Wahid sees similar potential in the electric vehicle industry and is committed to enabling the mass adoption of EVs and the advancement of the clean transportation movement. 

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.

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.

Michael Affeldt
Director, LARiverWorks
Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Biography

Michael Affeldt

Director, LARiverWorks
Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Michael is the Director of the LARiverWorks team in Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of City Services. LARiverWorks leads project coordination, policy development, and engagement for the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan and LA River-related efforts. Michael has played a significant role in the development and adoption of the federal Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Recommended Plan, the purchase and ongoing development of the Taylor Yard G2 parcel, and ongoing development of the LARiverWay access and greenway network. Michael began his career with the City of Los Angeles in 2005 and holds a Civil and Environmental Engineering degree from the University of Michigan.

Bill Peters
Deputy Editor
Argus Media
Biography

Bill Peters

Deputy Editor
Argus Media

Bill Peters is Deputy Editor of Argus Air Daily, where he covers and analyzes how environmental policies and markets shape the energy sector across North America. He has written extensively on how state and federal climate policies seek to drive change in the transport sector, including California’s Cap-and-Trade and Low-Carbon Fuel Standard programs. He also covers renewable electricity markets and policy in the western US.

Dale Gauthier
LA Metro Area Business Unit Leader, Power, Energy & Industrial
AECOM
Biography

Dale Gauthier

LA Metro Area Business Unit Leader, Power, Energy & Industrial
AECOM

Mr. Gauthier has been with AECOM for the last nine years and has over 35 years of energy and power experience. As the Los Angeles Regional Business Line Leader for Power, Energy & Industrial, Mr. Gauthier is responsible for the marketing, development, and execution of AECOM Power & Industrial Projects in the LA Metro Area. Most recently, Mr. Gauthier was AECOM’s Renewable Market Segment Leader for the Western United States and developed and managed annual revenue exceeding $41 million in design, procurement, and construction content for solar projects. Some of the more recent projects that have or are in development under the leadership of Mr. Gauthier are the Techren Solar Nevada 300 MW solar PV project located in Boulder City, Nevada; the Siyathemba Solar 50 MW solar park in South Africa, CSU Fullerton 4.5 MW cogeneration plant, and Beacon Solar, a 200 MW project in Kern County California, and LADWP’s Pine Tree 10 MW project. Mr. Gauthier has provided development and design expertise to both utility and distributed renewable and fossil fuel projects worldwide, providing project design and execution leadership.  Prior to that role, Mr. Gauthier led our Energy Efficiency Project Development Team for the Western United States.

John A. Pérez
Speaker
California State Assembly
Biography

John A. Pérez

Speaker
California State Assembly
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.

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.

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.

Noah Garrison
Project Attorney, Water Program
NRDC
Biography

Noah Garrison

Project Attorney, Water Program
NRDC

Noah Garrison is a Project Attorney with the Water Program at NRDC. Working from each of NRDC’s U.S. offices, the Water Program seeks to ensure safe and sufficient water for people and ecosystems in the United States. Noah joined NRDC in 2007, and has spent the past four years working on legal, policy, and technical water related issues that include urban runoff and storm water; green infrastructure and Low Impact Development (LID) implementation and its relationship to water supply, energy use, and climate change; enforcement of the Clean Water Act and California Porter-Cologne Act; and groundwater supply and the relationship between groundwater and the public trust in California. Noah is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, with a specialization in Public Interest Law and Policy. Noah also holds a M.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he served as a Lecturer in 2004.  

Chris Rico
Director of Innovation
Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation
Biography

Chris Rico

Director of Innovation
Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation

In his role as Director of Innovation for the LAEDC, Chris Rico leads the continued development of an innovation program for LA County, where he works to build broad external support and provide thought leadership and strategic direction for the mission of the Innovate LA program, as well as its goals and priorities. In October he produced the 160 event Innovation Week(s). Chris has extensive experience creating, producing and executing projects. He honed his creative skills during a successful career in film and television development and production in Hollywood. This experience, along with his passion for social change, led him to the political arena where he worked with Arianna Huffington as a state organizer, Moveon.org as a lead organizer, and as campaign director for a ballot initiative to promote water conservation and sustainability. Recently, Chris consulted for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on ActivateED, a campaign of leading education organizations to positively impact student achievement. Chris’s campaign experience and innovative approach to digital and social media have precipitated exponential growth in visibility for every project he leads. Chris is a graduate of Duke University, He is also a licensed special needs educator in California. www.innovate.la

Chris Reese
Senior Vice President
Lockton Insurance Brokers
Biography

Chris Reese

Senior Vice President
Lockton Insurance Brokers

Lockton Insurance Brokers’ Senior Vice President and Cyber / Technology Errors and Omissions Practice Leader providing expert cyber enterprise risk transfer solutions for private, public and voluntary sectors. Chris leads an elite team of Cyber insurance professionals who confront cyber risk head on and leverage insurance company resources for our clients’ balance sheet protection.  With a background in underwriting for domestic insurers and Lloyd’s of London, Chris understand both sides of the insurance equation contributing to successful negotiations. She is a frequent speaker in this field and recognized industry leader.

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.

Ted Bardacke
Executive Director
Clean Power Alliance
Biography

Ted Bardacke

Executive Director
Clean Power Alliance

Ted Bardacke is Executive Director for Clean Power Alliance, California’s new, locally-operated, electricity provider for 32 communities and approximately one million eligible customers across Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Ted brings a unique background to the organization that includes experience in the public sector, journalism, education, and non-profit leadership. During his career, Ted has developed expertise in renewable energy planning and project development, electricity and water rate setting, customer service, and sustainability program design and implementation. Ted comes to the Alliance from the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, where he was Director of Infrastructure and Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Sustainability Office, serving as the Mayor’s chief policy liaison to the Department of Water and Power and the Department of Public Works. Prior to that, Ted worked in the Green Urbanism Program at Global Green USA, a nationally-leading organization advancing smart solutions to climate change, 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 Colombia University and has taught at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs for the past 10 years.

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).

Liam Denning
Columnist
Bloomberg
Biography

Liam Denning

Columnist
Bloomberg

Liam Denning is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering energy, mining and commodities, based in New York. He previously was editor of the Wall Street Journal's “Heard on the Street” column and wrote for the Financial Times' Lex column. Prior to journalism, he worked in the natural resources team in Goldman Sachs’ investment banking division in London and as a consultant at KPMG.

Carla Peterman
Senior Vice President
Southern California Edison
Biography

Carla Peterman

Senior Vice President
Southern California Edison

Carla Peterman is senior vice president of Regulatory Affairs at Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the nation’s largest electric utilities. She is responsible at the national and state levels for the company’s Regulatory Affairs and Energy and Environmental Policy organizations, overseeing regulatory strategy and operations and environmental affairs. 

Previously, Peterman served a six-year term on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) from 2013 to 2018. She led several CPUC clean-energy initiatives, including the adoption of the nation’s first electric utility energy storage mandate, approval of $965 million of utility investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, adoption of utility energy-efficiency goals and the continued implementation of California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard.

Before her CPUC appointment, Peterman served on the California Energy Commission, where she was the lead commissioner for renewables, transportation, and natural gas. She also is a former board member of The Utility Reform Network, an organization that represents consumers before the CPUC and California Legislature.

She was appointed earlier in 2019 by California Gov. Gavin Newsom to chair the Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery, which played a critical role in developing recommendations that led to passage of legislation that holds utilities accountable for reducing wildfire risks from their equipment and encourages a financially stable electric industry.

Peterman holds a Doctor of Philosophy in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley. She also earned a Master of Science and Master of Business Administration from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes scholar. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Howard University.

Peterman serves on the external advisory board for Sandia National Laboratories’ Energy and Homeland Security Portfolio. She has also served on the board of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, was a member of the California Broadband Council, and served as Chair of the California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative.

Rani Narula-Woods
Senior Director, Special Projects, Office of Extraordinary Innovation
LA Metro
Biography

Rani Narula-Woods

Senior Director, Special Projects, Office of Extraordinary Innovation
LA Metro

Rani Narula-Woods is a seasoned program director with experience in the design and implementation of new mobility products and services. She serves as the Sr. Director, Special Projects, in LA Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation. In this capacity, she leads the agency’s research, testing, and evaluation of demand-response technology with a focus on the integration of user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design into transit service planning and operations. Under the leadership of LA Metro’s Chief Innovation Officer, Rani has been tasked with the delivery and evaluation of a new on-demand service. The pilot project may offer the largest public deployment of demand-responsive service in the U.S. to-date. 

In 2016, Rani co-authored the Los Angeles County Shared Mobility Action Plan which set targets for the deployment of new technology enabled services and identified local, regional, and federal financing opportunities. The Plan is referred to as a national model for DOTs and transit agencies alike. 

Rani previously established the Shared-Use Mobility Center’s California programming and directed transportation research and funding strategies for the local federation of the AFL-CIO. She is a founder of a technology start-up working in artificial intelligence and natural language processing. 

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.

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.

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.

Rick Morrow
VP Engineering and Operations
Southern California Gas Co.
Biography

Rick Morrow

VP Engineering and Operations
Southern California Gas Co.
Ben Grunat
Executive Director, Product Planning & Strategy
GILLIG LLC
Biography

Ben Grunat

Executive Director, Product Planning & Strategy
GILLIG LLC

Ben Grunat is the Executive Director of Product Planning & Strategy for GILLIG, the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in the United States. In this role, he is responsible for establishing GILLIG’s short- and long-term product roadmaps to meet customer expectations and requirements. Since joining the company in 2010, Ben has served in various leadership roles in GILLIG’s Sales and Accounting departments.   Before that, he worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Financial Auditor within manufacturing, technology, agriculture, healthcare, and retail industries. Ben earned a Masters of Business Administration from Indiana University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Kathy Gerwig
Vice President, Employee Safety, Health and Wellness, and Environmental Stewardship Officer
Kaiser Permanente
Biography

Kathy Gerwig

Vice President, Employee Safety, Health and Wellness, and Environmental Stewardship Officer
Kaiser Permanente

Kathy is responsible for developing, organizing and managing a nationwide environmental initiative for Kaiser Permanente, a leading health care provider and not-for-profit health plan/hospital system serving more than 10 million members in the United States. Under her leadership, Kaiser Permanente has become widely recognized as an environmental leader. Kathy has testified twice to the U.S. Congress on the need for federal chemical policy reform. Her book Greening Health Care, How Hospitals Can Heal the Planet examines the intersection between health care and environmental stewardship. Kathy is also responsible for eliminating workplace injuries, promoting healthy lifestyle choices, and reducing health risks for the organization’s 200,000 employees and physicians. She is on the boards of several non-governmental organizations focused on safety and environmental sustainability in health care.  

 

Shana Bonstin
Deputy Director, Community Planning Bureau
Los Angeles City Planning Department
Biography

Shana Bonstin

Deputy Director, Community Planning Bureau
Los Angeles City Planning Department

Shana Bonstin is the Deputy Director for the Community Planning Bureau, and oversees Community Plan Updates and targeted geographic policy initiatives at the neighborhood and community level in Los Angeles. She has worked on a range of assignments within the Department of City Planning, since 2001. She is also the Department’s Chief Sustainability Officer. Her educational experience includes a BA from UCSC in Environmental Studies and MA from Harvard in Urban Planning.  

Mia Lehrer
President
Studio-MLA
Biography

Mia Lehrer

President
Studio-MLA

Mia Lehrer, FASLA is the founder of the Los Angeles-based landscape architecture and urban design firm, Mia Lehrer + Associates (ML+A), known for the design and implementation of ambitious public and private-sector projects including complex mixed-use development projects, urban revitalization initiatives, and neighborhood and regional parks.  A native of El Salvador, Ms. Lehrer earned her Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.  She has applied landscape and urban design innovation and technical expertise on complex Design/Build infrastructure projects, and continues to play a significant leadership role in project stakeholder outreach and consensus building.  She has been personally engaged in urban initiatives that include the recalibration of significant works of infrastructure such as channelized rivers, sea ports, military air stations and oil fields from single purpose sites to multi-purpose community resources.  Her design excellence and environmental leadership enables government agencies, communities, and stakeholders to create an interconnected system of meaningful open space through well-conceived projects.  Within this process, the role of infrastructure is examined for opportunities to improve the relationship between the built environment, natural ecology, and community, thereby enhancing the functionality, mobility, efficiency, and integrity of place.

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.

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.

Robert Owen-Jones
Assistant Secretary
Global Engagement Branch, Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Australian Government
Biography

Robert Owen-Jones

Assistant Secretary
Global Engagement Branch, Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Australian Government
Peter Marx
Former Chief Technology Officer
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Peter Marx

Former Chief Technology Officer
City of Los Angeles

Peter Marx served as the Chief Technology Officer of the City of Los Angeles from February 2014 to July 2016. In this role he handled technology-related issues across the nation's second largest city. Before joining the Mayor's Office, Marx served as the Vice President of Business Development at Qualcomm Labs, Inc., commercializing a variety of emerging technologies. Previously, Marx was the Vice President of the Technology and Digital Studio at Mattel, Inc. where the company received a Webby award, the highest award for excellence in online content. Marx managed Analog Protocol, a media-technology consultancy; served as the Chief Technology Officer for Vivendi-Universal Games and Vice President of Emerging Technologies for Universal Studios; and held engineering and producer positions at Electronic Arts. Early in his career, he served as an engineer on a variety of telemedicine, digital video, radiological imaging, and biomedicine applications for UCLA and 3M Company.

Darin Toohey
Professor of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
University of Colorado
Biography

Darin Toohey

Professor of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
University of Colorado

Prof. Toohey has been involved with issues of science policy dating back to his work on ozone-depleting substances in the 1980s and 1990s. He has been a co-author of multiple assessments of stratospheric ozone and impacts of aircraft on air chemistry and climate. In 2011-2012 he served as a Jefferson Science Fellow at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, working on issues related to energy and green growth for APEC. He organized a high-level meeting on Open Governance and Economic Growth, chaired by the Secretary of State, served as a delegate for the United States at the 10th APEC Energy Ministerial Meeting, and organized  an APEC Workshop in Singapore on the use of observations to address resilience and disaster response. Following that year of service, from 2013 to 2015 he helped a group of international scientists develop a sucessful proposal for hosting a hub of the Future Earth Secretariat in the United States and for linking educators and researchers in Colorado and in the United States working in the fields of sustainability and global development. In 2019 he co-authored an article calling for awareness of the role of increased emissions of rockets on stratospheric circulation.

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.

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.

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

Bruce Karas

Vice President, Environment & Sustainability
Coca Cola Refreshments
Russell Fortmeyer
Sustainability Leader
Arup
Biography

Russell Fortmeyer

Sustainability Leader
Arup

An engineer and journalist, Russell Fortmeyer leads the consulting practice, as well as the sustainable design group, for Arup’s Los Angeles office. Since 2011, Fortmeyer has been a faculty member at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, where his classes focus on environmental systems, design for climate change, and passive building strategies. From 2012 to 2018, he served on the board of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LA Chapter. He acted as the technical advisor to the City of Los Angeles for its Green New Deal climate action plan released in April 2019. His built projects include the Seattle Public Library, LEED-Platinum Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center, and the Zero Net Energydesigned Beirut Embassy. In 2016, Fortmeyer was awarded a Bellagio Residency by the Rockefeller Foundation as part of a collaborative project on urban microclimates and air quality with the architect Doris Sung. Recently, he curated the USA Pavilion exhibition, RECKONstruct, on materials lifecycle impacts for the 2019 Milan Triennale, Broken Nature. Fortmeyer holds a BS in Architectural Engineering from Kansas State University and MA in Architecture from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Mike Rosenfeld
Vice Consul - Senior Advisor for Energy, Environment & Infrastructure
UK Department for International Trade, British Consulate General-Los Angeles
Biography

Mike Rosenfeld

Vice Consul - Senior Advisor for Energy, Environment & Infrastructure
UK Department for International Trade, British Consulate General-Los Angeles
Mike Rosenfeld is Vice-Consul with UK Trade & Investment, the UK Government’s international business development agency, in the British Consulate-General, Los Angeles. He serves as senior advisor in the USA for Energy, Environment & Infrastructure and has significant expertise in renewable energy and environmental technologies. Mr. Rosenfeld also serves as a member of the UK’s Climate Change team addressing global warming solutions in the US. As a team leader of commercial officers in the USA, he represents UK Plc. across a range of industry sectors by identifying inward investment opportunities among American companies seeking to expand into the UK and supporting British companies, exporting technologies, products, and services into the US, as well as identifying joint venture and other partnership opportunities.
 
In addition to serving as US lead officer for the Clean Technology sector, Mr. Rosenfeld has been a corporate investment, marketing and business development executive in Los Angeles for the past 25 years. He established AM Venture Partners, a venture capital and investment firm, in Los Angeles in 1999. Mr. Rosenfeld has raised capital for, served as a director on corporate boards, and represented national and international companies in the environmental, energy, engineering, maritime, telecommunications and healthcare sectors. He also has served in senior-level executive management positions with two global environmental engineering, construction and technology firms. Mr. Rosenfeld began his career as a journalist in Los Angeles in 1978. He continues to write occasionally, contributing to a number of environmental, energy, maritime and engineering publications.
Julie Blunden
Executive Vice President, Business Development
EVgo
Biography

Julie Blunden

Executive Vice President, Business Development
EVgo

Julie Blunden is the Executive Vice President of Business Development of EVgo. Blunden brings more than three decades of executive experience to EVgo, including growing rapidly expanding companies in new energy markets, including senior roles at SunPower, Green Mountain Energy, KEMA Xenergy, and SunEdison, as well as serving as Chief Executive Officer, President and Director of ClimateWorks Foundation. She is Board Chair of CalCEF Catalyst and Board Member of CalCEF Ventures, as well as founder of her own consulting practice, and former Executive in Residence for the Global Energy Management Program at the University of Colorado Denver’s Business School.

Blunden has an engineering and environmental studies degree from Dartmouth College and a Masters of Business Administration from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

Tim Dafeta
Plant Manager,
City of Los Angeles Hyperion Treatment Plant
Biography

Tim Dafeta

Plant 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.

Janet-Marie Smith
Senior VP Planning and Development
Los Angeles Dodgers
Biography

Janet-Marie Smith

Senior VP Planning and Development
Los Angeles Dodgers

Renowned architect and urban planner Janet Marie Smith was named the Dodgers’ senior vice president of planning and development on Aug. 6, 2012. Smith is overseeing upgrades and enhancements to Dodger Stadium.    This post reunites Smith with Dodger President, Stan Kasten.  Smith worked for Kasten in a similar position to create the Atlanta Braves’ Turner Field and the Atlanta Hawks’ Philips Arena.  

Smith is probably best known in the baseball world, for her work on the influential Oriole Park at Camden Yards.  Smith worked for the Orioles from 1989-94 as vice president of planning and development during the design and construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Opening in 1992, Camden Yards immediately became the standard-bearer for a new wave of traditional baseball parks that have been built in subsequent years. Smith played an instrumental role in the design of the ballpark, creating a state-of-the-art unique facility that blends with the urban context of downtown Baltimore while taking inspiration from baseball parks built in the early 20th century. 

Prior to joining the Dodgers, Smith worked for the Baltimore Orioles as vice president of planning and development from September 2009 to August 2012. In that role, Smith directed renovations and expansion of the Orioles’ new spring training facility in Sarasota, Florida as well as upgrades and enhancements to Oriole Park at Camden Yards to celebrate the park’s 20th anniversary.

From 2002 to 2009, Smith served as senior vice president of planning and development for the Boston Red Sox, overseeing the preservation of historic Fenway Park and leading the program that placed this significant ballpark on the National Historic Register. 

From 1994-2000, Smith held the position of president of Turner Sports and Entertainment Development, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, and was the vice president of Planning and Development for the Atlanta Braves. Her work in Atlanta helped transform the 1996 Olympic Stadium into Turner Field, home of the Braves, and she also oversaw the development of the Philips Arena, home of the NBA Atlanta Hawks and NHL Atlanta Thrashers.

Smith also worked as senior advisor of planning and design with Baltimore-based Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse on many of their development and rehab projects from Nashville, Tenn. to Providence, R.I., including concept planning for the renovation of the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, Calif. She was also part of the THINK team, one of the final two teams in the competition for the World Trade Center site in New York City in 2002. 

In 2012, the Boston Baseball Writers honored Smith with a Special Achievement Award for her work at Fenway Park. In 2011, she was named in the Inaugural Class of the Sports Business Journal “Game Changers: Women in Sports Business.”

Before working in sports, Smith worked on urban development projects including Pershing Square in Los Angeles and Battery Park City in New York City, where she served as coordinator of Architecture and Design.

Smith holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from City College of New York and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Mississippi State University. She is an associate member of the Urban Land Institute, American Institute of Architects, and the American Planning Association. She also serves on the board of directors for Berklee College of Music in Boston and the advisory board for the University of Michigan Sports Management Program. 

A native of Jackson, Miss., Smith resides in Baltimore with her husband, Bart Harvey, and their three children.

Ellen Greenberg
Deputy Director for Sustainability
California Department of Transportation
Biography

Ellen Greenberg

Deputy Director for Sustainability
California Department of Transportation

Governor Jerry Brown appointed Ellen Greenberg as the California Department of Transportation's (Caltrans) Deputy Director for Sustainability, a position the Caltrans Director created to lead the department's efforts in developing and implementing initiatives to align with California's goals on sustainability. Greenberg has over 30 years’ experience working with cities, transportation agencies and non-governmental organizations to guide development, conservation and transportation decisions. She comes to Caltrans from Arup, an independent design, planning and engineering firm, where she’s worked since 2010. Greenberg served in the leadership of Arup’s planning and infrastructure groups in San Francisco. During her time at Arup, she worked with transportation agencies including LA Metro, the Maricopa County (Arizona) Association of Governments, Translink (Vancouver Region) and the SF Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Ellen was lead author of Caltrans’ Smart Mobility Framework, which was initiated with support from the U.S. EPA Office of Sustainable Communities. Other areas of work with the EPA office have included urban eco-districts, reuse of obsolete shopping malls and sustainable street design. She also was appointed as the first visiting practitioner at the University of California, Davis National Center for Sustainable Transportation.

Michael Bissonette
Senior Vice President and General Manager
AeroVironment
Biography

Michael Bissonette

Senior Vice President and General Manager
AeroVironment
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.

Steve Westly
Founder and Managing Director
The Westly Group
Biography

Steve Westly

Founder and Managing Director
The Westly Group

Mr. Westly has a unique background.

He served on the faculty at Stanford’s Graduate School of business for five years.

He helped take eBay public in 1998 where he served as SVP of Marketing, Business Development, M&A and International.

In 2002, Mr. Westly was elected Controller and CFO of the State of California. He served on the boards of CalPERS and CalSTRS which invest more than $450 billion.

He founded the Westly Group in 2007, which is one of the larger smart energy and transportation venture firms in the US.  The firms has had four portfolio companies go public including Tesla Motors, where he sat on the Board of Trustees for 3 years.

Kevin Payne
CEO
Southern California Edison
Biography

Kevin Payne

CEO
Southern California Edison

Kevin M. Payne is chief executive officer of Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric utilities, delivering power to more than 14 million people in a 50,000-square-mile service area spanning Central, Coastal and Southern California. He is a member of SCE’s board of directors.

Prior to his current role, Payne was senior vice president of Customer Service for SCE. In that role, he was responsible for SCE’s customer products and services, customer engagement and call center operations, demand-side management programs, field services, account management and advanced metering.

During his 30 years with SCE, Payne has held various leadership positions, including:  vice president of Engineering & Technical Services, overseeing the planning, engineering and designing of SCE’s transmission and distribution systems; vice president of Information Technology & Business Integration, responsible for the delivery of technology services to business units within SCE; and vice president of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), where he led a comprehensive five-year half-billion-dollar program to implement SAP-integrated systems and streamline the company's business operations. He was also director of Renewable and Alternative Power and director of Major Customer Technical Support. He began his career with SCE in 1986 in the Engineering and Construction department managing power plant retrofit and other engineering projects.

Payne serves as a member of the Electric Innovation Management Committee of the Edison Electric Institute.

Payne has a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a registered professional engineer.

Dennis Arriola
President and CEO
Southern California Gas Company
Biography

Dennis Arriola

President and CEO
Southern California Gas Company

Dennis Arriola is president and CEO of Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).

Arriola spent most of the past 20 years in a broad range of leadership roles for the Sempra Energy companies. He has served as president and chief operating officer of SoCalGas since 2012, and was promoted to CEO in 2014.

In 2008, Arriola left the Sempra Energy companies to become executive vice president and chief financial officer for SunPower Corp., a Silicon Valley-based solar panel manufacturer. He rejoined SoCalGas in 2012.

From 2006 to 2008, he was senior vice president and chief financial officer of both SDG&E and SoCalGas. Previously, Arriola also served as vice president of communications and investor relations for Sempra Energy and regional vice president and general manager of Sempra’s South American operations. He first joined the company in 1994 as treasurer for Pacific Enterprises/SoCalGas.

Arriola serves on the board of directors for the American Gas Association, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, Western Energy Institute, California Business Roundtable, Latino Donor Collaborative and Southern California Leadership Council.

Arriola has a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University.

Doug McPherson
General Counsel and Vice President, Corporate Development
Idealab
Biography

Doug McPherson

General Counsel and Vice President, Corporate Development
Idealab

Doug McPherson serves as Idealab's General Counsel and Vice President of Corporate Development. Prior to joining Idealab, he served as Chief Legal Officer and Vice President, Business Development for Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch and its predecessor company, CitySearch. Before working at CitySearch, Doug was with the law firm of HellerEhrman LLP. He also served as a law clerk for a federal district judge and worked for The Rockefeller Foundation in New York City. He holds a B.A. in Classics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar, an M.A. in Greek and Roman History from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School where he served on the Stanford Law Review and Environmental Law Journal. He enjoys running, wine, time with his family and live performances of all kinds.

Robert Fleming
Assistant Deputy Minister, Climate Change and Environmental Policy Division
Ministry of Environment and Climate Change of Ontario
Biography

Robert Fleming

Assistant Deputy Minister, Climate Change and Environmental Policy Division
Ministry of Environment and Climate Change of Ontario

In his current role as the Assistant Deputy Minister for the Climate Change and Environmental Policy Division, Robert has championed numerous initiatives including the development of the Ontario Climate Change Directorate, the release of the Climate Change Strategy which sets out the vision for Ontario to 2050, and currently leads policy work on design elements for Ontario’s future Cap and Trade program. Robert has also been instrumental in coordinating efforts with other jurisdictions to develop a Memorandum of Understanding indicating Ontario’s intention to link to carbon markets. Robert has also been responsible for leading the development of the Great Lakes Protection Act, the Waste-Free Ontario Act, and a draft strategy, Waste-Free Ontario: Building the Circular Economy.  

Robert has worked with the Ontario Public Service for 30 years. Prior to serving  with Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Robert worked with the Ministry of Transportation bringing with him 17 years of valuable contribution and leadership having served in various roles, including Assistant Deputy Minister of the Road User Safety Division. Robert has also held positions with Ontario’s Treasury Board, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

Robert currently serves as a member of Environmental Planning and Protection Committee for Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment.   In the past, Robert has also served as Ontario’s member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators. He was privileged to have been elected and served from 2010 to 2014, as a member of the Board of Directors for the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

Rob holds degrees in economics and English.

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.

Lisa Mowery
Chief Financial Officer
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation
Biography

Lisa Mowery

Chief Financial Officer
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation

Lisa Mowery is the Chief Financial Officer for the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, which is responsible for providing solid resources, stormwater and wastewater services to over 4 million people.  During her 23 years with the City of Los Angeles, Ms. Mowery has also worked as a project manager and environmental compliance specialist.  During the past 15 years, she has been involved in the issuance of over $3.5 billion in bonds for the City's Wastewater Program.  Ms. Mowery also specializes in rate-setting and led an effort for the wastewater program resulting in the adoption of sustainable wastewater fees for a ten-year period.  She currently manages the LA Sanitation’s financial programs, totaling more than $1 billion in annual revenues. She has a BS in Civil Engineering from Purdue University and is a Registered Civil Engineer in California.

Ian Ross
Co-Founder and CEO
OppSites
Biography

Ian Ross

Co-Founder and CEO
OppSites
Chun-cheng Piao
Senior Manager, Ph.D., Environmental Technology Laboratory
Daikin Industries, Ltd
Biography

Chun-cheng Piao

Senior Manager, Ph.D., Environmental Technology Laboratory
Daikin Industries, Ltd

Dr. Piao joined Daikin Industries, Ltd, after he got his doctoral degree, since 1992. He mainly worked at Daikin research lab, and involved in many projects, such as development of fundamental thermodynamic properties of HFCs refrigerant, evaluation and development of natural working fluids air-conditioning system, feasibility study of latent/sensible heat separate air-conditioning system, feasibility study of micro co-generation system, etc. Recently, he is more interested in introducing outside advanced technologies into Daikin’s technology portfolio, to make an innovation in HVAC, an established traditional industry. 

Nelson Gibbs
President
ISACA-Los Angeles
Biography

Nelson Gibbs

President
ISACA-Los Angeles

Nelson is a Vice President and Senior Audit Manager of IT Risk & Governance at Union Bank. He has over 21 years of experience in IT, encompassing roles with operational, professional services, consulting, and auditing responsibilities. He is a frequent industry publication contributor and a regular speaker at local, national and international technology conferences and seminars for ISACA, The IIA, ISSA, and MISTI. He received his MBA in Information Technology from UC Irvine, and his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from UC Santa Barbara. Nelson is currently completing his first term as a Director on the chapter board.

Osamu Onodera
Director
Japan New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, Silicon Valley
Biography

Osamu Onodera

Director
Japan New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, Silicon Valley
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.

Mark Stout
Vice President, Development Engineering
Amber Kinetics
Biography

Mark Stout

Vice President, Development Engineering
Amber Kinetics

Mark Stout, Vice President, Development Engineering at Amber Kinetics, has served the renewable power and computer technology industries for two decades. He joined the Amber Kinetics team in January 2015.

In his role at Amber Kinetics, Mark has been instrumental in the siting, lease negotiations, financial modeling, Energy Storage Agreement negotiations, and civil and electrical engineering for a 50 MW/200 MWh portfolio of flywheel energy storage projects. He also oversees project management for the Amber Kinetics flywheel demonstration project with Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), which became operational in January 2018.

Before joining Amber Kinetics, Mark served in various roles in utility-scale solar PV project development, including site identification and acquisition, permitting, PV technology assessment, and generation modeling for CalRENEW-1, the first PV project to be awarded a utility PPA under the California RPS and the first to be interconnected to California’s transmission grid. He also led a project development team for three 20 MW PV projects in Kings County, California, and was on the project development team for a 150 MW site in San Luis Valley, Colorado, which now has a 50 MW first phase in operation. He has over 900 MW of solar PV and energy storage project experience, including development and operational projects.

Mark graduated summa cum laude in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois-Urbana and earned a Master’s degree in Energy and Resources from UC Berkeley.

 

Nick Haschka
Director of Strategy
NRG Energy, Inc's Station A Group
Biography

Nick Haschka

Director of Strategy
NRG Energy, Inc's Station A Group

Nick Haschka is a Director of Strategy at NRG Energy, Inc's Station A Group. Station A is NRG's internal innovation and business disruption group focused on developing new distributed generation and smart microgrid lines of business through a combination of advanced R&D, strategic planning, and first-of-kind project execution. Nick joined NRG Energy in July 2013 from McKinsey & Company, where he was a member of its Global Energy & Materials management consulting practice. He has served utility and industrial clients across multiple business functions including strategy, finance, sales & marketing, and operations. Prior to McKinsey, Nick co-founded, grew, and sold a solar PV power plant development firm to a fast-growing solar technology manufacturer, where he subsequently managed power plant development efforts and supported its CEO in raising $100M in growth capital. He also advised Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber’s energy policy committee on boosting private sector investment into commercial building energy efficiency.  Nick holds an MBA in strategy and social enterprise from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BS in Management Science and Operations Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In his spare time, Nick is active in the MIT alumni association, formerly serving as President of the MIT Club of Chicago, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting MIT initiatives through alumni connectivity, professional development, and local engagement in key issues surrounding K12 STEM education, social entrepreneurship, and technology. 

Justin Erlich
Global Head of Policy-Autonomous Vehicles & Urban Aviation
Uber
Biography

Justin Erlich

Global Head of Policy-Autonomous Vehicles & Urban Aviation
Uber

Justin Erlich is Uber's Global Head of Policy for Autonomous Vehicles, Urban Aviation, and Freight. He spent the previous two years on the leadership team of former California Attorney General (now Senator) Kamala Harris overseeing technology policy, strategy, and operations. Prior to that role, he worked as a strategy consultant for McKinsey & Co. focused on the future of cities within the Public Sector and Sustainability practices. He has also clerked for a federal judge on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He has a law degree from NYU and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard.

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. 

Mark Ridley-Thomas
Supervisor, 2nd District
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Biography

Mark Ridley-Thomas

Supervisor, 2nd District
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Since he was overwhelmingly elected in 2008 and reelected in 2012 and 2016 to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Mark Ridley-Thomas has distinguished himself as a strong advocate for more than two million Second District residents. He presently serves as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, President of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission and a member of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

He has promoted the District’s interests on a variety of fronts, including transportation, job creation and retention, and local hiring. In the area of health policy, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas has overseen the construction of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, as well as a network of cutting-edge health care facilities throughout the District. He has facilitated the use of technology and encouraged an integrated approach to wellness that includes mental health care and a prominent role for school-based clinics. His advocacy has helped secure an equitable share of funding for public-private partnership health clinics in underserved areas.

Prior to his election to the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas served the 26th District in the California State Senate where he chaired the Senate’s Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development. He served as Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus in 2008 and led the Caucus in unprecedented levels of cooperation and collaboration with counterparts in the Latino and Asian-Pacific Islander Legislative Caucuses.

Mark Ridley-Thomas was first elected to public office in 1991 and served with distinction on the Los Angeles City Council for nearly a dozen years, departing as Council President pro Tempore. He later served two terms in the California State Assembly, where he chaired the Assembly Democratic Caucus. His legislative work addressed a broad range of issues with implications for economic and workforce development, health care, public safety, education, budget accountability, consumer protection and civic participation.

He is widely regarded as the foremost advocate of neighborhood participation in government decision-making. By virtue of his founding of the Empowerment Congress, arguably the region’s most successful 24-year experiment in neighborhood-based civic engagement, he is considered the founder of the Neighborhood Council movement.

Ridley-Thomas’ political career was preceded by a decade of service as executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles, which followed a brief but successful five-year stint as a high school teacher.

The Supervisor is a graduate of Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles and earned a baccalaureate degree in Social Relations with a minor in Government and a master’s degree in Religious Studies with a concentration in Christian ethics from Immaculate Heart College. Supervisor Ridley-Thomas went on to receive his Ph.D. in Social Ethics from the University of Southern California focusing on Social Criticism and Social Change.

He is married to Avis Ridley-Thomas, Co-Founder and Director of the Institute for Non-Violence in Los Angeles. They are the proud parents of Sinclair and Sebastian, both Morehouse Men. Sinclair recently earned an MBA degree at USC’s Marshall School of Business, works in the investment banking industry, and resides with his wife Shaunicie, an attorney, in San Francisco. Sebastian is a member of the California State Assembly representing the 54th District, which includes Southwest Los Angeles, Culver City, Century City and Westwood.

Bill Hanway
Executive Vice President
AECOM
Biography

Bill Hanway

Executive Vice President
AECOM

Bill is an Executive Vice President and the Global Sports Leader at AECOM, the global design, infrastructure and construction services firm. Trained as an architect, Bill’s work focuses on large scale regeneration projects, major sports events planning, and sports venue design.  He works closely with politicians, civic leaders and key stakeholders to leverage the capital investment required to host a major sports event to both help regenerate areas of cities that are socio-economically challenged as well as delivering catalysts for future development.

He currently leads the AECOM team for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games and served as the Director of Venues and Infrastructure during the candidate city bid phase.  Previously, he led the AECOM team that delivered the London 2012 Games and Legacy masterplan as well as the Rio 2016 Games and Legacy masterplan. He also served as an advisor to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Tokyo 2020. 

Other recent projects include the Golden 1 arena for the Sacramento Kings – the first LEED Platinum sports facility in the world.

He has a Masters of Architecture degree from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.

Michael Peevey
President
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Michael Peevey

President
California Public Utilities Commission
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. 

Varouj Abkian
Assistant Director
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation
Biography

Varouj Abkian

Assistant Director
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation

Mr. Abkian is an Environmental Engineer with an extensive background in wastewater treatment design, construction and operations. He is an executive with LA Sanitation, City of Los Angeles. He has over three decade of experience in the Environmental Engineering field and is a professor in local universities.

Patrick Condon
Urban Design Program Chair
University of British Columbia
Biography

Patrick Condon

Urban Design Program Chair
University of British Columbia

Patrick has over 25 years of experience in sustainable urban design: first as a professional city planner and then as a teacher and researcher. Patrick started his academic career in 1985 at the University of Minnesota before moving to the University of British Columbia in 1992. After acting as the director of the landscape architecture program, he became the James Taylor Chair in Landscape and Liveable Environments. In that capacity he has worked to advance sustainable urban design in scores of jurisdictions in the US, Canada, and Australia. Patrick has also led the Sustainability by Design project by the Design Centre for Sustainability. For over 20 years, the Design Centre and James Taylor Chair worked on a variety of projects and books to contribute to healthier and more sustainable urban landscapes.

Recognizing the need for collaboration as a fundamental part of designing sustainable communities, Patrick has pioneered public engagement methods. He has successfully focused attention on how to make systemic change in the way cities are built and operated, notably in his East Clayton project in Surrey, BC. More recently, he and his research partners collaborated with the City of North Vancouver to produce a 100-year plan to make the city carbon-neutral by 2107. Patrick and his partners received the Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Planning Excellence and the BC Union of Municipalities Award of Excellence for this work.

Former Ambassador Vilma Martinez
Chair
Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners
Biography

Former Ambassador Vilma Martinez

Chair
Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners

Ambassador Vilma Martinez, the first woman to represent the United States in Buenos Aires as Ambassador, was appointed to the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners by Mayor Eric Garcetti and confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council on November 19, 2013.

Ambassador Martinez was previously a partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson, where she specialized in federal and state court commercial litigation, advising companies on steps to enhance their equal employment opportunity policies and build diversity and inclusion initiatives into their business plans Prior to Munger, Tolles & Olson, Ambassador Martinez served as president and general counsel of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).

Ambassador Martinez's previous professional endeavors also include work as litigation associate at Cahill, Gordon & Reindel in New York, and as a staff attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Enriching Ambassador Martinez's experience is a history of continued public service on numerous nonprofit boards. She served as chairman of the Board of Regents of the University of California from 1984 to 1986, and was a regent from 1976 to 1990. She previously served as a board member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She chaired the Pacific Council's Study Group on Mexico and served on the advisory boards of Columbia Law School and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California.

Ambassador Martinez was appointed by President William Clinton to serve on his Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations from 1994 to 1996. She was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the United States Ambassador to Argentina from 2009 to 2013. In 2013, she was awarded the Order of May (the highest honor awarded by Argentina to a foreign national) in recognition for her tenure and for her work on behalf of improving mutual cooperation and understanding.

Dean Taylor
Manager and Scientist, Electric Transportation
Southern California Edison
Biography

Dean Taylor

Manager and Scientist, Electric Transportation
Southern California Edison

Dean Taylor is a manager and scientist at Southern California Edison in the electric transportation area, where is works on technical and strategic analysis as well as regulatory and legislative policy for the last 21 years.  He has been involved with battery EVs since 1991 and plug-in HEV analysis and research since 1995.  He has co-lead or chaired several legislative or technical coalitions or task forces for the industry, including the federal ad hoc PHEV and BEV coalition that worked on the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the California EV Task Force, and the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Working Group. He has over 15 years experience in creating or co-managing legislative coalitions that resulted in over 50 bills being signed into law.  He has project managed dozens of technical studies covering over 30 electric drive technologies, including non-road vehicles, high-speed rail, and heavy duty vehicles.  His chapter on plug-in vehicle federal policies was published in 2009 by the Brookings Institute Press, and he has many other publications.  He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science, Policy Analysis and Planning from the University of California, Davis.

Jerilyn López Mendoza
Program Manager, Environmental Affairs
SoCalGas
Biography

Jerilyn López Mendoza

Program Manager, Environmental Affairs
SoCalGas

Jerilyn López Mendoza is an environmental affairs program manager for So Cal Gas, coordinating California Air Resources Board policy for the utility.  In positions prior to this, she served as a commissioner of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, and vice president of the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners.  Ms. Mendoza’s tenure as Harbor Commissioner at the Port of Los Angeles, from 2005 to 2010, coincided with the development and implementation of the first-ever in the world port-related “Clean Air Action Plan,” as well as the Clean Truck Program.  She is currently a President Obama appointee to the Joint Public Advisory Committee to the Commission on Environmental Cooperation, which advises the federal EPA on environmental issues affecting the continent of North America.  Ms. Mendoza also worked as a policy director and staff attorney at the Environmental Justice Project Office of Environmental Defense Fund in Los Angeles from 2000 to 2009, after earning her law degree at the UCLA School of Law and her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.  

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.

Peter Taylor
President
ECMC Foundation
Biography

Peter Taylor

President
ECMC Foundation

Peter J. Taylor became President of the ECMC Foundation in 2014. The Foundation's mission is to inspire and to facilitate improvements that affect educational outcomes — especially among underserved populations — through evidence-based innovation.  From 2009 2014, Taylor was Chief Financial Officer of the University of California system after spending most of his career in investment banking, as a Managing Director in municipal finance for Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital.

Taylor serves on the boards of Edison International, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Trust, where he Chairs the Audit Committee.  Previously, he was Chair of the Boards of Directors of the James Irvine Foundation and the UCLA Foundation.  He was also President of the UCLA Alumni Association Board of Directors, and the Alumni Representative on the UC Board of Regents for two years.

Taylor received his BA from UCLA, and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy Analysis from Claremont Graduate University.  He participated in the Coro Southern California Fellowship in Los Angeles.

Steven Powell
Southern California Edison
Biography

Steven Powell

Southern California Edison

Steven Powell is vice president of Strategy, Integrated Planning & Performance at Southern California Edison (SCE). His department is responsible for the utility’s strategic planning, technology strategy, and integrated grid and resource planning. He also oversees SCE’s Operational and Service Excellence program, a company-wide business transformation effort to drive first-quartile operational performance and a higher performing culture. Most recently, Powell served as director of Strategic Planning at Edison International (EIX) developing and executing growth strategies in new businesses for Edison. The team acquired SoCore Energy and made a series of minority investments to establish an energy service offering for commercial and industrial customers.

Powell has over 15 years of experience within the Edison companies, having started at EIX Strategic Planning in 2000. Since then, he has spent over eight years at SCE performing resource planning and strategy, managing gas and power procurement contracts, and running the program management office for SCE’s plug-in electric vehicle readiness efforts.

He has a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and received his MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.

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.

Anthony Bruzzone
Associate Principal
Arup
Biography

Anthony Bruzzone

Associate Principal
Arup

Anthony Bruzzone is an Associate Principal in Arup’s San Francisco office, and is a transportation planner. His 35 years of experience includes transit service and operations planning, capital projects and airport experience. Tony’s most recent projects include a mix of transit capital projects, including busway planning, as well as supporting the on-going Bay Area Core Capacity program, which is investigating additional transit capacity in the heavily used San Francisco-Oakland corridor.  He was the project manager for a study to determine the feasibility of using solar power to operate BART rapid transit trains, and he also was the project manager for a study to identify conceptual plans – including subways – to improve LRT safety and reliability in San Francisco’s intensifying San Francisco State neighborhood.  Prior to working with Arup, Tony was AC Transit’s Manager of Service and Operations Planning where he coordinated day-to-day operations planning needs, coordinated and managed various bus corridor studies and was liaison for the $1 billion Transbay Terminal project.

Conrad Chase
CEO & Co-founder
Point Load Power
Biography

Conrad Chase

CEO & Co-founder
Point Load Power

Conrad Chase is the CEO and Co-founder of Point Load Power, a fast-growing cleantech company that is transforming buildings into power plants to unlock the idle value of millions of square feet of empty commercial and industrial rooftops. He leads his team of Idealab-trained engineers and solar project developers in bringing utility-scale experience developing, financing, and installing renewable energy solutions to building owners and occupants as well as an emerging network of the nation’s top solar project integrators.  

For more than a decade prior to co-founding Point Load Power, Conrad excelled in finance and global business development leadership positions focused in the solar, mining, and real estate development industries internationally. Fluent in Spanish and Korean, he has worked extensively in Brazil, China, Chile, Mexico and South Korea. Conrad is a proud alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he was awarded his BA in International Studies.

Rick Buss
Assistant City Manager
City of Surprise
Biography

Rick Buss

Assistant City Manager
City of Surprise

Over 20 years of public and private sector executive level experience; Unique, accomplished track record in public and private sectors ranging from Executive Municipal Management to Regional Operations Vice-President for NASDAQ firm; Visionary and innovative professional with versatile skills, education, and experience; Nationally recognized leader in high-tech industries, renewable energy, and sustainable development; ICMA Credentialed Manager

Gary Farha
President & CEO
CustomerFirst Renewables
Biography

Gary Farha

President & CEO
CustomerFirst Renewables

Gary Farha is Founder, President and CEO and leads CFR’s business strategy, customer relationships, and operations. Previously, Gary was a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, where he served energy and industrial clients over a 19-year career and co-led its global innovation practice. He was also Vice President of Growth and Innovation at Danaher Corporation, a Fortune 150 diversified technology company, and worked in multiple financial roles at Kansas Gas and Electric Company. He is a chartered financial analyst (CFA). Gary has led CFR since its inception in 2010.

CustomerFirst Renewables (CFR) is a trusted energy advisor that helps clients develop actionable energy strategies, implement tailored solutions, and optimize performance over time. We support our corporate, institutional and government clients by engaging stakeholders and competitively sourcing and implementing optimized solutions. As a fully independent advisor, we provide objective analysis and guidance. Our team offers end-to-end expertise in all dimensions of the energy value chain, from technical, financial and risk analysis, to management consulting and procurement know-how.

Since its inception in 2010, CFR has been a mission-driven organization focused on doubling renewable electricity use in the U.S. by 2025 by helping clients secure cost-effective solutions. 

As a fully independent advisor, CFR works solely on behalf of corporate, institutional and government clients, and provides unbiased and transparent analysis and guidance. We offer support that is not financially beholden to any project, product, developer or utility. This allows us to provide optimized advice and fully leverage competitive forces to our client’s benefit.

CFR team’s experience spans nearly 3 GW of new renewable energy projects for over 40 large institutions, businesses, and government agencies. Over the past eight years, CFR has advised clients in various industries and locations coast-to-coast on renewable energy opportunities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and other countries, and enabled a variety of projects across multiple geographies in the U.S. The size of client projects has ranged from <1 MW to 240 MW.

Michael Montoya
Director, Grid Advancement, Advanced Technology
Southern California Edison
Biography

Michael Montoya

Director, Grid Advancement, Advanced Technology
Southern California Edison

 

Michael R. Montoya is the director of Grid Advancement for Southern California Edison’s Transmission and Distribution. The Advanced Technology group, previously Engineering Advancement, was created in November 2004 to evaluate, test, demonstrate, and analyze technologies for implementation on SCE’s grid. Under Montoya’s leadership, Grid Advancement teams investigate advancements in power systems modeling and analysis, transmission and distribution automation, distributed energy resources, home area networking, communications and security, infrastructure improvements, asset management, and a variety of devices and systems to make the electric grid more reliable, safe and affordable.

Mr. Montoya has made many contributions throughout his 37-year career at SCE. Prior to heading research, development and demonstration at SCE, Montoya was director of TDBU’s Project Management Organization and director of Grid Operations, Protection and Controls. During his tenure at SCE he served in both technical and managerial capacities.

Montoya earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of La Verne and certificates in I.T. Essentials for Business Leadership from Pepperdine University and Sustaining the Innovative Organization from the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Erik Takayesu
Director, Electric System Planning and Grid Modernization
Southern California Edison
Biography

Erik Takayesu

Director, Electric System Planning and Grid Modernization
Southern California Edison

Erik Takayesu is the Director of Electric System Planning for Southern California Edison. The organizations he currently oversees include Grid Modernization, Distribution and Transmission System Planning and Engineering, Distribution Automation, Power Quality, Generation Interconnection Planning and Studies. He has held various roles at SCE, including managing Grid Operations, Reliability Engineering, and Asset Management. As part of modernizing the electric grid, Erik has been instrumental in leading the efforts to develop SCE’s Distribution Resource Plan. His organization is also developing the strategy for enabling the electric grid to integrate Distributed Energy Resources. Erik has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the California State University at Long Beach, is a licensed PE, and holds his master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.

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.

Jules Radcliff
Partner
Radcliff & Saiki LLP
Biography

Jules Radcliff

Partner
Radcliff & Saiki LLP

Jules Radcliff is a business, government, and trial lawyer experienced in counseling directors, officers, and senior government officials, specialized in crafting solutions to complex business challenges, often where government plays a role in regulation, contracting, or enforcement. In addition to negotiating and documenting transactions common to most businesses, he has also conducted complex factual and financial forensic investigations and managed high-stakes, multi-jurisdiction litigation. As special counsel to boards of directors, he has assisted boards in properly discharging fiduciary duties both as to enterprise risks and as to corporate governance. Jules has extensive experience with the regulation of insurance and with all forms of insurance coverage, as well as with risk retention and risk purchasing groups, and served as national coordinating counsel for major D&O insurers coordinating and overseeing the response to, and management of, multiple waves of class action litigation aimed at savings & loan institutions, high-tech companies, and other targeted segments of the national business community. 

His clients have included well-known companies in national and international commerce, finance, insurance, technology, radio and television broadcast, entertainment, manufacturing, real estate, energy, and health care, as well as both domestic (U.S.) and foreign governments. Jules has represented numerous clients in matters before the U.S. Congress involving major, national investigations and related hearings, and he has successfully managed the passage of multiple, new laws through state legislatures, including the California legislature, as well as the amendment or adoption of new regulations in matters of importance to the business community. 

Mr. Radcliff has had a parallel career in government and politics. In government he has served in multiple roles and capacities, from Chief of Staff to appointed member of commissions overseeing municipal and state departments. He has overseen, developed, or managed multiple projects as well as high-profile and diverse public-private commissions and advisory boards, frequently consulting as Special Counsel to government agencies and officials in sensitive matters. In politics he has served as General Counsel, Manager, Chairman, or Co-Chairman of many local, state, and federal political campaigns across the U.S., including mayoral, gubernatorial, congressional, and presidential campaigns.

Internationally, Jules has served as Business Investment Advisor, Office of U.N. High Commissioner, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and as Legal Advisor and Intermediary between U.S. Justice/State Departments and the national government of an Eastern European country

He is a graduate of UCLA Law School, and holds a Bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in Business Administration, with a minor in accounting, from California State UniversityNorthridge.

Dan Cohee
Operations Manager
Morrow Meadows Corporation
Biography

Dan Cohee

Operations Manager
Morrow Meadows Corporation

Dan leads the design, implementation, integration and construction of advanced energy storage and distributed generation projects for PDE. He led groundbreaking projects of grid tied lithium ion energy storage for a California Municipal Utility and completed a microgrid installation which combined solar, fuel cell, clean burning generator, and energy storage. He has managed design-build of over 30 MW in DC energy storage projects. Dan also is the Principal Investigator for the ESTCP 2012 Sodium-Metal-Halide Battery Energy Storage project at 29 Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. Forbes Online recognized this project as a “Top 12 Energy Project in 2012” and is the largest military type 2B microgrid in the US. Dan led the team on PDE’s leading-edge, Smart Microgrid project at the Electrical Training Institute. The system is a first of its kind, combining energy storage, solar generation, electrical vehicle charging and building load management in one unit. This project was awarded the 2013 Los Angeles National Electrical Contractor’s Excellence Award. Dan is currently leading the design efforts for a smart microgrid project for Penn State University and recently completed the Cuisinart microgrid in the Caribbean.  This microgrid powers a reverse osmosis plant which produces between 250,000 to 300,000 gallons of water each day with solar being the sole generation source.  This is the largest installation of its kind in the region and is a potential game changer for energy policy and delivery in the region.  PDE was recently selected as EPC for the largest privately owned Net Zero Energy retrofit in the U.S.  This project features a microgrid, advanced electronics, battery storage, solar, lighting controls and a high efficiency mechanical system. Dan has just completed the Port Hueneme off grid photo voltaic and flow battery micro grid for the CEC to demonstrate how flow batteries can provide: demand charge savings, increased renewable generation on military micro grids through ramp rate control, and provide reliable power during utility outages.  Currently Dan is heading the engineering, procurement, and construction for the micro grid Test Bed for NAVFAC at the Port of Ventura.  This project will build the AC and DC backbone for NAVFAC to test and integrate technologies of today and of the future to facilitate deployments of micro grids around the world.  This project will be both grid connected and designed to island and will support Naval operations during power outages.

Prior to joining PDE, Dan was responsible for 5 western states at MCI Telecommunications (now Verizon) and successfully managed over 60 million dollars in electrical, mechanical, and control construction projects. Dan attended California State University Long Beach and holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

Sonaar Luthra
CEO
Water Canary
Biography

Sonaar Luthra

CEO
Water Canary
Chantal Guimont
Director
Strategic Planning and Transportation Electrification
Biography

Chantal Guimont

Director
Strategic Planning and Transportation Electrification

Chantal Guimont earned a bachelor’s degree with a dual option in Mathematics and Computer Science from the Université de Montréal in 1980.

Chantal Guimont is responsible for strategic planning and for activities related to individual Transportation Electrification  and public transit Electrification.  Among other achievements, she and her team designed, developed, negotiated and implemented Canada’s first network of public charging stations, the "Electric Circuit."

Ms. Guimont is Hydro-Québec’s representative on the project and policy committees of the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (formally e8) and sits on the board of the Canadian Hydropower Association.

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.

Seth Strongin
Senior Sustainability Consultant
Arup
Biography

Seth Strongin

Senior Sustainability Consultant
Arup

As an Associate and Senior Energy and Sustainability Engineer for Arup, Seth brings together a broad range of design, operations, planning and public policy expertise to deliver high performance buildings and district- and city-scale sustainability projects. He partners with a diversity of commercial, institutional, municipal, hospitality, and healthcare clients to develop goals, plan, conduct analyses, design and implement sustainability strategies for projects in the built environment. Seth takes an interdisciplinary approach to facilitating collaboration between disciplines and amongst stakeholders to optimize the environmental performance of both new construction and existing buildings.  Seth was recognized as one of the Top 40 under 40 engineers nationally by Consulting Specifying Engineer magazine and is an active participant in the local, national and international green building communities, including serving as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the US Green Building Council – Los Angeles Chapter, and Chair of its Existing Buildings Committee. He has written extensively about sustainability, social and environmental justice and public policy and is a frequent public speaker.

Bob Wieckowski
State Senator, California's 10th District
California State Legislature
Biography

Bob Wieckowski

State Senator, California's 10th District
California State Legislature

California State Senator Bob Wieckowski chairs the Budget Subcommittee 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation.  He was the first Californian to chair the Council of State Governments West Energy and Environment Committee and currently serves on its Executive Committee.  He is a state leader in advocating for climate adaptation programs and has participated on many international, state and regional panels examining green infrastructure investments.

His 10th Senate District includes several clean energy companies that are helping California improve both its economy and its environment.

 

Jonathan Levy
Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
EVgo
Biography

Jonathan Levy

Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
EVgo

Jonathan Levy is Senior Vice President of Business Development at EVgo, the nation’s largest and most reliable public network of fast chargers for electric vehicles. In this capacity, Levy manages the EVgo team responsible for revenue generation and strategic partnerships, network development, site acquisition, planning and public funding, and advancing transportation electrification market development. Prior to joining EVgo, Levy was the Director of Policy and Strategy at Vision Ridge Partners, an investment firm focused on sustainable real assets based in Boulder, Colorado. Levy started his career on Capitol Hill as a policy advisor to then-Congressman Rahm Emanuel and served in the Obama Administration in a variety of positions at the U.S. Department of Energy and the White House, concluding his federal service as Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. Over the course of his career, Levy has consistently tackled issues at the intersection of policy, politics, and execution. Jonathan serves on the Board of Directors of Veloz, the Electric Drive Transportation Association, and Gourmet Symphony. He graduated magna cum laude from Emory University with a B.A. in Political Science. 

Katherine Aguilar Perez
Associate Principal & Los Angeles Cities Leader
Arup
Biography

Katherine Aguilar Perez

Associate Principal & Los Angeles Cities Leader
Arup

Katharine Aguilar Perez is the Los Angeles Cities Leader and Associate Principal with Arup. She is an expert in urban planning, transportation, and stakeholder engagement. In the planning and land use field, she is highly regarded for developing complex public participation strategies that require collaboration among multi-cultural communities. With her background in community development, private real estate development, transportation policy and urban planning, she is recognized as a leader in the planning and development fields and speaks at conferences throughout the country.

Gary Hildebrand
Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works
Biography

Gary Hildebrand

Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

Gary Hildebrand is a Deputy Director and has been with the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works for over 33 years. He has held various management positions and is currently responsible for the Water Resources Core Service Area. He has been involved in all aspects of flood control and stormwater management throughout his career. Gary manages the Los Angeles County Flood Control District, which is responsible for providing regional flood risk management and stormwater conservation in the County; the Los Angeles County Waterworks Districts, which provides water supply to over 250,000 people; and the implementation of Federal Clean Water Act programs for both the Flood Control District and the unincorporated County. During his career Gary has been instrumental in many major water initiatives dealing with stormwater quality, local water supply sustainability, and flood risk management.

Gary is a registered civil engineer and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from University of Southern California with an emphasis in water resources. He is a licensed Civil Engineer in the State of California. 

Sanjay Ranchod
Director & Counsel, Business Development & Policy
Tesla
Biography

Sanjay Ranchod

Director & Counsel, Business Development & Policy
Tesla

Sanjay Ranchod works at Tesla, where he is Director and Counsel, Business Development and Policy. Previously, he was Vice President of Policy & Electricity Markets and Regulatory Counsel at SolarCity from 2011 through 2017. Before joining SolarCity, Ranchod represented renewable energy companies and other businesses on regulatory matters as an attorney at the Paul Hastings law firm.

Ranchod serves on the board of directors of the California Solar Energy Industries Association and as a Commissioner of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, a state agency. He served on Sierra Club’s board of directors from 2004 to 2010, and on the board of the Sierra Club Foundation from 2010 to 2016. Ranchod also served on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Center for Environmental Health / Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He received a BA from Brown University and a JD from Stanford Law School.

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.

Tim Wolf
Director of Marketing, Smart Grid Solutions
Itron Inc.
Biography

Tim Wolf

Director of Marketing, Smart Grid Solutions
Itron Inc.

Tim Wolf is the Director for Marketing for Smart Grid Solutions at Itron Inc. Mr. Wolf is responsible developing strategy and overseeing Itron’s marketing programs for Itron’s electric utility customers throughout the world.  In addition, Mr. Wolf has focused a significant portion of his time over the past three years in consumer and regulatory outreach, leading Itron’s communication effort to consumers regarding product safety, smart grid technologies, their capabilities and benefits. Prior to “rejoining” Itron in 2010, Mr. Wolf spent the past nearly three years as a senior consultant at R.W. Beck, an SAIC Company, focusing on Smart Grid consulting services for both investor-owned and municipal utilities. Before that, he worked at Itron for 10 years, leading the company’s corporate marketing group. He is a frequent speaker and presenter at industry conferences, and writer in the industry trade press. 

Ricardo Lara
Insurance Commissioner of California
California Department of Insurance
Biography

Ricardo Lara

Insurance Commissioner of California
California Department of Insurance

Ricardo Lara is California’s 8th Insurance Commissioner since voters created the elected position in 1988. Raised in East Los Angeles by immigrant parents, Commissioner Ricardo Lara made history in 2018 by becoming the first openly gay person elected to statewide office in California’s history. Commissioner Lara previously served in the California Legislature, representing Assembly District 50 from 2010 to 2012 and Senate District 33 from 2012 to 2018. Commissioner Lara earned a BA in Journalism and Spanish with a minor in Chicano Studies from San Diego State University.

Gary Bardini
Deputy Director for Integrated Water Management
California Department of Water Resources
Biography

Gary Bardini

Deputy Director for Integrated Water Management
California Department of Water Resources

Gary B. Bardini was appointed Deputy Director for Integrated Water Management on August 1, 2011. His primary responsibilities include implementing Integrated Regional Water Management, coordinating DWR's efforts related to climate change, updating and implementing the California Water Plan, promoting and facilitating the efficient use of water, overseeing DWR's flood management and dam safety programs, and implementing the FloodSAFE California initiative.

Prior to assuming his current role, Mr. Bardini served as Chief of DWR's Division of Flood Management from 2009 to 2011. As Division Chief, he led two key DWR initiatives: FloodSAFE California and the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan. Prior to becoming Division Chief, Mr. Bardini served as Chief of the Hydrology and Flood Operations Office. He was responsible for the Hydrology Branch, Flood Operations Branch, and Flood Project Integrity and Inspection Branch. He also guided special projects for the Department such as the Feasibility Study for the Restoration of Hetch Hetchy Valley including water and power replacement. Prior to this time, Mr. Bardini was Chief of the Hydrology Branch for five years and was responsible for the State's flood and water supply forecasting programs and flood management control systems for the Joint Operations Center.

Before Mr. Bardini joined Flood Management, he was with the CALFED Bay-Delta Program (CALFED) for three and one-half years. While with CALFED, he managed the Storage and Conveyance Facilities Unit and was responsible for water resource modeling activities. Mr. Bardini also served as Chief of the Water Management Branch and managed the planning activities associated with the water supply reliability element of the CALFED Program.

In 1996, Mr. Bardini joined Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to provide water resource modeling support to State Water Project and Central Valley Project operations and was involved with Bay-Delta issues and Central Valley water rights negotiations. From 1989 through 1996, Mr. Bardini worked on a variety of design and construction projects for the California Department of Boating and Waterways and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Mr. Bardini in 1987 began his career with DWR in the South Central Regional Office where he conducted water resource modeling studies and planned several water supply development projects. He holds a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo with an emphasis in water resources and structures.

Elva Yanez
Director
Prevention Institute
Biography

Elva Yanez

Director
Prevention Institute

Elva has experience in policy advocacy, strategic planning, civic engagement and communications for non-profit organizations, government agencies and foundations in the areas of public policy, urban parks, public health, land use and the built environment. She has a long history of involvement in community-driven policy initiatives in both the public health and environmental arenas. She has served as director of the Center for Health and Parks at the Trust for Public Land; grant liaison officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's SmokeLess States national initiative; deputy director of the RWJF Policy Advocacy on Tobacco and Health initiative; and senior associate director at Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights (ANR). She has been active in numerous local and statewide efforts to enhance access to parks and open space. Elva was appointed to the California State Parks and Recreation Commission in 2011 by Governor Jerry Brown.

James Kast
Fuel Cell Business Analyst
Toyota NA
Biography

James Kast

Fuel Cell Business Analyst
Toyota NA

Mr. Kast is a Fuel Cell Business Analyst, Corporate Strategy and Planning at Toyota Motor North America. His role within the Electrified Vehicle and Technologies Office includes a number of business development activities to improve and expand the adoption of fuel cell electric vehicles in the U.S., namely the Toyota Mirai and Toyota’s Project Portal Class 8 truck. Before joining Toyota, James supported the Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow. He holds an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California Irvine, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Idaho.

Richard Maullin
Chair
California ISO Board of Governors
Biography

Richard Maullin

Chair
California ISO Board of Governors

Richard Maullin is a founding partner (1981) of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates. (FM3), a public opinion research and strategy company.  He was the California Deputy Secretary of State from 1971 to 1974, and he served as Chairman of the California Energy Commission from 1975 through 1979.  Dr. Maullin is currently the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the California Independent System Operator Corporation which operates California’s electricity markets and the electric grid.  From 1980 to 1985, Dr. Maullin was President and Chief Executive Officer of MCR Geothermal Corporation.  Dr. Maullin was also a member of the Social Science Research Staff at the RAND Corporation from 1965 through 1971, specializing in Latin American politics and economics.

Richard Maullin was born in Los Angeles, California and received his bachelor’s (with honors 1962), master’s (1964) and PhD (1972) degrees in Political Science from UCLA.  He has recently retired from FM3.

Sara Neff
Senior Vice President, Sustainability
Kilroy Realty Corporation
Biography

Sara Neff

Senior Vice President, Sustainability
Kilroy Realty Corporation

Sara Neff is Senior Vice President, Sustainability at Kilroy Realty Corporation. Sara took Kilroy from having no sustainability program to being named the #1 publicly traded real estate company on sustainability in North America by GRESB, and under her leadership the company recently committed to becoming the first carbon neutral real estate company in North America by the end of 2020At Kilroy, she oversees all sustainability initiatives such as solar and battery dealmaking, the implementation of energy and water efficiency initiatives throughout the existing and development portfolios, the integration of sustainability standards into annual financial reports, the launch of the Kilroy Innovation Lab, and the award-winning green leasing program.

She holds a BS from Stanford and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Kaylynn Kim
Managing Partner
Tierra Global Advisors
Biography

Kaylynn Kim

Managing Partner
Tierra Global Advisors
Cindy Montañez
CEO
TreePeople
Biography

Cindy Montañez

CEO
TreePeople

Cindy is a lifelong Angeleno raised in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. She is currently CEO of TreePeople, an LA-based environmental organization that has engaged more than 3 million people in making Los Angeles more climate-resilient and water-secure. TreePeople's environmental education programs impact more than a quarter million students per year.

Her love for the environment began with her family. Her parents ignited a passion for the environment when they pointed out environmental injustices in their neighborhood.

At the age of 25, Cindy was elected as the youngest mayor and councilmember of her hometown of San Fernando. At 28 years old, she made history by becoming the youngest woman elected to the California State Legislature, where she became a champion for the environment, sustainable urban planning and social justice.

Cindy then moved on to serve as Assistant General Manager at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, where she was a core part of the team transitioning the nation's largest publicly-owned utility to cleaner energy and a more sustainable local water supply.

Cindy is currently a Board Member for the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

Some of Cindy’s favorite things to do are to hike our local mountains, explore California and give back to Los Angeles. 

Yasutake Kojima
Director
East Japan Railway Company
Biography

Yasutake Kojima

Director
East Japan Railway Company

Yasutake Kojima is Director of Administration and Treasurer of East Japan Railway Company (JR-EAST) New York Office. He conducts overall activity of JR-EAST in both North and South America as well as administrative affairs in NY Office. JR-EAST is the leading railroad corporation in both High-Speed Rail(HSR) and commuter rails in Japan, which runs 69 lines including 5 Shinkansen (HSR in Japanese) lines; and serving over 17 million passengers a day. JR-EAST has speeded up its HSR operation up to 200 mph, and in March 14th 2015, it expands its HSR service to Hokuriku, one of the key economic region along the Sea of Japan’s coast.

Mr. Kojima has over 18 years of experience in management planning, public relations, and implementing kaizen activities in transportation depot for drivers and conductors. Prior to current position, Mr. Kojima served as executive manager of Public Relations Department in the JR-EAST Headquarters, where he represented and was responsible for Corporate Public Relations. He also conducted more than 250 staffs of train drivers and conductors when the East Japan Earthquake and great Tsunami hit and caused disaster. He also served in Management Planning Headquarter and comprehended two Mid-term corporate strategy of JR-EAST, which has consolidated revenue of 200 billion dollars.

He holds an MBA and a MA in International Management from International University of Japan (IUJ) and studied at Amos Tuck School of Business in Dartmouth on exchange. He received a BA in Policy Management at Keio University, under supervision of his thesis with Professor Takashi Fujii, former president of International Federation of Social Science Organization (IFSSO), and Professor Takao Akabane, former administrative vice-minister of Economic Planning Agency of Japan.

Stephen Polechronis
Regional Business Line Leader, Southern California and Nevada Transportation
AECOM
Biography

Stephen Polechronis

Regional Business Line Leader, Southern California and Nevada Transportation
AECOM

Mr. Polechronis is a transportation industry executive and project manager with extensive transit project management experience, including development, design, and construction of light rail, heavy rail subway, and commuter rail projects. His project management experience includes complex multi disciplinary assignments at all stages of project development from concept to commissioning.   

Concurrent with his project work, Mr. Polechronis has held a number of executive positions with AECOM Transportation including his current assignment as AECOM’s Transportation Regional Business Line Leader in Greater Southern California and Nevada.  Previously, Mr. Polechronis had responsibility for the development of AECOM’s Latin American transportation initiative, business development in AECOM’s Western Region, was Director of West Program Management, West Coast Unit Manager, Western United States Transit Director, and West Coast Regional Manager of Business Development. He has held positions with both P&L and business development responsibility. 

Brad Cox
Senior Managing Director
Trammell Crow Company
Biography

Brad Cox

Senior Managing Director
Trammell Crow Company

Brad Cox serves as Senior Managing Director for Trammell Crow Company where his primary focus is raising capital, setting investment strategy, creating deal flow, and overseeing the day-to-day activities for the Los Angeles Business Unit. Trammell Crow Company is a 65 year national development company, a wholly owned subsidiary of CBRE, with offices in 15 cities.

The Los Angeles division portfolio currently includes $400 M of in process development including 102 acres of industrial development in Los Angeles, Carson and La Verne, medical office buildings for USC, mixed use office in Downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena, and Multi-family developments in Santa Monica. 

Brad is the Chairman of the Los Angeles Business Council Institute, Santa Monica Alliance and the 2013/2014 Chairman of the Santa Monica Chamber. 

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.
 
Jon Naimon
Founder and Managing Director
Light Green Advisors
Biography

Jon Naimon

Founder and Managing Director
Light Green Advisors
Christopher Cannon
Director of Environmental Management
Port of Los Angeles
Biography

Christopher Cannon

Director of Environmental Management
Port of Los Angeles

Christopher Cannon is the director of environmental management for the Port of Los Angeles, a position he has held since October 2010.

Cannon has worked at the Port of Los Angeles as a consultant since 2004, most recently helping to manage the implementation and daily operation of the highly successful Clean Truck Program.

In his new role, Cannon will be responsible for balancing commerce and growth with ecological sustainability at the nation’s busiest container port. The division assesses environmental impacts of development projects and determines appropriate mitigation measures. It also prepares and distributes any environmental documentation mandated by state and federal law; special studies involving dredging, noise abatement, water quality and air quality; contamination characterizations; wildlife management; and establishment of policies regarding environmental quality issues.

Before his work on the Clean Truck Program, Cannon worked with the Port Environmental Management Division’s Air Quality and CEQA groups, supporting the development of key air projects such as the Clean Air Action Plan and its efforts to complete critical environmental impact reports for Port-related projects.

Cannon has 21 years of experience in the environmental services industry, working on a range of projects while employed by ENVIRON International Corporation and TRC Environmental Solutions.

Cannon also spent two years as a legislative assistant for environmental policy on the Washington, D.C. staff of U.S. Representative Martin Sabo of Minnesota.  

Cannon received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Dartmouth College and a law degree from University of California at Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

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. 

Albert Lee
Director of Investments, Real Assets
University of California (UC) Regents Investment Office
Biography

Albert Lee

Director of Investments, Real Assets
University of California (UC) Regents Investment Office

Albert Lee is a senior investment professional who joined the University of California (UC) Regents Investment Office in January 2015. The UC manages a portfolio of investments totaling ~$125 billion, which includes endowment, pension, retirement, and cash assets.  Mr. Lee invests the Real Assets portfolio which includes funds, co-investments and select direct investments in infrastructure, new energy, metals & mining, and agriculture.  Prior to joining the UC, Mr. Lee was an investment banking Director in the Global Natural Resources Group at Barclays / Lehman Brothers. He earned his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and B.S. in Engineering at Columbia University.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Jun Niimi
Former Consul General
Japanese Consulate, Los Angeles
Biography

Jun Niimi

Former Consul General
Japanese Consulate, Los Angeles

Consul General Niimi joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1979 after graduating from Tokyo University’s Faculty of Law.  His previous international assignments were in England, Kenya, France, Iran, Russia, and Thailand. At Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Tokyo, he has served as Director of the Overseas Public Relations Division, Director of the Consular Policy Division, Director of the Overseas Establishments Division, and as Assistant Vice-Minister.  The post of Consul General at Los Angeles is his first assignment in the United States.

Sam Dreiman
Director of Strategic Development
Lime
Biography

Sam Dreiman

Director of Strategic Development
Lime

Sam leads government affairs and policy for Lime across California and the southwest U.S. Previously, he lived in Beijing, China, where he held several roles at the intersection of technology and government, and where he saw the dockless mobility movement sprout from the ground up. Sam earned his Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Virginia.   

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.   

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. 

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.

Mark Sadovnick
Managing Director
Stanton Chase International
Biography

Mark Sadovnick

Managing Director
Stanton Chase International

Having built a reputation over 30 years for looking beyond the mechanics of executive search, Mark has a proven commitment and ability to make a difference with Management, the individual candidates and their families, ensuring the mutual “right fit”.  Recognized by Business Week as one of 150 most influential search consultants in the world, Mark gained business and international awareness from his experiences with Deloitte in Canada and Jaycees International.

 

Mark has worked with many large and middle-market companies, as well as start-ups, advising what it takes to be recognized as a preferred employer and how innovative recruitment of exceptional management candidates will impact their financial results as well as the organization’s reputation and image. His background in finance has given him the advantage of being able to attract the right fit CFO’s and other quality financial management to join and benefit his clients.                                                          

 

Mark proactively introduces and recommends clients and strategic partners to each other, for mutual benefit of all resources. With extensive cross-industry, international experience and relationships, he recognizes the value of understanding and respecting cultures, languages, and the impact on people and business. “It’s all about people, inclusion and trust, to create a winning team.”

 

Mark sits on the Boards of Million Peacemakers (“Nonflict”), World Language Communications, the Hidden Tears Project and VerdeXchange Institute. He has been involved in many Sports & Entertainment projects, including SportsFund, and owning professional cycling and roller hockey teams. Mark is a Chartered Accountant, graduating from McGill University in Montreal. 

Alisa Orduña
Senior Advisor on Homelessness
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Alisa Orduña

Senior Advisor on Homelessness
City of Santa Monica

Alisa Orduña is the Senior Advisor to the City Manager on Homelessness for the City of Santa Monica. She is a passionate advocate and seasoned community development practitioner with close to twenty years of experience working in the nonprofit and government sectors. Her strengths are in the areas of program development and policy analysis to end homelessness in urban communities. Alisa works through collaborative processes to effect policy change and has served on both the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Ad-Hoc Committees on Women Experiencing Homelessness and Black People Experiencing Homelessness. Her professional experiences include serving as the Homelessness Policy Director for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and as a Program Officer at United Way of Greater Los Angeles as a member of the Home For Good team.

Alisa is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Depth-Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Alisa is a Los Angeles native and gives back to strengthen her community through volunteering on the boards of Urban Voices, Skid Row Coffee, and UN Women- Los Angeles Chapter.

 

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.

David Hertz
Co-Founder
Skysource
Biography

David Hertz

Co-Founder
Skysource

Architect David Hertz is the founder and president of David Hertz FAIA Architects, inc. and S.E.A., the Studio of Environmental Architecture, which he established as Syndesis in 1984 and skysource.org in 2016.

David graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-ARC) in 1983. In 2006 David was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Sci-Arc. In 2008 David was elected to the prestigious American Institute of Architects College of Fellows as one of it’s youngest member in its over 155 year history.

David Hertz’s award-winning work has been widely published and exhibited internationally. Some highlights include exhibitions in the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the National Building Museum, and the Cooper Hewitt Museum, as well as inclusion in the Venice and Istanbul Architectural biennales, having won the American Architecture Award in 2009 and 2012 respectively.

The work of S.E.A. has been included in over a hundred books and periodicals worldwide. Key highlights include two covers of Dwell, inclusion in Met Home’s Design 100, and a profile in Vanity Fair Magazine. Hertz’s 747 Wing House won a 2012 Record Houses award and the 2016 Architizer A+ Award and has been widely published and documented worldwide, including a 2017 feature on World's Most Extraordinary Homes on Netflix. In 2016 a monograph, The Restorative Home: Ecological Houses of David Hertz was published by Oro Press.

David is a founding member of the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) as well as the USGBC and was involved in the first LEED Platinum Commercial and Residential Projects in the U.S. Since 1990 David has been on the Academic Advisory Committee and the faculty of the UCLA Arc-ID Program teaching sustainable design courses.

David has also taught at the USC School of Architecture, SCI-ARC and Art Center College of Design. David has been serving on the Task Force of the Environment for the City of Santa Monica for over 20 years, co-authoring the city's Green Building Ordinance. David serves on the board of directors of Heal The Bay and is involved in numerous social and environmental non-profits and pro-bono services, including founding the GO Water Initiative with the Go Campaign, where he is bringing Skywater atmospheric water generators through skysource.org to address water scarcity and water quality worldwide. In 2018 David led his Skysource team to the grand prize winner in the Water Abundance XPRIZE out of a field of 98 teams from 27 countries to make 2,000 liters of water from air in 24 hours using 100% renewable energy at a cost of less than 2 cents/liter.

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

 

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.

Susan Bitter Smith
Commissioner
Arizona Corporation Commission
Biography

Susan Bitter Smith

Commissioner
Arizona Corporation Commission
Jeff Joyner, Esq.
Co-Founder; Partner
UScooter; E4 Mobility Alliance; Greenberg Traurig
Biography

Jeff Joyner, Esq.

Co-Founder; Partner
UScooter; E4 Mobility Alliance; Greenberg Traurig

Jeff Joyner is Co-Founder of Uscooter and the e4 Mobility Alliance and has been on the Leadership Council of the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator (LACI), Board of Directors for CleanTech Los Angeles, Advisory Board of the U.S.-China CleanTech Center, among other CleanTech ventures and organizations.

Jeff has been very active in serving as a co-founder, advisor and outside general counsel at Greenberg Traurig to CleanTech businesses whose goals are start-up funding, operations, intellectual property protection, licensing, incentives, grants, strategic partnerships, acquisition, public offerings, among others. In this role, Jeff uses his vast experience in venture capital, government affairs, intellectual property, licensing, enforcement and litigation.  Jeff advises and is a limited partner of one of the first clean technology venture funds that focuses on clean energy, water, agriculture and materials.  He also advises other companies using technologies for transit, solar, wind, biomass, solar thermal, waste-to-energy, green building material, transportation, infrastructure and smart grid projects, among others.

Jeff was named one of the 75 Top IP Litigators in California by the Daily Journal, selected by Super Lawyers magazine, ranking him in the top 2.5 percent of Southern California lawyers, selected by Forbes as one of "America's Premier Lawyers," and listed IAM Magazine’s "The IAM Patent 1000 – Litigation" and World Trademark Review’s "WTR 1000."

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. 

Mark Kroeker
Head, Crisis Management
Disney Worldwide
Biography

Mark Kroeker

Head, Crisis Management
Disney Worldwide

An expert in crisis management, he is a Member of the UCLA Extension Advisory Board for Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and a Member of the University of Paris Advisory Committee on International Threats. His relevant positions have included Vice President for Global Intelligence, Threat Analysis, and Crisis Management for The Walt Disney Company, where he provided leadership for Disney’s global intelligence operations, as well as planning for crisis management, threat mitigation, and business continuity. He led a team devoted to developing individual crisis management plans, procedures, and policies for Disney’s multiple lines of business, including cruise lines, theme parks, hotels, studios, and retail stores. He developed Disney’s Workplace Violence Initiative, including active shooter awareness and response protocols leading to widespread training and readiness in all of Disney’s business lines. His career has spanned the positions of Deputy Chief, Los Angeles Police Department, Chief of Police, Portland Oregon Police Department, Deputy Police Commissioner of the UN’s Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH), Police Commissioner for the United Nations Mission in Liberia, and Police Advisor to the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations where his duties includedoversight of more than 9,000 UN Police Officers serving in 17 missions, international police-related policy development, and advice to United Nations’ senior-most executives.

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.

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. 

Mark Gold
Executive Director
Ocean Protection Council
Biography

Mark Gold

Executive Director
Ocean Protection Council

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.

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.

Lillian Kawasaki
Director
Water Replenishment District
Biography

Lillian Kawasaki

Director
Water Replenishment District
Robert Savage
Assistant Deputy Minister
Alberta Climate Change Office
Biography

Robert Savage

Assistant Deputy Minister
Alberta Climate Change Office

For as long as there have been conversations about climate change and integrated resource management in Alberta, Bob Savage has been at the forefront of them. That’s why he was appointed as an Assistant Deputy Minister within the Alberta Climate Change Office in 2016, and asked to assume responsibility for it within the Ministry of Environment and Parks in 2018.

Prior to his role as an ADM he was Executive Director for the Regulatory and Compliance Branch, where he was responsible for delivering the Climate Change Regulatory and Emission Trading systems and the Renewable Fuels and Bioenergy programs. But these two roles are Bob’s second tour of duty on the climate change front. From 2003-13, Bob played a leading role in developing and implementing Alberta’s greenhouse gas policy and regulatory system, as well creating an offset trading system and establishing the Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund and Corporation (now known as Emissions Reduction Alberta).

In addition, Bob has served in senior executive roles leading the development of major policy and planning initiatives across a wide range of departments and subject matters, including provincial water policy, air policy, parks policy, as well as the development of integrated resource management plans across the province. 

Bob’s education focused on land use planning and resource economics. He holds an MBA in project management from Athabasca University.

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
Doug Sereno
Director of Program Management
Port of Long Beach
Biography

Doug Sereno

Director of Program Management
Port of Long Beach

 

Douglas J. Sereno, P.E., has been the Director of Program Management for the Port of Long Beach, California since August 2007 where he oversees the Port’s 5-year, $4.5B capital improvement program.  Significant current projects under his direction are the $950M Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement, the $1.2B Middle Harbor Redevelopment Program and the $600M Pier G Redevelopment Program.  Doug holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.  He is a Registered Engineer in the State of California and is credentialed as a Envision Sustainability Professional by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI).

Doug is involved in sustainable infrastructure initiatives with ASCE’s Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI) as the chairman of its Sustainability Committee and as the secretary of the ASCE - LA Chapter’s Sustainability Committee.  He serves on ASCE‘s Subcommittee on Sustainable Infrastructure Certification that is developing an international certification standard for the Sustainable Infrastructure Professional, ASCE’s  Committee on Sustainability as a member of the Strategic Communications Committee and ISI Envision Infrastructure Rating System Leadership Credits Sub-Committee.  He was the initial chair of the Port’s Sustainability Task Force and is a founding member of the Joint West Coast Ports Technical Committee for the Development of Sustainable Design and Construction Guidelines. He is an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Water Environment Federation and the U.S. Green Building Council, LA Chapter.

Jeff Berk
Senior Vice President
AECOM
Biography

Jeff Berk

Senior Vice President
AECOM

Jeff Berk is a Senior Vice President with AECOM where he serves as a Regional Water Business Leader in California.  He has been a consulting engineer for over 28 years where he has held both national and regional leadership positions.  In addition to the CASA Board, Jeff currently sits on the Deans Advisory Board for both the University of California Los Angeles and California Polytechnic State University in Pomona.

Jeff holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from California Polytechnic State University in Pomona and a Master’s of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.  He is a registered civil engineer in California.

Gillian Wright
Director
Southern California Gas Company
Biography

Gillian Wright

Director
Southern California Gas Company
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.

Justin Siegel
Interim Faculty Director
Innovation Institute for Food and Health
Biography

Justin Siegel

Interim Faculty Director
Innovation Institute for Food and Health

Dr. Justin Siegel

Dr. Siegel’s scientific efforts are on the design and discovery of enzymes of interest to modern society. Currently he works with an international community on the development of Rosetta computational methodology for predicting and designing macromolecular structures, interactions, and functions. Using this methodology he has successfully engineered and discovered numerous enzymes catalyzing a wide range of reactions. His educational background includes a BS from UC Davis and a PhD from the University of Washington, Seattle.  He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Sloan Research Fellowship in 2014. He has also founded two companies and was recently named the Interim Faculty Director of the Innovation Institute for Food and Health.

Michael Jones
Founder and President
The Maritime Alliance
Biography

Michael Jones

Founder and President
The Maritime Alliance

Michael is President of The Maritime Alliance (TMA) – a non-profit industry association founded in 2007. Its Mission Statement is “Promoting Sustainable, Science-Based Ocean & Water Industries”.  Originally focused on San Diego – the largest US BlueTech cluster – it has a growing number of members nationally and internationally. TMA is a Strategic Partner with the US Dept. of Commerce and organizer of the 1st ever US Maritime Technology Export Initiative.  TMA is helping promote the creation of regional clusters globally and in 2017 helped form the BlueTech Cluster Alliance with 9 leading BlueTech clusters from 7 countries. 

Michael has a BA from the University of Arizona and MA from Johns Hopkins University “School of Advanced International Studies” (SAIS) in Washington, DC.  He sits on the Board of Directors of several organizations and is non-resident Senior Fellow focused on the Blue Economy at The Foreign Policy Institute at SAIS.

Paul Bunje
Principal and Senior Scientist, Energy & Environment
XPRIZE Foundation
Biography

Paul Bunje

Principal and Senior Scientist, Energy & Environment
XPRIZE Foundation

Paul Bunje is a global thought leader in bringing innovation to solve environmental grand challenges. Paul leads Energy and Environment prizes at the XPRIZE Foundation, where he brings his unique ability to bridge the gap between science and society to incentivizing solutions to diverse challenges facing our world.

Paul was the founding Executive Director of the UCLA Center for Climate Change Solutions and the Managing Director of the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability. He received his B.S. from the University of Southern California and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Sigal Admony-Ravid
Israel Consul for Economic Affairs to the West Coast
Biography

Sigal Admony-Ravid

Israel Consul for Economic Affairs to the West Coast

Sigal Admony-Ravid is the Israel Consul for Economic Affairs to the West Coast. Her office is responsible for enhancing bi-national trade relations between the local and Israeli business communities across a broad spectrum of industries.

Sigal began her career at the Ministry of Industry and Trade in the Foreign Trade Administration as the Deputy Director of the North American Department. Afterwards, she was assigned the duties of overseeing a national program that promoted the international commercialization of alternative energy technologies.

Before joining the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Sigal worked as an attorney for a leading Israeli firm specializing in intellectual property. She also worked as an attorney for the State Advocacy Fiscal Department within the Ministry of Justice.

Sigal received her degree in law from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Sigal also holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Tel Aviv University's Eitan Berglas School of Economics and an MBA from the TelAviv University and the Anderson school of business ,UCLA.

The Government of Israel Economic Mission is responsible for enhancing bi-national trade relations between the West Coast and Israeli business communities. By leveraging its networking capacity and industry knowledge in Israel and the Western United States, the Economic Mission is able to seamlessly engage prospective business partners half a world apart. Our operations span a variety of industry sectors, with a focus on high-tech, security, new media, cleantech and biotechnology.

Alan Jones
PG&E
Biography

Alan Jones

PG&E

Alan Jones is responsible for the growth and strategic management of Pacific Gas & Electric’s Smart Meter Network Optimization and Connected Cities programs.  Alan has over 25 years of technology management and product development experience working across a variety of industries including energy, telecommunications, semiconductor manufacturing and consumer electronics.

As a leader in the PG&E’s Meter Services and Engineering group, Alan works with our industry leading smart meter technology partners to deploy innovative solutions required to service the 10 Million customers across our geographical diverse and expansive Northern Californian service area.  Currently he is working with leading wireless telecommunication service providers, systems integrators and smart meter companies to deliver highly integrated, broad band wireless services, smart grid expansion and LED lighting solutions for cities of the future.

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.

Jun Ichi Aoki
Deputy Vice President
Hitachi, Ltd.
Biography

Jun Ichi Aoki

Deputy Vice President
Hitachi, Ltd.

Jun Ichi Aoki, the deputy vice president of Defense Systems Company, Hitachi, Ltd., and a member of Water Security Council of Japan, established by the Japanese Government (Liberal Democratic Party of Japan). Through the activities for the council, he has achieved a wealth of experience and knowledge in the conservation and management of water resources.

Aoki’s specialty is in defense related technologies such as Command & Control, Communication, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. Aoki also has expertise in modeling & simulation and image intelligence. Currently his mission is to create new business in non-military markets with applied defense technologies.

Recently, Aoki has been involved in development of computer systems with his knowledge of defense technology, in collaboration with the University of Tokyo and Geosphere Environmental Technology Corporation, which has successfully been commercialized to calculate and visualize the cycle of groundwater and surface water.

Aoki graduated from Nihon University with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering.

Con Howe
Los Angeles Fund Managing Director
CityView
Biography

Con Howe

Los Angeles Fund Managing Director
CityView

Con Howe is Managing Director of CityView’s $150 million Los Angeles Fund, partnering with homebuilders and developers to entitle land and build workforce housing in greater Los Angeles. CityView, founded by Henry Cisneros, has financed over 7,000 units of housing in over 40 projects in California and throughout the United States.

Previously Mr. Howe was Director of the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Center for Balanced Development in the West, focusing on the special land development issues of the fast growing Western United States. Mr. Howe served as the Director of Planning for the City of Los Angeles from 1992-2005. His work included: revision of the City’s General Plan to provide a comprehensive strategy for growth, updating the City’s 35 Community Plans, streamlining the development permitting process, creating new zoning to encourage mixed-use and infill housing projects, and the adaptive reuse of older structures into housing.

From 1987 to 1991, he served as Executive Director of the New York City Planning Department where he directed a staff of 400 located in a central office and five borough offices. Earlier, as director of the agency’s Manhattan Office, he helped direct major commercial growth to West Midtown, and established urban design and preservation requirements for the City’s Theatre District and Times Square.

Prior to coming to New York City, Howe was Executive Director of the Massachusetts Land Bank, a state redevelopment agency, and served in the Governor’s Office. Howe received a master’s degree from MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning and an undergraduate degree from Yale, and teaches a graduate course in planning and redevelopment at USC.

Randy Hoyle
Senior Vice President and Head of Wind and Solar Development
Terra-Gen Power
Biography

Randy Hoyle

Senior Vice President and Head of Wind and Solar Development
Terra-Gen Power

Mr. Hoyle leads Terra-Gen’s wind and solar development initiatives.  Over the past three years his team has successfully developed and constructed 1,320MW of wind energy composed of nine projects and represents a $2.8 billion investment in California.  In 2011, Terra-Gen was recognized as the #1 wind developer in the United States based on installed capacity during the year.  Prior to joining Terra-Gen, Mr. Hoyle was Managing Director at Edison Mission Energy, the unregulated affiliate of Edison International, responsible for business development activities related to a national wind energy platform. From 1994 to 2005, Mr. Hoyle was employed by NextEra Energy Resources, the unregulated affiliate of NextEra Energy, Inc. (formerly FPL Group). He last served as Director, Development accountable for originating and developing an industry-leading wind franchise in the southern Mid-Continent region. Previous to that assignment at NextEra, he provided leadership in natural gas development, mergers and acquisitions, and financial analysis roles. Mr. Hoyle earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Miami (FL) and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Finance from Iowa State University.

Miguel Villegas
Vice President
K3DES
Biography

Miguel Villegas

Vice President
K3DES

Mr. Villegas is Vice President for K3DES, a technology consulting firm focused on the security of electronic payments systems. Mr. Villegas is a QSA, PA QSA, Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), a GIAC Security Professional (GSEC), and a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). He was the 2010-2012 President of the ISACA Los Angeles Chapter and the 2005-2006 President of the ISACA San Francisco Chapter. He has been Co-Chair for the SF ISACA Fall Conference since 2002 through 2008. He is currently Certification Chair for the ISACA Los Angeles Chapter, member of the LA Spring Conference Committee and COBIT Technical Review Committee for LA ISACA. He is also a member of ISSA, ISC2 and OWASP. Mr. Villegas is currently a contributing writer for SearchSecurity - TechTarget.

Doug Failing
Executive Director of Highway Projects
Los Angeles Metro
Biography

Doug Failing

Executive Director of Highway Projects
Los Angeles Metro

Doug Failing serves as the Executive Director of the Highway Program for Los Angeles County Metro where he is responsible for Delivery of the nearly $8 billion Measure R Highway Program. Failing was chosen by the Los Angeles Times’ West Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in Southern California. Failing earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University in Houghton and Caltrans as a Junior Civil Engineer.

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.
James P. Avery
Senior Vice President, Power Supply
San Diego Gas & Electric
Biography

James P. Avery

Senior Vice President, Power Supply
San Diego Gas & Electric

James P. Avery is the Senior Vice President, Power Supply for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy, a San Diego-based Fortune 500 energy services holding company whose subsidiaries provide electricity, natural gas and value-added products and services.

SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and 840,000 gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.

As senior vice president of power supply, Avery oversees the company’s generation, system planning, project development and electric procurement business unit operations.  In addition, Avery is responsible for the company’s Smart Grid technologies, policies and initiatives. 

Prior to joining SDG&E, Avery was a consultant with R.J. Rudden Associates, one of the nation’s leading management and economic consulting firms specializing in energy and utility matters.   Avery has extensive experience in utility operations and management.  He was the chief executive officer of the electric and gas operations at Citizens Utilities Company, a multi-service organization that provided electric, gas, telecom, water and wastewater services in 21 states across the nation.  He is the Chairman of the California Transmission Planning Group, a Director of the California Power Exchange and has served as a Director of Vermont Electric Power Company, RJ Rudden Associates and he held positions at American Electric Power.

Avery is an expert in energy markets, electric production, transmission and distribution operations.

He also is a senior member of the Association of Energy Engineers, the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and American Mensa.

Avery is a graduate of the Executive Management Program at Dartmouth College and he holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Manhattan College.

Brian Maragno
Director-Electric Vehicle Marketing and Sales Strategy
Nissan North America
Biography

Brian Maragno

Director-Electric Vehicle Marketing and Sales Strategy
Nissan North America

Brian is the Director of Nissan’s Electric Vehicle Sales, Marketing and Infrastructure business in the United States.  Having worked in the automotive industry for 17 years in a variety of sales operations and marketing functions, Brian leads a team focused on driving electric vehicle adoption by building customer awareness and delivering high quality electric vehicle products and services.  His first foray into electric vehicles starting in 2009 as Nissan’s EV sales operations program manager responsible for the US launch of the Nissan LEAF, the world’s first mass-market, 100% electric vehicle.  In this capacity, Brian led the development and deployment of the sales, service, and technical training requirements to sell and service EVs through Nissan’s 1,000+ US dealerships.  After the initial LEAF launch in 2010, Brian became the model line marketing manager for the LEAF, where he led Nissan’s marketing efforts to launch the first US built LEAF in 2013.  After 3 years managing Nissan’s business relationship with its largest dealer groups in the US, Brian returned to electric vehicles in 2016 to run Nissan’s electric vehicle and infrastructure marketing and sales operations.  Brian earned a Bachelor of Science from LaSalle University and is a graduate of Nissan’s Executive Leadership Program from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management.

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.

Tony Lucente
Director, Business Transformation
Nissan America Latina
Biography

Tony Lucente

Director, Business Transformation
Nissan America Latina

Experienced Senior Consultant with in-depth Business Transformation, Corporate Real Estate, Project and Change Management skills and an exemplary record of achievement.

Retired Senior Corporate Real Estate strategy executive for Nissan Americas based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with responsibility for Nissan's Business Transformation practice for the Latin America Region including operations in 30+ countries. More than 30 years of international experience including corporate real estate, facilities, transportation & fleet management, corporate security, organization design and business process outsourcing program management. 

Exceptional results-oriented leader with proven strategic and operational abilities. Strong record of success in developing, launching and managing local, regional and global programs. Applies multifaceted tool set, innovative approaches and outstanding multicultural team building talents to enhance enterprise-wide business performance resulting in sustainable growth and profits. Superior verbal and written communications proficiency, vendor management and P&L management skills. Extensive community and civic affairs experience.

Specialties: Corporate Real Estate Strategy, Global Project and Change Management, Communications, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Six Sigma based organization development and Business Process Reengineering.

Andy Mannle
VP of Strategic Development
Promise Energy
Biography

Andy Mannle

VP of Strategic Development
Promise Energy

Andy leads a team at Promise Energy that helps clients make smarter, healthier, more profitable projects by financing, designing, and installing sustainable solutions. Collaborating with many green building teams, architects, and energy modelers, Andy has designed solar systems for dozens of LEED and Zero Net Energy projects serving thousands of units of multifamily housing. Andy is a frequent speaker on issues of energy efficiency and sustainability, and an advisor on Sustainable Building Methods for industry leaders and state policymakers. He has 10 years experience working with clients on green design and innovation, environmental policy, climate change, clean energy, energy efficiency, and other sustainable solutions. His writing has been published in numerous publications dedicated to sustainability.

Liz Logan
Partner
PricewaterhouseCoopers
Biography

Liz Logan

Partner
PricewaterhouseCoopers

Liz Logan leads PricewaterhouseCooper's (PwC) Risk Assurance practice for Southern California and Phoenix, which includes Sustainable Business Solutions, Internal Audit, and information technology services. For the past two years, Liz served as the partner leading PwC's work as advisor in the U.S. to the Carbon Disclosure Project, an investor backed organization which holds ㅁ database of primary corporate climate change information. She is a frequent speaker on matters associated sustainability challenges and author of PwC's 2010 publication: Typico Inc., a Framework for Greenhouse Gas Reporting. 

Previously, Liz spent two years in PwC's National Professional Services Group, advising other PwC professionals on audit related matters. In 2004, she represented PwC on an AICPA task force associated with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, formed to address Sarbanes-Oxley for insurers. 

She received her MBA from Baruch College in New York and serves on the Board of Minds Matter of Los Angeles.

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.

Jackie Ferlita
Manager
ClimeCo
Biography

Jackie Ferlita

Manager
ClimeCo

Jackie heads up ClimeCo’s California office, focusing on California’s many and varied regional markets, and the state’s AB 32 carbon cap-and-rade program. Jackie began her career in the environmental markets as head of Business Development for Air Quality Consultants (AQC) in Huntington Beach, CA.  Her main tasks at AQC were emissions aggregation and emissions appraisal for the South Coast Air Quality Management District.  Prior to joining ClimeCo, Jackie has assumed a variety of roled in her career - working on the development of numerous greenhouse gas offset projects and environmental commodity origination in the emissions markets. In May 2012, Ms. Ferlita was recognized at one of Orange County’s “Top 40 under 40” young professionals for her work in the environmental markets.  Ms. Ferlita currently serves as a Board member on the SCAQMD Home Rule Advisory Committee, and is an active member of WSPA Associates and several A&WMA regional chapters. Ms. Ferlita has a BA in Political Science from the University of California Los Angeles and an MBA with an emphasis on Finance from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business Management.

Michael Kadish
Executive Director, Greater Los Angeles
GRID Alternatives
Biography

Michael Kadish

Executive Director, Greater Los Angeles
GRID Alternatives

Michael has been the Executive Director of GLA since 2013 and previously served as one of the founding Directors of its Board. Prior to his involvement with GRID, Michael worked in a variety of government and campaign roles including Policy Director for the New York City Council Member representing Lower Manhattan after 9/11, Policy Director on the 2008 Obama campaign and Director of Public and Consumer Affairs for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Michael currently sits on the Board of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. He also holds a BA from Columbia University and a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Frank Breust
Vice President Governmental and External Affairs
BMW Group Representative Office California
Biography

Frank Breust

Vice President Governmental and External Affairs
BMW Group Representative Office California

Frank Breust is heading the government and external affairs office of the BMW Group in Sacramento, California since July 2013. In this function he coordinates corporate positioning with all relevant stakeholders in the fields of environmental, mobility and sustainability policies.

Prior to this, Mr. Breust was responsible for coordinating the political communication of the BMW Group in Munich with regard to human resources related issues as well as sustainability engagements. Mr. Breust also steered social sustainability topics in the HR strategy. Before joining the BMW Group, Mr. Breust was an officer of the German Air Force and served as an air traffic controller and in the German Military Intelligence Service for twelve years.

Frank Breust was born and grew up in Oldenburg, Germany and holds a Diploma in Business and Economics Education and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree

Tom DiPrima
Executive Vice President
KB Homes Southern California
Biography

Tom DiPrima

Executive Vice President
KB Homes Southern California
David Buczkowski
Senior Director - Major Projects
Southern California Gas Company
Biography

David Buczkowski

Senior Director - Major Projects
Southern California Gas Company

David Buczkowski is Senior Director of Major Projects for Southern California Gas Company. Buczkowski joined Southern California Gas in 2011 following a successful 10-year career with Fluor, a multinational engineering and construction firm where he directed project teams for large and complex energy infrastructure projects.

Prior to his time at Fluor, Buczkowski held the role of project manager for Parsons, an engineering, construction, technical, and management services firm, and worked for five years as a project and startup engineer for Shell Oil Company.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois.

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).

Robert Garcia
Mayor
City of Long Beach
Biography

Robert Garcia

Mayor
City of Long Beach

Dr. Robert Garcia is an accomplished educator and the 28th Mayor of Long Beach. He was elected on June 3rd, 2014, becoming the youngest person ever to hold that office. Robert has taken a leadership role in balancing the city budget, reforming pensions, expanding park space, and investing in technology, and is committed to moving Long Beach forward by attracting tech and green jobs, creating new educational partnerships, and rebuilding our aging streets, sidewalks and alleys.

Robert has been a member public policy and communications faculty at the University of Southern California, and taught Communication Studies at both Cal State Long Beach and Long Beach City College. His passion for education led him to pursue a Doctorate in Higher Education, which he was awarded in 2010 after publishing his dissertation on California's Master Plan for Education. Robert also holds a Masters Degree in Communication Management from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies from California State University, Long Beach.

In 2007, Robert co-founded and launched the Long Beach Post, a Long Beach based media website and newspaper. By the time he left the company 2013, the small business had grown into an important source for community information and has over 45,000 online subscribers. As First District Councilmember, a position he held from 2009-2014, Robert served as the Chair of the Long Beach Public Safety Committee and the Long Beach Housing Authority, and on both the Federal Legislative and State Legislative Council Committees. He also served on the California Coastal Commission from January, 2013 until taking office as Mayor of Long Beach.

Robert was born in Lima, Peru, and immigrated to the United States at age 5 with his family. He grew up in Covina, California and was raised by three strong women in his life - his mother, grandmother and aunt. Robert was the first person in his family to attend and graduate college. While at CSULB, Robert was elected student body president.

Robert has been named one of Long Beach's "Most Innovative Minds" by Long Beach Magazine, to the Advocate Magazine's 40 Under 40 List in 2010, and to Instinct Magazine's Leading Men in 2009. He was the receipient of the 2014 Vanguard Leadership award from Equality California. Robert lives in downtown Long Beach.

Mitch Moore
Marketing Manager
BlueLA
Biography

Mitch Moore

Marketing Manager
BlueLA
Mitch Moore is the current Marketing Manager for Blue LA: a 100% electric vehicle self-service car sharing program that will launch in 2018. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising from Michigan State University. Moore’s expertise spans the development of new customer acquisition campaigns, marketing and communications, and successfully launching new products, services and brands to national markets via integrated marketing approaches. His extensive list of clients includes Sony, American Express, Canon and AT&T U-Verse. Beyond his ability to attract new business and loyal customers of such prominent companies, Moore also cares deeply about education and making better choices for our environment.
 
In 2016 he successfully led a student-oriented campaign of Energy Upgrade California, educating close to 8000 California students on how to make substantive changes to protect our state and reach our energy goals. Now with Blue LA, Moore will not only bring positive changes to our environment, but also to underserved communities of Los Angeles with the provision of this affordable car sharing program. Moore is a true innovator and will always bring his passion, dedication, and expertise to his projects.
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.

Marissa Aho
Chief Resiliency Officer
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Marissa Aho

Chief Resiliency Officer
City of Los Angeles

Marissa Aho, AICP, serves as Chief Resilience Officer in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, where she leads city-wide resiliency efforts, including those found in the Mayor’s “Resilience By Design” report, and as part of the 100 Resilient Cities program pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. Marissa has 15 years of policy, planning, and project management experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors where she worked with interdisciplinary teams to find creative solutions to complex problems. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Marissa held senior staff positions at two Los Angeles planning and land use consulting firms. She has a BA in Political Science from American University and a Master of Planning from the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy. She is an active member of the American Planning Association serving as AICP Commissioner, Region IV (California & Nevada) and is a member of the USC Price Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Daniel Weiss
Managing Partner & Co-Founder
Angeleno Group
Biography

Daniel Weiss

Managing Partner & Co-Founder
Angeleno Group

Mr. Weiss is co-founder and a Managing Partner of Angeleno Group. Mr. Weiss oversees Angeleno Group’s investment activities in the areas of power infrastructure, emissions control, renewables and clean transportation. Prior to the formation of Angeleno Group, Mr. Weiss was an attorney at O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles, working in the firm’s mergers and acquisitions, international and high technology practice groups. He represented multiple Global 1000 clients, including utilities and energy-related companies, in a wide array of private equity and corporate finance transactions. Mr. Weiss also has a significant history of involvement in government, regulatory and public policy entities that deal with the energy sector including work experience in the White House and the United States Congress. Additionally, Mr. Weiss has taught, lectured and published articles on the topics of law, business and public policy. Mr. Weiss holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School, an M.A. from Stanford University and a B.A. with high honors from U.C. Berkeley.

 

 

Marie-Hélène Labrie
Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Communications
Enerkem
Biography

Marie-Hélène Labrie

Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Communications
Enerkem

Marie-Hélène Labrie is Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Communications.  She joined Enerkem in May 2008.  Prior to that, she worked in communications, business strategy, and market analysis as Director of Marketing and Strategic Planning at CAE, and as a consultant for numerous organizations, such as Oliver Wyman Delta Organization & Leadership and Desjardins Financial Security. 

She is Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Écotech Québec, a cleantech cluster, and she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association, the Conseil des entreprises en technologies environnementales du Québec, and the Mississippi Biomass and Renewable Energy Council. She represents the company at the Advanced Ethanol Council in Washington and the Canadian Cleantech Coalition in Ottawa. 

Ms. Labrie began her career at the Government of Canada, in the Department of National Defense, and pursued it at Industry Canada and the Privy Council Office.

Marie-Hélène Labrie holds a Masters in International Business and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Université Laval in Québec.

Garrett Sprague
Manager, Business Development
CustomerFirst Renewables
Biography

Garrett Sprague

Manager, Business Development
CustomerFirst Renewables

Garrett Sprague is Manager of Business Development at CustomerFirst Renewables. Prior to joining CFR, Garrett designed and spearheaded the first convener-led renewable energy aggregation effort in the U.S. while working for Boston-based nonprofit A Better City. He has over 7 years of experience in renewable energy encompassing a variety of sales and business development capacities across applications, project scales and technologies. Garrett has also worked with large institutions to establish, implement, monitor, and report greenhouse gas emissions and associated reduction initiatives. He received a Master’s of Liberal Arts in Sustainability and Environmental Management from the Harvard University in 2016.

Esther Feldman
President
Community Conservancy International
Biography

Esther Feldman

President
Community Conservancy International
Steve Wirtel
Executive Vice President, Business Development
Kore Infrastructure
Biography

Steve Wirtel

Executive Vice President, Business Development
Kore Infrastructure

Steve Wirtel is Executive Vice President of Business Development for Kore Infrastructure. Steve is a Registered Professional Engineer with  30 years of progressive expertise in water treatment technology. Prior to joining Kore, Mr. Wirtel was Senior Vice President of Nutrient Recovery for Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies and before that he was an owner at Carollo Engineers, an engineering firm dedicated exclusively to water treatment planning, design, and construction services. Steve also spent seven years as Executive Vice President of Municipal Sales and Marketing with U.S. Filter, a large water treatment technology provider acquired by Siemens. Between Carollo and Ostara, Steve operated a consulting practice, providing communication and business development services to engineers, architects, and contractors. Steve received a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

On the personal side, Steve enjoys playing ice hockey, golfing, and sampling wine from around the globe. He splits time between Phoenix and Chicago with his wife Donna and two teenage sons.

Julian Gresser
Director
Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips
Biography

Julian Gresser

Director
Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips
David Phillips
Associate Vice President for Energy and Sustainability
University of California Office of the President
Biography

David Phillips

Associate Vice President for Energy and Sustainability
University of California Office of the President

David Phillips provides strategic leadership for energy and sustainability initiatives across the University of California, which includes ten campuses, five medical centers, and three national labs. David and his team help connect researchers, students and operations staff to integrate sustainable energy practices in support the University’s mission. One key focus is developing plans and taking action to reach systemwide carbon neutrality by 2025.

David provides executive oversight for UC’s participation in the Statewide Energy Partnership program, which has implemented more than 1,000 energy efficiency projects in collaboration with the campuses and utilities, resulting in cumulative energy savings totaling over $224M. David’s operational responsibilities also include managing the UC Wholesale Power Program, which supplies low-carbon electricity to all or part of seven campuses, and implementing the UC Biomethane Program, which has developed biogas projects to supplant 10 percent of UC’s natural gas use. He is a Founding Partner and Vice Chair for La Casa de la Universidad de California en Mexico, helping to guide UC’s activities and relationships in Mexico.

David was formerly Director of Utilities at UC Davis, where he managed their city-scale water, waste and energy systems. While at Davis, he led teams that developed a 63-acre behind-the-meter solar power plant, constructed an on-site waste treatment system to reduce campus landfill disposal by 25 percent, and implemented several massive wastewater recycling projects.

David has a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from UC Davis and is a California registered professional engineer.

Frances Anderton
Host
KCRW's 'DnA: Design & Architecture'
Biography

Frances Anderton

Host
KCRW's 'DnA: Design & Architecture'

Since 2002, Frances Anderton has hosted DnA: Design and Architecture, exploring pressing design issues with users, critics and design luminaries. She also assisted with producing KCRW's national and local current affairs shows, To the Point, and Which Way, LA?, hosted by Warren Olney.

In addition, Anderton writes on architecture and design for publications including Dwell Magazine, the New York Times and KCET’s Artbound. Most recently she published Grand Illusion: A Story of Ambition, and its Limits, on LA’s Bunker Hill, based on a studio she co-taught with Frank Gehry at USC School of Architecture, that explored decades of flawed planning efforts on downtown’s Grand Avenue. Other books include L.A. Now, with Thom Mayne, and two books co-written with the late John Chase: Las Vegas: The Success of Excess and Las Vegas: A Guide to Contemporary Architecture.

In 2010 she curated the architecture section of the California Design Biennial, Action/Reaction, at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. When asked what he liked best about the show, the LA Times Magazine’s design critic, Rus Mayer, wrote, “My pick isn't a single thing but a category: architecture. The selections needed to be really good—which they were.”

Frances Anderton has been featured on TV and documentary programs, including, most recently, KCET’s, Global LA about Brits in LA, to coincide with the 2012 Olympics. Prior appearances include KCET’s, Departures series, about architecture in Venice, CA; and the documentary films, Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman, and A Necessary Ruin: The Story of Buckminster Fuller and the Union Tank Car Dome.

Anderson produced An Icon Is Born for KCRW, about the creation of Walt Disney Concert Hall which won Golden Mike and LA Press Club awards; and United States of Los Angeles, a yearlong series of radio documentaries.

Anderton is a frequent public speaker and writer on architecture and design.

Raised in Bath, an historic spa town in England, she spent a year in Florence, Italy, rehabilitating a casa colonica. She studied architecture at University College London (Bartlett School), and traveled to Jaipur, India, to study the Haveli courtyard house. As associate editor of London-based Architectural Review, her life-changing assignment was to produce a special issue (December, 1987) on emerging new work in Los Angeles.

In 1991, she moved to Los Angeles to become editor-in-chief of LA Architect.

On hearing Which Way, LA?, she determined to work on that show. She later brought her love of design and architecture to DnA. She believes her knowledge of politics and current affairs gives her a unique vantage point on architecture and design.

Walter N. Marks III
President
Walter N. Marks Realty Company
Biography

Walter N. Marks III

President
Walter N. Marks Realty Company

Mr. Marks is the President and has headed up his family real estate and asset management company for the past 30 years, which is focused on fee owned commercial and retail properties all located in the greater Los Angeles area.  Most of the assets are among the highly developed areas of Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Culver City, and notably the Helms Bakery campus. 

As a fifth generation Californian, Wally has deep community roots and pursues engagement with various civic and philanthropic endeavors. 

Graduate of UC Berkeley with a BS in Engineering.

David Grannis
Partner and Co-Founder
Point C
Biography

David Grannis

Partner and Co-Founder
Point C

David Grannis is the “strategist in chief” at Point C, L.L.C., a Pasadena, California consulting firm dedicated to improving people’s lives by developing and implementing land use and transportation strategies designed for the benefit of people and the planet.

A self-described “generalist,” David holistically evaluates problems and develops the strategies, the partners, and the gameplan needed to effect change. He also oversees the funding and implementation of those strategies to ensure economic and ecological benefit. His work includes:

• Serves as a strategic consultant to Los Angeles Metro, Gruen Associates and Grimshaw Architects for the Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan.

• Serves as a strategic advisor/consultant to a number of private sector companies working to address the interrelationship between land use planning/development and transportation access sustainably. Among these clients are: DMB Associates, Inc., JMB Real Estate, NBC Universal, Rancho Mission Viejo, The Ratkovich Company, and Tejon Ranch Company

• Served as the developer, lead consultant and author/raconteur for Vision Los Angeles, a 25-year transportation/land-use and air quality plan designed to help Los Angeles County become the most& accessible region in the country.

• Served as a strategic advisor/consultant to The Hearst Corporation in its successful conservation agreement to protect the 80,000-acre Heart Ranch in perpetuity.

• Served as lead consultant to the City of Pasadena in the development of legislation to create the Pasadena Blue Line Construction Authority (Gold Line), which resulted in the designbuild completion of the project on time and under budget.

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

David Kanani, PhD EECD

Managing Partner
Grid Solar, LLC
Bob Stojanovic
Director of Electrical Vehicle Infrastructure
ABB, Inc.
Biography

Bob Stojanovic

Director of Electrical Vehicle Infrastructure
ABB, Inc.

Bob started his career at ABB in 1999, and assumed the role of Director of EVI North America in 2017.    In this role Bob is the local product group manager for EV Charging Infrastructure, which includes responsibly for manufacturing of EV Charging equipment in North America as well as Sales and Marketing of EV Chargers in the USA. 

Prior to the EV Charging role, from 2015 to 2017 Bob was responsible for Microgrids in North America for ABB.  This role was part of ABB’s Corporate Business Development efforts across all ABB divisions and business units. 

Responsibilities included: business development, strategy and analysis of local markets, development of new solutions including strategic relationships with customers, developers, and other key technology providers.  Broad collaboration is a key emphasis during the early stages of microgrid market development in North America.

Some other notable positions at ABB in the recent past Bob: Director of the vertical solar power initiative within ABB North America, and various sales management roles within ABB on the West Coast and Southern California, primarily surrounding ABB’s portfolio of industrial automation and power products and systems. 

Bachelor of Engineering: Western University, London Ontario Canada

MBA: Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles California.

Mike Markus
General Manager
Orange County Water District
Biography

Mike Markus

General Manager
Orange County Water District

Michael (Mike) R. Markus is the general manager of the Orange County Water District (OCWD; the District). With more than 36 years of experience, Mike is well known for his expertise in large project implementation and water resource management. During his 26-year career at the District, Mike was responsible for managing the implementation of the $480 million Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS), the largest planned indirect potable reuse project in the world. The GWRS has won many awards including the 2008 Stockholm Industry Water Award, 2009 ASCE Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award, 2014 U.S. Water Prize and the 2014 Lee Kuan Yew Prize. Mike was named one of the Top 25 Newsmakers of 2007 by the Engineering News-Record, Top 25 Industry Leaders of 2014 by Water & Wastewater International and received the international 2009 Säid Khoury Award for Engineering Construction Excellence. He currently serves on the board of directors of the American Academy of Water Resource Engineers, the California Section of the WateReuse Association and the WateReuse Research Foundation. Mike obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and a Master of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Southern California. He is a registered civil engineer in the state of California.

Dr. Thomas Brisbin
CEO and Board Chair
Willdan Group
Biography

Dr. Thomas Brisbin

CEO and Board Chair
Willdan Group

Thomas D. Brisbin has served as Chief Executive Officer of Willdan Group, Inc., since April 2007 and was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors in November 2016. He was appointed President and CEO of Willdan in April 2007.

Previously, Dr. Brisbin was vice president of and consultant for AECOM Technology Corporation, a company focused on infrastructure, environment and facilities engineering contracts, where he was responsible for developing the company's environmental business for three years. Previously, Dr. Brisbin was chief operating officer and executive vice president of Tetra Tech, Inc., a leading provider of consulting, engineering and technical services, for five years. Prior to that, he was employed by Planning Research Corporation, or PRC, a systems analysis and management consulting company and wholly-owned subsidiary of The Black & Decker Corporation, from 1978 to 1995 and was co-founder and President of PRC Environmental Management, Inc. During his tenure at PRC, he was involved in all aspects of operations, marketing and finance. Before joining PRC, he was a research associate at Argonne National Laboratory. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Dr. Brisbin holds a B.S. degree from Northern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology. He also completed Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program in 1988.

Maurício Andrés Ribeiro
Deputy Secretary General
National Water Agency, Brazil
Biography

Maurício Andrés Ribeiro

Deputy Secretary General
National Water Agency, Brazil

Architect, Brazilian.

Visiting Research Fellow, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, India, 1977-78.

Municipal Secretary for Environment, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 90-92.

 President of The Minas Gerais State Foundation for the Environment, 1995-1998. Councilor at the National Council for the Environment, Brasilia.

Diretor of the National Council for the Environment, Ministry of Environment, Brasilia, 2001.

Adviser at the National Water Agency, Brasilia, 2002-2014.

Author of many articles and books on environment. www.ecologizar.com.br

Jake Levine
Associate and Policy Advisor
Covington & Burling LLP
Biography

Jake Levine

Associate and Policy Advisor
Covington & Burling LLP

Jake Levine is a legal and political strategist focused on the intersection of climate change and policy.  Levine served as an aide to President Obama in the White House Office of Energy & Climate Change, where he worked to implement a number of innovative projects, including the most stringent fuel economy — and first-ever greenhouse gas emission — standards for cars and trucks.  He served as a member of President Obama’s delegation to the UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Copenhagen, and led the interagency Energy Working Group, which developed policy in a number of areas (e.g., climate security, comprehensive energy reform).  More recently, Levine served as Senior Counsel to the California Select Committee on Climate Change, where he led the successful campaign to draft, design, and enact new climate (SB 32, Pavley) and environmental justice (AB 197, Garcia) legislation in California.  He also served as Chief of Staff at Opower, the clean energy technology company that uses behavioral science to nudge people into using less energy.  Levine practices law at Covington & Burling.  His opinion essays and articles have appeared in Democracy Journal, Crooked Media, National Law Review, and HuffPost.

Wenhang Huang
Director of International Collaboration
NDRC Climate Change
Biography

Wenhang Huang

Director of International Collaboration
NDRC Climate Change
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.

James T. Butts
Mayor
Inglewood, CA
Biography

James T. Butts

Mayor
Inglewood, CA

The Mayor has a combined 39 years in public safety, municipal government and education. He holds a Bachelor of Science (California State University at Los Angeles) and a Masters Degree in Business Administration (California Polytechnic University at Pomona). Mayor Butts has served as a general manager or assistant general manager of large and complex municipal organizations for the past 27 years.

The Mayor served the residents of Inglewood for nearly two decades as an Inglewood Police Officer, ultimately rising to the rank of Deputy Chief of Police. Between 1980 and 1990 he was promoted 5 times. In 1991 James Butts was selected to become Chief of Police for the City of Santa Monica where he served for 15 years. During his tenure in Santa Monica as Chief, crime fell 64% to its lowest level since 1956. Citizen complaints also fell by 50% and police liability payouts dropped by 99% as well. Mayor Butts retired as one of the longest serving police chiefs in the County of Los Angeles to serve as an Assistant General Manager (Deputy Executive Director)of the Los Angeles World Airports (which includes LAX) system responsible for Public Safety and Counter-Terrorism. He was responsible for a budget of 116 million dollars and 1100 employees. From 2006 to 2010, the Mayor was directly responsible for the safety of 60 million passengers that travel through LAX. In less than 4 years LAX went from being ranked near the bottom in airport security to being named the most secure airport in the United States by the Transportation Security Administration.

On January 11th, James T. Butts, Jr. was elected as the 12th mayor in the history of the City of Inglewood.

Amber Richane
Project Manager
City of Santa Monica Architecture Services
Biography

Amber Richane

Project Manager
City of Santa Monica Architecture Services

Environmental stewardship is central to Amber’s life, from the solar powered electric car she drives to her ongoing conservation projects at her home and children’s schools, she strives to eliminate waste and carbon in all that she does. This passion for protecting our Earth drives Amber’s career, and ultimately lead her to California. Amber now calls Santa Monica home and worked for one of the largest architecture firms in the world leading the Performance Driven Design (PDD) studio both domestically and internationally on deep green projects. After many years and much travel, Amber made a career switch to the Architecture Services Department at the City of Santa Monica to work on the greenest municipal building in the world, the CityServices Building (CSB). The CSB is pursuing full Living Building Certification and is on schedule and budget to open in April of 2020

Debra C. Man
Assistant General Manager and Chief Operating Officer
Metropolitan Water District
Biography

Debra C. Man

Assistant General Manager and Chief Operating Officer
Metropolitan Water District

Debra C. Man is the assistant general manager and chief operating officer for Metropolitan. She is responsible for managing the operational business functions of the district, which include system operations, engineering, planning and resources management. In this position, one of her primary duties is to implement the Chief Executive Officer's Business Plan and initiatives, as well as, to oversee the application and operational practice of the Board's policies and directives.

She brings to her position 20 years of experience at Metropolitan in various aspects of business and water management. During this tenure, she was responsible for securing water supplies through agreements and partnerships with other water and agricultural interests in San Joaquin Valley and Southern California and demonstrated Metropolitan's water supply reliability in compliance with current laws. She was also responsible for major initiatives adopted by Metropolitan's board, such as the Integrated Resources Plan, new rate structure, and facility plans and environmental review for the district's major expansion of its distribution system and water filtration plants.

Man began her career at Metropolitan in 1986 as an engineer in the district's resources division, developing groundwater storage programs. She advanced to become a principal engineer in the planning division in January 1990 with the responsibility of overseeing facility plans for the district's capital improvement program. She progressed to assistant director of planning in September of 1990, director of planning in November 1992, and chief of planning and resources in July 1994. She became Vice President for Water Transfers and Exchanges in July 1999. She was named the Chief Operating Officer in December 2003.

A native of Honolulu, Man earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Hawaii and a master's degree in civil/environmental engineering from Stanford University.

Prior to joining Metropolitan, she was a project engineer for a private engineering firm in Southern California for four years, planning and designing water and wastewater treatment and distribution facilities.

A registered professional civil engineer in California and Hawaii, Man is a member of the American Water Works Association and the Association of California Water Agencies.

Candice Yu
Utility Business Development, Policy, Strategy
Mercedes-Benz Energy
Biography

Candice Yu

Utility Business Development, Policy, Strategy
Mercedes-Benz Energy

Candice Yu is passionate about bringing clean energy technologies to market. She currently leads policy affairs, strategic planning, and utility business development at Mercedes-Benz Energy, a subsidiary of Daimler providing energy products and solutions. Candice began her career in the energy industry working for two of the largest electric utilities in the country, Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric. She then brought her knowledge of wholesale energy markets to renewable developer SunEdison, where she developed solar plus storage projects. Candice received her Master of International Affairs from the School of Global Policy & Strategy at University of California, San Diego. 

George Kivork
Senior Public Policy Manager
Lyft
Biography

George Kivork

Senior Public Policy Manager
Lyft
George Kivork is Senior Public Policy Manager at Lyft, overseeing all government affairs for the Southern California region, and currently Arizona and Nevada.  He is an attorney with extensive experience in legislative affairs and communications, having advised public advocacy campaigns, business executives, and officials at the local and the highest levels of the U.S government.
 
George has a proven track record of shaping and implementing strategies to achieve policy objectives in highly demanding environments.
 
Most recently, he served the City of Los Angeles in numerous capacities on behalf of Mayor Eric Garcetti.  First, managing the City of L.A.'s federal affairs office in Washington DC, then as press secretary, and ultimately as associate counsel advancing the City's priorities and the Mayor's strategic initiatives.  Prior to that, George worked in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S.
Department of Commerce, and as an attorney at O'Melveny & Myers.
 
George is a graduate of the University of Southern California and Georgetown Law School.
David Jacot
Director of Efficiency Solutions
LADWP
Biography

David Jacot

Director of Efficiency Solutions
LADWP

David Jacot, P.E., is the Director of Efficiency Solutions for the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP). LADWP operates the largest public power portfolio of energy efficiency programs in the nation, comprised of a broad array of energy resource acquisition and market transformation programs serving LADWP’s customers and trade ally networks.  In this role, David oversees all aspects of LADWP’s offerings and strategies designed to overcome market barriers to the comprehensive adoption of energy efficiency by LADWP’s customers. David also oversees the implementation of LADWP’s class-leading water conservation and efficiency programs, as well as the customer-facing integration of water and energy efficiency program delivery both within LADWP and also through a nation-leading joint program partnership with the natural gas utility serving Los Angeles, the Southern California Gas Company.

David has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, and a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, as well as 15 years of experience designing high performance building systems, modeling building energy usage, and managing cost-effective and investment-grade energy efficiency programs.

Betty Yee
California State Controller
Biography

Betty Yee

California State Controller

State Controller Betty T. Yee was elected in November 2014, following two terms of service on the Board of Equalization. As Controller, she continues to serve the Board as its fifth voting member.

Ms. Yee was first elected to the Board of Equalization in 2006 where she represented 21 counties in northern and central California.  She was elected to her second four-year term in 2010. Now serving as the state’s Chief Fiscal Officer, Ms. Yee also chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves as a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) Boards. These two boards have a combined portfolio of nearly $500 billion. Ms. Yee has over 30 years of experience in public service, specializing in state and local finance and tax policy. Ms. Yee previously served as Chief Deputy Director for Budget with the California Department of Finance where she led the development of the Governor’s Budget, negotiations with the Legislature and key budget stakeholders, and fiscal analyses of legislation on behalf of the Administration. Prior to this, she served in senior staff positions for several fiscal and policy committees in both houses of the California State Legislature.

Ms. Yee currently serves on the board of directors for the Equality California Institute. She is a cofounder of the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, which exposes California high school youth to the public service, public policy, and political arenas. A native of San Francisco, Ms. Yee received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her master’s degree in Public Administration from Golden Gate University, San Francisco.

 

 

Zev Yaroslavsky
Director, Los Angeles Initiative
UCLA Luskin School of Public Policy
Biography

Zev Yaroslavsky

Director, Los Angeles Initiative
UCLA Luskin School of Public Policy

During a career in public life spanning nearly four decades, Zev Yaroslavsky has been at the forefront of Los Angeles County’s biggest issues, including transportation, the environment, health care, and cultural arts.  He has been a pioneering advocate for the region’s homeless population and has played a key role in efforts to reform the county’s law enforcement agencies.

Mr. Yaroslavsky was first elected to office in 1975, stunning the political establishment by winning the Los Angeles City Council’s coveted 5th District seat at the age of 26.  He honed his fiscal skills as chairman of the Council’s Finance Committee and earned a reputation for being unafraid to tackle controversial issues, including the Los Angeles Police Department’s use of excessive force and its improper spying on law-abiding residents.  He authored two landmark ballot initiatives, one which cut in half the size of new commercial developments near residential neighborhoods in the City of L.A., and the other which banned oil drilling along the city’s coastline.

In describing Mr. Yaroslavsky’s City Hall tenure, the Los Angeles Times wrote that he “was more often than not a dominant player in virtually every municipal initiative of note since he joined the City Council.”

In 1994, Mr. Yaroslavsky was elected to the five-member Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, representing the western part of the county and a constituency of two million people.  He served five terms as the Board’s Third District representative.  Because of term limits, he retired from office on December 1, 2014.  Supervisor Yaroslavsky’s award-winning website, which ran from late 2009 until the end of his term, including blog entries and feature stories on County issues, programs and personalities, can be accessed here.

As a member of the Board of Supervisors, Mr. Yaroslavsky quickly emerged as a leader on fiscal, health care, transportation, cultural and environmental matters.  He authored several landmark ballot initiatives:  the 1996 park bond, which resulted in the preservation of a broad swath of rural open space and the development of urban parks throughout the county, and the 2002 trauma tax, approved by more than 73% of county voters—a measure credited with saving two public hospitals from closure and keeping the county’s emergency services intact.

Mr. Yaroslavsky was the driving force behind several major transit projects, including the hugely successful Orange Line busway across the San Fernando Valley, the Exposition Light Rail line from downtown to Santa Monica which will be completed at the end of 2015, and the subway—Purple Line—extension from Western Ave. to West Los Angeles which broke ground in 2014.

After the closure of Martin Luther King, Jr. hospital in south Los Angeles, Mr. Yaroslavsky proposed a partnership between the University of California and Los Angeles County upon which the recently re-opened hospital was modeled.  Mr. Yaroslavsky also launched the building of three innovative school-based health clinics in largely working-class neighborhoods where many residents are living below the poverty line and rarely seek medical attention.  He also led the effort to provide permanent supportive housing for thousands of homeless persons who’ve been identified as most likely to die if they remained on county streets.

During his public service career, Mr. Yaroslavsky was the county’s leader in the cultural arts.  The Los Angeles Times said of him before he retired, “It would be hard to find another major politician anywhere in the entire country with Yaroslavsky’s record for outright arts support and achievement.” He championed efforts to rebuild and modernize the world famous Hollywood Bowl amphitheater and was instrumental in the development of architect Frank Gehry’s iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall, home of the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra.  He has also funded major investments in the County Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History and the San Fernando Valley Performing Arts Center.

Mr. Yaroslavsky is also credited with playing a leading role in the sweeping reforms of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  He is responsible for the creation of the Citizen’s Commission on Jail Violence in 2011 which recommended dozens of measures to restore constitutional policing and integrity to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and its jails.

Apart from his responsibilities as an elected official, Mr. Yaroslavsky has long been associated with the National Democratic Institute (NDI), a non-governmental organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., that promotes the development of democratic institutions in burgeoning democracies.  He has monitored five elections for NDI:  Romania (1990), Mexico (2000), Ukraine (2004), and Nigeria (2011 & 2015).  He has conducted seminars on local government finance and democratic institution-building in Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and Bosnia/Herzegovina.

Mr. Yaroslavsky is now the Director of the Los Angeles Initiative at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the Department of History, focusing on the intersection of policy, politics and history of the Los Angeles region.

Mr. Yaroslavsky was born and raised in Los Angeles and earned an M.A. in British Imperial History and a B.A. in Economics and History, both from UCLA.  He is a graduate of Fairfax High School in Los Angeles.

Osha Meserve
Shareholder
Soluri Meserve
Biography

Osha Meserve

Shareholder
Soluri Meserve

Osha R. Meserve is a shareholder in the firm of Soluri Meserve.  A graduate of Hastings College of the Law, Osha has been practicing land use, water and environmental law since 1999.  Prior to joining Soluri Meserve, Osha was an attorney with the Sacramento office of Adams, Broadwell, Joseph & Cardozo.  She began her career at Remy Moose and Manley, also in Sacramento.  Osha has represented Delta communities, reclamation and water districts since 2008 regarding the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and related Delta planning efforts.  She also represents the Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, which would also be impacted by the Delta Tunnels.

Matt Miyasato
Deputy Executive Director for Science & Technology Advancement
South Coast Air Quality Management District
Biography

Matt Miyasato

Deputy Executive Director for Science & Technology Advancement
South Coast Air Quality Management District

Dr. Matt Miyasato is the Deputy Executive Officer for Science & Technology Advancement at the South Coast Air Quality Management District. He is responsible for the SCAQMD's Technology Advancement Office, Mobile Source Division, and Monitoring and Laboratory Analysis Division. Dr. Miyasato’s principal charges are to identify, evaluate and stimulate development and commercialization of clean air technologies, develop and coordinate mobile source regulations, and to conduct ambient monitoring, source testing and laboratory analysis. Dr. Miyasato received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, and his Masters and Ph.D. in Engineering, specializing in combustion technologies and air pollution control – all from the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Miyasato has worked at Southern California Edison in the Nuclear Engineering Department and at General Electric, where he designed burners and combustion modifications for utility boilers. He was also a research scientist at UCI, where he managed the industrial burner research program and has publications on combustion phenomena, active control, and laser diagnostics. Dr. Miyasato has also been a lecturer at UCI for the undergraduate air pollution control course.

Ana Lasso
General Manager
Office of Exposition Park Management
Biography

Ana Lasso

General Manager
Office of Exposition Park Management
Caroline Choi
Senior VP, Regulatory Affairs
Southern California Edison
Biography

Caroline Choi

Senior VP, Regulatory Affairs
Southern California Edison

Caroline Choi is senior vice president of Regulatory Affairs for Southern California Edison (SCE).  In this role, she is responsible for the Company’s regulatory strategy and policy at the national and state levels, including regulatory affairs, regulatory operations and environmental affairs.

Choi previously served as vice president of Energy and Environmental Policy. Prior to joining SCE in 2012, Choi was executive director of Environmental Services & Strategy at Progress Energy; she served the company in various roles, including director, Energy Policy & Strategy, and manager, Federal Public Affairs.

Choi is active in national policy and community engagement, where she serves as Chairman of the Board of the Smart Electric Power Alliance, a nationwide organization that supports utilities in the implementation and deployment of clean energy and distributed resources. She also serves as a board member of the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund and the National Forest Foundation. Choi holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Dartmouth College.

Ron Mayuyu
Senior Process Engineer
Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment
Biography

Ron Mayuyu

Senior Process Engineer
Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment

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

Phillip Washington
CEO
LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Biography

Phillip Washington

CEO
LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Phillip A. Washington, formerly of Denver’s Regional Transportation District, was unanimously selected CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) by the Metro Board of Directors on March 12, 2015. 

Washington came to Los Angeles at a time when Metro has five major rail, plus highway projects, under construction – together representing the largest modern public works program in the United States.

In his position as Metro CEO, Washington oversees an agency that transports 1.4 million boarding passengers on an average weekday, riding on a fleet of 2,000 clean-air buses and six rail lines. Metro also is the lead transportation planning and programming agency for Los Angeles County. As such, it is a major construction agency that oversees bus, rail, highway and other mobility related building projects. 

Washington came to Los Angeles from Denver, where he was Assistant General Manager for nearly ten years, prior to being named CEO in 2009.

In Denver, Washington implemented the FasTracks program, one of the largest voter-approved transit expansion programs in the country. He was responsible for a total agency budget appropriation of $2.8 billion and managed more than $5 billion in active transit expansion projects. Under his management, Denver’s West Line Rail was completed under budget and eight months earlier than scheduled and the award-winning Denver Union Station was completed five months ahead of schedule.

Also in Denver, Washington spearheaded implementation of the first-of-its-kind $2.2 billion transit Public-Private Partnership (P3). His emphasis on measuring and managing agency performance led the agency to a nearly 90 percent on-time bus and rail service and 96 percent ADA on-time performance. In 2012, Washington’s emphasis on safety training led to a 40 percent decrease in preventable bus accidents.

Originally from the south side of Chicago – the Chicago Housing Projectsof Altgeld Gardens – Washington is a 24-year veteran of the United States Army where he held the rank of Command Sergeant Major, the highest non-commissioned officer rank an enlisted person can achieve. He holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Columbia College and an M.A. in Management from Webster University. He is current chair of the American Public Transportation Association.

John Onderdonk
Chief Sustainability Officer
California Institute of Technology
Biography

John Onderdonk

Chief Sustainability Officer
California Institute of Technology

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

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

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

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

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

Nash Hurley
Creative Director
VITAL Environments
Biography

Nash Hurley

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

Steve Glenn

Founder and CEO
LivingHomes, LLC

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

Tensho Takemori
Partner
Gehry Partners
Biography

Tensho Takemori

Partner
Gehry Partners

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

PROJECT EXPERIENCE 

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

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

EDUCATION 

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

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

REGISTRATION 

Registered and licensed in the State of California 

NCARB Registered

Christian Lafrance
Vice President Sales Marketing
Effenco
Biography

Christian Lafrance

Vice President Sales Marketing
Effenco

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

Joe Byrne
Chair
California Water Commission
Biography

Joe Byrne

Chair
California Water Commission

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Goldstein
Executive Director
Energy Independence Now
Biography

Brian Goldstein

Executive Director
Energy Independence Now

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

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

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

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

Kristin Eberhard

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

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

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

Osama Younan

Executive Officer
Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety

Osama Younan is an Executive Officer in the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS). He developed the Department’s Green Building Division to implement the Los Angeles Green Building Code. Osama Younan is a licensed Mechanical Engineer with the State of California and a LEED Accredited Professional with the U.S. Green Building Council. Osama Younan serves as the Chair of the Green Building Committee for the Los Angeles Basin Chapter which represents eighty-nine jurisdictions in Southern California, he serves on the Green Building Code Advisory Committee for the California Building Standards Commission that provides recommendations regarding the development of the CALGreen Code, and he serves on the ASHREA Standard 189.1 Committee “Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings”.

Aaron Klemm
Energy Project Manager
City of Huntington Beach
Biography

Aaron Klemm

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

Douglas Nordham

Energy Director
Arup

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

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

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

Edward Randolph
Director, Energy Division
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Edward Randolph

Director, Energy Division
California Public Utilities Commission

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

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

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

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

Manjeet Ranu

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

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

Zoltan Tompa
Director, Partnerships
Sustainable Development Technology Canada
Biography

Zoltan Tompa

Director, Partnerships
Sustainable Development Technology Canada

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

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

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

Tim Psomas, PE
Chairman
Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure
Biography

Tim Psomas, PE

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

Tyler Laferriere

Associate Economist, Institute for Applied Economics
LAEDC

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

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

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

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

Liz Crosson

Director of Infrastructure
Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

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

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

Logan Goldie-Scot

Head of Clean Power Research
Bloomberg New Energy Finance

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

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

Ed Kjaer
Director, Transportation Electrification
Southern California Edison
Biography

Ed Kjaer

Director, Transportation Electrification
Southern California Edison

 

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

Diane Wittenberg
Chair
California State Parks and Recreation Commission
Biography

Diane Wittenberg

Chair
California State Parks and Recreation Commission

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

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

Nate Lewis

George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry
California Institute of Technology

Dr. Nathan S. Lewis is the George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology.  Professor Lewis is Principal Investigator of the Beckman Institute Molecular Materials Resource Center. His research interests include artificial photosynthesis and electronic noses. Nate continues to study ways to harness sunlight and generate chemical fuel by splitting water to generate hydrogen. He is developing the electronic nose, which consists of chemically sensitive conducting polymer film capable of detecting and quantifying a broad variety of analytes. Technical details focus on light-induced electron transfer reactions, both at surfaces and in transition metal complexes, surface chemistry and photochemistry of semiconductor/liquid interfaces, novel uses of conducting organic polymers and polymer/conductor composites, and development of sensor arrays that use pattern recognition algorithms to identify odorants, mimicking the mammalian olfaction process.

Robert Freeman
Airport Environmental Manager
Los Angeles World Airports
Biography

Robert Freeman

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

Thomas Van Dyck

Managing Director, Financial Advisor
RBC Wealth Management

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

Effie Turnbull Sanders
Executive Director
SLATE-Z
Biography

Effie Turnbull Sanders

Executive Director
SLATE-Z

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

Nancy Sutley

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

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

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

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

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

Madeline Janis
Executive Director
Jobs to Move America
Biography

Madeline Janis

Executive Director
Jobs to Move America

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

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

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

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

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

Jonathan Parfrey
Executive Director
Climate Resolve
Biography

Jonathan Parfrey

Executive Director
Climate Resolve

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

Martin Howell
Energy Group Leader
ARUP
Biography

Martin Howell

Energy Group Leader
ARUP

Martin Howell has over 20 years’ experience with Arup and is an industry leader in applying low energy and environmentally responsible techniques to meet the needs of his clients for new and existing buildings as well as master planning studies.  Martin is currently working with the City of Santa Monica on the Epic Grant Microgrid project. He has also worked with Los Angeles Community College District as a key member of their energy team providing technical advice ranging from renewable energy, retro-commissioning, central utility plants and utility incentives. He is also working with San Bernardino Community College District, developing their sustainable construction program. Martin has written corporate sustainability standards for a number of clients including Procter & Gamble and has developed low carbon approaches for projects such as the Treasure Island Master Plan in San Francisco and an 184-acre resort in Aqaba. Martin has also lectured on, sustainability, LEED and biomimicry at UCLA, SCIARC, ASHRAE and the USGBC Greenbuild National Conference. “Practical applications of energy harvesting and storage in the built environment,” and a Keynote presentation, on Energy Harvesting and Storage.

 

Jim Lane
Publisher
Biofuel Digest
Biography

Jim Lane

Publisher
Biofuel Digest
Christine Kehoe
Commissioner
California Transportation Commission
Biography

Christine Kehoe

Commissioner
California Transportation Commission

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

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

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

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

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

Kevin Kampschroer

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

Kevin Kampschroer is the Director of the Office of Federal High Performance Green Buildings at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). He has created the framework for which GSA responds to the challenges of greenhouse gas emissions reductions and of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s mandate to move GSA’s Federal building inventory toward high-performance green buildings. He has devised a challenge for companies to dramatically improve the government’s ability to achieve deep retrofits through Energy Savings Performance contracts—which has doubled the amount of energy conservation from these contracts. His team manages the government’s implementation of a comprehensive improvement in the training and certification of facility managers and personnel across the entire Federal government (Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act of 2010). He is GSA’s Senior Climate Adaptation Official, and leads the agency in planning for climate change risks

Adi Liberman
Founder and Principal
Liberman and Associates
Biography

Adi Liberman

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

Haruo Soga

Executive Director
East Japan Railway Company

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

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

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

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

Ashley Hand
Transportation Technology Strategist Fellow
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Ashley Hand

Transportation Technology Strategist Fellow
City of Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

Andrée-Lise Méthot

Founder and Managing Partner
Cycle Capital Management

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

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

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

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

Marvin Moon
Director of Engineering
LADWP
Biography

Marvin Moon

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

Tom Drischler

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

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

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

Emil Abdelshehid
LADWP
Biography

Emil Abdelshehid

LADWP

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

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

Dr. Yasuhiro Matsui

Project Manager, Research & Development
Yokogawa

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

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

Sachiko Yoshimura

Chief Executive Director
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)

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

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

Joel Cesare
Sustainable Projects Manager
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Joel Cesare

Sustainable Projects Manager
City of Santa Monica

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

Hampik Dekermenjian
Senior Vice President
CDM Smith
Biography

Hampik Dekermenjian

Senior Vice President
CDM Smith

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

Gene Seroka
Executive Director
Port of Los Angeles
Biography

Gene Seroka

Executive Director
Port of Los Angeles

Dr. Gene Seroka is the Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, the busiest container port in North America. He was nominated by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on May 27, 2014, and confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council on June 11, 2014.

As Executive Director, Seroka is responsible for managing a more than $1 billion budget, advancing major capital projects, growing trade volumes and promoting innovative, sustainable practices that strengthen the region's economy. His duties involve interacting with a wide range of stakeholders, including Port customers around the globe, industry partners, elected and appointed officials at all levels, harbor area residents and business leaders. He has been appointed to the following national committees at the federal level to enhance the speed and efficiency of cargo movement and supply chain optimization: U.S. Department of Commerce Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness; U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Port Performance Freight Statistics Working Group; U.S. Maritime Administration Marine Transportation System National Advisory Committee; and Federal Maritime Commission Supply Chain Innovation Team.

Seroka brings more than 28 years of experience in shipping, global logistics and executive management. After several key overseas positions for American President Lines (APL) Limited, he returned to the U.S. in 2010 to become President - Americas for the shipping line in Phoenix where he managed APL's Liner Shipping business, including 1,000 employees, and was responsible for all commercial, port terminal, intermodal, land transportation and labor activities throughout the region.

Seroka joined APL in 1988 as a sales support representative in the company's Cincinnati office after earning an MBA and Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of New Orleans. Over the years, he has held various positions in sales and management with increasing responsibility and high-level assignments all over the world. Throughout his career, he played a key role in global marketing and corporate strategies for APL.

Seroka's first overseas posting was in Shanghai where he served as Director of Sales and Marketing for North and Central China from 1999 to 2003. He then moved to Jakarta where he was President Director of PT APL and APL Logistics in Indonesia for two years before relocating to Singapore in 2005 to become Vice President of APL Logistics' business units in 26 countries in the company's Asia/Middle East and South Asia regions. From 2008 to 2010, he served as Vice President for APL and APL Logistics Emirates LLC in Dubai where he managed APL's business in the Middle East and East Africa Region.

Catherine Reheis-Boyd
President
Western States Petroleum Association
Biography

Catherine Reheis-Boyd

President
Western States Petroleum Association

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Harvey

Managing Director of Corporate Sustainability
The NASDAQ OMX Group

Evan directs the NASDAQ OMX corporate sustainability effort, which includes gathering, analyzing, and reporting key criteria across the organization. In addition to making NASDAQ OMX more transparent, efficient, and responsible, he manages investor and issuer company outreach on corporate sustainability topics, best practices, and compliance. Evan is also responsible for the research, analysis, and disclosure of various reports, including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Communication of Progress.  He oversees media relations, sustainability partnerships, and events/sponsorships.

In the past two years, Evan has spoken at or otherwise participated in a wide variety of sustainability-related events, including the CERES INCR Summit, Ethical Business USA, SRI Conference, and GreenBiz Forum. He also co-organized the most recent UN Global Compact LEAD meeting in New York at the NASDAQ MarketSite, and was instrumental in securing NASDAQ’s acceptance into the Global Compact.

Evan joined the NASDAQ Stock Market in 2004 and ran the NASDAQ Online website – a data and thought leadership portal for C-suite executives – for many years. His background is primarily in marketing and communications, with a decade of professional experience in web strategy, content management, and data analysis disciplines.

He holds a BA and an MA from the University of Texas, and lives outside Washington DC with his wife and two children. 

Henry Stern
State Senator
California State Senate
Biography

Henry Stern

State Senator
California State Senate

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

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

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

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

Nat Gale

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

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

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

Joe Mathews
California Editor
Zocalo Public Square
Biography

Joe Mathews

California Editor
Zocalo Public Square

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

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

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

 

Jason Rondou
Director, Clean Grid LA Strategy
LADWP
Biography

Jason Rondou

Director, Clean Grid LA Strategy
LADWP

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

Jim Kelly
Director
S&C Electric
Biography

Jim Kelly

Director
S&C Electric

Jim Kelly retired from Edison International (EIX) on July 1, 2011, after almost 38 years of service with the Company.

Prior to his retirement, Mr. Kelly was the senior vice president of Transmission & Distribution for Southern California Edison, responsible for the operation and maintenance of an electrical grid comprised of over 12,000 miles of transmission and 100,000 miles of distribution lines spread across a 50,000-square-mile service area.

Mr. Kelly was also president of Edison ESI, a subsidiary company that operates one of the largest electrical and mechanical repair facilities in the U.S..

Kelly was previously the vice president of Engineering & Technical Services, responsible for planning, engineering, and designing SCE’s electrical grid, as well as research and development, safety and training. Mr. Kelly was one of the early pioneers of the Smart Grid, developing a roadmap for a smarter, safer, more reliable and more environmentally responsible electric grid. Among many other awards and honors, Jim was selected as the IEEE’s “Leader in Power” in 2009.

Kelly also previously served as the vice president of Regulatory Compliance and Environmental Affairs, and has in-depth experience with environmental regulation, permitting and licensing.

Since his retirement, Jim has advised or directed a number of firms in the energy space. 

Jim earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach, and a master’s degree from California State Polytechnic University.  He holds teaching credentials in several subjects and has taught at a number of colleges and universities throughout his career.

Sarah Potts Ashton
Public Affairs, Southern California
Uber
Biography

Sarah Potts Ashton

Public Affairs, Southern California
Uber

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

Before joining Uber, Sarah was the Associate Director of Government Relations and Public Policy at Faraday Future, an autonomous and electric vehicle company in Los Angeles. Prior to that role, Sarah served as the Director of the White House Climate Action Champions Program for the Obama Administration, a program launched by the President to accelerate sub-national climate action via cross-agency solutions. In addition, Sarah also served on the President’s Community Solutions Task Force, a team developed to re-examine Federal programs to improve how the government designs and implements efforts to support local communities across environment, health, economic development, etc.

Prior to joining the Administration, Sarah was appointed to the executive team of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group to launch and lead a new department managing global partnerships, the C40 Board of Directors, fundraising and grant management, and all aspects of C40’s city diplomacy strategy and UN engagement in the lead up to COP 21. Sarah also previously served as the Deputy Director for Global Strategy for C40, and the Los Angeles City Director of the Clinton Climate Initiative.

Michael Allman
President and CEO
Southern California Gas Company
Biography

Michael Allman

President and CEO
Southern California Gas Company

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

Philip Recht
Partner
Mayer Brown
Biography

Philip Recht

Partner
Mayer Brown

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

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

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

Catherine Burke

Associate Professor Emerita
USC, Sol Price School of Public Policy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eric Corey Freed
Sustainability Disruptor
Morrison Hershfield
Biography

Eric Corey Freed

Sustainability Disruptor
Morrison Hershfield

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

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

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

Stephen Cheung
President
World Trade Center Los Angeles
Biography

Stephen Cheung

President
World Trade Center Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harlan Kelly
General Manager
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Harlan Kelly

General Manager
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

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

Gail Kennard
President
KDG Architects
Biography

Gail Kennard

President
KDG Architects

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

Jaime Carlson
Senior Advisor
SoftBank Energy
Biography

Jaime Carlson

Senior Advisor
SoftBank Energy

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

William Funderburk
Vice President
LADWP Board of Commissioners
Biography

William Funderburk

Vice President
LADWP Board of Commissioners

William Funderburk is an environmental lawyer with a keen understanding of the how to deal with the critical issues that our nation faces today.  Since 2013 Mr. Funderburk has served as the Vice President of the Board of Commissioners for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and he has been managing partner in the Los Angeles office of a California business litigation and counseling firm, Castellon & Funderburk LLP, which he co founded in 1999.  Based in Los Angeles, Mr. Funderburk is known for being a visionary when it comes to everything from sustainability to renewables to clean tech to water quality. Mr. Funderburk has been a key force in handling the water crisis in Los Angeles, California and around the Country including playing a lead negotiating role in the historic multiagency settlement of the Owens Lake PM-10 dust control dispute.  He also played a key role as LADWP liaison in finalizing agreements to expand the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator.  He has advised clients on drafting environmental legislation and regulations on groundbreaking issues such as reducing lead drinking water in California, establishing net metering for stationary, hydrogen powered fuel cells and counseling early stage companies on renewables, water, air and soil remediation technologies. 

On a national level, William has counseled clients on appearances before Congress and a number of federal councils under the jurisdiction of the White House.  The agencies range from the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Departments of Energy, Interior, State, and Defense to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Mr. Funderburk has published various articles regarding California storm water regulations, clean power and distributed generation, Superfund reform and insurance recovery for environmental liabilities. He also speaks as an expert in environmental compliance, having given over 150 speeches in Washington, D.C. and California.

Mr. Funderburk is a member of the California State Bar and District of Columbia Bar.  He graduated from Yale University (B.A. in Engineering and Applied Science) and Georgetown University Law Center (J.D.).  He was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and two daughters.

Jeff Bleich
Former U.S. Ambassador to Australia
Biography

Jeff Bleich

Former U.S. Ambassador to Australia

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

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

Akihiko Tobe

Senior Director
Smart City Business Management Division Hitachi, Ltd.
Frank Bush
Executive Officer
Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety
Biography

Frank Bush

Executive Officer
Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PROFESSIONAL LICENSES / CERTIFICATIONS 

• Member - California Building Officials (CALBO) 

• Certified Combination Dwelling Inspector – International Code Council 

• General Contractor – California State Contractors License Board 

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

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

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

 

Rachel Malarich
City Forest Officer
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Rachel Malarich

City Forest Officer
City of Los Angeles

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

 

 

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

Nate Lewis

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

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

Professor Lewis is Principal Investigator of the Beckman Institute Molecular Materials Resource Center.  His research interests include artificial photosynthesis and electronic noses. Nate continues to study ways to harness sunlight and generate chemical fuel by splitting water to generate hydrogen. He is developing the electronic nose, which consists of chemically sensitive conducting polymer film capable of detecting and quantifying a broad variety of analytes. Technical details focus on light-induced electron transfer reactions, both at surfaces and in transition metal complexes, surface chemistry and photochemistry of semiconductor/liquid interfaces, novel uses of conducting organic polymers and polymer/conductor composites, and development of sensor arrays that use pattern recognition algorithms to identify odorants, mimicking the mammalian olfaction process.

John Withers
Board of Directors Member
Irvine Ranch Water District
Biography

John Withers

Board of Directors Member
Irvine Ranch Water District

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

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

Since joining California Strategies, Withers has:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harry Atwater
Director
Resnick Sustainability Institute at Caltech
Biography

Harry Atwater

Director
Resnick Sustainability Institute at Caltech

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

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

Debra Coy
Partner
XVP Water Partners
Biography

Debra Coy

Partner
XVP Water Partners

Debra Coy is a partner with XPV Water Partners, the largest water-focused growth equity fund in North America. She has been an advisor to XPV since 2010 and joined the firm full time in early 2015.  From 2010 to 2015, she was also a principal with Svanda & Coy Consulting, providing strategic advisory services for investors, companies, and municipal utilities from a capital markets perspective.  Ms. Coy is well known in the water sector from her 20 years on Wall Street as an equity research analyst, where she developed a leading franchise and broad expertise in covering the global water sector for investors at firms including Janney Montgomery Scott, Schwab Capital Markets, and HSBC Securities.  She was named a Financial Times/Starmine “Best Brokerage Analyst” in 2008 and 2009 and a Forbes “Best Brokerage Analyst” in 2010 for water utilities coverage.  She is a frequent speaker at industry events and a regular columnist on water finance and policy matters for Global Water Intelligence and other publications. 

Gary Gero
Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles County
Biography

Gary Gero

Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles County

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

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

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

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

Dr. Gaurav Sant
CEO
CO2Concrete
Biography

Dr. Gaurav Sant

CEO
CO2Concrete

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

Michael Keating
Founder & CEO
Scoot Networks
Biography

Michael Keating

Founder & CEO
Scoot Networks

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

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

Sean Chigusa

President and Chief Executive Officer
TATSUNO North America, Inc.

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

Richard Hammond
Senior Vice President
GRIDiant
Biography

Richard Hammond

Senior Vice President
GRIDiant

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

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

Kraig Schwigen

Senior Vice President, World Wide Operations
CMB Export, LLC

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

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

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

Keith Lilley
Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works
Biography

Keith Lilley

Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works

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

Robb Whitaker
General Manager
Water Replenishment District
Biography

Robb Whitaker

General Manager
Water Replenishment District

Robb Whitaker has worked in the field of water resources engineering and planning for over 30 years.  He has wide ranging experience with water distribution infrastructure, water supply forecasting, and groundwater basin management.

Robb is the General Manager of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD), a regional groundwater agency that manages two major groundwater basins located in southern Los Angeles County.  These basins provide half of the total water supply for four million residents in 43 cities within the WRD service area.  During his 25 years at WRD, Robb has developed and implemented many projects and programs to increase the safety and reliability of the Central and West Coast Groundwater Basins.

Mr. Whitaker received a B.S. in Civil Engineering with emphasis in Water Resources from the University of Southern California.  He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of California.

Dr. Ren Orans
Founder and Managing Partner
E3
Biography

Dr. Ren Orans

Founder and Managing Partner
E3

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

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

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

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

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

Brad Copithorne

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

Alexander McDonough

Vice President, Public Policy
Sunrun

Alex McDonough is a Vice President for Public Policy at Sunrun (Nasdaq: RUN), the largest dedicated residential solar company in the United States.  He leads Sunrun’s Western states advocacy.

Alex formerly served as US Senate Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) top energy advisor. With 11 years of experience as an advisor to Reid, he counseled the Leader and a diverse group of high-profile government officials on energy and environmental policy matters nationally, internationally, and in Nevada. 

Alex is a native of Las Vegas, Nevada. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Juris Doctor from the Washington College of Law at American University. 

Jonathan Naimon
Founder/Managing Partner
Light Green Advisors
Biography

Jonathan Naimon

Founder/Managing Partner
Light Green Advisors

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

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

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

Frances Spivy-Weber

Board Member
State Water Resources Control Board

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

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

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

Chris Pak
Founder and Principal
Archeon Group
Biography

Chris Pak

Founder and Principal
Archeon Group

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miguel Sangalang

Deputy Mayor for Budget & Innovation
City of Los Angeles

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

Steve Sullivan
Former Managing Director
Southern California Edison
Biography

Steve Sullivan

Former Managing Director
Southern California Edison

Steve Sullivan retired from Edison International in October 2013, after 35 years with the company. Edison is the parent company of Southern California Edison, a regulated electric utility. Mr. Sullivan led the two largest SCE organizations dedicated to serving government customers: first as Director of Local Public Affairs, and second as Director of Government & Institutional within the Customer Service organization. Since retiring from Edison, Sullivan has become actively involved in cutting edge businesses that advance emerging technologies and/or public policy issues affecting the electric industry in California. Some of his business ventures include:

·      Chief Operating Officer, Advanced Rail Energy Storage, LLC (ARES)  – ARES is pioneering the use of electric locomotive technology for large-scale energy storage. By providing a completely non-polluting and low-cost solution to the need for grid scale storage and grid stability, ARES will allow America and the world to successfully and reliably integrate unprecedented amounts of clean energy.

·      Strategic Board Advisor, Ice Energy – Ice Energy is the leading provider of smart grid-enabled, distributed thermal energy storage to the local utility industry. Ice Energy delivers cost-effective solutions at grid-scale to reduce peak demand, improve energy system efficiency and reliability, and transform the way the utility system operates.

·      Minority Owner, Empire Water Corporation (EWC) – EWC was formed in 2008 to purchase assets of the West Riverside Canal Company (WRCC) and the 350” Mutual Water Company, located in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. EWC owns and manages the only private canal in the region. In addition to owning and/or controlling significant water resources, EWC is poised to expand production and add sufficient infrastructure to exceed historic production levels and help support the growing water needs of Southern California in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner.

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

Hiroshi Katayama

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

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

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

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

Ben Stapleton
Executive Director
US Green Building Council
Biography

Ben Stapleton

Executive Director
US Green Building Council

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

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

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

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

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

Panama Bartholomy
Director
Building Decarbonization Coalition
Biography

Panama Bartholomy

Director
Building Decarbonization Coalition

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

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

Adam Krantz
CEO
National Association of Water Agencies
Biography

Adam Krantz

CEO
National Association of Water Agencies

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

Prior to his position at NACWA, Mr. Krantz was an associate editor/reporter at Inside Washington Publishers where his work focused on covering the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s and Congress’s national water quality initiatives.  Before entering the environmental arena, Mr. Krantz worked as an attorney in the Washington, D.C. law firm, Dickstein, Shapiro, Morin & Oshinsky on litigation matters. 

Mr. Krantz served three years as the President of the Federal Water Quality Association and also served as the first Vice President of the Clean Water America Alliance (now the U.S. Water Alliance). Mr. Krantz has degrees from Columbia University in New York City, the American University’s Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C., and the University of Chicago.  He is a member of both the District of Columbia and Maryland Bar. 

 

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

Tom Martinez

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