Speakers for VX2023

Fiona Ma
State Treasurer
California
Biography

Fiona Ma

State Treasurer
California

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

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

Kenko Sone

Consul General
Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles

1989    Graduated from Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, Japan
1989.4   Entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA)
2008.8   Director, OECD Division, Economic Affairs Bureau, MOFA
2010.3   Director, International Economy Division, Economic Affairs Bureau, MOFA
2011.7   Economic Counselor, Embassy of Japan, USA
2013.9   Director, First North America Division, North American Affairs Bureau, MOFA
2014.7   Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Affairs, Cabinet Secretariat
              Director, Office of Global Communications, Prime Minister's Office
2016.7   Minister (Economic & Development), Embassy of Japan in India
2019.9   Deputy Director-General, Economic Affairs Bureau
2020.7   Deputy Director-General, Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau
2021.6   Assistant Minister, Director-General for Cultural Affairs
2021.7   Ambassador in charge of Sport and Budo
2022.9   Consul General, Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles

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.

Karen Bass
Mayor
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Karen Bass

Mayor
City of Los Angeles

Karen Bass is the 43rd Mayor of Los Angeles and the first woman and second African American to be elected as the city's chief executive. With an agenda focused on bringing urgency, accountability, and a new direction to Los Angeles, she will start her term with a focus on housing people immediately and increasing safety and opportunity in every part of Los Angeles.

A daughter of our city, Mayor Bass was raised with her three brothers in the Venice/Fairfax neighborhood and is a proud graduate of Hamilton High School. After serving as a front-line healthcare provider as a nurse and as a Physician Assistant, Mayor Bass founded the Community Coalition to organize the predominantly Black and Latino residents of South L.A. against substance abuse, poverty and crime, and to pioneer strategies to address the root causes behind the challenges faced by underserved neighborhoods.

She then went on to represent Los Angeles in the State Assembly and was elected by her peers to serve as Speaker, making her the first African American woman to ever lead a state legislative body in the history of the United States. Her time in leadership intersected with the Great Recession, and she was honored with the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for reaching across party lines and making tough decisions to keep the state from bankruptcy while protecting vital services.

While representing Los Angeles and Culver City in Congress, Mayor Bass helped protect small businesses during the pandemic, created policy to drive local jobs from federal infrastructure funding, and led the passage of what the Los Angeles Times called “the most significant child welfare policy reform in decades.”

Mayor Bass earned her bachelor's degree in health sciences from CSU Dominguez Hills before graduating from the USC Keck School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program and earning her masters degree in social work from USC.

Mayor Bass’s oldest daughter Emilia planned to follow in her mother’s footsteps working for social change. The Mayor-elect continues to be inspired by Emilia and her son-in-law Michael’s passion for life. She has three other children, Scythia, Omar and Yvette, and two grandchildren, Michael and Henry, who live in the Los Angeles area.

David Hochschild
Chair
California Energy Commission
Biography

David Hochschild

Chair
California Energy Commission

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

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

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

Darcie Houck
Commissioner
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Darcie Houck

Commissioner
California Public Utilities Commission

Commissioner Darcie L. Houck was appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) by Governor Gavin Newsom on Feb. 9, 2021. She formerly served as Chief Counsel for the California Energy Commission since 2019.

Commissioner Houck was an Administrative Law Judge at the CPUC from 2016 to 2019, a Partner at Fredericks Peebles & Morgan from 2005 to 2016, and Staff Counsel and Policy Advisor at the California Energy Commission from 2000 to 2005.

Commissioner Houck has expertise in matters concerning environmental equity, nuclear energy regulation, and safety policy. She has an extensive background representing Native American tribes throughout the country on matters involving energy, natural resources, land claims, and water rights, among others.

Commissioner Houck is a member of the California Indian Law Association, California Lawyers Association, Schwartz-Levi Inn of Court, Women Lead and the Association of Women in Water, Energy, and Environment. She earned a law degree from the University of California, where she also earned a Master of Science in community development.

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.

Penfield Tate III
Chief Environmental Justice Officer
Project Canary
Biography

Penfield Tate III

Chief Environmental Justice Officer
Project Canary

Penfield Tate III is the Chief Environmental Justice Officer for Project Canary, overseeing environmental justice issues for low-income utility customers. Penfield is focused on refining Project Canary’s commitment to the triple-bottom line and how ESG data can be used to drive equity for those who have been disproportionately affected by the actions of others driving climate change.

Before joining Project Canary, Penfield founded his law firm Tate Law. He has over 30 years of experience serving governments in public finance and municipal law and helping people in corporate and business matters and with estate planning.

He previously served as an aide to Denver Mayor Federico Peña and served in the cabinet of former Colorado Governor Roy Romer as Executive Director for the Department of Administration. He has over six years of service in the Colorado General Assembly, four years in the House as the State Representative for District 8, and over two years in the Senate as the State Senator for District 33.

Penfield takes pride in giving back to the community by serving on boards and volunteering. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in Sociology and a J.D. from Antioch School of Law. In his spare time, he can be found with his wife and daughter and enjoys watching sporting events, fly fishing, and scuba diving.

Benoit Charette
Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Parks & Wildlife
National Assembly of Québec
Biography

Benoit Charette

Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Parks & Wildlife
National Assembly of Québec

Benoit Charette has been the Member of the National Assembly for the Deux-Montagnes riding since 2008. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history with a concentration in political science from the Université du Québec à Montréal and a degree in public administration from the École nationale d’administration publique.

He began his career at the Ministère des Relations internationales in the Québec Government Office in Mexico City. He then worked at the Agence intergouvernementale de la Francophonie in Moncton. Mr. Charette was appointed Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change in January 2019 and subsequently Minister Responsible for the Laval Region in August 2020 and Minister Responsible for the Fight against Racism in February 2021.

In October 2022, he was appointed Minister of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks, and Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region in addition to being given increased responsibilities regarding the energy transition.

A socially involved citizen, Mr. Charette was a volunteer in Haiti in 1995. He also held the position of director general of the Forum jeunesse des Laurentides from 2003 to 2005. He then served as local programs manager at the Léger Foundation until 2008. Over the years, he has been a member of several boards of directors of community organizations.

Mr. Charette has held numerous positions at the National Assembly of Québec, including executive director of the cabinets of the Whip and of the Second Opposition Group Leader from 2012 to 2014. Prior to his appointment to the Council of Ministers, he chaired the Committee on Institutions and was also a member of the Committee on the National Assembly and the Committee on Culture and Education.

Mr. Charette is the father of three children.

 

Hydee Feldstein Soto
Los Angeles City Attorney
City of Los Angles
Biography

Hydee Feldstein Soto

Los Angeles City Attorney
City of Los Angles

Hydee Feldstein Soto is the 43rd Los Angeles City Attorney. She is the City’s general counsel and serves as legal advisor to the Mayor, City Council, and to the hundreds of boards, departments, officers and entities.

​The City Attorney interprets federal, state, county and municipal laws for Los Angeles, drafts City ordinances and is responsible for the application, implementation, and enforcement of all laws within the jurisdiction, defending the City and its charter. In addition, the City Attorney oversees all litigation and other proceedings in which Los Angeles is involved and is responsible for civil and criminal misdemeanor enforcement actions. As the City’s chief prosecutor, Feldstein Soto oversees the prosecution of misdemeanors and the administration of criminal justice, including alternatives to incarceration. Her team of 1,000 legal professionals, including 500+ attorneys, carries out the City’s legal work at her direction.
 

Wade Crowfoot
Secretary
California Natural Resources Agency
Biography

Wade Crowfoot

Secretary
California Natural Resources Agency

Wade Crowfoot was appointed California Secretary for Natural Resources by Governor Gavin Newsom in January 2019. Secretary Crowfoot oversees an agency of 19,000 employees charged with protecting and managing California’s diverse resources. As a member of the Governor’s cabinet, he advises the Governor on natural resources and environmental issues.

Crowfoot brings over two decades of public policy and environmental leadership to the office, with expertise in water, fisheries, climate and sustainability issues. He most recently served as chief executive officer of the Water Foundation, a nonprofit philanthropy that builds shared water solutions for communities, economy, and the environment across the American West.

Prior to joining the foundation, Crowfoot served in Governor Jerry Brown’s Administration as deputy cabinet secretary and senior advisor to the Governor. In that role he led the administration’s drought response efforts and spearheaded several of the Governor’s priority initiatives to build California’s resilience to climate change.

Crowfoot received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996 and earned a master’s degree in public policy from the London School of Economics in 2004, where he graduated with honors. 

Christine Harada
Executive Director
Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council
Biography

Christine Harada

Executive Director
Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council

Biden-Harris Administration Presidential appointee Christine Harada serves as the Executive Director of the Permitting Council. As Executive Director, Harada assists Permitting Council member agencies in managing a portfolio of nearly $100 billion in large-scale infrastructure projects—most of which are renewable energy, coastal restoration, and electricity transmission projects. She assists Federal agencies in developing and implementing comprehensive, project-specific timetables for all required infrastructure permitting reviews and authorizations for FAST-41 covered infrastructure projects, advancing the administration's infrastructure agenda to rebuild the economy.

Harada brings more than 25 years of leadership experience in the public and private sectors to the Permitting Council. Harada was most recently the Vice President for Government Affairs at Heliogen, a California-based renewable energy technology company. Previously, she served as the President of i(x) investments, a company focused on impact-driven investments in critical areas such as renewable energy, green real estate development, and accessible smart and sustainable housing. She was a Partner with Ridge-Lane Limited Partners, an advisory firm of experts in private sector innovation, investment capital, and government policy that works with companies pursuing social and environmental impact, along with financial performance.
 
As the former Federal Chief Sustainability Officer under President Barack Obama, Harada oversaw all federal sustainability-related initiatives in energy, vehicle fleets, and acquisitions. She also served as the Acting Chief of Staff, the Associate Administrator of Government-wide Policy, and Chief Acquisition Officer at the U.S. General Services Administration.
 
Harada has worked as a Senior Systems Engineer at Lockheed Martin and as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and Booz Allen Hamilton. She holds a master's degree in international studies from the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School at Penn. Additionally, she has a master's degree from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in aeronautics and astronautics.   

Laura Friedman
Assemblymember, 44th District; Chair, Transportation Committee
California State Legislature
Biography

Laura Friedman

Assemblymember, 44th District; Chair, Transportation Committee
California State Legislature
Laura Friedman was elected to the California State Assembly in November 2016 to represent the now 44th Assembly District, which encompasses the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and La Cañada Flintridge, as well as the communities of La Crescenta and Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Beachwood Canyon, Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Franklin Hills, and Silver Lake.   
 
Laura’s legislative work is focused in three primary areas: addressing the housing affordability and homelessness crisis, combating climate change, and protecting vulnerable communities.  During her time in the Assembly, Laura has secured $20 million in funding for the completion of the Glendale Riverwalk Project, and authored a package of bills to create new avenues for communities to tackle the affordable housing crisis, encourage water conservation, strengthen environmental sustainability, protect communities against devastating wildfires, improve access to higher education and health care, and ensure that California’s foster youth have the support that they need as they transition to adulthood. 
 
Laura has been tapped for several leadership roles in the legislature, including the Chair of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, Assistant Speaker pro Tempore for the Assembly, the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and the Chair of the Joint Rules Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response where she’s led a historic bicameral and bipartisan reform of the legislature’s response to sexual harassment that’s become a model for other states and local governments to follow.   
 
Long recognized as a steadfast advocate for the environment, sustainable communities, and active transportation, in 2020 she was appointed to serve as the Chair for the Assembly Committee on Transportation.  The Committee’s broad scope covers high-speed rail, California’s thousands of miles of roadways and transportation infrastructure, freight and regional transportation agencies, mobile sources of air pollution, fuels, mass transit, vehicles, aircraft, bicycles and pedestrian facilities, and vessels, as well as the California Department of Transportation and the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Laura’s appointment as Chair marks a shift towards forward-thinking policies such as investing in mass transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, zero-emission vehicles, road safety, and sustainability. 
 
In addition to her role at the helm of the Assembly Transportation Committee, Laura also serves as Chair of the bicameral Environmental Caucus, and as a member of the Assembly Committees on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media; Natural Resources; and Water, Parks, and Wildlife. 
Laura got her start in the private sector working as a film and television executive and producer after receiving her B.A. from the University of Rochester, New York.  In 2001, she launched her own web-based small business.  Building on her years of community service, she was elected to the Glendale City Council in 2009, served as Mayor from 2011 through 2012 and was re-elected in 2013.  
Steven Powell
President & CEO
Southern California Edison
Biography

Steven Powell

President & CEO
Southern California Edison

Steven Powell is president and chief executive officer of Southern California Edison, one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, safely delivering reliable, clean and affordable power to more than 15 million people in a 50,000-square-mile service area spanning Central, Coastal and Southern California. He is a member of SCE’s board of directors.

Previously, Powell served as executive vice president, Operations, where he led many of SCE’s operations groups — including Transmission & Distribution, Customer Service, Safety, Security, and Business Resiliency, and Operational Services.

Powell has held a variety of positions of progressing responsibility since joining the company in 2000, including senior vice president of Strategy, Planning and Operational Performance, where he developed SCE’s long-term strategy, identifying and executing strategic projects, prioritizing technology development, integrated resource planning and driving operational improvements. He has also held leadership positions in resource planning and strategy, gas and power procurement and SCE’s plug-in electric vehicle readiness efforts.

Powell serves as chair of the Research Advisory Committee for the Electric Power Research Institute, co-chair of the Edison Electric Institute Wildfire Task Force and is a representative for the Southern California Leadership Council, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Council, Western Electric Industry Leaders and is on the California Science Center Foundation board of trustees.

He has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles and received his MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Angelina Galiteva
Board Member
CAISO
Biography

Angelina Galiteva

Board Member
CAISO

Angelina M. Galiteva is the Founder and Board Chair of Renewables 100 Policy Institute, an organization dedicated to accelerating the global transition to 100% renewable energy for all sectors. In 2011 Governor Jerry Brown appointed Ms. Galiteva to the California Independent Systems Operator Board (CAISO), one of the largest transmission operators in the World. On October 2020 Angelina became the first Female Chair of the CAISO Board of Governors and in March 2023 Governor Newsom reappointed Ms. Galiteva to serve her 4th term on the Board. Over the last year, Ms. Galiteva has been leading California’s Statewide Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES) initiative focused on accelerating the decarbonization of the 4th largest economy. Angelina also serves as Chairperson of the World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE) and is a Founding Board Member of the Global Clean Energy Desalination Alliance. Ms. Galiteva is an expert in strategic issues related to renewable energy, new technology development and implementation, optimizing power system resiliency and efficiency, as well as overall sustainability and environmental policy programs for public and private entities. As such she is frequently sent as a US State Department representative expert on renewable energy and power grid resiliency and reliability issues. In addition, Ms. Galiteva is founder and principal of NEOptions, Inc., a renewable energy product and project development firm. Previously, Ms. Galiteva was the Executive Director of Strategic Planning for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), overseeing the utility's renewable energy program, she also worked at the New York Power Authority. Ms. Galiteva is an attorney with a JD Degree and Master’s in International and Energy Law. 

Angelina has overseen numerous utility scale renewable energy, bulk storage, combined heat and power project developments, including distributed generation and microgrid specific installations. She has experience structuring electric vehicle to grid programs, accelerating the development and deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell infrastructure as well as financing large scale renewable power project development both in the US and abroad. 

Ms. Galiteva holds a JD and LLM Degrees in Energy and Environmental Law from Pace University School of Law and is a globally recognized expert in the area of designing regulatory structures and programs to support the development of carbon free technologies and the transition to a reliable, resilient carbon free future.
 

Mark Pestrella
Director
Los Angeles County Public Works
Biography

Mark Pestrella

Director
Los Angeles County Public Works
Mark Pestrella is the Director of Los Angeles County Public Works. In this capacity, he serves as the County Engineer, the County Road Commissioner, and the Chief Engineer of the  Los Angeles County Flood Control District. With an annual budget of more than $2.7 billion and  a workforce of 4,000 employees, Los Angeles County Public Works is the largest municipal public  works agency in the United States, providing vital public infrastructure and civic services to more  than 10 million people across a 4,000-square-mile service area. Public Works’ diverse operations are defined within six core service areas: Water Resources, Transportation, Environmental Services, Construction Management, Developmental Services, and Emergency Management.  
 
Mr. Pestrella is a licensed civil engineer and a 34-year veteran of Public Works and has held a variety of management positions. He is a native of Southern California and attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in civil engineering with concentrations in structural engineering and water resource management.
 
Adel Hagekhalil
General Manager
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Biography

Adel Hagekhalil

General Manager
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

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

Siva Gunda
Vice Chair
California Energy Commission
Biography

Siva Gunda

Vice Chair
California Energy Commission

Commissioner Siva Gunda is serving his first term on the California Energy Commission.

Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Gunda in February 2021 to serve as the Energy Commission’s public member. Gunda was later appointed to Vice Chair in September 2021. He is the lead commissioner on energy assessments.

Gunda served as manager of the Demand Analysis Office and deputy director for the Energy Commission’s Energy Assessments Division. The division forecasts and assesses energy demands and supplies.

Before joining the Energy Commission, he served in a variety of capacities at the Energy Efficiency Institute at the University of California, Davis, including as the director of research, where he directed the institute’s operations and research portfolio.

He holds a master of science in mechanical and aeronautical engineering from Utah State University. Gunda is pursuing his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from UC Davis. He is a serious cricket fan and former captain of his college team. He lives with his family in Davis.

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. 

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

Felicia Marcus

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

Felicia Marcus is an attorney who has served in leadership and management positions in the government and non-profit sectors. She is currently the Landreth Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Water in the West Program and is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Felicia was most recently Chair of the California State Water Resources Control Board (working on issues of drought, groundwater management, water supply, drinking water, water quality and a host of other issues) after having served as Regional Administrator of the U.S. EPA Region IX and as head of the Los Angeles Department of Public Works in addition to senior leadership in national non-governmental organizations (NRDC and TPL).  She has experience as a private and public interest sector attorney and has worked on issues across the West spanning water supply, water rights, and water quality in addition to experience in other sectors like energy, toxics, and land use. She is also a member of the Water Policy Group, an international network of former and current high level water officials dedicated to assisting developing nations, a Board Member of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, which oversees the bulk electricity transmission grid for the Western US and parts of Canada and Mexico, and is also one of the three US members of the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation in addition to serving of many boards and advisory committees.

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

Mike Levin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Timothy McOsker
15th District
LA City Council
Biography

Timothy McOsker

15th District
LA City Council

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.

 

R. Rex Parris
Mayor
City of Lancaster
Biography

R. Rex Parris

Mayor
City of Lancaster

R. Rex Parris is a Lancaster, California native who was first elected as Mayor in 2008. Currently serving his fourth term, Parris’ leadership revolves around the overall well-being of Lancaster residents, with emphasis on public safety, crime reduction, community health and wellness, as well as community and civic pride; all of which have resonated well among citizens and constituents, in addition to gaining Parris nationwide recognition.

Upon taking office, Mayor Parris embarked on a mission to dramatically reduce Lancaster’s crime rate. As a result of his steadfast resolve, the City’s crime rate plummeted nearly 40% during his first three years in office. 

Community health and wellness issues are also a priority, having engaged Parris to work aggressively with City staff, the medical community, and faith-based organizations in Lancaster to foster a three-pronged approach to tackling total-health problems facing high-needs neighborhoods. The result is the addition of numerous Neighborhood Impact Homes, Wellness Homes and Community Gardens throughout the City. A new Lancaster Health District is also being cultivated to integrate healthcare services with active lifestyle amenities centered within a high-quality, mixed-use, health-oriented development.

Focused on community engagement, Parris was a catalyst for Lancaster’s downtown renaissance, which completely transformed the heart of the City into a massive cultural epicenter concentrated around The BLVD. The BLVD, which is home to the Lancaster Performing Arts Center (LPAC) and Museum of Art and History (MOAH), hosts a number of annual mega-events such as the Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix; as well as seasonal outdoor concerts, a weekly year-round farmers market, and a unique array of shopping and dining venues. The BLVD experience has contributed to Lancaster’s branding as a “Destination for the Senses.”

Demonstrating the City’s municipal fortitude and progressiveness, Parris has been at the forefront of repositioning Lancaster as a global leader in the field of alternative energy. His vision of making Lancaster the Alternative Energy Capital of the World, and his various successes in this endeavor, has garnered worldwide media attention. Under his auspices, Parris has led the City into forward-thinking unique partnerships with innovative organizations from all over the world. In August 2009, eSolar completed its 20-acre 5MW solar project in Lancaster, unveiling the nation’s first solar thermal power tower plant. China-based technology and manufacturing giant Build Your Dreams (BYD), one of the world’s largest suppliers of advanced battery technology, was paired with KB Home, one of the nation’s premier homebuilders, to create a never-before-attempted affordable solar-energy residential community. These relationships led to the establishment of many more residential solar communities and municipal solar ordinances, as well as Lancaster becoming home to BYD’s first North American electric bus manufacturing plant and battery storage facility.

While these and many other substantial collaborative efforts have fueled the ongoing success of Lancaster’s alternative energy achievements, perhaps most notable is the City’s inaugural footprint as a Community Choice Aggregator. With the establishment of Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE), residents and local businesses have been empowered to choose from a tier offering of renewable, cleaner energy sources at cost points more affordable than traditional power sources.

Mayor Parris’ tenacity for serving his community with a “can do” attitude has garnered many municipal “firsts,” including shepherding the City of Lancaster to becoming one of the world’s first Zero-Net Energy Cities.

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

Cecilia Estolano

CEO & Founder
Estolano Advisors and CEO of Better World Group

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

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

Rita Kampalath
Acting Chief Sustainability Officer
LA County Chief Sustainability Office
Biography

Rita Kampalath

Acting Chief Sustainability Officer
LA County Chief Sustainability Office

Rita joined the County of Los Angeles’s Chief Sustainability Office in June 2017 as a Sustainability Program Director for the office. She supports development and implementation of the County’s first sustainability plan, in addition to providing policy support for other County sustainability-related initiatives. In May 2022, she was appointed Acting Chief Sustainability Officer.  Prior to joining the County, Rita was the Science and Policy Director of the non-profit Heal the Bay where she oversaw advocacy and research projects related to water quality and water resources, and guided the development of Heal the Bay’s positions on a wide range of policy issues. Before joining Heal the Bay, Rita worked for Geosyntec Consultants on a range of water quality projects, primarily focusing on stormwater. Rita received a B.S. in chemical engineering from Columbia University, and an M.S. in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. in civil/environmental engineering from UCLA. 
 
 

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

Stephen Cheung

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

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

In 2023, Cheung was elevated to President and CEO after serving as Chief Operating Office and Executive Vice President of LAEDC, and continues in his concurrent role as President of World Trade Center Los Angeles, a title he has held since coming to the organization in 2014.  Prior to that, Cheung was the Secretary General and Managing Director of International Trade and Foreign Affairs for Los Angeles Mayors Eric Garcetti and Antonio Villaraigosa, and was responsible for managing policies and programs related to the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports, International Affairs,  Global Trade and Clean Technology. In these roles, he was the lead organizer for the Mayors’ previous international trade missions to Mexico, China, Korea, Japan, Colombia, Chile and Brazil.  Furthermore, Cheung implemented the city’s strategic plan to make Los Angeles a global capital of clean technology by building the infrastructure to support research, development and manufacturing with key partners.

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

Cheung currently sits on the Board of Advisors of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA Extension, Coro Southern California and Sister Cities of Los Angeles, while also serving on LA Metro’s Sustainability Council and Biz-Fed’s International Trade Committee. He also serves on the Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board.

Phillip Washington
CEO
Denver International Airport
Biography

Phillip Washington

CEO
Denver International Airport

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arnab Pal
Sr. Advisor & Consultant
US Department of Energy
Biography

Arnab Pal

Sr. Advisor & Consultant
US Department of Energy

Focused on the intersection of grid decarbonization, analytics, and economic development, I develop strategies and models for designing markets where societal benefits are accounted for alongside economic benefits, and where public funds are leveraged with private ones.

I use these strategies to facilitate sustainable infrastructure project deal flow by building stakeholder consensus, providing thought leadership, and influencing policy makers.

I passionately believe that projects that take advantage of these new market designs and deploy energy infrastructure projects will provide economic and environmental benefits to local communities around the world.

Derek Chernow
Western US Regional Director
Coalition for Community Solar Access
Biography

Derek Chernow

Western US Regional Director
Coalition for Community Solar Access

Derek Chernow is the Western Regional Director for the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA). Chernow previously served as Executive Director of the California Alternative Energy & Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA), where he led all operations for the California agency charged with financing clean energy projects to spur economic development. Before CAEATFA, he spent many years working in the California State Legislature, including in the CA Senate Budget Subcommittee on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy & Transportation and as a Chief of Staff for multiple members. He also held leadership positions advocating for clean energy and environmental protection including Acting Director at the California Department of Conservation. In his spare time, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Sacramento Tree Foundation.

Heather Repenning
Executive Officer of Sustainability Policy
LA Metro
Biography

Heather Repenning

Executive Officer of Sustainability Policy
LA Metro

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

David Brulotte
Delegate General of Los Angeles
Québec
Biography

David Brulotte

Delegate General of Los Angeles
Québec

David Brulotte was appointed Delegate General of Québec in Los Angeles on April 4, 2022. Previously, he represented the government of Québec in Japan for three years as Delegate General of Québec in Tokyo.
 
In June 2018, Mr. Brulotte was appointed Director for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East for Invest Québec (IQ), the province of Québec’s financing corporation and economic development agency. Based in Japan, Mr. Brulotte managed the operations of IQ’s offices in Japan, Korea, China, and India, as well as business development in the wider region.
 
Before his posting in Tokyo, he was based in Paris from 2014 to 2018 as the business development director for France, Italy, and Benelux in IQ’s Paris office. Prior to his role in Paris, Mr. Brulotte worked as a trade commissioner for over two years at the Québec Government Office in London.
 
Before joining the Québec civil service, he worked in disarmament affairs for the United Nations in Kathmandu, Nepal.
 
Mr. Brulotte speaks French, English, and Japanese. He studied in France and Singapore, holds a B.A. in political science from Université Laval, an M.A. in international studies and diplomacy from the University of London, and a certificate in management from the University of Oxford. He has been involved in cultural philanthropy in Québec and has represented Canada at the Triathlon World Championships in 2017. He was also an Ironman All World Athlete the same year. He received the Université Laval Foundation’s Raymond Blais distinction in 2015 and Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellowship in 2018.

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

Mary Nichols

Co-Chair
Commission on the Future of Mobility

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

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

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

Mario Cordero
Executive Director
Port of Long Beach
Biography

Mario Cordero

Executive Director
Port of Long Beach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nancy Sutley
Deputy Mayor of Energy & Sustainability
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Nancy Sutley

Deputy Mayor of Energy & Sustainability
City of Los Angeles

Prior to her role as Deputy Mayor of Energy and Sustainability, Nancy Sutley  served LADWP’s Senior Assistant General Manager of External and Regulatory Affairs, and the Chief Sustainability Officer. In this role, Ms. Sutley oversaw 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 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.

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.

Andrew McAllister
Commissioner
California Energy Commission
Biography

Andrew McAllister

Commissioner
California Energy Commission

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

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

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

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

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

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

John A. Pérez
Fmr. Speaker/Member
CA Assembly/UC Board of Regents
Biography

John A. Pérez

Fmr. Speaker/Member
CA Assembly/UC 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.

John Shegerian
Co-Founder & Executive Chairman
ERI
Biography

John Shegerian

Co-Founder & Executive Chairman
ERI

John Shegerian creates profitable impact companies that make the world a better place. A serial entrepreneur responsible for co-founding Homeboy Industries, FinancialAid.com, Engage, and many other impactful organizations – Shegerian currently serves as co-founder, Chairman and CEO of ERI, the largest cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction and electronic waste recycling company in the United States. 

Goldman Sachs recently named Shegerian one of the “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2021” at its annual Builders + Innovators Summit. He was also named one of the planet’s “Top 100 Recycling Stars” by Recycling International Magazine in back-to-back years (2021 and 2022).
 

 
John Withers
Board of Directors Member
Irvine Ranch Water District
Biography

John Withers

Board of Directors Member
Irvine Ranch Water District

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

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

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

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

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

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

Felicia Williams
Chair, Municipal Services Committee/Boardmember
City of Pasadena/Foothill Transit Board
Biography

Felicia Williams

Chair, Municipal Services Committee/Boardmember
City of Pasadena/Foothill Transit Board
Felicia Williams was born and raised in Pasadena and elected to the City Council in 2020. She represents District 2 which is the central part of the City. She currently represents the City as the Vice President of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority and on the Executive Board of Foothill Transit.  Prior to joining the Council, Felicia served on several City Commissions, including Chair of the Planning Commission Chair, Treasurer of the Pasadena Center Operating Company (Convention Center), Environmental Commission Chair, and Transportation Advisory Commission member. Her community involvement also includes serving on the Boards of Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley, Pasadena Educational Foundation, and Pasadena Police Foundation and Citizens Police Academy graduate, as well as being the Captain of her Neighborhood Watch.
 
Felicia has a 20+ year career in public policy and finance. She began her career at Kosmont & Associates in Los Angeles structuring financial redevelopment transactions for cities and processing land use approvals for large projects. After receiving her MBA, Felicia worked as an investment banker structuring corporate bonds/syndicated bank loans at Goldman Sachs, and municipal bonds at First Albany Capital, RBC Capital Markets, and PFM Financial Advisors. Felicia’s municipal finance work focused on property tax/assessment districts and environmental projects (water, sewer, solid waste, clean energy). Currently, Felicia owns a consulting firm working with municipal clients, mainly in Los Angeles County and San Gabriel Valley, on financing infrastructure projects and economic development.
Felicia received the 2021 NAACP Pasadena Branch 2021 Women of Distinction Community Award and was a 2022 Business Life Magazine Women Achievers Honoree. She attended Polytechnic School in Pasadena and received her B.A. from Stanford University in Public Policy, M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA, and M.B.A. from The University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
 

 

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

Zaib Shaikh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Katy Yaroslavsky

Chair, Energy & Environment Committee
LA City Council

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

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

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

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

 

Tom Soto
Founder
Latimer Partners, LLC
Biography

Tom Soto

Founder
Latimer Partners, LLC

I am a long-time investor in the impact sector. I was born & raised in East LA County & Pomona, California to two of the state’s most well-respected Latino Civil Rights leaders. My father was Assemblyman Phil Soto, the first Latino elected to the state legislature in 1962. My late mother was Nell Soto, my dad’s campaign manager & the mother to their six children. She was a long-time advocate supporting farm worker rights, the environment and labor. She too served the last ten years of her life as a member and leader in the California State Senate.
 

I have owned four PE funds, and now manage our family investment office, Latimer Partners, LLC with my husband of 18 years, Todd Soto. I’ve stood at the dovetail of energy, tech, cloud-based and IoT platforms, renewable energy, and over many Fourth Industrial Revolution-driven platforms where technology contributes to improving the human condition using AI, fintech, and blockchain, all while challenging LP’s and tech platforms to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion. Between contributing to climate change initiatives; Clean Air Act Standards and forcing the removal of diesel from municipal procurement processes across the country and the need to decarbonize our economy, this all to promote a political process and regulatory framework needed to establish a clean economy driving the planet into a future of prosperity and abundance.

I am the former Chairman of the New America Alliance, the national Latino business initiative seeking to increase access to capital for diverse fund managers; I am a founder and Vice Chair of the LA Clean Tech Incubator and Trustee of the California Science Center and Trustee of the NRDC. I'm also an appointee to the California Lithium Valley Commission. After selling my fund, Craton Equity Partners to TCW in 2013, I was the Managing Director of Alternatives at the $198b fund and was an Investment Committee Member of TCW Alternatives. Under mine and my colleagues’ leadership, the TCW alternatives platform grew from $300m in AUM to $10.3b in three years. I am a former member of the board of trustees of the Redwood Mutual Fund, owned by Aspiration where I am a former Sr. Advisor, the country’s fastest-growing online bank and financial services platform.

I am a two-time appointee of President Clinton and was the Team Lead for The Executive Office of the President’s Transition Team for the White House Council on Environmental Quality for President-Elect Obama and a founding member of the Executive Council for Clean Energy for Biden. We live in Los Angeles, with our thirteen year old son.

Judy Lai-Norling
Chief Operating Officer
Carbon Mapper
Biography

Judy Lai-Norling

Chief Operating Officer
Carbon Mapper

Judy Lai-Norling is Chief Operating Officer for Carbon Mapper responsible for overall operations and implementation.  Prior to Carbon Mapper, she spent 14 years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory with an array of experience in program management, spaceborne and airborne business development, project planning, systems engineering, and business management. Judy holds a M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Texas-Austin, M.S. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin Madison, and B.A. Mathematics and B.S. Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

Hilary Norton
Commissioner
California Transportation Commission
Biography

Hilary Norton

Commissioner
California Transportation Commission

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Martin Muoto
Founder and CEO
SoLa Impact
Biography

Martin Muoto

Founder and CEO
SoLa Impact

Martin Muoto is the CEO and Founder of SoLa Impact, a family of real-estate funds with a double bottom line strategy focused on developing high-quality affordable and workforce housing exclusively in Black and brown communities.  SoLa’s proven track record combines providing access to housing, access to education, access to opportunity, and access to ownership to positively impact both community and investor returns.  In 2022, SoLa raised its fourth fund, the Black Impact Fund, which will deploy over $1 billion in Los Angeles and across Southern California.  

SoLa Impact was ranked as the 7th fastest-growing minority-led private company on Inc. Magazine’s Inc500 list and was recognized as the leading Opportunity Zone fund in the country.  SoLa Impact’s funds have attracted a number of leading investors seeking yield while also committed to Diversity & Inclusion and delivering impact through ESG initiatives.    
Martin’s early vision – and his leadership among social impact real-estate funds – has led to Martin being featured in Forbes, Black Enterprise, the WSJ, the NYTimes, Bloomberg, BusinessWeek, and other leading publications.  

Martin was previously an operating executive at several technology companies and a venture capital partner at Accretive Partners and General Atlantic Partners in New York.  He graduated with Honors from the Wharton School of Business and the University of Pennsylvania.
 

Rick Cole
Chief Deputy Controller
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Rick Cole

Chief Deputy Controller
City of Los Angeles

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

James T. Butts
Mayor
Inglewood, CA
Biography

James T. Butts

Mayor
Inglewood, CA

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Effie Turnbull Sanders
Vice President
Civic Engagement & Economic Partnerships
Biography

Effie Turnbull Sanders

Vice President
Civic Engagement & Economic Partnerships

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.

 

 

 

Nurit Katz
Chief Sustainability Officer
UCLA
Biography

Nurit Katz

Chief Sustainability Officer
UCLA

UCLA's first Chief Sustainability Officer, Nurit Katz is working to foster partnerships among academic, research, and operational departments to facilitate creating a world class living laboratory for sustainability at UCLA. She also currently serves as Commissioner on the Board of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Nurit also served as Executive Officer for UCLA Facilities Management for six years and is an Instructor for UCLA Extension's Sustainability Certificate Program. Nurit is passionate about urban ecology and serves as the Outreach Coordinator for the LA Raptor Study. Nurit holds an MBA and a Masters in Public Policy from UCLA and a BA in Environmental Education from Humboldt State University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. 

Daniel A. Mazmanian
Fmr. Chair
USC's Presidential Working Group on Sustainable Education, Research, and Operations
Biography

Daniel A. Mazmanian

Fmr. Chair
USC's Presidential Working Group on Sustainable Education, Research, and Operations

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

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

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

Ana Bandea
Senior Commercial Executive
BloombergNEF
Biography

Ana Bandea

Senior Commercial Executive
BloombergNEF
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.

Hector De La Torre
Board Member
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Hector De La Torre

Board Member
California Air Resources Board

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

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

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

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

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

Catherine Reheis-Boyd
President
Western States Petroleum Association
Biography

Catherine Reheis-Boyd

President
Western States Petroleum Association

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thomas Aujero Small
President & CEO
Culver City Forward
Biography

Thomas Aujero Small

President & CEO
Culver City Forward
 
Thomas Aujero Small served as Mayor of Culver City from 2018-2019, during his four-year term as a Culver City Council Member (2016-2020). He is also Chair of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (LA METRO) Sustainability Council, and on the Transportation Policy Committee of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). On the Culver City Council, he served on several Subcommittees, including: the General Plan Update; Economic Development; Mobility, Traffic and Parking; Financial Planning and Budget; and the Ballona Creek Revitalization Task Force.

Small’s work with the city focused on excellence in urban planning, sustainable design and mobility, including initiating and leading the Transit Oriented District Visioning process. He led efforts 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 represented the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus of the League of California Cities on their Housing and Economic Development Policy Committee. At a national level, he has participated in the US Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities, the New American Leaders and Local Progress, all based in Washington, D.C.

He has been featured in the New York Times, the LA Times, NPR and the Washington Post, and on CNBC. He is often invited to speak internationally, including recent keynotes at the International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure with the American Society of Civil Engineers, and for the RAND Corporation at the international conference on Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty. As an architectural writer and consultant, he worked on projects in urban and sustainable design and planning, development and historic preservation in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He moderated design award juries in New York and Copenhagen, and taught Sustainability for Organizational Change at UCLA. He studied at Yale, the University of Paris, and the Columbia School of Journalism, and speaks four languages. He lives with his wife Joanna Brody, and their two children and two giant sheep dogs, in the sustainably designed, often published Culver City home that they built in 2007.

 

Randall Winston
Deputy Mayor for Infrastructure
Office of City of LA Mayor Karen Bass
Biography

Randall Winston

Deputy Mayor for Infrastructure
Office of City of LA Mayor Karen Bass

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

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

Shun Sakaguchi
Director, Business Development - US West Coast
Bloomberg NEF
Biography

Shun Sakaguchi

Director, Business Development - US West Coast
Bloomberg NEF

Shun leads all West Coast Sales efforts and growth strategy for the full BloombergNEF service portfolio, with a focus on Enterprise Business Development and Event Sponsorship.

BloombergNEF (BNEF) is a strategic research provider covering global commodity markets and the disruptive technologies driving the transition to a low-carbon economy. Our expert coverage assesses pathways for the power, transport, industry, buildings and agriculture sectors to adapt to the energy transition and sustainability. We help commodity trading, corporate strategy, finance and policy professionals navigate change and generate opportunities.

Marcie Edwards
Fmr. General Manager
LADWP
Biography

Marcie Edwards

Fmr. General Manager
LADWP

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

Simon Bluestone, PG, BCES
Vice President
Stantec
Biography

Simon Bluestone, PG, BCES

Vice President
Stantec

Simon Bluestone is a Vice President, Account Manager and Growth Leader for Stantec’s Environmental Services business in the Western US.  He collaborates with Stantec’s business leaders in the Water, Buildings, Infrastructure, Energy and Resources business lines to help clients create sustainable, resilient, and equitable communities, while achieving their project objectives.  Simon has over 3 decades of experience delivering large scale, multi-disciplinary projects, and major programs for clients across sectors and geographies. Simon’s expertise is in delivering solutions throughout the project lifecycle, from acquisition due diligence, to integration, permitting/planning, design, construction, and operational excellence. He’s an American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists Board Certified Environmental Scientist, a Coro Executive Fellow and a California Professional Geologist with dual bachelor’s degrees from UCSB in Aquatic Biology and Geology (1986) and a master’s degree in environmental management from the University of San Francisco (1992).

Simon has practiced as a consulting environmental scientist, hydrogeologist and engineering geologist and held increasingly complex project and program management, and operational leadership roles.  He spent 9 years working in Europe, Africa the Middle East and India, in project delivery, regional client service management and then corporate strategy and operational leadership functions, before repatriating to California in 2005, where he led the energy and industry business operations in the Western US.  Simon also serves as an inaugural Director and Treasurer for the non-profit Infrastructure Funding Alliance.  Simon is committed to growing Stantec’s professional services business by delivering outcomes for his clients that make them successful.  He believes in building partnerships and alliances across sectors to benefit our communities.

Simon resides in Pasadena, California with his wife and is the proud father of two college aged daughters.
 

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.

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

A.G. Kawamura

Founder and Chair
Solutions from the Land

A.G. Kawamura is a third generation produce grower and shipper from Orange County, California. From 2003 to 2010 he served as the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.  He is founding co-chair of Solutions from the Land (solutionsfromtheland.org), a nationally recognized non-profit that is developing innovative and sustainable climate smart collaborations for 21st century agriculture.  He serves on multiple boards and advisory committees including the Farm Foundation Board; Western Growers Board and former Chair; Ag Advisory Committee for the Chicago Council; Bipartisan Policy Center, Ag & Forestry task force; Southern California Water Coalition, Executive Committee.

For over 40 years Mr. Kawamura has pursued a lifelong goal to work towards an end to hunger and malnutrition. Locally, he is founding chair of Solutions For Urban Ag (SFUA.org).  He has worked closely with Regional Food Banks and stakeholders to create exciting urban ag projects that focus on nutrition, hunger, education and advanced food systems.  As a progressive farmer, Mr. Kawamura has a lifetime of experience working within the shrinking rural and urban boundaries of Southern California.  A.G. graduated with a BA from UC Berkeley and was a member of Class XX of the Calif. Ag Leadership Program.  
 

Keith Lilley
Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works
Biography

Keith Lilley

Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works
Keith Lilley is the Deputy Director of Los Angeles County Public Works Water Resources core service area.  Keith is responsible for managing the Los Angeles County Flood Control District and the Los Angeles County Waterworks Districts.  He also oversees the County’s Safe, Clean Water Program and stormwater quality compliance efforts within the County unincorporated areas. 
With an annual budget of more than $3.6 billion and a workforce of 4,000 employees, Los Angeles County Public Works is the largest municipal public works agency in the United States, providing vital public infrastructure and civic services to more than 10 million people across a 4,000-square-mile service area. 
Keith has over 30 years of Public Works experience in developing and implementing programs and civil infrastructure projects to enhance the communities of Los Angeles County. 
Keith is a licensed Civil Engineer in the State of California.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Louisiana State University and a Certificate in Engineering Management for Construction from the University of California, Los Angeles
Myrna Bittner
CEO and Co-Founder
RUNWITHIT Synthetics
Biography

Myrna Bittner

CEO and Co-Founder
RUNWITHIT Synthetics

Myrna Bittner is the CEO and Co-Founder of RUNWITHIT Synthetics, an advanced data modelling and visualization company helping to answer some of the most challenging questions about decarbonization, sustainability, equity, resilience, and growth initiatives globally.   Myrna is passionate about connecting today's technology, policy, and infrastructure choices to data about the impacts and outcomes for people and our planet.  

Last year, 7 years after incorporation, the growing RUNWITHIT team celebrated numerous international awards, including the United Nation’s Global Call for Decarbonization, Taiwan’s Top Technology Gold Medal, Toyota Mobility Foundation’s City Architecture of Tomorrow Challenge, NATO’s Space Awareness, USAF’s AFWERX Showcase, Airbus Defence “Beyond Net-Zero," along with the “Most Edmonton” YEG Startup Company.  RUNWITHIT is a women-led, Certified Aboriginal Business, with a GBA+ Certified team of diverse and talented 3D animators, designers, and scientists in social, data, computing, and engineering disciplines. 

Naoki Hara
President & CEO
JFE Engineering America, Inc.
Biography

Naoki Hara

President & CEO
JFE Engineering America, Inc.

Naoki Hara was appointed President & CEO of JFE Engineering America in 2017 after serving over two decades as a marketing and business development specialist. His objectives included implementing JFE Engineering’s cutting-edge technologies in the energy utilization business fields in both Southeast Asian countries and the United States. Naoki has high aspirations towards the realization of a decarbonized society, and for JFE’s technological capabilities to contribute and play a leading role in the business arena. In order to achieve those missions, he is committed to bringing together the collective strength of the JFE Group, one of the largest steel conglomerates in Japan, which consists of comprehensive engineering, steel manufacturing, trading, as well as a large shipbuilding firm. JFE Engineering has recently announced their investment of over four million US dollars in monopile transition materials factory of offshore wind turbines in Japan which is geared towards making JFE one of the leading carbon-neutral companies. He graduated from Keio University and holds a degree in Master of Business Administration, as well as a degree from Syracuse University (Maxwell School), New York. His office is located in Long Beach, which is one of the largest harbors on the west coast USA. 

Brian Jordan
Vice President
Tetra Tech
Biography

Brian Jordan

Vice President
Tetra Tech

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

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

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

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

Janna Sidley
Board Member/Partner
LACERS/Ichor Strategies
Biography

Janna Sidley

Board Member/Partner
LACERS/Ichor Strategies

Recently retired, Janna Sidley was honored to serve as the first female general counsel for the Port of Los Angeles for over nine years. Ms. Sidley’s career with the City of Los Angeles began in 2003. 

In addition to Ms. Sidley’s work with LA, she serves as a Commissioner of the California Milton Marks “Little Hoover” Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy, appointed in 2016 by Governor Brown and reappointed by Governor Newsom. 

Ms. Sidley was honored in 2020 as a member of Lawyers of Distinction and in 2019 received a Leader in the Law award from the Los Angeles Business Journal. 

Ms. Sidley holds a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School and a Bachelor of Arts, Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Lex Heslin
CEO
Enso Infrastructure, LLC
Biography

Lex Heslin

CEO
Enso Infrastructure, LLC

Lex Heslin is CEO of ENSO Infrastructure, a developer and investor in green infrastructure projects focused on decarbonization. He also serves as Senior Project Developer for Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI), a global engineering and cleantech company with anaerobic digestion (AD) and other projects to produce green electricity, renewable natural gas, and hydrogen. Mr. Heslin has extensive experience in energy and waste, advising leading institutional investors, private equity, and governments in developing green energy solutions. As an advisor to the City of Lancaster, California, Mr. Heslin has championed efforts to transform Lancaster into the first U.S. municipality to commit to hydrogen, creating a 10-year hydrogen roadmap to convert city facilities and fleets to hydrogen, encourage hydrogen-tech investment, and plan participation in large-scale hydrogen generation, storage, and distribution. ENSO is also the program manager of the U.S. Department of Energy’s H2 Twin Cities Mentor/Mentee program, announced in Egypt in November 2022 at COP 27, between Lancaster, Hawai’i County and Namie town (Fukushima, Japan).

Mr. Heslin arranged Lancaster’s partnership with Namie, Japan for the first Smart Sister City program promoting mutual assistance in hydrogen advancement in July 2021. As the previous founder and CEO of Beautiful Earth Group, a solar, wind and hydro IPP, Mr. Heslin’s views have evolved to support rapid advancement of hydrogen believing that profound global decarbonization requires a mix of both electron- and molecule-based solutions. Prior to ENSO and HZI, he spent 30 years and participated in more than $8.0 billion in project and structured financing, development, and infrastructure investment at Sanwa Bank in Tokyo, then in New York at Goldman Sachs and as President of Capital Holdings. Mr. Heslin holds a BA from Emory, an MBA from Mercer, an MSc from the London School of Economics (where he received the Rotary International scholarship), and he received a Monbusho Scholarship for post-graduate study in international economics at Seikei University in Tokyo.
 

Hillel Newman
Consul General
Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Southwest
Biography

Hillel Newman

Consul General
Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Southwest
Dr. Hillel Newman assumed the post of Consul General of Israel in July 2019, where he serves as the senior representative of the State of Israel to the Pacific Southwest.
 
During his twenty-year diplomatic service, Consul General Newman accumulated vast experience in policy formulation and decision-making at the highest levels of Israel's foreign policy establishment. He has served in several influential and critical positions including Policy Advisor to three Foreign Ministers of Israel and Ambassador of Israel to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
 
Before he joined the diplomatic service, he attained a Ph.D. in Jewish History, and served as a professor of Jewish history, teaching graduate courses at Bar Ilan University and Boston University. He has authored and published a book on Jewish sectarianism during the Hellenistic and Roman period. For the past five years, he has also served as a key lecturer on Judaism in the NATO Defense College.
 
Most recently, Consul General Newman served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as both Special Policy Advisor to the Director General and as Director of the World Jewish Affairs Department. He has been intimately involved in the most current and pressing issues confronting global Jewry.
Previously, Consul General Newman served also in the Strategic Division of the Ministry, playing a key role in coordinating efforts related to strategic threats facing the State of Israel.
As Ambassador to the Republics of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, both Muslim countries, he promoted political, business and security ties with these countries. He also initiated several projects and agreements in the fields of medicine, education, agriculture and humanitarian aid.
 
Consul General Newman first became familiar with the United States while serving as Deputy Consul General in Boston, to the New England Region between 2001-2005. He engaged in diverse public diplomacy efforts, conducted briefings on political and security issues and took a special interest in building inter-faith and inter-ethnic relations.
Consul General Newman made Aliyah with his family from South Africa, served as a medic in the IDF and is married to Ayala. The couple have a ten-year-old son, Ram.
 
His favorite hobbies are reading, nature tours, sporting events and scuba diving.
Jonathan Weisgall
Vice President, Government Relations
Berkshire Hathaway Energy
Biography

Jonathan Weisgall

Vice President, Government Relations
Berkshire Hathaway Energy

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

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

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

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

Coby Skye
Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works
Biography

Coby Skye

Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works

Coby Skye is Deputy Director of the Los Angeles Public Works Environmental Services Core Service Area. Coby has responsibility for the Environmental Programs, Sewer Maintenance and Fleet Management business areas.

With an annual budget of more than $3.6 billion and a workforce of 4,000 employees, Los Angeles County Public Works is the largest municipal public works agency in the United States, providing vital public infrastructure and civic services to more than 10 million people across a 4,000-square-mile service area. 

Coby has 24 years of experience with Public Works in the field of environmental programs, including environmental policy, solid waste management and recycling programs.

Coby is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of California. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Polytechnic University in New York and a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University, Long Beach.

William Funderburk
Sr. Consultant
PermaCity Foundation
Biography

William Funderburk

Sr. Consultant
PermaCity Foundation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Jimmy Chen
Managing Director
SECA - Stanford Energy Corporate Affiliates, Precourt Institute for Energy
Biography

Dr. Jimmy Chen

Managing Director
SECA - Stanford Energy Corporate Affiliates, Precourt Institute for Energy

Jim Chen leads a number of energy programs at Stanford Energy, including Stanford’s new Hydrogen Initiative; Stanford’s energy storage initiative, StorageX; and Stanford’s integrated energy program, Stanford Energy Corporate Affiliates (SECA). Dr. Chen was also the founding Managing Director of Bits & Watts, Stanford’s initiative focusing on the grid of the 21st century, launched in 2016.

Dr. Chen is enthusiastic about the global energy transformation and building a more sustainable society through innovation. At Stanford, Dr. Chen creates and expands impactful global communities of practice that enable industrial-academic-government collaboration in energy research and scale-up. Dr. Chen is also a leader in Stanford Energy’s global events including its regional roundtables and Global Energy Forum. Finally, Dr. Chen is deeply involved in Stanford’s innovation ecosystem, advising student groups, start-up companies, and accelerators. Dr. Chen’s research interests include hydrogen, energy storage, the circular economy, decarbonizing transportation, and integrated energy systems. Dr. Chen’s teaching roles include lecturing for Stanford’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and for Stanford Energy’s Hydrogen Economy Seminar.
Dr. Chen is passionate about global energy entrepreneurship and innovation. He works with energy agencies around the world promoting global collaboration, accelerating innovation, and sparking entrepreneurship. He also serves on a number of advisory councils, including on EPRI and GTI’s Low Carbon Research Initiative’s (LCRI) technical advisory board.

Dr. Chen came to Stanford University after 25 years in industry, bringing a broad background in energy and technology, with a specialization in technology and product development. He has held technical positions at Lawrence Berkeley Labs, GTE Labs, IBM, and AT&T Bell Labs, as well as technology executive positions at both starts-ups and Fortune 500 companies, including FormFactor and Eaton.

Dr. Chen received a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and MS from the University of California, Berkeley — both in materials science and engineering — and holds a BS from the University of California, Berkeley in electrical engineering.

Karen Boutros
Principal
CPP Investments
Biography

Karen Boutros

Principal
CPP Investments

Karen Boutros is a Principal in CPP Investments’ Sustainable Energies Group (“SEG”) based in Toronto and has been with the organization for over 9 years. Karen was initially part of the Infrastructure team, where she focused on energy and utilities investments globally.  Subsequently, Karen was involved in the stand-up and initial investments for CPP Investments’ Power & Renewables group, which was the predecessor for SEG. Having completed numerous transactions in the onshore renewables space globally, Karen has more recently turned her attention to offshore wind and was the deal lead for CPP Investments’ investment in Golden State Wind, alongside Ocean Winds. Prior to joining CPPIB, Karen was an attorney in the Infrastructure group at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in New York, NY, focusing on Project Finance and private M&A transactions.  Karen graduated from Harvard Law School in 2011 and holds a degree in International Affairs from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Mike Wallace
Chief Decarbonization Officer
Persefoni
Biography

Mike Wallace

Chief Decarbonization Officer
Persefoni

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

Tak Yokoo
Founder and Chair
Japan Hydrogen Forum
Biography

Tak Yokoo

Founder and Chair
Japan Hydrogen Forum

Served Toyota Motor North America R&D for more than 40 years. His background includes managing suitability testing of advanced powertrain configurations in North America, coordinating the development of new or improved alternate powertrain system controls for Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicles (FCHV), Gasoline Hybrid Vehicles (HEV), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV). Also includes strategic planning focusing on technologies that enable sustainable transportation systems.

Starting in 2015, his responsibilities have been extended to large-scale Fuel Cell powertrain feasibility in North America. He built the world's first OEM Fuel Cell heavy-duty truck. From 2017 to 2022, the truck was placed in the Port of Los Angeles drayage operation. It served around 20,000 ZERO EMISSION miles before completing its proof-of-concept program.

He became the 1st chairperson of the Japan Hydrogen Forum (JH2F) founded in 2021. He leads many Japanese affiliate Hydrogen business expert companies that promote US decarbonization business. The forum is supported by the Japanese government, such as the Japan External Trade Organization and the Consulate-general of Japan.

 

He also serves Stanford University's Precourt Institute for Energy (part of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability) Hydrogen Initiative as an Advisory Council.

Mr. Yokoo earned a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Hosei University, Japan, then began his career at Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) in 1981. He moved to Toyota Technical Center USA (TTC) in 1990 to begin his new career in the US, where he was responsible for managing suitability testing and development of gasoline powertrain control systems in North America.

Nate Baguio
Senior VP of Commercial Development
The Lion Electric Co.
Biography

Nate Baguio

Senior VP of Commercial Development
The Lion Electric Co.

Nate Baguio has been working in the transportation industry for over 30 years. His career has taken him from behind the wheel of a school bus to launching the largest deployment of heavy-duty electric vehicles in North America.

Currently, he is working to electrify the transportation industry as Senior Vice President of Commercial Development for one of the nation’s leading EV manufacturers, The Lion Electric Co. Since joining Lion in 2018, he has helped position Lion as the leader in electric school bus deployments across North America. Baguio is leading the Commercial Development team in warming markets in target states across the United States, advocating stakeholders and policy makers to fund more money into the EV industry, and helping Lion attain more of the available funding for both Lion’s bus and truck lines. His work has contributed to Lion’s exponential growth in the market and position as a policy leader in the EV industry.

In 1990, he started in the student transportation industry managing operations for Ryder Student Transportation Services. In this position, he had overall responsibility for the startup and deployment of school bus operations across the State of California. His time in operations was highlighted by the management of over 330 employees and the management of over 300 school bus routes for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Baguio spent time working on various transit projects in Los Angeles County. He was part of the team that opened segment three of the Redline subway to 500,000 riders on opening weekend and worked to complete an $800-Million, 14-mile segment of light rail from Los Angeles to Pasadena (first segment of the Metro Gold Line). He was part of the team that designed and implemented a comprehensive safety project along the Metro Blue Line corridor in response to 16 fatalities in a single year. The first year of project implementation had an immediate impact with zero fatalities that year.

He returned to school transportation in 2005 as Senior Director of Business Development for First Student, Inc., the largest school bus operator in North America. In this role, he worked with school districts across the country to renew their contracted service or start new contracted school bus service. He led efforts that resulted in new contracted service across the U.S. and placed over 1,000 new school buses in service of various types and from most of the major OEMs for these new contracts. 

Baguio is proud to not only provide a healthy breathing environment to students, drivers, technicians, and communities, but to also help educate the industry on the favorable economics of operating zero emission, electric medium and heavy-duty vehicles. He is determined to impact as many people across North America as possible to join in the fight for environmental justice and help create a cleaner, safer world.

Philip Allsopp
CEO
Orbis Dynamics
Biography

Philip Allsopp

CEO
Orbis Dynamics

Phil’s role as the CEO of ORBIS Dynamics is to drive the company’s vision and, with its multidisciplinary leadership team, develop groundbreaking 3D visualization and simulation software for the unmet needs of urban professionals and policymakers in public and private sectors globally. The company’s primary goal is to deliver and curate new generations of geospatial simulation software that inspire and enable collaborative discovery for better, more livable urban futures. Phil’s continuing professional work and research has been focused on the application of complex and adaptive systems for improving the spatial DNA of cities, addressing ballooning ecological, social, and economic crises arising from urban growth and intensifying climate challenges. Based on this work, he was appointed by Arizona State University as a Senior Scientist with its Global Futures Laboratory. Phil has been an international keynote speaker on healthy cities, smart cities, and on the ways and means for reshaping urban infrastructures for improving wellbeing and reducing the social and economic burden of chronic disease.

After completing his education in Architecture at Kingston University, London and becoming a licensed architect, he conducted post graduate research at the University of Wales in environmental physics and energy conservation. Phil went on to serve with Britain’s National Health Service in Oxford as a senior architect on a team designing flat-packed “kit” construction methods for hospitals and developing computational design and analytic systems for built environments and digital mapping applications. For his work, Phil received a Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Award which took him to Columbia University in New York where he completed an M.S. in Health Services Planning & Design with specialized research into the spatial DNA of health facilities and its influence on operational performance and costs. He then served as a US Public Health Service Fellow working with the Office of the Surgeon General in Washington DC on emerging medical technologies and their system wide clinical and economic impacts on public and private health care programs.

In the private sector, Phil has worked in the fields of architecture and urban design, system dynamics, 3D Software systems (BIM + GIS), & health care management consulting and analytic services. Phil’s leadership experience includes practice directorships and officer roles at Electronic Data Systems, A.T. Kearney, and Perkins & Will, and CEO roles with the US health insurance industry (large scale health care data analytics and visualization systems), and with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation based at Taliesin West in Scottsdale.

Before joining ORBIS Dynamics, Phil worked extensively with the Gila River Indian Community, its members, Elders and former President, Mary Thomas on tribal challenges encompassing inadequate rural and urban housing, chronic disease, and disconnected youth. Phil also served as a Commissioner for the City of Scottsdale’s General Plan 2035 and is assisting with the City’s current Sustainability Planning initiatives. He is a Board member of the Mesa Preservation Foundation and serves the Board of the Royal Institute of British Architects USA as its Past President. Phil and his wife, Lauren, and their Border Collie, Jack, live in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Rusty Hicks
Chair
California Democratic Party
Biography

Rusty Hicks

Chair
California Democratic Party

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

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

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

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

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

Gail Goldberg
Boardmember
Metropolitan Water District Board
Biography

Gail Goldberg

Boardmember
Metropolitan Water District Board

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

Robert Lempert

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

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

Gideon Kracov
Governor's Appointee
California Air Resources Board/South Coast AQMD
Biography

Gideon Kracov

Governor's Appointee
California Air Resources Board/South Coast AQMD

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

Mr. Kracov was appointed to the California Air Resources Board by Governor Gavin Newsom in December 2020. He also serves as the Governor’s appointee to the South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board responsible for improving air quality in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The region is home to more than 17 million people.
Previously, Mr. Kracov served as a Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney where he counseled the Departments of Planning and Sanitation. Before his public sector work, Mr. Kracov practiced at Rose, Klein & Marias LLP, a trial law firm. There he handled toxic tort and environmental matters that helped shape these areas of the law. Mr. Kracov started his legal career at the prominent Los Angeles firm Weston, Benshoof LLP (now Alston & Bird LLP), where his practice involved environmental tort defense for Fortune 500 clients.

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

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

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

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

Josh Newman
Senator, 29th District
California State Senate
Biography

Josh Newman

Senator, 29th District
California State Senate

I grew up on the East Coast, in New York State, in a little city called Poughkeepsie, about an hour and half north up the Hudson River from New York City.  My dad was a general surgeon who did emergency room work in two local hospitals in addition to his practice, specializing in veins and arteries.  My mom was active in community affairs and served as the President of our local school district when I was in middle school, and eventually as mayor of my little home town after my sister and I had graduated from college and moved away.

After graduation from Yale University, where I majored in History with a focus on 20th Century politics and government, I served as an artillery officer in the United States Army, with duty assignments with a nuclear weapons unit in South Korea and a conventional artillery battalion in the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii. 

I relocated to California from Hawaii following the completion of my active duty military service obligation.  My professional experience since then has included work in local government, public affairs and marketing, film and television production, and Internet media technology.

In 2012, I founded an initiative, ArmedForce2Workforce,to assist young military veterans in the pursuit of rewarding, career-oriented employment following the completion of their own military service and return to the Greater Los Angeles/Orange County area.  That work, and my frustration with the lack of progress and support from various levels of government in doing right by the young men and women who had bravely served us during a time of true national need, led to my decision to run for public office.

In 2016, I ran a successful grassroots campaign for the California State Senate, focused on a message of service, common sense, and accountability on behalf of the residents of the 16 cities across three counties in California’s 29th Senate District.

As their representative to the State Senate, I successfully guided more than 20 pieces of legislation that supported veteran services and mental health resources, improved local schools, helped businesses create jobs, and protected open space. 

As a public servant, I pride myself on being active, accessible, and accountable, unafraid to put constituents over politics and working families ahead of special interests. 

My wife Darcy and I live in Fullerton with our young daughter and four weird but lovable rescue Chihuahuas.

Ram Ramaseshan
SVP and Geo Head - Americas
Tata Elxsi
Biography

Ram Ramaseshan

SVP and Geo Head - Americas
Tata Elxsi

Member of Tata's North American leadership team, Ram is responsible for Tata Elxsi's overall presence, business and operations in the America's region. As the Geo-Head of Tata Elxsi and P&L responsible, Ramaseshan's role is building, leading and directing strategy, revenue growth and profitability, through an engaged team of business leaders. Responsible for business and growth for the region in all the industry sectors that Tata Elxsi focuses on viz., Automotive, Broadcast & Media, Communications, Consumer Products, Healthcare and Semiconductors.

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

 

Gunjan Bagla
CEO
Amritt, Inc.
Biography

Gunjan Bagla

CEO
Amritt, Inc.

Gunjan Bagla is CEO of Amritt Inc. a consulting firm that has a 20-year track record of building trade, technology and trust between USA and India. Executives from companies such as Boeing, Bose, Clorox, Digikey, Flex, Hewlett Packard, Medtronic. Nordic Naturals and Roche have benefited from Gunjan and Amritt’s expertise and insights on India.  In the green energy space. Westinghouse Nuclear hired Amritt the week after the 123 Civil Nuclear Energy was signed between India and the USA; Amritt also took smaller nuclear ecosystem suppliers such as Structural Integrity and Underwater Construction to meet India’s nuclear energy utility. Amritt was also hired by the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries to plan and guide a trade mission to India.

Gunjan has been quoted about business with India in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Washington Post, and New York Times and has appeared on Bloomberg TV, BBC TV and Fox Business in addition to NPR station KCRW. Gunjan writes about business with India for the Harvard Business Review and many trade publications and often speaks at local and global events about India.

Gunjan earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and an MBA with honors from Southern Illinois University.  He is the Past President of IIT Alumni and co-founder of India International Impact. Find him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/gunjan/ and @bagla on Twitter.

Ed Othmer
Vice President, North America Wet Weather Sector
Stantec
Biography

Ed Othmer

Vice President, North America Wet Weather Sector
Stantec

Ed Othmer, PE, CPESC, CPSWQ, QSP/D ToR, QISP ToR, ENV SP, PMP is Vice President, North America Wet Weather Sector for Stantec and has more than 30 years of engineering experience as a stormwater practitioner. Ed is a registered civil engineer in California and maintains a variety of other certifications. Ed received his Master’s in Civil Engineering from Tufts University. During the past 10 years, Ed has focused his expertise helping clients develop ways to capture and use stormwater and urban runoff as a resource. 

Ed teaches stormwater classes for many organizations including the UCSD Extension Program. Ed also serves as the Past President and Board Member of the Industrial Environmental Association, Chair of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Sustainability & Industry Committee, a San Diego State University Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering Faculty Advisory Board Member, Storm Water Solutions Magazine Editorial Advisory Board Member, and Friends of the Los Angeles River Board Member. Additionally, Ed has and continues to serve on many technical advisory committees including the Construction General Permit Training Steering Committee, and the City of San Diego Alternative Compliance Technical Advisory Committee.

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

Matt Horton

Director, Center for Regional Economics & California Center
Milken Institute/Accelerator for America

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.

Minh Le
General Manager
Los Angeles County Internal Services Department
Biography

Minh Le

General Manager
Los Angeles County Internal Services Department

Minh Le serves as the General Manager for Energy and Environmental Services for the County of Los Angeles’ Internal Service Department.  His team manages the County’s energy assets as well as regional energy programs.  Prior to this role, he served at the Office of Management and Budget and US Department of Energy where he led the SunShot Initiative.  Minh also worked in the private sector in solar and semiconductor manufacturing. He earned his SM and SB degrees from MIT.

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

Samantha Bricker

Chief Sustainability and Revenue Management Officer
Los Angeles World Airports

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

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

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

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

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

Ruben Aronin
Senior Vice President
Better World Group
Biography

Ruben Aronin

Senior Vice President
Better World Group

Ruben leads the Better World Group’s clean transportation campaigns in California and in more than a dozen states across the country. He also oversees a growing practice of equity-focused policy advocacy and communications strategies for zero emission vehicle pilot projects and initiatives. His demonstrated commitment to developing and scaling solutions to create a clean economy has yielded enduring relationships with a vast network of stakeholders from the nonprofit, media, government, philanthropy, and private sectors.

Ruben managed and led the Clean Cars Coalition to successfully win California’s adoption of the Advanced Clean Cars II regulation that will require 100% of new cars sold in California to be zero emission by 2035. Ruben architected the campaign with a diverse coalition of dozens of advocacy organizations including labor, health, consumer, equity, business and environmental organizations. The campaign successfully influenced the California Air Resources Board to strengthen the rule and incorporate equity provisions. 

Ruben is also leading a national effort to support states across the country to adopt California’s first-in-the-nation zero emission clean car and clean truck regulations. Additionally, he is leading a diverse coalition of more than 70 organizations to support California’s adoption of the Advanced Clean Fleets rule that would require 100% of new truck sales to be zero emission by 2036.

Ruben also has created and managed highly effective coalition campaigns to support passage of climate bills and regulations and to win passage of $10 billion dollars in California state funding for zero emission vehicle incentives and infrastructure that prioritizes benefits for frontline communities. He leads the outreach and policy work for Southern California’s Clean Transportation Funding programs and is the director of the California Business Alliance for a Clean Economy -- a statewide alliance of California business leaders who support strong and equitable climate policies. Previously, he led a multi-state campaign opposing the Trump administration’s rollback of clean car standards, co-authored a report on electric vehicle incentives and contributed to several clean truck and clean cars studies. 

Throughout his career, Ruben has worked extensively with nonprofits and foundations to create strategic plans and marketing and communications tools such as the Red Carpet/Green Cars Academy Awards initiative for Global Green, the Little Green Fingers community gardens initiative for First 5 LA and the LA Conservation Corps and the Founders Business Accelerator program for the LA Cleantech Incubator. He also has developed an annual corporate philanthropy program and provided strategic guidance to philanthropic leaders including the Southern California Grantmakers Association, Energy Foundation, Pisces Foundation, and the Water Foundation about ways to best implement their priorities.

Prior to joining Better World Group, Ruben served as the Director of Communications and Corporate Relations for Global Green USA, founded by President Gorbachev. He helped lead an innovative green rebuilding effort in New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina and developed a national green schools initiative. Before Global Green, he ran the Earth Communications Office (ECO), a Hollywood-based national nonprofit organization.

Ruben serves on the Advisory Board for the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and the Advisory Committee for the California Energy Commission’s Clean Transportation Program Investment Plan. He was selected to be an inaugural CORO Lead LA Fellow and recently completed service on the KCET/PBS SoCal Advisory Board where he successfully relaunched their Local Heroes initiative. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. 
 

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.

David Vela
Board of Trustees President
The Los Angeles Community College District
Biography

David Vela

Board of Trustees President
The Los Angeles Community College District

A Los Angeles native, David Vela continues to enjoy a robust career in public service. David served as Senior Legislative Assistant to former Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg, handling Labor, Transportation and Economic Development. David also served as Senior Advisor to the Employment Development Department under the Gray Davis administration.

After his time in Sacramento, David spent ten years as a Senior Deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, in charge of one of the largest unincorporated community pockets, with more than 130,000 residents. David was responsible for the delivery of municipal services, capital projects and economic development. He also served as the political liaison to several cities in Supervisor Molina’s district. He was later asked to take on the role of Chief of Staff to the CA Assembly Labor Committee Chair. Simultaneously, Mr. Vela served eight years as a Board of Education Member for the Montebello Unified School District where he increased graduation rates, student University acceptance as well as spearheaded the district's first PLA.

After his governmental jobs, David created his own consulting firm, VELADA Consulting, which focuses on public outreach, social capital projects, such as lowincome housing and provides solutions for responsible businesses, technology oriented firms and governmental agencies. He also worked for a major Public Affairs firm in Los Angeles where he served as Sr. Vice President in charge of assembling
teams for major construction and community outreach projects. David is also the founder of Honor PAC, a political action committee that focuses on equality in all levels of government. David Vela received his Bachelors of Science from the University of California Los Angeles and he holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Pepperdine University in Malibu. He resides in Montebello.

Alex Rafiee
CEO and Co-Founder
Gemini Motor
Biography

Alex Rafiee

CEO and Co-Founder
Gemini Motor

Alex Rafiee is the CEO and co-founder of Gemini Motor, an autonomous truck company based in Los Angeles, CA. He was previously an investment manager at Equinor Ventures active in early stage investments in energy, AI, and mobility startups for three years. In this role, Alex observed the emergence of intelligent mobility and clean energy as the de facto reality of the future of transportation and ceased the opportunity to be a part of this transition. Alex also served as a technologist at Equinor Technology for five years where he developed and commercialized several key technologies rooted in AI and energy. Alex holds M.Sc and Ph.D degrees in Petroleum Engineering from Texas Tech University.  

Ben Stapleton
Executive Director
U.S. Green Building Council - Los Angeles
Biography

Ben Stapleton

Executive Director
U.S. Green Building Council - Los Angeles

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.

In his time at USGBC-LA, he has strengthened the foundation of this leading, membership based sustainability organization while creating a team culture and developing a portfolio of community engagement and education focused programming centered on climate justice, high performance buildings, occupant health, corporate sustainability and regional resilience; establishing talent development and a people first philosophy as the pillars of the brand.

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. During his time at LACI, the team worked with 80+ companies to raise $225M+ in funding, create 1,800+ jobs, and deliver $400M+ in long-term economic value for the City of LA.

His other 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. He serves on a number of boards where his talents and insight have proven invaluable in managing, negotiating, and executing on complex real estate projects while delivering technology startups and community engagement programs that exceed expectations.

He is a recipient of JLL's distinctive Da Vinci Award for Innovation, the Los Angeles Business Council's Community Impact Award, Stratiscope's Impact Maker to Watch Award, and CoStar’s Power Broker designation in the Los Angeles market.

Tyler Studds
CEO/Managing Director
Golden State Wind
Biography

Tyler Studds

CEO/Managing Director
Golden State Wind

Tyler Studds is Head of Offshore Wind Business Development for Ocean Winds on the US West Coast and CEO of Redwood Coast Offshore Wind LLC, a joint venture of Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind, in coordination with the Redwood Coast Energy Authority, to develop a commercial scale floating offshore wind project in federal waters off Humboldt County, California. Prior to joining Ocean Winds, Tyler worked at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center where he led strategic initiatives in offshore wind transmission, baseline wildlife surveys, metocean data collection, supply chain, and workforce development, that together have played a critical role in accelerating the responsible development of offshore wind in Massachusetts.

David Jacot
Director of Efficiency Solutions
LADWP
Biography

David Jacot

Director of Efficiency Solutions
LADWP

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

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

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

Jules Radcliff
Partner
Radcliff Mayes LLP
Biography

Jules Radcliff

Partner
Radcliff Mayes 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.

Hiroshi Tomita
Founder and Chairman of the Board
GEO SEARCH Co., Ltd., Tokyo
Biography

Hiroshi Tomita

Founder and Chairman of the Board
GEO SEARCH Co., Ltd., Tokyo

Tomita first encountered Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technology while stationed in Houston with a petroleum engineering company and began a corporate venture utilizing this technology in a new surveying business. 

After returning to Japan, Tomita succeeded in implementing the world’s first tunnel survey system.  When the parent company went bankrupt, he founded GEO SEARCH, Co., Ltd. in 1989 as a spin-out venture and implemented the world’s first underground cavity detection service for road sinkhole prevention.
    
Tomita’s presentation on the findings of his ground-breaking research utilizing GPR in fieldwork caught the attention of the UN’s chief demining officer, Brigadier Patrick Blagden, who requested the detection of small plastic landmines, 2.2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, scattered along the Thai-Cambodian border which were causing tragic injury to children.

Other companies rallied to support this large-scale humanitarian effort, and Tomita established the Japan Alliance for Humanitarian Demining Support (JAHDS), the world's first NGO to support UN landmine clearance activities.

After ten years of pro bono research and development, supported by millions of dollars of investment from his own company’s profits, and additional investment by others, demining operations were established in Cambodia in 2002, with a total landmine removal area of 1,077,472 square meters on the Thai-Cambodian border from 2003 to 2006.  This eased access to the Preah Vihear Temple, registered as a World Heritage Site in 2009, and other Khmer historic locations.

The implementation of the innovative technology used to detect plastic landmines has improved accuracy to an unparalleled level. Furthermore, emergency surveys after the Great East Japan Earthquake have tremendously increased the speed of conventional surveys.  The company has demonstrated leadership not only in Japan, but in the global market as well.

GEO SEARCH utilizes its vehicle-type radar, which scans at speeds of up to 62 mph, to provide 3-D visualizations of underground voids and buried structures to a depth of approximately 6 feet (= approximately 1.8 m). 

To fulfill its corporate philosophy of “Protecting Lives and Livelihoods” in the U.S., a subsidiary was established in Los Angeles County in 2022 to provide disaster mitigation expertise and information to minimize damage from natural disasters.

At the same time, Tomita realizes the importance of disaster mitigation, “GENSAI”, and continues to educate the public by holding awareness programs at his alma mater university and high school.

Christine Peterson
Director of International Trade & Investment
City of LA
Biography

Christine Peterson

Director of International Trade & Investment
City of LA

Christine Peterson facilitates sustainable and inclusive international opportunities for Los Angeles. She supports international trade growth, strengthens the City’s relationships with foreign governments and businesses, and attracts foreign direct investment to Los Angeles. Christine encourages international, cutting-edge companies and entrepreneurs to expand operations, launch innovation centers, and open manufacturing facilities in L.A. to create good-paying jobs for Angelenos. She also works to equip small businesses with resources, tools, and financing to sell their products and services to consumers around the world and grow their businesses locally. Christine led the creation and launch of Global LA –  a new public-private partnership and nonprofit to promote LA globally to attract job-creating international investment to LA ahead of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games with a focus on underserved communities. She advises the Mayor and her team on international trade, investment, and economic issues and has led or participated in virtual and in-person trade and economic missions on behalf of the City to the UK, Mexico, New Zealand, Kenya, Vietnam, Japan, and Indonesia.

Previously, Christine developed U.S. intellectual property (IP) and innovation trade policy in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and negotiated IP commitments in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. She also led the IP Working Group of the U.S.-UK Trade and Investment Working Group during Brexit.  As chair of the interagency Special 301 committee, she managed the U.S. government’s annual reviews and reports of IP protection and enforcement in countries and marketplaces around the world (“Special 301 Report” and “Notorious Markets List”). She also led the IP reviews and negotiations to determine Ukraine’s eligibility and reinstate benefits for Argentina under the Generalized System of Preferences. Prior, she worked in the International Trade Administration in the U.S. Department of Commerce where she assisted IP-intensive companies in developing export strategies and addressing trade barriers. She holds a JD magna cum laude from American University Washington College of Law and a BA in Art History with honors from Smith College.
 

Jacob Lipa
Founder and Principal
Lipa Consulting
Biography

Jacob Lipa

Founder and Principal
Lipa Consulting

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

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

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

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

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

Lauren Faber O'Connor

Fmr. Chief Sustainability Officer
City of Los Angeles

In her role as Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Los Angeles, Lauren Faber O’Connor is driving the implementation of LA’s Green New Deal, a global model for local action to confront the climate crisis and build an inclusive green economy that prioritizes equity. Lauren has spent her career working on environmental issues from serving as West Coast Political Director for the Environmental Defense Fund to being appointed Assistant Secretary for Climate Change Programs at the California Environmental Protection Agency to addressing climate change and energy as the Senior Policy Advisor at the British Embassy.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Earth Systems and Economics from Stanford University, and Master’s degree in Climate and Society from Columbia University.

Chris Worley
Director, Public Policy
Sunrun
Biography

Chris Worley

Director, Public Policy
Sunrun

Christopher Worley is Director of Public Policy with Sunrun, overseeing policy and government affairs in the Mountain West region. Prior to joining Sunrun, Chris was Director of Rate Design for Vivint Solar, working on rate cases and value-of-solar regulatory proceedings throughout the country. Between 2011 and 2017, Chris worked at the Colorado Energy Office, where he oversaw the Office’s legislative and regulatory activities. Additionally, Chris worked on energy analysis at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and he earned his Ph.D. in Mineral and Energy Economics from the Colorado School of Mines.

Jon Switalski
Executive Director
Rebuild SoCal Partnership
Biography

Jon Switalski

Executive Director
Rebuild SoCal Partnership

Jon Switalski serves as the Executive Director of the Rebuild SoCal Partnership (RSCP). RSCP is comprised of 2,750 construction firms that employ more than 90,000 union workers in the 12 counties of Southern California. RSCP’s mission is to engage elected officials and educate the public on the need for continued infrastructure funding creating thousands of career construction jobs in our communities.

Prior to joining Rebuild SoCal Partnership, Switalski served as the head of Spring Street Consulting, a strategic public affairs and communications firm. His specialties include campaign tactics and communication, energy and environmental policy, open space revitalization, and achieving equity through infrastructure investment.

Previously, Jon also held the position of Director of External Affairs, while working at River LA. Jon held this role for 2 years (November 2016 – January 2019).

Jon was elected to the position of Michigan State Representative from January 2009 – December 2014.  Prior to that, Jon was elected to the Macomb County Commission; Jon held this role for 4 years (January 2005 – December 2008).

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.

Gunther Sleeuwagen
Ambassador
Consul General of Belgium to Los Angeles
Biography

Gunther Sleeuwagen

Ambassador
Consul General of Belgium to Los Angeles
Dana Fischer
Director of Regulatory Strategy
Mitsubishi Electric US
Biography

Dana Fischer

Director of Regulatory Strategy
Mitsubishi Electric US

Dana Fischer is the Director of Regulatory Strategy at Mitsubishi Electric US. He has been with Mitsubishi Electric for 5 years in roles engaging with everyone from individual homeowners to utility and industry organizations to the US Secretary of Energy about the transformative power of cold-climate heat pumps. In the prior 7 years going back to the ARRA grant era, he was the Program Manager of the Home Energy Savings Program at Efficiency Maine contributing to the establishment the still active residential rebate and loan programs for weatherization, conventional heating systems and heat pumps. He also has background in municipal finance, solar thermal, ultra-high purity manufacturing, and microbrewing with a degree in Philosophy from The University of Chicago and an MBA from the University of Southern Maine.  

Kristen Torres Pawling
Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy & Planning
Office of LA City Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky
Biography

Kristen Torres Pawling

Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy & Planning
Office of LA City Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky

Kristen Torres Pawling is Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy & Planning for LA City Council District 5. Formerly, Kristen served as Sustainability Program Director at Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office focused on realizing an equitable, climate-resilient Los Angeles. There she serves as senior staff leading the effort to implement the nation’s most ambitious regional sustainability plan. Prior to joining the County, she advocated on climate and urban planning issues at the Natural Resources Defense Council. While at the Southern California Association of Governments, Kristen crafted the 2016 Sustainable Community Strategy.  Kristen began her career serving at California Air Resources Board as the Executive Fellow for Mary D. Nichols and later returned to the Air Board to work on regional planning issues. She was recently awarded the 2022 UCLA Young Alumnus of the Year for her public service to Los Angeles and the UCLA community.  Kristen serves as an appointee for various boards and committees, including the California Climate Insurance Working Group and the UCLA Institute for Transportation Studies Advisory Board. Kristen earned a Bachelor of Art degree in geography/environmental studies and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from UCLA.

David Edwards
Director and Advocate for Hydrogen Energy
Air Liquide
Biography

David Edwards

Director and Advocate for Hydrogen Energy
Air Liquide

Dave is responsible for establishing and maintaining internal and external partnerships with industry, academia, and government entities as needed to advance the technology and business opportunities in Hydrogen Energy for Air Liquide in the US.

For more than 25 years with Air Liquide in R&D and Hydrogen Business roles, Dave has responsibilities for Air Liquide’s investment and project efforts driving towards the adoption of Hydrogen Energy in the transportation and power sectors across the country.

Dave has established R&D programs and executed development strategies in areas of cryogenic air separation, rotating machinery, syngas production, energy, and process engineering and has led hydrogen technology programs in solid state storage, MOF materials, high pressure carbon fiber vessel designs, steam methane reformer catalysis development, high temperature SMR tube development, and small scale hydrogen production systems.

Dave has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

 

Arthur Sohikian
Executive Director
High Desert Corridor JPA
Biography

Arthur Sohikian

Executive Director
High Desert Corridor JPA

Arthur V. Sohikian, President of AVS Consulting, Inc. in Los Angeles, California, brings over 28 years of experience in issue advocacy and public affairs to his consulting practice.  Sohikian founded AVS Consulting, Inc. in 1997, specializing in message development and strategic advocacy communications to achieve governmental approvals and appropriations for public and private sector clients. Sohikian has guided numerous clients through Federal, State and Local governmental processes to secure millions in investment for a wide-range of transportation and land-use projects. 

Alex Haring
Senior, Associate Advanced Transport
Bloomberg NEF
Biography

Alex Haring

Senior, Associate Advanced Transport
Bloomberg NEF

Alex is part of BNEF’s Advanced Transport team focusing on electric vehicles. He has nearly a decade of experience in the automotive industry having worked at Tesla, General Motors, and most recently Lucid Motors. Alex holds an undergraduate degree from Columbia University and an MBA from London Business School.

Ross Zelen
Chief Committee Consultant
Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies
Biography

Ross Zelen

Chief Committee Consultant
Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies

Ross Zelen is a Research Fellow in the Climate Program at CLEE. Ross’s research focuses on implementation of climate change policy, with a specific focus on solutions to reduce methane emissions. Ross has worked in California environmental policy and public interest for much of the past decade. Starting as an Executive Fellow at the California Air Resources Board, he worked on advancing air quality, clean energy, and sustainable transportation priorities. He also worked for the VerdeXchange Institute as Program Manager and served as Editor of The Planning Report. Ross received his J.D. from Loyola Law School, where he teamed up to win the 2019 California Lawyers Association Environmental Negotiations Competition and was a semifinalist in the 2020 National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition. He has been admitted to the California bar.

,

Lee Bailey
Managing Director/Managing Partner
US Renewables Group
Biography

Lee Bailey

Managing Director/Managing Partner
US Renewables Group

Lee Bailey is a founder of US Renewables Group, a Private Equity fund based in Los Angeles that has invested broadly in renewable power and clean fuels including solar, wind, geothermal, storage, and numerous fuel projects (ethanol, biodiesel, waste-to-fuel).  Prior to joining USRG, Mr. Bailey was a partner with Rustic Canyon Partners, where he focused on investing in energy-based technology companies. He has over 37 years of company operating experience, fund management, and government service, primarily in the areas of renewable energy.  

Jessica Brown
Deputy City Attorney
Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney
Biography

Jessica Brown

Deputy City Attorney
Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney

Jessica Brown has been working in government as a litigator for over twenty years in both criminal and civil law, and has tried cases in state and federal court. Currently Ms. Brown works at the Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney, where she Supervises the Environmental Justice and Protection Unit (“EJCP”). EJCP prosecutes environmental crimes including hazardous material and waste violations, hazardous spills, oil and gas related violations, air and ground pollution, public nuisance, and wildlife crimes. They focus on working with their law enforcement partners and community leaders to address environmental violations. Ms. Brown has been in the Environmental Justice and Special Litigation Units since 2010, where she has had the opportunity to be lead counsel on several high-profile prosecutions, including People v. Southern California Gas, et al., JCCP 4886. Ms. Brown was awarded the 2018 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year in recognition of her statewide efforts to expand and improve the prosecution of wildlife crimes throughout the state of California. 

From 2008-2010 Ms. Brown was assigned to the Civil Branch of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office in the Police Litigation Unit. In that position, Ms. Brown defended the City of Los Angles and the Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”). While in the Police Litigation Unit, Ms. Brown was lead counsel on the May Day Melee lawsuits, and defended the City and LAPD against allegations of excessive force made by news reporters, hundreds of protestors, and attendees at the May 1, 2007 May Day Protests in MacArthur Park. 

Prior to joining the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, Ms. Brown was a Deputy District Attorney in Riverside County. There she was assigned to a variety of prosecution units including the Consumer Fraud Unit, Economic Crimes Unit, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit, and the Juvenile Division.
 

Jawaad Malik
Chief Strategy & Sustainability Officer
SoCalGas
Biography

Jawaad Malik

Chief Strategy & Sustainability Officer
SoCalGas

Jawaad Malik is Chief Strategy & Sustainability Officer for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), a Sempra regulated California utility. Malik is responsible for the development of a comprehensive strategy and sustainability plan to position SoCalGas as a long-term leader enabling California’s clean energy future. The comprehensive strategy focuses on the vital role the gas grid provides to support California’s energy system objectives.

Previously, Malik was vice president of gas acquisition and vice president of accounting and finance for SoCalGas. Since joining SoCalGas in 2007, Malik has served in a number of increasingly responsible management positions, including director of financial and operations planning, financial planning manager and General Rate Case program manager. Prior to this, he held various finance and auditing related roles at the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and the California Department of Insurance.

Malik holds a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from California State University, Los Angeles and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant. He currently serves on the board of directors for LA’s BEST, a nationally recognized after school program serving more than 20,000 children in neighborhoods of Los Angeles.  Malik also sits on the Dean’s advisory council of Cal Poly Pomona’s college of business administration and the UC Davis Energy & Efficiency Institute board of advisors.

Yamen Nanne
Manager of Power Distribution System Development
LADWP
Biography

Yamen Nanne

Manager of Power Distribution System Development
LADWP

Yamen Nanne is the Manager of Power Distribution System Development at the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. He is currently leading LADWP’s efforts to expand and modernize its distribution system to enable accelerated vehicle and building electrification and achieve increased levels of Distributed Energy Resource Adoption on its grid.  
 
During his tenure, LADWP and the City of Los Angeles were able to increase EV charging infrastructure 10-fold in three years from about 1,800 multi-family, workplace, and public charging stations in 2019 to 18,000 today. He led the rollout of vehicle incentive programs that helped EV adoption increase from 35,000 EVs to over 100,000 EVs in the City of Los Angeles today. 
 
His passion about electric vehicles stems from his desire to play a role in improving air quality for all of Angelinos and to help LADWP customers learn about how they can save money and fight climate change by driving and EV.  His motto is: Live life…Drive Electric! 

Beth Tomlinson
Carbon and Climate Discipline Leader, Buildings
Stantec
Biography

Beth Tomlinson

Carbon and Climate Discipline Leader, Buildings
Stantec

Throughout her career, Beth has demonstrated a sustained trajectory of innovation and leadership. Beth leads Stantec’s Carbon Impact Team, a cross-disciplinary group of specialists that applies building science and design solutions to rapidly reduce the generation of carbon emissions in the built environment, increase resilience against climate risks, and have a positive impact on the socio-ecological health of our communities.

Beth has over 20 years of experience in research and building design, resiliency services, commissioning, and energy auditing. She is focused on integrating climate change mitigation and adaptation, commissioning, and energy transitions within a variety of project types—including healthcare, municipal, education, mixed-use, commercial, industrial, and transportation. She’s elevating climate science literacy and developing adaptation collaborations within the building industry, and she’s directed commissioning, energy auditing, energy modeling, and life cycle cost assessments.

Beth served on Minnesota Governor Walz’s Resilience and Adaptation Action team, she’s co-chair of the Minneapolis Energy Vision Advisory Committee, and currently serves as Vice-Chair in the development of ICC/ASHRAE Standard 240P: Evaluating Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and Carbon Emissions in Building Design, Construction and Operation with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).  Beth served on ASHRAE’s international Building Decarbonization Position Document Committee and is leading regional decarbonization planning projects for Stantec.

Beth strives to improve the lives of others through engineering and serves clients with respect, sincerity, and integrity. 
 

Rick Beuttel
Vice President, Hydrogen Business
Bloom Energy
Biography

Rick Beuttel

Vice President, Hydrogen Business
Bloom Energy

Rick Beuttel is vice president of Bloom Energy’s hydrogen business. In this role, he spearheads the company’s market strategy, serves as an evangelist for emerging hydrogen solutions, and develops relationships with industry leaders to continue momentum around Bloom’s hydrogen technology. Beuttel brings over three decades of experience in business development in the energy and industrial sectors, including extensive work deploying and scaling hydrogen projects across international markets. Before joining Bloom Energy, Beuttel served as vice president of business development at Air Products, overseeing the development and execution of large-scale energy projects, largely focused on hydrogen throughout the Americas. In this role, he was responsible for the deployment of over $8 billion of capital, including world-scale hydrogen/renewable fuels/ammonia projects in Paramount, California, Eastern Louisiana, Edmonton, Alberta, the acquisition of hydrogen plants from PBF Energy, and many other projects centered around hydrogen and synthesis gas production. Beuttel also held a number of senior roles across regions during his tenure at Air Products, including business manager for generated gases in the Americas, business development manager for Latin America, and business manager for Asia tonnage focused on the semiconductor and display industries. Beuttel holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from Lehigh University and is also chairman of the board of the Lehigh Valley Velodrome.

Daniel Charette
Chief Operating Officer
CHARBONE Hydrogen Corporation
Biography

Daniel Charette

Chief Operating Officer
CHARBONE Hydrogen Corporation

Daniel Charette is a veteran in renewable energy and an entrepreneur that has been managing many sustainable energy companies for over 30 years. In the early days, when the Canadian wind energy sector started being considered as a viable solution, he became a recognized executive within the renewable energy market. Daniel is the Chief Operating Officer since 2019 and one of the founding members of CHARBONE Hydrogen Corporation a company listed on the TSXV under the ticker “CH”. Daniel is responsible of the implementation and the deployment of Charbone green hydrogen production facilities in North America, and the different partnerships to build the ecosystems, he oversees the acquisition and the operation of multiple hydropower plants.

Aaron Van Pelt
Chief Commercial Officer
QLM Technology Ltd.
Biography

Aaron Van Pelt

Chief Commercial Officer
QLM Technology Ltd.

Aaron Van Pelt is currently Chief Commercial Officer at QLM Technology Ltd. and has over twenty years of experience in product development and marketing in photonics, gas sensing and analytics. For the past 15 years he has focused on bringing to market solutions for emissions monitoring and quantification particularly for the natural gas industry. As Vice President of Product Strategy at Picarro Inc., he focused on developing and bringing to market several gas sensing technologies including what is now the gold standard for atmospheric GHG measurements, and he lead the introduction of the first technology to be termed “Advanced Leak Detection” which was subsequently included in the Congressional Pipes Act of 2020 as a requirement for PHMSA to codify for use in leak survey to increase safety and reduce emissions. Previously, he was a Senior Research Scientist at Physical Sciences, Inc. and managed photonics products at New Focus Inc. He received his M.S. in physics from Washington State University focusing on ultrafast laser spectroscopy and his B.S. in physics from the University of Wyoming.

Martin Howell
Associate Principal
ARUP
Biography

Martin Howell

Associate Principal
ARUP

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

 

Michael George
Fmr. Delta Watermaster
State of California
Biography

Michael George

Fmr. Delta Watermaster
State of California

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

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

 

Amy Holm
Executive Director
The Climate Registry
Biography

Amy Holm

Executive Director
The Climate Registry

Amy Holm is the Executive Director of The Climate Registry, a nonprofit based in Los Angeles that connects, educates, and empowers organizations with the resources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to overall strategy and direction, Amy focuses on leading The Climate Registry’s efforts to amplify the work and opportunities for public and private stakeholders. Such initiatives include the annual Climate Leadership Conference and Awards as well as organizing multiple US delegations to attend the UNFCCC’s COP events. A strong advocate for public-private partnerships to drive climate action, Amy has worked for many other notable environmental organizations—serving in positions of increasing responsibility at the Code Blue Foundation, E2: Environment & Education, Global Tomorrow Coalition, American Forests, and Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation, among others. Amy received an M.A. in Environmental Policy in International Relations from Claremont Graduate University and a B.A. in International Affairs from Lewis and Clark College.

Dean Wiberg
VP of Strategy and Partnerships
Gemini Motor
Biography

Dean Wiberg

VP of Strategy and Partnerships
Gemini Motor

Dean Wiberg is the COO of Balboa Geolocation, Inc (https://balboageolocation.com), a business entity focused on the commercialization of technology developed at JPL for the precision geolocation of personnel and other assets in GPS denied environments.Previously, Dean spent nearly 25 years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), an operating division of Caltech, developing technology and sponsored research. Prior to leaving JPL, Dean was the manager of the Commercial Technology Partnerships Office with responsibilities to develop and execute technology development opportunities at JPL with non-NASA, commercial sponsors. Before assuming this role, Dean was a project lead in JPL’s Microdevices laboratory for over 10 years, in which he was named in about 15 patents and new technology disclosures around the theme of MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS). Before joining JPL, Dean held technical, management and business development positions at the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), IBM, Westinghouse, Northrop Grumman (TRW), Sarcos Research/University of Utah and was a co-founder of Vaporfab, a venture funded, high tech materials company.

Dean is on or has served on the board of directors for a number of companies and organizations including Gemini Motor (https://geminimotor.com), Empire Magnetics, the Foothill Municipal Water District, one of the 26 regional Southern California water districts, the Bernard Schriever chapter of the Air Force Association (AFA), the Board of Advisors for the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), the City’s business incubator for early stage cleantech companies and the advisory board for the California Technology Council. He has also been active in local government having served as the Chairman of a municipal planning commission and an elected City Councilman.

Dean holds a BS in Chemistry from Weber State University, an MS in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University, and an Executive MBA from the Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.

Aditya Ramji
Director, India Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Research Centre
Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS), University of California, Davis
Biography

Aditya Ramji

Director, India Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Research Centre
Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS), University of California, Davis

Aditya Ramji is an Economist, focusing on transportation and energy transitions, working at the nexus of science, policy and diplomacy. He is currently the Director, India Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Research Centre, at the Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS), University of California, Davis.

Prior to this, he worked with the Managing Director’s Office, at Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd., one of India’s largest automotive companies with a global presence across the US, Europe, and the Global South. At Mahindra, he was closely involved with overarching automotive strategy, electric mobility solutions and regulatory and policy issues. 

Before the private sector, he has worked with two leading think tanks in India – the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), both based in New Delhi. During this time, his work focused on climate policy, energy modeling and rail transportation, including being part of India’s transportation delegation to the UNFCCC climate negotiations. 
 

Steve Sullivan
Former Managing Director
Southern California Edison
Biography

Steve Sullivan

Former Managing Director
Southern California Edison

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

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

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

Advanced Rail Energy Storage (2014 to 2019)

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

ICE ENERGY (2014 to 2017)

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

BUSINESS RADAR (2014 to 2015)

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

EMPIRE WATER (2014 to 2018)

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

 

Eliot Abel
Co-Owner / Senior Director of Business Development
Namaste Solar
Biography

Eliot Abel

Co-Owner / Senior Director of Business Development
Namaste Solar
Eliot leads commercial sales & project development at Namaste Solar, guiding the development of solar projects ranging from 50kW to 10MW. Prior to joining Namaste Solar, Eliot was the Founder and Principal of Abel Clean Energy Advisors, a consulting firm that helps commercial property owners and developers utilize innovative financing, such as C-PACE, to implement renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions that increase value, reduce operating costs, and enhance the sustainability of their properties. Earlier in his career, Eliot worked in business development roles at a UK-based thin film solar startup, GE’s global Renewable Energy business, and San Diego-based Renovate America. Eliot serves on the Boards of the Colorado Solar and Storage Association and Namaste Solar, and holds a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.
 
Stephanie Wiggins*
Chief Executive Officer
LA Metro
Biography

Stephanie Wiggins*

Chief Executive Officer
LA Metro

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. 

Tanya Peacock
Managing Director
EcoEngineers
Biography

Tanya Peacock

Managing Director
EcoEngineers

Tanya Peacock is Managing Director at EcoEngineers, an international clean energy consulting firm with deep expertise in carbon life-cycle analysis. Based in Los Angeles, Tanya is responsible for expanding EcoEngineers’ energy transition practice in California. She is simultaneously leading the fast-growing hydrogen sector. 
 
A well-known clean energy champion, Tanya currently serves as chairperson of the California Hydrogen Business Council. She has held board and leadership roles at the American Biogas Council, Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas, California Stationary Fuel Cell Collaborative, among others. Additionally, she is an expert in California’s cap-and-trade program and played a key role in the development of policies to support the production and use of clean energy in California.
 
Prior to joining EcoEngineers, Tanya led the California Policy and Government Affairs team at Bloom Energy focusing on decarbonization pathways, clean hydrogen opportunities, and distributed energy policy priorities. Before that, she led rates and policy teams at Sempra Energy and its subsidiary, SoCalGas.
 
Tanya earned a Master of Regional Planning degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and a Bachelor of Arts from Mills College in Oakland, California. She is a current board member at the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters.
 

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

Michael Galvin

Director, Waterfront and Commercial Real Estate
Port of Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

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

Mark Gold
Director of Water Scarcity Solutions
NRDC
Biography

Mark Gold

Director of Water Scarcity Solutions
NRDC

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

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.

Jill Stewart
City Editor
LA Daily News
Biography

Jill Stewart

City Editor
LA Daily News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

William Rouse
General Manager
Yellow Cab of Los Angeles
Biography

William Rouse

General Manager
Yellow Cab of Los Angeles

As the fourth generation of his family in the taxicab business, William J. Rouse serves as General Manager of five taxicab fleets in the greater Los Angeles area, including Yellow Cab of Los Angeles, Long Beach Yellow Cab, United Checker Cab, South Bay Yellow Cab and Fiesta Taxi.  ASC is the largest taxicab organization in the Western United States with more than 1200 vehicles in its combined fleet.

Mr. Rouse is also affiliated with the management of San Diego Yellow Cab, with 330 vehicles in service, and California Yellow Cab, in Orange County, California, with over 200 vehicles.

Mr. Rouse graduated from the University of Southern California in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Finance and Business Economics. He received his law degree from the University of Southern California and was admitted to the bar in 1992. 

Mr. Rouse is the past President of the Taxicab Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA), his industry’s international taxicab trade association.  He is also serving his second term as President of the Taxicab Paratransit Association of California (TPAC), the industry’s statewide trade association.  He also recently completed a two-year term as Chair of the Long Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Douglas Carstens
Managing Partner
Chatten-Brown Carstens Minteer LLP
Biography

Douglas Carstens

Managing Partner
Chatten-Brown Carstens Minteer LLP

Douglas Carstens is the Managing Partner of Carstens, Black & Minteer LLP, a small law firm in Hermosa Beach that practices environmental and land use law throughout the state.  He graduated from Cornell University, served as an officer in the Navy for five years, then attended law school at UCLA.  After that, he joined the Law Office of Jan Chatten-Brown, which has evolved into Carstens, Black, and Minteer LLP.  His law firm has represented petitioners who enforced environmental laws to protect people against proposed oil drilling, preserved important historic and cultural resources, promoted affordable housing, resulted in modifications to sprawl development projects in various parts of the state. He has helped community based organizations create two urban parks in poor communities of color:  the State Historic Park of Los Angeles and the Rio De Los Angeles State Park. Mr. Carstens has written various articles about environmental law and co-chaired over a dozen annual Law Seminars International’s CEQA Seminars.  He is a past President of the Sierra Nevada Alliance and currently the President of the Board of the Planning and Conservation League.

Neil Navin
Chief Clean Fuels Officer
SoCalGas
Biography

Neil Navin

Chief Clean Fuels Officer
SoCalGas

Neil Navin is chief clean fuels officer for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), a Sempra regulated California utility. He oversees SoCalGas’ comprehensive portfolio of clean energy strategies, innovations and projects to support the utility’s role as a long-term leader enabling California’s clean energy future. Navin’s focus is on delivering tangible innovations and projects in new and growing markets, including renewable natural gas, hydrogen and fuel cells, all of which are aligned to SoCalGas’ mission, strategy and sustainability plan.

Previously, Navin was vice president of construction for SoCalGas and SDG&E.

Since joining SoCalGas in 2014, Navin has served in a number of increasingly responsible management positions, including vice president of gas transmission and storage for SoCalGas and SDG&E. Prior to that, Navin held project management positions with the Fluor and Parsons companies. His previous experience included work on sulfur recovery, gas compression processing, oil and gas production, refining, pipeline engineering, chemical weapons destruction, biogas treatment, fuel cell power generation, and petrochemical plant projects throughout the United States, Middle East and Europe.

Navin sits on the boards of Operations Technology Development, NFP, Housing Works and Friends of Ballona Wetlands. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from McGill University in Montréal, Québec, Canada. 

Marty Borko
Executive Director
ULI Los Angeles
Biography

Marty Borko

Executive Director
ULI Los Angeles

Marty Borko is the Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute Los Angeles.  Borko left his post as Principal at Gensler in Los Angeles to command the day-to-day workings and long-range planning of one of ULI’s largest and most active regional chapters. As Executive Director Borko pilots the organization as it confronts the most critical land-use challenges in the city, including the homeless and housing affordability crisis, as well as city planning, infrastructure, transportation, open-space and historic districts.

In his tenure at Gensler’s Los Angeles office, Borko grew the firm’s Planning and Urban Design, Entertainment, and Mixed Use practices and had been principal-in-charge on numerous international and Los Angeles projects.

In addition to being a Sustaining Member of ULI’s Entertainment Development Council and member of the USC Price School Planning Program Advisory Board, Borko is: Associate Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA); Member, American Planning Association (APA); Member, International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC); Member, International Association of Amusement Parks (IAAPA); Dean’s Council, University of Oregon College of Design; Board Member, Los Angeles Downtown Breakfast Club; Member, Southern California Development Forum; and Member, Central City Association.
 

Robert Thompson
General Manager
Orange County Sanitation District
Biography

Robert Thompson

General Manager
Orange County Sanitation District

Robert (Rob) Thompson is the General Manager (GM) for the Orange County Sanitation District (OC San). Mr. Thompson has been with OC San since 1995. 

Prior to becoming the General Manager, he was the Assistant General Manager overseeing the Operations & Maintenance and Engineering departments. 

He has served in many capacities for OC San including Manager of the Process Controls Division to oversee the maintenance, installation and programming of OC San’s SCADA system and programmable logic controllers; Engineering Manager overseeing the instrumentation shops, electrical shops and power generation plants; and Engineering Manager overseeing Asset Management and Engineering Planning, and Director of Engineering. 

Prior to joining OC San, Mr. Thompson worked for The Ralph M. Parsons Company as a senior engineer and project manager on several major oil field projects in Prudhoe Bay Alaska, refinery projects in Philadelphia, PA, and coordinated world-wide sulfur technology sales.

Mr. Thompson is a registered Electrical Engineer and Civil Engineer in the States of California. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Long Beach State.  

OC San provides regional wastewater service to 2.6 million residents, with an annual operating and capital budget of approximately $450 million. OC San and the Orange County Water District have jointly developed the Groundwater Replenishment System, the world's largest water purification system for indirect potable reuse, producing 130 million gallons per day of drinking-quality water.
 

Brittany Moffett
Senior Resilience Engineer
Arup
Biography

Brittany Moffett

Senior Resilience Engineer
Arup

Brittany is a Senior Resilience Engineer in Arup’s Los Angeles office. She brings her professional experience in building envelope engineering and a background in structures, architecture, and building physics to long-term resilience and climate change adaptation projects. Her technical background includes hazard and vulnerability assessments and quantification of social co-benefits of resilience measures, with a focus on affordable housing as critical infrastructure.

Blair Schlecter
Director of Business Development and Programming
Stantec GenAV
Biography

Blair Schlecter

Director of Business Development and Programming
Stantec GenAV

Blair knows that autonomous technologies are transforming how transportation networks operate. This belief guides him as the director of business development and programs for Stantec GenerationAV™, our autonomous vehicle (AV) consulting arm focused on accelerating AV adoption. An attorney and policy expert by trade, Blair now focuses on implementing strategies to educate our clients understanding of AVs and how to use these technologies effectively.

Driven by an interest in sustainable transportation and all the benefits AVs bring, Blair regularly provides key new insights in this field through industry events and various writings, including transportation technology forums and published articles in Eno Transportation WeeklyThinking Highways Magazine, and others. He is passionate about taking transportation issues and changing people’s lives through AV technology. When he is not working, Blair loves to hike, read, watch sports, and travel.

Jay Ziegler
Delta Watermaster
State Water Resources Control Board
Biography

Jay Ziegler

Delta Watermaster
State Water Resources Control Board

On April 3, 2023, Jay Ziegler was appointed to a four-year term as Delta Watermaster for the State Water Resources Control Board.

Prior to being appointed, Mr. Ziegler was the Director of External Affairs and Policy for The Nature Conservancy (TNC). During his 12 years at the conservancy, he led the agency’s policy engagements on water, climate strategies, biodiversity protection and environmental funding initiatives. Prior to joining TNC, he was a partner in the interdisciplinary public affairs firm, Ziegler Associates, where he focused on land use, water policy, renewable energy, and permitting and mitigation matters. Previously, he served in multiple roles at state and federal natural resource agencies, including intergovernmental affairs with Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, where he focused on endangered species, public lands, water, and natural resource management issues across the West. 

The position of Delta Watermaster was created by the 2009 Delta Reform Act. The Delta Watermaster is an independent office of the State of California 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 matters relating to water rights, water quality, habitat and land use across this vital estuary, agricultural and recreational area, and the hub of California’s water conveyance infrastructure.

He is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, serves on several non-profit boards, and resides in Davis, California with his wife, Carri. 
 

Anil Tammineedi
Principal
Angeleno Group
Biography

Anil Tammineedi

Principal
Angeleno Group

Anil Tammineedi is an investor at Angeleno Group (“AG”), a Los Angeles-based venture capital firm with a global platform focused on high growth investments in next-generation clean energy and climate solutions companies. Since 2008, Mr. Tammineedi has been a member of the investment team, currently serving on the Investment Committee and actively involved on the Boards of several AG portfolio companies including Stem, Locana, Patriot Environmental Services and mPrest.  Previously, he gained several years of operating experience at Broadcom, where he worked in product development and management roles related to semiconductors for communications, mobile and power management applications. His prior investing experience includes his work at Applied Ventures, the corporate venture group of Applied Materials. Mr. Tammineedi is a Kauffman Fellow and serves as a Senior Faculty Advisor to the Business Creation Program at UCLA Anderson School of Management, where he has taught and lectured on the topics of entrepreneurship, clean energy, and impact investing. Mr. Tammineedi holds an M.S. from Iowa State University and an M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

 

Michael Schneider
Founder
Streets For All
Biography

Michael Schneider

Founder
Streets For All

A native Angeleno, it was built into Michael’s brain from birth that the only way to get around Los Angeles is by driving a car. And starting on his 16th birthday at 8am at the DMV, that’s how he got around. Until the financial crisis in 2008. With his day job as a tech entrepreneur getting rocky along with the economy, Michael had to make some lifestyle changes – including getting rid of his expensive car lease. After a couple years of borrowing his Grandfather’s classic car – which was in the shop more than it was usable – Michael started to experiment with getting around town using a bicycle, something that seemed “crazy” and “impossible” to his native LA brain. For the past ten years, Michael has gone all in, just getting around town on his bicycle – even to and from LAX, including with his wife and 3 kids. And despite his ability to now afford a car, he thinks it would be crazy to get one. From never being late to look for parking to never having to worry about traffic to eating whatever you want and staying in shape to doing your part to not contribute to climate change – Michael truly believes that more people riding bicycles can save the planet and make our cities a more enjoyable place to live. Michael founded Streets For All (streetsforall.org) in 2019 as Los Angeles’ only transportation-focused PAC, a highly political organization that supports candidates and laws to promote freedom of choice around transportation in Southern California. Over the past three years, Streets For All has been successful in helping to unseat three regressive incumbents at Los Angeles City Council, and has successfully written, sponsored, or supported more than a dozen pieces of legislation at the state level, and has qualified a ballot measure called Healthy Streets LA. Michael is also an elected member of the Mid City West Neighborhood Council, where he chairs the Transportation and Sustainability Committee, is a board member of the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, and sits on Metro’s Sustainability Council.

Yoshimi Yamamoto
Manager
RESONAC Corporation
Biography

Yoshimi Yamamoto

Manager
RESONAC Corporation

Works for RESONAC, a chemical company that changed its name from Showa Denko in January 2023.  She is promoting the licensing or partnership of KPR, the chemical recycling process that commercially produces hydrogen and ammonia from waste plastics, collaborating with JGC, an integrated EPC company.

After engaging in research and development at Showa Denko and a joint venture for 20 years, she was in charge of energy management, risk management, etc. for the entire group company at the headquarters. During that time, she was seconded to the Environment & Energy Policy Bureau of Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), involving in policy planning related to energy and global environment for the business world and to the Energy conservation technology department of NEDO, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, involving  project management of innovative technology development and public offerings for government subsidized projects. She has a PhD in Science.
 

Matthew Rudnick
Executive Officer and Assistant General Manager
City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP)
Biography

Matthew Rudnick

Executive Officer and Assistant General Manager
City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP)

Matthew Rudnick is the Executive Officer and an Assistant General Manager for the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP).
Matthew is responsible for assisting the General Manager in overseeing all day to day operations of the Department. Prior to this role, Matthew served as the Special Operations Branch Assistant General Manager, which included oversight of unique and iconic assets such as Griffith Park, the Griffith Observatory, and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. In his capacity of Executive Officer and as the Departmental Chief Sustainability Officer, he is responsible for advancing and tracking many of RAP’s environmental goals and leading strategic planning efforts.

Matthew has served in various leadership and management positions throughout his 16 years of City government experience. Before his tenure with RAP, Matthew served as Assistant General Manager and Interim General Manager of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), where he supported vintage mural restoration and helped reshape the City’s Arts Development Fee program. Prior to his work at DCA, Matthew worked as a policy analyst and then as Associate Director of Budget and Innovation under former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Matthew is an appointed management member of the Joint Labor-Management Benefits Committee, which oversees the City’s civilian health benefits program. Matthew is also a proud Banana Slug, having earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Santa Cruz where he majored in History and Political Science. Matthew learned to swim and pitched his first little league game at Mar Vista park and now resides in Eagle Rock, where he frequently bikes to Yosemite Rec Center pool with his wife and two kids.
 

Ben Porritt
Senior Vice President Corporate Affairs
Brightline Trains
Biography

Ben Porritt

Senior Vice President Corporate Affairs
Brightline Trains

In a career that has spanned the top levels of politics and corporate America, Ben Porritt has counseled and developed strategies for national campaigns both corporate and political. Porritt was a public face of the McCain-Palin campaign, serving as a national spokesman and senior advisor to the candidates during the 2008 presidential election.

Porritt is a partner of Outside Eyes, a communications firm that provides message strategy, brand development and crisis management for clients across a variety of industries. Porritt serves as a regular on-air contributor for MSNBC, FOX and ESPN and is an adjunct professor of communications at the University of Miami.

As a partner of Outside Eyes, Porritt has worked with companies and brands of varying sizes, advising them on corporate strategy ranging from corporate rollouts and grassroots marketing to brand development and crisis management.Porritt is regarded by many political and corporate leaders as one of the nation’s top media experts and has handled high profile crises including the political indictments, corporate bankruptcies, MLB steroid cases and multiple NCAA investigations.

Prior to joining Outside Eyes, Porritt worked for President George W. Bush as a campaign spokesman and as the Press Secretary to the United States House Majority Leader, a position defined by the New York Times as the third most difficult in Washington, DC. In this role, he helped develop and implement the strategic course for the Republican Party, focusing the party’s message on legislation and critical political issues.

Porritt earned a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and a Bachelors of Science in Political Science and History from Bradley University. Porritt is originally from Danville, IL and currently resides in South Florida.

Brightline is the first privately funded, maintained and operated passenger rail service built in America in over 100 years. Alongside a great team, I am overseeing public affairs, internal communications/culture and corporate communications.

Katherine Perez
Principal & Los Angeles Office Leader
Arup
Biography

Katherine Perez

Principal & Los Angeles Office Leader
Arup

Katharine Aguilar Perez is the Los Angeles Cities Leader and  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.

Noah Newmark
President & CEO
360 Power Group of ClearWater Holdings, Ltd.
Biography

Noah Newmark

President & CEO
360 Power Group of ClearWater Holdings, Ltd.

Noah Newmark is the Co-Founder, President and CEO of ClearWater Holdings, Ltd. and its operating division 360 Power Group.  The company invents, develops, and licenses ultra-high performance electric generators and motors based upon its proprietary “radial-axial-radial” architecture.  Devices using this architecture are scalable from 1kW-10MW; and at low speeds achieve unprecedented, consistent efficiencies as high as 98.4%, with consistent, extraordinary torque and power curves throughout their operating range.

With more than fifty years of experience as a research scientist, investment banker, international entrepreneur and inventor, Noah is the former head of Corporate Real Estate, Managing Director, Merrill Lynch and former partner, Becker Paribas.  

He did his undergraduate and graduate studies and research at Washington University (St. Louis, MO), under Rita Levi-Montalcini (Noble Prize for Medicine); John W. Bennett (Advisor in post-war Japanese economic/agricultural reform) and Murray L. Weidenbaum (Reagan, Chief Economic Advisor).
 

Mike Stone
Partner and Chief Investment Officer
Sunstone Management, Inc.
Biography

Mike Stone

Partner and Chief Investment Officer
Sunstone Management, Inc.

Mike Stone is partner and Chief Investment Officer of Sunstone Management, Inc., a private credit and venture capital investment firm in Irvine, CA focusing on applying resources of public sector, private enterprises, and universities to help founders succeed at early-stage startups. Prior to joining SMI in 2022, he was first vice president at Morgan Stanley advising high net worth clients on governance and portfolio construction, including venture, ESG, and impact investments. Prior to that he was vice president at Alliance Bernstein serving institutional and high net worth investors. Prior to joining Bernstein, Stone held account executive roles from 1996 through 2005, at Oracle and Siebel, advising Fortune 500 and midsize companies on automation in support of strategic initiatives. He also served on the technology advisory group of US Congressperson Jim Davis. Before that he worked in consulting and engineering roles, including two startups, and published articles on information technology; he began his career as an officer in the Marines Corps working in software development. Mr. Stone has a Master of Science form University of Southern California and is a CFA charterholder.

Lisa Woll
Advisor
USSIF
Biography

Lisa Woll

Advisor
USSIF

Lisa was the CEO of US SIF and the US SIF Foundation from 2006 to February 2023, and was responsible for strategic planning, developing a robust policy presence, expansion and diversification of funding, launching our national conference and creating the Center for Sustainable Investment Education.    

Prior to US SIF, Lisa was executive director of the International Women's Media Foundation, an organization focused on press freedom and expansion of women’s role in the media.  During her tenure, the IWMF played a significant role in re-orienting the way journalism training was carried out on the issues of HIV-AIDS, malaria and TB in several African media organizations. Lisa also spent a decade working on children’s human rights.  She was the director of the first international study to look at the impact of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and directed the Washington, DC office of Save the Children. She is a member of the Advisory Council of the Children’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch.

Lisa's early career focused on domestic social policy and began in the New York City Human Resources Administration as an Urban Fellow and the US Congress as a legislative assistant.  Lisa is the founder of Suited for Change, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that provides professional clothing and ongoing career education to low-income women who have completed job training programs and are seeking employment. She was a founding board member and former president of the board of The Women's Alliance, a national membership organization of community organizations that increase the employability of low-income women. She was also Board President of Women’s Voices for the Earth, a national environmental health organization based in Montana. She has written and spoken widely on human rights and development, as well as leadership. She is a board member of the Children's Environmental Health Network and the founder, with her teenage son, of Advantage Ethiopia: Kids' Tennis and Education Initiative.

In 2018, Lisa was honored to be included in Barron's list of “The 20 Most Influential People in ESG Investing”. She was also pleased to accept the SRI Service Award and the inaugural Forbes Impact Award. Previously, Lisa was named a Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine in recognition of her pioneering role with Suited for Change. She has received numerous other awards and has volunteered on other nonprofit boards and commissions. Lisa holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in public policy and women's studies from George Washington University. She was a Fulbright Fellow in Melbourne, Australia.
Lisa is energized daily by the opportunity to be part of the leadership team advancing the vital work of sustainable and responsible investors.
 

Kimberlina Whettam
Founder & Principal
Kimberlina Whettam & Associates
Biography

Kimberlina Whettam

Founder & Principal
Kimberlina Whettam & Associates

Kimberlina Whettam, Founder and Principal of Kimberlina Whettam & Associates (KW&A), has an excellent track record managing real estate developments from conceptualization through completion. Specializing in due diligence research and project analysis, management of the entitlement, public hearing, and development permit and expediting process, Kimberlina leverages her strong governmental and industry relationships to facilitate project approvals in a timely and cost-effective manner. She draws on her public service background to bring more resources to bear as she coordinates and negotiates with community-based organizations, elected officials, and government agencies to help move development projects through the regulatory process. 

KW&A provides comprehensive development consulting and overall permit expediting services in the City of Los Angeles, the 88 incorporated cities in Los Angeles County, and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. These projects range from residential, including single family dwellings, condominiums, townhomes, market rate multi-family and affordable housing to large scale commercial projects, including office, high-rise, adaptive re-use, hotel and hospitality, mixed-use, retail, sports and entertainment, film studios, educational and religious to public infrastructure, including municipal improvement projects. KW&A is currently managing the approvals for 6,000 new residential units, both market rate and affordable units; managing the approval process for several LAX projects including the Automated People Mover, Delta Terminals 1 & 2 and the Consolidated Rent-a-Car Facility (CONRAC); Millions of SF of mixed-use projects throughout the greater Los Angeles area and some of the most exclusive homes in the city. 

Prior to entering the private sector, Kimberlina was Chief Planning & Environmental Deputy for Los Angeles City Councilmember Jack Weiss. In a district which included Los Angeles’ Westside and parts of the San Fernando Valley, Kimberlina managed publicly funded capital improvement projects and conducted community outreach on both public and private development projects throughout the district. While with Councilmember Weiss, Kimberlina created the Los Angeles Department of Building & Safety’s Green Building Incentive Program, and she negotiated and secured local community support for the Van Nuys Airport Masterplan, allowing for the modernization of the world’s busiest general aviation airport. Kimberlina is a graduate of the University of Arizona. 

Outside of work, she is a lover of the outdoors, and an advocate for community health and well-being. She serves as the California State Commissioner Vice Chair for the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission, is a founding member of the non-profit La Charla, serves on the board of the Burbank Community YMCA, is the Chair of the Burbank YMCA Facilities Committee and is a Co-Chair of the Los Angeles 50/50Women on Boards Committee.
 

Steve Peace
Former CA Legislator
State of California
Biography

Steve Peace

Former CA Legislator
State of California

James Stephen Peace was a member of the CA State Assembly from 1982-1992 and later served in the CA Senate, representing the 40th District, from 1994-2002. Peace was the chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy from 1995–1997, during which time he co-authored the electricity deregulation bill. In his term as Senator, Peace authored the first laws in the nation aimed at protecting the privacy of individuals' personal information by requiring companies to inform consumers of data breaches. After being term-limited out of the State Senate, he served as Director of the California Department of Finance.

After leaving public service, Peace served as a Founding Director of the California Independent Voter Project, during which time he wrote California's Nonpartisan Open Primary Constitutional Amendment. He has served on the Board of the UCSD Scripps Institute of Oceanography and as Chairman of the Board of Chicago-based, Authentify, Inc., the privately held company that pioneered dual authentication security for online financial transactions. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Killer Tomatoes Entertainment and as a member of the Board of Directors of Preservation Ranch. He is a principal in the consulting firm JSPeace and Associates.

Dr. Noel Hacegaba
Deputy Executive Director
Port of Long Beach
Biography

Dr. Noel Hacegaba

Deputy Executive Director
Port of Long Beach

Dr. Noel Hacegaba is the Deputy Executive Director for the Port of Long Beach, California. He functions as the Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for managing the day-to-day administrative and operating functions of the Port, including Commercial Operations, Finance and Administration, Engineering Services, Planning and Environmental Affairs, Human Resources, Communications and Government Relations.

In recent years, Dr. Hacegaba has also led the Port’s response to the pandemic-induced supply chain crisis, leading the Port’s internal Business Recovery Taskforce and coordinating with industry, labor and government partners to identify near-term solutions.  Under his leadership, the Port of Long Beach opened the first “pop-up yard” known as STOR (Short-Term Overflow Resource) for much-needed surge capacity and supported the first 24-hour terminal operation in the nation at TTI terminal.

Dr. Hacegaba is also leading the development of the Port’s digital initiative known as the Supply Chain Information Highway, which seeks to close the gap on the lack of visibility and data sharing in goods movement by enabling end-to-end visibility and coast-to-coast connectivity.  Seven other ports are collaborating with the Port of Long Beach on the development of this digital initiative.  
In addition, Dr. Hacegaba has also led negotiations on behalf of the Port on major business transactions, including the sale of Long Beach Container Terminal and Total Terminals International, each multi-billion dollar assets at the time of sale.

Previously, Dr. Hacegaba served as the Port’s Managing Director of Commercial Operations and Chief Commercial Officer, the Port’s senior executive responsible for developing and executing business development strategies to drive cargo and revenue growth.  In this role, Dr. Hacegaba successfully managed the Port’s commercial activities during a period of significant industry realignment and led the swift recovery of its largest container terminal following the biggest bankruptcy in shipping line industry history, clearing the path for record cargo volumes.

Dr. Hacegaba began his career at the Port in 2010 as the Executive Officer to the Board of Harbor Commissioners, a position that reported directly to the Board and coordinated the governing body’s policy, administrative and communications functions.

In total, Dr. Hacegaba has more than 25 years of public and private sector experience spanning a variety of industries. Prior to joining the Port, he managed $200 million in contracts for a Fortune 500 company. In earlier roles, he served as a senior administrator for an elected office, a business executive for a growing company engaged in international trade, a research analyst for a policy research group and as a management consultant.

He is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where he earned degrees in economics (B.A. and M.A.), business administration (B.S.) and urban planning (MPL). He earned his doctorate in public administration at the University of La Verne, where he continues to serve on the faculty of the school’s College of Business and Public Management.

Dr. Hacegaba is also a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs, one of the nation’s premier post-graduate fellowship programs. Additionally, he is a Certified Port Executive (CPE) and earned the Port Professional Executive (PPX) and Port Professional Manager (PPM) professional designations offered through the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). As part of his work in the PPM program, Dr. Hacegaba authored a white paper, “Big Ships, Big Challenges: The Impact of Mega Container Vessels on U.S. Port Authorities,” which was published by AAPA and widely distributed as a reference resource within the port authority sector and the broader goods movement industry. He has written numerous other articles published in Port Technology International and the Journal of Commerce.

An active member of the community and the goods movement industry, Dr. Hacegaba serves in various leadership roles.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Intermodal Association of North America, the largest organization representing the combined interests of the intermodal freight transportation industry, after serving two terms as Chairman of the Board.  He also serves as Chairman of the Professional Development Board of the American Association of Port Authorities, a member of the Marine Exchange of Southern California Board of Directors, Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce Board of Directors, St. Mary Medical Center Board of Trustees, Long Beach City College Foundation Board of Governors and the Los Angeles/Long Beach Propeller Club.

Riley Saito
Energy Specialist and the Deputy Director
County of Hawai‘i
Biography

Riley Saito

Energy Specialist and the Deputy Director
County of Hawai‘i

Riley is currently with the County of Hawai’i, Research and Development Department, in the couple of roles, as the Energy Specialist and the Deputy Director in the last  4 years.   This is his first time in his multi-faceted career working in a public service organization.     Began a 16-year career with Hyatt Hotels following graduation from the University of Hawaii, Manoa with a business degree from the School of Travel Industry Management in 1978.  In 1994 began 10 years with Mauna Lani Resort as a Vice President and Corporate Controller.  Spearheaded Mauna Lani Resort’s project for the first commercially finance PV system in 1998.  By 2003 the resort had ~1 MW of PV systems in operation.  In 2004 joined SunPower Corporation and worked for over a decade to shape Hawai‘i ‘s clean energy future through legislative, policy, and business development initiatives.  He started a renewable energy consulting business prior to joining the County.   

Jason Ward
Associate Director
RAND Corporation
Biography

Jason Ward

Associate Director
RAND Corporation

Jason Ward is an economist who conducts research on housing, homelessness, labor, and education policy. His recent research has included leading a unique longitudinal study enumerating unsheltered populations and assessing their housing needs and preferences in Los Angeles, estimating the feasibility of adaptive reuse of commercial real estate for housing, and estimating the causal effect of restrictive labor regulations on the production of affordable housing. His research has appeared in peer reviewed journals including Health Affairs, Economics of Education Review, Demography, and Economic Inquiry. His research and commentary has been featured in media outlets including the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, KPCC Los Angeles, CNN Business, and CalMatters. Dr. Ward received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2019.

Kathryn Barger
5th District Supervisor
LA County Board of Supervisors
Biography

Kathryn Barger

5th District Supervisor
LA County Board of Supervisors

Supervisor Kathryn Barger proudly serves the residents of the 5th District — Los Angeles County’s largest — spanning over 2,785 square miles, which includes 20 cities and 83 unincorporated communities in the Antelope, San Gabriel, San Fernando, Crescenta, and Santa Clarita Valleys.

Kathryn was born and raised in the 5th District and comes from a family with deep roots in public service. She is married to a retired sheriff’s deputy and lives in the San Gabriel Valley.

Dedicated to providing effective, responsive representation to the residents of Los Angeles County, Kathryn began her career in public service as a college intern in the office of former Supervisor Antonovich and rose to become his chief deputy in 2001, where she served until her election to the Board of Supervisors in 2016. She both served as Chair of the Board and was reelected for her second term in 2020.

Building upon her work from her time as chief policy advisor on health, mental health, social services, and children’s issues, Kathryn continues to advocate for services and programs to improve the quality of life for foster children, seniors, veterans, those with disabilities, and those with mental illness.

Kathryn is committed to keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe, working with federal leaders, law enforcement officials, and judicial officers to implement vital public safety initiatives.

She is an advocate for the environment and has spearheaded efforts to preserve open space and enhance parks, trails, and recreational programs and facilities, as well as libraries and after-school programs to serve local communities. She has hosted several trail rides and hikes to connect with the community throughout her district.

With a strong sense of fiscal responsibility, Kathryn is dedicated to providing vital county services while protecting financial resources as a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars.

Kathryn serves on the boards of Metrolink, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, North County Transportation Coalition, High Desert Corridor Joint Powers Authority, National Association of Counties’ Large Urban County Caucus and Commission on Mental Health and Wellbeing, Southern California Association of Governments, Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, California State Association of Counties, and Local Agency Formation Commission.

Megan Horne
Associate Principal, Project Director
Studio MLA
Biography

Megan Horne

Associate Principal, Project Director
Studio MLA

Megan is a highly experienced studio leader in landscape architecture, with over 19 years of focus on the Los Angeles metropolitan region. She received her bachelor's degree in Geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her master's in Landscape Architecture from Harvard's Graduate School of Design. Megan has a strong working knowledge in all aspects of project development, delivery, and team management and understands the profound impacts landscape architecture can provide to our communities no matter the project scale. 

Megan's design approach is highly creative, technically informed, and ecologically focused. She tackles complex design issues by organizing project ambitions and synthesizing them into clear, consistent, and achievable strategies. Her work covers a wide range of urban projects from parks, open spaces, civic spaces, schools, mixed-use, and corporate campuses.

As Associate Principal and Director of Projects at Studio-MLA, Megan leads many of the firm's large projects, providing oversight, mentorship, and leadership on design and planning in the studio. Her current work includes the Puente Hills Landfill Park, which aims to transform one of the largest landfills into a new regional park for LA County. She also leads The Natural History Museum's The Commons project, which creates a new museum entry and provides a land acknowledgment through design collaboration with LA's indigenous nations. Additionally, Megan is working on the Wilshire Temple Camp, a camp destroyed in the Woolsey fire of 2018, and the San Gabriel Valley greenway project, which aims to transform LA's “other river” and its tributary watershed into a regional trail and greenway system.

Aside from her day-to-day design practice, Megan is Vice President of the AWAF, a 501c organization that provides scholarships and fellowships to women in the design field in California. She is an avid saltwater fly fisherman, little dog lover, and National Park enthusiast, having visited 48 out of the total 58 park sites.
 

Ed Newton
Gas Engineering Programs Manager
SoCal Gas
Biography

Ed Newton

Gas Engineering Programs Manager
SoCal Gas

Ed Newton has been with SoCal Gas for over 21 years, first serving as a Research & Materials Manager for 19 years, and currently serving as the Gas Engineering Programs Manager. In May 2022 at the American Gas Association Ops conference, the John B. McGowan Research Award (sponsored by Hubbell/GasBreaker) was presented to Ed Newton of SoCalGas; a long-time member and contributor to NYSEARCH. Ed is being recognized for his dedication and leadership on research and demonstration of technologies to provide an aerial leak mapping solution in populated distribution service areas, covering 3,500 miles of main and service in Southern California. Ed has also conducted extensive research to map methane emissions in four California cities within the SoCal Gas service territory. His paper was published in 2014 in collaboration with the Environmental Defense Fund and Colorado State University.

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

Bob Wieckowski

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

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

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

 

Tamotsu Saito
Chairman
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) 
Biography

Tamotsu Saito

Chairman
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) 

Mr. Saito was appointed Chair of NEDO, Japan’s largest and most influential government organization fostering the development of new energy and industrial technologies, in April of 2023.

Prior career was largely with IHI Corporation, one of Japan’s largest, and highly diversified, heavy industry manufacturing companies.  Starting as the founding firm of Japan’s first modern shipyard in 1853, the current IHI product mix ranges from shipbuilding to aviation and space industries, with a healthy portfolio of sustainable energy and environmental technology solutions. 

Saito joined IHI immediately upon completing Graduate Studies at the Engineering Faculty of Tokyo University in 1975.  A successful and varied career was capped with multiple senior executive positions in aerospace related operations until rising to become President of the Aero-Engine & Space Operations of IHI in 2009. 

Successive promotions soon brought Saito to the office of President and CEO of IHI Corporation in 2012, Chairman of the Board and CEO by 2016, and Chairman of IHI to year 2020. 
 

Arash Saidi
Power Engineering Manager of Distributed Resources Development & Programs
LADWP
Biography

Arash Saidi

Power Engineering Manager of Distributed Resources Development & Programs
LADWP

Arash Saidi oversees the development of customer-centric business solutions to address the growing needs of clean and reliable energy. His commitment to accelerate and determine the optimal business strategies and processes to facilitate a broader renewable and distributed energy resource (DER) procurement that is beneficial to LADWP’s electric infrastructure and its customers is in line with LADWPs goal to decarbonize the entire grid by 2045 or sooner. His most recent program achievements include the launch of the Feed-in Tariff Plus Pilot, expansion of the Feed-in Tariff program with carport and canopy incentives, and the Commercial Energy Storage to Grid Pilot. During his 13+ year tenure at LADWP, Arash has held various engineering and system planning roles related to bulk renewable energy development and underground transmission design. Arash obtained his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from CSULB and USC, respectively, and an MBA from USC’s Marshall School of Business. He also holds a Professional Engineering license in the State of California.

Shinya Shimizu
Founder, CEO & CTO
Elephantech
Biography

Shinya Shimizu

Founder, CEO & CTO
Elephantech

Shinya Shimizu is the founder, CEO and CTO of Elephantech, a Japanese startup that commercializes printable electronics technology. Since foundation, he has raised 9 billion Japanese Yen, built a mass-production factory of inkjet-printed PCB for the first time in the history, and is expanding their shipment globally. With Elephantech’s technology, 70% of copper, 75% of CO2 emissions and 95% of water consumption are saved during PCB manufacturing. Elephantech aims to push this technology to the global standard to make the electronics manufacturing sustainable.


Before starting Elephantech, he was working for McKinsey and Company, mainly serving manufacturing companies. He earned a Master of Engineering from the University of Tokyo.
 

Go Tejima
Technical Advisor, Energy and Materials (E&M) division
Toyota Research Institute
Biography

Go Tejima

Technical Advisor, Energy and Materials (E&M) division
Toyota Research Institute

Go Tejima is a Technical Advisor in the Toyota Research Institute, Energy and Materials (E&M) division. He started his career in Toyota Motor Corporation and he has been deeply involved in the Fuel Cell Vehicle development for 20 years.

After he comes to the US he is working for a carbon neutral strategy in global Toyota. His team knows that diverse technological solutions are needed, but technology alone is not enough. He works to understand how new technologies may or may not succeed when he considers business, economics, society, and policy.  

Stephanie Macoritto
Electrical Engineer Associate
LADWP
Biography

Stephanie Macoritto

Electrical Engineer Associate
LADWP

Stephanie Macoritto has been working as an Associate Electrical Engineer at Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for 6 years. Prior to securing this position, she was a Student Engineer with the LADWP for over 2 years during her final years at CSUN. She is currently a student at USC pursuing an MBA in General Business Administration and Management.

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

Liz Crosson

Chief Sustainability, Resiliency, Innovation Officer
Metropolitan Water District

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

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

Aaron Paley
President and Co-founder
Community Arts Resources (CARS)
Biography

Aaron Paley

President and Co-founder
Community Arts Resources (CARS)

Aaron Paley is President and Co-founder of Community Arts Resources (CARS) a trail-blazing company that creates ephemeral participatory events as well as long-term placemaking in diverse communities. He and his business partner, Katie Bergin, created CARS in 1989 and it has become the preeminent festival producer for Los Angeles. Since its onset, Paley and Bergin have developed their company beyond event programming and production to include cultural and urban planning, active transportation, community outreach, engagement, branding, and marketing. The company has consistently been on the cutting edge for planning and the activation of public space through content-driven programming, ephemeral interventions, and new models for design.  

As CicLAvia’s founding director until 2015, Paley provided key leadership for the development, launch and structure of this esteemed non-profit, the nation’s largest and most beloved open streets event. His work with CicLAvia and Mayor Villaraigosa’s office led directly to the creation of the Metro Open Streets program with two million dollars of annual funding for similar events throughout Los Angeles County. Paley and CARS helped launch the campaigns for “Vision Zero” with the City of Los Angeles and “Go Human” with the Southern California Association of Governments. His work helped pave the way for open streets events in other cities including San Jose California, Cape Town South Africa, Garden Grove, and Santa Monica. He continues to push for an equitable Los Angeles where sustainable active transportation options and vibrant public space are the rule and not mere after thoughts.

Paley and CARS laid the groundwork for several other key nonprofit organizations in Southern California besides CicLAvia including Grand Performances at California Plaza, Fringe Festival/Los Angeles (co-founder and founding Executive Director), and Yiddishkayt - the largest organization dedicated to this culture west of the Hudson. He also was the founding development director and the first coordinator for the National Performance Network. Paley served as a creative consultant with Disney Imagineering at three theme parks in the 1990s (Paris, Anaheim and Orlando) where his work with Disney Animation and Imagineering coalesced as the “Animation Academy” which has since become an ongoing attraction at every Disney theme park around the world. Paley has received numerous awards including the American Institute of Architects LA Chapter’s Presidential Honor, Good Samaritan Hospital’s Golden Spoke, Walk’n Rollers’ Golden Sneaker, and the Durfee Foundation’s Stanton Fellowship.

He received a B.A. in Architecture from the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley and an M.B.A. in Non-Profit Arts Management from UCLA and now has 45 years of experience in the worlds of arts, culture, transportation, and urban planning.
 

Brendan Mullins
Senior Associate
Stantec
Biography

Brendan Mullins

Senior Associate
Stantec

Brendan’s passion is combining research with project work. As an innovator, Brendan is leading a companywide research and development grant exploring how we can integrate virtual reality (VR) into our design practice. As an architect, he’s currently working on the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles, where Stantec is paving the way for advanced visualization, computational design, and advanced BIM workflows.

Working to marry his R&D and architectural project work, Brendan frequently uses VR on active projects. In the case of San Ysidro, Brendan used VR to share the design with our clients. On the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, he’s integrating VR into all phases of the project, including permitting and construction.

Apart from project and research work, Brendan regularly volunteers with ACE Mentoring, a free after-school program in which industry professionals teach high school students about the architecture, engineering, and construction industry.
 

Craig R. Bartels, PhD
Principal Scientist
Hydranautics
Biography

Craig R. Bartels, PhD

Principal Scientist
Hydranautics

Dr. Bartels has a BS in Chemistry from Baylor University and a PhD from Northwestern University in Material Science.  Since entering industry, he has over 38 years of experience in all facets of membrane technology, covering both application and development of membranes.  He has 22 patents and numerous publications, including contributions to 2 books on RO/NF technology. He has previously held technical and management positions at Texaco Inc, Koch Fluid Systems, and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. He served as VP of Technology for 20 years at Hydranautics, and currently holds the position of Principal Scientist at Hydranautics, a Nitto Denko Group Company.  

Daniel Curtin
Director
California Conference of Carpenters
Biography

Daniel Curtin

Director
California Conference of Carpenters

Daniel M. Curtin was appointed to State Fund’s Board of Directors by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009 and reappointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 2012 and 2019.

He was one of three appointees to State Fund’s Board of Directors in 2009, following AB 1874 which restructured and expanded membership on the board.

Curtin has served as Director of the California Conference of Carpenters since 2001, and previously held the same position from 1992 to 1999.

Curtin is on the Board of Directors of the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy, California State Water Commission and on the Industrial Welfare Commission. He also served on California Economic Development Commission.

From 1999 to 2001, Curtin served as chief deputy director for the Department of Industrial Relations. Prior to that, he was a legislative advocate for the California Conference of Carpenters. 

With more than 25 years of labor experience as an organizer and advocate, Curtin also holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from City College of New York.

Gary Gero
Chief of Staff
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Gary Gero

Chief of Staff
City of Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

Jake Levine
Chief Climate Officer
US International Development Finance Corporation
Biography

Jake Levine

Chief Climate Officer
US International Development Finance Corporation

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

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

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

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

Philip Raffi
Sr. Director of Sustainability and Business Solutions
Peak Power
Biography

Philip Raffi

Sr. Director of Sustainability and Business Solutions
Peak Power

Phillip has over 13 years of experience in sustainability, energy management, and renewable energy, predominantly in Commercial Real Estate. In his current role as Sr. Director of Sustainability and Business Solutions at Peak Power, he and his team are diligently working on predictive analytics software to eradicate retro commissioning while reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. To date, Phillip has helped Peak Power deploy these smart technologies in over 25 Million square feet of commercial and mixed-use properties. In his previous role at Colliers International, Phillip led a team of sustainability professionals that managed over 65 million square feet of commercial real estate across Canada. He successfully implemented a wide variety of solutions, such as creating strategic corporate initiatives that include national policy development, hedging strategies, green building certifications such as BOMA BEST, LEED and Fitwel, operational efficiency strategies and projects, and the adoption of smart technology. Most recently, Phillip was awarded the 2019 IESO/Toronto Hydro Energy Manager of the Year award. 

Jag Singh
Director of Business Development
SBI BioEnergy Inc.
Biography

Jag Singh

Director of Business Development
SBI BioEnergy Inc.

Jag is an industrial systems engineer transitioned into business development. Building a team of 3 employees to over 20 in 5 years, a subject matter expert in Industry 4.0 and Smart Automation principles, with many strategic partnerships and new products developed at a German automation start-up in Chicago. The experiences were directly applicable at SBI, where the past 3 years were spent entrenched in the hydrogen world. Jag has gained multiple OEM partners, strategic collaborators, secured funding in the clean energy start-up space- all centered around hydrogen. Jag spearheaded global campaigns for SBI, being placed in the top100 startups in the world, a champion of Plug & Play Japan, Startup Buddy Accelerator, and many opportunities through Global Affairs Canada (the Canadian Trade Commissioner Services) and many more. Attending to the business-focused demands, Jag is attending the Stanford's Graduate School of Business' LEAD program to gain more effective tools with the experience. Armed with smart data/automation, hydrogen technical experience, and engineering/business development experience Jag is a versatile member of the SBI Group.

Nicole Gordon
Partner
Sohagi Law Group
Biography

Nicole Gordon

Partner
Sohagi Law Group

Ms. Gordon, a partner at The Sohagi Law Group, advises public agencies on complex environmental and land use matters at the administrative, trial, and appellate level. She focuses her practice on complex issues and projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the federal and California Endangered Species Act (ESA), and Planning and Zoning Laws.

As the 2018-2019 Chair of the Executive Committee of the Environmental Law Section of the California Lawyers Association (formerly a division of the State Bar), Ms. Gordon is at the forefront of the environmental law issues with which public agencies must grapple. Ms. Gordon has also been recognized as a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” and is a frequent lecturer on environmental matters at various public and private workshops, including courses and conferences sponsored by UCLA, Continuing Legal Education (CLE), the Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP), and the American Planning Association (APA).

Natalie Freidberg
President
Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce
Biography

Natalie Freidberg

President
Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce

As President of the Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce since 2016, Natalie has fought for resources for small business owners, employees and non-profit organizations. Under her leadership, the Chamber has become more active in the community and has developed strong relationships with the Los Angeles City Council, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and multiple City departments. In 2020, she expanded the scope of the Chamber beyond the membership, working with dozens of restaurant owners in Northeast LA to overcome the challenges brought by the pandemic.

Natalie is currently on the steering committees of the Beautiful Boulevard, Rock The Boulevard and Sunset4All street and transit improvement projects. She has actively campaigned for these and related improvements since 2019, working with residents, small business owners and employees to build support for more equitable and efficient transit options.

In 2020, Natalie became a strategic partner with Reusable LA (RULA), a coalition of well-known non-profits working to phase out single-use plastics (SUPs) in the greater Los Angeles area. RULA recently celebrated landmark campaign victories at both the City and County of Los Angeles, to which she contributed her experience in sustainability and her relationships with restaurant owners.

Since 2009, Natalie has organized campaigns for the Perros Project and other non-profits providing no-cost spay and neuter services for street dogs in Peru, Ecuador and Spain. She fundraises for medical supplies and travel, recruits and supervises volunteers and liaises with local organizations. Once in-country, her role includes working with media, government officials and community members to create awareness of the clinics and encourage participation.

In 2021, Natalie was appointed to represent Council District 13 on the Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission.

Natalie received her degree in Environmental Policy from Occidental College. Her passion for community and environmental justice began then as a Public Policy intern with the Lead Poisoning Organizing Project. Since that time, she has worked to represent the neighborhoods she lives and works in and the causes she believes in, using diplomacy and collaboration to find creative, implementable solutions for environmental and small business concerns.

Stephanie Macorrito
Electrical Engineer Associate
LADWP
Biography

Stephanie Macorrito

Electrical Engineer Associate
LADWP

Stephanie Macoritto has been working as an Associate Electrical Engineer at Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for 6 years. Prior to securing this position, she was a Student Engineer with the LADWP for over 2 years during her final years at CSUN. She is currently a student at USC pursuing an MBA in General Business Administration and Management.

Larry Kosmont
Chairman & CEO
Kosmont Companies
Biography

Larry Kosmont

Chairman & CEO
Kosmont Companies

Mr. Larry J. Kosmont, CRE® is Chairman and CEO of Kosmont Companies, which he founded in 1986. Kosmont Companies is an industry leader in public/private real estate/land use transactions, public finance, and economic development. In 1990, he founded Kosmont Realty, a real estate brokerage firm and subsequently, launched Kosmont Transactions Services, Inc. dba Kosmont Financial Services which sources financing for public/private projects, P3 initiatives, and infrastructure funding. He is a co-principal of California Golden Fund, a USCIS approved EB-5 Regional Center.

Mr. Kosmont’s over 35-year career encompasses public/private financial structuring, negotiation, development, and management of real estate and public finance transactions exceeding $12B. He has assisted hundreds of local government agencies in public finance and real estate matters ranging from large-scale economic development programs to site-specific real estate strategies and projects. He has guided over 1,000 private sector projects in obtaining public approvals, structuring deal terms, and securing public/private financing.

Mr. Kosmont served as Interim City Administrator, City Manager, Director of Community Development, and Redevelopment Director in the cities of Montebello. Santa Monica, Seal Beach, Bell Gardens, and Burbank.

Mariam Awara
Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer
Pulsenics
Biography

Mariam Awara

Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer
Pulsenics

Mariam Awara is co-founder and chief operating officer at Pulsenics, a company with a mission to accelerate the gigawatt-scale industrialization of green hydrogen production. She trained as an electrical and computer engineer at the University of Calgary, where she researched power and energy systems and wireless telecommunication systems. Today she is on a mission to enable the adoption of clean energy processes at scale through Pulsenics’ performance monitoring and management capabilities for green hydrogen electrolysers. 

Rachel Machi Wagoner
Director
CalRecycle
Biography

Rachel Machi Wagoner

Director
CalRecycle

Rachel Machi Wagoner serves as CalRecycle’s director.

Prior to being appointed director by Governor Gavin Newsom in December 2020, Ms. Machi Wagoner served as Deputy Legislative Secretary in the Office of the Governor beginning in 2019.

Before that she worked as the Chief Consultant for the California State Senate Committee on Environmental Quality from 2009 to 2018, where she advised state senators on issues related to environmental protection, including waste reduction, environmental justice, pollution prevention, and hazardous waste.

Ms. Machi Wagoner’s experience also includes time as Research Director at the University of Illinois, Chicago School of Public Health and an Advisor at the Department of Environment for the City of Chicago in 2008. Other public service includes consulting for the California State Senate Committee on Environmental Quality from 2007 to 2008 and for the California State Senate Committee on Health from 2004 to 2007, working as Director of Legislative Affairs at the California Department of Toxic Substances Control from 2002 to 2004, acting as a consultant for the California State Senate Committee on Elections and Reapportionment from 2000 to 2002, and as Deputy Legislative Secretary for Governor Gray Davis from 1999 to 2000.

Ms. Machi Wagoner holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy with a minor in history from the University of San Francisco.

Sarah Friedman
Principal
Better World Group
Biography

Sarah Friedman

Principal
Better World Group

Sarah K. Friedman is an experienced energy and environmental strategist, advocate and attorney with strong subject matter expertise in climate, land use, renewable energy and water.
She has deep experience in advocacy, strategy development, negotiations, as well as, building and maintaining diverse, impactful state and local coalitions.

Sarah was a Senior Campaign Representative at the Sierra Club for seven years. She built durable relationships with federal, state and local agencies. In her role at Sierra Club, she worked to protect California's precious lands, wildlife and waters, while also meeting the challenge of developing renewable energy at the scale necessary to curb climate change. This included work to develop, finalize and protect the landmark Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, the defense of California’s desert national monuments, and addressing environmental issues related to the Salton Sea.

Prior to joining the Sierra Club, Sarah worked as an attorney, representing renewable energy developers in the financing and development of wind, solar and geothermal projects.

Sarah holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a bachelor’s from the University of Oregon.

Aurelia Setton
CBO
Exodigo
Biography

Aurelia Setton

CBO
Exodigo

Aurelia Setton is currently the CBO at Exodigo. Prior to this, they served as the CRO at trellis-AI from June 2020 to May 2021. In this role, they were responsible for the company's revenue growth. Before that, they were at PerfectStay as the Go-to-Market Strategy & Global Sales lead from September 2018 to May 2019. There, they increased PerfectStay's market share and developed new sales strategies. From March 2018 to October 2018, they were at numberly (1000mercis Group), leading clients roadshows in the US and France and overseeing strategic sales. Aurelia began their career as the FrenchTech Ambassador at French Tech San Francisco. Aurelia is a highly skilled sales strategist with a proven track record of success in growing revenue and market share.

Aurelia Setton has a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University Graduate School of Business, a Master of Science from HEC Paris, and a Bachelor of Arts from HEC Paris. Aurelia also participated in a CEMS exchange program at Università Bocconi and completed an International Baccalaureat at The Awty International School.

Aurelia Setton reports to Jeremy Suard, CEO. They are on a team with Ido Gonen - CTO, Yogev Shifman - CPO.

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 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 has been a leading public affairs professional in 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 is recognized as an organizational leader, consensus builder and strategic communications specialist who can develop high performance teams, which produce results. Wilson also 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.

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

Through his Santa Margarita Water District affiliation, Wilson also currently serves as the Chairman of the Association of California Water Agencies, Energy Committee, the statewide professional association of public water agencies.

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

A frequent lecturer and university level instructor, Wilson was invited to provide advanced political campaign and communications seminars to train candidates and political parties in Novosibirsk, Russia. 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. He also completed his post graduate studies in Organizational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University.

Charles and his wife, Pam, live in Orange County.  
 

 

Gleam Davis
Mayor of Santa Monica
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Gleam Davis

Mayor of Santa Monica
City of Santa Monica

Gleam Davis has been on the Santa Monica City Council since February 2009, but she has been active in progressive causes for over three decades.  Before she moved to Santa Monica in 1986, Gleam graduated from Harvard Law School and served in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.  Prior to joining the City Council, Gleam was a co-chair of Santa Monicans for Renters Rights and served on the Santa Monica Planning Commission.  She also served as co-chair of the Santa Monica Child Care and Early Education Task Force.  On the City Council, Gleam has championed housing as a civil right, Lifelong Learning, sustainability, workers’ rights, mobility, and establishing Santa Monica as a City of Wellbeing.  She first served as Mayor of Santa Monica in 2019 and, during her tenure, she helped found Santa Monica’s first Pride Festival, expanded activities celebrating Black History Month and Juneteeth, and brought together local and international activists for the City’s first Wellbeing Summit.  She is married and has one son who served in the U.S. Army.    

Steven Bingler
CEO and Founder
Concordia
Biography

Steven Bingler

CEO and Founder
Concordia

Steven Bingler is a leading advocate for innovative, equitable and community centered architectural, urban design and stakeholder engagement solutions. He grew up in a working class family in Charlottesville, Virginia where he was among the first in his extended family to graduate from high school.  He is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Architecture and is a lifetime member of the university’s prestigious Raven Society.

In 1983 he founded Concordia, a New Orleans based architectural, planning and community centered design firm. The word concordia, which is the Latin word for “harmony,” became his personal and professional mission statement.  Concordia’s award winning projects have appeared in many local, national and international publications, including Newsweek, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today, as well as Architectural Digest, Architecture and Metropolis magazines.

Bingler has founded or co-founded a series of New Orleans based organizations with missions focused on community centered entrepreneurship and design innovation. He co-founded with Martin C.Pedersen the “Common Edge Collaborative”,an online news site with more than 400 essays published on community centered planning and design. https://commonedge.org/ 

See recent article co-authored with Pedersen, published in Fast Company, 08-15-22; “America’s biggest financial threat isn’t government spending.  It’s the cost of climate change.

Bingler’s work has received support from the Ford, Rockefeller, Bill and Melinda Gates, George Lucas, Prudential, William Penn and other foundations. His research papers have been widely published in books and journals on climate change, urban planning, architectural design, public health and education. His op-eds, developed in collaboration with his colleague Martin Pedersen, have been published in the New York Times and Washington Post.

As a fervent naturalist, he has recently become a spokesperson for community centered climate change planning.  In addition to his efforts in coordinating the Unified New Orleans Plan (UNOP) for the recovery of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, he recently served as the principal investigator for the Global Transformation Roundtable, a Rockefeller Foundation funded initiative. He authored the resulting report, “Sea Changes”, outlining planning principles for addressing sea level rise, wildfires, drought and other systemic existential challenges.
 

Brad Haydel
Associate Director, Office of Sustainability
University of Southern California
Biography

Brad Haydel

Associate Director, Office of Sustainability
University of Southern California

Brad Haydel has over 10 years of experience providing comprehensive solutions and effective leadership on a wide range of sustainability initiatives. He is skilled in the creation and management of highly effective carbon mitigation programs, energy efficiency projects, climate resilience planning, GHG accounting, cost benefit analysis, zero waste planning, water conservation, change management, civic engagement, and social justice initiatives.

Prior to joining USC, Brad served as the Energy & Sustainability Manager at Cal State LA, where he established their 2019 Climate Action Plan, Campus Sustainability Committee, Zero Waste Plan, and Green Revolving Fund to foster a campus culture of sustainability. He holds a Master of Environmental Science & Management degree from UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School and is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Aurelia Setton
Chief Business Officer
Exodigo
Biography

Aurelia Setton

Chief Business Officer
Exodigo

Aurelia Setton is currently the CBO at Exodigo. Prior to this, they served as the CRO at trellis-AI from June 2020 to May 2021. In this role, they were responsible for the company's revenue growth. Before that, they were at PerfectStay as the Go-to-Market Strategy & Global Sales lead from September 2018 to May 2019. There, they increased PerfectStay's market share and developed new sales strategies. From March 2018 to October 2018, they were at numberly (1000mercis Group), leading clients roadshows in the US and France and overseeing strategic sales. Aurelia began their career as the FrenchTech Ambassador at French Tech San Francisco. Aurelia is a highly skilled sales strategist with a proven track record of success in growing revenue and market share.

Aurelia Setton has a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University Graduate School of Business, a Master of Science from HEC Paris, and a Bachelor of Arts from HEC Paris. Aurelia also participated in a CEMS exchange program at Università Bocconi and completed an International Baccalaureat at The Awty International School.

Aurelia Setton reports to Jeremy Suard, CEO. They are on a team with Ido Gonen - CTO, Yogev Shifman - CPO.

Eiji Ohira
Strategy Architect, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Office
Japan New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
Biography

Eiji Ohira

Strategy Architect, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Office
Japan New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

Eiji Ohira is the Strategy Architect of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)’s Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technology Office.
In this capacity, he is responsible for 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 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.

Jasmine Jiang
Director of Investment
Sunstone Management, Inc.
Biography

Jasmine Jiang

Director of Investment
Sunstone Management, Inc.

Jasmine Jiang is the Director of Investment at Sunstone Management Inc, a private capital firm based in Southern California. With a strong background in finance and investment, she leads the investment team in finding and investing in early-stage technology entrepreneurs. Being fluent in both Mandarin and English, Jasmine is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in venture capital. She actively contributes to driving innovation and economic growth by establishing public-private partnerships.

Alex Nazarchuck
City Engineer
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Alex Nazarchuck

City Engineer
City of Santa Monica

Alex Nazarchuk manages the Engineering and Street Services Division, overseeing design and construction of capital projects, reviewing plans for private development and public right-of-way improvements, and managing street maintenance including roadway, sidewalk and alley repairs. Nazarchuk was appointed as City Engineer in 2019. He has over 20 years of engineering experience, 17 with the City of Santa Monica. During his time with Public Works, Nazarchuk has overseen major construction projects including the Charnock Wellfield Restoration Project and expansion of the Expo Light Rail into Santa Monica. He also served for nearly two years as Interim Water Resources Manager where he led efforts to update the Sustainable Water Master Plan, a blueprint for reducing the City’s reliance on imported water. Before joining the City, Nazarchuk worked for an engineering consulting firm and a local building contractor. Nazarchuk is a SAMOHI graduate and earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Engineering, civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He is the father of two boys, both born in Santa Monica. Nazarchuk enjoys trying new food and traveling to new destinations with his family.
 

Helmi Hisserich
Director of Global Housing Solutions
Global Policy Leadership Academy
Biography

Helmi Hisserich

Director of Global Housing Solutions
Global Policy Leadership Academy

Helmi is a director at the Global Policy Leadership Academy, a firm that specializes in creating immersive educational programs for policy leaders focused on fostering knowledge of best practices in housing around the world.   During a 25-year career with the City of Los Angeles Helmi served as Deputy Mayor of Housing and was a senior level manager at the Los Angeles Housing Department and the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency.  Throughout her career, she has worked with a wide range of civic, community, and elected leaders to advance affordable housing and economic development in the City of Los Angeles. Helmi  is currently leading delegations of California policy makers to Vienna Austria to learn about the Vienna Social Housing Model.   Helmi earned a BA in Comparative Literature from University of Southern California and an MBA from Cornell University with an emphasis in finance.   Helmi attended the Harvard Kennedy School Program for Senior Executives in State and Local government and was awarded a Stanton Fellowship in 2016 for thought leadership in housing.  She lives in Los Angeles.

Aurelia Setton
Chief Business Officer
Exodigo
Biography

Aurelia Setton

Chief Business Officer
Exodigo

Aurelia Setton is currently the CBO at Exodigo. Prior to this, they served as the CRO at trellis-AI from June 2020 to May 2021. In this role, they were responsible for the company's revenue growth. Before that, they were at PerfectStay as the Go-to-Market Strategy & Global Sales lead from September 2018 to May 2019. There, they increased PerfectStay's market share and developed new sales strategies. From March 2018 to October 2018, they were at numberly (1000mercis Group), leading clients roadshows in the US and France and overseeing strategic sales. Aurelia began their career as the FrenchTech Ambassador at French Tech San Francisco. Aurelia is a highly skilled sales strategist with a proven track record of success in growing revenue and market share.

Aurelia Setton has a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University Graduate School of Business, a Master of Science from HEC Paris, and a Bachelor of Arts from HEC Paris. Aurelia also participated in a CEMS exchange program at Università Bocconi and completed an International Baccalaureat at The Awty International School.

Aurelia Setton reports to Jeremy Suard, CEO. They are on a team with Ido Gonen - CTO, Yogev Shifman - CPO.

Gerhard Mayer
Principal Architect
GGLO Architects
Biography

Gerhard Mayer

Principal Architect
GGLO Architects

Gerhard is an architect and urbanist who embraces a paradigm shift towards the walkable, multimodal, equitable, sustainable high-quality urban living of the future. Originally from Vienna (Austria), he emigrated to the US on a Fulbright Scholarship in Sustainable Design and Architecture. 

He has practiced architecture on four continents, with valuable lessons learned in many cultural environments. His experiences include work with the father of tropical modernism - Geoffrey Bawa - in Sri Lanka, where projects were designed more in full scale mock-ups than in careful drawings; with Frank Gehry on a variety of projects, where the firm explored the possibilities of digital modeling towards unique non-linear design solutions; work on semiconductor factories in Germany and work with his own firm in Southern California. He led many teams large and small toward designing authentic places that create beauty in ways that are intrinsically local and urban.

Gerhard is currently focused on quality urban design; he is convinced that it is the medium through which one can address many of the shortcomings of our built environment and solve intractable urban problems. He has been pursuing urban change through a variety of organizations he helped found or been part of. Gerhard served as chair of the AIA L.A.’s Urban Design Committee and takes pride in finding new opportunities for each project, for all stakeholders.

Gerhard is a prolific writer and has started several local initiatives and non-profits that attempt to create a better Southern California. 
 

Mitch Roth
Mayor
County of Hawaiʻi
Biography

Mitch Roth

Mayor
County of Hawaiʻi

Mitchell D. Roth was elected Mayor of the County of Hawaiʻi in November 2020 with a vision of fostering a sustainable island community where residents could thrive and succeed for generations. Since taking office, Mitch has championed sustainable efforts islandwide, including pushing for energy resilience and independence, transforming the County fleet to 100% renewable energy vehicles, bringing online hydrogen buses for public transportation, and investing heavily in infrastructure repair and maintenance. Under Mayor Roth’s leadership, the County of Hawaiʻi has added over 5,000 affordable housing units to the development pipelineand continues to encourage public-private partnerships to meet the needs of Hawaiʻi Island’s residents.

Before becoming Mayor, Mitch dedicated 27 years of his career to the safety and health of Hawai‘i Island residents, serving as the Prosecuting Attorney of Hawaiʻi County – a role he held since 2012. Under his leadership, the Hawai‘i County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney prosecuted several cold cases, implemented the first restorative justice program in a prosecutor’s office nationally, created a sexual assault unit with attorneys experienced in such cases, and set up community outreach and training.

Mayor Roth has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and a Juris Doctorate from Whittier Law School. He and his wife, Noriko Yamada Roth, reside in Hilo and have three adult children, all graduates of Waiākea High School.
 

Nick Melvoin
Board Member, District 4
Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education
Biography

Nick Melvoin

Board Member, District 4
Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education

Nick Melvoin is proud to serve the dynamic communities of District 4 as a Board Member at the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. First elected in 2017, Nick’s work is focused on increasing parent and community engagement, transparency and accountability; directing more resources to schools; protecting our most vulnerable students; and bringing a new spirit of partnership and collaboration to LA’s public schools. He chairs the district’s “Committee of the Whole,” bringing a transparent conversation about LA Unified’s budgetary process and priorities to the public. He also serves on committees related to family and community engagement, innovation, and school safety. Prior to his election, Nick worked as a teacher, public interest attorney, nonprofit director, and an active board member of a number of community and political organizations. Nick has also worked in the Obama White House and the US Attorney’s office. Nick is a graduate of Harvard College, NYU School of Law (Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar), and Loyola Marymount University’s School of Education. He was a recent recipient of the Los Angeles Young Democrat of the Year Award.

Ed Newton
Gas Engineering Programs Manager
SoCalGas
Biography

Ed Newton

Gas Engineering Programs Manager
SoCalGas
Ambassador Marcelo Dantas
Consul General
Consulate General of Brazil
Biography

Ambassador Marcelo Dantas

Consul General
Consulate General of Brazil

Career diplomat, currently the Consul General of Brazil in Los Angeles. He studied at Colégio Santo Inácio (1971-1981) and has undergraduate (1982-1985) and graduate (1986-1987) degrees in Economics from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro - UFRJ.

In 1988, he joined the Brazilian Foreign Service ("Itamaraty") and was subsequently promoted to the rank of Ambassador in 2018. As a diplomat, he served in the Embassies of Brazil in Washington D.C. (1994-1997), Mexico City (1997-2000) and Lisbon (2003-2005), and as Deputy Permanent Delegate of Brazil to UNESCO in Paris (2012-2017).

In Brasilia, he was advisor to the Director of the Administration Department (1990-1993), assistant to the Chancellor (2001-2002) and head of the Division of Multilateral Cultural Affairs (2005-2008). He also served as special advisor to the Minister of Mines and Energy (2000-2001 and 2018), director of International Relations at the Ministry of Culture (2008-2012), international advisor to the Foreign Relations Committee of the House of Representatives (2017-2018), special advisor to the Speaker of the House (2019-2020), and international advisor to the Foreign Relations Committee of the Federal Senate (2021).

 

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.

Jacki Bacharach
Executive Director
South Bay Cities Council of Governments
Biography

Jacki Bacharach

Executive Director
South Bay Cities Council of Governments

Jacki Bacharach has been the Executive Director of the South Bay Cities Council of Governments, a joint powers authority of 16 cities and unincorporated county area in the southwest portion of Los Angeles County since 1998.  Her duties include program and project management and grant administration – including oversight responsibility for the South Bay Environmental Services Center, transportation projects promoting slow speed zero emission vehicles and the South Bay’s Measure R and Measure M transportation programs. Special initiatives are as diverse as services for homeless and for seniors, creation of the South Bay Fiber Network, climate action plan implementation strategies and legislative advocacy.   

She is also a member of the Los Angeles County Quality and Productivity Commission appointed by Supervisor Janice Hahn.
Previously, she served for 14 years as Mayor and Councilmember in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes and on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (LACTC) for 12 years. (LACTC is the agency that was responsible for transportation planning in Los Angeles until 1993 when Metro was formed). She chaired the Commission’s Planning and Rail Construction Committees and the Commission itself.  She led the committees through the development of the overall rail plan for L.A. County as well as overseeing the construction of the Metro Blue and Green Lines.  

She served as the Founding Chair of the Southern California Regional Rail Authority - the five-county agency that is operating the Metrolink commuter rail system.  Additionally, she was a Founding Vice Chair for the Los Angeles-San Diego Rail Corridor Agency overseeing and improving L.A.-San Diego Amtrak service.  And, she was a charter member of the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority dealing with landside access to the Ports of LA and Long Beach.  For the League of California Cities, she chaired the Transportation and Communications Committee which included technology issues.

She served as a member of the National Commission on Intermodal Transportation appointed by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Federico Peña as well as working with the Secretary as a member of President Clinton’s Transition Team Transportation Cluster Group.  In both of these positions, she was the only member from California.
 

Lava Sunder
Fmr. Founding General Manager
Culdesac Tempe
Biography

Lava Sunder

Fmr. Founding General Manager
Culdesac Tempe

Lava is a startup advisor and investor based in San Francisco, CA who primarily advises early-stage proptech and mobility startups. Prior to that, Lava served as one of the first employees and Founding General Manager of Culdesac, a trailblazing tech-enabled real estate developer and property manager based in Tempe, AZ.  Lava played a pivotal role in leading brand and marketing efforts for the company, as well as development and operations for Culdesac's inaugural project, Culdesac Tempe: the 1st car-free community built from scratch in the US. 
 
Beyond that, Lava is an advocate for e-bikes and is on the board of the National Youth Bike Council (NYBC) Board of Trustees, where she supports and guides initiatives to boost youth cycling through youth leadership.

Marcel Porras
Deputy Chief Innovation Officer
LA Metro
Biography

Marcel Porras

Deputy Chief Innovation Officer
LA Metro

Marcel has over ten years of experience in transportation, planning, and economic development.  Prior to joining LADOT he was the Associate Director of Transportation for Mayor Eric Garcetti.  Marcel has a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA.

Emil Abedelshehid
Power Engineering Manager
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Biography

Emil Abedelshehid

Power Engineering Manager
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Emil Abdelshehid is a Power Engineering Manager with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Assistant Director of the Power New Business and Electrification Division.   He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine and an MBA from the University of Southern California.  Emil has spent the majority of his career in the utility industry with experience in areas such as distribution station design, smart grid, operational and information technology.  Emil has led teams that have implemented and integrated various operational technologies to optimize operator decision making capabilities.  In his current role, Emil assists in helping the City of Los Angeles meets its electrification goals while working to efficiently bringing new solar, battery, energy storage, residential, and commercial customer loads online.  As a resident of the City of Los Angeles, Emil understands how new technology and electrification are keys to a clean decarbonized future.   

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

Toru Sugiura

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

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

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

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

 
Trevor Macenski
Senior Principal, Environmental Services
Stantec
Biography

Trevor Macenski

Senior Principal, Environmental Services
Stantec

Trevor develops environmental compliance programs for controversial development activities to help communities, clients, and regulators, find a balanced approach to development. As a seasoned impact assessment practitioner, educator, and strategist; Trevor advises clients from concept all the way through construction. With experience in the power, community development, transportation, education, commercial, industrial, and institutional sectors Trevor's background offers a wide range of experience on litigious projects.

As an adjunct professor and guest lecturer, Trevor has taught at the University of California Davis, Fresno State, and Sonoma State, and is the past Chapter Director for the Bay Area and Sacramento chapters of the Association of Environmental Professionals. 

Dan Weinstein
Partner
College Town International, LLC
Biography

Dan Weinstein

Partner
College Town International, LLC

Dan Weinstein is a partner at CTI who has been with the Company since its inception. The Company entitles and builds ground up residential housing, primarily in urban infill locations. Currently, CTI is developing nearly 1,000 units of market rate, workforce and affordable housing along an underserved corridor in Sacramento.

For the past 40 years, Mr. Weinstein has worked extensively in both the public and private sectors. Early in his career, Dan worked for former California Attorney General John Van de Kamp, where he served as the AG’s liaison on labor relations. Dan also spent the better part of two decades working in various capacities as a senior advisor to former California Governor Gray Davis.

In the late 1990’s, Mr. Weinstein left government service for some time to work for a middle-market private equity firm. Eventually, he launched a boutique investment firm that raised both private equity and real estate capital from institutional investors throughout North America, as well as overseas.  Over a decade, the firm raised nearly $10B of capital on behalf of its clients.

Mr. Weinstein has always been actively involved in community affairs and philanthropic endeavors.  He served as a commissioner for the California Coastal Commission, as a Board member of the Coro Foundation, and as a Trustee to the California State University System, the largest higher education system in the United States.
 

Windie Yancy
Director of Power New Business and Electrification
LADWP
Biography

Windie Yancy

Director of Power New Business and Electrification
LADWP

Winifred J. Yancy, P.E, M.B.A, a licensed electrical engineer in the State of California and native of New Orleans, Louisiana, obtained an Electrical Engineering degree from California State University Northridge in 1990 and a Masters of Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 2006. Her career in the utility industry began as an Electrical Engineering Assistant at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP); the largest municipal utility in the nation, where she spent a number of years in the Power, Design and Construction Division. She has more than thirty years of service with LADWP.


Winifred currently serves as the Director of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the LADWP. In this position, she oversees the legislative and intergovernmental liaison activities of LADWP, serving as the point of contact for elected officials and their staff serving the City of Los Angeles. Winifred proactively analyzes and communicates the Department’s position on water and power issues, advocating in various forums including meetings with elected official’s representatives at local, State and Federal levels. This relatively new endeavor, has allowed her to bring much energy, ideas, and oversight to LADWP’s engineers and analyst.

Akihisa Sono
Hydrogen Production Manager, Overseas Business Office
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Incorporated (TEPCO)
Biography

Akihisa Sono

Hydrogen Production Manager, Overseas Business Office
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Incorporated (TEPCO)

Akihisa Sono is Hydrogen Project Manager at the Overseas Business Office in TEPCO, the largest utility in Japan which provides one fourth of the electricity in Japan.

With his engineering background, he has over 10 years of experience in researching the global energy market and corporate management. He is in charge of utilizing TEPCO's accumulated knowledge of green hydrogen production and its demand to expand TEPCO's overseas business.

TEPCO, as a responsible utility striving for carbon neutrality, is shifting its business from only selling energy to providing a value with green solutions. One of its focusing domain is green hydrogen. TEPCO has been researching green hydrogen production system for several years. The company developed and is operating its first 1.5MW of green hydrogen production facility in Japan, with other global projects to follow.
 

Nate Taylor
Director of Integrated Infrastructure Planning
SoCalGas
Biography

Nate Taylor

Director of Integrated Infrastructure Planning
SoCalGas

Nate Taylor is the Director of Integrated Infrastructure Planning at SoCalGas. He is responsible for coordinating overall infrastructure planning activities for the company, including holistically planning for the integration of clean fuels and other decarbonization technologies, and aligning long-range system plans with SoCalGas' ASPIRE 2045 goals and California's long-term climate policies. 

Previously Nate has held roles in strategic planning and analysis, clean fuels business development, product development and project management at SoCalGas, as well as energy efficiency and demand response research and gas distribution engineering at SDG&E. Nate has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego. 
 

Eiko Yoshida
Mayor of Namie
Namie Town Japan
Biography

Eiko Yoshida

Mayor of Namie
Namie Town Japan

Eiko Yoshida is the Mayor of Namie Town in Fukushima, Japan. For 16 years from 2006 to 2022, he was active as a member of the Fukushima Prefectural Assembly, and in August 2022, he was appointed Mayor of Namie Town. Mayor Yoshida is using hydrogen energy 

Stephanie Clements
Assistant Director, CFO
StreetsLA
Biography

Stephanie Clements

Assistant Director, CFO
StreetsLA

Stephanie has worked for the City of Los Angeles for more than 22 years, working in various city departments including the CAO's Office and the Department of General Services, and has served as the Assistant Director of StreetsLA since 2017. She has extensive experience in all aspects of city administration and currently manages StreetsLA financial and administrative programs, including contracting, human resources, and risk management. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Economics and Political Science from UC Santa Barbara and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from USC. Stephanie is proud of her Los Angeles roots and is committed to making StreetsLA the best run department in the city!

Daisuke Yanagisawa
Director of Alternative Fuel & Clean Mobility
Mitsui & Co.
Biography

Daisuke Yanagisawa

Director of Alternative Fuel & Clean Mobility
Mitsui & Co.

Daisuke Yanagisawa has been working with Mitsui & Co. since 2009; first as the Manager of Renewable Energy Projects, and currently as the Director of Alternative Fuel and Clean Mobility. Since 2019, he has served as the CFO at Mitsui’s subsidiaries, and in 2020, he became a Board Member of FIRSTELEMENT Fuel Inc. Yanagisawa holds three degrees from the University of Southern California, a BS in Aerospace Engineering, MS in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, and an MBA in Venture Investment and Technology Commercialization.

Julie Duhaut-Bedos
French Consul General
Consulat de France à Los Angeles
Biography

Julie Duhaut-Bedos

French Consul General
Consulat de France à Los Angeles

Julie Duhaut-Bedos became the French Consul General in Los Angeles in September 2020. Mrs Duhaut-Bedos is a career diplomat of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. She joined the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2001. Since then, she has served as Desk officer at the North Africa and Middle East Division, first for Gulf Countries (2001-2003) and then for Tunisia and Libya (2003-2005).
She was appointed as Political and Press Counsellor at the French Embassy in Tunis (2005-2009). She also served as Spokesperson/Press Counsellor at the French Embassy in Ottawa, Canada (2009-2013). She then served in Paris from 2013 to 2016 at the Department of Human Resources, where she was in charge of high rank diplomats’ careers and appointments, “E360” evaluation and feminization of the management in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prior to her posting in Los Angeles, she was the Deputy Head of Mission at the French Embassy in Australia. Julie Duhaut-Bedos is a graduate of Sciences-Po Paris and holds a degree in English. She has been awarded the distinction of Knight in the French National Order of Merit in 2019.

Winnie Lee
Associate
Arup
Biography

Winnie Lee

Associate
Arup

For 25 years, Winnie has delivered a wide range of civil engineering projects and contributed to designing and managing multidisciplinary projects of all sizes in the United States, Hong Kong, Macau, and Chongqing. Winnie has led diverse teams to successfully deliver various types of infrastructure (including aviation projects), and buildings, for governments, public agencies, and private entities.

Leveraging her engineering degree and MBA with her diversified background, Winnie has experience in the engineering design of water, sewer, stormwater, and roadway projects in the US with experience in Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, Texas, and California. Winnie’s experience in the water sector is diverse and includes reviewing and approving the water services connection applications and industrial wastewater permit applications for the Long Beach Water Department; drainage and alignment design for roadway projects in Texas; water diversion, sewer systems, and storm drain system design in California; and the Peak Tram lower terminus renovation project in Hong Kong.  

In addition to actively emerging herself in civil engineering, Winnie is an advocate of smart cities, green infrastructure, and sustainable & resilient design. She has co-hosted numerous innovative events and helped organized annual training courses for engineers at all grades in Arup’s East Asia Region between 2012 and 2021, and she is currently the Civil Engineering and Utilities Skills Network Leader in Arup’s Americas Region.

Tomoyuki Koide
Deputy General Manager of Marketing Department
Tsubame BHB Co, Ltd
Biography

Tomoyuki Koide

Deputy General Manager of Marketing Department
Tsubame BHB Co, Ltd

Mr. Tomoyuki Koide serves as the Deputy General Manager of Marketing Department in Tsubame BHB Co, Ltd, an ammonia technology company with an innovative ammonia synthesis catalyst technology.
Mr. Koide oversees Business development in USA from Apr 2023, building a partnership with various sectors related to green ammonia, such as renewable energy developers, hydrogen developers, ammonia supply-chain related companies, and agriculture sectors for small-scale green ammonia production system, to achieve de-carbonization of ammonia industry and to achieve stable ammonia supply by onsite ammonia production.
 
Tsubame BHB is an ammonia synthesis technology company, which aims at world decarbonization and achieving Food Security.
Their core technology is the “Electride catalyst” and its dedicated engineering process. Electride catalyst is an innovative technology by Tokyo Institute of Technology, which enables ammonia synthesis at lower temperature and lower pressure compared with the conventional process. This makes small scale distributed ammonia production possible, then ammonia users can benefit from the supply chain cost reduction. 
Tsubame BHB us a leading company to bring innovation to ammonia supply-chain and realizing a sustainable society, by providing Small-Scale Onsite Green Ammonia Production system using locally available renewable energy, as a solution for the renewable nitrogen fertilizer, the CO2 free fuel for power generation, maritime bunkering, and the alternative energy storage of the renewable energy etc.
 
In prior to joining Tsubame BHB, Mr. Koide served as a process and commissioning engineer for Haber-Bosch ammonia plant in his past career and built a strong knowledge about ammonia production mechanism.  And he worked in global oil & gas major company as a sales, marketing, and supply-chain role for 6 years, where he built strong capability of business development in chemical industry.
Mr. Koide has master’s degree of chemical engineering in Waseda University.
 

Larry Kopald
Co-Founder
The Carbon Underground, SIF Technology
Biography

Larry Kopald

Co-Founder
The Carbon Underground, SIF Technology

Larry Kopald spent over twenty years at some of the world's leading advertising agencies overseeing advertising for companies ranging from American Express and McDonalds to Honda and Pepsi. He was also instrumental in launching, the multi-billion dollar brands such as Acura, Oracle, and Chicken McNuggets, among others.

In 2010 Larry made the shift to using his experience to create positive social change, and co-founded Kopald/Stranger, a change agency committed to growing businesses while simultaneously creating positive change in the world. Clients and partners ranged from Nike and Patagonia to Walmart, the United Nations and the US Department of Energy.

Lasering in on environmental solutions, in 2014 Larry co-founded The Carbon Underground, which is focused on helping nature draw carbon back down from the atmosphere and returning it to the soil to mitigate climate change, and in 2021 co-Founded SIF, a technology and data company working in climate and ag tech. 

Larry is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Carbon & Technology Committee, is a Senior Fellow at USC’s Marshall School of Business, and spent eight years on the White House Panel on Innovation under President Obama. 
 

Patrick Jacob
Director, Rolling Stock Business Development and Sales
Alstom
Biography

Patrick Jacob

Director, Rolling Stock Business Development and Sales
Alstom

Patrick currently serves as Director of Rolling Stock Business Development for Alstom Americas, focusing on the commuter/intercity segment and emerging green technologies and has established his role as a true team player with his peers and work associates.

Over his career dedicated to the mobility industry, Patrick has held several key positions in Alstom/Bombardier Transportation’s commercial team. His in-depth knowledge of the rail landscape in the US and Canada is combined with a strong commercial and strategic outlook. His industry experience includes time as a consultant, private enterprise, and policy shaping. Prior to his time with Alstom/Bombardier, he also spent time the Bluesky Strategy group in Canada, supporting their communications and public affairs efforts and also has worked with the Senate of Canada.

Patrick holds a master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Ottawa and is based in Montreal, Canada.

Justin Ward
General Manager – Powertrain System Control
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc.
Biography

Justin Ward

General Manager – Powertrain System Control
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc.

Justin Ward joined Toyota in 2001 as the automaker opened its fuel cell development center in California. He moved into the position of advanced powertrain program manager-advanced technology vehicles in 2008. Ward’s team of engineers was involved with cold-weather testing for the auto maker’s latest-generation fuel-cell vehicle, the FCHV-adv. Ward acknowledged the need for adaptation as vehicle-manufacturers in the US, as opposed to Toyota’s team in Japan, especially when considering the vast environmental differences and traffic patterns. Justin Ward has also served as Chairman of the California Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP).

David Libatique
Deputy Executive Director, Stakeholder Engagement
The Port of Los Angeles
Biography

David Libatique

Deputy Executive Director, Stakeholder Engagement
The Port of Los Angeles

David Libatique is the Deputy Executive Director of Stakeholder Engagement for the Port of Los Angeles, a position that oversees and manages all communications on behalf of America’s Port® via the Community Relations, Media Relations, Government Affairs, Trade Development, and Labor Relations and Workforce Development Divisions.

In this role, Libatique works with diverse stakeholders, including local communities, organized labor, beneficial cargo owners, terminal operators, international customers, shipping and cruise lines, railroads, the trucking industry, media, and regulatory agencies to advance the Port’s goals and initiatives. He also interacts on a broader scale with an array of local, regional, statewide, and national elected officials and stakeholders.

Working alongside Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka, Libatique helped to spearhead the Logistics Victory Los Angeles (LoVLA) COVID-19 response effort in March 2020 to assist in getting critical personal protective equipment (PPE) into the hands of healthcare workers. Throughout the pandemic, Libatique has worked to build relationships with public and private sector partners and further guide the initiative’s efforts.

Libatique first joined the Port in January 2011 as Senior Director of Government Affairs, where he led the Port’s intergovernmental advocacy at a critical time of increasing engagement with local, regional, state, federal, and even transnational and international levels of government.

Prior to joining the Port, Libatique served as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Director of Energy Policy, where he was responsible for advancing the Mayor’s environmental policies at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Before assuming that role, he served as the Mayor’s Senior Policy Analyst and acted as a liaison with the Port of Los Angeles, where he advanced priority initiatives, including the Clean Air Action Plan and Clean Truck Program.

Before joining the Villaraigosa Administration, Libatique served as Senior Deputy for Los Angeles City Councilmember Martin Ludlow, where he led policy development and legislative strategies to reform the City’s gang prevention and intervention efforts.

Libatique has conducted extensive experience in economic research, including working as a Research Analyst at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. There, he was a part of Working Group VI of the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health that analyzed the economic impact of investment in improved health outcomes for poor and middle-income countries.

Libatique holds a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of California, Berkeley and a master of public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Ernesto Chaves
Director, Highway Program
LA Metro
Biography

Ernesto Chaves

Director, Highway Program
LA Metro

During his 14 years at Metro, Ernesto has been responsible for the delivery of multiple highway improvement projects across LA County. Working with multiple stakeholders, Ernesto oversaw the initiation and development of the Measure R and M highway programs, as well the “modernization” of these programs in support of Metro’s sustainability and equity goals. Most recently, Ernesto led Metro’s 2028 Games Task Force in their development of a Mobility Concept Plan for the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games.  Prior to joining Metro, Ernesto worked in the private sector as a transportation planner on various highway and transit improvement projects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Cal Poly Pomona and a Master Degree in Transportation Management from San Jose State University and is a graduate of Metro’s Leadership Academy. 

Connie Llanos
Interim General Manager
LADOT
Biography

Connie Llanos

Interim General Manager
LADOT

Connie Llanos has more than 15 years’ experience managing policy, strategic engagement and public affairs in both the public and private sectors, where her work has consistently focused on creating opportunities for underrepresented communities. As Interim General Manager for LADOT, she leads the nation's second-largest municipal transportation agency, managing LADOT's more than 1,300 hardworking women and men, and 52 business lines. Raised in Los Angeles, as the proud daughter of Colombian immigrants, Connie began her career as a journalist and later served as senior aide to several elected officials including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. In those roles, Connie led efforts to secure key policy wins, line the minimum wage increase, the passage of Measure M and the LA 2028 Olympic bid. After spending more than two years managing policy and public affairs for Airbnb, Connie joined LADOT in 2019 as Assistant General Manager, External Affairs. In this role, she oversaw community engagement, communications, government relations, and equity initiatives for the department and led major projects including the development of the Strategic Plan. She later served as Chief of Staff and Strategy for LADOT, where her responsibilities expanded to include acting as proxy to the General Manager on all day-to-day operations. 

Rueben Smith
Vice Chancellor and Chief Facilities Executive
Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD)
Biography

Rueben Smith

Vice Chancellor and Chief Facilities Executive
Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD)

Dr. Rueben Smith serves as the Vice Chancellor and Chief Facilities Executive for the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD). With undergraduate degrees in civil engineering and mathematics, an MBA in environmental sustainability and a doctorate in computer science, enterprise information systems, Dr. Smith understands the need for a sustainable future as a community partner focused on taking steps to decarbonize, electrify, conserve, and preserve natural resources. As a multi-faceted Built Environment Professional with over 20 years of experience in engineering design, construction, facilities, and environmental sustainability, he has led the design, development, and post construction management of dozens upon dozens of projects of varying delivery methods including the implementation of zero-net energy (ZNE) master plans and integrated energy resource plans at various college and K-12 Districts across the State of California. With a goal to facilitate and deliver the best possible teaching, learning, and working environment, Dr. Smith recognizes the commitment required to build, maintain, and operate green, healthy/safe WELL buildings and the infrastructure to support it.

Bob Hertzberg
Sr. Advisor
Mission Possible Partnership
Biography

Bob Hertzberg

Sr. Advisor
Mission Possible Partnership

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

Troy Collard
General Manager, Sales
PACECO Corp.
Biography

Troy Collard

General Manager, Sales
PACECO Corp.

Troy Collard is the General Manager of Sales with seven years of experience working with PACECO Corp., a Mitsui E&S Machinery subsidiary company, and has previously held sales and executive roles in other Mitsui E&S subsidiary companies in the US and Japan from 1998. PACECO Corp. is the founding company of the specialized ship-to-shore container crane that catapulted the container shipping industry; Mr. Collard oversees sales of container cranes in the Americas, concentrating on ship-to-shore (STS) Portainer cranes and rubber-tired-gantry (RTG) Transtainer cranes, and for several years has been working with customers in the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach to develop and introduce new model RTGs powered by smaller engines and eventually hydrogen fuel cells to meet the Ports goal of zero emissions by 2030. 

Matt Gregori
Technology Development Manager for Customer Solutions
SoCalGas Research, Development, and Demonstration
Biography

Matt Gregori

Technology Development Manager for Customer Solutions
SoCalGas Research, Development, and Demonstration

Matt Gregori is a Technology Development Manager for Customer Solutions in the SoCalGas Research, Development, and Demonstration (RD&D) group. His team seeks out new natural gas and hydrogen technologies that are ready for deployment at the pilot or demonstration scale. His portfolio focuses on technologies in transportation, power generation, and residential, commercial, and industrial thermal applications.

During his career in the clean energy field, Matt has built and operated various types of clean energy projects, from biodiesel production facilities to food waste anaerobic digesters.

Matt holds a B.S. in Chemistry at The California Institute of Technology and an MBA at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA.