Speakers

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

Brett Oakleaf

Partnership Manager
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

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

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.

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

Akira Chiba

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

Akira Chiba assumed the post of Consul General of Japan, Los Angeles, in July, 2016. Born in Tehran, Iran, he is a third-generation career diplomat, after his father and grandfather before him. During his several decades career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), he has spent eight years in China, and the remainder of his overseas postings in Switzerland, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States. The post of Consul General in Los Angeles is his third US tour. During assignments in Tokyo, Chiba has been charged with legal affairs, grant aid and economic cooperation portfolios, in addition to Oceanian regional affairs and several years as MOFA's Assistant Press Secretary to the international media. He has written journal articles on Japan's global relations, and authored numerous texts, many published both in Japanese and Chinese on a wide variety of topics, from Japan-Sino relations to the intricacies of working with the US Congress. He is a graduate of the Law Faculty of Tokyo University, attended Peking University in China, and graduated with an M.A. in Asian Studies from UC Berkeley.

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.  

Jade Clemons
BlueSEA Director
AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles
Biography

Jade Clemons

BlueSEA Director
AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles
Jade Clemons is a recovering lawyer and budding economist. She held various legal roles, predominantly in the tech sector, before pursuing a Master of Economics degree to steer her career in the direction of public policy. At AltaSea, she leads the Blue Sustainable Economy Alliance, which engages in public advocacy and connects innovators in ocean industries to the resources they need to scale.
 
She comes to AltaSea after serving as the Sr. Program Manager of the Planetary program at the Berggruen Institute, where she promoted equitable and sustainable economic systems with an eye towards human and non-human flourishing. Prior to her time at the Berggruen Institute, she served as the Associate Director of the Center for Regional Economics at the Milken Institute focusing on small business and sustainability initiatives.
 
Having grown up in California, she earned her B.A. in Business Administration from Pepperdine University, her J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and her M.A. in Economics from the University of Southern California.
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.

Bob Blumenfield
Councilmember, District 3
LA City
Biography

Bob Blumenfield

Councilmember, District 3
LA City

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield was elected to the Los Angeles City Council in March, 2013 and re-elected in 2017.  He represents the 3rd Council District, which spans the northwest portion of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley, including the communities of Canoga Park, Reseda, Tarzana, Winnetka and Woodland Hills. 

Bob is focused on serving the San Fernando Valley’s day to day needs for City services as well as facilitating the long-term job and economic growth that will help ensure the vitality of local neighborhoods and the City as a whole.  Public safety, emergency preparedness, beautification and traffic reduction are some of the key quality of life issues Bob fights for in his district.  At City Hall, his policy priorities include: crafting the City budget to maximize public dollars; transforming the City’s technology infrastructure to more effectively manage resources and provide services; and growing and improving the City’s physical and environmental infrastructure to make LA a safe, clean, green and friendly place for people and businesses.  Bob is also committed to social justice, equality and opportunity for all Angelenos. 

Prior to his election to the City Council, Bob served in the California State Assembly from 2008 – 2013 working for all of the San Fernando Valley communities he continues to represent.  He was the first Democratic freshman Assemblymember to ever serve as the Chair of the Budget Committee.  During his four-year tenure as Chair, he led the State from the brink of economic insolvency to structural balance and surplus.  He delivered his last three budgets on-time and balanced – a feat that hadn’t been achieved during the prior 25 years.  In addition, he radically changed the budget process to make it more transparent and accountable. From 2010-2016 Blumenfield served as a member of the California Film Commission, a reflection of his commitment to protecting one of Southern California's most critical jobs engines.

Bob is a graduate of Duke University and the UCLA Anderson School of Management Business Executive Program.  He lives in Woodland Hills with his wife, Kafi, and their two children. 

Laura Friedman
Assemblymember, 44th District; Chair, Transportation Committee, Candidate for Congress
California State Legislature
Biography

Laura Friedman

Assemblymember, 44th District; Chair, Transportation Committee, Candidate for Congress
California State Legislature
Laura Friedman was elected to the California State Assembly in November 2016 to represent the now 44th Assembly District, which encompasses the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and La Cañada Flintridge, as well as the communities of La Crescenta and Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Beachwood Canyon, Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Franklin Hills, and Silver Lake.   
 
Laura’s legislative work is focused in three primary areas: addressing the housing affordability and homelessness crisis, combating climate change, and protecting vulnerable communities.  During her time in the Assembly, Laura has secured $20 million in funding for the completion of the Glendale Riverwalk Project, and authored a package of bills to create new avenues for communities to tackle the affordable housing crisis, encourage water conservation, strengthen environmental sustainability, protect communities against devastating wildfires, improve access to higher education and health care, and ensure that California’s foster youth have the support that they need as they transition to adulthood. 
 
Laura has been tapped for several leadership roles in the legislature, including the Chair of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, Assistant Speaker pro Tempore for the Assembly, the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and the Chair of the Joint Rules Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response where she’s led a historic bicameral and bipartisan reform of the legislature’s response to sexual harassment that’s become a model for other states and local governments to follow.   
 
Long recognized as a steadfast advocate for the environment, sustainable communities, and active transportation, in 2020 she was appointed to serve as the Chair for the Assembly Committee on Transportation.  The Committee’s broad scope covers high-speed rail, California’s thousands of miles of roadways and transportation infrastructure, freight and regional transportation agencies, mobile sources of air pollution, fuels, mass transit, vehicles, aircraft, bicycles and pedestrian facilities, and vessels, as well as the California Department of Transportation and the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Laura’s appointment as Chair marks a shift towards forward-thinking policies such as investing in mass transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, zero-emission vehicles, road safety, and sustainability. 
 
In addition to her role at the helm of the Assembly Transportation Committee, Laura also serves as Chair of the bicameral Environmental Caucus, and as a member of the Assembly Committees on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media; Natural Resources; and Water, Parks, and Wildlife. 
Laura got her start in the private sector working as a film and television executive and producer after receiving her B.A. from the University of Rochester, New York.  In 2001, she launched her own web-based small business.  Building on her years of community service, she was elected to the Glendale City Council in 2009, served as Mayor from 2011 through 2012 and was re-elected in 2013.  
Mike Wallace
Chief Decarbonization Officer
Persefoni
Biography

Mike Wallace

Chief Decarbonization Officer
Persefoni

Mike Wallace is an internationally recognized expert with nearly 30 years of experience in sustainability, ESG reporting/compliance, and managing social and human capital issues. He currently serves as the Chief Decarbonization Officer at Persefoni, a carbon accounting technology company, where he oversees strategic partnerships to help with the integration and application of Persefoni’s climate accounting and management platform (CMAP). Prior to joining Persefoni, Wallace was a partner at the global sustainability consultancy, ERM where he counseled clients on corporate responsibility and sustainability solutions and helped shape several strategic partnerships for ERM. In that role, Wallace also served as the Interim Executive Director for the Social & Human Capital Coalition, a multi-stakeholder project of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). His work included overseeing the establishment of the overall governance structure, technical council and global network that drove the creation of the Social & Human Capital Protocol, which was officially launched at GreenBiz 2019 by the founders WBCSD, Nasdaq, and Microsoft. Prior to ERM, Wallace was a director for the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), where he worked on foundational initiatives such as the International Integrated Reporting Council (IRRC), the European Commission proposal on corporate ESG reporting, and the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative (SSEi) on ESG listing guidance.

Louis Romo
Vice President, Business Development
JFE Engineering America
Biography

Louis Romo

Vice President, Business Development
JFE Engineering America

Mr. Romo is currently responsible for all business development for JFE Engineering America including diverse technologies such as waste to energy, produced water treatment, waste heat generation, electric vehicle chargers and steel bridge construction. With a strong background in international business Mr. Romo has created sales and market strategies for each of JFE’s target markets.

Mr. Romo has helped create various startup companies in the green tech industry serving as business development lead.  He was involved in the creation of Calnetix, a Southern California engineering company focusing on high tech clean energy technologies, and VYCON an energy storage flywheel technology company.  With expertise in the design of magnetic power systems Mr. Romo has also served as Vice President of Engineering and Director of Business Development for Integrated Magnetics a leading Southern California manufacturing group.  As an Electrical Engineer designing high speed motor and generator systems for Allied Signal Aerospace (now Honeywell), he was the Program Manager responsible for the electrical power systems group.

Charles Bovet
Vice President Operations
BONE Structure
Biography

Charles Bovet

Vice President Operations
BONE Structure

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

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

About BONE Structure

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

Michael Phipps
President & Chief Technology Officer
Collaborative Innovation Partners
Biography

Michael Phipps

President & Chief Technology Officer
Collaborative Innovation Partners

Michael Phipps is an accomplished technology leader with a strong track record of performance in high paced organizations developing security and electronic surveillance systems using unmanned systems and unattended sensors.  Michael is the Managing Partner and Chief Technology Officer for a private consulting firm, Collaborative Innovation Partners, working with government organizations, universities, and large and small companies, providing strategic planning and technology consulting services.   Prior to forming CI Partners, Michael served in multiple senior executive roles for Ultra Electronics, including Chief Technology Officer for their Secure Intelligence Systems Division, President of Special Operations Technology (SOTECH), and Vice-President and General Manager for ProLogic’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance division. Prior to joining Ultra Electronics Michael held Senior Management positions in small and large companies in the Intelligence and Security sectors.

Michael has established himself as an industry leader in the use of unattended and unmanned sensor platforms to collect data and develop information for intelligence, security, and commercial applications.  He has written and presented several papers at local and international conferences.  In addition to his executive career, Michael serves on industry advisory boards.   He is an Executive Director, board member, and industry advisor for the Southwest Innovation Collaborative (SWIC), a non-profit, business-industry-academia collaborative, whose mission is to support regional economic growth through innovation, fostering collaboration among entrepreneurs, businesses, government, and academia.  Michael is also an adjunct professor and course content author for National University’s Unmanned Systems program. 

Michael Phipps obtained his Bachelors of Science in Engineering from Duke University, Master of Science in Information Technology from Capella University, and is ABD PhD in Organizational Management.  He completed the advanced certificate program in Project Management at University of California, Irvine and holds Project Management Professional Certification.

Miguel Sangalang
Executive Director & General Manager
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting
Biography

Miguel Sangalang

Executive Director & General Manager
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting

Miguel Sangalang serves as the Executive Director and General Manager for the Bureau of Street Lighting of the City of Los Angeles (LA LIGHTS). As the head of the agency his role is shaped by two major responsibilities: The upkeep and improvement of the city's 220,000 street lighting infrastructure assets; and the adoption of new tools and practices to ensure the city meets the needs of its residents well into the future. To that end, he is working to make street lighting a true neighborhood asset that reflects the culture of the communities it illuminates, improves public safety, and helps bridge the digital divide. Miguel previously served as Deputy Mayor for Budget & Innovation for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. He directly oversaw the annual city budget, performance management, personnel, risk management, procurement reform, technology infrastructure, as well as sustainability, equity in service, gender equity, data, and emerging technologies.

Rick Beuttel
Vice President, Hydrogen Business
Bloom Energy
Biography

Rick Beuttel

Vice President, Hydrogen Business
Bloom Energy

Rick Beuttel is vice president of Bloom Energy’s hydrogen business. In this role, he spearheads the company’s market strategy, serves as an evangelist for emerging hydrogen solutions, and develops relationships with industry leaders to continue momentum around Bloom’s hydrogen technology. Beuttel brings over three decades of experience in business development in the energy and industrial sectors, including extensive work deploying and scaling hydrogen projects across international markets. Before joining Bloom Energy, Beuttel served as vice president of business development at Air Products, overseeing the development and execution of large-scale energy projects, largely focused on hydrogen throughout the Americas. In this role, he was responsible for the deployment of over $8 billion of capital, including world-scale hydrogen/renewable fuels/ammonia projects in Paramount, California, Eastern Louisiana, Edmonton, Alberta, the acquisition of hydrogen plants from PBF Energy, and many other projects centered around hydrogen and synthesis gas production. Beuttel also held a number of senior roles across regions during his tenure at Air Products, including business manager for generated gases in the Americas, business development manager for Latin America, and business manager for Asia tonnage focused on the semiconductor and display industries. Beuttel holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from Lehigh University and is also chairman of the board of the Lehigh Valley Velodrome.

Dr. Joseph Cevetello
Chief Information Officer
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Dr. Joseph Cevetello

Chief Information Officer
City of Santa Monica

Dr. Joseph Cevetello, a Fulbright Scholar and nationally recognized technology leader, is Chief Information Officer for the City of Santa Monica, California. He is responsible for the city’s information technology infrastructure, services, and delivery strategies, and for ensuring an exceptional digital experience for Santa Monica’s citizens, visitors, and businesses. He directs operations to support 2,300 staff, 93,000 citizens, 51 staff, and $39million in technology.

Prior to the City of Santa Monica, Dr. Cevetello was Assistant Chief Information Officer, Information Technology Services at the University of Southern California. In this role, he directed strategy, vision, and operations for USC’s Technology Enhanced Learning Organization and provided leadership toward fulfilling the strategic goals for educational technology set forth in USC’s academic plan. He had primary responsibility for a $5million per annum initiative to build and support physical and virtual learning spaces to enhance learning, teaching, research, and outreach on campus, in the community, and at a distance. In 2013, the Chronicle of Higher Education recognized him as one of the Top 100 Technology Innovators in higher education.

Before joining USC, Joseph consulted with KPMG for the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. As Engagement Manager and Lead Consultant, he designed and documented the information technology strategy for this landmark undertaking; the largest university project in the 21st century (Cost $12.5 billon). Upon opening in September 2009, KAUST became one of the largest endowed universities in the world and is targeted to be amongst the top five universities for science and technology in five to ten years.

From 2005-2009, Dr. Cevetello was Senior Director Academic Technology and Deputy CIO at Loyola Marymount University. Joseph provided strategic leadership and vision in support of online learning infrastructure, policy, and faculty integration of technology in their teaching and research. As Deputy CIO he was responsible for $16 million operating budget, and the transformation of customer support and service initiatives.

Prior to joining LMU, Joseph was a consultant to a number of higher-education institutions and organizations including the University of Chicago, Harvard University, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Austrian National Bank, and the World Bank.

Dr. Cevetello received his masters and his doctorate from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. His research and teaching interests encompass how online learning technologies affect adult learner and teacher interaction/collaboration, how media influence student and faculty perspectives of learning and their roles, and how the use of technology impacts organizational effectiveness, communication, and change. At Harvard and MIT he instructed courses on Adult Development, Educational Philosophy, Education for Social Change, and the History of Education Technology.

From 1995-2002, Dr. Cevetello was an instructor and coordinator for information technology in the MPA Masters program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has received numerous grants and fellowships including: the Perry Chapman Prize (2013), James N. Snitzler Scholarship, Harvard University (2001), Action for Children's Television (ACT) Fellowship (1999), and the Spencer Research Apprentice Grant (1998), where he conducted a study of qualitative research methodology for technology use in organizations.

From 1988-1990, Joseph was a Fulbright Scholar in Vienna, Austria. In the early 1990’s, Dr. Cevetello began to experiment with the use of educational technology in his role as senior communications lecturer at the Vienna based Austrian Bankers' College International. ABCi was a widely recognized and influential professional development program that provided bankers and businesspeople from twenty countries of the former Eastern-Bloc with cutting edge business knowledge.

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

Mark Callaway

Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager
Morgan Stanley

Mark is a Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at Morgan Stanley specializing in Impact Investing.  He has been in the financial services business for over 30 years working as an advisor to institutional and individual clients.  Mark manages a practice based in Atlanta, Georgia and is one of 20 investing with Impact “Champion” out of 17,000 advisors at Morgan Stanley.  He is the only Morgan Stanley “Champion” advisor in the Southeast. 

His interest in Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing goes back to his years growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the ‘60’s –‘70’s.  He started transitioning clients to ESG screened investments in 2001.  In April of 2011 Morgan Stanley recognizing the need to offer Impact Investing options to their retail clients and announced the formation of the Investing with Impact platform headed up by Hilary Irby, Executive Director of the Morgan Stanley Global Sustainable Finance (GSF) group and Head of the Morgan Stanley Investing with Impact Initiative. GSF harnesses the power and discipline of the capital markets to enhance environmental sustainability, advance economic opportunity and promote community development. The firm’s Investing with Impact initiative aims to provide clients with investment opportunities focused on providing financial returns as well as positive environmental and social impact.  In November of 2013, James Gorman, President,  of Morgan Stanley announced the creation of The Institute of Sustainable Investments, www.morganstanley.com/sustainableinvesting/ headed up by Audrey Choi, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and CEO of the Institute.  The Institute for Sustainable Investing seeks to help businesses, institutions and individuals direct capital to these challenges in scalable ways. We focus on:

  • Sustainable Investing: Financial solutions that enable sustainable investing at scale
  • Thought Leadership: Groundbreaking insights that help mobilize capital to sustainable solutions
  • Capacity Building: Programs and strategic partnerships that build capacity and best practices in the field of sustainable investing

5 years ago Mark started the Southeastern Corporate Sustainability Rankings, www.southeasterncorporatesustainabilityrankings.net  whose goal it was to assess the advancement of corporate sustainability in the Southeast.  He has also certified by Global Reporting Initiative and participated in US SIFs inaugural “Fundamentals of Sustainable and Responsible Investments” education program. 

He served on 2 of the Callaway Family Foundations based in Georgia for over 25 years and in 1994 formed his own foundation, The Morning Star Foundation, Inc. to foster philanthropy in his kids.  4 of his 5 children currently serve on the board.  All investments in Morning Star Foundation are screen for their ESG scores and both the Foundation and Mark are signatories of the Divest/Invest Pledge.

Mark received both his B. A. and M.B.A at LaGrange College and has completed post graduate studies at NYU,  The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and will be back in England in April to attend Oxford Universities Impact Investing program and participate at the Skoll World Form.  He has served in a number of leadership capacities on the boards of University of Georgia, The Georgia Institute of Technology and other Southeastern based organizations.  

Jessica Ku Kim
Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation
Biography

Jessica Ku Kim

Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation

In her role as Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development, Jessica Ku Kim provides strategic direction and leads LAEDC’s collaborative efforts with business, education, and the workforce ecosystem to support a growing, equitable, sustainable and resilient economy. Leveraging her expertise in convening and engaging businesses leaders to understand and meet their operations and labor needs, Jessica leads one of the most effective small business assistance programs in the nation that has attracted, retained or helped create more than 250,000 direct jobs for LA County residents in firms directly assisted by LAEDC. Aligned with her passion for and experience in providing direct community services for over 15 years, she also directs LAEDC’s Together for LA Small Business Program including an online information and referral resource and technical assistance team created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and dedicated to aggressively outreach to small businesses, nonprofits, and micro-enterprises and provide resources and assistance. Jessica also leads LAEDC’s strategic initiatives that includes industry cluster development in aerospace, advanced transportation, digital media and entertainment and bioscience. Lastly, Jessica oversees LAEDC’s workforce initiatives, including the Center for a Competitive Workforce partnership with our region’s 19 community colleges, to strengthen the alignment of LA County’s workforce and education ecosystem to meet our changing labor market demands and strengthen pathways for all communities into family-sustaining and in-demand careers. 

Jessica has intimate knowledge of programs funded on state and national levels including WIOA, California State Workforce Development Board, U.S. Department of Labor, and California Employment Training Panel. She has demonstrated success in developing, implementing, and managing workforce development programs for target populations including incumbent workers, new hires, disadvantaged youth, veterans, homeless, individuals with disabilities, and re-entry. In addition, she is experienced in developing innovative job training programs, pre-apprenticeships, and/or apprenticeships in partnership with businesses in the construction trades, aerospace, advanced manufacturing, utility and other in-demand industries.  

Jessica is a proud Angeleno and honored to be a Commissioner on the Los Angeles City Workforce Development Board and Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board. Prior to LAEDC, Jessica served as the Special Projects Manager at the South Bay Workforce Investment Board.  In this capacity, she provided sound, innovative and strategic leadership through program development and administration for one of the most innovative workforce development boards in the nation. Jessica has also served as the Director of Operations for ACCORD Community First that provided workforce development services across seven counties in Southern California where she led the Green Skills=Green Jobs initiative in partnership with the Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO. She received her Master of Public Administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills and her Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of California, Irvine.

Rossana D'Antonio
Deputy Director
LA County Public Works
Biography

Rossana D'Antonio

Deputy Director
LA County Public Works

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Margot Wirth

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

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

Danielle Squires
Sales Director
Alstom Transportation
Biography

Danielle Squires

Sales Director
Alstom Transportation

Danielle Squires serves as a Sales Director for Alstom Transportation in North America based in Los Angeles. With over 10 years’ experience in the rail industry within the fields of sales, strategy, operations, marketing, and business development. Danielle is responsible for new business rolling stock opportunities within the rail transportation industry on the west coast.

Alstom is pioneering sustainable rail operation across the region with alternative rail vehicles replacing diesel on non-electrified lines. Offering an entire range of zero and reduced emission rail technologies: hydrogen, battery, and battery-electric train solutions, whether newbuild or retrofit.  Danielle is driving the implementation of Alstom’s green mobility solutions across North America that are helping enable transit authorities to transition towards a sustainable transportation system built for their future needs.

Danielle holds a master’s degree in business administration from Warwick University in the United Kingdom.

 

 

 

Akira (Keith) Morise
Assistant General Manager
Toshiba International Corporation, Transmission & Distribution Division
Biography

Akira (Keith) Morise

Assistant General Manager
Toshiba International Corporation, Transmission & Distribution Division

Vice President – Energy Storage business development, Assistant General Manager, Toshiba International Corporation, T&D Division, New York office, (2014 April - Present)

From 2012 to 2014:

Senior Manager, International Total Solution Sales Dept, Transmission & Distribution Systems Div., Social Infrastructure Systems Company, Toshiba Corporation

Senior Manager, Battery System Engineering Group, Power Grid Automation & Smart Grid Solutions Engineering Dept., Transmission & Distribution Systems Div.(Concurrently)
Senior Manager, Strategic Business Planning of Lithium Ion Battery (SCiB), in charge of partnering and M&A, Automotive Systems Div.(Concurrently)

Summary

More than 3 years being in charge of market development of Energy Storage Solutions Business in global market, acting as Sales Engineer of Toshiba rechargeable battery (SCiB).

More than 6 years experience of Strategic business planning and business development of Toshiba rechargeable battery (SCiB) in global market at Toshiba.

More than 25 years experience in overseas market including 8 years stays in foreign countries - 3 years in Belgium and 5 years in Russia.

Main tasks - been working as a Global Sales and Marketing. Also acted as sales-engineer for some product categories.

Worked for SONY Corporation from 1998 2007

Worked for NGK Insulators from 1984 to 1998

Education

Waseda University

Bachelor of Arts, Russian literature, 1979 - 1984

Mark Hanna
Senior Principal
Geosyntec
Biography

Mark Hanna

Senior Principal
Geosyntec

Mark is a fifth-generation Californian who has spent the last 25 years helping to solve some of Southern California’s biggest water resource challenges. He received his doctorate in Water Resources from UCLA and is a California registered professional engineer. As a senior principal for Geosyntec and manager of their Downtown Los Angeles office, Mark specializes in hydrology, large system hydraulics, and local water resources. 

Barbara Romero
Executive Director
LA Sanitation & Environment
Biography

Barbara Romero

Executive Director
LA Sanitation & Environment

Barbara Romero is Executive Director of LA City Sanitation & Environment having served as Deputy Mayor of City Services in the office of Mayor Eric Garcetti since March 2015 after serving as a Board of Public Works Commissioner. 

Romero spent a decade working for the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, where she was Chief of Urban Projects and the Watershed Planning Division. As the liaison to local, state, and federal legislators on park planning issues, Romero handled legislative policies and project funding strategies, and managed millions of dollars for urban park projects. She also focused on identifying, developing and implementing multiple park development, restoration, and acquisition projects primarily in urban areas along the Upper Los Angeles River and tributaries.

She currently serves as a Board Member for the Valley Presbyterian Hospital and has previously served on the boards of the Baldwin Hills Conservancy the L.A. River Revitalization Corporation. In addition, she was a member of the Los Angeles Planning Commission and previously worked for the L.A. Conservation Corps and Building Up Los Angeles, where she led an AmeriCorps program to develop school and community gardens and mural projects with high school and college students in East L.A.

Romero grew up in the East L.A. community of Boyle Heights. She holds a B.A. from UCLA.

Carla Peterman
Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer
PG&E Corporation
Biography

Carla Peterman

Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer
PG&E Corporation

Carla J. Peterman is Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer for PG&E Corporation, the parent company of Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Peterman has spent her career focused on California's energy policy and regulatory landscape. At PG&E, she oversees the company's regulatory, legislative, sustainability, and charitable strategies, all focused on delivering for the customers and communities that PG&E serves in Northern and Central California.

Prior to joining PG&E in 2021, Peterman served as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Regulatory Affairs at Southern California Edison. Before that she served a six-year term as a Commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

A steadfast proponent of clean energy, at the CPUC Peterman led the adoption of the first utility energy storage mandate in the country, the approval of nearly $1 billion of utility investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the adoption of utility energy efficiency goals and business plans, and the 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.

In 2019, Governor Newsom appointed her to chair the Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery. She currently serves as a member of the Federal Reserve of San Francisco Economic Advisory Council. She has also served on various other boards, including the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), NARUC's Energy Resources and Environment Committee (Vice-Chair), and the external advisory board for Sandia National Laboratories’ Energy and Homeland Security Portfolio.

Peterman holds a BA from Howard University, a PhD in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and MS and MBA degrees from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Christopher Sheppard, P.E., ENV SP
Principal Engineer, Environmental Program Division
County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works
Biography

Christopher Sheppard, P.E., ENV SP

Principal Engineer, Environmental Program Division
County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works

Christopher Sheppard is a Principal Engineer working for the Environmental Programs Division of the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works. He oversees residential and commercial trash collection and recycling services for unincorporated county communities providing services to over 1 million residents.

Mr. Sheppard received his Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from Syracuse University as well as a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Cal State Northridge, and is currently a registered Civil Engineer in California.

Wenhang Huang
Director of International Collaboration
NDRC Climate Change
Biography

Wenhang Huang

Director of International Collaboration
NDRC Climate Change
Teveia Barnes
Executive Director
California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank
Biography

Teveia Barnes

Executive Director
California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank

Teveia Barnes was appointed by Governor Brown as Executive Director of the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) on July 12, 2013.  IBank’s mission is to finance infrastructure, economic expansion, clean energy and water projects and to promote small business in California through the Small Business Finance Center.  IBank’s statutory powers include the authority to issue bonds, make loans and provide financing and credit enhancements for a variety of infrastructure, clean energy, water and economic expansion projects to state and local governments, municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals.  

Prior to joining IBank, Ms. Barnes was commissioner of the California Department of Financial Institutions, the chief state regulator of depository financial institutions responsible for the licensing, examination and supervision of banks, credit unions, savings associations, trust companies, foreign banking organizations, industrial development companies and money transmitters.  Barnes was a partner at the law firm of Foley and Lardner LLP.  Barnes worked at the Bank of America NT&SA as associate general counsel and senior vice president.

Ms. Barnes earned a Juris Doctorate from New York University School of Law in 1978 and received her BA degree in economics, political science and German studies from Rice University in 1975, where she was an Arthur B. Cohn Scholar.

Gregory Huynh
Operating Agent Manager
LADWP
Biography

Gregory Huynh

Operating Agent Manager
LADWP

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

Christian Riber
Business Development Manager
Ramboll
Biography

Christian Riber

Business Development Manager
Ramboll

Having managed several waste-to-energy (WtE) projects all over Europe, Christian has extensive experience in most phases in WtE projects ranging from feasibility studies, technical design, project definition, quality management to operation and maintenance assistance.

With a background in academia, he has in-depth insights into the overall aspects of waste incineration, waste analysis and life-cycle- assessments (LCA). Christian holds a PhD from the Technical University of Denmark where he also conducted research at the Institute of Environment & Resources, which is internationally renowned for its landmark research in LCA modelling of waste management systems.

Having published several papers on air pollution controls, environmental assessment of waste incineration and analysis of waste characterisations, Christian has a highly developed understanding of LCA modelling of waste systems and has also developed scientific methods for fuel analysis of waste and biomass.

Providing expert advice to various public and private waste management companies, Christian has demonstrated an outstanding set of managerial capabilities and technical know-how.

Christian’s experience also extends to administrating waste management contracts, bidding support to waste management companies, purchasing complete WtE facilities, bidding for 25 years design-build-operate, liaising with authorities, tendering documents, leading regulatory efforts and assisting with the operation and maintenance of facilities.

 

Brendan Mullins
Senior Associate
Stantec
Biography

Brendan Mullins

Senior Associate
Stantec

Brendan’s passion is combining research with project work. As an innovator, Brendan is leading a companywide research and development grant exploring how we can integrate virtual reality (VR) into our design practice. As an architect, he’s currently working on the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles, where Stantec is paving the way for advanced visualization, computational design, and advanced BIM workflows.

Working to marry his R&D and architectural project work, Brendan frequently uses VR on active projects. In the case of San Ysidro, Brendan used VR to share the design with our clients. On the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, he’s integrating VR into all phases of the project, including permitting and construction.

Apart from project and research work, Brendan regularly volunteers with ACE Mentoring, a free after-school program in which industry professionals teach high school students about the architecture, engineering, and construction industry.
 

Justin X. Thompson
Partner
Nixon Peabody
Biography

Justin X. Thompson

Partner
Nixon Peabody

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

 
Snuller Price
Principal
Energy + Environmental Economics
Biography

Snuller Price

Principal
Energy + Environmental Economics

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

David Hodgins
Executive Director
Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge
Biography

David Hodgins

Executive Director
Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge
Susumu Okamoto
President and Representative Director
Choshu Industry Co., LTD.
Biography

Susumu Okamoto

President and Representative Director
Choshu Industry Co., LTD.

Choshu Industry Co., LTD.                                                       July 2012-present

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

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

  • President and Representative Director                             (March 2018- present)

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

  • President and Representative Director                             (November 2019- present)

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

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

EDUCATION

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

INTERESTS & HOBBY

Reading, Jogging, Cycling, Hiking and Traveling

Christine Harada
Executive Director
Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council
Biography

Christine Harada

Executive Director
Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council

Biden-Harris Administration Presidential appointee Christine Harada serves as the Executive Director of the Permitting Council. As Executive Director, Harada assists Permitting Council member agencies in managing a portfolio of nearly $100 billion in large-scale infrastructure projects—most of which are renewable energy, coastal restoration, and electricity transmission projects. She assists Federal agencies in developing and implementing comprehensive, project-specific timetables for all required infrastructure permitting reviews and authorizations for FAST-41 covered infrastructure projects, advancing the administration's infrastructure agenda to rebuild the economy.

Harada brings more than 25 years of leadership experience in the public and private sectors to the Permitting Council. Harada was most recently the Vice President for Government Affairs at Heliogen, a California-based renewable energy technology company. Previously, she served as the President of i(x) investments, a company focused on impact-driven investments in critical areas such as renewable energy, green real estate development, and accessible smart and sustainable housing. She was a Partner with Ridge-Lane Limited Partners, an advisory firm of experts in private sector innovation, investment capital, and government policy that works with companies pursuing social and environmental impact, along with financial performance.
 
As the former Federal Chief Sustainability Officer under President Barack Obama, Harada oversaw all federal sustainability-related initiatives in energy, vehicle fleets, and acquisitions. She also served as the Acting Chief of Staff, the Associate Administrator of Government-wide Policy, and Chief Acquisition Officer at the U.S. General Services Administration.
 
Harada has worked as a Senior Systems Engineer at Lockheed Martin and as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and Booz Allen Hamilton. She holds a master's degree in international studies from the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School at Penn. Additionally, she has a master's degree from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in aeronautics and astronautics.   

Rob Del Core
Chief Strategy Officer
Hyzon Motors
Biography

Rob Del Core

Chief Strategy Officer
Hyzon Motors

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

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

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

Joe Galliani
Chair
South Bay Clean Power
Biography

Joe Galliani

Chair
South Bay Clean Power

Joe is Chair of the South Bay Clean Power initiative where he works full time to bring Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) to the 20 cities of the South Bay and West Side Los Angeles County and other eligible cities in L.A. County. Joe worked with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to pass a resolution to explore CCA options and to fund a feasibility study. Joe is working to launch California’s largest Community Choice Power program by partnering South Bay Clean Power with areas like Long Beach and L.A. County.

Joe is the Organizer of the South Bay Los Angeles 350 Climate Action Group.  Joe was the Director of Strategic Partnerships and Public Affairs for EcoMedia.  Additionally, Joe has served on a number of environmental non-profits in the South Bay.

 

 

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

Rick Morrow

VP Engineering and Operations
Southern California Gas Co.
Jose Torres
California Director
Building Decarbonization Coalition
Biography

Jose Torres

California Director
Building Decarbonization Coalition
Jose Torres is the Building Decarbonization Coalition’s California Director. Before BDC, Jose worked as the California Environmental Justice Alliance's Energy Equity Program Manager, where he oversaw their energy legislative, regulatory, and implementation work. Before venturing into the non-profit space, Jose worked at the California Energy Commission’s Office of Governmental Affairs and both at the California State Assembly and Senate. His career in public service started as a California Senate Fellow in the Office of Senator Alex Padilla. 
Jose is proud to come from a working ­class family that continues to drive his passion for a clean and equitable future. In his free time, he likes to screenwrite social and political dramas, hike, and listen to live music.
Luz Rivas
Assemblywoman, District 39
California State Assembly
Biography

Luz Rivas

Assemblywoman, District 39
California State Assembly

Luz M. Rivas was born in Los Angeles to an immigrant family and grew up in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. She attended LA Unified schools before earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from MIT and a master’s of education from Harvard. Luz has built her career at the intersection of engineering and education before entering public service. She worked as an electrical design engineer at Motorola before founding DIY Girls, a nonprofit that provides enrichment programs focused on encouraging young girls to pursue careers in science, engineering, and technology. In 2016, she was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to the Los Angeles Board of Public Works.

Luz was elected and sworn into the California State Assembly in June 2018. Since then, Luz has been appointed as the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and currently serves on the Assembly Committees on Budget; Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources and Transportation; Health; Local Government; Revenue and Taxation; and the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management. She is also the Chair of the Select Committee on the Non-Profit Sector and serves on the Select Committee on Latina Inequalities and Select Committee on Coastal Protection and Access to Natural Resources.

During Luz’s time in the Assembly, her priority has been to uplift and empower underrepresented communities. She has been extraordinarily successful as a leader in delivering substantive policy, such as reforming the state’s response to homelessness, providing universal school meals to all K-12 students, creating the California Youth Empowerment Commission to increase youth civic engagement, and advocating for environmental justice through her role as the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources. Luz believes it is her highest honor to represent the community she grew up in.

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.

Adel Hagekhalil
General Manager
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Biography

Adel Hagekhalil

General Manager
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Adel Hagekhalil is the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the largest wholesale drinking water agency in the country. Metropolitan is a state-established cooperative that delivers water to 26-member public agencies, serving 19 million people across Southern CA.
 
As General Manager, Mr. Hagekhalil is responsible for leading Metropolitan’s daily and long-term operations and planning to provide safe, reliable water to Southern California. He oversees Metropolitan’s $1.9 billion annual budget, 1,800 employees, and extensive system of conveyance, storage, treatment, and delivery infrastructure.
 
Mr. Hagekhalil is a registered civil engineer and national board-certified environmental engineer, having earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Houston, TX. Before joining Metropolitan, he was appointed in 2018 by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve as the executive director and general manager of the city’s Bureau of Street Services. His responsibilities included oversight of the management, maintenance, and improvement of the city’s network of streets, sidewalks, trees, and bikeways. He also focused on climate change adaptation and multi-benefit integrated active transportation corridors.
 
Previously, he served nearly 10 years as assistant general manager of the Los Angeles’ Bureau of Sanitation, led the city’s wastewater collection system, stormwater and watershed protection program, water quality compliance, advance planning, and facilities. He also helped develop the city’s 2040 One Water LA Plan, an award-winning regional watershed approach to integrate water supply, reuse, conservation, stormwater management and wastewater facilities planning.
 
Mr. Hagekhalil is a member of the American Public Works Association as well as the Water Environment Federation, which recognized him in 2019 as a WEF Fellow for his contribution to enhancing and forwarding the water industry. He also served for more than a decade as a board member on the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, including a term as president.

Seiichiro (Ichiro) Tanigaki
Country Manager / GM Global BD
ASUENE
Biography

Seiichiro (Ichiro) Tanigaki

Country Manager / GM Global BD
ASUENE

Ichiro is US Country Manager at ASUENE, Japanese Climate Tech/Carbon Accounting Startup, spearheading the company’s initiatives in the United States. After starting the career in Financial/Consulting field with EY, Ichiro transitioned to Energy/Sustainability field. Prior to joining ASUENE in 2023, he held the position of VP Business Development/Asset Management at the Japanese major conglomerate Marubeni, worked in both New York and Tokyo.

Amy Myers Jaffe
Executive Director for Energy and Sustainability
UC Davis
Biography

Amy Myers Jaffe

Executive Director for Energy and Sustainability
UC Davis
Andy Marsh
President & CEO
Plug Power
Biography

Andy Marsh

President & CEO
Plug Power

Andy Marsh joined Plug Power as President and CEO in April 2008. Under his leadership, Plug Power has been a leading innovator in the alternative energy field, helping create an entirely new hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) market in the material handling space as the world moves towards electrification in mobility applications. This new market has proven to be one of the first successful endeavors to commercialize HFC technology, and today, the firm’s fuel cell solutions, including its GenKey suite and ProGen engine line, are leveraged by global marketplace leaders such as Amazon, Walmart, and Carrefour to power industrial electric vehicles.

As President and CEO, Marsh plans and directs all aspects of the organization’s goals and objectives, and is focused on building a company that leverages Plug Power’s combination of technological expertise, talented people and focus on sales growth to continue the company’s leadership stance in the future alternative energy economy. Under his leadership, Plug Power continues to spearhead hydrogen fuel cell innovations in both mobility and stationary applications, and his ability to generate revenue growth of more than 296 percent since 2012 has landed Plug Power on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500TM list in both 2015 and 2016.

Previously, Mr. Marsh was a co-founder of Valere Power, where he served as CEO and Board Member from the Company’s inception in 2001, through its sale to Eltek ASA in 2007. Under his leadership, Valere grew into a profitable global operation with over 200 employees and $90 million in revenue derived from the sale of DC power products to the telecommunications sector. During Mr. Marsh’s tenure, Valere Power received many awards such as the Tech Titan award as the fastest growing technology company in the Dallas Fort Worth area and the Red Herring Top 100 Innovator Award. Prior to founding Valere, he spent almost 18 years with Lucent Bell Laboratories in a variety of sales and technical management positions.

Mr. Marsh is a member of the Board of Directors for the California Hydrogen Business Council, a non-profit group comprised of organizations and individuals involved in the business of hydrogen. He holds an MSEE from Duke University and an MBA from SMU. In August/September 2017, Mr. Marsh was invited to join the Global Hydrogen Council as well, an international council of major auto manufacturers which is focused on the proliferation of hydrogen fuel cell technologies.

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.

 

 

Craig R. Bartels, PhD
Principal Scientist
Hydranautics
Biography

Craig R. Bartels, PhD

Principal Scientist
Hydranautics

Dr. Bartels has a BS in Chemistry from Baylor University and a PhD from Northwestern University in Material Science.  Since entering industry, he has over 38 years of experience in all facets of membrane technology, covering both application and development of membranes.  He has 22 patents and numerous publications, including contributions to 2 books on RO/NF technology. He has previously held technical and management positions at Texaco Inc, Koch Fluid Systems, and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. He served as VP of Technology for 20 years at Hydranautics, and currently holds the position of Principal Scientist at Hydranautics, a Nitto Denko Group Company.  

Michelle Boehm
Southern California Regional Director
California High-Speed Rail Authority
Biography

Michelle Boehm

Southern California Regional Director
California High-Speed Rail Authority

As Southern California Regional Director for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, Michelle Boehm oversees strategy, stakeholder outreach, and related elements of project development for over 300 miles of the planned all electric High Speed Rail system in the Southern California Region’s five project sections: Bakersfield to Palmdale, Palmdale to Burbank, Burbank to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Anaheim and Los Angeles to San Diego. 

Michelle Boehm brings nearly 20 years of experience in both public and private sectors in transportation planning and policy analysis. Before joining the Authority, she was a Vice President with one of the largest Architectural and Engineering firms in the Country. In that role, Boehm was the regional manager responsible for overseeing business development, strategic planning, and public agency and community outreach for projects throughout Southern California. 

Over the course of her career Boehm has proven her ability as an industry leader working with business and legislative stakeholders on the high-speed rail project, and as a business manager and strategic planner, having developed strategy for transportation, water, geotechnical, structural, and environmental engineering and planning practice development and projects. 

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, as well as the integration of energy efficiency with other distributed energy resources to facilitate LADWP’s transition to 100% renewables. David also oversees the integration of electric, gas, and water efficiency programs through a nation-leading joint program partnership with the natural gas utility serving Los Angeles, the Southern California Gas Company. Finally, David manages LADWP’s energy and water efficiency labs, hand-on demonstration facilities, and emerging technology assessment and commercialization efforts at the La Kretz Innovation Campus, home of the world-renowned Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator.

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 20+ years of experience designing high performance building systems, modeling building energy usage, and managing cost-effective and investment-grade energy efficiency programs.

Jeffrey Chernick
CEO & Co-Founder
RideAmigos
Biography

Jeffrey Chernick

CEO & Co-Founder
RideAmigos

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

John Jenkins
Vice President, Electric Engineering and Construction
San Diego Gas & Electric
Biography

John Jenkins

Vice President, Electric Engineering and Construction
San Diego Gas & Electric

John Jenkins is vice president of electric engineering and construction for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), one of Sempra Energy’s regulated California utilities.

As vice president of electric engineering and construction, Jenkins is responsible for all engineering functions, management of major projects, construction services, distribution project management, vegetation management and the construction and maintenance of transmission and substation infrastructure.

Jenkins has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo). Jenkins is currently serving on the board of directors for Access Youth Academy.

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

Michael Lord

Executive Engineer - Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs
Toyota Motor North America

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

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

Larry Kosmont
Chairman & CEO
Kosmont Companies
Biography

Larry Kosmont

Chairman & CEO
Kosmont Companies

Mr. Larry J. Kosmont, CRE® is Chairman and CEO of Kosmont Companies, which he founded in 1986. Kosmont Companies is an industry leader in public/private real estate/land use transactions, public finance, and economic development. In 1990, he founded Kosmont Realty, a real estate brokerage firm and subsequently, launched Kosmont Transactions Services, Inc. dba Kosmont Financial Services which sources financing for public/private projects, P3 initiatives, and infrastructure funding. He is a co-principal of California Golden Fund, a USCIS approved EB-5 Regional Center.

Mr. Kosmont’s over 35-year career encompasses public/private financial structuring, negotiation, development, and management of real estate and public finance transactions exceeding $12B. He has assisted hundreds of local government agencies in public finance and real estate matters ranging from large-scale economic development programs to site-specific real estate strategies and projects. He has guided over 1,000 private sector projects in obtaining public approvals, structuring deal terms, and securing public/private financing.

Mr. Kosmont served as Interim City Administrator, City Manager, Director of Community Development, and Redevelopment Director in the cities of Montebello. Santa Monica, Seal Beach, Bell Gardens, and Burbank.

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

Dr. Bernd Fischer

Consul General
German Consulate - Los Angeles

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

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

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

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.

Shmel Graham
Counsel
Ashurst Law Firm
Biography

Shmel Graham

Counsel
Ashurst Law Firm
Shmel is Counsel at Ashurst law firm where she advises clients on the procurement, structuring, financing and development of infrastructure projects. She is a native of Los Angeles and is experienced working in both the public and private sectors.
 
She previously served in the City of Los Angeles Mayor's Office under both Mayor Villaraigosa and Mayor Garcetti. During her tenure at the Mayor's Office, Shmel focused on driving complex technology and social infrastructure investments and operational reform efforts.
 
She earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and Juris Doctorate from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. She serves on the Board of the Urban Land Institute Los Angeles, Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation and Community Health Councils and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Martin Luther King Community Health Foundation Dream Council.
 
Shmel is passionate about health and wellness, commercial development and wealth building in communities of color. More importantly, she is a mother of an amazing young boy and enjoys traveling and spending time with her family. 

 

Sam Polk
Founder and Executive Director
Groceryships
Biography

Sam Polk

Founder and Executive Director
Groceryships

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

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
Yasmin Abraham
Co-Founder & President
Kambo Energy Group
Biography

Yasmin Abraham

Co-Founder & President
Kambo Energy Group

Yasmin Abraham is President and Co-Founder of Kambo Energy Group, a social enterprise that reduces energy poverty and improves housing in communities that have historically been underprioritized across the pacific northwest. For over 14 years Kambo has supported communities through it’s three flagship programs each designed to address a unique gap in the market: Empower Me, an education and awareness program designed to support environmental justice communities; the Home Upgrades Program, a deep energy retrofit program to reduce energy poverty, and Community Power which works with Tribal and First Nations to take action on housing.

Yasmin is a leading expert in equity based energy and climate programming, working with governments and utilities across North America to design and deliver inclusive solutions. Yasmin holds an MBA from the Sauder School of Business, a certificate of Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University, is a member of the Efficiency Canada Governing Council, a founding member of the National Affordability Action Council, a member of the Faculty Advisory Board for the Sauder School of Business at UBC, and a member of the Zero Emissions Building Task Force at the City of Burnaby.

Yasmin has assembled an employee roster representative of the communities they serve – 83% identify as visible minority, immigrant and/or multilingual, and 59% of employees are female.

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.

Capri Maddox
Executive Director
LA Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department
Biography

Capri Maddox

Executive Director
LA Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department

Capri Maddox is the Executive Director of the newly established LA Civil + Human Rights and Equity (LA Civil Rights). Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Ms. Maddox to the position in February 2020 to address systemic racism and bias in the areas of commerce, education, employment, and housing. Under Ms. Maddox’s leadership, LA Civil Rights will combat hate crimes and level the playing field through partnerships with the Commission on Civil Rights, Commission on the Status of Women and the Human Relations Commission, including the Transgender Advisory Council.  

Previously, Ms. Maddox served as Senior Advisor to City Attorney Michael N. Feuer. In that role, she  was responsible for leading Special Projects on behalf of the elected City Attorney, such as: spearheading  the City Attorney Business Support Program, creating the Foster Care Diversion Program, organizing the  City Attorney Faith-Based Council, overseeing recruitment and outreach efforts, addressing key  Neighborhood Council and City Council requests, participating in criminal and civil cases, and  coordinating school safety projects with Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). 

During the 2018-2019 school year, Ms. Maddox served as Executive Director of Partnerships for LAUSD  on a loan from the Office of the City Attorney to Southern California Grantmakers. During this one-year  assignment, she assisted LAUSD in acquiring over $43 million dollars in resources for students in need  and led several equity-based initiatives. 

Ms. Maddox also served as the President of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, as a  Mayor Villaraigosa appointee. In this role, she managed 5,000 employees and an annual budget of $1.8  billion dollars to deliver basic infrastructure services to City residents. Before joining the Board of Public  Works, Ms. Maddox served as a Deputy City Attorney in the following assignments: General Counsel  Group - Neighborhood Empowerment, Complex Litigation, Neighborhood Prosecutor Program – LAPD’s  Wilshire Station, and Central Trials – Criminal Branch. Prior to her legal career, she worked as a  Community Development and Housing Analyst with the City of Glendale, and Earthquake Recovery  Project Manager with the Los Angeles Housing Department.  

Ms. Maddox has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Master of Science in Public  Administration from California State University, Los Angeles. She received her Juris Doctorate from  Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, California. Ms. Maddox also completed the USC Lusk  Center’s Minorities in Real Estate Development Program. She continues her involvement with many  higher educational institutions, including mentoring students at numerous universities and serving as a  California State University, Los Angeles President’s Council Member. Ms. Maddox is also a proud  member of the Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) Board of Trustees – SCPR locally broadcasts  on KPCC 89.3 FM.  

Ms. Maddox is a member of First AME Church – Los Angeles, where she serves in both political and  social ministries. In her spare time, she serves as a youth mentor with numerous community  organizations and enjoys working on public interest projects. She resides in Los Angeles County with  her husband, Kerman, and fourteen-year-old son. 

 
Jake Singh
Software Systems Assurance Department Engineer
Aerospace Corporation
Biography

Jake Singh

Software Systems Assurance Department Engineer
Aerospace Corporation

Jake Singh is an engineer in the Software Systems Assurance Department at The Aerospace Corporation. In this role, he performs software development, systems engineering, and modeling & analysis for mission-critical space systems including rockets, satellites, and ground stations. Additionally, he is an author for Aerospace’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy, with experience reporting on citizen science and its role in the advancement of space exploration and environmental action. Jake earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia in 2018 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of California—Los Angeles.

Go Tejima
Technical Advisor, Energy and Materials (E&M) division
Toyota Research Institute
Biography

Go Tejima

Technical Advisor, Energy and Materials (E&M) division
Toyota Research Institute

Go Tejima is a Technical Advisor in the Toyota Research Institute, Energy and Materials (E&M) division. He started his career in Toyota Motor Corporation and he has been deeply involved in the Fuel Cell Vehicle development for 20 years.

After he comes to the US he is working for a carbon neutral strategy in global Toyota. His team knows that diverse technological solutions are needed, but technology alone is not enough. He works to understand how new technologies may or may not succeed when he considers business, economics, society, and policy.  

Mark Nydam
President & CEO
Green Conversion Systems
Biography

Mark Nydam

President & CEO
Green Conversion Systems
Fiona Ma
State Treasurer
California
Biography

Fiona Ma

State Treasurer
California

Fiona Ma is California’s 34th State Treasurer. She was first elected on November 6, 2018, with more votes (7,825,587) than any other candidate for treasurer in the state's history and reelected on November 8, 2022. She is the first woman of color and the first woman Certified Public Accountant (CPA) elected to the position. The State Treasurer’s Office was created in the California Constitution in 1849. It provides financing for schools, roads, housing, recycling and waste management, hospitals, public facilities, and other crucial infrastructure projects that better the lives of residents. California is poised to become the world’s fourth-largest economy and Treasurer Ma is the state’s primary banker. Presently, her office processes more than $3 trillion in banking transactions. She provides transparency and oversight for the government’s investment portfolio and accounts, as well as for the state’s surplus funds. Treasurer Ma oversees an investment portfolio that currently averages over $200 billion—a significant portion of which is beneficially owned by more than 2,200 local governments in California. She serves as agent of sale for all State bonds and is trustee of billions of dollars of state indebtedness.

Frank Harris
Manager of Corporate Environmental Policy
Southern California Edison
Biography

Frank Harris

Manager of Corporate Environmental Policy
Southern California Edison

Frank Harris is the Manager of Corporate Environmental Policy at Southern California Edison. In this capacity he manages SCE’s greenhouse gas policy activities and represents SCE before the California Air Resources Board, the California Public Utilities Commission, and the California Energy Commission. Additionally, he is responsible for evaluating environmental and energy legislation and regulation, providing policy recommendations to SCE management and coordinating and communicating SCE policy recommendations to external stakeholders. Dr. Harris holds B.A. degrees in Economics and Finance from the University of Texas at Dallas and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Irvine where he specialized in Energy Policy and Public Choice.  His most recent publication “California Dreaming: The Economics, Politics, and Mechanics of Meeting California’s Carbon Mandate” was included in Generating Electricity in a Carbon Constrained World

James Stinson
Client Technical Professional, Financial Performance Management
IBM
Biography

James Stinson

Client Technical Professional, Financial Performance Management
IBM

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

Robert Ferrante
Chief Engineer & General Manager
Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts
Biography

Robert Ferrante

Chief Engineer & General Manager
Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts

Robert Ferrante is the Chief Engineer and General Manager for the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County.  He reports directly to the Boards of Directors of the Districts, comprised of the Mayors of the 78 cities located within its service area and the chair of the Board of Supervisors for unincorporated county territory.  In his position, he oversees all the departments and activities of the Districts’ operations.  He has worked for the Districts for 27 years in various roles dealing with wastewater operations, solid waste management, renewable energy, and air quality.  He is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer

Gunjan Bagla
CEO
Amritt, Inc.
Biography

Gunjan Bagla

CEO
Amritt, Inc.

Gunjan Bagla is CEO of Amritt Inc. a consulting firm that has a 20-year track record of building trade, technology and trust between USA and India. Executives from companies such as Boeing, Bose, Clorox, Digikey, Flex, Hewlett Packard, Medtronic. Nordic Naturals and Roche have benefited from Gunjan and Amritt’s expertise and insights on India.  In the green energy space. Westinghouse Nuclear hired Amritt the week after the 123 Civil Nuclear Energy was signed between India and the USA; Amritt also took smaller nuclear ecosystem suppliers such as Structural Integrity and Underwater Construction to meet India’s nuclear energy utility. Amritt was also hired by the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries to plan and guide a trade mission to India.

Gunjan has been quoted about business with India in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Washington Post, and New York Times and has appeared on Bloomberg TV, BBC TV and Fox Business in addition to NPR station KCRW. Gunjan writes about business with India for the Harvard Business Review and many trade publications and often speaks at local and global events about India.

Gunjan earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and an MBA with honors from Southern Illinois University.  He is the Past President of IIT Alumni and co-founder of India International Impact. Find him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/gunjan/ and @bagla on Twitter.

Timothy McOsker
15th District
LA City Council
Biography

Timothy McOsker

15th District
LA City Council

Timothy B. McOsker is a lifelong San Pedro resident and an attorney with over three decades of experience in government, regulatory and land development matters. Tim has had a long history of serving San Pedro, the city of Los Angeles and the State of California in numerous leadership roles, including as chief of staff for former Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn and as Hahn’s Chief Deputy City Attorney. Before serving in the City of Los Angeles, Tim served as City Attorney to various jurisdictions in Southern California.

Prior to being appointed CEO on Feb. 1, 2018, Tim represented AltaSea in critical legal matters

including the 2017 lease renegotiations with the Port of Los Angeles. His deep experience in land development, environmental issues, permitting, municipal law, and contracts will be crucial as AltaSea embarks on an ambitious next stage

of expansion and development of its 35 acre campus.

Tim is currently the chairman of the board of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce and a board member of Harbor Interfaith Services. McOsker is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and UCLA School of Law.

 

Darrell Steinberg*
Mayor
City of Sacramento
Biography

Darrell Steinberg*

Mayor
City of Sacramento

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

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

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

Tori Kjer
Los Angeles Program Director
The Trust for Public Land
Biography

Tori Kjer

Los Angeles Program Director
The Trust for Public Land

Tori Kjer, PLA, is the Program Director for the Trust for Public Land’s Los Angeles Program. She oversees the wide range of urban park and land protection projects implemented by The Trust for Public Land throughout Los Angeles County. Tori holds a Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture from CSU Pomona.

Ingrid Merriwether
President & CEO / Client Advisor
Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services
Biography

Ingrid Merriwether

President & CEO / Client Advisor
Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services

President and Chief Executive Officer Ingrid Merriwether enjoys applying over 25 years of insurance brokerage experience to overseeing production, marketing and corporate operations. She serves as client executive on several of the firm’s large accounts including the City of Los Angeles, City and County of San Francisco, and San Diego Regional Airport Authority, and takes an active role in initial risk exposure analyses and insurance/risk management program design. Ingrid is the chief architect of the firm’s Contractor Development and Bonding Programs, administered on behalf of major public entities and jurisdictions, and enjoys collaborating with clients, contractors and community members to create mutually beneficial outcomes. Collectively, these programs have enabled small and minority contractors to bid on over $874 Million in public works construction projects to-date, establishing strong bonding credit and building the foundation for ongoing business success.

Ingrid has earned her Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation, is a past member of the Board of Directors of Insurance Brokers & Agents of the West, is a member of Risk Management Forum and teaches insurance courses for business entrepreneurs. Her expertise and achievement in insurance and bonding, risk management and supplier diversity and inclusion has earned her numerous awards and honors, including Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs (S.F. Business Times), Fastest Growing Businesses in the U.S. (ICIC), Minority Advocate of the Year, Minority Business of the Year. She is an eloquent speaker and is frequently asked to present at conferences and events nationwide. Merriwether and Williams’ business practices reflect Ingrid’s philosophy of Aligned Risk Management, which is an approach to risk management that manages and reduces risk, while creating opportunity and inclusion for small, minority, women, disabled and veteran-owned businesses. She was born and raised in California and is passionate about supporting and serving the diverse communities which contribute to making the state unique, successful, and forward thinking.

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.

Tom Georgis
Senior Vice President, Development
SolarReserve
Biography

Tom Georgis

Senior Vice President, Development
SolarReserve

Mr. Georgis has over 20 years of development and operational experience in the energy, technology, and government service sectors, holding several senior management positions, most recently as Managing Director of International at GlobalTec Solutions, a privately held technology company where he was responsible for all aspects of the company's international expansion. Mr. Georgis was a Principal and Managing Director at Exodus Energy LLC a Houston based privately held power and natural gas firm. While at Exodus, Mr. Georgis focused on the development and acquisition of energy assets, acting as lead developer on several multi million dollar innovative technology energy facilities including natural gas storage, offshore LNG regasification, and petroleum coke gasification. Previously, Mr. Georgis was a manager at Enron Corp. where he was responsible for developing and structuring energy asset projects internationally; negotiating and closing over 500 MW of power generation agreements. Mr. Georgis's experience includes structuring transactions for energy and infrastructure projects, negotiating with lenders, and advising investors in all aspects of energy project acquisition and project development including: storage and transportation capacity sales, gas and alternative fuel power generation, natural gas pipeline arrangements, and power purchase agreements. Mr. Georgis also served nine years as a Naval Special Warfare Officer in the United States Navy. Mr. Georgis graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in International Studies and obtained a Masters of Business Administration degree from the Anderson School at the University of California Los Angeles.

Tyler Starrine
Associate Director of Creative Consulting
Designworks, A BMW Group Company
Biography

Tyler Starrine

Associate Director of Creative Consulting
Designworks, A BMW Group Company

Tyler Starrine joined the Designworks team in 2018 with a desire to leverage over a decade of consulting expertise to help brands realize their ambitions for the future. Tyler brings an incredible passion for identifying user needs and uncovering compelling brand truths to every project she’s a part of. From trend identification to developing new creative strategies, Tyler’s ability to surface insights and transform these into meaningful brand experiences has afforded her the opportunity to work with the most sought after brands in the world.  In her 15 year career, Tyler has worked with category leaders such as Apple, Nike, Google and Netflix – and has had the opportunity to partner with some of the brightest minds in the business.

Matt Golden
Principal
Efficiency.org
Biography

Matt Golden

Principal
Efficiency.org

Matt Golden is an entrepreneur and policy advocate, committed to bringing energy efficiency in the built environment to scale as a demand side resource. Matt’s work focuses on managing performance risk as it relates to energy finance in both energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Matt leads a number of projects for clients that include the development of 3D simulation based training for the US Department of Energy, real-time energy performance valuation using Smart Meter data for Pacific Gas and Electric and the Environmental Defense Fund’s Investor Confidence Project developing protocols for commercial energy efficiency, designed to reduce transaction costs, and develop actuarial data to unlock capital markets.  

Scott Saffian
General Manager-Western US
FLO
Biography

Scott Saffian

General Manager-Western US
FLO
Norihiko Saeki
Executive Director
JETRO Los Angeles
Biography

Norihiko Saeki

Executive Director
JETRO Los Angeles

Mr. Saeki serves as the Executive Director of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Los Angeles and coordinates the collaborations between the U.S. and Japanese Industries in the area of innovation, entertainment and investment.

He extensively tries to contribute to solve the social, environmental and energy issues in California and the U.S. by forefront and user-oriented technology with Japanese industries. In this capacity, he is responsible for the overall strategy and execution on innovation policy and the industries collaboration especially in hydrogen energy, water, smart cities, vehicle, aerospace defense and health care.

Mr. Saeki also serves as a Special Advisor to Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and his task is to recommend the policy options as well as promote collaboration at the governmental level and directly coordinate Japanese governmental support to the specific project.

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

He joined the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan in 2001 and has been in charge of various high-tech areas, such as aerospace and defense, metals & materials, bio, health care and information technology.

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

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

Stephanie Macoritto
Electrical Engineer Associate
LADWP
Biography

Stephanie Macoritto

Electrical Engineer Associate
LADWP

Stephanie Macoritto has been working as an Associate Electrical Engineer at Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for 6 years. Prior to securing this position, she was a Student Engineer with the LADWP for over 2 years during her final years at CSUN. She is currently a student at USC pursuing an MBA in General Business Administration and Management.

Lilly Shoup
Senior Director of Policy and Partnerships
Lyft
Biography

Lilly Shoup

Senior Director of Policy and Partnerships
Lyft

Lilly Shoup is Senior Director of Policy and Partnerships at Lyft. With a background in multimodal planning, performance management, and infrastructure, she focuses on national transportation policy to re-connect communities through sustainable transportation. Prior to joining Lyft, Lilly was a Principal at Nelson\Nygaard Consulting and served in the Office of Transportation Policy at the US Department of Transportation in Washington, DC where she managed the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. She is author of national publications on federal transportation policy and holds a Master in City and Regional Planning from the University of Maryland at College Park and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Public Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

James Goldstene
Executive Officer
California Air Resources Board
Biography

James Goldstene

Executive Officer
California Air Resources Board

James N. Goldstene is the Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board.  The Board has 11 members appointed by the Governor and is responsible for promoting and protecting the public health and ecological resources of California through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering the effects of its actions on the state’s economy.  To achieve this goal, the Executive Officer oversees the development and implementation of regulations and policies adopted by the Board and represents the ARB before the Legislature and in a wide variety of state, regional, national and international forums.  The California Air Resources Board has more than 1300 employees.

Goldstene was appointed Executive Officer in October 2007. Since then the Board has passed major rules to reduce diesel emissions from trucks, construction equipment and ships. It also adopted a comprehensive plan to reduce global warming pollutants under AB 32, California’s pioneering climate change legislation, and developed a range of measures and regulations to implement this plan, including the groundbreaking Low Carbon Fuel Standard and the establishment of a greenhouse gas emissions-trading program.  In 2008 the Obama administration adopted California’s standard for greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles as the standard for the entire nation. Currently, ARB is working with the U.S. EPA and the Department of Transportation to develop more stringent standards for vehicles from model year 2018 to 2025.

Prior to his appointment as Executive Officer, Goldstene served first as a specialist to coordinate the Board's involvement in California's Smog Check program. Later, as Senior Advisor to the Board's Office of Climate Change, he was also responsible for providing policy guidance and direction for the implementation of AB 32.

Prior to joining the Board, Goldstene served as Deputy Chief at the California Department of Consumer Affairs' Bureau of Automotive Repair, the agency responsible for regulating automotive repair dealers and running the state's Smog Check program.  His career history also includes key management positions with the Bureau of Barbering and Cosmetology, the State Contractors License Board, the California Pollution Control Financing Authority and other financing authorities in the Office of the State Treasurer. Goldstene served as Lieutenant Governor Leo McCarthy's environmental advisor in the early 1990s.

Goldstene also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Clean Air Agencies and is currently co-chair of the Western Climate Initiative Executive Committee.

Goldstene holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Government from California State University, Sacramento, where he served as part-time faculty in the Government Department for many years.  As part of his graduate studies, he completed a year studying in the Department of Politics at the University of Bristol in England.  Goldstene taught American government and political theory at California State University, Sacramento for many years.

Esther Feldman
President
Community Conservancy International
Biography

Esther Feldman

President
Community Conservancy International
Linda Griego
Board Member
AECOM
Biography

Linda Griego

Board Member
AECOM

Ms. Griego has served, since 1986, as president and chief executive officer of Griego Enterprises, Inc., a business management company that has overseen several entrepreneurial ventures in Los Angeles.

In 2015, Ms. Griego founded the MLK Health and Wellness Community Development Corp. charged with economic development oversight of LA County’s MLK Medical Campus in Watts.  Ms. Griego has held other civic-related appointments, including deputy mayor of the city of Los Angeles focused on economic development; president and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Community Development Bank charged with making loans in the federal economic empowerment zone; and president and chief executive officer of Rebuild LA, the agency created to coordinate a five-year economic recovery following the Los Angeles civil unrest.  

For two decades, she has served on boards of directors of non-profit organizations and government commissions.  She currently serves as a trustee of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation; and has served as a trustee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  She also serves on the boards of directors of the Art Center College of Design and the Community Development Technologies Center.  She has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations for twenty years; and was a founding member of the Pacific Council on International Policy.

For more than twenty years, she has served on the boards of corporations. Currently, she serves as a director of CBS Corporation, and a board member of AECOM Technology Corporation and American Funds. She was also a Los Angeles director of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Ms. Griego has maintained strong ties with UCLA since her graduation in 1975 when she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in History.  She is a former senior fellow of the UCLA School of Public Policy and former chair of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Advisory Board.  She currently serves on the UCLA Women’s Health Center advisory board. In 2008, she received the UCLA Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the university. 

Jennifer Kropke
Director of Environmental Workforce Engagement
IBEW/NECA LMCC
Biography

Jennifer Kropke

Director of Environmental Workforce Engagement
IBEW/NECA LMCC
Gunther Sleeuwagen
Ambassador
Consul General of Belgium to Los Angeles
Biography

Gunther Sleeuwagen

Ambassador
Consul General of Belgium to Los Angeles
Irene Burga
California Climate & Energy Manager
Environmental Defense Fund
Biography

Irene Burga

California Climate & Energy Manager
Environmental Defense Fund

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

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

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

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

Dean Wiberg
VP of Strategy and Partnerships
Gemini Motor
Biography

Dean Wiberg

VP of Strategy and Partnerships
Gemini Motor

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

Dean is on or has served on the board of directors for a number of companies and organizations including Gemini Motor (https://geminimotor.com), Empire Magnetics, the Foothill Municipal Water District, one of the 26 regional Southern California water districts, the Bernard Schriever chapter of the Air Force Association (AFA), the Board of Advisors for the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), the City’s business incubator for early stage cleantech companies and the advisory board for the California Technology Council. He has also been active in local government having served as the Chairman of a municipal planning commission and an elected City Councilman.

Dean holds a BS in Chemistry from Weber State University, an MS in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University, and an Executive MBA from the Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.

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

Lew Horne

Divisional President, Southern California, Arizona and Hawaii
CBRE

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

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

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

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

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

Professional Affiliations

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

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

-  Woodbury University, Board Member

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

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

-  Big Brothers / Big Sisters, Board of Directors 

Awards & achievements

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

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

-  Manager Innovation Award (2010)

-  Manager of the Year Award, Nationwide (2003)

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

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

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

EDUCATION

University of Southern California, Bachelor of Science in Business

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

Jim McDermott

Co-Founder and Managing Director
Rusheen Capital Management

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

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.

Liane Randolph
Chair
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Liane Randolph

Chair
California Air Resources Board

Liane Randolph has spent most of her career in public service, specializing in environmental law and policy, effective administration, and a commitment to transparency and public process. She was appointed Chair of the California Air Resources Board by Governor Gavin Newsom in December 2020. Starting in 2015, Randolph served six years as a Commissioner at the California Public Utilities Commission and managed numerous decisions on energy efficiency, integrated energy resource planning, and regulation of transportation network companies, as well as spearheading significant Commission policy reforms. Prior to the PUC, Randolph served from 2011 to 2014 as Deputy Secretary and General Counsel at the California Natural Resources Agency, where she worked on a wide variety of legal and policy issues, including work on the Klamath Dam Removal agreement, CEQA guidelines, and the Agency’s first Tribal Consultation Policy. Randolph’s first role with the State was as Chair of the California Fair Political Practices Commission from 2003 to 2007. Her work at the state level builds on experience with local government that she gained while practicing municipal law as a contract City Attorney for the Cities of San Leandro and Suisun City. Randolph earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and lives in Oakland with her husband and family. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, running, and reading.

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. In 2015, he was named chief sustainability officer of the Port.

In this role, Cannon is responsible for balancing commerce and growth with ecological sustainability and social responsibility at the nation’s busiest container port. The Environmental Management Division provides full environmental services related to water, soils and sediments, air and biological resources, and is responsible for preparation of environmental impact assessments mandated by state and federal law; special studies involving dredging, noise abatement, water quality and air quality; site restoration, remediation and contamination characterizations; wildlife management; and establishment of policies regarding environmental quality issues.

Cannon first worked at the Port of Los Angeles as a consultant, starting in 2004, where he worked with the Port Environmental Management Division’s Air Quality and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) groups, supporting the development of key air projects such as the Clean Air Action Plan as well as the Harbor Department’s efforts to complete critical environmental impact reports for Port-related projects. In 2008, he helped to develop and served as the Project Manager of the Port’s highly successful Clean Truck Program.
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 Government 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.

Ellie Dean
Senior Engineer, C40 Green Shipping Corridors
ARUP
Biography

Ellie Dean

Senior Engineer, C40 Green Shipping Corridors
ARUP

Ellie is a Senior Civil Engineer who has worked with Arup since 2016 in Sydney, Australia and moved to Los Angeles in 2022. She has a strong technical civil engineering and project and design management experience, having worked on multi-disciplinary maritime, highway, rail, aviation and site development projects in both Australia and the USA. She has extensive client facing experience with major government, contractor, and private clients, from feasibility and business case assessments through to detailed design and construction stages. She also spent 2 years working as a project engineer managing the day-to-day on-site construction activities with a rail contractor in Australia.

Since moving to LA, Ellie has acquired a niche experience working in the decarbonization of Ports and Shipping industry. From January 2023, Ellie has been seconded part-time to C40 Cities, as Senior Manager of the Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach and Port of Shanghai Green Shipping Corridor. This corridor aims to accelerate the achievement of decarbonization targets aligned with the 2023 IMO Greenhouse Gas Strategy for international shipping for the Ports, shipping carriers and cargo owners who use this shipping route.

Ellie is also a very strong communicator and team leader, with a passion for project delivery, sustainability, partnerships, mentorship, and multi-disciplinary collaboration.

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.

Greg Spotts
Director
Seattle Department of Transportation
Biography

Greg Spotts

Director
Seattle Department of Transportation

Greg Spotts serves as Executive Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer for the Los Angeles Bureau of Streer Services, (“StreetsLA”), shaping policies supporting active transportation, climate change adaptation, vehicle emissions reductions, and the adoption of sustainable construction practices. Greg is an internationally recognized leader in the emerging field of urban heat island mitigation, and oversees a growing program of cool pavement, tree planting and shade structure installation in underserved communities. As Executive Officer, Greg oversees three constituent-facing divisions that responds to more than 135,000 service requests annually. The 600 staff under his oversight handle pothole repair, motor sweeping, tree trimming, and the enforcement of laws pertaining to use of streets and sidewalks. Passionate about technology and innovation, Greg received a Mayoral Innovation Fund grant to equip pothole inspectors with tablets, enabling same-day inspection of service requests from the public. Greg has obtained a BA in Political Science from Yale University, and a Masters of Public Policy from UCLA, including a Leadership in Sustainability Certificate.

 
 
Melani Smith
Senior Director, Transit Oriented Communities
LA Metro
Biography

Melani Smith

Senior Director, Transit Oriented Communities
LA Metro

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

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

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

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

Michael George
Fmr. Delta Watermaster
State of California
Biography

Michael George

Fmr. Delta Watermaster
State of California

Michael Patrick George was appointed to a four-year term as Delta Watermaster beginning in January, 2015; he was re-appointed for a second four-year term through January of 2023.  The position of Delta Watermaster was created by the 2009 Delta Reform legislation.  The Delta Watermaster is an independent officer of the State reporting jointly to the State Water Resources Control Board and the Delta Stewardship Council.  The Watermaster has statutory responsibility for administering water rights within the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta and the Suisun Marsh.  Additionally, the Delta Watermaster advises the Board and the Council on related water rights, water quality and water operations in and affecting the Delta, which is, simultaneously, a critical estuarine habitat, a vital agricultural area, and the hub of California’s water infrastructure.

Prior being appointed, Mr. George was active in western water law and policy as a water lawyer, as the CEO of a publicly traded water resource management company, as a senior executive of an investor owned water utility and as an investment banker serving both public and private entities in the water industry.  He is an honors graduate of The University of Notre Dame where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and of the Georgetown University Law Center where he was an editor of Law and Policy in International Business.  Mr. George has lectured on California water resource issues at the University of California San Diego, the University of Southern California and the University of California at Berkeley.  He is a member of the California Bar.

 

Tom Whitton
Director of Business Development
PyroGenesis Canada Inc.
Biography

Tom Whitton

Director of Business Development
PyroGenesis Canada Inc.

Mr. Whitton obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from McGill University in 1991.  He began his career pursuing mandates in applied research, process engineering, and production management with ICI Explosives, Noranda, and Recyclex.  In 2001, Mr. Whitton joined PyroGenesis, where he occupied several roles in production, contract management and business development, principally with the company’s Advanced Materials division.  With the sale of this division in 2004, Mr. Whitton was transferred to Raymor Industries, becoming Director of Business Development, with responsibilities for growing the company’s powders and nanotechnology businesses along with presenting the company to the investment community in Canada and the US.  After a year-long stint as the powders division’s Director of Operations,  Mr. Whitton returned to PyroGenesis in 2009 to his current role.  At PyroGenesis, with his background and experience in engineering, operations, technology and business development, Mr. Whitton helps lead the company’s efforts in growing their plasma-based waste-to-energy and metallurgical technology businesses.  Mr. Whitton was an original elected board member of Ecotech Québec, the province’s new clean technology cluster, and continues to participate in the organization’s Regulatory and Fiscal Framework study group.  Mr. Whitton is also currently a sitting City Councillor for Deux-Montagnes, a suburb of Montreal, having been elected in 2009.

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.

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.

Jessie Buckmaster
Sustainability Manager
Hathaway Dinwiddie
Biography

Jessie Buckmaster

Sustainability Manager
Hathaway Dinwiddie

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

Hydee Feldstein Soto *
Los Angeles City Attorney
City of Los Angles
Biography

Hydee Feldstein Soto *

Los Angeles City Attorney
City of Los Angles

Hydee Feldstein Soto is the 43rd Los Angeles City Attorney. She is the City’s general counsel and serves as legal advisor to the Mayor, City Council, and to the hundreds of boards, departments, officers and entities.

​The City Attorney interprets federal, state, county and municipal laws for Los Angeles, drafts City ordinances and is responsible for the application, implementation, and enforcement of all laws within the jurisdiction, defending the City and its charter. In addition, the City Attorney oversees all litigation and other proceedings in which Los Angeles is involved and is responsible for civil and criminal misdemeanor enforcement actions. As the City’s chief prosecutor, Feldstein Soto oversees the prosecution of misdemeanors and the administration of criminal justice, including alternatives to incarceration. Her team of 1,000 legal professionals, including 500+ attorneys, carries out the City’s legal work at her direction.
 

Yair Crane
Principal
CTG Consulting
Biography

Yair Crane

Principal
CTG Consulting
Yair Crane serves as the Principal of CTG Consulting, offering Strategic Advisory, Consulting and Business Development Services for US and global clients, with a focus on clean energy and clean transportation technologies. Crane recently co-led a consultant team that created LA County Public Works' Renewable Energy Master Plan with a team he organized, and is engaged with several commercial and industrial clients on resiliency projects including on-site PV generation, storage, EV charging and microgrids.
 
Crane is also the Co-Chair of Young Professionals in Energy – LA Chapter.  Capitalizing on his deep network of senior-level relationships across the globe, Crane has a track record of accelerating the expansion of our Clean Energy ecosystem, building the institutional infrastructure and advancing funding, implementation, and commercialization of clean technologies.  He has worked in environmental consulting and compliance roles at technology and consulting firms, as well as prior roles in finance, wealth management, and cross-border investments.
 
Crane brings expertise in clean technology, energy/renewable energy, utilities, and clean transportation sectors, particularly in developing new business, implementing strategic channel partner relationships, and advocating for regulation and policies to support the Clean Energy Economy. Crane has traveled and worked in Israel, Mexico, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines and speaks Mandarin and Spanish.
Jerry Callahan
CEO
ISI Technology
Biography

Jerry Callahan

CEO
ISI Technology

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

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

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.

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

Uduak-Joe Ntuk

State Oil and Gas Supervisor
CA Geologic Energy Management Division

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

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

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

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

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

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.

William Rouse
General Manager
Yellow Cab of Los Angeles
Biography

William Rouse

General Manager
Yellow Cab of Los Angeles

As the fourth generation of his family in the taxicab business, William J. Rouse serves as General Manager of five taxicab fleets in the greater Los Angeles area, including Yellow Cab of Los Angeles, Long Beach Yellow Cab, United Checker Cab, South Bay Yellow Cab and Fiesta Taxi.  ASC is the largest taxicab organization in the Western United States with more than 1200 vehicles in its combined fleet.

Mr. Rouse is also affiliated with the management of San Diego Yellow Cab, with 330 vehicles in service, and California Yellow Cab, in Orange County, California, with over 200 vehicles.

Mr. Rouse graduated from the University of Southern California in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Finance and Business Economics. He received his law degree from the University of Southern California and was admitted to the bar in 1992. 

Mr. Rouse is the past President of the Taxicab Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA), his industry’s international taxicab trade association.  He is also serving his second term as President of the Taxicab Paratransit Association of California (TPAC), the industry’s statewide trade association.  He also recently completed a two-year term as Chair of the Long Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Rod Hamilton
Regional Program Manager
Los Angeles Community College District
Biography

Rod Hamilton

Regional Program Manager
Los Angeles Community College District
Colby Pellegrino
Colorado River Program Manager
Southern Nevada Water Authority
Biography

Colby Pellegrino

Colorado River Program Manager
Southern Nevada Water Authority

Colby Pellegrino is the Colorado River Program Manager for the Southern Nevada Water Authority where she has worked for the past 11 years.  A Las Vegas native, Colby leads and coordinates development of the Authority’s policies for protection of Nevada’s interests and rights to Colorado River water.  She serves as a primary spokesperson and representative on technical committees and in the development of multi-state agreements regarding the Colorado River; and administers and manages in-state water rights.

Colby has a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  

Sarah Montgomery
Economic & Trade Counsellor
British Embassy Washington
Biography

Sarah Montgomery

Economic & Trade Counsellor
British Embassy Washington
Gavin Purchas
Director, California Clean Energy Program
Environmental Defense Fund
Biography

Gavin Purchas

Director, California Clean Energy Program
Environmental Defense Fund
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.

Andrea Ambriz
General Manager
Exposition Park
Biography

Andrea Ambriz

General Manager
Exposition Park

Andrea Ambriz serves as the General Manager of Exposition Park, one of the largest public, open spaces in the heart of Los Angeles welcoming millions of visitors annually. With a commitment to building healthy, vibrant and safe communities, General Manager Ambriz was appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom to steward Exposition Park and bring her experience working successfully in community and policy development and engagement.

Exposition Park, a 160-acre renown state property, is home to celebrated museums, leading-edge sporting venues, recreational and educational facilities, and community assets that engage, entertain and accommodate visitors from near and far.  General Manager Ambriz believes in championing park and green equity and access through the Park, particularly to over half a million residents who live within a three-mile radius. As well, she recognizes the Park’s potential to serve as a world-class destination and community economic opportunity as it prepares to host the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games, following historic hosting of the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympic Games.

Prior to serving as General Manager, Ambriz was Deputy Secretary of External Affairs at the California Natural Resources Agency, cultivating strategic partnerships to facilitate the agency’s protection of California’s natural, historic and cultural resources. She previously served as Chief Operating Officer at River LA and as Chief of Staff at SEIU Local 2015. She also formerly held notable roles in the U.S. federal government, including for 44th U.S. President Barack Obama as White House Deputy Director of Private Sector Engagement and at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Ambriz has also worked in the California State Legislature, advising on diverse policies and initiatives, including advancing the allocation of over $400 million equitably to park-poor neighborhoods across California and supporting landmark clean-air legislation.

She serves on the Board of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Commission and the Municipal Improvement Corporation of Los Angeles among others. She is a Los Angeles native, and earned undergraduate degrees from DePaul University, and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

 

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).

Cathy Green
President, Division 6
Orange County Water District
Biography

Cathy Green

President, Division 6
Orange County Water District

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

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

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

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

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

Shari Afshari
Deputy Director
LA County Public Works
Biography

Shari Afshari

Deputy Director
LA County Public Works

Shari Afshari has been with Los Angeles County for 36 years. Currently, she serves as a Deputy Director for Los Angeles County Public Works over Environmental Services. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring the environmentally sustainable management of solid waste and recycling for over one million unincorporated area residents and 20,000 commercial accounts; operation and maintenance of sewer infrastructure for a population of over 2 million people within the County Unincorporated area and a total of 39 cities;

the operation of Public Works’ fleet which includes more than 3,000 pieces of on- and off-road vehicles and equipment as it transitions to a clean fleet through the use of alternative fuel and zero emission vehicles; as well as enterprise-wide services that consist of providing survey, mapping, and real property management services, as well as claims, litigation, and risk management support services. These essential services aid Public Works in delivering sustainable regional infrastructure and help ensure our communities and employees are safe.

Ms. Afshari also has extensive experience in local government and Public Works operations in the areas of design, construction, project management, water resources, transportation, infrastructure sustainability, and public buildings. She is a licensed civil engineer with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and a Master's degree in transportation and city planning from the California State University, Los Angeles.
James H. Caldwell, Jr.
Senior Technical Consultant
CEERT
Biography

James H. Caldwell, Jr.

Senior Technical Consultant
CEERT

James Caldwell, Jr. is CEERT’s Senior Technical Consultant. His academic and professional background includes over fifty years of experience in the energy industry. For the past thirty years, he has specialized in renewable technology and project development.

Jag Singh
Director of Business Development
SBI BioEnergy Inc.
Biography

Jag Singh

Director of Business Development
SBI BioEnergy Inc.

Jag is an industrial systems engineer transitioned into business development. Building a team of 3 employees to over 20 in 5 years, a subject matter expert in Industry 4.0 and Smart Automation principles, with many strategic partnerships and new products developed at a German automation start-up in Chicago. The experiences were directly applicable at SBI, where the past 3 years were spent entrenched in the hydrogen world. Jag has gained multiple OEM partners, strategic collaborators, secured funding in the clean energy start-up space- all centered around hydrogen. Jag spearheaded global campaigns for SBI, being placed in the top100 startups in the world, a champion of Plug & Play Japan, Startup Buddy Accelerator, and many opportunities through Global Affairs Canada (the Canadian Trade Commissioner Services) and many more. Attending to the business-focused demands, Jag is attending the Stanford's Graduate School of Business' LEAD program to gain more effective tools with the experience. Armed with smart data/automation, hydrogen technical experience, and engineering/business development experience Jag is a versatile member of the SBI Group.

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

Karen Hamberg

Vice President, Industry and Government Relations
Westport Fuel Systems

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

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

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

Mia Lehrer
President
Studio MLA Urban Design Landscape Architecture
Biography

Mia Lehrer

President
Studio MLA Urban Design Landscape Architecture

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

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

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

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

Ken Alston
Chief of Staff
New Nexus Energy
Biography

Ken Alston

Chief of Staff
New Nexus Energy

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

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

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

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

Claudia Gutierrez

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

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

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

Minh Le
General Manager
Los Angeles County Internal Services Department
Biography

Minh Le

General Manager
Los Angeles County Internal Services Department

Minh Le serves as the General Manager for Energy and Environmental Services for the County of Los Angeles’ Internal Service Department.  His team manages the County’s energy assets as well as regional energy programs.  Prior to this role, he served at the Office of Management and Budget and US Department of Energy where he led the SunShot Initiative.  Minh also worked in the private sector in solar and semiconductor manufacturing. He earned his SM and SB degrees from MIT.

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

Deana Carrillo

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

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

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

Alex Beavers
Chief Innovation Officer
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Biography

Alex Beavers

Chief Innovation Officer
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Alex N. Beavers, Jr., Ph.D.Alex Beavers is a 40-year veteran high-technology executive,entrepreneur, and author.He currently is the Chief Innovation Officer of Mote Marine Laboratory and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Ringling College of Artand DesignHis professional background includes being the Executive Directorin charge of clean tech commercializationaSRI International (Stanford Research Institute), founder and CEO of Averatek Corp., founding CEO of Artificial Muscle, Inc.CEO of Thomson IndustriesCEO of ITP Systems , CEO of Applicon, Inc., CEO of Schlumberger Automation Systems Asia, Gof the General Electric Robotics and Vision Systems Business, Managing Partner of the PwC High Tech Practice, and Principal in charge of high technology consulting practice at Booz, Allen & HamiltonHis academic background includes a BSEE (Vanderbilt University), aMSEE and a PhDEE (University of Houston), and an MBA (Boston University)He has one patent issued and three pendingHe has also authored over 25 papers in technical journals and trade magazines,has authored two book(Roadmap to the e-Factory and The Digital Horizon: Hopeful or Hopeless)and was the editor of a third book (Life Wins!)

Mark Sadovnick
Managing Partner
5th Element Group
Biography

Mark Sadovnick

Managing Partner
5th Element Group

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. 

Mick Dalrymple
Chief Sustainability Officer
University of Southern California
Biography

Mick Dalrymple

Chief Sustainability Officer
University of Southern California

As Chief Sustainability Officer, Mick Dalrymple helps the University of Southern California reach its ambitious Assignment Earth sustainability goals. With 21 years of accomplishment in the sustainability field, he helped Arizona State University earn the #1 ranking in Sierra Magazine’s Coolest Schools list and carbon neutrality six years early. Dalrymple is also a produced feature film screenwriter and an author of more than fifty published green building and sustainability articles. He earned his Masters of International Management from Thunderbird, an MBA from ASU, and a Bachelor of Arts with High Distinction in Electrical Engineering, Engineering Math, and International Relations from the University of Arizona.

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.  

Rajit Gadh
Professor
UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science
Biography

Rajit Gadh

Professor
UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science

Dr. Rajit Gadh is a Professor at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at UCLA, and the Founding Director of the UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center. He is also Founder and Director of the Wireless Internet for Mobile Enterprise Consortium. Dr. Gadh's research interests include Smart Grid Architectures, Smart wireless communications, sense and control for Demand Response. He has over 150 papers in journals, conferences and technical magazines, and, 3 patents granted.

He has a Doctorate degree from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), a Masters from Cornell University and a Bachelors degree from IIT Kanpur. He has taught as a visiting researcher at UC Berkeley, has been a Assistant, Associate and Full Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and did his sabbatical as a visiting researcher at Stanford University for a year. 

Tetsuo Moriyama
CEO
Carbon Xtract
Biography

Tetsuo Moriyama

CEO
Carbon Xtract

Moriyama is the CEO of Carbon Xtract Corporation, a developer of direct air capture technology and solutions based on separation membranes. Before joining Carbon Xtract, he spent 15 years at Sojitz Corporation, one of the major Japanese trading and investment houses. There, he was responsible for sales and investment management in its metal resources business division, and for new business development related to nanomaterials and climate tech solutions. In 2023, Sojitz and Kyushu University, which has advanced R&D in direct air capture technology that captures and condenses CO2 simply by passing air through a membrane system, jointly established Carbon Xtract. At that time, he was appointed as CEO.

Peter Luchetti
Board Member
California Infrastructure & Economic Development Bank
Biography

Peter Luchetti

Board Member
California Infrastructure & Economic Development Bank

Peter Luchetti is the founder of Table Rock Capital LLC (“TRC”) an infrastructure fund that invests in transportation, energy, social infrastructure, water & waste, and communications.

From 1994 to 2004, Mr. Luchetti was Global Head of Project Finance for Banc of America where he managed a 140- person team working in 32 countries around a $5.5 billion portfolio of private debt and equity covering all infrastructure sectors.

Mr. Luchetti was appointed by the Governor of California to the Board of the California Infrastructure Bank in October 2013 where he serves as Vice Chair. Mr. Luchetti also serves on the Board of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute (“BAEI”) as well as the portfolio companies that comprise the TRC portfolio.  He has completed 5 white papers on infrastructure and played a central role in the formation of the Marin Energy Authority (“MEA”) the first Community Choice Aggregation enterprise in California. 

Peter J. Sawicki
Regional Director, Sales and Marketing
Mitsubishi Power Americas, Inc.
Biography

Peter J. Sawicki

Regional Director, Sales and Marketing
Mitsubishi Power Americas, Inc.

Peter Sawicki is the Regional Director for Sales and Marketing – Pacific West at Mitsubishi Power Americas, a major equipment supplier and energy solutions provider for the power industry. Peter is based in San Diego, CA and is responsible for Mitsubishi Power’s sales and marketing activities on the West Coast. Peter has over 25 years of experience in the power industry with roles in design engineering, project management, project development and sales. Peter earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Manhattan College and his MBA Finance from Fordham University.

Andrea Redford
Chief Business Development Officer
Enerkem
Biography

Andrea Redford

Chief Business Development Officer
Enerkem
Nicole Gordon
Partner
Sohagi Law Group
Biography

Nicole Gordon

Partner
Sohagi Law Group

Ms. Gordon, a partner at The Sohagi Law Group, advises public agencies on complex environmental and land use matters at the administrative, trial, and appellate level. She focuses her practice on complex issues and projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the federal and California Endangered Species Act (ESA), and Planning and Zoning Laws.

As the 2018-2019 Chair of the Executive Committee of the Environmental Law Section of the California Lawyers Association (formerly a division of the State Bar), Ms. Gordon is at the forefront of the environmental law issues with which public agencies must grapple. Ms. Gordon has also been recognized as a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” and is a frequent lecturer on environmental matters at various public and private workshops, including courses and conferences sponsored by UCLA, Continuing Legal Education (CLE), the Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP), and the American Planning Association (APA).

Mark Bozigian
City Manager
City of Lancaster
Biography

Mark Bozigian

City Manager
City of Lancaster

Mark Bozigian has been with the City of Lancaster for over 22 years, serving as City Manager since 2008. Prior to that, he served as Assistant City Manager, Redevelopment Director, Assistant to the City Manager, and Transportation Programs Coordinator. In total, Mr. Bozigian has been in the public sector for approximately 25 years.

Mr. Bozigian’s primary areas of emphasis have been public safety, economic development, redevelopment, transportation, neighborhood revitalization, budgeting, government relations, and grant funding. Prior to his employment with the City, Mr. Bozigian was employed by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for three years in the Capital Planning and Programming Department. In that time, he directed many MTA programs including the MTA Call for Projects competitive grants program. During his last year at the MTA, he was the Director of the agency’s Long Range Financial Planning Section.

Prior to his work in the public sector, Mr. Bozigian worked for twelve years in the private sector. He began his professional career at Hughes Aircraft Company. During his ten years at Hughes Aircraft, he held various management positions including that of Business Manager for two laser production programs.

Mr. Bozigian also has experience as a realtor and as a partner in a small business and holds both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University. He and his wife live in the Antelope Valley and have two adult children.

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.

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

Jim Avery

Senior Vice President, Power Supply
San Diego Gas & Electric
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.

Art Bilger
Founder & CEO
WorkingNation
Biography

Art Bilger

Founder & CEO
WorkingNation

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

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

 
Melanie Nutter
former Director
San Francisco Department of Environment
Biography

Melanie Nutter

former Director
San Francisco Department of Environment

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Agnew

Managing Director, Government Affairs
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets

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

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

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

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

 

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.

Gordon Feller
Board Member; Global Fellow: The Smithsonian
IP KEYS Corp/The Smithsonian
Biography

Gordon Feller

Board Member; Global Fellow: The Smithsonian
IP KEYS Corp/The Smithsonian
Gordon Feller has worked for more than four decades at the intersection of environmental change, global security, and technology innovation. His aim has always been to accelerate the emergence of tools and systems that strengthen our communities and enhance their sustainability.
 
Upon arriving in Silicon Valley in 1983 he began to work inside the executive suite, developing projects for corporate giants which aimed to solve some of the world’s most complex problems. Current and past clients include World Bank, EY, S&P, Deloitte, McGraw-Hill, HP, IHS Markit, Parsons, MIT, Gannett, World Economic Forum, Ford Motor Co. Toyota, Stanford University, Univ. of Calif., IBM, The Financial Times of London, The Economist Group, Apple, International Telecommunications Union, International Standards Organization, Chevron, Bechtel, Lockheed, The Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, UN, numerous national governments (Germany, Canada, US), ThomsonReuters, and many others.
 
From 2010 to 2017, he served as Director of Urban Innovation at Cisco Systems HQ. He founded Meeting of the Minds in the 1990s, stitching together a global leadership network which focused on transitions and transformations, and during its first 8 years it was based inside World Bank headquarters. Gordon was appointed by the Obama/Biden White House to serve on the US Federal Comm. established by The US Congress, reporting to the US Sect. of Energy.
 
Gordon’s first published article was published in 1979. Since then he’s published more than 450 articles. While completing multiple degrees at Columbia University Gordon served as a Wallach Fellow of World Order Studies, a Dean’s Fellow, and a Gov. Lehman Fellow. He was later awarded the Prime Minister Abe Fellowship by Japan.
Stan Tomsic
Executive Director
PortTechLA
Biography

Stan Tomsic

Executive Director
PortTechLA

Stan Tomsic is Executive Director of PortTechLA , a business commercialization and incubation center for Port related technologies in environment, energy, security/safety and transportation/logistics.  As a serial entrepreneur, Stan's experience in the technology and green/clean tech industries spans over 25 years. He was founder and co-founder of several companies where he held management, executive and CEO positions. Stan was the administrator of the Business Technology Center of Los Angeles County, an accelerator incubator for high technology entrepreneurial companies. He is a partner of ACODA Technology & Investments, LLC, a firm specializing in strategic assistance, business consulting, investments and mergers and acquisitions for technology and services companies. Stan is also a Pasadena Angel, serves as a member of the board of directors and advisors for several technology companies, and is a member of numerous professional organizations. He is chairman emeritus of the Executive Committee of the Caltech/MIT Enterprise Forum, co-founder and chairman of the Business Incubation Network of Southern California (BINS) and LA Metro Director for Cleantech Open. Stan frequently presents and speaks on entrepreneurship, incubation and high tech start-ups.

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."

Hillary Hebert
Clean Energy Regulatory/Policy Consultant
HMH Energy Consulting Inc
Biography

Hillary Hebert

Clean Energy Regulatory/Policy Consultant
HMH Energy Consulting Inc

Hilary Hebert is a California energy industry expert specializing in resource planning, clean energy procurement, energy efficiency and demand response. Effective navigator of California regulatory and legislative issues. Known for ability to clearly frame the issues, facilitate, problem-solve and influence stakeholders with diverse perspectives to find common ground. Extensive experience in managing and interpreting technical analysis. Believes that preparation and giving people the benefit of the doubt are the keys to solving problems. Recognized by executives, direct reports and colleagues as effective listener, collaborator, communicator, and advocator, earning high levels of trust and respect.

Lauren Faber O'Connor*
Operating Partner
Lowercarbon Capital
Biography

Lauren Faber O'Connor*

Operating Partner
Lowercarbon Capital

Lauren is a 18+ year veteran in the climate and clean energy community. She has a proven track record of delivering multi-disciplinary strategies and solutions on climate initiatives for the public, private, and non-profit sectors at every scale of government.

As the sustainability & climate chief for the second largest city in America, Lauren developed a city-wide and beyond integrated approach to climate action grounded in equity, science-based ambition, clear and measurable metrics, and roles, accountability, and opportunity for leadership for every player on the team (e.g. 35 city departments, in-house issue experts, civil society partners). Her portfolio linked together wide ranging issues in clean energy, clean transportation, clean water, healthy food, urban ecosystems, resilience, built environment, and green economy.

Lauren is a trusted and respected partner to local and national business, philanthropic, and community-based organizations, as well as to a wide network of counterparts in cities globally. She has built national networks such as Climate Mayors and an international platform at C40. She also brings an important blend of DC experience, understanding, and connections, with deep and successful on-the-ground experience in both coalition building, advocacy and strategy, as well as policy development and implementation at the state, local, and international levels.

Lauren has been recognized as 40 under 40 Public Utilities Fortnightly 2021, 2019 LA Power Woman by Bisnow, and 2018 Climate Leader to Watch by E&E News. Her work to spearhead the unprecedented LA100 study of a 100% renewable energy grid between the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has been awarded for Municipal Innovation by the US Green Buildings Council of Los Angeles, Renewable Energy Leader by the Los Angeles Business Council, and Clean Power Champion by the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies. LA's Green New Deal, of which she is the chief architect, has been awarded the UN Future Policy Award and the United States Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Award.

Lev Goldberg
CEO & Co-Founder
Aquify-an Exelon Company
Biography

Lev Goldberg

CEO & Co-Founder
Aquify-an Exelon Company

Lev Goldberg is CEO and co-founder of Aquify and is passionate about finding new, creative ways to solve our cities’ large, infrastructure challenges. As a marketing and sales executive for more than 20 years, Lev has led marketing, communications, and sales strategy teams for Exelon’s Constellation business unit, helping businesses and public sector agencies manage energy costs and risks.

Prior to Constellation, Lev led marketing and international sales for North America’s most successful heat exchanger manufacturer serving the commercial and industrial refrigeration and air conditioning industry. He is also a lifelong entrepreneur, having launched multiple publishing companies. In 2019 Lev co-founded Aquify with Patrick Graves.

Jennifer Ganata
Senior Staff Attorney
Communities for a Better Environment
Biography

Jennifer Ganata

Senior Staff Attorney
Communities for a Better Environment

Jennifer Ganata joined Communities for a Better Environment in September 2018.   Previously she worked at Communities for a Better Environment from 2007 to 2012 as a youth organizer and a legal fellow.  She transitioned from doing environmental justice work to housing by starting her housing career at Eviction Defense Network.  Before returning to CBE, Jennifer was a senior staff attorney at Inner City Law Center where she did eviction defense and land use.

Jennifer has a deep interest in connecting her passion for environmental justice and housing in order to defend frontline communities’ right to housing and a better environment.  She believes that organizing is key to helping move our communities away from investing in an extractive economy.

Jennifer has a BA in Ethnic Studies and a minor in Urban Studies and Planning from University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Jennifer received a JD from City University of New York (CUNY), where she was trained through the Adult Defender Clinical program and an LL.M from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she focused on Critical Race Studies.  She is a member of the National Lawyers Guild in Los Angeles.

Daniel Curtin
Director
California Conference of Carpenters
Biography

Daniel Curtin

Director
California Conference of Carpenters

Daniel M. Curtin was appointed to State Fund’s Board of Directors by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009 and reappointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 2012 and 2019.

He was one of three appointees to State Fund’s Board of Directors in 2009, following AB 1874 which restructured and expanded membership on the board.

Curtin has served as Director of the California Conference of Carpenters since 2001, and previously held the same position from 1992 to 1999.

Curtin is on the Board of Directors of the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy, California State Water Commission and on the Industrial Welfare Commission. He also served on California Economic Development Commission.

From 1999 to 2001, Curtin served as chief deputy director for the Department of Industrial Relations. Prior to that, he was a legislative advocate for the California Conference of Carpenters. 

With more than 25 years of labor experience as an organizer and advocate, Curtin also holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from City College of New York.

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

Masahiko Takei

Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

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

Jeffrey Kightlinger
General Manager & CEO
Metropolitan Water District
Biography

Jeffrey Kightlinger

General Manager & CEO
Metropolitan Water District

Jeffrey Kightlinger is general manager and chief executive officer for The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The Metropolitan Water District is the largest municipal water provider in the nation delivering an average of over 2 billion gallons of water a day to 19 million customers across Southern California.  Metropolitan serves one out of every two Californians in the six counties of Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego.

Kightlinger was appointed general manager in February 2006.  Prior to that, he served as the general counsel for the agency.

Thomas Day Jr
Chief Sustainability Officer
United States Postal Service
Biography

Thomas Day Jr

Chief Sustainability Officer
United States Postal Service

Thomas Day was named Chief Sustainability Officer in June 2011. He leads the USPS effort of being a sustainability leader by creating a culture of conservation throughout the Postal Service and leading the adoption of sustainable business practices. Prior to serving in this role, he was Senior Vice President, Intelligent Mail and Address Quality (2007-2011) and Senior Vice President, Government Relations (2005-2007). From 2001-2005, he was Vice President, Engineering.

Day is a third generation employee who entered the Postal Service as a management associate in the Northeast Region in 1984 following five years’ service as an officer in the U.S. Army. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering in 1978. He represented the Postal Service as a Sloan Fellow at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, where he earned a master of science degree in management in 1996.

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

Tim Dafeta, P.E.

Assistant General Manager
City of Los Angeles Hyperion Treatment Plant

Tim Dafeta is a registered civil engineer with the State of California.  Tim is currently the Plant Manager of the City of Los Angeles Hyperion Treatment Plant. Hyperion Treatment Plant is one of the largest plants in the world, with a 450 million gallon per day (MGD) average dry weather capacity and highly technical operations, including full secondary treatment with pure oxygen activated sludge, Class A anaerobic digestion, cryogenic oxygen generation, air emission controls and odor management facilities, biogas power generation, and a variety of offsite biosolids reuse alternatives. Approximately 35 MGD of secondary effluent is transported to a neighboring water district for further treatment and reuse by other local users.

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

Patrick Holland

Principal Engineer
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

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

Christine Peterson
Director of International Trade & Investment
City of LA
Biography

Christine Peterson

Director of International Trade & Investment
City of LA

Christine Peterson facilitates sustainable and inclusive international opportunities for Los Angeles. She supports international trade growth, strengthens the City’s relationships with foreign governments and businesses, and attracts foreign direct investment to Los Angeles. Christine encourages international, cutting-edge companies and entrepreneurs to expand operations, launch innovation centers, and open manufacturing facilities in L.A. to create good-paying jobs for Angelenos. She also works to equip small businesses with resources, tools, and financing to sell their products and services to consumers around the world and grow their businesses locally. Christine led the creation and launch of Global LA –  a new public-private partnership and nonprofit to promote LA globally to attract job-creating international investment to LA ahead of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games with a focus on underserved communities. She advises the Mayor and her team on international trade, investment, and economic issues and has led or participated in virtual and in-person trade and economic missions on behalf of the City to the UK, Mexico, New Zealand, Kenya, Vietnam, Japan, and Indonesia.

Previously, Christine developed U.S. intellectual property (IP) and innovation trade policy in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and negotiated IP commitments in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. She also led the IP Working Group of the U.S.-UK Trade and Investment Working Group during Brexit.  As chair of the interagency Special 301 committee, she managed the U.S. government’s annual reviews and reports of IP protection and enforcement in countries and marketplaces around the world (“Special 301 Report” and “Notorious Markets List”). She also led the IP reviews and negotiations to determine Ukraine’s eligibility and reinstate benefits for Argentina under the Generalized System of Preferences. Prior, she worked in the International Trade Administration in the U.S. Department of Commerce where she assisted IP-intensive companies in developing export strategies and addressing trade barriers. She holds a JD magna cum laude from American University Washington College of Law and a BA in Art History with honors from Smith College.
 

Richard Bruckner
Senior Land Use Specialist
Mayer Brown
Biography

Richard Bruckner

Senior Land Use Specialist
Mayer Brown

Richard Bruckner is a senior land use specialist in Mayer Brown’s Los Angeles office. Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Richard was director of Los Angeles County’s Department of Regional Planning, which provides advance planning, current planning and land use regulation enforcement for the unincorporated area of the county, which has a population of approximately one million. Prior to that, he was the director of planning and development for the City of Pasadena, with responsibilities in citywide economic development, planning, building, code enforcement, cultural affairs, real estate and the management of eight redevelopment projects areas. Previous to his work for Pasadena, he served as the deputy executive director of the Community Development Department for the City of Anaheim, California.

Abigale Abel
Affiliate
CityFi
Biography

Abigale Abel

Affiliate
CityFi

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

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

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

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

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

Jim Newton
Editor-in-Chief
Blueprint
Biography

Jim Newton

Editor-in-Chief
Blueprint

Jim Newton is a veteran journalist, author and teacher. In 25 years at the Los Angeles Times, Newton worked as a reporter, editor, bureau chief, columnist and, from 2007 through 2010, editor of the editorial pages. He is the recipient of numerous national and local awards in journalism and participated in two staff efforts, coverage of the 1992 riots and the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, that were awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

Before coming to The Times, he was a reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and he began his career as the 1985-86 clerk to New York Times columnist James Reston. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College.

He came to UCLA full-time in early 2015 to teach in Communication Studies and Public Policy and to found Blueprint, a new UCLA magazine (blueprint.ucla.edu) addressing the policy challenges facing California and Los Angeles in particular. He serves as the magazine’s editor-in-chief.

Newton also is a respected author of three important, best-selling and critically acclaimed works of history: Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made (Riverhead, 2006); Eisenhower: The White House Years (Doubleday, 2011); and Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace (Penguin Press, 2014), a collaboration with former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. He is at work on a fourth book, tentatively entitled Jerry Brown and the Creation of Modern California, a history of the state since 1960 as well as a biography of its longest-serving governor. It is scheduled for publication in 2019 by Little, Brown.

Shayne Petkiewicz
Business Development Manager
Anaergia
Biography

Shayne Petkiewicz

Business Development Manager
Anaergia

Shayne Petkiewicz has held the position of Business Development Manager in Anaegia Inc. since July 2020. Before working with Anaegia, Petkiewicz was the Sales and Marketing Advisor with PowerTech Water in 2019-2020. Prior to PowerTech Water, he was the Business Development Manager at Puraffinity in 2016-2019.

Before heading into the business and marketing side of development, he was a research assistant in Joint BioEnergy Institute in 2015, analytical chemist with Amyris Inc in 2014, research assistant in Berkeley Lab in 2013, and a laboratory technician with Sirona Fuels in 2011.  

Shayne Petkiewicz graduated from Imperial College London with a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in University of California, Berkeley beforehand. 

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.

Atsushi Denda
Deputy Director
Institute of Technology, Shimizu Corporation
Biography

Atsushi Denda

Deputy Director
Institute of Technology, Shimizu Corporation
Ryan Harty
Director of Sustainability and Business Development
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Biography

Ryan Harty

Director of Sustainability and Business Development
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Ryan Harty is the Director of the Sustainability & Business Development business unit at American Honda Motor Co., Inc., (AHM). He is responsible for the strategy and business execution for Honda’s Triple Zero initiatives of 100% carbon neutral products and operations, 100% clean energy use throughout the value chain, and 100% use of recycled and sustainable materials by 2050. Ryan is applying his passion to the business and technology of vehicle electrification. In his spare time, he enjoys playing and coaching the sport of curling at the Orange County Curling Club.

Linda Glasier
Environmental Specialist
State of Washington Department of Ecology
Biography

Linda Glasier

Environmental Specialist
State of Washington Department of Ecology

Ms Glasier has enjoyed working in a diverse array of jobs and agencies in the public sector. These have ranged from Environmental Director with Department of Correction to Unit Supervisor with the Ecology SWRO-HWTR program. 

In 2009 she graduated from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute which specializes in a green/sustainable MBA program. The business of sustainability and meshing economics with a thriving environment have long been a deep interest of hers.

Other interests include travel, tennis, marathon running, trying different things and being part of a local Aztec dance group. 

Matt Harper
Chief Commercial Officer
Invinity Energy Systems
Biography

Matt Harper

Chief Commercial Officer
Invinity Energy Systems

Matt is a clean-tech entrepreneur and product developer. His expertise is in using advanced technologies to develop revolutionary industrial and commercial products; his passion is in helping companies adopt those products to build sustainable, profitable businesses. Matt’s experience includes pioneering work in electrical energy storage, wastewater treatment, hydrogen generation and fuel cell vehicles.

As Chief Commercial Officer of Invinity Energy Systems, Matt is responsible for the commercialization and deployment of Invinity’s groundbreaking vanadium flow battery-based energy storage solutions. Invinity’s mission is to make our future electric system more economically and ecologically sustainable by delivering the safest, most dependable, and most economical energy storage solutions currently serving the electric grid.

Matt holds a master’s degree in management and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and is the inventor of numerous patents related to energy storage and other industrial technologies. 

Lorraine Paskett
Executive Director, Advanced Clean Hydrogen
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
Biography

Lorraine Paskett

Executive Director, Advanced Clean Hydrogen
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.

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

Currently, Ms. Paskett serves as Executive Director, Advanced Clean Hydrogen, for Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.

Gary Gero
Chief of Staff
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Gary Gero

Chief of Staff
City of Los Angeles

Gary Gero currently serves the City of Los Angeles as the Chief of Staff in the Office of the LA City Council. 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.

Janna Sidley
Board Member/Partner
LACERS/Ichor Strategies
Biography

Janna Sidley

Board Member/Partner
LACERS/Ichor Strategies

Recently retired, Janna Sidley was honored to serve as the first female general counsel for the Port of Los Angeles for over nine years. Ms. Sidley’s career with the City of Los Angeles began in 2003. 

In addition to Ms. Sidley’s work with LA, she serves as a Commissioner of the California Milton Marks “Little Hoover” Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy, appointed in 2016 by Governor Brown and reappointed by Governor Newsom. 

Ms. Sidley was honored in 2020 as a member of Lawyers of Distinction and in 2019 received a Leader in the Law award from the Los Angeles Business Journal. 

Ms. Sidley holds a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School and a Bachelor of Arts, Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

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.
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. 

Adam Lovell
Executive Director
Water Services Association of Australia
Biography

Adam Lovell

Executive Director
Water Services Association of Australia
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.
Lee Bailey
Managing Director/Managing Partner
US Renewables Group
Biography

Lee Bailey

Managing Director/Managing Partner
US Renewables Group

Lee Bailey is a founder of US Renewables Group, a Private Equity fund based in Los Angeles that has invested broadly in renewable power and clean fuels including solar, wind, geothermal, storage, and numerous fuel projects (ethanol, biodiesel, waste-to-fuel).  Prior to joining USRG, Mr. Bailey was a partner with Rustic Canyon Partners, where he focused on investing in energy-based technology companies. He has over 37 years of company operating experience, fund management, and government service, primarily in the areas of renewable energy.  

Clare Fox
Executive Director
Los Angeles Food Policy Council
Biography

Clare Fox

Executive Director
Los Angeles Food Policy Council

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

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.

Adam Rasken
Director of Origination
True Green Capital Management
Biography

Adam Rasken

Director of Origination
True Green Capital Management
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.

Amanda Eaken
Director, Transportation and Climate
Natural Resources Defense Council
Biography

Amanda Eaken

Director, Transportation and Climate
Natural Resources Defense Council

As an advocate for sustainable urban planning, Amanda Eaken focuses on slashing transportation-related pollution. She played a key role in the formulation and implementation of California's 2008 Sustainable Communities Act, which gives regions funding and incentives to develop emission-reducing strategies. Before joining NRDC, Eaken managed affordable-housing construction for a nonprofit developer in San Francisco. She holds a bachelor's in environmental and evolutionary biology from Dartmouth College and a master's in transportation and land-use planning from the University of California, Berkeley. She is based in San Francisco.

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.

Kezia Daniels
Executive Assistant
Port of Long Beach
Biography

Kezia Daniels

Executive Assistant
Port of Long Beach

Accomplished executive assistant offering 30+ years of successful administrative experience with proven ability to provide professional support to busy top executives with positive results in various industries. Dedicated, detail-oriented administrator, with a strong work ethic. Experienced in office management, and the development, implementation, and administration of programs and initiatives, fiscal accountability, and issue management. Creative thinker with great skills in planning and conceptualizing. Motivated and innovative leader, who values confidentiality and has a unique ability for staying on top of deliverables and timely resolution of issues. Organized and deadline conscious individual who is highly skilled at managing multiple projects. Solid communicator and relationship builder that is customer service oriented and comfortable dealing with vendors, staff, and clients.

Matt McClory
Manager
Toyota Technical Center
Biography

Matt McClory

Manager
Toyota Technical Center

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

David B. Calabrese
Sr. VP, Government Affairs; General Manager, DC Office
Daikin US Corporation
Biography

David B. Calabrese

Sr. VP, Government Affairs; General Manager, DC Office
Daikin US Corporation

David B. Calabrese is the Senior Vice President for Government Affairs and Deputy General Manager of the Washington, DC Office with Daikin U.S. Corporation.  Daikin U.S. Corporation (Daikin) is a subsidiary of Daikin Industries, Ltd., the world’s largest air conditioning equipment manufacturer.  The Daikin Group in the United States also includes Daikin Applied America’s and Goodman Manufacturing Company.  In this role, Mr. Calabrese is responsible for the managing the organization’s government affairs activities in North America with regard to federal regulatory, legislative and state activity. 

Previously to his role at Daikin, Mr. Calabrese was the General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Public Policy for the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).  AHRI is the trade association representing manufacturers of air conditioning, heating, and commercial refrigeration equipment.  In this position, he directed the association’s legal, government relations, regulatory, research, and international affairs activities and public policy strategies on federal, state and international issues.

Prior to AHRI Mr. Calabrese was the Vice President of Government Relations for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) and was responsible for directing the association’s public policy strategies on federal, state and international issues.  In this position, he was an advocate for the home appliance industry before state and federal regulatory and legislative bodies on energy efficiency, product safety, and general regulatory and legislative issues. 

Mr. Calabrese’s previous work experience includes ten years as a Director of Government Relations with the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) where he managed the association’s advocacy on international trade and technology issues.  While at EIA, David served on four government advisory committees, focusing on international trade, foreign affairs and technology issues, at the Department of Commerce and the Department of State. 

David also worked as an attorney with the law firm Dewey Ballantine LLP practicing general corporate and international trade law in their Washington, D.C. office and representing trade association clients on Capitol Hill and with federal agencies.     

Mr. Calabrese earned his Law Degree from the George Washington University’s School of Law and his Master’s Degree in International Economics from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.  He is currently an adjunct professor at both schools teaching public speaking and international trade law.  He is admitted to practice law in the state of New Jersey and the District of Columbia and before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.    

 

Kevin Kushman
President
Integral Analytics
Biography

Kevin Kushman

President
Integral Analytics

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

Richard Katz
President
Board of Water and Power Commissioners
Biography

Richard Katz

President
Board of Water and Power Commissioners

Richard Katz is a longtime public servant and state policymaker with specific expertise in the areas of water, transportation, land use, and energy.

Katz served in the California State Assembly representing the North and East San Fernando Valley from 1980 until 1996. For 10 years, he served as Chair of the powerful Assembly Transportation Committee. During his tenure, he authored Proposition 111, a 10-year Transportation Blueprint passed by the voters, and created the Congestion Management Plan, requiring cities and counties to measure and mitigate impacts of land use decisions on their streets, highways and transit systems. He wrote the legislation that created the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, merging the Southern California Rapid Transit District with the LA County Transportation Commission, which became the current day Metro.

Richard was California’s lead negotiator for the landmark Colorado River Agreement between the State of California, the Federal Government, four California Water Agencies, and the six Colorado River Basin States, furthering his expertise as a negotiator on issues of statewide significance. Katz had already played a pivotal role in renegotiating $30 billion worth of California’s Energy contracts and developing California’s Transportation Blueprint for the 21st Century, which the voters approved as Proposition 111 in 1990.

After leaving the State Assembly, Mr. Katz was appointed to the State Water Resources Control Board, confirmed by the Senate and served for six years, occupying the water quality seat. In Jan. of 2003, Governor Davis appointed him as his Senior Advisor on Energy and Water issues.

Shortly after his election in June of 2005, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Richard to serve with him on the Governing Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. After the horrific Metrolink accident in 2008, Mayor Villaraigosa appointed him to the Metrolink Board, where he served as Chair from 2011-2013.

Richard is the owner of a successful public policy and government relations firm based in Los Angeles, Richard Katz Consulting (RKC), Inc. RKC offers a wide variety of services, including strategic advice, message development, negotiations/mediation and government relations strategies. RKC brings a vast knowledge of all levels of government and has guided numerous clients through the maze of both bureaucratic and regulatory concerns.

 

Robert Weisenmiller
Chairman
California Energy Commission
Biography

Robert Weisenmiller

Chairman
California Energy Commission

Chair Robert Weisenmiller was appointed as member and Chair to the California Energy Commission in January 2011 by Governor Jerry Brown and re-appointed in January 2015. He fills the Engineer/Scientist position on the five-member Commission. Commissioner Weisenmiller brings more than 30 years energy experience to the Commission including expertise in electricity and gas markets and California regulatory policies. Chair Weisenmiller has served as an expert witness in more than 100 state and federal regulatory commission proceedings and has authored numerous publications on electricity and natural gas markets.

Before his appointment, Chair Weisenmiller, a co-founder of MRW & Associates, used his expertise to assist businesses, financial institution, regulatory commissions, and public agencies in strategic planning, policy development, analyzing energy markets and regulations, rate design and implications of utility mergers.

Chair Weisenmiller's career also included a previous period of public service with the Energy Commission as Advisor to Commissioner, Manager of the Special Projects Office, and Director of the Office of Policy and Program Evaluation in the period between 1977 and 1982. Chair Weisenmiller holds a Doctorate in Chemistry and a Masters in Energy and Resources from University of California Berkeley and received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Providence College.

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.   

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.

 

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

Randall W. Lewis

Executive Vice President
Lewis Group of Companies

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

Robert Thompson
General Manager
Orange County Sanitation District
Biography

Robert Thompson

General Manager
Orange County Sanitation District

Robert (Rob) Thompson is the General Manager (GM) for the Orange County Sanitation District (OC San). Mr. Thompson has been with OC San since 1995. 

Prior to becoming the General Manager, he was the Assistant General Manager overseeing the Operations & Maintenance and Engineering departments. 

He has served in many capacities for OC San including Manager of the Process Controls Division to oversee the maintenance, installation and programming of OC San’s SCADA system and programmable logic controllers; Engineering Manager overseeing the instrumentation shops, electrical shops and power generation plants; and Engineering Manager overseeing Asset Management and Engineering Planning, and Director of Engineering. 

Prior to joining OC San, Mr. Thompson worked for The Ralph M. Parsons Company as a senior engineer and project manager on several major oil field projects in Prudhoe Bay Alaska, refinery projects in Philadelphia, PA, and coordinated world-wide sulfur technology sales.

Mr. Thompson is a registered Electrical Engineer and Civil Engineer in the States of California. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Long Beach State.  

OC San provides regional wastewater service to 2.6 million residents, with an annual operating and capital budget of approximately $450 million. OC San and the Orange County Water District have jointly developed the Groundwater Replenishment System, the world's largest water purification system for indirect potable reuse, producing 130 million gallons per day of drinking-quality water.
 

R. Rex Parris
Mayor
City of Lancaster
Biography

R. Rex Parris

Mayor
City of Lancaster

Since becoming Mayor of Lancaster in 2008, R. Rex Parris has championed many initiatives to improve his hometown, driven by a can-do attitude that has redefined community development. His leadership has enhanced public safety, economic growth, and environmental stewardship. Parris's efforts in reducing crime have fostered a safer, more inviting community, encouraging residents and businesses to thrive.


Economic development has been a focal point, with Parris leveraging his background as a distinguished lawyer to forge significant international partnerships, like the one with BYD, stimulating job creation and investment in Lancaster. His commitment to environmental sustainability is evident in initiatives such as Lancaster Energy, positioning Lancaster as a leader in green energy and one of the world's first Zero-Net Energy Cities. Additionally, his advocacy for hydrogen energy has established Lancaster as the “First Hydrogen City,” reflecting his innovative approach to sustainable development.


Beyond his role in municipal governance, Parris's legal acumen has been instrumental in his work with CarthroniX, a biotech firm aiming to tackle degenerative diseases. This blend of legal expertise and civic leadership underscores a comprehensive strategy to enhance Lancaster's community life, economic vitality, and sustainable living.

 

Tommy Moala
Assistant General Manager
SFPUC
Biography

Tommy Moala

Assistant General Manager
SFPUC

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

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

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. 

Jawaad Malik
Chief Strategy & Sustainability Officer
SoCalGas
Biography

Jawaad Malik

Chief Strategy & Sustainability Officer
SoCalGas

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

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

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

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.

Antonio Villaraigosa
Fmr. Mayor
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Antonio Villaraigosa

Fmr. Mayor
City of Los Angeles

Antonio R. Villaraigosa was the 41st Mayor of Los Angeles.

Born on January 23, 1953 in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East Los Angeles, Antonio is the oldest of four children raised by a single mother, Natalia Delgado.

Villaraigosa’s sense of civic justice and political action began at a young age.  As a high school student, he volunteered with the farm workers movement, led student walkouts and organized an African-American student union. 

During his junior year of high school, Villaraigosa dropped out, but eventually returned to school at the encouragement of his English teacher, Herman Katz. After graduating from Theodore Roosevelt High School, Villaraigosa attended UCLA, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in History. He went on to attend the People’s College of Law, a night school dedicated to public-interest law.

By the age of 25, Villaraigosa was elected president of a local union representing civil rights workers and lawyers in six states. Over the next fifteen years, Villaraigosa continued this work as a union organizer for the Service Employees International Union, United Teachers Los Angeles, and then as President of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Federation of Government Employees.

In 1994, Villaraigosa was elected to the California State Assembly and, four years later, his colleagues elected him the first Assembly Speaker from Los Angeles in 25 years.

While in the Assembly, Villaraigosa spearheaded a $9.1 billion initiative to rebuild and modernize California schools, led a $2.1 billion initiative effort to provide parks and open space throughout the state, funded an extensive expansion of water quality enforcement by the state, and authored the state health insurance program, Healthy Families.

Elected as the Councilmember to Los Angeles’ 14th District in 2003, Villaraigosa was widely credited with resolving the Metropolitan Transit Authority transit strike, creating the largest passive park on the Eastside and Los Angeles, and protecting funding for the Arts.

In 2005, Villaraigosa ran for Mayor of Los Angeles on a platform of bringing the City together to take on the big challenges.  He was elected on May 17, 2005 and sworn in as Mayor on July 1, 2005.

During his first term, Mayor Villaraigosa built the police force to its largest size in history, oversaw the steepest reduction in crime since the 1950’s, and developed Los Angeles’ first comprehensive anti-gang strategy.

Mayor Villaraigosa dedicated much of his first term to reforming Los Angeles’s public schools because of his passionate belief that Los Angeles will never succeed as a great global city if every child isn’t given a world-class education. 

Fighting for reform from both inside and outside of the school district, the Mayor now oversees the Partnership for LA Schools, which runs ten of the lowest-performing schools.  Within one year, test scores are already rising. 

With the launching of GREEN LA, the Mayor set Los Angeles on the path to becoming one of the greenest big cities in the nation.  The City has met the Kyoto targets for reducing greenhouse gases four years ahead of schedule; taken over 2,000 dirty diesel trucks off the road; met the first target of getting 10% of energy from renewable sources and is on track to reaching 40% by 2020; and put into place the most aggressive green building program of any large city.

Teaming up with transportation leaders throughout Los Angeles County, Mayor Villaraigosa led the effort to pass a once-in-a-generation investment in the mass transit system of Los Angeles.  With the passage of Measure R, LA County is poised to invest in $40 billion in new transit, rail and highways. 

On March 3, 2009, Mayor Villaraigosa was re-elected and took the oath for a second term on July 1, 2009.

Pledging to finish the work begun in his first term, Mayor Villaraigosa laid out an agenda centered on five focused goals for four years. 

First and foremost of these goals, will be his effort to lead Los Angeles out of the recession and create jobs. The Mayor will also work to shut down failing schools and reconstitute them as innovation campuses, public charters or members of the Partnership Schools; set the city’s Department of Water and Power on a path to becoming coal free by 2020; oversee the largest mass transit construction program in America; and fight to keep Los Angeles one of the safest big cities in the nation by keeping the police force at 10,000 officers strong and crime at historic lows.

Michael Wadden
Chief Commercial Officer
Verses.ai
Biography

Michael Wadden

Chief Commercial Officer
Verses.ai

For over three decades I have helped build and scale global businesses that deliver positive human, financial and planetary impact. For almost 20 years I was a leader at Accenture helping build and scale both Accenture's global outsourcing business and the new businesses / acquisitions (M&A) business that eventually became Accenture Digital. I have owned and helped scale a portfolio of businesses that focus on revenue growth and global expansion with a unique focus on conscious leadership and culture.

Currently I am the Chief Commercial Officer for Verses AI and responsible for the Go-To-Market, Sales and Marketing capabilities of the company. I provide strategies to maximize overall revenue in collaboration with the executive leadership team and serve as both an internal and market facing leader working closely with key customers and partners.
 

Brian Kremer
Director, Cleantech Investment Banking Group
ROTH Capital Partners
Biography

Brian Kremer

Director, Cleantech Investment Banking Group
ROTH Capital Partners

Brian Kremer is a Director in the Cleantech Investment Banking Group at ROTH Capital Partners. Mr. Kremer joined ROTH in 2007 and previously spent two years as a Senior Research Analyst and two years in investment banking covering the cleantech industry. Prior to ROTH, Mr. Kremer was an investment banker at Ardour Capital Investments, a boutique firm in New York City where he worked exclusively with companies in the alternative and renewable energy space. Prior to Ardour Capital, Mr. Kremer was a Program Executive for NASA’s Project Prometheus, which was developing advanced propulsion and power generation for deep space exploration. Prior to NASA, Mr. Kremer directed all external affairs activities for a US-led international organization building a $4.5B nuclear power plant in North Korea. Mr. Kremer began his career at the US Department of Energy, where he worked on technical, policy, and legislative issues related to nuclear and environmental safety and national security and participated on task forces to develop the National Energy Strategy. Mr. Kremer received his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas (summa cum laude). Mr. Kremer is a member of the Board of Directors of CleanTech OC.

Carlos Giménez
Deputy Consul General
Mexico Secretariat of Foreign Affairs
Biography

Carlos Giménez

Deputy Consul General
Mexico Secretariat of Foreign Affairs
Paul Relis
Senior Vice President
CR&R Waste Services
Biography

Paul Relis

Senior Vice President
CR&R Waste Services
Aaron Klemm
Energy Project Manager
City of Huntington Beach
Biography

Aaron Klemm

Energy Project Manager
City of Huntington Beach
Mia Lehrer
President
Studio-MLA
Biography

Mia Lehrer

President
Studio-MLA

Mia Lehrer, FASLA founded Studio-MLA with a vision to improve quality of life through landscape. Her courageous approach to landscape design—distinguished for its advocacy of sustainable and people-friendly public places and catalytic work for a climate-appropriate future—has defined her as one of the great voices of modern-day landscape architecture. Inspired by geology and natural process, she sparks the team's inventive thinking to create places that inspire human connection, unite communities, and restore environmental balance. From the master planning of cities to the design of intimate plazas and gardens, the studio is recognized for creativity, pragmatism, and responsibility across a range of scales and geographies. Recent works include the Hollywood Park Racetrack redevelopment and its new LA NFL Stadium, the LA County Natural History Museum Gardens, Vista Hermosa Park, and dozens of Los Angeles River-related projects. With offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the 50-person practice earns diverse and award-winning commissions in California and across the world.
Ms. Lehrer has served on numerous academic and professional advisory boards, and she has extensive public sector experience including serving on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts appointed by President Barack Obama, and in Los Angeles, as a member of the Cultural Affairs Commission, the Zoning Advisory Committee, and the Mayor’s Design Advisory Panel. She has lectured widely on landscape and urban design, including environmental and sustainability issues and the public process. Her work has been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad, and she has contributed to several books on design, landscape architecture, and the historical development of Los Angeles. She has won numerous local and national awards for her work, including design awards from the U.S. General Services Administration and the National Park Service, as well as the LaGasse Medal from the American Society of Landscape Architecture. A native of El Salvador, Ms. Lehrer received a B.A. from Tufts University and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. She was named a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2010.

David Stickler
NRG Energy Services
Biography

David Stickler

NRG Energy Services

 

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

Christine Arbogast
Solid Waste West, Unit President
TetraTech
Biography

Christine Arbogast

Solid Waste West, Unit President
TetraTech

Christine Mejia Arbogast is President of Tetra Tech’s Solid Waste Western US operations.  Tetra Tech’s Solid Waste Practice has been ranked #1 in Solid Waste Management by Engineering News Record for the last eight consecutive years.  Ms. Arbogast manages a regional team providing consulting services in solid waste management, methane gas management, renewable natural gas, environmental services, geotechnical services, landfill redevelopment and environmental control system construction.  She has 37 years of planning, permitting, and civil engineering experience in environmental and solid resource management projects. She has directed long-term strategic planning studies for public solid waste management agencies throughout North America. 

Most recently, Ms. Arbogast has been supporting public and private sector clients with organic waste management planning and implementation of programs and facilities to divert organic waste from landfills.  This includes the City of Los Angeles’ Curb Your Food Waste LA Pilot residential curbside recycling program targeting 18,000 households. Ms. Arbogast is a native southern Californian, licensed professional engineer and a Cal Poly Pomona graduate in Civil Engineering.

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.

 

Mariam Awara
Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer
Pulsenics
Biography

Mariam Awara

Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer
Pulsenics

Mariam Awara is co-founder and chief operating officer at Pulsenics, a company with a mission to accelerate the gigawatt-scale industrialization of green hydrogen production. She trained as an electrical and computer engineer at the University of Calgary, where she researched power and energy systems and wireless telecommunication systems. Today she is on a mission to enable the adoption of clean energy processes at scale through Pulsenics’ performance monitoring and management capabilities for green hydrogen electrolysers. 

Jonathan Rosenthal
Managing Partner
Saybrook Management Services
Biography

Jonathan Rosenthal

Managing Partner
Saybrook Management Services

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

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

That which now seems obvious wasn’t easy to evangelize in ‘83. But with the help of active investors Jay Chiat, Linden Blue, Wally Schirra, Honorable John Lindsay, Hycliff Ventures and others NetAir was born. As Chairman and CEO Mr. Rosenthal grew NetAir into the largest certificated non-scheduled carrier in the U.S with 18 flight centers and over 100 jets providing “random access” transportation to 1,700 cities. A public offering in 1985 helped spur growth, and in 1989 Rosenthal successfully exited with a sale of his shares to a private equity investor at a time when rival NetJets had a dozen aircraft.

Again seizing upon transformation, in 1990 Rosenthal saw the proliferation junk bonds of the 80’s creating distressed opportunities. Rosenthal launched Saybrook Partners, a merchant bank specializing in complex municipal and corporate turnarounds and restructurings. Timing was fortuitous, resulting in more than $200 billion in transactions across nearly 100 platform entities (1990-2006), including Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Orange County, Adelphia, Kmart, Foster Wheeler, and United Airlines.

The success of SRA provided impetus to launch a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and ultimately 9 closed end funds across 4 strategies, deploying capital for institutional investors. In 2007 Rosenthal recognized the transformative impact of the internet on the supply chain and began to focus on principal investing.  9 years later Saybrook Corporate Opportunity Funds (SCOF) has 2 institutional closed end private equity vehicles, and has invested approximately $300 million of discretionary equity in 21 core investments with 11 realizations.

Rosenthal currently serves as Chairman of TTSI, one of the largest port trucking companies in the Los Angeles / Long Beach Harbor; Taylored Services, a bi-costal mid-size third party logistics provider (3PL) operating approximately 1.5 million square feet of warehouse, and Accretive Solutions, a finance and accounting staffing and consultancy firm with approximately 800 professionals in 11 cities. He is the Founder / Chairman / CEO of the Los Angeles Harbor Performance Enhancement Center, and a technology data management start-up, WherehouseIT.com.

Rosenthal was recently appointed by the U.S. Department of Transportation to the Marine Transportation System National Advisory Committee, and by the Mayor of Los Angeles to the Los Angeles Sustainable Freight Advisory Committee. Mr. Rosenthal was elected by his peers to the International Board of Trustees of the Turnaround Management Association. He is the Founding Chairman of the Harvard Graduate School Leadership Institute, and is on the Board of Directors of the University of Southern California, Center for Supply Chain Management. Rosenthal is the immediate past Chairman of the Los Angeles chapter of Young President’s Organization (YPOg) and is currently a member of the WPO Pacific Regional Board. He has lectured in the area of transformational change at the University of Chicago, UCLA, and Harvard College. He is a Member of the Colorado, New York, and Federal bar associations, and is married with 2 children.

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

 

Kate White
Associate Principal & Highways Leader
Arup
Biography

Kate White

Associate Principal & Highways Leader
Arup

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

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

Carolina Romo

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

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

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

Dr. Sandra Whitehouse
Chief Scientific Officer
‎AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles
Biography

Dr. Sandra Whitehouse

Chief Scientific Officer
‎AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

Dr. Sandra Whitehouse is a consultant who has served for over twenty-five years as an ocean policy advisor to multiple organizations and institutions, using her marine science expertise to advise clients on a variety of issues including how to advance ocean health and sustainably develop coastal and offshore projects. Her clients have included Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations and other Nonprofit Organizations, a state agency, legislative body and private companies. Currently she serves as the Senior Policy Advisor to Ocean Conservancy, the Chief Scientific Officer for AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles and as a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. Dr. Whitehouse holds a B.S. from Yale University and a Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island

Ted Tanner
Senior Vice President of Real Estate
AEG
Biography

Ted Tanner

Senior Vice President of Real Estate
AEG
John Laird
Secretary
California Natural Resources Agency
Biography

John Laird

Secretary
California Natural Resources Agency

John Laird has served as Secretary for the California Natural Resources Agency since 2011. A long-time resident of Santa Cruz, Secretary Laird has spent nearly 40 years in public service at the state and local level, including 23 years as an elected official. While serving the maximum three terms in the Assembly, Laird authored 82 bills that were signed into law. These bills established the landmark Sierra Nevada Conservancy, restored community college health services, expanded and clarified state civil rights protections, reformed the state mandates system, and significantly expanded water conservation.

As California’s Secretary of Natural Resources, Laird has prioritized climate change adaptation, water conservation and supply reliability, enhanced relationships with tribal governments, State Parks access, farmland conservation, and oceans sustainability. He provides administrative oversight to thirty departments, commissions, councils, museum, boards and conservancies – and is a sitting member of sixteen conservancies, councils, boards and commissions within the purview of the Agency.

Tim Psomas, PE
Chairman
Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure
Biography

Tim Psomas, PE

Chairman
Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure
Jenna Hornstock
Deputy Director of Planning for Landuse
Southern California Association of Governments
Biography

Jenna Hornstock

Deputy Director of Planning for Landuse
Southern California Association of Governments

Jenna Hornstock joined SCAG in 2020 to lead special initiatives in housing and economic empowerment as well as the sustainable and resilient development departments.

Prior to joining SCAG, Jenna served as LA Metro’s Executive Officer for Transit Oriented Communities where she oversaw 15 active real estate development projects, station area urban design and first/last mile planning. Jenna also spent nearly 7 years at the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA), most recently as Chief of Strategic Planning and Economic Development. 

Jenna holds a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a BA in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley.

In her spare time, Jenna is a Planning Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles, and serves a Board member for the non-profit Community Health Councils and the ULI/LA Advisory Board.  She lives in Silverlake with her teenage son and her partner, and practices yoga and the Lindy Hop whenever possible.

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.

Doug Otto
Trustee, Area 4
Long Beach City College
Biography

Doug Otto

Trustee, Area 4
Long Beach City College

Doug Otto has served on the LBCC Board of Trustees since 2004 and the CCCT Board since 2009.  In 2010 he co-chaired the CCLC’s Commission on the Future of Community Colleges and was instrumental in bringing the ACCT Governance Institute for Student Success to California. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and helps community colleges address issues through the IEPI Program.  He is immediate past president of the CCCT Board and immediate past chair of the CCLC Board of Directors. He has been very active in his community of Long Beach serving as chair of both the Long Beach Strategic Plan 2010 and the Planning Commission as well as many other organizations and boards.  He is a founding board member of the Aquarium of the Pacific, architect of the Aquarium Campus Master Plan and currently is vice chair of the Board of Directors. 

Professionally he is a successful trial attorney with more than 100 jury trials to verdict. He was named Long Beach’s Lawyer of the Year in 2015 and Small Firm Lawyer of the Year by the California State Bar in 2011. 

He received his B.A. from Stanford University and M.A. jointly from Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University in New York and a J.D. from the University of Chicago.

Ryo Sasamoto
Head of Corporate Strategy
Thermalytica
Biography

Ryo Sasamoto

Head of Corporate Strategy
Thermalytica

Brief bio:Ryo is the Head of Corporate Strategy at Thermalytica, offering a revolutionary product for insulation. He is responsible for business development to fundraising. Prior to joining Thermalytica, he worked at a Japanese consulting firm on projects including new business development, business process reengineering, and cost reduction initiatives.

Paul Brown
President
Paul Redvers Brown Inc.
Biography

Paul Brown

President
Paul Redvers Brown Inc.

Brown has nearly 40 years experience in project development, project finance, and the planning and management of public utilities and environmental facilities. From 1975 to 2013, he held various positions at CDM Smith, most recently as Executive Vice President and 12-year member of the firm’s Board of Directors. In addition, he was the Founding Technical Director of CDM Smith’s Neysadurai Centre for Integrated Urban Solutions in Singapore. Brown is co-author (with Vladimir Novotny and Jack Ahern) of the book Water Centric Sustainable Communities, published by John Wiley & Sons.

A member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), he chairs the International Water Association (IWA) Cities of the Future program steering committee. Brown is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of South Florida (USF) Patel College of Global Sustainability, where he also serves as Director of Applied Research.

Tim Sasseen
Market Development Manager
Ballard Power Systems
Biography

Tim Sasseen

Market Development Manager
Ballard Power Systems

An electrical engineer at heart, Tim Sasseen has been deploying fuel cell electric buses since 2000, when he lead the engine control development team for the deployment the largest public fuel cell bus deployment to date. Tim followed these buses to Europe in 2003 to coordinate the operation and service of this fleet across 7 countries from the Daimler factory in Germany. Upon the successful completion of this monumental program, Tim lead the Ballard engineering team to create the HD6, one of the highest mileage heavy duty fuel cell modules in the industry. Since that time Tim has earned his MBA at UCSD, and has lead start-up developments in microgrids, wind power and stationary energy storage here in California. Tim is now responsible for business development for all of California for Ballard Power System’s medium and heavy duty fuel cell products.

Jane Oates
President
WorkingNation
Biography

Jane Oates

President
WorkingNation

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

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

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

Rachel Machi Wagoner
Director
CalRecycle
Biography

Rachel Machi Wagoner

Director
CalRecycle

Rachel Machi Wagoner serves as CalRecycle’s director.

Prior to being appointed director by Governor Gavin Newsom in December 2020, Ms. Machi Wagoner served as Deputy Legislative Secretary in the Office of the Governor beginning in 2019.

Before that she worked as the Chief Consultant for the California State Senate Committee on Environmental Quality from 2009 to 2018, where she advised state senators on issues related to environmental protection, including waste reduction, environmental justice, pollution prevention, and hazardous waste.

Ms. Machi Wagoner’s experience also includes time as Research Director at the University of Illinois, Chicago School of Public Health and an Advisor at the Department of Environment for the City of Chicago in 2008. Other public service includes consulting for the California State Senate Committee on Environmental Quality from 2007 to 2008 and for the California State Senate Committee on Health from 2004 to 2007, working as Director of Legislative Affairs at the California Department of Toxic Substances Control from 2002 to 2004, acting as a consultant for the California State Senate Committee on Elections and Reapportionment from 2000 to 2002, and as Deputy Legislative Secretary for Governor Gray Davis from 1999 to 2000.

Ms. Machi Wagoner holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy with a minor in history from the University of San Francisco.

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.

Bert Dezzutti
Senior Vice President
Brookfield Properties
Biography

Bert Dezzutti

Senior Vice President
Brookfield Properties
Bob Sipchen
Senior Editor, California Section
Los Angeles Times
Biography

Bob Sipchen

Senior Editor, California Section
Los Angeles Times

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

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

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

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.

Yamen Nanne
Manager of Power Distribution System Development
LADWP
Biography

Yamen Nanne

Manager of Power Distribution System Development
LADWP

Yamen Nanne is the Manager of Power Distribution System Development at the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. He is currently leading LADWP’s efforts to expand and modernize its distribution system to enable accelerated vehicle and building electrification and achieve increased levels of Distributed Energy Resource Adoption on its grid.  
 
During his tenure, LADWP and the City of Los Angeles were able to increase EV charging infrastructure 10-fold in three years from about 1,800 multi-family, workplace, and public charging stations in 2019 to 18,000 today. He led the rollout of vehicle incentive programs that helped EV adoption increase from 35,000 EVs to over 100,000 EVs in the City of Los Angeles today. 
 
His passion about electric vehicles stems from his desire to play a role in improving air quality for all of Angelinos and to help LADWP customers learn about how they can save money and fight climate change by driving and EV.  His motto is: Live life…Drive Electric! 

Andréa Traber
US West Sustainability + Resilient Design Leader
Integral Group
Biography

Andréa Traber

US West Sustainability + Resilient Design Leader
Integral Group

Andréa Traber contributes over 25 years of experience as Project Architect and Principal on numerous green building projects, sustainable master plans, climate action plans and energy programs to the Integral Group team. Throughout her career, Andréa has dedicated herself as an industry leader in sustainability and resilience having served on numerous committees and Boards. As Sustainability + Resilient Design Leader, Andréa focuses on accelerating innovation and our collective response to climate change through sustainable master planning, resilient community design strategy, high-value and performance-driven building design, and low-carbon, net zero development. She works with clients in the public, institutional and private sectors.

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.

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.

Douglas Carstens
Managing Partner
Chatten-Brown Carstens Minteer LLP
Biography

Douglas Carstens

Managing Partner
Chatten-Brown Carstens Minteer LLP

Douglas Carstens is the Managing Partner of Carstens, Black & Minteer LLP, a small law firm in Hermosa Beach that practices environmental and land use law throughout the state.  He graduated from Cornell University, served as an officer in the Navy for five years, then attended law school at UCLA.  After that, he joined the Law Office of Jan Chatten-Brown, which has evolved into Carstens, Black, and Minteer LLP.  His law firm has represented petitioners who enforced environmental laws to protect people against proposed oil drilling, preserved important historic and cultural resources, promoted affordable housing, resulted in modifications to sprawl development projects in various parts of the state. He has helped community based organizations create two urban parks in poor communities of color:  the State Historic Park of Los Angeles and the Rio De Los Angeles State Park. Mr. Carstens has written various articles about environmental law and co-chaired over a dozen annual Law Seminars International’s CEQA Seminars.  He is a past President of the Sierra Nevada Alliance and currently the President of the Board of the Planning and Conservation League.

Woodrow W. Clark
Founder
Clark Strategic Partners
Biography

Woodrow W. Clark

Founder
Clark Strategic Partners

Clark is an internationally recognized and respected expert, author, lecturer, public speaker and consultant on global and local solutions to climate change. His core advocacy is in the economics for smart green communities. During the 1990s he was Manager of Strategic Planning for Technology Transfer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) with the University of California and the U.S. Department of Energy. While at LLNL he served as one of the contributing scientists and experts for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He chaired the first Research Team for the UN FCCC.

His current work generates responses to climate change from governments and businesses, using public policy, science and technology, and their economics and finance methods. In 2004 he founded, and now manages, Clark Strategic Partners (CSP), a global environmental and renewable energy consulting firm using his political-economic expertise to guide, advise and implement public and private projects advancing sustainable, smart communities as well as colleges and universities, shopping malls, office buildings and film studios. In 2014, building on his mass media background (1980s), he founded Clark Mass Media Company (CM2C), which specializes in documentary, education and dramatic social issues.

Clark earned three masters degrees from different universities in Illinois and his Ph.D. at University of California, Berkeley. He has published eleven books and over 70 peer-reviewed articles, which reflect his concern for global sustainable communities. Recent authored and edited books are The Next Economics (Springer, 2012) and Global Sustainable Communities Handbook (Elsevier, 2014). And his latest coauthored books, with Grant Cooke, are The Green Industrial Revolution (Elsevier, 2014), China’s Green Industrial Revolution (in Mandarin, 2015) and Smart Green Cities (Gower, February 2016). Other books are Island Nations (Elsevier Press) with updates to Agile Energy Systems (Elsevier) and Qualitative Economics (Elsevier).

Clark also served in academic, nonprofit organizations and government and taught graduate courses in the USA and China. From 2012-2014, he was an Academic Specialist in Cross-Disciplinary Studies at UCLA and other UC Campuses including Davis and Riverside. From 1999-2000 he was a Visiting Professor of Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship at Aalborg University, Denmark, where he was also a Fulbright Fellow in 1994. Then from 2000 – 2003, he was California Governor Gray Davis’ Renewable Energy, Emerging Technologies and Finance. For 6 out of 8 years, he was Chair of the Citizens Oversight Committee (COC) for school bond funds ($334 million) in Beverly Hills, CA where he lives now with his wife, Andrea and their 8 year old son, Paxton. Clark writes regularly for the Huffington Post at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/woodrow-clark/

Robert Freeman
Airport Environmental Manager
Los Angeles World Airports
Biography

Robert Freeman

Airport Environmental Manager
Los Angeles World Airports
Raj Prasad
Vice President Transformation
Stantec
Biography

Raj Prasad

Vice President Transformation
Stantec

My career of 20+ years along with my education and training has allowed me to successfully support and lead organizational transformation large and small, globally in multiple industries. It’s been not only to transform but to ride and lead in todays Technological Revolution but also to adopt a collaboration and innovation culture that ensures the organization is part of or responsible for launching the next revolution.

An intrapreneur who successfully leverages people, process and technology in developing, planning and executing strategies that generate positive experience for people, planet and profit.

While maintaining sound risk management strategies, I believe in presenting end customer-focused business opportunities powered by technology.

Dedicated to maintaining a reputation built on trust, quality, service, and uncompromising ethics.

Industry experience in: Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Water, Renewables & Energy, Mining, Professional Services, Government, Development services, Financial, Hi-tech, Manufacturing & Distribution and Healthcare.

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

Wenhuang Huang

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

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

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

Hillel Newman
Consul General
Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Southwest
Biography

Hillel Newman

Consul General
Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Southwest
Dr. Hillel Newman assumed the post of Consul General of Israel in July 2019, where he serves as the senior representative of the State of Israel to the Pacific Southwest.
 
During his twenty-year diplomatic service, Consul General Newman accumulated vast experience in policy formulation and decision-making at the highest levels of Israel's foreign policy establishment. He has served in several influential and critical positions including Policy Advisor to three Foreign Ministers of Israel and Ambassador of Israel to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
 
Before he joined the diplomatic service, he attained a Ph.D. in Jewish History, and served as a professor of Jewish history, teaching graduate courses at Bar Ilan University and Boston University. He has authored and published a book on Jewish sectarianism during the Hellenistic and Roman period. For the past five years, he has also served as a key lecturer on Judaism in the NATO Defense College.
 
Most recently, Consul General Newman served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as both Special Policy Advisor to the Director General and as Director of the World Jewish Affairs Department. He has been intimately involved in the most current and pressing issues confronting global Jewry.
Previously, Consul General Newman served also in the Strategic Division of the Ministry, playing a key role in coordinating efforts related to strategic threats facing the State of Israel.
As Ambassador to the Republics of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, both Muslim countries, he promoted political, business and security ties with these countries. He also initiated several projects and agreements in the fields of medicine, education, agriculture and humanitarian aid.
 
Consul General Newman first became familiar with the United States while serving as Deputy Consul General in Boston, to the New England Region between 2001-2005. He engaged in diverse public diplomacy efforts, conducted briefings on political and security issues and took a special interest in building inter-faith and inter-ethnic relations.
Consul General Newman made Aliyah with his family from South Africa, served as a medic in the IDF and is married to Ayala. The couple have a ten-year-old son, Ram.
 
His favorite hobbies are reading, nature tours, sporting events and scuba diving.
Christiane Waldron
Business Development Director, Kaneka Biopolymers
Kaneka Americas Holding, Inc.
Biography

Christiane Waldron

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

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

Natalie Freidberg
President
Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce
Biography

Natalie Freidberg

President
Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce

As President of the Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce since 2016, Natalie has fought for resources for small business owners, employees and non-profit organizations. Under her leadership, the Chamber has become more active in the community and has developed strong relationships with the Los Angeles City Council, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and multiple City departments. In 2020, she expanded the scope of the Chamber beyond the membership, working with dozens of restaurant owners in Northeast LA to overcome the challenges brought by the pandemic.

Natalie is currently on the steering committees of the Beautiful Boulevard, Rock The Boulevard and Sunset4All street and transit improvement projects. She has actively campaigned for these and related improvements since 2019, working with residents, small business owners and employees to build support for more equitable and efficient transit options.

In 2020, Natalie became a strategic partner with Reusable LA (RULA), a coalition of well-known non-profits working to phase out single-use plastics (SUPs) in the greater Los Angeles area. RULA recently celebrated landmark campaign victories at both the City and County of Los Angeles, to which she contributed her experience in sustainability and her relationships with restaurant owners.

Since 2009, Natalie has organized campaigns for the Perros Project and other non-profits providing no-cost spay and neuter services for street dogs in Peru, Ecuador and Spain. She fundraises for medical supplies and travel, recruits and supervises volunteers and liaises with local organizations. Once in-country, her role includes working with media, government officials and community members to create awareness of the clinics and encourage participation.

In 2021, Natalie was appointed to represent Council District 13 on the Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission.

Natalie received her degree in Environmental Policy from Occidental College. Her passion for community and environmental justice began then as a Public Policy intern with the Lead Poisoning Organizing Project. Since that time, she has worked to represent the neighborhoods she lives and works in and the causes she believes in, using diplomacy and collaboration to find creative, implementable solutions for environmental and small business concerns.

Ben Allen
California State Senator
26th District
Biography

Ben Allen

California State Senator
26th District

California State Senator Ben Allen was elected in 2014 to represent the 26th Senate District, which consists of the Westside, Hollywood and coastal South Bay communities of Los Angeles County.

Ben serves as chair of the Senate Education Committee and the legislature's Joint Committee on the Arts.  He is a member of the Senate Committees on Elections and Constitutional Amendments, Natural Resources and Water, and Transportation and Housing.  He co-chairs the Environmental Caucus and is vice-chair of the Jewish Caucus.

Ben has authored several measures that have become law, including the groundbreaking bill to boost vaccination rates among schoolchildren and a landmark river protection bill.  He authored laws that protect veterans from pension scams; improve the diagnosis, treatment and care for persons with Alzheimer’s disease; strengthen the regulation of underground gas wells, and enable HIV-positive persons to donate life-saving organs to other HIV-positive persons.

While serving as chair of the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee in 2015-16, he championed campaign reform and transparency issues.  He authored a new law that will increase voter turnout and civic engagement by transforming how elections are conducted.  This reform, which was praised by the Los Angeles Times editorial page, will allow people to vote in the 10 days preceding an election at conveniently-located vote centers.  He also authored the bill that placed an initiative on the statewide ballot urging Congress to overturn the Citizens United ruling, and a measure that allows cities and counties to use binding independent redistricting commissions.

As chair of the Joint Committee on the Arts, Ben authored successful legislation that reinstated teaching credentials for Theatre and Dance educators.  He is fighting for increased access to the arts in schools, especially in disadvantaged communities, and is working to keep entertainment industry jobs in California.

Ben coauthored the Senate’s historic climate change legislation, which requires 50% of the state’s energy to come from renewable sources, and doubles energy efficiency in buildings, by 2030.  He authored bills to expand the state’s efforts to combat climate change even further, including establishing the first standard to increase the use of renewable gas, and reducing toxic motor oil waste.  He is leading the effort to end the use of harmful drift gillnets in commercial fishing off the coast that injure and kill endangered sea turtles and other marine life.

Ben received the Freshman Legislator of the Year award from the California School Boards Association, and was named Legislator of the Year by the County Superintendents’ Educational Services Association, the Alzheimer’s Association and Technet, an association of technology companies that includes Apple, Google and Microsoft.

Ben grew up in the 26th District.  He is a former board member, and board President, of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, where he was a leader on issues of environmental sustainability, financial accountability, and community engagement. He helped pass a $385 million bond measure which upgraded district facilities using environmental best practices and created good local jobs.  During his tenure, the district enacted policies to provide all students with high-quality educational opportunities regardless of their background or means.  He helped start the Los Angeles Spark Program, a nonprofit organization that connects at-risk middle school students with apprenticeships.

While in law school, Ben served as a voting member of the University of California Board of Regents, and was a judicial clerk with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.  As an attorney, he worked for the law firm of Richardson & Patel LLP, and previously was a litigator with Bryan Cave LLP.

Prior to his law career, Ben worked for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and then as communications director for Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY).  He is a senior fellow with the international human rights organization Humanity in Action, an Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellow, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a graduate of the Jewish Federation's New Leaders Project.  He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in History; a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Cambridge, and a Juris Doctor degree from UC Berkeley.  He is fluent in Spanish.

For three years prior to his election to the Senate, he was a lecturer at UCLA’s Law School, where he taught education law and policy.

He is married to Melanie Luthern, an attorney.  They are expecting their first child in October.

Bob Hertzberg
Sr. Advisor
Mission Possible Partnership
Biography

Bob Hertzberg

Sr. Advisor
Mission Possible Partnership

Prior to his time with Mission Possible Partnership, Senate Majority Leader Emeritus Robert Hertzberg was first elected to the California State Assembly in 1996. He served as the 64th Speaker of the California State Assembly, unanimously elected by both parties in 2000 and 2002. After his tenure as Speaker, Hertzberg set out to the private sector as a clean energy entrepreneur, where he helped create one of the first solar companies in Los Angeles, and co-launched a company that produced inexpensive, lightweight solar panels. In 2014, he returned to state government when he was elected to represent nearly 1 million people in the San Fernando Valley in the California State Senate.

Dean Wiberg
Biography

Dean Wiberg

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

Scott Haase

Partnership Development Manager
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

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

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

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

Amy Holm
Executive Director
The Climate Registry
Biography

Amy Holm

Executive Director
The Climate Registry

Amy Holm is the Executive Director of The Climate Registry, a nonprofit based in Los Angeles that connects, educates, and empowers organizations with the resources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to overall strategy and direction, Amy focuses on leading The Climate Registry’s efforts to amplify the work and opportunities for public and private stakeholders. Such initiatives include the annual Climate Leadership Conference and Awards as well as organizing multiple US delegations to attend the UNFCCC’s COP events. A strong advocate for public-private partnerships to drive climate action, Amy has worked for many other notable environmental organizations—serving in positions of increasing responsibility at the Code Blue Foundation, E2: Environment & Education, Global Tomorrow Coalition, American Forests, and Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation, among others. Amy received an M.A. in Environmental Policy in International Relations from Claremont Graduate University and a B.A. in International Affairs from Lewis and Clark College.

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.

Sue Minter
Executive Director
Capstone Community Action
Biography

Sue Minter

Executive Director
Capstone Community Action

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

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

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

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

Hilda Solis
Los Angeles County Supervisor
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Biography

Hilda Solis

Los Angeles County Supervisor
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Supervisor Hilda L. Solis was sworn in as Los Angeles County Supervisor for the First District of Los Angeles County on December 1, 2014. Prior to becoming Supervisor she served as Secretary of Labor. Supervisor Solis was confirmed on February 24, 2009, becoming the first Latina to serve in the United States Cabinet. Before that, Supervisor Solis represented the 32nd Congressional District in California, a position she held from 2001 to 2009. In the Congress, Supervisor Solis’ priorities included expanding access to affordable health care, protecting the environment, and improving the lives of working families. A recognized leader on clean energy jobs, she authored the Green Jobs Act which provided funding for “green” collar job training for veterans, displaced workers, at risk youth, and individuals in families under 200 percent of the federal poverty line.

In 2007, Supervisor Solis was appointed to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the Helsinki Commission), as well as the Mexico — United States Interparliamentary Group. In June 2007, Solis was elected Vice Chair of the Helsinki Commission’s General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions. She was the only U.S. elected official to serve on this Committee. A nationally recognized leader on the environment, Supervisor Solis became the first woman to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2000 for her pioneering work on environmental justice issues. Her California environmental justice legislation, enacted in 1999, was the first of its kind in the nation to become law.

Supervisor Solis graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California.  A former federal employee, she worked in the Carter White House Office of Hispanic Affairs and was later appointed as a management analyst with the Office of Management and Budget in the Civil Rights Division.

David Estrada
Chief Legal & Policy Officer
Nuro
Biography

David Estrada

Chief Legal & Policy Officer
Nuro

David Estrada is Chief Legal and Policy Officer at Nuro, where he oversees the company’s public policy, legal affairs, safety, and communications teams. David has spent his career helping Fortune 500 companies and rapidly growing ventures navigate legal and regulatory challenges while launching and scaling innovative products.

Before joining Nuro, he held executive positions at Bird, Kitty Hawk, and Lyft during their formative and growth stages. David began his journey in emerging transportation policy as the Legal Director for Google X, where he pioneered some of the first state laws and regulations governing autonomous vehicles.

David holds a BA in political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a JD from the University of California at Berkeley.

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.

Jim McIntosh
Executive Advisor
California ISO
Biography

Jim McIntosh

Executive Advisor
California ISO
Kunihito Yamamoto
Deputy Mayor
Namie Town, Fukushima, Japan
Biography

Kunihito Yamamoto

Deputy Mayor
Namie Town, Fukushima, Japan

Yamamoto served as an employee of Namie Town Hall for 35 years from 1984 to 2019, an
d served as Namie Town Auditor for approximately two years from 2021 to 2022.
In December 2022, he was appointed as Deputy Mayor, and now in his position as Deputy 
Mayor, he is bringing his ability to continued to support Namie Town during the difficult envi
ronment of the Great East Japan Earthquake to bear.

Indrani Graczyk
Program Manager
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Biography

Indrani Graczyk

Program Manager
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Yayoi Sekine
Energy Storage Lead
Bloomberg NEF
Biography

Yayoi Sekine

Energy Storage Lead
Bloomberg NEF

Yayoi Sekine leads the Americas coverage for Energy Storage practice at BloombergNEF based out of New York. Yayoi’s research focuses on US energy storage markets, providing insight on technology, markets, policies and regulation, and the competitive landscape. She was previously Research Analyst based in Sao Paulo having spent four years covering Latin American renewable energy market development through BNEF. Yayoi holds a BSc in Global Resource Systems with focus on Latin America from the University of British Columbia (Canada).

Stephanie Macorrito
Electrical Engineer Associate
LADWP
Biography

Stephanie Macorrito

Electrical Engineer Associate
LADWP

Stephanie Macoritto has been working as an Associate Electrical Engineer at Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for 6 years. Prior to securing this position, she was a Student Engineer with the LADWP for over 2 years during her final years at CSUN. She is currently a student at USC pursuing an MBA in General Business Administration and Management.

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 31 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 Clean Power 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. In those positions he was the Mayor’s chief policy liaison to the Department of Water and Power and the Department of Public Works and was instrumental in crafting the city’s first-ever Sustainability Plan, with an emphasis on pursuing distributed systems in the electricity and water sectors, and utilizing mobility infrastructure to pursue low- carbon and ecologically-beneficial outcomes.

Ted’s accomplishments at the Office of Mayor Garcetti include securing a 5-year water and power rate increase to fund a transition of 75% of the city’s energy mix to low carbon resources and reducing purchases of imported water by 50%. Ted also supervised major energy planning initiatives, including the 2016 Integrated Resources Plan and a multi-year study to define pathways to reach 100% renewables. Ted led major policy initiatives in energy efficiency, including an ordinance requiring annual building energy and water use disclosure and expansion of residential and commercial PACE financing availability.

From 2003 to 2013, Ted worked in the Green Urbanism Program at Global Green USA, a nationally-leading organization advancing smart solutions to climate change. Prior to that, Ted served as a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times of London, based in Mexico City and Bangkok and was a commentator for the BBC World Service and Deutsche Welle. Ted has taught at Pomona College, universities in Mexico City and Southeast Asia, and is a permanent Lecturer at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs. He is co-author with his teaching colleague Walker Wells of Blueprint for Greening Affordable Housing (Island Press, 2007) and holds degrees from Wesleyan University and the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University.

 

Lillian Kawasaki
Director
Water Replenishment District
Biography

Lillian Kawasaki

Director
Water Replenishment District
Phoebe Yee
Vice President of Design
Related California
Biography

Phoebe Yee

Vice President of Design
Related California
Joe Sullivan
Director of Energy Solutions
Los Angeles IBEW & NECA
Biography

Joe Sullivan

Director of Energy Solutions
Los Angeles IBEW & NECA

Joe Sullivan is the Director of Energy Solutions and Workforce Engagement for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11 and the National Electrical Contractors Association of Greater Los Angeles. In this role, he advances clean energy solutions paired with workforce standards that create high-road careers. Prior to joining IBEW/NECA, Joe worked in the consulting and training industry. Joe is a graduate of the University of Southern California and received his MBA from the University of Texas in Austin.

 

 

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.

Daniel Charette
Chief Operating Officer
CHARBONE Hydrogen Corporation
Biography

Daniel Charette

Chief Operating Officer
CHARBONE Hydrogen Corporation

Daniel Charette is a veteran in renewable energy and an entrepreneur that has been managing many sustainable energy companies for over 30 years. In the early days, when the Canadian wind energy sector started being considered as a viable solution, he became a recognized executive within the renewable energy market. Daniel is the Chief Operating Officer since 2019 and one of the founding members of CHARBONE Hydrogen Corporation a company listed on the TSXV under the ticker “CH”. Daniel is responsible of the implementation and the deployment of Charbone green hydrogen production facilities in North America, and the different partnerships to build the ecosystems, he oversees the acquisition and the operation of multiple hydropower plants.

Woodie Tescher
Los Angeles Principal
PlaceWorks
Biography

Woodie Tescher

Los Angeles Principal
PlaceWorks

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

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

Paul Relis
Senior Vice President
CR&R Environmental Services
Biography

Paul Relis

Senior Vice President
CR&R Environmental Services

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

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

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

Doane Liu
Executive Director
Los Angeles City Tourism Department
Biography

Doane Liu

Executive Director
Los Angeles City Tourism Department

In March 2017, Doane Liu was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles City Tourism Department (CTD), formerly the Department of Convention and Tourism Development, 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.

Francisca Stefan
Deputy Director, Capital Project Delivery
Seattle Department of Transportation
Biography

Francisca Stefan

Deputy Director, Capital Project Delivery
Seattle Department of Transportation

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

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

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

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.

Rusty Hicks
Chair
California Democratic Party
Biography

Rusty Hicks

Chair
California Democratic Party

Rusty Hicks is a proven leader with a track record of delivering real results for real people. 
 
In 2021, Rusty was reelected as Chair of the California Democratic Party - the Nation's largest State Party comprised of more than 10 million California Democrats. Since first elected in 2019, Rusty has led and delivered on the biggest issues confronting our Party, our State, and our Nation. During his tenure, he has built and directed strategic grassroots organizing campaigns to engage Red, Blue, and Purple parts of California. Rusty has uplifted and empowered new voices in the Party that reflect our State’s great diversity and invested in the Party’s communications, fundraising, and operational infrastructure to ensure that Democrats are best positioned to win in every corner of California. 

Prior to his election as Chair, Rusty served as both President and Political Director of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor - one of the Nation’s most vibrant Labor Movements representing 300 local unions and 800,000 hardworking women and men.

As a labor leader and political organizer for more than a decade, Rusty helped lead a successful campaign to raise the wages of nearly 1 million working Angelenos to $15 an hour and passed a progressive ballot measure to build more affordable housing and create good union jobs. A believer in the power of a second chance, Rusty built a program to help formerly incarcerated workers rejoin the workforce and secure a good union job.

In addition to his organizing work to empower working people through political action, Rusty has played a leading role in a number of important political and policy efforts. In 2008, Rusty served as the California Political Director for Obama for America. Early in his career, he served as the State Assembly District Director for now-Congressmember Ted Lieu, and as a Legislative Aide to the late-Assemblymember Mike Gordon. 

Rusty is a Veteran of the United States Navy and deployed to Afghanistan in 2012-2013 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Rusty is a graduate of Loyola Law School and a poor excuse for a piano player. Rusty lives in amongst the Redwoods on California's North Coast with his beautiful wife, Sandra Sanchez, and their constant sidekick, a chocolate lab, Charlie. 

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

Kelvin Hiraishi

Director, R&D Engineering West
Mazda North American Operations

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

Juan Campos
VP of HSE & Sustainability
California Resources Corporation
Biography

Juan Campos

VP of HSE & Sustainability
California Resources Corporation

Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability professional with a passion to coach, mentor, and lead.

Specialties: EHS Strategies, EHS Value Driven Performance, Communication, Coaching and Mentoring, Advocacy with all levels of Government, Change Acceleration Process, Sustainability Implementation of Air, GHG, Waste, and Material elements, Air Compliance and Permitting, Environmental Compliance and Reporting, Waste Minimization, Hazardous Materials and Waste Management, Change Management, Incident Investigation - Taproot Certified, Internal/External Auditing, Metric Development, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001

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

Daniel Breton

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

Born in Montréal on June 18, 1962

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

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

Molly Strauss
Infrastructure Coordination-Streets Lead
Greater London Authority
Biography

Molly Strauss

Infrastructure Coordination-Streets Lead
Greater London Authority

Molly Strauss is the Infrastructure Coordination - Streets Lead at the Greater London Authority (GLA). She heads up a team at City Hall working on behalf of the mayor to convene collaborative streetworks between utilities, boroughs, Transport for London, and telecoms. This 'dig once' approach creates healthier, more resilient streets and reduces disruption for Londoners. Previously Molly served as editor of the Planning Report and event manager for VerdeXchange in Los Angeles. She received an MSc from the London School of Economics’ Cities Programme and a BA from Harvard University.

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

Nathan Gardner-Andrews

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

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

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

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

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

Fran Pavley
Former Senator, 27th District
California State Senate
Biography

Fran Pavley

Former Senator, 27th District
California State Senate

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

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

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.

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.

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).

Arnab Pal
Sr. Advisor & Consultant
US Department of Energy
Biography

Arnab Pal

Sr. Advisor & Consultant
US Department of Energy

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

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

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

Neil Navin
Chief Clean Fuels Officer
SoCalGas
Biography

Neil Navin

Chief Clean Fuels Officer
SoCalGas

Neil Navin is chief clean fuels officer for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), a Sempra regulated California utility. He oversees SoCalGas’ comprehensive portfolio of clean energy strategies, innovations and projects to support the utility’s role as a long-term leader enabling California’s clean energy future. Navin’s focus is on delivering tangible innovations and projects in new and growing markets, including renewable natural gas, hydrogen and fuel cells, all of which are aligned to SoCalGas’ mission, strategy and sustainability plan.

Previously, Navin was vice president of construction for SoCalGas and SDG&E.

Since joining SoCalGas in 2014, Navin has served in a number of increasingly responsible management positions, including vice president of gas transmission and storage for SoCalGas and SDG&E. Prior to that, Navin held project management positions with the Fluor and Parsons companies. His previous experience included work on sulfur recovery, gas compression processing, oil and gas production, refining, pipeline engineering, chemical weapons destruction, biogas treatment, fuel cell power generation, and petrochemical plant projects throughout the United States, Middle East and Europe.

Navin sits on the boards of Operations Technology Development, NFP, Housing Works and Friends of Ballona Wetlands. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from McGill University in Montréal, Québec, Canada. 

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. 

Emilio Cruz
Assistant General Manager
SFPUC
Biography

Emilio Cruz

Assistant General Manager
SFPUC

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

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.

Jose Torres
California Director
Building Decarbonization Coalition
Biography

Jose Torres

California Director
Building Decarbonization Coalition

Prior to BDC, Mr. Torres worked as California Environmental Justice Alliance's Energy Equity Program Manager, where he oversaw their energy legislative, regulatory, and implementation work. He also worked at the California Energy Commission’s Office of Governmental Affairs and at both the California State Assembly and Senate. His career in public service started as a California Senate Fellow in the Office of Senator Alex Padilla.

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.

Gregory Trimarche
Environmental and Energy Attorney
Greenberg Traurig
Biography

Gregory Trimarche

Environmental and Energy Attorney
Greenberg Traurig

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

Benjamin Bodecke
Business Development Lead
GP JOULE Hydrogen
Biography

Benjamin Bodecke

Business Development Lead
GP JOULE Hydrogen

Benjamin is leading the mobility related business development and strategies team for GP JOULE Hydrogen, a hydrogen-focused subsidiary of the GP JOULE Group. GP JOULE Group is a pioneering integrated energy supplier active in all parts of the renewable energy value chain in Germany and greater Europe - from generation to use.

Before joining the GP JOULE in 2022, he served as a Business Development and Automotive Relations Manager at H2 MOBILITY GmbH & Co. KG, to date the biggest operator of hydrogen refuelling stations worldwide.

He holds a Master of Science in industrial engineering from the University of Technology Dresden (Germany) in partnership with Keio University Tokyo (Japan). He lives in Stuttgart (Germany) and is married to a Californian wife.

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. 

Alf Brandt
General Counsel
Office of CA Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon
Biography

Alf Brandt

General Counsel
Office of CA Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon

Alf W. Brandt serves the California State Assembly as an expert on environmental law and policy, as well as Executive Director of the National Judicial College’s Dividing the Waters Program.  He now serves as Senior Counsel to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.  Drawing on his extensive experience in California water policy, Brandt has developed, analyzed and advocated for California water legislation, including playing critical roles in the development of the 2014 Water Bond, the 2009 Delta/Water Legislation, and the 2007 flood protection package.  In his off-hours, he leads a program to train state and federal judges on water law adjudication. 

Peter Peyton
International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)
Biography

Peter Peyton

International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)
James Marston
Head of Energy Programs
Environmental Defense Fund
Biography

James Marston

Head of Energy Programs
Environmental Defense Fund
Marybel Batjer
Partner
California Strategies
Biography

Marybel Batjer

Partner
California Strategies

At California Strategies, LLC, Marybel Batjer helps clients develop solutions and strategies that solve problems and make public policy work more effectively for the private and public sectors.

She assists clients with needs in a myriad of government departments and agencies focused on policy areas such as water, transportation, internet technology, taxation, energy, gaming, procurement, digital access, real estate, retirement and climate change, including decarbonizing the economy and wildfire mitigation. Her extensive budget experience includes overseeing several entities with multi-billion-dollar budgets and provides key insights throughout government structures from legislation to implementation. Often, clients look to Batjer for strategic counsel by tapping her ever expanding network of close relationships with government leaders and executives that she has nurtured throughout her many decades of public service.

Her career of interesting positions has spanned through the private and public sectors: from the Pentagon to the White House to state houses in two states. She has deep knowledge in highly regulated industries including gaming and has served as chief regulator of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) overseeing privately held utilities in California.

Prior to joining California Strategies, LLC, Batjer served as President of the CPUC and led the organization through multiple unprecedented statewide emergencies related to the acceleration of climate change and the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic. She worked to improve wildfire mitigation and Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events and accelerated and improved critical customer protections such as banning utility disconnections during the COVID-19 pandemic. She advanced key internal and external social justices initiatives and oversaw changes to Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s governance structure as a requirement for approving their Reorganization Plan to exit bankruptcy.

Before her time at the CPUC, Batjer was the inaugural Secretary of the California Government Operations Agency, which supervised the reformation of the state’s civil service system; modernized the IT procurement process and restructured the Board of Equalization by creating two new state entities: the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration and the Office of Tax Appeals. Further, she oversaw the planning and secured funding for three new state office buildings; and restructured the Department of Motor Vehicles.

As the Vice President of Public Policy and Corporate Social Responsibility at Caesars Entertainment Corporation she developed corporate strategy during a leveraged buyout, the industry’s largest merger and acquisition at the time. Additionally, she developed and implemented corporate social responsibility programs to promote corporate social investments, and managed legislative priorities, strategy, and relations.

Batjer is committed to ESG (Environmental Social and Governance) efforts as demonstrated by her roles managing corporate social responsibility, green energy initiatives, and fair labor practices. She has deep expertise in restructuring organizations, managing human capital and DEI, and navigating regulatory processes. Batjer has overseen business entities related to utilities, taxation, retirement, information technology, data management, real estate, and procurement.

Paul Clark
Director
Climate Change & Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC)
Biography

Paul Clark

Director
Climate Change & Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC)
Ted Ross
GM & Chief Technology Officer
City of LA, Information Technology Agency
Biography

Ted Ross

GM & Chief Technology Officer
City of LA, Information Technology Agency
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.

Gleam Davis
Mayor of Santa Monica
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Gleam Davis

Mayor of Santa Monica
City of Santa Monica

Gleam Davis has been on the Santa Monica City Council since February 2009, but she has been active in progressive causes for over three decades.  Before she moved to Santa Monica in 1986, Gleam graduated from Harvard Law School and served in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.  Prior to joining the City Council, Gleam was a co-chair of Santa Monicans for Renters Rights and served on the Santa Monica Planning Commission.  She also served as co-chair of the Santa Monica Child Care and Early Education Task Force.  On the City Council, Gleam has championed housing as a civil right, Lifelong Learning, sustainability, workers’ rights, mobility, and establishing Santa Monica as a City of Wellbeing.  She first served as Mayor of Santa Monica in 2019 and, during her tenure, she helped found Santa Monica’s first Pride Festival, expanded activities celebrating Black History Month and Juneteeth, and brought together local and international activists for the City’s first Wellbeing Summit.  She is married and has one son who served in the U.S. Army.    

James Simonelli
Executive Director
California Metals Coalition
Biography

James Simonelli

Executive Director
California Metals Coalition

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

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

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

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.

Melissa Ruhl
Transportation Planner
Arup
Biography

Melissa Ruhl

Transportation Planner
Arup

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

Anita Landecker
President & CEO
ExED
Biography

Anita Landecker

President & CEO
ExED

Anita Landecker brings decades of experience in community development to her role as President & CEO. Prior to joining ExED in 1999, Ms. Landecker was Regional Vice President for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the nation’s largest community development organization. While at LISC, Ms. Landecker was also the Managing Director of the California Equity Fund (CEF), a LISC subsidiary, which syndicated the benefits of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. In these roles, she raised over $750 million for investment in affordable housing in inner city neighborhoods, producing over 10,000 units of housing developed by community-based organizations.

Previously, Ms. Landecker served as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Community Design Center. She has served as Chair of the Los Angeles Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and taught graduate courses at UCLA and USC. She was awarded a Stanton Fellowship from the Durfee Foundation and a Pahara Fellowship from the Aspen Institute.She holds a master’s degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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.

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

Rodger Schwecke

Vice President of Customer Solutions
Southern California Gas Company

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

Go Mizoguchi
General Manager
Mitsui & Co. (USA)
Biography

Go Mizoguchi

General Manager
Mitsui & Co. (USA)

Go Mizoguchi is a General Manager at Mitsui & Co. (USA) where he oversees the firm’s infrastructure businesses in North America. He has extensive experience in the origination, development and acquisition of energy projects worldwide, including the investments to Distributed Energy Resources startups Stem and Sunverge, the acquisition of a 680 megawatt (MW) Canadian renewable energy portfolio--with the arrangement of approximately $800 million in project financing—and an investment in Astoria Energy LLC’s 750 MW gas-fired power plant in the Queens borough of New York City. Go holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tokyo and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Bob Foster
Board Member
EPCOR Utilities
Biography

Bob Foster

Board Member
EPCOR Utilities

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

Ross Zelen
Chief Committee Consultant
Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies
Biography

Ross Zelen

Chief Committee Consultant
Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies

Ross Zelen is a Research Fellow in the Climate Program at CLEE. Ross’s research focuses on implementation of climate change policy, with a specific focus on solutions to reduce methane emissions. Ross has worked in California environmental policy and public interest for much of the past decade. Starting as an Executive Fellow at the California Air Resources Board, he worked on advancing air quality, clean energy, and sustainable transportation priorities. He also worked for the VerdeXchange Institute as Program Manager and served as Editor of The Planning Report. Ross received his J.D. from Loyola Law School, where he teamed up to win the 2019 California Lawyers Association Environmental Negotiations Competition and was a semifinalist in the 2020 National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition. He has been admitted to the California bar.

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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.

Timon Meyer
Senior Advisor
Cleantech Business Park
Biography

Timon Meyer

Senior Advisor
Cleantech Business Park

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

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

Sal DiCostanzo
Port Liaison / Labor Relations Representative
International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 13
Biography

Sal DiCostanzo

Port Liaison / Labor Relations Representative
International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 13

Sal DiCostanzo is currently serving as Port Liaison / Labor Relations Representative of International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 13. He has been a registered member of Local 13 since 2006 and has worked in the maritime industry since he began his career, as a casual longshoreman, in 1998. During his time in the Union, Sal has filled many different jobs, from driving equipment, to working aboard ships, rails cars, in warehouses as well as a variety of other positions. Prior to his full-time employment on the docks, Sal was a math teacher at Richard Henry Dana Middle School, in his home town of San Pedro. He earned his teaching credential by taking night classes from California State University, Dominguez Hills while concurrently working in the classroom during the day. Prior to his career as a teacher, Sal worked in banking and insurance after graduating from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. Outside of his employment, Sal volunteers his time and abilities for the betterment of the local community, the maritime industry, and was also a Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles. Sal is married and has two children. The son of Italian immigrants, from the island of Ischia, Sal is grateful for the examples of courage, hard work and faith that guided his family in their pursuit of the American Dream.

Kathleen Brown
Treasurer (former)
State of California
Biography

Kathleen Brown

Treasurer (former)
State of California
A former California State Treasurer with nearly two decades of experience as a senior bank executive, Kathleen Brown concentrates on business counseling, government and regulatory affairs in connection with the health care, energy, real estate and financial services industries. 

Before joining Manatt, Kathleen served in senior executive positions at Goldman Sachs Inc. and Bank of America. At Goldman Sachs, where her roles included chairman of Midwest investment banking and head of the Western region public-sector and infrastructure group, Kathleen participated in over $4.2 billion of water and power bond financings and counseled municipal utilities in California in their efforts to meet the state’s renewable energy standards. She also helped healthcare institutions navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by healthcare reform. 

A former Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee, Kathleen has extensive experience in the public sector. As California State treasurer, 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. 

Kathleen served as co-chair of the Council of Institutional Investors; 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 she campaigned for treasurer, Kathleen was an attorney at a global law firm, where she was a member of the capital markets group working in public and corporate finance. 

Ms. Brown serves on the Board of Directors of Sustainable Development Acquisition Corp (SDAC), FivePoint Communities, Stifel Financial Corp, Bill Lane Center for the American West, the Annenberg Foundation, the Mayor’s Fund Los Angeles, the Advisory Board of the Stanford Center on Longevity, and The Trusteeship.

Keith Malone
Public Affairs
California Fuel Cel Partnership
Biography

Keith Malone

Public Affairs
California Fuel Cel Partnership

Keith Malone brings more than 30 years of public relations and public affairs experience to the California Fuel Cell Partnership, a public-private partnership working to bring zero-emission, hydrogen-powered cars, buses, trucks and other forms of mobility to the Golden State. In addition to communications, he leads education and outreach efforts to legislators, NGOs and other public agencies, and represents CaFCP before news media and at public events.

Prior to joining CaFCP, Keith helped multi-cultural nonprofit organizations, elected officials and political candidates communicate and build relationships with their stakeholders. A third-generation Angeleno, Keith received his bachelor of arts degree from Occidental College and his master of arts from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication. 

Stephanie Wiggins
Chief Executive Officer
LA Metro
Biography

Stephanie Wiggins

Chief Executive Officer
LA Metro

Stephanie Wiggins was named chief executive officer of Metrolink by a unanimous vote of the board of directors in December 2018. Wiggins assumed leadership in January 2019 and leads the 275-employee strong commuter railroad with a budget of $793 million.

As CEO, Wiggins directs an agency that operates a commuter rail network on seven routes across a six-county, 538 route-mile system. Wiggins has held high-level positions at three of the five-member agencies that comprise Metrolink and is well-known as a customer -focused leader who finds solutions from a regional perspective.

Wiggins’ vision for the agency is to create value and exceed expectations by prioritizing a customer-first orientation with three pillars to provide an outstanding customer experience: safety and security, an integrated system, and modernizing business practices.

Prior to leading Metrolink, Wiggins was Deputy CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) where she assisted the CEO in providing leadership and formulating and achieving strategic public transportation objectives, including the passage of Measure M, a half-cent sales tax approved by 71 percent of voters in LA County. During her tenure at LA Metro, Stephanie also served as the Executive Director of Vendor/Contract Management, where she implemented procurement streamlining initiatives and greatly expanded Metro’s utilization of small and historically underutilized businesses.

Prior to that role, Stephanie was the Executive Officer and Project Director of the Congestion Reduction/ExpressLanes Program where she launched the first high occupancy toll lanes in LA County, the I-10 and I-110 Express Lanes, which improved travel times and travel reliability on two of the County’s most congested freeway corridors. Prior to Metro, she served as Regional Programs Director for the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) and oversaw transit, commuter rail, rideshare, goods movement and rail capital projects. Wiggins began her career in transportation when she accepted a temporary assignment at the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority and fell in love with the mission of the agency. The six-month temporary assignment turned into more than four years. She then accepted a policy analyst position with the RCTC where she worked for an additional nine and a half years in management and senior management roles.

Feeling the need for personal and academic growth, Wiggins earned a Master of Business Administration from the USC Marshall School of Business in 2007. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Whittier College in 1992.

Wiggins is a self-proclaimed “military brat” whose father made his career in the Air Force. She credits her experience moving from base to base and country to country as a child for teaching her the importance of diversity.

Wiggins is the founding president of the Inland Empire Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar. She is the recipient of many awards including the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials 2018 Women Who Move the Nation Award. She is a Board Member of the Los Angeles Chapter of Friends of the Children, the LA Division of the American Heart Association, and an Advisory Board Member for the UCLA Lewis Center. 

Steven Bingler
CEO and Founder
Concordia
Biography

Steven Bingler

CEO and Founder
Concordia

Steven Bingler is a leading advocate for innovative, equitable and community centered architectural, urban design and stakeholder engagement solutions. He grew up in a working class family in Charlottesville, Virginia where he was among the first in his extended family to graduate from high school.  He is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Architecture and is a lifetime member of the university’s prestigious Raven Society.

In 1983 he founded Concordia, a New Orleans based architectural, planning and community centered design firm. The word concordia, which is the Latin word for “harmony,” became his personal and professional mission statement.  Concordia’s award winning projects have appeared in many local, national and international publications, including Newsweek, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today, as well as Architectural Digest, Architecture and Metropolis magazines.

Bingler has founded or co-founded a series of New Orleans based organizations with missions focused on community centered entrepreneurship and design innovation. He co-founded with Martin C.Pedersen the “Common Edge Collaborative”,an online news site with more than 400 essays published on community centered planning and design. https://commonedge.org/ 

See recent article co-authored with Pedersen, published in Fast Company, 08-15-22; “America’s biggest financial threat isn’t government spending.  It’s the cost of climate change.

Bingler’s work has received support from the Ford, Rockefeller, Bill and Melinda Gates, George Lucas, Prudential, William Penn and other foundations. His research papers have been widely published in books and journals on climate change, urban planning, architectural design, public health and education. His op-eds, developed in collaboration with his colleague Martin Pedersen, have been published in the New York Times and Washington Post.

As a fervent naturalist, he has recently become a spokesperson for community centered climate change planning.  In addition to his efforts in coordinating the Unified New Orleans Plan (UNOP) for the recovery of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, he recently served as the principal investigator for the Global Transformation Roundtable, a Rockefeller Foundation funded initiative. He authored the resulting report, “Sea Changes”, outlining planning principles for addressing sea level rise, wildfires, drought and other systemic existential challenges.
 

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. 

Bill Bogaard
Mayor
City of Pasadena
Biography

Bill Bogaard

Mayor
City of Pasadena

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

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

Michael Carlin
Deputy General Manager and Chief Operating Officer
SFPUC
Biography

Michael Carlin

Deputy General Manager and Chief Operating Officer
SFPUC
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.

Alex Fisch
Special Assistant Attorney General for Housing
California Department of Justice
Biography

Alex Fisch

Special Assistant Attorney General for Housing
California Department of Justice

Council Member Alex Fisch was elected to the City Council in April 2018.  Alex previously served as the Chair of the City’s Committee on Homelessness, and he now sits on various Ad Hoc and standing Subcommittees of the City Council, including the Regional Oil Operations Subcommittee, Housing and Homelessness Subcommittee, and the Mobility, Traffic and Parking Subcommittee.  He represents the City on the Westside Cities Council of Governments (WSCCOG) as a Board Member. On December 17, 2020, the WSCCOG Board appointed Council Member Fisch to serve as the WSCCOG Representative to the Southern California Association of Governments, Regional Council District #41.

Alex is also an attorney for the California Department of Justice, in the Natural Resource Law Section of the Attorney General’s Office.  He was previously a shareholder at a Century City law firm and was a founding Director of the Institute for Field Research - an independent, nonprofit academic organization that delivers rigorous archaeology field schools to students around the world. 

Alex is a graduate of UC Berkeley and the UCLA School of Law.  His particular interests include making Culver City an even better place for families, ending neighborhood oil drilling, and increasing housing opportunities and transportation options so that Culver City can maintain its diversity, create safe streets for all, transition to environmental and fiscal sustainability, and demonstrate leadership in the fight to prevent climate breakdown.

Josh Boone
Director
Veloz
Biography

Josh Boone

Director
Veloz

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

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

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

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.

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

Myrna Bittner
CEO and Co-Founder
RUNWITHIT Synthetics
Biography

Myrna Bittner

CEO and Co-Founder
RUNWITHIT Synthetics

Myrna Bittner is the CEO and Co-Founder of RUNWITHIT Synthetics, an advanced data modelling and visualization company helping to answer some of the most challenging questions about decarbonization, sustainability, equity, resilience, and growth initiatives globally.   Myrna is passionate about connecting today's technology, policy, and infrastructure choices to data about the impacts and outcomes for people and our planet.  

Last year, 7 years after incorporation, the growing RUNWITHIT team celebrated numerous international awards, including the United Nation’s Global Call for Decarbonization, Taiwan’s Top Technology Gold Medal, Toyota Mobility Foundation’s City Architecture of Tomorrow Challenge, NATO’s Space Awareness, USAF’s AFWERX Showcase, Airbus Defence “Beyond Net-Zero," along with the “Most Edmonton” YEG Startup Company.  RUNWITHIT is a women-led, Certified Aboriginal Business, with a GBA+ Certified team of diverse and talented 3D animators, designers, and scientists in social, data, computing, and engineering disciplines. 

Lee O'Dwyer
Equity Market Specialist
Bloomberg LP
Biography

Lee O'Dwyer

Equity Market Specialist
Bloomberg LP

Drawing from fifteen years of experience in traditional and alternative investments, Lee O’Dwyer helps Bloomberg clients gain maximum leverage of their terminal toward actionable strategies.

Discussing ESG data, equity fundamental valuations, earnings & idea generation tools, and portfolio analysis with top analysts and portfolio managers, O’Dwyer’s experience and communication style lets him calibrate around the varied needs and styles of clients, allowing him to interpret their comments and provide meaningful and useful support.

Originally from England, O’Dwyer is a member of the CFA® Institute and has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) designation.

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

Andrew McIlroy

Senior Manager
Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore Vallery Open Campus Development
Luke Klipp
Senior Transportation Deputy
to LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn
Biography

Luke Klipp

Senior Transportation Deputy
to LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn

Currently Senior Transportation Deputy to LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn. Previously served as Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia's LA Metro Board Deputy, and prior to that at LA Metro as a Principal Transportation Planner in the Office of Management and Budget.

As an elected member of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council (LFNC), served as the council's President and Treasurer. Volunteer as Abundant Housing LA's Education Director. Co-founded and produce "A Little New Music," an LA-based quarterly concert of new musical theatre tunes. Co-founded Out@Metro, an LGBT and allies employee affinity group at LA Metro, and served on the leadership team of Metro Emerging Professionals Association, or MEPA.

Denny Zane
Executive Director
Move LA
Biography

Denny Zane

Executive Director
Move LA

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

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

David Faber
Vice President, Capital Equipment Sales
H2O Innovation
Biography

David Faber

Vice President, Capital Equipment Sales
H2O Innovation

H2O Innovation, a global publicly traded company with headquarters in Quebec, Canada, designs and provides state-of-the-art, custom-built, and integrated water treatment solutions based on membrane filtration technology for municipal, industrial, energy and natural resources end-users. The Corporation’s activities rely on three pillars which are i) water technologies and services; ii) specialty products, including a complete line of specialty chemicals, consumables, and specialized products for the water treatment industry; and iii) operation and maintenance services for water and wastewater treatment systems. H2O Innovations was named Water Company of the Year in 2020 in the Global Water Awards.

Mr. David Faber joined H2O Innovation, Inc. in 2013 as Vice President of Capital Equipment Sales to increase sales and promote new technologies across North America and abroad.  David has been in the membrane industry since 1995 and has worked for membrane companies such as Fluid System, Inc. and Hydranautics and has been involved in many membrane projects in California and throughout the world.  Together, David and H2O Innovation, Inc. have been involved with many California reuse/groundwater recharge projects like Orange County Water District’s 70 MGD GWRS. West Basin Phase IV, WRD’s Leo J. Vander Lans expansion, and Las Virgenes Municipal Water District’s demonstration facility.  H2O Innovation is also under contract for two unique reuse projects; the City of San Diego’s 32 MGD Pure Water project using reservoir augmentation and Morro Bay’s indirect potable reuse which will be implementing membrane bioreactor (MBR) pretreatment.

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.

Sarah Friedman
Principal
Better World Group
Biography

Sarah Friedman

Principal
Better World Group

Sarah K. Friedman is an experienced energy and environmental strategist, advocate and attorney with strong subject matter expertise in climate, land use, renewable energy and water.
She has deep experience in advocacy, strategy development, negotiations, as well as, building and maintaining diverse, impactful state and local coalitions.

Sarah was a Senior Campaign Representative at the Sierra Club for seven years. She built durable relationships with federal, state and local agencies. In her role at Sierra Club, she worked to protect California's precious lands, wildlife and waters, while also meeting the challenge of developing renewable energy at the scale necessary to curb climate change. This included work to develop, finalize and protect the landmark Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, the defense of California’s desert national monuments, and addressing environmental issues related to the Salton Sea.

Prior to joining the Sierra Club, Sarah worked as an attorney, representing renewable energy developers in the financing and development of wind, solar and geothermal projects.

Sarah holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a bachelor’s from the University of Oregon.

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

Dr. Jerry Schubel

President and CEO
Aquarium of the Pacific

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

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

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

Mary Nichols
Co-Chair
Commission on the Future of Mobility
Biography

Mary Nichols

Co-Chair
Commission on the Future of Mobility

Mary Nichols is the former Chair of The California Air Resources Board, where she occupies the attorney seat. She served on the Board under Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. (1975-82 and 2010-18), Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (2007-2010) and Governor Gavin Newsom (2019—2021.)  She also served as California’s Secretary for Natural Resources (1999-2003), appointed by Gov. Gray Davis.

When not working for the State of California, Mary was a senior staff attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council; Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Regulation, in the administration of President William Jefferson Clinton; and headed the Institute of Environment and Sustainability at UCLA.

Over a career as an environmental lawyer spanning over 45 years, Mary Nichols has played a key role in California and the nation’s progress toward healthy air. She has also led the Board in crafting California’s internationally recognized climate action plan.       

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.

Phillip Washington
CEO
Denver International Airport
Biography

Phillip Washington

CEO
Denver International Airport

Phillip A. Washington was nominated by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and unanimously confirmed by the Denver City Council as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Denver International Airport (DEN) on July 12, 2021. DEN is the country’s 3rd busiest airport and the world’s 7th busiest airport by passengers. The annual economic impact of DEN is $33.5 billion and has 30,000 total badged employees with 22 air carriers and a total of 170 concession locations and more than 190,000 square feet of concession space. In just a short period of time, Phil has set forth a vision for DEN, Vision 100, that looks to prepare DEN to accommodate 100 million passengers, a 30% increase in passengers within the next 5-8 years. 

Prior to Washington’s arrival at DEN, he was the CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) from March 2015 to May, 2021. 

As Metro’s CEO, Washington managed a balanced budget in excess of $8 billion, was responsible for overseeing between $18-$20 billion in capital projects and provided oversight of an agency with 11,000 employees that transported 1.2 million boarding passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200 clean-air buses and six rail lines. Metro is the lead transportation planning, programming, and financing agency for LA County. As such, it is a major construction agency that oversees bus, rail, highway, and other mobility related infrastructure projects – together representing the largest modern public works program in North America. Washington was also engaged and partnering in all facets of transportation and infrastructure in LA County including aviation, goods movement, freight/railroads, water, public works, housing, and transit-oriented communities (TOCs). 

Washington led the 2016 successful effort to pass Measure M, a new half- cent sales tax in Los Angeles County (the most populated county in the United States), which garnered 71.15% voter approval. Measure M will allow Metro to build 40 major highway and transit projects over the next 40 years, create 778,000 jobs and provide $133.3 billion in economic impact for the region. Measure M has no sunset and will only end if voters vote to end it. 

Washington went to Los Angeles from Denver, where he served as the CEO of Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) between 2009 and 2015. He was previously the assistant general manager of RTD for nearly 10 years before being named CEO. 

In Denver, Washington led and implemented the FasTracks program, one of the largest voter approved transportation expansion programs in the country. Under his leadership, Denver’s West Corridor Rail Line project was completed under budget and eight months earlier than scheduled, and the award-winning Denver Union Station project was completed five months early and is now realizing tremendous revenue and value capture from the surrounding development. 

Also in Denver, Washington implemented the nation’s first and still only $2.2 billion rail transit public private partnership (P3), which opened in 2016 and is in operation and exceeding ridership estimates.

Washington has received numerous prestigious assignments and honors. In July 2022, Phil was nominated by President Biden to be the next Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator. Phil awaits Senate confirmation. In 2021, under Washington’s leadership of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, LA Metro was named a Top Regional Employer in the DiversityInc Top 50 Employer competition for the first time in the agency’s history. In 2020 and 2021, Phil co-chaired the Biden/Harris Infrastructure Policy Committee, he was later asked to lead (Captain) the Biden/Harris Transportation Transition Team. In both 2021 and 2019, he testified before the full U.S. Congressional Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, was honored with the Eddy Award for Outstanding Leadership in Economic Development and was awarded the prestigious CORO Crystal Eagle Award for a “Legacy of Leadership.” In 2018, he was awarded the Honorable Ray LaHood Award (former U.S. Secretary of Transportation) by the national Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) for his outstanding contribution in promoting opportunities to advance and advocate for women in the transportation industry. In 2017, he was presented with the Judge Harry Pregerson Public Service Award for his service to U.S. military veterans and was honored with the Norman Mineta Award for exceptional leadership in the transportation industry. In 2016, he was chosen by the National Safety Council as one of the CEOs Who “Get It” – an honor bestowed on CEOs who demonstrate leadership in safety at the highest levels. In 2014, he was selected by the editors of Engineering News-Record as one of the Top 25 Newsmakers of 2013. Washington was also named 2013-2014 Outstanding Public Transportation CEO of the Year in North America by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). In 2012, President Obama named him a White House Transportation Innovators Champion of Change. In 2009, he was appointed by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter to serve on the State of Colorado’s Workforce Development Council to help the state create a 21st century workforce. And, in 2007, he was appointed by the mayor of Denver to lead the Host Transportation Committee for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. 

Originally from the South Side of Chicago – the housing projects of Altgeld Gardens – Washington is a 24-year veteran of the U.S. Army, where he held the rank of Command Sergeant Major, the highest non-commissioned officer rank an enlisted soldier can achieve. He retired from active duty, is a disabled veteran and was awarded the prestigious Defense Superior Service Medal for exceptional service to his country. He holds a B.A. in Business from Columbia College, an M.A. in Management from Webster University and is a graduate of the Harvard University Kennedy School for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. He is also a past chair of APTA and a former member of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board and the Eno Center for Transportation.
 

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

Anne Baker

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

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

Hon. Steven S. Cliff, Ph.D.
Executive Officer
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Hon. Steven S. Cliff, Ph.D.

Executive Officer
California Air Resources Board

Dr. Steven Cliff was appointed by CARB as Executive Officer in Summer 2022. As Executive Officer, Cliff works with the Board to enact programs to reduce air and climate pollution. He oversees the work of approximately 1,800 employees and a budget of $2.7 billion.

Dr. Cliff was most recently the 16th Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), where he oversaw the nation’s vehicle safety agency that sets vehicle safety standards, identifies safety defects and manages recalls, and educates Americans to help them travel safely. NHTSA’s work also includes establishing fuel economy regulations and helping facilitate the testing and deployment of advanced vehicle technologies including Automated Driving Systems. Cliff was appointed to NHTSA by President Biden in January 2021 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2022.

Cliff brings an extensive scientific and regulatory background to his leadership role at CARB. Prior to his appointment to NHTSA, Cliff served as a Deputy Executive Officer at CARB, where he first joined the staff in 2008 as an Air Pollution Specialist. Since then, he held a variety of positions at the agency, eventually overseeing its climate program. From 2014 to 2016, Cliff was appointed by then Governor Brown to the California Department of Transportation as Assistant Director for Sustainability. He returned to CARB in 2016 when Governor Brown appointed him senior advisor to CARB’s Chair.

Cliff played an active role at the University of California, Davis for nearly two decades. In 2001, he joined the school’s Department of Applied Sciences as a research professor, later becoming affiliated with the school’s Air Quality Research Center. Through the years, he has supported independent air quality and climate research programs while balancing his time at CARB and Caltrans, including being an approved program coordinator at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Advanced Light Source.

Cliff received a bachelor’s degree and doctorate in chemistry from the University of California, San Diego. He then completed a postdoc on atmospheric sciences at the University of California, Davis’ Department of Land, Air and Water Resources.

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.
 
Adam Schiff
Congressman, California's 28th District
US House of Representatives
Biography

Adam Schiff

Congressman, California's 28th District
US House of Representatives
Brian Fraser
Senior Sales Manager
Meiden America Inc. (MAI)
Biography

Brian Fraser

Senior Sales Manager
Meiden America Inc. (MAI)

Brian Fraser has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with over 25 years of experience in the water and wastewater treatment industry.  He is currently leading MAI’s Ceramic Flat Sheet Membrane team’s business development activities for the Americas.  Under his direction, they are focused on providing solutions for water reuse applications including direct and indirect potable reuse as well as industrial water reuse and recycle.   Prior to MAI, Brian worked with many different innovative treatment technologies on projects around the world providing unique solutions to various water issues.

Stefan Tongur
VP of Business Development
Electreon
Biography

Stefan Tongur

VP of Business Development
Electreon

Stefan defined the concept of Electric Road Systems (ERS), and it is no surprise that he is well rehearsed in the opportunities and challenges of commercializing ERS in Europe and the US. Stefan also holds expertise on business models, sustainable transition, policy, and systemic innovation and has previously worked as a Senior Researcher at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.

Stefan holds an M.Sc in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Industrial Economics and Management, both from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. His doctoral thesis is one of the world’s first to research the topic of ERS and is titled “Preparing for takeoff – Analyzing the development of electric road system from a business model perspective”.

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.

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

Pat Proano

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Kameale C. Terry
CEO
ChargerHelp!
Biography

Kameale C. Terry

CEO
ChargerHelp!

CEO of ChargerHelp Kameale Terry was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. The daughter of Belizean immigrants Kameale has always had a focus on environmental sustainability and community engagement.

With over a decade of experience in CleanTech, Kameale formed ChargerHelp! with her co-founder Evette Ellis to create a reliable Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure. The CleanTech company, powered by technology, uses data to identify and provide maintenance and repair services for electric vehicle charging stations.

Previously Kameale worked at EV Connect where she was the Director of Programs for the electric vehicle charging station network provider. In that role, she structured and led teams to execute infrastructure projects in the United States, Australia, and Canada for both commercial and government entities. Her notable projects include Electrify America - Phase One program, the Southern California Edison Charge Ready Pilot, and the New York Power Authority portfolio.

Prior to that role, Kameale established the Customer Experience Department at EV Connect by partnering with the South Bay Workforce Investment Board employing candidates from the local community. She believes that an equitable green economy can be achieved through impactful development and realignment of existing workforces in conjunction with clean technology.

Kameale is an advisor for Edge Energy and a Co-creator of Culture and Climate, an annual gathering
in Los Angeles of Investors, Founders, Industry Experts, Venture Capitalists, and Speakers in Cleantech. Kameale has a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University and sits on several boards in entrepreneurial and environmental industries.

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