Speakers for VX2020

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.

Henry Stern
State Senator
California State Senate
Biography

Henry Stern

State Senator
California State Senate

Henry Stern is an educator and environmental attorney, who most recently served as senior advisor to California State Senator Fran Pavley. In that capacity, he helped craft legislation to address climate change, fracking, the drought, teacher shortages, and women's health.  He also spearheaded the Senator’s ongoing efforts to clean up the SoCal Gas leak in Porter Ranch with SB 380.

A graduate of Harvard University and UC Berkeley Law, Henry has public and private sector experience in education, the environment, and infrastructure investment. Prior to serving the 27th District, he served as counsel to Congressman Henry Waxman on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, helped businesses construct clean energy projects, taught civics, advocated for juvenile justice, and founded a tech incubator.

Henry also teaches law at UCLA, volunteers at the Boys & Girls Club, and is a member of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Committee, the Jewish Federation, and the Truman National Security Project.

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 O'Connor 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.

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.

Carla Peterman
Senior Vice President
Southern California Edison
Biography

Carla Peterman

Senior Vice President
Southern California Edison

Carla Peterman is senior vice president of Regulatory Affairs at Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the nation’s largest electric utilities. She is responsible at the national and state levels for the company’s Regulatory Affairs and Energy and Environmental Policy organizations, overseeing regulatory strategy and operations and environmental affairs. 

Previously, Peterman served a six-year term on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) from 2013 to 2018. She led several CPUC clean-energy initiatives, including the adoption of the nation’s first electric utility energy storage mandate, approval of $965 million of utility investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, adoption of utility energy-efficiency goals and the continued implementation of California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard.

Before her CPUC appointment, Peterman served on the California Energy Commission, where she was the lead commissioner for renewables, transportation, and natural gas. She also is a former board member of The Utility Reform Network, an organization that represents consumers before the CPUC and California Legislature.

She was appointed earlier in 2019 by California Gov. Gavin Newsom to chair the Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery, which played a critical role in developing recommendations that led to passage of legislation that holds utilities accountable for reducing wildfire risks from their equipment and encourages a financially stable electric industry.

Peterman holds a Doctor of Philosophy in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley. She also earned a Master of Science and Master of Business Administration from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes scholar. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Howard University.

Peterman serves on the external advisory board for Sandia National Laboratories’ Energy and Homeland Security Portfolio. She has also served on the board of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, was a member of the California Broadband Council, and served as Chair of the California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative.

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.

Mary Nichols
Chair
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Mary Nichols

Chair
California Air Resources Board

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

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

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

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

Hiroaki Ishizuka

Chair
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

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

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

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

Mel Levine
President
LADWP Board of Commissioners
Biography

Mel Levine

President
LADWP Board of Commissioners

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seleta Reynolds
General Manager
Los Angeles Department of Transportation
Biography

Seleta Reynolds

General Manager
Los Angeles Department of Transportation

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

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

Mark Pestrella
Director
Los Angeles County Public Works
Biography

Mark Pestrella

Director
Los Angeles County Public Works

Mark Pestrella is the Director of the County of Los Angeles 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.

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.

Robyn Beavers
CEO
Blueprint Power
Biography

Robyn Beavers

CEO
Blueprint Power

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

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!

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.

Rusty Hicks
Chair
California Democratic Party
Biography

Rusty Hicks

Chair
California Democratic Party

Rusty Hicks is Chair of the California Democratic Party. Prior to his election as chair, Rusty was 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.

Katherine Aguilar Perez
Associate Principal & Los Angeles Cities Leader
Arup
Biography

Katherine Aguilar Perez

Associate Principal & Los Angeles Cities Leader
Arup

Katharine Aguilar Perez 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.

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.

Adel Hagekhalil
General Manager
Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services
Biography

Adel Hagekhalil

General Manager
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 (StreetsLA) 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 recently President with the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).  Adel is a WEF Fellow. Adel is a member of WEF and APWA.

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. Sara took Kilroy from having no sustainability program to being named the #1 publicly traded real estate company on sustainability in North America by GRESB, and under her leadership the company recently committed to becoming the first carbon neutral real estate company in North America by the end of 2020At 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.

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

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

 

Jeffrey Kightlinger
General Manager & CEO
Metropolitan Water District
Biography

Jeffrey Kightlinger

General Manager & CEO
Metropolitan Water District

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

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

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

Martin Adams

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

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

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

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

Traci Minamide
Chief Operating Officer
Los Angeles Sanitation & Environment
Biography

Traci Minamide

Chief Operating Officer
Los Angeles Sanitation & Environment

Traci is the Chief Operating Officer for the City of Los Angeles , 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. 

Abigale Abel
Affiliate
CityFi
Biography

Abigale Abel

Affiliate
CityFi

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Bob Foster
Board Member
EPCOR Utilities
Biography

Bob Foster

Board Member
EPCOR Utilities

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

Felicia Marcus
Fmr Chair
California State Water Resources Control Board
Biography

Felicia Marcus

Fmr 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.

Alex Beavers
Chief Innovation Officer
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Biography

Alex Beavers

Chief Innovation Officer
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

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

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.

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.

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.

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
Executive Director
Ocean Protection Council
Biography

Mark Gold

Executive Director
Ocean Protection Council

Mark Gold joined OPC in July of 2019. As Executive Director of OPC and the Deputy Secretary for Ocean and Coastal Policy for the California Natural Resources Agency, Mark serves as a key advisor to Governor and the Secretary of Natural Resources and directs policy, scientific research, and critical partnerships to increase protection of coastal and ocean resources in California. Prior to his appointment, he was the UCLA Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability where he led their Sustainable Los Angeles Grand Challenge effort. Prior to UCLA, Mark was the first hire at Heal the Bay, where he served as their President for 18 years. During that time, he worked on ocean and coastal legislation and policy, stormwater, watershed management, and marine conservation and coastal restoration issues, projects and programs. Over the course of his career, his research focused on beach water quality and health risks, as well as sustainable water resources management. Mark received his bachelor’s and master’s in Biology as well as his doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering, all from UCLA.

Jules Radcliff
Partner
Radcliff & Saiki LLP
Biography

Jules Radcliff

Partner
Radcliff & Saiki LLP

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

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

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

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

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

Shari Afshari
Deputy Director
LA County Public Works
Biography

Shari Afshari

Deputy Director
LA County Public Works

Shari Afshari has been with Los Angeles County for 36 years. Currently, she serves as a Deputy Director for Los Angeles County Public Works over Environmental Services. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring the environmentally sustainable management of solid waste and recycling for over one million unincorporated area residents and 20,000 commercial accounts; operation and maintenance of sewer infrastructure for a population of over 2 million people within the County Unincorporated area and a total of 39 cities;

the operation of Public Works’ fleet which includes more than 3,000 pieces of on- and off-road vehicles and equipment as it transitions to a clean fleet through the use of alternative fuel and zero emission vehicles; as well as enterprise-wide services that consist of providing survey, mapping, and real property management services, as well as claims, litigation, and risk management support services. These essential services aid Public Works in delivering sustainable regional infrastructure and help ensure our communities and employees are safe.

Ms. Afshari also has extensive experience in local government and Public Works operations in the areas of design, construction, project management, water resources, transportation, infrastructure sustainability, and public buildings. She is a licensed civil engineer with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and a Master's degree in transportation and city planning from the California State University, Los Angeles.
Gail Goldberg
Boardmember
Metropolitan Water District Board
Biography

Gail Goldberg

Boardmember
Metropolitan Water District Board

S. Gail Goldberg, FAICP, served as Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute - Los Angeles from June of 2011 until February of 2018.  Ms. Goldberg brought to the table not only her many years leading the planning departments of two of the world’s most significant cities, but also many years of service to ULI.

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

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

Goldberg is a native Californian and holds a degree in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California San Diego.   Goldberg currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Water District and on the Board of Advisors for the USC Center for Sustainable Cities.  She also serves on the Advisory Board for the UCLA Lewis Center and for the University of California’s District 9 Transportation Center.

Goldberg has formerly served as an Urban Land Institute Trustee, Chair of the San Diego/Tijuana ULI District Council and on the Statewide Coordinating Committee for the Urban Land Institute’s California Smart Growth Initiative.  Goldberg has served on the Board of Directors for Abode Communities and Abode Community Housing and was appointed by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins to the California Strategic Growth Council where she served for three years.  She is a past President of the San Diego Chapter of the Lambda Alpha Honorary Land Economics Society.

 

Alison Brown
President & Founder
Flux Energy Systems
Biography

Alison Brown

President & Founder
Flux Energy Systems

Alison Brown has over 12 years of experience in renewable energy. She has worked with solar, battery, electric vehicle, fuel cell and smart grid technologies on projects ranging from remote, off-grid mountain cabins to industrial microgrids. In 2016, Alison founded Flux Energy Systems to simplify the design and installation of alternative energy projects.  When not working, Alison enjoys all that LA has to offer: her family, trail runs, the beach and exploring fantastic food scene. 

Alison holds a B.A. in Physics from Middlebury College and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She was a recipient of the 2009 Transatlantic Renewable Energy Fellowship. She is currently the Director of the LA Chapter of WRISE.

Sheba Hafiz
Associate Principal & Water Business Leader
Arup
Biography

Sheba Hafiz

Associate Principal & Water Business Leader
Arup
Robin Hughes
President & CEO
Abode Communities
Biography

Robin Hughes

President & CEO
Abode Communities

Robin Hughes is president and chief executive officer of Abode Communities, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit architect, developer, manager and operator of service-enhanced affordable housing. She has been actively involved in affordable housing and community development for over 30 years and in her 23 years as leader of Abode Communities, Hughes has transformed the organization into an Affordable Housing Finance Top 50 Developer nationwide and the premier provider of environmentally sustainable affordable housing in California.

 

Gideon Kracov
General Counsel
California Waste and Recycling Association
Biography

Gideon Kracov

General Counsel
California Waste and Recycling Association

Mr. Kracov is a lawyer in private practice in Los Angeles, where he represents clients in civil law, environmental and land use cases.  His work includes high-stakes litigation and complex regulatory matters.  Mr. Kracov offers experience honed by work for diverse business, labor and non-profit clients, and as a government lawyer.  He has served for over a decade as General Counsel of the California Waste and Recycling Association, a trade organization including the region's leading recycling and waste management companies.



Previously, Mr. Kracov served as a Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney where he counseled the Departments of Planning and Sanitation.  He was on the team that negotiated the $168 million settlement to remove trash from the Los Angeles River and he advised the City's contaminated property redevelopment program.

  Before his public sector work, Mr. Kracov practiced at Rose, Klein & Marias LLP, a trial law firm.  There he handled toxic tort and environmental matters that helped shape these areas of the law. 

Mr. Kracov served as 2014-2015 Chair of the State Bar of California Environmental Law Section.  Elected by his peers to that role, he led education and program activities on behalf of the Section's 2,500+ environmental lawyer members.

From 2015 to 2018, he served as a Governor's appointee and Chair of the California Mining and Geology Board that oversees the State's interests in seismic hazards, mineral resources and mine reclamation. He also chaired the California Department of Toxic Substances Control Independent Review Panel tasked with recommending improvements to the agency's permitting, enforcement, outreach and fiscal management.  From 2007 to 2011, Mr. Kracov served as Vice-Chair of the Los Angeles Proposition O Bond Committee administering $500 million to protect the City's rivers and beaches.  He also was a Governor's appointee and Acting Chair of the State Committee supervising California's vehicle smog check program. Currently, Mr. Kracov sits on the Los Angeles County Integrated Solid Waste Management Task Force that reviews plans for facility development and coordinates recycling and waste policy within the County.  Mr. Kracov also is an alternate member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District Hearing Board.

Randall W. Lewis
Executive Vice President
Lewis Group of Companies
Biography

Randall W. Lewis

Executive Vice President
Lewis Group of Companies

Randall Lewis oversees the sales and marketing operations of the Lewis Groups. Randall received his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College. He is regarded as an industry leader in promoting the arts, education, healthy living and sustainable development initiatives. He has been President of the Inland Empire Arts Foundation, Secretary of the Los Angeles County Citizens Planning Council, director of the HomeBuilder’s Council, and national director of the National Association of HomeBuilders. Randall was named in the Los Angeles Times 2006 “West 100” list as one of the top 100 influential people in southern California. He has also received the California Business Properties Association Champion of the Industry Award and has been inducted into the California Building Industry Association Hall of Fame. Randall is a long time ULI member as well as a Governor of the ULI Foundation. Randall serves on several executive boards, including the USC School of Policy, Planning and Development, the UCLA School of Public Policy, Loma Linda University Medical Center’s Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Institute Advisory Council, Cal Poly Pomona’s National Development Council, and co-chairs the San Bernardino County Alliance for Education. He is recognized as an expert in the real estate industry and is frequently quoted in various newspapers, magazines and trade journals. Randall has over 30 years of experience in the real estate industry.

Jason Hills
Manager of Substation Engineering & Electrification
LADWP
Biography

Jason Hills

Manager of Substation Engineering & Electrification
LADWP

Jason is the Manager of Substation Engineering and Electrification at the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP).  LADWP supports the growth in adoption of electric vehicles and aims for 10,000 public, workplace, and fleet charging stations in Los Angeles by 2022 and 25,000 by 2025. In this role, Jason oversees the implementation of various electric transportation programs that include the installation of charging stations at LADWP properties and the development of customer-facing EV incentive programs. Jason also manages various substation programs aimed at supporting the reliability and growth of LADWP’s Power System.

Tyson Eckerle
Deputy Director of Zero Emission Vehicle Market Development
Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development
Biography

Tyson Eckerle

Deputy Director of Zero Emission Vehicle Market Development
Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development

Tyson Eckerle serves as the Deputy Director of Zero Emission Vehicle Market Development in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go Biz). In this role, he leads a team focused on scaling the zero emission vehicle market by organizing stakeholder efforts to remove market barriers, create opportunities, and streamline development. Prior to joining Go Biz, Tyson served as Executive Director of Energy Independence Now, a non-profit dedicated to action-oriented solutions to petroleum dependence and climate change.

Tyson holds a B.A. in Biology from the University of California, Davis and a Master of Environmental Science and Management (MESM) from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management from the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Jane Oates
President
WorkingNation
Biography

Jane Oates

President
WorkingNation

Jane Oates has served as President at WorkingNation since 2018. Prior to her time at WorkingNation, Jane was appointed by President Barack Obama as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Labor for Employment and Training in June 2009. Jane led the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) in its mission to design and deliver high-quality training and employment programs for our nation’s workers.

Prior to her appointment, Jane served as Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and Senior Advisor to Governor Jon S. Corzine. For a decade before, Jane served as Senior Policy Advisor to Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Jane began her career as a teacher in the Boston and Philadelphia public schools and later as a field researcher at Temple University’s Center for Research in Human Development and Education. She received her BA in Education from Boston College and an M.Ed in Reading from Arcadia University.

Lilly Shoup
Senior Director of Policy and Partnerships
Lyft
Biography

Lilly Shoup

Senior Director of Policy and Partnerships
Lyft

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

Ann Rogan
Sr. Advisor - Economic Development
Office of Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs
Biography

Ann Rogan

Sr. Advisor - Economic Development
Office of Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs

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

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.

Eliot Abel
Co-Owner / Director of Commercial Sales
Namasté Solar
Biography

Eliot Abel

Co-Owner / Director of Commercial Sales
Namasté Solar

Eliot leads commercial sales & project development at 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 serves on the Board of the Colorado Solar and Storage Association, on the Building Healthy Places committee for the Urban Land Institute of Colorado, and holds a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

Paul Wassgren
Partner
DLA Piper
Biography

Paul Wassgren

Partner
DLA Piper

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

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

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.

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

John Sanders

CEO & President
Innovative, Information, and Intelligence Solutions LLC

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

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.

John Cruikshank
President & CEO
Sensequake-Okamoto
Biography

John Cruikshank

President & CEO
Sensequake-Okamoto

John Cruikshank is President & CEO of two Southern California engineering firms: JMC2 Civil Engineering + Surveying, a San Pedro based company founded in 1996 and OKAMOTO Structural Engineering, a Costa Mesa firm founded in 1979. Because of his involvement with hundreds of unique engineering projects, John leverages that experience to successfully support his client’s critical projects. His current responsibilities include corporate leadership, client relations, business development, community outreach, and project management. John started his career working for Caltrans (Los Angeles) then two civil engineering firms prior to starting his own. John attended the University of Southern California (USC) where he received his Bachelors of Science in Building Science in 1988. He became a Registered Civil Engineer in the State of California in 1993. He is a licensed professional engineer in more than 20 states. He obtained his Masters of Science in Engineering Management from USC in 1994. In addition to 30 years in civil engineering, John is currently a Board Member and Past President of the Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce (HAIC) where he formed the HAIC Workforce Development Committee. In 2017, he was named a Fellow with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), awarded Alumni of Year from USC’s School of Civil Engineering, and elected as a City Councilmember for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. He is currently Mayor where he represents his City as a South Bay Cities Council of Government’s Steering Committee Member and a Los Angeles County Sanitation Board Member. John lives in Rancho Palos Verdes with his wife, Jennifer and son, Sean, who is away at Arizona State University studying Computer Science. 

Christine Arbogast
Solid Waste Expert
TetraTech
Biography

Christine Arbogast

Solid Waste Expert
TetraTech
Rick Cole
City Manager
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Rick Cole

City Manager
City of Santa Monica

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gerhard Mayer
Principal Architect
GGLO Architects
Biography

Gerhard Mayer

Principal Architect
GGLO Architects

Gerhard is an architect and urbanist embracing a paradigm shift towards the walkable, multimodal, equitable, sustainable high-quality urban living of our future. He has practiced architecture on four continents, with valuable lessons learned in many cultural environments, incl. as part of practices like Frank O. Gehry & Associates, and Geoffrey Bawa’s ERB in Colombo Sri Lanka. Gerhard is used to leading large complex developments, and he delights in connecting urban planning, landscape and building design to create holistic value for a specific location. He has been pursuing urban change through a variety of organizations he helped found or been part of. Gerhard served chair of the AIA L.A.’s Urban Design Committee and takes pride in finding new opportunities for each project, for all stakeholders.

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.

 

Dr. Thomas Becker
Vice President Sustainability, Mobility
BMW Group
Biography

Dr. Thomas Becker

Vice President Sustainability, Mobility
BMW Group

Since 10/2019 Dr. Thomas Becker holds the position as Vice President Sustainability, Mobility at the BMW Group.

Dr. Thomas Becker was Vice President Government and External Affairs at the BMW Group in Munich from 2007 to September 2019. During his time in the area of Government and External Affairs he supervised the worldwide representation of the BMW Group’s political interests, the company’s approach to integrate political topics into the product as well as business communications and the steering of the sustainability communication of the company.

Dr. Thomas Becker started his career as an expert in the department of environmental policy at the Association of the German Industry (BDI) in Berlin. He later held several leadership positions at the Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) in Frankfurt. Before his current role with the BMW Group Dr. Becker worked as Deputy Managing Director at VDA, where he was responsible for the association’s co-management. From 1988 until 2003 Dr. Thomas Becker served as a reserve officer with the rank of Captain in the German Air Force.

Dr. Thomas Becker received his PhD degree (Dr. rer. pol.) with Professor Dr. Ekkehard Kappler at the Reinhard-Mohn Foundation Chair for Management, Economics, and Social Evolution at the University of Witten / Herdecke with magna cum laude. He also holds a diploma in economics from the University of Cologne.

Carol L. Folt
President
University of Southern California
Biography

Carol L. Folt

President
University of Southern California

Dr. Carol L. Folt serves as the twelfth president of the University of Southern California. She is a highly experienced leader, internationally recognized life scientist, and award-winning teacher. In leading USC, Dr. Folt brings broad executive and leadership experience across the academy, including arts and sciences, professional schools, and academic medicine.

Throughout her career, Dr. Folt has earned a reputation for always placing students at the center, advancing academic excellence and innovation, setting ambitious goals, prioritizing shared governance, and focusing on the future.

Prior to her appointment at USC in July 2019, Dr. Folt led the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – one of the nation’s most distinguished and research-intensive universities – from 2013 to 2019. At UNC, she set a bold course for the university’s future by spearheading a historic capital campaign, raising billions of dollars; building the school’s first-ever strategic plan in collaboration with every school and department; fighting to make college education accessible and affordable; and inspiring thousands of Tar Heels to embrace the arts and sustainability. Under her leadership, UNC was repeatedly named the No. 1 value in public higher education, surpassed $1 billion in annual research expenditures for the first time in school history (No. 5 in the nation overall), and set admissions records every year.

Prior to her tenure at UNC, Dr. Folt served in various leadership roles at Dartmouth College, including as interim president, provost, dean of faculty, and Dartmouth Professor of Biological Sciences.

Arnab Pal
Director
Center for Sustainable Energy
Biography

Arnab Pal

Director
Center for Sustainable Energy
Mike Gravely
Research Program Manager
California Energy Commission
Biography

Mike Gravely

Research Program Manager
California Energy Commission
Carter Rubin
Mobility and Climate Advocate
Natural Resources Defense Council
Biography

Carter Rubin

Mobility and Climate Advocate
Natural Resources Defense Council

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

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

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

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

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

Stephanie Wiggins
Chief Executive Officer
Metrolink
Biography

Stephanie Wiggins

Chief Executive Officer
Metrolink

Stephanie Wiggins was named chief executive officer of Metrolink by a unanimous vote of the board of directors in December 2018. Wiggins assumed leadership in January 2019 and leads the 275-employee strong commuter railroad with a budget of $793 million.

As CEO, Wiggins directs an agency that operates a commuter rail network on seven routes across a six-county, 538 route-mile system. Wiggins has held high-level positions at three of the five-member agencies that comprise Metrolink and is well-known as a customer -focused leader who finds solutions from a regional perspective.

Wiggins’ vision for the agency is to create value and exceed expectations by prioritizing a customer-first orientation with three pillars to provide an outstanding customer experience: safety and security, an integrated system, and modernizing business practices.

Prior to leading Metrolink, Wiggins was Deputy CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) where she assisted the CEO in providing leadership and formulating and achieving strategic public transportation objectives, including the passage of Measure M, a half-cent sales tax approved by 71 percent of voters in LA County. During her tenure at LA Metro, Stephanie also served as the Executive Director of Vendor/Contract Management, where she implemented procurement streamlining initiatives and greatly expanded Metro’s utilization of small and historically underutilized businesses.

Prior to that role, Stephanie was the Executive Officer and Project Director of the Congestion Reduction/ExpressLanes Program where she launched the first high occupancy toll lanes in LA County, the I-10 and I-110 Express Lanes, which improved travel times and travel reliability on two of the County’s most congested freeway corridors. Prior to Metro, she served as Regional Programs Director for the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) and oversaw transit, commuter rail, rideshare, goods movement and rail capital projects. Wiggins began her career in transportation when she accepted a temporary assignment at the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority and fell in love with the mission of the agency. The six-month temporary assignment turned into more than four years. She then accepted a policy analyst position with the RCTC where she worked for an additional nine and a half years in management and senior management roles.

Feeling the need for personal and academic growth, Wiggins earned a Master of Business Administration from the USC Marshall School of Business in 2007. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Whittier College in 1992.

Wiggins is a self-proclaimed “military brat” whose father made his career in the Air Force. She credits her experience moving from base to base and country to country as a child for teaching her the importance of diversity.

Wiggins is the founding president of the Inland Empire Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar. She is the recipient of many awards including the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials 2018 Women Who Move the Nation Award. She is a Board Member of the Los Angeles Chapter of Friends of the Children, the LA Division of the American Heart Association, and an Advisory Board Member for the UCLA Lewis Center. 

Janna Sidley
General Counsel
Port of Los Angeles
Biography

Janna Sidley

General Counsel
Port of Los Angeles

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

Joseph Cappello
Executive Officer
Iwatani
Biography

Joseph Cappello

Executive Officer
Iwatani

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

Allan Emkin
Managing Principal
Meketa Investment Group
Biography

Allan Emkin

Managing Principal
Meketa Investment Group

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

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

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

 

David Jacot
Director of Efficiency Solutions
LADWP
Biography

David Jacot

Director of Efficiency Solutions
LADWP

David Jacot, P.E., is the Director of Efficiency Solutions for the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP). LADWP operates the largest public power portfolio of energy efficiency programs in the nation, comprised of a broad array of energy resource acquisition and market transformation programs serving LADWP’s customers and trade ally networks.  In this role, David oversees all aspects of LADWP’s offerings and strategies designed to overcome market barriers to the comprehensive adoption of energy efficiency by LADWP’s customers. David also oversees the implementation of LADWP’s class-leading water conservation and efficiency programs, as well as the customer-facing integration of water and energy efficiency program delivery both within LADWP and also through a nation-leading joint program partnership with the natural gas utility serving Los Angeles, the Southern California Gas Company.

David has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, and a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, as well as 15 years of experience designing high performance building systems, modeling building energy usage, and managing cost-effective and investment-grade energy efficiency programs.

Ramsay Stevens
Program Director
NECA Project Development
Biography

Ramsay Stevens

Program Director
NECA Project Development

Ramsay is the Program Director of NECA Project Development. NECA Project Development is the dedicated project development program of the National Electrical Contractors Association. Through NECA Project Development, Ramsay helps NECA Contractors, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and their partners develop sustainable real estate and energy projects. NECA Project Development has won several industry awards for its projects and leadership in the development of net-zero energy projects. Ramsay holds a Master of Arts from New York University in Sustainable Finance. 

Richard Harasick
Sr. Assistant General Manager
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Biography

Richard Harasick

Sr. Assistant General Manager
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Richard Harasick is the Senior Assistant General Manager of the Water System for the City of Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP). The LADWP is the largest municipal utility in the United States. Mr. Harasick has over 30 years of experience in water resources development, utility planning, design, construction, project and program management, and operations. As the head of the Los Angeles Water System, he manages a $1.5 billion annual budget and leads 2,200 employees to provide its customers with reliable, high quality and competitively priced water services in a safe and publically and environmentally responsible manner.

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

Matt Horton

Director, Center for Regional Economics & California Center
Milken Institute

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

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.

Julia Attwood
Head of Advanced Materials
BloombergNEF
Biography

Julia Attwood

Head of Advanced Materials
BloombergNEF

Julia Attwood leads the Advanced Materials team at Bloomberg NEF. She writes about the emerging materials and manufacturing technologies helping to decarbonize industry. Prior to this, she was BNEF's expert in lithium-ion battery technologies, costs and supply chain. Before joining BNEF, Julia developed educational materials on energy generation systems and researched advanced polymer composites. Julia holds a PhD in Materials Engineering from the University of Cambridge.

Ted Ross
GM & Chief Technology Officer
City of LA, Information Technology Agency
Biography

Ted Ross

GM & Chief Technology Officer
City of LA, Information Technology Agency
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.

Shelley Luce
President & Chief Executive Officer
Heal the Bay
Biography

Shelley Luce

President & Chief Executive Officer
Heal the Bay

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

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

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

 

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.

Yuval Bar-Zemer
Principal
Linear City Development LLC
Biography

Yuval Bar-Zemer

Principal
Linear City Development LLC

Mr. Bar-Zemer is the principal with Linear City Development LLC, a real estate development company that focuses on the revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles. Bar-Zemer developed the initial properties that touched off the Arts District and have since led a transformative urban and social process that contributed to a unique urban success story. As a result of his development efforts, the Arts District is considered one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Los Angeles for residential, commercial, culinary and retail uses alike. In addition, Mr. Bar-Zemer is the landlord partner of several notable restaurants including Bestia, Bon Temps and Pour Haus.

Mr. Bar-Zemer was born and raised in Jerusalem. He attended the Music Academy of Jerusalem (1984-86) and continues to be an avid supporter of the arts here in Los Angeles, particularly jazz and opera, as well as dance and the fine arts.

Mr. Bar-Zemer is a board member of the following organizations: LARABA, ADCCLA, Arts District BID, Historic Cultural Neighborhood Council,  The Institute of Field Research,  The Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (formally the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Toy Factory Lofts HOA, the Biscuit Company Lofts HOA, New City Foundation, the Design Advisory Committee for the Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project.

Mr. Bar-Zemer is also the co-founder of the app Kitchen Table, which brings people together to share dining experiences, make memorable meals accessible and easy, and redefine what it means to eat local.

Maryam Brown
President
SoCal Gas
Biography

Maryam Brown

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

 

Kirsty Jenkinson
Investment Director
CalSTRS
Biography

Kirsty Jenkinson

Investment Director
CalSTRS

Kirsty is the Investment Director, Sustainable Investment & Stewardship Strategies for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), the largest educator-only public pension fund in the world with $240 billion of assets under management. She joined CalSTRS in January 2019 and is responsible for managing over $6 billion placed with sustainability-focused and corporate governance activist managers, overseeing the fund’s stewardship activities including corporate engagement and proxy voting, and outreach with the fund’s stakeholders.

Prior to joining CalSTRS, Kirsty was a Director at Wespath Benefits and Investments and the World Resources Institute (WRI), in the U.S. and at F&C Asset Management (now BMO Global Asset Management) and Goldman Sachs in the U.K. Kirsty sits on the board of the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre and is a member of WRI’s Sustainable Investment Advisory Council. She received an M.A. degree in International History from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Barry Steinhart
Assistant Executive Director, Office of Governmental Affairs
California Energy Commission
Biography

Barry Steinhart

Assistant Executive Director, Office of Governmental Affairs
California Energy Commission

Barry Steinhart is the assistant executive director of the Office of Governmental Affairs at the California Energy Commission. The office’s role is to maintain a cooperative relationship between the Energy Commission, the Administration, and the members and staff of the California Legislature. 

Steinhart served as senior staff to a California state senator and a Speaker Pro Tempore of the State Assembly. He was a founding partner of a law firm in New York after serving as an associate at the law firms Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman and Proskauer Rose. He has a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from the University of Michigan.

He lives in Plumas Lake with his husband, James Purcell.
 

 

 

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. 

Jennifer Gress
Chief of the Sustainable Transportation and Communities Division
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Jennifer Gress

Chief of the Sustainable Transportation and Communities Division
California Air Resources Board

Jennifer is the Chief of the Sustainable Transportation and Communities Division at the California Air Resources Board, and is focused on promoting policies that provide a range of affordable housing and transportation options that reduce vehicle miles traveled and accelerate the transition to a zero-emission future.  Prior to this position, Jennifer was a Senior Policy Advisor to Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, where she was responsible for policy development related to housing and community development, transportation, and sustainability.  From 2011 until 2017, Jennifer served as the Legislative Director for the California Air Resources Board. In that role, she served as the Board’s representative to the California Legislature, advised Board Chair Mary Nichols and the Executive Office on legislative matters, and made policy recommendations to the Chair, the Secretary for Environmental Protection, and the Governor’s Office on pending legislation. From 2005 until 2011, Jennifer was a consultant to the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, where she focused on air quality, ports and goods movement, active transportation, and public-private partnerships, among many other transportation-related issues. Jennifer has a Ph.D. in Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine, where she studied housing and community development.   

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 32 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 the 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 Colombia University and has taught at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs for the past 10 years.

Huub Cox
Water Recycling Implementation Division Manager
LA Sanitation and Environment
Biography

Huub Cox

Water Recycling Implementation Division Manager
LA Sanitation and Environment

Huub is a Principal Environmental Engineer in LA Sanitation and Environment and was appointed manager of the Water Recycling Implementation Division in August 2019. His primary responsibility is to coordinate the 100% Recycled Water Program at the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant, transforming the plant from a full secondary treatment facility today to a 100% recycled water facility by 2035.

Huub started at LA Sanitation and Environment in 2002 and has worked on Class A biosolids and air pollution control at Hyperion. In 2007, he joined the Watershed Protection Program and was responsible for water quality compliance in the Santa Monica Bay and Ballona Creek watersheds, the development and implementation of the City’s Enhanced Watershed Management Programs, and the Safe, Clean Water Program.

Huub holds a Master’s degree in Chemical and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wageningen and a Ph.D. from the University of Groningen, both in the Netherlands.

Tom Soto
Founder and Managing Partner
Diverse Communities Impact Fund
Biography

Tom Soto

Founder and Managing Partner
Diverse Communities Impact Fund

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

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

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

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

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.

Christian Riber
Business Development Manager
Ramboll
Biography

Christian Riber

Business Development Manager
Ramboll

Having managed several waste-to-energy (WtE) projects all over Europe, Christian has extensive experience in most phases in WtE projects ranging from feasibility studies, technical design, project definition, quality management to operation and maintenance assistance.

With a background in academia, he has in-depth insights into the overall aspects of waste incineration, waste analysis and life-cycle- assessments (LCA). Christian holds a PhD from the Technical University of Denmark where he also conducted research at the Institute of Environment & Resources, which is internationally renowned for its landmark research in LCA modelling of waste management systems.

Having published several papers on air pollution controls, environmental assessment of waste incineration and analysis of waste characterisations, Christian has a highly developed understanding of LCA modelling of waste systems and has also developed scientific methods for fuel analysis of waste and biomass.

Providing expert advice to various public and private waste management companies, Christian has demonstrated an outstanding set of managerial capabilities and technical know-how.

Christian’s experience also extends to administrating waste management contracts, bidding support to waste management companies, purchasing complete WtE facilities, bidding for 25 years design-build-operate, liaising with authorities, tendering documents, leading regulatory efforts and assisting with the operation and maintenance of facilities.

 

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

Dan Lafferty

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

Dr. Anat Zeelim-Hovav

Professor Emeritus in Management Information Systems
Korea University

Dr. Anat Zeelim-Hovav is a Professor Emeritus in Management Information Systems at Korea University, a visiting scholar at Claremont Graduate University, and Chief Privacy officer at Vitrum, Inc. Her areas of expertise include cyber risk, organizational information security strategy, international aspects of cybersecurity management, and Futures research. Dr. Zeelim-Hovav has published over 80 refereed articles in renewed journals such as Information Systems Research (ISR), IEEE, Communications of the ACM, Journal of Business Ethics, Research Policy, Risk Management and Insurance Review, and Journal of Intellectual Capital. Dr. Zeelim-Hovav is also the winner of the 2013 Citation of Excellence Award. Dr. Zeelim-Hovav has engaged in a number of international cybersecurity management and risk workshops, panels and keynote addresses. Her global cybersecurity experience spans eight countries over three continents. 

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 has over a decade of experience in the sustainability field, largely in the public and non-profit sectors. Kristen is the Sustainability Program Director at Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office, where she co-led the effort to author the nation’s most ambitious regional sustainability plan. Previously, she advocated on climate and urban planning issues at the Natural Resources Defense Council and served in the Chair’s Office at the California Air Resources Board.   She is an appointee to the inaugural California Climate Insurance Working Group and the Culver City General Plan Advisory Committee. Kristen earned a Bachelor of Art degree in geography/environmental studies and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from UCLA.

Carley Markovitz
Principal
Nelson\Nygaard
Biography

Carley Markovitz

Principal
Nelson\Nygaard

Carley Markovits is a Principal with Nelson\Nygaard, and is serving as the LA Office Lead. Carley is focused on the influence of new transportation technologies and the evolving mobility paradigm in cities. she is currently leafding regional efforts and studies in Southern California, which includes managing the technical transportation plans and stakeholder engagement efforts for Los Angeles 2028 and their preparations for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Carley's multi-disciplinary background includes experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Prior to Nelson\Nygaard, Carley worked in transportation planning at AECOM, and in environmental planning and transit operations at LA Metro. Carley received a BA from Dartmouth College and a Master of Planning and Public Administration dual degree from the University of Southern California.

Nick Merridew
Host Cities Global Leader
Arup
Biography

Nick Merridew

Host Cities Global Leader
Arup
Janea A. Scott
Vice-Chair
California Energy Commission
Biography

Janea A. Scott

Vice-Chair
California Energy Commission

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

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

J. Francois Nion
Executive Vice President
JCDecaux North America
Biography

J. Francois Nion

Executive Vice President
JCDecaux North America

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

Thomas Small
Councilmember
Culver City City Council
Biography

Thomas Small

Councilmember
Culver City City Council

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. 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.

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.

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

Andrew Lund

Chief Engineer, Product Development Office
Toyota Motor NA

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

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

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

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

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

E. Joaquin Esquivel
Chair
California State Water Resources Control Board
Biography

E. Joaquin Esquivel

Chair
California State Water Resources Control Board

E. Joaquin Esquivel was appointed to the State Water Resources Control Board by Governor Jerry Brown in March 2017 and designated by Governor Gavin Newsom as Chair in February 2019. Previously, he served as Assistant Secretary for federal water policy at the California Natural Resources Agency in the Governor’s Washington, D.C. office, where he facilitated the development of policy priorities between the agency, the Governor’s Office, the California Congressional delegation, and federal stakeholder agencies.

For more than eight years prior to that he worked for U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer of California, most recently as her legislative assistant covering the agriculture, Native American, water, oceans, and nutrition portfolios, in addition to being the director of information and technology.

He was born and raised in California’s Coachella Valley. He holds a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara in English

Dan Carol
Director
Milken Institute Center for Financial Markets
Biography

Dan Carol

Director
Milken Institute Center for Financial Markets

Dan Carol is a Director in the Center for Financial Markets, expanding our work with local governments and stakeholders to foster best practice implementation of the Opportunity Zones Initiative and accelerate community and regional innovation.  Prior to joining Milken, Dan worked for Governors Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom of California directing the state’s Opportunity Zones working group and serving on the Executive Committee of the US Climate Alliance, a bi-partisan alliance of 24 states implementing the Paris agreement.   Before that, Dan served the Obama Administration as a member of the U.S. DOE State Energy Advisory Board and led efforts to create the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange, a 2015 winner of the Harvard Ash Center award for government innovation.  Outside of government, Dan co-founded two clean energy acceleration groups (The Apollo Alliance and the Clean Economy Network) and founded CTSG, a 70-person online civic engagement company and software company, sold in 2004.  Dan has also served as a U.S. Presidential Management Fellow, a senior campaign advisor to the Clinton-Gore 1992 and Obama-Biden 2008 campaigns, and as adjunct professor at Georgetown University.  Carol holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MRP from the University of North Carolina. 

 

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.

Dan Cohee
Operations Manager
Morrow Meadows Corporation
Biography

Dan Cohee

Operations Manager
Morrow Meadows Corporation

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

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

Bill Gross
Founder and CEO
Heliogen
Biography

Bill Gross

Founder and CEO
Heliogen

Bill Gross is a pioneering renewable energy entrepreneur who has created 7 billion-dollar-plus exits. Starting with creating a company called Solar Devices in High School, he has created more than 150 companies with more than 50 IPO’s and acquisitions over the last 30 years.

Bill is the creator of one of the first, and now longest-running technology incubators – Idealab – which he founded in 1996 and still runs as the world’s premiere startup studio.

Bill is a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship, climate change, renewable energy, and more at TED, DLD, Davos, and college campuses around the world, including Caltech, where he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering, and where he serves on the board of trustees.

Three of Bill’s most impactful recent energy companies include Energy Vault for low-cost energy storage, Carbon Capture, for low-cost direct air capture of CO2, and Heliogen, pioneering high temperature solar concentration to both replace fossil fuel and create green fuel from the sun.

Bill is committed to showing that while climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time, using technological innovation to address it can make it one of the biggest economics opportunities at the same time.

Brian Goldstein
Executive Director
Energy Independence Now
Biography

Brian Goldstein

Executive Director
Energy Independence Now

Brian Goldstein is the Executive Director of Energy Independence Now, an environmental nonprofit whose mission is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and harmful air pollution by advancing clean hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and renewable hydrogen infrastructure for transportation, renewable energy storage and deep industrial decarbonization. With a background in finance, Brian has professional experience in the alternative fuels, renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation technology 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 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 is an Eagle Scout and has also served as a technical and financial consultant to the US Department of Energy, as well as a judge for the Clean Tech Open business plan competition and the DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition.

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

McKinley Hlady
Co-Founder & CPO
CanTec Global Building Solutions Inc
Biography

McKinley Hlady

Co-Founder & CPO
CanTec Global Building Solutions Inc

As a co-founder and former VP of Manufacturing for LifeTec Construction Group Inc., McKinley is heavily vested in the technology and innovation adoption space for the betterment of global sustainability. McKinley has 25 years of experience working in facets of Real Estate, Manufacturing, Development, Media, & Energy services. As an instrumental hands-on leader, whose unwavering commitment and “Make it happen” attitude leads CanTec’s process development program and overall product delivery model, McKinley is keenly focused on ensuring that efficient, cost-effective and sustainable product solutions always meet and exceed our clients expectations. McKinley brings his intense passion, work ethic, and vast network of personal and professional relationships to the CanTec team and all client engagements.

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. 

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.

James H. Caldwell, Jr.
Senior Technical Consultant
CEERT
Biography

James H. Caldwell, Jr.

Senior Technical Consultant
CEERT

James Caldwell, Jr. is CEERT’s Senior Technical Consultant. His academic and professional background includes over fifty years of experience in the energy industry. For the past thirty years, he has specialized in renewable technology and project development.

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.

Jake Singh
Software Systems Assurance Department Engineer
Aerospace Corporation
Biography

Jake Singh

Software Systems Assurance Department Engineer
Aerospace Corporation

Jake Singh is an engineer in the Software Systems Assurance Department at The Aerospace Corporation. In this role, he performs software development, systems engineering, and modeling & analysis for mission-critical space systems including rockets, satellites, and ground stations. Additionally, he is an author for Aerospace’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy, with experience reporting on citizen science and its role in the advancement of space exploration and environmental action. Jake earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia in 2018 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of California—Los Angeles.

Ken Alston
Chief of Staff
New Nexus Energy
Biography

Ken Alston

Chief of Staff
New Nexus Energy

Ken Alston is Chief of Staff at 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.

Xiaoting Wang
Energy Specialist
BloombergNEF
Biography

Xiaoting Wang

Energy Specialist
BloombergNEF

Xiaoting Wang is an energy specialist in BloombergNEF. Xiaoting has been conducting research on Photovoltaic industry since 2012 and published more than 200 insight notes. Her research scope covers PV technologies along the value chain, from equipment manufacturing to project development with trackers and storage. After seven years focusing on solar, Xiaoting broadened her research scope to the hydrogen industry and published the report Hydrogen: The Economics of Production From Renewables.

Before joining BloombergNEF, Xiaoting worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Center of Energy and Environmental Policy in University of Delaware, following a five-year Ph.D program at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in University of Delaware. Xiaoting’s academic research spans a range of photovoltaic module research and development, performance measurement and modeling, and assessment of the value of high efficiency modules. A PV module developed by a team she led was confirmed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to have 36.7% efficiency and was cited in the Solar Cell Efficiency Tables (Version 35) of Progress in Photovoltaics as having: “probably the highest efficiency yet measured for the experimental conversion of sunlight to electricity by any means.” Xiaoting published 20 articles on international journals and books.

Xiaoting has a BA of Science in Optical Engineering from Zhejiang University in China, and a MSc in Electrical engineering and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware in the US.

 

Baron Wolt
President & Cofounder
Technology Management Professionals
Biography

Baron Wolt

President & Cofounder
Technology Management Professionals
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.

Marcela Celerio
Consul General
Mexico Secretariat of Foreign Affairs
Biography

Marcela Celerio

Consul General
Mexico Secretariat of Foreign Affairs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sean Chigusa

President and Chief Executive Officer
TATSUNO North America, Inc.

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

Nadine Lee
Chief of Staff
LA Metro
Biography

Nadine Lee

Chief of Staff
LA Metro

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

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

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

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

Delia Ibarra
President
City of LA Fire Commission
Biography

Delia Ibarra

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

Jennifer Phillips

Senior Scientist on Climate
Governor's Office of Planning & Research

Jenn Phillips joined the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) in November 2018 as senior scientist on climate. In this role, she works closely on OPR’s Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program, supports the advancement of key science and data initiatives to support the state’s climate goals and enhance our resilience to climate change, and engages with partners throughout California, other U.S. states, and internationally. Previously she was at the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) and led OPC’s work on climate impacts on the ocean and coast, including on sea level rise and ocean acidification. Before OPC, she worked in the NOAA Administrator’s Office in Washington, D.C. where she started as a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow and then spent a year on the Administrator’s key staff. During this time, she helped with the development and execution of NOAA’s priorities, such as community resilience. Jenn has a master’s from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.S. in Biology from Cornell University.

Vince Bertoni
Director of Planning
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Vince Bertoni

Director of Planning
City of Los Angeles

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

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

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

Julia Prochnik
Director of Western Renewable Grid Planning
Natural Resources Defense Council
Biography

Julia Prochnik

Director of Western Renewable Grid Planning
Natural Resources Defense Council
Ryan Tinus
Senior Director, Engineering and Environmental Sustainability
Hudson Pacific Properties
Biography

Ryan Tinus

Senior Director, Engineering and Environmental Sustainability
Hudson Pacific Properties

Ryan Tinus is Senior Director, Engineering and Environmental Sustainability of Hudson Pacific Properties (NYSE: HPP), a Los Angeles-based real estate investment trust focused on owning, operating and developing office and studio properties along the West Coast.  Tinus oversees the company’s green building certifications and reporting initiatives, and manages strategic efforts to enhance operating efficiencies across the portfolio. 

Prior to Hudson Pacific, Tinus served as the Director of Sustainability at Tishman Speyer, where he developed sustainability strategies, which included managing asset level certifications, resource efficiency programs, health and wellness initiatives and investor reporting. Previously, he worked as a Sustainability Manager and Assistant Property Manager with the company. He currently serves on the board of the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Los Angeles chapter. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, and a Master’s of Business Administration degree in Finance from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management. 

Michael Phipps
President & Chief Technology Officer
Collaborative Innovation Partners
Biography

Michael Phipps

President & Chief Technology Officer
Collaborative Innovation Partners

Michael Phipps is an accomplished technology leader with a strong track record of performance in high paced organizations developing security and electronic surveillance systems using unmanned systems and unattended sensors.  Michael is the Managing Partner and Chief Technology Officer for a private consulting firm, Collaborative Innovation Partners, working with government organizations, universities, and large and small companies, providing strategic planning and technology consulting services.   Prior to forming CI Partners, Michael served in multiple senior executive roles for Ultra Electronics, including Chief Technology Officer for their Secure Intelligence Systems Division, President of Special Operations Technology (SOTECH), and Vice-President and General Manager for ProLogic’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance division. Prior to joining Ultra Electronics Michael held Senior Management positions in small and large companies in the Intelligence and Security sectors.

Michael has established himself as an industry leader in the use of unattended and unmanned sensor platforms to collect data and develop information for intelligence, security, and commercial applications.  He has written and presented several papers at local and international conferences.  In addition to his executive career, Michael serves on industry advisory boards.   He is an Executive Director, board member, and industry advisor for the Southwest Innovation Collaborative (SWIC), a non-profit, business-industry-academia collaborative, whose mission is to support regional economic growth through innovation, fostering collaboration among entrepreneurs, businesses, government, and academia.  Michael is also an adjunct professor and course content author for National University’s Unmanned Systems program. 

Michael Phipps obtained his Bachelors of Science in Engineering from Duke University, Master of Science in Information Technology from Capella University, and is ABD PhD in Organizational Management.  He completed the advanced certificate program in Project Management at University of California, Irvine and holds Project Management Professional Certification.

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

Terry O'Day

Chief Operating Officer
In-Charge Energy

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

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

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

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

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.

Christopher Cabaldon
Mayor
City of West Sacramento
Biography

Christopher Cabaldon

Mayor
City of West Sacramento

Christopher Cabaldon became the first mayor directly elected by West Sacramento voters in November 2004; he was re-elected in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Prior to his election as mayor by voters, Mr. Cabaldon had been elected to four single year terms as mayor by the West Sacramento City Council. Voters first elected Mr. Cabaldon to the City Council in 1996.

Mayor Cabaldon currently is chair of the Jobs, Education and Workforce committee with the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He's the former chair of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments’ groundbreaking Blueprint for the Future project. He also chaired the region’s Partnership for Prosperity, and has served on a variety of transportation and air quality agency boards. He worked on state water and habitat issues for more than a decade, as a member of the state’s Delta Protection Commission, as well as the Regional Water Quality Control Board.

As mayor, Mr. Cabaldon has represented the City as a member of the Sacramento-Yolo Port District Commission and the River City Regional Stadium Financing Authority. His local and regional leadership on school facilities and programs, along with his efforts to advance universal preschool, have established him as a visionary leader for education.

Mr. Cabaldon served as a director for the League of California Cities, and was the founding co-chair of both the Asian Pacific and Gay / Lesbian caucuses. He was also president of Asian and Pacific Americans in Higher Education, founding chair of the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, and president of the Asian Pacific Legislative Caucus.

From 1997 to 2003, Mr. Cabaldon was vice chancellor of the California Community Colleges System.

He earned his B.S. in environmental economics from UC Berkeley, where he’s also been a member of the alumni association board, in addition to a Master of Public Policy and Administration degree from CSU Sacramento, where he subsequently received the Distinguished Alumni Award.

 

Kerry Cavanaugh
Editoral Writer
Los Angeles Times
Biography

Kerry Cavanaugh

Editoral Writer
Los Angeles Times

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

Jennifer Ganata
Senior Staff Attorney
Communities for a Better Environment
Biography

Jennifer Ganata

Senior Staff Attorney
Communities for a Better Environment

Jennifer Ganata joined Communities for a Better Environment in September 2018.   Previously she worked at Communities for a Better Environment from 2007 to 2012 as a youth organizer and a legal fellow.  She transitioned from doing environmental justice work to housing by starting her housing career at Eviction Defense Network.  Before returning to CBE, Jennifer was a senior staff attorney at Inner City Law Center where she did eviction defense and land use.

Jennifer has a deep interest in connecting her passion for environmental justice and housing in order to defend frontline communities’ right to housing and a better environment.  She believes that organizing is key to helping move our communities away from investing in an extractive economy.

Jennifer has a BA in Ethnic Studies and a minor in Urban Studies and Planning from University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Jennifer received a JD from City University of New York (CUNY), where she was trained through the Adult Defender Clinical program and an LL.M from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she focused on Critical Race Studies.  She is a member of the National Lawyers Guild in Los Angeles.

Jon Bonanno
CXO
New Energy Nexus
Biography

Jon Bonanno

CXO
New Energy Nexus

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).

 

Alisa Kreynes
Chief Development Officer
Solar Skyrise
Biography

Alisa Kreynes

Chief Development Officer
Solar Skyrise

Alisa is a strategist, a team leader, and expert in renewable energy leveraging 17 years of industry experience in 20+ countries, to advance global markets towards a clean energy future. She is a co-founder of SolarSkyrise, a company that transforms the value of renewables within building envelopes by energizing vertical real estate. Prior to the formation of SolarSkyrise, Alisa championed and managed the port and industrial sector efficiency program of the DOE’s  Better Communities Alliance, supported the technical and advisory teams on the 2050 Masterplan for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and delivered the 2020 CO2 free roadmap for BMW project.

Laura Cortez
Community Organizer
East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice
Biography

Laura Cortez

Community Organizer
East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice

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

Marcie Edwards
Boardmember
California Wildfire Safety Advisory Board
Biography

Marcie Edwards

Boardmember
California Wildfire Safety Advisory Board

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

Conrad Chase
CEO & Co-founder
Point Load Power
Biography

Conrad Chase

CEO & Co-founder
Point Load Power

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

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

Yair Crane
Principal
CTG Consulting
Biography

Yair Crane

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

Rafael Villegas

Program Manager - Operation NEXT
LADWP

Rafael Villegas is a Civil Engineer with 20 years of experience in public infrastructure and water utilities. He is the Program Manager for the Operation NEXT Water Supply Program for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. This program, LADWP’s largest since construction of the original aqueduct, will recycled 100% of wastewater from the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant and provide up to 40% of the City’s water supply.

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

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

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

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

Akira Muto

Consul General
Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles

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

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

Darin Toohey

Professor of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
University of Colorado

Prof. Toohey has been involved with issues of science policy dating back to his work on ozone-depleting substances in the 1980s and 1990s. He has been a co-author of multiple assessments of stratospheric ozone and impacts of aircraft on air chemistry and climate. In 2011-2012 he served as a Jefferson Science Fellow at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, working on issues related to energy and green growth for APEC. He organized a high-level meeting on Open Governance and Economic Growth, chaired by the Secretary of State, served as a delegate for the United States at the 10th APEC Energy Ministerial Meeting, and organized  an APEC Workshop in Singapore on the use of observations to address resilience and disaster response. Following that year of service, from 2013 to 2015 he helped a group of international scientists develop a sucessful proposal for hosting a hub of the Future Earth Secretariat in the United States and for linking educators and researchers in Colorado and in the United States working in the fields of sustainability and global development. In 2019 he co-authored an article calling for awareness of the role of increased emissions of rockets on stratospheric circulation.

Peter Marx
Former Chief Technology Officer
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Peter Marx

Former Chief Technology Officer
City of Los Angeles

Peter Marx served as the Chief Technology Officer of the City of Los Angeles from February 2014 to July 2016. In this role he handled technology-related issues across the nation's second largest city. Before joining the Mayor's Office, Marx served as the Vice President of Business Development at Qualcomm Labs, Inc., commercializing a variety of emerging technologies. Previously, Marx was the Vice President of the Technology and Digital Studio at Mattel, Inc. where the company received a Webby award, the highest award for excellence in online content. Marx managed Analog Protocol, a media-technology consultancy; served as the Chief Technology Officer for Vivendi-Universal Games and Vice President of Emerging Technologies for Universal Studios; and held engineering and producer positions at Electronic Arts. Early in his career, he served as an engineer on a variety of telemedicine, digital video, radiological imaging, and biomedicine applications for UCLA and 3M Company.

Warner Chabot
Executive Director
San Francisco Estuary Institute
Biography

Warner Chabot

Executive Director
San Francisco Estuary Institute

SFEI is an independent science research institute and non-profit environmental consulting firm serving local and regional resource managers and policy makers throughout California.  Most of SFEI’s work is focused in the San Francisco Bay and Delta region.  SFEI provides independent science and science-base tools to public, private and non-profit partners.  SFEI helps partners to assess and improve the health of the San Francisco Bay and Delta waters, wetland and urban and rural watersheds.

Warner brings over 30 years of executive experience in the private, public and non-profit sector, focused on science-based, environmental planning and policy issues. Warner has specialized in California coastal, ocean, water, land use and energy issues at the local state and federal level. Between managing his own environmental consulting firm Warner also served as the CEO of the California League of Conservation Voters. Prior to that, Warner was a Vice President of Ocean Conservancy, a national ocean policy organization.

Melani Smith
Senior Director, Transit Oriented Communities
LA Metro
Biography

Melani Smith

Senior Director, Transit Oriented Communities
LA Metro

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

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

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

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

Ben Grunat
Executive Director, Product Planning & Strategy
GILLIG LLC
Biography

Ben Grunat

Executive Director, Product Planning & Strategy
GILLIG LLC

Ben Grunat is the Executive Director of Product Planning & Strategy for GILLIG, the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in the United States. In this role, he is responsible for establishing GILLIG’s short- and long-term product roadmaps to meet customer expectations and requirements. Since joining the company in 2010, Ben has served in various leadership roles in GILLIG’s Sales and Accounting departments.   Before that, he worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Financial Auditor within manufacturing, technology, agriculture, healthcare, and retail industries. Ben earned a Masters of Business Administration from Indiana University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

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.

Michael Cano
Dep. Executive Officer, Goods Movements/State Policy & Programming
LA Metro
Biography

Michael Cano

Dep. Executive Officer, Goods Movements/State Policy & Programming
LA Metro

Michael Cano serves as the Deputy Executive Officer for Goods Movement Planning and State Policy and Programming for Los Angeles County Metro’s Countywide Planning Department.  In this capacity he leads Metro’s development of the Los Angeles County Goods Movement Strategic Plan, multimodal corridor planning, grant applications for state and freight-related programs, project development and multimodal integration, and local-state-federal policy analysis for all things goods movement-related at Metro.  Michael created and leads Metro’s Regional Clean Truck Initiative, which seeks to expedite the deployment of cleaner truck technology into Los Angeles County, and Metro’s Freight Working Group, which brings together key stakeholders from state, local, and private entities directly involved with goods movement in Los Angeles County.  He also serves as Metro’s representative on the California Freight Advisory Committee. 

Stephen Cheung
President
World Trade Center Los Angeles
Biography

Stephen Cheung

President
World Trade Center Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kevin James
President
City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commission
Biography

Kevin James

President
City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commission

Kevin James moved to Los Angeles from Texas in the late 1980s to begin his career as an attorney with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Kevin immediately began his involvement in local politics and working with local charities. Kevin left Gibson Dunn to join the United States Attorney's Office. After a few years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, Kevin returned to private practice focusing on an entertainment litigation practice, and soon began an evening talk-radio show on KABC and then KRLA focusing on local issues and covering City Hall.

Today, Kevin serves in Mayor Garcetti’s Administration as the President of the Board of Public Works where he, along with his 4 colleagues on the Commission, are the chief administrators of the Department of Public Works, which consists of more than 5,000 employees who are responsible for design, construction, renovation and operation of public projects ranging from bridges to wastewater treatment plants and libraries; curbside collection and graffiti removal; and maintenance of streets, sidewalks, sewers, streetlights and trees. Kevin also serves as the Director and Chief Liaison of the Mayor’s Film and Television Production, where he oversees the relationship between numerous City departments and the entertainment industry to make sure that film, television, commercial, and music video production feels at home in the City of Los Angeles.

Marc Bédard
President
The Lion Electric Co.
Biography

Marc Bédard

President
The Lion Electric Co.

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

 

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

Christiane Waldron

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

Christiane is a Chemical Engineer with more than 25 years of experience in the food, pharmaceutical and Biotech industries with special expertise in Bio-fermentation and process scale-up. Christiane has worked for Kaneka for 15 years, in multiple roles as a process engineer, engineering manager, Director of engineering and now, she is part of the sustainability effort of the companies' Biopolymers Division. Kaneka has invested in the development of a unique plant based Biopolymer called PHBH and we are focused on helping brands meet their sustainability goals because we believe our oceans and our landfills need a break from environmental pollution.

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.

James Kast
Fuel Cell Business Analyst
Toyota NA
Biography

James Kast

Fuel Cell Business Analyst
Toyota NA

Mr. Kast is a Fuel Cell Business Analyst, Corporate Strategy and Planning at Toyota Motor North America. His role within the Electrified Vehicle and Technologies Office includes a number of business development activities to improve and expand the adoption of fuel cell electric vehicles in the U.S., namely the Toyota Mirai and Toyota’s Project Portal Class 8 truck. Before joining Toyota, James supported the Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow. He holds an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California Irvine, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Idaho.

Harlan Kelly
General Manager
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Harlan Kelly

General Manager
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

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

Daniel Weiss
Managing Partner & Co-Founder
Angeleno Group
Biography

Daniel Weiss

Managing Partner & Co-Founder
Angeleno Group

Mr. Weiss is co-founder and a Managing Partner of Angeleno Group. Mr. Weiss oversees Angeleno Group’s investment activities in the areas of power infrastructure, emissions control, renewables and clean transportation. Prior to the formation of Angeleno Group, Mr. Weiss was an attorney at O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles, working in the firm’s mergers and acquisitions, international and high technology practice groups. He represented multiple Global 1000 clients, including utilities and energy-related companies, in a wide array of private equity and corporate finance transactions. Mr. Weiss also has a significant history of involvement in government, regulatory and public policy entities that deal with the energy sector including work experience in the White House and the United States Congress. Additionally, Mr. Weiss has taught, lectured and published articles on the topics of law, business and public policy. Mr. Weiss holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School, an M.A. from Stanford University and a B.A. with high honors from U.C. Berkeley.

 

 

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. 

Seth Strongin
Senior Sustainability Consultant
Arup
Biography

Seth Strongin

Senior Sustainability Consultant
Arup

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

Carol Zabin
Director
UC Berkeley Labor Center Green Economy Program
Biography

Carol Zabin

Director
UC Berkeley Labor Center Green Economy Program

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

Mark Kroeker
Head, Crisis Management
Disney Worldwide
Biography

Mark Kroeker

Head, Crisis Management
Disney Worldwide

An expert in crisis management, he is a Member of the UCLA Extension Advisory Board for Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and a Member of the University of Paris Advisory Committee on International Threats. His relevant positions have included Vice President for Global Intelligence, Threat Analysis, and Crisis Management for The Walt Disney Company, where he provided leadership for Disney’s global intelligence operations, as well as planning for crisis management, threat mitigation, and business continuity. He led a team devoted to developing individual crisis management plans, procedures, and policies for Disney’s multiple lines of business, including cruise lines, theme parks, hotels, studios, and retail stores. He developed Disney’s Workplace Violence Initiative, including active shooter awareness and response protocols leading to widespread training and readiness in all of Disney’s business lines. His career has spanned the positions of Deputy Chief, Los Angeles Police Department, Chief of Police, Portland Oregon Police Department, Deputy Police Commissioner of the UN’s Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH), Police Commissioner for the United Nations Mission in Liberia, and Police Advisor to the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations where his duties includedoversight of more than 9,000 UN Police Officers serving in 17 missions, international police-related policy development, and advice to United Nations’ senior-most executives.

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 experience in planning, design, construction, operation and management in the water supply sector. He has worked for a number of water related projects not only in Japan, but also in multiple other countries such as Canada, Vietnam, Bolivia, Jordan and South Sudan, solving water related problems for global clients.

He is currently JFE Engineering’s team leader for SPF Projects. SPF is a seismic steel pipe product developed for pipelines to securely supply water, even after severe earthquakes and ground deformations.

Mr. Nakazono is also a member of the technical committee of Japan Water Steel Pipe Association, as well as the secretary of the sub-committee of Japan Society of Civil Engineers, where he designs methods for creating pipelines across fault planes.

He holds a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering and is registered as a Professional Engineer in Japan.

Chris Reese
Senior Vice President
Lockton Insurance Brokers
Biography

Chris Reese

Senior Vice President
Lockton Insurance Brokers

Lockton Insurance Brokers’ Senior Vice President and Cyber / Technology Errors and Omissions Practice Leader providing expert cyber enterprise risk transfer solutions for private, public and voluntary sectors. Chris leads an elite team of Cyber insurance professionals who confront cyber risk head on and leverage insurance company resources for our clients’ balance sheet protection.  With a background in underwriting for domestic insurers and Lloyd’s of London, Chris understand both sides of the insurance equation contributing to successful negotiations. She is a frequent speaker in this field and recognized industry leader.

Charles Wilson
Executive Director and CEO
Southern California Water Coalition
Biography

Charles Wilson

Executive Director and CEO
Southern California Water Coalition

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

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. 

Alisa Orduña
Senior Advisor on Homelessness
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Alisa Orduña

Senior Advisor on Homelessness
City of Santa Monica

Alisa Orduña is the Senior Advisor to the City Manager on Homelessness for the City of Santa Monica. She is a passionate advocate and seasoned community development practitioner with close to twenty years of experience working in the nonprofit and government sectors. Her strengths are in the areas of program development and policy analysis to end homelessness in urban communities. Alisa works through collaborative processes to effect policy change and has served on both the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Ad-Hoc Committees on Women Experiencing Homelessness and Black People Experiencing Homelessness. Her professional experiences include serving as the Homelessness Policy Director for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and as a Program Officer at United Way of Greater Los Angeles as a member of the Home For Good team.

Alisa is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Depth-Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Alisa is a Los Angeles native and gives back to strengthen her community through volunteering on the boards of Urban Voices, Skid Row Coffee, and UN Women- Los Angeles Chapter.

 

Coby Skye
Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works
Biography

Coby Skye

Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County 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.

Dr. Gil Crozes
Senior Vice President
Carollo
Biography

Dr. Gil Crozes

Senior Vice President
Carollo

Dr. Gil Crozes, Ph. D. has been involved in water treatment for 30 years, leading various planning, water resources, applied research, and engineering projects. He is a senior vice president with Carollo and is serving clients in the greater Los Angeles. His background includes extensive water and wastewater treatment process work, pilot- and demonstration-scale testing, as well as full-scale facilities planning and design. His areas of focus include groundwater treatment, surface water treatment, wastewater treatment, and solids and biogas utilization, as well as reuse of wastewater for irrigation, groundwater recharge, and various industrial applications such as power plant cooling water and boilers. His experience includes projects in more than 12 states.

Evan Birenbaum
Managing Partner
Valkyrie Security Group
Biography

Evan Birenbaum

Managing Partner
Valkyrie Security Group

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

Kiran Srivastava
Lead Associate
Energy Practice Booz Allen Hamilton
Biography

Kiran Srivastava

Lead Associate
Energy Practice Booz Allen Hamilton

Kiran Srivastava is a renewable energy policy professional with over fifteen years of professional experience. Over the last ten years, she has focused on strategic development and management of federal energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Her work has included research and analysis in order to develop reports and white papers on renewable energy technologies, market assessments and policy recommendations.  Ms. Srivastava’s notable contributions include extensive support to federal agencies such as the Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office (EERE) and the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E).  Ms. Srivastava used her expertise to build a number of tools and resources to help Islands such as Hawaii in converting from fossil-based to renewable energy generation. She assisted in crafting a road map detailing how the State of California can convert its fossil-based hydrogen supply to a renewable supply for its transportation sector.  Kiran is a founding member of the Women in CleanTeach (WICT) diversity initiative at the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator and a board member of the Los Angeles chapter of the Young Professionals in Energy (YPE).

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.

Yasuhiro Kasai
Director, Office for Int'l Project Promotion, Infrastructure System & Water Industry
Ministry of Economy Trade & Industry (METI) Japan
Biography

Yasuhiro Kasai

Director, Office for Int'l Project Promotion, Infrastructure System & Water Industry
Ministry of Economy Trade & Industry (METI) Japan

Since joining Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in 2002, Kasai has been seconded to both the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and Ministry of Finance (MOF) over the course of his career, and blends expertise in export finance and policy measures to introduce to global markets Japan’s “Quality Infrastructure,” which are superior in terms of ecological impacts and energy conservation.

After assuming his current position in July 2019, Kasai has been working with organizations and stakeholders worldwide to help address the critical global challenge of achieving safe and stable water supplies, and solutions that might be offered by Japanese technologies.  

In the United States, his office is currently supporting feasibility studies on potential Japanese technology solutions in sewage treatment and water quality monitoring in both New York and California.

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.

George Kivork
Senior Public Policy Manager
Lyft
Biography

George Kivork

Senior Public Policy Manager
Lyft
George Kivork is Senior Public Policy Manager at Lyft, overseeing all government affairs for the Southern California region, and currently Arizona and Nevada.  He is an attorney with extensive experience in legislative affairs and communications, having advised public advocacy campaigns, business executives, and officials at the local and the highest levels of the U.S government.
 
George has a proven track record of shaping and implementing strategies to achieve policy objectives in highly demanding environments.
 
Most recently, he served the City of Los Angeles in numerous capacities on behalf of Mayor Eric Garcetti.  First, managing the City of L.A.'s federal affairs office in Washington DC, then as press secretary, and ultimately as associate counsel advancing the City's priorities and the Mayor's strategic initiatives.  Prior to that, George worked in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S.
Department of Commerce, and as an attorney at O'Melveny & Myers.
 
George is a graduate of the University of Southern California and Georgetown Law School.
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.

Rachel Malarich
City Forest Officer
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Rachel Malarich

City Forest Officer
City of Los Angeles

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

 

 

Jon Liberzon
Vice President
Tomorrow Water (BKT)
Biography

Jon Liberzon

Vice President
Tomorrow Water (BKT)

Jon Liberzon is Vice President at Tomorrow Water (BKT), an Anaheim-based firm with over 10-years’ experience in developing and delivering advanced water and wastewater treatment technologies for municipal and industrial clients. Prior to joining Tomorrow Water, Jon consulted for a range of industrial and multinational clients including the World Bank, Technoserve, DFAT and Digested Organics. From 2012-2017, he was director of water technologies at Algal Scientific. Jon also has experience working on drinking water 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.

Bob Stojanovic
Director of Electrical Vehicle Infrastructure
ABB, Inc.
Biography

Bob Stojanovic

Director of Electrical Vehicle Infrastructure
ABB, Inc.

Bob started his career at ABB in 1999, and assumed the role of Director of EVI North America in 2017.    In this role Bob is the local product group manager for EV Charging Infrastructure, which includes responsibly for manufacturing of EV Charging equipment in North America as well as Sales and Marketing of EV Chargers in the USA. 

Prior to the EV Charging role, from 2015 to 2017 Bob was responsible for Microgrids in North America for ABB.  This role was part of ABB’s Corporate Business Development efforts across all ABB divisions and business units. 

Responsibilities included: business development, strategy and analysis of local markets, development of new solutions including strategic relationships with customers, developers, and other key technology providers.  Broad collaboration is a key emphasis during the early stages of microgrid market development in North America.

Some other notable positions at ABB in the recent past Bob: Director of the vertical solar power initiative within ABB North America, and various sales management roles within ABB on the West Coast and Southern California, primarily surrounding ABB’s portfolio of industrial automation and power products and systems. 

Bachelor of Engineering: Western University, London Ontario Canada

MBA: Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles California.

Ricardo Lara
Insurance Commissioner of California
California Department of Insurance
Biography

Ricardo Lara

Insurance Commissioner of California
California Department of Insurance

Ricardo Lara is California’s 8th Insurance Commissioner since voters created the elected position in 1988. Raised in East Los Angeles by immigrant parents, Commissioner Ricardo Lara made history in 2018 by becoming the first openly gay person elected to statewide office in California’s history. Commissioner Lara previously served in the California Legislature, representing Assembly District 50 from 2010 to 2012 and Senate District 33 from 2012 to 2018. Commissioner Lara earned a BA in Journalism and Spanish with a minor in Chicano Studies from San Diego State University.

Effie Turnbull Sanders
Executive Director
SLATE-Z
Biography

Effie Turnbull Sanders

Executive Director
SLATE-Z

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Heather Repenning
Commissioner
Metropolitan Water District Board
Biography

Heather Repenning

Commissioner
Metropolitan Water District Board

Heather Repenning is the incoming Executive Officer of Sustainability Policy at LA Metro.  She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Water District.

Repenning is the former Vice President of the City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works, overseeing the Department of Public Works’ management of solid resources, wastewater, stormwater, urban canopy, streets and design and construction of public facilities.  In this capacity, Repenning led on issues including recycling, food waste, green infrastructure, the Los Angeles River, and LA County’s Clean Safe Water program. 

Repenning previously served as Director of External Affairs for Mayor Garcetti, managing intergovernmental and community advocacy for the City of Los Angeles, including in Sacramento and Washington, DC. 

Heather graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College and holds a Master’s Degree from the University of California, Irvine. 

Albert Lee
Director of Investments, Real Assets
University of California (UC) Regents Investment Office
Biography

Albert Lee

Director of Investments, Real Assets
University of California (UC) Regents Investment Office

Albert Lee is a senior investment professional who joined the University of California (UC) Regents Investment Office in January 2015. The UC manages a portfolio of investments totaling ~$125 billion, which includes endowment, pension, retirement, and cash assets.  Mr. Lee invests the Real Assets portfolio which includes funds, co-investments and select direct investments in infrastructure, new energy, metals & mining, and agriculture.  Prior to joining the UC, Mr. Lee was an investment banking Director in the Global Natural Resources Group at Barclays / Lehman Brothers. He earned his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and B.S. in Engineering at Columbia University.

Jonathan Levy
Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
EVgo
Biography

Jonathan Levy

Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
EVgo

Jonathan Levy is Senior Vice President of Business Development at EVgo, the nation’s largest and most reliable public network of fast chargers for electric vehicles. In this capacity, Levy manages the EVgo team responsible for revenue generation and strategic partnerships, network development, site acquisition, planning and public funding, and advancing transportation electrification market development. Prior to joining EVgo, Levy was the Director of Policy and Strategy at Vision Ridge Partners, an investment firm focused on sustainable real assets based in Boulder, Colorado. 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, the Electric Drive Transportation Association, and Gourmet Symphony. He graduated magna cum laude from Emory University with a B.A. in Political Science. 

Tyler Laferriere
Associate Economist, Institute for Applied Economics
LAEDC
Biography

Tyler Laferriere

Associate Economist, Institute for Applied Economics
LAEDC

Mr. Laferriere is an Associate Economist at the Institute for Applied Economics at LAEDC. His work portfolio at IAE includes data management and analysis; model building and forecasting; and economic consulting. His research focuses include data management, economic forecasting, economic policy studies, foreign direct investment and trade, and labor and occupational research. Recent projects include analysis of Southern California’s economic ties to Canada and Hong Kong, as well as labor market analysis of LA’s middle-skill occupations that are growing. He joined LAEDC in 2017.

Before joining LAEDC, Mr. Laferriere was a graduate student at Washington State University pursing joint degrees in applied economics and statistics. His graduate education also included internships with the Federal Reserve Board and USDA Economic Research Service in Washington, D.C., focusing in the former on consumer spending patterns and the latter on technological adoption models. His applied economics master’s thesis involved a cross-sectional study on work-life policies aimed at improving gender balances in economics and applied economics. He also worked extensively in student affairs and as a copy editor and columnist for the WSU newspaper, the Daily Evergreen.

As mentioned above, Mr. Laferriere received his Master of Science degrees in Applied Economics and Statistics from Washington State University. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Gonzaga University. In addition to his role at the LAEDC, Mr. Laferriere is also the vice president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE).

V. John White
Executive Director
CEERT
Biography

V. John White

Executive Director
CEERT

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

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

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

He serves on a number of nonprofit boards and organizations.

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

Jason Rondou
Director, Clean Grid LA Strategy
LADWP
Biography

Jason Rondou

Director, Clean Grid LA Strategy
LADWP

Jason Rondou is the Director of LADWP’s Clean Grid LA Strategy Division, where he oversees LADWP’s Strategic Long-Term Resource Plan, utility-scale renewable and energy storage procurement, as well as the Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Planning, Development and Program groups. Additionally, he oversees LADWP’s LA100 Study, which aims to identify the major investments required to reliably and cost-effectively transition LADWP to 100% renewable energy. Jason formerly was responsible for LADWP’s Strategic Development & Programs section, responsible for LADWP’s entry into the California Independent System Operator’s Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) as well as its demand response, local solar development, and community solar programs. Jason previously worked at the Los Angeles Department of Transportation on light rail development and bus rapid transit. Jason graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and has a Master of Public Administration from USC and an MBA from UCLA. Jason is a licensed Electrical and Transportation Engineer in the state of California and is the former Chair of the Los Angeles IEEE Power & Energy Society.

Andrew McAllister
Commissioner
California Energy Commission
Biography

Andrew McAllister

Commissioner
California Energy Commission

Andrew McAllister was appointed to the California Energy Commission by Governor Edmund G. Brown in May, 2012, and reappointed in January 2017. He is lead commissioner on energy efficiency and forecasting. 

Andrew has worked for 3 decades in a variety of capacities across the utility, energy efficiency and renewable energy arenas. Prior to joining the CEC, he was managing director and policy director of a clean energy non-profit; a consulting project manager in California as well as in many developing countries; and an energy efficiency analyst at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 

He holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from UC Berkeley. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Jaime Carlson
Senior Advisor
SoftBank Energy
Biography

Jaime Carlson

Senior Advisor
SoftBank Energy

For over a decade, Jaime Carlson has specialized in renewable energy investment throughout the Americas. Jaime is currently Senior Advisor for SoftBank Energy’s Strategy and Investments Team. Prior, she was Executive Vice President at Cypress Creek Renewables, second-largest utility-scale solar developer in the US. Jaime served in President Obama’s first term as an advisor for finance and operations to then Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. During her three years, Jaime advised on financial instruments to expand US energy innovation and directly oversaw the deployment of over $35B in Recovery Act funds. Bloomberg New Energy Finance named her one of the country’s thought-leaders in Alternative Energy. Previously, Jaime was also Global Finance Director of TerraForm, a $2B publicly-traded renewable energy company operating 4GW globally. Prior to TerraForm, Jaime led mergers & acquisitions in US, Asia and South America for Rentech, Inc., a Blackstone-backed $550MM revenue natural resource company. She served as a financial associate at both private equity group Global Environment Fund and Launch Capital. Jaime was a founding member of Apertura Films, producer of “The Other Side,” an environmental and social documentary TV series named one of the best Latin American TV series of all times by Rolling Stone Magazine. Jaime received an MBA and MEM from Yale University and a BS from Tufts University. She is currently a Yale University alumni board member, Aspen Institute scholar, Truman National Security Project fellow and Pacific Council on International Policy member.

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

Charles Herbertson

Director & City Engineer
Culver City Department of Public Works


 

John Saez
Business Development Lead, Smart City Team NTT Inc.
NTT Data
Biography

John Saez

Business Development Lead, Smart City Team NTT Inc.
NTT Data

Business Development Lead for NTT SmartCity/SmartPlatform, overseeing direct and indirect sales activities for all NTT Operating Companies and Business Units. Key founding member of startup Business Unit.

Dr. Andrew Jones
Program Domain Lead, Earth Systems and Society Program
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Biography

Dr. Andrew Jones

Program Domain Lead, Earth Systems and Society Program
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Dr. Jones is 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. As part of the Hyperfacets Project, he leads a stakeholder engagement process with water, energy, and land managers aimed at identifying decision-relevant metrics for evaluating the credibility of climate data and models.  Dr. Jones is also currently leading efforts to understand and model urban environmental processes (heat waves, vegetation dynamics, hydrologic flows and their implications for energy and water resources) in the context of changing climate, land use, and demographics.  Dr. Jones completed his PhD and MS in Energy and Resources at the University of CA, Berkeley.  

Ben Stapleton
Executive Director
US Green Building Council
Biography

Ben Stapleton

Executive Director
US Green Building Council

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

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

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

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

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

Tanya Peacock
Public Policy and Planning Manager at Southern California
Southern California Gas Company
Biography

Tanya Peacock

Public Policy and Planning Manager at Southern California
Southern California Gas Company

Tanya Peacock has extensive experience in energy and environmental policy development. In her current role managing the Public Policy and Planning team for Southern California Gas Company, Peacock is responsible for federal, state, and local legislative analysis, local and regional planning, development of outreach and communications strategies, and climate and renewable gas policy development.

In previous roles at SoCalGas, she managed Cap and Trade policy development and implementation, led the rate design group, managed participation in interstate pipeline rate cases at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and developed energy efficiency programs.

Ms. Peacock is on the Boards of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters, the California Hydrogen Business Council and MoveLA. Ms. Peacock is a member of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the LA regional chapter of the State’s Assessment of Climate Change Impacts.  Ms. Peacock holds a B.A. from Mills College and a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Cornell University.

Jacquelyn Birdsall
Senior Engineer
Toyota Motor
Biography

Jacquelyn Birdsall

Senior Engineer
Toyota Motor

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

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

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

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

Keith Lilley
Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works
Biography

Keith Lilley

Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works

Mr. Lilley is an Assistant Deputy Director with Los Angeles County Public Works and has over 25 years of experience in water resources engineering.   His efforts at the department have included managing the Departments Dam Safety Program and developing infrastructure enhancement programs to increase stormwater capture for water supply and to reduce flood risk to downstream communities.  He currently oversees integrated water resources planning for the Los Angeles County Flood Control District which operates and maintains 14 major dams, 26 spreading grounds, 162 debris basins, and 500 miles of open channel.  His current focus includes updating the County’s 1996 Los Angeles River Master Plan thru a robust stakeholder driven process, and  implementing the Los Angeles County’s new Safe, Clean Water Program to build multi-benefit local and regional stormwater capture, treatment and reuse projects to be funded with a parcel tax approved by County voters in 2018.  Mr. Lilley received his B.S in Civil Engineering from Louisiana State University and a Certificate in Engineering Management for Construction from University of California, Los Angeles.

Amber Richane
Project Manager
City of Santa Monica Architecture Services
Biography

Amber Richane

Project Manager
City of Santa Monica Architecture Services

Environmental stewardship is central to Amber’s life, from the solar powered electric car she drives to her ongoing conservation projects at her home and children’s schools, she strives to eliminate waste and carbon in all that she does. This passion for protecting our Earth drives Amber’s career, and ultimately lead her to California. Amber now calls Santa Monica home and worked for one of the largest architecture firms in the world leading the Performance Driven Design (PDD) studio both domestically and internationally on deep green projects. After many years and much travel, Amber made a career switch to the Architecture Services Department at the City of Santa Monica to work on the greenest municipal building in the world, the CityServices Building (CSB). The CSB is pursuing full Living Building Certification and is on schedule and budget to open in April of 2020

Rafael Spears
Director, Commercial Systems
Aerospace, Corp.
Biography

Rafael Spears

Director, Commercial Systems
Aerospace, Corp.

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

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

Bob Wieckowski

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

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

His 10th Senate District includes several clean energy companies that are helping California improve both its economy and its environment.

 

Christian Lafrance
Vice President Sales Marketing
Effenco
Biography

Christian Lafrance

Vice President Sales Marketing
Effenco

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

Brett Oakleaf
Partnership Manager
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Biography

Brett Oakleaf

Partnership Manager
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Brett Oakleaf has over 25 years of experience in the energy industry across a broad range of roles.  Brett is currently a Partnership Development Manager for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, leading the Airport and Port sectors collaborations.   Brett has a MBA from Georgia Tech, and a BS in Engineering & Management from Clarkson University in New York.

Gary Horvat
Vice President, e-Mobility
Navistar, Inc.
Biography

Gary Horvat

Vice President, e-Mobility
Navistar, Inc.

Navistar Vice President of eMobility Gary Horvat has over 35 years of experience in the automotive industry, with an educational background in both industrial and manufacturing engineering, including a Ph.D. in industrial engineering. Gary started his career at Eaton Corporation working on Heavy Duty Truck Axles and Transmissions.  The majority of his career was at General Motors where he was responsible for the engine controls on the third-generation small block V8 and as assistant chief engineer, launched the 3900 V6 Engine, winning the Popular Mechanics “Breakthrough” Award.  Gary’s last position at GM was as Executive Director of engineering operations, managing powertrain global development, testing and validation facilities. After his GM career he was Vice President of Product Development at Fisker Automotive as well as Vice President of Powertrain at DENSO International. Gary was the CTO at Proterra from 2015 through 2018.  At Proterra, Horvat was responsible for all engineering and technology development for that company’s electric bus product line. Accomplishments included setting a world record of 1101.2 miles for the longest range of any electric vehicle on one charge.  At Navistar, Horvat is responsible for augmenting and aligning Navistar’s eMobility team in all commercial, technical, and implementation activities for Navistar’s various product lines.

Antonio Villaraigosa
Fmr. Mayor
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Antonio Villaraigosa

Fmr. Mayor
City of Los Angeles

Antonio R. Villaraigosa was the 41st Mayor of Los Angeles.

Born on January 23, 1953 in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East Los Angeles, Antonio is the oldest of four children raised by a single mother, Natalia Delgado.

Villaraigosa’s sense of civic justice and political action began at a young age.  As a high school student, he volunteered with the farm workers movement, led student walkouts and organized an African-American student union. 

During his junior year of high school, Villaraigosa dropped out, but eventually returned to school at the encouragement of his English teacher, Herman Katz. After graduating from Theodore Roosevelt High School, Villaraigosa attended UCLA, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in History. He went on to attend the People’s College of Law, a night school dedicated to public-interest law.

By the age of 25, Villaraigosa was elected president of a local union representing civil rights workers and lawyers in six states. Over the next fifteen years, Villaraigosa continued this work as a union organizer for the Service Employees International Union, United Teachers Los Angeles, and then as President of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Federation of Government Employees.

In 1994, Villaraigosa was elected to the California State Assembly and, four years later, his colleagues elected him the first Assembly Speaker from Los Angeles in 25 years.

While in the Assembly, Villaraigosa spearheaded a $9.1 billion initiative to rebuild and modernize California schools, led a $2.1 billion initiative effort to provide parks and open space throughout the state, funded an extensive expansion of water quality enforcement by the state, and authored the state health insurance program, Healthy Families.

Elected as the Councilmember to Los Angeles’ 14th District in 2003, Villaraigosa was widely credited with resolving the Metropolitan Transit Authority transit strike, creating the largest passive park on the Eastside and Los Angeles, and protecting funding for the Arts.

In 2005, Villaraigosa ran for Mayor of Los Angeles on a platform of bringing the City together to take on the big challenges.  He was elected on May 17, 2005 and sworn in as Mayor on July 1, 2005.

During his first term, Mayor Villaraigosa built the police force to its largest size in history, oversaw the steepest reduction in crime since the 1950’s, and developed Los Angeles’ first comprehensive anti-gang strategy.

Mayor Villaraigosa dedicated much of his first term to reforming Los Angeles’s public schools because of his passionate belief that Los Angeles will never succeed as a great global city if every child isn’t given a world-class education. 

Fighting for reform from both inside and outside of the school district, the Mayor now oversees the Partnership for LA Schools, which runs ten of the lowest-performing schools.  Within one year, test scores are already rising. 

With the launching of GREEN LA, the Mayor set Los Angeles on the path to becoming one of the greenest big cities in the nation.  The City has met the Kyoto targets for reducing greenhouse gases four years ahead of schedule; taken over 2,000 dirty diesel trucks off the road; met the first target of getting 10% of energy from renewable sources and is on track to reaching 40% by 2020; and put into place the most aggressive green building program of any large city.

Teaming up with transportation leaders throughout Los Angeles County, Mayor Villaraigosa led the effort to pass a once-in-a-generation investment in the mass transit system of Los Angeles.  With the passage of Measure R, LA County is poised to invest in $40 billion in new transit, rail and highways. 

On March 3, 2009, Mayor Villaraigosa was re-elected and took the oath for a second term on July 1, 2009.

Pledging to finish the work begun in his first term, Mayor Villaraigosa laid out an agenda centered on five focused goals for four years. 

First and foremost of these goals, will be his effort to lead Los Angeles out of the recession and create jobs. The Mayor will also work to shut down failing schools and reconstitute them as innovation campuses, public charters or members of the Partnership Schools; set the city’s Department of Water and Power on a path to becoming coal free by 2020; oversee the largest mass transit construction program in America; and fight to keep Los Angeles one of the safest big cities in the nation by keeping the police force at 10,000 officers strong and crime at historic lows.

Katie Sloan
Director of eMobility
SCE
Biography

Katie Sloan

Director of eMobility
SCE
Denny Zane
Executive Director
Move LA
Biography

Denny Zane

Executive Director
Move LA

Denny Zane is founder and Executive Director of Move LA, an organization that coalesces environmental, labor, business, faith, senior and community leaders and organizations to support development of a robust transit system, reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and development of affordable housing near transit in Los Angeles County.  Move LA initiated the campaigns and built coalitions that championed Measure R, approved by more than 2/3 of voters in 2008, and Measure M, approved by more than 2/3 of voters in 2016, in Los Angeles County.  Together these measures will generate over $120 B for transportation investments over 40 years, almost 70% of which will be invested in transit system development and operations creating the most extensive transit system development and modernizations in North America.  Zane and Move LA also initiated discussions with LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas that led to Measure H, approved by voters in LA County in 2017 to raise $300 M/yr. for affordable housing and services for homeless persons. 

Move LA continues its efforts developing strategies for building affordable housing near transit in Los Angeles County, including restoration of redevelopment authority for cities in California, and developing strategies to address the need for reductions of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and regional transit modernization in Southern California.

Sohinaz Sotoudeh
Director of Power Marketing
EDF Renewables North America
Biography

Sohinaz Sotoudeh

Director of Power Marketing
EDF Renewables North America

For the last 5 years, Sohinaz has served as Director of Power Marketing in the Valuation and Transactions Team at EDF Renewables, one of the nation’s leading renewables developer. In this position, she is the commercial deal lead for contract negotiation, acquisitions, divestures and all aspects of power marketing for North American renewables and battery projects for the company. Previously, Sohinaz served as vice president of Business Development for Ogin-New Dimension Energy Company, a start-up wind development company where she was in charge of wind development strategy and acquisitions. She also served as board member on the board of CALWEA for two terms.

Sohinaz started her career at GE Capital's Equity Capital Group where she was in charge of capital investment in energy technology start-up companies for GE. She has a BA in Economics from Tufts University and an MBA with Honors from Columbia Business School. Sohinaz currently lives in Los Angeles with her two children.

Jake Levine
Associate and Policy Advisor
Covington & Burling LLP
Biography

Jake Levine

Associate and Policy Advisor
Covington & Burling LLP

Jake Levine is a legal and political strategist focused on the intersection of climate change and policy.  Levine served as an aide to President Obama in the White House Office of Energy & Climate Change, where he worked to implement a number of innovative projects, including the most stringent fuel economy — and first-ever greenhouse gas emission — standards for cars and trucks.  He served as a member of President Obama’s delegation to the UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Copenhagen, and led the interagency Energy Working Group, which developed policy in a number of areas (e.g., climate security, comprehensive energy reform).  More recently, Levine served as Senior Counsel to the California Select Committee on Climate Change, where he led the successful campaign to draft, design, and enact new climate (SB 32, Pavley) and environmental justice (AB 197, Garcia) legislation in California.  He also served as Chief of Staff at Opower, the clean energy technology company that uses behavioral science to nudge people into using less energy.  Levine practices law at Covington & Burling.  His opinion essays and articles have appeared in Democracy Journal, Crooked Media, National Law Review, and HuffPost.

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

Dr. Yasuhiro Matsui

Project Manager, Research & Development
Yokogawa

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

Nancy Sutley
Sr. Asst. General Manager of External & Regulatory Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
Biography

Nancy Sutley

Sr. Asst. General Manager of External & Regulatory Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Nancy Sutley is LADWP’s Senior Assistant General Manager of External and Regulatory Affairs, and the Chief Sustainability Officer. In this role, Ms. Sutley oversees the Department’s customer service operations, energy efficiency and water conservation programs, environmental regulation, public affairs and legislative teams. Over the course of her tenure with the Department, Ms. Sutley has initiated LADWP’s corporate sustainability programs, spearheaded LADWP’s La Kretz Innovation Campus, promoted the electrification of the transportation network and coordinated the Clean Grid L.A. plan.

Prior to joining LADWP in 2014, Ms. Sutley served as Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Under her leadership, the Council played a central role in shepherding the Obama Administration’s signature environmental projects and was one of the chief architects of President Obama’s 2013 Climate Action Plan.

Ms. Sutley has an extensive background in public service that includes posts as Deputy Mayor for Energy and Environment for the City of Los Angeles, Board Member of the Metropolitan Water District, Member of the California State Water Resources Control Board, Energy Advisor for California Governor Gray Davis, Deputy Secretary for Policy and Intergovernmental Relations at the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Senior Policy Advisor for the US EPA during the Clinton Administration.

Ms. Sutley holds a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University.

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

Miguel Sangalang

Deputy Mayor for Budget & Innovation
City of Los Angeles

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

Michelle Sim
Commercial Development Manager
SoCalGas
Biography

Michelle Sim

Commercial Development Manager
SoCalGas

Michelle Sim is Commercial Development Manager at SoCalGas, primarily focused on hydrogen. She joined the Sempra utilities in 2013 and have served in various business and policy development roles in clean transportation, residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Prior to joining SoCalGas, Michelle worked at a global A&E firm, Parsons, working primarily on department of defense contracts related to facility asset management, renewable technologies, and zero net energy strategies.

Michelle received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley and earned her Certified Energy Manager certificate from the Association of Energy Engineers. Michelle served a two-year term in 2016 appointed by the then-U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz to the Department of Energy’s Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee. She has also served as the chair of the San Joaquin Valley Natural Gas Partnership and a steering committee member of the California Natural Gas Partnership. Michelle also serves as a Board Member of the Asian American Professionals Association (AAPA).

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.

Andrea Redford
Chief Business Development Officer
Enerkem
Biography

Andrea Redford

Chief Business Development Officer
Enerkem
Ben Allen
California State Senator
26th District
Biography

Ben Allen

California State Senator
26th District

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Norihiko Saeki
Executive Director
JETRO Los Angeles
Biography

Norihiko Saeki

Executive Director
JETRO Los Angeles
Executive Director, JETRO Los AngelesNorihiko Saeki serves as the Executive Director of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Los Angeles and coordinates the collaborations between the U.S. and Japanese Industries in the area of innovation, entertainment and investment. Norihiko extensively tries to contribute to solve the social issues in California and the U.S. by forefront and user-oriented technology with Japanese industries.  In this capacity, he is responsible for the overall strategy and execution on innovation policy and the industries collaboration especially in hydrogen energy, water, smart cities, vehicle, aerospace and health care. Norihiko also serves as a Special Advisor to Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and his task is to recommend the policy options as well as promote collaboration at the governmental level. He joined the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan in 2001 and has been in charge of various high-tech areas, such as aerospace, metals & materials, bio, health care and information technology.  He received his law bachelor degree from University of Tokyo in 2000 and served as a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS in 2009-2010. He lives and enjoys his life with his wife and daughter in Playa Vista, L.A. as known as “Silicon Beach.”
Diana Limón
Training Director
Net Zero Plus Electrical Training Institute
Biography

Diana Limón

Training Director
Net Zero Plus Electrical Training Institute

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

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

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.

Jeff Guido
Director, Special Programs
Planet
Biography

Jeff Guido

Director, Special Programs
Planet

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

Logan Goldie-Scot
Head of Clean Power Research
Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Biography

Logan Goldie-Scot

Head of Clean Power Research
Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Logan Goldie-Scot is global head of Clean Power research at BloombergNEF. He oversees BNEF’s solar, wind, storage, and decentralized energy research divisions. Prior to this, he was manager of the Energy Storage insight team at BloombergNEF. He also ran 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.

Geoff Gunn
Electrical Engineering & Energy Business Leader
Arup
Biography

Geoff Gunn

Electrical Engineering & Energy Business Leader
Arup
Geoff leads Arup’s work in distributed energy, EV planning and energy resilience in Arup’s Boston office where he is both the Electrical Engineering and Energy Business Leader.
He has led the design of numerous solar photovoltaic systems and other renewable, and distributed, energy systems, such as CHP, fuel cells, battery energy storage, demand response, and microgrids. He has performed energy resilience assessments and provided electrical design to enhance resilience. Geoff has electrification and grid interconnection experience in a range of projects, including transit providers, campus facilities, zero net energy buildings, data centers, educational facilities, and hospitality. He is currently working on the fleet electrification strategy and related charging infrastructure for Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority.
Enrique Zaldivar
Director
LA Sanitation & Environment
Biography

Enrique Zaldivar

Director
LA Sanitation & Environment

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


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

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


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

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

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

 

Gregory Huynh
Operating Agent Manager
LADWP
Biography

Gregory Huynh

Operating Agent Manager
LADWP

Greg Huynh manages the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s 100% Clean Energy Innovation group that is currently engaged in several initiatives to bring clean power into the Southern California. Most notably, Greg is spearheading LADWP’s efforts to conduct a comprehensive study of how the City of Los Angeles can get to 100% Renewable Energy. He and his team are also investigating how new technologies such as green hydrogen, compressed air energy storage, and carbon capture, to see how they would fit into LADWP’s clean energy future. Greg has worked on a wide range of projects in the utility industry from design & construction of electrical infrastructure, power plant operations, and planning.

Steve Sullivan
Former Managing Director
Southern California Edison
Biography

Steve Sullivan

Former Managing Director
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.

Julia Balas
Attorney
Morrison Foerster
Biography

Julia Balas

Attorney
Morrison Foerster

Julia primarily represents developers of renewable energy projects, and assists them with all aspects of their project development needs, including negotiation of construction and balance of plant contracts, equipment and services supply agreements, power purchase agreements, interconnection matters, buy-side and sell-side purchase and sale agreements, build-own-transfer agreements, financing agreements, tax equity agreements, and other contracts that arise in the context of developing, constructing, selling, and owning renewable energy projects.Julia also has experience advising clients on such matters as private equity investments, sponsor-backed leveraged buyouts, mergers, debt and equity securities offerings, and commercial lending and structured finance transactions, as well asgeneral corporate matters, corporate governance, and securities law compliance.In addition to conducting her legal work, Julia currently serves on the firm’s pro bono committee, is co-chair of the Los Angeles Women’s Affinity Group, served on the firm wide Women’s Strategy Committee from 2016 to 2019, and has co-chaired theLos Angeles office’s summer associate program multiple times. She is also an active member of Women in Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy, Women in Cleantech and Sustainability, the American Wind Energy Association, and the SolarEnergy Industries Association

Eric Corey Freed
Sustainability Disruptor
Morrison Hershfield
Biography

Eric Corey Freed

Sustainability Disruptor
Morrison Hershfield

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

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

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

Debra Gerod
President
American Institute of Architects, California
Biography

Debra Gerod

President
American Institute of Architects, California

Debra Gerod, FAIA, LEED AP, is a partner of Gruen Associates, an 80-person planning, landscape and architectural firm headquartered in Los Angeles. Debra’s specialty is the collaborative design and delivery of complex, public-use projects. These projects include large-scale, significant civic and cultural projects such as courthouses, embassies, performing arts centers, museums, libraries, transportation projects, parks and streetscapes. Current projects include the adaptive re-use of the historic Tower Theater for Apple, the renovation of Pershing Square, the Audrey Irmas Pavilion at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, and Metro’s Airport Metro Connector/96th Street Station.

Currently serving as the 2020 President for AIA|California, Debra is also a past president of AIA|Los Angeles. Debra volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and Heal the Bay and was a long-time board member for the ACE Mentor Program of Los Angeles. Debra was elevated to a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 2013.

 

Philippe P. Huneault
Délégué
Government of Québec
Biography

Philippe P. Huneault

Délégué
Government of Québec

​Philippe P. Huneault has been Québec’s delegate in Los Angeles since July 1, 2019.

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

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

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

Jessie Buckmaster
Sustainability Manager
Hathaway Dinwiddie
Biography

Jessie Buckmaster

Sustainability Manager
Hathaway Dinwiddie

Jessie Buckmaster is Sustainability Manager at Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company with almost 10 years’ experience in commercial construction. She provides sustainability expertise and consultation for Hathaway Dinwiddie’s projects from preconstruction through certification. Jessie has worked on numerous LEED projects, and is currently working on a project pursuing Living Building Challenge certification. Her specialty is in evaluating healthy building materials after spending nearly 4 years researching Red List compliant products. She loves providing training and sustainability education. Jessie is an active member of USGBC and ILFI, and she was Co-Facilitator for the Living Building Challenge Los Angeles Collaborative in 2016. 

Cynthia Williams
Global Director, Sustainability, Homologation and Compliance
Ford Motor
Biography

Cynthia Williams

Global Director, Sustainability, Homologation and Compliance
Ford Motor

Cynthia Williams is the Global Director, Sustainability, Homologation and Compliance, effective December 1, 2019. She will be responsible for sustainable business plans and policies, environmental negotiations with regulatory bodies around the world, reporting on the company’s environmental and social performance, and engaging with non-government organizations and other external stakeholders. 

Previously Cynthia was Assistant Director, Global Automotive Safety Office. In this position she has been responsible for leading the safety governance process, including identifying, analyzing and making recommendations on potential safety and compliance concerns. She also has been responsible for developing and coordinating responses to all government agency investigations. 

Since joining Ford in 1992, as part of the Ford College Graduate Program in the Automotive Emissions and Fuel Economy Office, Cynthia has held several positions, which include Ford’s Sustainability, Environment and Safety Director in Asia Pacific, Environmental Policy Manager, Energy Planning and Compliance Manager, and On-Board Diagnostics Production Compliance Programs Manager. Cynthia is the past chair of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers Mobile Source Policy Committee. 

In Asia Pacific, she was the Executive Champion for the Professional Women’s Network and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender Employee Resource Groups. Cynthia also held the position of Vice President of Operations for the Ford Employees African Ancestry Network (FAAN) and is committed to mentoring young engineers, peers and FAAN members. 

A native of Flint, MI, Cynthia earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University and a Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Detroit Mercy. Cynthia is married with two children. 

Cynthia is based in World Headquarters, Dearborn, Michigan. 

Jonathan Weisgall
Vice President, Government Relations
Berkshire Hathaway Energy
Biography

Jonathan Weisgall

Vice President, Government Relations
Berkshire Hathaway Energy

Jonathan Weisgall is Vice President for Government Relations for Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. He joined CalEnergy (Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s predecessor company) in 1993 as Vice President for Legislative and Regulatory Affairs. Weisgall also serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies and vice chairman of the Geothermal Resources Council’s Policy Committee. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught a seminar on energy issues since 1990 and recently received the Charles Fahy Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award as outstanding adjunct professor of the year. He has been named one of the top Washington, DC corporate lobbyists by The Hill since 2004. Weisgall graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia College and from Stanford Law School and has published articles in Legal Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, and The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

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).

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. 

Lorraine Paskett
Director at Large
California Hydrogen Business Council
Biography

Lorraine Paskett

Director at Large
California Hydrogen Business Council

Lorraine Paskett has more than 25 years of experience in the energy, water, and environmental sectors, with 15 years of focused experience in the energy sector. Ms. Paskett has served as a director for a California investor-owned utility, leading a team through the California energy crisis and sponsoring a suite of initiatives including energy market reform, climate change policy, renewable energy market development, and corporate tax reforms. Ms. Paskett later served as a senior executive for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, leading a comprehensive approach for sustainable utility practices. The focus of her service included revamping utility programs to support accelerated adoption of alternative vehicle fuel sources in Southern California, overseeing electric system transmission permitting, new wind and solar electric generation project permitting, and managing greenhouse gas emissions programs across the utility operations.

Currently, Ms. Paskett owns and manages Cambridge LCF Group. Cambridge LCF Group works with conventional and emerging energy companies, focusing on alternative energy, energy markets, climate change policies, and improving air quality in the Los Angeles and San Joaquin Valley basin.

Zev Yaroslavsky
Director, Los Angeles Initiative
UCLA Luskin School of Public Policy
Biography

Zev Yaroslavsky

Director, Los Angeles Initiative
UCLA Luskin School of Public Policy

During a career in public life spanning nearly four decades, Zev Yaroslavsky has been at the forefront of Los Angeles County’s biggest issues, including transportation, the environment, health care, and cultural arts.  He has been a pioneering advocate for the region’s homeless population and has played a key role in efforts to reform the county’s law enforcement agencies.

Mr. Yaroslavsky was first elected to office in 1975, stunning the political establishment by winning the Los Angeles City Council’s coveted 5th District seat at the age of 26.  He honed his fiscal skills as chairman of the Council’s Finance Committee and earned a reputation for being unafraid to tackle controversial issues, including the Los Angeles Police Department’s use of excessive force and its improper spying on law-abiding residents.  He authored two landmark ballot initiatives, one which cut in half the size of new commercial developments near residential neighborhoods in the City of L.A., and the other which banned oil drilling along the city’s coastline.

In describing Mr. Yaroslavsky’s City Hall tenure, the Los Angeles Times wrote that he “was more often than not a dominant player in virtually every municipal initiative of note since he joined the City Council.”

In 1994, Mr. Yaroslavsky was elected to the five-member Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, representing the western part of the county and a constituency of two million people.  He served five terms as the Board’s Third District representative.  Because of term limits, he retired from office on December 1, 2014.  Supervisor Yaroslavsky’s award-winning website, which ran from late 2009 until the end of his term, including blog entries and feature stories on County issues, programs and personalities, can be accessed here.

As a member of the Board of Supervisors, Mr. Yaroslavsky quickly emerged as a leader on fiscal, health care, transportation, cultural and environmental matters.  He authored several landmark ballot initiatives:  the 1996 park bond, which resulted in the preservation of a broad swath of rural open space and the development of urban parks throughout the county, and the 2002 trauma tax, approved by more than 73% of county voters—a measure credited with saving two public hospitals from closure and keeping the county’s emergency services intact.

Mr. Yaroslavsky was the driving force behind several major transit projects, including the hugely successful Orange Line busway across the San Fernando Valley, the Exposition Light Rail line from downtown to Santa Monica which will be completed at the end of 2015, and the subway—Purple Line—extension from Western Ave. to West Los Angeles which broke ground in 2014.

After the closure of Martin Luther King, Jr. hospital in south Los Angeles, Mr. Yaroslavsky proposed a partnership between the University of California and Los Angeles County upon which the recently re-opened hospital was modeled.  Mr. Yaroslavsky also launched the building of three innovative school-based health clinics in largely working-class neighborhoods where many residents are living below the poverty line and rarely seek medical attention.  He also led the effort to provide permanent supportive housing for thousands of homeless persons who’ve been identified as most likely to die if they remained on county streets.

During his public service career, Mr. Yaroslavsky was the county’s leader in the cultural arts.  The Los Angeles Times said of him before he retired, “It would be hard to find another major politician anywhere in the entire country with Yaroslavsky’s record for outright arts support and achievement.” He championed efforts to rebuild and modernize the world famous Hollywood Bowl amphitheater and was instrumental in the development of architect Frank Gehry’s iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall, home of the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra.  He has also funded major investments in the County Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History and the San Fernando Valley Performing Arts Center.

Mr. Yaroslavsky is also credited with playing a leading role in the sweeping reforms of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  He is responsible for the creation of the Citizen’s Commission on Jail Violence in 2011 which recommended dozens of measures to restore constitutional policing and integrity to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and its jails.

Apart from his responsibilities as an elected official, Mr. Yaroslavsky has long been associated with the National Democratic Institute (NDI), a non-governmental organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., that promotes the development of democratic institutions in burgeoning democracies.  He has monitored five elections for NDI:  Romania (1990), Mexico (2000), Ukraine (2004), and Nigeria (2011 & 2015).  He has conducted seminars on local government finance and democratic institution-building in Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and Bosnia/Herzegovina.

Mr. Yaroslavsky is now the Director of the Los Angeles Initiative at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the Department of History, focusing on the intersection of policy, politics and history of the Los Angeles region.

Mr. Yaroslavsky was born and raised in Los Angeles and earned an M.A. in British Imperial History and a B.A. in Economics and History, both from UCLA.  He is a graduate of Fairfax High School in Los Angeles.

Loni Mahanta
Vice President, Public Policy Development
Lyft
Biography

Loni Mahanta

Vice President, Public Policy Development
Lyft

Loni Mahanta is Lyft’s VP, Public Policy Development.  In that role, Loni leads the Policy Development & Research team at Lyft, which focuses on high level strategic solutions to Lyft’s long-term policy issues as well as shaping and driving operational and programmatic priorities within the company. Her team is responsible for policy creation and problem-solving in the areas of future of work, sustainability, city and transportation planning, and policy research/analytics.

Loni also leads Lyft’s Future of Work initiatives, where she focuses on Lyft’s policy work and thought leadership in the future of work space, including general labor policy, portable benefits, the creation of a modern, flexible safety net, and addressing worker displacement due to automation.

Previously, Loni was Associate General Counsel, overseeing Lyft’s labor and employment department on the Legal team.  

Prior to joining Lyft, Loni was an attorney at Folger Levin LLP and Crowell & Moring LLP, where she specialized in employment litigation. She obtained her B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University and graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif from Hastings College of the Law.

 

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

Katy Young Yaroslavsky

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

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

 

Jessica Reinhardt
Director, Public Policy
Sunrun
Biography

Jessica Reinhardt

Director, Public Policy
Sunrun

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

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

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

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

Benoit Couture
President
Lithion Recycling
Biography

Benoit Couture

President
Lithion Recycling

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

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

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

Janice Lin
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Strategen
Biography

Janice Lin

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Strategen

Janice Lin is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Strategen. Janice has over than two decades of experience in clean energy strategy, market development, and corporate strategy. Janice uses the Strategen platforms of consulting, association management, and events to achieve measurable global impact in growing the clean energy sector. Through Association Management, she has distinguished herself as a leading clean energy changemaker. Janice co-founded and for a decade served as Executive Director of the California Energy Storage Alliance, where she helped create the world’s most robust energy storage market. Janice is an internationally recognized thought leader in energy storage and grid decarbonization and won the 2019 Cleanie Award for Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2019 Janice also launched the Green Hydrogen Coalition, an educational non-profit dedicated to transitioning to a sustainable, carbon-free energy supply with green (renewable) hydrogen.

John A. Pérez
Chair
University of California Board of Regents
Biography

John A. Pérez

Chair
University of California Board of Regents

John A. Pérez is the current Chair of the Board of Regents. He was elected to the Assembly in November 2008, representing Downtown Los Angeles and communities of East Los Angeles. In January 2010, his colleagues elected him California's 68th Assembly Speaker. He was subsequently reelected in 2010 and 2012, making him one of the longest serving Speakers in the era of term limits.

Prior to his service in the Assembly, Speaker Emeritus Pérez was a lifetime member of the Labor Movement, eventually serving as the Political Director for the California Labor Federation. His lifetime spent fighting for working families can clearly be seen in the legislation and policy initiatives he pursued in the Assembly. He fought for policies that put people back to work and helped workers on the jobsite.

As Speaker, he brought together his colleagues to end California's era of chronic budget deficits. He worked with Governor Brown and members of the Senate to eliminate the structural deficit that left California's budget imbalanced for more than a decade, and successfully passed back-to-back balanced, on-time budgets that resulted in across the board upgrades in California's credit rating.

He has made affordability and accessibility of higher education one of the most important statewide priorities through passage of the Middle Class Scholarship Act. This effort, which brought together thousands of California's students and parents, sought to reduce student fees by two-thirds for middle class families, and was later adopted in a modified capacity by the 2013 State Budget. The landmark Middle Class Scholarship Act, has provided tuition relief of up to 40 percent for nearly 100,000 California State University and University of California students.

Speaker Emeritus Pérez's victories and accomplishments have received prominent national attention. In 2012, he was the only state legislative leader in the United States to address the Democratic National Convention. In August of 2012, he was elected by fellow Speakers from across the nation to serve as President of the National Speakers Conference. He has previously been appointed by President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush to serve on the President's Commission on HIV/AIDS and is a longtime member of the Democratic National Committee.