Speakers for VX2018

Dennis McGinn
Fmr. U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Senior Advisor and Board Member, Customer First Renewables
Biography

Dennis McGinn

Fmr. U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Senior Advisor and Board Member, Customer First Renewables

Dennis McGinn is a Senior Advisor and Board Member at CustomerFirst Renewables.

Dennis, who served 35 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy, also served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment from September 2013 until January 2017. He is a former President of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), a past member of the Steering Committee of the Energy Future Coalition, United States Energy Security Council, Bipartisan Policy Center Energy Board, and CNA Military Advisory Board and currently serves on several boards, including the Rocky Mountain Institute. He is also a senior advisor to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the Center for Climate and Security.

Kevin Payne
CEO
Southern California Edison
Biography

Kevin Payne

CEO
Southern California Edison

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

Prior to his current role, Payne was senior vice president of Customer Service for SCE. In that role, he was responsible for SCE’s customer products and services, customer engagement and call center operations, demand-side management programs, field services, account management and advanced metering.

During his 30 years with SCE, Payne has held various leadership positions, including:  vice president of Engineering & Technical Services, overseeing the planning, engineering and designing of SCE’s transmission and distribution systems; vice president of Information Technology & Business Integration, responsible for the delivery of technology services to business units within SCE; and vice president of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), where he led a comprehensive five-year half-billion-dollar program to implement SAP-integrated systems and streamline the company's business operations. He was also director of Renewable and Alternative Power and director of Major Customer Technical Support. He began his career with SCE in 1986 in the Engineering and Construction department managing power plant retrofit and other engineering projects.

Payne serves as a member of the Electric Innovation Management Committee of the Edison Electric Institute.

Payne has a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a registered professional engineer.

Liz Crosson
Director of Infrastructure
Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Biography

Liz Crosson

Director of Infrastructure
Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Karen Hamberg
Vice President, Industry and Government Relations
Westport Fuel Systems
Biography

Karen Hamberg

Vice President, Industry and Government Relations
Westport Fuel Systems

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

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

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

Caroline Choi
Senior VP, Regulatory Affairs
Southern California Edison
Biography

Caroline Choi

Senior VP, Regulatory Affairs
Southern California Edison

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

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

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

Eamon Ryan
Leader of the Green Party
Republic of Ireland
Biography

Eamon Ryan

Leader of the Green Party
Republic of Ireland

Eamon Ryan was elected to represent Dublin Bay South in the 2016 General Election.

He was born in Dublin and raised in Dundrum and Dartry. He studied commerce in UCD before taking  a job managing a marketing course in the university’s School of Business. He went on to found a cycling tourism company, Irish Cycling Safaris, in the late 1980's and in 1996 won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. The business still trades successfully as Cycling Safaris.

He was the founding chairperson of the Dublin Cycling Campaign and began his political career as a Dublin City Councillor for the Rathgar – Rathmines ward. He then went on to serve both as a TD for Dublin South and as a Government Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

In recent years, Eamon has worked for a European climate organisation (www.e3g.org) and chaired the digital policy group in the Institute of International and European Affairs (www.iiea.com). He is currently leader of the Green Party/Comhaontas Glas (www.greenparty.ie) and is married to writer Victoria White, they have four children.

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

Stephen Polechronis

Regional Business Line Leader, Southern California and Nevada Transportation
AECOM

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

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

Joshua Schank
Chief Innovation Officer
Metro
Biography

Joshua Schank

Chief Innovation Officer
Metro

 Joshua L. Schank is the first ever Chief Innovation Officer at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), where he leads the Office of Extraordinary Innovation (OEI). The role of this office is to champion new ideas to improve mobility in LA County by informing the high-level vision for LA Metro, piloting and implementing new and experimental programs and policy, and serving as the primary liaison relevant to LA Metro coming from entrepreneurs, established private sector entities, academia, or individual residents. The office is also responsible for LA Metro’s Public Private Partnership (P3), and strategic planning functions. 

Prior to joining LA Metro, Dr. Schank was President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation, a national non-profit think-tank. Dr. Schank’s extensive work in transportation policy and planning is well documented in his publications, including “All Roads Lead to Congress: The $300 Billion Fight Over Highway Funding,” co-authored with Costas Panagopoulos and published by CQ Press in 2007. He holds a Ph.D. in urban planning from Columbia University, a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.A. in urban studies from Columbia University. 

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

Walter N. Marks III

President
Walter N. Marks Realty Company

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

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

Graduate of UC Berkeley with a BS in Engineering.

Doug Otto
Trustee, Area 4
Long Beach City College
Biography

Doug Otto

Trustee, Area 4
Long Beach City College

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

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

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

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.

Yufu Cheng
China Country Director
R20 Regions of Climate Action
Biography

Yufu Cheng

China Country Director
R20 Regions of Climate Action
Leneyde Chavez
Government Affairs and Outreach Coordinator
Carollo Engineers
Biography

Leneyde Chavez

Government Affairs and Outreach Coordinator
Carollo Engineers

Leneyde Chavez joined Carollo 7 years ago. “Leny” leads the Government Affairs and Community Engagement efforts for Carollo in the Los Angeles market and functions as the assistant project manager for strategic projects including the Program Management Support Services (TOS SN53), City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, Los Angeles, CA which currently administers 19 projects in the City of Los Angeles. She works directly with the Executive Management of LASAN addressing issues important to the water future of the City of LA.

Leny is involved in high-level strategic conversations related to stormwater capture, recycled water, potable reuse, upcoming technology and the overall strategic challenges facing LASAN. This dynamic project addresses emerging issues for LASAN related to regulatory challenges and mandates, changes in the consumer’s use of LASAN's services, demand for new services, increased requests for information from the public, and support of the Mayor’s and Council’s various environmental initiatives, directives, and motions. Leny applies her government relations expertise, her knowledge of local politics and policy, and her ability to establish open communication with a wide variety of stakeholders to the benefit of her clients.

Leny was born in Honduras, and has lived in the Los Angeles area for over 22 years.  She earned a B.A. in Political Science and a M.A. in Urban Planning from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She is the proud mother of 3 boys.

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.

John Onderdonk
Chief Sustainability Officer
California Institute of Technology
Biography

John Onderdonk

Chief Sustainability Officer
California Institute of Technology

 John Onderdonk serves as the Senior Director of Facilities Services and Integrated Planning as well as the Chief Sustainability Officer at the California Institute of Technology. In this capacity, he is responsible for the executive leadership of campus planning, energy and utility services, procurement and material management, critical research logistics and sustainability programs. 

At Caltech, John has led efforts to de-carbonize campus utilities, plan for infrastructure resilience and adaptive capacity, and integrate 17MW of distributed generation. He has supervised the execution of a $15M energy efficiency fund, served as the lead sustainability advisor for 12 capital projects and coordinated the deployment of a work management and asset tracking system. John also leads the Institute’s regulatory affairs with regard to energy, water, carbon and regional planning. 

Prior to joining Caltech, John served as the Southwest Regional Manager for AIG Environmental where he managed environmental risk on behalf of corporate and brownfield redevelopment clients. 

John holds a Masters in Corporate Environmental Management from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science and Economics from the University of Oregon. 

John is a LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design + Construction and a Certified Carbon Reduction Manager. John is the chair of the Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Officer’s Taskforce and serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. 

Andy Lipkis
Founder and President
TreePeople
Biography

Andy Lipkis

Founder and President
TreePeople

Andy Lipkis is a practical visionary who has dedicated his life to healing the environment while improving the lives of individuals and communities as well as the ecosystem. He founded TreePeople in Los Angeles in 1973 at age 18 and continues to serve as its President. Andy has spearheaded an approach of building collaborations amongst infrastructure agencies and communities to employing trees, forest-inspired technologies and people power to make cities sustainable and resilient while mitigating floods, drought, pollution, extreme heat, and climate change. This approach is being demonstrated in L.A. as a model for cities everywhere.

Eva Pauly-Bowles
International Sales Director
Ciel & Terre
Biography

Eva Pauly-Bowles

International Sales Director
Ciel & Terre

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

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

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

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

Traci Minamide
Chief Operating Officer
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation
Biography

Traci Minamide

Chief Operating Officer
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation

Traci is the Chief Operating Officer for the City of Los Angeles, LA Sanitation, an organization of approximately 3,000 employees with annual revenue of nearly $1 billion.  In this capacity, she assists the Director by maintaining Bureau-wide oversight of operational activities in a program that consists of three core services: wastewater collection, treatment, and water recycling; solids resources; and watershed protection (stormwater).  Her main area of focus is in wastewater treatment, water recycling, and biosolids management where over 450 million gallons a day are collected and treated.

Traci has been with the LA Sanitation for over 25 years and has previously worked with the City’s Department of Water and Power and the Irvine Ranch Water District   serving in other capacities including water planning, industrial pretreatment, and environmental regulations.  She 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.  Traci currently serves as a Board Director for the California Association of Sanitation Agencies and is a member of the State Water Resources Control Board Advisory Panel for Direct Potable Reuse. 

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.

Minh Le
General Manager
Los Angeles County ISD
Biography

Minh Le

General Manager
Los Angeles County ISD

Le is currently the General Manager of ISD for Los Angeles County. Le was formerly the deputy director of the Solar Energy Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, where he helped manage and balance the portfolio of Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment programs in achieving our national SunShot goals. Prior to his role at the Energy Department, Minh spent his career in industry developing technologies and scaling new technologies to high volume manufacturing. Minh earned his BS and MS degrees from MIT where he held fellowships by the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and the Bose Foundation.

Rorie Skei
Chief Deputy Director
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Biography

Rorie Skei

Chief Deputy Director
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy

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

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

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

Jim Kelly
Senior VP (Retired)
Southern California Edison
Biography

Jim Kelly

Senior VP (Retired)
Southern California Edison

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.

Martin Adams
Chief Operating Officer
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Biography

Martin Adams

Chief Operating Officer
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Martin Adams is the Chief Operating Officer for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). With more than 30 years of experience with LADWP, Mr. Adams has worked throughout the Water System and was directly involved with the planning and implementation of sweeping upgrades centered on the removal of open distribution reservoirs and changes in water treatment to meet new water quality regulations. Prior to his current appointment, he spent 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 historical Los Angeles Aqueduct and other supply sources, pump stations, reservoirs, water treatment, and management of Water System properties. Mr. Adams is a life-long resident of the Los Angeles area, and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Michael Jones
Founder and President
The Maritime Alliance
Biography

Michael Jones

Founder and President
The Maritime Alliance

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

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

Terry O'Day
Chief Strategy Officer and EVP
Innogy eMobility US
Biography

Terry O'Day

Chief Strategy Officer and EVP
Innogy eMobility US

Terry has been a Executive Director of Environment Now foundation, a strategic, entrepreneurial, activist leader in California. The organization founded dozens of activist environmental organizations protecting air, land and water 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 began his career with Edison International, where he contributed to founding four businesses in energy, security services, and electric vehicle charging. He went on to cofound EV Rental Cars, which was the first rental company in the United States to offer only environmental vehicles, such as hybrid, natural gas, and electric cars to the general public. It served fifteen airports in six states and more than 500,000 customers, with over 700 cars. Terry has served on various start-up boards and in advisory roles for companies in energy, technology, transportation and infrastructure.

He holds an MBA from The UCLA Anderson School of Management and completed the Coro Public Affairs Fellows Program in Los Angeles. He earned a BA with honors in Public Policy at Stanford University, with a thesis addressing public finance and demand management of electricity. 

Terry was first elected as Councilmember for the City of Santa Monica in November 2010. He has served two years as Mayor Pro Tempore and currently serves as a Councilmember. The city serves over 90,000 residents and a daytime population up to 300,000, with 1,700 employees, a $650 million annual budget and an AAA bond rating. Terry led a six-year process to update the City’s General Plan, which became the leading example of environmental land use planning in the state, reducing projected per capita greenhouse gas emissions from land use by 31 percent in 25 years. He has been active with community organizations throughout California and Mexico; including Waterkeeper Alliance, Coro Southern California; The USC Center for Sustainable Cities, Environmental Entrepreneurs and as the Board Chair of the Coalition for Clean Air.

Jonathan Rosenthal
Managing Partner
Saybrook Management Services
Biography

Jonathan Rosenthal

Managing Partner
Saybrook Management Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 

Patrick Condon
Urban Design Program Chair
University of British Columbia
Biography

Patrick Condon

Urban Design Program Chair
University of British Columbia

Patrick has over 25 years of experience in sustainable urban design: first as a professional city planner and then as a teacher and researcher. Patrick started his academic career in 1985 at the University of Minnesota before moving to the University of British Columbia in 1992. After acting as the director of the landscape architecture program, he became the James Taylor Chair in Landscape and Liveable Environments. In that capacity he has worked to advance sustainable urban design in scores of jurisdictions in the US, Canada, and Australia. Patrick has also led the Sustainability by Design project by the Design Centre for Sustainability. For over 20 years, the Design Centre and James Taylor Chair worked on a variety of projects and books to contribute to healthier and more sustainable urban landscapes.

Recognizing the need for collaboration as a fundamental part of designing sustainable communities, Patrick has pioneered public engagement methods. He has successfully focused attention on how to make systemic change in the way cities are built and operated, notably in his East Clayton project in Surrey, BC. More recently, he and his research partners collaborated with the City of North Vancouver to produce a 100-year plan to make the city carbon-neutral by 2107. Patrick and his partners received the Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Planning Excellence and the BC Union of Municipalities Award of Excellence for this work.

Ana Lasso
General Manager
Office of Exposition Park Management
Biography

Ana Lasso

General Manager
Office of Exposition Park Management
Dan Cohee
Vice President
PDE Total Energy Solutions
Biography

Dan Cohee

Vice President
PDE Total Energy Solutions

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.

Sean Chigusa
President and Chief Executive Officer
TATSUNO North America, Inc.
Biography

Sean Chigusa

President and Chief Executive Officer
TATSUNO North America, Inc.

Dr. Sean Chigusa is a President and Chief Executive Officer at TATSUNO North America, INC., which is the US subsidiary of TATSUNO Corporation (Tokyo, Japan) and supervises all aspects of the hydrogen infrastructure equipment  business, operations, and activities in North America. He has more than 25 years of experience in the automotive industry include Fuel Cell Technology for FCV. Prior to joining TATSUNO, Sean served for four years as Senior Manager of the Kobelco Compressors America, where he provided leadership for the business development for hydrogen station equipment in North America.  Sean works with ISO/TC 197 (hydrogen technology) working groups as U.S. delegation, SAE Fuel Cell Interface Task Force and CSA/HGV as committee member for build code and standard of hydrogen station related technology. He also works with HySUT (The Association of Hydrogen Supply and Utilization Technology - Tokyo, Japan) as technical program adviser. He makes a significant contribution to build a great relation in hydrogen technology between United States and Japan. Sean has more than over 25 years of automotive advanced technology research in research experience in Toyota Motor Corporation (United States and Japan) such as the intelligent diagnostic system for Li-ion battery life prediction, Fuel Cell System diagnostic system using artificial intelligence technique.

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.

Jacquelyn Birdsall
Senior Engineer
Toyota Motor
Biography

Jacquelyn Birdsall

Senior Engineer
Toyota Motor

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

Birdsall has held several roles in the automotive industry prior to joining Toyota in 2012 and has over twelve years of experience with fuel cell vehicles. Recently she returned from a thirteen-month assignment at the Toyota Motor Corporation Global Headquarters where she worked directly with the Fuel Cell Division in Toyota City, Japan.

In addition to her activities in hydrogen, Birdsall takes personal interest in promoting STEAM learning and diversity within the industry. Birdsall is a board member of Women Influencing and Impacting Toyota - a group established to promote the talent and visibility of the women of Toyota through continued learning, self-development and leadership

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

Rick Cole
City Manager
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Rick Cole

City Manager
City of Santa Monica

Rick Cole has served as City Manager of Santa Monica since June 2015. During his tenure, he has spearheaded work on the City Council’s five Strategic Goals: converting the Santa Monica Airport to parkland; forging a new model of mobility; taking regional leadership on homelessness; fostering an inclusive and diverse community; and promoting wellbeing so that residents Learn & Thrive.

Rick has been recognized as one of “America's Public Officials of the Year” by Governing Magazine and one of the "Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers" by Government Technology Magazine. He has won awards for municipal management excellence from the American Society of Public Administrators and the Municipal Management Association of Southern California, as well as for urban planning leadership from the Congress for the New Urbanism. 

Prior to coming to Santa Monica, Rick served as Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation for the City of Los Angeles where he was responsible for a budget of $8.6 billion and oversaw five city departments. Rick also spent 15 years as City Manager of two Southern California cities, Ventura and Azusa. 

Rick served 12 years on the Pasadena City Council and was Mayor when Pasadena adopted its landmark General Plan, an early model for smart growth. Called "one of Southern California's most visionary planning thinkers" by the Los Angeles Times, he has been an active leader in the International City Managers Association and the City Managers Department of the League of California Cities. 

As Santa Monica’s City Manager, Mr. Cole is responsible for leading one of California’s most successful and progressive full-service cities. With a AAA bond rating from all three major public credit rating agencies and an annual budget of more than $700 million, Santa Monica’s award-winning services and programs are delivered by a staff of nearly 2300. 

Rick received a degree in American Studies from Occidental College in 1978 and earned a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Columbia University in 1979.

Thomas Small
Mayor
Culver City
Biography

Thomas Small

Mayor
Culver City

Mayor Thomas Aujero Small was elected to City Council in 2016, having previously served as Commissioner of Cultural Affairs. Culver City is the place where the cities of the world come to see their future, an historic, urbanist mecca at the heart of the LA metropolis, home to Apple and Amazon Studios. Mayor Small’s work with the city has focused on excellence in urban planning, sustainable design and mobility, including the Transit Oriented District Visioning process. He recently led the effort for the city to win grants from the Mayor’s Innovation Project, the Harvard Behavioral Insight Group, and the National Institute for Civil Discourse, for programs to enhance public outreach for neighborhood planning and alternative modes of transportation. He leads the Ballona Creek Revitalization Task Force, and the General Plan Update subcommittee. He serves on the LA Metro Sustainability Council, and the Transportation Policy Committee for the Southern California Association of Governments. He represents the API Caucus of the League of CA Cities on the League’s Housing and Econ Dev. Policy Committee. At a national level, he participates in New American Leaders and Local Progress, both based in Washington, D.C.

Mayor Small has been featured or quoted on design or mobility in the New York Times, the LA Times, NPR and the Washington Post, and was recently interviewed live on CNBC on new transit technology. He has moderated design awards juries in New York and Copenhagen, and made numerous international presentations, most recently including keynote speeches at the RAND Corporation and the International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure. As an architectural writer and consultant, he has worked on projects in urban and sustainable design and planning, development and historic preservation in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He taught Sustainability for Organizational Change at UCLA, and studied at Yale, the University of Paris, and the Columbia School of Journalism. He is the Chair of the Board for Jacaranda Music, an internationally renowned producer of modern classical music concerts. He lives with his wife Joanna Brody, and their two children and two giant sheep dogs, in the sustainably designed, much published home that they built in 2007.

As an architectural writer and consultant, he has worked on projects in urban and sustainable design and planning, development and historic preservation in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. These projects include the development of White City, Baku, in Azerbaijan, the restoration of the Japanese House and Gardens at the Huntington Library, and the design of modern services for Zhouzhuang, the ancient water-town in China known as the Venice of the East.

Thomas has moderated international design awards juries in San Francisco, New York and Copenhagen, and made presentations at the World Green Building Conference in Tokyo and the International Livable Cities Conference in London. At UCLA, he taught Sustainability for Organizational Change in the Business Section of the Sustainability Certificate Program. He is the Chair of the Board for Jacaranda Music, an internationally renowned producer of modern classical music concerts. He graduated from Yale University with honors, held a French National Fellowship at the Nouvelle Sorbonne of the University of Paris, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship at the Columbia School of Journalism.

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. 

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

Wendell McCain

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Dr. Sandra Whitehouse

Chief Scientist
‎AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

Dr. Sandra Whitehouse is a consultant who has served for over twenty-five years as an ocean policy advisor to multiple organizations and institutions, using her marine science expertise to advise clients on a variety of issues including how to advance ocean health and sustainably develop coastal and offshore projects. Her clients have included a state agency, a state legislative body, private companies and a number of nonprofit organizations.

Currently she serves as the Chief Scientific Officer for AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles, the Senior Policy Advisor to Ocean Conservancy and as a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. The national boards she has served on are The Consortium for Ocean Leadership and The National Center for Science Education.

Dr. Whitehouse holds a B.S. from Yale University and a Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island.

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

Jonathan Bishop

Chief Deputy Director
California State Water Resources Control Board

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

Bob Foster
Former Chair
California ISO Board of Governors
Biography

Bob Foster

Former Chair
California ISO Board of Governors

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.

Carla Peterman
Commissioner
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Carla Peterman

Commissioner
California Public Utilities Commission

Carla J. Peterman was appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in December 2012. Commissioner Peterman was the CPUC’s assigned Commissioner for a number of proceedings including energy efficiency, alternative transportation, energy storage, PCIA reform, California Teleconnect Fund reform, San Jose Water Company merger, and several rate cases.  As a Commissioner, Peterman served on many boards including the NARUC Board of Directors and the California Broadband Council. She served as the Chair of the Plug in Electric Vehicle Collaborative for 2012-2013.

She was previously appointed by Governor Brown, in 2011, to the California Energy Commission where she was lead Commissioner for renewables, transportation, and natural gas.

Carla Peterman has conducted research at the University of California Energy Institute and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and was an investment banker focused on energy financing at Lehman Brothers.

Carla Peterman holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Energy and Resources from The University of California Berkeley. She also earned a Master of Science degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Commissioner Peterman holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Howard University.

David Hochschild
Commissioner
California Energy Commission
Biography

David Hochschild

Commissioner
California Energy Commission

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

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

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

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

Andrée-Lise Méthot

Founder and Managing Partner
Cycle Capital Management

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

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

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

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

Cecilia Estolano
Co-Founder
Estolano LeSar Advisors
Biography

Cecilia Estolano

Co-Founder
Estolano LeSar Advisors

Cecilia V. Estolano is a foremost expert on contemporary urban planning issues ranging from economic and workforce development to land use, environmental equity and urban revitalization for cities and communities across the country.

During her nearly 30-year career, 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 President of the California Community College Board of Governors, and has served on the California Coastal Commission and many other boards and commissions. She received her A.B. from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges, M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA and J.D. from UC Berkeley.

Prior to founding Estolano LeSar Advisors in 2011, Cecilia served as CEO of CRA/LA; practiced land use and environmental law while Of Counsel at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher; Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. EPA during the Clinton Administration, and as Environmental Policy Advisor to former L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley.

Estolano LeSar Advisors is an award-winning urban planning and public policy firm. We work with public agencies, non-profits, philanthropies, and businesses to craft innovative solutions to address complex problems.

Brian Jordan
Vice President
Tetra Tech
Biography

Brian Jordan

Vice President
Tetra Tech

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

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

James Simonelli
Executive Director
California Metals Coalition
Biography

James Simonelli

Executive Director
California Metals Coalition

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

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

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

Michael Kadish
Executive Director, Greater Los Angeles
GRID Alternatives
Biography

Michael Kadish

Executive Director, Greater Los Angeles
GRID Alternatives

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

Carl Stills
Vice President, Imperial Valley Development and Storage Integration
8minutenergy
Biography

Carl Stills

Vice President, Imperial Valley Development and Storage Integration
8minutenergy

Carl has over 40 years of utility industry experience managing energy for California’s sixth largest utility, the Imperial Irrigation District, as the Energy Manager and the Portfolio Management Officer. During his tenure at the utility, Carl initiated strategic project management, implemented processes that saved hundreds of millions in costs, and oversaw the implementation of battery storage projects. As a member of the Geothermal Energy Association board, Carl helped initiate the use of renewable energy as a catalyst for addressing the Salton Sea environmental issues.

Carl is the Vice President of Imperial Valley Development and Storage Integration for 8minutenergy. He oversees the development of renewable projects in Imperial Valley and works with 8minutenergy’s storage team to bring energy storage projects to fruition.

Carl has over 40 years of utility industry experience managing energy for California’s sixth largest utility, the Imperial Irrigation District, as the Energy Manager and the Portfolio Management Officer. During his tenure at the utility, Carl initiated strategic project management, implemented processes that saved hundreds of millions in costs, and oversaw the implementation of battery storage projects. As a member of the Geothermal Energy Association board, Carl helped initiate the use of renewable energy as a catalyst for addressing the Salton Sea environmental issues.

Carl is the Vice President of Imperial Valley Development and Storage Integration for 8minutenergy. He oversees the development of renewable projects in Imperial Valley and works with 8minutenergy’s storage team to bring energy storage projects to fruition.

Robert Griffin
Vice President, Business Development
Customer First Renewables
Biography

Robert Griffin

Vice President, Business Development
Customer First Renewables

Robert (Bob) M. Griffin joined Customer First Renewables (CFR) in December 2016 as Vice President, Business Development with focus on the Federal Sector. Bob retired from the U.S. Navy with more than 36 years of public service and was selected to the Senior Executive Service in July of 2000. He was the Executive Director of the Navy’s Renewable Program Office, tasked with the overall planning, coordination and integration of large scale renewable energy projects to meet the Secretary of the Navy’s goal to bring 1GW of renewable energy in procurement to increase the Navy’s energy security and operational capability.

Naomi Kelly*
City Administrator
City and County of San Francisco
Biography

Naomi Kelly*

City Administrator
City and County of San Francisco

Naomi Maria Kelly is San Francisco’s City Administrator, the highest-ranking non-elected official of San Francisco City and County government.  In this capacity, Ms. Kelly oversees the General Services Agency consisting of 25 departments, divisions, and programs that include the Public Works Department, Department of Technology, Office of Contract Administration/Purchasing, Real Estate, County Clerk, Fleet Management, Convention Facilities, Animal Care and Control, Medical Examiner, and Treasure Island.  She is responsible for a 2,700-strong workforce, and an annual budget of nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars.

Ms. Kelly is strongly committed to strengthening the local economy; ensuring the efficacy of government services; increasing the City’s safety and resiliency; and optimizing the City’s capital planning and infrastructure.  Since her appointment and re-appointment by Mayor Edwin Lee in 2012 and 2017, her accomplishments include:

  • The appointment of City and County leaders such as:  Public Works Department Director; Director of Real Estate; Chief Information Officer and Department of Technology Director; Mayor’s Office on Disability Director; Animal Care and Control Director; City Hall Events Director; Treasure Island Director; Contract Monitoring Division Director; Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement Director, Office of Short Term Rentals Director; Purchaser; Chief Medical Examiner, Deputy City Administrator, and Chief Resilience Officer; 
  • The launching or absorbing of new programs such as:  Committee on Information Technology (COIT); Office of Short Term Rentals; Contract Monitoring Division; and Earthquake Safety Improvement Program / Office of Resilience and Recovery; 
  • The creation of a Budget and Planning team to improve budgeting, financial management, policy analysis, and program evaluation, and to utilize financial models for citywide work order programs and the elimination of structural deficits;
  • Service on numerous boards and committees including:
  • Capital Planning Committee:  As Chair of this Committee, Ms. Kelly oversees  a $35 billion, 10-year capital plan for the long-term safety, accessibility and modernization of San Francisco’s public infrastructure and facilities; sea level rise planning, and securing bond approvals in the areas of public health and transportation;
  • Committee on Information and Technology (COIT):  As Chair, Ms. Kelly oversees 5-year communication technology (ICT) plans, budgets and projects for all City departments;
  • Workforce Investment San Francisco (WISF) Board:  WISF is responsible for creating strategic workforce connections among industry, business, labor, educational institutions, and community based organizations to serve the needs of workers and employers in the region, and to support the City’s vision for economic competitiveness;
  • SF Community Investment Fund (SFCIF) Board:  SFCIF is a California nonprofit public benefit corporation that serves as a community development entity to apply for a new market tax credits allocation from the U.S. Treasury to help underserved communities, and provide private capital investment to projects that may not otherwise be completed; and
  • Mayor’s “Our Children, Our Families” Council: The Council is responsible for developing a five-year plan to coordinate available resources and services for data-sharing between the City and schools to better serve families, children and youth in the City.  The Council will also create, maintain and make available an inventory of all citywide services for children and youth, including state and federally funded programs.
  • Oversight and management of major private-public partnerships such as the celebration of the San Francisco City Hall Centennial, and the Bay Area Women’s Summit;
  • Coordination of efforts to re-envision San Francisco’s public housing policy by conducting various stakeholders’ meetings to identify the challenges and issues facing public housing, and make recommendations to help improve the Housing Authority;
  • Strategic direction and management of initiatives in the areas of public housing, community benefits, local business development, earthquake safety and disaster preparedness, Local Hiring Ordinance, Digital Services, and renewable diesel;
  • Oversight and management of Moscone Convention Facilities expansion, new Medical Examiner’s Office building, Animal Care Shelter, Central Shop relocation, and 1500 Mission Street project;
  • Authorization of same-sex marriage license issuances at San Francisco City Hall in late June 2013 just hours after a federal appeals court cleared the way for the State of California to lift a 4.5 year freeze;
  • Facilitation of major program accomplishments, such as: 
  • Treasure Island development: completed first land transfer, new ramps, Naval remediation, increased commercial leasing and business activity, readied Yerba Buena Island for new construction;
  • Convention Facilities:  renegotiated contract with significantly improved terms to increase revenue, transparency, and capital contribution;
  • Fleet (3 fleets of multiple vehicles and more than 500 users):  expanded use of telematics, and launched Vehicle on Demand System (VoDS). 

Prior to her City Administrator position, Ms. Kelly was appointed City Purchaser and Director of the Office of Contract Administration by Mayor Gavin Newsom.  She previously served as Special Assistant in the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, and the Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs, under Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr.  She also served as the City’s Executive Director of the Taxicab Commission. 

Ms. Kelly, a native San Franciscan, is the first woman and African American to serve as City Administrator of the City and County of San Francisco.  She received her undergraduate and law degrees, respectively, from New York University, and the University of San Francisco.  Ms. Kelly is a member of the California State Bar.  She and her husband, Harlan L. Kelly, Jr., General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and their two sons reside in San Francisco.  

Enrique Zaldivar
Director
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation
Biography

Enrique Zaldivar

Director
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation

Enrique was originally appointed Director of the Bureau of Sanitation in 2007 and reappointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti in September 2013. Sanitation oversees the City of Los Angeles Clean Water, Solid Resources and Watershed Protection programs, which combined have a revenue value of over $1.1 billion, with a staff of nearly 3000 employees. LASAN is also the lead environmental department for the City.

Through Sanitation’s efforts, the City has been at forefront of environmental stewardship, from the restoration of Santa Monica Bay, to achieving one of the highest recycling rates among large cities in the world, over 76%, to the implementation of the Low Impact Development (LID) Ordinance for stormwater capture and infiltration. Mayor Garcetti has made environmental sustainability one of the primary pillars of his administration, and LA Sanitation plays a critical role in his initiatives.

The City of Los Angeles has embarked on an ambitious goal of making LA a Zero Waste City, a 90% reduction in landfill disposal by the year 2025.  Resource recovery is at the center of the City’s solid waste management strategy. LASAN has embarked, jointly with LADWP, on the development of the One Water LA Plan to integrate all water-related planning efforts in support of Mayor Garcetti’s Water Executive Directive No. 5.

Enrique serves on the board of several organizations such as the US Water Alliance, the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission and others. Enrique is a registered civil engineer. He and his wife Brenda, have three children, sons Enrique Jr. and Alonzo, and daughter Carina.

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.

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

Yuri Freedman

Senior Director, Business Development
Southern California Gas Company

Yuri has broad experience as a developer and investor in gas infrastructure and power generation assets.  In his current role of Senior Director, Business Development, he manages the portfolio of growth initiatives and R&D activities of Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas). Prior to his current role he held the position of Director, Commercial Development for Sempra LNG and Midstream, and previously held the positions of Director, Infrastructure Investments for Sempra US Gas and Power, and Director, Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions for Sempra Energy. 

Prior to joining Sempra Energy, Yuri was a Managing Director on the energy team of Fortress Investment Group and a Vice President in General Electric's energy investment arm, GE Energy Financial Services. He began his career as a geologist working in Arctic regions of Western Siberia on the development and construction of oil and gas pipelines. 

Yuri holds a MS in Engineering Geology from Moscow University (Russia), a PhD in Environmental Science and Energy Research from the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel), and a MBA from the Yale School of Management.

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.

Marcie Edwards
Former General Manager
LADWP
Biography

Marcie Edwards

Former General Manager
LADWP

Marcie is the 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.

Aura Vazquez
Commissioner
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Biography

Aura Vazquez

Commissioner
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Wieckowski

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

Senator Bob Wieckowski represents the 10th Senate District in the California State Legislature. The district stretches from southern Alameda County into Santa Clara County and shares the member’s focus on job creation, clean technologies, protecting our environment and reducing unnecessary regulations.

Mr. Wieckowski chairs the Environmental Quality Committee and Budget Subcommittee 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation.  He is also a member of the Senate committees on Judiciary; Budget and Fiscal Review; Transportation and Housing; and Ethics.  He was appointed by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon to serve on the Energy and Environment Committee of the Council of State Governments West and in 2017 became the first Californian to chair the committee. The Senator is a state leader in advocating for climate adaptation programs and has participated on state and regional panels examining green infrastructure investments.

A strong voice in the Legislature for consumers and low-income earners, he received the “Champion of Justice” Award from the East Bay Community Law Center for fighting against abusive debt collectors and oppressive wage garnishments.  Statewide organizations have selected him Legislator of the Year and the California Judges Association gave him its “Scales of Justice Award” for his steadfast support for increased court funding. Tech America also named him “Legislator of the Year.”

Mr. Wieckowski is a small business owner and a bankruptcy attorney.  He has helped hundreds of families and seniors persevere through economic hardship, keep their homes and live with dignity.  He received his B.A. from the University of California and his J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law.

Senator Wieckowski lives in Fremont with his wife, Sue.

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.

Noah Perch-Ahern
Partner-Environmental & Energy Department
Glaser Weil
Biography

Noah Perch-Ahern

Partner-Environmental & Energy Department
Glaser Weil

Noah Perch-Ahern, a Partner in Glaser Weil's Environmental & Energy Department, maintains a broad national environmental and energy practice and is often engaged to work on cases of first impression and other sharply disputed matters.  Mr. Perch-Ahern has significant litigation experience and has taken cases to trial.  At the same time, Mr. Perch-Ahern regularly helps clients devise solutions to difficult regulatory problems and represents clients in connection with administrative proceedings.  A significant component of Mr. Perch-Ahern’s practice also involves transactional matters.  For example, Mr. Perch-Ahern frequently advises clients concerning the environmental aspects of business transactions, represents energy-focused startup companies, and counsels clients in connection with the environmental land use matters related to development projects, including industrial, commercial, and renewable energy projects.  

Varun Sivaram
Philip D. Reed Fellow
Council on Foreign Relations
Biography

Varun Sivaram

Philip D. Reed Fellow
Council on Foreign Relations

Varun Sivaram is the Philip D. Reed fellow for science and technology at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, a nonresident fellow at the Columbia University Center for Global Energy Policy, and a member of the advisory boards for the Stanford University Woods Institute for the Environment and Precourt Institute for Energy. Forbes named him one of the 30 under 30 in Law and Policy, Grist selected him as one of the top 50 leaders in sustainability, and Klout ranked him as one of the top 5 global thought leaders on solar energy. He is the author of the book, Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet (MIT University Press, March 2018). 

Dr. Sivaram also serves as strategic advisor to the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Reforming the Energy Vision, and he was formerly a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he counseled Fortune 500 companies on adapting to the modern competitive landscape in energy. Prior to this role, he served as senior advisor for energy and water policy to the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, and oversaw the city’s Department of Water and Power. 

Dr. Sivaram’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial TimesForeign Affairs, the Journal of Applied Physics, the Journal of Physical ChemistryNatureNature EnergyNature Climate ChangeScientific American, and Issues in Science and Technology. He has also given talks around the world, including at the Aspen Ideas Festival and World Economic Forum. A Truman and a Rhodes scholar, he holds degrees from Stanford University in engineering physics and international relations, with honors in international security. Dr. Sivaram holds a PhD in condensed matter physics from St. John’s College, Oxford University, where he developed third-generation solar photovoltaic coatings for building-integrated applications. He lives in Washington, DC.

Diane Wittenberg
Chair
California State Parks and Recreation Commission
Biography

Diane Wittenberg

Chair
California State Parks and Recreation Commission

Wittenberg was executive director at the California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative from 2010 to 2012. She was executive director at the Climate Registry from 2007 to 2010 and president of the California Climate Action Registry from 2001 to 2006. Wittenberg held multiple positions at Edison International from 1985 to 2000, including vice president of corporate communications, president of Edison EV, president of the Edison Utility Alliances and vice president of corporate communications at Southern California Edison. 

Mark Pruner
Chair
Delta Protection Advisory Committee
Biography

Mark Pruner

Chair
Delta Protection Advisory Committee

Mark Pruner serves as the chair to the Delta Protection Advisory Committee (DPAC), the statutory advisory body to the Delta Protection Commission (DPC).  The DPAC is composed of 15 members representing diverse interests within the Delta, including agriculture, flood control, water resources, habitat and conservation, recreation, residents, water exports, state and federal agencies, and the public.  Many of the policies, projects and ideas across the spectrum of interests affecting the Delta come before the DPAC for input and recommendation to the DPC for possible action. 

Pruner also serves as the chair of the Board of Commissioners of the Clarksburg Fire Protection District, is a founder of North Delta C.A.R.E.S., a volunteer Delta advocacy organization, and serves in various other community leadership roles in the Delta, where he and his family have lived for over 20 years.  Pruner is a fifth generation Californian, from a farming family background, is a Judge pro tem with the Sacramento Superior Court, and is an attorney in private practice emphasizing real property and business matters. 

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.

Irene Burga
California Climate & Energy Manager
Environmental Defense Fund
Biography

Irene Burga

California Climate & Energy Manager
Environmental Defense Fund

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

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

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

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

Michael George
Delta Watermaster
State of California
Biography

Michael George

Delta Watermaster
State of California

Michael Patrick George was appointed to a four-year term as Delta Watermaster beginning in January, 2015.  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.  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 to starting his term, 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 company 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.

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.

Angela Konert
Head of Government and External Affairs
BMW Group
Biography

Angela Konert

Head of Government and External Affairs
BMW Group

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

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

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

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. 

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.

Eric Corey Freed
Sustainability Disruptor
Morrison Hershfield
Biography

Eric Corey Freed

Sustainability Disruptor
Morrison Hershfield

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

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

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

Manuel Pastor
Director
USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity
Biography

Manuel Pastor

Director
USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity

Dr. Manuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He directs the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE)  and USC's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) and is the inaugural holder of the Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change at USC.

Recognized for his work at the intersection of the academy and activism, he received the Wally Marks Changemaker of the Year Award from the Liberty Hill Foundation for his many research partnerships with social justice organizations. His current research is looking at the last several decades of economic, social, and environmental transformations in California – and what they can tell us about the road ahead for the U.S.

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 29 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.

Liang Downey
Business Executive - Energy, Environment and Utility Industry
IBM
Biography

Liang Downey

Business Executive - Energy, Environment and Utility Industry
IBM

Liang works for IBM as a Business Executive for IBM’s Energy, Environment & Utilities Global Industry. She leads the development of IOT, analytics and cognitive computing solutions for IBM’s customers and partners, to help them create new offerings in the changing energy landscape, better balance the distributed energy supply and demand, eliminate energy waste and promote sustainability.  Her professional experience spans over 20 years in consulting, management and technology incubation across the energy, transportation and wireless computing industries. For 5 years at a renewable energy microgrid start up, she helped the company grow, from business strategy, partnership to licensing company’s IP. Liang was one of the key initiators for the IEEE Humanitarian Technology Challenge (HTC) in 2009. HTC aimed at enabling remote villages that lack access to electricity by deploying a solar Trailer to light up and digitize the dark homes village by village. HTC has since evolved into an award Winning IEEE Smart Village program today.

Ms. Downey is an Adcom member of the IEEE TEMS Society 2016-2020 and the Region 4 Chair for Women In Engineering. She earned a Master Degree in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University in New York, with GPA 4.0/4.0.  She received her MBA in Finance from Wayne State University in Dec. 2014.

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.

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.

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

Michelle Boehm

Southern California Regional Director
California High-Speed Rail Authority

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

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

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

William Funderburk
Vice President
LADWP Board of Commissioners
Biography

William Funderburk

Vice President
LADWP Board of Commissioners

William Funderburk is an environmental lawyer with a keen understanding of the how to deal with the critical issues that our nation faces today.  Since 2013 Mr. Funderburk has served as the Vice President of the Board of Commissioners for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and he has been 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, 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.  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.

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.).  He was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and two daughters.

Harlan Kelly
General Manager
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Harlan Kelly

General Manager
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. is General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), the third largest municipal utility in California, and a Department of the City and County of San Francisco with a workforce of 2,500 employees providing retail 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 and residents.  Mayor Ed Lee appointed Mr. Kelly to lead the utility in 2012.  Mr. Kelly previously served as the SFPUC’s Assistant General Manager, Infrastructure, for nine years.  He oversees $10 billion in capital programs for water, sewer and power, including the $4.6 billion Water System Improvement Program, the $6.9 billion Sewer System Improvement Program, and the $1.8 billion Hetch Hetchy System Improvement Program.  As an authority on water, sewer and power policy, he is in high demand as a speaker at numerous summits, forums and conferences throughout the country, and has provided expert testimony to the United States Senate on wastewater resource recovery.  Mr. Kelly attained his degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, and is a licensed engineer.  His career in public service spans over three decades including his tenure as the City Engineer of San Francisco (1996-2003).  He is on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), as well as the Bay Area Council.  He co-founded the youth internship program Project Pull, which has been in continuous operation since 1995.  His writing and insights are featured in The Value of Water – A Compendium of Essays by Smart CEOs.  He and his wife, attorney and San Francisco City Administrator Naomi M. Kelly, and their two sons, reside in San Francisco.

Dean Florez
Board Member
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Dean Florez

Board Member
California Air Resources Board

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

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

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

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

Drew Torbin
Co-Founder and CEO
BlackBear Energy
Biography

Drew Torbin

Co-Founder and CEO
BlackBear Energy

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

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

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 regional vice president of external affairs and environmental strategy for SoCalGas. He is responsible for the company’s public affairs, community relations, public policy and energy and environmental affairs functions. 

Minter is a long-time policy professional specializing in energy and environmental matters, strategic planning, program development, communications and political advocacy. 

Before re-joining SoCalGas as senior director of policy and environment, Minter was managing principal for L.A.-based public affairs firms Greer/Dailey/Minter and GM Public Affairs from 2000 to 2013. There he managed public policy initiatives and communications programs to approve large energy and land use projects. 

Minter also served in the capacity as director and manager of a number of other functions for SoCalGas from 1985–2000. Prior to his career at SoCalGas, Minter was a political consultant handling local, state and national political campaigns, responsible for strategy development, campaign management, direct mail and television and radio production. 

Minter has served as a board member of numerous civic associations and community organizations, including the Central City Assoc., Valley Industry and Commerce Assoc., L.A. Family Housing Corp. (as board chair), Coro Foundation, Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at Cal-State L.A., Center for the Study of L.A. at Loyola Marymount University, Campaign to Clear the Air and the California League of Conservation Voters Foundation. He was one of the founders of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, a federal energy trade association, and the California CCS Coalition, a statewide energy advocacy organization. 

He currently serves as co-chair of the Energy, Water and Environmental Sustainability Council of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, is a Board member at the Coalition for Clean Air, the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition and CCEEB, serves on the Advisory Boards of the Clean Tech Initiative of the LAEDC and Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL). 

Minter 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 recently was awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from the U.S. Council on Service and Civic Participation. 

He is a Phi Beta Kappa and honors graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.

Matt Horton
Chief Commercial Officer
Proterra Inc
Biography

Matt Horton

Chief Commercial Officer
Proterra Inc

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

 
Marissa Christiansen
Executive Director
Friends of the Los Angeles River
Biography

Marissa Christiansen

Executive Director
Friends of the Los Angeles River

Marissa Christiansen is the Executive Director of Friends of the LA River (FOLAR). Prior to FOLAR, she held roles in policy, advocacy and development at XPRIZE and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, among others. Her deep abiding love for LA began at USC where she earned her Master’s in Urban Planning [fight on]. Her inner compass and lifelong passion for counter-culture has magnetized her to the nonprofit world. A proud California native, her primary inspiration is the beauty and power of our natural landscape. To help guide the movement centered on LA’s most diversely textured and inconspicuously beautiful resource is basically her dream come true.

Felicia Marcus
Chair
California State Water Resources Control Board
Biography

Felicia Marcus

Chair
California State Water Resources Control Board

Felicia Marcus was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the State Water Resources Control Board (Board) for the State of California in 2012, and designated by the Governor as Chair in April of 2013.  The Board is responsible for both water quality and water rights issues in the state and is currently focusing on issues ranging from setting water quality objectives for the San Francisco Bay and Delta; to general permits for stormwater pollution control; to reviewing irrigated lands permits to control agricultural drainage.  The Board sets statewide policy, settles water rights disagreements, and hears appeals of local regional board water quality decisions. 

Before her appointment to the Water Board, she was the Western Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a national environmental leader in bringing science, law, and policy expertise to solving our world’s pressing environmental and conservation challenges. Prior to joining NRDC, Felicia was the Executive VP/COO of the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national non-profit devoted to conserving land for people. Before coming to TPL, Felicia served as the Regional Administrator of the U.S. EPA Region IX in the Clinton Administration where she was known for her work in bringing unlikely allies together for environmental progress and for making the agency more responsive to the communities it serves, particularly Indian Tribes, communities of color, local government, and agricultural and business interests. While at USEPA, Felicia worked extensively on the range of environmental issues under EPA’s jurisdiction, most heavily in air quality, Bay-Delta water, tribal, and US-Mexico border issues. Prior to that, Felicia headed Los Angeles’ Department of Public Works at a time when the City went from garnering lawsuits to garnering national awards for environmental excellence. Felicia came to Public Works after extensive experience as a public interest lawyer and community organizer in Los Angeles.

She currently serves or has served in the past on many non-profit boards and Advisory Councils including the Public Policy Institute of California Statewide Leadership Council, Sustainable Conservation, USC-Kesten Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy, and the Center for Diversity and the Environment. She is also currently an Obama Administration appointee to the Commission on Environmental Cooperation-Joint Public Advisory Council (US, Mexico, Canada) and was a Schwarzenegger Administration appointee to the Delta Stewardship Council prior to being appointed to the Water Board.

Clare Fox
Executive Director
Los Angeles Food Policy Council
Biography

Clare Fox

Executive Director
Los Angeles Food Policy Council

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

Jacob Lipa
CEO
Micropolitan
Biography

Jacob Lipa

CEO
Micropolitan

Jacob Lipa is the CEO of Micropolitan, a real estate development subsidiary of Psomas.  Micropolitan builds, owns and operates apartment buildings.   Prior to founding Micropolitan, Jacob served as the president of Psomas for over 10 years.  Psomas is a consulting engineering firm serving public and private clients throughout the Western United States and headquartered in Los Angeles.  The firm specializes in the land development, water, and transportation markets. In addition to Psomas and Micropolitan, Jacob in partnership with FMG founded PsomasFMG, a solar development company serving the public and educational markets.

Jacob Lipa is the past Chairman of the Los Angeles Business Council, the past President of the Friends of Ballona Wetlands, the past president of the LA County Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies.  He is a Board member of the Engineering School of Cal Poly University, a board member of the Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, and serves as an advisor to several private local and international companies.

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.

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

Ruben Dagstanyan

Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
Tabuchi Electric Company

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

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

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

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

Carl Muhlstein
International Director
Jones Lang LaSalle
Biography

Carl Muhlstein

International Director
Jones Lang LaSalle

Carl Muhlstein, International Director, is based in JLL's Downtown Los Angeles office. Active in Los Angeles commercial real estate for more than 30 years, Carl's background includes all forms of tenant, landlord, and investment related assignments with a special emphasis on the entertainment industry, creative office and development.  Carl has served in senior positions with Cushman & Wakefield, Cushman Realty Corporation, Insignia/ESG Capital Advisors and Tishman Speyer Properties.

Larry Kosmont
President & CEO
Kosmont Companies
Biography

Larry Kosmont

President & CEO
Kosmont Companies

Larry J. Kosmont, CRE®, is President and CEO of Kosmont Companies, which he founded in 1986. Kosmont Companies is an industry leader in public/private real estate transactions and economic development. In 1990, he founded Kosmont Realty Corporation, a real estate brokerage firm. In 2015, he launched Kosmont Transactions Services which sources private financing for public projects, P3 initiatives, and infrastructure funding. He’s also a Principal of California Golden Fund, an approved EB-5 Regional Center.

His 40-year career encompasses public/private financial structuring and negotiations, development, and management of real estate and public finance transactions exceeding $12B. He has an extensive track record as a consultant and advisor who has assisted hundreds of local government agencies and guided over 1,000 private sector projects.

Sheba Hafiz
Associate Principal & Water Business Leader
Arup
Biography

Sheba Hafiz

Associate Principal & Water Business Leader
Arup
Robert Greene
Writer, Editorial Board
Los Angeles Times
Biography

Robert Greene

Writer, Editorial Board
Los Angeles Times

Robert Greene is a Los Angeles Times editorial writer covering California and Los Angeles government, politics, policy and law.

Greene previously was a staff writer for the L.A. Weekly and a reporter and associate editor for the Metropolitan News-Enterprise. Prior to becoming a journalist, he was an attorney in Los Angeles. He is a resident of Highland Park and a graduate of USC and Georgetown University Law School.

Justin Erbacci
Chief Innovation & Technology Officer
Los Angeles World Airports
Biography

Justin Erbacci

Chief Innovation & Technology Officer
Los Angeles World Airports

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

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

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

Richard Maullin
Chair
California ISO Board of Governors
Biography

Richard Maullin

Chair
California ISO Board of Governors

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

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

Irma Muñoz
Chair
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Biography

Irma Muñoz

Chair
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy

Irma Muñoz is the founder and president of Mujeres de la Tierra (MDLT) – an environmental equity, non-profit focused on healing La Madre Tierra which has benefitted under-resourced neighborhoods of color since 2007.  MDLT believes in the power of one and that community action starts with individual participation and has inspired local women and their children to take ownership of leadership of neighborhood issues and concerns.

Through the organization’s economic empowerment platform, Irma has brought sustainable and green opportunities to marginalized populations, proving that an investment in clean water is an investment in communities. 

Irma Muñoz serves as a member of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board – currently serving as chair of both.

She is known for the development of creative, cultural relevant project to educate and engage members of the family including Telenovelas in the Park, Agua es Vida/Water is Life, La Paletera de Los Angeles and has worked with the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum on urban water parkways.

Mark Bozigian
City Manager
City of Lancaster
Biography

Mark Bozigian

City Manager
City of Lancaster

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

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

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

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

Darrell Steinberg
Mayor
City of Sacramento
Biography

Darrell Steinberg

Mayor
City of Sacramento

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

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

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

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

Jay Ziegler

Director of External Affairs and Policy
The Nature Conservancy

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

Peter Wijsman
Vice President
ARCADIS North America
Biography

Peter Wijsman

Vice President
ARCADIS North America

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

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.

Sylvain Castonguay
CEO
Nordresa
Biography

Sylvain Castonguay

CEO
Nordresa

Sylvain Castonguay is a mechanical engineer with both bachelor and master’s degree from University of Sherbrooke, in Quebec, Canada. He has been involved in hybrid and electric vehicles since 2001.  He started his first company in 2002 before accepting a position as technical director at the Center for Electric Vehicle Experimentation in 2004 where he led several technical projects, from adoption of Segways to hybrid urban buses.   At the Center he was responsible for assembling a talented technical team responsible for building electric vehicle prototypes for NovaBus, Lion Buses, LTS Marine, and Nordco as well as working for customers such as Renault, Via Motors, Cities of Montreal, Laval, Quebec City and more.  In 2014, he received the Medal of the National assembly of Quebec for his work on electrification of transportation.

In 2015, he founded Nordresa and now leads a team of passionate people developing, manufacturing and commercializing electric powertrains for commercial trucks. Thanks to a state of the art automotive grade battery, Nordresa is capable of offering the best electric alternative for vehicles based on two of the most popular chassis: the Ford E-450 and the Isuzu N Series.  Nordresa’s technology has been implemented by a major Canadian parcel delivery company and is now commercially available both in Canada and the USA. With existing incentives, this technology can be implemented with a rapid return on investment from 2 to 4 years and with an immediate 85% reduction in maintenance cost. The company uses automotive proven components, direct drive power trains and offers the best value for the commercial truck market.

Dan Sturges
Transport Designer
Biography

Dan Sturges

Transport Designer

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

Clare DeBriere
Chair
Urban Land Institute - Los Angeles
Biography

Clare DeBriere

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

Albert Cheung

Head of Global Analysis
Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Albert manages the global research team at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), the leading provider of independent research on transformation in the energy sector. Albert’s group is responsible for BNEF’s research in renewable energy, energy storage, energy smart technologies and advanced transport, as well as cross-sector modelling. Albert joined BNEF in 2009 and has previously led the company’s product management group, as well as its energy smart technologies analyst team. Albert holds a MEng in Electrical and Information Engineering from the University of Cambridge.

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. Weisgall also serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies and vice president of the Geothermal Energy Association. 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. Weisgall graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia College and from Stanford Law School and has published articles in Legal Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, SAIS Review, and The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Woodie Tescher
Los Angeles Principal
PlaceWorks
Biography

Woodie Tescher

Los Angeles Principal
PlaceWorks

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

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

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.

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.

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

Norma Garcia

Chief Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Melanie Nutter
former Director
San Francisco Department of Environment
Biography

Melanie Nutter

former Director
San Francisco Department of Environment

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

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

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

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

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

Larsh Johnson
Chief Technology Officer
Stem
Biography

Larsh Johnson

Chief Technology Officer
Stem

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

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

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

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

Randall Winston
Executive Director
Strategic Growth Council
Biography

Randall Winston

Executive Director
Strategic Growth Council

Randall Winston was appointed Acting Executive Director of the Strategic Growth Council in July 2015 and was officially sworn in as Executive Director in December 2015. Prior to his appointment, Randall served in Governor Brown's office as Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary, where he helped lead implementation of Governor Brown's Executive Orders on Green Buildings and Zero Emission Vehicles as well as international climate change policy. Randall has professional experience in architecture, urban development, venture technology and finance, most recently having worked for the architecture and integrated design practice Foster + Partners prior to joining Governor Brown's office as an Executive Fellow through the Center for California Studies' Capital Fellows Program. Randall was a founding director at Causes, a venture technology company led by Facebook's founding president, and worked in Beijing, China for SOHO China, an integrated urban development and architecture firm, as well as Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities, a China mainland joint-venture with Goldman Sachs.

Randall received a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in Government from Harvard University. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, Urban Land Institute and Pacific Council on International Policy.

Herb Wesson
President
Los Angeles City Coucil
Biography

Herb Wesson

President
Los Angeles City Coucil

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

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

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

 

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. David also oversees the implementation of LADWP’s class-leading water conservation and efficiency programs, as well as the customer-facing integration of water and energy efficiency program delivery both within LADWP and also through a nation-leading joint program partnership with the natural gas utility serving Los Angeles, the Southern California Gas Company.

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

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.

Mary Patton
Founder
Nutopia
Biography

Mary Patton

Founder
Nutopia

Mary Patton is a seasoned business executive and veteran cannabis activist whose professional career path has taken her from award-winning marketing campaigns, working with clients such as Intel and Sun Microsystems for L!VE Marketing, to high profile entertainment industry positions with KZOK FM Radio, Harpo Studios, Rhino Entertainment, and Amoeba Music, before settling full-time into the cannabis industry with a focus on policy reform and business development.

What began as a volunteer passion project in the early 1990s, eventually became a life’s mission when she left her career in media, marketing and entertainment, to join a top cannabis policy organization, The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) as Director of VIP Relations in 2008. Combining business savvy with her production, marketing and communications skills, Ms. Patton enlisted and engaged high-profile celebrity advocates to speak out on cannabis prohibition, organized star-studded fundraising events and helped to change the social narrative and attitudes surrounding marijuana to advance the legalization movement. After leaving MPP, Mary worked with Gov. Gary Johnson’s Our America Initiative, then joined his campaign team on his 2012 run for President of the United States.  Since 2010, Ms. Patton has been a sought-after cannabis industry consultant, lending her expertise and advice to state policy initiatives and cannabis industry start-ups, many of which have gone on to become some of the top companies in the cannabis industry.  A key area of focus in Ms. Patton's work revolves around guiding her clients into compliance while implementing responsible and sustainable business practices.

Renata Simril
President and CEO
LA84
Biography

Renata Simril

President and CEO
LA84

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.

Katherine Perez-Estolano
Associate Principal & Los Angeles Cities Leader
Arup
Biography

Katherine Perez-Estolano

Associate Principal & Los Angeles Cities Leader
Arup

Mrs. Perez-Estolano is the Los Angeles Cities Leader and Associate Principal with Arup. She is an expert in urban planning, transportation, and stakeholder engagement. In the planning and land use field, she is highly regarded for developing complex public participation strategies that require collaboration among multi-cultural communities. With her background in community development, private real estate development, transportation policy and urban planning, she is recognized as a leader in the planning and development fields and speaks at conferences throughout the country.

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

Michael Kelly

Executive Director
Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Brian Swett
Cities Leader-Americas
Arup
Biography

Brian Swett

Cities Leader-Americas
Arup

Brian Swett is a Principal in Arup’s Boston office and serves as Director of Cities and Sustainable Real Estate. In this role, Brian leads the work of Arup in the Americas to integrate its advisory services with its key strengths in design, engineering and planning, delivered in the city context. He is a nationally recognized leader in climate change and sustainability strategy with over a decade of leadership experience in municipal government, real estate development, federal government, and non-profit sectors. Brian brings a breadth of experience on the government and private sides of sustainable urban development and management that allows him to deliver integrated and actionable strategies and solutions for major clients.

Prior to joining Arup, Brian served as Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space for the City of Boston. Encompassing 400+ employees and a $40 million budget, Brian led a variety of major policy initiatives; launched Greenovate Boston and Climate Ready Boston; and led the 2015 update to the City’s Climate Action Plan.  Under his leadership, Boston was recognized by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) as the #1 city in the country for energy efficiency policies and programs in their 2013 and 2015 biennial rankings.

Kathleen Brown
Partner
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Biography

Kathleen Brown

Partner
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Kathleen Brown’s practice focuses on business counseling, government and regulatory affairs, particularly as they relate to the healthcare, energy and financial services industries.

Ms. Brown brings to her practice a background that includes 18 years as a senior executive in the banking and financial services industry and 16 years of public sector experience, including a term as California’s state treasurer.

Ms. Brown joined Manatt after more than 12 years at Goldman Sachs, Inc., a global investment banking and securities firm, where she served as chairman of Midwest Investment Banking and, prior to that, as managing director and head of the firm’s Western Region Public Sector and Infrastructure Group. Ms. Brown also held various senior positions with Bank of America, including president of the private bank.

During her tenure with Goldman Sachs, she worked closely with healthcare institutions in California and the Midwest in both an investment banking and strategic advisory capacity, with a particular focus on helping firms navigate the challenges and leverage the opportunities presented by healthcare reform. She also worked with energy clients and participated in over $4.2 billion of water and power bond financings, working extensively with municipal utilities in California, including on projects to meet California’s renewable energy standards.

Ms. Brown’s experience in the government arena includes serving a term as California state treasurer, where she managed a $25 billion bond portfolio, oversaw a $32 billion cash management fund and served as a trustee on the boards of CALPERS and CALSTRS, two of the largest pension funds in the nation. During that time she was co chair of the Council of Institutional Investors. She was the Democratic Party nominee for Governor of California in 1994, the co chair of the Presidential Commission on Capital Budgeting, a commissioner of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, and a two term member of the Los Angeles Board of Education.

Before beginning her campaign for treasurer, Ms. Brown was an attorney in the New York and Los Angeles offices of a global law firm, where she was a member of the Capital Markets Group specializing in public and corporate finance.
 

EDUCATION

Fordham University Law School, J.D., 1985

Stanford University, B.A., History, 1969
 

MEMBERSHIPS & ACTIVITIES

Director, Forestar Group Inc.

Director, Sempra Energy

Director, National Park Foundation

Founding Director, The California Women’s Foundation

Member, Council on Foreign Relations

Member, The Trusteeship

Board Member, Stanford Center on Longevity

Former Board Member, The California Endowment

Former Board Member, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
 

HONORS & AWARDS

Most Valuable State Official, City And State , 1993

“Breaking The Glass Ceiling Award,” Women Executives in State Government, 1994

“Lifetime Achievement Award,” Women in Public Finance, 2009

“Women To Watch In 2011,” Crainʹs Chicago
 

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Moderator, “Financing Resilient Infrastructure,” 2014 VerdeXchange Green Marketmakers Conference & Expo, January 27, 2014.

Moderator, “The Promise of an Interstate, Multi Modal Regional Network—The High Desert Corridor,” 2014 VerdeXchange Green Marketmakers Conference & Expo, January 27, 2014.

Panelist, ʺ Effective Government Responsive Leadership,ʺ  The Milken Institute Summit, November 21, 2013.

RADM Yancy Lindsey
Rear Admiral
U.S. Navy
Biography

RADM Yancy Lindsey

Rear Admiral
U.S. Navy

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

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

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

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

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

Steven Powell
Southern California Edison
Biography

Steven Powell

Southern California Edison

Steven Powell is vice president of Strategy, Integrated Planning & Performance at Southern California Edison (SCE). His department is responsible for the utility’s strategic planning, technology strategy, and integrated grid and resource planning. He also oversees SCE’s Operational and Service Excellence program, a company-wide business transformation effort to drive first-quartile operational performance and a higher performing culture. Most recently, Powell served as director of Strategic Planning at Edison International (EIX) developing and executing growth strategies in new businesses for Edison. The team acquired SoCore Energy and made a series of minority investments to establish an energy service offering for commercial and industrial customers.

Powell has over 15 years of experience within the Edison companies, having started at EIX Strategic Planning in 2000. Since then, he has spent over eight years at SCE performing resource planning and strategy, managing gas and power procurement contracts, and running the program management office for SCE’s plug-in electric vehicle readiness efforts.

He has a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and received his MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Mark Pestrella
Director
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works
Biography

Mark Pestrella

Director
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

Mark Pestrella is the Director of the County of Los Angeles Department of Public  Works. In this capacity he also 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 $2.5 billion and a workforce of 4,000 employees, the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works is the largest municipal public works agency in the United States, providing vital public infrastructure and civic services to more than 10 million people across a 4,000 square mile service area.

A native of Southern California, Mr. Pestrella 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.   He is a licensed civil engineer  in  the  State  of  California  and  has  taught  post-graduate  classes  in  Civil  Engineering and Land Development Entitlement at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Mr.  Pestrella  is  a  30-year  veteran  of  the  Department  and  has  held  a  variety  of  management positions.   Mr. Pestrella  is  also  an  active  member  of  the  American  Public Works  Association, American  Society of Civil Engineers, American Water Works Association, Association of California Water  Agencies,  National  Association of  Flood  and  Stormwater Management Agencies  (Board Member), Southern California Water Committee, and Urban Water Institute (Board Member).

The Department designs, constructs, operates, and maintains roads,  highways, bridges, airports, sewers, and flood control and water conservation facilities, as  well as water distribution systems for the  County, the  Flood  Control  District, special  districts,  and  contract  cities.    In  addition,  the Department provides management services for capital  projects and serves as a first responder for disaster  preparedness,  response,  and  recovery.    The  Department  provides  leadership  in  the countywide  transportation  system,  traffic   mitigation  efforts,  and  solid  and   hazardous  waste management planning.

Paul Relis
Senior Vice President
CR&R Environmental Services
Biography

Paul Relis

Senior Vice President
CR&R Environmental Services

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

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

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

Angelina Galiteva
Founder
Renewables 100 Policy Institute
Biography

Angelina Galiteva

Founder
Renewables 100 Policy Institute
Ms. Galiteva works to structure and advance the implementation of cutting edge energy policies that reflect the increasing role of renewable energy, storage, energy efficiency, electric mobility and distributed energy technologies worldwide.  Ms. Galiteva is currently serving a third term on the Board of the California Independent System Operator Corporation.  She is the founder and Chair of the Board for the Renewables 100 Policy Institute and also serves as a Renewable Energy Expert Speaker for the US Department of State.  Angelina been sent on numerous missions around the world in this expert capacity. 
 
Ms. Galiteva’s industry experience spans from serving as a Principal at NEOptions, Inc., a renewable energy and new technology product design firm to the utility sector where she worked as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power as well as the New York Power Authority. Ms. Galiteva is an attorney and holds a J.D. and LLM Degrees, specializing in Environmental and Energy Law.
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.

Elva Yanez
Director
Prevention Institute
Biography

Elva Yanez

Director
Prevention Institute

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

Steve Sullivan
Managing Director (retired)
Southern California Edison
Biography

Steve Sullivan

Managing Director (retired)
Southern California Edison

Steve Sullivan retired from Edison International in October 2013, after 35 years with the company. Edison is the parent company of Southern California Edison, a regulated electric utility. Mr. Sullivan led the two largest SCE organizations dedicated to serving government customers: first as Director of Local Public Affairs, and second as Director of Government & Institutional within the Customer Service organization. Since retiring from Edison, Sullivan has become actively involved in cutting edge businesses that advance emerging technologies and/or public policy issues affecting the electric industry in California. Some of his business ventures include:

·      Chief Operating Officer, Advanced Rail Energy Storage, LLC (ARES)  – ARES is pioneering the use of electric locomotive technology for large-scale energy storage. By providing a completely non-polluting and low-cost solution to 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.

·      Strategic Board Advisor, Ice Energy – Ice Energy is the leading provider of smart grid-enabled, distributed thermal energy storage to the local utility industry. Ice Energy 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.

·      Minority Owner, Empire Water Corporation (EWC) – EWC was 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. EWC owns and manages the only private canal in the region. In addition to owning and/or controlling significant water resources, EWC is poised to expand production and add sufficient infrastructure to exceed historic production levels and help support the growing water needs of Southern California in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner.

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

Andréa Traber

US West Sustainability + Resilient Design Leader
Integral Group

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

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

Pierre Moreau

Minister of Energy and Natural Resources
Government of Québec

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

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

Barbara Romero
Deputy Mayor of City Services
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Barbara Romero

Deputy Mayor of City Services
City of Los Angeles

Barbara Romero is the Deputy Mayor of City Services in the office of Mayor Eric Garcetti. She was appointed to this position in 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.

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

Dr. Joseph Cevetello

Chief Information Officer
City of Santa Monica

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Panama Bartholomy
Director
Investor Confidence Project
Biography

Panama Bartholomy

Director
Investor Confidence Project

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

Currently, Panama is a Director of the Investor Confidence Project where he develops standard methodologies and protocols for energy efficiency project development and documentation. These protocols are designed to reduce transaction costs associated with energy efficiency investment, and develop actuarial data to unlock capital markets.  

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

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.

Nancy Barba
Senior Program Manager
Frontier Energy
Biography

Nancy Barba

Senior Program Manager
Frontier Energy

Nancy Barba is a Senior Program Manager with Frontier Energy, Inc. Ms. Barba works with utilities and government clients to deliver energy efficiency program design and management, stakeholder and client engagement, and community outreach. Her ability to manage diverse priorities and effective communication skills contribute to her engaged, results-driven leadership. She has worked closely with financial authorities, Regional Energy Networks, and Community Choice Energy implementers leading in program design, implementation, marketing and outreach, financing, measurement and reporting.

Ms. Barba has experience working in both sustainability education and project management. She collaborated in the design of several successful pilots under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants that are were later funded by the CPUC. Besides program design, Ms. Barba manages costs, schedules, and performance of component projects, while working to ensure the ultimate success and adoption of programs.

As a Los Angeles native, she is actively engaged and committed to a sustainable and equitable future – locally, regionally and globally. 

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

Doane Liu

Executive Director
Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Benoit Lacroix
Co-Founder, Board Member, and VP Sales & Marketing
Effenco
Biography

Benoit Lacroix

Co-Founder, Board Member, and VP Sales & Marketing
Effenco

Mr. Lacroix holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from ÉTS university and has a long track record of data analysis and vehicle optimisation, both in testing environments and on the field. Since the inception of Effenco, Mr. Lacroix focused on working directly with end users to improve the performances and driving experience of the technology. Mr. Lacroix is currently in charge of the sales orientation and marketing strategy at Effenco. 

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.

Jon Liberzon
VP Business Development
Tomorrow Water (BKT)
Biography

Jon Liberzon

VP Business Development
Tomorrow Water (BKT)

Jon Liberzon is VP of business development at Tomorrow Water (BKT), an environmental services firm with over 20 years of experience leading the Korean water treatment market. BKT has developed 140 original patents and participated in retrofitting Asia’s largest wastewater treatment facility.

Prior to joining BKT, Jon consulted for a range of industrial and multinational clients. He has done work for AB InBev, the World Bank, DFAT, and the world's first commercial dairy to directly reuse livestock wastewater. From 2012-2017, he was director of water technologies at Algal Scientific, where he commercialized the world's first Hypertrophic treatment system for two major US malting plants. He also served as technology development manager at Aquanos, a wastewater treatment startup focused on reducing energy requirements for treatment of domestic wastewater. Jon also has experience working on water conveyance systems and agricultural development projects in least developed countries (LDCs), including Haiti and Vanuatu.

Jon received a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science degree from the Program in the Environment at the University of Michigan. He has served as an advisor to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge at BFI and as a member of the Engineers Without Borders Detroit professional chapter.

Stephen Cheung
President
World Trade Center Los Angeles
Biography

Stephen Cheung

President
World Trade Center Los Angeles

Stephen Cheung is the President of World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA).  The WTCLA works to support the development of international trade and business opportunities for Southern California companies as the leading international trade association, trade service organization and trade resource in the Los Angeles region.

Prior to his current role, Cheung was the Secretary General for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and was responsible for managing policies and programs related to the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports, International Affairs and Global Trade.  Cheung served on the Board of Director of the Los Angeles Regional Export Council and the Los Angeles Business Council, and was the lead organizer for Mayor Garcetti’s international trade missions to Mexico, China, Korea and Japan.

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 joined the Port of Los Angeles and Mayor Garcetti’s Office after serving as Managing Director of International Trade and Clean Technology for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.  He was responsible for enhancing international trade opportunities for Los Angeles-based companies, and expanding the city’s role as a leader in international trade, entertainment, tourism, manufacturing and professional services.  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 such as the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator and Port Tech LA. In this position, Cheung served as the City of L.A.’s lead organizer for the historic visit to Los Angeles by Chinese President, Xi Jinping in 2012.

A proud Angeleno, Cheung was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Los Angeles where he received both his bachelor’s in Psychobiology and master’s in Social Welfare from UCLA.  Cheung served on the Advisory Councils of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, LMU’s Center for International Business Education and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator.

Karen Douglas
Commissioner
California Energy Commission
Biography

Karen Douglas

Commissioner
California Energy Commission

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

Mitch Moore
Marketing Manager
BlueLA
Biography

Mitch Moore

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

Bradley Shuckhart
California Division President
Freehold Communities
Biography

Bradley Shuckhart

California Division President
Freehold Communities

Mr. Shuckhart directs the day-to-day development and construction activities of Freehold Communities within the state of California. Prior to joining Freehold, Mr. Shuckhart served as Vice President of Land Acquisitions at SunCal Companies, a privately-held real-estate developer of residential and commercial properties in the US. Over the course his career, Mr. Shuckhart has led the acquisition and development of more than a dozen master-planned communities in California, Nevada, and Texas, with a total sellout value in excess of $2 billion. Mr. Shuckhart has extensive experience with every aspect of land development, including acquisitions, entitlements, and, dispositions.

Mr. Shuckhart is a graduate of Pomona College and earned his MBA from USC’s Marshall School of Business with an emphasis on real estate finance.

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.

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

Dan Lafferty

Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

Dan is the Assistant Deputy Director heading the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works’ Environmental Programs Division.  The Division is responsible for providing waste management services for 1.1 million unincorporated area residents and 20,000 businesses; permitting, monitoring, and inspection services for hazardous substances underground storage tanks in the unincorporated County areas and 77 cities; industrial waste permitting and inspection services in the unincorporated County areas and 37 contract cities; stormwater inspection for commercial and industrial facilities in the unincorporated areas; integrated waste management planning for the unincorporated areas and the County as a whole; and implementing Countywide and unincorporated area waste reduction programs to achieve a waste free future.

Dan began working for the Department in 1986.  In addition to his current assignment in the Environmental Programs Division, he has worked in the Water Resources, Watershed Management, Waterworks, and Sewer Maintenance Divisions and has served as the Department’s Disaster Services Coordinator during his career.  He earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree from Marquette University and a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School.  Dan is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of California and a member of the California Bar.

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

Candice Yu

Utility Business Development, Policy, Strategy
Mercedes-Benz Energy

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

Gail Goldberg
Executive Director
ULI- Los Angeles
Biography

Gail Goldberg

Executive Director
ULI- Los Angeles

Gail Goldberg, Executive Director of ULI Los Angeles, a District Council of the Urban Land Institute, has been leading the organization since 2011. Prior to ULI Los Angeles, Goldberg was Director of Los Angeles City Planning Department and Planning Director of the City of San Diego.

Josh Boone
Director
Veloz
Biography

Josh Boone

Director
Veloz

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

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

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

Timothy McOsker
CEO
AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles
Biography

Timothy McOsker

CEO
AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

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

Prior to being appointed CEO on Feb. 1, 2018, Tim represented AltaSea in critical legal matters including the 2017 lease renegotiations with the Port of Los Angeles. His deep experience in land development, environmental issues, permitting, municipal law, and contracts will be crucial as AltaSea embarks on an ambitious next stage of expansion and development of its 35 acre campus.

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

Peter Marx
Former Chief Technology Officer
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Peter Marx

Former Chief Technology Officer
City of Los Angeles
Yair Crane
Principal
CTG Consulting
Biography

Yair Crane

Principal
CTG Consulting

Yair Crane serves as the Principal of CTG Consulting, offering Strategic Advisory, Consulting and Business Development Services for US and global clients, with a focus on clean energy and clean transportation technologies.  Crane is also the Co-Chair of Young Professionals in Energy – LA Chapter.  Capitalizing on his deep network of senior-level relationships across the globe, Crane has a track record of accelerating the expansion of our Clean Energy ecosystem, building the institutional infrastructure and advancing funding, implementation, and commercialization of clean technologies.  He has worked in environmental consulting and compliance roles at technology and consulting firms, as well as prior roles in finance, wealth management, and cross-border investments.

Crane brings expertise in clean technology, energy/renewable energy, utilities, and clean transportation sectors, particularly in developing new business, implementing strategic channel partner relationships, and advocating for regulation and policies to support the Clean Energy Economy. Crane has traveled and worked in Israel, Mexico, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines and speaks Mandarin and Spanish.

Joe Edmiston
Executive Director
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Biography

Joe Edmiston

Executive Director
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy

Joseph Edmiston was appointed Executive Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy by Governor Jerry Brown in 1979. Under his leadership, the Conservancy has preserved over 60,000 acres of public parkland within and surrounding the Los Angeles Metropolitan region, in a zone extending from the edge of the Mojave Desert to the Pacific Ocean. From north to south, these areas drain into the Santa Clara River, Calleguas Creek, numerous smaller coastal watersheds in the Santa Monica Mountains, and the Los Angeles River and Rio Hondo. Joe has lectured extensively on environmental planning, park development, and urban land use. He and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, have been the recipient of numerous national awards including, most recently, the highest honor of the National Planning Association, the Daniel Burnham Award.

Liam Denning
Columnist
Bloomberg Gadfly
Biography

Liam Denning

Columnist
Bloomberg Gadfly

Liam Denning is a Bloomberg Gadfly columnist covering energy, mining and commodities. He previously was the editor of the Wall Street Journal's "Heard on the Street" column. Before that, he wrote for the Financial Times' Lex column. He has also worked as an investment banker and consultant.

Madeline Janis
Executive Director
Jobs to Move America
Biography

Madeline Janis

Executive Director
Jobs to Move America

Madeline Janis is the Executive Director of Jobs to Move America, an organization that she helped to found in 2013. Previously, she co-founded and served as national policy director of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE). Under her stewardship as executive director from 1993 to 2012, LAANE became an influential leader in the effort to build a new economy based on good jobs, thriving communities and a healthy environment.

From 2002 to 2012, Ms. Janis served as a volunteer commissioner of the City of Los Angeles’ Community Redevelopment Agency.

Over the past three decades, she has led numerous economic, social and environmental justice campaigns in California.  She has provided training and assistance to community organizations and unions in dozens of cities across the country, and is widely regarded as an innovator in devising strategies to create good jobs and healthy communities.

Ms. Janis has received many honors, including being a Durfee Foundation Stanton Fellow (2014-15), a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs, the UCLA Law School’s Antonia Hernandez Public Interest Award,  and commendations from the Los Angeles City Council and the California Assembly and Senate. She received degrees from UCLA Law School and Amherst College in Massachusetts and was granted an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Amherst College in 2013.

Ms. Janis also served as executive director of the Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) from 1989 to 1993 and, as an attorney, represented tenants and homeless people in slum housing litigation, and advocated for homeless disabled people who had been denied government benefits. She also worked for two years at the law firm of Latham & Watkins on commercial litigation and land use matters, representing many large companies throughout Los Angeles.

Phillip Washington
CEO
LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Biography

Phillip Washington

CEO
LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeff Bleich
Former U.S. Ambassador to Australia
Biography

Jeff Bleich

Former U.S. Ambassador to Australia

Hon. Jeff Bleich is a partner in Dentons Public Policy and Regulation practice. He served four years as US ambassador to Australia and also as special counsel to President Obama in the White House. As ambassador, Jeff's term was marked by the US rebalance to the Asia­Pacific, with Australia being the focal point for that shift.  In addition to his professional practice and federal service, Jeff has served the state of California overseeing the nation’s largest higher education system as chair of the California State University Board of Trustees (2008–09), and the nation’s largest bar association as President of the California State Bar (2007–08). Jeff currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, appointed by President Obama. He also serves by appointment of Governor Jerry Brown on the Governor's 11-member International Trade and Investment Council. Jeff has been elected as a life member to the Council on Foreign Relations. 

Adel Hagekhalil
Director
Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services
Biography

Adel Hagekhalil

Director
Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services

Adel Hagekhalil is a registered civil engineer with the State of California and a national Board Certified Environmental Engineer.  Adel is currently the Executive Director and General Manager with the City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Street Services where he is responsible for managing, maintaining and upgrading the City’s street network including streets, sidewalks, trees and bikeways with focus on safety, mobility and sustainability.  Under his direction, Adel will integrate green infrastructure and multi-benefit elements into the City’s street renewal efforts. Recently, Adel was the Assistant Director for the City’s Bureau of Sanitation where he was responsible for the Bureau’s wastewater collection system management, storm water and watershed protection program, water quality compliance, and facilities and advance planning.  Under his direction, the City has prepared an award winning 2040 One Water LA Plan “One Water” which relies on public input and participation and integrates water supply, water reuse, water conservation and storm water management with wastewater facilities planning through a regional watershed approach.  Adel served for 9 years as Board member and most recently President with the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).  Adel is currently serving on NACWA’s co-Chair for the Arid States Water Reuse Group and member of the National Water Sector Coordinating Council.

Aslak De Silva
Partner and Chief Revenue Officer
Naava
Biography

Aslak De Silva

Partner and Chief Revenue Officer
Naava
Jack Baylis
President and CEO
The Baylis Group
Biography

Jack Baylis

President and CEO
The Baylis Group
Liane Randolph
Commissioner
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Liane Randolph

Commissioner
California Public Utilities Commission

Commissioner Liane Randolph was appointed to the CPUC by Governor Jerry Brown in January 2015.  She formerly served as Deputy Secretary and General Counsel at the California Natural Resources Agency and was appointed to that position by Governor Brown in May 2011. Commissioner Randolph is an expert in government and administrative law. She was formerly an attorney at the law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Commissioner Randolph served as Chair of the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) from 2003 to 2007.  As Chair of the FPPC, Commissioner Randolph managed a staff of 70 in the implementation and enforcement of California's Political Reform Act.  Prior to her service at the FPPC, Commissioner Randolph practiced municipal law and previously served as City Attorney for the Cities of San Leandro and Suisun City on a contract basis.  Commissioner Randolph obtained her law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she also earned a B.A. in History. At the CPUC, Commissioner Randolph is presently assigned to proceedings spanning the electricity, gas, telecommunications, and water industries, including the Integrated Resource Plan proceeding established per Senate Bill 350.  Her interests and portfolio at the CPUC generally focus on planning, infrastructure and governance.

Justin Erlich
Global Head of Policy-Autonomous Vehicles & Urban Aviation
Uber
Biography

Justin Erlich

Global Head of Policy-Autonomous Vehicles & Urban Aviation
Uber

Justin Erlich is Uber's Global Head of Policy for Autonomous Vehicles, Urban Aviation, and Freight. He spent the previous two years on the leadership team of former California Attorney General (now Senator) Kamala Harris overseeing technology policy, strategy, and operations. Prior to that role, he worked as a strategy consultant for McKinsey & Co. focused on the future of cities within the Public Sector and Sustainability practices. He has also clerked for a federal judge on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He has a law degree from NYU and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard.

Evan Birenbaum
Co-Founder and COO
Chai Energy
Biography

Evan Birenbaum

Co-Founder and COO
Chai Energy

As COO for Chai Inc., Evan Birenbaum is responsible for all things related to business strategy and development, energy-market dynamics, customer engagement, disruptive technologies, and day-to-day business operations. Chai is building products that give consumers a simple and mobile way to understand and reduce their energy use by up to 20 percent. Leveraging these consumer products, Chai will provide multiple services for utility companies, including customer engagement, behavioral energy efficiency, and interactive demand response.

Prior to joining Chai, Evan was the program manager for Environmental Strategy and Sustainability at Southern California Edison (SCE), where he was responsible for the development, strategy, and implementation of SCE’s corporate responsibility and sustainability program. He worked with company executives, business managers, regulators, NGO’s, and internal and external stakeholders to identify and prioritize emerging issues in order to address challenges related to climate change, water impact, habitat protection and biodiversity, and energy and water availability. He has been partly responsible for Edison’s charitable contributions in the area of environmental giving. Evan also works with the Los Angeles Clean Tech Incubator to develop sustainable jobs in Southern California.

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

Daniel A. Mazmanian

Professor of Public Policy
USC Price School of Public Policy

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

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

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

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.

Steven Fabijanski
President & CEO
Agrisoma Biosciences
Biography

Steven Fabijanski

President & CEO
Agrisoma Biosciences

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

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

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

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

V. John White
Executive Director
CEERT
Biography

V. John White

Executive Director
CEERT

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

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

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

He serves on a number of nonprofit boards and organizations.

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

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

Sunita Satyapal is the Director for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. She has been responsible for roughly $100 million per year in hydrogen and fuel cell research, development and demonstration activities and has over two and a half decades of experience across academia, industry and government. In addition to managing research, business development, and international collaborations in various roles, she managed programs and staff at United Technologies and was a visiting professor at Vassar College.

She joined DOE in 2003 serving first as hydrogen storage lead and then chief engineer, and has been the Director since 2010. She has numerous publications, including in Scientific American, 10 patents, and a number of recognitions including a Presidential Rank Award. She received her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Columbia University and did her postdoctoral work in Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University. 

Hiroshi Katayama
Deputy Director, Advanced Energy Systems and Structure Division
Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
Biography

Hiroshi Katayama

Deputy Director, Advanced Energy Systems and Structure Division
Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)

Deputy Director, Advanced Energy Systems and Structure Division/ Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Strategy Office, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)

Hiroshi Katayama is the Deputy Director responsible for the energy policy focusing on new technologies including hydrogen and fuel cells as well as batteries and distributed energy resources. His mission is to promote Japan’s energy transition towards low carbon, sustainable and secure energy systems. He is responsible for a number of R&D and demonstration projects with over $300 million annual budget. As a main editor he recently led the formulation of “Basic Hydrogen Strategy” by the Ministerial Council on Renewable Energy, Hydrogen and Related Issues in December 2017.

He is a technical official of METI with a Master of Engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology, and a Master of Public Administration from London School of Economics. Over 10 years, he was engaged in policy planning and coordination in several divisions including information technology policy, intellectual property policy and energy policy.

A.G. Kawamura
Founder and Chair
Solutions from the Land
Biography

A.G. Kawamura

Founder and Chair
Solutions from the Land

A.G. Kawamura is third generation fruit and vegetable grower and shipper from Orange County. He is the former Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (2003-2010). He is co-chair of Solutions From the Land, a non-profit organization that collaborates with farmers, ranchers, foresters and stakeholders to implement climate smart land management practices and strategies.

He currently serves on several boards and committees including: The Ag Advisory Committee for the AGree Initiative; the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources (BANR), a policy arm of the National Academy of Sciences’ Natural Resource Council; Ag Advisory Committee for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs; American Farmland Trust; The 25x’25 Alliance, a national alliance of renewable energy stakeholders; External Advisory Board for the Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI) at U.C. Davis. He is a former chairman and current board member of Western Growers.

As a progressive urban farmer, A.G. has a lifetime of experience working within the shrinking rural and urban boundaries of Southern California. Through his company, Orange County Produce, LLC, he is engaged in building an exciting, interactive 21st century 100 acre agricultural showcase at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California.

A.G. was elected to the board in 1994, and served as chairman in 2002.

Miguel Santana
President & CEO
Los Angeles County Fair Association
Biography

Miguel Santana

President & CEO
Los Angeles County Fair Association

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

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

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

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

Richard Bruckner
Senior Land Use Specialist
Mayer Brown
Biography

Richard Bruckner

Senior Land Use Specialist
Mayer Brown

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

Hayato Nakazono
Deputy Manager, Pipeline Division
JFE Engineering
Biography

Hayato Nakazono

Deputy 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 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.

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

Dean Kubani
Chief Sustainability Officer
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Dean Kubani

Chief Sustainability Officer
City of Santa Monica

Dean Kubani is the Chief Sustainability Officer and Assistant Director of Public Works for the City of Santa Monica.  Since 1994 Dean has directed the ongoing development, implementation and evaluation of the Santa Monica Sustainable City Program, and he currently oversees the City’s efforts related to sustainability, climate change, energy, water, and sustainable business and community programs.  As the Assistant Director of Public Works Dean is also responsible for the City’s Water Utility, Architectural Services Division, Civil Engineering Division and Office of Sustainability and the Environment. He lectures on sustainability at universities throughout the country, and has presented information about Santa Monica’s programs at state, national and international conferences.  Dean has served on the advisory boards of the International Sustainability Indicators Network, the University of Southern California Center for Sustainable Cities, the Institute for Market Transformation to Sustainability, and several non-profit organizations.  Dean is also past president of the Board of Trustees of Ocean Charter School in Marina del Rey, CA and past president of the Board of Directors for Co-opportunity, a cooperatively-owned natural foods store located in Santa Monica.   Prior to his employment at the City of Santa Monica, Dean worked as a Policy Analyst in the non-profit sector and was a Project Manager for an environmental engineering firm in Southern California.  He lives in Santa Monica with his wife and two daughters. 

Mark Gold
Associate Vice-Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability
UCLA
Biography

Mark Gold

Associate Vice-Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability
UCLA

Mark is the UCLA Associate Vice-Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability and was recently the Acting Director of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.  In his current position, he works to increase interdisciplinary environmental research, and he is leading UCLA’s Sustainable LA Grand Challenge - with goals of achieving 100% local water supply and 100% renewable energy in Los Angeles County while enhancing biodiversity and human health and wellbeing by 2050. He worked with 28 faculty to develop the Sustainable LA workplan, and there are over 150 faculty that are part of the Sustainable LA research team. 

Also, he was the long-time President of the environmental group, Heal the Bay.

Mark received his Bachelors and Masters in Biology and his doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering from UCLA.  He has worked extensively over the last 29 years in the field of coastal protection, water management, and urban sustainability; he created Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card for the west coast of the U.S., served as vice chair of the Santa Monica Bay Commission for over a decade, helped create Santa Monica’s sustainable city plan – the first in the U.S., and helped co-author numerous California and local government coastal protection, water quality and environmental education bills and ordinances. 

Recently, he led efforts to develop LA County’s first environmental report card and assisted the City of LA on the development of their first ever sustainable city plan.

He is currently leading a research effort on sustainable water management in the city of Los Angeles, and he sits on the Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors for the city of Los Angeles, Mayor Garcetti’s Water Cabinet and the Proposition O stormwater bond Citizens Oversight and Advisory Committee.

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 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.

Chris Higgins
VP Public Sector & Infrastructure
Goldman Sachs
Biography

Chris Higgins

VP Public Sector & Infrastructure
Goldman Sachs

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

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

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

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.

Mark Nydam
President & CEO
Green Conversion Systems
Biography

Mark Nydam

President & CEO
Green Conversion Systems
Jeff Kightlinger
General Manager
Metropolitan Water District
Biography

Jeff Kightlinger

General Manager
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.

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.

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.

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

Brian Maragno

Director-Electric Vehicle Marketing and Sales Strategy
Nissan North America

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

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.

Brenda A. Levin, FAIA
President and Principal
Levin and Associates Architects
Biography

Brenda A. Levin, FAIA

President and Principal
Levin and Associates Architects

Architect Brenda A. Levin, FAIA, has touched the historic and cultural spirit and complexity of Los Angeles, significantly shaping the city we know.  For over 20 years her architecture and urban planning firm, Levin & Associates Architects, has pioneered, in collaboration with innovative developers, the process of preserving and re-defining the riches of the city.  The success of this effort helped to catalyze the preservation movement in Los Angeles.  Among the landmarks she has helped to preserve and revitalize are Grand Central and Chapman markets; the Oviatt, Fine Arts and Bradbury buildings; the Wiltern Theater, and City Hall.   In process are Griffith Observatory, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings at Barnsdall Art Park, and the Japanese American National Museum’s National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, among others.

In addition to her work in preservation, some of her most significant projects have been the adaptive re-use and design of new buildings on school campuses and in the cultural and social realms.  Ms. Levin believes that her work is obligated to both inform—and be informed—by the context—and by the audience.  On the campus, Levin has created Johnson Student Center and Samuelson Pavilion at Occidental College; Malott Commons at Scripps CollegeSt. James’ Elementary School; and, a campus master plan, the Math-Science, and the Music, Dance and Athletic Center buildings at Oakwood School, a private secondary school.

In the spring 2000, the Boone Gallery designed by Levin opened at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino and an art museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Levin’s housing projects include the nationally-recognized Downtown Women’s Center for mentally-ill, homeless women in downtown Los Angeles, and the Adams Congress affordable apartments in the city’s South-Central neighborhood.

Born in the New York metropolitan area, Levin studied design and painting at Carnegie-Mellon University, and graduated with a degree in graphic design from New York University in 1968.  She earned a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design in 1976.  Moving to Los Angeles in 1976, she first worked with the legendary architect John Lautner. 

Brenda Levin was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1997.  She and the firm have been honored by a number of organizations, including the Urban Land Institute, American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles Conservancy, City of Los Angeles, State of California, the National Association of Women Business Owners, and NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund.  A 256-page monograph presenting Ms Levin’s ideas and work and entitled Brenda Levin, Levin & Associates Architects: Los Angeles was published in the spring, 2001.

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

Joe Sullivan

Director of Energy Solutions
Los Angeles IBEW & NECA
Sidney Bomer
‎Public Works & Engineering Operations Manager-Houston Water
Houston Department of Public Works & Engineering
Biography

Sidney Bomer

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

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

Martha Welborne
Senior Advisor
HR&A
Biography

Martha Welborne

Senior Advisor
HR&A

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

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

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

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

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

Sara Neff
Senior Vice President, Sustainability
Kilroy Realty Corporation
Biography

Sara Neff

Senior Vice President, Sustainability
Kilroy Realty Corporation

Sara Neff is Senior Vice President, Sustainability at Kilroy Realty Corporation. In her first four years, Sara took Kilroy from having no sustainability program to being named the #1 office real estate company on sustainability in North America by GRESB, an honor they have now won for four straight years, and Kilroy is now only the third American real estate company to be listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. At Kilroy, she oversees all sustainability initiatives such as solar and battery dealmaking, the implementation of energy and water efficiency initiatives throughout the existing and development portfolios, the integration of sustainability standards into annual financial reports, the launch of the Kilroy Innovation Lab, and the award-winning green leasing program.

She holds a BS from Stanford and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Michelle Sullivan, ASLA
Principal-Landscape Architecture
Studio-MLA
Biography

Michelle Sullivan, ASLA

Principal-Landscape Architecture
Studio-MLA

Michelle Sullivan, ASLA, has focused on ecologically and culturally sensitive design in her three decades of landscape architecture. Her strength is a broad understanding of design with specific knowledge in horticulture, materials, and construction. She is an ever-present leader in the firm and mentor to our project teams. In addition, she manages large visitor-oriented projects such as Dodger Stadium’s improvements as well as biodiverse projects such as the Nature Gardens at Los Angeles County Natural History Museum and UCLA’s Mildred Matthias Botanical Garden.  Michelle’s work focuses on connecting the public to the natural environment, and on making nature’s restorative and beautiful qualities tangible through design. Michelle is both a landscape architect and certified arborist.

Mel Levine
President
LADWP Board of Commissioners
Biography

Mel Levine

President
LADWP Board of Commissioners
Edgar Westerhof
National Director for Flood Risk and Resiliency
ARCADIS North America
Biography

Edgar Westerhof

National Director for Flood Risk and Resiliency
ARCADIS North America
Richard Bloom
Assemblymember, 50th District
California State Assembly
Biography

Richard Bloom

Assemblymember, 50th District
California State Assembly

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

Jill Stewart
Executive Director
Coalition to Preserve LA
Biography

Jill Stewart

Executive Director
Coalition to Preserve LA

Jill Stewart is executive director of the Coalition to Preserve LA, a non-profit dedicated to advocating for open government, strategic land-use planning, affordable housing, environmental stewardship and community empowerment. 

A lifelong, award-winning journalist and political commentator, she has an extensive background in government and politics, poverty and housing, environment and open space, and children's rights and public schools. In 2016, she jumped into political activism as campaign director for the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, a March 2017 Los Angeles ballot measure that aimed to reduce excessive developer influence over elected officials, land-use decisions and the environment.

The non-profit Coalition that arose following the March ballot measure is pursuing reform of Los Angeles city government regarding the General Plan, Community Plans and related environmental and economic impacts, as well as campaign finance reform and reform of city sustainability and housing practices.

As L.A. Weekly Managing Editor and News Editor for nine years, she was chiefly concerned with how the paper and website covered news and culture to benefit readers and society. She oversaw the print edition and laweekly.com website. Online, Jill managed the news and culture verticals and executive produced the site's videos. Joining L.A. Weekly in 2006, Jill oversaw 60 staff and freelance journalists.

She has appeared on hundreds of hours of live TV and radio, generally focused on analyzing political races, ballot and bond measures and government policies and controversies. She was a political analyst for KNX News Radio's coverage of the 2014 California gubernatorial race; for FOX-11's coverage of the 2010 California gubernatorial race, and KCAL-9’s live TV analysis of the 2005 Los Angeles mayoral race.

She has analyzed California issues for MSNBC, FOX, CSNBC and CNN, and has appeared extensively on BBC, KPCC, KCRW, KFI and KABC radio. From 1996 to 2002, Jill wrote an award-winning column for New Times-Los Angeles that analyzed the civic institutions and power players who shaped California.

Jill draws on six years as an urban affairs and government reporter at the Los Angeles Times and four years as self-syndicator of a weekly newspaper column on California statehouse politics, Capitol Punishment, which reached 1 million readers weekly. Her op-ed work frequently appeared in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

In 1998, Jill joined the non-profit Los Angeles Press Club Board of Directors and played a leading role in rebuilding the dying 100-year-old organization. She served on its board for 15 years, including as president, focused on branding the Press Club as a force for strengthening ties between journalists across all platforms.

In 1991 and 1992, she lived in Prague and wrote about the Czech transition to democracy.

Jill has twice been named top columnist at the Southern California Journalism Awards, and was honored with its Journalist of the Year nod. National honors include the American Society of Newspaper Columnist's award for best column in the U.S., and the Benjamin Fine Award for top education writing in the nation.

Jill Stewart holds a master’s degree in journalism from Stanford University.

Manjeet Ranu
Senior Executive Officer, Countywide Planning & Development
Los Angeles Metro
Biography

Manjeet Ranu

Senior Executive Officer, Countywide Planning & Development
Los Angeles Metro
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.

Dan Richard
Chair
California High Speed Rail Authority
Biography

Dan Richard

Chair
California High Speed Rail Authority

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

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

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

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

Appointed by the Governor.

Laura Genao
Managing Director, Regulatory Affairs
Southern California Edison
Biography

Laura Genao

Managing Director, Regulatory Affairs
Southern California Edison

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

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

Bob Hertzberg
State Senator
California State Senate
Biography

Bob Hertzberg

State Senator
California State Senate

Robert "Bob" Hertzberg

Robert M. Hertzberg, twice unanimously elected Speaker of the California State Assembly, from 2000 – 2002, is now a State Senator, proudly serving nearly 1 million residents in the San Fernando Valley.  Bob serves on, among others: the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance, the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications, and the Committee on Natural Resources and Water, and continues to address the big challenges facing California.

Bob has been an active entrepreneur and leader in global policy on renewable energy.  The Guardian (UK) named him as one of the “50 People Who Could Save the Planet” and his former company won the “World Bank Award, for Lighting Africa,” for a project in Rwanda.

Bob has appeared on CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, CNN, BBC, Nightline, and has been featured in articles in The Economist, Fortune Small Business, and Financial Times.  In addition, a solar company he was involved with in Los Angeles won the 2005 Wall Street Journal Innovation of the Year Award in the field of energy.

Bob has been to every VerdeExchange Conference & Expo since the beginning, including two in Toronto, Canada.  He’s thrilled to be back for #11!

Mary Nichols
Chair
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Mary Nichols

Chair
California Air Resources Board

Mary D. Nichols is Chair of the California Air Resources Board, a post she has held since 2007.

Nichols has devoted her entire career in public and nonprofit service to advocating for the environment and public health. In addition to her work at the Air Board, she has served as Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Air and Radiation program under President Clinton, Secretary for California's Resources Agency from 1999 to 2003 and Director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Her priorities as chairman include moving ahead on the state's landmark climate change program (AB 32), steering the Board through numerous efforts to curb diesel pollution at ports and continuing to pass regulations aimed at providing cleaner air for Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley. She values innovation, partnerships and common-sense approaches to addressing the state's air issues.

Yehudi Gaffen
Founder and CEO
Gafcon
Biography

Yehudi Gaffen

Founder and CEO
Gafcon

Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen takes a vested interest in delivering complex projects that power vibrant communities. He has more than 35 years of construction and program management experience and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Management from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He immigrated to San Diego in 1979 to work in real estate development with Sunroad Enterprises. In 1987, he and his wife founded Gafcon, Inc. and under his leadership as CEO it has grown into a globally respected program and construction management consulting firm. It has been responsible for the success of hundreds of projects including high profile projects such as: The City of San Diego North Embarcadero Visionary Plan; the Port of Los Angeles Waterfront and Promenade; AltaSea, a $135 million adaptive reuse at the Port of Los Angeles the Redevelopment of the Los Angeles Forum; and $46.25 billion in education bond programs throughout San Diego and Los Angeles. In 2016, the Unified Port of San Diego awarded the $1.2B redevelopment of Seaport Village to Protea Waterfront Development with Gaf as the active Managing Partner. He will steward the project to its successful completion by providing leadership and direction for the strategy and execution with Gafcon, Inc. providing program management services. 

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.

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

Katy Young

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

Katy is responsible for developing the Third District’s environment, water, and arts policy. Katy previously served as the General Counsel and Director of Government Affairs at the Climate Action Reserve, a Los Angeles-based environmental non-profit committed to developing and implementing market-based solutions to climate change. Katy has also worked as a land use and environmental attorney at Latham & Watkins and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

An alumnus of the CORO fellowship program, Katy now serves on the Southern California CORO Board of Directors and its Executive Committee.

Katy is a Los Angeles native and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA from UC Berkeley and received her law degree from UCLA.

Justin X. Thompson
Partner
Nixon Peabody
Biography

Justin X. Thompson

Partner
Nixon Peabody

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

 
Andrew McAllister
Commissioner
California Energy Commission
Biography

Andrew McAllister

Commissioner
California Energy Commission

Andrew McAllister was appointed to the California Energy Commission by Gov. Edmund G. Brown in May 2012, and reappointed in January 2017. Commissioner McAllister has been working on clean energy deployment and policy for his entire 25-year career: beginning in the early 1990s in project engineering and development, evolving into program design and implementation, then moving into the policy arena. He has worked across the world to develop renewable energy generation, energy efficiency investments, and energy management systems, with counterparts ranging from tiny remote communities to the largest of utilities. He administered two of California’s signature renewable energy programs (California Solar Initiative, Self-Generation Incentive Program), developed and operated energy efficiency programs for utilities, and performed a broad range of policy-related research for California and the U.S. Federal government. He currently serves on the board of directors of the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the Alliance to Save Energy. Commissioner McAllister’s deep grounding in technology, policy and marketplace provides him with uncommon insight on the accelerating changes taking place in the electric power sector.

Before joining the Energy Commission, Dr. McAllister was managing director at the California Center for Sustainable Energy, where he worked for six years.  Previously, he worked with NRECA International, Ltd. in the electric sectors of countries in Central and South America, Southeast Asia and Africa on a variety of renewable generation, load management, utility planning and remote power projects. He was a project manager at an energy consulting firm and worked as an energy efficiency analyst at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Commissioner holds M.S. and PhD degrees from the Energy & Resources Group at UC Berkeley. He is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.

Dr. Kimberly Budil
Vice President for National Laboratories
University of California Office of the President
Biography

Dr. Kimberly Budil

Vice President for National Laboratories
University of California Office of the President

Kim Budil is the Vice President for National Laboratories at the University of California (UC), Office of the President. She is responsible for the University's management oversight of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Kim serves as an Executive Committee Governor on the Boards of Governors of the Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC and the Los Alamos National Security, LLC, the managing contractors for LLNL and LANL. In addition, she is a member of the LBNL Advisory Board and chairs the LBNL Contract Assurance Council.

Kim was formerly the N Program Manager in the Global Security Principal Directorate at LLNL. She was responsible for the nuclear counterterrorism program including device assessment, pre- and post-detonation nuclear forensics, nuclear incident response and reachback, and nuclear detection and countermeasures research. She served twice as a detailee in Washington, DC, first spending 2 years at NNSA in the Office of Defense Science and then, most recently, nearly 2 years as a Senior Adviser to the Under Secretary for Science at the Department of Energy.

She has a B.S. in Physics from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Science/Engineering from the University of California, Davis.

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.

Sonaar Luthra
CEO
Water Canary
Biography

Sonaar Luthra

CEO
Water Canary
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 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 27 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. Prior to joining WSPA, Ms. Reheis-Boyd was with 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 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.

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. 

Martin Hermann
CEO & Founder
8minutenergy
Biography

Martin Hermann

CEO & Founder
8minutenergy

Martin is a serial entrepreneur with 26 years of experience in the solar, clean-tech and high-tech industries, who has closed business transactions in excess of $5.3B. He founded 8minutenergy, which is now among the largest independent developers of solar PV in the U.S. with a portfolio of more than 5,500 MWs and a track record of 1,500 MWs in executed PPAs.

Martin also developed a 100 MW solar PV module manufacturing plant as Chief Strategy Officer with Advent Solar. Prior to his engagement in renewables, he owned a semiconductor tools company for 10 years, which he sold to Intel in 2001. For six years after the acquisition, Martin served on the executive management team with Intel’s wireless business group.

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) appointed by the Administration of Mayor Eric Garcetti.  Ms. Reynolds is responsible for implementing Great Streets for Los Angeles, a plan to reduce traffic fatalities, double the number of people riding bikes, and expand access to integrated transportation choices for Angelinos and the region.

Ms. Reynolds has over 18 years of transportation experience throughout the United States. She has advised transportation technology companies like WalkScore, contributed to the state-of-the-practice as an Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals Board Member, mentored young professionals through Women’s Transportation Seminar, and nurtured research on Transportation Research Board committees.  Ms. Reynolds serves as the President of the National Association for City Transportation Officials.

The Department of Transportation leads transportation planning, design, construction, maintenance and operations within the City of Los Angeles. We work together and partner with other agencies to improve safe, accessible transportation services and infrastructure in the city and region.

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

Dale Gauthier

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

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

Robert Jernigan
Regional Managing Principal
Gensler
Biography

Robert Jernigan

Regional Managing Principal
Gensler
As Co-Managing Principal for the Southwest Region, Rob is responsible for Gensler offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, Newport Beach, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Denver; and he also serves on Gensler’s Board of Directors and Management Committee. Known to peers and clients as an accomplished architect, practice leader and collaborator, Rob is committed to design innovation, technical quality and a belief that we are only as good as the people we mentor to succeed us. Rob’s technical expertise spans more than 32 million square feet of built projects that have reshaped city landscapes worldwide. A strong proponent of community service, he has shepherded Gensler’s gServe program, which encompasses the firm’s community outreach activities and socially conscious design efforts. Rob is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a member of the Urban Land Institute, and he serves on the Boards of the Design Build Institute of America’s Southern California Chapter and the Los Angeles Business Council. In 2012, the AIA California Council awarded Rob its Presidential Citation for changing the face of architecture in Los Angeles.
 
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.

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

Angela George-Moody

Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works

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

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

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

David Peterson
Director, Fleet Solutions
ChargePoint, Inc.
Biography

David Peterson

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

Christine Harada

Former Federal Chief Sustainability Officer
White House
Dr. Zeynep Erdal
Los Angeles Regional Business Line Leader for Water
AECOM
Biography

Dr. Zeynep Erdal

Los Angeles Regional Business Line Leader for Water
AECOM

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

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

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).

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

Masahiko Takei

Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

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