Speakers for VX2019

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

Deanna Haines

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

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

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

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.

Janna Sidley
General Counsel
Port of Los Angeles
Biography

Janna Sidley

General Counsel
Port of Los Angeles

Janna Sidley serves as the general counsel and oversees all litigation involving the Port of Los Angeles. A member of the Port’s senior management team, Sidley heads the Harbor Division of the Office of the City Attorney. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich appointed Sidley as managing assistant city attorney at the Port of Los Angeles in March 2013. 

As general counsel, Sidley supervises the attorneys who provide general legal advice to the Board of Harbor Commissioners, the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, and the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility. Harbor Division attorneys draft contracts, review projects and advise the Harbor Commission and Port senior management on property management, marketing, international trade, maritime, fishing, environmental, and railroad operating matters. 

Sidley joined the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office in 2003 and has worked as a trial deputy specializing in workers' compensation fraud and unfair business practices. In 2006, she was assigned to the Port of Los Angeles, focusing on California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) matters. In 2010, Sidley transferred to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and has been responsible for all legal compliance requirements related to CEQA and NEPA. 

Prior to joining the City Attorney’s Office, Sidley was an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles from 1998 to 2002. She has worked at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., Department of the Interior, and White House.   

Sidley earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

Louis Ting
Director, Power Planning Development & Engineering
LADWP
Biography

Louis Ting

Director, Power Planning Development & Engineering
LADWP

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

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

Joe Sullivan

Director of Energy Solutions
Los Angeles IBEW & NECA
Jack Baylis
President and CEO
The Baylis Group
Biography

Jack Baylis

President and CEO
The Baylis Group
Jake Levine
Associate and Policy Advisor
Covington & Burling LLP
Biography

Jake Levine

Associate and Policy Advisor
Covington & Burling LLP

Jake Levine is an associate and policy advisor in the Los Angeles office of Covington & Burling LLP. His practice focuses on energy, climate, technology, and public policy. Prior to joining Covington, Levine served as Senior Counsel and Principal Consultant to California State Senator Fran Pavley, where he led the successful campaign to enact new climate and environmental justice legislation (SB 32 and AB 197) in California. Levine was Chief of Staff to the President at Opower, a software firm that used big data, behavioral science technology to help consumers take control of their energy use. At Opower, Levine developed business in emerging markets, launching Opower's presence in Brazil, and laying the foundation for new business in China and Mexico. Prior to his work at Opower, Levine served in the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, where he worked on innovative energy policies, including the most stringent fuel economy standards ever set -- and the first-ever greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and trucks. Levine served as a member of President Obama's delegation to the U.N. Conference of Parties in Copenhagen, as a member of the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee, and during the 2008 presidential campaign, traveled with Senator Obama to more than 20 states and Europe, managing the national press corps. Levine graduated cum laude from Harvard College and received his law degree from Harvard Law School. 

Aura Vasquez
Commissioner
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Biography

Aura Vasquez

Commissioner
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Nebojsa Nakicenovic
Acting Deputy Director General and CEO
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Biography

Dr. Nebojsa Nakicenovic

Acting Deputy Director General and CEO
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

Nebojsa Nakicenovic is Deputy Director General and CEO of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). Until 2014, he was full Professor of Energy Economics at Vienna University of Technology.

Among other positions, Prof. Nakicenovic is the Executive Director of The World in 2050 (TWI2050); Member Ad Hoc Informal Multi-stakeholder Technical Group of Advisors on Sustainable Development Goal 7, United Nations; Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute for Networked Energy Systems Analysis; Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Potsdam Institute from Climate Impact Research (PIK); Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM); Member of the Panel on Socioeconomic Scenarios for Climate Change Impact and Response Assessments; Steering Committee Member of the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21); Member of the International Academy for Systems and Cybernetic Sciences; Member of the International Advisory Board of the Helmholtz Programme on Technology, and Member of OMV Advisory Group on Sustainability.

He is Editorial Board Member of the following journals: Climate Policy; Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability; Energy, Ecology and Environment; Energy Policy; Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions; Energy Strategy Reviews; Global Perspectives; and Technological Forecasting and Social Change.

Prof. Nakicenovic was Deputy Director General of IIASA from 2008 to August 2018, Member of the United Nations Secretary General Special Advisory 10-Member Group to support the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM), 2016 - 2018; Co-Chair and Steering Committee Co-Chair of the Global Carbon Project (GCP), 2013 - 2016; Member of the Advisory Council of the German Government on Global Change (WBGU), 2008-2016; Director of the Global Energy Assessment (GEA), 2005-2012; Co-Leader of the Austrian Climate Change Assessment, 2007-2014; Board Member of the Austrian Center for Climate Change (CCCA), 2014-2015; Member of the International Council for Science (ICSU) Committee on Scientific Planning and Review, 2009-2015; a Member of the United Nations Secretary General Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change, 2009-2011; Chair of the Advisory Board of OMV Future Energy Fund (Austrian oil company), 2006-2011; Lead Author of Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC (2008-2015); Member of the Advisory Board of the World Bank Development Report 2010: Climate Change, 2009-2010; Expert Panel Member of the World Banks’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) on Sustainable Energy Supply, Poverty Reduction and Climate Change, 2010; Coordinating Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Fourth Assessment Report, 2002-2007, Coordinating Lead Author of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2001-2005, Director, Global Energy Perspectives, World Energy Council, 1993-1998, Convening Lead Author of the Second Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 1993-1995, Convening Lead Author of the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios, 1997-2000, Lead Author of Third Assessment Report of the IPCC, 1999-2001, Convening Lead Author of the World Energy Assessment, 1999-2000, and Guest Professor at the Technical University of Graz, 1993-2003.

Prof. Nakicenovic holds bachelors and master’s degrees in economics and computer science from Princeton University, New Jersey, USA and the University of Vienna, where he also completed his PhD. He also holds Honoris Causa PhD degree in engineering from the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Among Prof. Nakicenovic's research interests are the long-term patterns of technological change, economic development and response to climate change and, in particular, the evolution of energy, mobility, and information and communication technologies.

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

Lew Horne

Divisional President, Southern California, Arizona and Hawaii
CBRE

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

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

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

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

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

Professional Affiliations

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

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

-  Woodbury University, Board Member

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

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

-  Big Brothers / Big Sisters, Board of Directors 

Awards & achievements

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

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

-  Manager Innovation Award (2010)

-  Manager of the Year Award, Nationwide (2003)

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

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

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

EDUCATION

University of Southern California, Bachelor of Science in Business

Joel Cesare
Sustainable Projects Manager
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Joel Cesare

Sustainable Projects Manager
City of Santa Monica

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

Andy Lipkis
Founder and President
TreePeople
Biography

Andy Lipkis

Founder and President
TreePeople

Andy Lipkis is a practical visionary who began planting trees to rehabilitate smog and fire damaged Los Angeles area forests when he was 15 years old. He founded TreePeople at age 18 and has served as its President since 1973.   

TreePeople is a guiding light for urban climate resilience around the world. For more than 45 years this organization has created a greener future for Los Angeles by inspiring and activating people, along with their local governments, to plant and care for trees and harvest the rain. Since its founding, TreePeople volunteers have been responsible for the planting of 3 million trees and counting. Its environmental education program reaches more than 200,000 students per year, with millions of children touched over the decades.  

With climate change impacts already creating a chronic emergency for cities around the world, Andy’s work has demonstrated promising new ways for government agencies to collaboratively reshape urban tree canopy and water infrastructure to save lives and grow a more livable future, and Andy has worked with other global cities to help them plan for Climate Resilience and Adaptation. The Society of American Foresters, and the American Society of Landscape Architects have respectively (and respectfully) honored Andy with the honorary titles of Forester and Landscape Architect.

Anuj Gupta
Deputy City Manager
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Anuj Gupta

Deputy City Manager
City of Santa Monica

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

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

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

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.

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).

Scott Haase
Partnership Development Manager
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Biography

Scott Haase

Partnership Development Manager
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Scott has been at NREL since 2007. He presently manages NREL’s development of lab-wide strategic partnership programs (SPP) with state and local agencies. In this capacity, he works to develop new partnership agreements between NREL and local entities (including municipal utilities, ports and airports) that address critical energy system issues and challenges. An example of this is the recent agreement between NREL and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to conduct LADWP’s 100% Renewable Energy Study. Scott also coordinates SPP for NREL’s Scientific Computing and Energy Analysis Directorate.

Prior to his current role, Scott was NREL’s Lab Program Manager for the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), Office of the Secretary (2010-2016). In this capacity, he worked closely with DOI leadership to coordinate NREL’s overall relationship and partnerships with DOI and its Bureaus, including the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and the Office of Insular Affairs.

Prior to joining NREL, Mr. Haase worked for a variety of companies including Lockheed Martin, McNeil Technologies (acquired by AECOM) and NEOS Corporation. He is a former Peace Corps Volunteer (Lesotho, southern Africa), and holds an M.S. in Engineering and Policy from Washington University in St. Louis, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Vermont.

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.

Jim McDermott
Co-Founder and Managing Director
Rusheen Capital Management
Biography

Jim McDermott

Co-Founder and Managing Director
Rusheen Capital Management

Prior to co-founding RCM, Jim has started, invested in and run numerous companies. These include: US Renewables Group (Founder & Managing Partner), Stamps.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:STMP – Founder), Spoke Software, Inc. (Founder & CEO), Archive, Inc. (Founder & CEO – sold to Cyclone Commerce), NanoH2O, Inc. (Founder & Board Member – sold to LG Chemical), SolarReserve (Founder & Board Member), Fulcrum Bioenergy, Inc. (Founder & Board Member), Common Assets (Founder & Board Member – sold to NASDAQ:SCTY), SET Technology (Board Member) and OH Energy, Inc. (Founder & Board Member). Jim holds a BA in Philosophy from Colorado College and an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA.

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.

Kate White
Associate Principal & Planning Policy Leader
Arup
Biography

Kate White

Associate Principal & Planning Policy Leader
Arup

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

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

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

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. 

Akshai Rao
Vice President
Yardi
Biography

Akshai Rao

Vice President
Yardi

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

Jessica Fox
Senior Program Manager
Electric Power Research Institute
Biography

Jessica Fox

Senior Program Manager
Electric Power Research Institute

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

Ted Bardacke
Executive Director
Clean Power Alliance
Biography

Ted Bardacke

Executive Director
Clean Power Alliance

Ted Bardacke is Executive Director for Clean Power Alliance, California’s new, locally-operated, electricity provider for 31 communities and approximately one million eligible customers across Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Ted brings a unique background to the organization that includes experience in the public sector, journalism, education, and non-profit leadership. During his career, Ted has developed expertise in renewable energy planning and project development, electricity and water rate setting, customer service, and sustainability program design and implementation. Ted comes to Clean Power Alliance from the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, where he was Director of Infrastructure and Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Sustainability Office, serving as the Mayor’s chief policy liaison to the Department of Water and Power and the Department of Public Works. Prior to that, Ted worked in the Green Urbanism Program at Global Green USA, a nationally-leading organization advancing smart solutions to climate change, and in the 1990s served as a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times of London, based in Mexico City and Bangkok. Ted holds degrees from Wesleyan University and the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University and has taught at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs for the past 10 years.

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

Mark Stanley

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

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

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

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

Deborah Flint
CEO
Los Angeles World Airports
Biography

Deborah Flint

CEO
Los Angeles World Airports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jared Ficker
Partner
Axiom Advisors
Biography

Jared Ficker

Partner
Axiom Advisors
Fiona Ma
State Treasurer
California
Biography

Fiona Ma

State Treasurer
California

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

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

Christine Harada

President
i(x) investments

Christine Harada is President of i(x) investments. Ms. Harada has over 20 years of success in leading government and management consulting organizations. She previously served as the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer for the United States during the Obama administration. In this role, she provided oversight for all sustainability-related initiatives across the federal government in energy, fleet, and acquisitions-game-changing improvements that added to our nation’s clean energy future.

Her successes include developing and implementing policies to reduce the Federal government’s carbon footprint that resulted in an 18% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 23% reduction in energy use at Federal facilities and 177 billion gallons of drinkable water saved. She also was responsible for investing $4B in federal building to improve aging infrastructure and lower overall energy consumption that led to an estimated 33,700 private sector jobs and resulted in efficiency gains that will save 1.4 million tons of CO2 emissions annually.

Prior to her White House role, Ms. Harada was the Acting Chief of Staff and U.S. General Services Administration where she was responsible for the overall operations supporting 12,000 federal workers with an annual operating budget of $26B. While at the GSA, Ms. Harada also served as Associate Administrator, Government-wide Policy and Chief Acquisition Officer responsible for transforming a “business model” to provide more proactive, evidence-based policies, and increased transparency at the agency.

She has extensive expertise in business strategy and translating that into operational excellence. Concurrently, she is a Fellow with the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator. In addition, she is a member of the board of directors of Novume Solutions and the Millennium Institute.

She previously was a Partner with Ridge-Lane LP, a strategic advisory firm and merchant-bank. Ridge-Lane LP is a triple-bottom-line business that creates sustainable social value by bridging the gap that exists between private companies, investment capital, and government – across the Federal, State, and Local levels.

Ms. Harada’s private sector experience also includes serving as Global Manager, Transformation/Large Scale Change Practice at the Boston Consulting Group where which she was responsible for the operations and go-to-market strategy of the then-new practice area that spanned 78 offices around the world. While at Booz Allen Hamilton, Ms. Harada was a Principal with P&L responsibility for a 70+ person professional services business line with a $70M portfolio of projects.

Ms. Harada holds an MA, International Studies and an MBA, Finance, respectively, from the Lauder Institute and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds an MS Aeronautics/Astronautics and a BS Aeronautics/Astronautics, respectively, from Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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.

Jonathan Levy
Zero Waste Project Manager
Go2Zero Strategies
Biography

Jonathan Levy

Zero Waste Project Manager
Go2Zero Strategies

Jonathan Levy is a project manager at Go2Zero Strategies, a full-service environmental consulting firm specializing in regulatory compliance and reporting, outreach and technical assistance in municipal solid waste. Jonathan has a background in supply chain management and logistics, where he works with clients to achieve operational efficiencies that are circular, sustainable and cost-saving. Clients in include a waste hauler in the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation’s Franchise Hauling program, recycLA, and Los Angeles County Public Works.

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.

Laura Friedman
Assemblymember, 43rd District; Chair, Assembly Natural Resources Committee
California State Legislature
Biography

Laura Friedman

Assemblymember, 43rd District; Chair, Assembly Natural Resources Committee
California State Legislature

Laura Friedman was elected to the California State Assembly in November 2016 to represent the 43rd Assembly District which encompasses the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and La Cañada Flintridge, as well as the communities of La Crescenta and Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Beachwood Canyon, Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Franklin Hills, and Silver Lake.

Laura has been a prominent figure in the community and taken on leadership roles in a variety of areas; as a small business owner, film and television producer, Mayor and City Councilmember, and on several boards and advocacy committees.

Laura got her start in the private sector working as a film and television executive and producer after receiving her B.A. from the University of Rochester, New York.  In 2001, she launched her own web-based small business.  Building on her years of community service, she was elected to the Glendale City Council in 2009, served as Mayor from 2011-2012 and was re-elected in 2013.

Laura has been active in local government for years, working to build a more sustainable future for all communities. She served for seven years on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. She is a Past President of the Independent Cities Association, was a Hollywood-Burbank Airport Commissioner, and a Board Member of the Southern California Association of Governments where she was a member of the Energy and Environment Committee. Laura also spent five yea rs on the Glendale Design Review Board.

She has long been recognized as a steadfast advocate for the environment and the arts community.  Laura was honored in 2014 with the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters’ Smith-Weiss Environmental Champion Award, and has been active with both the Society of Architectural Historians and the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee.

Her work in the private sector and activism in the community have shaped her work in Sacramento.  In her first term in the Assembly, Laura has authored a package of bills to encourage water conservation, strengthen environmental sustainability, improve access to higher education and health care, and create new avenues for communities to tackle the affordable housing crisis.  In early 2017, she was appointed the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.  Laura also serves as a member of the Assembly Committees on Appropriations; Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media; Transportation; Rules; and Water, Parks, and Wildlife.

Laura is a Glendale resident and lives with her husband Guillaume Lemoine, a landscape designer, and their daughter Rachel.

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

David McConnell

Vice President, Business Development, North America
Enerkem

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

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

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

Eiji Ohira
Director General, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Group
Japan New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
Biography

Eiji Ohira

Director General, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Group
Japan New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

Eiji Ohira is the Director General of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)’s Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Group within the Advanced Battery and Hydrogen Technology Department. In this capacity, he is responsible the overall strategy, execution and coordination of NEDO’s research, development and demonstration project on fuel cell and hydrogen.

He has also coordinated fuel cell and hydrogen activities with international stakeholders, through International Energy Agency’s Technology Collaboration Program (IEA TCP: Advanced Fuel Cell & Hydrogen), and International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE).

He joined the NEDO in 1992, just after graduation from the Tokyo University of Science. He served as a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1997-1998.

Before taking up the current position in April 2013, he served in several positions, including Representative at NEDO Asian Representative Office, Director of the Energy Storage Technology Division.

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.

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

George Minter

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

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

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

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

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

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. 

Anne Baker
Deputy State Controller, Environmental Policy
California State Controller's Office
Biography

Anne Baker

Deputy State Controller, Environmental Policy
California State Controller's Office

Anne Baker serves as the Controller’s designee on the State Lands Commission, California Coastal Commission, Pollution Control Financing Authority, Ocean Protection Council, Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority, and California Transportation Financing Authority.  Anne also serves on all bond oversight committees involving environmental policy.  Anne previously served as senior advisor on renewable energy siting at the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies.  As Deputy Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency from 2004 through 2008, she was the agency’s lead staff on climate policy that led to the adoption of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32).  In 1978, Anne was an elected member of the Maryland General Assembly’s House of Delegates.  She holds a master’s degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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 Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura.

Kightlinger was appointed general manager in February 2006.    As general manager, he manages the District’s $1.8 billion annual budget and 1,800 employees to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of high quality water every day throughout Southern California.  He reports to a board of 37 members representing 26 member agencies.

Kightlinger has an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a law degree from Santa Clara University.  He serves on a number of boards including the Coro Foundation, the USC Price School of Public Policy, the UCLA Sustainability Advisory Board, the Climate Action Reserve, the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy, the Los Angeles Economic Development Council and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, among others.

Adam Rasken
Director of Origination
True Green Capital Management
Biography

Adam Rasken

Director of Origination
True Green Capital Management
Russell Fortmeyer
Sustainability Leader
Arup
Biography

Russell Fortmeyer

Sustainability Leader
Arup

Russell leads sustainability for Arup’s Los Angeles office.  Russell’s work for public and private sector clients includes high-performance buildings, infrastructure master planning, sustainability policy, and resilience. Trained as both an Engineer and an Architect, Russell takes a research-based approach to developing new concepts for clients to tackle the increasingly complex and inter-connected environmental realm to address issues like climate change, resilience, resource scarcity, and social equity in the context of creating healthy and efficient buildings and cities. Over the past year, Russell Fortmeyer was the Technical Chair for the USGBC working closely with Heather Rosenberg on the Building Resilience Framework for Los Angeles that was launched at Greenbuild 2016 conference in September.

As an author and former editor with Architectural Record, his skills in communication allow him to connect with clients and stakeholders to identify innovative solutions to in passive design, smart cities, energy and water efficiency, and new technologies. He lectures widely on resiliency and sustainability topics and has been on the applied studies faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture since 2011. His book, Kinetic Architecture, which gauges the emerging field of dynamic facades, was published in 2014.

Melissa Ruhl
Transportation Planner
Arup
Biography

Melissa Ruhl

Transportation Planner
Arup

Melissa Ruhl is a transportation planner for Arup in San Francisco where she manages autonomous vehicles strategies and policy efforts. Partnering with cities and transit agencies, Melissa helps communities plan for tomorrow while improving quality of life today. She co-authored the Autonomous Vehicles: A Horizon Initiative Perspective Paper on behalf of the San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and she regularly speaks in both the San Francisco Bay Area and nationally on autonomous vehicles and the future of cities. In June 2018, the Northern California American Planning Association granted her the Special Recognition Award – Emerging Planner. Melissa earned a Master of Urban Planning from San Jose State University and a Master of Arts in History from the University of Oregon. 

Shane Skelton
Co-Founder & Partner
S2C Pacific
Biography

Shane Skelton

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

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

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

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

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.

Brian Goldstein
Executive Director
Energy Independence Now
Biography

Brian Goldstein

Executive Director
Energy Independence Now

Brian Goldstein leads EIN in its mission to support a transition to a clean transportation system. With a background in finance, Brian has professional experience in the alternative fuels, renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation technologies, and financial services sectors. He has served as CFO of a motorcycle design and manufacturing firm as well as CFO of a hydrogen transportation technology company, where he focused on both public and private financing initiatives, infrastructure acquisitions, automotive technology development, and fleet adoption of hydrogen technology.

Brian has worked to develop alternative fuel distribution networks in California and Colorado. He has also served as a technical and financial consultant to the US Department of Energy and he continues to serve as a judge for the Clean Tech Open business plan competition as well as the DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition.

Mr. Goldstein graduated with a B.S. in International Business from the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado, and earned his MBA with focus on Finance and International Business at the Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business Management, where he received a Merit Scholarship. Mr. Goldstein is an Eagle Scout.

Dr. Andrew Jones
Deputy Director, Climate Readiness Institute
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Biography

Dr. Andrew Jones

Deputy Director, Climate Readiness Institute
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Dr. Jones is Deputy Director of the Climate Readiness Institute and a research scientist in the Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where he leads the Earth Systems and Society Program Domain. He is also the Hydroclimate theme lead for LBL’s Water-Energy Resilience Research Institute.  His research uses quantitative Earth system science tools to understand climate change at decision-relevant scales through the development and application of physical models in coordination with stakeholder communities. Dr. Jones completed his PhD and MS in Energy and Resources at the University of CA, Berkeley.

Dr. Joshua Schank
Chief Innovation Officer
LA Metro
Biography

Dr. Joshua Schank

Chief Innovation Officer
LA 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. 

Brandon Hurlbut
Co-Founder
Boundary Stone Partners
Biography

Brandon Hurlbut

Co-Founder
Boundary Stone Partners

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

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.

Minh Le
General Manager
Los Angeles County Internal Services Department
Biography

Minh Le

General Manager
Los Angeles County Internal Services Department

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.

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. 

Elizabeth MacKay
Déléguée
Government of Québec
Biography

Elizabeth MacKay

Déléguée
Government of Québec

Ms. Elizabeth MacKay is Delegate for the Québec Government Office in Los Angeles and the Québec Trade Office in Silicon Valley. The Québec Government Office in Los Angeles covers thirteen states in the Western United States and Ms. MacKay is Québec’s official representative on this territory.

During her 30-year career, mainly in the public sector, Ms. MacKay has held senior roles in the Québec Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, and Regional Economic Development Organizations. Her leadership skills and wide-ranging professional experience allow her to support Québec's interests in the Western U.S., including the promotion of cultural, environmental, and trade policies. A former professional athlete, Ms. MacKay was chosen to represent Canada in diving, but did not compete in the boycotted 1980 Moscow Olympics. She holds a degree in Communications from Université Laval.

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.

Melani Smith
Senior Director, Transit Oriented Communities
LA Metro
Biography

Melani Smith

Senior Director, Transit Oriented Communities
LA Metro

Melani Smith is a senior director in LA Metro’s transit oriented communities planning group, where she focuses on integrating sustainable and healthy urban design, first/last mile connections and equitable access for all, into Metro mobility corridor projects in LA County. She is also an Adjunct Faculty Member in the Price School of Policy at the University of Southern California, in the sustainable land use concentration. In 2017 Melani was appointed a member of the Urban Land Institute’s first national Health Leaders cohort, working to build cross-disciplinary partnerships and communities of practice around health and the built environment. Much of her career has been focused on building and leading led vision-driven urban design and planning practices in Southern California, most recently, in her nearly 12 years as CEO/President and Principal at Meléndrez in downtown Los Angeles. Melani is a fourth generation Los Angeleno, with a B.A. in History from UCLA, and a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from UC Irvine.

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.

Paul Mason
Vice President, Policy and Incentives
Pacific Forest Trust
Biography

Paul Mason

Vice President, Policy and Incentives
Pacific Forest Trust

Paul Mason is the Vice-President of Policy and Incentives for the Pacific Forest Trust where he advocates for the restoration and conservation of California’s forests and watersheds, with a focus on working cooperatively with private landowners to restore and retain more natural forest conditions. Paul also advocates for the role of forests and other lands in state climate programs to reduce carbon already in the atmosphere and to prepare for future climate conditions. Recent work has focused on reframing how the state approaches forest and watershed restoration to be more strategic and efficient.

Prior to working for PFT, Paul was the Deputy Director of Sierra Club California and represented the Club on forests, fire and other natural resource issues before the Legislature. In the 1990’s Paul played a leading role in the successful effort to protect the last large stands of ancient redwoods, now protected in the 7,500-acre Headwaters Forest Reserve in Humboldt County.

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

Deborah Weintraub

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

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

Matt Petersen
CEO
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
Biography

Matt Petersen

CEO
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator

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

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

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

Dr. Jerry Schubel
President and CEO
Aquarium of the Pacific
Biography

Dr. Jerry Schubel

President and CEO
Aquarium of the Pacific

Dr. Jerry R. Schubel has been president and CEO of the Aquarium of the Pacific since 2002. He is president and CEO Emeritus of the New England Aquarium, and from 1974-1994 was Dean of Stony Brook University’s Marine Sciences Research Center. For three of those years he served as the University’s provost and is Distinguished Service Professor emeritus. Prior to 1974, Dr. Schubel was an adjunct professor, research scientist and associate director of The Johns Hopkins University's Chesapeake Bay Institute.

Throughout his professional life he has worked at the interfaces of science-management-policy on issues dealing with the ocean with an emphasis on the coastal ocean. He has published more than 225 scientific papers and has written extensively for general audiences. He is a member of the California Ocean Science Trust Board, and the Science Advisory Team for California’s Ocean Protection Council. He chaired the NOAA Science Advisory Board; National Sea Grant Review Panel; the National Research Council (“NRC”) Marine Board; the NRC Committee on the St. Lawrence Seaway, Phase I and Phase II, the Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel, and the NRC Committee on the Value and Sustainability of Biological Field Stations, Marine Laboratories and Nature Reserves in 21st Century.

At the Aquarium of the Pacific, he created the Aquatic Forum that brings together scientists, policy-makers and stakeholders to explore alternative ways of dealing with important, complex, and often controversial environmental issues facing the nation. He also directs the Aquarium’s Marine Conservation Research Institute and the Aquarium’s Aquatic Academy programs.  He has been interviewed by hundreds of media outlets on a variety of environmental and scientific topics for international, national and local stories. 

Melinda Hanson
Senior Manager, Sustainability
Bird
Biography

Melinda Hanson

Senior Manager, Sustainability
Bird

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

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.

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

Francie Stefan

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

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

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

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

John Eddy
Principal & Infrastructure Leader
Arup
Biography

John Eddy

Principal & Infrastructure Leader
Arup

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

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

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

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

Jon Bonanno
CXO
California Clean Energy Fund
Biography

Jon Bonanno

CXO
California Clean Energy Fund

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

Paula Kehoe
Director of Water Resources
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Paula Kehoe

Director of Water Resources
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

Paula is the Director of Water Resources with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. She is responsible for diversifying San Francisco’s local water supply portfolio through the development of conservation, groundwater, and recycled water programs. Paula spearheaded the landmark legislation allowing for the collection, treatment, and use of alternate water sources in buildings and districts within San Francisco. Paula holds a BA from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a MS from the University of San Francisco.

Eric Garcetti
Mayor
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Eric Garcetti

Mayor
City of Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

James Stahl

Board Member
Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board


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

 

Jim Stewart
Chair
BioEnergy Producers Association
Biography

Jim Stewart

Chair
BioEnergy Producers Association

Jim Stewart is a consult in renewable energy project development, whose clients include West Coast Waste, which is joint venturing with Enerkem to develop in Madera County, California what will be North America’s largest cellulosic ethanol biorefinery, producing 45 million gallons of transportation fuel from 330,000 tons of agricultural waste per year. He is now completing his fourteenth year as Chairman of the Board of California’s BioEnergy Producers Association (www.bioenergyproducers.org), whose mission is to promote the development of a responsible statutory and regulatory environment for waste-to-bioenergy production in California and in federal policy.

Mr. Stewart has four times been recognized as one of the “Top 100 People in the BioEconomy” worldwide in an annual poll of the more than one million readers of Biofuels Digest Magazine.  He serves as a columnist for the magazine and has also written major articles for such publications as MSW Management and Renewable Energy World.

In 2003, Stewart left a distinguished career in the entertainment industry to devote himself to renewable energy project development. This included 13 years with Walt Disney Productions, where served as Vice President-Corporate Relations and Assistant to the President.

Robert Griffin
Vice President, Business Development
Customer First Renewables
Biography

Robert Griffin

Vice President, Business Development
Customer First Renewables

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

Denise Braun
Founder and Principal
All About Waste
Biography

Denise Braun

Founder and Principal
All About Waste

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

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

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

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

 

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.

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

Dr. Sandra Whitehouse

Chief Scientific Officer
‎AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

Dr. Sandra Whitehouse is a consultant who uses her marine science expertise to advise clients on ocean policies focused on how to advance ocean health and sustainably develop coastal and offshore projects. Her clients have included governments, companies and nonprofit organizations.

Currently she serves as the Chief Scientific Officer for AltaSea, the Senior Policy Advisor to Ocean Conservancy and as a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. She is on the board of The National Center for Science Education. Dr. Whitehouse holds a B.S. from Yale University and a Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island.  

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.

Greg Ames
Managing Director
Trammell Crow Company
Biography

Greg Ames

Managing Director
Trammell Crow Company

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

Gabe Klein
Partner
CityFi
Biography

Gabe Klein

Partner
CityFi

Gabe is the former Commissioner of the Chicago and Washington DC Departments of Transportation. In both cities he revamped technology platforms and government processes while focusing on putting people first vs. automobiles on city streets. This included launching two of the first and largest bikeshare systems in the U.S. and building protected bike lanes and better pedestrian infrastructure for vulnerable citizens citywide, as well as facilitating private services like carshare and rideshare that could help each cities mobility goals. Gabe honed his creativity and leadership skills working in business, including Zipcar, where he served as Vice President, Bikes USA as national Director of Stores and his own electric powered, organic food truck chain, On The Fly.

Post-government, and after an enriching fellowship with the Urban Land Institute in 2014, Gabe joined Fontinalis Partners as a Special Venture Partner on their $100 million 2nd fund. Gabe also advises governments and companies worldwide on innovation in cities including Singapore where Gabe has been a visiting fellow for the Centre For Livable Cities, working on creating a “car-lite” city-state.  In 2015, Gabe also published Start-Up City with David Vega-Barachowitz on Island Press, a manifesto on revamping how (and how fast) we innovate in cities and rethinking public-private partnerships with a triple-bottom line approach as technology shapes a dramatically different future.

Gabe sits on the boards of Streetsblog, Carma, and advisory boards of NACTO, Sensity Systems, Zendrive, and advises next-gen start-ups including Phone2Action and Transit Screen. As Commissioner, he has worked to bring a new Riverwalk to Chicago as well as the breathtaking Bloomingdale Trail, 100’s of miles of bike lanes, new policies combined with technology solutions to revamp parking, permitting, and many other arcane government processes.

Kevin Kushman
President
Integral Analytics
Biography

Kevin Kushman

President
Integral Analytics

Kevin Kushman is President of Integral Analytics, the software unit of Willdan Group, where he is responsible for revenue generation, product management, marketing, customer success and team growth.  Kevin’s twenty years in the energy and utility space include CEO, CFO and numerous board roles with utilities, energy technology and software firms, founding leadership of Cinergy Ventures’ $200 million corporate venture fund and as founder of CleanBridge Energy Partners, a distributed energy asset investor and developer.  Kevin holds an MBA from Xavier University and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

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.

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

Kristen Torres Pawling

Sustainability Program Director
Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office

Kristen Torres Pawling is the Sustainability Program Director in Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office, which provides regional policy leadership on equity, economy, and environment. Her issue areas include climate, housing, land use, transportation, and public health. Prior to joining the Chief Sustainability Office, Kristen advocated for integrated transportation and land use planning at the Natural Resources Defense Council.  She previously worked for the nation’s largest regional planning agency crafting the Southern California’s sustainable communities strategy. Kristen also served in the Schwarzenegger and Brown administrations to implement California’s climate and sustainable communities law. She is an appointed member of the Culver City General Plan Advisory Committee. Kristen holds a bachelor’s degree in geography/environmental studies and a master’s in urban and regional planning from UCLA.

Jeff Joyner, Esq.
Co-Founder; Partner
UScooter; E4 Mobility Alliance; Greenberg Traurig
Biography

Jeff Joyner, Esq.

Co-Founder; Partner
UScooter; E4 Mobility Alliance; Greenberg Traurig

Jeff Joyner is Co-Founder of Uscooter and the e4 Mobility Alliance and has been on the Leadership Council of the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator (LACI), Board of Directors for CleanTech Los Angeles, Advisory Board of the U.S.-China CleanTech Center, among other CleanTech ventures and organizations.

Jeff has been very active in serving as a co-founder, advisor and outside general counsel at Greenberg Traurig to CleanTech businesses whose goals are start-up funding, operations, intellectual property protection, licensing, incentives, grants, strategic partnerships, acquisition, public offerings, among others. In this role, Jeff uses his vast experience in venture capital, government affairs, intellectual property, licensing, enforcement and litigation.  Jeff advises and is a limited partner of one of the first clean technology venture funds that focuses on clean energy, water, agriculture and materials.  He also advises other companies using technologies for transit, solar, wind, biomass, solar thermal, waste-to-energy, green building material, transportation, infrastructure and smart grid projects, among others.

Jeff was named one of the 75 Top IP Litigators in California by the Daily Journal, selected by Super Lawyers magazine, ranking him in the top 2.5 percent of Southern California lawyers, selected by Forbes as one of "America's Premier Lawyers," and listed IAM Magazine’s "The IAM Patent 1000 – Litigation" and World Trademark Review’s "WTR 1000."

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.

Ms. Brown serves on the Board of Directors of Sempra Energy, Renew Financial, Stifel and FivePoint Communities, the Mayor’s Fund Los Angeles and the Advisory Board of the Stanford Center on Longevity.

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

Hiroaki Ishizuka

Chairman
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

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

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

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

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

Aaron Thomas

Director, Economic Initiatives & Opportunity Zones
Accelerator for America

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

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.

Julia Pyper
Senior Editor
Greentech Media
Biography

Julia Pyper

Senior Editor
Greentech Media

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

 

Martin Howell
Energy Group Leader
ARUP
Biography

Martin Howell

Energy Group Leader
ARUP

Martin Howell has over 20 years’ experience with Arup and is an industry leader in applying low energy and environmentally responsible techniques to meet the needs of his clients for new and existing buildings as well as master planning studies.  Martin is currently working with the City of Santa Monica on the Epic Grant Microgrid project. He has also worked with Los Angeles Community College District as a key member of their energy team providing technical advice ranging from renewable energy, retro-commissioning, central utility plants and utility incentives. He is also working with San Bernardino Community College District, developing their sustainable construction program. Martin has written corporate sustainability standards for a number of clients including Procter & Gamble and has developed low carbon approaches for projects such as the Treasure Island Master Plan in San Francisco and an 184-acre resort in Aqaba. Martin has also lectured on, sustainability, LEED and biomimicry at UCLA, SCIARC, ASHRAE and the USGBC Greenbuild National Conference. “Practical applications of energy harvesting and storage in the built environment,” and a Keynote presentation, on Energy Harvesting and Storage.

 

Marcius Extavour
Executive Director
NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE
Biography

Marcius Extavour

Executive Director
NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE

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

John Jenkins
Vice President, Electric Engineering and Construction
San Diego Gas & Electric
Biography

John Jenkins

Vice President, Electric Engineering and Construction
San Diego Gas & Electric

John Jenkins is vice president of electric engineering and construction for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), one of Sempra Energy’s regulated California utilities.

As vice president of electric engineering and construction, Jenkins is responsible for all engineering functions, management of major projects, construction services, distribution project management, vegetation management and the construction and maintenance of transmission and substation infrastructure.

Jenkins has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo). Jenkins is currently serving on the board of directors for Access Youth Academy.

Mel Levine
President
LADWP Board of Commissioners
Biography

Mel Levine

President
LADWP Board of Commissioners

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

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

Mr. Levine was named one of the “100 Most Influential” lawyers in California and has been consistently recognized by his peers as one of The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Administrative and Regulatory Law, most recently in their 2019 publication.  The Los Angeles Business Journal has listed him repeatedly, including in 2018, as one of the “500 Most Influential People in Los Angeles.”  Mr. Levine is the President of the Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners, on the Advisory Board of the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California (Berkeley), and a Director of the Pacific Council on International Policy.  Mr. Levine has served as U.S. Chair of the U.S.-Israel-Palestinian “Anti-Incitement” committee established by the Wye Plantation peace agreement, as a Presidential appointee to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, as a U.S. government appointee to the U.S. – Israel Science and Technology Advisory Commission as President of the American Friends of the (Yitzhak) Rabin Center in Israel, and as Board Chair of the Los Angeles Police Foundation.

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

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

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

Terry Tamminen
CEO
Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
Biography

Terry Tamminen

CEO
Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

Terry has deep international expertise in business, agriculture, education, public policy and the environment. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency and later Cabinet Secretary, the Chief Policy Advisor to the Governor, where Terry was the architect of many groundbreaking sustainability policies, including California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, the Hydrogen Highway Network, and the Million Solar Roofs initiative. In 2010 Terry co-founded the R20 Regions of Climate Action, a public-private partnership bringing together subnational governments, businesses, financial markets, NGOs, and academia to implement measurable, large-scale, low-carbon and climate resilient economic development projects that can simultaneously solve the climate crisis and build a sustainable global economy. Since 2007 he has provided advice to Pegasus Capital Advisors and numerous global businesses on sustainability and “green” investing. In 2016, Terry joined the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation as CEO. An accomplished author, Terry’s books include “Cracking the Carbon Code: The Keys to Sustainable Profits in the New Economy” (Palgrave Macmillan). In 2011, Terry was one of six finalists for the Zayed Future Energy Prize and The Guardian ranked Terry No. 1 in its “Top 50 People Who Can Save the Planet.”

Rudy Bakalov
Managing Director
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Biography

Rudy Bakalov

Managing Director
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Rudy Bakalov is a Managing Director in PwC’s Cybersecurity & Privacy practices, focused on serving Financial Services clients and other heavily regulated industries. Through his career in cybersecurity, Rudy has worked with various organizations on solving their most difficult information security challenges, such as establishing an effective cybersecurity strategy, designing enterprise security architectures, remediation of data breaches and regulatory compliance issues, and other similar projects. Most recently Rudy has focused his work on Cloud transformation strategies, including security strategy and GRC, architecture, and operating model design.

Mr. Bakalov has earned a Bachelor degree in Computer Engineering & Science as well as a Master’s of Business Administration degree.

Some of Rudy’s professional roles and assignments include the following:

• Designed a strategy and security capabilities to enable the provider’s customers to satisfy Financial Services and data privacy laws and regulations in the top 10 global markets for one of the world’s largest SaaS providers.
• Chief Security Officer of Accenture Cloud Platform, a $2B business.
• Interim Chief Security Officer of one of the largest hedge funds.
• CISO of a top global law firm, responsible for designing and establishing an information security organization focused on protecting clients’ sensitive information, M&A deal details, and other confidential information along with ensuring the resiliency of IT operations.
• Global Head of Technology Assurance of a major online publisher, provided independent and objective assurances to the Board and group executive management on the adequacy and effectiveness of the company’s technology controls, including information security, privacy, disaster recovery, regulatory compliance, and investment spend.
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.

Matthew Fienup
Executive Director
Center for Economic Research and Forecasting, California Lutheran University
Biography

Matthew Fienup

Executive Director
Center for Economic Research and Forecasting, California Lutheran University

Matthew is the Executive Director of the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting (CERF) at California Lutheran University. He teaches courses in Econometrics and Environmental Economics in the Masters of Quantitative Economics program.

His specialties are applied econometric analysis, the economics of land use, and environmental markets. Matthew's research examines the unintended consequences of environmental policies. He is also the Chair of the Fox Canyon Water Market Group and was recently chosen by Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency to serve as exchange administrator for an innovative, first of its kind water market pilot program.

Matthew returned to school to pursue his PhD after running a small business in Ventura County for more than a decade. His other specialties include California Natural History, technical rock climbing and photography. Matthew graduated summa cum laude from the Brooks Institute of Photography and has spent more than 15 years working as a professional climbing guide.

Matthew completed his doctorate in environmental economics at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara.

David Nahai
Partner
Lewis Brisbois LLP
Biography

David Nahai

Partner
Lewis Brisbois LLP

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Sonaar Luthra
CEO
Water Canary
Biography

Sonaar Luthra

CEO
Water Canary
Veronica Eady
Assistant Executive Officer
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Veronica Eady

Assistant Executive Officer
California Air Resources Board

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

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

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

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

 

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!

Nathan Gardner-Andrews
Chief Advocacy Officer
National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA)
Biography

Nathan Gardner-Andrews

Chief Advocacy Officer
National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA)

Nathan Gardner-Andrews serves as the Chief Advocacy Officer (CAO) for the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) in Washington, DC, where he has worked since 2006. In his role as CAO, he is responsible for coordinating all of NACWA’s advocacy initiatives and integrating the Association’s legislative, regulatory, legal, and communications advocacy work. He has written articles and spoken nationally on a wide range of clean water issues.

Mr. Gardner-Andrews previously served as NACWA’s General Counsel, advising the Association and its municipal clean water utility members on a variety of legal matters and managing NACWA’s litigation portfolio.

Prior to joining NACWA, Mr. Gardner-Andrews served as a law clerk for the Hon. Michael E. Loney of the Maryland Circuit Court.

Mr. Gardner-Andrews is a member of the Maryland and District of Columbia bars. He received his B.A. from Columbia University in 2001 and his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law in 2005.

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.

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

Jean-Philipe Lattes

Senior Manager, Electric Vehicle Marketing & Strategy
Nissan North America

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

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

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

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.

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.

Gary Farha
President & CEO
CustomerFirst Renewables
Biography

Gary Farha

President & CEO
CustomerFirst Renewables

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Schneider
Vice President, Clean Transportation & Asset Management
SDG&E
Biography

Michael Schneider

Vice President, Clean Transportation & Asset Management
SDG&E

Michael M. Schneider is vice president of clean transportation and asset management at San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). 

In this role, Schneider oversees clean transportation, asset management, growth and technology integration, strategic planning and business optimization. 

Most recently, he was chief environmental officer and vice president of operations support for both SDG&E and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), Sempra Energy’s regulated utilities in California. His responsibilities included: facilities, fleet services, environmental services, real estate, and land services for both companies. 

Previously, Schneider served as vice president of customer operations, where he oversaw billing, collections, customer contact center and meter reading organization, remittance processing and credit. 

Schneider holds a master's degree in business administration from George Mason University with an emphasis in finance and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Arizona. 

He serves on the Advisory Board and Director's Circle for the Lamden School of Accountancy at San Diego State University, the board of directors of the San Diego River Park Foundation, and the National Board of Advisors of the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. 

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

Michael Galvin

Director, Waterfront and Commercial Real Estate
Port of Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

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

Heather Rosenberg
Los Angeles Resilience Lead
Arup
Biography

Heather Rosenberg

Los Angeles Resilience Lead
Arup

Heather Rosenberg joins Arup as an Associate Principal and Los Angeles Resilience Lead. She is the founder of the Building Resilience Network, which helps organizations weave physical, social and economic resilience into core operations. She is a USGBC Ginsberg Fellow and founder of USGBC-LA's Building Resilience-LA program.

An ecologist by training, she has worked with organizations ranging from real estate investment to home healthcare workers, transportation authorities to social justice organizations, and helped GRESB develop the Resilience Module. Heather formerly served as a principal at CTG Energetics. She was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve on the City of LA’s Innovation and Performance Commission and serves on the City’s Resilience Steering Committee. She served on the NIST Resilience Panel, and currently serves on the State of California Clean Energy Jobs Act Citizens Oversight Board, the American Society of Civil Engineers Resilient Infrastructure SPEED Committee and is a former member of the USGBC Social Equity Working Group.

Jeff Addison
Subterra Renewables
Biography

Jeff Addison

Subterra Renewables

Jeff Addison is an experienced finance professional and award-winning entrepreneur who has founded and successfully exited multiple startups within the CleanTech space. Prior to joining Subterra Renewables, he acted as Managing Director of Kiko Water Systems, which grew to become a leading CleanTech company with operations across North America and was named the 2017 Product of the Year by the Canada Green Building Council under his leadership.

Dr. Yaniv Scherson
Managing Director, Western U.S.
Anaergia
Biography

Dr. Yaniv Scherson

Managing Director, Western U.S.
Anaergia

Dr. Yaniv Scherson is the Managing Director for the western U.S. region for Anaergia. Dr. Scherson is based in Carlsbad California where he leads Anaergia’s projects integrating organics recycling from solid waste with anaerobic digestion and wastewater for production of renewable power and renewable natural gas. He leads Anaergia’s turnkey system offering and supports Anaergia’s Design, Build, Own, Operate, and Finance arm. Dr. Scherson has wastewater and research experience at the doctoral level focused on resource and energy recovery from wastewater. Dr. Scherson has published his work in leading peer reviewed journals, patents, and book chapters and has presented internationally as an invited speaker. He is a licensed professional engineer in California and holds Ph.D. and Master degrees from Stanford University.

Nancy Sutley
Chief Sustainability and Economic Development Officer
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
Biography

Nancy Sutley

Chief Sustainability and Economic Development Officer
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

In July 2014, Nancy Sutley was named Chief Sustainability and Economic Development Officer of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) where she oversees energy efficiency, water conservation, economic development, and electrification of the transportation network.  Prior to LADWP, Nancy Sutley served as Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality from January 2009 to February 2014.  Under Sutley, the Council on Environmental Quality played a central role in shepherding the Obama Administration’s signature environmental accomplishments. Sutley was one of the chief architects of President Obama’s June 2013 Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare the U.S for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to address climate change. 

Prior to her appointment as Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, Sutley was the Deputy Mayor for Energy and Environment for the City of Los Angeles, California under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. She represented Los Angeles on the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. She served on the California State Water Resources Control Board from 2003- 2005. Sutley also was Energy Advisor for California Governor Gray Davis, and Deputy Secretary for policy and intergovernmental relations at the California EPA from 1999-2003. During the administration of President Clinton, Sutley worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Regional Administrator in San Francisco and Special Assistant to the Administrator in Washington, D.C.

Sutley received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and her Master in Public Policy from Harvard University.  Sutley resides in Los Angeles, CA.

Audrey Vinant-Tang
Supplier Sustainability Manager
CBS Corporation
Biography

Audrey Vinant-Tang

Supplier Sustainability Manager
CBS Corporation

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

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

Julie Johnson
Manager, National Business Development, Advanced Technologies
Ryder System
Biography

Julie Johnson

Manager, National Business Development, Advanced Technologies
Ryder System

Julie Johnson is Manager, National Business Development – Advanced Vehicle Technologies for Ryder System, Inc., a $7.3 billion FORTUNE 500® commercial fleet management, dedicated transportation, and supply chain solutions company with more than 36,000 employees. Ms. Johnson partners with leading companies to establish a business case and develop fleet deployment strategies for converting to advanced vehicle technologies such as electric vehicles. Her mission is to leverage her sustainability and corporate business experience with Ryder’s investment and industry leadership to establish and grow the use of advanced vehicle technologies in both large and small truck fleets.

Prior to Ms. Johnson’s current role, she was a leader in the Pulp & Paper industry during her time with New Leaf Paper, a Public Benefit Corporation. Embracing her core values of integrity, innovation and growth, she supported a successful shift in demand towards high post-consumer waste and FSC-certified fine printing papers through collaboration with NGOs, Government organizations and impacting industries such as Fashion, Publishing, Natural Foods and Entertainment. While Ms. Johnson was with GlaxoSmithKline, she worked on a global distribution sustainability initiative with a focus on moving to more ecofriendly product packaging solutions as well as take back programs.

During her career, Ms. Johnson has served in a variety of key B2B sales management and marketing executive positions at leading companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Salix Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, JCP Disclosures/First American Title, New Leaf Paper, Solbright Inc., Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.

Ms. Johnson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of Delaware.

Mark Stout
Vice President, Development Engineering
Amber Kinetics
Biography

Mark Stout

Vice President, Development Engineering
Amber Kinetics

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

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

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

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

 

CAPT F. Curtis Jones
Chief of Staff
U.S. Navy Region Southwest
Biography

CAPT F. Curtis Jones

Chief of Staff
U.S. Navy Region Southwest

A native of Binghamton, NY, Captain F. Curtis Jones graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology receiving a commission through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Cor­ps in 1989.

Afloat CAPT Jones has served as Damage Control Assistant, 1st Division Officer, STREAM Officer, and Main Propulsion Assistant onboard USS SANJOSE (AFS 7), commissioning Main Propulsion Assistant onboard USSBATAAN (LHD 5), and Engineer Officer onboard USS CLEVELAND (LPD 7). He served as Executive Officer onboard USS CORONADO (AGF 11), and commissioning Commanding Officer USS NEW YORK (LPD 21). Additionally, CAPT Jones has served in Afghanistan as part of JTF Paladin, Counter-Improved Explosive Device (C-IED) team. 

Ashore Captain Jones served initially as an Emergency Actions Officer and later as the Aide-de-Camp for the Deputy Commander, USSTRATCOM. He also served as amphibious command placement, surface commander assignmentand Deputy Director Surface Warfare Officer Distribution. He completed an assignment as Executive Assistant for Commander Navy Installations Command in the Fall of 2013, after which he took command of Naval Base San Diego. Currently serving as Chief of Staff for Navy Region Southwest.

Captain Jones earned a Master’s of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from Naval Postgraduate School.

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

Terry O'Day

Chief Strategy Officer and EVP
Innogy eMobility US

Terry is responsible for innogy e-Mobility US LLC’s US strategy and market development.  The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of innogy SE, Germany’s second largest utility company, providing only renewable energy to the European market and a leading technology provider for the electric vehicle (EV) charging.  

Prior to joining innogy, Terry led product strategy and market development for EVgo, the nation’s largest public fast charging company for electric vehicles (EVs), taking that company from its first public fast charging installation to more than 1,000 and overseeing an investment program of over $140 million, acquiring partnerships with major automakers, energy companies and state governments.  His full responsibilities also included construction and development in the Western US, regulatory and legislative initiatives, marketing, communications, and technology demonstration programs. 

Terry was previously 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 currently serves as Mayor Pro Tempore for the City of Santa Monica and was first elected in November 2010.  The city serves over 90,000 residents and a daytime population over 300,000, with 1,700 employees and a $700 million annual budget.  Terry led a six-year process to update the City’s General Plan, which became the leading example 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.

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.

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.

David Sudolsky
President and CEO
Anellotech
Biography

David Sudolsky

President and CEO
Anellotech

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

Jim Kelly
Director
S&C Electric
Biography

Jim Kelly

Director
S&C Electric

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jodie Muller
Vice President, Government Affairs
Western States Petroleum Association
Biography

Jodie Muller

Vice President, Government Affairs
Western States Petroleum Association

Jodie Muller is Vice President, Government and Association Affairs for WSPA where she is responsible for government relations in Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Nevada, as well as regional government affairs in California.  Jodie works with the President in implementing the strategic vision of the Association and assists the President in representing the Association in key political, regulatory and media venues.  She coordinates outreach to various third parties and coalitions.   

Prior to joining WSPA, Jodie was employed as a Legislative Analyst to the Long Beach City Council for five years, worked for several trade associations in Washington DC and served in the White House Communications Office under President George HW Bush.

Jodie received her Master of Public Administration degree and her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

Rusty Hicks
President
LA County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
Biography

Rusty Hicks

President
LA County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

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

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

Michael Affeldt

Director, LARiverWorks
Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

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

Eliot Abel
Director of Commercial Sales
Namasté Solar
Biography

Eliot Abel

Director of Commercial Sales
Namasté Solar

Eliot has over 13 years of experience in the renewable energy industry and currently leads commercial & utility sales efforts for Namasté Solar, guiding the development of solar projects ranging from 100kW to 10MW . Prior to joining Namasté Solar, Eliot was the Founder and Principal of Abel Clean Energy Advisors, a consulting firm that helps commercial property owners and developers utilize innovative financing, such as C-PACE, to implement renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions that increase value, reduce operating costs, and enhance the sustainability of their properties. Earlier in his career, Eliot worked in business development roles at a UK-based thin film solar startup, GE’s global Renewable Energy business, and San Diego-based Renovate America. Eliot holds a BA from Stanford University, an MBA from the Yale School of Management, and is a member of the Urban Land Institute of Colorado.

Evan Birenbaum
Managing Partner
Valkyrie Security Group
Biography

Evan Birenbaum

Managing Partner
Valkyrie Security Group

Prior to joining Valkyrie Security Group, 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. 

Garrett Sprague
Manager, Business Development
CustomerFirst Renewables
Biography

Garrett Sprague

Manager, Business Development
CustomerFirst Renewables

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

Rani Narula-Woods
Senior Director, Special Projects, Office of Extraordinary Innovation
LA Metro
Biography

Rani Narula-Woods

Senior Director, Special Projects, Office of Extraordinary Innovation
LA Metro

Rani Narula-Woods is a seasoned program director with experience in the design and implementation of new mobility products and services. She serves as the Sr. Director, Special Projects, in LA Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation. In this capacity, she leads the agency’s research, testing, and evaluation of demand-response technology with a focus on the integration of user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design into transit service planning and operations. Under the leadership of LA Metro’s Chief Innovation Officer, Rani has been tasked with the delivery and evaluation of a new on-demand service. The pilot project may offer the largest public deployment of demand-responsive service in the U.S. to-date. 

In 2016, Rani co-authored the Los Angeles County Shared Mobility Action Plan which set targets for the deployment of new technology enabled services and identified local, regional, and federal financing opportunities. The Plan is referred to as a national model for DOTs and transit agencies alike. 

Rani previously established the Shared-Use Mobility Center’s California programming and directed transportation research and funding strategies for the local federation of the AFL-CIO. She is a founder of a technology start-up working in artificial intelligence and natural language processing. 

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.

Jill Anderson
Vice President, Customer Programs & Services
Southern California Edison
Biography

Jill Anderson

Vice President, Customer Programs & Services
Southern California Edison

Jill Anderson is vice president of Customer Programs and Services at Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the nation’s largest electric utilities. She is responsible for leading SCE's energy efficiency, demand response and clean self-generation program portfolios as well as customer strategy, marketing, e-commerce and strategic alliance functions.

Previously, Anderson was executive vice president and chief commercial officer at the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the country’s largest state power organization. She directed all wholesale and retail operations. She was responsible for sales, marketing, new products and technology, and energy efficiency programs. In this role, Anderson also oversaw the marketing of NYPA’s generation assets, trading, fuel operations, hedging and business development for new transmission and generation activities. Prior to serving in this position at NYPA, she led energy policy, sustainability, corporate communications, regulatory affairs and government relations departments at the organization.

Before joining NYPA, Anderson worked for Hess Corporation, leading global process improvement projects focused on revenue enhancement, cost reduction and environmental excellence, including greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts.

Anderson has also worked for Consolidated Edison Company of New York, leading teams responsible for natural gas and electric substation construction and operation, redesign of the distribution system to improve efficiency and integrate new technologies, and electricity and natural gas procurement.

Anderson received a Master of Business Administration degree from New York University and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree from Boston University.

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

Reiko Kerr

Senior Assistant General Manager, Power System Strategic Policy
LADWP

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

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

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

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

Julie Blunden
Executive Vice President, Business Development
EVgo
Biography

Julie Blunden

Executive Vice President, Business Development
EVgo

Julie Blunden is the Executive Vice President of Business Development of EVgo. Blunden brings more than three decades of executive experience to EVgo, including growing rapidly expanding companies in new energy markets, including senior roles at SunPower, Green Mountain Energy, KEMA Xenergy, and SunEdison, as well as serving as Chief Executive Officer, President and Director of ClimateWorks Foundation. She is Board Chair of CalCEF Catalyst and Board Member of CalCEF Ventures, as well as founder of her own consulting practice, and former Executive in Residence for the Global Energy Management Program at the University of Colorado Denver’s Business School.

Blunden has an engineering and environmental studies degree from Dartmouth College and a Masters of Business Administration from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

Yoshihiro Hirata
President and CEO
Innovation Core SEI Inc. (Sumitomo Electric)
Biography

Yoshihiro Hirata

President and CEO
Innovation Core SEI Inc. (Sumitomo Electric)

Dr. Hirata is the President and CEO of Innovation Core SEI Inc. (ICS), which is the US subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric. After joining Sumitomo Electric, he developed micro fabrication technology using X-ray lithography and launched some businesses. His team was awarded the 34th Ichimura Industrial Prize and 51st Ogouchi Technology Prize. In January 2010, he moved to Corporate Strategy Planning Division and contributed to making mid-term vision of Sumitomo Electric. He was dispatched to ICS in July 2013 for smart energy solutions business. Dr. Hirata holds a PhD in Electro-Mechanical Engineering from Tohoku Univ., MS and BS in Nuclear Engineering from the Univ. of Tokyo, and MBA from Kobe Univ.

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.

Marta Schantz
Senior Vice President
Greenprint Center for Building
Biography

Marta Schantz

Senior Vice President
Greenprint Center for Building
Michael Samulon
Sustainability Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Biography

Michael Samulon

Sustainability Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Michael Samulon heads up electric vehicle efforts in the Sustainability Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. His focus is on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution through electrification, as well as reducing energy and water consumption in municipal facilities. He has overseen the deployment of over 750 electric vehicles in the City fleet, charging infrastructure for employees and the public, and runs the City's monthly EV Task Force. Michael is working on long term infrastructure planning with LADWP, LA Metro and the Port of Los Angeles in anticipation of a fully electrified bus fleet and goods movement sector. He also oversaw the energy and water benchmarking of the City's facilities in preparation for the Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency ordinance.
James T. Butts
Mayor
Inglewood, CA
Biography

James T. Butts

Mayor
Inglewood, CA

The Mayor has a combined 39 years in public safety, municipal government and education. He holds a Bachelor of Science (California State University at Los Angeles) and a Masters Degree in Business Administration (California Polytechnic University at Pomona). Mayor Butts has served as a general manager or assistant general manager of large and complex municipal organizations for the past 27 years.

The Mayor served the residents of Inglewood for nearly two decades as an Inglewood Police Officer, ultimately rising to the rank of Deputy Chief of Police. Between 1980 and 1990 he was promoted 5 times. In 1991 James Butts was selected to become Chief of Police for the City of Santa Monica where he served for 15 years. During his tenure in Santa Monica as Chief, crime fell 64% to its lowest level since 1956. Citizen complaints also fell by 50% and police liability payouts dropped by 99% as well. Mayor Butts retired as one of the longest serving police chiefs in the County of Los Angeles to serve as an Assistant General Manager (Deputy Executive Director)of the Los Angeles World Airports (which includes LAX) system responsible for Public Safety and Counter-Terrorism. He was responsible for a budget of 116 million dollars and 1100 employees. From 2006 to 2010, the Mayor was directly responsible for the safety of 60 million passengers that travel through LAX. In less than 4 years LAX went from being ranked near the bottom in airport security to being named the most secure airport in the United States by the Transportation Security Administration.

On January 11th, James T. Butts, Jr. was elected as the 12th mayor in the history of the City of Inglewood.

Jessica Ku Kim
Director, Workforce Development
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation
Biography

Jessica Ku Kim

Director, Workforce Development
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation

In her role as Director of Workforce Development, Jessica Ku Kim provides strategic direction and leads collaborative efforts to strengthen the alignment of LA County’s workforce and education systems to industry workforce needs. Jessica has intimate knowledge of programs funded on state and national levels including WIA, WIOA, California State Workforce Development Board, U.S. Department of Labor, California Employment Training Panel, and the Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO. She has demonstrated success in developing, implementing, and managing workforce development programs for target populations including incumbent workers, new hires, disadvantaged youth, veterans, homeless, individuals with disabilities, and re-entry. In addition, she is experienced in developing innovative job training programs, pre-apprenticeships, and/or apprenticeships in the construction trades, aerospace, advanced manufacturing, and other in-demand industries.

Prior to LAEDC, Jessica served as the Special Projects Manager at the South Bay Workforce Investment Board.  In this capacity, she provided sound, innovative and strategic leadership through program development and administration. Jessica has also served as the Director of Operations for ACCORD Community First that provided workforce development services across seven counties in Southern California. She received her Masters of Public Administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills and her Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of California, Irvine.

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.

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.

Manjeet Ranu
Senior Executive Officer, Long-Range Transportation Planning and Mobility Corridors
Los Angeles Metro
Biography

Manjeet Ranu

Senior Executive Officer, Long-Range Transportation Planning and Mobility Corridors
Los Angeles Metro

Manjeet Ranu is a Senior Executive Officer for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), leading the Long Range Transportation Planning and Mobility Corridors Department. This department is responsible for the long range plan that guides the programming of a half-trillion dollars in transportation improvements, service operations and system maintenance in Los Angeles County over a 40-year period. He also leads the planning, design and environmental clearance of new high capacity transit corridors, along with regionally-significant active transportation corridors, with a combined capital valuation exceeding $30 billion. Mr. Ranu has 21 years of public and private sector planning experience in the Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver and Tucson regions. He also has community leadership experience, having co-authored a land use ballot measure in San Diego, which passed with 71 percent of the vote. Mr. Ranu holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Master of Public Administration and Master of Urban and Regional Planning degrees from the University of Colorado at Denver. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and Urban Land Institute. Manjeet is an avid mountain biker and cyclist, and a long-time user of transit. 

Jules Radcliff
Partner
Radcliff & Saiki LLP
Biography

Jules Radcliff

Partner
Radcliff & Saiki LLP
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.

Charles Wilson
Executive Director and CEO
Southern California Water Committee
Biography

Charles Wilson

Executive Director and CEO
Southern California Water Committee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Cindy Montañez
CEO
TreePeople
Biography

Cindy Montañez

CEO
TreePeople

Cindy is a lifelong Angeleno raised in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. She began volunteering with local community organizations at the age of 12.

Her love for the environment began with her family. Cindy’s mother was raised in a remote, mountainous region of Veracruz, Mexico and her father in the dry border state of Chihuahua.

Her parents ignited a passion for the environment in Cindy at an early age when they pointed out environmental injustices in their neighborhood. As a family, they participated in tree plantings and, blessed them with visits to state and national parks and encouraged the kids to pursue careers in social justice.

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

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

Cindy is currently a Board Member for the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and a Legislator In-Residence at the USC Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics.

Some of Cindy’s favorite things to do areto hike our local mountains, explore California and give back to Los Angeles. She is inspired by the magic of California's ancient 2,000-year-old giant sequoia trees, the delectable taste of the fruit from her mother's trees and the ability to live and work inside oak woodlands within a major metropolis.

Panama Bartholomy
Director
Building Decarbonization Coalition
Biography

Panama Bartholomy

Director
Building Decarbonization Coalition

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

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

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.

John Withers
Board of Directors Member
Irvine Ranch Water District
Biography

John Withers

Board of Directors Member
Irvine Ranch Water District

John Withers applies his extensive background in project management, land development, real estate asset enhancement, water resource management and local government to find solutions to challenging regulatory, resource and development issues.

John Withers brings to California Strategies more than 28 years of results-oriented experience in water resources and regulation; real estate development, entitlement and asset protection, and government relations.  He is able to find pathways to solutions that others miss because he has worked on all sides of the issues, attacking problems as an applicant, an elected official, a regulator and a consultant.

Since joining California Strategies, Withers has:

  • Worked with developers of large master-planned communities, including Lennar, Lewis Operating Corp, DMB and Suncal, to solve complex issues
  • Helped leading merchant builders and REITS, including William Lyon Homes, Centex, Shea, Sares Regis and Western National Properties, strategically reposition assets in a challenging  marketplace
  • Assisted public agencies such as the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District, Inland Empire Utility Agency, Palmdale Water District, the City of Chino, the City of Desert Hot Springs and others accomplish key goals
  • Guided companies such as Fluor, RBF, HDR, Turner Construction and others wishing to do business with government understand the context and intricacies of that process.

Withers spent more than 10 years as a director for Psomas and Associates, a leading civil engineering firm, where he helped establish a successful water resources practice that grew to 22 employees, generating annual revenue of $2.4 million.  Withers also has served in a variety of development and policy assignments including Director of Governmental Affairs for the Orange County chapter of the California Building Industry Association and as a Legislative Advocate in Sacramento for the statewide chapter.

Recognizing his management and regulatory expertise, Lewis Operating Corporation, one of the nation's premier land development and real estate investment firms, hired him as Vice President, responsible for the entitlement and development of a 9,000-unit master-planned community in the Chino agriculture preserve.

California Strategies clients also benefit from the government relations insights Withers has gained from his numerous elected and appointed government positions.  He has served for over 20 years as an elected director (and former Board President) of the Irvine Ranch Water District, for 17 years as a commissioner (and former Chairman) of the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), and as a governor's appointed board member (and former Chairman) of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board.  He is especially proud to have been appointed to the Water Quality Control Board by both Republican Governors Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic Governor Gray Davis.

His expertise in water issues has been recognized by the National Water Research Institute,and the Urban Water Institute, which have invited him to serve on their Boards of Directors.  He also serves on the statewide AB331 Blue Ribbon Committee that is working to remove obstacles to expand the use of recycled water.

A native Southern Californian, Withers attended Los Angeles city schools and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and urban studies from UCLA. He was one of the few selected to be a Coro Foundation fellow and earned a Master of Arts degree in urban studies from Occidental College.

Sam Dreiman
Director of Strategic Development
Lime
Biography

Sam Dreiman

Director of Strategic Development
Lime

Sam leads government affairs and policy for Lime across California and the southwest U.S. Previously, he lived in Beijing, China, where he held several roles at the intersection of technology and government, and where he saw the dockless mobility movement sprout from the ground up. Sam earned his Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Virginia.   

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.

Shana Bonstin
Deputy Director, Community Planning Bureau
Los Angeles City Planning Department
Biography

Shana Bonstin

Deputy Director, Community Planning Bureau
Los Angeles City Planning Department

Shana Bonstin is the Deputy Director for the Community Planning Bureau, and oversees Community Plan Updates and targeted geographic policy initiatives at the neighborhood and community level in Los Angeles. She has worked on a range of assignments within the Department of City Planning, since 2001. She is also the Department’s Chief Sustainability Officer. Her educational experience includes a BA from UCSC in Environmental Studies and MA from Harvard in Urban Planning.  

Irma Muñoz
Chair
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Biography

Irma Muñoz

Chair
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy

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

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

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

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

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

Robert Savage
Assistant Deputy Minister
Alberta Climate Change Office
Biography

Robert Savage

Assistant Deputy Minister
Alberta Climate Change Office

For as long as there have been conversations about climate change and integrated resource management in Alberta, Bob Savage has been at the forefront of them. That’s why he was appointed as an Assistant Deputy Minister within the Alberta Climate Change Office in 2016, and asked to assume responsibility for it within the Ministry of Environment and Parks in 2018.

Prior to his role as an ADM he was Executive Director for the Regulatory and Compliance Branch, where he was responsible for delivering the Climate Change Regulatory and Emission Trading systems and the Renewable Fuels and Bioenergy programs. But these two roles are Bob’s second tour of duty on the climate change front. From 2003-13, Bob played a leading role in developing and implementing Alberta’s greenhouse gas policy and regulatory system, as well creating an offset trading system and establishing the Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund and Corporation (now known as Emissions Reduction Alberta).

In addition, Bob has served in senior executive roles leading the development of major policy and planning initiatives across a wide range of departments and subject matters, including provincial water policy, air policy, parks policy, as well as the development of integrated resource management plans across the province. 

Bob’s education focused on land use planning and resource economics. He holds an MBA in project management from Athabasca University.

Bobby Bailie
Business Development Director, Energy Storage
Dresser-Rand, a Siemens business
Biography

Bobby Bailie

Business Development Director, Energy Storage
Dresser-Rand, a Siemens business

Bobby Bailie has been with Dresser-Rand, a Siemens business, for over twelve years and is the Business Development Director for Energy Storage.  Prior to this role, he was a Project Development Manager responsible for numerous Oil & Gas clients. He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering and minors in mathematics and management of technology.  Bobby is also a licensed attorney in the state of Texas and a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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.

Lindsay Baker
Head of Sustainability and Wellbeing
WeWork
Biography

Lindsay Baker

Head of Sustainability and Wellbeing
WeWork
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.

Paul Cook
General Manager
Irvine Ranch Water District
Biography

Paul Cook

General Manager
Irvine Ranch Water District

Paul A. Cook is the General Manager of Irvine Ranch Water District. As General Manager Mr. Cook is responsible for all aspects of day-to-day District operations including a staff of nearly 325 and a combined annual Operating and Capital Budget of over $225 million.

During his tenure as General Manager, IRWD continues its long-standing commitment to water supply reliability, sustainability and innovation with capital projects that include the largest project in IRWD’s history, the Biosolids and Energy Recovery Facilities Project. IRWD has expanded the production and use of recycled water, and added to its water supply portfolio with new local wells, additional water treatment facilities, and an innovative water banking program. Customer rates continue to be among the lowest in Orange County.

Mr. Cook is a registered civil engineer with more than 22 years of experience in water and wastewater system projects in both the public and private sectors. Previous to his appointment as General Manager, Mr. Cook was the IRWD Assistant General Manager. Prior to joining IRWD, he served as the Manager of Engineering for Central and West Basin Municipal Water Districts in Los Angeles County where he was responsible for a $350 million, five-year capital improvements program that included one of the largest water recycling projects in the nation. Mr. Cook began his career in public service as the District Engineer for Los Alisos Water District, and prior to that spent five years in the private sector working in the construction industry.

Mr. Cook received his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from University of Pacific in Stockton, CA. He went on to earn a Master of Science degree in civil engineering from California State University Long Beach and an MBA degree from the University of California at Irvine. In 2002 he was elected to the Board of the Orange County Water District where he served through 2005, including a term as Vice President.

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.

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.

Noah Perch-Ahern
Partner - Environmental Department
Greenberg Glusker
Biography

Noah Perch-Ahern

Partner - Environmental Department
Greenberg Glusker

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

David Phillips
Associate Vice President for Energy and Sustainability
University of California Office of the President
Biography

David Phillips

Associate Vice President for Energy and Sustainability
University of California Office of the President

David Phillips provides strategic leadership for energy and sustainability initiatives across the University of California, which includes ten campuses, five medical centers, and three national labs. David and his team help connect researchers, students and operations staff to integrate sustainable energy practices in support the University’s mission. One key focus is developing plans and taking action to reach systemwide carbon neutrality by 2025.

David provides executive oversight for UC’s participation in the Statewide Energy Partnership program, which has implemented more than 1,000 energy efficiency projects in collaboration with the campuses and utilities, resulting in cumulative energy savings totaling over $224M. David’s operational responsibilities also include managing the UC Wholesale Power Program, which supplies low-carbon electricity to all or part of seven campuses, and implementing the UC Biomethane Program, which has developed biogas projects to supplant 10 percent of UC’s natural gas use. He is a Founding Partner and Vice Chair for La Casa de la Universidad de California en Mexico, helping to guide UC’s activities and relationships in Mexico.

David was formerly Director of Utilities at UC Davis, where he managed their city-scale water, waste and energy systems. While at Davis, he led teams that developed a 63-acre behind-the-meter solar power plant, constructed an on-site waste treatment system to reduce campus landfill disposal by 25 percent, and implemented several massive wastewater recycling projects.

David has a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from UC Davis and is a California registered professional engineer.

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.

Charlie Woo
Board Chair
Los Angeles Workforce Development Board
Biography

Charlie Woo

Board Chair
Los Angeles Workforce Development Board

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

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

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

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

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

Liz Crosson joined Mayor Eric Garcetti's Sustainability Team as Water Policy Advisor after serving as the Executive Director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper for five years. Liz led Waterkeeper’s efforts to protect, conserve and restore Los Angeles' waterways through advocacy, community education and litigation. She previously worked with Lawyers for Clean Water, Inc. where she represented non-profit organizations in water pollution enforcement actions. She has a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School with an emphasis in environmental law.

Osha Meserve
Shareholder
Soluri Meserve
Biography

Osha Meserve

Shareholder
Soluri Meserve

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

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.

Ron Mayuyu
Senior Process Engineer
Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment
Biography

Ron Mayuyu

Senior Process Engineer
Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment

Ron is the Senior Process Engineer of the City of Los Angeles, LA Sanitation, Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant (HWRP). HWRP is one of the largest plants in the world, with a 450 million gallon per day (MGD) average dry weather capacity and highly technical operations, including full secondary treatment with pure oxygen activated sludge, Class A anaerobic digestion, cryogenic oxygen generation, biogas power generation, and a variety of offsite biosolids reuse alternatives.  Ron has been with the LA Sanitation for over 20 years, serving in other capacities including solid resources planning, industrial pretreatment, and environmental education & outreach.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and is a registered chemical engineer in the State of California.

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.

Nick Vyas
Executive Director & Professor
USC Marshall Center For Global Supply Chain Management
Biography

Nick Vyas

Executive Director & Professor
USC Marshall Center For Global Supply Chain Management

A specialist in Operation Excellence, Application of Lean Six Sigma(LSS) and an expert in Global Supply Chain Management(GSCM), Nick Vyas has implemented process improvements for over 300 projects globally that have increased efficiency for clients in the fields of health care, service, military, retail, and end-to-end supply chain. As the Executive Director and Co-founder of USC Marshall’s Center for GSCM and as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Data Sciences & Operations, Vyas is educating the next generation of business leaders. Previously, Vyas had taught GSCM and LSS courses at CalPoly Pomona.

Working closely with students, Vyas consulted for over 25 global operations across various sectors. He integrated technology and directed teams that both optimized speed-to-market and managed cost/quality.

Douglas Nordham
Energy Director
Arup
Biography

Douglas Nordham

Energy Director
Arup

Mr. Nordham’s professional career has involved all phases of the management and growth of businesses in the distributed generation, microgrid, demand response, energy storage, and electric utility industries. With more than 40 years of hands-on experience in both the public and private sectors, he has directed operations for a local division of a $2 billion international energy company and supported more than a dozen electric utility distributed energy and microgrid programs. Mr. Nordham was president of two energy services companies that were specifically formed to assist clients in reducing energy costs and creating distributed power generation-based revenue streams.

Doug is currently the Project Director for John Wayne Airport’s (JWA) upgrade of their 7-MW cogeneration system and Central Utility Plant (CUP). This project involves energy engineering and business consulting services related to improving and optimizing the operations/functionality of the existing CUP serving the airport, and includes the addition of a 2.4-MW solar PV and 8-MWh battery storage system, which will be the largest solar/battery enabled airport microgrid in the U.S.

Mr. Nordham is also the Project Director for a $1.5 million California Energy Commission EPIC Grant to evaluate the feasibility of a multi-user microgrid for the City of Santa Monica. The intent of the project is to integrate a localized energy grid (microgrid) consisting of onsite renewable generation and energy storage based at the City Yards and surrounding community.

Jonathan Weisgall
Vice President, Government Relations
Berkshire Hathaway Energy
Biography

Jonathan Weisgall

Vice President, Government Relations
Berkshire Hathaway Energy

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

Weisgall also serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies and on the Geothermal Resources Council Policy Committee.

He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught a seminar on energy issues since 1990 and recently received the Charles Fahy Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award as outstanding adjunct professor of the year. He has been named one of the top Washington, DC corporate lobbyists by The Hill since 2004.

Weisgall graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia College and from Stanford Law School and has published articles in Legal Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, SAIS Review, and The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

David Hertz
Co-Founder
Skysource
Biography

David Hertz

Co-Founder
Skysource

Architect David Hertz is the founder and president of David Hertz FAIA Architects, inc. and S.E.A., the Studio of Environmental Architecture, which he established as Syndesis in 1984 and skysource.org in 2016.

David graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-ARC) in 1983. In 2006 David was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Sci-Arc. In 2008 David was elected to the prestigious American Institute of Architects College of Fellows as one of it’s youngest member in its over 155 year history.

David Hertz’s award-winning work has been widely published and exhibited internationally. Some highlights include exhibitions in the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the National Building Museum, and the Cooper Hewitt Museum, as well as inclusion in the Venice and Istanbul Architectural biennales, having won the American Architecture Award in 2009 and 2012 respectively.

The work of S.E.A. has been included in over a hundred books and periodicals worldwide. Key highlights include two covers of Dwell, inclusion in Met Home’s Design 100, and a profile in Vanity Fair Magazine. Hertz’s 747 Wing House won a 2012 Record Houses award and the 2016 Architizer A+ Award and has been widely published and documented worldwide, including a 2017 feature on World's Most Extraordinary Homes on Netflix. In 2016 a monograph, The Restorative Home: Ecological Houses of David Hertz was published by Oro Press.

David is a founding member of the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) as well as the USGBC and was involved in the first LEED Platinum Commercial and Residential Projects in the U.S. Since 1990 David has been on the Academic Advisory Committee and the faculty of the UCLA Arc-ID Program teaching sustainable design courses.

David has also taught at the USC School of Architecture, SCI-ARC and Art Center College of Design. David has been serving on the Task Force of the Environment for the City of Santa Monica for over 20 years, co-authoring the city's Green Building Ordinance. David serves on the board of directors of Heal The Bay and is involved in numerous social and environmental non-profits and pro-bono services, including founding the GO Water Initiative with the Go Campaign, where he is bringing Skywater atmospheric water generators through skysource.org to address water scarcity and water quality worldwide. In 2018 David led his Skysource team to the grand prize winner in the Water Abundance XPRIZE out of a field of 98 teams from 27 countries to make 2,000 liters of water from air in 24 hours using 100% renewable energy at a cost of less than 2 cents/liter.

Liam Denning
Columnist
Bloomberg
Biography

Liam Denning

Columnist
Bloomberg

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

Haruo Soga
Executive Director
East Japan Railway Company
Biography

Haruo Soga

Executive Director
East Japan Railway Company

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

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

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

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

Abigale Abel
Affiliate
CityFi
Biography

Abigale Abel

Affiliate
CityFi

Abigale (Abby) Abel is an Affiliate with Cityfi and has worked most recently on standing-up the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, a statewide platform designed to accelerate the adoption of innovative technology and practices to enhance the quality of life for all Coloradans. 

Prior to joining Cityfi, Abby led commercial partnerships for GE Ecomagination, a cross-GE platform to identify, test and deploy new technology and commercial solutions to environmental challenges.  As part of this work, Abby catalyzed a smart city partnership with LStar Ventures, a private real estate developer leading the build-out of Union Point in Massachusetts.  Abby also served as the Chief Marketing Officer for GE’s Renewable Energy business, leading market analysis and strategic planning for GE’s global renewables business.

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

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

Ryan Tinus
Director of Sustainability
Tishman Speyer
Biography

Ryan Tinus

Director of Sustainability
Tishman Speyer
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.

Neal Aronson
President
Oceanus Power & Water
Biography

Neal Aronson

President
Oceanus Power & Water

At Oceanus, Mr. Aronson is directly responsible for strategy, finance and new opportunities.  Mr. Aronson has 25+ years of experience in development of large real estate projects throughout Western U.S. and Mexico; and seven years of renewables development.  Previously he was CFO at Hix Rubenstein, a privately held land developer, and Director of Operations at LoopNet.  Mr. Aronson has extensive experience with complex land transactions; environmental permitting; construction management; and project finance.  In addition, he has started companies in the health, service and information technology sectors. 

Mr. Aronson earned a B.A. in Economics from Whitman College and a MBA from the Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley. 

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.

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.

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. Jon also has experience working on water conveyance systems and agricultural development projects in least developed countries (LDCs), including Haiti and Vanuatu.

Jon holds a Masters from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and a Bachelors degree from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Gaurav Sant
CEO
CO2Concrete
Biography

Dr. Gaurav Sant

CEO
CO2Concrete

Gaurav is an Associate Professor and a Henry Samueli Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Sant’s research interests include interfacial solid-liquid, solid-vapor, and solid-liquid-vapor reactions including dissolution, precipitation, and electrochemical corrosion with applications to (i) cement, concrete, porous media, (ii) hard biological tissues, (iii) metals and alloys, (iv) natural and synthetic minerals, and (v) glasses. In his research, special focus is placed on understanding the origin of formation, degradation and aging dynamics of such materials in aqueous environments of relevance to engineered, biological and geological systems. Dr. Sant received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Purdue University in 2009. Gaurav is also the CEO of CO2Concrete LLC, an early-stage company that is developed a transformative mineralization technology to convert flue gas borne CO2 into concrete products. CO2Concrete is a Finalist in the Carbon XPRIZE competition and was recognized as a Global Top10 Innovation at the Innovation for Cool Earth Forum in Tokyo in 2018.

Steve Berberich
President and CEO
California ISO
Biography

Steve Berberich

President and CEO
California ISO

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

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

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

 

Jonathan Levy
Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
EVgo
Biography

Jonathan Levy

Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
EVgo

Jonathan Levy is Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at EVgo, the nation’s largest public network of fast chargers for electric vehicles. In this role, he works hand-in-hand with the rest of the executive team in exploring new partnerships and ways to continue to deliver on EVgo’s commitments to its partners and the EV driving public. Prior to joining EVgo, Jonathan was the Director of Policy and Strategy at Vision Ridge Partners, an investment firm focused on sustainable real assets where he remains an advisor. Levy started his career on Capitol Hill as a policy advisor to then-Congressman Rahm Emanuel and served in the Obama Administration in a variety of positions at the U.S. Department of Energy and the White House, concluding his federal service as Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. Over the course of his career, Levy has consistently tackled issues at the intersection of policy, politics, and execution. Jonathan serves on the Board of Directors of Veloz and Gourmet Symphony. He graduated magna cum laude from Emory University with a B.A. in Political Science.

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.

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

Zaib Shaikh

Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles
Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles
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 200 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 30 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., and he has helped write numerous water quality, coastal protection, urban sustainability and environmental education laws and policies. He recently led a research effort on sustainable water management in the city of Los Angeles. Previous research focused on beach water quality and the health risks of swimming at polluted beaches. Currently, he is a member of the Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors for the city of Los Angeles and Mayor Garcetti’s Water Cabinet. Also, he serves on the California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39) – Citizens Oversight Board.

Marcel Christians
Chief Operating Officer
IceEnergy
Biography

Marcel Christians

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

Lauren Faber O'Connor

Chief Sustainability Officer
City of Los Angeles

Lauren Faber is the Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Los Angeles. In her role as Deputy CSO she drove the implementation of the Sustainable City pLAn, released in April 2015, which puts forth an actionable vision for transforming LA's environment, economy and equity. Working across every city department, Lauren focuses on strategic integration of the pLAn's pillars in order to reach the City's ambitious climate and clean energy goals, ensure benefits accrue to all communities in LA, and pursue regional and international collaborations. Prior to joining the Garcetti Administration, Lauren served for four years as the West Coast Political Director for the Environmental Defense Fund in San Francisco. At EDF she worked on building successful strategies and constructive partnerships to win support on innovative approaches to protecting and promoting climate, clean energy, land, water and wildlife. In 2010 Lauren was appointed to Assistant Secretary for Climate Change Programs at the California Environmental Protection Agency, where she was dedicated to the design and implementation of California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act. Prior to her work at CalEPA, Lauren served as senior director for Lighthouse Consulting Group in Washington, D.C., where she advised on comprehensive national climate change and energy strategies for domestic and international companies, and non-government organizations, and in particular, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership. From 2005-2009 Lauren served at the British Embassy as the Senior Policy Advisor for climate change and energy.

Lauren sits on the Board of the California League of Conservation Voters, is a member of the Catto Fellowship for environmental leadership at the Aspen Institute, and a member of the Truman National Security Project Political Partnership. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Earth Systems and Economics from Stanford University, and Master’s degree in Climate and Society from Columbia University.

Amanda Von Almen
Green Building Program Manager
Salesforce
Biography

Amanda Von Almen

Green Building Program Manager
Salesforce

Amanda von Almen is the green building program manager for Salesforce.

Rhetta deMesa
Advisor to Commissioner Janea Scott
California Energy Commission
Biography

Rhetta deMesa

Advisor to Commissioner Janea Scott
California Energy Commission
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.

Logan Goldie-Scot
Manager, Energy Storage
Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Biography

Logan Goldie-Scot

Manager, Energy Storage
Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Logan heads up the Energy Storage insight team at BloombergNEF. He leads the company’s analysis on the global energy storage markets, providing insight on technology, markets, policies and regulation, and the competitive landscape. He also oversees BNEF’s Supply Chain focus area, a cross-company effort to provide insights on the battery supply chain, manufacturing, sustainability and advanced materials.

He advises utilities, technology companies, investors and policymakers across these fields. He has authored numerous research papers and regularly speaks at international conferences and in the mainstream media. He was previously a Senior Associate within the Energy Smart Technologies team and regularly works on consulting projects for clients. He joined the company in 2009 as an analyst focused on the wind and solar sectors across the Middle East and Africa.

Prior to joining the company, he has previously worked at the Next Century Foundation which is a nonprofit political think tank focused on conflict resolution.

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

Osama Younan

Executive Officer
Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety

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

Dave Edwards
Director and Advocate for Hydrogen Energy
Air Liquide
Biography

Dave Edwards

Director and Advocate for Hydrogen Energy
Air Liquide

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

 

Renata Simril
President and CEO
LA84 Foundation
Biography

Renata Simril

President and CEO
LA84 Foundation

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

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

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

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

Ian Ross
Co-Founder and CEO
OppSites
Biography

Ian Ross

Co-Founder and CEO
OppSites
Timothy O'Connor
Senior Director, Senior Attorney
Environmental Defense Fund
Biography

Timothy O'Connor

Senior Director, Senior Attorney
Environmental Defense Fund

Tim O’Connor is a Senior Director and Senior Attorney in Environmental Defense Fund’s Energy Program in California.  Since joining EDF in 2007, he has been involved at state regulatory agencies and the legislature on climate and clean energy initiatives, with particular focus on oil and gas production and delivery, clean energy, cap-and-trade, transportation fuels and clean vehicles. During this time, Mr. O’Connor has also managed EDF’s participation in both state and federal courts in California on issues related to climate change, fuels and energy. Prior to joining EDF, Tim was a senior governmental compliance inspector at heavy industrial facilities, including petroleum refineries and power plants, in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sandra Berg
Board Member
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Sandra Berg

Board Member
California Air Resources Board

Sandra Berg is a proven leader with experience serving on private, public policy, and nonprofit boards. As President & CEO of the Berg Family of Companies, Chairman of the Board of American Coatings Association, and a member of the California Air Resources Board, Ms. Berg’s leadership has successfully combined two worlds that are often seen as oil and water – the chemical industry and air quality public policy. Berg Family of Companies has two cornerstone businesses: Ellis Paint Company, a specialty paint manufacturer, celebrating 126 years in business, and Pacific Resource Recovery Services, an EPA permitted Treatment Storage and Disposal Facility that recycles paint related waste streams. Ms. Berg’s innovative leadership, proactive compliance and community outreach have been key elements which set both Ellis Paint Company and Pacific Resources apart from their national and international competition. 

In 2004, Ms. Berg was appointed to the California Air Resources Board by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Air Resources Board is California's lead air quality agency, responsible for protecting public health by reducing air pollution. The Air Resources Board is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in policy, innovative technology, and driving business in California to develop clean air solutions. Combining her business acumen and community involvement, Ms. Berg brings a practical perspective to the Board. In Ms. Berg's capacity as a Board Member, she has chaired several committees overseeing a billion dollars of public incentive funding and facilitated key policy implementation groups, while always emphasizing the need to protect public health and the environment while also keeping business strong.

In addition to her service with the California Air Resources Board and the American Coatings Association, Ms. Berg has a passion for our youth and education. She is a past Board Member of the Hollenbeck Police Activity League and has served eight years on the 34th Congressional District Student Art Competition board. She is a member the World Presidents’ Organization City of Angels Chapter, and C-200, a leading philanthropic organization of businesswomen.

Gary Gero
Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles County
Biography

Gary Gero

Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles County

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

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

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

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

John 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. 

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.

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

Robert Ferrante

Assistant Chief Engineer and Assistant General Manager
Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts
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.

Dr. Thomas Brisbin
CEO and Board Chair
Willdan Group
Biography

Dr. Thomas Brisbin

CEO and Board Chair
Willdan Group

Thomas D. Brisbin has served as Chief Executive Officer of Willdan Group, Inc., since April 2007 and was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors in November 2016. He was appointed President and CEO of Willdan in April 2007.

Previously, Dr. Brisbin was vice president of and consultant for AECOM Technology Corporation, a company focused on infrastructure, environment and facilities engineering contracts, where he was responsible for developing the company's environmental business for three years. Previously, Dr. Brisbin was chief operating officer and executive vice president of Tetra Tech, Inc., a leading provider of consulting, engineering and technical services, for five years. Prior to that, he was employed by Planning Research Corporation, or PRC, a systems analysis and management consulting company and wholly-owned subsidiary of The Black & Decker Corporation, from 1978 to 1995 and was co-founder and President of PRC Environmental Management, Inc. During his tenure at PRC, he was involved in all aspects of operations, marketing and finance. Before joining PRC, he was a research associate at Argonne National Laboratory. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Dr. Brisbin holds a B.S. degree from Northern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology. He also completed Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program in 1988.

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.

David Hodgins
Executive Director
Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge
Biography

David Hodgins

Executive Director
Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge
Jonathan Parfrey
Executive Director
Climate Resolve
Biography

Jonathan Parfrey

Executive Director
Climate Resolve

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

Wes Marstaller
Chief Financial Officer
Avalon Battery
Biography

Wes Marstaller

Chief Financial Officer
Avalon Battery

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

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

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

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. 

Tony Mazza
Director of Transportation
University of Southern California
Biography

Tony Mazza

Director of Transportation
University of Southern California

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

Marqueece Harris-Dawson
City Councilmember
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Marqueece Harris-Dawson

City Councilmember
City of Los Angeles
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.

Benoit Couture
President
Lithion Recycling
Biography

Benoit Couture

President
Lithion Recycling

Benoit Couture is the founding president of Lithion Recycling. Lithion Recycling is a spin-off of Seneca, a process engineering firm Benoit also co-founded and has been leading for over 21 years.

In collaboration with Seneca’s process expert team, Lithion Recycling developed a technology for recycling lithium-ion batteries. The patent-pending technology makes it possible to recycle the most common different lithium-ion batteries chemistries by producing battery-grade materials that can be reintroduced into the production chain for new Li-ion batteries. The Lithion process makes it possible to recover 95% of the battery components. The results and performance of the Lithion process give it the status of a disruptive innovation.

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

Michael Peevey
President
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Michael Peevey

President
California Public Utilities Commission
Dr. Kelly Sanders
Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Southern California
Biography

Dr. Kelly Sanders

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Southern California

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

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

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

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.

Terra Carver
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Humboldt County Growers Alliance
Biography

Terra Carver

Co-Founder and Executive Director
Humboldt County Growers Alliance

Terra J. Carver has been involved in Humboldt County’s cannabis community for over a decade.  After her first few years of farming, she began studying Sustainable Agriculture at College of Redwoods to gain a deeper understanding of best management practices and responsible land stewardship. Currently, Terra is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Humboldt County Growers Alliance (HCGA) a local trade association with over 250 members. The mission of HCGA is to “Preserve, protect and enhance Humboldt County’s world-renowned cannabis industry.” Terra also served on the Board of Directors for California Growers Association and chaired their Policy Committee from late 2016-2019.

Janea A. Scott
Commissioner
California Energy Commission
Biography

Janea A. Scott

Commissioner
California Energy Commission

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

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

Con Howe
Los Angeles Fund Managing Director
CityView
Biography

Con Howe

Los Angeles Fund Managing Director
CityView

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

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

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

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

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.

Philip Recht
Partner
Mayer Brown
Biography

Philip Recht

Partner
Mayer Brown

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

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

Coby Skye
Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works
Biography

Coby Skye

Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

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

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.

Patrick Holland
Principal Engineer
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works
Biography

Patrick Holland

Principal Engineer
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

Patrick Holland joined Los Angeles County Department of Public Works in 2003. He has been a registered Professional Engineer in the State of California since 2006. Patrick is an Assistant Division Head of the Environmental Programs Division where he oversees multiple teams involved with waste collection, waste diversion programs, legislation and policy development, and education/outreach.  Patrick spent several years working in stormwater management where he focused on increasing flood protection, expanding water conservation, and improving water quality. Patrick currently serves on the Board for the California Product Stewardship Council.  Patrick holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Utah State University and a Masters in Business Administration from California State University Long Beach. 

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.

Dr. Ren Orans
Founder and Managing Partner
E3
Biography

Dr. Ren Orans

Founder and Managing Partner
E3

Dr. Ren Orans founded E3 in 1989. An economist and engineer, he has focused throughout his career on the most pressing challenges facing the electricity industry. Most recently his major focus has been on advising California’s regulators and stakeholders on the most effective ways to implement the state’s clean energy and greenhouse gas mitigation policies.

Ren began his career by demonstrating the potential of deploying distributed energy resources to defer infrastructure investments, saving costs and enabling the integration of renewables into the grid. During the restructuring era of the 1990s, he devised a rate-making mechanism that enabled Texas utilities to recover stranded costs while giving retail customers access to wholesale market prices. He also supported the opening of transmission markets by developing FERC-compliant tariffs for Canadian utilities and assisting the California ISO in developing tariffs and evaluation processes for transmission projects.

Ren is a longtime advisor to policy makers and executives in every corner of the electricity arena: government agencies, utilities, system operators, regulators, independent power producers, energy technology companies, public interest organizations, and investors. He has also published his work widely in top scholarly journals and served as an expert witness on numerous occasions.

Even after 25-plus years of analyzing the industry, Ren still finds the electricity sector fascinating. He’s particularly excited by the accelerating pace of change, which technological innovation and public policy are driving. He enjoys applying E3’s deep analytic models and years of experience to new challenges and new markets.

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. 

Ken Alston
Chief of Staff
California Clean Energy Fund
Biography

Ken Alston

Chief of Staff
California Clean Energy Fund

Ken Alston is Chief of Staff at the California Clean Energy Fund & New Energy Nexus. He also serves as Investment Manager at CalCEF Ventures.

Prior to these roles, Ken worked from 2012-2016 in the Obama Administration, first at the White House and then as Special Advisor to the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy. His past experience also includes investment firms Penta Group and Investor’s Circle, battery startup Simbol Materials, and strategy consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton. Ken is also a board member of Clean Energy Works.

He holds a BA from the University of Virginia and an MBA and MS from Stanford University.

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.