Speakers

Carlos Giménez
Deputy Consul General
Mexico Secretariat of Foreign Affairs
Biography

Carlos Giménez

Deputy Consul General
Mexico Secretariat of Foreign Affairs
Kristen Torres Pawling
Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy & Planning
Office of LA City Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky
Biography

Kristen Torres Pawling

Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy & Planning
Office of LA City Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky

Kristen Torres Pawling is Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy & Planning for LA City Council District 5. Formerly, Kristen served as Sustainability Program Director at Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office focused on realizing an equitable, climate-resilient Los Angeles. There she serves as senior staff leading the effort to implement the nation’s most ambitious regional sustainability plan. Prior to joining the County, she advocated on climate and urban planning issues at the Natural Resources Defense Council. While at the Southern California Association of Governments, Kristen crafted the 2016 Sustainable Community Strategy.  Kristen began her career serving at California Air Resources Board as the Executive Fellow for Mary D. Nichols and later returned to the Air Board to work on regional planning issues. She was recently awarded the 2022 UCLA Young Alumnus of the Year for her public service to Los Angeles and the UCLA community.  Kristen serves as an appointee for various boards and committees, including the California Climate Insurance Working Group and the UCLA Institute for Transportation Studies Advisory Board. Kristen earned a Bachelor of Art degree in geography/environmental studies and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from UCLA.

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

Doug McPherson

General Counsel and Vice President, Corporate Development
Idealab

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

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

Robert Powell

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

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

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.

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.

Jason Ward
Associate Director
RAND Corporation
Biography

Jason Ward

Associate Director
RAND Corporation

Jason Ward is an economist who conducts research on housing, homelessness, labor, and education policy. His recent research has included leading a unique longitudinal study enumerating unsheltered populations and assessing their housing needs and preferences in Los Angeles, estimating the feasibility of adaptive reuse of commercial real estate for housing, and estimating the causal effect of restrictive labor regulations on the production of affordable housing. His research has appeared in peer reviewed journals including Health Affairs, Economics of Education Review, Demography, and Economic Inquiry. His research and commentary has been featured in media outlets including the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, KPCC Los Angeles, CNN Business, and CalMatters. Dr. Ward received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2019.

Cindy Miscikowski
Board President
Port of Los Angeles
Biography

Cindy Miscikowski

Board President
Port of Los Angeles
Kazuo Furukawa
Chairman
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
Biography

Kazuo Furukawa

Chairman
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

Kazuo Furukawa is chairman of NEDO, Japan’s largest public research and development management organization. His role is to guide the organisation towards achieving its twin missions of developing new energy and environmental technologies while increasing Japan’s industrial competitiveness.  Prior to NEDO, Mr. Furukawa worked for Hitachi, Ltd. serving as President and CEO of the diversified industrial conglomerate from 2006 until 2009. He has also served as the President of Information Processing Society of Japan and Vice Chairman of Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation).

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.

Mitch Moore
Marketing Manager
BlueLA
Biography

Mitch Moore

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

Janet Clayton

Senior Strategist
Vectis DC

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

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

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

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

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.

Larsh Johnson
Chief Technology Officer
Stem
Biography

Larsh Johnson

Chief Technology Officer
Stem

As Chief Technology Officer at Stem, Larsh Johnson is leading hardware and software engineering to meet the needs of Stem’s C&I, utility, and energy market customers.

Prior to joining Stem, Larsh was Chief Technology Officer at Siemens Digital Grid, where he led technology development teams on products spanning from consumer metering, demand response and analytics to control center software and grid automation. He joined Siemens via the acquisition of eMeter, a Bay Area software company of which he was a co-founder and responsible for innovation and development of meter data management, analytics, and advanced smart grid applications.

Prior to eMeter, he co-founded CellNet Data Systems, a pioneer in wireless networks for smart metering and distribution automation and now a unit of Landis+Gyr.

Larsh was a founding member of the DOE’s Gridwise Architecture Council (GWAC) and remains a Member Emeritus. He earned a B.S. and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

Shelley Luce
President & Chief Executive Officer
Heal the Bay
Biography

Shelley Luce

President & Chief Executive Officer
Heal the Bay

Shelley is President and CEO of Heal the Bay, and is responsible for determining Heal the Bay’s science and policy priorities, creating strategic partnerships, and growing public participation across greater Los Angeles. She holds a Doctorate of Environmental Science and Engineering from UCLA, and has been a tireless advocate for clean water since she began her career as staff scientist at Heal the Bay in 2001. She has held executive director positions at the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, the Bay Foundation, and the Environment Now Foundation, as well as a teaching position at Loyola Marymount University. Understanding and advocating for legal protections for coastal environments, preventing pollution and restoring rivers and wetlands have been major focus areas for Shelley’s work at all three organizations.

Shelley led the Malibu Lagoon restoration project completed in 2012, and oversaw innovative stormwater capture projects in the highly urbanized LA landscape. She has deep experience in Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and Coastal Act permitting processes through her involvement in discharge permits, dredge and fill permits, ESA consultations, and other work on coastal streams and wetlands protection and restoration. Shelley has also launched programs in environmental research, kelp forest regeneration, MPA monitoring, and public education. In her roles on the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Board and the Wetlands Recovery Project Science Advisory Panel, Shelley helps guide planning and implementation of open space protection and restoration throughout coastal Southern California.

Shelley has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Heal the Bay since 2017, where she continues to pursue the science-based environmental advocacy that is her passion. She is also an enthusiastic surfer, voracious reader, and devoted mom of two ocean-loving kids.

 

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. 

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.

Marcel Christians
Chief Operating Officer
IceEnergy
Biography

Marcel Christians

Chief Operating Officer
IceEnergy
Randy Lack
Chief Marketing Officer
Element Markets
Biography

Randy Lack

Chief Marketing Officer
Element Markets
Doug Campbell
Principal Advisor
Southern California Edison
Biography

Doug Campbell

Principal Advisor
Southern California Edison

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

Kathryn Barger
5th District Supervisor
LA County Board of Supervisors
Biography

Kathryn Barger

5th District Supervisor
LA County Board of Supervisors

Supervisor Kathryn Barger proudly serves the residents of the 5th District — Los Angeles County’s largest — spanning over 2,785 square miles, which includes 20 cities and 83 unincorporated communities in the Antelope, San Gabriel, San Fernando, Crescenta, and Santa Clarita Valleys.

Kathryn was born and raised in the 5th District and comes from a family with deep roots in public service. She is married to a retired sheriff’s deputy and lives in the San Gabriel Valley.

Dedicated to providing effective, responsive representation to the residents of Los Angeles County, Kathryn began her career in public service as a college intern in the office of former Supervisor Antonovich and rose to become his chief deputy in 2001, where she served until her election to the Board of Supervisors in 2016. She both served as Chair of the Board and was reelected for her second term in 2020.

Building upon her work from her time as chief policy advisor on health, mental health, social services, and children’s issues, Kathryn continues to advocate for services and programs to improve the quality of life for foster children, seniors, veterans, those with disabilities, and those with mental illness.

Kathryn is committed to keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe, working with federal leaders, law enforcement officials, and judicial officers to implement vital public safety initiatives.

She is an advocate for the environment and has spearheaded efforts to preserve open space and enhance parks, trails, and recreational programs and facilities, as well as libraries and after-school programs to serve local communities. She has hosted several trail rides and hikes to connect with the community throughout her district.

With a strong sense of fiscal responsibility, Kathryn is dedicated to providing vital county services while protecting financial resources as a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars.

Kathryn serves on the boards of Metrolink, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, North County Transportation Coalition, High Desert Corridor Joint Powers Authority, National Association of Counties’ Large Urban County Caucus and Commission on Mental Health and Wellbeing, Southern California Association of Governments, Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, California State Association of Counties, and Local Agency Formation Commission.

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
Maurício Andrés Ribeiro
Brazilian Architect
Biography

Maurício Andrés Ribeiro

Brazilian Architect

Architect, Brazilian.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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.

Celeste Cantú
CEO
Water Education for Latino Leaders
Biography

Celeste Cantú

CEO
Water Education for Latino Leaders

Celeste Cantú was born into a pioneer family in the Mexicali/ Imperial Valleys.  She began her career as Planning Director in her home town of Calexico, CA. Later, she served a Executive Director for the Imperial Valley Housing Authority, State Director for USDA Rural Development, Executive Director for the State Water Resources Control Board, General Manager for the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority and now is CEO of WELL. WELL partners with CORO of Northern CA and Dig In to develop and implement the Water Solutions Network. 

She is appointed to the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board and is President of the PPIC Water Policy Center, and on the boards for the Water Education Foundation, and the Water Foundation.

She holds a BA from Yale in Urban Planning and a MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School. Celeste and husband, Dr. Barry Stampfl live in Temecula and have  two adult sons.

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

Takashi Yano

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

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

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.  

Michael Jones
Founder and President
The Maritime Alliance
Biography

Michael Jones

Founder and President
The Maritime Alliance

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

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

Christian Lafrance
Vice President Sales Marketing
Effenco
Biography

Christian Lafrance

Vice President Sales Marketing
Effenco

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

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.

Douglas Carstens
Managing Partner
Chatten-Brown Carstens Minteer LLP
Biography

Douglas Carstens

Managing Partner
Chatten-Brown Carstens Minteer LLP

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

Greg Ames
Managing Director
Trammell Crow Company
Biography

Greg Ames

Managing Director
Trammell Crow Company

As Managing Director of Trammell Crow Company’s Los Angeles Office, Greg is responsible for deal structuring and project execution including accountability for all budgets, schedules, project financials, and development activities.  He has successfully entitled, financed, and executed over $1.9B in projects in Greater LA across a wide array of product types, including office, industrial, healthcare, retail, and multifamily.  He has negotiated numerous Public Private Partnerships, and is sought after for his expertise in entitlements, execution, and structured finance on the most complex transactions and challenging projects.  Greg currently serves as the Chairperson for TCC’s Leadership Council and was a founding member of the company’s Diversity and Inclusionary Initiative Steering Committee.  Greg serves publicly as a Commissioner on the Los Angeles County Capital Asset Leasing Corporation.  In his free time, he volunteers with the Knights of Columbus and Scouting, and is a recovering Ironman triathlete.  Prior to joining Trammell Crow Company in 2004, he served as a Civil Engineer Corps Officer in the US Navy managing international construction projects on behalf of the United States.  He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and The Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania.

Josh Roper
Vice President of Advanced Metering Infrastructure
Silver Spring Networks
Biography

Josh Roper

Vice President of Advanced Metering Infrastructure
Silver Spring Networks

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

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

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.
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. 

Kimberlina Whettam
Founder & Principal
Kimberlina Whettam & Associates
Biography

Kimberlina Whettam

Founder & Principal
Kimberlina Whettam & Associates

Kimberlina Whettam, Founder and Principal of Kimberlina Whettam & Associates (KW&A), has an excellent track record managing real estate developments from conceptualization through completion. Specializing in due diligence research and project analysis, management of the entitlement, public hearing, and development permit and expediting process, Kimberlina leverages her strong governmental and industry relationships to facilitate project approvals in a timely and cost-effective manner. She draws on her public service background to bring more resources to bear as she coordinates and negotiates with community-based organizations, elected officials, and government agencies to help move development projects through the regulatory process. 

KW&A provides comprehensive development consulting and overall permit expediting services in the City of Los Angeles, the 88 incorporated cities in Los Angeles County, and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. These projects range from residential, including single family dwellings, condominiums, townhomes, market rate multi-family and affordable housing to large scale commercial projects, including office, high-rise, adaptive re-use, hotel and hospitality, mixed-use, retail, sports and entertainment, film studios, educational and religious to public infrastructure, including municipal improvement projects. KW&A is currently managing the approvals for 6,000 new residential units, both market rate and affordable units; managing the approval process for several LAX projects including the Automated People Mover, Delta Terminals 1 & 2 and the Consolidated Rent-a-Car Facility (CONRAC); Millions of SF of mixed-use projects throughout the greater Los Angeles area and some of the most exclusive homes in the city. 

Prior to entering the private sector, Kimberlina was Chief Planning & Environmental Deputy for Los Angeles City Councilmember Jack Weiss. In a district which included Los Angeles’ Westside and parts of the San Fernando Valley, Kimberlina managed publicly funded capital improvement projects and conducted community outreach on both public and private development projects throughout the district. While with Councilmember Weiss, Kimberlina created the Los Angeles Department of Building & Safety’s Green Building Incentive Program, and she negotiated and secured local community support for the Van Nuys Airport Masterplan, allowing for the modernization of the world’s busiest general aviation airport. Kimberlina is a graduate of the University of Arizona. 

Outside of work, she is a lover of the outdoors, and an advocate for community health and well-being. She serves as the California State Commissioner Vice Chair for the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission, is a founding member of the non-profit La Charla, serves on the board of the Burbank Community YMCA, is the Chair of the Burbank YMCA Facilities Committee and is a Co-Chair of the Los Angeles 50/50Women on Boards Committee.
 

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
Peter Bryant
President and Founder
TransTech USA, LLC
Biography

Peter Bryant

President and Founder
TransTech USA, LLC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 

Con Howe
Los Angeles Fund Managing Director
CityView
Biography

Con Howe

Los Angeles Fund Managing Director
CityView

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

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

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

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

Tim DeMoss
Environmental Affairs Officer
POLA
Biography

Tim DeMoss

Environmental Affairs Officer
POLA

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

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

Michael Peevey
President
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Michael Peevey

President
California Public Utilities Commission
Justin Erbacci
Chief Innovation & Technology Officer
Los Angeles World Airports
Biography

Justin Erbacci

Chief Innovation & Technology Officer
Los Angeles World Airports

Justin Erbacci was appointed Chief Innovation and Technology Officer (CITO) and Deputy Executive Director in July 2016.  Justin is responsible for identifying potential innovative technologies and processes and bringing them to fruition to help transform these airports. He also is responsible for the overall Information Technology vision, strategy and operations for Los Angeles International (LAX) and Van Nuys general aviation airports.

Prior to his appointment with LAWA, he served as Vice President of Customer Experience & Technology for Star Alliance Services GmbH, a global airline network comprised of 28 airlines. Additionally, Justin served as the Director of Global Product Management for Credit Suisse, and as a Manager of Business Planning and Technology at United Airlines. Justin also served as a senior IT consultant for firms including Reese McMahon LLC, Cambridge Management Consultants, and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

Prior to consulting, he practiced law as a civil rights defense litigator. Justin earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Vienna School of Economics/Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University of Chicago’s School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Loyola University of Chicago.

Andrew Lund
Chief Engineer, Product Development Office
Toyota Motor NA
Biography

Andrew Lund

Chief Engineer, Product Development Office
Toyota Motor NA

Andrew Lund is Chief Engineer of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric system development for Heavy Duty Applications.  He is located at the Toyota Motor North America R&D center in Gardena, CA.

Mr. Lund joined Toyota in 1994 as Senior Engineer in the Materials Engineering Department’s Paint and Anti-corrosion Group and was promoted to Manager in 1997. He transferred to the Product Development Office in 2000, joining the Sienna team as Program Manager.  He was promoted to Executive Program Manager in 2004 and then promoted to Chief Engineer for the Sienna program in 2013.  He was assigned to the One Toyota Competitiveness team in 2016 and then assigned to hydrogen fuel cell electric heavy duty applications development in 2017.

Prior to joining Toyota, Mr. Lund was International Account Manager for Henkel Corporation in their Henkel Surface Treatments group and Teroson Automotive Products group.

Mr. Lund previously served on the Michigan Economic Development Fund board from 2017 to 2018, served on the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum Board of Trustees from 2016 to 2018, and served on the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce from 2009 to 2014, serving as President in 2013.

Mr. Lund was born and raised in Japan. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1985.  He currently resides in the LA area with his wife, Denise, and is a proud father of his two grown sons, Steven and Matthew.  He enjoys driving, hiking, and skiing.

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.

David Estrada
Chief Legal & Policy Officer
Nuro
Biography

David Estrada

Chief Legal & Policy Officer
Nuro

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

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

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

Rhetta deMesa
Advisor to Commissioner Janea Scott
California Energy Commission
Biography

Rhetta deMesa

Advisor to Commissioner Janea Scott
California Energy Commission
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.

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).

Steve Peace
Former CA Legislator
State of California
Biography

Steve Peace

Former CA Legislator
State of California

James Stephen Peace was a member of the CA State Assembly from 1982-1992 and later served in the CA Senate, representing the 40th District, from 1994-2002. Peace was the chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy from 1995–1997, during which time he co-authored the electricity deregulation bill. In his term as Senator, Peace authored the first laws in the nation aimed at protecting the privacy of individuals' personal information by requiring companies to inform consumers of data breaches. After being term-limited out of the State Senate, he served as Director of the California Department of Finance.

After leaving public service, Peace served as a Founding Director of the California Independent Voter Project, during which time he wrote California's Nonpartisan Open Primary Constitutional Amendment. He has served on the Board of the UCSD Scripps Institute of Oceanography and as Chairman of the Board of Chicago-based, Authentify, Inc., the privately held company that pioneered dual authentication security for online financial transactions. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Killer Tomatoes Entertainment and as a member of the Board of Directors of Preservation Ranch. He is a principal in the consulting firm JSPeace and Associates.

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.

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

Mark Rothleder

Vice President, Market Quality and Renewable Integration
California ISO

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

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.

Marty Borko
Executive Director
ULI Los Angeles
Biography

Marty Borko

Executive Director
ULI Los Angeles

Marty Borko is the Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute Los Angeles.  Borko left his post as Principal at Gensler in Los Angeles to command the day-to-day workings and long-range planning of one of ULI’s largest and most active regional chapters. As Executive Director Borko pilots the organization as it confronts the most critical land-use challenges in the city, including the homeless and housing affordability crisis, as well as city planning, infrastructure, transportation, open-space and historic districts.

In his tenure at Gensler’s Los Angeles office, Borko grew the firm’s Planning and Urban Design, Entertainment, and Mixed Use practices and had been principal-in-charge on numerous international and Los Angeles projects.

In addition to being a Sustaining Member of ULI’s Entertainment Development Council and member of the USC Price School Planning Program Advisory Board, Borko is: Associate Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA); Member, American Planning Association (APA); Member, International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC); Member, International Association of Amusement Parks (IAAPA); Dean’s Council, University of Oregon College of Design; Board Member, Los Angeles Downtown Breakfast Club; Member, Southern California Development Forum; and Member, Central City Association.
 

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

 

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

David Yale

Special Services
Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink)
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.

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

Brian Maragno

Director-Electric Vehicle Marketing and Sales Strategy
Nissan North America

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

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. 

Dan Richard
Chair
California High Speed Rail Authority
Biography

Dan Richard

Chair
California High Speed Rail Authority

Dan Richard of Piedmont, has been a principal of Dan Richard Advisors since 2010. He was managing partner and co-founder of Heritage Oak Capital Partners, an infrastructure finance firm, from 2007 to 2009 and was senior vice president of public policy and governmental relations at Pacific Gas and Electric Company from 1997 to 2006.

Richard was an elected member of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District from 1992 to 2004, where he served twice as president of the Board. At the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Richard led efforts to secure $4 billion in capital for system rehabilitation projects, the transit system’s expansion to the San Francisco Airport and seismic retrofit programs.

Richard was a principal at Morse, Richard, Weisenmiller & Associates from 1986 to 1996, a firm serving the independent power industry and project finance lending community. He was vice president of Independent Power Corporation from 1983 to 1986. Richard served as Governor Brown’s deputy legal affairs secretary from 1982 to 1983 and deputy assistant for science and technology from 1978 to 1979. He was advisor to the chairman of the California Energy Commission from 1978 to 1982.

Richard began his career at National Aeronautics and Space Administration, where he was assistant to the deputy associate administrator from 1972 to 1978. Richard received his Juris Doctor degree from McGeorge School of Law.

Appointed by the Governor.

Delia Ibarra
President
City of LA Fire Commission
Biography

Delia Ibarra

President
City of LA Fire Commission
Delia Ibarra, Esq. is the president of the City of Los Angeles’ Fire Commission, the civilian board charged with overseeing and making policy for the City of Los Angeles’ Fire Department.  She was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti in September of 2013.  She is also a partner at Lara & Ibarra LLP, a Downtown Los Angeles law firm.  She is a seasoned litigator whose practice focuses on complex commercial cases in state, federal and appellate courts.  She is licensed to practice before all California courts.
 
Prior to her service on the Fire Commission, Ms. Ibarra had an extensive history of, and commitment to, public service.  During the presidential administration of President William J. Clinton, Ms. Ibarra was a “schedule C” political appointee who served as a speechwriter to Donna E. Shalala, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.  As a speechwriter, Ms. Ibarra helped the Secretary communicate with the American people about many of the major public policy issues of our time, including: AIDS, welfare reform, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as health care quality and access.  During the early part of her professional career, Ms. Ibarra also served as a legislative and press aide to several prominent Democratic, Los Angeles-area, elected officials.  She is currently a member of the Latina Lawyers and the Mexican American Bar Associations and remains committed to addressing and resolving issues of poverty and inequality.  She is also deeply committed to protecting civil rights and civil liberties.
 
Ms. Ibarra is a graduate of Stanford University (B.A., 1991) and Stanford Law School (J.D., 2002).  She clerked at the ACLU of Southern California after her first summer at Stanford Law School.  She wrote a weekly column for the Stanford Daily while studying history as an undergraduate student at Stanford University.  Her Stanford Daily column was nationally syndicated by Hispanic Link News Wire Service during her senior year at Stanford and was subsequently republished in a number of national and local publications.President
Marzia Zafar
Director, Policy & Planning Division
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Marzia Zafar

Director, Policy & Planning Division
California Public Utilities Commission
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.    

 

Benoit Couture
President
Lithion Recycling
Biography

Benoit Couture

President
Lithion Recycling

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

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

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

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. 

Carter Rubin
Mobility and Climate Advocate
Natural Resources Defense Council
Biography

Carter Rubin

Mobility and Climate Advocate
Natural Resources Defense Council

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

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

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

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

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

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.

 

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.

Beth Tomlinson
Carbon and Climate Discipline Leader, Buildings
Stantec
Biography

Beth Tomlinson

Carbon and Climate Discipline Leader, Buildings
Stantec

Throughout her career, Beth has demonstrated a sustained trajectory of innovation and leadership. Beth leads Stantec’s Carbon Impact Team, a cross-disciplinary group of specialists that applies building science and design solutions to rapidly reduce the generation of carbon emissions in the built environment, increase resilience against climate risks, and have a positive impact on the socio-ecological health of our communities.

Beth has over 20 years of experience in research and building design, resiliency services, commissioning, and energy auditing. She is focused on integrating climate change mitigation and adaptation, commissioning, and energy transitions within a variety of project types—including healthcare, municipal, education, mixed-use, commercial, industrial, and transportation. She’s elevating climate science literacy and developing adaptation collaborations within the building industry, and she’s directed commissioning, energy auditing, energy modeling, and life cycle cost assessments.

Beth served on Minnesota Governor Walz’s Resilience and Adaptation Action team, she’s co-chair of the Minneapolis Energy Vision Advisory Committee, and currently serves as Vice-Chair in the development of ICC/ASHRAE Standard 240P: Evaluating Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and Carbon Emissions in Building Design, Construction and Operation with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).  Beth served on ASHRAE’s international Building Decarbonization Position Document Committee and is leading regional decarbonization planning projects for Stantec.

Beth strives to improve the lives of others through engineering and serves clients with respect, sincerity, and integrity. 
 

Michael Bissonette
Senior Vice President and General Manager
AeroVironment
Biography

Michael Bissonette

Senior Vice President and General Manager
AeroVironment
Cisco DeVries
CEO
Renewable Funding LLC
Biography

Cisco DeVries

CEO
Renewable Funding LLC

Renewable Funding is a finance company specializing in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for residential and commercial properties. The firm is providing over $500 million in capital through the CaliforniaFIRST Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program and the WHEEL unsecured energy loan program.  It also is fund and program manager for the State of Hawaii’s Green Infrastructure Authority.

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

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.

Jacquelyn Birdsall
Senior Engineer
Toyota Motor
Biography

Jacquelyn Birdsall

Senior Engineer
Toyota Motor

Jacquelyn Birdsall is a Senior Engineer in the Fuel Cell Development Department of Toyota Motor North America Research and Development specializing in hydrogen infrastructure, high pressure hydrogen systems and associated standards and regulations. She also serves as a technical spokesperson for the Toyota Mirai and has been in numerous publications including Car and Driver and the Wall Street Journal.

Birdsall has held several roles in the automotive industry prior to joining Toyota in 2012 with over fourteen years of experience in hydrogen, including a thirteen-month assignment at the Toyota Motor Corporation Global Headquarters in Japan.

In addition to her activities in hydrogen, Birdsall takes personal interest in promoting STEM learning and diversity within the industry. She is a board member of Women Influencing and Impacting Toyota and in 2015 was honored by the Manufacturing Institute as an Emerging Leader and by Automotive News as Rising Star.

Birdsall received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University (previously General Motors Institute).

Jean Lachance
VP Deployment and Operations
EVLO Energy Storage
Biography

Jean Lachance

VP Deployment and Operations
EVLO Energy Storage

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

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

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

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

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

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. 

Michael Kadish
Executive Director, Greater Los Angeles
GRID Alternatives
Biography

Michael Kadish

Executive Director, Greater Los Angeles
GRID Alternatives

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

Effie Turnbull Sanders
Vice President
Civic Engagement & Economic Partnerships
Biography

Effie Turnbull Sanders

Vice President
Civic Engagement & Economic Partnerships

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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.

Esther Feldman
President
Community Conservancy International
Biography

Esther Feldman

President
Community Conservancy International
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. 

Jean-Philipe Lattes
Senior Manager, Electric Vehicle Marketing & Strategy
Nissan North America
Biography

Jean-Philipe Lattes

Senior Manager, Electric Vehicle Marketing & Strategy
Nissan North America

Jean‐Philippe (JP) Lattes is senior manager for LEAF / Electric Vehicles Marketing & Strategy at Nissan North America. He is in charge of marketing activities for the new Nissan LEAF, the world’s best‐selling electric vehicle. He is also actively involved in Nissan’s future EV portfolio development.

Originally from France, he holds a MBA in marketing from Laval University in Canada. In the past 13 years, he has lead numerous projects in sales & marketing in Europe and in North America, from sales, aftersales, dealer network development, retail experience to marketing. JP is a passionate individual who is excited to contribute to the 100% electric vehicles growth in the United States.

Based in the greater Nashville area for the past five years, JP loves to travel and discover with his wife and 2 young children – “my 4 years‐old son is ready for the future… he loves to plug‐in our LEAF every day in our garage”. The future is today… and electric!

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

Sigal Admony-Ravid

Israel Consul for Economic Affairs to the West Coast

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

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

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

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

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

Steve Westly
Founder and Managing Director
The Westly Group
Biography

Steve Westly

Founder and Managing Director
The Westly Group

Mr. Westly has a unique background.

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

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

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

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

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
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.

Arash Saidi
Power Engineering Manager of Distributed Resources Development & Programs
LADWP
Biography

Arash Saidi

Power Engineering Manager of Distributed Resources Development & Programs
LADWP

Arash Saidi oversees the development of customer-centric business solutions to address the growing needs of clean and reliable energy. His commitment to accelerate and determine the optimal business strategies and processes to facilitate a broader renewable and distributed energy resource (DER) procurement that is beneficial to LADWP’s electric infrastructure and its customers is in line with LADWPs goal to decarbonize the entire grid by 2045 or sooner. His most recent program achievements include the launch of the Feed-in Tariff Plus Pilot, expansion of the Feed-in Tariff program with carport and canopy incentives, and the Commercial Energy Storage to Grid Pilot. During his 13+ year tenure at LADWP, Arash has held various engineering and system planning roles related to bulk renewable energy development and underground transmission design. Arash obtained his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from CSULB and USC, respectively, and an MBA from USC’s Marshall School of Business. He also holds a Professional Engineering license in the State of California.

Robyn Beavers
CEO
Blueprint Power
Biography

Robyn Beavers

CEO
Blueprint Power

Robyn Beavers started her career as an energy efficiency consultant and then moved on to become the founding member of Google’s Green Business & Operations strategy team. In this role she delivered several green strategic programs including the country's largest corporate solar installation at the time, energy efficiency retrofits for Google's global offices, employee incentive programs, and the creation of a large scale renewable energy investment program. While pursuing her MBA, Robyn served as a Fellow for the Department of Energy. In 2011, she joined Vestas Wind Systems where she created WindMade, a global NGO that issues the first global consumer label for brands and products made with wind energy. She then joined DEKA Research & Engineering to commercialize their various distributed water and power technologies. Her most recent corporate involvement has been as Sn VP for NRG Energy. She holds both a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an MBA from Stanford University.

Phil Huber
Partner
Marstel-Day
Biography

Phil Huber

Partner
Marstel-Day

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

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

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

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. 

Jeff Bleich
Chief Legal Officer
Cruise
Biography

Jeff Bleich

Chief Legal Officer
Cruise

Jeff Bleich currently serves as the Chief Legal Officer and Chief Risk Officer of Cruise LLC.  He previously served as a Special Master for the U.S. Courts, arbitrator, and as the chair of the boards of PG&E Co. and Nuix USG, Inc.  He formerly served as special counsel to President Obama in the White House, and as the 24th U.S. Ambassador to Australia from 2009 to 2013.

After receiving his B.A. in political science, magna cum laude, Bleich earned an M.P.P. from Harvard with highest honors in 1986, and a J.D. from the UC Berkeley School of Law with highest honors in 1989. At Berkeley, he served as editor-in-chief of the California Law Review. He clerked for Judge Abner Mikva on the D.C. Circuit and Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist on the U.S. Supreme Court, before clerking at the international tribunal in the Hague.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Bleich was a partner for 17 years at Munger, Tolles & Olson in San Francisco, where he handled many significant pro bono civil rights matters, and was recognized as one of the nation’s top lawyers. He holds, or has held, several other leadership positions, including as chair of the Fulbright Board, chair of the California State University Board of Trustees, president of the California State Bar, president of the Bar Association of San Francisco and president of the Barristers Club of San Francisco. In 1998, he was appointed by President Clinton to serve as director of the White House Commission on Youth Violence following the tragic Columbine shootings.

In recognition of his service, Bleich has received some of the nation’s top honors, including the highest awards for a non-career ambassador by the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Director of National Intelligence. In 2009, the City of San Francisco named a day in his honor.  Bleich holds honorary degrees from San Francisco State University, Griffith University, and Flinders University in Adelaide, which in 2019 named for him the Jeff Bleich Centre for U.S. Alliance Studies in Digital Technology, Security, and Governance.

Felicia Williams
Chair, Municipal Services Committee/Boardmember
City of Pasadena/Foothill Transit Board
Biography

Felicia Williams

Chair, Municipal Services Committee/Boardmember
City of Pasadena/Foothill Transit Board
Felicia Williams was born and raised in Pasadena and elected to the City Council in 2020. She represents District 2 which is the central part of the City. She currently represents the City as the Vice President of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority and on the Executive Board of Foothill Transit.  Prior to joining the Council, Felicia served on several City Commissions, including Chair of the Planning Commission Chair, Treasurer of the Pasadena Center Operating Company (Convention Center), Environmental Commission Chair, and Transportation Advisory Commission member. Her community involvement also includes serving on the Boards of Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley, Pasadena Educational Foundation, and Pasadena Police Foundation and Citizens Police Academy graduate, as well as being the Captain of her Neighborhood Watch.
 
Felicia has a 20+ year career in public policy and finance. She began her career at Kosmont & Associates in Los Angeles structuring financial redevelopment transactions for cities and processing land use approvals for large projects. After receiving her MBA, Felicia worked as an investment banker structuring corporate bonds/syndicated bank loans at Goldman Sachs, and municipal bonds at First Albany Capital, RBC Capital Markets, and PFM Financial Advisors. Felicia’s municipal finance work focused on property tax/assessment districts and environmental projects (water, sewer, solid waste, clean energy). Currently, Felicia owns a consulting firm working with municipal clients, mainly in Los Angeles County and San Gabriel Valley, on financing infrastructure projects and economic development.
Felicia received the 2021 NAACP Pasadena Branch 2021 Women of Distinction Community Award and was a 2022 Business Life Magazine Women Achievers Honoree. She attended Polytechnic School in Pasadena and received her B.A. from Stanford University in Public Policy, M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA, and M.B.A. from The University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
 

 

David Grannis
Partner and Co-Founder
Point C
Biography

David Grannis

Partner and Co-Founder
Point C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pierre Moreau
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources
Government of Québec
Biography

Pierre Moreau

Minister of Energy and Natural Resources
Government of Québec

Before being elected for the first time in 2003, Pierre Moreau worked as a lawyer specializing in the field of municipal law for over 20 years.  As well as being an elected member of Quebec’s National Assembly for more than 10 years, Minister Moreau has held numerous offices:  Chief Government Whip, Minister responsible for Intergovernmental Affairs, Minister of Transport, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Acting Minister of Public Security, Minister of Education, Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board. On October 11th 2017, he became Quebec’s 30th Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.

Quebec is fortunate in that it can rely on green, diversified and abundant energy resources. This guarantees a great quality of life for its citizens and creates business opportunities for Quebecers around the world. It also enables the Quebec government to pursue its strong commitment to combatting climate change and set ambitious objectives moving towards a greener economy. In Minister Moreau’s mind, the way forward is clear: we must change our ways of doing things and innovation and solidarity are key.

J. Francois Nion
Executive Vice President
JCDecaux North America
Biography

J. Francois Nion

Executive Vice President
JCDecaux North America

J. Francois Nion is Executive Vice President of JCDecaux North America. JCDecaux is the world’s largest outdoor advertising firm that, in exchange for ad revenue, installs and maintains street-level infrastructure that aspires to create a more pleasant, dignified experience for transit riders in cities around the world. 

Louis Romo
Vice President, Business Development
JFE Engineering America
Biography

Louis Romo

Vice President, Business Development
JFE Engineering America

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

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

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

Ross Zelen

Chief Committee Consultant
Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies

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

,

Wes Marstaller
Chief Financial Officer
Avalon Battery
Biography

Wes Marstaller

Chief Financial Officer
Avalon Battery

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

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

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

Lee Kanon Alpert
Immediate Past President
LADWP Board of Commissioners
Biography

Lee Kanon Alpert

Immediate Past President
LADWP Board of Commissioners
David Martin
Design Principal
A.C. Martin Partners
Biography

David Martin

Design Principal
A.C. Martin Partners

David C. Martin, FAIA, a third-generation architect, continues his family’s legacy of major involvement in the architectural planning and civic life of Southern California. Martin received his Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Southern California (USC) and his Masters of Architecture from Colombia University. Upon completing his formal studies, Martin spent four months on a Traveling Fellowship researching the great urban spaces of the world.

As third generation Design Principal for AC Martin Partners, a 110-year old architecture firm noted for its historic and contemporary landmark projects, David has transformed neighborhoods, academic institutions, and cities. Martin’s latest project is the 80-story high-rise hotel and office complex in the heart of Downtown – the new Wilshire Grand.

Martin is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at USC, a past President of the Southern California Chapter of the AIA, and a former Board Member of the AIA California Council. He is currently on the Boards of the Los Angeles Conservancy, USC School of Architecture and the Art Center: College of Design in Pasadena. Martin is an award-winning designer that has been recognized for his innovative, inspirational, and cutting-edge projects. David, along with his former business partner and cousin Christopher C. Martin, FAIA, have received the American Institute of Architecture (AIA), Los Angeles Chapter’s Gold Medal of Honor, for their major contribution to the built environment in the City of Los Angeles.

David is an avid watercolorist and his works have been exhibited throughout the U.S., including “On Site: Travel Sketches by Architects” at Hunter College, “line.dot – Drawing the Design Process at the Martin Design Studio” at UCLA, and “Form Follows Software: A Revolution in the Architectural Process” at USC, University of Arizona, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Currently, David along with his wife, Mary Klaus Martin, have established MADWORKSHOP, a foundation that endows innovative designers with the opportunity to freely explore their ideas from inspiration to reality.

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. 

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.

Shinya Shimizu
Founder, CEO & CTO
Elephantech
Biography

Shinya Shimizu

Founder, CEO & CTO
Elephantech

Shinya Shimizu is the founder, CEO and CTO of Elephantech, a Japanese startup that commercializes printable electronics technology. Since foundation, he has raised 9 billion Japanese Yen, built a mass-production factory of inkjet-printed PCB for the first time in the history, and is expanding their shipment globally. With Elephantech’s technology, 70% of copper, 75% of CO2 emissions and 95% of water consumption are saved during PCB manufacturing. Elephantech aims to push this technology to the global standard to make the electronics manufacturing sustainable.


Before starting Elephantech, he was working for McKinsey and Company, mainly serving manufacturing companies. He earned a Master of Engineering from the University of Tokyo.
 

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.

George Hawkins
General Manager
DC Water and Sewer Authority
Biography

George Hawkins

General Manager
DC Water and Sewer Authority

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

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

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

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.

Tony Mazza
Director of Transportation
University of Southern California
Biography

Tony Mazza

Director of Transportation
University of Southern California

Tony has been the Director of Transportation since 2008. Before 2008, Tony served as Transportation’s Senior Associate Director for transit operations at USC. Prior to joining USC in 2006, Tony was employed by DHL as the Regional Service Director responsible for Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii. Tony has a B.A in Business Administration from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, N.J.

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

Steve Burger

Deputy Director, Transportation
LA County Department of Public Works

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

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

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

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

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

Akira (Keith) Morise

Assistant General Manager
Toshiba International Corporation, Transmission & Distribution Division

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

From 2012 to 2014:

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

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

Summary

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

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

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

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

Worked for SONY Corporation from 1998 2007

Worked for NGK Insulators from 1984 to 1998

Education

Waseda University

Bachelor of Arts, Russian literature, 1979 - 1984

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

Andrée-Lise Méthot

Founder and Managing Partner
Cycle Capital Management

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

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

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

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

Jeff Guido
Director, Special Programs
Planet
Biography

Jeff Guido

Director, Special Programs
Planet

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

Wenhang Huang
Director of International Collaboration
NDRC Climate Change
Biography

Wenhang Huang

Director of International Collaboration
NDRC Climate Change
Myrna Bittner
CEO and Co-Founder
RUNWITHIT Synthetics
Biography

Myrna Bittner

CEO and Co-Founder
RUNWITHIT Synthetics

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

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

Veronica Eady
Assistant Executive Officer
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Veronica Eady

Assistant Executive Officer
California Air Resources Board

Veronica Eady is Assistant Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board. In this capacity, Ms. Eady is responsible for overseeing Environmental Justice activities of the Board.

Her role will be to serve as the primary internal and external contact for CARB on environmental justice issues and concerns and will be responsible for providing policy consultation and recommendations to CARB staff. She will also participate in decision making during the development and implementation of all major CARB programs to ensure that environmental justice and tribal concerns are considered.

Ms. Eady was formerly the Vice President and Director of Conservation Law Foundation Massachusetts and was the Associate General Counsel and Director of Environmental Justice at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, a non-profit civil rights law firm in New York City. Eady has also served as Director of the Environmental Justice and Brownfields Programs for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, where she was the principal author of Massachusetts Environmental Justice Policy. Eady was also Executive Director of Alternatives for Community and Environment, an environmental justice advocacy organization. She is the former chair of EPA's federal advisory committee for environmental justice, the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.

Eady has held appointments on several faculties, including Europe-Viadriana University in Germany, Tufts University, in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Fordham Law School, and at the Stanford Law School. Eady received her B.A. in journalism from the University of Southern California, and her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Mark Stout
Vice President, Development Engineering
Amber Kinetics
Biography

Mark Stout

Vice President, Development Engineering
Amber Kinetics

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

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

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

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

 

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.

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.

Megan Horne
Associate Principal, Project Director
Studio MLA
Biography

Megan Horne

Associate Principal, Project Director
Studio MLA

Megan is a highly experienced studio leader in landscape architecture, with over 19 years of focus on the Los Angeles metropolitan region. She received her bachelor's degree in Geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her master's in Landscape Architecture from Harvard's Graduate School of Design. Megan has a strong working knowledge in all aspects of project development, delivery, and team management and understands the profound impacts landscape architecture can provide to our communities no matter the project scale. 

Megan's design approach is highly creative, technically informed, and ecologically focused. She tackles complex design issues by organizing project ambitions and synthesizing them into clear, consistent, and achievable strategies. Her work covers a wide range of urban projects from parks, open spaces, civic spaces, schools, mixed-use, and corporate campuses.

As Associate Principal and Director of Projects at Studio-MLA, Megan leads many of the firm's large projects, providing oversight, mentorship, and leadership on design and planning in the studio. Her current work includes the Puente Hills Landfill Park, which aims to transform one of the largest landfills into a new regional park for LA County. She also leads The Natural History Museum's The Commons project, which creates a new museum entry and provides a land acknowledgment through design collaboration with LA's indigenous nations. Additionally, Megan is working on the Wilshire Temple Camp, a camp destroyed in the Woolsey fire of 2018, and the San Gabriel Valley greenway project, which aims to transform LA's “other river” and its tributary watershed into a regional trail and greenway system.

Aside from her day-to-day design practice, Megan is Vice President of the AWAF, a 501c organization that provides scholarships and fellowships to women in the design field in California. She is an avid saltwater fly fisherman, little dog lover, and National Park enthusiast, having visited 48 out of the total 58 park sites.
 

Susan Robinson
Public Affairs Director
Waste Management
Biography

Susan Robinson

Public Affairs Director
Waste Management
Thomas Cain
Found and CEO
Sustainability Partners
Biography

Thomas Cain

Found and CEO
Sustainability Partners

Mr. Thomas Cain is CEO of Sustainability Partners LLC, a sustainable products finance company and Managing Partner of EFW Partners, a multi-strategy investment firm focused on energy, food and water.

Cain has directly invested hundreds of millions in a diverse array of young technology companies focused on sustainability including Kokam Ltd., Dow/Kokam, Townsend Advanced Energy, Sungevity, Quantum, Lime, Enerpulse, Flex Energy, Water Health International, Stem, Electratherm, Codexis, Solezyme, and Project Frog and has been a director in over 30 public and private companies. He is a frequent keynote speaker and co-authored Energy Venture Capital Best Practices.

Cain started his business career by founding Distribution Architects Int’l. (“DAI”) in 1977, which grew into one of the world’s largest supply chain and ERP software companies with offices around the world. Through both organic growth and accretive M&A, he retired as chairman of the acquisition corporation in 2001, with 2,500 employees and annual revenues of $120M. He next founded Starco Energy, an owner/operator of restored petrochemical fuel terminals, which he sold to Quintana Energy in 2006. He also founded Focus Capital Group of America, an extension of Focus Capital Group -Israel, through which 20 distressed turnarounds were accomplished and exited. One such turnaround was Evans Systems, Inc., a Texas-based public petrochemical company.

Cain is a member of WPO, founded the YPO Global Supply Chain Conference, served as chairman of their MIT Presidents Education, and group-led the Harvard Business School Presidents Education for a combined 10+ years.

Cain holds multiple patents for advanced ECM electric motors for networking and AI that are in commercial use today. As a software developer, Cain’s software has won prestigious national competitions as the Internet Computer Expo’s “Best Business Product” and the Retail Information Systems Conference’s “Best Innovation in Logistics.” He is considered the father of the modern day “DLL” architecture. DAI was DEC’s largest commercial OEM and Cain was a senior advisor for the design of DEC’s 64-bit alpha chip.

Cain’s interest in energy began in his collegiate days while serving as a consulting mathematician for Los Alamos Labs working on the analysis of magnetic flux fields in controlled fusion plasmas in an effort to directly produce electricity through neutron capture by lithium blankets. He is an alumnus of ASU with undergraduate and graduate studies in mathematics.

 

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.

Joel Cesare
Sustainable Projects Manager
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Joel Cesare

Sustainable Projects Manager
City of Santa Monica

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

Kenko Sone
Consul General
Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles
Biography

Kenko Sone

Consul General
Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles

1989    Graduated from Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, Japan
1989.4   Entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA)
2008.8   Director, OECD Division, Economic Affairs Bureau, MOFA
2010.3   Director, International Economy Division, Economic Affairs Bureau, MOFA
2011.7   Economic Counselor, Embassy of Japan, USA
2013.9   Director, First North America Division, North American Affairs Bureau, MOFA
2014.7   Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Affairs, Cabinet Secretariat
              Director, Office of Global Communications, Prime Minister's Office
2016.7   Minister (Economic & Development), Embassy of Japan in India
2019.9   Deputy Director-General, Economic Affairs Bureau
2020.7   Deputy Director-General, Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau
2021.6   Assistant Minister, Director-General for Cultural Affairs
2021.7   Ambassador in charge of Sport and Budo
2022.9   Consul General, Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles

Liz Logan
Partner
PricewaterhouseCoopers
Biography

Liz Logan

Partner
PricewaterhouseCoopers

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

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

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

Herb Wesson
President
Los Angeles City Coucil
Biography

Herb Wesson

President
Los Angeles City Coucil

Herb J. Wesson, Jr. has served as the President of the Los Angeles City Council since November 2011 and has represented Council District 10 since 2005. Wesson is the first African American to hold the position of Council President in the city’s history and has been re-elected three times to lead the city’s legislative body. During his tenure as Council President, Wesson has presided over monumental policy initiatives making Los Angeles a better place to live, work and raise a family. Not only have local policy initiatives —which include raising the minimum wage, pension reform and consolidating city elections to increase voter turnout— positively affected local residents, but in many cases the city’s actions have spurred state and national response and served as a model for similar policies.

Wesson chairs several committees including the Rules, Elections, Intergovernmental Relations, and Neighborhoods (REIRN) Committee, Board of Referred Powers and the Ad Hoc Committee on the 2024 Summer Olympics. He is the Vice Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Comprehensive Job Creation. As chair of REIRN, Wesson has facilitated the empowerment of Neighborhood Councils while finding new and innovative ways to engage the public and promote civic engagement.

Council President Wesson has been happily married to Fabian Wesson for more than 35 years and is the proud father of four sons- Douglas, P.J., Herb III, and Justin. Wesson is grandfather to three grandchildren- Patrick, Maileah, and Tatiana. When Council President Wesson is not spoiling his grandchildren, you can find him on the links with his wife. He is a graduate of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.

 

Nadine Lee
Chief of Staff
LA Metro
Biography

Nadine Lee

Chief of Staff
LA Metro

Nadine Lee is the Chief of Staff for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). In this role, Nadine drives coordination and delivery of projects, programs, and services across the organization to provide a world-class transportation system for the citizens of Los Angeles County. Previously, she was the Deputy Chief Innovation Officer in Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation where she led the development of Vision 2028, Metro’s 10-year strategic plan to increase prosperity for L.A. County through improved mobility.

Prior to her arrival in L.A., Nadine led the development and implementation of the Flatiron Flyer Bus Rapid Transit for Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD), a project that produced a 40% increase in bus ridership in its first few months of service. Nadine also led the Northwest Rail and Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility projects in the FasTracks Program.

Nadine was appointed to the Leadership APTA Committee in 2019 and is a past Director on the WTS International Board. She was awarded 2019 WTS International Woman of the Year. Nadine participated in the 2019 APTA International Study Mission to explore Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) in three European cities. She also studied the role of performance management in improving service delivery in four Southeast Asia cities as part of the TCRP International Transit Studies Program. A registered Professional Engineer in Colorado and Kansas, Nadine received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Despite being an engineer by education, Nadine flexes her creative muscles in Adult Beginning Ballet several times a week and has participated in several performances.

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

Amy Myers Jaffe

Executive Director for Energy and Sustainability
UC Davis
Stefan Tongur
VP of Business Development
Electreon
Biography

Stefan Tongur

VP of Business Development
Electreon

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

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

Marqueece Harris-Dawson
City Councilmember
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Marqueece Harris-Dawson

City Councilmember
City of Los Angeles

Beginning his teens, Marqueece has been active in the community for more than twenty years. Currently he is Executive Director of the Community Coalition, a community-based organization in South Los Angeles. Marqueece is the organization’s second Executive Director, following it’s founder, current US Rep. Karen Bass.

The organization is best known for leading grassroots campaigns to close 200 liquor stores in South Los Angeles and to win College Prep courses for all LAUSD students. For 5 years, Marqueece directed Community Coalition's youth project, South Central Youth Empowered thru Action. During that time, Marqueece led a campaign to expose poor conditions at South LA schools. Members of South Central Youth Empowered thru Action were armed with disposable cameras to document the conditions at their schools, and trained to advocate for badly needed repairs at their campuses. Students won $153 million in repairs for their schools. Following up on his work to improve conditions at South LA High Schools. Marqueece and the Community Coalition spearheaded a movement to guarantee universal access to college prep courses at every high school in Los Angeles.

In addition to his work at the Community Coalition Marqueece has extensive experience in electoral politics, and is a key participant in the progressive movement in Los Angeles. During his time completing a Bachelor’s degree at Morehouse College, Marqueece cut his activist teeth on several important community issues including ending South African Apartheid, police brutality and youth and family services. Along with a host of Board and Committee posts, Marqueece boasts several community commendations, recognitions and awards including the coveted Do Something “BRICK” Award and Liberty Hill Foundation’s Upton Sinclair Award. Marqueece recently received a certificate in non profit management from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and is a currently an Aspen Institute Fellow for New Leaders.

Specialties: nonprofit management, public policy, community advocacy, grant writing, public speaking, electoral campaigns

David Jacot
Director of Efficiency Solutions
LADWP
Biography

David Jacot

Director of Efficiency Solutions
LADWP

David Jacot, P.E., is the Director of Efficiency Solutions for the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP). LADWP operates the largest public power portfolio of energy efficiency programs in the nation, comprised of a broad array of energy resource acquisition and market transformation programs serving LADWP’s customers and trade ally networks. 

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

David has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, and a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, as well as 20+ years of experience designing high performance building systems, modeling building energy usage, and managing cost-effective and investment-grade energy efficiency programs.

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

Toru Sugiura

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

Toru Sugiura is a senior manager in Corporate Strategy & Sustainable 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.

 
Ed Newton
Gas Engineering Programs Manager
SoCal Gas
Biography

Ed Newton

Gas Engineering Programs Manager
SoCal Gas

Ed Newton has been with SoCal Gas for over 21 years, first serving as a Research & Materials Manager for 19 years, and currently serving as the Gas Engineering Programs Manager. In May 2022 at the American Gas Association Ops conference, the John B. McGowan Research Award (sponsored by Hubbell/GasBreaker) was presented to Ed Newton of SoCalGas; a long-time member and contributor to NYSEARCH. Ed is being recognized for his dedication and leadership on research and demonstration of technologies to provide an aerial leak mapping solution in populated distribution service areas, covering 3,500 miles of main and service in Southern California. Ed has also conducted extensive research to map methane emissions in four California cities within the SoCal Gas service territory. His paper was published in 2014 in collaboration with the Environmental Defense Fund and Colorado State University.

Tom DiPrima
Executive Vice President
KB Homes Southern California
Biography

Tom DiPrima

Executive Vice President
KB Homes Southern California
Varouj Abkian
Assistant Director
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation
Biography

Varouj Abkian

Assistant Director
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation

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

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.

David Vela
Board of Trustees President
The Los Angeles Community College District
Biography

David Vela

Board of Trustees President
The Los Angeles Community College District

A Los Angeles native, David Vela continues to enjoy a robust career in public service. David served as Senior Legislative Assistant to former Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg, handling Labor, Transportation and Economic Development. David also served as Senior Advisor to the Employment Development Department under the Gray Davis administration.

After his time in Sacramento, David spent ten years as a Senior Deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, in charge of one of the largest unincorporated community pockets, with more than 130,000 residents. David was responsible for the delivery of municipal services, capital projects and economic development. He also served as the political liaison to several cities in Supervisor Molina’s district. He was later asked to take on the role of Chief of Staff to the CA Assembly Labor Committee Chair. Simultaneously, Mr. Vela served eight years as a Board of Education Member for the Montebello Unified School District where he increased graduation rates, student University acceptance as well as spearheaded the district's first PLA.

After his governmental jobs, David created his own consulting firm, VELADA Consulting, which focuses on public outreach, social capital projects, such as lowincome housing and provides solutions for responsible businesses, technology oriented firms and governmental agencies. He also worked for a major Public Affairs firm in Los Angeles where he served as Sr. Vice President in charge of assembling
teams for major construction and community outreach projects. David is also the founder of Honor PAC, a political action committee that focuses on equality in all levels of government. David Vela received his Bachelors of Science from the University of California Los Angeles and he holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Pepperdine University in Malibu. He resides in Montebello.

Zhihang Chi
Vice President and General Manager
Air China, North America
Biography

Zhihang Chi

Vice President and General Manager
Air China, North America
A.G. Kawamura
Founder and Chair
Solutions from the Land
Biography

A.G. Kawamura

Founder and Chair
Solutions from the Land

A.G. Kawamura is a third generation produce grower and shipper from Orange County, California. From 2003 to 2010 he served as the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.  He is founding co-chair of Solutions from the Land (solutionsfromtheland.org), a nationally recognized non-profit that is developing innovative and sustainable climate smart collaborations for 21st century agriculture.  He serves on multiple boards and advisory committees including the Farm Foundation Board; Western Growers Board and former Chair; Ag Advisory Committee for the Chicago Council; Bipartisan Policy Center, Ag & Forestry task force; Southern California Water Coalition, Executive Committee.

For over 40 years Mr. Kawamura has pursued a lifelong goal to work towards an end to hunger and malnutrition. Locally, he is founding chair of Solutions For Urban Ag (SFUA.org).  He has worked closely with Regional Food Banks and stakeholders to create exciting urban ag projects that focus on nutrition, hunger, education and advanced food systems.  As a progressive farmer, Mr. Kawamura has a lifetime of experience working within the shrinking rural and urban boundaries of Southern California.  A.G. graduated with a BA from UC Berkeley and was a member of Class XX of the Calif. Ag Leadership Program.  
 

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.

Joe Mathews
California Editor
Zocalo Public Square
Biography

Joe Mathews

California Editor
Zocalo Public Square

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

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

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

 

Caroline Choi
Senior VP, Regulatory Affairs
Southern California Edison
Biography

Caroline Choi

Senior VP, Regulatory Affairs
Southern California Edison

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

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

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

Christine Harada
Executive Director
Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council
Biography

Christine Harada

Executive Director
Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council

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

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

Akira Muto
Former Consul General
Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles
Biography

Akira Muto

Former Consul General
Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles

Akira Muto was appointed Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles in August 2019.

With over 25 years of experience in the Foreign Ministry of Japan with background in Russia and policy planning, Muto has served as director of the Russian division, deputy director general (Ambassador) in charge of former Soviet Union states, as well as director of policy coordination division.  Additionally, Muto served as director of free trade agreement and economic partnership division and the director of the fourth division of Intelligence Service. As a diplomat, his previous assignments included Washington D.C., Moscow and Boston (Consul General).  In recent years, he served as Cabinet Councillor at National Security Secretariat and was engaged in various international security affairs.  His research interest covers strategic relations among US-Japan Alliance, Russia and China in the Asia-Pacific region.
 
Frank Harris
Manager of Corporate Environmental Policy
Southern California Edison
Biography

Frank Harris

Manager of Corporate Environmental Policy
Southern California Edison

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

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.

Jared Ficker
Partner
Axiom Advisors
Biography

Jared Ficker

Partner
Axiom Advisors
Marshall Parsons
Manager, Edison SmartConnect Product Development
Southern California Edison
Biography

Marshall Parsons

Manager, Edison SmartConnect Product Development
Southern California Edison

Marshall Parsons is responsible developing and testing products and solutions to meet the needs of the Edison SmartConnect™ smartmeter program. Specific focus areas include Home Area Networks, Programmable Communicating Thermostats, Graphical Information Displays, Smart Appliances and Plug-in Electric Vehicles.

Before assuming his current position Parsons was Program Manager of laboratory and field test programs for the Edison SmartConnect™ meters and telecommunications. Under his leadership, two field trials were successfully completed with an installed base of 8,000 smart meters and associated telecommunications infrastructure. 

Prior to joining Southern California Edison in 2003, Parsons was a Senior Consultant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, implementing major CRM and business systems.  Parsons has worked internationally in telecommunications and aerospace R&D in the United Kingdom and South Africa and as the Integration Manager at the new airport in Hong Kong.

Parsons earned his Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering in the United Kingdom and is a Member of the IET (UK). He is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute.

Gordon Johnson
Chief Engineer
Metropolitan Water District
Biography

Gordon Johnson

Chief Engineer
Metropolitan Water District

Gordon Johnson has responsibility for all of Metropolitan’s engineering activities, including management of the long-term Capital Investment Plan. He oversees a staff of 380 employees responsible for facility planning, design, construction management, project management, environmental planning, and infrastructure monitoring. Some of the current programs Johnson is responsible for include the major rehabilitation of Metropolitan’s 75-year old Colorado River Aqueduct; the addition of ozone as the primary disinfectant at Metropolitan’s five water treatment plants; rehabilitation of 100 miles of large diameter prestressed concrete cylinder pipelines within the water distribution system; and a comprehensive seismic assessment and upgrade program to maintain reliable water deliveries in the event of a significant earthquake. Prior to joining Metropolitan, Johnson served as principal engineer and project manager for two major consulting firms. In addition, he served with the United States Public Health Service. Johnson is affiliated with the American Water Works Association and the International Ozone Association, and is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. He is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and of Stanford University with a M.S. in Environmental Engineering.

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).

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.

 

 

Bill Swanson
Vice President, Global Practice Leader, Water Resources Planning and Management
Stantec
Biography

Bill Swanson

Vice President, Global Practice Leader, Water Resources Planning and Management
Stantec

Bill has nearly four decades of experience leading complex water resource projects addressing a broad range of issues, including directing feasibility planning, environmental compliance, and design for water supply plans and facilities. He is adept at integrating technical, economic, financial, and institutional information to support decision-making and permitting on an accelerated schedule. He also excels at communicating information in clear and understandable terms to agencies, stakeholders, and the public.

Bill has successfully led numerous multi-agency feasibility studies and developed implementation that aligned with specific agency goals and achieved project objectives. His enduring participation on projects assures continuity and often provides institutional knowledge for our clients. His expertise includes water supply and allocation, potable reuse and reclamation, hydrologic and hydraulic studies, economic and socioeconomic analysis, flood control, and river and ecosystem restoration.

Gillian Wright
Director
Southern California Gas Company
Biography

Gillian Wright

Director
Southern California Gas Company
David Kaiserman
CEO
SunStreet Energy Group (Lennar)
Biography

David Kaiserman

CEO
SunStreet Energy Group (Lennar)
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.

Yuri Freedman
Senior Director, Business Development
Southern California Gas Company
Biography

Yuri Freedman

Senior Director, Business Development
Southern California Gas Company

Yuri has broad experience in development and acquisition of energy infrastructure assets. In his current role of Senior Director of Business Development, he manages the portfolio of low carbon growth projects and R&D activities of Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), the largest North American gas utility. Prior to his current role he held the position of Director of Commercial Development for Sempra LNG, and previously held the positions of Director of Infrastructure Investments at Sempra Renewables and Director of Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions at Sempra Energy.

Prior to joining Sempra Energy, Yuri held the positions of Managing Director at Fortress Investment Group and Vice President at GE Energy Financial Services.

Yuri serves on the board of CALSTART. He holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a PhD in Environmental Science and Energy Research from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

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

David Libatique

Deputy Executive Director, Stakeholder Engagement
The Port of Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matt Golden
Principal
Efficiency.org
Biography

Matt Golden

Principal
Efficiency.org

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

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

Eric Corey Freed
Sustainability Disruptor
Morrison Hershfield
Biography

Eric Corey Freed

Sustainability Disruptor
Morrison Hershfield

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

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

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

Rafael Spears
Director, Commercial Systems
Aerospace, Corp.
Biography

Rafael Spears

Director, Commercial Systems
Aerospace, Corp.

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

Diana Limón
Training Director
Net Zero Plus Electrical Training Institute
Biography

Diana Limón

Training Director
Net Zero Plus Electrical Training Institute

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

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

Harry Atwater
Director
Resnick Sustainability Institute at Caltech
Biography

Harry Atwater

Director
Resnick Sustainability Institute at Caltech

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

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

Harry Chandler
Chair
River LA
Biography

Harry Chandler

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

Michael Affeldt

Director, LARiverWorks
Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

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

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

Tom Drischler

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

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

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

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

Justin Siegel

Interim Faculty Director
Innovation Institute for Food and Health

Dr. Justin Siegel

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

Nick Merridew
Host Cities Global Leader
Arup
Biography

Nick Merridew

Host Cities Global Leader
Arup
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.

Brendan Mullins
Senior Associate
Stantec
Biography

Brendan Mullins

Senior Associate
Stantec

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

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

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

Angelina Galiteva
Board Member
CAISO
Biography

Angelina Galiteva

Board Member
CAISO

Angelina M. Galiteva is the Founder and Board Chair of Renewables 100 Policy Institute, an organization dedicated to accelerating the global transition to 100% renewable energy for all sectors. In 2011 Governor Jerry Brown appointed Ms. Galiteva to the California Independent Systems Operator Board (CAISO), one of the largest transmission operators in the World. On October 2020 Angelina became the first Female Chair of the CAISO Board of Governors and in March 2023 Governor Newsom reappointed Ms. Galiteva to serve her 4th term on the Board. Over the last year, Ms. Galiteva has been leading California’s Statewide Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES) initiative focused on accelerating the decarbonization of the 4th largest economy. Angelina also serves as Chairperson of the World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE) and is a Founding Board Member of the Global Clean Energy Desalination Alliance. Ms. Galiteva is an expert in strategic issues related to renewable energy, new technology development and implementation, optimizing power system resiliency and efficiency, as well as overall sustainability and environmental policy programs for public and private entities. As such she is frequently sent as a US State Department representative expert on renewable energy and power grid resiliency and reliability issues. In addition, Ms. Galiteva is founder and principal of NEOptions, Inc., a renewable energy product and project development firm. Previously, Ms. Galiteva was the Executive Director of Strategic Planning for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), overseeing the utility's renewable energy program, she also worked at the New York Power Authority. Ms. Galiteva is an attorney with a JD Degree and Master’s in International and Energy Law. 

Angelina has overseen numerous utility scale renewable energy, bulk storage, combined heat and power project developments, including distributed generation and microgrid specific installations. She has experience structuring electric vehicle to grid programs, accelerating the development and deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell infrastructure as well as financing large scale renewable power project development both in the US and abroad. 

Ms. Galiteva holds a JD and LLM Degrees in Energy and Environmental Law from Pace University School of Law and is a globally recognized expert in the area of designing regulatory structures and programs to support the development of carbon free technologies and the transition to a reliable, resilient carbon free future.
 

Renata Simril
President and CEO
LA84 Foundation
Biography

Renata Simril

President and CEO
LA84 Foundation

Renata Simril is President and CEO of the LA84 Foundation (www.LA84.org).  Formed in 1985, originally as the Amateur Athletic Foundation, the LA84 Foundation (“LA84” or the “Foundation”) is a legacy of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Summer Games.  The LA84 Foundation transforms lives through its investment in youth sport programs, infrastructure, research, and education across eight Counties of Southern California, and is a national leader in elevating the role that sports play in positive youth development.

Ms. Simril is an accomplished civic and private sector trailblazer with more than 20 years of diversified experience with a commitment to leadership and service.  She most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff to the Publisher of the Los Angeles Times, where she oversaw staff operations and special projects.  Her earlier career included three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where she served as Senior Vice President of External Affairs overseeing the restoration of the Dodgers brand and the Dodgers Foundation; and over a decade in real estate development with Jones Lang LaSalle, Forest City Development and LCOR, Inc.  Her public service included stints as Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Housing in the Hahn Administration, where she worked to expand rental and affordable housing in Los Angeles, and as a Development Deputy to Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, where she worked to help rebuild communities in South Los Angeles after the 1992 civil unrest.  Ms. Simril began her career in the U.S. Army as a Military Police Officer in the U.S. and Germany. 

Ms. Simril is active in the community outside of LA84 Foundation, currently serving on the Boards of the LA2024 Olympic Bid Committee; Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce;  United Way of Greater Los Angeles; Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission; and Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation; and as a member of the Board of Regents of Loyola Marymount University (LMU).  In 2016, she was named to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s inaugural list of The Los Angeles 500 Most Influential People. 

Ms. Simril is a third generation Angeleno.  She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Loyola Marymount University and a Master’s Degree in Real Estate Development from USC.  Ms. Simril resides in Studio City with her husband and two sons.

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.

Mark Nydam
President & CEO
Green Conversion Systems
Biography

Mark Nydam

President & CEO
Green Conversion Systems
Susumu Okamoto
President and Representative Director
Choshu Industry Co., LTD.
Biography

Susumu Okamoto

President and Representative Director
Choshu Industry Co., LTD.

Choshu Industry Co., LTD.                                                       July 2012-present

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

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

  • President and Representative Director                             (March 2018- present)

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

  • President and Representative Director                             (November 2019- present)

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

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

EDUCATION

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

INTERESTS & HOBBY

Reading, Jogging, Cycling, Hiking and Traveling

Richard Hammond
Senior Vice President
GRIDiant
Biography

Richard Hammond

Senior Vice President
GRIDiant

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

Timothy McOsker
15th District
LA City Council
Biography

Timothy McOsker

15th District
LA City Council

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

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

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

of expansion and development of its 35 acre campus.

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

 

Marcela Celorio
Consul General
Mexico Secretariat of Foreign Affairs
Biography

Marcela Celorio

Consul General
Mexico Secretariat of Foreign Affairs

Marcela Celorio joined the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1992, as Deputy Secretary of Consular Coordination; afterwards she served as Director for Nationality and Naturalization, position from which she promoted the recognition of dual nationality. These efforts resulted in the constitutional reform of 1997, and the issuance of the new Nationality Law of 1998.

Later on, she has promoted to Director of Protection Policies, overseeing the implementation of border integration mechanisms and internal consultations between Mexico and the United States; in 2000 she became the Director for United States of America’s office at the Ministry.

In the year 1999, she joined the Mexican Foreign Service as Diplomatic Attaché and she was promoted to every ranking of the diplomatic career until she reached the highest ranking of Ambassador of Mexico.

She was later on assigned to the Mexican Embassy in the United States as political adviser and chief of Staff from the year 2002 to 2006, where she became an expert in subject like integration, security and regional development.

In September of 2006, upon invitation by the Mexican Ministry of Interior, she was commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to serve as Senior Director in charge of the North American Region for issues concerning national security.

From 2009 to 2012, she served as Head of Chancery in the Mexican Embassy in Israel and as Adviser for Economic, Commercial and Cooperation affairs. Under this position she led successful negotiations of two agreements, one regarding tourism and the other hydrology.

In 2012, she was appointed as Adviser on Political Affairs at the Mexican Embassy in Belgium and the Mexican Mission in the European Union. Under this position she was responsible for the development of the 1st Summit of the Latin-American States and the Caribbean, overseeing other issues such as civil society involvement in government’s decision-making process.  

From 2013 to 2016 she was appointed as Deputy Consul at the Consulate General of Mexico in New York. In said position she co-led the implementation of various initiatives for the empowerment of the Mexican Community, such as: the Department for Financial Counseling, participation by the academia in issues such as psychological assistance to migrants, as well as assisting the LGBTQ+ by implementing the “safety zones” a space free of judgment and fully tolerant, inside the consulates. 

In 2016, per appointment by the Federal Executive Power and ratified by the Mexican Senate, she was appointed as Consul General of Mexico in San Diego, CA. Since her assignment, her work has been characterized for the implementation of a cross-border consular diplomacy model overseeing the CaliBaja region (a mega-region which includes five municipalities of the State of Baja California and the San Diego and Imperial Counties).

Tom Whitton
Director of Business Development
PyroGenesis Canada Inc.
Biography

Tom Whitton

Director of Business Development
PyroGenesis Canada Inc.

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

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.

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

Deanna Haines

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

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

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

Medhanie Ephrem
Deputy Director of Facilities
Long Beach Community College District
Biography

Medhanie Ephrem

Deputy Director of Facilities
Long Beach Community College District

Medhanie Ephrem is the Deputy Director of Facilities for the Long BeachCommunity College District.  Mr. Ephrem has 16 years experience in highereducational facilities management. He also provides leadership to a teamthat oversees a general obligation bond construction program in excess of$600 million.  He also is a key contributor to the California CommunityColleges Investor Owned Utility management team (CCC/IOU). This teamdevelops and implements a permanent framework for a sustainable, long-term,and comprehensive energy management program at the 112 campuses served byCalifornia¹s four large IOUs.  He is a graduate of the University ofCalifornia at Irvine and resides in Long Beach, CA.

Austin Collins
Principal, Utility Consulting Services
Schneider Electricity
Biography

Austin Collins

Principal, Utility Consulting Services
Schneider Electricity

Austin Collins is a Principal in Schneider Electric’s Utility Consulting Services group. He has a decade of consulting experience working with utilities, system operators, technology developers and commercial end users worldwide. Austin earned his MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia and his BA in Economics and Spanish from Davidson College.

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.

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.

Craig R. Bartels, PhD
Principal Scientist
Hydranautics
Biography

Craig R. Bartels, PhD

Principal Scientist
Hydranautics

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

Catherine Reheis-Boyd
President
Western States Petroleum Association
Biography

Catherine Reheis-Boyd

President
Western States Petroleum Association

Catherine Reheis-Boyd has served as the President and CEO of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) since January 1, 2010. She oversees the trade organization’s operations and advocacy in five Western states – California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon.

Over her 33 year career at WSPA, Ms. Reheis-Boyd has held a variety of leadership roles, including a 2003 appointment as Chief of Staff and subsequent promotions to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. As part of her 39 years of experience in the oil industry, Ms. Reheis-Boyd worked for an environmental consulting firm on various projects before joining Getty Oil and Texaco, working on environmental compliance at the Kern River Field in Bakersfield, California.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lisa Mowery

Chief Financial Officer
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation

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

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.

Lilly Shoup
Senior Director of Policy and Partnerships
Lyft
Biography

Lilly Shoup

Senior Director of Policy and Partnerships
Lyft

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

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

Michael Lord

Executive Engineer - Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs
Toyota Motor North America

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

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

Colby Pellegrino
Colorado River Program Manager
Southern Nevada Water Authority
Biography

Colby Pellegrino

Colorado River Program Manager
Southern Nevada Water Authority

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

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

Irene Burga
California Climate & Energy Manager
Environmental Defense Fund
Biography

Irene Burga

California Climate & Energy Manager
Environmental Defense Fund

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

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

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

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

Jessica Reinhardt
Director, Public Policy
Sunrun
Biography

Jessica Reinhardt

Director, Public Policy
Sunrun

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

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

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

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

Jonathan Naimon
Founder/Managing Partner
Light Green Advisors
Biography

Jonathan Naimon

Founder/Managing Partner
Light Green Advisors

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

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

Hanif Montazeri
CEO & Co-Founder
Enersion Inc.
Biography

Hanif Montazeri

CEO & Co-Founder
Enersion Inc.

Dr. Hanif Montazeri is a CEO and co-founder of Enersion inc, a company that he co-founded in 2016 with a group of engineers and scientists from the University of Toronto and MIT to develop a financially viable green cooling technology. He received his PhD from the University of Toronto where he is an adjunct member of the faculty of engineering.   

David Sudolsky
President and CEO
Anellotech
Biography

David Sudolsky

President and CEO
Anellotech

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

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

Evan Harvey

Managing Director of Corporate Sustainability
The NASDAQ OMX Group

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

Go Tejima

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

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

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

Arthur Leahy
CEO
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)
Biography

Arthur Leahy

CEO
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)

Arthur T. Leahy is CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). Metro is the third largest public transportation agency in the United States with an annual budget of $4.2 Billion and more than 9,000 employees with an operating fleet of over 2200 buses and 5 rail lines with annual rider ship exceeding 400 million boardings.

Leahy is heading one of the nation’s largest public works programs through Measure R that will, literally, change the urban landscape and shape the future of Los Angeles for generations to come.

He began his career 40 years ago as a bus operator.  Having worked through the ranks, he rose to lead 3 major transportation agencies. He was recently recognized by his peers in Metro Magazine –a trade publication as being one of the country’s most influential leaders in the transit industry.

Leahy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from California State University, Los Angeles (CSLA) in 1974 and a master’s degree in public administration from USC.

Michael Shull
General Manager
Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks
Biography

Michael Shull

General Manager
Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks

Michael Shull began his career with the City of Los Angeles in 1990 with the City’s Department of Public Works, Bureau of Engineering where he worked for 14 years. A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, he earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering. Mr. Shull then joined the City’s Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) in July 2005. In December 2013, Mike was appointed Interim General Manager General Manager for RAP and recently received his permanent appointment as General Manager in August 2014.

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.

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

Laura Friedman

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

Gunjan Bagla

CEO
Amritt, Inc.

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

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

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

Michael Allman
President and CEO
Southern California Gas Company
Biography

Michael Allman

President and CEO
Southern California Gas Company

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

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

Dr. Joseph Cevetello

Chief Information Officer
City of Santa Monica

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rafael Villegas
Program Manager - Operation NEXT
LADWP
Biography

Rafael Villegas

Program Manager - Operation NEXT
LADWP

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

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

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

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

Peter Luchetti
Board Member
California Infrastructure & Economic Development Bank
Biography

Peter Luchetti

Board Member
California Infrastructure & Economic Development Bank

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

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

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

Ryan E. Kelley
Imperial County Supervisor, District 4
Imperial County California
Biography

Ryan E. Kelley

Imperial County Supervisor, District 4
Imperial County California

Ryan E. Kelley was elected to represent District #4 (Brawley, Bombay Beach, Calipatria, Desert Shores, Niland, Salton City, Salton Sea Beach, Vista Del Mar, and Westmorland) in 2012. He is a lifelong and third generation resident of Imperial Valley. His civic commitment began as an Eagle Scout with Troop 22, Boy Scouts of America, and continued as Exalted Ruler of the Brawley Elk’s Lodge #1420. It was his desire to make a positive change that prompted him to become involved in local government; and today, he strives to make decisions that benefit our communities.

As an Imperial County and Brawley Firefighter, he fought fires across Imperial County. As a Paramedic, he treated and cared for patients from Bombay Beach to Salton City. As an Imperial Valley College Instructor, he taught fire science and emergency medical services to the next generation of firefighters and EMTs. As the Imperial County Emergency Medical Services Administrator, he developed and enhanced the Emergency Medical Services system and capabilities.

Beyond attending Brawley Union High School, Ryan holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Long Beach State University and an Associate’s of Science degree from Miramar College, as well as, a Paramedic Certificate from Imperial Valley College. Education and educational opportunities are important to Ryan, as he wants to build upon the options available to our youth.

Supervisor Ryan E. Kelley lives in Brawley with his wife Robyn, their daughter, Bridget and son, Conor.

Louis Ting
Director, Power Planning Development & Engineering
LADWP
Biography

Louis Ting

Director, Power Planning Development & Engineering
LADWP

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

Panama Bartholomy
Director
Building Decarbonization Coalition
Biography

Panama Bartholomy

Director
Building Decarbonization Coalition

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

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

Nate Baguio
Senior VP of Commercial Development
The Lion Electric Co.
Biography

Nate Baguio

Senior VP of Commercial Development
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.

Currently, he is working to electrify the transportation industry as Senior Vice President of Commercial Development 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 is leading the Commercial Development team in warming markets in target states across the United States, advocating stakeholders and policy makers to fund more money into the EV industry, and helping Lion attain more of the available funding for both Lion’s bus and truck lines. His work has contributed to Lion’s exponential growth in the market and position as a policy leader in the EV industry.

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. 

Baguio is proud to not only provide a healthy breathing environment to students, drivers, technicians, and communities, but to also help educate the industry on the favorable economics of operating zero emission, electric medium and heavy-duty vehicles. He is determined to impact as many people across North America as possible to join in the fight for environmental justice and help create a cleaner, safer world.

Stephanie Macoritto
Electrical Engineer Associate
LADWP
Biography

Stephanie Macoritto

Electrical Engineer Associate
LADWP

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

Harlan Kelly
General Manager
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Harlan Kelly

General Manager
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

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

Jackie Ferlita
Manager
ClimeCo
Biography

Jackie Ferlita

Manager
ClimeCo

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

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.

Gunther Sleeuwagen
Ambassador
Consul General of Belgium to Los Angeles
Biography

Gunther Sleeuwagen

Ambassador
Consul General of Belgium to Los Angeles
Celine Bak
Co-Founder
Canadian Clean Tech Coalition
Biography

Celine Bak

Co-Founder
Canadian Clean Tech Coalition

Céline Bak is an author, speaker and consultant on clean technology, innovation, and commercialization. She published and authored the 2010 SDTC Cleantech Growth & Go-to-Market Report and the 2011 Canadian Clean Technology Industry Report which builds on the 2010 baseline data set for Canada’s multi-billion dollar clean technology industry. She is the co-founder of the Canadian Clean Technology Coalition that was struck to create the conditions required to make Canada’s clean technology industry.

Céline is on the Clean Tech Advisory Board for the Department of Foreign Affairs and is a technical advisor to the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy for Climate Prosperity.  She was the co-chair of the 2011 Canadian Cleantech Summit, the Canada-Brazil Working Group for Clean Technology and Green Energy and sits on the nominations committee for the Canada Clean50.   

Andrew Connorton
Coordinator of Planning & Development
Los Angeles Dodgers
Biography

Andrew Connorton

Coordinator of Planning & Development
Los Angeles Dodgers
Gavin Purchas
Director, California Clean Energy Program
Environmental Defense Fund
Biography

Gavin Purchas

Director, California Clean Energy Program
Environmental Defense Fund
Justin X. Thompson
Partner
Nixon Peabody
Biography

Justin X. Thompson

Partner
Nixon Peabody

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

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

Lauren Faber O'Connor

Fmr. Chief Sustainability Officer
City of Los Angeles

In her role as Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Los Angeles, Lauren Faber O’Connor is driving the implementation of LA’s Green New Deal, a global model for local action to confront the climate crisis and build an inclusive green economy that prioritizes equity. Lauren has spent her career working on environmental issues from serving as West Coast Political Director for the Environmental Defense Fund to being appointed Assistant Secretary for Climate Change Programs at the California Environmental Protection Agency to addressing climate change and energy as the Senior Policy Advisor at the British Embassy.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Earth Systems and Economics from Stanford University, and Master’s degree in Climate and Society from Columbia University.

Minh Le
General Manager
Los Angeles County Internal Services Department
Biography

Minh Le

General Manager
Los Angeles County Internal Services Department

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

Carol Zabin
Director
UC Berkeley Labor Center Green Economy Program
Biography

Carol Zabin

Director
UC Berkeley Labor Center Green Economy Program

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

Thomas Day Jr
Chief Sustainability Officer
United States Postal Service
Biography

Thomas Day Jr

Chief Sustainability Officer
United States Postal Service

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

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

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.

 

Brandon Hurlbut
Co-Founder
Boundary Stone Partners
Biography

Brandon Hurlbut

Co-Founder
Boundary Stone Partners

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

Andy Thompson
Marketing Communications Manager
Shaw Power Group
Biography

Andy Thompson

Marketing Communications Manager
Shaw Power Group

Joseph Andrew (Andy) Thompson is the marketing communications Director for Shaw’s Power Group.  Shaw is a fully integrated nuclear services provider offering licensing, design, engineering, construction, pipe fabrication, maintenance, modularization, startup and test, and new plant services worldwide.

Mr. Thompson joined Shaw’s Power Group in 2011. In his current role, he is responsible for marketing communications, community relations and internal communications.   

Mr. Thompson has over 32 years of experience in nuclear and fossil generation communications.  In 1980, he participated in the industry response to the Three Mile Island Unit 2 nuclear event by providing on-site communications support. 

Prior to joining Shaw, Mr. Thompson worked as a newspaper reporter and spent 32 years with Duke Energy serving in a number of communications roles, including manager of the Catawba Nuclear Station’s community relations program, nuclear media relations, fossil media relations and employee communications. 

Mr. Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina. 

Dr. Noel Hacegaba
Deputy Executive Director
Port of Long Beach
Biography

Dr. Noel Hacegaba

Deputy Executive Director
Port of Long Beach

Dr. Noel Hacegaba is the Deputy Executive Director for the Port of Long Beach, California. He functions as the Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for managing the day-to-day administrative and operating functions of the Port, including Commercial Operations, Finance and Administration, Engineering Services, Planning and Environmental Affairs, Human Resources, Communications and Government Relations.

In recent years, Dr. Hacegaba has also led the Port’s response to the pandemic-induced supply chain crisis, leading the Port’s internal Business Recovery Taskforce and coordinating with industry, labor and government partners to identify near-term solutions.  Under his leadership, the Port of Long Beach opened the first “pop-up yard” known as STOR (Short-Term Overflow Resource) for much-needed surge capacity and supported the first 24-hour terminal operation in the nation at TTI terminal.

Dr. Hacegaba is also leading the development of the Port’s digital initiative known as the Supply Chain Information Highway, which seeks to close the gap on the lack of visibility and data sharing in goods movement by enabling end-to-end visibility and coast-to-coast connectivity.  Seven other ports are collaborating with the Port of Long Beach on the development of this digital initiative.  
In addition, Dr. Hacegaba has also led negotiations on behalf of the Port on major business transactions, including the sale of Long Beach Container Terminal and Total Terminals International, each multi-billion dollar assets at the time of sale.

Previously, Dr. Hacegaba served as the Port’s Managing Director of Commercial Operations and Chief Commercial Officer, the Port’s senior executive responsible for developing and executing business development strategies to drive cargo and revenue growth.  In this role, Dr. Hacegaba successfully managed the Port’s commercial activities during a period of significant industry realignment and led the swift recovery of its largest container terminal following the biggest bankruptcy in shipping line industry history, clearing the path for record cargo volumes.

Dr. Hacegaba began his career at the Port in 2010 as the Executive Officer to the Board of Harbor Commissioners, a position that reported directly to the Board and coordinated the governing body’s policy, administrative and communications functions.

In total, Dr. Hacegaba has more than 25 years of public and private sector experience spanning a variety of industries. Prior to joining the Port, he managed $200 million in contracts for a Fortune 500 company. In earlier roles, he served as a senior administrator for an elected office, a business executive for a growing company engaged in international trade, a research analyst for a policy research group and as a management consultant.

He is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where he earned degrees in economics (B.A. and M.A.), business administration (B.S.) and urban planning (MPL). He earned his doctorate in public administration at the University of La Verne, where he continues to serve on the faculty of the school’s College of Business and Public Management.

Dr. Hacegaba is also a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs, one of the nation’s premier post-graduate fellowship programs. Additionally, he is a Certified Port Executive (CPE) and earned the Port Professional Executive (PPX) and Port Professional Manager (PPM) professional designations offered through the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). As part of his work in the PPM program, Dr. Hacegaba authored a white paper, “Big Ships, Big Challenges: The Impact of Mega Container Vessels on U.S. Port Authorities,” which was published by AAPA and widely distributed as a reference resource within the port authority sector and the broader goods movement industry. He has written numerous other articles published in Port Technology International and the Journal of Commerce.

An active member of the community and the goods movement industry, Dr. Hacegaba serves in various leadership roles.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Intermodal Association of North America, the largest organization representing the combined interests of the intermodal freight transportation industry, after serving two terms as Chairman of the Board.  He also serves as Chairman of the Professional Development Board of the American Association of Port Authorities, a member of the Marine Exchange of Southern California Board of Directors, Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce Board of Directors, St. Mary Medical Center Board of Trustees, Long Beach City College Foundation Board of Governors and the Los Angeles/Long Beach Propeller Club.

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.

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!)

Rick Beuttel
Vice President, Hydrogen Business
Bloom Energy
Biography

Rick Beuttel

Vice President, Hydrogen Business
Bloom Energy

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

Adi Liberman
Founder and Principal
Liberman and Associates
Biography

Adi Liberman

Founder and Principal
Liberman and Associates
Peter Taylor
President
ECMC Foundation
Biography

Peter Taylor

President
ECMC Foundation

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

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

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

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.  

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

Michelle Boehm

Southern California Regional Director
California High-Speed Rail Authority

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

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

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

Rossana D'Antonio
Deputy Director
LA County Public Works
Biography

Rossana D'Antonio

Deputy Director
LA County Public Works

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

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

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

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

Linda Glasier
Environmental Specialist
State of Washington Department of Ecology
Biography

Linda Glasier

Environmental Specialist
State of Washington Department of Ecology

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

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

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

Larry Kosmont
Chairman & CEO
Kosmont Companies
Biography

Larry Kosmont

Chairman & CEO
Kosmont Companies

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

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

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

Loni Mahanta
Principal
Ringleap Consulting
Biography

Loni Mahanta

Principal
Ringleap Consulting

Loni is a strategic legal and policy consultant who helps businesses remain agile and resilient in the face of regulatory change. Loni is the Principal of Ringleap Consulting, where she helps companies understand the legal, regulatory, and policy landscapes in which they operate, and helps clients craft comprehensive policy strategy. Loni is also a thought leader in gig economy issues and the changing American workforce. Loni most recently served as the Vice President of Policy Development and Research at Lyft, where she translated business objectives into actionable legislation at the local, state, and national levels. There, she led a team of sustainability, safety, privacy, labor, legislative, and data experts. Loni was Lyft’s principal strategist on labor issues and the gig economy: she architected Lyft’s industry-leading “Future of Work” initiative, served as the lead negotiator on an AB5 compromise, and was one of the drivers behind the policy and legislative language found in Prop 22. Loni originally joined Lyft as a member of the in-house legal team, serving as VP, Associate General Counsel for Labor & Employment. Loni began her career at the law firms of Folger Levin LLP and Crowell & Moring LLP.

Phoebe Yee
Vice President of Design
Related California
Biography

Phoebe Yee

Vice President of Design
Related California
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.

Cindy Montañez
CEO
TreePeople
Biography

Cindy Montañez

CEO
TreePeople

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeffrey Milanette
Executive Director
PortTechLA
Biography

Jeffrey Milanette

Executive Director
PortTechLA

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

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

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

Ashley Hand
Transportation Technology Strategist Fellow
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Ashley Hand

Transportation Technology Strategist Fellow
City of Los Angeles

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

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

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

Baron Wolt
President & Cofounder
Technology Management Professionals
Biography

Baron Wolt

President & Cofounder
Technology Management Professionals
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.

Jag Singh
Director of Business Development
SBI BioEnergy Inc.
Biography

Jag Singh

Director of Business Development
SBI BioEnergy Inc.

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

Vikram Budhraja
President and CEO
Electric Power Group, LLC
Biography

Vikram Budhraja

President and CEO
Electric Power Group, LLC
Cole Hershkowitz
Co-Founder and CEO
Chai Energy
Biography

Cole Hershkowitz

Co-Founder and CEO
Chai Energy

Cole Hershkowitz's career was born at the intersection of technology, liberal arts, and sustainability. Cole founded Chai Energy, a company that uses energy data and an intuitive user experience to show homeowners exactly where they are wasting money on their utility bill and what they can do to curb that waste.  Chai is available today throughout California.  

At Chai, Cole has brought 4 distinct products to market, patented deep machine learning technology used to decipher energy data, and raised over a million dollars from venture investors in support of technical development.    Previous to Chai, Cole led Caltech's Solar Decathlon team to a second place win in the Engineering category with an incredibly innovative smart home system that was years ahead of its time.  The home featured a first of it's kind gestural home control system that would use Machine Vision and 3d maps to allow homeowners to turn off appliances with a simple point.  Cole also spent time at Southern California Edison working not he Smart Grid Deployment and time at Alsop-Louie Partners learning about Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship.  

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/

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

Masahiko Takei

Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

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

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

Claudia Gutierrez

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

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

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

Matt McClory
Manager
Toyota Technical Center
Biography

Matt McClory

Manager
Toyota Technical Center

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

Richard Bruckner
Senior Land Use Specialist
Mayer Brown
Biography

Richard Bruckner

Senior Land Use Specialist
Mayer Brown

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

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

Chris Thompson

Vice President, Local Public Affairs
Southern California Edison

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Robert Weisenmiller
Chairman
California Energy Commission
Biography

Robert Weisenmiller

Chairman
California Energy Commission

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

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

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

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.

Akshai Rao
Vice President
Yardi
Biography

Akshai Rao

Vice President
Yardi

Akshai serves as Vice President at Yardi, responsible for the development of energy management software and high performing buildings. During his tenure, Akshai helped grow Yardi’s Procure to Pay client base across all real estate verticals and several countries. Prior to Yardi, Akshai spent five years at Bain & Company focused on technology and telecom. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Andrew Orrell
Director of Nuclear Energy & Fuel Cycle Programs
Sandia National Laboratories
Biography

Andrew Orrell

Director of Nuclear Energy & Fuel Cycle Programs
Sandia National Laboratories

Mr. Andrew Orrell is the Director of Nuclear Energy & Fuel Cycle Programs for Sandia National Laboratories, responsible for laboratory development initiatives involving all facets of the nuclear fuel cycle.   Mr. Orrell has over 20 years of industry experience in nuclear waste management and repository systems spanning low-level, intermediate (transuranic), spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste types.  He headed Sandia’s Lead Laboratory for Repository Systems program and led the completion of the postclosure performance assessment portions of the Yucca Mountain License Application.  Prior to working on the Yucca Mountain Program, he was the Sandia manager for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and the National Transuranic Waste Management program.   His professional experience spans technical and managerial efforts at the WIPP and YMP, and technical support for international programs, including repository development, licensing, national policy development, regulatory framework development, site characterization studies, safety case development and performance assessments, transportation programs, and public confidence.  His work also includes systems studies for advanced nuclear energy systems for the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy, small modular nuclear reactor systems for industry, safety and security applications for the NRC regarding transportation, reactor safety and balance of plant systems, as well as laboratory directed research in advanced nuclear energy and repository systems.  Most recently, Mr. Orrell also managed a multi-disciplinary team of internationally recognized experts supporting the severe accident analysis and consequence management for the accident at Fukushima, Japan.

Mr. Orrell regularly consults with leaders of government on nuclear energy and nuclear waste policy.  He is versed in the complex issues regarding the treatment, storage and disposal of radioactive waste and the interdependencies between the technical, program and policy elements of nuclear waste management and nuclear energy.  

Ann Gray
Principal
GRAY Real Estate Advisors
Biography

Ann Gray

Principal
GRAY Real Estate Advisors

ANN E. GRAY FAIA, FRICS is principal at GRAY Real Estate Advisors where she consults to property owners, attorneys, and appraisers on complex development issues. Clients include Citibank, Sheppard Mullin, the LA Times and the Los Angeles Episcopal Diocese. She has participated in nearly one billion dollars of development over the course of her career. Prior to launching her consulting practice, Ms. Gray was Executive Director of Design Development at Paramount Pictures responsible for pre-construction activity at the 65-acre studio lot, and Vice President at Indivest, a real estate development company. Ms. Gray is founder and publisher of FORM magazine, the AEC journal in Southern California and a frequent speaker at universities and conferences. She has a B.A. in Applied Mathematics and a Masters of Architecture both from UCLA. She is a licensed real estate broker, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and in 2015 was elected to the RICS Global Governing Council. 

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
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.

Nicole Gordon
Partner
Sohagi Law Group
Biography

Nicole Gordon

Partner
Sohagi Law Group

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

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

Donald Paul
Executive Director
USC Energy Institue
Biography

Donald Paul

Executive Director
USC Energy Institue

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Jun Ichi Aoki
Deputy Vice President
Hitachi, Ltd.
Biography

Jun Ichi Aoki

Deputy Vice President
Hitachi, Ltd.

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

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

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

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

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.

Janna Sidley
Board Member/Partner
LACERS/Ichor Strategies
Biography

Janna Sidley

Board Member/Partner
LACERS/Ichor Strategies

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

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

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

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

Art Bilger
Founder & CEO
WorkingNation
Biography

Art Bilger

Founder & CEO
WorkingNation

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

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

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

Brian Kremer

Director, Cleantech Investment Banking Group
ROTH Capital Partners

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

Clare Fox
Executive Director
Los Angeles Food Policy Council
Biography

Clare Fox

Executive Director
Los Angeles Food Policy Council

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

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

John Sanders

CEO & President
Innovative, Information, and Intelligence Solutions LLC

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

David Stickler
NRG Energy Services
Biography

David Stickler

NRG Energy Services

 

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

Arwen Widmer-Bobyk
Consul for Political, Economic & Public Affairs
Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles
Biography

Arwen Widmer-Bobyk

Consul for Political, Economic & Public Affairs
Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles

Arwen Widmer Bobyk is the Consul for Political, Economic & Public Affairs at the Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles.

It is her job to promote and protect Canadian interests in the Southwest of the US. She leads on cultural diplomacy, political and economic engagement, and Canada’s policies on environment, energy and climate change, security and defence, human rights, media engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Arwen has worked in the federal public service of Canada for 20+ years – the last 12 of which have been spent serving as a diplomat. Prior to joining Global Affairs Canada, Arwen worked at the Privy Council Office and Export Development Canada.

Arwen uses her platform to ensure that equity and inclusion is at the forefront of Canada’s engagement abroad. In 2018, Arwen worked with the Canadian Foreign Service Institute to develop a Gender Based Analysis + training program that she helped deliver to +1000 Canadian officials across the network of 13 Canadian Consulates General in the United States and the Embassy in Washington DC– the first time this has been done anywhere in the Canadian diplomatic world.

More recently, upon assuming her current duties she designed an Equity Pledge and Action Plan for the Consulate, which further develops those ideas and creates a practical framework for a broad DEI program across all programs at the Consulate. Her work inspired the adoption of such Pledges by more than two dozen Canadian diplomatic offices around the world, and informed the intensive DEI-focussed work undertaken by Global Affairs Canada headquarters in Ottawa. Her passion is to help Canadian civil servants turn the theory of equity, diversity and inclusion into a practical reality in their day-to-day work.

Arwen is on a quest for Continuous Improvement of herself, to be the change she wants to see and to lead and guide and support and learn from those she is fortunate enough to encounter along the way.  

In 2018, Arwen received the Public Service Award of Excellence from the Clerk of the Privy Council for “Exceptional work in Extraordinary Circumstances” – the highest recognition of a federal public servant in Canada.

She lives in Los Angeles, enjoying the sunshine with her husband of 20 years, Blair, and two amazing kids Grace and Naomi.

Jules Radcliff
Partner
Radcliff Mayes LLP
Biography

Jules Radcliff

Partner
Radcliff Mayes LLP

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Kingman
Executive Vice President
Poseidon Water
Biography

Andrew Kingman

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

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.

Daniel Curtin
Director
California Conference of Carpenters
Biography

Daniel Curtin

Director
California Conference of Carpenters

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carl Salas
Founder and Principal
Salas O'Brien
Biography

Carl Salas

Founder and Principal
Salas O'Brien
Steve Olson
Co-chair
World Trade Committee of Los Angeles
Biography

Steve Olson

Co-chair
World Trade Committee of Los Angeles
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.

Melani Smith
Senior Director, Transit Oriented Communities
LA Metro
Biography

Melani Smith

Senior Director, Transit Oriented Communities
LA Metro

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

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

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

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

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

Christine Peterson

Director of International Trade & Investment
City of LA

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

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

Jack Baylis
President and CEO
The Baylis Group
Biography

Jack Baylis

President and CEO
The Baylis Group
Yair Crane
Principal
CTG Consulting
Biography

Yair Crane

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

Seth Strongin

Senior Sustainability Consultant
Arup

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

Paul Brown
President
Paul Redvers Brown Inc.
Biography

Paul Brown

President
Paul Redvers Brown Inc.

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

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

Jessica Lall
President & CEO
Central City Association
Biography

Jessica Lall

President & CEO
Central City Association

Jessica Lall is the President and CEO of Central City Association (CCA), a premier advocacy organization committed to enhancing Downtown Los Angeles’ vibrancy and increasing opportunity in the region. CCA members include large employers, cultural institutions, housing developers and service providers. Prior to leading CCA, Jessica was Executive Director for the South Park Business Improvement District in Downtown L.A. and served as Senior Policy Director for former Mayor Villaraigosa.

Active in the civic community, Jessica ran for Mayor of Los Angeles in 2021, focusing her campaign on proactive solutions to homelessness. She serves on the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Commission as an appointee of Mayor Garcetti. Jessica was named the Barbara Boxer Fellow for USC’s Center for the Political Future where she will teach a course called Local Leadership & Community Systems Change in Fall 2022.

Jessica is a graduate of USC and the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs. She lives in L.A. with her husband and their two-year-old daughter.

Mark Stanley
Executive Officer
San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy
Biography

Mark Stanley

Executive Officer
San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy

Mark Stanley is the Executive Officer of the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, a state agency within the California Natural Resources Agency, enacted by State Legislature in 1999.

Mark’s focus is on achieving the goals of the RMC’s mission “to preserve open space and habitat in order to provide for low-impact recreation and recreational uses, wildlife habitat restoration and protection, watershed improvements within its jurisdiction.”  In addition to serving as Executive Officer of the RMC, he is the Executive Officer of four joint powers authorities including the Watershed Conservation Authority, the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority, the San Gabriel River Discovery Center Authority and the Azusa-RMC JPA.

Mark serves as Executive Officer of these organizations which has resulted in a variety of implementation efforts related to parks and open space. For example, in the last two years over 500 new acre have been added to the public domain and the RMC received over $80 million dollars to grant to communities.

Bert Dezzutti
Senior Vice President
Brookfield Properties
Biography

Bert Dezzutti

Senior Vice President
Brookfield Properties
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.

 
Gary Gero
Chief of Staff
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Gary Gero

Chief of Staff
City of Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Krekorian*

Councilmember, District 2
Los Angeles City Council

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

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

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

Catherine Burke

Associate Professor Emerita
USC, Sol Price School of Public Policy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Lee Bailey
Managing Director/Managing Partner
US Renewables Group
Biography

Lee Bailey

Managing Director/Managing Partner
US Renewables Group

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

Tom Soto
Founder
Latimer Partners, LLC
Biography

Tom Soto

Founder
Latimer Partners, LLC

I am a long-time investor in the impact sector. I was born & raised in East LA County & Pomona, California to two of the state’s most well-respected Latino Civil Rights leaders. My father was Assemblyman Phil Soto, the first Latino elected to the state legislature in 1962. My late mother was Nell Soto, my dad’s campaign manager & the mother to their six children. She was a long-time advocate supporting farm worker rights, the environment and labor. She too served the last ten years of her life as a member and leader in the California State Senate.
 

I have owned four PE funds, and now manage our family investment office, Latimer Partners, LLC with my husband of 18 years, Todd Soto. I’ve stood at the dovetail of energy, tech, cloud-based and IoT platforms, renewable energy, and over many Fourth Industrial Revolution-driven platforms where technology contributes to improving the human condition using AI, fintech, and blockchain, all while challenging LP’s and tech platforms to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion. Between contributing to climate change initiatives; Clean Air Act Standards and forcing the removal of diesel from municipal procurement processes across the country and the need to decarbonize our economy, this all to promote a political process and regulatory framework needed to establish a clean economy driving the planet into a future of prosperity and abundance.

I am the former Chairman of the New America Alliance, the national Latino business initiative seeking to increase access to capital for diverse fund managers; I am a founder and Vice Chair of the LA Clean Tech Incubator and Trustee of the California Science Center and Trustee of the NRDC. I'm also an appointee to the California Lithium Valley Commission. After selling my fund, Craton Equity Partners to TCW in 2013, I was the Managing Director of Alternatives at the $198b fund and was an Investment Committee Member of TCW Alternatives. Under mine and my colleagues’ leadership, the TCW alternatives platform grew from $300m in AUM to $10.3b in three years. I am a former member of the board of trustees of the Redwood Mutual Fund, owned by Aspiration where I am a former Sr. Advisor, the country’s fastest-growing online bank and financial services platform.

I am a two-time appointee of President Clinton and was the Team Lead for The Executive Office of the President’s Transition Team for the White House Council on Environmental Quality for President-Elect Obama and a founding member of the Executive Council for Clean Energy for Biden. We live in Los Angeles, with our thirteen year old son.

Billie Greer
President
Southern California Leadership Council
Biography

Billie Greer

President
Southern California Leadership Council

Billie Greer is the President of the Southern California Leadership Council, a non-profit , non-partisan organization founded by four former California Governors and Southern California business and community leaders, to address and resolve public policy issues critical to the region’s economic vitality. With 30 years of experience in the public affairs arena as an advocate and community leader, Billie Greer served as Director of Governor Schwarzenegger’s Los Angeles regional office and a member of his senior staff from 2004 – 2010.  During the Governor’s tenure, she also served as an Alternate on the California Coastal Commission.  In 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Billie to the California Science Center & Exposition Park Board. Earlier in her career, Billie was an executive with the consulting firm of Braun & Company/Braun Ketchum and subsequently co-founded and served as president of Greer/Dailey, a LA-based public affairs consulting firm, which helps for-profit and non-profit clients, facing land use and environmental challenges, meet their objectives. Billie left Greer/Dailey upon accepting the Governor’s appointment. Active in the community, Billie is a trustee of the Lowe Institute of Political Economy at Claremont-McKenna College and serves on the Board of Directors of the Television Foundation and the Downtown Women’s Center. In 2004, Billie was inducted into the National Association of Women Business Owners/LA’s Hall of Fame, and she has been honored by several other organizations including LA Bio Med, the San Fernando Valley Business Journal, the Black Business Association of Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles African American Public Policy Institute, among others. 

Paul Relis
Senior Vice President
CR&R Waste Services
Biography

Paul Relis

Senior Vice President
CR&R Waste Services
Karen Hamberg
Vice President, Industry and Government Relations
Westport Fuel Systems
Biography

Karen Hamberg

Vice President, Industry and Government Relations
Westport Fuel Systems

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

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

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

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

Wenhuang Huang

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

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

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

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

Dr. Sandra Whitehouse

Chief Scientific Officer
‎AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

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

Benoit Charette
Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Parks & Wildlife
National Assembly of Québec
Biography

Benoit Charette

Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Parks & Wildlife
National Assembly of Québec

Benoit Charette has been the Member of the National Assembly for the Deux-Montagnes riding since 2008. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history with a concentration in political science from the Université du Québec à Montréal and a degree in public administration from the École nationale d’administration publique.

He began his career at the Ministère des Relations internationales in the Québec Government Office in Mexico City. He then worked at the Agence intergouvernementale de la Francophonie in Moncton. Mr. Charette was appointed Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change in January 2019 and subsequently Minister Responsible for the Laval Region in August 2020 and Minister Responsible for the Fight against Racism in February 2021.

In October 2022, he was appointed Minister of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks, and Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region in addition to being given increased responsibilities regarding the energy transition.

A socially involved citizen, Mr. Charette was a volunteer in Haiti in 1995. He also held the position of director general of the Forum jeunesse des Laurentides from 2003 to 2005. He then served as local programs manager at the Léger Foundation until 2008. Over the years, he has been a member of several boards of directors of community organizations.

Mr. Charette has held numerous positions at the National Assembly of Québec, including executive director of the cabinets of the Whip and of the Second Opposition Group Leader from 2012 to 2014. Prior to his appointment to the Council of Ministers, he chaired the Committee on Institutions and was also a member of the Committee on the National Assembly and the Committee on Culture and Education.

Mr. Charette is the father of three children.

 

Dean Wiberg
Biography

Dean Wiberg

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.

Denise Braun
Founder and Principal
All About Waste
Biography

Denise Braun

Founder and Principal
All About Waste

Denise Braun is a LEED and WELL accredited professional, as well as a Fitwel Ambassador, an Envision Sustainability Professional, and a TRUE Advisor. She has over fifteen years of experience in the sustainability field, starting in Brazil and then moving to the United States. She has worked in various capacities on over 127 LEED certified projects, many of which have achieved the highest level of certification with no clarifications. Denise is currently working on several WELL projects. She recently worked on the first TRUE-certified zero waste high-rise commercial building in the world!

Denise is proficient at implementing strategies for construction documentation, sustainable purchasing, and best management practices involving tenant guidelines and building management tools and plans. Her dedication to corporate social responsibility, solid waste management solutions (including waste audits, zero waste solutions, awareness programs and technologies) and smart design, combined with her outgoing personality, result in effective collaboration, effective and creative solutions.

Denise and been responsible for her waste audits for over 5 million square feet of facilities, and has developed and analyzed technical waste management solutions for a large variety of building types. 

Denise has presented at numerous lectures, workshops and conferences, including the annual Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo, Net Zero Conference, the Living Building Collaborative Zero Waste Forum. She is currently studying Recycling and Solid Waste Management at UCLA Extension.

 

Danny Wong
Senior Director, Corporate Sustainability
Avery Dennison Corporation
Biography

Danny Wong

Senior Director, Corporate Sustainability
Avery Dennison Corporation

Danny Wong is the senior director of corporate sustainability for Avery Dennison Corporation, leading the company’s vision and strategy to embed sustainability into everyday practices across its global operations.  Danny chairs the company’s Sustainability Steering Committee of corporate and business unit leaders who identify and implement the priorities for the company.  He directs a team of six full-time sustainability professionals, four of whom report directly into business operations or product innovation.  Danny has over 25 years of experience in sustainability, industrial hygiene and safety, and holds a doctorate in environmental sciences from UCLA.  

Nicholas Lumpkin
Director of Business Development
Clean Energy Renewable Fuels
Biography

Nicholas Lumpkin

Director of Business Development
Clean Energy Renewable Fuels

Nicholas Lumpkin is the Director of Business Development for Clean Energy Renewable Fuels which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Clean Energy Fuels Corp. Since 2006 he has held various roles within the Clean Energy family of companies and became involved in the renewable natural gas business shortly after the 2008 acquisition of the McCommas Bluff landfill gas project. His current focus includes project feasibility, financial modeling, and the sales, marketing, and distribution of biomethane as a transportation fuel.  

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.
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.

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

Hydee Feldstein Soto

Los Angeles City Attorney
City of Los Angles

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

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

Jonathan Weisgall
Vice President, Government Relations
Berkshire Hathaway Energy
Biography

Jonathan Weisgall

Vice President, Government Relations
Berkshire Hathaway Energy

Jonathan Weisgall is Vice President for Government Relations for Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. He joined CalEnergy (Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s predecessor company) in 1993 as Vice President for Legislative and Regulatory Affairs. 

Weisgall also serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies and vice chairman of the Geothermal Rising’s Policy Committee. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught a seminar on energy issues since 1990 and recently received the Charles Fahy Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award as outstanding adjunct professor of the year. He has also guest lectured on energy issues at Stanford Law School, Haverford, and the Johns Hopkins Environmental Science and Policy Program and its School of Advanced International Studies. He was a member of the Lithium Valley Commission and has been named one of the top Washington, DC corporate lobbyists by The Hill since 2004.

Weisgall graduated from Columbia College and from Stanford Law School. He previously practiced law in Washington, D.C. at Covington & Burling, has written several law review articles, and has published articles in Legal Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, Johns Hopkins SAIS Review, and The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Weisgall is also the author of Operation Crossroads:  The Atomic Tests at Bikini Atoll (U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1994) and the executive producer of “Radio Bikini,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary in 1988.
 

Robert Garcia
Mayor
City of Long Beach
Biography

Robert Garcia

Mayor
City of Long Beach

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Mark Bozigian
City Manager
City of Lancaster
Biography

Mark Bozigian

City Manager
City of Lancaster

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

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

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

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

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

Uduak-Joe Ntuk

State Oil and Gas Supervisor
CA Geologic Energy Management Division

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

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

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

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

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

Indrani Graczyk
Program Manager
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Biography

Indrani Graczyk

Program Manager
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Melanie Nutter
former Director
San Francisco Department of Environment
Biography

Melanie Nutter

former Director
San Francisco Department of Environment

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Wassgren
Partner
DLA Piper
Biography

Paul Wassgren

Partner
DLA Piper

Paul Wassgren is a partner at DLA Piper LLP (US), one of the world’s largest law firms, and practices at the intersection of corporate law, real estate, and securities.  He regularly represents funds, real estate sponsors, lenders, and investors, and has helped position DLA Piper as a market leader in the Qualified Opportunity Zone space.  Paul has extensive experience in the areas of project and real estate finance, acquisitions, general corporate law, and private placements.  His clients range in size from individual entrepreneurs to multinational corporations. 

In addition to his legal practice, Paul has extensive experience as an investor in the real estate industry.  He holds a law degree and MBA from Oxford University, and a BA in Economics from Pepperdine University.

David Peterson
Director, Fleet Solutions
ChargePoint, Inc.
Biography

David Peterson

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

Letha Tawney

Commissioner
Oregon Public Utilities Commission
Letha Tawney was appointed to the Oregon Public Utility Commission by Governor Kate Brown in June 2018. Commissioner Tawney represents Oregon on the Electricity and the Critical Infrastructure committees for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). She also serves on the Energy Trust of Oregon Board of Directors, and as Chair of the Energy Imbalance Market Board of State Regulators (EIM-BOSR), engaging closely on Western electricity market development in several forums.
 
Prior to her appointment, Commissioner Tawney was an expert on electric utility business models, state regulation, clean energy development, and large customer buying strategies for World Resources Institute (WRI). As the WRI Polsky Chair for Renewable Energy, she propelled innovation in business and regulatory models in the power sector. Commissioner Tawney has a deep understanding of the constraints and interests driving both utilities and their customers as technology creates large-scale change in the sector.
 
Commissioner Tawney holds a Master’s of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from George Fox University in business and computer science.
Osha Meserve
Shareholder
Soluri Meserve
Biography

Osha Meserve

Shareholder
Soluri Meserve

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

Carl Zichella
Director of Western Transmission
Natural Resources Defense Council
Biography

Carl Zichella

Director of Western Transmission
Natural Resources Defense Council

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

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

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

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

Jocelyn Boudreau
CEO, Co-Founder
Hortau
Biography

Jocelyn Boudreau

CEO, Co-Founder
Hortau

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

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

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

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

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

ABOUT THE COMPANY

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

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

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

Laura Cortez
Community Organizer
East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice
Biography

Laura Cortez

Community Organizer
East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice

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

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

Kevin Kampschroer

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

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

Mariam Awara
Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer
Pulsenics
Biography

Mariam Awara

Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer
Pulsenics

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

Andreas Klugescheid
VP Governmental Affairs
BMW AG
Biography

Andreas Klugescheid

VP Governmental Affairs
BMW AG
Janea A. Scott
Vice-Chair
California Energy Commission
Biography

Janea A. Scott

Vice-Chair
California Energy Commission

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

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

Lee O'Dwyer
Equity Market Specialist
Bloomberg LP
Biography

Lee O'Dwyer

Equity Market Specialist
Bloomberg LP

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

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

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

Ben Allen
California State Senator
26th District
Biography

Ben Allen

California State Senator
26th District

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carolina Romo

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

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

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

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

Daniel Breton

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

Born in Montréal on June 18, 1962

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

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

Richard Bloom
Assemblymember, 50th District
California State Assembly
Biography

Richard Bloom

Assemblymember, 50th District
California State Assembly

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

Conrad Chase
CEO & Co-founder
Point Load Power
Biography

Conrad Chase

CEO & Co-founder
Point Load Power

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

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

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

Paul Helliker

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

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

Emily Desai
Deputy Director of International Affairs and Trade
Governor's Office of Business & Economic Development (GO-Biz)
Biography

Emily Desai

Deputy Director of International Affairs and Trade
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.

Shane Skelton
Co-Founder & Partner
S2C Pacific
Biography

Shane Skelton

Co-Founder & Partner
S2C Pacific
Shane is an energy, infrastructure, and environmental public policy and communications expert. He has extensive experience drafting laws and regulations, analyzing their economic and other industry-specific impacts, and communicating complex legal and regulatory concepts to target audiences using multiple platforms.

Prior to co-founding S2C Pacific, Shane worked for current House Speaker Paul Ryan as a counsel and policy advisor on the Budget Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives developing and managing all energy, environment, natural resource, and regulatory policy.

Shane has also held a number of other public policy positions, including Executive Director of a Washington DC-based non-partisan non-profit infrastructure and technology think tank, the Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure (Aii), a Policy Advisor to the American Petroleum Institute, and a Legislative Counsel for Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH).

Prior to working in public policy, Shane worked at global PR firm Rogers & Cowan. Shane is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned his J.D. from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles.

Eric Schockman
Vice President
California League of Conservation Voters Educational Fund
Biography

Eric Schockman

Vice President
California League of Conservation Voters Educational Fund

H. Eric Schockman, Ph.D. is the Vice president of the California League of Conservation Voters Educational Fund and oversees Green California, the largest coalition of environmental organizations in California working collectively for sound public policy. He also conducts environmental public opinion polling and statewide voter engagement. In his spare time, he is President and founder of the Global Hunger Foundation.  He served as CEO and president of a prestigious international anti-hunger organization for over a decade pumping out some $60 million in grants to the field and helping to pass major public policy legislation.

A public policy expert and an authority on hunger and poverty and environmental issues, Dr. Schockman previously served as Associate Dean/Associate Professor of Political Science for the University of Southern California.  He was also a top consultant to the California State Assembly and the Los Angeles City Council.  Dr. Schockman was the founder of the National Anti-Hunger Organizations (NAHO), an alliance of all major national anti-hunger organizations in the United States.  Additionally, Dr. Schockman is a member the National Interfaith Hunger Director's Committee . He was on the founding board of directors of the Global FoodBanking Network. He was former Chair of the California Post Secondary Education Commission , an appointment made by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Appointed by California State Assembly Speaker Emeritus Antonio Villaraigosa, Eric has also served on the Little Hoover Commission, a bipartisan, independent body whose function is to promote efficiency, effectiveness and economy in state programs.  He served in the Peace Crops in Sierra Leone, West Africa, teaching agricultural and sustainable development.

Dr. Schockman speaks before elected officials, professional and community organizations across the country and is frequently quoted in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, CNN, NPR and other national publications and electronic media. 

He has also written several books and edited many articles on politics in California, the nation and international affairs, and presented on panels on these same topic.

Dr. Schockman holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations from the University of California.  

Robert Griffin
Vice President, Business Development
Customer First Renewables
Biography

Robert Griffin

Vice President, Business Development
Customer First Renewables

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

Colin Armstrong
President & CEO
HTEC
Biography

Colin Armstrong

President & CEO
HTEC
Colin is a professional mechanical engineer with more than 30 years’ experience in the hydrogen sector. He is a founder of HTEC and has lead the company since 2012. Colin is the driving force behind the development of British Columbia’s hydrogen station network, opening Canada’s first retail hydrogen fueling station in 2018. The first six stations – in Greater Vancouver and Victoria – will be in operation in 2020 and will enable the deployment of the first 1,000 zero-emission fuel cell electric vehicles in the province.  Prior to HTEC, Colin led hydrogen initiatives at Sacré-Davey Engineering, including an integrated waste hydrogen utilization project and the fueling project for a fleet of fuel cell buses operating in Whistler. Colin was also an investor and the lead engineer at Dynetek Industries (high-pressure carbon fiber gas storage cylinders) and worked at Ballard Power Systems to develop fuel cell manufacturing systems. Colin has been on the Board of the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association since 2011.

 

Brian Fraser
Senior Sales Manager
Meiden America Inc. (MAI)
Biography

Brian Fraser

Senior Sales Manager
Meiden America Inc. (MAI)

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

Rachel Machi Wagoner
Director
CalRecycle
Biography

Rachel Machi Wagoner

Director
CalRecycle

Rachel Machi Wagoner serves as CalRecycle’s director.

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

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

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

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

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

John "Woody" Wodraska

President
Wodraska Partners, Inc.

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

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

Sachiko Yoshimura

Chief Executive Director
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)

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

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

Emil Abdelshehid
LADWP
Biography

Emil Abdelshehid

LADWP

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

Ted Bardacke
Executive Director
Clean Power Alliance
Biography

Ted Bardacke

Executive Director
Clean Power Alliance

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

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

Yamen Nanne
Manager of Power Distribution System Development
LADWP
Biography

Yamen Nanne

Manager of Power Distribution System Development
LADWP

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

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

Nick Haschka

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

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

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

Woodie Tescher
Los Angeles Principal
PlaceWorks
Biography

Woodie Tescher

Los Angeles Principal
PlaceWorks

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

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

Matt Horton
Director, Center for Regional Economics & California Center
Milken Institute/Accelerator for America
Biography

Matt Horton

Director, Center for Regional Economics & California Center
Milken Institute/Accelerator for America

Matt Horton is a director at the Milken Institute’s Center for Regional Economics and California Center. In this capacity, he interacts with government officials, business leaders, and other key stakeholders in directing statewide programming and policy initiatives. Horton’s programmatic work at the Institute is focused on identifying a variety of financial tools, public policies, and collaborative models that leaders can deploy to increase investments in education, community development, housing, employment and other areas supporting human capital and place-based economic development. Previously, Horton worked for the Southern California Association of Governments, the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization. There, Horton served as the primary point of contact for external and government affairs, coordinating regional policy development with elected officials as well as subregional, state, and federal stakeholders in Los Angeles and Orange counties. In this role, he developed plans with leaders across Southern California to address growth, resiliency, and improve quality of life.

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

Paul Clark

Director
Climate Change & Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC)
Ben Stapleton
Executive Director
U.S. Green Building Council - Los Angeles
Biography

Ben Stapleton

Executive Director
U.S. Green Building Council - Los Ang