Speakers

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. 

Östen Ekengren
Vice General Manager
IVL-The Swedish Environmental Research Institute
Biography

Östen Ekengren

Vice General Manager
IVL-The Swedish Environmental Research Institute

Mr Östen Ekengren, MSc, graduated from the Royal Institute for Technology in Stockholm in 1978. The same year he joined IVL-The Swedish Environmental Research Institute. He has been responsible for the build-up of the Environmental Technology department. He is also responsible for the business area Sustainable production and consumption. Mr Ekengren is now Vice President for IVL. He has been project leader for more than hundred national and fifteen international /European Environmental Technology projects during the years. Mr Ekengren is also member of the Euroenvironment umbrella (EUREKA) where he has been active to adopt a new strategy based on the ETAP. He has been engaged in the development of the ETAP as an expert but also as a representative for EUREKA and the Swedish Ministry of Environment. He is also member in the European Water Technology platform WSSTP. He has also helped the Latvian Ministry of Economy to define how they can introduce environmental issues not as a problem but also to find the business opportunities.

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

 

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. 

Charles Wilson
Executive Director and CEO
Southern California Water Coalition
Biography

Charles Wilson

Executive Director and CEO
Southern California Water Coalition

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

The Southern California Water Coalition (SCWC) - established in 1984 - is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public education partnership dedicated to informing Southern Californians about water needs and the state's water resources. Through measured advocacy, SCWC works to ensure the health and reliability of Southern California's water supply.

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

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

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

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

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

Wilson is recognized as an organizational leader, consensus builder and strategic communications specialist who can develop high performance teams, which produce results.

In addition, Wilson also serves as an elected board member of the Santa Margarita Water District where he currently serves as an active and dynamic force in providing leadership to the second largest and fastest growing retail water agency in Orange County.

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

A frequent lecturer and university level instructor, Wilson was invited to provide advanced political campaign and communications seminars to train candidates and political parties in Novosibirsk, Russia. Wilson has also hosted and produced “Orange County Outlook,” a locally produced television show highlighting current events, political debate and economic development activities in Orange County.

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

Charles has been involved in several community activities including the Southern California Water Committee, Association of California Water Agencies, Southern California Public Affairs Association Advisory Board, Southern California Building Industry Association, Serra Catholic School’s Parent Advisory Board, Young Executives of America, the Orange County Public Affairs Association, Orange County Business Council, Mission Hospital Foundation, the Knights of Columbus, Constitutional Rights Foundation, Boy Scouts, YMCA, United Way, Red Cross, KOCE TV, Cystic Fibrosis, CORO, the Sigma Chi fraternity and the UCLA alumni association.

Charles and his wife, Pam, live in South Orange County with their daughter. 

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

Angela George-Moody

Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works

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

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

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

Tony Salazar
President, West Coast Operations
McCormack Barron Salazar
Biography

Tony Salazar

President, West Coast Operations
McCormack Barron Salazar
Brian Thurston
Business Development Manager
Waste Management Sustainability Services
Biography

Brian Thurston

Business Development Manager
Waste Management Sustainability Services

Brian is a national business development manager for Waste Management Sustainability Services. His background is in business development and consulting in the field of sustainability, and he currently focuses on the development of customized and scalable business strategies for Waste Management customers. Within his role, Brian works with different stakeholder groups to incorporate and leverage all internal and external Waste Management assets, emphasizing innovation and efficiency in solutions that span the entire value chain of materials management.

Brian holds a MS from The Johns Hopkins University in Environmental Science and Policy, and a BA from the University of Southern California in Literature.

Gene Sykes
CEO
LA 2024
Biography

Gene Sykes

CEO
LA 2024

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

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

Deborah Weintraub

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

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

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. 

Michael Picker
President
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Michael Picker

President
California Public Utilities Commission

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

Chris Pak
Founder and Principal
Archeon Group
Biography

Chris Pak

Founder and Principal
Archeon Group

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

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

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

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

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

Eric Garcetti
Mayor
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Eric Garcetti

Mayor
City of Los Angeles

Eric Garcetti is the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles. His "back to basics" agenda is focused on job creation and solving everyday problems for L.A. residents.

Garcetti was elected four times by his peers to serve as President of the Los Angeles City Council from 2006 to 2012. From 2001 until taking office as Mayor, he served as the Councilmember representing the 13th District which includes Hollywood, Echo Park, Silver Lake, and Atwater Village -- all of which were dramatically revitalized under Garcetti's leadership.

Garcetti was raised in the San Fernando Valley and earned his B.A. and M.A. from Columbia University. He studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and the London School of Economics and taught at Occidental College and USC. A fourth generation Angeleno, he and his wife, Amy Elaine Wakeland, have a young daughter. He is a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy reserve and is an avid jazz pianist and photographer.

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.
Jonathan Parfrey
Executive Director
Climate Resolve
Biography

Jonathan Parfrey

Executive Director
Climate Resolve

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

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. 

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.

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.

Angela Konert
Head of Government and External Affairs
BMW Group
Biography

Angela Konert

Head of Government and External Affairs
BMW Group

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

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

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

Adam Krantz
CEO
National Association of Water Agencies
Biography

Adam Krantz

CEO
National Association of Water Agencies

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

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

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

 

Matt Horton
Chief Commercial Officer
Proterra Inc
Biography

Matt Horton

Chief Commercial Officer
Proterra Inc

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

 
Peter Hamilton
Director of Energy Services
California Center for Sustainable Energy
Biography

Peter Hamilton

Director of Energy Services
California Center for Sustainable Energy
Greg Spotts
Chief Sustainability Officer
Streets LA
Biography

Greg Spotts

Chief Sustainability Officer
Streets LA

Greg Spotts serves Los Angeles as Assistant Director and Chief Sustainability Officer of StreetsLA.  Greg oversees more than 600 staff in the Street Maintenance, Urban Forestry, and Investigation and Enforcement Divisions.  Greg completed a BA in political science from Yale and a Masters in Public Policy at UCLA, with a Leaders In Sustainability Certificate. Greg's current initiatives include Cool Streets LA, launching the city's first cloud-based street tree inventory, legalizing sidewalk and park vending, and purchasing the city's first electric powered motor sweeper. 

 
 
Nash Hurley
Creative Director
VITAL Environments
Biography

Nash Hurley

Creative Director
VITAL Environments
Jon Lash
Chief Operating Officer
GROW Holdings LLC
Biography

Jon Lash

Chief Operating Officer
GROW Holdings LLC

Jon Lash was the former Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Pardee Homes, and has worked in the homebuilding and residential land development industry for over 28 years. He joined Pardee Homes in 1987 and progressively held more challenging positions over his tenure, which began in the company’s commercial/industrial department. In addition to his in-depth knowledge of Pardee, Lash brought a tactical and financial methodology to the leadership team and throughout his career placed a special focus on land acquisition and disposition, as well as community development and homebuilding operations.  In his very successful career, he has been involved in acquiring over 80,000 residential lots and has  constructed over 46,000 houses, generating profits in excess of $3.5 billion.

Lash is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business, with an emphasis in real estate development and property management.  He is involved in many charitable organizations including Home Aid of America.  Jon also actively promotes and participates in the education of future industry professionals. In addition to mentoring college students who are interested in pursuing a career in real estate development, in 2010 he became the lead sponsor for the International Real Estate Case Competition, hosted annually in Southern California, which gives college students from around the world the opportunity to use their classroom knowledge to creatively solve a complex development project.

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

Zev Yaroslavsky

Director, Los Angeles Initiative
UCLA Luskin School of Public Policy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 

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.

Alex Fay
Business Development Manager
Quallion
Biography

Alex Fay

Business Development Manager
Quallion

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

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

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

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
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.

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

Adam Schiff

Congressman, California's 28th District
US House of Representatives
Chris Higgins
VP Public Sector & Infrastructure
Goldman Sachs
Biography

Chris Higgins

VP Public Sector & Infrastructure
Goldman Sachs

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

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

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

Veronica Siranosian
Senior Manager
AECOM
Biography

Veronica Siranosian

Senior Manager
AECOM

Veronica Siranosian, AICP, LEED GA is a senior project manager in the AECOM Ventures group, which focuses on integrating technology and innovation into the company's core business. Her areas of focus include future transportation, Smart Cities, and Internet of Things. She has experience managing and preparing feasibility studies, alternatives analyses, and environmental and planning studies for integrated transportation and land use projects across multiple existing and future modes (BRT, light rail, high-speed rail, streetcar, Hyperloop, autonomous and connected vehicles). With a background in transportation and land use planning, she brings ten years of experience in the public and private sectors to the role. Prior to joining AECOM she worked at the County of Los Angeles Department of Regional Planning on long-range community plans. Veronica received her Master of Urban Planning degree from the New York University Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and her Bachelor of Arts in International Development and Political Science from UCLA.

Miguel Santana
President & CEO
Los Angeles County Fair Association
Biography

Miguel Santana

President & CEO
Los Angeles County Fair Association

Miguel A. Santana is the President and CEO of the Los Angeles County Fair Association, a private nonprofit Association that manages the nearly 500-acre Fairplex in Pomona. With a mission to build community and strengthen the economy, Mr. Santana’s vision for the Fairplex campus is to create an experiential environment for the community to live, learn, work and play. By forging collaborative relationships with the region’s educational institutions, government officials and community residents Mr. Santana is focused on the transformation of Fairplex into a 21st century sustainable globally-recognized venue and economic engine grounded in its agricultural roots. Mr. Santana is one of only five presidents since the Fair’s inception in 1922 and looks forward to leading the organization to its 100-year celebration in 2022 – an event that will celebrate the annual Fair’s rich traditions in a manner that is relevant to Southern Californians today.

Prior to his employment at Fairplex, Mr. Santana was the City Administrative Officer for the City of Los Angeles since 2009. Mr. Santana reported directly to the Mayor and the City Council. As the CAO, his office directed oversight over the City’s $8.1 billion budget, labor negotiations, debt management and major policy issues as directed by the Mayor and/or City Council, including the proprietary departments of Department of Water and Power, Airport and Harbor.

Mr. Santana has more than 25 years of experience managing numerous fiscal, legislative, political, and community issues. Previously, Mr. Santana served as one of five Deputy Chief Executive Officers for Los Angeles County. As Deputy CEO, Mr. Santana provided oversight to all of the County’s social service departments including the Department of Children and Family Services, Public Social Services, Child Support, Military and Veterans Affairs and the Human Relations Commission. Collectively, these departments represented $9 billion of the $22 billion annual County budget.

Mr. Santana has a B.A. in Sociology and Latin American Studies from Whittier College and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. Mr. Santana serves on the Boards of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, United Way of Los Angeles, Weingart Foundation, California Community Foundation, FUSE Corp, Board of Trustees Whittier College, and Discovery Cube Los Angeles.

Paul Mertes
President
Mertes Management and Technology Inc.
Biography

Paul Mertes

President
Mertes Management and Technology Inc.

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

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

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

Sarah Montgomery
Economic & Trade Counsellor
British Embassy Washington
Biography

Sarah Montgomery

Economic & Trade Counsellor
British Embassy Washington
Anthony Eggert
Executive Director
UC Davis Policy Institute
Biography

Anthony Eggert

Executive Director
UC Davis Policy Institute
Frank Bush
Executive Officer
Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety
Biography

Frank Bush

Executive Officer
Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PROFESSIONAL LICENSES / CERTIFICATIONS 

• Member - California Building Officials (CALBO) 

• Certified Combination Dwelling Inspector – International Code Council 

• General Contractor – California State Contractors License Board 

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

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

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

 

David Nahai
Partner
Lewis Brisbois LLP
Biography

David Nahai

Partner
Lewis Brisbois LLP

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Kristin Eberhard

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

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

Joe Sullivan
Director of Energy Solutions
Los Angeles IBEW & NECA
Biography

Joe Sullivan

Director of Energy Solutions
Los Angeles IBEW & NECA
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.

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

Doane Liu

Executive Director
Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hiroaki Ishizuka

Chair
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

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

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

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

Debra Coy
Partner
XVP Water Partners
Biography

Debra Coy

Partner
XVP Water Partners

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

Thomas Aujero Small
President & CEO
Culver City Forward
Biography

Thomas Aujero Small

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

Small’s work with the city focused on excellence in urban planning, sustainable design and mobility, including initiating and leading the Transit Oriented District Visioning process. He led efforts to win grants from the Mayor’s Innovation Project, the Harvard Behavioral Insight Group, and the National Institute for Civil Discourse, for programs to enhance public outreach for neighborhood planning and alternative modes of transportation. He represented the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus of the League of California Cities on their Housing and Economic Development Policy Committee. At a national level, he has participated in the US Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities, the New American Leaders and Local Progress, all based in Washington, D.C.

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

 

Hank Lee
Vice President, International Banking
East West Bank
Biography

Hank Lee

Vice President, International Banking
East West Bank

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

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

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

Mick Dalrymple
Chief Sustainability Officer
University of Southern California
Biography

Mick Dalrymple

Chief Sustainability Officer
University of Southern California

Michael “Mick” Dalrymple is the Chief Sustainability Officer at USC, where he brings over 30 years of multi-disciplinary experience in sustainability leadership, higher education, information technology, and media. He previously served as the director of university sustainability practices at Arizona State University, developing the internal consulting service to empower the university in attaining ambitious sustainability goals, including achieving carbon neutrality in 2019 – six years ahead of schedule.

Dalrymple connects stakeholders and experts in developing integrated solutions to complex environmental, social and economic challenges and opportunities. His previous work includes formulating and executing projects that joined expert faculty researchers and students with stakeholders from various sectors (government, industry, and/or non-governmental organizations) to create domestic and international solutions related to algal biofuels, green schools, energy benchmarking, municipal tree and shade master plans, aquifer sustainability, and circular economy. Dalrymple also managed a federally-funded project for ASU with partners in the City of Phoenix and Arizona Public Service to retrofit as much of downtown Phoenix as possible for energy efficiency.

As an entrepreneur, Dalrymple co-founded an environmental building supply company and a green building architecture and consulting services firm. He is a produced feature film screenwriter with an extensive film and advertising production background. Aim high and implement.

Zoltan Tompa
Director, Partnerships
Sustainable Development Technology Canada
Biography

Zoltan Tompa

Director, Partnerships
Sustainable Development Technology Canada

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

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

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

David McConnell
Vice President, Business Development, North America
Enerkem
Biography

David McConnell

Vice President, Business Development, North America
Enerkem

David McConnell joined Enerkem's management team as Vice President, Business Development, North America, in April 2015. He has over 25 years of experience in operations, sales and procurement in the solid and hazardous waste industry.

Mr. McConnell was most recently Vice President of Supply Chain at Waste Management, where he was responsible for the alignment between corporate functions and field operations in order to achieve WM’s transformation goals. In his prior position, Mr. McConnell was Area Vice President overseeing the financial and operations of the Waste Management of North Florida and Puerto Rico. The Area consisted of solid waste hauling operations, transfer stations, landfills, material recovery facilities and business development. He has held various positions in the hazardous and solid waste industry across the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico.

Mr. McConnell holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Louisiana State University.

Julian Gresser
Director
Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips
Biography

Julian Gresser

Director
Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips
Andrea Redford
Chief Business Development Officer
Enerkem
Biography

Andrea Redford

Chief Business Development Officer
Enerkem
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.

Richard Atwater
Executive Director
Southern California Water Committee
Biography

Richard Atwater

Executive Director
Southern California Water Committee

 

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

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

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

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.   

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.

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.

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

James Stahl

Board Member
Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board


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

 

Niko Järvinen
CEO
Naava
Biography

Niko Järvinen

CEO
Naava

Mr. Niko Järvinen has been the Chief Executive Officer of Naava since July 01, 2014 and is also responsible for the product development. Mr. Järvinen has been an entrepreneur since he turned 14. Previously he has designed and operated the biggest Algae Farm in Scandinavia, later continued by big corporations such as Fortum and UPM. He is a multi-talented innovator with a competitive sports history. He has originally designed the patented Naturbo™ technology that helps thousands of people to be healthier every day. His background also includes studies and work projects in the fields of Information Technology, Biology, Chemistry, and Growth Venturing.

Scott Maloni
VP Project Development
Poseidon
Biography

Scott Maloni

VP Project Development
Poseidon

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

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

David Kanani, PhD EECD

Managing Partner
Grid Solar, LLC
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. 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. 

 

Robb Whitaker
General Manager
Water Replenishment District
Biography

Robb Whitaker

General Manager
Water Replenishment District

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

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

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

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

Randy Wu

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

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.

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

Nate Lewis

George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry
California Institute of Technology

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

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.

Gillian Holcroft
PyroGenesis Canada Inc
Chief Operating Officer
Biography

Gillian Holcroft

PyroGenesis Canada Inc
Chief Operating Officer

Ms. Gillian Holcroft, MEng, serves as the Chief Operating Officer and VP Business Development of PyroGenesis Canada Inc. Previously she had served as its Director of Waste Treatment. Ms. Holcroft joined PyroGenesis Canada Inc. in 2003 as Product Development Manager. She also served at Noranda Inc. where she was involved in many aspects of the companies operations from production, technology development, business modeling and was involved in the design, engineering and start-up of a ¾ of a billion (CDN$) production facility. She has been a Director of PyroGenesis Canada Inc. since June 2006. Ms. Holcroft holds a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering and a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering both from McGill University, Montreal.

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.

Rich Dines
Marine Clerk
International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)
Biography

Rich Dines

Marine Clerk
International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)

Rich Dines, a Marine Clerk with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), brings more than 15 years of experience on the waterfront to his position as a member of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, the five-member governing body for the Port of Long Beach, California. He was appointed to a six-year term in July 2011 and was elected as Vice President of the Commission in December 2013.

Together with his Commission colleagues Mr. Dines has provided policy direction and oversight for the most extensive capital improvement program in the Port of Long Beach’s history. The Port has embarked on a $4 billion, 10-year investment program to modernize its facilities and increase its competitiveness for decades to come.

Mr. Dines has been actively involved with long-range efforts to improve efficiency and productivity at the Port, and is also a passionate champion for the use of alternative energy. Under his recommendation and direction, the Port of Long Beach adopted a groundbreaking energy policy in 2013 that calls for the development and increased use of alternative energy sources over electricity and fossil fuels. With this new energy policy in place, the Port will continue to improve air quality while building a more sustainable and energy-independent infrastructure. 

Charlie Woo
Board Chair
Los Angeles Workforce Development Board
Biography

Charlie Woo

Board Chair
Los Angeles Workforce Development Board

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

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

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

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

Eva Pauly-Bowles
International Sales Director
Ciel & Terre
Biography

Eva Pauly-Bowles

International Sales Director
Ciel & Terre

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

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

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

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

Earl Blumenauer
Congressman, Oregon's 3rd District
US House of Representatives
Biography

Earl Blumenauer

Congressman, Oregon's 3rd District
US House of Representatives

Earl Blumenauer was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and has been a life-long resident of Oregon's 3rd Congressional District.

Through his years as a local official in the Oregon Legislature, Multnomah County Commission, and Portland’s City Council, Earl developed a national reputation for his advocacy of public transportation, land use planning, protection of the environment, and school funding.

Elected to Congress in 1996, Blumenauer has been a champion for cleaning up America’s most polluted sites and has introduced legislation to reinstate the federal Superfund tax. He is also a leader in public lands protection, in particular for protecting Oregon’s crown jewels such as Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge. He is the former Vice Chair for the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and has strongly defended the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, as well as EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases in the fight against climate change. Blumenauer has also led an initiative to reform federal flood insurance policies by protecting environmentally sensitive and disaster prone areas from development, and modernizing the policies of the US Army Corps of Engineers.  His environmental priorities are geared towards helping the federal government be a better partner to local communities in improving and sustaining the health of our land and water.

Blumenauer currently sits on the Ways and Means Committee. 

David Heurtel
Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change.
Province of Quebec
Biography

David Heurtel

Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change.
Province of Quebec

David Heurtel was first elected to the Québec National Assembly in December 2013 as MNA for Viau, a riding in the east part of the Island of Montréal. He was re-elected in the April 2014 general elections and appointed Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change on April 23, 2014. He is also a member of many committees, including the Committee for the Implementation of the Maritime Strategy, and the Economic and Sustainable Development Committee, making him a key player in advising the government on transitioning to a greener economy and a society more resilient to climate change impacts.

After practicing law for several years, he held management positions at various organizations including Director of International Television Sales for the Just for Laughs Group, Deputy Director of the Seattle Center, and Director of Public and Corporate Affairs at the events promoter company Evenko, before his appointment as president and CEO of the Montréal Olympic Park in 2011.

Since the beginning of his career, Mr. Heurtel has contributed actively to the development and vitality of society. He chaired the Québec Cinéma board of directors, in addition to serving on the boards of directors of several other organizations.

David Pogue
Global Director of Corporate Responsibility
CBRE
Biography

David Pogue

Global Director of Corporate Responsibility
CBRE

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

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

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

Frances Spivy-Weber

Board Member
State Water Resources Control Board

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

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

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

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).

Andrew McAllister
Commissioner
California Energy Commission
Biography

Andrew McAllister

Commissioner
California Energy Commission

Commissioner Andrew McAllister is serving his third term on the California Energy Commission.

At the Energy Commission, he leads the policy area of energy efficiency, including the Building Energy Efficiency Standards, appliance efficiency, and load management and flexibility. More broadly, he is focused on enabling modern, data-rich analytical tools to support strong clean energy policy development and program implementation.

Commissioner McAllister has worked on energy deployment and policy since the early 1990s. He has worked across the world to deploy clean, cost-effective energy solutions with counterparts ranging from tiny remote communities to the largest of utilities. He administered two of California’s signature renewable energy programs, developed and operated energy efficiency programs for utilities, and conducted a broad range of policy-related research for California and the federal government.

He is a board member and immediate past board chair of the National Association of State Energy Officials, and a board member of the Alliance to Save Energy. His deep grounding in technology, policy, and the marketplace provides him with uncommon insight on the accelerating changes taking place in California’s energy sector.

Before joining the Energy Commission, he was managing director at the California Center for Sustainable Energy. He worked with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association International, Ltd. in Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa on renewable generation, load management, utility planning, and remote power projects. He was a project manager at an energy-consulting firm and an energy efficiency analyst at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Commissioner McAllister holds a master of science and a Ph.D. from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley and a bachelor of arts from Dartmouth College. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Gwynne Pugh
Principal
Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio
Biography

Gwynne Pugh

Principal
Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio

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

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

Janet Napolitano
President
University Of California
Biography

Janet Napolitano

President
University Of California

Janet Napolitano was named the 20th president of the University of California on July 18, 2013, and took office on September 30, 2013.She leads a university system with 10 campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national laboratories, and a statewide agriculture and natural resources program. The UC system has more than 234,000 students, about 208,000 faculty and staff, more than 1.6 million living alumni and an annual operating budget of more than $24 billion.Napolitano is a distinguished public servant with a record of leading large, complex organizations at the federal and state levels. She served as Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009-13, as Governor of Arizona from 2003-09, as Attorney General of Arizona from 1998-2003, and as U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona from 1993-97. Before that, she practiced at the law firm of Lewis & Roca in Phoenix, where she became a partner in 1989. She began her career in 1983 as a clerk for Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.As the nation’s third Secretary of Homeland Security, Napolitano headed a department comprised of 22 agencies and directorates, and whose missions include counterterrorism, border security, immigration, cybersecurity and disaster response and recovery. The Department supports 12 Centers of Excellence through a consortium of hundreds of universities generating ideas for new security technologies.As Governor of Arizona, Napolitano focused on education, from pre-kindergarten through public higher education. She was the first woman to chair the National Governors Association, and was named one of the nation’s top five governors by Time magazine. Forbes magazine recently named her as one of the 10 most powerful women in the world.The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Napolitano was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service by the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian Institution in 2006. In 2012, she received the Anti-Defamation League’s William and Naomi Gorowitz Institute Service Award, which is given for outstanding achievements in combating terrorism, extremism and injustice.A New York City native, Napolitano grew up in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Albuquerque, N.M., where her father was dean of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. She earned a B.A. degree (summa cum laude in Political Science) in 1979 from Santa Clara University, where she was Phi Beta Kappa, a Truman Scholar and the university’s first female valedictorian. She received her J.D. degree in 1983 from the University of Virginia School of Law. Napolitano holds honorary degrees from several universities and colleges, including Santa Clara University, Emory University and Pomona College. In 2010, she was awarded the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal (Law), the University of Virginia’s highest external honor.

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.

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

Pete Skala

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

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

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

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

Michael Carlin
Deputy General Manager and Chief Operating Officer
SFPUC
Biography

Michael Carlin

Deputy General Manager and Chief Operating Officer
SFPUC
Adam Rasken
Director of Origination
True Green Capital Management
Biography

Adam Rasken

Director of Origination
True Green Capital Management
Nancy Sutley
Sr. Asst. General Manager of External & Regulatory Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
Biography

Nancy Sutley

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

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

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

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

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

Ruben Dagstanyan
Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
Tabuchi Electric Company
Biography

Ruben Dagstanyan

Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
Tabuchi Electric Company

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

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

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

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

Andrew Chastain-Howley
Director, Water System Efficiency
Black & Veatch
Biography

Andrew Chastain-Howley

Director, Water System Efficiency
Black & Veatch

Andrew Chastain-Howley is a Director at Black & Veatch and specializes in water system efficiency including macro-scale analysis of water usage for energy facilities. He is based in Fort Worth, Texas and has 26 years of experience in the fields of water conservation, demand management and power system cooling, including; District Metered Area planning, drought management, leakage detection, and water system auditing and economics. Andrew has worked across North America, the Middle East, Europe, and Australia for numerous government agencies and private entities.

Clare DeBriere*
Chair
Urban Land Institute - Los Angeles
Biography

Clare DeBriere*

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

Riggs Eckelberry

President and CEO
OriginOil Inc.

Riggs Eckelberry is founding CEO of OriginOil, a publicly-traded technology firm that helps algae growers extract oil from algae for use as a feedstock for the commercial production of transportation fuels, chemicals and foods. He transitioned into clean technology from a thirty-year career in high tech, having previously helped take Los Angeles-based CyberDefender public as its president and chief operating officer. Earlier, he was a key member of the team that developed YellowPages.com, resulting in its sale for $100 million; and he contributed to numerous other company successes in a lengthy career during and after the dot-com era. In January of 2011, Riggs Eckelberry was named to the Advisory Board of the National Algae Association. He speaks regularly on algae industry trends and writes the Algae Business column for Algae Industry Magazine. 

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.    

 

Lauren Michele
Principal/Founder
Policy in Motion
Biography

Lauren Michele

Principal/Founder
Policy in Motion

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

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

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

Jonathan Plowe
Managing Director
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Biography

Jonathan Plowe

Managing Director
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Jonathan Plowe is a managing director in the Cross Asset Solutions & Strategies Group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, responsible for coordinating across the bank’s Global Banking & Markets platform to develop, originate and distribute funding and investment structures for all client segments, with emphasis on new business initiatives, corporate strategies, and new energy & infrastructure solutions.  Prior to joining Merrill Lynch in 1997, Plowe was an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom, focusing on corporate taxation, structured finance, mergers & acquisitions, and financial products.  Plowe holds a J.D. degree from The George Washington University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University.

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

Tom Martinez

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

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.

 

Xiaomei Tan
Deputy China Country Director and Director of China
World Resources Institute
Biography

Xiaomei Tan

Deputy China Country Director and Director of China
World Resources Institute

Xiaomei Tan is the Deputy China Country Director and Director of China Sustainable & Livable Cities Initiative. She is charged with steering WRI’s research agenda in China, fostering high-level dialogues around critical environmental and development issues, and leading a team of over 10 researchers to contribute to China’s sustainable urbanization and overseas investment.

Xiaomei previously was a senior associate leading WRI’s Emerging Actors in Development Finance project. Her research on how to channel China’s rapidly growing overseas investment to low-carbon development in developing countries has facilitated the communication between Chinese overseas investors and host countries. Prior to that, Xiaomei was the project manager of WRI’s China Climate and Energy Program. Her research sought to understand how low-carbon technology was introduced, adapted, deployed and diffused in China and other developing countries; the respective capacities of developed and developing countries in innovating and manufacturing low-carbon technology; and the concerns over intellectual property rights.

In her various roles, Xiaomei has published widely in mainstream and professional journals such as Energy Policy, Ecological Economy, Overseas Investment and Export Credits, and etc.

Xiaomei holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from American University in Washington DC. Her master’s degree is in Economics and BA in Political Science. Xiaomei is an avid hiker and tree hugger and has completed many sections along the Appalachian Trail and several parts of the Rocky Mountains. Her other passions include jogging and yoga.

Phillip Washington
CEO
Denver International Airport
Biography

Phillip Washington

CEO
Denver International Airport

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 

Guillaume Clairet
Executive Vice President
H2O Innovation
Biography

Guillaume Clairet

Executive Vice President
H2O Innovation

Guillaume Clairet is currently the Executive Vice President of H2O Innovation, a leading company in water treatment related technologies. Mr Clairet initially started his career in the water industry as a research associate for the National Institute of Scientific Research (INRS) where he conducted several studies on the contamination of ground water from military training activities. Mr. Clairet joined H2O Innovation in 2003 when the company was still at the start up stage. He played a key role in the rapid growth of H2O Innovation through various positions such as Project Manager, Sales Manager and International Business Development Director. Mr. Clairet received a Physics Engineering Degree from Laval University in Quebec, Canada and he also completed a Master in Business Administration (MBA) at the University of San Diego, USA. Mr. Clairet stands on the Board of Directors of the International Desalination Association since 2011 and he is a member of WEF, AWWA and AMTA. He is also a registered Professional Engineer in the Province of Quebec, Canada.

Laura Genao
Managing Director, Regulatory Affairs
Southern California Edison
Biography

Laura Genao

Managing Director, Regulatory Affairs
Southern California Edison

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

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

Kerry Cavanaugh
Editoral Writer
Los Angeles Times
Biography

Kerry Cavanaugh

Editoral Writer
Los Angeles Times

Kerry Cavanaugh is an editorial writer covering Los Angeles and California politics and issues. Prior to joining the board, she was a public radio producer on KCRW’s “To the Point” and “Which Way, L.A.” Before that, she spent a decade at the L.A. Daily News, where she covered L.A. and California politics, budget and environmental issues.

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

Edgar Westerhof

National Director for Flood Risk and Resiliency
ARCADIS North America
Akihiko Tobe
Senior Director
Smart City Business Management Division Hitachi, Ltd.
Biography

Akihiko Tobe

Senior Director
Smart City Business Management Division Hitachi, Ltd.
Carlos Giménez
Deputy Consul General
Mexico Secretariat of Foreign Affairs
Biography

Carlos Giménez

Deputy Consul General
Mexico Secretariat of Foreign Affairs
Atsushi Honzawa
Senior Engineer
Hitachi Ltd, Energy Solutions Business Management Division
Biography

Atsushi Honzawa

Senior Engineer
Hitachi Ltd, Energy Solutions Business Management Division

Mr. Honzawa is a professional of project management and various experience in designing and engineering in utility engineering project such as Japan-US island grid project in Maui.

He studied electrical engineering at University of California, Berkeley.

After experiencing control system design of thermal power plant system, he is in charge for business development of ancillary services of Power grid, especially battery energy storage system.

He is also leading the International standardization of Electrical Energy Storage System as the Convenor of WG2 of IEC TC120; Electrical Energy Storage System.

Andy Lipkis
Founder & Fmr. President/Project Executive
TreePeople/Accelerate Resilience LA
Biography

Andy Lipkis

Founder & Fmr. President/Project Executive
TreePeople/Accelerate Resilience LA

Andy Lipkis has spent his life crowdsourcing climate disaster relief for emergency and long-term issues. At age 18, he founded TreePeople, and served as its president from 1974 to 2019. Lipkis is a pioneer of Urban and Community Forestry and Urban Watershed Management, the principles of which have spread across the world. He has consulted for Los Angeles, Seattle, Melbourne, Hong Kong, London and other megacities, helping plan for climate resilience and adaptation. With climate change impacts already creating a chronic emergency for cities around the world, Andy's work has demonstrated promising new ways for individuals, communities and government agencies to collaboratively reshape urban tree canopy and water infrastructure to save lives and grow a more livable future.

After retiring from TreePeople in 2019, Andy launched Accelerate Resilience L.A. (ARLA), a fiscally sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors) to inspire and enable people and local governments to equitably accelerate climate resilience in Los Angeles.

Shiro Tomeoki
Western States Regional Officer
Mitsui & Co. Ontario, Canada
Biography

Shiro Tomeoki

Western States Regional Officer
Mitsui & Co. Ontario, Canada
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.

 

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.

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

Jean-Phillipe Brisson

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

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

Deborah Flint
CEO
Los Angeles World Airports
Biography

Deborah Flint

CEO
Los Angeles World Airports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate White
Associate Principal & Planning Policy Leader
Arup
Biography

Kate White

Associate Principal & Planning Policy Leader
Arup

Kate is an Associate Principal and Planning Policy Practice Leader in Arup’s San Francisco office. In her 25 years in the sustainable mobility and development fields, she has championed innovative public policy, programs, and projects. As a Governor Jerry Brown appointee, Ms. White served as Deputy Secretary for Environmental Policy at the California State Transportation Agency, where she worked across dozens of state, regional, and local agencies to advance sustainable growth and climate policies.  Kate executed policy reforms, conducted legislative analysis, drafted statewide plans, oversaw grant programs, and represented the administration in diverse venues across California.

Ms. White is a social entrepreneur, launching mission-driven initiatives, including serving as the first executive director of the Urban Land Institute Bay Area chapter and as co-director of San Francisco’s first car-sharing service.

Kate brings expertise in strategic planning, performance management, program development, leadership development, facilitation, financial management, program evaluation, and strategic communications.  She is a collaborative team builder in diverse organizations, and author and lecturer on climate mitigation, resilience, smart growth, green streets and neighborhoods, transit-oriented development, and organizational management.

Joe Byrne
Chair
California Water Commission
Biography

Joe Byrne

Chair
California Water Commission

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Owh
Chief Procurement Officer
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Michael Owh

Chief Procurement Officer
City of Los Angeles

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

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

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

Irma Muñoz
Chair
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Biography

Irma Muñoz

Chair
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy

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

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

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

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

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

Aura Vasquez
Commissioner
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Biography

Aura Vasquez

Commissioner
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

C. Scott Miller
President
Miller De Wulf Corporation
Biography

C. Scott Miller

President
Miller De Wulf Corporation

C. Scott Miller, MBA, is the President of the Miller De Wulf Corporation - a bioenergy communications and marketing firm in Los Angeles. His clients include the Bioenergy Producers Association, Ineos Bio, New Planet Energy, Price BIOstock, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works. He is a nationally recognized spokesman for sustainable biomass aggregation for bioenergy projects. Scott was recently elected President of "Victory Plant" - a non-profit biorefinery certification and outreach collaboration whose mission is to educate, certify, and promote the deployment of integrated biorefineries in North America. He is an active member of the American Council on Renewable Energy, 25x'25, and the California Biomass Collaborative. Scott is also a certified social media strategist who writes bioenergy blogs and participates regularly on Twitter #Biochat as "BioBlogger." 

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.

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

Henry Wang

China Chief Representative
Los Angeles County Investment and Trade Office
Louis Stewart
Chief Innovation Officer
City of Sacramento
Biography

Louis Stewart

Chief Innovation Officer
City of Sacramento

Louis Stewart currently serves as the City of Sacramento's first Chief Innovation Officer within the Mayor's Office for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He spent the last seven years serving as California's Deputy Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). In that capacity he oversaw the coordination and promotion of innovative programs, activities, and emerging technologies throughout California for the last seven years. He managed a robust statewide innovation-based economic development support network of regional innovation clusters called the California Innovation Hubs (iHubs). Mr. Stewart has served in the public sector for 10 years including as the Deputy Director of the Census for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, the Assistant Deputy Director of the Field Operations Division for the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Information Technology Director for Californians for Schwarzenegger. His professional experience also includes 17 years in the private sector in sales, marketing, and information technology. 

While Mr. Stewart’s experience is vast, his greatest expertise and focus includes:

• Smart and Connected Cities
• Bio Technology
• Tech Equity
• Development of Innovation Ecosystems

Mr. Stewart is a service based leader who embodies the belief that he cannot be a success without helping others be successful. 

Mr. Stewart grew up in France and Italy, and played professional basketball in Peru and Belgium until he landed back in Sacramento. Mr. Stewart received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Santa Clara University.

Gary Gero
Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles County
Biography

Gary Gero

Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles County

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

Jonathon Naimon
Founder
Green Light Advisors
Biography

Jonathon Naimon

Founder
Green Light 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).

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.

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.

Felipe Fuentes
Councilmember, 7th District
Los Angeles City Council
Biography

Felipe Fuentes

Councilmember, 7th District
Los Angeles City Council
Terry Tamminen
CEO
AltaSea
Biography

Terry Tamminen

CEO
AltaSea

Terry Tamminen is Chief Executive Officer of AltaSea. From his youth in Australia to career experiences in Europe, Africa, China and across the United States, Terry has developed expertise in business, farming, education, non-profit, the environment, the arts, and government. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency and later Cabinet Secretary, the Chief Policy Advisor to the Governor, where Terry was the architect of many groundbreaking sustainability policies, including California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, the Hydrogen Highway Network, and the Million Solar Roofs initiative. In 2010 Terry cofounded the R20 Regions of Climate Action, a new public-private partnership, bringing together sub national governments; businesses; financial markets; NGOs; and academia to implement measurable, large-scale, low-carbon and climate resilient economic development projects that can simultaneously solve the climate crisis and build a sustainable global economy. He also provides advice through 7th Generation Advisors to Pegasus Capital Advisors, the Green Climate Fund and numerous global businesses on sustainability and “green” investing, as well as assisting governments and philanthropists with climate solutions, including Fiji, India, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. An accomplished author, Terry’s books include “Cracking the Carbon Code: The Keys to Sustainable Profits in the New Economy” (Palgrave Macmillan). In 2011, Terry was one of six finalists for the Zayed Future Energy Prize and The Guardian ranked Terry No. 1 in its “Top 50 People Who Can Save the Planet.

Dawn Weisz
CEO
Marin Clean Energy
Biography

Dawn Weisz

CEO
Marin Clean Energy

Dawn Weisz is the CEO for Marin Clean Energy and she coordinated efforts to explore, develop and launch MCE as the first Community Choice Aggregation program in California. Under her watch MCE has launched service to over 250,000 customers in 24 communities, entered into power supply agreements that have doubled the amount of renewable energy purchased in the region, initiated numerous local renewable generation projects, and achieved greenhouse gas reductions though energy efficiency and by exceeding state requirements for renewable energy supply. 

Ms. Weisz has more than 20 years of experience developing and managing renewable energy and energy efficiency programs while working for leading public agencies in the field. Before joining MCE Ms. Weisz managed energy and sustainability initiatives for the County of Marin, served as the Executive Director for Sustainable North Bay, and was a labor and environmental justice organizer in Los Angeles. 

Ms. Weisz is a highly sought after speaker at energy-related conferences and has been a guest lecturer at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National American Planning Association as well as a presenter at the 2015 COP21 Conference Paris. She has also received awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Power Association of Northern California. 

Steven Fabijanski
President & CEO
Agrisoma Biosciences
Biography

Steven Fabijanski

President & CEO
Agrisoma Biosciences

Steven Fabijanski is founder, President and CEO of Agrisoma Biosciences, one of Canada’s leading Cleantech companies.  Agrisoma has commercialized a new class of sustainable agricultural products, an Industrial oilseed crop called Carinata that is grown using certified sustainable production practices to produce “Carbon-Negative” second generation renewable diesel and aviation fuels.  Agrisoma started powering the commercial transportation industry with Carinata in Canada in 2013, and in 2014 Agrisoma was recognized with Canada’s Gold Leaf Award as “Company of the Year”, recognizing the innovation achieved in renewable and clean energy and for the pioneering work in conducting the world’s first 100% biojet flight in Canada.  Agrisoma now operates globally with commercial activities in North America, South America, Europe and Australia. 

Prior to founding Agrisoma, Steven held various positions in agribusiness, including senior roles in research management and corporate development, domestically and internationally.  

Steven holds a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor Degree in Biology from the University of Miami. 

Steven is active in supporting public policy on sustainable agriculture and cleantech and has served with multiple organizations active in this area including as a member of the AgWest Bio Inc. Board of Directors, Chair of the Industrial and Agriculture Advisory Board of Biotech Canada, member of the Energy Panel of the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, member of the Strategic Advisory Panel of BioFuels.net Canada and actively participates in the development and promotion of policy initiatives for the agricultural and renewable energy sector.

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

Kraig Schwigen

Senior Vice President, World Wide Operations
CMB Export, LLC

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

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

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

Gordon Feller
Advisor/Global Fellow
Zeelo Corp/The Smithsonian Institute
Biography

Gordon Feller

Advisor/Global Fellow
Zeelo Corp/The Smithsonian Institute
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.
RADM Len Hering
Executive Director
Center for Sustainable Energy
Biography

RADM Len Hering

Executive Director
Center for Sustainable Energy

Rear Admiral Len Hering is a prominent military and civilian sustainability leader with a broad background in energy and environmental issues. His passion in sustainability is educating people on the dangers the future holds without taking responsible actions to secure the nation’s energy independence and to preserve water, air quality and other resources. Currently serving as Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable Energy, RADM Hering oversees the mission-driven nonprofit organization as they provide critical and innovative clean energy program design and management, as well as technical advisory services to states and regions. 

V. John White
Executive Director
CEERT
Biography

V. John White

Executive Director
CEERT

V. John White has been a writer, commentator, advocate, and leader of the green energy movement in California for 35 years. He is executive director of CEERT, the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies in Sacramento, and principal of the environmental and energy lobbying practice, V. John White Associates, representing public interest environmental and local government organizations, and new energy technology companies.

White's career has been devoted to air quality improvement and clean energy development. As chief consultant to the California Assembly Subcommittee on Air Quality, he became the leading legislative expert on air quality technology and regulation, helping to draft the California Clean Air Act and subsequent clean air and energy statutes.

 In 1990 he co-founded CEERT, which has become the premier energy advocacy voice for key environmental public interest groups and clean energy technology companies.  He played a central role in the passage of the Pavley Clean Car bill, AB 32, and many of California’s renewable energy incentive and regulatory programs. 

He serves on a number of nonprofit boards and organizations.

John is a graduate of U.C. Riverside – Political Science

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.

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.
Matt Petersen
CEO
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
Biography

Matt Petersen

CEO
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator

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

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

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

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.

Mory Gharib
Vice Provost for Research
Caltech
Biography

Mory Gharib

Vice Provost for Research
Caltech

 

Dr. Mory Gharib is Vice Provost for Research and the Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Bio-Inspired Engineering at the California Institute of Technology.  He received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tehran University (1975) and then pursued his graduate studies at Syracuse University (M.S., 1978, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering) and Caltech (Ph.D., 1983, Aeronautics).  After two years as a senior scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA/CIT), he joined the faculty of the Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences Department at UCSD in 1985.  He became a full professor of fluid mechanics in 1992 and, in January 1993, he joined Caltech as a professor of aeronautics.

Dr. Gharib’s current research interests include bio-inspired engineering for the development of medical devices, wind energy harvesting and propulsion systems. His other active projects include the development of advanced 3-D imaging systems, and nano and micro-fluidics. His biomechanics work includes studies of the human cardiovascular system and physiological machines.  His honors and affiliations include: Fellow, American association for the advancement of science  (AAAS), Fellow, American Physical Society (APS), Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME), He has received 5 new technology recognition awards from NASA in the fields of advanced laser imaging and nanotechnology. For his 3-D imaging camera system, he has received R&D Magazine’s “R&D 100 innovation award” for one of the best invention of the year 2008. Dr. Gharib holds 182 publications in refereed journal and 50 U.S. Patents

Go Takizawa
Chief Representative
NEDO Silicon Valley Office
Biography

Go Takizawa

Chief Representative
NEDO Silicon Valley Office

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

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

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

Dan Hartman
Managing Director
The PFM Group
Biography

Dan Hartman

Managing Director
The PFM Group

Dan Hartman is a Managing Director in the Washington DC area office. Mr. Hartman worked for PFM from 1990-2000, and rejoined the firm in 2006. Mr. Hartman currently co-heads the firm’s national utilities group and works exclusively with utility clients across the country.

Mr. Hartman has served as a financial advisor or senior managing underwriter to many of the largest water, wastewater, gas and public power agencies throughout the United States. These clients have included, among others, DC Water, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Orlando Utilities Commission, CPS Energy (San Antonio), the Southern California Public Power Authority, the Northern California Power Agency, and San Antonio Water System. For these clients, Mr. Hartman has been directly involved in the issuance of over $50 billion of utility bonds and has worked on some of the largest and most complex transactions in the municipal market.

As part of Mr. Hartman’s client engagements, he has managed the development of complex financing plans for large capital programs, led educational workshops with Boards and elected officials, devised and implemented rating and investor strategies for new and existing credits, evaluated and implemented derivative product applications. On behalf of his municipal clients, Mr. Hartman has also provided expert witness testimony to legislative and regulatory bodies.

Mr. Hartman served as a Managing Director with Citigroup Global Markets and Bear Stearns from 2000-2006, where he worked extensively with utility issuers.

Mr. Hartman received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and International Relations from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and a Diploma from the London School of Economics.

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

Wendell McCain

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Dr. Kelly Sanders
Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Southern California
Biography

Dr. Kelly Sanders

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Southern California

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

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

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

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

Malia Cohen

Supervisor, District 10
San Francisco Board of Supervisors

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

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

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

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

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

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

Toru Sugiura
Senior Manager, Corporate Strategy & Business Development
Toyota Tsusho America, Inc.
Biography

Toru Sugiura

Senior Manager, Corporate Strategy & Business Development
Toyota Tsusho America, Inc.

Toru Sugiura is a senior manager in Corporate Strategy & Business Development Division at Toyota Tsusho America, Inc. (TAI)

His work focuses on hydrogen value chain eco system projects in mobility industry trying to create supply and demand synergy to accelerate its market expansion.  He and his team are bringing Toyota Tsusho’s experience of several environmental demonstration projects in Japan  to the U.S to support establish a sustainable clean energy society.

He is currently involving a demonstration project on technology transition for fuel cell port equipment and hydrogen supply solution at Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach.  His team and partner companies plan to develop sustainable green hydrogen supply scheme for the ports with biogas from dairy farm digesters from Central Valley in California.

 
Omar Brownson
Executive Director
LA River Revitalization Corporation
Biography

Omar Brownson

Executive Director
LA River Revitalization Corporation

Mr. Brownson joined the LA River Revitalization Corporation in January 2011 as its first executive director. He is excited to bring together the human, capital, and natural resources necessary to create and sustain responsible investments along the river corridor. He has dedicated his career to improving urban communities, spanning institutional investment, real estate development, and public policy.  

Most recently, Mr. Brownson led the Los Angeles expansion of Seslia & Company, a financial advisory firm focused on structuring and sourcing project financing for public institutions. Prior to that, he served as vice president of acquisitions and development at CityView, an institutional investment firm, and spearheaded numerous other mission-driven and community development initiatives.  

He is committed to the betterment of Los Angeles for all. He serves on the Advisory Board of the social enterprise Isidore Electronics Recycling and he is also former chairman of the Liberty Hill Foundation. Mr. Brownson holds a graduate degree in public policy and urban planning from Harvard University, where he also won the Urban Land Institute’s Gerald D. Hines Urban Design Competition. At the University of California, Davis, he earned a dual degree in international relations, and nature and culture. Mr. Brownson was a Coro Fellow and served in Public Allies, an Americorps program.  

Mr. Brownson grew up in Los Angeles and is happily married to Kim Pattillo Brownson, a civil rights lawyer. They are the proud parents of two daughters

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.

Gail Goldberg
Boardmember
Metropolitan Water District Board
Biography

Gail Goldberg

Boardmember
Metropolitan Water District Board

S. Gail Goldberg, FAICP, served as Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute - Los Angeles from June of 2011 until February of 2018.  Ms. Goldberg brought to the table not only her many years leading the planning departments of two of the world’s most significant cities, but also many years of service to ULI.

Goldberg was Director of Los Angeles City Planning Department from February 2006 through August 2010. She was responsible for organizing and directing the policies and activities of the City’s Planning Department, including the development, maintenance and implementation of all elements of the City’s General Plan as well as a range of other special zoning plans.

Prior to joining the Los Angeles Planning Department, Goldberg worked for 17 years in the City of San Diego Planning Department, serving as Planning Director from 2000 through 2005. She oversaw a planning process to update the city’s 20-year-old General Plan. The result – which became an international model for urban revitalization – was a 20-year vision for the San Diego and a long-term strategy for achieving that vision known as the “City of Villages.”

Goldberg is a native Californian and holds a degree in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California San Diego.   Goldberg currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Water District and on the Board of Advisors for the USC Center for Sustainable Cities.  She also serves on the Advisory Board for the UCLA Lewis Center and for the University of California’s District 9 Transportation Center.

Goldberg has formerly served as an Urban Land Institute Trustee, Chair of the San Diego/Tijuana ULI District Council and on the Statewide Coordinating Committee for the Urban Land Institute’s California Smart Growth Initiative.  Goldberg has served on the Board of Directors for Abode Communities and Abode Community Housing and was appointed by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins to the California Strategic Growth Council where she served for three years.  She is a past President of the San Diego Chapter of the Lambda Alpha Honorary Land Economics Society.

 

Michael Samulon
Sustainability Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Biography

Michael Samulon

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

Rick Cameron

Director of Environmental Planning
Port of Long Beach

Richard D. “Rick” Cameron is the Managing Director of Planning and Environmental Affairs for the Port of Long Beach, California, named to the post in January 2014 by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, governing body for the Port. 

Mr. Cameron joined the Port in 1996 as an Environmental Specialist, was promoted to Manager of Environmental Planning and named Director of the newly-created Division of Environmental Planning in 2007 before being appointed Managing Director after the retirement of 23-year Port veteran, Dr. Robert Kanter. 

As Managing Director, he oversees the Planning and Environmental Affairs Bureau that includes Environmental Planning, Master Planning, and Transportation Planning. 

As Director of Environmental Planning, he led the Division most directly responsible for the Port’s signature environmental program, the Green Port Policy, and the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan. Under the Green Port Policy, the Division coordinates programs to improve air, water and soil quality, preserve wildlife habitat and integrate sustainability into Port practices. 

Early in his Port career, as an Environmental Specialist, he worked in the areas of water quality, air quality, and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) documentation. Prior experience included management of various environmental programs for the Port of Los Angeles and other clients as a Project Manager for Essentia Management Services. 

Mr. Cameron has a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is a resident of Manhattan Beach.

Jeffrey Reed
Director of Business Strategy and Development
Southern California Gas Company
Biography

Jeffrey Reed

Director of Business Strategy and Development
Southern California Gas Company

Jeffrey Reed is the Director of Business Strategy and Development for Southern California Gas Company. In that capacity he leads development of policies and initiatives aimed at supporting the development and deployment of sustainable energy solutions. In his current and prior roles Jeff has led the natural gas RD&D, energy efficiency technology transfer, venture investment and low-emission vehicle programs and he is responsible for the company’s long-range technology forecasting and strategic planning. Jeff is currently on the Leadership Council of the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator and is a board member of the California Hydrogen Business Council. Prior to joining the Sempra utilities, Dr. Reed was a senior strategy consultant with Booz-Allen and Hamilton and Accenture, and was an officer with ABB Power Generation in Switzerland.  He holds a doctorate in engineering from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in management from Stanford University.

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

Francie Stefan

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

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

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

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

Seleta Reynolds
General Manager
Los Angeles Department of Transportation
Biography

Seleta Reynolds

General Manager
Los Angeles Department of Transportation

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

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

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

Norma Garcia

Chief Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation

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

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

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

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

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

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.

 

 

RADM Yancy Lindsey
Rear Admiral
U.S. Navy
Biography

RADM Yancy Lindsey

Rear Admiral
U.S. Navy

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

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

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

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

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

Susan Kennedy
‎Founder & CEO
Advanced Microgrid Solutions
Biography

Susan Kennedy

‎Founder & CEO
Advanced Microgrid Solutions

Before starting a groundbreaking energy storage company, Susan served for two decades at the highest levels of state and federal government, most recently as chief of staff to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, cabinet secretary and deputy chief of staff to Governor Gray Davis and communications director for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. She served from 2003-2006 on California’s Public Utilities Commission, regulating the state’s investor-owned electric utilities, telecommunications providers and private water companies. 

In her numerous government roles, Susan was at the center of many of California’s groundbreaking environmental policies, including the carbon reduction mandate and cap-and- trade program under AB 32, the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard, auto emission standards and Renewable Portfolio Standard. She coordinated the State’s emergency demand response efforts during the energy crisis of 2000-2001 and as a member of the PUC she authored what was then the largest energy efficiency program in utility history.

Susan’s company, Advanced Microgrid Solutions, is on the leading edge of a complete transformation of the electric grid.  Using advanced energy storage systems, AMS is creating the first fleet of Hybrid Electric BuildingsÒ in the world, turning portfolios of commercial and industrial buildings into virtual power plants for Southern California Edison.  In 2014 her company won the first major contract in the world to use these advanced energy storage technologies on a large scale to replace capacity from the retired facility at San Onofre nuclear facility.  AMS is consistently listed as one of the top clean tech companies to watch in the US.

She holds a B.A. in Management from Saint Mary’s College of California.

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.

Jonathan Carley
Vice-President, Business Development
CO2 Solutions
Biography

Jonathan Carley

Vice-President, Business Development
CO2 Solutions

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

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

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.

Bill Allen
President and CEO
LAEDC
Biography

Bill Allen

President and CEO
LAEDC

Bill Allen is the Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation and its subsidiary, the World Trade Center Los Angeles. Mr. Allen is also Co-Chair of the California Stewardship Network, a Vice Chair of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley and a member of the Board of Directors of the Weingart Foundation, Regional Economic Association Leaders of California Coalition, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs, FilmL.A., Unite L.A., and Sister Cities of Los Angeles.

Active in regional economic development for more than twenty years, Mr. Allen was the first CEO of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley from 1996-2000, and in 2000 was named California’s Civic Entrepreneur of the Year by the California Center for Regional Leadership.

Mr. Allen has served as a trustee of the University of Southern California, chair of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Chair of Film LA, and cochair of the “Shaping Tomorrow” capital campaign for the Valley Presbyterian Hospital, on whose board he served for fifteen years.

Mr. Allen was previously a television network and studio executive with nearly twenty years experience in entertainment production and management, where he supervised the development and production of hundreds of episodes of network, syndicated and cable television, as well as several highly rated TV movies and specials.

A cum laude graduate of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California in 1979, Mr. Allen also received his Masters Degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 1983.

Arnab Pal
Director
Center for Sustainable Energy
Biography

Arnab Pal

Director
Center for Sustainable Energy
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).

Rick Caruso
Founder and CEO
Caruso Affiliated
Biography

Rick Caruso

Founder and CEO
Caruso Affiliated

Rick J. Caruso is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Caruso Affiliated, recognized as one of the country’s most innovative and influential real estate companies.  Caruso Affiliated owns and manages a dynamic portfolio of outdoor lifestyle properties -- including The Grove in Los Angeles, The Americana at Brand in Glendale, The Commons at Calabasas and The Promenade at Westlake, delivering 5 -star customer service with a neighborhood scale and community feel, and creating a unique guest experience that attracts over 60 million visitors annually. 

Mr. Caruso has been widely honored for both his business innovations and philanthropic contributions to the Greater Los Angeles community.  He recently endowed the Caruso Catholic Center at the University of Southern California, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of Southern California, the Board of Councilors of Pepperdine School of Law and the Board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation. His numerous community and philanthropic commitments include service on the boards of Para Los Niňos, St. John’s Health Center Foundation, The California Medical Center, USC School of Policy, Planning and Development and The National Institute of Transplantation.  Mr. Caruso has been inducted into the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Business Hall of Fame. 

Together with his wife, Tina, he also founded the Caruso Family Foundation, dedicated to supporting organizations that improve the lives of children in need of healthcare and education.

Mr. Caruso believes strongly in public service and civic responsibility.  He served as President of the Los Angeles Police Commission, President of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Board of Commissioners and served as the Governor’s appointee to the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission.

Mr. Caruso holds a a Juris Doctor degree from Pepperdine University School of Law, where he was a Brock Scholar, and a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Southern California.  

He is a native of Los Angeles, and continues to reside in the city with Tina, their three sons and a daughter.

David Kramer
President
Hudson Companies, Inc.
Biography

David Kramer

President
Hudson Companies, Inc.

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

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

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

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.

Marcie Edwards
Boardmember
California Wildfire Safety Advisory Board
Biography

Marcie Edwards

Boardmember
California Wildfire Safety Advisory Board

Marcie is a former General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), and was the first woman to lead the nation’s largest municipality. She previously managed Anaheim Public Utilities for 13 years, and was tapped to serve as the Anaheim City Manager in 2013. She also spent 25 of her earlier years working her way up the ladder at LADWP. Marcie is a former governor on the California Independent System Operator Board, and served as interim CEO of that agency during a portion of the energy crisis. She now sits on the California Wildfire Safety Advisory Board.

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

Dr. Zeynep Erdal

Los Angeles Regional Business Line Leader for Water
AECOM

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

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

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.

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

Dale Gauthier

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

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

Frances Keeler
Of Counsel
Keesal, Young & Logan
Biography

Frances Keeler

Of Counsel
Keesal, Young & Logan

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

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

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. 

Bob Hinkle
President and CEO
Metrus Energy
Biography

Bob Hinkle

President and CEO
Metrus Energy

Bob established Metrus in 2009 and created the Efficiency Services Agreement (ESA) that the company utilizes to finance large-scale efficiency retrofit projects. He currently also serves as a Board member for the California Energy Efficiency Industry Council. Previously, Bob was vice president of energy efficiency at MMA Renewable Ventures where he directed the company's overall EE financing business and identified and negotiated investment opportunities with ESCOs and large commercial and industrial energy users. He has more than 18 years of experience in the energy industry and worked for 10 years at Nexant (formerly part of Bechtel Corporation). He has developed and implemented over $225 million in large-scale energy projects and programs in the U.S. and in emerging overseas markets for utilities, energy end-users, government agencies, and international donors. Bob previously served as entrepreneur in residence for the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) focusing on the identification of new business models for EE. Bob has an MA in international business from the Fletcher School, Tufts University and a BA degree in international politics and economics from Middlebury College.

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. 

Terry O'Day
Chief Operating Officer
In-Charge Energy
Biography

Terry O'Day

Chief Operating Officer
In-Charge Energy

Terry cofounded In Charge Energy in 2019. It is the infrastructure leader in electrification of transportation fleets in the United States, and the preferred infrastructure partner of Ryder TruckRental, which serves over 65,000 customers in the U.S. Terry currently advises Macquarie Capital, a division of theAustralian multinational independent investment bank and financial services company that is the world's largest infrastructure asset managerwith $495 billion in assets under management. Previously, Terry led North American strategy for innogy e-MobilityUSa division of the $40 billion per year German energy company.There, he participated in acquiring the leading U.S. electricvehicle fast charging hardware company and a customer-facing software application with over 700,000 regularusers

Previously, Terry led the Western region forEVgo, the nation’s largest public fast charging company for electricvehicles (EVs), taking that company from its first public fast charging installation in 2011 to more than 1,000 chargers nationwide and overseeing an investment program of over $140 million. He led partnerships with major automakers, energy companies and state governments, including a $122.5 million agreement with the California Public Utilities Commission

Earlier in his career,Terry founded four companies with Edison International in energy, security services, and electric vehicle charging and the first car rental company in the United States to offer only electric vehicles to the general public, serving fifteen airports in six states and more than 500,000 customers withover 850 cars.Terry also served as Executive Director of Environment Now foundation, a strategic, entrepreneurial, activist leader in California. The organization founded dozens of activist environmental organizations protecting air, land andwater quality in California and Mexico. In 2007, Terry cofounded Move LA and developed LA County’s Measure R, which over 67% of voters approved in 2008 and is contributing over $40 billion to transit investment countywide.

Terry currently serves as Mayor Pro Tempore for the City of Santa Monica and was first elected in November 2010. The city of 95,000 residents hasa daytime population of over 300,000, with 2,300 employees and a $700 million annual budget. Terry led a six-year process to update the City’s General Plan, which became the leading example ofenvironmental land use planning in the state, reducing projected per capita greenhouse gas emissions from land use by 31 percent in 25 years. He led the city’s policy to transition away from imported water, relying instead on sustainable, local water supply and the conversion of over 200 transit buses from natural gas to electric fuel. He has served in community leadership positions in California and Mexico; including Waterkeeper Alliance, Coro Southern California; The USC Center for Sustainable Cities, Environmental EntrepreneursCoalition for Clean Airand the Metropolitan Water DistrictTerry has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and BA with honors from Stanford University.

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

Kevin James

President
City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commission

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

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

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

Jean-Yves Benoit

Director of the Carbon Market
Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development

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

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

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

Paula Daniels
Co-Founder and Chair
Center for Good Food Purchasing
Biography

Paula Daniels

Co-Founder and Chair
Center for Good Food Purchasing

Paula Daniels is Co- founder, Chief of What’s Next, and Chair of the Board of the Center for Good Food Purchasing, founded in July of 2015 as a national spin off from the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, which Paula founded in 2011. The Center for Good Food Purchasing uses the power of procurement to create a transparent and equitable food system that prioritizes the health and well-being of people, animals, and the environment, through the nationally-networked adoption and implementation of the Good Food Purchasing Program by major institutions. The program has received national and international acclaim, including the 2018 Future Policy Award for Scaling Up Agroecology, from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Future Council, and IFOAM Organics International.

Paula is an experienced private sector attorney who transitioned to public policy and served in several senior level positions as a government official, including: Senior Advisor, Mayor Villaraigosa of Los Angeles; Commissioner, Los Angeles Department of Public Works; Commissioner, California Water Commission; Board, California Bay-Delta Authority; Commissioner, California Coastal Commission.

Her leadership in food and water policy has received recognition through numerous academic appointments and other awards. Some recent examples: 2018, Ashoka Fellowship; September 2016, Resident Fellow of the Bellagio Center of the Rockefeller Foundation; 2015, Pritzker Environment and Sustainability Education Fellow at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability; 2013, Lee Chair in Real Estate Law and Urban Planning at the College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley; 2012-2013, Stanton Fellowship (awarded by the Durfee Foundation). She has been adjunct faculty at UCLA since 2010 and has also had academic appointments at USC and Vermont Law School.

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. 

Joe Jankosky
Director, IntelligentHome New Verticals
Time Warner Cable
Biography

Joe Jankosky

Director, IntelligentHome New Verticals
Time Warner Cable

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

Wade Crowfoot
CEO
Water Foundation
Biography

Wade Crowfoot

CEO
Water Foundation

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

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

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.

Dean Florez
Board Member
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Dean Florez

Board Member
California Air Resources Board

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

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

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

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

Michael Berg
Principal
Berg & Associates
Biography

Michael Berg

Principal
Berg & Associates

Michael Berg, J.D. is an environmental, social and governance (ESG) expert with a focused specialization on how financial markets, regulators and large supply chains are addressing climate change and sustainability.

Michael is an advisor to leading Fortune 200 companies, investment firms and organizations on ESG strategy and reporting. Michael is a regular contributor to the American Bar Association on leading edge disclosure issues. His work has been cited by the Harvard Business School, Austin Business Journal and Greentech Media.

Ross Zelen
Board Consultant to Gideon Kracov
South Coast AQMD Governing Board
Biography

Ross Zelen

Board Consultant to Gideon Kracov
South Coast AQMD Governing Board

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. 

At Loyola Law School, where Ross received his J.D., 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. 

J.D., LMU Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (2021) 

B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara (2013) 

Damon Nagami
Senior Attorney
Natural Resources Defense Council
Biography

Damon Nagami

Senior Attorney
Natural Resources Defense Council

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

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

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

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

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.

Martha Davis
Executive Manager (Retired)
Inland Empire Utilities Agency
Biography

Martha Davis

Executive Manager (Retired)
Inland Empire Utilities Agency
Stephanie Wiggins
Chief Executive Officer
Metrolink
Biography

Stephanie Wiggins

Chief Executive Officer
Metrolink

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 

Danny Kennedy
Managing Director
California Clean Energy Fund
Biography

Danny Kennedy

Managing Director
California Clean Energy Fund

Danny Kennedy leads the California Clean Energy Fund, connecting entrepreneurs everywhere to capital to build an abundant clean energy economy that benefits all. He is also the President of CalCharge, a public private partnership with the National Labs and universities of California, unions and companies, working to advance energy storage.

Kennedy co-founded Sungevity, the company that created remote solar design, and Powerhouse, solar’s premier incubator and accelerator. He was the original backer of Mosaic, the $1B solar loan provider, and remains on the Board of Powerhive, a solar mini-utility in Kenya and Sunergise, a solar-as-a-service business out of Fiji and the EnergyLabAustralia. He is also Director of nonprofits VoteSolar and Power for All. Kennedy authored the book Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy – and Our Planet – from Dirty Energy in 2012. Prior to starting Sungevity, he worked at Greenpeace and other groups on climate and energy issues for 20 years.

Ken Devore
Director (retired), Edison SmartConnect
Southern California Edison
Biography

Ken Devore

Director (retired), Edison SmartConnect
Southern California Edison

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

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

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

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.

Jay Ziegler
Director of External Affairs and Policy
The Nature Conservancy
Biography

Jay Ziegler

Director of External Affairs and Policy
The Nature Conservancy

Jay Ziegler, Director of External Affairs and Policy, oversees the California chapter’s engagements with governments and other stakeholders at the state, county, and regional levels. He helps develop and direct Conservancy strategies on public policy, legislation, regulatory matters, partnership efforts, and campaigns. Prior to joining the Conservancy, Mr. Ziegler founded and was principal of Ziegler Associates, a multi-disciplinary public affairs firm focusing on environmental issues, land use, regulatory matters and clean technology. Before that, he worked extensively at the state and federal levels, serving in policy and advocacy roles. Mr. Ziegler has served as a senior counselor to policy makers in the State Capitol and Washington, including serving with Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt in the Clinton Administration, where he was integrally involved in policy coordination on a number of complex natural resource policy issues. He holds a B.A. in political science-public service from U.C. Davis.

Audrey Vinant-Tang
Supplier Sustainability Manager
CBS Corporation
Biography

Audrey Vinant-Tang

Supplier Sustainability Manager
CBS Corporation

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

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

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.

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

Sidney Bomer

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

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

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

John Drayton

Manager of Vehicle Technology
Los Angeles Metro ((Bus Operations))
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.

Wayne Ratkovich
President and CEO
The Ratkovich Company
Biography

Wayne Ratkovich

President and CEO
The Ratkovich Company

Wayne Ratkovich is the founder and CEO of The Ratkovich Company (TRC), a Los Angeles development firm whose mission is “to profitably produce developments that improve the quality of urban life.” Specializing in urban infill and rehabilitation projects, TRC’s accomplishments range from large-scale entitlement endeavors to retail, office, entertainment and mixed-use projects. His company engages in both new development and the imaginative reuse of existing buildings including seventeen buildings that are historic landmarks.

TRC is the developer of The BLOC, a massive remodeling of the former Macy’s Plaza in downtown Los Angeles. The property consists of a 496 room Sheraton Hotel, 430,000 square feet of retail stores, a 700,000 square foot office building and parking for 2,000 cars.

TRC developed the Hercules Campus, an eleven building complex of former Hughes Aircraft Company Buildings that have historic status. The eleven buildings total 525,000 square feet and are located on 28.3 acres of land in the Playa Vista area of Los Angeles. The project was originally developed in association with Penwood Real Estate Investment Management. Seven of the buildings are now owned in association with Invesco. The project is fully leased to two tenants, Google and the advertising firm 72 and Sunny.

The firm owns and continues to develop The Alhambra, a 45-acre and 1.0 million square foot urban community consisting of office, retail and residential uses in Alhambra, California. TRC is also the developer of the prominent landmark, 5900 Wilshire, a 30-story, 491,000 square foot high-rise office tower situated directly across from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the Miracle Mile District of Los Angeles. The City of Los Angeles recently selected TRC to develop a 31-acre waterfront site as the San Pedro Public Market.

In total, Ratkovich has developed over 16.0 million square feet of office, retail, industrial and residential properties. Projects the company has to its record include: The James Oviatt Building; The Fine Arts Building; The Pellissier Building and Wiltern Theatre; Chapman Market; Ladera Center; an urban campus for the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising; the City of Glendale’s Alex Theatre; and a variety of high technology complexes including the Irvine Technology Center and the Von Karman Corporate Center.

As a Trustee for the Urban Land Institute, Mr. Ratkovich has served two terms as a Vice Chairman and member of its Executive Committee. He has been a member of eleven ULI committees, three times Chairman of the Awards of Excellence Jury, Chairman of an Urban Development/Mixed-Use Council, a member of the Inner City Task Force, and Chairman of ULI’s Forum on Urban Neighborhood Revitalization. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of ULI Americas.

In 2011, ULI named Ratkovich a Life Trustee, an honor given to only 13 members in the 75 year history of the 35,000 member organization. He is also a Trustee Emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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.

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.

Dan Sturges
Transport Designer
Biography

Dan Sturges

Transport Designer

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

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

John Saez

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

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

Adrian Tylim
Business Development USA
Blue Solutions
Biography

Adrian Tylim

Business Development USA
Blue Solutions

Adrian Tylim is responsible for driving the US and America’s market at Blue Solutions, a Bolloré company. He has broad experience with renewable energy technologies as an engineer, designer, project and business developer. He was part of NASA’s space station solar power module team, worked on various California wind energy projects, and was responsible for business development for a leading German solar engineering firm. As a sustainability champion, he designed a solution to eliminate landfills and economically produce renewable energy from waste. He also teaches MBA students Sustainable Business Strategies. He earned a MS in Energy Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona and a BS in Applied Physics from California State University.

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

Colin Tetreault

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melinda Hanson
Senior Manager, Sustainability
Bird
Biography

Melinda Hanson

Senior Manager, Sustainability
Bird

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

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

Wahid Nawabi

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Efficient Energy Systems
AeroVironment

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

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

Christian Felske

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

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

David Prezioso
CEO
Ice Energy
Biography

David Prezioso

CEO
Ice Energy

David Prezioso serves as CEO of Ice Energy. Dave has more than 30 years of experience leading operations teams in implementing fully integrated solutions in the electric utility and chemical industries. He served two terms of employment with Honeywell International. While with Honeywell, he managed programs in the U.S., the Netherlands, Turkey, and Belgium.

Dave was responsible for the operation of the Honeywell’s SCAN3000 program in the U.S., which later developed into Honeywell’s flagship product, PlantScape.

In 1991, Dave led operations for Leeds & Northrup Corporation of North Wales, Pa., implementing projects for the power generation business in the U.S.

From 2004-2007, he served as Vice President of Strategic Business Development for RTP Corporation in Pompano Beach, Fl., supporting business in Europe and North Africa.

He also collaborated with green technology companies Xylan, Inc., and Power Energy Fuels converting waste into clean fuel.

Dave did his undergraduate work at Ohio State University and graduated from LaSalle University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Business Management. He also holds a degree in Computer Technology.

Noah Perch-Ahern
Partner - Environmental Department
Greenberg Glusker
Biography

Noah Perch-Ahern

Partner - Environmental Department
Greenberg Glusker

Noah Perch-Ahern, a Partner in Greenberg Glusker's Environmental Department, maintains a broad national environmental and energy practice involving complex litigation, regulatory counsel, and transactional matters.  Noah is known as one of the leading environmental lawyers of his generation and is often tapped to work on complicated matters without an easy solution.  Having developed specialized knowledge across the wide field of environmental law, Noah employs his skills and knowledge in a variety of contexts.  He has significant litigation experience and has tried jury and bench trials. At the same time, Noah regularly helps clients devise solutions to difficult regulatory problems, represents clients in connection with administrative proceedings, assists clients with deals and development projects, and represents energy-focused startup companies.   Noah augments his practice through his leadership in a variety of organizations focusing on environmental and energy issues, through which he works with key decision-makers of environmental and energy regulatory initiatives.  He has a J.D., magna cum laude, from Tulane University Law School and a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of New Hampshire. 

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.

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

Gary Hildebrand

Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

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

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

Mark Fillinger
Director of Development
First Solar
Biography

Mark Fillinger

Director of Development
First Solar

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

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

Nate Baguio
Vice President of Sales, USA
The Lion Electric Co.
Biography

Nate Baguio

Vice President of Sales, USA
The Lion Electric Co.

Nate Baguio has been working in the transportation industry for over 30 years. His career has taken him from behind the wheel of a school bus to launching the largest deployment of heavy-duty electric vehicles in North America.

In 1990 he started in the student transportation industry managing operations for Ryder Student Transportation Services. In this position he had overall responsibility for the startup and deployment of school bus operations across the State of California. His time in operations was highlighted by the management of over 330 employees and the management of over 300 school bus routes for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Baguio spent time working on various transit projects in Los Angeles County. He was part of the team that opened segment three of the Redline subway to 500,000 riders on opening weekend and worked to complete an $800-Million, 14-mile segment of light rail from Los Angeles to Pasadena (first segment of the Metro Gold Line). He was part of the team that designed and implemented a comprehensive safety project along the Metro Blue Line corridor in response to 16 fatalities in a single year. The first year of project implementation had an immediate impact with zero fatalities that year.

He returned to school transportation in 2005 as Senior Director of Business Development for First Student, Inc., the largest school bus operator in North America. In this role he worked with school districts across the country to renew their contracted service or start new contracted school bus service. He led efforts that resulted in new contracted service across the U.S. and placed over 1,000 new school buses in service of various types and from most of the major OEMs for these new contracts.

Currently, he is working to electrify the transportation industry as Vice President of Sales for one of the nation’s leading EV manufacturers, The Lion Electric Co. Since joining Lion in 2018, he has helped position Lion as the leader in electric school bus deployments across North America. Baguio leads the electric bus sales division for Lion in the U.S. and electric truck deployments in the State of California. 

Baguio is proud to not only provide a healthy breathing environment to students, drivers, technicians and communities, but to help educate the industry on the favorable economics of operating zero emission, electric medium and heavy-duty vehicles.”

John A. Pérez
Speaker
California State Assembly
Biography

John A. Pérez

Speaker
California State Assembly
Gavin Purchas
Director, California Clean Energy Program
Environmental Defense Fund
Biography

Gavin Purchas

Director, California Clean Energy Program
Environmental Defense Fund
Jack Nicholson
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Company 1
Biography

Jack Nicholson

Title 1
Company 1

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Henry Stern
State Senator
California State Senate
Biography

Henry Stern

State Senator
California State Senate

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

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

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

Gene Rodrigues
Director of Energy Efficiency
Southern California Edison
Biography

Gene Rodrigues

Director of Energy Efficiency
Southern California Edison

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

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

Tyson Eckerle
Deputy Director of Zero Emission Vehicle Market Development
Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development
Biography

Tyson Eckerle

Deputy Director of Zero Emission Vehicle Market Development
Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development

Tyson Eckerle serves as the Deputy Director of Zero Emission Vehicle Market Development in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go Biz). In this role, he leads a team focused on scaling the zero emission vehicle market by organizing stakeholder efforts to remove market barriers, create opportunities, and streamline development. Prior to joining Go Biz, Tyson served as Executive Director of Energy Independence Now, a non-profit dedicated to action-oriented solutions to petroleum dependence and climate change.

Tyson holds a B.A. in Biology from the University of California, Davis and a Master of Environmental Science and Management (MESM) from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management from the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Julia Pyper
Senior Editor
Greentech Media
Biography

Julia Pyper

Senior Editor
Greentech Media

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

 

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

Suzanne Witt

‎Marketing Development Manager and Corporate Responsibility Officer
Chubb Insurance
Elva Yanez
Director
Prevention Institute
Biography

Elva Yanez

Director
Prevention Institute

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

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!)

Karen Douglas
Commissioner
California Energy Commission
Biography

Karen Douglas

Commissioner
California Energy Commission

Originally appointed to the California Energy Commission in February 2008 and in December 2012, filling the Attorney position on the five-member Commission. Served as Chair from February 2009 to February 201. Lead Commissioner on power plant siting, compliance and enforcement and the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.

Garret Graves
Chair
Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana
Biography

Garret Graves

Chair
Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana
Christie Gamble
Senior Director of Sustainability
CarbonCure
Biography

Christie Gamble

Senior Director of Sustainability
CarbonCure

As Senior Director of Sustainability for CarbonCure Technologies, Christie Gamble drives CarbonCure's mission to reduce 500 megatons of annual carbon emissions from the cement and concrete industry. CarbonCure manufactures a technology that enables concrete providers to utilize post-industrial carbon dioxide in their manufacturing processes in order to achieve significant embodied carbon reductions without compromising concrete quality. In her role, Christie collaborates closely with designers and builders who seek to reduce the carbon impact of their building and infrastructure projects. Christie holds a B.A. from McGill University, and an MBA from Dalhousie University. She lives in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada with her husband and two young children, and is a top-ranked competitor on the World Curling Tour.

 

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

David Patterson

Chief Engineer, Mobile Emissions Certification and Regulatory Affairs
Mitsubishi Motors

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

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

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

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

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

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.  

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

Hope Boonshaft

Executive Vice President, General Manager LA Office
Gibraltar Associates
Kirsty Jenkinson
Investment Director
CalSTRS
Biography

Kirsty Jenkinson

Investment Director
CalSTRS

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

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

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

Gary Horvat

Vice President, e-Mobility
Navistar, Inc.

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

Linda Adams
Former Secretary
California EPA
Biography

Linda Adams

Former Secretary
California EPA

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

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

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

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

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

John Simpson

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philip Recht
Partner
Mayer Brown
Biography

Philip Recht

Partner
Mayer Brown

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

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

James Jessop
Business Advisor, Storage and Conversion of Energy
Hydro-Québec Research Institute
Biography

James Jessop

Business Advisor, Storage and Conversion of Energy
Hydro-Québec Research Institute

James Jessop is the Business Advisor for the Storage and Conversion of Energy Direction of IREQ, the Research Institute of Hydro-Québec and is responsible for all commercial activities related to R&D activities including industrial and institutional partner relations and IP licensing.

Hydro-Québec is Canada’s largest electricity producer and one of the world’s leading hydropower producers. It transmits and distributes electricity from renewable sources to over 4 M customers. Its research institute, IREQ, conducts research and development work in energy-related fields, including energy efficiency and energy storage. Hydro-Québec invests $100 M in research every year.

James is working for Hydro-Québec since 2000 when he was hired as international business advisor for the generation group. In 2006, he joined IREQ as business advisor initially for the search for industrial partners for distribution R&D projects before focusing on energy storage and battery materials projects.

James holds a B.Sc.A in geological engineering and a M.Sc. in Physics from Université Laval, Québec. He is a Certified Licensing Professional.

 

Rorie Skei
Chief Deputy Director
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Biography

Rorie Skei

Chief Deputy Director
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy

Rorie Skei has been involved in Southern California open space preservation and parkland issues for over 40 years.

As Chief Deputy Director for the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Ms. Skei oversees acquisition, park development, and watershed planning staff; partnerships with local, state, and federal governments; and resource protection of the 75,000 acres of parkland that have been preserved for the public to date.   She also serves ex officio as the Chief Deputy Executive Officer of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), a joint powers agency; and is Deputy Executive Officer for seven other joint powers authorities in which the Conservancy is a member.  She is a sworn park ranger with MRCA.   Since 1981, she has been the appointed public member and is the current chairperson of the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency, a joint powers agency between the City of Thousand Oaks and the Conejo Recreation and Park District.

Ms. Skei has long been a California native plant enthusiast and has maintained her home native garden in Thousand Oaks for many years.

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.

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

Stephen Polechronis

Regional Business Line Leader, Southern California and Nevada Transportation
AECOM

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

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

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

Mike Levin

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

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

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

Mike sits on the board of the Center for Sustainable Energy, and is also a co-founder and board member of CleanTech OC, Orange County’s clean technology trade association, where he served as the initial executive director.

Previously, he was part of the management team at a venture-funded clean tech startup.  Prior to industry, Mike worked as an attorney at Bryan Cave LLP, where he assisted clients with environmental and energy regulatory compliance, project development, and government advocacy.

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

Harry Chandler
Chair
River LA
Biography

Harry Chandler

Chair
River LA
Larry Pizzi
President
Currie Tech Corporation
Biography

Larry Pizzi

President
Currie Tech Corporation

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

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

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.

Cecilia Estolano
CEO & Founder
Estolano Advisors and CEO of Better World Group
Biography

Cecilia Estolano

CEO & Founder
Estolano Advisors and CEO of Better World Group

Cecilia V. Estolano is a leading expert on contemporary urban planning issues, with experience in economic and workforce development, land use, environmental policy, and urban revitalization. She has worked directly with public, private, institutional, and non-profit clients to plan, finance, design, implement, and operate policy-driven programs and projects that promote sustainable solutions tailored for each community. Cecilia is a Regent of the University of California and has served as President of the California Community College Board of Governors. She received an A.B. from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges, an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA, and a J.D. from UC Berkeley. Prior to founding Estolano Advisors in 2011, Cecilia served as CEO of CRA/LA, practiced land use and environmental law while Of Counsel and an Associate at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, served as Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. EPA during the Clinton Administration, and served as Environmental Policy Advisor to former L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley. In addition to her work at Estolano Advisors, she became the CEO of Better World Group, an environmental strategy firm, in 2018.

Kiran Srivastava
Lead Associate
Energy Practice Booz Allen Hamilton
Biography

Kiran Srivastava

Lead Associate
Energy Practice Booz Allen Hamilton

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

Nick Merridew
Host Cities Global Leader
Arup
Biography

Nick Merridew

Host Cities Global Leader
Arup
Chip Clements
President
Clements Environmental Corporation
Biography

Chip Clements

President
Clements Environmental Corporation

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

Dr. Joshua Schank
Managing Principal
InfraStrategies
Biography

Dr. Joshua Schank

Managing Principal
InfraStrategies

Dr. Joshua Schank is a Managing Principal at InfraStrategies, a transportation and financial advisory firm, where he leads a practice focused on innovation, strategic planning, and technology. He is also a Senior Fellow in the Institute for Transportation Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Prior to joining InfraStrategies and UCLA, Dr. Schank was the first-ever Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). Dr. Schank joined Metro in 2015 to establish the agency’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation (OEI), which is responsible for fostering innovations that improve mobility, equity and environmental outcomes across LA County. Dr. Schank led an office that shapes Metro’s high-level strategic vision, serving as a liaison to the academic community, designing, piloting and implementing innovative programs and policies, and engaging entrepreneurs and businesses to develop public-private-partnerships. Dr. Schank helped create and lead numerous transformative Metro projects including the Vision 2028 Strategic Plan, Metro Micro, Mobility on Demand, Metro’s Traffic Reduction Study, Better Bus, two Pre-Development Agreements for the Sepulveda Transit Corridor, a Public-Private-Partnership for the West Santa Ana Branch, and an aerial tram from Union Station to Dodger Stadium.

Dr. Schank previously served as President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation, a leading national transportation policy think-tank based in Washington, D.C. Prior to that he led the National Transportation Policy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center and has worked as a consultant for Parsons Brinkerhoff (now WSP) and ICF International. Dr. Schank served as Transportation Policy Advisor to Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) during the authorization of SAFETEA-LU and is the co-author of All Roads Lead to Congress: The $300 Billion Fight Over Highway Funding. Dr. Schank holds a Ph.D in Urban Planning from Columbia University, and a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He began his career working on behalf of the riders of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City and has never lost that spirit. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons.

Jon Bonanno
CXO
New Energy Nexus
Biography

Jon Bonanno

CXO
New Energy Nexus

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

 

Guanbin Zhang
Commercial Consul
Chinese Consulate, Los Angeles
Biography

Guanbin Zhang

Commercial Consul
Chinese Consulate, Los Angeles

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

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

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

Gary Farha
President & CEO
CustomerFirst Renewables
Biography

Gary Farha

President & CEO
CustomerFirst Renewables

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Peter Wijsman
Vice President
ARCADIS North America
Biography

Peter Wijsman

Vice President
ARCADIS North America

In November 2008 Mr. Wijsman was transferred from ARCADIS' Dutch operating company to the United States to expand the company's water resources opertations in California. Based in San Francisco, he has a special focus in business development on water resources management for San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. After having enjoyed education in both the Netherlands and the US Mr. Wijsman is a perfect fit to form a knowledge bridge on water management between the two countries.  In addtion to his focus in California he is involved in US nation wide strategic growth initiatives in climate change adaptation, intelligent flood protection systems and sustainable urban development.

Suzy Amis-Cameron
Founder
MUSE School CA
Biography

Suzy Amis-Cameron

Founder
MUSE School CA

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

Marta Segura
Climate Emergency Mobilization Director
LA City Climate Emergency Mobilization Office
Biography

Marta Segura

Climate Emergency Mobilization Director
LA City Climate Emergency Mobilization Office

Segura is a strategic, resourceful environmental and health and justice advocate with a focus on social equity, appointed as the first-ever Climate Emergency Mobilization Director (CEMD). She is also a leading expert in community health and engagement and has worked directly with public, philanthropic, private, institutional and non-profit sectors to design, implement, and drive community and policy-driven programs that promote healthier and more engaged communities. Ms. Segura holds a Master’s of Public Health (MPH) from UCLA. She previously served as Program Officer for the California Endowment and the first Latina Program Director for UCLA-LOSH and Labor Center. She was the first Statewide Organizing Director in Los Angeles, for Communities for a Better Environment during its nascent years in Southern California, and was ultimately promoted to the role of Statewide Associate Director. She also worked in creating parks and open space in the early years of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust. Marta served on the L.A. City Planning Commission, and as the Chair of the Equity and Inclusion Board Committee at the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters, as well as on the Board of the Southern California Leadership Network. Marta has broken many glass ceilings for her community, and served as a mentor to many, while consistently committing to building and connecting the voices that lead to healthier, thriving communities.

Marta is the daughter of cannery workers and knows all too well what it is like to grow up with childhood asthma, excessive air pollution living next to freeways, and segregated substandard schools, not unlike many frontline communities she collaborates with today. Segura also experienced housing displacement as a result of a project that demolished her entire neighborhood in San Jose.

Dennis Luna
Managing Partner
Luna & Glushon
Biography

Dennis Luna

Managing Partner
Luna & Glushon

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Coby Skye
Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works
Biography

Coby Skye

Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works

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

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

Jennifer Gress

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

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

Mark Kirby
President & CEO
Canada Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Association
Biography

Mark Kirby

President & CEO
Canada Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Association

Mark Kirby, President and CEO, is a seasoned chemicals and clean technology executive with a decade of experience in the hydrogen and fuel cell sector. Mr. Kirby has held leadership positions at Ballard Power Systems, where he managed the $100 million divesture of the company’s automotive fuel cell business to Daimler and Ford, as well as Questair Technologies.

Formerly President and CEO of Fortress Advanced Bioproducts, the biotechnology division of Fortress Global Enterprises, Mr. Kirby laid the groundwork for a Canadian biorefinery demonstration project with over $30 million of government support. He also co-founded S2G Biochemicals where he was responsible for raising millions in government and private funding support while developing strategic partnerships to position the company’s technology for commercialization. In addition, Mr. Kirby was responsible for integrating acquisitions and growing new global business for a $100 million division of Praxair.

Mr. Kirby currently serves as a member of the board of directors at HTEC. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of British Columbia.

David Roberti
Former President pro tem
California State Senate
Biography

David Roberti

Former President pro tem
California State Senate
Mike Hopkins
CEO
Ice Energy
Biography

Mike Hopkins

CEO
Ice Energy

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

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

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

Haruo Soga
Executive Director
East Japan Railway Company
Biography

Haruo Soga

Executive Director
East Japan Railway Company

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

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

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

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

Pedro Pizarro
President
Southern California Edison
Biography

Pedro Pizarro

President
Southern California Edison

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

Pizarro was president of Edison Mission Energy (EME) and chair of its board of directors from 2011 until its sale of substantially all of its assets to NRG Energy on April 1, 2014.  EME was a subsidiary of Edison International (EIX) at the time.  EME was an independent power producer that owned, leased, operated, and sold energy and capacity from electric power generation facilities, and engaged in hedging and energy-trading activities in competitive power markets. 

Previously, Pizarro progressed through several roles at EIX and SCE.  He joined EIX in 1999 as director of Strategic Planning, and was elected vice president of Technology Business Development in 2000.  He moved to SCE in 2001 as vice president of Strategy and Business Development and general manager of Edison Carrier Solutions (ECS), a division of SCE that provides wholesale broadband services to telecommunications carriers.  Pizarro was elected vice president of Power Procurement in 2004, senior vice president of Power Procurement in 2005, and executive vice president of Power Operations in 2008.  In that role, he oversaw SCE’s transmission and distribution system, the procurement unit for conventional and renewable power contracts, SCE’s gas-fired and hydroelectric generation facilities, and ECS.

Prior to his work at EIX and SCE, Pizarro was a senior engagement manager with McKinsey & Company in Los Angeles providing management consulting services to energy, technology, engineering services, and banking clients.  There, he developed corporate strategy, handled mergers and acquisitions, and oversaw operational and organizational engagements.

Pizarro earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Caltech and held National Science Foundation and Department of Defense graduate fellowships.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Harvard University.

Pizarro serves on the boards of Argonne National Laboratory, the Southern California Leadership Council, and Western Energy Institute.  He also has served on the boards of Caltech, the Electric Power Supply Association, the California Power Exchange, the Colburn School, and House Research Institute. 

Gail Farber
Principal & Infrastructure Business Leader
Arup
Biography

Gail Farber

Principal & Infrastructure Business Leader
Arup
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.

Sonaar Luthra
CEO
Water Canary
Biography

Sonaar Luthra

CEO
Water Canary
John Fenton
Chief Executive Officer
Southern California Regional Rail Authority
Biography

John Fenton

Chief Executive Officer
Southern California Regional Rail Authority

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

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

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

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

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.

Martha Welborne
Senior Advisor
HR&A
Biography

Martha Welborne

Senior Advisor
HR&A

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

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

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

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

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

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

Osamu Onodera

Director
Japan New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, Silicon Valley
Dr. Yasuhiro Matsui
Project Manager, Research & Development
Yokogawa
Biography

Dr. Yasuhiro Matsui

Project Manager, Research & Development
Yokogawa

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

Simon Poulin
Market Strategist
Effenco
Biography

Simon Poulin

Market Strategist
Effenco

Simon Poulin invested in Effenco at the beginning and is one of the founders. He joined and organized the Sales Force from 2011 to this day. He opened the US market in 2012 and the European market in 2017. He has introduced Effenco’s Hybrid Active Stop-Start Technology in many Port fleets and City fleets.  Ports and terminals are at the center of the 2021 focused market efforts. 

Dan Sperling
Director; Board Member
Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis; California Air Resources Board
Biography

Dan Sperling

Director; Board Member
Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis; California Air Resources Board

Daniel Sperling is Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy, and founding Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis (ITS-Davis). Dr. Sperling has led ITS-Davis to international prominence by building strong partnerships with industry, government, and the environmental community, integrating interdisciplinary research and education programs, and connecting research with public outreach and education.

Dr. Sperling is recognized as a leading international expert on transportation technology assessment, energy and environmental aspects of transportation, and transportation policy. He was the 2013 chair of the California Fuel Cell Partnership and is 2015 Chair of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies. He received the 2013 Blue Planet Prize for being "a pioneer in opening up new fields of study to create more efficient, low-carbon, and environmentally beneficial transportation systems" and 2010 Heinz Award for his "achievements in the research of alternative transportation fuels and his responsibility for the adoption of cleaner transportation policies in California and across the United States." He is author or editor of over 200 technical articles and 12 books, including Two Billion Cars (Oxford University Press, 2009), and has testified 7 times to the U.S. Congress on alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technology.

He earned his Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley (with minors in Economics and Energy & Resources) and his B.S. in Environmental Engineering and Urban Planning from Cornell University. Professor Sperling worked two years as an environmental planner for the US Environmental Protection Agency and two years as an urban planner in the Peace Corps in Honduras.

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

Aaron Thomas

Director, Economic Initiatives & Opportunity Zones
Accelerator for America

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

Richard Maullin
Chair
California ISO Board of Governors
Biography

Richard Maullin

Chair
California ISO Board of Governors

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

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

Lin Midkiff
The Aerospace Corporation
Biography

Lin Midkiff

The Aerospace Corporation

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

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

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

Chris Margaronis
Project Manager
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Biography

Chris Margaronis

Project Manager
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

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

Drew Torbin
Co-Founder and CEO
BlackBear Energy
Biography

Drew Torbin

Co-Founder and CEO
BlackBear Energy

Drew Torbin is Co-Founder and CEO of Black Bear Energy Inc., a buyer’s agent for renewable energy and clean technology.  Mr. Torbin launched Black Bear to accelerate the adoption of clean energy amongst commercial properties, and in less than three years has helped clients procure over 50 projects.  Prior to starting Black Bear, Mr. Torbin founded and led the renewable energy group at Prologis, where during his tenure the group deployed over 120 megawatts of distributed solar projects.  Before Prologis, Mr. Torbin was an analyst at Litchfield Capital Management, LLC, a U.S. equity long/short hedge fund. 

Mr. Torbin holds a B.S. from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh.  He is also a graduate of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Energy Executive Leadership Program and served on the Colorado New Energy Improvement District board.  

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.

Jake Levine
Associate and Policy Advisor
Covington & Burling LLP
Biography

Jake Levine

Associate and Policy Advisor
Covington & Burling LLP

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

Paul Gipe
Author
Wind Energy Basics: A Guide to Home-and Community-Scale Wind Energy Systems
Biography

Paul Gipe

Author
Wind Energy Basics: A Guide to Home-and Community-Scale Wind Energy Systems
Martin Tengler
Senior Associate
BloombergNEF
Biography

Martin Tengler

Senior Associate
BloombergNEF

Martin Tengler is BNEF’s Lead Hydrogen Analyst and a founding member of BNEF’s Hydrogen  Team. Martin sits in BloombergNEF’s Tokyo office and has covered Japan’s energy market before  specializing in hydrogen. 

Prior to joining Bloomberg, Martin co-founded Dendra Systems, a company that offers industrial scale ecosystem restoration services using drones and other cutting-edge technology. He holds an  MA in Economics from Tokyo University and an MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy from  Oxford University.

 
Brad Cox
Senior Managing Director
Trammell Crow Company
Biography

Brad Cox

Senior Managing Director
Trammell Crow Company

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

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

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

Paul Relis
Senior Vice President
CR&R Waste Services
Biography

Paul Relis

Senior Vice President
CR&R Waste Services
Michael Peevey
President
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Michael Peevey

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

Philippe P. Huneault

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

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


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

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

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

Marzia Zafar
Director, Policy & Planning Division
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Marzia Zafar

Director, Policy & Planning Division
California Public Utilities Commission
Bill Peters
Deputy Editor
Argus Media
Biography

Bill Peters

Deputy Editor
Argus Media

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

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

Michael Galvin

Director, Waterfront and Commercial Real Estate
Port of Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

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

James Villeneuve
Consul General
Canadian Consulate-Los Angeles
Biography

James Villeneuve

Consul General
Canadian Consulate-Los Angeles

James Villeneuve was appointed Consul General of Canada, Los Angeles in February 2014. He is Canada's senior representative in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Villeneuve worked for Anheuser Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewing company and the parent company of Labatt Breweries, for more than 27 years. He started with Labatt in Toronto in sales and marketing and was later transferred to Vancouver, where he was regional director of government affairs for Western Canada.

In 1995, Mr. Villeneuve returned to Toronto to manage Labatt’s rebranding initiative and to run the company’s corporate and sports properties. He later became director of corporate affairs and then vice-president of corporate affairs for Canada. From 2007 to 2009, Mr. Villeneuve worked in Brussels to lead InBev’s global corporate affairs practice. After InBev purchased Anheuser Busch in 2009, Mr. Villeneuve moved to St. Louis to lead the company’s North American corporate affairs department.

Mr. Villeneuve has served on many boards during his career, including the Toronto Economic Development Commission, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the 2008 Toronto Olympic Bid, the Granville Island Trust, the Association of Canadian Advertisers, Carleton University, the Canadian Club, Teach for America, the United Way and the Regional Chamber and Growth Association in St. Louis. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Carleton University in 1985. 

Mr. Villeneuve is married to Kim Walker-Villeneuve and they have two children, Grace and Andrew.

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

Candice Yu

Utility Business Development, Policy, Strategy
Mercedes-Benz Energy

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

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.

Daniel A. Mazmanian
Professor of Public Policy
USC Price School of Public Policy
Biography

Daniel A. Mazmanian

Professor of Public Policy
USC Price School of Public Policy

Dr. Mazmanian was the founding Director of the Bedrosian Center on Governance, from 2005-2012. He is a professor at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and the Academic Director of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy. He served as the school’s Ione L. Piper Dean and Professor from 2000-2005. Before coming to USC, he served as dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation since 1994.

Dr. Mazmanian is a widely published scholar in the field of policy implementation and environmental policy. His current research focuses on the transition to sustainable communities. He is recipient of the Aaron Wildavsky Enduring Contribution Award from the American Political Science Association and the Thomas R. Dye Service Award from the Policy Studies Organization. Dr. Mazmanian served as executive director of the “Report of the California Adaptation Advisory Panel to the State of California,” in 2009-2010, and a member of the “Task Force on Environmental Governance of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development,” in 2005-2006. He is past president of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.

He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Washington University and both his M.A. and B.A. in Political Science from San Francisco State University.

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

Dean Taylor

Manager and Scientist, Electric Transportation
Southern California Edison

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

Gypsy Achong
Director
2050 Partners
Biography

Gypsy Achong

Director
2050 Partners

For over a decade, Gypsy Achong has been collaborating with commercial and technical teams in private and public companies to develop strategies and compelling business cases for new products and/or projects in energy. Her client service career includes environmental engineering at Geomatrix (now AMEC) and management consulting as a member of the Energy practice at the Boston Consulting Group. 

Gypsy holds engineering degrees from the California Institute of Technology and Stanford, and has taught a graduate-level course at Stanford in environmental microbiology. 

She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children.

Jessica Fox
Senior Program Manager
Electric Power Research Institute
Biography

Jessica Fox

Senior Program Manager
Electric Power Research Institute

Fox is a Senior Program Manager at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), where she manages EPRI’s $15 million Water & Ecosystems research area.  She is an expert in environmental markets and “credit stacking,” ecosystem services, and corporate sustainability. Fox created the EPRI Ohio River Basin Water Quality Trading Project, which is the world’s first interstate trading program for nutrients (http://wqt.epri.com) and won the United States Water Prize in 2015. Fox led EPRI’s Energy Sustainability Interest Group from 2011 through 2016 to become the largest collaborative forum in the industry to strategically advance critical issues related to the sustainable generation and distribution of electricity, including consensus by 45 utilities on sustainability metrics to use to benchmark their companies’ performance (www.epri.com/sustainability). Fox launched EPRI’s internal corporate social responsibility program in 2016 under EPRI’s Chief Sustainability Officer and CEO, with oversight from EPRI’s Board of Directors. In 2017, Fox was recognized as Top Innovator (The Fantastic Forty) by Public Utilities Fortnightly.  In 2018, Ms. Fox launched the EPRI Power-in-Pollinators Initiative (http://www.epri.com/pollinators), which is set to be the largest effort in North America focused specifically on pollinator conservation at electric power companies.  Her projects have been covered by the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, National Public Radio, Bloomberg, and others. She is a trained meeting facilitator and conflict resolution mediator, a member of the United States Ecological Society of America, and a Certified Habitat Steward by the National Wildlife Federation.  Prior to EPRI, she worked as a molecular biologist leading conservation genetics projects on dragonflies in Costa Rica, at Stanford University sequencing and mapping the human genome, and as a manager at a biotech company developing DNA analysis technologies.  She has a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of California, Davis, and a Master’s of Science degree from Stanford University. 

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.

Allan Emkin
Managing Principal
Meketa Investment Group
Biography

Allan Emkin

Managing Principal
Meketa Investment Group

Long a member of the consulting community, Mr. Emkin has 35 years of general consulting experience, emphasizing public plan administration and investment policy as well as international, global, and real estate investments. Mr. Emkin serves as the lead consultant to large state and municipal funds and works with some of the largest state pension funds in the United States. Mr. Emkin joined the firm in 2019 as part of the merger between Meketa and Pension Consulting Alliance (PCA) and is a member of the firm’s Board of Directors and Investment Policy Committee.

Prior to founding PCA in 1988, Mr. Emkin was a Vice President at Wilshire Associates. Prior to his work in the consulting field, Mr. Emkin worked in the California Governor’s office in the Pension Investment Unit. Before joining the Brown administration, he was a registered lobbyist for 10 years, specializing in affordable housing and other matters affecting low-income families.

Mr. Emkin earned a Bachelor of Arts in Community Law from Antioch College West

 

Dan Carol
Director
Milken Institute Center for Financial Markets
Biography

Dan Carol

Director
Milken Institute Center for Financial Markets

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

 

Geoff Gunn
Electrical Engineering & Energy Business Leader
Arup
Biography

Geoff Gunn

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

Michael Montoya

Director, Grid Advancement, Advanced Technology
Southern California Edison

 

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

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

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

Ken Alex
Director
California Office of Planning and Research
Biography

Ken Alex

Director
California Office of Planning and Research
Anuj Gupta
Deputy City Manager
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Anuj Gupta

Deputy City Manager
City of Santa Monica

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

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

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

Sharon Wolcott
Mayor
City of Surprise
Biography

Sharon Wolcott

Mayor
City of Surprise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jonathan Bishop
Chief Deputy Director
California State Water Resources Control Board
Biography

Jonathan Bishop

Chief Deputy Director
California State Water Resources Control Board

Jonathan has served as Chief Deputy Director at the State Water Board since 2007, where he oversees Water Quality, Financial Assistance, Monitoring and Assessment, and Data Management, amongst other responsibilities. Jonathan worked for the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board for 23 years before being named as Executive Director of the regional board in 2004. Jonathan received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Engineering with an emphasis in water quality from Humboldt State University.

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.

Ana Lasso
General Manager
Office of Exposition Park Management
Biography

Ana Lasso

General Manager
Office of Exposition Park Management
Wendy James
President and CEO
The Better World Group, Inc.
Biography

Wendy James

President and CEO
The Better World Group, Inc.

Wendy James is President and CEO of The Better World Group, Inc. The company has been a recognized leader in political and environmental strategy, policy development and coalition management for more than a decade, working closely with the environmental community, progressive businesses and policymakers.

Over the past 35 years, James has developed unique expertise in political strategy, media and coalition building, with a special focus on clean energy and transportation issues. Prior to creating BWG, she led the Environmental Media Association, Southern California Edison’s Electric Transportation Division and the American Gas Association’s environmental communications program. She also worked as a congressional press secretary and a daily newspaper reporter.

Wendy has been honored by the California League of Conservation Voters, the Coalition for Clean Air, and was named Small Business Woman of the Year by her state legislators. She also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Institute for Transportation Studies at the University of California-Davis, on the Board of Trustees for the California State Parks Foundation, and the Community Advisory Council for Southern California Gas Company. 

Kristine Raper
Commissioner
Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Kristine Raper

Commissioner
Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Commissioner Kristine Raper was appointed to the Commission in February 2015 by former Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter for a six-year term.

Prior to her appointment, Raper served for seven years as a deputy attorney general assigned to the Public Utilities Commission. Raper managed a caseload representing a myriad of regulatory and energy law matters, with a strong emphasis on the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA).

Commissioner Raper has defended the Idaho PUC’s decisions at the Idaho Supreme Court, District Court and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In 2017, Raper testified before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce regarding PURPA and its modern-day impacts.

Commissioner Raper currently serves on NARUC’s Electricity Committee. She is a member of the Body of State Regulators (BOSR) for the Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) (with the California ISO), and is the BOSR representative participating in the governance review of the EIM as it contemplates the viability of a day-ahead market. Commissioner Raper also serves as a member of the Western Interconnection Regional Advisory Body and State Provincial Steering Committee.

The commissioner and her husband, Mark, share three children.

Chantal Guimont
Director
Strategic Planning and Transportation Electrification
Biography

Chantal Guimont

Director
Strategic Planning and Transportation Electrification

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

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

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

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/

Michael Bissonette
Senior Vice President and General Manager
AeroVironment
Biography

Michael Bissonette

Senior Vice President and General Manager
AeroVironment
Jaime Carlson
Senior Advisor
SoftBank Energy
Biography

Jaime Carlson

Senior Advisor
SoftBank Energy

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

Baron Wolt
President & Cofounder
Technology Management Professionals
Biography

Baron Wolt

President & Cofounder
Technology Management Professionals
Dave Ramslie
Senior Sustainability Programs Manager
City of Vancouver
Biography

Dave Ramslie

Senior Sustainability Programs Manager
City of Vancouver

Dave Ramslie is the City of Vancouver’s Senior Sustainability Programs Manager. In this role Dave is responsible for overseeing the development of programs and policies that address Vancouver’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions targets and the ongoing development of Vancouver’s Green Building Strategy. Dave’s work on green building standards and land use policy has won national awards from the Canadian Institute of Planners, and from the Canadian Green Building Council, for Government Leadership in Green Building. In 2012 Dave was recognized by the International Living Future Institute with their Public Sector Leadership award in recognition of decade of work on urban sustainability issues.  

Some signature projects include:

  • Developing Canada’s first municipal energy efficiency financing program,
  • Developing Vancouver’s green building code,
  • Authoring Vancouver’s carbon neutral buildings strategy.
  • Developing Vancouver’s electric vehicle charging by-law
  • Creating Vancouver’s green rezoning policy and passive design guidelines
  • Developing the policy frame work for large site redevelopment that included district energy

Dave formally served on the Board of Directors for the Cascadia Regional Green Buildings Council. He also lectures throughout the Northwest on Urban Sustainability issues and helps develop sustainability curriculum for local universities and colleges. 

John Chiang
California State Treasurer
State of California
Biography

John Chiang

California State Treasurer
State of California

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marcius Extavour
Executive Director
NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE
Biography

Marcius Extavour

Executive Director
NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE

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

Dennis McGinn
Admiral (ret) & Fmr. U.S. Assistant Secretary
US Navy
Biography

Dennis McGinn

Admiral (ret) & Fmr. U.S. Assistant Secretary
US Navy

Admiral Dennis McGinn served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment from September 2013 until January 2017.  In this role, he led the transformation of naval installations toward greater mission resiliency though energy efficiency, renewable energy, microgrids, and other technologies.  

Previously, Admiral McGinn served on active duty in the United States Navy for 35 years attaining the rank of Vice Admiral.  He served as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Requirements and Programs, overseeing the development of future Navy capabilities, and previously commanded the United States Third Fleet.  While in the Navy, he served as a naval aviator, test pilot, aircraft carrier commanding officer, and national security strategist.  

Admiral McGinn is a former President of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) where he led efforts to communicate the economic, security and environmental benefits of renewable energy.  Admiral McGinn is also a past member of the Steering Committee of the Energy Future Coalition, the United States Energy Security Council, the Bipartisan Center Energy Board, the past Co-Chairman of the CNA Military Advisory Board, and has been an International Senior Fellow at the Rocky Mountain Institute.

Admiral McGinn holds a BS in Naval Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and was a Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Fellow at the U.S. Naval War College. He also participated in the National Security Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Garrett Sprague
Manager, Business Development
CustomerFirst Renewables
Biography

Garrett Sprague

Manager, Business Development
CustomerFirst Renewables

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

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.

Michael Kelly
Executive Director
Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs
Biography

Michael Kelly

Executive Director
Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs

Michael H. Kelly currently serves as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs, a non-profit organization comprised of leaders in the business, labor, academia and non-profit sectors dedicated to ensuring a path for economic growth and the creation and retention of quality jobs in the greater Los Angeles region.

Prior to working with the Los Angeles Coalition, Mr. Kelly has worked in a number of high-level positions, both in the private sector and with California State government. He recently served as the Manager of California Government Relations for the Boeing Company, a multi-billion dollar publicly traded company in charge of managing Federal, State and Local government relations and political activities throughout California. Additionally he helped coordinate government relations support at each of the company’s site operations.

In the public sector Mr. Kelly had the distinction of being appointed by both Governors Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Film Commission, where he served as Deputy Director, successfully spearheading both Governors’ policies and initiatives to retain and attract motion picture production to California.

Prior to his appointment to the Film Commission, Mr. Kelly served in a variety of capacities for Governor Davis, first as an aide to then Lt. Governor Davis, a Special Assistant for Internal and External Affairs throughout the 1997-1998 gubernatorial campaign, transition to office, and first year and a half of the new administration. Mr. Kelly was a trusted advisor to the Governor and the primary contact for the Governor and his staff, elected officials and business leaders on numerous administration and political issues.

In 1999, Mr. Kelly was appointed Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Cabinet Affairs to work as a liaison between the Governor’s Office and the assigned Governmental Agencies and Departments, responsible for the Department of Industrial Relations; Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency; Department of Food and Agriculture; Environmental Protection Agency; Business, Transportation and Housing Agency; Resources Agency, and the Secretary of State and Consumer Services Agency.

He currently serves on the board of directors of the Center for Sustainable Energy, chair of the FUSE Corps L.A. Advisory Committee, the chair of the Philanthropic Foundation for California State University, Dominguez Hills, and a member of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator’s Diversity in Entrepreneurship Committee, the Pacific Council on International Relations, a partner at Saving The West, advisory board member for WorkingNation, as well as an adviser to Transmosis. He was also the recipient of the EnCorps Teachers Program 2010 “Torchbearer of the Year” Award.

Michael received an Economics Degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He was a Dean’s Merit Scholar at USC.

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

Doug McPherson

General Counsel and Vice President, Corporate Development
Idealab

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

Henan Li
Trade and Investment Representative – Asia
Governor's Office of Business & Economic Development (GO-Biz)
Biography

Henan Li

Trade and Investment Representative – Asia
Governor's Office of Business & Economic Development (GO-Biz)

The International Affairs and Trade unit within GO-Biz is the state’s primary point of contact for trade, foreign direct investment, and international affairs. The unit works to create jobs and increase revenues for California enterprises by implementing a comprehensive export and investment strategy in coordination with key regional partners.

Michael Webster
Assistant Director of Power System Planning and Development
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Biography

Michael Webster

Assistant Director of Power System Planning and Development
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Michael Webster is a 31-year veteran of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.  He is currently the Assistant Director of Power System Planning and Development and is responsible for implementing LADWP’s renewable portfolio, 20-year Integrated Resource Planning, and conventional generation and transmission development.  LADWP achieved the goal of 20% renewable energy in 2010 and is currently implementing plans to achieve the requirements of State legislation requiring 25% renewable energy in 2016 and 33% in 2020.  The Integrated Resource Plan lays out one of the most significant power system transformations in the history of LADWP.  Mike has also been responsible for wholesale power and gas transactions and was also part of the core team that established LADWP’s Wholesale Marketing group that successful navigated through the energy crisis.  He has experience in air quality regulation and legislation, project management, and engineering.  Mike has a BSME from UCLA and an MBA from USC.  He enthusiastically roots for both teams but favors his undergraduate team in head to head competitions.  Mike has been married 30 years to Glenda who is an Adjunct College Professor at Pasadena City College.  They have one son in medical school, a son in high school, and daughter in middle school.  

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.

Cindy Miscikowski
Board President
Port of Los Angeles
Biography

Cindy Miscikowski

Board President
Port of Los Angeles
Bill Gross
Founder and CEO
Heliogen
Biography

Bill Gross

Founder and CEO
Heliogen

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Schultz
Director, Power External Energy Resources
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
Biography

Paul Schultz

Director, Power External Energy Resources
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
Sanjay Ranchod
Director & Counsel, Business Development & Policy
Tesla
Biography

Sanjay Ranchod

Director & Counsel, Business Development & Policy
Tesla

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

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

Vince Bertoni
Director of Planning
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Vince Bertoni

Director of Planning
City of Los Angeles

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

Vince is a member of the California Planning Roundtable and has held several leadership positions with the California Chapter of the American Planning Association including President, Vice President for Policy & Legislation, Director of the Los Angeles Section, and Co-Chair of the American Planning Association’s 2012 National Planning Conference.  In addition, he has served on the Board of Directors of the League of California Cities and as President of the League’s Planning & Community Development Department.  Vince has been active on statewide legislation, having served on the Housing Element Reform Working Group formed by the State Assembly and Senate and testified before the State Senate on infill real estate development strategies.

Vince has a Bachelor’s Degree in Transportation and Urban Geography from San Diego State University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Dave Edwards
Director and Advocate for Hydrogen Energy
Air Liquide
Biography

Dave Edwards

Director and Advocate for Hydrogen Energy
Air Liquide

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

 

Austin Beutner
Publisher and Chief Executive Officer
Los Angeles Times
Biography

Austin Beutner

Publisher and Chief Executive Officer
Los Angeles Times
Trent Lethco
Business Leader, Americas Region
Arup
Biography

Trent Lethco

Business Leader, Americas Region
Arup
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.

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

Walter N. Marks III

President
Walter N. Marks Realty Company

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

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

Graduate of UC Berkeley with a BS in Engineering.

Randy Lack
Chief Marketing Officer
Element Markets
Biography

Randy Lack

Chief Marketing Officer
Element Markets
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.

Rusty Hicks
Chair
California Democratic Party
Biography

Rusty Hicks

Chair
California Democratic Party

Rusty Hicks is Chair of the California Democratic Party. Prior to his election as chair, Rusty was the President of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. He is one of the youngest—and the first post-9/11 war veteran—to lead one of the nation’s largest labor federations. Raised by a single mother in Fort Worth, Texas, Rusty saw first-hand the challenges of attaining the American Dream. Her hard work inspired him to a life of service. He is a Lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserve and a veteran of the War in Afghanistan. Rusty is a member of the Los Angeles College Faculty Guild – America Federation of Teachers Local 1521. He resides in Pasadena with his wife, Sandra Sanchez, and their dog Charlie.

Doug Failing
Executive Director of Highway Projects
Los Angeles Metro
Biography

Doug Failing

Executive Director of Highway Projects
Los Angeles Metro

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

Debra Gerod
President
American Institute of Architects, California
Biography

Debra Gerod

President
American Institute of Architects, California

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

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

 

Ran Kedem
CEO
Reali Technologies Ltd.
Biography

Ran Kedem

CEO
Reali Technologies Ltd.

Ran Kedem