VX2021 Program

VX2021: Where Marketmakers Meet to Advance Clean & Green Tech Investments to Power Global Economic Recovery

VX2021 takes place virtually this winter as a series of virtual events that build on and confirm the central thesis of previous VerdeXchange conferences: California and the Western States are opportunity-rich markets for renewables, sustainable practice, finance, clean and green tech solutions to meet the Climate Imperative and propel global economic recovery.

VX 2021 Webinars Continue on Tuesdays in March—Save the Dates:

Tuesday, March 16
Tuesday, March 30


8:00 AM March 16


Trade Agreements: Clean Energy & Climate Change (By-Invitation Only)

Welcome & Introduction:
Opening Remarks


Stephen Cheung, President, WTC-LA

Sen. Bob Hertzberg, Senate Majority Leader, CA State Senate
Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Oregon District 3, US House of Representatives
Akira Muto, Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles
John Emerson,* Capital Group and Fmr US Ambassador to Germany

**Trade Ambassadors/CGs from Latin America, Europe, Australia & Asia

1:00 PM March 16


LA River Master Plan: Assessing New Recommendations & Plans to Capture, Store, and Recharge Stormwater

Welcome & Introduction:
Opening Remarks


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


VX 2021 Tuesday, March 30, 2021

8:00 AM March 30


Transmission & Grid Reliability

Welcome & Introduction: Jim Kelly, Director, S&C Electric

8:10am Is it Finally Time for a Real Western Market?

Moderator: Jonathan Weisgall, VP of Government Relations, Berkshire Hathaway Energy

8:50 'There's No Compelling Reason Not to Do This': The Case for Federal Overhaul of the US Transmission System
Moderator: Jim Kelly, Director, S&C Electric

9:30 "If You Build It, They Will Come": A New California Approach for Interconnecting Renewable Projects to the Grid?
Moderator: Jim Kelly, Director, S&C Electric

11:00 AM  March 30


VX2021 Waste & Recycling Charrette: Policies & Technologies for the California Waste & Recycling Crisis

Welcome & Introduction:
Opening Remarks

11:10 AM Batteries & E-Waste: Is the Answer Extending Producer Responsibility?


John Shegerian, Executive Chairman, ERI
Doug Kobold, California Product Stewardship Council

11:40 Addressing Plastic Waste Without a Market for Recyclables

Christiane Waldron, Business Development Director, Kaneka Biopolymers 
Takahiro Obase, Program Manager, JGC Corporation

12:10: Organic Waste Management: The Promise & Implementation Challenges


VX2021: Where Marketmakers Meet to Advance Clean & Green Tech Investments to Power Global Economic Recovery 


VX 2021 Day 1: Monday, January 25, 2021

7:45 AM

VX2021 Welcome (Click to Watch)

Bill AllenCEO, LAEDC
David Abel, Chair, VerdeXchange

8:00 AM 

Morning Plenary:

Advancing Clean & Green Tech Policy & Investments to Power Global Economic Recovery  (Click to Watch

Video Message:
Hiroaki Ishizuka, Chairman, Japan New Energy & Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

Mary Nichols, Fmr. Chair, CA Air Resources Board

Jonathan Weisgall, VP, Government Relations, Berkshire Hathaway Energy
Benoit Charette, Minister for the Environment & the Fight Against Climate Change, National Assembly of Québec
Jeff Bleich, Chief Legal Counsel, Cruise


10:00 AM


Adapting San Pedro Ports to Climate Change (Click to Watch)

Opening Remarks:
Philippe P. Huneault, Délégué, Government of Québec

10:10 Markets for Reducing Emissions & Financing Clean Infrastructure at the Ports (Click to Watch)

Jim Kelly, Director, S&C Electric

Gene Seroka, Executive Director, Port of Los Angeles
Mario Cordero, Executive Director, Port of Long Beach

10:40 Demonstration Projects and Global Examples

Moderator:Adm. Dennis McGinn, (ret.) Fmr. US Assistant Secretary of the Navy/Sr. Advisor, Customer First Renewables

Simon Poulin, Market Strategist, Effenco 
Toru SugiuraCorporate Strategy & Business Development, Toyota Tsusho America Inc.

11:10 Opportunities for ZEV Technology Deployment

Minh Le, GM, Energy & Environment, LA County ISD

Heather Arias, Transportation & Toxics Division Chief, CA Air Resources Board

Tim Sasseen, Market Development Manager, Ballard
Nate BaguioVP of Sales, The Lion Electric Co. 


11:40  Breakout Sessions- Q&A

12:30 PM

Building Back Better: Wish List for Water Infrastructure (Click to Watch)

Opening Remarks:
Hillel Newman, Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles
Market Overview: Lev Goldberg, CEO, Aquify- an Exelon Company

Brian Jordan, VP, TetraTech

Heather Repenning, Vice Chair, MWD Board
Katy Young Yaroslavsky, Deputy for the Environment, LA County Supervisor Kuehl
Dan Lafferty, Deputy Director, LA County Public Works
Liz Crosson, Director of Infrastructure, Office of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti
Mike Markus, General Manager, Orange County Water District
Sandra Kerl, General Manager, San Diego County Water Authority
Responder:Charley Wilson, Southern California Water Coalition

1:35 Update on Regional Water Collaboration

Brian Jordan, VP, TetraTech


Jeffrey Kightlinger, General Manager, Metropolitan Water District
Robert Ferrante, General Manager, LA County Sanitation Districts
Enrique Zaldivar, General Manager, LA City Sanitation & Environment
Rich Harasick, Sr. Asst. General Manager of the Water System, LA Department of Water & Power
Mark Pestrella, Director, LA County Public Works
Responder:Felicia Marcus, William C. Landreth Visiting Fellow, Stanford University

2:20 Water Technology for Resilience in 2021 & Beyond

Moderators:  Lev Goldberg, CEO, Aquify-an Exelon Company

Guy Meiri, Head of Business Development, IOSight
Ran Kedem, CEO, Reali Technologies Ltd.
David Faber, Vice President, Capital Equipment Sales, H2O Innovation
Hayato Nakazono, Manager, Pipeline Division, JFE Engineering
Dr. Babak Adeli Director of R&D, Acuva Tech 

2:55  Breakout Sessions- Q&A


3:30 PM Monday Jan. 25

-VX Green Hydrogen Forum-

Welcome: Stephen Cheung, COO, LAEDC, President, World Trade Center-LA

Opening Remarks:
Ambassador Jane Duke, Consul General of Australia in Los Angeles

3:40 PM     Emergence of Hydrogen Societies: Global Governments’ Hydrogen Policy Incentives
Moderator: Adm. Dennis McGinn, Fmr. US Assistant Secretary of the Navy/Sr. Advisor, Customer First Renewables
Norihiko Saeki, Executive Director, JETRO Los Angeles, Special Advisor to Minister of Economy, Trade & Industry, Japan
Aaron Hoskin, Sr. Manager, Intergovernmental Initiatives, Fuel Diversification, NRCan

4:10pm   Technology Deployments: Where? What’s Needed?  (Ports)
Moderator Janna Sidley, General Counsel, Port of LA
Tim Sasseen, Market Development Manager, Ballard
Joe Cappello, Executive Officer, Iwatani
Rob Del CoreChief Strategy Officer, HYZON

4:40pmMarket Supply/Market Demand Updates
Moderator: Martin Tengler, BloombergNEF

Tom Soto, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Diverse Communities Impact Fund
P. Kevin SmithManaging Partner, Invictus Advisory Group
Nate Taylor, SoCal Gas

Amy Ryan, Sr. Engineer in Fuel Cell Development Dept., Toyota Motor North America Research & Development

5:10pm Breakout Sessions 

VX 2021 Tuesday, January 26, 2021

8:00 AM Tuesday Jan. 26



Do "We" have the Capacity & Imagination to Manage Urban Mobility Post-COVID?  (Click to Watch)

David Abel, Chairman, VerdeXchange
Opening Remarks:
Rick ColeFmr. City Manager, Santa Monica  Moderator:Rick ColeFmr. City Manager, Santa Monica  

Panelists :

Hilary Norton, Chair, CA Transportation Commission
Laura Friedman, District 43, Transportation Committee Chair, CA State Assembly
Seleta Reynolds, General Manager, LADOT

8:35am Public Incentives, Imagination, and Possible Federal Funding Streams (Click to Watch)

Moderator: Rick Cole, Fmr. Santa Monica City Manager, Dep. Mayor, City of LA 

Lauren Faber O’ConnorChief Sustainability Officer, City of LA
Dr. Joshua Schank, Chief Innovation Officer, LA Metro
Samantha BrickerChief Sustainability & Revenue Management Officer, Los Angeles World Airports

9:10 Private Sector Mobility Leadership & Disruption

Moderator: Terry O’DayChief Operating Officer, In-Charge Energy

Colin Peppard, Manager for Outreach & Strategic Partnerships, Office of Extraordinary Innovation, LA Metro
Robert Grant, Sr. VP of Government Affairs & Social impact, Cruise 
Loni MahantaPrincipal, Ringleap Consulting


10:30 AM Tuesday Jan. 26


Welcome: Stephen Cheung, COO, LAEDC, President, World Trade Center-LA

Opening Remarks

Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister for the Economy & Innovation, National Assembly of Québec

10:40 AM Lithium California & The Salton Sea
Moderator: Sharon Mustri, BloombergNEF

Jonathan WeisgallVP of Government Relations, Berkshire Hathaway
Karen DouglasCA Energy Commission
TBA, Lithium Valley Commission

11:10 AM New breakthroughs in Electro-Chemical Battery Technology

Moderator: Jim Kelly, Director, S&C Electric

Adrian Tylim, Business Development USA, Blue Solutions
Benoit Couture, Lithion Recycling
Matt Harper, Chief Commercial Officer Invinity Energy Systems

11:40 AM Energy Storage Updates

Moderator: Christine Harada, Fmr. US Federal Chief Sustainability Officer, Fmr. President, i(x) Investments
Yayoi Sekine, Energy Storage Lead, BloombergNEF
Kevin PengIPP Renewable Project Generation Manager, LA Department of Water & Power 

12:10 Breakout Sessions


1:30 PM Tuesday Jan. 26


Building Back Better: Multi-Benefit, Functionally Integrated & Innovative Urban Infrastructure (Click to Watch)

Welcome & Introduction: Adel HagekhalilGeneral Manager, StreetsLA

Market Overview: Magid Elabyad, Vice President, International Road Federation

Opening Remarks: Bob BlumenfieldCouncilmember, District 3, LA City Council
Barbara Romero, Deputy Mayor for City Services, Office of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti

"One Water"  
Brian Jordan, VP, TetraTech

1:55 PM Infrastructure Investment in Cities: Integration

Moderator Adel HagekhalilGeneral Manager, StreetsLA
Greg Spotts, Chief Sustainability Officer, StreetsLA
Heather Repenning, Executive Officer of Sustainability Policy, LA Metro
Dan BunceSr. VP, Brown & Caldwell
Francois NionExecutive VP, JCDecaux North America
Moshik Mah, Design Principal, HDR Architecture


2:30  PM Infrastructure Investment in Cities: Innovation
Moderator Adel HagekhalilGeneral Manager, StreetsLA

Miguel SangalangInterim Director & General Manager, LA Bureau of Street Lighting
Kevin Minne, Director of Advanced Planning & Innovation, Streets LA
Imran Noorani, VP of Strategy & Corporate Development, PeakPower
Scott Saffian, General Manager- Western US, FLO

2:50 PM Infrastructure Investment in Cities: Inclusion

Capri MaddoxExecutive Director, LA City Department of Civil & Human Rights
Effie Turnbull SandersVP of Civic Engagement, USC
Mia Lehrer, Commissioner, LADWP Board 
Rachel Malarich, Chief Forestry Officer, City of LA

3:20 Breakout Session-Connecting the Dots



VX 2021 Tuesday, February 2, 2021

9:45 AM Tuesday Feb. 2



Resilience in the Built Environment

Welcome & Introduction: David Abel, Chairman, VerdeXchange
Opening RemarksRick ColeFmr. City Manager, City of Santa Monica

9:50 AM Opportunities & Barriers for Decarbonizing Buildings & Homes
Moderator: Sara NeffVP of Sustainability, Kilroy Realty
Amber Richane, Sr. Project Manager, City of Santa Monica Architecture Services
Deborah WeintraubChief Deputy City Engineer & Architect, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering
Ben Stapleton, Executive Director, USGBC-LA
David B. Calabrese, VP of Government Affairs, Daikin
Responder: Gypsy Achong, Director, 2050 Partners 

10:30 AM Resiliency: Enhancing the Nexus between Real Estate & Distributed Generation
Moderator: Robert Griffin, Vice President, Business Development, Customer First Renewables 
David Hochschild, Chair, CA Energy Commission
Adm. Dennis McGinn, (ret.)  Fmr. US Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Robyn Beavers, CEO, Blueprint Power

11:00 AM Building Green Infrastructure for Resilience

Moderator: Liz Crosson, Director of Infrastructure, Office of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti 
Heather Rosenberg, Associate Principal-Resilience, Arup
Kenny Miyagi, Business Development Manager, JFE Engineering America, Inc.
Molly Strauss, Infrastructure Coordination, Streets Lead, Greater London Authority
Christie Gamble, Sr. Director of Sustainability, CarbonCure Technologies

11:40 Breakout Session/Q&A

VX 2021 Tuesday, February 16, 2021


10:00 AM Feb. 16


Financing the Future & Catalyzing the Green Infrastructure Project Pipeline

In order for cities, regions, and states to compensate for decades of deferred maintenance and disinvestment and ‘build back better,’ they must reimagine traditional economic development models to access broad array of financial solutions and capital markets, as well as establish, monetize, and catalyze project pipelines and deal flow. To accelerate infrastructure development leaders will need establish a collaborative policy framework to accelerate project delivery, increase investment, and meet local community development goals. During this session we will offer potential solutions and actions to the following questions and challenges: How do leaders access and widen the capital pool and modernize infrastructure investment models?  How can state and local leaders structure governance frameworks that better align with federal financing tools and incentives?

Welcome & Introduction: David Abel, Chair, VerdeXchange 
Opening RemarksDarrell Steinberg, Mayor, City of Sacramento

10:10 AM Rethinking Economic Development & Fixing California’s Financing Gap

Matt HortonDirector, Center for Regional Economics, Milken Institute
Fiona Ma, State Treasurer, State of California
Sen. Bob Hertzberg, Senate Majority Leader, CA State Senate

10:40 Catalyzing the Project Pipeline with Smart Capital & Innovative Finance Tools

Moderator: David Abel, Chairman, VerdeXchange
Steve Westly, Founder & Managing Director, The Westly Group

11:10 Governance Frameworks for Multibenefit Infrastructure & Maximizing Outcomes

Moderator: Cecilia Estolano, CEO, Better World Group, CEO & Founder, Estolano Advisors
Michael Mendez, Asst. Professor, UC Irvine, Appointee, LA Regional Water Quality Board
Harout Chitilian,  Vice-President of Corporate affairs, Development and Strategy, CDPQ Infra
Ann Rogan, Director, Edge Collaborative, Fmr. Sr. Advisor for Economic Innovation, City of Stockton


11:40 Breakout Session/Q&A


1:00 PM Feb. 16



Accelerating Advanced Clean Transportation

Will 2021 be a historic year for advancing sustainable mobility? Emerging from a pandemic— which has disrupted and thus transformed  how we work, how we live, and commute about and between cities— this VX2021 Webinar offers a platform to select leaders (public & private), innovators and policymakers to share what’s happening now and emerging  in 2021 in support of Advanced Clean, Sustainable Transportation. 

Welcome & Introduction:
Opening Remarks: Rick Cole, Fmr. City Manager, City of Santa Monica, Fmr. Dep. Mayor for Budget & Innovation, City of LA

1:10 PM Aligning Public & Private Sector Visions for Urban Mobility

Moderator: Rick Cole, Fmr. City Manager, City of Santa Monica,  Fmr. Dep. Mayor for Budget & Innovation, City of LA
Phil Recht, Partner, Mayer Brown
Loni Mahanta, Principal, Ringleap Consulting
Matt Petersen, President & CEO, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator

1:45 PM Alternative Propulsion: The Future is Now
Moderator: Terry O’Day, Chief Operating Officer, In-Charge Energy
Tom Soto, Managing Partner, Diverse Communities Impact Fund
Jason Chua, Chief Operating Officer & Co-Founder, Universal Hydrogen
Kevin Maggay, Program Manager, SoCal Gas

2:15 PM Ensuring Sustainable Mobility
ModeratorHeather Repenning, Executive Officer of Sustainability Policy, LA Metro
Kristen Torres Pawling, Sustainability Program Director, LA County Chief Sustainability Office
Tanya Krackovic, Vice President, Special Projects, eCAMION
Judy Johnson, Vice President, Client Accounts Manager, Jacobs 

2:40 PM Breakout Session Q&A


VX2021 Speakers: