VX2021 Program

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

For 14 years, VerdeXchange has gathered accomplished clean and green tech entrepreneurs, energy & water companies, blue economy mavens, advanced vehicle manufacturers, soft & hardware developers, public policymakers as well as: procurers, innovative financiers, and environmental stewards "under-one-roof" to assess what's in-market, about to be in-market, and what's needed in market to propel the global, multi-trillion dollar verde economy.

This winter, beginning January 25-26, 2021 and continuing on alternative Tuesdays in February and March—VerdeXchange VX2021 virtually gathered over 150 industry leaders, innovators, policymakers, and technical experts as speakers and panelists for 14 VX Webinars, including over 40 panels, to share technology & policy successes, present opportunities, and offer a platform to advance clean and green tech investments to meet the Climate Imperative and propel global economic recovery. 

From Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer to Quebec National Assembly's Minister for the Environment & the Fight Against Climate Change, Benoit Charette; LA City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield to LA City Deputy Mayor for City Services, Barbara Romero; The Westly Group’s Steve Westly to Japan New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) Chair Hiroaki Ishizuka, marketmakers—public and private, local and global—joined VerdeXchange for this series of interactive 2-hour Virtual VX events to build on and confirm the central thesis of previous VerdeXchange conferences: California and the Western States are opportunity-rich markets for renewables, sustainable practice, and finance for clean and green tech solutions.

VX2021 Webinars included: 
(Click to Watch)

Advancing Clean & Green Tech Investments to Power Global Economic Recovery (Jan 25)
Adapting San Pedro Ports to Climate Change (Jan 25)
Building Back Better: Wishlist for Water Infrastructure (Jan 25)
VX Green Hydrogen Forum III: Emergence of Global Hydrogen Societies (Jan 25)
Do "We" Have the Capacity & Imagination to Manage Urban Mobility Post-COVID? (Jan 26)
Energy Storage, Batteries & Lithium, California (Jan 26)
"One Infrastructure:" Multi-Benefit, Functionally Integrated, Innovative & Inclusive Urban Infrastructure (Jan 26)
Resilience in the Built Environment (Feb 2)
Financing the Future & Catalyzing the Green Infrastructure Project Pipeline (Feb 16)
Accelerating Advanced Clean Transportation (Feb 16)
Trade Agreements: Clean Energy & Climate Change (March 16)
LA River Masterplan: A New Framework for the Future (March 16)
Transmission & Grid Reliability (March 30)
Policies & Technologies for California's Waste & Recycling Crisis (March 30)
  For more details on VX webinars, panels, and speakers, please find and explore the VX2021 Program below.

Click here for VX2021 Webinar recordings.

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 III- (Click to Watch)

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

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 (click to watch)

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 (click to watch)
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 (click to watch)

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 (Click to Watch)

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 (Click to Watch)

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

8:00 AM March 16


Trade Agreements: Clean Energy & Climate Change (Click to Watch) 

Welcome & Introduction:
David Abel, Chair, VerdeXchange

Opening Remarks:
Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Oregon District 3, US House of Representatives

8:20 The Paris Climate Accords: Renewed Commitment & New Market Opportunities
Steve Olson, Chair, World Trade Center Los Angeles
Ambassador (ret.) Mickey Kantor, Former Secretary of Commerce and Trade Representative, United States
Ambassador Akira Muto, Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles
Sarah Montgomery, Economic & Trade Counsellor, British Embassy Washington
Andrew Jory, Minister-Counsellor (Trade), Embassy of Australia

9:10 International Partnerships to Advance California's Climate Goals

Opening Remarks: Sen. Bob Hertzberg, Senate Majority Leader, CA State Senate
Stephen Cheung, President, World Trade Center Los Angeles
Carlos Gimenez, Consul General, Mexico Secretariat of Foreign Affairs
Zaib Shaikh, Consul General, Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles
Dr. Hillel Newman, Consul General, Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Southwest 
Emily Cloke, British Consul General in Los Angeles, UK Consulate General


1:00 PM March 16


LA River Master Plan: A New Framework for the Future

Welcome & Introduction:
David AbelChair, VerdeXchange 
Brian Jordan, VP, Tetratech

Opening RemarksKaty Young Yaroslavsky, Deputy for the Environment, Office of LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl

1:20 PM The LA River—Planning for the Future
Moderator: Brian Jordan, VP, Tetratech
Mark Pestrella, Director, LA County Public Works
Alf Brandt, General Counsel, Office of CA Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon
Katy Young Yaroslavsky, Deputy for the Environment, Office of LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl

2:00 PM The LA River—Building for the Future
Moderator: Brian Jordan, VP, Tetratech
Ed Reyes, Executive Director, River LA
Michael AffeldtDirector, LARiverWorks, Office of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti
Genevieve Osmena, Project Manager, LA County Public Works
Heather Repenning, Executive Officer of Sustainability Policy, LA Metro

2:30 The LA River—Investing in the Future
Moderator: Brian Jordan, VP, Tetratech
Martha Davis (Ret.) Executive Manager (Retired), Inland Empire Utilities Agency
Joe Edmiston, Executive Director, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Harry Chandler, Chair, River LA
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 KellyDirector, S&C Electric

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

Moderator: Jonathan Weisgall, VP of Government Relations, Berkshire Hathaway Energy
Eliot Mainzer, CEO & President, CAISO
Kris Raper, Commissioner, Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Letha Tawney, Commissioner, Oregon Public Utilities Commission
V. John White, Executive Director, CEERT

8:55 'There's No Compelling Reason Not to Do This': The Case for Overhaul of Both the US & California Transmission Systems

Moderator: Jim KellyDirector, S&C Electric
James Avery, Director, Western Electricity Coordinating Council Board of Directors
Rob Gramlich, President, Grid Strategies LLC
Neil Millar, Vice President, Transmission Planning & Infrastructure Development, CAISO 

9:40 Audience Q&A


11:00 AM  March 30


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

Opening RemarksBen Allen, 26th District, California State Senate

E-Waste Market Overview: John Shegerian, Executive Chairman, ERI

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

Moderator: Frances Anderton, Fmr. Host/Producer, KCRW
John Shegerian, Executive Chairman, ERI
Doug Kobold, Executive Director, California Product Stewardship Council
Adam Minter, Author, Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade/Columnist, Bloomberg
Ana Pacheco, Quality Assurance Manager, Homeboy Recycling

11:50 Addressing Plastic Waste Without a Market for Recyclables

Moderator: Rita Kampalath, Sustainability Program Director, LA County Chief Sustainability Office
Christiane Waldron, Business Development Director, Kaneka Biopolymers 
Takahiro Obase, Program Manager, JGC Corporation
Mark Herrema, CEO, Newlight

12:20: Organic Waste Management: The Promise & Implementation Challenges
Moderator: Christine Arbogast, Solid Waste West, Unit President, Tetra Tech
Gideon Kracov, South Coast AQMD Member, CARB
Coby Skye, Assistant Deputy Director, LA County Public Works
Yaniv Scherson, Chief Operating Officer, Anaergia

12:50 Audience Q&A