Speakers for VX2017

Ann Gray
Principal
GRAY Real Estate Advisors
Biography

Ann Gray

Principal
GRAY Real Estate Advisors

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

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

Mary Nichols

Co-Chair
Commission on the Future of Mobility

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

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

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

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.

Ryan McCarthy
Science and Technology Policy Advisor
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Ryan McCarthy

Science and Technology Policy Advisor
California Air Resources Board

Ryan is the Science and Technology Policy Advisor to the Chair at the California Air Resources Board (CARB).  He is a leader in shaping California’s efforts to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote zero emission vehicles, and reduce emissions of methane and other short-lived climate pollutants.  Prior to his appointment at CARB by Governor Jerry Brown in 2011, McCarthy was a Science and Technology Policy Fellow in the office of California Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter.  Ryan received his master’s and doctorate degrees in civil and environmental engineering from UC Davis and bachelor’s degree in structural engineering from UC San Diego.

Wayne Ratkovich
President and CEO
The Ratkovich Company
Biography

Wayne Ratkovich

President and CEO
The Ratkovich Company

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Thurston
Business Development Manager
Waste Management Sustainability Services
Biography

Brian Thurston

Business Development Manager
Waste Management Sustainability Services

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

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

Eric Denhoff
Deputy Minister
Alberta Climate Change Office
Biography

Eric Denhoff

Deputy Minister
Alberta Climate Change Office
Robert Weisenmiller
Chairman
California Energy Commission
Biography

Robert Weisenmiller

Chairman
California Energy Commission

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

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

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

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

Andrew Chastain-Howley

Director, Water System Efficiency
Black & Veatch

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

Kelli Bernard
Chief Executive, Los Angeles Metro Area
AECOM
Biography

Kelli Bernard

Chief Executive, Los Angeles Metro Area
AECOM

Kelli Bernard is chief executive for the Los Angeles Metro+ region of AECOM, a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm headquartered in Los Angeles. 

With more than 2,000 employees in the Los Angeles and Southern California area, Kelli is responsible for building on AECOM’s strategies to deliver its integrated services to meet the infrastructure and business needs of public and private sector clients. Her extensive background in economic development and deep relationships in the Southern California region are valuable assets as AECOM looks to enhance its market presence. AECOM is the largest company headquartered in Los Angeles.

Kelli has more than 20 years of experience in economic development, land use planning, housing, redevelopment and public affairs. She also has in-depth knowledge of public/private partnerships, public finance and infrastructure investment.

Prior to joining AECOM, Kelli served as the deputy mayor of economic development for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. In this role as the city’s top economic advisor, Kelli championed business growth, economic development and job creation in Los Angeles.  She managed eight city departments including the Los Angeles World Airports and the Port of Los Angeles, with combined budgets of more than $6 billion and more than 7,000 employees.

Kelli was also responsible for the development and implementation of the city’s International Trade policy, and was instrumental in the overseeing Garcetti’s Asia Trade Mission, where she led a delegation of business leaders to China, South Korea and Japan. She gave the keynote address at the 2015 Kaohsiung International Harbor Cities Conference which explored strategies for transforming industrial port cities through urban innovation, infrastructure investment, and land use redevelopment.

Prior to her position as deputy mayor, she was director of economic development at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the largest municipality in the United States, where she led the department’s Clean Technology Initiative that culminated in the development of the $40M La Kretz Innovation Campus.

Earlier in her career, Kelli worked as director of planning and economic development for Mayor Garcetti when he served as president of the Los Angeles City Council. In this role, she oversaw key development activities, including the $110 million Emerson College and the $390 million mixed-used Columbia Square projects.

Kelli is a commissioner for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), an organization created in 1993 to address the challenges of homelessness in Los Angeles. She also serves on the boards for the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce and Town Hall Los Angeles.

Kelli holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning from University of California, Los Angeles, and a BA in Sociology from University of California, Berkeley.

Kerry Cavanaugh
Editoral Writer
Los Angeles Times
Biography

Kerry Cavanaugh

Editoral Writer
Los Angeles Times

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

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

Lew Horne

Divisional President, Southern California, Arizona and Hawaii
CBRE

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

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

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

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

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

Professional Affiliations

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

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

-  Woodbury University, Board Member

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

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

-  Big Brothers / Big Sisters, Board of Directors 

Awards & achievements

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

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

-  Manager Innovation Award (2010)

-  Manager of the Year Award, Nationwide (2003)

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

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

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

EDUCATION

University of Southern California, Bachelor of Science in Business

Vince Bertoni
Director of Planning
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Vince Bertoni

Director of Planning
City of Los Angeles

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

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

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

David Fransen
Chief Strategy Officer
Next Generation Manufacturing Canada
Biography

David Fransen

Chief Strategy Officer
Next Generation Manufacturing Canada

Over his 34-year career, David has served as a senior executive in government, academia and the diplomatic corps. He provided strategic leadership across a wide range of economic policy and program sectors as a senior official at the Privy Council Office and Health Canada, as an Assistant Deputy Minister at Industry Canada, as the first Executive Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing, and as Canada’s Consul General in Los Angeles.

David is also a former Special Advisor to the President of the National Research Council, former Chair of the Waterloo Innovation Summit, and a member of the boards of Waterloo Economic Development Corporation, the Institute for Quantum Computing, and Quantum-Safe Canada. He led in the creation, and then served as a member, of the founding Board of Governors of the Council of Canadian Academies. He also served as a member of the board of directors of Canadian Commercial Corporation, the Standards Council of Canada, and as Secretary of the Minister of Industry Canada’s Expert Panel on Commercialization chaired by Joe Rotman.

David has a PhD from the University of Toronto, a BA and MA from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor of Theology from Canadian Mennonite University. He is currently a Fellow of the Public Policy Forum.

Robb Whitaker
General Manager
Water Replenishment District
Biography

Robb Whitaker

General Manager
Water Replenishment District

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

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

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

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.

Catherine Reheis-Boyd
President
Western States Petroleum Association
Biography

Catherine Reheis-Boyd

President
Western States Petroleum Association

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Heurtel

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

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

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

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

Shad Balch
Manager, New Product and Public Policy Communications
General Motors
Biography

Shad Balch

Manager, New Product and Public Policy Communications
General Motors
Traci Minamide, PE, BCEE
Chief Operating Officer
City of Los Angeles, LA Sanitation & Environment (LASAN)
Biography

Traci Minamide, PE, BCEE

Chief Operating Officer
City of Los Angeles, LA Sanitation & Environment (LASAN)

Traci serves as Chief Operating Officer for City of Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment (LASAN), a department of over 3,500 employees with an annual revenue of over $1billion. She has been with the City for over 30 years serving in many capacities, including wastewater treatment, water reclamation, biosolids, water planning, environmental regulations, stormwater management, and solid resources.

Traci holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, a Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from Loyola Marymount University, and certification in Executive Management for State and Local Government from Harvard University. She is also a licensed professional Civil Engineer in the State of California and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer through the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. She is past President of the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) and currently serves on the Board of the Southern California Alliance of POTWs (SCAP). Traci also served as a member of the State of California’s Advisory Panel on Direct Potable Reuse.

Joe Galliani
Chair
South Bay Clean Power
Biography

Joe Galliani

Chair
South Bay Clean Power

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

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

 

 

Steve Sullivan
Former Managing Director
Southern California Edison
Biography

Steve Sullivan

Former Managing Director
Southern California Edison

Steve Sullivan retired from Edison International (EIX) on October 1, 2013, after 35 years with the company. Edison is the parent company of Southern California Edison, a regulated electric utility.

As an executive of SCE, Mr. Sullivan led two of its largest organizations dedicated to serving government customers: first as Director of Local Public Affairs, and second as Director of Government & Institutions within the Customer Service organization.

After retiring from SCE, Mr. Sullivan has remained active in the utility space by providing consultative services to companies, and in some instances has taken a “hands-on” role with start-up companies, especially with those that provide cutting-edge technologies and/or play a role in shaping public policy issues affecting the electric industry in California. Some of his recent business ventures include:

Advanced Rail Energy Storage (2014 to 2019)

Sullivan served as COO of ARES, a firm pioneering the use of electric locomotive technology for large-scale energy storage. By providing a completely non-polluting and low-cost solution the need for grid scale storage and grid stability, ARES will allow America and the world to successfully and reliably integrate unprecedented amounts of clean energy. ARES anticipates bringing its first large-scale project (50 megawatts) on-line in 2020.

ICE ENERGY (2014 to 2017)

Sullivan served as an advisor to the Ice Energy Board. Ice Energy is the leading provider of smart grid-enabled, distributed energy storage to the utility industry. It delivers cost-effective solutions at grid-scale to reduce peak demand, improve energy system efficiency and reliability, and transform the way the utility system operates.

BUSINESS RADAR (2014 to 2015)

Sullivan served as a board member of iRestore, Business Radar. IRestore provides first responders (e.g. police and fire) with an intelligent mobile service that can instantly connect and communicate with local utilities – the iRestores product and protocols helps utility workers assess damage to the electric grid and respond more effectively to emergencies.  

EMPIRE WATER (2014 to 2018)

Sullivan, a former minority owner of Empire Water Corporation (EWC). EWC formed in 2008 to purchase assets of the West Riverside Canal Company (WRCC) and the 350” Mutual Water Company, located in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Both Companies were formed in 1888, and have operated more or less continuously since that time. EWC owns and manages the only private canal in the region, in addition to owning and/or controlling significant water resources. For over 100 years, the WRCC transported roughly 10,000 acre-feet/year of water from San Bernardino to Riverside County.

 

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

Michael Woo

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

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

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

Mark Callaway

Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager
Morgan Stanley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Harvey

Managing Director of Corporate Sustainability
The NASDAQ OMX Group

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

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

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

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

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.

RADM Len Hering
Executive Director
Center for Sustainable Energy
Biography

RADM Len Hering

Executive Director
Center for Sustainable Energy

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

Mark Wallenrod
Director, Demand Side Management Programs
Southern California Edison
Biography

Mark Wallenrod

Director, Demand Side Management Programs
Southern California Edison

Mark Wallenrod is the Director of Demand Side Management (DSM) Programs at Southern California Edison Company (SCE). He manages one of the largest DSM portfolios in the country with over 100 energy efficiency, economic assistance, and demand response programs and an annual budget in excess of $1 billion dollars. SCE’s clean energy programs serve almost 14 million customers and save over 1 billion kwh and 1300 Mw annually. Mark also represents SCE on demand side management issues before regulatory authorities, state power agencies, and industry and trade groups. 

Mark has more than 25 years of experience at SCE leading major regulatory and strategic initiatives, and developing and implementing DSM programs. He has previously worked for Regulatory Policy and Affairs, where he managed General Rate Case proceedings, and held positions in Customer Service as the manager of Business, Regulatory and Consumer Affairs, and manager of Tariff Programs and Services.

Prior to joining SCE, Mark was employed as an energy consultant for TRW Energy Engineering and as a consulting engineer for the power plant technical center of Davy McKee Corporation. Mark was also a research fellow for the Department of Energy at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Mark holds a Master of Science degree in Energy Management and Policy from the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently serving on the DSM Executive Council (E-Source) and boards of the National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO) and Consortium of Energy Efficiency (CEE). Mark was also appointed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to serve on the Low Income Oversight Board (LIOB), an advisory board to the CPUC on electric and gas low income customer issues.

Adel Hagekhalil
General Manager
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Biography

Adel Hagekhalil

General Manager
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

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

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.

Gene Sykes
CEO
LA 2024
Biography

Gene Sykes

CEO
LA 2024

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

Danny Kennedy
Managing Director
California Clean Energy Fund
Biography

Danny Kennedy

Managing Director
California Clean Energy Fund

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

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

Alex Beavers
Chief Innovation Officer
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Biography

Alex Beavers

Chief Innovation Officer
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

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

Mel Levine
President
LADWP Board of Commissioners
Biography

Mel Levine

President
LADWP Board of Commissioners

Mel Levine is counsel in the Century City office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.  He served as a member of the United States Congress from 1983 until 1993 and as a member of the California Assembly from 1977 to 1982.  He is a member of the California bar and the District of Columbia bar.

Mr. Levine’s practice concentrates on counseling clients on the Public Policy aspects of complex domestic and international transactions.  His clients have included companies involved in a range of industries, including banking, transportation, high technology, energy, entertainment, health care, defense, manufacturing, construction and telecommunications.

Mr. Levine was named one of the “100 Most Influential” lawyers in California and has been consistently recognized by his peers as one of The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Administrative and Regulatory Law, most recently in their 2019 publication.  The Los Angeles Business Journal has listed him repeatedly, as one of the “500 Most Influential People in Los Angeles.”  Mr. Levine is the President of the Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners, on the Advisory Board of the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California (Berkeley), and a Director of the Pacific Council on International Policy.  Mr. Levine has served as U.S. Chair of the U.S.-Israel-Palestinian “Anti-Incitement” committee established by the Wye Plantation peace agreement, as a Presidential appointee to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, as a U.S. government appointee to the U.S. – Israel Science and Technology Advisory Commission as President of the American Friends of the (Yitzhak) Rabin Center in Israel, and as Board Chair of the Los Angeles Police Foundation.

Mr. Levine’s Congressional committee assignments included the Committee on Foreign Affairs and its subcommittees on International Economic Policy and Trade, Europe and the Middle East, and Asia; the Committee on the Judiciary and its subcommittee on Intellectual Property; and the Committee on the Interior and Insular Affairs.  Mr. Levine was especially engaged in U.S. foreign policy involving international trade and Middle East policy.  He served as Chair of the House Task Force on Exports.  He also served as co-chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and chair of the Democratic Caucus Task Force on Latin America.  Mr. Levine founded and co-chaired Rebuild America, an educational foundation to improve American competitiveness by increasing support for high-technology industries, improving education and rebuilding infrastructure.  Between 1993 and 1997, Mr. Levine served, at the request of Vice President Gore, as co-President of Builders for Peace, the private sector effort to assist the Middle East peace process.

Mr. Levine received his law degree cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1969, a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University in 1966, and a bachelor’s degree cum laude from the University of California at Berkeley in 1964.

Mr. Levine is married to journalist Connie Bruck, a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine.  They have four children, Adam Levine, Jake Levine, Cara Levine and Ari Schlossberg.

Ellen Greenberg
Deputy Director for Sustainability
California Department of Transportation
Biography

Ellen Greenberg

Deputy Director for Sustainability
California Department of Transportation

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

Thomas Cain
Found and CEO
Sustainability Partners
Biography

Thomas Cain

Found and CEO
Sustainability Partners

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Teveia Barnes
Executive Director
California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank
Biography

Teveia Barnes

Executive Director
California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank

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

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

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

Allan Emkin
Managing Principal
Meketa Investment Group
Biography

Allan Emkin

Managing Principal
Meketa Investment Group

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

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

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

 

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

Akira Chiba

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

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

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

Osama Younan

Executive Officer
Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety

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

Susan Kennedy
‎Founder & CEO
Advanced Microgrid Solutions
Biography

Susan Kennedy

‎Founder & CEO
Advanced Microgrid Solutions

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

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

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

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

Bill Hanway
Executive Vice President
AECOM
Biography

Bill Hanway

Executive Vice President
AECOM

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

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

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

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

David Pogue
Global Director of Corporate Responsibility
CBRE
Biography

David Pogue

Global Director of Corporate Responsibility
CBRE

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

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

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

Sanjay Ranchod

Director & Counsel, Business Development & Policy
Tesla

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

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

John Laird
Secretary
California Natural Resources Agency
Biography

John Laird

Secretary
California Natural Resources Agency

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

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

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).

Jeff Berk
Senior Vice President
AECOM
Biography

Jeff Berk

Senior Vice President
AECOM

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

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

Martin Adams
General Manager & Chief Engineer
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Biography

Martin Adams

General Manager & Chief Engineer
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Martin Adams is the General Manager and Chief Engineer of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation’s largest publicly-owned utility.  He took over the leadership role in July 2019 after three years as the agency’s Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the City’s water and power systems.     

He leads an organization of more than 10,000 employees delivering water and power to the 4 million residents of Los Angeles.  Mr. Adams has more than 35 years of experience with at LADWP, where he started in 1984 as an entry level engineer in the Water System, eventually leading that organization as the Senior Assistant General Manager of Water.  During the course of his career, Mr. Adams worked throughout the Water System and was directly involved with the planning and implementation of major changes to water storage, conveyance, and treatment facilities to meet new water quality regulations.  He has spent almost half of his career in system operations, including ten years as the Director of Water Operations in charge of the day-to-day operation and maintenance of the Los Angeles water delivery system, including the Los Angeles Aqueduct and other supply sources, pump stations, reservoirs, water treatment, and management of Water System properties. 

Mr. Adams is a native of the greater Los Angeles area and lives with his family in Burbank, where he served for nine years on that city’s Water and Power board.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Quay Hays
Principal and CEO
GROW Holdings LLC
Biography

Quay Hays

Principal and CEO
GROW Holdings LLC

Quay Hays has been on the forefront of renewable energy and “green” development throughout California. 

As principal and CEO of GROW Holdings LLC (Grow Renewable Organic & Water), Mr. Hays is overseeing one of the largest renewable energy-powered environmental projects in the world, the planning and development of a “green” city of 22,000 homes located on 7,200 acres in Central California which incorporates innovations in solar energy, sustainable design, technical integration and 21st century building methodology.

In addition to growing up on construction sites as the son and grandson of real estate developers, Mr. Hays has over 25 years’ experience in real estate, company capitalizations, and marketing. His real estate experiences encompass project management, entitlements, land planning, complex financings, home building, and sales and acquisitions. 

Mr. Hays is the past Chairman of the California Economic Summit’s Regulatory Reform Committee and led the Open Data team in helping the state of California establish its Open Data Policy. Mr. Hays serves on the board of the Palisades Malibu YMCA, The State of the Future Organization, and the Milken Institute’s Central Valley Initiative and is an active supporter of numerous environmental groups including The Sierra Club and NRDC. 

Mr. Hays is the author of the Life’s Golden Rules series of books, including Bottom Lines, The Golden Rules for Executive Success.

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.

Liane Randolph
Chair
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Liane Randolph

Chair
California Air Resources Board

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

Jay Jacobs
Managing Director
Sustainability Partners
Biography

Jay Jacobs

Managing Director
Sustainability Partners

Prior to joining SP Jay spent 17 years on Wall Street launching and growing three premier boutique investment banks as a Founding Partner, Head of Sales and Capital Markets for Wessels, Arnold and Henderson, DRW (now Royal Bank of Canada) and Thomas Weisel Partners (now Stifel Financial). He then spent the next 15 years launching and building alternative investment platforms such as Thomas Weisel Partners Asset Management and Crossover Venture Partners in various leadership positions including CEO and Senior Portfolio Manager. Throughout his Wall Street career Jay worked with many of the world’s most important investment managers, investors and growth companies.

Jay attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Business. He also served as a Board Member for UW’s Graduate School of Business and is a member of UW’s Beacon Hill Society. Jay is also an alumnus of the Applied Security Analysis Program.

Harlan Kelly
General Manager
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Harlan Kelly

General Manager
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

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

Andy Mannle
VP of Strategic Development
Promise Energy
Biography

Andy Mannle

VP of Strategic Development
Promise Energy

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

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

Dr. Kelly Sanders

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Southern California

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

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

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

Hector De La Torre
Board Member
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Hector De La Torre

Board Member
California Air Resources Board

Hector De La Torre is the Executive Director of Gasol Foundation US, a national nonprofit dedicated to children’s health and wellness. He is also Chair of the board at LA Care, the largest public nonprofit health plan in the United States, and a trustee at his alma mater Occidental College in Los Angeles.

De La Torre served in the California State Assembly from 2004 to 2010, representing the largely Latino 50th District in Southeast Los Angeles County. He chaired the Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, the Rules Committee and helped create and chaired the Accountability and Administrative Review Committee during his tenure.

De La Torre was the Executive Director of the national non-profit Transamerica Center for Health Studies.

Prior to his service in the Assembly, he served as Mayor and as a member of the South Gate City Council, Judicial Administrator in the Los Angeles Superior Court, chief of staff to the Deputy Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, and a teacher at Edison Junior High in South Los Angeles.

De La Torre graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Diplomacy and World Affairs from Occidental College and attended the Elliot School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. He lives in South Gate.

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

Go Mizoguchi

General Manager
Mitsui & Co. (USA)

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

James Villeneuve
Consul General
Canadian Consulate-Los Angeles
Biography

James Villeneuve

Consul General
Canadian Consulate-Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kevin Kampschroer

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

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

Walter Spansel
Vice President and Transmission Officer
NV Energy
Biography

Walter Spansel

Vice President and Transmission Officer
NV Energy

Walter Spansel is vice president and transmission officer, responsible for all real time operations, accountable for transmission strategy, services, system planning, engineering, asset management, operations, reliability and project delivery for NV Energy, a Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company.

Mr. Spansel was previously an executive with Southern California Edison, serving as director of transmission and also served as director of operations at Entergy Corporation, having progressed through several management assignments. He was also previously president and chief executive officer of a consulting firm and partner of an electrical engineering firm.

Mr. Spansel earned a bachelor of science in electrical engineering and a master in business administration from the University of New Orleans, a Louisiana State University system school. He also participated in an Executive Development Program of The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Spansel currently serves on the board of trustees of Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and previously served on the board of directors of the North American Transmission Forum.

Bob Sipchen
Senior Editor, California Section
Los Angeles Times
Biography

Bob Sipchen

Senior Editor, California Section
Los Angeles Times

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

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

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

James T. Butts
Mayor
Inglewood, CA
Biography

James T. Butts

Mayor
Inglewood, CA

On February 1, 2011, James T. Butts, Jr. was sworn in as Inglewood’s 12th mayor. James Butts has  50 years of public safety and municipal government experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from California State University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from California Polytechnic University. Mayor Butts has held the rank of CEO, general manager or assistant general manager of three large municipal organizations. He served 19 years in the Inglewood Police Department, rising to the rank of Deputy Chief, 15 years as the Chief of Police for the City of Santa Monica, and five years as an assistant general manager for Los Angeles World Airports in charge of Public Safety and Counterterrorism, taking LAX to a NUMBER 1 ranking nationwide by the TSA in 2009. He is a 7-year Board member and past Chairman of the Los Angeles METRO Board of Directors.

In 2011, Mayor Butts negotiated with Madison Square Garden to renovate the Forum. In 2016, the Forum became the #1 concert venue in California. Mayor Butts secured the reinstatement of the then federally defunded Residential Sound Insulation Program by obtaining over $100 million in grant funding. Inglewood now operates the #1 Residential Sound Insulation Program in the country. On November 4, 2014, James T. Butts was re-elected Mayor of Inglewood with over 83% of the votes cast—the highest margin of victory in Inglewood electoral history.  He was again re-elected in 2018.

In 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, Mayor Butts was named one of the 500 most influential leaders in LA County by the Los Angeles Business Journal. His business expertise prevented bankruptcy in a city that Bond Rating agencies had ceased to rate for bond worthiness as late as 2010. Mayor Butts negotiated the return of the NFL to Southern California.  Both the Rams and Chargers played home games in Inglewood commencing the 2020 season.

In June of 2017, Mayor Butts led the City to open negotiations with the Los Angeles Clippers with the mutual intent of relocating the Clippers to Inglewood into a cutting edge NBA arena.  The Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles relocated to Inglewood from Marina Del Rey in 2019.

In 2021, the LA Philharmonic relocated its Youth Orchestra Program (YOLA) to Inglewood; YouTube opened a 6,000 seat theater in Inglewood. and the NFL Network relocated from Culver City to Inglewood; in 2022 Showtime opened 115,000 Square Feet Production Studio in the north end industrial area of the City.  In February of 2022, Super Bowl LVI was held in Inglewood and the Rams were victorious; in 2023, the NCAA Championship Bowl game will take place in Inglewood and WrestleMania will be held here as well.  By 2024, the Clippers will open a state of the art NBA arena – The Intuit Dome – in Inglewood. Finally, in 2028, the Olympic Games will open in Inglewood, California and Olympic Basketball and Swimming competitions will occur in the resurrected City of Champions. 

 

 

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. 

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

Amanda Eaken

Director, Transportation and Climate
Natural Resources Defense Council

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

Charles Herbertson
Director & City Engineer
Culver City Department of Public Works
Biography

Charles Herbertson

Director & City Engineer
Culver City Department of Public Works


 

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

Mike Levin

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

Congressman Mike Levin is proud to represent California's 49th Congressional District, which includes North County San Diego and South Orange County.

Currently serving his third term in the House of Representatives, Levin sits on the House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where he serves as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity.

Levin was raised in South Orange County and attended local elementary and junior high schools. He spent his high school years at Loyola High in Los Angeles, and went on to study at Stanford University, where he served as the student body president. Upon graduation from Stanford, Levin served as a Coro Fellow and then attended Duke University School of Law.

Prior to being elected to Congress in 2018, Levin fought for climate action while working as an environmental attorney. He also served on the board of the Center for Sustainable Energy, and co-founded Sustain OC, helping accelerate the transition toward more sustainable power generation and transportation alternatives.

As a member of Congress, some of Levin's top priorities are combating climate change, protecting our natural resources, and capitalizing on the economic benefits of a sustainable energy future. He has led legislation to transition America to zero emission vehicles, ban new offshore drilling leases along the coast of Southern California, responsibly develop renewable energy on public lands, and much more.

Another priority for Rep. Levin is increasing oversight and accountability at the decommissioning San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), and moving the spent nuclear fuel out of the region as quickly and safely as possible. Levin stood up a local task force upon arriving to Congress to formulate policy recommendations to address the hazardous waste. He is the founder and Co-Chair of the Spent Nuclear Fuel Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan group to drive progress on the safe storage, transportation, and disposal of nuclear fuel across the country. He has also led legislation to prioritize the removal of spent nuclear fuel from environmentally sensitive sites like San Onofre, mandate resident inspectors at decommissioning nuclear power plants during sensitive activities, and fund a research and development program at the Department of Energy to find innovative solutions to spent nuclear fuel management.

Rep. Levin is also a leader on legislation to support veterans. As the grandson of a World War II veteran and the representative of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Levin is an advocate for the servicemembers and veterans who have sacrificed for our freedom. He has spoken out about the importance of protecting the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from privatization efforts, improving veterans’ health care and services, and expanding job opportunities for those who have served.

Levin is proud to lead the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. Since he became Chair, his subcommittee has become one of the most productive in Congress, with more than 50 bills to serve veterans passing into law. Levin sponsored one of the most consequential pieces of legislation signed into law for veterans in recent years, the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020, which strengthened and expanded a wide range of veterans’ benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. 

Levin has also championed efforts to expand access to affordable health care, lower the cost of higher education, preserve Social Security and Medicare, prevent gun violence, enact comprehensive immigration reform, and protect a woman's right to choose. He is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and, as the grandson of immigrants from Mexico, a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Levin holds town halls regularly to keep his constituents informed and answer their questions, and he has also made those town halls available as part of his podcast, Listening with Levin.

Levin lives in San Juan Capistrano with his wife, Chrissy, and their two children.
 

Sarah Potts Ashton
Public Affairs, Southern California
Uber
Biography

Sarah Potts Ashton

Public Affairs, Southern California
Uber

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

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

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

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

Gary Hildebrand

Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

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

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

George Minter
Regional Vice President for External Affairs and Environmental Strategy
Southern California Gas Company
Biography

George Minter

Regional Vice President for External Affairs and Environmental Strategy
Southern California Gas Company

George Minter is currently Regional Vice President for External Affairs and Environmental Strategy for SoCalGas, the nation’s largest gas utility. He is responsible for the Company’s public affairs, community relations, and energy and environmental affairs functions. 

He’s been a long time public policy professional specializing in energy and environmental matters, policy development, communications and political advocacy. Previously, he’s been a managing principal for LA-based public affairs consulting firms, Greer/Dailey/Minter and GM Public Affairs, handling approvals for large energy and land use projects.  He began his career as a political consultant managing local, state and national political campaigns.

George has served as a board member of numerous civic associations and community organizations, has been the recipient of several awards and honors, and has been a regular speaker at state and national conferences on energy and environmental policy. 

He’s the father of two grown children, is married, and lives in Pasadena, California; and is a Phi Beta Kappa and Honors graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.

Masaru Yamazumi
Director, Advanced Energy Systems and Structure Division
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Government of Japan
Biography

Masaru Yamazumi

Director, Advanced Energy Systems and Structure Division
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Government of Japan

Mr. Yamazumi is the Director for Advanced Energy Systems and Structure Division, within the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for the Government of Japan. He has previously held the position of Director, Advanced Energy Systems and Structure Division, within the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.

Rick Cole
Councilmember
City of Pasadena
Biography

Rick Cole

Councilmember
City of Pasadena

Rick Cole is Chief Deputy Controller, responsible for overseeing the accounting, payroll and auditing functions for the City of Los Angeles. His public service includes serving as Mayor of Pasadena, City Manager in three Southern California communities (Santa Monica, Ventura and Azusa) and as Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation in the City of LA. He is an adjunct professor of urban policy at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy and Occidental College’s Urban and Environmental Studies Institute.

Jean-François Lamy
President
Aquartis
Biography

Jean-François Lamy

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

Jeffrey Reed

Director of Business Strategy and Development
Southern California Gas Company

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

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.

Jonathan Weisgall
Vice President, Government Relations
Berkshire Hathaway Energy
Biography

Jonathan Weisgall

Vice President, Government Relations
Berkshire Hathaway Energy

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

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

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

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

Rusty Hicks
Chair
California Democratic Party
Biography

Rusty Hicks

Chair
California Democratic Party

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

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

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

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

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

Ron Gastelum
President and Board Chair
Water Conservation Partners
Biography

Ron Gastelum

President and Board Chair
Water Conservation Partners

Ronald R. Gastelum has a legacy of bringing stability and strong creative initiatives to the private and public sector organizations he has led in water, waste management, and energy  arenas. Ron is WCP's President and Chairman of the Board.

As the Chief Executive Officer of The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California  from 1999 until December 2004, Ron was responsible for managing the operations of the world’s largest wholesale water supplier serving the 18 million residents in urban Southern California with assets worth $11 billion with a $1 billion annual operating budget. Under Ron’s leadership MWD was successful in diversifying the region’s water supply with the development of new large water transfer, groundwater banking, reclaimed water, and cutting-edge conservation programs. Ron also led a major restructuring of MWD’s management, adopted a new Strategic Plan with unprecedented public participation, updated its long term resources plan, completed a $2 billion dollar new reservoir, adopted a long term capital improvement and finance plan, and completed a major overhaul of its rate structure. Since leaving Metropolitan Ron served as interim Executive Vice President of the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce to provide leadership and management during the transition to a new CEO. He is also interim Executive Director of the Southern California Water Committee. 

Prior to 1999 Ron served as General Counsel for BKK Corporation, where he managed all environmental compliance matters, including extensive regulatory and legislative affairs in California and at the federal level. 

Ron is a graduate of Whittier College and received is Juris Doctorate at U.C.L.A Law School.

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.

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.
 
Jake Levine*
Chief Climate Officer
US International Development Finance Corporation
Biography

Jake Levine*

Chief Climate Officer
US International Development Finance Corporation

Jake Levine serves as Chief Climate Officer of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, where he leads the agency's climate team, and is responsible for setting the vision for and implementing DFC's climate finance agenda. He also serves on DFC's Risk Committee, and works closely with DFC's Public Board agencies—the U.S. Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, and the U.S. Agency for International Development—to coordinate administration policy in climate finance.

Mr. Levine is an attorney by training, and has represented clients in various climate, clean energy, and clean air matters. Mr. Levine previously served in government in the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, where he developed innovative energy policies, including the most stringent fuel economy standards ever set and the first-ever greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and trucks, and later as Senior Counsel to California State Senator Fran Pavley, where he led the successful campaigns to draft, design, and enact SB 32 (Pavley) and AB 197 (Garcia)—landmark California climate and environmental justice legislation.

Mr. Levine also served as Chief of Staff to the President of Opower, a software firm (now Oracle Utilities) that uses big data and behavioral science technology to help consumers save energy.

Mr. Levine sits on the Board of Grid Alternatives of Los Angeles, a non-profit focused on creating jobs in the clean energy transition, and is an advisor to the California Climate Action Corps, a statewide service corps focused on climate resilience in underserved communities, which he helped to design and launch as a consultant to Governor Newsom. Mr. Levine holds a B.A. from Harvard College and a law degree from Harvard Law School.

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

Dr. Nate Lewis

George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry
California Institute of Technology

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

Brence Culp
Executive Director of Sustainability and Legacy
LA 2024
Biography

Brence Culp

Executive Director of Sustainability and Legacy
LA 2024

Brence Culp is Executive Director of Sustainability and Legacy and oversees LA 2024's work to deliver a sustainable Games that fits the long term plans of the greater Los Angeles area. Culp was also directly responsible for the planning and development of the Athletes Village. Prior to joining LA 2024, Culp served as the interim CEO of CDO of Los Angeles County. She has over a decade of experience in public service for the city and county of Los Angeles, including time spent working within the City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee and three years as Chief Financial Officer for the LA Redevelopment Agency. Culp practiced corporate tax and real estate law before her transition to local government. She received her BA for the University of Chicago and JD from New York University. 

 

Steve Berberich
President and CEO
California ISO
Biography

Steve Berberich

President and CEO
California ISO

Steve Berberich is President and Chief Executive Officer at the California Independent System Operator (ISO). 

Mr. Berberich has navigated the ISO through a series of major initiatives, including the world’s most expansive integration of renewable resources into the power grid. His vision for reducing the grid’s reliance on fossil fuels has catalyzed many significant new programs including the nation’s first Energy Imbalance Market, which welcomed several western states into the ISO’s bulk power markets. 

With over 25 years of experience in the utility, consulting, banking and finance sectors, he also holds an undergraduate degree in finance and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tulsa. 

 

Gregory Nelson
Captain
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Biography

Gregory Nelson

Captain
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Captain Gregory Nelson is a 34-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He currently commands the Bureau of Labor Relations and Compliance, and is the Department’s Sustainability Project Manager. He is leading a number of initiatives to enhance the Sheriff’s Department’s operational and fiscal sustainability and resiliency. Captain Nelson holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from California State University, Long Beach and a Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School, and is a member of the State Bar of California and the Federal Bar of the Central District of California. 

Phillip Washington
CEO
Denver International Airport
Biography

Phillip Washington

CEO
Denver International Airport

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Mike Wallace
Chief Decarbonization Officer
Persefoni
Biography

Mike Wallace

Chief Decarbonization Officer
Persefoni

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

Katy Yaroslavsky
Chair, Energy & Environment Committee
LA City Council
Biography

Katy Yaroslavsky

Chair, Energy & Environment Committee
LA City Council

Katy Yaroslavsky serves as Councilwoman for Los Angeles’ Fifth City Council District, representing neighborhoods and communities she has been a part of nearly her entire life. Elected in 2022, CM Yaroslavsky, currently serves as Chair of the City Council’s Energy & Environment committee, Vice-Chair of the Ad Hoc Olympics committee, and is a member of the Budget & Finance, Planning & Land Use Management, and Transportation committees.

Advocating for a sustainable and liveable Los Angeles has been at the center of Councilwoman Yaroslavsky’s career. Prior to her election, she served as a senior policy advisor to LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, where she created LA County’s first Office of Sustainability, and led the development, negotiation, and adoption by voters of Measure W, one of the largest infrastructure and jobs programs in our region’s history. She helped create the Clean Power Alliance — a coalition of thirty-two local cities and counties that serves over 3 million ratepayers and is the largest provider of green power in the nation. Councilwoman Yaroslavsky previously served as General Counsel to the Climate Action Reserve, a leading environmental non-profit focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Councilwoman Yaroslavsky is guided by the belief that the biggest challenges our City is facing – homelessness, generational poverty, racial injustice, climate change, a declining quality of life, and an economy that doesn’t work for most Angelenos – are all intersectional. She believes that these issues will only be solved by doing the hard work of building coalitions, fighting for equity in city services, and initiating authentic, inclusive, and thorough community engagement.

A graduate of public schools, including UC Berkeley and UCLA Law School, Councilwoman Yaroslavsky currently resides in Mid City with her husband Dave, their three children, and their cats.

 

Tom Unterman
Founding Partner
Rustic Canyon Partners
Biography

Tom Unterman

Founding Partner
Rustic Canyon Partners

Tom founded Rustic Canyon in 1999 and continues to be actively involved in the firm.

Prior to forming Rustic Canyon Partners, Tom was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Times Mirror Company. At Times Mirror, he led the acquisition and divestiture activity and oversaw the investment program. Prior to joining Times Mirror, Tom was one of California’s leading corporate attorneys, practicing first with Orrick, Herrington from 1969 to 1986 and then with Morrison & Foerster from 1986 to 1992.

Tom serves actively on the boards of the California Community Foundation, CalArts, Heal the Bay, and MOCA.

Education: Tom earned a BA from Princeton University and a JD from the University of Chicago.

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.

 

Sunita Satyapal*
Director, Fuel Cell Technologies Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
U.S. Department of Energy
Biography

Sunita Satyapal*

Director, Fuel Cell Technologies Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
U.S. Department of Energy

Director for the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office and coordinates activities across offices for the U.S. DOE Hydrogen Program, Sunita Satyapal is responsible for more than $1.6 billion in hydrogen and fuel cell research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D) activities within the office and for coordinating more than $9.5 billion in hydrogen activities across DOE.  In addition, she led the development of the national clean hydrogen strategy and roadmap and serves as the Director for the Hydrogen Interagency Taskforce, which includes a dozen agencies and is co-chaired by the Deputy Secretary of Energy and the White House Deputy National Climate Advisor. She has more than two and a half decades of experience across industry, academia, and government, including at United Technologies managing RDD&D and business development, and as a visiting professor. 

Dr. Satyapal also coordinates international hydrogen activities as Vice-Chair of the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy, a partnership among over 25 countries to accelerate progress in hydrogen, and is the U.S. co-lead for hydrogen efforts within the Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation.  She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University and did postdoctoral work in Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University.  She has numerous publications, including in Scientific American, 10 patents, and several recognitions including a Meritorious Presidential Rank Award in 2015, a Distinguished Presidential Rank Award in 2022, and selected as an Ambassador for C3E, the Clean Energy Education & Empowerment Initiative, to advance the leadership of women in clean energy. 

Alexander McDonough
Vice President, Public Policy
Sunrun
Biography

Alexander McDonough

Vice President, Public Policy
Sunrun

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

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

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

Matt Petersen
CEO
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
Biography

Matt Petersen

CEO
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator

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

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

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

Russell Fortmeyer
Sustainability Leader
Arup
Biography

Russell Fortmeyer

Sustainability Leader
Arup

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

Peter Taylor
President
ECMC Foundation
Biography

Peter Taylor

President
ECMC Foundation

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

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

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

Cheryl Santor
Information Security Manager (retired)
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Biography

Cheryl Santor

Information Security Manager (retired)
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Information Security Professional recently retired from Metropolitan Water District of So. CA. Security specialist with over 28 years experience in Financial and Critical Infrastructure organizations. Active member of ISACA, ISSA, FBI Infragard working with these organizations to advise and protect Critical Infrastructure and continue to assist with Cyber Security initiatives.

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.
 
Marissa Aho
Chief Resiliency Officer
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Marissa Aho

Chief Resiliency Officer
City of Los Angeles

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

Steve Wirtel
Executive Vice President, Business Development
Kore Infrastructure
Biography

Steve Wirtel

Executive Vice President, Business Development
Kore Infrastructure

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

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

Michael George
Fmr. Delta Watermaster
State of California
Biography

Michael George

Fmr. Delta Watermaster
State of California

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

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

 

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

Kathy Gerwig

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

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

 

David Wright
General Manager
LADWP
Biography

David Wright

General Manager
LADWP

David Wright is recognized as an established utility industry executive with broad-based knowledge of both water and electric utility operations, having served as General Manager of Riverside Public Utilities for nearly ten years and as the Chief Financial Officer for the Las Vegas Valley Water District, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, and the Silver State Energy Association, overseeing a nearly $1 billion budget for the three water and electric organizations. He previously spent 15 years with the City of Riverside where he served as Deputy General Manager and as Riverside’s City Controller. His extensive experience in utility management, finance and customer service provides a solid foundation to lead LADWP. 

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

Mark Ridley-Thomas

Supervisor, 2nd District
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robert Lempert
Director
RAND Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition
Biography

Robert Lempert

Director
RAND Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition

Robert Lempert is a principal researcher at the RAND Corporation and Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition. His research focuses on climate risk management and decision-making under conditions of deep uncertainty. Dr. Lempert is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a coordinating lead author for Working Group II of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report, a chapter lead for the Fourth US National Climate Assessment, chair of the peer review panel for California’s Fourth Climate Assessment, a member of California’s Climate-Safe Infrastructure Working Group,  and has been a member of numerous study panels for the U.S. National Academies, including America’s Climate Choices and Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate. Dr. Lempert was the Inaugural EADS Distinguished Visitor in Energy and Environment at the American Academy in Berlin and the inaugural president of the Society for Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty (http://www.deepuncertainty.org). A Professor of Policy Analysis in the Pardee RAND Graduate School, Dr. Lempert is an author of the book Shaping the Next One Hundred Years: New Methods for Quantitative, Longer-Term Policy Analysis.

Ken Masters
Board Chair
Lumera
Biography

Ken Masters

Board Chair
Lumera

Ken Masters is Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Lateral Investment Management, a direct- lending firm for mid-market companies, and is Board Chair and Co-Owner of Lumera, a private equity and project finance firm focused on infrastructure investment in the United States. Ken is considered a leading mind in the corporate credit markets. From 2007-2012, he was Co-Founder and Co-Portfolio Manager at White Oak Global Advisors, a middle market direct-lending firm based in San Francisco with reported AUM of $1.5 billion. From 2004-2006, Ken was a director at KKR Financial LLC, the credit arm of global private equity firm KKR. While at KKR Financial LLC, Ken assessed and underwrote more than $1 billion in loans to middle market companies across the insurance, media, pharmaceutical, franchise and other low beta industries including project finance and structured finance. Prior to KKR Financial LLC, Ken was a senior investment analyst for the High- Yield and Fixed Income Portfolio Group at Franklin Templeton from 2000 to 2004 where he led the representation of Franklin Templeton in distressed situations, including WorldCom, MCI, Charter Communications, Adelphia, McCloud, Global Crossing, and XO Communications. He received an M.B.A. from Harvard University (class of 2000), and a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University.

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

Former Ambassador Vilma Martinez

Chair
Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners

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

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

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

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

John Eddy
Principal & Infrastructure Leader
Arup
Biography

John Eddy

Principal & Infrastructure Leader
Arup

As the leader of Arup San Francisco’s Infrastructure Practice, John has the good fortune to have clients as diverse as Silicon Valley tech giants, Amtrak, State and City governments and private developers.  Having a broad resume in the delivery of transportation and urban infrastructure projects, John brings a multi-faceted perspective to planning and designing solutions for the opportunities embraced by our communities.

He is a member of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s ENVision Review Board, has served on Prospect Silicon Valley’s Transportation Advisory Board and is the former co-chair of the Bay Area Council’s Transportation Subcommittee.

John’s contribution to Arup’s global research portfolio on urban mobility includes exploring opportunities to positively adjust the built environment as self-driving technology expands into the vehicle fleet.

Licensed as a professional engineer in seven states, John holds a bachelor’s in Civil Engineering and a master’s in Geotechnical/Structural Engineering from Syracuse University.

Robert Garcia
Mayor
City of Long Beach
Biography

Robert Garcia

Mayor
City of Long Beach

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

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

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

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

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

Elise Keddie
Manager, Zero-Emission Vehicle Implementation
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Elise Keddie

Manager, Zero-Emission Vehicle Implementation
California Air Resources Board

Elise Keddie is Manager of the Zero Emission Vehicle Implementation Section at the California Air Resources Board (CARB).  Her group is responsible for coordinating compliance with California’s Zero Emission Vehicle regulation, and  developing and implementing policies to promote and support advanced technology vehicle awareness, education, and consumer adoption.  Prior to joining CARB in 2001, Elise held a research position at the University of California, Davis.  She holds a BS degree from UC Davis, and a PhD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Greg Quist
Director
Rincon Water District
Biography

Greg Quist

Director
Rincon Water District

 Quist has served on the Rincon del Diablo Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors for the past 26 years and as a Director on San Diego County Water Authority Board for 12 years. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Urban Water Institute. Greg has worked as a technologist, manager and executive at Alcoa, McDonnell-Douglas, SAIC and has founded and successfully spun off several high technology start-up companies. He is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of SmartCover Systems, a leader in the emerging water Internet of Things market. He holds 14 patents and has several pending.  Dr. Quist received his undergraduate degree in astronomy and physics with a minor concentration in economics from Yale College and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has held top-level government clearances and currently resides in Escondido, CA.  In his rare free time he enjoys fly fishing, hiking, golf, basketball, and tennis. 

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

Robert Powell

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

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

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

Andy Lipkis

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

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

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

Debra Coy
Partner
XVP Water Partners
Biography

Debra Coy

Partner
XVP Water Partners

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

Richard Katz
President
Board of Water and Power Commissioners
Biography

Richard Katz

President
Board of Water and Power Commissioners

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sheila Kuehl
Los Angeles County Supervisor
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Biography

Sheila Kuehl

Los Angeles County Supervisor
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Supervisor Sheila James Kuehl, representing Los Angeles County’s Third District, was elected on November 4, 2014.

Since then, she has undertaken or collaborated in a number of initiatives and motions to improve quality of life and reform systems in the County, including increasing the minimum wage, providing unprecedented funding and services for our homeless population and those trying to find and keep affordable housing, innovating on issues of water conservation and recycling, protecting our arts venues and productions, and protection of the Santa Monica Mountains, as well as the Coast. She is also Chair of the Board of Commissioners of First Five, LA, and a member of the Boards of Directors of Metro, the Expo Authority, and the LA Local Agency Formation Commission.

Kuehl previously served eight years in the State Senate and six years in the State Assembly. She is the Founding Director of the Public Policy Institute at Santa Monica College and, in 2012, was Regents’ Professor in Public Policy at UCLA. She was the first woman in California history to be named Speaker Pro Tempore of the Assembly, and the first openly gay or lesbian person to be elected to the California Legislature. Kuehl served as chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Natural Resources and Water Committee, and Budget Subcommittee on Water, Energy and Transportation, as well as the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Niko Järvinen
CEO
Naava
Biography

Niko Järvinen

CEO
Naava

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

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.

Steph Stoppenhagen
Smart Cities Business Development Manager
Black & Veatch
Biography

Steph Stoppenhagen

Smart Cities Business Development Manager
Black & Veatch

Steph Stoppenhagen is the Smart Cities Business Development Manager for Black & Veatch’s Smart Integrated Infrastructure business. She is recognized as a technology solutions expert, strategizing with clients to deliver value from smart infrastructure, networks and data. Her success includes creating consortiums to deliver complex, integrated smart city programs and products.

Stoppenhagen was responsible for the development of the technical mapping team of solar experts that have defined a patented methodology called SAFE™ Method (Solar Automated Feature Extraction) which automates the process of examining the Photovoltaic (PV) potential of rooftops/reduces the time to analyze this potential by 75 percent.

Prior to joining Black & Veatch and CH2M HILL in Portland, she served as a geo-integration officer and business consultant internationally with the Department of Defense in the United Kingdom. Stoppenhagen also was a Senior Consultant and Project Engineer with SCHLUMBERGER focusing on water and electric utilities. Steph has a strong history with the EPA and a background in Secret Service projects.

Matt Wartian
Regional Global Practice Manager
Burns & McDonnell
Biography

Matt Wartian

Regional Global Practice Manager
Burns & McDonnell
Stephen Cheung
President/CEO
LA County Economic Development Council/World Trade Center-Los Angeles
Biography

Stephen Cheung

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

Stephen Cheung is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) and its subsidiary, the World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA).  As CEO of the LAEDC, Mr. Cheung brings together the capabilities of LAEDC’s mission-delivery department areas, including the Institute for Applied Economics, Business Assistance, Industry Cluster Development, Workforce Development, World Trade Center Los Angeles, Strategic Relations, Communications & Marketing, and Public Policy, into a single team that delivers the LAEDC’s critically important, public-benefit mission - Reinventing our economy to collaboratively advance growth and prosperity for all.

In 2023, Cheung was elevated to President and CEO after serving as Chief Operating Office and Executive Vice President of LAEDC, and continues in his concurrent role as President of World Trade Center Los Angeles, a title he has held since coming to the organization in 2014.  Prior to that, Cheung was the Secretary General and Managing Director of International Trade and Foreign Affairs for Los Angeles Mayors Eric Garcetti and Antonio Villaraigosa, and was responsible for managing policies and programs related to the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports, International Affairs,  Global Trade and Clean Technology. In these roles, he was the lead organizer for the Mayors’ previous international trade missions to Mexico, China, Korea, Japan, Colombia, Chile and Brazil.  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, UCLA Extension, Coro Southern California and Sister Cities of Los Angeles, while also serving on LA Metro’s Sustainability Council and Biz-Fed’s International Trade Committee. He also serves on the Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board.

Martin Howell
Associate Principal
ARUP
Biography

Martin Howell

Associate Principal
ARUP

Martin Howell is an Associate Principal in Arup’s Los Angeles office with over 30 years of experience, working and consulting on projects around the globe. For the past 22 years, he has been based in Los Angeles and working with clients in Southern California on renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy storage projects. His clients value his broad knowledge base in the field of energy and sustainability, and his drive to find simple solutions to complex issues. Some of Martin’s key projects include leading a multi-user microgrid project with the City of Santa Monica and helping develop and implement an Energy Assurance program with the County of Santa Barbara, leveraging clusters of microgrids. Within the firm, Martin is the Global Energy Skills Leader. In this role, he is responsible for ensuring Arup’s energy sector skills remain at the cutting edge of the industry and that global best practice knowledge is shared and disseminated throughout the firm.
 

 

William Funderburk
Board Member and Senior Advisor
PermaCity Foundation
Biography

William Funderburk

Board Member and Senior Advisor
PermaCity Foundation

William Funderburk is Senior Advisor with PermaCity Foundation, a group spun out of acquisition by commercial industrial solar developer Catalyze Corporation of Permacity Corporation in 2021.   He develops renewable energy projects for PermaCity and advises development teams on legal, political, policy and finance issues

From 2013 to 2018 Mr. Funderburk served as the Vice President of the Board of Commissioners for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and he retired from litigation as managing partner in the Los Angeles office of a California business litigation and counseling firm, Castellon & Funderburk LLP, which he co founded in 1999.  Based in Los Angeles and Washington, DC, Mr. Funderburk is known for being a visionary when it comes to everything from sustainability to renewables to clean tech to water quality. Mr. Funderburk has been a key force in handling the water crisis in Los Angeles, California and around the Country including playing a lead negotiating role in the historic multiagency settlement of the Owens Lake PM-10 dust control dispute.  He also played a key role as LADWP liaison in finalizing agreements to expand the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, negotiating the cleanup of the San Fernando Valley aquifer and lead authoring of the landmark Equity Metrics Data Initiative.

Mr. Funderburk attended the Paris Climate Accords with the Los Angeles delegation to the United Nations 21st Conference of Parties (COP).  He later became the first LADWP Commissioner in history to attend a COP as a delegate in 2017 in Bonn (COP 23) and spoke in Madrid (COP 25 in 2019), Glasgow (COP 26 in 2021) and Sharm El Sheik (COP 27 in 2022) on subjects ranging from Global Youth Empowerment, LA as a blueprint for global decarbonization, neurodiversity, global youth empowerment and equity metrics.

He has advised clients on drafting environmental legislation and regulations on groundbreaking issues such as reducing lead drinking water in California, establishing net metering for stationary, hydrogen powered fuel cells and counseling early stage companies on renewables, water, air and soil remediation technologies. 

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

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

Mr. Funderburk is a member of the California State Bar and District of Columbia Bar.  He graduated from Yale University (B.A. in Engineering and Applied Science) and Georgetown University Law Center (J.D.).
 

Reiko Kerr
Senior Assistant General Manager, Power System Strategic Policy
LADWP
Biography

Reiko Kerr

Senior Assistant General Manager, Power System Strategic Policy
LADWP

Reiko Kerr works for the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Water & Power—the largest publicly owned utility in the country. She is the Senior Assistant General Manager of Power System, and manages all aspects of the Power System’s critical engineering and planning functions. She is responsible for the Power System’s strategic planning, resource acquisition, system planning, regulatory compliance, power plant projects, external generation, and major projects, as well as modernization of its generation, transmission and distribution facilities to ensure the long-term reliability of the power system to meet customer expectations. 

In addition to maintaining system reliability, Ms. Kerr is responsible for developing strategies to transition toward a sustainable energy future, improving public accountability, and developing the next generation workforce. 

Prior to joining LADWP in 2016, Ms. Kerr served in various capacities for another Southern California Publicly Owned Utility, including the Assistant General Manager for Power Resources, Assistant General Manager/Chief Financial Officer, Energy Risk Manager, and Finance/Rates Manager. 

Ms. Kerr is a Certified Public Accountant and an experienced utility professional, with over 25 years in the financial and utility utilities industries, with a strong leadership background in both the technical and financial aspects of water and power utilities. 

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.

Alejandro Zamorano
Clean Energy and Advanced Transport Specialist
Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Biography

Alejandro Zamorano

Clean Energy and Advanced Transport Specialist
Bloomberg New Energy Finance

As Bloomberg New Energy Finance's Clean Energy and Advanced Transport Specialist in San Francisco, Alejandro conducts research relating to transport and clean energy markets globally. His focus is on electric vehicles, storage technology, advanced fuels and chemicals, refuelling infrastructure deployment, and new vehicle technologies. 

Alejandro previously tracked and examined various bioenergy technologies, in both the commercial and private sectors, examining feedstock; conversion and capital costs; compliance credits; and revenues from final product distribution. He also measured production and distribution margins as well as investment trends. 

Alejandro holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana; and a Master of International Energy Management and Policy from Columbia University in New York City. He has been an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance since 2010. 

Irma Muñoz
Chair
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Biography

Irma Muñoz

Chair
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fran Pavley

Former Senator, 27th District
California State Senate

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

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

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.

Dawn Weisz
CEO
Marin Clean Energy
Biography

Dawn Weisz

CEO
Marin Clean Energy

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

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

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

Jerry Meral
Former Deputy Secretary
California Natural Resources Agency
Biography

Jerry Meral

Former Deputy Secretary
California Natural Resources Agency

Dr. Gerald (Jerry) Meral is the director of the California Water Program at the Natural Heritage Institute.  He works on funding for California water, Delta infrastructure, and a variety of other California water programs.  He formerly served as Deputy Director of the California Department of Water Resources, Deputy Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, Executive Director of the Planning and Conservation Director, and Staff Scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund.  He has placed 9 initiatives on the California statewide ballot, and has been involved in many statewide ballot measures affecting California water, parks, wildlife, health, and transportation.  He has a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of California, Berkeley.  He serves as the campaign director of the Water Supply and Water Quality Initiative Bond Act of November 2018 campaign.

Garrett Wong
Sustainability Analyst, Climate and Energy Programs
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Garrett Wong

Sustainability Analyst, Climate and Energy Programs
City of Santa Monica

Garrett Wong is the lead Sustainability Analyst for Climate and Energy Programs for the City of Santa Monica. As the primary author of the City’s first Climate Action Plan adopted in 2013, Garrett is responsible for implementing, monitoring and reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions within City operations and throughout the community.  Additionally, Garrett manages programs and projects to support renewable energy, electric vehicle infrastructure and climate adaptation. 

Deepa Lounsbury
Program Manager
California Clean Energy Fund
Biography

Deepa Lounsbury

Program Manager
California Clean Energy Fund
Jeff Morales
CEO
California High Speed Rail Authority
Biography

Jeff Morales

CEO
California High Speed Rail Authority
Jeff Morales is the Chief Executive Officer of the California High-Speed Rail Authority and has a distinguished record of experience managing large and complex transportation issues and projects. As the former Director of the California Department of Transportation, Morales managed a $10 billion program and more than 23,000 employees working to build, maintain and operate the largest state transportation system in the U.S.
 
Morales most recently was Senior Vice President of Parsons Brinckerhoff , where he worked with transportation agencies across the United States and internationally to develop and implement major capital programs and is the past executive vice president of the Chicago Transit Authority where he spearheaded major reforms at the nation’s second-largest transit agency.
 
His experience at the federal level includes serving as a member of President-Elect Obama’s transition team focusing on transportation, Vice President Al Gore’s National Performance Review, the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security, the United States Department of Transportation and as U.S. Senate staff.
Josh Sawislak
Global Director of Resilience
AECOM
Biography

Josh Sawislak

Global Director of Resilience
AECOM

Josh Sawislak is the global director of resilience for the firm AECOM. In this role, he works across the entire enterprise of AECOM's offerings in planning, design, construction, finance, operations, and development to help develop and leverage resilient strategies projects and clients to address issues such as sustainability, climate change, disaster preparedness, and enterprise risk management. He provides thought leadership and strategic advice to corporations, national governments, municipalities, NGOs, and international organizations across the globe. In 2015, he served as a speaker at the first US-China Climate Leaders’ Summit in preparation for the global climate negotiations in Paris in 2015 (COP-21) and led AECOM’s delegation to Paris. He also spoke at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and gave lectures and participated in symposia in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Oceana.  He also serves as a subject matter expert for the Rockefeller Foundation on infrastructure and community resilience and sustainable development.

Prior to rejoining AECOM, he served in the Administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, most recently as the Associate Director for Climate Preparedness at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where he develop U.S. federal policy on climate adaptation and resilience and worked with foreign governments and international organization on multilateral and bilateral efforts.  He also served as a senior advisor to two HUD secretaries focused on infrastructure and resilience at HUD and across government and led the development of the infrastructure recommendations for President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. In this role he was directly involved in the development of the Rebuild by Design competition co-sponsored by HUD and the Rockefeller Foundation and the development of the federal Infrastructure Resilience Guidelines.  On the Sandy Task Force he worked closely with federal, state, and local officials as well as private owners and operators of infrastructure systems such as power and communications to direct over $25 billion in federal funding for infrastructure recovery and resilience in the impacted region and well as national policy changes.

Mr. Sawislak previously led a consultancy working with a range of companies from global corporations to startup technology entities. He provided advice and strategy on resilience, continuity, market capture, and risk management. His previous public service included an appointment as the Chief Emergency Response and Recovery Officer for the U.S. General Services Administration. As GSA’s representative on White House committees, he was responsible for agency support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Defense, and the US Agency for International Development in preparation and response to natural disasters other emergencies. Mr. Sawislak also served in state government, but spent most of his career in the private sector. He worked on signature projects such as Boston’s Big Dig, NYC’s Second Ave. Subway, and EPA’s Superfund Program. He is an environmental and transportation planner and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and serves on the boards of directors for the National Institute of Coastal and Harbor Infrastructure and evacuteer.org and is an advisor to several other organizations and programs in support of resilience and sustainability.  

Abigale Abel
Affiliate
CityFi
Biography

Abigale Abel

Affiliate
CityFi

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

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

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

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

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

Jacques Alexandre-Fortin
Vice President
Rackam
Biography

Jacques Alexandre-Fortin

Vice President
Rackam

As a mechanical engineer and co-founder of Rackam, Jacques-Alexandre currently oversees the company’s technological development and commercial activities. He holds a master degree in renewable energy from the Hautes Écoles d’Ingénierie in Yverdons, Switzerland. He is passionate about solar power and how to overcome the engineering challenges that stem from adopting renewable forms of energy. As such, he was worked on developing many hybrid solar technology applications, the most promising of which is combined solar heating and cooling.

En tant qu’ingénieur et co-fondateur de Rackam, Jacques-Alexandre œuvre actuellement en développement technologique et en commercialisation au sein de l’entreprise. Il détient une maîtrise en énergie renouvelable des Hautes Écoles d’Ingénierie à Yverdons en Suisse. Il est passionné de l’énergie solaire et des défis d’ingénierie entourant l’adoption des énergies renouvelables. Il a notamment travaillé sur le développement d’applications hybrides, la plus prometteuse étant la production combinée de chaleur et de froid solaire.

Linda Griego
Board Member
AECOM
Biography

Linda Griego

Board Member
AECOM

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Stewart
Chief Innovation Officer
City of Sacramento
Biography

Louis Stewart

Chief Innovation Officer
City of Sacramento

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tori Kjer

Los Angeles Program Director
The Trust for Public Land

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

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 (working on issues of drought, groundwater management, water supply, drinking water, water quality and a host of other issues) 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 senior leadership in national non-governmental organizations (NRDC and TPL).  She has experience as a private and public interest sector attorney and has worked on issues across the West spanning water supply, water rights, and water quality in addition to experience in other sectors like energy, toxics, and land use. 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, a Board Member of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, which oversees the bulk electricity transmission grid for the Western US and parts of Canada and Mexico, and is also one of the three US members of the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation in addition to serving of many boards and advisory committees.

Dan Feitelberg
Principal
KPMG
Biography

Dan Feitelberg

Principal
KPMG

After serving the University of California as Vice Chancellor of Planning and Budget at the Merced campus, Dan joined KPMG in 2017 to help lead its California government and national social infrastructure practice.  At UC Merced, Dan led the Merced 2020 Project, a $1.3 billion investment in higher education in the San Joaquin Valley.  The project was named the Project Finance International Americas P3 Deal of the Year and the North American Social Infrastructure Deal of the Year by IJGlobal. With thirteen years of investment banking experience, Dan has also helped raise debt capital for governments in taxable and tax-exempt capital markets.

Colin Cushnie
VP Energy Procurement & Management
Southern California Edison
Biography

Colin Cushnie

VP Energy Procurement & Management
Southern California Edison

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eliot Abel
Senior Vice President, Corporate Clean Energy Solutions
Pivot Energy
Biography

Eliot Abel

Senior Vice President, Corporate Clean Energy Solutions
Pivot Energy
Eliot is the current Senior Vice President, Corporate Clean Energy Solutions for Pivot Energy. He previously lead commercial sales & project development at Namaste Solar, guiding the development of solar projects ranging from 50kW to 10MW. Prior to joining Namaste Solar, Eliot was the Founder and Principal of Abel Clean Energy Advisors, a consulting firm that helps commercial property owners and developers utilize innovative financing, such as C-PACE, to implement renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions that increase value, reduce operating costs, and enhance the sustainability of their properties. Earlier in his career, Eliot worked in business development roles at a UK-based thin film solar startup, GE’s global Renewable Energy business, and San Diego-based Renovate America. Eliot serves on the Boards of the Colorado Solar and Storage Association and Namaste Solar, and holds a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.
 
Susan Cline
Director of Public Works
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Susan Cline

Director of Public Works
City of Santa Monica

Susan Cline is the Director of the Department of Public Works for the City of Santa Monica. Cline oversees Santa Monica’s approach to staying on the cutting edge, cultivating creativity, and fostering streamlined collaboration among divisions, departments, and other municipalities. 

Evan Birenbaum
Managing Partner
Valkyrie Security Group
Biography

Evan Birenbaum

Managing Partner
Valkyrie Security Group

An expert in the development of cross-infrastructure analytics and technology for Big Data applications, he is one of the most sought-after providers in the U.S. market for the design and development of technology tools to power e-commerce, and he has been at the forefront of the development and market application of behavioral energy efficiency technology. He was among the pioneers in developing mobile apps, including, in 2003, the development of the mobile customer relationship management (CRM) application with the German software giant SAP SE and Canadian multinational developer of enterprise software and Internet of things Research in Motion (RIM), now known as BlackBerry Limited, providing the catalyst for SAP's mobile CRM platform used by such giants as McCormick & Company. His career in technology began in high school when he worked for IBM, and while at John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, he worked for Deutsche Bank as a consultant deploying real-time trading technologies developed by Bloomberg, and in 2004 he co-founded his first technology company, SOS Technology Group, providing an array of IT services. By 2010 he was at Southern California Edison as its lead corporate strategist and company-wide program manager for Environmental Strategy and Sustainability, then in 2014 he co-founded and served as Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Executive Officer for Chai Energy. He is a leader in many organizations, including Young Professionals in Energy (LA) and Reef Check Foundation, serving as a member of the Boards of Directors of both, is on the Steering Committee of the Sustainable Business Council, and has been a featured speaker on cutting-edge technology issues at numerous forums, including SXSW Eco 2015, and VerdeXchange, 2015-2019. He is frequently quoted, or featured, in media outlets covering technology developments, such as appears in "L.A. Startup Pays Users to Save Power," Annlee Ellingson, L.A. BIZ Journal, 8/15/16, and "Can the Golden State Go Green," Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News, 3/13/17.

Colleen Quinn
Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy
ChargePoint
Biography

Colleen Quinn

Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy
ChargePoint

Colleen Quinn is a seasoned executive leader and government strategist with 30 years’ experience in government, business and non-profit sectors. She has served in the highest level government and political appointed positions, as well as a senior corporate officer and senior non-profit management and advocacy roles. These include California Governor Jerry Brown, the Partnership for New York City, Insight Communications, Pacific Telesis and the Revlon Foundation. Colleen has a B.A. from UC Berkeley and a JD from the University of California, Hastings College of Law and participated as a CORO Fellow in Los Angeles.

Colleen has led ChargePoint’s regulatory and government market development activities since 2010. She leads the Company’s advocacy issues at the Federal, State and Local arenas. Ms. Quinn serves on many organizations and stakeholder groups in the Electric Vehicle Industry including: Executive Committee of the California Plug In Electric Vehicle Collaborative; Founder and Chair of the Electric Vehicle Charging Association; Executive Committee and Board member of the Electric Drive Transportation Association; Gubernatorial appointee the Massachusetts ZEV Commission; Maryland Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council; Chair of the National Electric Manufacturers Association EV Charging Government Relations committee. Ms. Quinn represented ChargePoint at COP 21 in Paris accepting the United Nations Momentum for Change Award.

Marcie Edwards
Fmr. General Manager
LADWP
Biography

Marcie Edwards

Fmr. General Manager
LADWP

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

Laura Renger
Principal Manager, Air and Climate
Southern California Edison
Biography

Laura Renger

Principal Manager, Air and Climate
Southern California Edison

Laura Renger is the Principal Manager of Air & Climate in the Regulatory Affairs organization at Southern California Edison (SCE).  In this position, Laura leads a team responsible for the utility’s regulatory and legislative policy concerning air quality, climate change and transportation electrification.  As the regulatory lead for transportation electrification programs, Laura routinely speaks to a wide-variety of audiences, including conferences and industry events domestically and internationally.  She has testified twice before California Public Utilities Commission concerning the implementation of the transportation electrification provisions of SB 350 and serves as SCE’s lead for the transportation electrification proposal that was filed at the CPUC on January 20, 2017.

Prior to this position, Laura was a Senior Attorney in the SCE Law Department, primarily focusing on air quality, climate, safety, and transmission project licensing.  She is the immediate past chair of the Environmental Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the current Treasurer of Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles.  Laura also serves as the Secretary of CalSTART (an organization dedicated to the growth of the clean transportation industry) and as the Treasurer of the California Electric Transportation Coalition (a non-profit association dedicated to the promotion of economic growth, clean air, fuel diversity and energy independence through the use of electric transportation). Laura holds a B.A. from Occidental College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.  She lives in Los Alamitos, California with her husband and ten-year-old son, Jack.

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

Paula Daniels

Co-Founder and Chair
Center for Good Food Purchasing

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

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

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

Gail Goldberg
Boardmember
Metropolitan Water District Board
Biography

Gail Goldberg

Boardmember
Metropolitan Water District Board

S. Gail Goldberg, FAICP, served as Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute - Los Angeles from June of 2011 until February 2017.  Ms. Goldberg brought to the table not only her many years leading the planning departments of two of the world’s most significant cities, but also many years of service to ULI.

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

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

Goldberg is a native Californian and holds a degree in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California San Diego and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Goldberg currently serves on the Board of Advisors for the USC Center for Sustainable Cities and the USC Price School Masters of Planning Program.  She also serves on the Advisory Board for the University of California’s District 9 Transportation Center.  Beginning in March 2019, Goldberg serves on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Water District representing San Diego.

Goldberg has formerly served as an Urban Land Institute Trustee, one of two public members on the State Strategic Growth Council, Chair of the San Diego/Tijuana ULI District Council and on the Statewide Coordinating Committee for the Urban Land Institute’s California Smart Growth Initiative. She is a past President of the San Diego Chapter of the Lambda Alpha Honorary Land Economics Society.

 

 

 

 

Ron Galperin
City Controller
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Ron Galperin

City Controller
City of Los Angeles

Ron Galperin serves as Controller of the City of Los Angeles -- working as the watchdog for L.A.'s taxpayers. Controller Galperin oversees a team conducting independent audits, managing the City's payroll and disbursements, preparing reports on the City’s finances, pursuing waste and fraud, providing information about the City's finances and operations online -- and focusing on modernization, management and metrics.

Leading a Data Revolution

As Controller, Galperin launched ControlPanel.LA, the City’s first open data portal -- featuring the City’s checkbook, details on the goods and services the City buys, assets and liabilities, employee compensation, operating indicators and much more. Because of these efforts, L.A. was named the No. 1 Digital City according to the U.S. City Open Data Census. Likewise, Government Technology Magazine recently named Controller Galperin to its list of the Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers of 2015.

Results-Oriented Audits

Under Galperin’s leadership, the Controller’s office has issued numerous financial and performance audits focused on improving the efficiency and accountability of City government -- and on delivering quality City services. Audits conducted by the Controller are helping to improve street services, how the City handles foreclosure properties, cable fees, funds for the arts, management of the City's many special funds, worker's compensation costs, development fees, airport operations -- and much more.

One of the Controller’s priorities has been to make the Dept. of Water and Power more transparent and responsive to ratepayers. He created UtilityPanel.LA, a data portal featuring key financial data about DWP spending and payroll. The Controller’s office conducted audits of the utility’s Joint Training Institute and Joint Safety Institute and released an Industrial, Economic and Administrative Survey of the DWP, with specific recommendations for structural reforms and creation of performance dashboards.

Background

Prior to his being elected as Controller in 2013, Galperin built a reputation as a leading voice for government reform. He is the first Neighborhood Council member elected to city-wide office in Los Angeles. As an officer of his neighborhood council, he advocated for quality of life improvements and more responsible neighborhood planning. He also developed and taught “L.A. City Government 101” to new neighborhood council members throughout the city and served as a council budget advocate.

Controller Galperin has long promoted cutting waste and developing programs to help businesses create jobs. As Chair of the Los Angeles Commission on Revenue Efficiency, he worked to develop new revenue sources and budget savings to deliver more services to residents and businesses. He also served as President of the City's Quality & Productivity Commission.

Galperin brings to the Controller job more than twenty years of experience as a transactional and litigation attorney and small business owner. He received his J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He lives in West Los Angeles with his husband, Rabbi Zachary Shapiro, and their dog, Daisy.

Jim Newton
Editor-in-Chief
Blueprint
Biography

Jim Newton

Editor-in-Chief
Blueprint

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

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

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

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

Jacob Lipa
Founder and Principal
Lipa Consulting
Biography

Jacob Lipa

Founder and Principal
Lipa Consulting

Jacob provides consulting services to CEOs and Board of Directors of growing real estate development companies as well as international start-up companies and others wanting to enter the US market. Developed and founded the Back Home Initiative (BHI) program supported by City of Los Angeles, Councilman Blumenfield and others.  BHI combines support for homeowners in lower income areas of the County, housing for low acuity homeless individuals and families who need long-term high-quality housing that are less expensive and that can be built and occupied within less than 6 months. 
Presently, supporting an Israeli company that has joint a US company to build a plant in Arizona to produce and sell green hydrogen.

From 2012 to 2019, Jacob was the CEO of Micropolitan, a Residential Real Estate Company developing, owning, and operating multifamily housing projects. Micropolitan has developed successfully residential apartment buildings combining market rate and low-income units in TOD areas in Los Angeles. The company prides itself in constructing its buildings at high architectural standards, excellent interiors, plenty amenities and all of them permitted, constructed and occupied on an accelerated schedules.

In 2002, Jacob became the President of Psomas, a leading consulting and engineering and environmental firm serving public and private clients throughout the Western United States with its headquarters office in downtown Los Angeles.  The firm specialized in land planning, design of all infrastructure needs, transportation, natural resources management, survey and construction services for the land development, water and wastewater, gas, transportation, and energy markets.  Psomas was rated nationally as one of the top engineering companies with offices throughout California, Utah, Arizona and Colorado.  Under Mr. Lipa’s direction, Psomas established a reputation as an expert in sustainable design, transit-oriented development programs and efficient construction methods. 

In 2009, Jacob, as the President of Psomas, in partnership with FMG, founded PsomasFMG to provide turn-key solar solutions to commercial clients such as municipalities, school, hospitals and any other tax-exempt clients. The idea was to design, finance, construct and maintain solar systems for clients at virtually no upfront cost to them under Power Purchase Agreements (PPA).  Within less than 3 years, PsomasFMG became the largest Distributed Generation company in Southern California providing services to schools, public facilities and industrial sites. During that time, Jacob, as the Chairman of LABC, lead together with the Mayor of Los Angeles the introduction and successful implementation of the Feed and Tariff (FIT) in Los Angeles.          

Brian Jordan
Vice President
Tetra Tech
Biography

Brian Jordan

Vice President
Tetra Tech

Brian is a Vice President at Tetra Tech, a leading provider of consulting and engineering services, and an active leader in the environmental, water, and infrastructure sectors. He has over two and a half decades of experience and holds a variety of executive management responsibilities for the firm’s Water and Infrastructure business in the United States. Brian also serves on the strategy and leadership team for several of Tetra Tech’s strategic investments, including their One Water and Digital Water initiatives. 

Tetra Tech’s Digital Water initiative focuses on technology and IT/OT-enabled investments to differentiate the company through pioneering services centered on data, analytics, hardware, and software solutions. Tetra Tech’s One Water solutions provide access to safe, abundant water supplies; effective treatment of stormwater and wastewater; flood control and restoration tools; and state-of-the-art watershed protection approaches to assess, protect, and restore our water bodies. 

Brian is a licensed Professional Engineer in California and his technical experience spans a wide range of water, environment, and infrastructure projects throughout North America including planning, design, and construction activities. He has served in leadership roles on program management assignments involving capital facilities of over ten billion dollars. 

Brian has been active in professional associations his entire career. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and has been elected or appointed to the role of President, Chair, or Vice Chair for over a half-dozen different industry associations. This provides him with unique knowledge of regulatory and policy issues that utilities are facing and detailed insights into the latest industry trends.

Nelson Gibbs
President
ISACA-Los Angeles
Biography

Nelson Gibbs

President
ISACA-Los Angeles

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

David Jacot
Director of Efficiency Solutions
LADWP
Biography

David Jacot

Director of Efficiency Solutions
LADWP

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

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

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

Lisa Alexander
Vice President, Customer Solutions and Communications
SoCalGas
Biography

Lisa Alexander

Vice President, Customer Solutions and Communications
SoCalGas

Lisa Alexander is vice president, customer solutions and communications for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), a Sempra Energy regulated California utility. She is responsible for developing new markets; driving clean technologies for commercial, industrial and residential customers; and delivering the information, products and services that meet customers’ energy needs and support state environmental and social policy objectives. 

Alexander’s portfolio includes renewable natural gas, near zero emissions transportation, emerging technologies and energy efficiency, conservation and low income assistance programs. Previously at the company, she held increasingly responsible management roles in the areas of commercial and industrial services, customer strategy and new products and services.

Prior to joining SoCalGas, Alexander was a partner at a boutique consulting firm that advised energy companies on smart grid technologies and conservation behavior change. She has also held strategic marketing positions at E*TRADE, Ticketmaster and Omnicom companies, and as a consultant, she has advised Fortune 500 companies on growth strategies. She began her career as a management consultant with Accenture.

Alexander serves as vice-chairman of the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition and is on the board of directors of TreePeople and NGVAmerica. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science cum laude from the University of California, San Diego.

Michael Picker
President
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Michael Picker

President
California Public Utilities Commission

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

David Alexander
Director of Information Security
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Biography

David Alexander

Director of Information Security
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

David Alexander is the Director of Information Security at Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation’s largest municipal utility. He continues to evolve a comprehensive Information Security Program. With over 20 years of IT and power operations experience, Mr. Alexander has levied his extensive technical and business operation experience to apply sound IT Security practices while meeting the demanding business requirements of the power industry. He is also responsible for the development and coordination of LADWP’s strategic and tactical IT security planning initiatives to reduce risks, respond to incidents, and limit exposure to liability that may result in financial and image loss to the utility.

Kazuo Furukawa
Chairman
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
Biography

Kazuo Furukawa

Chairman
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

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

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

Erik Takayesu

Director, Electric System Planning and Grid Modernization
Southern California Edison

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

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.

Jack Baylis
President and CEO
The Baylis Group
Biography

Jack Baylis

President and CEO
The Baylis Group
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. In this role, Heather advises on and oversees policies and programs focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector and improving air and water quality through LA Metro’s operations.  Heather also serves as the Board Vice Chair for Climate Action of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.  Repenning previously held the role of Vice President of the City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College and has a Master’s Degree from the University of California, Irvine in Comparative Literature.   

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

Hilda Solis

Los Angeles County Supervisor
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

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

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

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

Gary Gero
Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles County
Biography

Gary Gero

Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles County

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

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

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

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

John Emerson
Vice Chairman
Capital Group International
Biography

John Emerson

Vice Chairman
Capital Group International

John Emerson is a global relationship manager and vice chairman of Capital Group International, Inc. He has 16 years of industry experience, all with Capital Group. He was most recently the United States ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2015, John was awarded the State Department's Susan M. Cobb Award for Exemplary Diplomatic Service, which is given annually to one non-career ambassador. Prior to accepting the ambassador posting, John was president of Private Client Services for the Capital Group Companies. Before joining Capital, he was deputy assistant to President Clinton where he coordinated his economic conferences, served as the president’s liaison to the nation’s governors, and led the administration’s efforts to obtain congressional approval of the GATT Uruguay Round Agreement and the extension of China’s MFN trading status. Before that, John served as Los Angeles Chief Deputy City Attorney, and was a partner in the law firm of Manatt, Phelps, Rothenberg, and Phillips. Additionally, he was appointed by President Obama to serve on his Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. He holds an honorary doctor of laws degree from Hamilton College, a juris doctorate degree from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Hamilton College. John is based in Los Angeles.

Miguel Villegas
Vice President
K3DES
Biography

Miguel Villegas

Vice President
K3DES

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

Mark Gold
Director of Water Scarcity Solutions
NRDC
Biography

Mark Gold

Director of Water Scarcity Solutions
NRDC

Prior to his time at NRDC, Mark Gold served as Executive Director of OPC and the Deputy Secretary for Ocean and Coastal Policy for the California Natural Resources Agency, Mark serves as a key advisor to Governor and the Secretary of Natural Resources and directs policy, scientific research, and critical partnerships to increase protection of coastal and ocean resources in California. Prior to his appointment, he was the UCLA Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability where he led their Sustainable Los Angeles Grand Challenge effort. Prior to UCLA, Mark was the first hire at Heal the Bay, where he served as their President for 18 years. During that time, he worked on ocean and coastal legislation and policy, stormwater, watershed management, and marine conservation and coastal restoration issues, projects and programs. Over the course of his career, his research focused on beach water quality and health risks, as well as sustainable water resources management. Mark received his bachelor’s and master’s in Biology as well as his doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering, all from UCLA.

Sara Neff
Head of Sustainability
Lendlease Americas
Biography

Sara Neff

Head of Sustainability
Lendlease Americas

Sara Neff is the Head of Sustainability, 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.

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.

Randall Friedl
Manager, Earth Science Research and Mission Formulation Office
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Biography

Randall Friedl

Manager, Earth Science Research and Mission Formulation Office
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Dr. Friedl is currently the Manager of the NASA Western Water Application Office as well as the Manager of the Earth Science Research and Mission Formulation Office in JPL’s Earth Science and Technology Directorate. In the former role he is responsible for the development of information products based on NASA data for use by western water decision-makers. In the latter role he leads the development of mission concepts to meet future Earth science needs identified by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. He is also the Associate Director of a joint institute (JIFRESSE) with UCLA on regional Earth system science and engineering and an Adjunct Professor within the UCLA Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

Renata Simril*
President and CEO
LA84 Foundation
Biography

Renata Simril*

President and CEO
LA84 Foundation

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

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

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

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

John Chiang
California State Treasurer
State of California
Biography

John Chiang

California State Treasurer
State of California

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

James Kim
COO
BKT Co., Ltd.
Biography

James Kim

COO
BKT Co., Ltd.

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

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

Brian Fraser

Senior Sales Manager
Meiden America Inc. (MAI)

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

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.

David Ryu
Los Angeles City Councilmember, 4th District
Los Angeles City Council
Biography

David Ryu

Los Angeles City Councilmember, 4th District
Los Angeles City Council

Los Angeles City Councilmember David E. Ryu represents the 4th Council District which includes the neighborhoods of Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silverlake, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont and a portion of Koreatown. Ryu studied economics at UCLA; Public Policy and Administration at Rutgers; won a prestigious United Nations graduate internship; and was a Netkal Fellow at USC’s School of Social Work.

As Senior Deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Burke, he worked for years on issues like public health, housing, children and family services, transportation and senior services. He helped oversee the County budget and worked for a time as a Special Investigator for the Auditor-Controller, rooting out waste and fraudulent expenditures. Ryu returned to the non-profit world and served as Director of Development and Public Affairs at one of Los Angeles’s largest non-profit health care providers: Kedren Acute Psychiatric Hospital and Community Health Center.

On July 1st, 2015 Ryu became the first Korean American to serve on the LA City Council and only the second Asian American.

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.

Rick Cameron
Director of Environmental Planning
Port of Long Beach
Biography

Rick Cameron

Director of Environmental Planning
Port of Long Beach

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

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

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

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

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

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

Betty Yee
California State Controller
Biography

Betty Yee

California State Controller

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

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

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

 

 

Jim Wunderman
President and CEO
Bay Area Council
Biography

Jim Wunderman

President and CEO
Bay Area Council

Jim Wunderman is President and CEO of the Bay Area Council, a CEO-led public policy and advocacy organization formed in 1945 that works to make the Bay Area the most innovative, globally competitive, and sustainable region in the world. Since becoming CEO in 2004, Wunderman has honed the Council’s regionalist approach to advocacy in key areas that impact the Bay Area’s economy and competitiveness, including: business climate, housing, transportation, workforce, water, energy, communications, education, gender equity and cyber security. In 2015, he was named one of the Top 100 movers and shakers in California politics.

Wunderman has led the Council’s efforts to advocate for billions of dollars in federal, state and regional funding for major transportation projects completed or currently under construction. He has worked to expand the Council’s leadership outside the region, including opening an office in Sacramento and overseas offices in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing, and partnering with the state to reopen the California-China Trade Office. Wunderman positioned the Council to lead in developing an innovative early education program – Talk, Read, Sing -- and partnering with The Clinton Foundation to introduce it nationally. Under his leadership, the Council’s advocacy helped win important statewide education reform through local control funding. Wunderman has continued to play a key role in efforts to achieve consensus-based solutions to California’s water challenges, and is leading the region’s business community in the effort to make sure the economy is a primary driver of planning and regional sustainability efforts.

Prior to his work at the Bay Area Council, Wunderman’s career from 1984 to 2004 was split between both the private and public sectors. He served as Chief of Staff to San Francisco Mayor Frank M. Jordan from 1992-95, following five years of work for Mayor Dianne Feinstein.  From 1997-2004 he served as Senior Vice President for External Affairs at Providian Financial Corporation.  He also served as Vice President and General Manager of two major waste collection, disposal and recycling firms in the Bay Area under its parent, Recology, Inc.

Wunderman has served on numerous Boards and Commissions.  He currently serves on the University of California Business Executive Council, the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) Board, the State of California’s International Trade and Investment Advisory Council, the Too Small to Fail Advisory Council, California-China Trade and Investment Advisory Board, ChinaFisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, Bridge Housing Board of Directors, Sierra Energy, TMG Partners, the East Bay Zoological Society Foundation, the Chabot Space & Science Center Foundation Leadership Council, the Human Needs Project, Ready Nation Advisory Board, and the SF Bay Restoration Authority.  He also serves on the Transit Sustainability Project Steering Committee, the Clean Energy Working Group, EDA East Bay Economic Development Alliance, the REAL Coalition, and the Super Bowl Host Committee.

Wunderman is a Visiting Professor at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.  He is a graduate of San Francisco State University, Majoring in Political Science, and received an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Kingsborough College, City University of New York.  He has four children and resides in Contra Costa County. 

Heather Rosenberg
Los Angeles Resilience Lead
Arup
Biography

Heather Rosenberg

Los Angeles Resilience Lead
Arup

Heather Rosenberg leads Arup’s Resilience Skills Network in the Americas. An ecologist by training, Heather brings 20 years of experience leading sustainability and resilience projects in the built environment. Her systemic approach integrates interdisciplinary teams to bring together technical expertise with stakeholder engagement and a commitment to social equity. Her current work focuses on decarbonization and energy transition through a resilience lens. She works extensively with local governments, utilities, community choice aggregators and non-profits to better understand the resilience of the energy system, how buildings can play a role in local and grid-level resilience, and how to leverage investments to support those most vulnerable to power outages.

She has worked closely with the affordable housing community to innovate policy and financial tools that can spur decarbonization projects without triggering displacement. Before joining Arup, Heather was the founder and president of her own successful resilience strategy consulting practice, Fifth Road. She created the Building Resilience Network, a multi-stakeholder initiative designed to help public, private, and non-profit organizations weave physical, social and economic resilience into core operations. She is a USGBC Ginsberg Fellow and has served on multiple boards and committees. Heather has formal training in facilitation and integrated design processes and extensive experience leading workshops, training sessions and charrettes to address complex challenges related to sustainability and resilience

Cole Hershkowitz
Co-Founder and CEO
Chai Energy
Biography

Cole Hershkowitz

Co-Founder and CEO
Chai Energy

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

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

Dan Cohee
Operations Manager
Morrow Meadows Corporation
Biography

Dan Cohee

Operations Manager
Morrow Meadows Corporation

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

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

Bob Hertzberg
Sr. Advisor
Mission Possible Partnership
Biography

Bob Hertzberg

Sr. Advisor
Mission Possible Partnership

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

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

Bob Wieckowski

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

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

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

 

Marc Bédard
President
The Lion Electric Co.
Biography

Marc Bédard

President
The Lion Electric Co.

Marc Bedard has always been passionate about technology, innovation and the world of finance. He decided to follow his dream and passion to become an entrepreneur after many years as an M&A partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Senior Vice President at a major manufacturing company. He founded the Lion Electric Co. In 2008 with the objective to make advanced technology in the transportation industry accessible to all. Lion manufactures innovative electric buses and trucks for a healthy breathing environment.

 

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.

Adrian Foley
Chief Operating Officer
Brookfield Residential California
Biography

Adrian Foley

Chief Operating Officer
Brookfield Residential California

As Chief Operating Officer of Brookfield Residential, California, Adrian Foley oversees the entire California business portfolio for Brookfield Residential - one of North America’s largest publicity traded real estate entities, with land development and homebuilding operations in eleven of the most dynamic regions across the United States and Canada.  In his major leadership role, Foley is responsible for spearheading strategic planning, maximizing investment opportunities, and successfully resolving management issues in California’s premier markets, including the Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Diego.  As a key member of the company’s Southern California management team, Foley lends his expert guidance and support to Housing and Land operations throughout the region.

Foley also serves as President of Brookfield Homes Southern California, where he is responsible for strategic planning oversight and management direction for one of Southern California’s most innovative and creative homebuilding teams.  His current emphasis is on managing the group’s unique blend of development opportunities; expanding its presence in California’s rapidly growing Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino, and Orange County regions; and cultivating the potential of its multitalented individuals.

Foley has been an integral part of the Brookfield Homes Sr. Executive Team since 1996, and previously served as Senior Development Manager for Taylor Woodrow Homes where he was instrumental in the development of numerous award-winning neighborhoods in Orange, San Diego, and Los Angeles Counties.

Paul Silvern
Partner
HR&A Advisors
Biography

Paul Silvern

Partner
HR&A Advisors

Paul J. Silvern draws on over 25 years of experience to serve as the Partner in charge of HR&A’s Los Angeles area office.

In his time with HR&A, he has directed the analysis of major regional airport expansion plans, military base conversions, television and film studio expansions, hotels, office parks, high-rise office buildings, industrial developments, shopping centers, hospital complexes, university campus expansions, urban residential developments, mixed-use developments, and a wide range of planning initiatives. His work includes:

  • A 5.2 million square foot Specific Plan to guide future academic facility, housing and commercial development at the University of Southern California’s University Park campus;

  • Redevelopment of the Hollywood Park Racetrack in Inglewood into a major mixed-use development including 3,000 housing units, regional retail, office and public uses;

  • Two iterations of $3 billion Specific Plans to redevelop the NBC Universal entertainment studio, office, retail, theme park and hotel complex in Los Angeles;

  • The addition of two new theme parks at Disneyland in Anaheim, California;

  • 2.4 million sf hotel, office and retail redevelopment of the Wilshire Grand, the first new high-rise office building to be built in downtown Los Angeles in over 20 years;

  • The Keck Graduate School for Applied Life Sciences, the seventh member of the Consortium of The Claremont Colleges;

  • Reconstruction of Saint John’s Hospital and Health Center in Santa Monica, in the wake of severe building damage caused by the 1994 Northridge earthquake;

  • Three new high-rise office buildings, and a 400-unit high-rise multi-family residential development in Century City, one of the most prestigious commercial office locations in Los Angeles;

  • 10 million square feet of new commercial and residential development around Union Station in the City of Los Angeles;

  • The Red Building (400,000 sf), the final phase of the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood;

  • The 6.6 million s.f. Coyote Valley Research Park in San Jose, on behalf of a developer and business consortium including Cisco Systems, Inc.; and

  • Master Plans and redevelopment alternatives for Los Angeles International Airport, O’Hare International Airport, and San Diego International Airport.

Paul also has extensive experience in all aspects of housing policy and housing development, ranging from design of municipal regulatory programs to design and administration of affordable housing production programs and real estate advisory work on major private housing developments.

Paul’s clients include major development organizations as well as numerous local governments, redevelopment agencies, institutions and metropolitan planning organizations.

Paul earned a Masters Degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles and received a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, with Honors from the University of Illinois, Urbana.

Dean Wiberg
Biography

Dean Wiberg

Adam Krantz
CEO
National Association of Water Agencies
Biography

Adam Krantz

CEO
National Association of Water Agencies

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

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

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

 

Erica He
Senior Advisor, Energy Solutions
Innovation Core SEI Inc. (Sumitomo Electric)
Biography

Erica He

Senior Advisor, Energy Solutions
Innovation Core SEI Inc. (Sumitomo Electric)

Erica is the Senior Advisor, Energy Solutions, at Innovation Core SEI Inc., which is the US subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric. Erica is the former Vice President of Innovation Core SEI Inc. Erica has been leading the North America market development for Sumitomo Electric’s Smart Energy Solutions business, with a focus on energy storage. Prior to Sumitomo, Erica was the Business Development Manager at SANYO North America, where she developed new businesses and strategic partnerships in the areas of renewable energy, smart grid and consumer electronics. Erica holds a MS in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University and a BS in Electric Engineering from University College London. 

Veronica Siranosian
Senior Manager
AECOM
Biography

Veronica Siranosian

Senior Manager
AECOM

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

Janea A. Scott
Vice-Chair
California Energy Commission
Biography

Janea A. Scott

Vice-Chair
California Energy Commission

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

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