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Speaker Bios

Stacey Abel

Stacey Abel, has over twenty-five years of experience in public policy, private, and nonprofit arenas, recently bringing her long history and passion for renewable energy to TREIA. Abel began working on energy issues as a Legislative Director in The Texas Senate, which led to subsequent roles as Sunset Policy Director for the Office of Public Utility Counsel, and later, Energy Policy Liaison for the Texas Environmental Defense Fund working to bring Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) to the State. Abel also served as co-chair of the Texas Fund for Energy and Environmental Education (TFE-3), a statewide nonprofit supported by The Energy Foundation and other funders to reduce climate change and increase energy independence through the diversification of Texas’ energy portfolio. After serving as Executive Director of Austin’s Community Investment Corporation, she began consulting with many public and private enterprises on policy and message development.


Igor Alvarado

Igor Alvaradois the Business Development Manager for Academic Research at National Instruments (NI) where he develops collaborations and strategies with leading universities in the U.S. in such areas as Energy, Cyber-Physical Systems, Medical Imaging/Devices and Wireless Communications partnerships to improve engineering education, advance scientific research and accelerate innovation with support from such agencies as NSF, NIH, DoD, and DoE. Mr. Alvarado is a Mechanical Engineer (Kansas State University, ’84) and has been with NI since 1999. He is a NSF Innovation Corps mentor and has more than 30 years of practical experience in successfully developing and growing markets for high-technology products and services in the U.S. and Latin America. He has led the design, development and deployment of real-time, measurement and intelligent control systems that involve advanced numerical methods and algorithms using high-performance embedded platforms.

Alvarado is an active member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), the International Society of Automation (ISA), the American Physical Society (APS), the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) and the Ibero-American Science and Technology Education Consortium (ISTEC). Mr. Alvarado has published technical papers and has taught courses to engineers and scientists on instrumentation, control and automation applications in industry and academia; he has also been an invited keynote speaker at leading national and international meetings, and has served as a consultant and advisory board member for academic institutions, corporations and research laboratories. Earlier this year (March 2017), Mr. Alvarado was the recipient of the Industry Award by the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECEDHA) for his contributions to the ECE discipline and to engineering education, making a positive impact on countless students.


Gavin Bade

Gavin Bade is a Senior Editor for the renowned online utility and energy industry news source, Utility Dive. Before joining Industry Dive, Gavin was the editor-in-chief of Georgetown’s alt-weekly newspaper, The Georgetown Voice, and worked for a number of media publishers, including The American Prospect, NPR, the New America Foundation, and WGVU. He has a BS in Culture and Politics from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown.


Hala N. Ballouz

Hala N. Ballouz is the Chair, President and Owner of Electric Power Engineers (EPE). With multiple offices in the U.S. and internationally, EPE is a lead consultant in the Electric Power Industry since 1991. Ms. Ballouz has over 20 years of experience in transmission system analysis, substation and distribution system design, resource and grid feasibility studies, renewable energy, generation development, and distribution system planning and operations.

Ms. Ballouz has extensive experience in renewable energy integration, power market analysis, and design of wind, solar, biomass, as well as energy storage, with numerous significant publications in the power industry. She has served as an expert witness on resource adequacy and transmission grid reliability in California and provides the same expertise in Texas. Ms. Ballouz is also a founding partner and Director of the Institute of Geotechnics and Materials, International IGM, s.a.r.l. and is the Past President of TREIA.


Bill Barnes

Bill Barnes has over 18 years of experience in the power industry and is currently the Director of Regulatory Affairs for NRG in Austin. He is responsible for covering ERCOT market design issues for the retail and wholesale markets, providing market analysis and advocacy. Bill also served as an elected member of the Technical Advisory Committee, Wholesale Market Subcommittee, and Protocol Revision Subcommittee in the ERCOT stakeholder process.  Bill began his career at Accenture working on competitive retail markets and ISO market development and then served as Manager of Settlements and Billing at ERCOT, designing and maintaining the commercial aspects of the ERCOT nodal power market.  Later, he was hired as a VP in US Power Trading at J Aron & Company, the commodities trading subsidiary of Goldman Sachs, where he was responsible for executing commodity trading strategies, managing various power generation assets, conducting power market design and policy research, and providing strategic commercial advice on power deals.  Bill earned a Masters of Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Software Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelors of Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton.


Vijay Betanabhatla

Vijay Betanabhatla is a Senior Consultant in Energy & Utilities team at Baker Tilly. He works closely with utilities, renewable energy developers, manufacturers, and state/local/tribal governments to help meet their strategic, resource optimization, and capital procurement needs for energy projects. He currently leads the Smartgrid strategy for Baker Tilly and plays a key role in the business development efforts for the Austin office. Before joining Baker Tilly, Vijay worked in System Operations at ERCOT for over 10 years. He played a lead role in many prestigious ERCOT projects including the Texas Nodal project. He has a MSEE from UT Arlington and an MBA from UT Austin, McCombs School of Business.


Jonathon Blackburn

Jonathon Blackburn is Managing Director of the Texas PACE Authority. Prior to moving to Austin, Jonathon lived in the UK and worked for a venture and commercialization firm developing technology startups. He co-founded a University of Cambridge spinout that is building a mobile clean energy storage system. Jonathon started his career as an engineer at the electric utility Southern Company in environmental and energy policy, before moving to its wholesale division developing some of Southern’s first utility-scale renewable energy power plants. Jonathon holds graduate degrees from the University of Cambridge and Duke University. He also has a BS in Chemical Engineering.


Topher Blunt

Topher Blunt started his career in solar electricity in 2000 with a course in Advanced Photovoltaics at Solar Energy International in Colorado, helping off-grid hippies live on 24 volts. By 2004 he was one of the first NABCEP certified solar installers in the US. Ten years of running a solar contracting business in southern California prepared Topher to join SolarCity and build some of the more complicated commercial PV projects the company had then developed.  He has since worked in Solarcity’s O&M department as a Regional Field Service Manager for SoCal and Hawaii, and later as Director of Field Service, overseeing a team of several hundred service technicians, before returning to his construction roots, and the state of Texas, to build out a portfolio of H-E- B grocery stores, starting in Austin and San Antonio.


Fred Bonewell

Fred Bonewell has more than 30 years of leadership experience of excellence in Health, Safety, and the Environment (HSE) in heavy construction related industries.  He currently serves as the Chief Safety & Security Officer (CSSO) of CPS Energy, the country’s largest municipally-owned utility providing both electric and gas service. There, he oversees all of CPS Energy's internal and external safety programs, among them an enterprise safety plan around “Zero Harm"; a culture of Actively Caring focusing on accountability and safety for all; and a Behavioral Based Safety Program to get all involved in safety and promote “Watching Each Other’s Backs”. Through these behavior- based safety programs, the company continues to experience a reduction in employee accidents through the promotion of safety awareness. A similar approach is being implemented externally to encourage safety among contractors as well as customers.

In 2017, Fred was awarded the San Antonio Business Journal’s C-Suite Award which recognized Fred Bonewell for his distinguished leadership and skills within CPS Energy and the San Antonio community. He was also personally awarded the 2016 Distinguished National Safety Council Award, a prestigious national distinction. Prior to joining CPS Energy, Fred held leadership positions at Louisville Gas & Electric, Florida Power & Light, among others. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Safety & Environmental Management from Indiana State University. Fred is married and has one daughter and son-in-law.


Tamara Cook

Tamara Cook is a Senior Program Manager of Environment and Development at the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) Environment and Development Department. Tamara has been with NCTCOG since 2004. There Tamara manages programs and projects related to a variety of sustainability topics including: water resources and conservation, water quality, flood risk reduction, public works, stormwater, waste management, energy-efficiency, building codes standardization, and development excellence. Previously, she also did work in long-range transportation planning; Environmental Justice and Title VI analysis; compatible land use surrounding the Naval Air Station Fort Worth, Joint Reserve Base; air quality, alternative fuels, and emission reduction strategies.

Tamara is a member of the American Planning Association and is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners. She currently serves as the Director-Elect of the Texas APA Midwest Section. Tamara is a LEED Green Associate. Tamara received her Bachelor’s Degree from Texas Christian University, majoring in Environmental Science, a Masters Degree in City and Regional Planning with an emphasis in Environmental Planning from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a Masters Degree in Environmental Science and Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington.


Sarah Cove

Sarah Cove is a Partner and Senior Consultant at Alder Koten, a consulting firm that shapes organizations through a combination of executive recruitment, cultural and leadership assessments, strategic and cultural alignment, and other advisory services. Sarah brings over 10 years of experience in Commitment-based Management and Ontological Design to support business-driven cultural shifts in organizations. Sarah has implemented large-scale, capital-intensive change programs in a variety of industries including utilities, IT, and the public sector; and has worked in multicultural environments in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. She has also supervised various political and environmental campaigns in California. Sarah holds a B.A. from Harvard University in Environmental Science and Public Policy and lives in Houston, Texas.


Trammell S. Crow

Trammell S. Crow is the founder of EARTHx (formerly known as Earth Day Texas), the largest annual environmental exhibition and programming initiative in the world. In 2017, EARTHx welcomed more than 100,000 attendees as a hub for education, innovation and relationship-building within the environmental community and beyond.

Mr. Crow is focused on inspiring environmental leadership across sectors and party lines. He serves on the board of directors for ConservAmerica and is a co-founder of Texas Business for Clean Air and Texans for Clean Water. Mr. Crow is also a long-term supporter of the Texas Conservation Alliance, the Nature Conservancy of Texas, Texans for Lawsuit Reform, Log Cabin Republicans and the League of Conservation Voters. His philanthropy benefits various nonprofit organizations that are active in family planning, education, the environment, community initiatives and political causes.

Mr. Crow’s other great passion is art. He is the president of the Crow Family Foundation, which operates and manages The Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art. His appreciation for the arts encompasses a broad range of forms — from Beatles records to graphic novels based on historical events.

Prior to his current endeavors, Mr. Crow moved to Dallas and joined the development team of the Anatole Hotel, at the Dallas Market Center when it expanded by more than two million square feet. By 1985, he had developed the Dallas Communications Complex, the Studios at Las Colinas, INFOMART and the Dallas/Fort Worth Teleport. From 1986 to 1993, Mr. Crow was the CEO of Trammell Crow International, overseeing the Brussels International Trade Mart (largest in Europe) and developing additional trade marts in Asia.
 


Stephen Dayton

Stephen Dayton has 31 years of experience working with the state's natural resources and environmental agencies. He currently works as a technical specialist with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, helping to implement and administer the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP), providing grants for projects to reduce emissions from mobile sources. He helped develop and start the TERP program in 2001. Prior to working on TERP, Mr. Dayton spent nine years working with the agency's municipal solid waste planning program, including helping to implement the regional solid waste planning grant program. He also spent six years performing water resources planning with the Texas Water Development Board. Mr. Dayton holds a Bachelor's degree in economics from New Mexico State University and a Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin.


Nisha Desai

Nisha Desai is the managing director of Aurora Clean Energy Partners, a provider of growth strategy, business development, and project development services in renewable energy and clean technology. Previously, Nisha served as the Vice President, Distributed Generation for NRG Energy. In that position, she led a team of project development and engineering professionals to identify and create resilient and sustainable on-site energy solutions for commercial, industrial and institutional clients. Prior to NRG, Nisha had a number of leadership roles in the energy and water industries, with a significant focus on business model and technology innovation. Her development expertise included solar power, water infrastructure, energy storage, CHP, and fuel cell projects. Nisha has also served several years as a management consultant with Booz & Company’s energy practice, and she has held finance and business development roles with Enron and Mobil. She holds an economics degree from Yale and MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was an American Association of University Women Selected Professions Fellow. 


Annemarie Diaz

Annemarie Diaz plays a leadership role in the development and implementation of Austin Energy’s Strategic Plan, including risk assessment, engagement and development of cross-functional teams, and fostering alignment in the organization. For the past six years her work has focused on market and industry analysis, supporting executive teams with strategic planning, and leadership of cross-functional initiatives. She also has experience in utility DSM program delivery, energy policy, and regulatory compliance for industrial clients. Annemarie has a BS in Chemical Engineering and an MS in Environmental Health, Policy. She is a licensed Professional Engineer and received a miniMBA certificate from the University of St. Thomas Executive Education program.


Dr. Gavin Dillingham

Dr. Gavin Dillingham is Program Director for Clean Energy Policy at HARC and Director of the US DOE’s Southwest Combined Heat and Power TAP. Dr. Dillingham has worked in the clean energy industry for the last twenty years in both the private and public sector, with much of this work focusing on climate action planning, greenhouse gas mitigation strategies and strategic energy management for large institutions and cities.

Dr. Dillingham joined HARC in 2012 where he leads research and program efforts focusing on improving the climate resilience of the electric power infrastructure and built environment. His current research programs includes decision making in regards to the deployment of critical power infrastructure across the United States; a study on the deployment of climate resilience standards for the built environment; and research on corporate operational decisions in regards to climate vulnerability and risk. His programmatic activity includes directing the Department of Energy’s Southwest Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership tasked with improving community resilience and reducing energy waste through increased investment in CHP. He also leads HARC’s efforts with the Texas State Energy Conservation Office which is working on improving energy data access and the deployment of PACE financing.

Dr. Dillingham received his PhD in Political Science from Rice University in 2008 where he studied policy diffusion and adoption of natural resources policies across U.S. states.


Ken Donohoo

Ken Donohoo retired from Oncor Electric Delivery in May 2017 as Director System Planning. His team was responsible for distribution and transmission planning analysis, NERC/ERCOT support/reporting, regulatory support, planning reports and collection/development of power system planning data. Ken's extensive background includes engineering budget analysis, transmission planning, transient analysis, insulation coordination, surge arrester application, switching analysis, wheeling impact, loss analysis, project management and engineering management. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas and a senior member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Ken received a Bachelor of Science Electrical Engineering (BSEE) degree from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1982. He is married with one son and lives in Mansfield, Texas. His wife Judith retired from teaching elementary school and Sean is a student working part time with computers. He enjoys landscaping & gardening, traveling and test tasting various Bourbon, scotch & whiskey.


Cris Eugster

Cris Eugster has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the energy and technology sectors. Cris currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of CPS Energy, one of the nation’s largest municipally-owned utilities with over 730,000 electric customers and 325,000 gas customers. CPS Energy is vertically integrated and includes generation, transmission and distribution, and retail services with annual revenues of over $2.5 billion and total assets of over $10.5 billion.

As Chief Operating Officer, Cris leads the Operations of CPS Energy and its approximately 2000 team members. Cris also leads overall corporate strategy, integrated resource planning, new products and services, research & development, and environmental oversight, driving the transformation of CPS Energy into a strong, innovative 21st century power provider. The strategy has led to significant investments in low carbon capabilities such as combined cycle natural gas, wind, and solar, in addition to large scale demand response programs and innovative smart grid solutions. CPS Energy is nationally recognized for its efforts in the New Energy Economy and has won numerous awards.

Cris sits on a number of Boards including Smart Electric Power Association (SEPA), Association of Edison Illuminating Companies (AEIC), Texas A&M Smart Grid Center Advisory Board (SGC), EPIcenter and Trinity University Business Advisory Council. Past Boards have included Build SA Green, Solar San Antonio, Mission Verde Alliance, Texas Renewable Energy Industry Association (TREIA), DOE State Energy Advisory Board, Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County.

Prior to coming to San Antonio, Cris was the first Chief Officer for Sustainable Growth for the City of Houston as part of Mayor Bill White’s team. Prior to that Cris was Partner with McKinsey & Company, an international management consulting firm, serving F100 companies in the Technology, Energy, and Diversified Services markets. He received his PhD and MS in Electrical Engineering from MIT focused on quantum transport research in nanostructures. He received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University with Magna Cum Laude honors. Cris is married and has two sons.


Chris Foster

Chris Foster is currently the Manager of Resource Planning and Integration for the City of Georgetown, and has served in the capacity since 2008, with a primary role of managing the City’s Municipally Owned Utility power supply. Previous work includes managing payroll for the Health and human Services Commission, fixing computer equipment for CVS and Walgreens, and running his own tech repair company. Chris is a graduate of Georgetown High School, holding a bachelor’s in Economics/Finance from the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor, and a Master’s in Public Administration from Texas State. Chris is also a Certified Government Finance Officer through the Government Finance Officers Association. Chris is best known for orchestrating the successful transition of Georgetown’s power supply from a single provider that was over 90% fossil fuel based, to being 100% wind and solar powered by 2017. Outside of energy Chris acts as the City’s economist and lead contract negotiator including water rights, garbage contracts, technological systems, development agreements, etc. Chris is married with three kids. His dissertation titled “Does Proximity Matter? Measuring the effect green space has on residential water consumption”, and can be found in the Texas State MPA ARP archives.


Former Vice President Al Gore

Former Vice President Al Gore is the cofounder and chairman of Generation Investment Management. He is a senior partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and a member of Apple Inc.’s board of directors. Gore spends the majority of his time as the chairman of The Climate Reality Project, a nonprofit devoted to solving the climate crisis. 

Gore was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, 1978, 1980, and 1982 and to the U.S. Senate in 1984 and 1990. He was inaugurated as the 45th vice president of the United States on January 20, 1993, and served eight years.  

He is the author of the best-sellers Earth in the Balance, An Inconvenient Truth, The Assault on Reason, Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis, and, most recently, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change.

He is the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, and a new film premiering in July 2017, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. Gore is the co-recipient, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, for “informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change.”


Mark Harral

Mark Harral got his introduction to renewable energy negotiating a wind lease with BP to deploy thirty-four 2.5MW wind turbines in Pecos County, Texas. Subsequently, Texas Tech University employed Mr. Harral to develop an organizational structure for a testing and certification site at a former Air Force base - the Reese Technology Center in Lubbock, Texas. Mr. Harral oversaw project development, construction and management activities for the majority of the site. This organizational structure was implemented by Texas Tech to create The National Institute for Renewable Energy with a for-profit wholly owned subsidiary known as Group NIRE. This structure enabled Alstom Power Inc. to deploy a 1.67MW Eco 86 wind turbine at the Reese Technology Center. Over time, Mr. Harral developed a commercial 80MW wind farm and negotiated the sale of the asset to a leading owner/operator of wind farms in the United States. 

Since May 2013, Mr. Harral has served as the CEO of Group NIRE. He also serves as an expert witness in wind energy litigation cases. To date, Mr. Harral has testified in arbitration cases concerning warranty disputes between manufacturers and owners with over $90M in disputes. Mr. Harral graduated from Texas Tech School of Law with a Doctorate of Jurisprudence after receiving a B.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.


Bert Haskell

Bert Haskell is Chief Technology Officer of Pecan Street Inc. Headquartered at The University of Texas, Pecan Street operates the Pike Powers Laboratory and Center for Commercialization and the Pecan Street Research Institute.

After being assigned to the MCC Consortium by Eastman Kodak, Mr. Haskell spent nearly a decade working for the consortium, rising to the position of MCC’s Vice President of Portable Electronics Product Research. In addition to his work for Kodak and MCC, he has held product development, product marketing and advisory rolls at a number of start-up companies including Stellar Display Corporation, Wireless Age, Motion Computing and Portelligent. Prior to joining Pecan Street, he was Director of Product Development for Heliovolt, a developer of CIGS-based thin-film photovoltaic modules. Mr. Haskell holds a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rochester.


Bill Hetherington

William Hetherington joined Bandera Electric Cooperative as our new General Manager. Mr. Hetherington comes to Bandera with more 25 years’ experience working for both investor owned and cooperatively owned electric utilities. He has 15 years of senior management experience including serving as the Director of Engineering and Operations at Lee County Electric Cooperative in southwest Florida where he managed over 160 employees. Along with his Electric Utility experience, Mr. Hetherington was the President and CEO of Carina Technology, an automated metering technology company and was Senior Vice President of US Operations for SGC Energia, a Portuguese Renewable Energy Company. Mr. Hetherington has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, a Master's degree in Administration from Central Michigan and received Executive Management training from The Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. As President of the Florida Electric Utility Coordinating Council he has testified before the Florida Public Service Commission and The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on de-regulation, grid reliability and on numerous rate cases. He participated in formation of Sunshine State One Call and GridFlorida. Mr. Hetherington married his wife Jamie in 1983 and they have three children. He enjoys running in marathons, playing golf and traveling.


Bobby Hill

Bobby Hill is the Vice President of Sale at BYD Heavy Industries, with over 20 years in the Transportation Industry including in the role of Vice President of Operations for Tiger Air Express/Tiger Coaches, Travelways and Horizon Coach Lines. Hill also had the privilege to be an owner/partner with Show Me Coaches and the owner of Edison Transportation. In his career, Hill has been responsible for the operations of 4 to 16 charter bus locations throughout the country and has managed various transportation programs for 6 Olympic Games, which included, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Torino, Athens, Beijing and Vancouver, as well as numerous Super Bowls, NBA All Star Games, NCAA Basketball Championships, Daytona 500’s and Indy 500’s. Hill has managed bus fleets from 145 to over 2,000 units. The largest transit fleet that he has managed was set up to provide transportation services to the spectators and Paralympic Athletes, for the Vancouver Winter Olympics and included over 350 transit buses and over 800 personnel. Hill has been with BYD Heavy Industries since January 2015.


Scott Hinson

Scott Hinson leads activities and electrical research at the Pike Powers Lab. He worked at a thin film CIGS solar module manufacturer where he led module packaging, performance, certification and reliability efforts. Prior efforts include work in the military, medical, consumer and oil industries developing power supplies, precision measurement equipment and inductive heating technologies. Scott received his B.S.E.E. from The University of Texas at Austin with undergraduate specializations in both communications systems and power distribution. Scott was awarded the 2015 Outstanding Engineering Award for “transforming the world’s understanding of consumer and community electricity usage” by the IEEE Power Engineering Society Central Texas Chapter.


Raina Hornaday

Raina Hornaday is currently a partner and the General Manager of Caprock Renewables, a renewable energy start-up focused on developing mid-market solar projects for C&I customers in Texas. Raina has worked closely with the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Alliance (TREIA) over the past year through a rebrand and helped organize TREIA’s annual conference in November 2015. For the past 10 years, Raina was the co-owner of Cielo Wind Power and has been involved in every aspect of wind energy development.


Lon Huber

Lon Huber directs Strategen’s private sector consulting practice. In this capacity, he is involved in numerous public proceedings across the US, covering such topics as rate design modernization, community solar, energy storage policy, and DER market reform. Mr. Huber provides independent analysis, strategy, and policy solutions to some of the energy sector’s most pressing issues. He is frequently cited in trade press and speaks regularly at policy forums across the US. Prior to joining Strategen, Lon worked for the consumer advocate office in Arizona, in the private sector for technology firms and in academia at an energy focused research institute. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree and MBA from the University of Arizona Eller College of Management.


Michael Jewell

Michael Jewell is an attorney at Jewell & Associates, PLLC. The law firm focuses on representing clients before the Texas Legislature, Public Utility Commission of Texas, Electric Reliability Council of Texas, as well as other state regulatory agencies. With more than 25 years’ experience in and with Texas government, Michael has served as a regulatory and legislative advocate for national and international companies and organizations involving the competitive electric and telecommunications markets. In addition to broad electric and telecommunications market structure issues, Michael also has advised and represented clients on issues relating to taxation, appropriation, professional licensing, business development, operational, intellectual property, and compliance matters.


Andrew Johnston

Andrew Johnston - With a background spanning the energy, technology, policy, and urban planning sectors, Johnston works with utilities, cities, manufacturers, and third-party groups in aligning strategy, technology, policy and customer-facing program execution. Johnston has worked in areas of technology innovation, strategic planning, market analysis, and competitive intelligence. Prior to Navigant, Johnston was President of ETS, for Zpryme. He has also served in a variety of roles at organizations centered around emerging technology, including Austin Energy and Pecan Street Inc. Johnston is a former chief of staff to economic and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin, where he supported the energy & technology agenda with clients including European Commission, European heads of state, and major global industrial and energy stakeholders. He lives in Austin with his Wife and Baby Girl, and is the 2014 recipient of the Austin Under 40 Award for Energy & Technology.


Peter Kelly-Detwiler

Peter Kelly-Detwiler has over 25 years of experience in the area of electric energy, retail power, and distributed energy assets. Mr. Kelly-Detwiler offers expertise in the areas of new technologies and the integration and interaction of on-site distributed assets with electricity markets. He is professionally active on a national level with energy companies, demand response providers, software developers, datacenter owners, and various energy start-ups. Mr. Kelly-Detwiler has written comprehensive research papers for clients on diverse topics such as the evolution of the solar industry and the relationship between data centers and global power markets. He is a frequent moderator and speaker at industry events, and offers professional workshops on the topic ranging from 3-12 hours. He also contributes regularly to Forbes.com and other publications focusing on topics related to disruptive innovation and the impact on the electricity industry.

He is currently writing a book on that topic.


Chaeeun “Elizabeth” Kim

Chaeeun “Elizabeth” Kim is an undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering at Texas Tech University. She is the President of Engineering Diplomats and Student Assistant for the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering. She was recently a Student Intern for Prof. Annette Sobel to conduct research in the application of renewable energy aspects incorporated with medical devices, and participated in conducting a workshop for vulnerability assessments of the microgrid. She plans to pursue a career in the energy industry.


Axel Lerche

Axel Lerche is the founder and CEO of Austin based EcoSmart Solution LLC (ESS), an energy service company that helps land developer and production builder to build better and more sustainable homes. As a subsidiary of global real estate investment firm Taurus Investment Holdings ESS launched a program for 7,500 net zero capable smart homes at the master planned community Whisper Valley in Austin, Texas. Previously Axel owned and managed marketing and energy consulting firms in Germany and Canada. He received recognition and various awards for building Canada’s most efficient home in 2010. Passionate about the business opportunities around sustainability Axel created a network to cutting edge technology and IT companies as Alphabet/Google, Tesla and Bosch. Through his company ESS he developed a scalable development platform for the energy efficient but affordable and smart home in the US.


Leslie Libby

Leslie Libby graduated from Montana State University in 1984 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. In December 1992, she graduated with a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. From 1991 until she retired in 2015, Leslie worked on solar energy projects and programs for Austin Energy, the City of Austin municipally owned utility. During her tenure she had many roles with Austin Energy including PV system performance and solar data monitoring and analysis, PV system maintenance contract management, project management of both ground mount and rooftop PV system installations, and solar incentive program design and implementation. Under her direction, Austin Energy provided customers with $32.5 million in incentives, which has allowed 2100 participants to install 8.7 MW of solar on their rooftops. Leslie worked on teams responsible for developing innovative solar tariffs, researching the effects of co-location of Wind and Solar on constrained west Texas transmission lines, and rooftop solar potential for the City of Austin. In addition, during her tenure, with the assistance of Department of Energy and State Energy Conservation Office grants she developed and implemented Austin Energy's Solar Rooftop Program, Solar Explorer Program and the award-winning Solar for Schools Program. For more than two decades, she has been active in local, state and national renewable energy organizations. She currently serves on the board of The Texas Renewable Energy Industries Alliance and on the board of Solar Austin. Leslie is the owner of Libby Solar, a solar energy consultancy.


Scott Macmurdo

Scott Macmurdo is a Sustainability Specialist for NRG Energy, where he advises companies on meeting sustainability goals through smart energy management practices. In this role, Macmurdo helps corporate customers navigate the landscape of renewable energy, demand response, and energy efficiency opportunities that are critical for reducing carbon and water footprints. Macmurdo previously served as the associate director of the Corporate Eco Forum, a membership organization for Fortune 500 corporate sustainability executives. Prior to that, he organized discussions on global economic policy at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC. Macmurdo holds a BA in international studies and French from Rhodes College and an MA in sustainable energy and environmental policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.


Lisa Martin

Lisa Martin is a Program Manager of Advanced Technologies at Austin Energy (AE), the City of Austin’s municipally owned utility and one of the largest publicly owned utilities in the nation serving more than 450,000 customers. Lisa is currently the project manager for Austin SHINES, a project funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Austin SHINES establishes an open standards-based Distributed Energy Resources (DER) management platform to integrate and optimize DER at several levels along the utility value chain. Prior to working at AE, Lisa worked for Southern California Edison (SCE) in the field of energy markets and power and gas origination. Lisa has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Christian Brothers University and an MBA in Operations Management from the University of Illinois. Lisa is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas.


Judy McElroy

Judy McElroy is CEO of Fractal Energy Storage Consultants, a leading energy storage consultant firm, providing technical design, financial analysis, procurement and owners engineering and advisory of services of energy storage projects. McElroy is a chemist by trade with energy consultation services spanning over a Gigawatt of energy storage and hybrid generation. McElroy has expanded Fractal’s reach into regulated, deregulated and emerging markets around the world supporting electric utilities and major developers transition into energy storage. McElroy has devoted major efforts towards creating utility education, awareness and policy support to enable energy storage technology planning and procurement. In her downtime, McElroy is a weightlifter, triathlete and coaches grade school sports.


Melissa Miller

Melissa Miller is a Project Development Manager at EDF Renewable Energy, with experience developing Texas renewables since 2002. At EDF, Melissa’s primary focus is in the development of large scale wind and solar in Texas. As former President of Miller Wind + Renewables and Vice President of Texas Development for Cielo Wind Power, Ms. Miller has diverse experience in large-scale commercial wind project development, including the operational 161MW Brazos Wind Project, 78MW Golden Spread Panhandle Wind Ranch, 161MW Spinning Spur Wind Ranch, and the 161MW Spinning Spur Two Wind Ranch and the development of the 200MW Unity Wind Project. Through Miller Wind + Renewables, Ms. Miller consulted in the areas of tax abatement and real estate negotiation for a number of renewable energy developers and developed large-scale wind and solar projects for landowners in Texas. As a longtime advocate for Texas economic and energy initiatives, Melissa currently serves as a TREIA's board President. She is also the former Executive Director for the Austin Independent Business Alliance.


Ryan Moody

Ryan Moody serves as Senior Manager for Global Cyber Strategy at Siemens where he is responsible for implementing strategic cyber direction and the development of new products and services designed to accelerate growth for the Siemens industrial security business worldwide. Ryan brings to this position a wealth of Industrial Control knowledge with his 17 years of experience in the Oil & Gas sector. Previously, Ryan served as the director of the Subsea business unit at Siemens where he gained experience in subsea drilling equipment, subsea production equipment, and controls system. Ryan’s experience also includes roles in business segment management, engineering management, product management, and strategy. Ryan earned a B.S. degree (Mechanical Engineering) from Texas A&M University and a MBA from the University of Houston.


Sam Morris

Sam Morris began his career in the U.S. Air Force as a weather observer and meteorologist. After leaving the Air Force, Sam went to Dominion in Richmond, VA as a staff meteorologist, supporting energy trading operations. While with Dominion, he learned the ins and outs of load forecasting and load modeling. Sam then went to Enva Power (Genscape) in Boston where he produced weather and load forecasts for ISO’s/RTO’s in North America and Europe. In 2010, Sam took the senior load forecasting position at NYISO, building and maintaining load forecasting and weather biasing models. Additionally, he developed and integrated solar irradiance and behind the meter solar generation models for use in load forecasting. In 2016, he moved with his wife and two boys to Austin, TX to take a load modeling/forecasting position at ERCOT.


Doug Murray

Doug Murray has over 35 years in the electric utility industry mainly concentrating on production cost modeling, LMP price formulation and asset valuation for several national and international independent power producers. For the past 7 years he has been at ERCOT preforming long-range generation expansion planning for Department of Energy and Long-Term System Assessment studies. Additionally, while at ERCOT, Mr. Murray has been responsible for evaluating the impacts of new technologies such as wind, solar, storage and electric vehicles on the ERCOT grid.


Michael Myers

Michael Myers is a nationally known speaker and has made major contributions in the development of green building practices and energy efficiency programs in Texas and throughout the nation. Currently, he is the Vice President of CloudForest Software, a start-up focused on building performance analysis and serves as a Sustainability Consultant for Allegheny Science & Technology to provide support to the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program. As the Energy Manager for the City of Austin, Myers managed the electric and gas demand-side management programs for all customer sectors. He led the team that created the first green building program in the nation, the City of Austin's acclaimed Green Building Program which received international honors at the U.N Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. At the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), he was the Residential Technologies Team Lead and the Program Manager for the Existing Buildings Energy Efficiency Research and Affordable Housing Programs. At DOE, he collaborated with Habitat for Humanity and other organizations to integrate research findings into current building practices. At Lockheed Martin, he was the Senior Sustainability Manager where he led the development of a corporate-wide green building policy and led teams to assist local governments reduce their energy consumption. Mr. Myers has served as a Governor Appointee on the TX Weatherization Policy Advisory Council, served as the Board Chair for Central TX-Balcones USGBC Chapter and is a member of TXSES.


Eric Padilla

Eric Padilla is a Senior Manager, Public Policy at Vistra Energy (formerly Energy Future Holdings). There, Mr. Padilla is responsible for all aspects of the company’s state and federal policy efforts. He has participated in five Texas Legislative Sessions, where he has helped develop the company’s position on legislation, including support for: rooftop solar, wind power development, and energy efficiency, among others. Mr. Padilla also supported Energy Future Holding’s Sustainable Energy Advisory Board. Mr. Padilla holds a B.A. in European History from DePauw University and is a graduate of St. Mark’s School of Texas in Dallas. He lives in Arlington with his fiancée and daughter.


Cyrus Reed

Cyrus Reed has served as the Conservation Director for the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club for almost 10 years. As such, he has he served as the Chapter’s chief lobbyist on oil and gas, energy and air quality issues before the legislature, state agencies like the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, State Energy Conservation Office, Railroad Commission of Texas, Public Utility Commission and ERCOT, and many cities throughout Texas. He serves on the Reliability Operations Subcommittee at ERCOT, and on the City of Austin’s Resource Management Commission. Cyrus has a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin, with a focus on water policy and the dispute over the Rio Grande water with Mexico. Cyrus has also worked as a journalist, research director at the Texas Center for Policy Studies and has spent considerable time in Mexico, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Married with three kids, ages 20 to 10.


Chris Reeder

Chris Reeder has practiced for over 20 years in the energy field, focusing on a wide range of regulatory and commercial matters affecting all types of ERCOT market participants. In addition, he advises clients on power plant development and financing issues, has led attorney teams that supported numerous Texas wind and solar project developments, and has worked for the PUCT as a Staff attorney. Mr. Reeder received his degree from the University of Texas School of Law, and since 2001, has expanded his practice to helping clients develop and market renewable energy in ERCOT. Working with the PUCT and ERCOT to enact favorable regulations and helping clients bring projects to financing or completion has provided insights on the many factors challenging renewable energy development. He works with numerous renewable energy companies whose interests align with TREIA’s, and has spoken often on development issues. Mr. Reeder's firm has strongly supported TREIA by sponsoring GridNEXT and in partnering on the successful 2016/2017 solar webinar series. 


Steve Reedy

Steve Reedy is the Deputy Director of the Independent Market Monitor for ERCOT at Potomac Economics. He has over ten years of experience in the power industry.

Prior to joining Potomac Economics, Steve was a consultant at Utilicast LLC, a boutique consulting firm operating in the utility space. During his two years at Utilicast he helped multiple clients enter MISO, including setting up and operating the FTR desk for a vertically integrated utility. Before joining Utilicast he held many roles in ERCOT, culminating as the Manager of the CRR group at ERCOT when the CRR market went live in 2010. He has been active in the stakeholder process at both ERCOT and MISO, including a short time as the Vice-Chair of the FTR Working Group of MISO. Steve earned a Masters of Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelors degree in Physics from Wabash College.


Walter Reid

Walter Reid is currently working with the Wind Coalition at ERCOT as well as providing support for proceedings at the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Walter is also consulting with a number of wind-power developers concerning ERCOT market rules and assisting with the business aspects of various contracting issues. He was heavily involved in the development of both the zonal and the nodal market rules for ERCOT and continues to help update those rules. Before Walter starting consulting in 1995 he worked for the Lower Colorado River Authority for 25 years in a variety of engineering, managerial, and executive management positions. Walter was Executive Director of Electric Operations for several years in charge of all of LCRA’s transmission, generation, fuels, and contracting activities. Mr. Reid received his degree in Electrical Engineering from Tulane University and spent six years in the Navy Nuclear Submarine service before coming to Austin.


Dr. Beibei Ren

Dr. Beibei Ren is an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering department and the director of the Dynamic Intelligent Systems, Control and Optimization (DISCO) Group at Texas Tech. She received her Ph.D. degree in the Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore, in 2010. Before coming to Texas Tech, she was a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, University of California, San Diego (UCSD), from 2010 to 2013, and was a research fellow at the Center for Offshore Research and Engineering, NUS, from 2009 to 2010. Her current research interests include robust control, power electronics control, renewable energy and grid integration, microgrid control. Dr. Ren received the 2017 TechConnect National Innovation Award for their microgrid technology "Robust Droop Control for Parallel Operated Inverters".


Wesley Rhodes

Wesley Rhodes currently serves with IBM as Chief Technologist in Artificial Intelligence, Cloud & Cognitive computing, as Digital Transformation architect as well as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Sensemaking and Director of the Network Science Research Center. Wesley specializes in Cyber Security and Response, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity, high risk digital transformations and the application of various technologies for advanced insight.

Wesley holds numerous academic appointments in the fields of Cyber Security, Supercomputing Applications and advanced R&D and holds the required Federal security clearances to work on hard National Security and Defense topics for the US and UK.

Wesley graduated with an MBA from the University of Houston, an MS in Project Management from the University of Western Carolina, an MS in Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MS in Technology Management from the University of Maryland, University College.


Stephen Roberts

Stephen Roberts - As the Global Sustainability Marketing Manager at Dell, Stephen Roberts drives the promotion of “all things green and good” at Dell. His focus is on the intersection of sustainability and technology, with a special emphasis on the circular economy and net positive efforts. Before joining Dell in 2011, Stephen spent 13 years with the advertising and public relations firm EnviroMedia here in Austin, where he helped start America Recycles Day, managed parts of the Don’t Mess with Texas campaign, and worked on countless other public health and environmental efforts.  Stephen holds a Master’s Degree in Latin American History, which continues to prove very useful during trivia games.


Dwain Rogers

Dwain Rogers began his career as an attorney in the 1990s, primarily working in the areas of intellectual property and early stage tech finance. He moved into the Government sector in 2003, working at the Texas General Land Office for eleven years as an attorney, as Special Counsel to the Land Commissioner and finally as Deputy Commissioner for Renewable Energy. In that post, Rogers was tasked with leasing state owned lands for utility scale renewable energy projects and the work sparked a fascination with renewables, clean tech and energy markets that has become his passion. After the Land Office, in 2012 Rogers accepted a position as Research Director at the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute at the University of Texas at San Antonio. There he focused on cutting edge research involving distributed energy technologies, energy storage, smart grid and internet of things initiatives, and renewable energy. His role at UTSA was often to look at projects from a holistic perspective that included engineering, economic and policy considerations, all of which are in his opinion critical to the successful adoption of new energy technologies. Rogers loves to look at big problems from a systems perspective, and he hopes to bring this sort of thinking to his new role at CleanTX.


Kristina Ronneberg

Kristina Ronneberg is an Air Quality Planner with the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG), where she works with stakeholders to reduce emissions in the region through a variety of programs focused on promoting solar, electric vehicles, and other clean technologies. Kristina has worked on energy and sustainability issues for almost a decade. She has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from Duke University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Vanderbilt University.


Mayor Dale Ross

City of Georgetown Texas Mayor Dale Ross is a certified public accountant and President and Founder of Ross and Champion CPAs, P.C. a certified public accounting firm.   

Re-elected with 72% of the vote in May of 2017, Ross is a conservative Republican in a politically bright red city, county and state. He has demonstrated his fierce independence from partisan politics by leading his to city to being the first city in Texas powered by 100% renewable energy and has been a strong supporter and voice in promoting renewable energy around the world.

In June of 2017, Mayor Ross appeared in the National Geographic documentary “From the Ashes” and with Vice President Al Gore in the August 2017 release of “An Inconvenient Sequel”. He is slated to appear in Jaime Redford’s “Happening” which is scheduled to be released in December of 2017 on HBO. Mayor Ross lives in a 1913 home in the historic district of Georgetown with Mickie, his best friend and wife, and their cat Lillie.


Dan Smith

Dan Smith joined Austin Energy in 2003 and is currently the Vice President of Electric Service Delivery responsible for leading Austin Energy’s Transmission & Distribution organization. Prior to Dan’s current role, he held positions as the Director of Smart Grid & System Operations, Director of Transmission & Substation, and Engineering Manager of Substation and Relay Engineering. Prior to joining Austin Energy, Dan worked for Advanced Micro Devices in Austin, Texas and Dresden, Germany managing Site Electrical & Mechanical Engineering. He received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Texas A & M University, has completed a number of graduate and post graduate courses, is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas, a Member of IEEE, and has presented and authored numerous papers at technical conferences and educational venues. Dan is passionate about company transformation that starts and is rooted in safety.


Tom “Smitty” Smith

Tom “Smitty” Smith has, for more than four decades, organized citizens on how to stand up for their interests in wide variety of forums. Smitty served as state director of Public Citizen for 31 years from 1985 until early 2017. He has worked on energy, environment, ethics and campaign finance reforms; with a passion for reducing global warming by promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and cleaner transportation. Many of these programs have become national and international models. He has helped start 13 statewide groups, over 20 local grassroots groups and trained more than 300 interns. He and Public Citizen have won 30 awards for advocacy over the years. He has testified before the Congress and the Texas Legislature more than 1,000 times. His work has been discussed in 3 movies and 8 books. He currently serves as a consultant to national and statewide groups.    

Smitty hails from Illinois and received a Bachelor of Arts from Valparaiso University in 1974 and moved to Texas to become a VISTA volunteer in Kingsville, Texas. He became a Texan by choice shortly thereafter. Before joining Public Citizen, he served as food bank development coordinator for Second Harvest Food Bank, developing food banks across a 10 state region in the southern United States. He was the initial Director of the Houston Food Bank; served as Director of the SW Regional Office of the Community Nutrition Institute; and in the 70s was a legal assistant with Texas Rural Legal Aid and later with Prairie State Legal Services. Smitty is married to Karen Hadden, the Executive Director of the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition and they have worked together on energy issues for more than two decades.


Dr. Annette Sobel

Dr. Annette Sobel is a former Major General in the Arizona Air National Guard, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Education, and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, TTU, and the Executive for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Health Security Initiatives, TTU. She is residency trained in Family and Community Medicine and Aerospace Medicine and is a Hyperbaric Medicine Specialist, certified by the U.S. Navy. As a physician-human factors engineer, she worked at Sandia National Laboratories as a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff and was a guest scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She was a senior advisor to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). Dr. Sobel also served as Senior Advisor for Biosecurity Engagement in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense/Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Program. Presently, she is Chair of the Permanent Monitoring Panel for mitigation of acts of terrorism of the World Federation of Scientists.

Dr. Sobel served as a Major General in the Arizona Air National Guard, retiring in 2008 after twenty years of military service and serving as the first Director of Intelligence for the National Guard Bureau, immediately post 9/11 and during the Hurricane Katrina response. Trained as a military and civilian flight surgeon, she was an Army Astronaut Candidate in 1989. Dr. Sobel served in combat in Operation Just Cause and supported Space Shuttle Operations at NASA-Dryden Test Flight Facility during Operation Desert Storm. While Senior Flight Surgeon for the 57th MEDEVAC Detachment, Fort Bragg, N.C., Dr. Sobel was responsible for all pre-hospital medical care and training. She also served as the Assistant to the Chief, National Guard Bureau, as well as the Chief’s Advisor for Civil-Military Support during 9/11. Dr. Sobel served as Homeland Security Director and Deputy Secretary of the Department of Public Safety for the State of New Mexico from 2003-2005.

Dr. Sobel served a triennium of service on the National Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of the Usain is a Board Member of the South Plains Council of BSA and the Vice President Elect of Komen Foundation, Lubbock. She received the New Mexico Anti-Defamation League’s Distinguished Public Service Award, as well as a NATO award for career service devoted to understanding the science of weapons of mass destruction.

Dr. Sobel’s research focuses on integration of human factors principles into a wide range of systems engineering platforms to include synthetic aperture radar systems for advanced tactical fighters, virtual reality and robotic training platforms, unmanned aircraft systems, decision-assisting algorithms for emerging infectious disease response and medical diagnostics for pre-hospital care.


Ingmar Sterzing

Ingmar Sterzing is currently serving as Vice President of Power Supply and Energy Services for Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) in Johnson City, Texas. As Vice President of Power Supply and Energy Services Ingmar Sterzing leads energy management strategies as well as the planning, directing and execution of the cooperative’s power supply, developing and maintaining competitive rate plans and pricing options, supplying members with beneficial energy programs and services, developing new energy projects, and managing energy regulatory affairs within ERCOT.

Ingmar has held leadership positions at Westinghouse Electric Company, General Electric, the Lower Colorado River Authority and LS Power, where he managed fuel and power operations, developed and constructed new power plants and transmission assets, and managed a portfolio of power plants.

Sterzing holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from University of Texas at Austin. He also earned a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Ingmar is a 6th generation Austin Texan living with his wife Deborah and two boys Deven and Wyatt.


Kurt Stogdill

Kurt Stogdill currently works for Austin Energy as the Manager for Green Building and Sustainability, a workgroup that also includes the Electric Vehicles and Emerging Technologies workgroups. His specific areas of focus include the drive toward a better built environment, electric mobility and Distributed Energy Resource integration. With over 15 years of experience with Austin Energy, his other roles have included interim Solar Program Manager, extensive work with electric vehicles and emerging technologies as well as utility strategy. Stogdill’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master of Science in Science and Technology Commercialization, both from the University of Texas at Austin.


Rob Threlkeld

Rob Threlkeld is global manager of renewable energy for General Motors, leading the company’s commitment to meet the electricity needs of its global operations with 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Threlkeld manages GM’s growing renewable energy portfolio and develops future projects to support GM’s sustainability strategy. Threlkeld is responsible for negotiating long-term power purchase agreements for GM facilities across the globe, including opportunities associated with battery storage, behind-the-meter applications and EV integration.

Threlkeld serves on the advisory board of Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center, and supports the World Wildlife Fund and World Resources Institute’s Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles, organizations designed to help utilities and renewable energy providers meet rising demand. He is a member of the Association of Energy Engineers, the Engineering Society of Detroit, and the Solar Power International Education Council.

Threlkeld began his career at General Motors in 2000 as manager of the powerhouse and wastewater treatment plant operations at GM’s Lordstown, Ohio Assembly Complex. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Purdue University. He is a registered Certified Hazardous Material Manager, Certified Energy Manager and Business Energy Professional.
 


Dean Tuel

Dean Tuel is currently responsible for providing energy storage solutions throughout the Americas and the Caribbean regions. He has over 25 years of experience in developing renewable projects and a background in the power and gas industries within Europe and North America. His primary focus is on commercial business transactions for companies in transitioning energy markets.

At Younicos, Dean leads a commercial team that has closed over 70 MWs of energy storage projects since 2014. Previously, he was Vice President of Business Development at Xtreme Power, and held a similar role and was the lead negotiator of the 36-Megawatt Storage System for Duke Energy, which, at the time, was the largest storage transaction in the world. Prior to joining Xtreme Power, Dean was the Vice President and a senior advisory board member with E.ON Climate and Renewables, a wind and solar developer. In this role Dean served as the lead officer overseeing the negotiation of over $2 billion of transactions for 2,000 MWs of wind generation throughout North America. He has also held senior roles at Westar Energy, Cargill Power Markets, Aquila Merchant Services and Enron Europe Ltd, where he was responsible for leading the execution of structured transactions and trading organizations within the power and gas industries in Western Europe and North America.


Jonathan "JT" Thompson

Jonathan "JT" Thompson is the Vice President Regional Sales for Enbala Power Networks. He has a wide range of experience from buying/selling energy products to market research and fundamental analysis. Prior to joining Enbala, J.T. was the Sales Director for Noble Americas Energy Solutions, where he generated sales of complex electricity and risk management products to commercial and industrial customers.

Before Noble, J.T. spent almost 7 years with GE. During his time there, he led the commercials efforts for some of GE’s largest accounts in the Oil and Gas space; led the global utility sales and marketing efforts for GE Appliances’ Home Energy Solutions team; and served as the Director of Global Operations for GE Corporate’s Energy Sourcing Organization. He has worked with some of the world’s largest utilities, industrial, and oil and gas companies. He helped develop and implement a key account management playbook; ran several voice-of-customer initiatives; and provided oversight of the global energy sourcing and risk management needs of commercial and industrial end users. J.T. also has experience in trading, pricing/risk management, account management, and financial services within the energy industry, including an entrepreneurial venture focused on strategic risk management. J.T. holds a bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is also an avid football fan and enjoys coaching his three daughters in youth soccer.


Juan Torres

Juan Torres is the Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Systems Integration at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In this role, he oversees continuing efforts at the laboratory's Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) to strengthen the security and resilience of the nation's electrical grid. He leads NREL's global initiative to optimize links between electricity, fuel, thermal, water, and communication networks in order to develop and demonstrate new technologies for grid modernization. Torres also co-leads the Department of Energy’s Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC) efforts.

Prior to joining NREL in June 2017, Torres served in a variety of technical and management positions throughout his 27-year career at Sandia National Laboratories, and most recently as deputy to Sandia’s vice president for Energy and Climate programs. At Sandia, Torres led efforts in cybersecurity, guided investments in advanced microgrid and renewable energy research, and led the security and resilience team under the DOE's GMLC efforts. Torres holds a bachelor's degree in electronics engineering technology from the University of Southern Colorado and a master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of New Mexico.


Jan Vrins

Jan Vrins leads Navigant’s Global Energy Practice. He advises executives on developing and operationalizing their strategies and achieving sustainable excellence and increased shareholder value. This covers enterprise and operational strategy, go-to-market and product development strategy, operating model design, organizational (re)structuring, business process improvement, business transformation and change management, performance management, post-merger integration, and technology strategy and implementation.

Since joining Navigant in 2014, Jan has guided his team to develop thought leadership, solution offerings, and capabilities to support clients as the energy industry experiences major transformation. With over 1000 consulting projects each year in Energy, Navigant is at the forefront supporting their clients to navigate the energy transformation opportunities and challenges. Navigant has one of the largest energy consulting teams globally focused on the energy transformation with over 600 management consultants.

Vrins has co-developed an industry leading framework, The Energy Cloud, which helps organizations understand climate change, new opportunities in the energy market, policy and regulatory changes, changing customer needs, new technologies, strategic options, and emerging business models. He also has developed a Utility of the Future model that helps clients understand the trends in the market, potential strategies, underlying integrated business processes and business models, aimed at further improving their commercial and operational performance.

Prior to Navigant, Jan held multiple global energy industry leadership roles at Accenture, KPMG Consulting and BearingPoint. His energy industry experience includes investor‐owned and government-owned utilities and Oil and Gas companies in Europe, North America, South America (including Brazil), and the Middle East. Jan has authored various publications and presented at leading industry conferences, on topics like Energy megatrends and tipping points, Utility of the future and emerging Business Models, and Sustainable Excellence and Business Transformation. With extensive consulting experience (25+ years) in the energy sector and a history of growing businesses in diverse, global markets, Jan is considered a global (thought) leader in the energy consulting industry.