Speakers for VX2021

Mary Nichols
Fmr. Chair
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Mary Nichols

Fmr. Chair
California Air Resources Board

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

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

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

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

Hiroaki Ishizuka

Chair
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

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

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

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

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

Capri Maddox

Executive Director
LA Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Earl Blumenauer

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

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

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

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

Blumenauer currently sits on the Ways and Means Committee. 

Laura Friedman
Assemblymember, 43rd District; Chair, Transportation Committee
California State Legislature
Biography

Laura Friedman

Assemblymember, 43rd District; Chair, Transportation Committee
California State Legislature
Laura Friedman was elected to the California State Assembly in November 2016 to represent the 43rd 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.  
Gene Seroka
Executive Director
Port of Los Angeles
Biography

Gene Seroka

Executive Director
Port of Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

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

Hilary Norton
Commissioner
California Transportation Commission
Biography

Hilary Norton

Commissioner
California Transportation Commission

Hilary Norton is the Chairwoman Emeritus of the California Transportation Commission (CTC) and Executive Director of FASTLinkDTLA, the Transportation Management Organization for Downtown Los Angeles. 

Hilary was appointed to the CTC by Governor Gavin Newsom in September 2019, and elected Chair of the CTC in August 2020.  Hilary concluded her second term as Chair on February 28th, 2022.  She brings over 30 years of experience in transportation and community development to her Commission role.  Ms. Norton’s primary goals as CTC Chair include investing over $5 billion in annual SB1 gas tax and other funds into California’s transportation infrastructure system in order to improve outcomes in equity, mobility across numerous modes, safety, environment/climate change resilience, and economic growth.

As the Executive Director of FASTLinkDTLA – a new Transportation Management Organization (TMO) for Downtown LA (DTLA)– with a goal of reducing single occupant vehicle (SOV) trips in DTLA by 75% by 2030.  To achieve this goal, FASTLinkDTLA TMO connects employers and residents to transit, micro-transit and on-demand shuttles, AVP parking, walking and biking options and advocates for new mobility options to be funded to travel to and within DTLA.  Through FASTLinkDTLA, Ms. Norton launched one of the first ever in LA County micro-transit systems, connecting travelers through the flexLA multi-mobility app, and connecting new on-demand wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV), transit, vanpools, carpools, scooters, bike share, biking and walking.  FASTLinkDTLA enthusiastically supports the proposed LA Streetcar for DTLA, as well as new Metro rail and bus service planned for DTLA such as the Regional Connector, West Santa Ana Branch and Sixth Street/Arts District Station on the Metro Red/Purple Line.

As Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic (FAST)’s founding Executive Director since 2008, Ms. Norton mobilized a diverse coalition of business, labor, civic groups, educational institutions and transit organizations to support policy and infrastructure improvements to LA’s mobility, livability and economic prosperity.  FAST’s primary focuses: 1) Mobility Hubs – carshare, bikeshare, bike parking, EV charging and traveler services at transit stations, job and education centers; 2) comprehensive arterial improvements to improve travel time, encourage mode shift, and promote safety and transit connectivity; 3) Metro ExpressLanes expansion throughout LA County, creating the Metro ExpressLanes Business Roundtable to support the I-110/I-10 pilot corridors;  4) Expanding LA County’s bus rapid transit (BRT) network, especially in her neighborhood of Eagle Rock; and 5) Revitalizing the Arts District in DTLA with new mobility options: the Sixth Street/ Arts District Metro Station, and Sixth Street Viaduct / Sixth Street Park -- the largest bridge reconstruction project in LA’s history, adding bicycle and pedestrian lanes, and connections to the LA River and the Metro Red/Purple Line.

Ms. Norton is President and Managing Partner of Effect Strategies, a full-service strategic communications firm, with clients ranging from biotech/life sciences to innovations in service delivery, clean buildings, and mobility.

Ms. Norton served as 2018 Chairwoman of the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed), and is on the Board of Directors of the Central City Association. She co-chairs the Transportation Committees for BizFed, the LA Chamber of Commerce, and the LA Business Council (LABC). 

Ms. Norton is a member of the UCLA Institute for Transportation Studies (ITS) Advisory Board and a member of SCAG’s GLUE Council and its TDM Working Group.

Ms. Norton holds a BA from Wellesley College and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.  She is the mother of two adults, Xavier and Eva Orozco.

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

Akira Muto

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

Mike Levin

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zaib Shaikh
Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles
Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles
Biography

Zaib Shaikh

Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles
Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles

Zaib Shaikh began his mandate as Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles in December 2018. He is the Government of Canada’s senior representative in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.

He comes to the posting after an extensive career in the media and entertainment industries, having worked as an actor and producer in theatre, film and television. His work includes acting roles in Deepa Mehta’s film Midnight’s Children, as well as starring in the CBC comedy series Little Mosque on the Prairie, which has been seen in more than 80 countries. Mr. Shaikh co‐produced the special Long Story Short: CBC Turns 75 and co‐wrote, directed and co‐produced the film Othello: The Tragedy of the Moor. He also co-founded and served as an artistic producer of the Whistler Theatre Project in British Columbia.

From 2014 until his appointment in 2018, Mr. Shaikh was the Film Commissioner and Director of Entertainment Industries for the City of Toronto. In that role, he oversaw and grew the city’s screen, music, live festival, sporting event and tourism sectors, helping to double the value of film production in Canada’s largest city, which surpassed $2 billion in 2016.

Mr. Shaikh has served as a board member for the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion and, most recently on the board of AFC (formerly the Actors Fund of Canada). He has served on juries and committees for the Gemini Awards, ACTRA Awards, Ontario Arts Council, and Theatre Ontario Youth Program as well as an ambassador for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and for Amnesty International Canada.

Mr. Shaikh is married to Ms. Kirstine Stewart. They have two children.

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 Resources Council’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 been named one of the top Washington, DC corporate lobbyists by The Hill since 2004. Weisgall graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia College and from Stanford Law School and has published articles in Legal Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, and The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Jane Duke
Consul General
Consul General of Australia in Los Angeles
Biography

Jane Duke

Consul General
Consul General of Australia in Los Angeles

Ms Duke was appointed Australian Consul-General Los Angeles in August 2020. Ms Duke is an experienced senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). She was most recently Australia’s Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta, Indonesia, and has served overseas as Deputy High Commissioner, Malaysia, and as Counsellor (Immigration) at Australia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva.

In Canberra, Ms Duke has served as Assistant Secretary, South East Asia Regional Branch, Canada and Latin America Branch, and Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe Branch. Ms Duke has also held senior positions in the immigration portfolio.

Ms Duke holds a Bachelor of Arts (Asian Studies) degree and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the Australian National University and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Technology Sydney. 

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

Dennis McGinn

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

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

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

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

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

Stephen Cheung
President/COO
World Trade Center-Los Angeles/LA County Economic Development Council
Biography

Stephen Cheung

President/COO
World Trade Center-Los Angeles/LA County Economic Development Council

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Jim Kelly
Director
S&C Electric
Biography

Jim Kelly

Director
S&C Electric

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matt Horton

Director, Center for Regional Economics & California Center
Milken Institute

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.

Katy Young Yaroslavsky
Deputy for the Environment and Arts
Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl
Biography

Katy Young Yaroslavsky

Deputy for the Environment and Arts
Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl

Katy is responsible for developing LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s environment and arts policy. In this role, she spearheaded the creation of LA County’s first Sustainability Office, which has since developed one of the most innovative, comprehensive regional sustainability plans in the nation. Additionally, Katy oversaw the creation of the Clean Power Alliance, California’s largest community choice energy program, which offers approximately 1 million electricity customers in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties a chance to buy less expensive, greener electricity from a public power provider. Katy led the development of Measure W, a water and green infrastructure parcel tax adopted by the voters of LA County in 2018 with nearly 70% of the vote. Measure W provides $300 million each year to increase local water supplies and clean up our rivers and ocean, while also greening our communities and improving public health outcomes. Katy previously served as the General Counsel and Director of Government Affairs at the Climate Action Reserve, a Los Angeles-based environmental non-profit committed to developing and implementing market-based solutions to climate change. Katy has also worked as a land use and environmental attorney at Latham & Watkins and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. An alumnus of the Coro fellowship program, Katy now serves on the Southern California CORO Board of Directors and its Executive Committee, and is Supervisor Kuehl’s appointee to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. Katy is a Los Angeles native and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA from UC Berkeley and received her law degree from UCLA.

 

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

Eric Guter

Vice President, Hydrogen for Mobility Solutions
Air Products

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

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

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

Maryam Brown
President
SoCal Gas
Biography

Maryam Brown

President
SoCal Gas
Maryam Brown is president of Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), a Sempra Energy regulated California utility.
 
Previously, Brown was vice president of federal government affairs for Sempra Energy.
 
Prior to joining Sempra Energy in 2016, Brown served as the senior energy and environment counsel for the Office of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. From 2011 to 2012, she was the energy chief counsel for the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce. From 2010 to 2011, she was policy counsel for the U.S. Senate’s Republican Policy Committee. Before that, she was manager of public policy and strategic planning for ConocoPhillips.
 
Brown serves on the board of directors of the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Business Roundtable. She holds both a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a law degree (Order of the Coif) from Louisiana State University.

 

Mia Lehrer
Commissioner
LADWP Board
Biography

Mia Lehrer

Commissioner
LADWP Board

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

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

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

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

Mike Markus
General Manager
Orange County Water District
Biography

Mike Markus

General Manager
Orange County Water District

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

Brian Jordan
Vice President
Tetra Tech
Biography

Brian Jordan

Vice President
Tetra Tech

Brian Jordan is a Vice President at Tetra Tech and currently focused on the firm’s smart water initiative. Mr. Jordan recently joined Tetra Tech from MWH Global where he was Director of Global Corporate Development. In this capacity, he was responsible for coordinating and leading a variety of the company’s growth efforts including strategic partnerships and mergers and acquisitions, as well as organic growth initiatives aligned with the company’s strategic plan.

Prior to MWH, Brian was a Senior Vice President at AECOM where he was the executive responsible for profit and loss, sales and marketing efforts, and oversight of strategy and operations for the firm’s water business in a region that extended from the Rocky Mountains to continental Asia. Brian has been active in professional associations throughout his career. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Water Works Association and been elected, nominated, or appointed to leadership and chair positions for a half-dozen different industry organizations. He is also an active author and public speaker having published or presented several dozen papers. A licensed professional engineer in California, Brian has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute, and completed graduate studies in the same field at Virginia Tech.

Jeffrey Kightlinger
General Manager & CEO
Metropolitan Water District
Biography

Jeffrey Kightlinger

General Manager & CEO
Metropolitan Water District

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

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

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

Lev Goldberg

CEO & Co-Founder
Aquify-an Exelon Company

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

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

Andrew McAllister
Commissioner
California Energy Commission
Biography

Andrew McAllister

Commissioner
California Energy Commission

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Felicia Marcus

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

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

Adel Hagekhalil
General Manager
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Biography

Adel Hagekhalil

General Manager
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

With over 32 years of public service experience in the management of water, environmental and infrastructure programs and initiatives, Adel is an award-winning transformational leader anchored in integration, innovation, and inclusion.  Adel is a registered civil engineer with the State of California and a national Board-Certified Environmental Engineer with specialty in water.  

Adel was appointed in June 2021 as the General Manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the nation’s largest drinking water provider.  Adel is responsible for leading Metropolitan’s daily and long-term operations and future planning, providing safe and reliable water for 19 million people in six Southern California counties spanning over 5,200-square-mile service area with an annual budget of $1.8 billion, 1,700 employees and 30 facilities.

Previously, Adel was appointed in 2018 by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti as the Executive Director and General Manager of the City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Street Services (StreetsLA).  Adel was responsible for managing, maintaining, and upgrading the City’s Street network including streets, sidewalks, trees, and bikeways with focus on safety, mobility, and sustainability. 

Prior to that, Adel was the Assistant General Manager for the City’s Bureau of Sanitation for 10 years where he was responsible for the wastewater collection system management, storm water and watershed protection program, and facilities and integrated water planning.  Under his direction, the City prepared an award winning 2040 One Water LA Plan “One Water.”

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.

Gideon Kracov
Board Member
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Gideon Kracov

Board Member
California Air Resources Board

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

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

Previously, Mr. Kracov served as a Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney where he counseled the Departments of Planning and Sanitation. Before his public sector work, Mr. Kracov practiced at Rose, Klein & Marias LLP, a trial law firm. There he handled toxic tort and environmental matters that helped shape these areas of the law. Mr. Kracov started his legal career at the prominent Los Angeles firm Weston, Benshoof LLP (now Alston & Bird LLP), where his practice involved environmental tort defense for Fortune 500 clients.

Mr. Kracov is the former Chair of the State Bar of California Environmental Law Section Executive Committee. Elected by his peers, he led education and program activities on behalf of the Section's 2,500+ environmental lawyer members. From 2015 to 2018, he served as a Governor's appointee and Chair of the California Mining and Geology Board that oversees the state's interests in seismic hazards, mineral resources and mine reclamation. He also chaired the California Department of Toxic Substances Control Independent Review Panel tasked with recommending improvements to the agency's permitting, enforcement, outreach and fiscal management. From 2007 to 2011, Mr. Kracovserved as Vice-Chair of the Los Angeles Proposition O Bond Committee administering $500 million to protect the city’s rivers and beaches.

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

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

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

Karen Douglas
Commissioner
California Energy Commission
Biography

Karen Douglas

Commissioner
California Energy Commission

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

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. 

Seleta Reynolds
General Manager
Los Angeles Department of Transportation
Biography

Seleta Reynolds

General Manager
Los Angeles Department of Transportation

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

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

John Withers
Board of Directors Member
Irvine Ranch Water District
Biography

John Withers

Board of Directors Member
Irvine Ranch Water District

John Withers was appointed to the IRWD Board of Directors in 1989 to fill a board vacancy and has been elected to subsequent terms, including 2020 when he was elected to represent Division 1 under a new division-based election process.  He served as board president in 2004 and vice president in 2012 and 2021. He serves on the Water Resources Policy & Communications, and Engineering & Operations committees, as well as various ad hoc representations and assignments.

Withers is a partner with California Strategies, LLC, in Irvine, a statewide, strategic government-relations firm. In past positions, Withers has served as vice president of community development for Lewis Operating Corp. and as director of water resources for Psomas & Associates, a civil engineering and planning firm. He was also the director of governmental affairs for the Building Industry Association Orange County Chapter, and a legislative advocate for Crocker Bank and a major trade association in Sacramento.

Withers is chairman of the Orange County Sanitation District Board of Directors, where he has served since 2009. He is chairman and board member of the National Water Research Institute, a former chair and commissioner of the Local Agency Formation Commission, and former chair and member of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board. 

A native Southern Californian, Withers earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from UCLA with a specialization in urban studies. He was then selected as a CORO Foundation Fellow and earned a master’s degree in urban studies from Occidental College.

Community activities include membership in the UCLA Alumni Association, youth sports and Mariners Church.

A resident of Irvine since 1984, Withers lives in Northwood with his wife, Katie. They have three grown children, Carolyn, Gordon, and Peter.

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.
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.

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

Christiane Waldron

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

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

Sandy Kerl
General Manager
San Diego County Water Authority
Biography

Sandy Kerl

General Manager
San Diego County Water Authority
Sandra L. Kerl is general manager of the San Diego County Water Authority, which provides wholesale water supplies to serve 24 member agencies, 3.3 million people and a $240 billion regional economy. Kerl joined the Water Authority as deputy general manager in 2009 before being appointed by the Board of Directors to her current post in 2019.
Kerl’s priorities include enhancing relations with the Water Authority’s member agencies, minimizing rate increases, concluding litigation with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and ensuring long-term water supplies for the semi-arid San Diego region.
Kerl’s career highlights in the water industry include leading the effort to secure financing for the nation’s largest seawater desalination plant, a public-private partnership that is protecting the San Diego region from drought.
Kerl currently sits on the board of the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and the California Urban Water Agencies, which represents the water suppliers that serve more than two-thirds of California’s population. Throughout her career, she has been active in the International City Management Association.
Kerl received her Bachelor of Political Science from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo and her Master of Business Administration from the University of Redlands.
 
Colin Peppard
Manager for Outreach & Strategic Partnerships, Office of Extraordinary Innovation
LA Metro
Biography

Colin Peppard

Manager for Outreach & Strategic Partnerships, Office of Extraordinary Innovation
LA Metro

Colin is Manager for Outreach and Strategic Relationships with the Office of Extraordinary Innovation (OEI) at LA Metro. Colin manages the agency’s Unsolicited Proposal Process, a tool used to develop public-private partnerships around Metro’s individual project plans, and explore how emerging technologies could improve and expand Metro’s service.

Previously, Mr. Peppard served as a policy advisor and senior legislative aide for U.S. Senator Thomas R. Carper, of Delaware, where he oversaw policy development and legislative strategy. He helped to negotiate two federal transportation bills, and took a lead role in drafting several provisions to facilitate capital financing of public infrastructure. Before he began with Senator Carper, Colin was the Deputy Director of Federal Transportation Policy with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) where he focused on advancing policies and projects with mutual mobility and environmental benefits. 

Harout Chitilian
VP, Corporate Affairs, Development & Strategy
CDPQ Infra
Biography

Harout Chitilian

VP, Corporate Affairs, Development & Strategy
CDPQ Infra

Harout Chitilian holds the position of Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, Development and Strategy at CDPQ Infra. In this role, he directly supports the CEO in positioning, developing and executing CDPQ Infra's business strategy. He is also responsible for leading the corporate and REM project teams for public affairs, communications and media relations. 

Before joining CDPQ Infra, Harout was twice elected (2013 and 2009) a municipal councillor for Montréal's Bordeaux-Cartierville borough. From 2013 to 2017, he was Vice-President of Montréal's Executive Committee, while also sitting on the Executive Committee of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal. 

M. Chitilian was appointed as Presidentof the Municipal Council for the City of Montreal from 2011 to November 2013. During the same period, he was Presidentof Montréal's Commission de la présidence du conseil. From 2009 to 2011, Harout was head of youth program development for the city. Prior to his political career, Haroutwas a consultant for various information technology and telecommunications companies. He is a graduate of École polytechnique de Montréal in computer engineering with a specialization in telecommunications.

Making community involvement a priority, Harout Chitilian acts as a member of the Board of Directors for two organizations whose missions are close to his heart: the Fondation et alumni de Polytechnique Montréal and the Orchestre symphonique des Jeunes de Montréal. 

David Hochschild
Chair
California Energy Commission
Biography

David Hochschild

Chair
California Energy Commission

David Hochschild was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in February 2013. He fills the environmental position on the five-member Commission where four of the five members by law are required to have professional training in specific areas - engineering or physical science, environmental protection, economics, and law.

Commissioner Hochschild’s career has spanned public service, environmental advocacy and the private sector. He first got involved in the solar energy field in 2001 in San Francisco as a Special Assistant to Mayor Willie Brown where he launched a citywide $100 million initiative to put solar panels on public buildings. He went on to co-found the Vote Solar Initiative, a 60,000-member advocacy organization promoting solar policies at the local, state and federal level. He served as executive director of a national consortium of leading solar manufacturers and worked for five years at Solaria, a solar company in Silicon Valley. In 2007-2008, he served as a commissioner at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

For his work to advance clean energy, Commissioner Hochschild was awarded the Sierra Club’s Trailblazer Award, the American Lung Association’s Clean Air Hero Award and the Department of Energy’s Million Solar Roof True Champion Award. Commissioner Hochschild holds a B.A. degree from Swarthmore College and a Masters of Public Policy degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs.

Mark Herrema
CEO
Newlight
Biography

Mark Herrema

CEO
Newlight
Mark Herrema is the co-founder and CEO of Newlight Technologies. 
 
In 2003, Mark co-founded Newlight with a vision of using greenhouse gas as a resource to make high-performance, sustainable materials. 
 
After a decade of research, Mark and his team developed a technology that uses a natural process found in the ocean to make a material called AirCarbon. AirCarbon is a meltable energy storage material made in almost all known living things that can be used to replace plastic, fiber, and leather.  
 
AirCarbon is now being used to replace plastic in single-use foodware, fashion products, and a variety of other applications.  Newlight has been honored to receive recognition as “Biomaterial of the Year” by the Nova Institute, “Innovation of the Year” by Popular Science, and “Technology Pioneer” by the World Economic Forum.  In 2016, Newlight was awarded the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 
 
Mark graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, and has since garnered over 15 years of expertise in process engineering, polymer functionalization, and strategic business development. 
Liam Denning
Columnist
Bloomberg
Biography

Liam Denning

Columnist
Bloomberg

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

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

Dr. Yasuhiro Matsui

Project Manager, Research & Development
Yokogawa

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

Mario Cordero
Executive Director
Port of Long Beach
Biography

Mario Cordero

Executive Director
Port of Long Beach

Mario Cordero, an international maritime industry leader, Long Beach resident and attorney, is Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach, California, named to the post by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners in May 2017.

Beginning in 2003, Mr. Cordero served as a member, vice president and president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners for eight years, before resigning to accept President Barack Obama’s appointment to the Federal Maritime Commission in 2011. He served on the FMC until May 2017 and was FMC Chairman from April 2013 to January 2017.

As Executive Director, Mr. Cordero reports to the Board and leads the Port’s Harbor Department staff of more than 500 with a budget of $622 million for the 2022 fiscal year.

He is the Port’s representative to the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority Governing Board and the Governing Board of the Intermodal Container Transfer FacilityJoint Powers Authority. Mr. Cordero was elected to a two-year term as Chairman of the Board for the American Association of Port Authorities in 2020 following a term as Vice Chairman, and previously served as an Executive Board member on AAPA’s Latin American delegation. He sits on the L.A. County Economic Resiliency Task Force – charged with helping guide the County’s approach to reopening as the region emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic – as chair of the Commodities and Goods Movement sector working group.

In 2021, Mr. Cordero was appointed by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco to serve on the bank’s Los Angeles branch seven-member board of directors and, for the third consecutive year, was named to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “LA500” list of the city’s most influential civic leaders.

Mr. Cordero has practiced law for more than 30 years, specializing in workers’ compensation cases. He holds a law degree from the University of Santa Clara and a Bachelor of Science in political science from California State University, Long Beach.

He has taught Political Science at Long Beach City College, focusing on California politics, and served on the City of Long Beach Community Development Commission. He also was Vice Chair of the City-commissioned Long Beach Ethics Task Force that developed a Code of Ethics for Long Beach City employees, as well as elected and appointed City officials.

Dan Bunce
Senior Vice President
Brown and Caldwell
Biography

Dan Bunce

Senior Vice President
Brown and Caldwell

Dan Bunce, Senior Vice President, has been at Brown and Caldwell for 18 years and serves as the Business Unit Manager for the California-Desert region.  He is responsible for managing the operations of BC’s California, Nevada, and Arizona offices.  He graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Environmental Engineering. He is a registered Professional Civil Engineer in California and is a certified Project Management Professional.

Dan has 27 years of experience in public and private infrastructure. Dan has been directly responsible for BC’s water resource and advanced treatment projects throughout Los Angeles and California for more than 10-years. Dan offers unique expertise in facilitating and driving consensus among stakeholders within general management, accounting/finance, engineering, O&M, and procurement divisions of organizations. Dan promotes Brown and Caldwell’s vision to be a company of choice for both our clients and employees, through his company-wide responsibility to advance our client services and growth strategies.

 
Tanya Krackovic
VP of Special Projects
eCamion
Biography

Tanya Krackovic

VP of Special Projects
eCamion

Tanya is a passionate change leader and pioneering spirit. She is committed to fostering the green economy by advising, coaching and investing in social entrepreneurs. As VP of Special Projects for eCamion, Tanya leads the company’s efforts to deploy advanced electric vehicle charging solutions that will enable the electric grid of the future

Rob Del Core
Chief Strategy Officer
Hyzon Motors
Biography

Rob Del Core

Chief Strategy Officer
Hyzon Motors

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

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

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

Doug Kobold
Executive Director
California Product Stewardship Council
Biography

Doug Kobold

Executive Director
California Product Stewardship Council

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

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

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

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

Christine Harada
Executive Director
Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council
Biography

Christine Harada

Executive Director
Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council

Christine Harada is a climate and impact investing expert, and has over 20 years of success in leading government and professional services organizations. She was formerly President of i(x) investments, where she focused on climate-related investments.

Before returning to the private sector, Christine served as the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer for the Obama administration. Previously, she was also the Acting Chief of Staff and Chief Acquisitions Officer for the U.S. General Services  Administration.

Her earlier private sector experience includes over 10 years in management consulting with the  Boston Consulting Group and Booz Allen Hamilton; and building satellites while at Lockheed Martin.  Ms. Harada holds an MA, International Studies and an MBA, Finance, respectively, from the Lauder  Institute and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds an MS  Aeronautics/Astronautics and a BS Aeronautics/Astronautics, respectively, from Stanford University  and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Norihiko Saeki
Executive Director
JETRO Los Angeles
Biography

Norihiko Saeki

Executive Director
JETRO Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pierre Fitzgibbon

Minister of Economy and Innovation
National Assembly of Québec

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
Sharon Mustri
Analyst
BloombergNEF
Biography

Sharon Mustri

Analyst
BloombergNEF

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

Judy Johnson
Vice President, Client Accounts Manager
Jacobs
Biography

Judy Johnson

Vice President, Client Accounts Manager
Jacobs
Rick Cole
Executive Director
Congress for the New Urbanism
Biography

Rick Cole

Executive Director
Congress for the New Urbanism

Rick Cole is the Executive Director of the Congress for the New Urbanism which advocates for the architecture of community in America’s cities and towns. He also teaches urban policy at Occidental College and Pepperdine University.  He spent thirty years in public service, including stints as Deputy Mayor for the City of Los Angeles and City Manager in three California communities, Santa Monica, Ventura and Azusa.  Prior to that he spent twelve years on the Pasadena City Council, including a term as Mayor. The Los Angeles Times called him “one of Southern California’s most visionary planning thinkers.” He co-chairs ULI-LA’s Homelessness Initiative Council.

Cole has been recognized as one of “America's Public Officials of the Year” by Governing Magazine and one of the "Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers" by Government Technology Magazine. He has won numerous awards for municipal management excellence and urban planning leadership.

John Shegerian
Co-Founder & Executive Chairman
ERI
Biography

John Shegerian

Co-Founder & Executive Chairman
ERI

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

 
Janna Sidley
General Counsel
Port of Los Angeles
Biography

Janna Sidley

General Counsel
Port of Los Angeles

As General Counsel, Janna’s current responsibilities include management of the attorneys in the Harbor Division of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office serving as legal advisor to the Board of Harbor Commissioners, the Governing Boards of the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority and the Intermodal Container Facility Joint Powers Authority.  Janna joined the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office in 2003.  During her tenure, she has worked as a Criminal Trial Attorney for General Criminal Division, Workers’ Compensation Fraud and Special Litigation.  She prosecuted misdemeanor crimes, violations of workers’ compensation laws and unfair business practices with a special emphasis on violations of Business and Professionals Code Section 17200 and 17500.  Her experience as a Civil Attorney includes previous service at the Harbor Department and at the Department of Water and Power where she was responsible for all compliance requirements related to the implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) and National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”).  Janna’s legal experience also includes four years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s office.  In the Criminal Division, she was responsible for prosecuting a wide range of federal criminal offenses through all phases of the proceedings.  In the Civil Division, she defended the United States in complex civil litigation.  Her special emphasis was in Title VII Employment Discrimination and Federal Tort Claims Act cases.  Prior to her recruitment, Janna worked in politics, including several years at the White House.  Janna is also currently a Commissioner for The Little Hoover Commission and was awarded as Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2019 Municipal In-House Counsel of the Year. 

Ann Rogan
Sr. Advisor - Economic Development
Edge Collaborative
Biography

Ann Rogan

Sr. Advisor - Economic Development
Edge Collaborative

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

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

Dr. Aaron Hoskin

Senior Manager, Intergovernmental Initiatives, Fuel Diversification
Natural Resources Canada

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

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

Heather Arias

Transportation and Toxics Division Chief
California Air Resources Board

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

Kevin Maggay
Program Manager
SoCalGas
Biography

Kevin Maggay

Program Manager
SoCalGas

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

Darrell Steinberg
Mayor
City of Sacramento
Biography

Darrell Steinberg

Mayor
City of Sacramento

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

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

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

Adam Minter
Columnist
Bloomberg Columnist
Biography

Adam Minter

Columnist
Bloomberg Columnist

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

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

Charles Wilson
Executive Director and CEO
Southern California Water Coalition
Biography

Charles Wilson

Executive Director and CEO
Southern California Water Coalition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Joseph Cappello
Executive Officer
Iwatani
Biography

Joseph Cappello

Executive Officer
Iwatani

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

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

P. Kevin Smith

Managing Partner
IAG Mobility and Electrification Fund

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

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

 

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

Amy Ryan

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

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

Fiona Ma
State Treasurer
California
Biography

Fiona Ma

State Treasurer
California

Fiona Ma is an American politician and Certified Public Accountant. She was elected California State Treasurer on November 6, 2018 with more votes than any other candidate for Treasurer in the state's history and will be inaugurated on January 7, 2019. She served as a member of the California Board of Equalization since 2015 representing the 2nd district which covers 23 counties in California and a population of approximately 9.5 million people, Ma served in the California State Assembly (2006–2012) and on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (2002–2006).

A member of the Democratic Party, Ma was the first Asian American woman to serve as California Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore, the second highest ranking office in the California Assembly. Ma is also only the second Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to be elected to the Board of Equalization.[9] She was selected as Chairperson of the California Board of Equalization in 2016, ordered three external audits of the agency, and helped lead the biggest reforms for accountability and efficiency in that agency’s history.
Takahiro Obase
Program Manager
JGC Holdings Corporation
Biography

Takahiro Obase

Program Manager
JGC Holdings Corporation

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

In 2020, Takahiro transferred to the Sustainability Co-creation Department within JGC Holdings Corporation and has been working as program manager of plastic waste chemical recycling by gasification.
Steve Olson
Co-chair
World Trade Committee of Los Angeles
Biography

Steve Olson

Co-chair
World Trade Committee of Los Angeles
Rita Kampalath
Sustainability Program Director
LA County Chief Sustainability Office
Biography

Rita Kampalath

Sustainability Program Director
LA County Chief Sustainability Office

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

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

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.

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.

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

Samantha Bricker

Chief Sustainability and Revenue Management Officer
Los Angeles World Airports

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

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

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

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

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

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

Magid Elabyad

Vice President, International Programs
International Road Federation (IRF)

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

Bill Allen
President and CEO
LAEDC
Biography

Bill Allen

President and CEO
LAEDC

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Jory

Minister-Counsellor (Trade)
Embassy of Australia

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

Mark Pestrella
Director
Los Angeles County Public Works
Biography

Mark Pestrella

Director
Los Angeles County Public Works
Mark Pestrella is the Director of Los Angeles County Public Works. In this capacity, he serves as the County Engineer, the County Road Commissioner, and the Chief Engineer of the  Los Angeles County Flood Control District. 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. Public Works’ diverse operations are defined within six core service areas: Water Resources, Transportation, Environmental Services, Construction Management, Developmental Services, and Emergency Management.  
 
Mr. Pestrella is a licensed civil engineer and a 34-year veteran of Public Works and has held a variety of management positions. He is a native of Southern California and attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in civil engineering with concentrations in structural engineering and water resource management.
 
Ana Pacheco
Quality Assurance Manager
Homeboy Electronics
Biography

Ana Pacheco

Quality Assurance Manager
Homeboy Electronics
Philip Recht
Partner
Mayer Brown
Biography

Philip Recht

Partner
Mayer Brown

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

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

Ben Stapleton
Executive Director
US Green Building Council-LA
Biography

Ben Stapleton

Executive Director
US Green Building Council-LA

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

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

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

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

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

Kevin Minne
Biography

Kevin Minne

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

Moshik Mah
Design Principal
HDR
Biography

Moshik Mah

Design Principal
HDR

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

Tom Soto
Founder
Latimer Partners, LLC
Biography

Tom Soto

Founder
Latimer Partners, LLC

Tom Soto is a long-time investor in the impact sector, and a pioneering voice in the diversity in fund management and technology movement. He is the Founder and Managing Partner of Diverse Communities Impact Fund (DCIF). His leadership, voice and investments have stood at the dovetail of energy, Tech, cloud based and IoT efficiency programs in renewables, and to over many Fourth Industrial Revolution driven platforms where technology contributes to improving the human condition. All well challenging LP’s and tech platforms to embrace diversity and inclusion. This ranges from Fintech, to electric vehicle technology and policy, to political process and regulatory frameworks needed to promote the new economics driving the planet into a future of prosperity and abundance.

He is former Chairman and longtime boardmember of the New America Alliance, the national Latino business initiative seeking to increase access to capital for diverse fund managers and business leaders. Having sold his fund Craton Equity Partners to TCW in 2013, Tom became Managing Director of Alternatives at the $198b fund and was an Investment Committee Member of TCW/CratonAlternatives. Post transaction, Tom played a considerable role in TCW across all products, helping to lead in the development of new and innovative alternatives products. Tom is former member of the board of directors and current Sr. Advisor to Aspiration, the country’s fastest growing online bank and financial services platform. He is also Chair of the Advisory Board and a board member for Aura; the nation’s leading online micro finance lender based in Silicon Valley.

Tom has been a member of the board of companies such as Liquid Environmental Solutions, Propel Alternative Fuels, an advisor to other portfolio companies sucas Revolution Foods and Kabbage.com. Tom has a full understanding and body of history of sourcing opportunities, performing full due diligence, modeling, building organizational performance and measurement capacity along with building boards of directors and leading portfolio companies toward successful exits. 

Tom lives in Los Angeles with his husband of fifteen years, their ten year old son and their fifteen year old mini schnauzer

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

Emily Cloke

British Consul General in Los Angeles
UK Consulate General

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

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

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.

Kristen Torres Pawling
Sustainability Program Director
Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office
Biography

Kristen Torres Pawling

Sustainability Program Director
Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office

Kristen Torres Pawling is the 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.

Kohei Masaki
Hydrogen Strategy Consultant - Business Development
Toyota Motor North America
Biography

Kohei Masaki

Hydrogen Strategy Consultant - Business Development
Toyota Motor North America

Kohei Masaki is a Hydrogen Strategy Consultant in Business Development group in Toyota Motor North America (TMNA).

After 10-year experience for business consulting at Deloitte, Mr. Masaki started to work for Toyota to support hydrogen ecosystem development and Fuel Cell business development/expansion in the North America.

Currently his responsibility in Toyota is business planning and new business development of Fuel Cell Electric Heavy-duty Truck and other broader applications such as Bus, Cargo Handling Equipment, Stationary, etc., including communication/negotiation with external parties.

When he was Deloitte, he provided business consulting service mostly in automotive industry and has expertise in Strategy & Operation area such as new business entering strategy, business structure change strategy, mid-term plan development. Also, he had several projects relates to Fuel cell and Hydrogen industry in both US and Japan.

Imran Noorani
VP of Strategy & Corporate Development
Peak Power
Biography

Imran Noorani

VP of Strategy & Corporate Development
Peak Power

Imran Noorani is a clean technology and energy executive, with more than 15 years of experience navigating heavily regulated industries, growing organizations from start-up phases to IPO and numerous acquisitions. He is currently the VP of Strategy & Corporate Development at Peak.  

Prior to joining Peak, Imran was a Divisional President in the Ozz Group of Companies, where he led the amalgamation and restructuring of energy companies. In addition to his private sector experience, Imran has also held positions in the utility and public sectors of energy.

As a volunteer, Imran has held various Board positions at a local environmental charity, the Toronto Green Community (2008-2016). Imran has an MBA from the Schulich School of Business (2010), and a LLM in Energy & Infrastructure from Osgoode Hall Law School (2018). Imran is an avid scuba diver, a passionate home cook, and enjoys portaging through Canada in the summers.

Robert Grant
Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Social Impact
Cruise
Biography

Robert Grant

Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Social Impact
Cruise

As the Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Social Impact at Cruise, Robert spearheads Cruise’s legislative, regulatory, and policy priorities throughout the United States and abroad. Robert joined Cruise after spending more than 20 years working in and with governments, having held leadership positions in the United States Senate, the Department of Treasury, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Most recently, Robert led the global policy efforts for the self-driving startup, Aurora Innovation, and was a policy executive at the ridesharing company, Lyft. Robert earned his B.A. from the University of Virginia and his J.D. from Tulane University School of Law. He resides in Menlo Park, California, with his wife Colleen, four sons, and their Irish setter, Rosie.

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

Terry O'Day

Chief Operating Officer
In-Charge Energy

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

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

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

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

Ed Reyes
Executive Director
River LA
Biography

Ed Reyes

Executive Director
River LA

Ed P. Reyes is the Executive Director of River LA where he spearheads the organization’s efforts to revitalize all 51 miles of the LA River. Ed Reyes brings two decades of experience working in the public sector and improving the quality of life for all Angelenos, having served on the Los Angeles City Council for 22 years, 10 years as Chief Planning Deputy for District 1 and 12 years as City Councilmember. 

Both in his tenure on City Council and beyond, Ed has been a staunch advocate and champion for the Los Angeles River. During his time in City Council, and with the support of his Council colleagues, Ed established the Ad-Hoc River Committee to revitalize the Los Angeles River and served as Chair for 10 years. 

As chair of the Los Angeles River Ad Hoc Committee, Ed brought a renewed focus to the once-ignored Los Angeles River. He championed a multidisciplinary focus to promote a multi-purpose role along the river corridor and secured more than $3 million to create a neighborhood-driven plan that included enhancing water quality, environmental protection, increasing open space and improving flood control.

In 2007, Ed led a comprehensive community participation process that led to the adoption of the City of LA’s Los Angeles River Master Plan. The plan focuses on a regional strategy to address the deterioration of natural habitats while enhancing flood control capacity.

Ed was appointed by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis as an LA County Park Commissioner, and by then-Governor Jerry Brown to the governing board for the Designated Local Authority for Former Community Redevelopment Agency overseeing the transfer of assets and land use authority from the Community Redevelopment Agency. He is currently appointed to the Measure W Committee to facilitate the goals for implementing stormwater harvesting.

Dr. Joshua Schank
Managing Principal
InfraStrategies
Biography

Dr. Joshua Schank

Managing Principal
InfraStrategies

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

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

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

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.

Andy Marsh
President & CEO
Plug Power
Biography

Andy Marsh

President & CEO
Plug Power

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

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

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

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

Scott Saffian
General Manager-Western US
FLO
Biography

Scott Saffian

General Manager-Western US
FLO
Bob Blumenfield
Councilmember, District 3
LA City
Biography

Bob Blumenfield

Councilmember, District 3
LA City

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

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

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

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

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

Cecilia Estolano

CEO & Founder
Estolano Advisors and CEO of Better World Group

Cecilia V. Estolano is a leading expert on contemporary urban planning issues, with experience in economic and workforce development, land use, environmental policy, and urban revitalization. She has worked directly with public, private, institutional, and non-profit clients to plan, finance, design, implement, and operate policy-driven programs and projects that promote sustainable solutions tailored for each community.

Cecilia is a former Chair of the Regents of the University of California and has served as President of the California Community College Board of Governors. She received an A.B. from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges, an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA, and a J.D. from UC Berkeley. Prior to founding Estolano Advisors in 2011, Cecilia served as CEO of CRA/LA, practiced land use and environmental law while Of Counsel and an Associate at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, served as Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. EPA during the Clinton Administration, and served as Environmental Policy Advisor to former L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley. In addition to her work at Estolano Advisors, she became the CEO of Better World Group, an environmental strategy firm, in 2018. 

Sarah Montgomery
Economic & Trade Counsellor
British Embassy Washington
Biography

Sarah Montgomery

Economic & Trade Counsellor
British Embassy Washington
Frances Anderton
Fmr. Host and Producer
KCRW
Biography

Frances Anderton

Fmr. Host and Producer
KCRW

Frances Anderton covers architecture and design in Los Angeles, for print and broadcast. She is currently writing a book about multifamily housing in LA, entitled Common Ground. She spent many years as a host and producer at KCRW public radio station; her most recent project was a series of reports on waste, entitled Wasted: Neat Solutions to the Dirty Problem of Waste.  

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

Robert Ferrante

Chief Engineer & General Manager
Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts

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

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.

Matt Harper
Chief Commercial Officer
Invinity Energy Systems
Biography

Matt Harper

Chief Commercial Officer
Invinity Energy Systems

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

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

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

Greg Spotts
Chief Sustainability Officer
Streets LA
Biography

Greg Spotts

Chief Sustainability Officer
Streets LA

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

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

Martha Davis

Executive Manager (Retired)
Inland Empire Utilities Agency
Carlos Giménez
Deputy Consul General
Mexico Secretariat of Foreign Affairs
Biography

Carlos Giménez

Deputy Consul General
Mexico Secretariat of Foreign Affairs
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.

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

Philippe P. Huneault

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

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


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

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

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

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

Kevin Peng

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

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.    

 

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.

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. 

Hayato Nakazono
Manager, Pipeline Division
JFE Engineering
Biography

Hayato Nakazono

Manager, Pipeline Division
JFE Engineering

Hayato Nakazono is a civil / environmental engineer with over 10 years of experiences in the planning, design, construction, operation and management of water supply sector. He has worked for many water related projects not only in Japan but also in several other countries, such as Canada, Vietnam, Bolivia, Jordan and South Sudan, solving the water related problems for global clients.

He is currently JFE Engineering’s team leader for SPF Projects. SPF is the special product, developed for the pipeline to secure the water supply even after the severe earthquake and ground deformation, and it is very unique in the world.

At the current, Mr. Nakazono is a member of the techinical committee of Japan Water Steel Pipe Association, the secretary of sub-committee for design method of pipeline across fault planes in Japan Society of Civil Engineers.

He has a B.S. and M.S. in civil and environmental engineering and is registered as a Professional Engineer in Japan.

Benoit Charette
Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change
National Assembly of Québec
Biography

Benoit Charette

Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change
National Assembly of Québec

Born in Saint-Jérôme on July 19, 1976, Benoit Charette has been Member of the National Assembly for the Deux-Montagnes riding in the Laurentides region since December 8, 2008. He was appointed Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change on January 8, 2019.

After graduating from the École nationale d’administration publique and Université du Québec à Montréal, Minister Charette got involved early on in international work, first as a volunteer aid worker in Haiti in 1995 then at the Délégation générale du Québec in Mexico City and the Ministère des Relations internationales du Québec. He subsequently became a program manager at the Agence intergouvernementale de la Francophonie.

Mr. Charette’s social engagement includes his role as Executive Director of the Forum jeunesse des Laurentides from 2003 to 2005. Subsequently and until 2008, he served as Local Programs Manager for the Jules and Paul-Émile Léger Foundation. Over the years he has been a member of the Boards of Directors of several community organizations.

 

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.

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

Toru Sugiura

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

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

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

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

 
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.

Mickey Kantor
Partner, Mayer Brown LLP
Former US Secretary of Commerce
Biography

Mickey Kantor

Partner, Mayer Brown LLP
Former US Secretary of Commerce

Mickey Kantor concentrates his practice on corporate and financial international transactions. He has extensive experience in market access issues, as well as the expansion of client activities in foreign markets through trade, direct investment, joint ventures, and strategic business alliances.

Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Mickey was the United States Secretary of Commerce (1996-1997) and the United States Trade Representative (1993-1996). He has been called “arguably the finest trade negotiator in the world” (Chambers Global 2006) and is said to be “blessed with fantastic political insights and connections” (Chambers USA2007).

He was recognized in The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers-Trade & Customs 2009. Among them any awards and honors he has received are the following: the Order of the Southern Cross Award by The Government of Brazil, 2001, the William O. Douglas Award by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the Thomas Jefferson Distinguished Public Service Medal from the Center for the Study of the Presidency, the Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award from the Hugh O'Brien Youth Foundation, and Elihu Root Distinguished Lecturer, Council on Foreign Relations.

Harry Chandler
Chair
River LA
Biography

Harry Chandler

Chair
River LA
Heather Repenning
Executive Officer of Sustainability Policy
LA Metro
Biography

Heather Repenning

Executive Officer of Sustainability Policy
LA Metro

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

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

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

Miguel Sangalang

Deputy Mayor for Budget & Innovation
City of Los Angeles

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

Effie Turnbull Sanders
Executive Director
SLATE-Z
Biography

Effie Turnbull Sanders

Executive Director
SLATE-Z

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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.

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. Nate Baguio Senior Vice President of Commercial Development.

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.

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.

 

Bob Foster
Board Member
EPCOR Utilities
Biography

Bob Foster

Board Member
EPCOR Utilities

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

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.

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

Liz Crosson

Chief Sustainability, Resiliency, Innovation Officer
Metropolitan Water District

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

Previously, Crosson was a sustainability consultant for the Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office, and is currently an adjunct instructor in urban sustainability at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. As director of infrastructure for the city of Los Angeles from 2018 to 2021, Crosson was Mayor Eric Garcetti’s policy lead on water, power, waste and public right of way infrastructure issues. From 2017 to 2018, she served as the city’s deputy chief sustainability officer and was the city’s first appointed water policy advisor. She served as executive director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper from 2010-2015. Liz Crosson joined Mayor Eric Garcetti's Sustainability Team as Water Policy Advisor after serving as the Executive Director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper for five years. Liz led Waterkeeper’s efforts to protect, conserve and restore Los Angeles' waterways through advocacy, community education and litigation. She previously worked with Lawyers for Clean Water, Inc. where she represented non-profit organizations in water pollution enforcement actions. She has a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School with an emphasis in environmental law.

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.

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. 

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.

 
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.

Enrique Zaldivar
CEO
Baldwin Park
Biography

Enrique Zaldivar

CEO
Baldwin Park

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


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

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


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

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

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

 

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.
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.

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).

Ran Kedem
CEO
Reali Technologies Ltd.
Biography

Ran Kedem

CEO
Reali Technologies Ltd.

Ran Kedem is the CEO of Reali Technologies Ltd. the developer of RealiteQ – IIoT & Cloud computing holistic solution for digital transformation. Ran has two academic degrees: MBA, and BSc in Water and soil sciences. Ran has vast experience in water technologies and water efficiency projects worldwide. Ran is a member of the Steering Committee for "International Standards for Water in the Smart City".

Nate Taylor
Commercial Development Manager
SoCalGas
Biography

Nate Taylor

Commercial Development Manager
SoCalGas

Nate Taylor is a Project Manager at SoCalGas where he is focused on new business development in the areas of Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs), biogas, and Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). In Nate’s former role at San Diego Gas & Electric he specialized in Energy Efficiency (EE) and Demand Response (DR) for the Emerging Technologies Program, managing the analysis of new and underutilized technologies through assessments, market behavior studies, scaled field placements, technology development support, and business incubation. Previously Nate worked as a Distribution Operations Engineer designing and managing the construction of utility infrastructure. Nate has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego.

Jason Chua
Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder
Universal Hydrogen
Biography

Jason Chua

Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder
Universal Hydrogen

Jason has worked at Google, Acubed, and UTC. At Acubed, Jason developed the modular aircraft interiors platform, Transpose, and, at UTC he built UT Advanced Projects, the company’s Skunkworks organization responsible for the Project 804 hybrid-electric flight demonstrator.  

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.

Neil Millar
Vice President of Infrastructure and Operations Planning
CAISO
Biography

Neil Millar

Vice President of Infrastructure and Operations Planning
CAISO

Neil Millar, Vice President of Infrastructure and Operations Planning at the California Independent System Operator (ISO), leads the division responsible for its transmission planning, infrastructure contracts,
operations engineering services, and generation interconnection processes.

Prior to joining the California ISO in November of 2010, he was with Alberta’s Utilities Consumer Advocate, the Alberta Electric System Operator, and TransAlta Utilities, then a vertically-integrated utility.

Mr. Millar earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree at the University of Saskatchewan and is a Professional Engineer registered in Alberta, Canada.

Dan Lafferty
Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works
Biography

Dan Lafferty

Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works
Dan Lafferty has over 30 years of public service experience working for Los Angeles County Public Works.  He has served in a variety of positions during his career, nearly all within Public Works’ Water Resources Core Service Area where he currently serves as the Deputy Director.  Dan is responsible for managing the 
Los Angeles County Flood Control District, stormwater quality compliance efforts within the County unincorporated areas, and the Los Angeles County Waterworks Districts.
Dan has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Marquette University and a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School.  He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of California and a member of the California Bar.
 
Rachel Malarich
City Forest Officer
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Rachel Malarich

City Forest Officer
City of Los Angeles

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

 

 

Guy Meiri
Head of Business Development
IOSight
Biography

Guy Meiri

Head of Business Development
IOSight

Guy is a seasoned business development professional with over 20 years of diverse experience in strategy, business development, sales and management. Guy joined IOSight in 2019 and leads business development and sales of the company's water-specific data management and analytics solutions in global markets. Guy worked for leading companies, including IBM, Deloitte, PwC and Maccabi Healthcare focusing on digital and data analytics innovation and programs.

Guy co-founded a cleantech Start-Up which focused on clean-up of environmental resources.

Guy holds an MBA from Tel-Aviv University and an LL.B. from the Hebrew University.

Dr. Babak Adeli
Director of R&D
Acuva Tech
Biography

Dr. Babak Adeli

Director of R&D
Acuva Tech

Babak is a technology developer and leader, gained extensive research and engineering expertise through 10+ years of experience in academia and industry. His experiences span several aspects, including modeling, simulation, and control, as well as nanofabrication of semiconductors, electrochemistry and optoelectronics. Babak is responsible for development of UV disinfection technologies and related products at Acuva Technologies. Babak is a PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the University of British Columbia, where Acuva’s patented UV-LED disinfection technology was first developed and validated.

Kenny Miyagi
Business Development Manager
JFE Engineering America, Inc.
Biography

Kenny Miyagi

Business Development Manager
JFE Engineering America, Inc.

Mr. Kenny Miyagi is the business development manager at JFE Engineering America, Inc. which is a fully own by its parent company, JFE Engineering Corporation, Japan. Since its U.S. corporation was established back in 2012, he has been reaching out to the public and private sectors to promote the products and technologies to the U.S. markets in the field of environment, oil and gas, and renewable energy sectors. He was one of the personnel involved in a project where JFE had provided the support to complete the mission for “Zero Waste Progress Report” for the city of LA Department of Public Works in 2013 and he was also the part of the project team with HDR, Tetra Tech to create the white paper called “Comparative Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Analysis of Alternative Scenarios for Waste Treatment and/or Disposal” for the county of Los Angeles Department of Public Works in 2016. This report has provided the guideline for the ideal future waste management by focusing on the reduction of GHG throughout the waste management practices. He has been with JFE for the last 15 years and currently promoting a seismic steel pipe for water resiliency by discussing with major water agencies in the Western United States and Canada where seismic design in their water pipelines system might be a critical issue for their infrastructures. Prior to his current position at JFE Engineering America, Inc.; he had worked as a contractor representative and technical manager for JFE group where JFE served as a military contractor for the United State Department of Defense, Defense Logistics Agency. He was responsible for contract negotiations, contract executions for the company.

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

Lauren Faber O'Connor

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.

Rob Gramlich
Founder & President
Grid Strategies LLC
Biography

Rob Gramlich

Founder & President
Grid Strategies LLC

Rob Gramlich is Founder and President of Grid Strategies LLC where he provides economic policy analysis for clients on electric transmission and power markets in pursuit of low-cost de-carbonization.  He serves as Executive Director of Americans for a Clean Energy Grid, Executive Director of the WATT Coalition, on the board of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy Foundation, on the Advisory Council for the Energy Systems Integration Group, on the Advisory Board of the National Regulatory Research Institute’s Regulatory Training Institute, and on the DOE “Beyond LCOE” External Advisory Board.

Rob oversaw transmission and power market policy for the American Wind Energy Association from 2005 through 2016 as Senior Vice President for Government and Public Affairs, Interim CEO, and Policy Director. He was Economic Advisor to FERC Chairman Pat Wood III from 2001 to 2005, Senior Economist at PJM Interconnection in 1999 and 2000, Senior Associate at PG&E National Energy Group in 2000-2001, and an analyst at the FERC Office of Economic Policy, ICF Resources, the World Resources Institute, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the 1990s. He testifies frequently before the US Congress, US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), US Department of Energy, and state legislatures and regulatory commissions.  He has served on advisory committees for the U.S. Department of Energy and the North American Energy Standards Board, on boards of a number of regional clean energy organizations, as Vice Chair of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, and as Interim Executive Director of the Wind Energy Foundation (now Wind-Solar Alliance).

Sara Neff
Head of ESG
Lendlease Americas
Biography

Sara Neff

Head of ESG
Lendlease Americas

Sara Neff is the Head of ESG, Lendlease Americas, where she provides leadership and management oversight in developing, implementing and driving Lendlease's corporate sustainability framework in the Americas region. Prior to that role, she served as Senior Vice President, Sustainability at Kilroy Realty Corporation. Under her leadership, Kilroy has been recognized as a leader among publicly traded real estate companies on sustainability in the Americas by GRESB for seven of the last eight years as well as being recognized by NAREIT, and achieved carbon neutral operations at the end of 2020. She is a LEED Fellow and holds a BS from Stanford and an MBA from Columbia Business School.