2018 Shades of Green Speakers
Ronald Brisé leverages a wealth of experience in governmental, legislative, political and business arenas to represent the interests of clients in matters that include appropriations, business development, education, governmental and legislative affairs, public policy, and economic development. Ronald is an accomplished commissioner, legislative leader and senior executive with more than 20 years of experience in telecom, energy, utilities, government and business. He has established himself as a thought leader in telecom having testified before the U.S. Senate on telecom issues, served on the joint board on universal service and on the Universal Service Administrative Company. With Miami-Dade County roots and his involvement in both Central and South Florida, Ronald’s in-depth experience working in Florida’s government began with his election to represent District 108 in the Florida House of Representatives at the age of 32 for his first term running through 2006-2008. ▼
Five years ago, Anne Dougherty left a thriving practice at large and successful energy service company to create a new kind of consulting agency. With co-founder Sara Conzemius, Anne’s goal was to reboot workplace culture to ultimately change the status quo and grow more women in leadership. Illume Advising has achieved this and more. Illume’s culturally diverse, mostly female, team of consultants have a reputation for delivering clear insight in fresh and game-changing ways. Anne is a skilled researcher and customer experience design consultant who specializes in the human dimensions of energy technologies and resource management. She is a widely known expert in behavior change strategies, marketing, education and outreach research, and emerging smart grid technologies. In her career, Anne has led multi-million dollar research initiatives across multiple years of engagement. She has a strong history of repeat work with state utility commissions and the US’s largest investor-owned utilities. She has built her expertise and deft inquiry skills into Illume’s DNA, training the next generation of researchers to ask broadening questions that anticipate industry needs and trends. ▼
Van Jones is a social entrepreneur, CNN political contributor and host of The Van Jones Show on CNN. Famous for his heart-felt election night coverage, Jones showed up as “the voice of reason” for people in red states and blue throughout the volatile 2016 political season. Jones has founded and led numerous social enterprises engaged in social and environmental justice, including Green For All, the Dream Corps, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and #YesWeCode. Van Jones is a Yale-educated attorney, former adviser to President Obama, and the author of three New York Times best-selling books, The Green Collar Economy (2008), Rebuild the Dream (2012), and Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart * How We Come Together (2017). Van has received numerous awards and honors, including Rolling Stone’s 12 Leaders Who Get Things Done, Fast Company’s 12 Most Creative Minds On Earth, and TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Timothy Alan Simon, Commissioner Emeritus, was appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on February 15, 2007 ending his term on December 31, 2012. Prior to this appointment, he served as Appointments Secretary in the Office of the Governor – the first African American in California history to hold this post. As a CPUC Commissioner, Simon served as the Chairman of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Gas Committee, Chairman of the Liquefied Natural Gas Partnership between NARUC and the U.S. Department of Energy and Vice Chairman of the Utility Marketplace Access Sub-Committee, a sub-committee concentrated on supplier and workforce diversity in the utility industry. Simon also was appointed by two Department of Energy Secretaries as a member of the National Petroleum Council serving on the Coordinating Subcommittee, which produced the book, Prudent Development: Realizing the Potential of North America’s Oil and Gas Resources. ▼
Rukaiyah Adams is the Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust. She is responsible for leading all investment activities to ensure the long-term financial strength of the organization. Before joining Meyer, she ran the $6.5 Billion capital markets fund at The Standard. Ms. Adams is the Chair of the Oregon Investment Council, the board that manages approximately $90 Billion for the State of Oregon and PERS. Ms. Adams holds a BA with academic distinction from Carleton College and a JD from Stanford Law where she was on the Law and Policy Review and the Co-President of the Law Student Association. Ms. Adams also has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She also serves on the boards of the Albina Vision Trust, Oregon Public Broadcasting and the SEI Foundation.
Trey Addison is a Co-founder of Nascent Group Holdings, LLC (NGH). Addison co-manages the day-to-day operations and the investment and acquisition strategies for NGH. The company focuses on energy, real estate and manufacturing investment strategy, and financing. Addison has worked in business, government, government affairs, and non-profit sectors thus far in his career. As AARP Ohio’s lead lobbyist, Addison managed lobbying and regulatory affairs with a focus on public utilities, healthcare and banking. He helped save more than three billion dollars for consumers through regulatory and legislative electric utility lobbying. Addison led AARP Ohio’s efforts in crafting and passing significant legislation that has impacted more than two million Ohioans. He also successfully led lobbying efforts to introduce The Care Act, which ensures hospital patients’ family caregivers receive proper instruction for at-home care. It was signed into law by Governor John Kasich in 2016. ▼
Baynham Environmental has over 15 years of energy, environmental and energy efficiency experience. As a proven expert in energy efficiency program implementation, Baynham Consulting manages projects by building strong teams that meet clients’ needs. The owner, Linda Baynham, is a Certified Energy Manager and State and Local Disadvantaged Business Enterprise with extensive utility, public sector and energy efficiency program experience. She is currently providing staff for the Entergy New Orleans Energy Smart program on the residential programs with Franklin Energy, and works directly for Aptim on the commercial programs. She has 7 years of experience working previously on the program with CLEAResult, overseeing the multi-family direct install and schools kit programs. Prior to running her own business, Linda Baynham worked directly for Entergy Corporation. She also has an M.B.A. from Tulane University and teaches in the Freeman School of Business.
Karen Beachy joined Black Hills Corporation in July 2014 as the Director of Supply Chain. In September 2016, Karen was promoted to Vice President of Supply Chain where she is responsible for the Contracts, Sourcing, Procurement, Materials, and Fleet teams. Karen is a Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) and has close to 30 years of experience in the Utility Industry. Her career began as a summer Corrosion Technician at East Ohio Gas Company in 1989 while attending Purdue University. After graduating from Purdue with a Bachelors degree in Political Science and a Master’s of Science degree in Management (MSM), Karen joined LG&E Energy Corporation as a member of their Leadership Development Program. Throughout her 12 1/2 years with the company, Karen held numerous positions including Supervisor, Outdoor Lighting and Sales; Supervisor, Underground Construction & Maintenance; Electric Operations Manager; Manager, Supplier Diversity, as well as a 14 month expat assignment in Germany as a Project Manager in the area of Global Liquified Natural Gas Procurement. ▼
Ruth Bell is an owner and co-President of Cascadia Consulting Group, a women-owned small business that works with public and private clients to advance sustainability. She’s been designing and implementing sustainability programs focused on behavior change and environmental impacts for 30 years. An expert in engagement, outreach, facilitation, and public involvement, Ruth has employed a variety of strategies to achieve behavior change among businesses and residents including focus groups, door-to-door canvassing, resource savings calculators, recognition, target and social marketing, and traditional marketing. Her work focuses on a wide range of topics, including climate, energy, waste diversion, stormwater pollution prevention, and water conservation. Ruth also leads Cascadia’s equity initiatives, including internal efforts to improve diversity and inclusion among Cascadia’s staff and partners, and external campaigns and stakeholder engagement centering historically disadvantaged communities in environmental issues and projects.
Stephanie Berkland is a Project Manager with TRC, an advanced energy services company. As a building science expert, Stephanie has more than 10 years of experience partnering with utilities and agencies to solve their energy efficiency challenges. She specializes in whole-building energy efficiency retrofits for the hard-to-reach multifamily segment and currently manages a statewide Multifamily Energy Program on behalf of Oregon Housing and Community Services. Stephanie also manages a variety of other energy projects across the Western US from zero net energy and behavior research to engineering studies, program design and implementation, and program evaluations. She holds a M.S. in Building Systems from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is a LEED AP BD+C.
Terry Chaney does outreach with the Minneapolis based nonprofit, Center for Energy and Environment’s (CEE) residential energy program, the Home Energy Squad. In this role, Terry works to engage and educate local communities in the Twin Cities area about the benefits of energy efficiency. Prior to working for CEE, he worked as a community organizer advocating for environmental issues. Terry holds a B.A. in Philosophy and a Master’s in Public Policy, both from the University of Minnesota.
Bill Dickens is a native of Tarboro, NC and grew up in Washington, DC. He moved to Tacoma in 2008 to assume the duties as a senior energy economist for Tacoma Power. His work focuses on hydro-electric economics, natural gas market fundamentals, smart grid technologies, and alternative energy supply resources. Prior to working for Tacoma Power he was a staff economist for the Florida Public Service Commission (1998-2008) and a Member of the Florida Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors (2000-2007). He has taught economics at Hampton University, Bowie State University and Florida A&M University and worked as an economist for several Federal government agencies. He has testified before the Florida Public Service Commission as an expert economic witness on regulation topics and written numerous economic articles which have appeared in books, peer-reviewed journals and several Florida newspapers as op-ed columns. He is currently completing a new book titled, Economics for the Hood: Hip-Hop Culture meets General Equilibrium. ▼
Laurie Dowling is President of The Dowling-Woo Company, a woman and minority-owned small business. Laurie is a consultant who works with non-profit organizations and for-profit enterprises on strategic issues including general management, fundraising, executive search, strategic planning, management development, diversity, and board development. As a consultant, Laurie is Executive Director for the National Utilities Diversity Council, a national non-profit organization that conducts research to educate, develop best practices and guide efforts that will promote diversity in the utilities industry in the areas of governance, employment, procurement, language access/customer service, and philanthropy. She also consults in the areas of arts management and executive search. For eight years Laurie was Executive Director of the Office of Executive Education Programs of the UCLA Anderson School of Management. ▼
Ben Downing is a Brooklyn native and enlisted in the United States Army where he was the honor graduate of the Army’s Signal School (Satellite) at Fort Gordon, Georgia. After deploying to South Korea, he was assigned to the U.S. Army Intelligence center at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Ben has a background in communications systems and networking and was among the first to test and work in the Army’s COTS program (Commercial Off The Shelf Technology). Following that assignment, he deployed to Turkey. Working under a joint United States Army/NATO command he served as a liaison to Turkish and other NATO counterparts. Ben is fluent in Turkish. In 2008 Ben deployed to Iraq with the 142nd Assault Helicopter Battalion and among various duties including security and escort, due to his technical expertise he was the lead NCO tasked with establishing a communications base at a remote Forward Operating Base in Al Kut Southern Iraq. It was during that deployment he was injured and returned to receive care at the Army’s Warrior Transition Unit in Concord, Massachusetts. ▼
Paul Francis is the CEO Co-founder of KIGT, Inc. an Original Equipment Manufacturer of Smart Charge Stations for Electric Vehicles. Before starting KIGT Mr. Francis was a scholarship student-athlete at Sonoma State University. After his second year of collegiate athletics, he transferred to the University of Las Vegas, to solely focused on scholastics as a business marketing and international business major. While living in Las Vegas he discovered his entrepreneurial spirit and started several small businesses. At the age of 20 in his initial venture in the utility industry, Paul offered alternative gas, phone, and energy options to customers. Since founding KIGT in 2009 Paul Francis has conducted multiple proof of concept Electric Vehicle pilot projects, off-grid energy system demonstrations, and fundraising. ▼
Marti Frank is a researcher, evaluator, strategist, and program designer who supports the work of social programs addressing climate change and social equity. Her work in energy efficiency focuses on increasing access to efficiency among lower-income households and other underserved populations. She designs evidence-based programs to correct the market failures that prevent the adoption of efficient technologies, and is devoting much of her time to scaling the Shift Model, a program design that aims to dramatically increase sales of super-efficient, low-cost appliances.
Sabrina K. Garba is passionate about creating environments where people thrive and reach their highest potential, also known as Accelerating Genius. She is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Glass Ladder Group, LLC, a consultancy helping people from different cultures work together to increase organizational efficiency. Sabrina is also the co-creator of the ARC Engagement Method, a methodology that enables organizations to achieve authentic engagement that is rooted in the culture and values. A certified intercultural trainer, Sabrina is a graduate of Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business Minority Business Programs. She has a Master’s Degree in Corporate Communications and Public Relations from Georgetown University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Culture from Howard University. In addition to serving as an Adjunct Professor at American University’s School of International Service, she chaired the Historically Black College and University Project at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ▼
Following 20+ years in public policy and advocacy (as Chief Diversity Officer for the Governor and the State of Oregon), Mr. Garcia’s firm works with businesses, government, and mission-focused organizations to develop the tools and strategies that necessary to gain competitive advantages in today’s rapidly diversifying global marketplace. His firm designs and implements strategies focused on change leadership, public engagement, diversity and inclusion, talent and acquisition, training and executive coaching. Mr. Garcia has worked with a variety of clients in both public and private sectors including: Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Army Corp of Engineers, Portland General Electric, State Farm Insurance, Providence Health, Baylor Scott & White Health, Kaiser Permanente, Oregon State University, Portland State University, City of Tigard, City of Hillsboro and Portland Urban League. ▼
Paula R. Glover is President and CEO for the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE), a national energy trade association that represents all sectors of the energy industry. Mrs. Glover leads a 2000-member association with 40 chapters nationwide. The association’s focus is to represent the voice for African Americans and other minorities on energy policy, regulations, and environmental issues. Mrs. Glover directs the association’s strategic plan, business development and policy positions. She represents the organization before energy industry executives and national and state policy makers. She is an industry thought leader for issues around diversity and inclusion. Her work on international energy issues underscores the importance of energy to improve the quality of life for people throughout the African Continent. The association under Mrs. Glover’s leadership has partnered with the US Department of Energy on its Minorities in Energy initiative as well as business development programming for minority entrepreneurs. ▼
Ozzie is an ecologist who specializes in human habitat. Ozzie is an Environmental Scientist and Architecture professional who has dedicated his career to building healthy, prosperous communities that work alongside nature. Ozzie holds a Master’s Degree in Architecture from California Polytechnic University in Pomona and a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science from Humboldt University. Ozzie works across the spectrum of design, policy, and community engagement to bring solutions to our city’s environmental, social, and economic challenges. As Howard S. Wright’s Director of Sustainability & Diversity, Ozzie builds strategic partnerships to create positive impacts in the neighborhoods where we work. From his home in Portland, Oregon, Ozzie serves his community as a founding member of the US Green Building Council’s LEED User Groups and as Board Member for Trimet, the Regional Arts and Culture Council, the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs, and the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. He is a proud husband, father, and lover of arts with a penchant for theater.
Charlie joined the Northwest Power and Conservation Council staff in 2002. As Conservation Resources Manager he works primarily on energy efficiency issues as part of the development and implementation of the Council’s regional power plan. Charlie’s energy work covers assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation of energy efficiency, along with regional energy policy and systems analysis. He is vice chair of the Council’s Regional Technical Forum. Before joining the Council staff, Charlie was a senior analyst at Oregon Office of Energy for 18 years working on state energy policy development, energy facility siting, utility regulation, and energy efficiency issues. Charlie has a B.S. in resource analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He likes to windsurf in the Columbia River Gorge.
Brenda Hunt has worked in the energy efficiency industry for over a decade delivering energy efficiency programs on behalf of utilities as well as consulting on program design and implementation. In her current role, she manages the customer engagement and income eligible program service lines at CLEAResult, guiding local program teams in creating customer-oriented solutions that help customers live in homes that are more comfortable, durable and affordable. Prior to her role as Residential Service Line Director, Brenda led grocery program implementation and management. Her background also includes experience in team leadership, procurement, contract management and business development.
Bobby Johnson is a leader with over a decade of experience in operations and supply-chain management, spanning the fields of aerospace, energy efficiency and technology industries. Bobby is credited with developing process improvements and utilizing technology to improve operational efficiencies. He is also is responsible for originating and implementing CLEAResult’s Supplier Diversity Program. Bobby’s efforts, commitment and passion to diversity, equity and inclusion were recognized as this year’s Prime Supplier Award recipient at Edison Electric Institute (EEI) “Business Diversity Conference”.
Marie came to Peak with more than 30 years of gas and electric transmission and distribution operations experience. The majority of her career was spent at Pacific Gas & Electric Company in San Francisco where she held positions of increasing responsibility in electric and gas transmission and distribution. While at PG&E she acquired an extensive knowledge of the regulatory environment and stakeholder engagement. More recently she served as an officer at National Grid, where she spent six years in a variety of roles including SVP of Electric Engineering and Construction, SVP of Gas Construction and Operations, and SVP of Gas and Electric Engineering. ▼
Betsy Kauffman heads up Energy Trust of Oregon’s renewable energy sector, which provides cash incentives and technical assistance to solar, hydro, biopower, and geothermal projects in Oregon. The program has funded more than 13,000 commercial, residential, and large-scale solar projects and more than 20 hydro, bio, and geothermal projects. Prior to joining Energy Trust, Betsy worked at For the Sake of the Salmon where she managed the Salmon-Friendly Power program, one of Oregon’s first programs to allow utility customers to choose a renewable power option. Betsy has bachelor’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.
Gwen Keyes Fleming has more than twenty years of public sector experience, having served as both an elected and appointed official at the state and local levels, as well as in various branches of the federal government. Most recently, she served as the Principal Legal Advisor (General Counsel) for Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and as Chief of Staff to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the Obama Administration. In addition to her time at the DHS and EPA, Gwen served as the EPA Region 4 (Southeastern Region) Regional Administrator, where she was responsible for establishing and implementing environmental policy for eight southeastern states and six federally recognized tribes. Gwen was twice elected District Attorney for the Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit in DeKalb County, Georgia; the first African-American and first woman to hold that office.
Suzanne believes that culture is the key to a company’s success and has spent the last decade helping organizations large and small build an inclusive environment that support employees and the business. In her role as vice president of people operations at 3Degrees, Suzanne brings a passion for finding the best talent for the organization and then providing team members with the tools, support and opportunities they need to shine. She is also responsible for driving organizational health with a specific focus on diversity, inclusion and equity in the workplace. Suzanne serves as the executive sponsor for the employee-led Diversity and Inclusion committee that recognizes the intrinsic value of embracing diversity in our local and global community to increase staff engagement, morale, productivity, and innovation within our workplace. ▼
Oriana Magnera is an outreach and policy advocate for the NW Energy Coalition. She is focused on building strong partnerships with environmental justice, low-income, and housing organizations and making policy processes that are transparent and accessible and that follow the lead of communities. Currently she is working on community solar and utility business model reform. Before entering the energy industry, Oriana worked in education policy, focusing on career-technical education and she has years of nonprofit experience. She holds a BA in Women’s and Gender Studies and Comparative Ethnic Studies from Columbia University.
Fernando Martinez leads the Northwest Mountain MSDC as President and CEO. He is responsible for helping develop minority business enterprises into capable suppliers for the Council’s corporate and public agency members. With over 30 years of experience in sales and operations, Fernando has managed and led business units within Washington Mutual, Xerox, Starbucks, and Westin Hotels. Fernando holds a Bachelor of Science from University of Texas and Master of Business Administration from University of Phoenix. His leadership skills have resulted in successful collaboration between operations and sales to continuously deliver growing year-over-year efficiencies, revenue, and profits.
Ms. Martinez established Ruben Strategy Group LLC in 2011 to provide business consulting for non profits, associations and businesses. She provides the leadership and forward thinking that empowers our organization. She is co-founder of several non-profits – including Hispanics in Energy and Advancing Women in Energy. She served as a Michigan Public Service Commissioner for over 6 years, in addition to other key roles in the Executive Branch and Legislative Branch within the State of Michigan. Her focus is energy, mobile technologies, non-profit development, and regulatory strategy.
Rose McKinney-James is a seasoned small business leader and independent corporate director with a long history in public service, non-profit volunteerism and private sector corporate social responsibility. The former President and CEO for the Corporation for Solar Technology and Renewable Resources, (CSTRR) and former Commissioner with the Nevada Public Service Commission, also served as Nevada’s first Director of the Department of Business and Industry. She is currently the Managing Principal of Energy Works LLC and McKinney-James & Associates. Her firms provide business-consulting services and advocacy in the areas of public affairs, energy policy, and economic and sustainable development. A registered lobbyist with the Nevada Legislature, Rose currently represents a range of public and private entities with interests in regulatory and energy policy. ▼
Demetria Miles-McDonald is the Founder and CEO of Decide Diversity, a company focused on increasing the presence and effectiveness of underrepresented groups in the workplace, specifically in leadership positions. Demetria specializes in bringing the experiences of people who identify with two or more marginalized groups to the forefront, to better understand and utilize the strengths they bring to the workplace. Demetria’s experience in industrial and organizational psychology have energized her to take action and lead today’s leaders away from stereotypes and bias that prevent qualified people from reaching their highest potential. Demetria’s powerful presentations and workshops make leaders think outside the box and consider solutions that move organizations forward. As a partner to many leaders around the country, Demetria works side by side with teams to increase diversity and improve inclusionary behavior in an effort to positively impact business results. ▼
Brian K. Oglesby, MSOD, MPhil is EMSDC’s Vice President of Strategic Relationships and Business Development. His role is designed to enhance corporate relationships, develop programs that create stronger connections between diverse supplier and buyers, creation of diversity policy, operations, and ongoing MBE business development. A Philadelphia native, Brian has a career that includes private entrepreneurship, economic and workforce development, government, and human services. He has developed regional economic development strategies, sector-based partnerships, and workforce initiatives. Brian is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and holds dual Master’s Degrees in Organizations Dynamics and Project Management from the University of Pennsylvania. He has always been driven by the pursuit of equality through direct economics, policy development, and civic engagement. ▼
In 2017, Sadzi Martha Oliva was appointed by Governor Bruce Rauner and confirmed by the Illinois Senate to the Illinois Commerce Commission, and is the first Latina to serve as Commissioner in the State of Illinois. In this role, Commissioner Oliva balances the interests of consumers and utilities to ensure adequate, efficient, reliable, safe and least-cost public utility services; regulates the commercial activities related to investor-owned electric, natural gas, water and sewer companies; and enforces regulations for trucking, towing, motor carriers, and railroad safety. She is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Committees on Water and Critical Infrastructure and Vice Chair of the Supplier and Workforce Diversity Sub Committee. She serves on the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Advisory Council, Financial Research Institute (FRI) Advisory Board, Gas Technology Institute (GTI) Public Interest Advisory Committee, and as Illinois’ representative on the Organization of MISO (Midcontinent Independent System Operator) States (OMS) Board of Directors. ▼
Larry Owens has been involved in promoting environmental awareness since high school when he helped organize the 1st Earth Day event at his high school. A co-founder of the Shoreline Solar Project (501c3) and former Vice President of Solar Washington, Larry has had solar on his Seattle area home since 1989, driven Electric cars since 2011, and taught Solar and Renewable Energy courses at Shoreline Community College’s Clean Tech Program and Kirkland Institute of Technology for many years. His current work at Johnson Controls’ Performance Infrastructure Group involves helping public entities fund and implement turnkey infrastructure and facilities improvements by incorporating energy efficiency and O & M savings as in integral part of the process. JCI’s strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, sustainability, employee development, and ethics were major reasons Larry chose to work at the company.
Sherrie grew up on the Oregon Coast and graduated from Portland State University in 2003 with a BS in Sociology. As Program Director for Community Energy Project (CEP), she is responsible for the development of new programs and the Community Education department’s delivery of DIY weatherization and lead poisoning prevention workshops to over 1,000 households annually. This year she has led CEP’s involvement in solar, acting as an advisor to the PUC and stakeholders on low-income involvement with Community Solar under SB 1547. Sherrie has spent the last 15 years working in the nonprofit world, and specializes in grassroots outreach, program design, and low-income community engagement.
Seandra Pope is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Rooted Consulting Group, Inc. – a solutions driven consulting practice that works with energy, climate, and environmental policy organizations to broaden reach and scale impact. She is trained in Organizing for Social Change through Midwest Academy and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Spelman College. Seandra has presented at The Emory and Georgia Tech Climate Town Hall, National Adaptation Forum, TiE Atlanta, FAMU College of Law, and provided expert testimony for the EPA and State Environmental Protection Division. Her content is featured in US Green Building Council’s “Urban Resilience in the Era of Climate Change,” Grist, NPR, Island Press, Cleanenergy.org, and theRoot.com. Seandra is a board member of The Sapelo Foundation, The Healthy Affordable Materials Project, Atlanta Dogwood Festival, and supports The Atlanta University and Spelman College’s Ecodistricts Program. Seandra is featured in Blavity’s “11 Black Leaders in the Climate Change Movement” (2017).
Andrés is a relationship builder, brand strategist and creative thinker. His deep passion for business and creativity led him to pursue a career in advertising and marketing communications. Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, and with a Master’s from Northwestern’s Integrated Marketing Communications program, he is experienced in crafting communication strategies for all audiences. He brings more than five years of experience managing cross-functional and cross-cultural teams in fast-paced environments for all types of businesses from tech startups in the Bay Area to Fortune 500 companies and large media brands in the U.S, U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets. At C+C Andrés applies his mad skills to lead clients in the transportation, energy and solid waste industries, as well as dedicates time to expand C+C’s client roster.
Melinda Rogers is NW Natural’s Vice President and Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer. She is responsible for all areas of Human Resources and for developing strategies that nurture an environment where employees of all backgrounds feel welcome and can work together to grow and help the company succeed. She also guides NW Natural’s efforts to ensure its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is reflected in the way the company serves its customers and local communities – and in its supply chain. Melinda joined NW Natural in 2015 and was promoted to her current position in August 2018. Over the last 20 years, she has served in a variety of HR roles with Fortune 500 companies, including Qualcomm and Hewlett-Packard, as well as with Willamette University, Knowledge University and Point B. Melinda’s expertise includes cultural change leadership, transition management, organizational development, succession planning, and linking HR strategy to business results. Earlier in her career, she spent 10 years in management positions in sales, engineering and supply chain.
With an impressive resume and proven track record of success and dedication, Mark Sebree has a reputation for changing paradigms in the Business Inclusion arena. He is responsible for engaging with utility clients to identify and develop supplier diversity strategies, leading outreach efforts to various organizations, and collaborating across teams and departments to promote diversity within the supply chain and talent aquisition. Mark has served on over 15 business inclusion and utility industry boards and associations, and he holds various certifications including a green belt certification in Six Sigma and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Evansville.
Desiree Sideroff is Senior Vice President at Craft3 where she directs the organization’s consumer lending business unit, which has originated over $75 million in equitable loans to Pacific Northwest homeowners for Energy Efficiency and Clean Water. Prior to joining Craft3 in 2010, Desiree had over a decade of leadership in community and economic development as a consultant and as Program Officer at Bay Area LISC. Desiree holds a Master’s degree in Urban Studies and Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Bachelor’s Degrees from the University of California at Berkeley in Conservation & Resource Studies and Peace & Conflict Studies.
Alando Simpson is the Vice President of City of Roses Disposal & Recycling, a materials management organization that specializes in waste collection, material processing and demolition services. Alando has been with City of Roses for over 10 years and has worked diligently to solidify the company as a leader in the sustainable waste/recycling field with a strong emphasis on the circular economy. His leadership within City of Roses has not only enabled the company to be recognized as a reliable and timely service provider but also a trailblazer in recycling and innovation for the Portland Metro region. Outside of City of Roses, Alando loves spending free time with his family and spends countless hours dedicating his time to youth sports and various civic engagements. ▼
Dr. Elizabeth A. Stanton is the founder and director of the Applied Economics Clinic. She has worked for more than 17 years as an environmental economist, and has authored more than 140 reports, policy studies, white papers, journal articles, and book chapters on topics related to energy, the economy, and the environment. She has submitted expert testimony and comments in Minnesota, Louisiana, Indiana, Illinois, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and several federal dockets. Her recent work includes extensive analysis of the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan, critiquing the analyses used to support a flawed valuation method for nuclear power plants, developing testimony on Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) compliance for the Massachusetts Departments of Energy Resources and Environmental Protection, and analysis of the need for new gas pipelines in New England, and the U.S. Southeast. ▼
Serilda Summers-McGee is the Owner of Workplace Change, LLC, a company that exists to help organizations realize workplace excellence. She is also author of the book Change the Workgame: Building and Sustaining a Diverse Workforce, which instructs readers on the best and worst practices of recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce using case studies from Serilda’s consulting experiences. Prior to launching her company, Ms. Summers-McGee held previous roles as the Human Resources and Workforce Development Director for the Portland Development Commission, Human Resources Director for the Oregon Department of Education, Talent Planning Manager at Kaiser Permanente Northwest and she was the first executive director for Partners in Diversity, an affiliate of the Portland Business Alliance, where she worked with human resources departments at companies throughout the region on strategies to recruit and retain executives of color. ▼
Tso is co-owner and president of SBW Consulting, a woman-and-minority-owned consulting firm dedicated to helping businesses and organizations use energy and water more efficiently. In his nearly 25 years in the energy and water efficiency field, Bing has developed a deep understanding of what it takes to successfully design, implement, and evaluate a wide range of programs and initiatives for clients such as Bonneville Power Administration, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Energy Trust of Oregon, Avista, Puget Sound Energy, California Public Utilities Commission, Pacific Gas & Electric, and many others. After taking over for the founding president of his company several years ago, he is orchestrating a leadership transition and positioning the company for a rapidly changing energy future. Bing has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and is a registered professional mechanical engineer. He currently serves on several industry councils and volunteer boards, including the California Technical Forum.
Kevin Walker is senior vice president of Power Supply at Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the largest electric utilities in the country. He is responsible for SCE’s wholesale energy contracting and management activities, operations and maintenance of the company’s power production facilities, and the decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Most recently, Walker worked for Ernst & Young’s power and utilities practice as a strategy advisor. Prior to that role, Walker served as chief operating officer of Iberdrola USA (now part of Avangrid), responsible for the safe, reliable and efficient delivery of electric and natural gas services to more than 2.4 million customers across New York, Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut. ▼
Dr. Alexander Washington currently serves as the Chief Policy Advisor for Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Cecil Brown. In his role at the Public Service Commission, Alex advises the Commissioner on policy decisions impacting utility companies and Mississippi ratepayers across the state. Prior to his appointment, he worked in higher education for 5 1/2 years. Dr. Washington earned his Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Mississippi State University. He received his BBA in Finance and Masters in Public Policy & Administration also from Mississippi State University. Dr. Washington’s research includes public service motivation, federal student aid policies, and public policy implementations. Currently, Dr. Washington is an adjunct professor for Belhaven University’s Master of Public Administration program. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and serves as the Assistant Secretary for the Mississippi Chapter for the American Association of Blacks in Energy.
Ms. Watts is the Founder, President & CEO of FCI Management. FCI provides expertise, knowledge and leadership to its customers by delivering innovative strategies and solutions in the energy and water industries. Creating a sustainable global environment means delivering energy efficient solutions ranging from lighting solutions to solar installations for both residential and commercial customers. FCI works with most major utilities in California, with Southern California Edison, SoCalGas, and LADWP as major clients. Nationwide, FCI also works with a variety of utilities and municipalities. Corporate Clients include U.S. Bank, Lockheed Martin, Honeywell and a wide range of businesses investing in a sustainable environment. FCI’s focus is on marketing innovative technologies and energy efficiency strategies that lower energy costs for consumers while improving the quality of our environment by reducing the carbon footprint. ▼
Ryan Wines is the founder and CEO of Marmoset – a global music agency that meticulously curates sounds for brands, ads, film and TV. At Marmoset, Ryan co-pilots creative teams and puts his focus into studying people and human systems — constantly deconstructing the status quo, challenging best practices, and searching for a better way to do work. A fiery advocate of creators, makers and artists, Ryan gave a TED Talk about “leading creatives amidst a modern landscape” and travels far and wide sharing his experiences on leading creatives, fostering a strong culture, and a leadership practice he’s penned as “Nurture Theory.” Under Ryan’s leadership, Marmoset has achieved wide praise, awards and admiration, including numerous INC 500 and INC 5000 awards, “The 100 Best Places to Work in Oregon,” “The 100 Greenest Companies in Oregon” and Ryan was a 2018 finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Engaging the fastest growing minority group in the nation, Asians in Energy is leading Asian Pacific Americans on energy and clean technology issues and policies. As managing partner of Clear Sky Strategies, a minority-owned and operated company, Wong provides development and administration of government funding and public-private partnerships to strengthen economies and improve public health and the environment. She was an appointee of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration at California Environmental Protection Agency, State Department of Toxic Substances Control and the California Department of Corporations. She is president of the Asian Pacific State Employees Association, co-chair of the Sacramento Regional Coalition for Tolerance and member of Infragard’s Energy Sector, an FBI-sponsored program to protect critical infrastructure. Wong is a former, TV, radio and print reporter.