Thursday's Keynote Speaker
Jules Kortenhorst is the Chief Executive Officer of Rocky Mountain Institute. He is a recognized leader on global energy issues and climate change. His background spans business, government, entrepreneurial, and nonprofit leadership.
Since 1982, Rocky Mountain Institute has advanced market-based solutions that transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous and secure future. An independent, nonprofit think-and-do tank, RMI engages with businesses, communities and institutions to accelerate and scale replicable solutions that drive the cost-effective shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables.
U.S. Congressman Peter Welch
Peter Welch has been a champion for working Vermonters throughout his career. Since his election to Congress in 2006, he has been widely recognized as a thoughtful and effective legislator who chooses governing over gridlock. Peter’s record reflects his strong commitment to bringing people together to find common sense solutions to the difficult challenges facing our state and nation. In an era of partisanship, he has worked across the aisle to create jobs, increase access to affordable education and health care, invest in energy efficiency, protect our environment, and care for our veterans.
He is married to Margaret Cheney, commissioner of the Vermont Public Utility Commission. They share a home in Norwich, Vermont.
Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman
Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman the founder of Full Moon Farm, a NOFA-certified, organic farm in Hinesburg Vermont, co-owned with Rachel Nevitt, his spouse.
Over the last two decades, David's work as a legislative leader and coalition builder has been recognized by many including the Vermont Children’s Forum, Steps to End Domestic Violence (Women Helping Battered Women), Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, the Vermont Natural Resources Council, and Renewable Energy Vermont.
Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe
Tim Ashe is the President of the Vermont State Senate, in which he has served since 2009. For four years he was chair of the Senate’s Finance Committee which has jurisdiction over taxes, banking, utilities, health insurance, and more. He now serves on the Senate Appropriations and Transportation Committees. Professionally, Tim was an affordable housing developer for eight years during which he and his team created or renovated 396 affordable senior apartments with budgets exceeding $30M. During that time he developed two solar projects, coordinated substantial weatherization projects for 152 apartments, and achieved Enterprise Green Communities certification for two new senior housing facilities. He now contracts with non-profits to provide project management services on development projects.
Senator Christopher Bray
Christopher Bray of New Haven, Vermont, became a member of the Vermont House of Representatives in January 2007, serving two terms on the House Agriculture Committee. Chris graduated from the University of Vermont (BA, Zoology, 1977; MA, English, 1991), where he taught for four years in the English Department. Chris then worked at National Life of Vermont, IBM, Intel, and Apple. Chris founded and still operates Common Ground Communications, which provides writing, editing and production services to technical clients and the book publishing industry. Chris and his family operate an 82-acre farm in New Haven. In 2006, Chris graduated from the Governor Richard Snelling Center for Government's Vermont Leadership Institute. In 2009, Chris was elected to the Board of Trustees of the University of Vermont. Chris was a lead sponsor of Vermont's Farm to Plate Program and the Biomass Energy Development Working Group, which he co-chaired until 2011. In 2009, Chris received the Vermont Natural Resource Council's Legislative Leadership Award. In 2010, Chris received the Council of State Government's Toll Fellowship. In 2012, Chris was appointed to the Vermont State Supreme Court's Professional Responsibility Program. Chris's other current and past service includes the United Way of Addison County (Board of Directors), Middlebury Rotary Club, Vermont Milk Commission (Secretary), Rural Economic Development Working Group (Chair), Vermont Forestry Study Group, NCSL Agriculture & Energy Committee, Justice of the Peace, New Haven Board of Civil Authority, and Middlebury Area Land Trust (past President).
Senator Jane Kitchel
Jane Kitchel was born in Danville to a 5th generation farm family. Jane’s mother is former Rep. Catherine Beattie, and her late father was Harold Beattie. Jane grew up in a family dedicated to public and community service. Jane spent 35 years in Vermont state government, retiring in 2002 as Secretary of the Agency of Human Services. Jane lives in Danville with her husband Guil, where they raised their son Nathaniel.
Jane is an active volunteer in her community, working on numerous projects every year for her church, local library and Danville Chamber of Commerce. Currently, she serves on the Boards of the Vermont Foodbank, Bradford’s Enhanced Living Inc., Northeast Regional Community High School of Vermont, and the Northeastern Vermont Area Health Education Center. Jane is a Corporator for the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital and also serves on the Governor’s Task Force on Hunger, the Vermont Justice for Children Task Force, and is a member of a national Reforming States Group dedicated to improving public health and health care.
Representative Joan Meschino
Joan Meschino is the State Representative for the 3rd Plymouth District (Cohasset, Hingham, Hull, and North Scituate) in Massachusetts. A former Hull Selectman and non-profit executive director, Joan currently works on environmental issues through her seats on the Joint Committee on Telecommunication, Utilities and Energy, Metropolitan Beaches Commission, and Ocean Advisory Commission. This session, she filed landmark legislation to set Massachusetts on a path to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Representative Avram Patt
Avram Patt has been a resident of Worcester since 1989 and a Central Vermont resident since 1970. He is a graduate of Goddard College after also attending Columbia University. Avram is a consultant in the areas of energy, cooperatives and non-profits. He was the General Manager of Washington Electric Co-op from 1997-2013. From 1987-1996 he held management/policy positions in the Agency of Human Services, including Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, an appointed position under three Governors with responsibility for the weatherization program, anti-hunger and homelessness programs. From 1991-1986 he was co-executive director of the organization that developed and planned many of the public transportation services now operating in Central Vermont. He is presently the Board president of Salvation Farms, and has served on numerous other non-profit and local and state government boards including Goddard College Board of Trustees (Chair). Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Worcester Board of Civil Authority, Hunger Mountain Co-op, Vermont Foodbank, Vermont Community Development Board„ Plainfield Selectboard (Chair), Northeast Association of Electric Cooperatives (Chair). Avram is married to Amy Darley and they have two children and two grandchildren. He is the singer and drummer in Vermont's finest Yiddish dance band.
Chair Ms. Marissa Paslick Gillett
Marissa Paslick Gillett is Chairman of Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA). Governor Ned Lamont nominated Gillett to serve on the three member regulatory authority on April 26, 2019.Prior to her appointment, Gillett was the Vice President of External Relations for the Energy Storage Association –the national trade association representing the energy storage industry. In that role, Gillett served on the association’s executive team contributing to the organization’s overall strategic vision and direction, as well as providing leadership of the research, educational programming and events, marketing, and communications teams. From 2011 to 2018, Gillett worked at the Maryland Public Service Commission, an independent agency within the Maryland state government that regulates public utilities, where she most recently served as the senior advisor to the chairman. Her duties included a number of matters on energy issues in the state, such as advising the agency’s chairman and other commissioners on technical, legal and policy matters related to offshore wind procurement, statewide energy efficiency programs, advanced metering infrastructure, grid reliability issues and electric vehicles. Additionally, she represented the commission on these topics by testifying before the Maryland General Assembly and by leading stakeholder engagement initiatives as part of the state’s grid modernization proceeding.Gillett received a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering from Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law in Baltimore, Maryland. She lives in West Hartford with her husband and two small children.
Commissioner June Tierney
June Tierney was sworn in as the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service by Governor Phil Scott on January 5, 2017. Prior to her appointment, Commissioner Tierney served as general counsel to the Vermont Public Utility Commission (2012-2016). Before then, she was a PUC hearing officer (2008-2012), as well as a staff attorney at the Vermont Department of Public Service (2001-2008). A 1986 graduate of Boston University and a 1993 graduate of Vermont Law School, Commissioner Tierney began her legal career with a clerkship at the Vermont Supreme Court, followed by three years as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York City, where she specialized in securities fraud litigation, white collar crime defense and corporate internal compliance investigations. Before her admission to the bar, Commissioner Tierney enjoyed the privilege of serving on active duty (1986-1990) as a commissioned officer in the United States Army.
Dan is New England Clean Energy Coucil’s (NECEC) Government Relations Executive. He served in the Massachusetts Legislature for 24 years as the State Representative from the First Berkshire District. During his time as State Representative, he served in several leadership positions including chair of the Joint Committee on Energy and as a member of the conference committee on budgeting. He is credited with several job creation bills creating thousands of jobs across the Commonwealth as well as being the co-author of a groundbreaking life science bill and electricity restructuring in Massachusetts. While in the Legislature, Bosley was appointed to the federal USTR’s Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Council and served as the National Chair of the Council of State Governments (2004).
D. Maurice Kreis
Don is New Hampshire's Consumer Advocate representing the interests of the Granite State's residential utility customers at the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission and elsewhere. We strive to keep rates as low as possible while encouraging innovation that makes consumers more powerful users of utility systems.
Don is also Chair of the Board of Trustees of We Own It, a nonprofit dedicated to the reform of cooperatives, serves on the board of the Northern New England Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (the most dynamic and innovative healthcare charity on the planet) and, in honor of his previous career as a journalist, he is also on the board of the New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism.
Peter Walke is the Deputy Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. Appointed to the position in January 2017 by Governor Phil Scott, Walke has been selected to co-chair the Vermont Climate Action Commission and to represent Vermont on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the first mandatory market-based program in the US to cap greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. Walke coordinates efforts to provide clean drinking water for Vermont residents effected by PFOA contamination, an industrial, chemical legacy, and he sits on ANR’s Leadership and Management Committee which provides a rigorous, high-quality avenue for Agency staff to advance their leadership skills.
Mayor Miro Weinberger
Miro Weinberger is currently serving his third term as Mayor of Burlington. First elected in March 2012, Mayor Weinberger has focused his Administration on rehabilitating the City’s infrastructure, restoring its financial health, and expanding opportunity for all Burlingtonians. As part of that work, he has implemented innovative municipal strategies to tackle the critical issues of our time, from expanding access to high-quality child care for vulnerable children, to leading a regional effort to combat the opioid epidemic, to championing the fight against the climate crisis.
Miro is committed to meaningfully responding to the climate emergency at the local level. In 2014, Burlington became the first city in the country to source 100 percent of its electricity from renewable generation. Now, Burlington is working toward one of the most ambitious local climate goals in the country: to become a Net Zero Energy city across the electric, thermal, and ground transportation sectors by 2030.
Dr. Madhav Acharya currently serves as a Technology-to-Market Advisor at the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency –Energy (ARPA-E). Acharya’s focus at ARPA-E includes conversion of renewable energy into carbon neutral liquid fuels through catalytic and electrochemical pathways.
Olivia Campbell Andersen
Olivia Campbell Andersen serves as Executive Director of Renewable Energy Vermont, the state’s non-profit clean energy trades, advocacy, and education organization. Prior joining REV, she served as Assistant Chief of Staff to Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, advising the Governor on environmental, sustainability, energy, budget, and transportation issues, as well as six years at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Prior to her service with the State of Maryland, she worked for Congressman Steny H. Hoyer during his time as Majority Leader. Olivia’s career also includes time with the National Wildlife Federation, during which she worked to reduce mercury and carbon pollution through federal and state regulatory and legislative action, notably authoring and leading the advocacy campaign to enact Maryland’s Healthy Air Act. Olivia holds degrees from Vermont Law School and Gettysburg College. Maryland’s Governor recognized her environmental advocacy work with the rare Admiral of the Chesapeake award. When not advocating for the environment, Olivia enjoys exploring rivers and forests, biking rail trails, and digging in the garden with her daughter and husband, with Montpelier as their latest home base.
Jeffrey M. Bernstein, Esq.
Mr. Bernstein serves as President and Managing Director of BCK Law, P.C. (www.bck.com). Mr. Bernstein founded the Firm in 1983 and his practice has focused on public utility, environmental issues,
renewable energy development, technology, corporate and commercial law and regulatory matters. He served as outside counsel to the Washington Electric Cooperative in the development of its Coventry, Vermont landfill gas fueled generating project. He has frequently represented clients in rate cases and other public utility proceedings addressing revenue requirements, cost of service allocations and a full range of issues going back more than three decades. He received the William O. Douglas Award for Environmental Advocacy from the National Sierra Club for his successful work in helping to stop a proposed coal-fired power plant in Halfmoon, New York which would have contributed substantial acid depositions into the Berkshires and Southern Vermont.
In addition, he has broad public policy and private sector experience. He was formerly Director of the Massachusetts Legislative Energy Development Caucus and Executive Director of Resources for New England, Inc. and currently serves on the boards of several energy and
technology companies. He was a principal in a nationally recognized landfill gas to energy
project in a joint public/private partnership with several California public entities.
He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of both Brown University and Boston College School of Law, J.D., Order of the Coif. Mr. Bernstein has been admitted in all state courts in Massachusetts and Vermont as well as the Federal District Court for Massachusetts and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Sixth Circuit and now works primarily from the Firm’s Vermont office.
Pierre Blanchet, M.Sc, Idenergy’s President and Head of Research & Development, is responsible for the development of electrical and electronic technologies. Mr. Blanchet holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Engineering in Renewable Energy from École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS). He is a born entrepreneur, has great determination and is an excellent public speaker as well as having a penchant for intellectual property and technological innovation.
James Bowen is the Co-founder and CEO of Energetic Insurance, an insurtech company focused on developing innovative risk management solutions for the commercial & industrial renewable energy market. Energetic created the EneRate Credit Cover insurance product, a first-of-its-kind policy which covers electricity payment default risk on long term commercial energy contracts in order to enable more financing for unrated and below-investment grade businesses. Prior to Energetic, James was the Co-founder of a solar project development firm and was the Director of Business Development at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.
Austin Brandt is the Senior Power Supply Planner for Cape Light Compact. In his role at the Compact, Austin is responsible for management of the Compact’s power supply program, which serves approximately 142,000 accounts within the Compact’s twenty-one member towns on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. Austin is also responsible for the development and implementation of the Compact’s demand response programs and assists with the Compact’s involvement in state-level regulatory matters involving municipal aggregation, consumer protection, grid modernization, and other related matters. Austin joined the Cape Light Compact in 2015; prior to joining the Compact, he worked in the municipal energy field and was a national service volunteer with AmeriCorps Cape Cod. Austin holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Scott serves as the Vice President of Underwriting for Green Lantern Solar. He brings years of experience in Brownfield redevelopment, environmental remediation, and real estate development, management and investing from his time as the General Manager of ENPRO and CEO of KW Vermont. Scott earned a business certificate from HBX, Harvard Business School, focusing on business analytics, mirco economics and financial accounting. He currently serves as a board member for Vermont Environmental Consortium, is a Co-Founder of Foundations Investment Group, and is a leadership speaker and instructor for several organizations.
Scott has a BA in Neuroscience from Middlebury College and is currently working on his Master’s in Management at Harvard, with an additional graduate certificate in real estate investing.
Leslie A. Cadwell is founder and principal of Legal Counselors & Advocates, PLC, a law practice Leslie started in 2013 after nearly 20 years of experience in the electric and telecommunications sectors. Leslie represents a variety of individual and institutional clients in matters relating to utility regulation, electric infrastructure siting, and consumer protection. Before venturing out on her own, Leslie was a partner at the Burlington, Vermont law firm Gravel & Shea, PC and formerly served as Vice President and General Counsel for Vermont’s transmission-only electric utility (VELCO). Leslie has a decade of experience working in various capacities for the State of Vermont, including as Director for Telecommunications and Special Counsel for the Vermont Department of Public Service and as Senior Staff Attorney for the Vermont Supreme Court. Leslie has been an active participant in REV’s Legislative Regulatory Policy Committee, and she is an outspoken advocate for Vermont’s independent renewable energy businesses.
Bradley Campbell has been involved with program evaluation for state specific programs across the country, national and multi-state programs, and internationally. In addition to focusing on survey and interview management, project management, and project leadership, Mr. Campbell has worked extensively on focused research projects.. On many projects and in numerous roles, Bradley has brought extensive analytic experience, leadership, and public training with expertise in program evaluation, analysis, and management. He has worked in private and public industry, and strives to continuously improve government and utility programs to better serve the needs of citizens and customers through improved data, methods, policy, transparency and responsiveness.
Morgan Casella is the managing partner of Dynamic Organics (DO), an energy consulting and development firm headquartered in Putney, Vermont, whose aim is to create renewable and efficient energy solutions through thoughtful holistic design. DO designs and develops integrated renewable energy systems with solar photovoltaics (PV), solar thermal, heat pump and HVAC integration, biogas generation, and microgrid technology.
Lou Cecere is a Transmission Planning Engineer at Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO), where he has served in that role since 2015. He performs analysis of Vermont’s transmission and subtransmission systems, such as the Optimized Solar PV Distribution for the 2018 Long-Range Transmission Plan. In addition to his engineering work, Lou is involved in environmental efforts, helping to lead a greenhouse gas baseline study for VELCO to inform steps to reduce the company’s carbon emissions. Lou completed his undergraduate education in electrical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Currently enrolled at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, he will graduate in December 2019 with a Master’s degree in Power Systems Management. In his free time, Lou plays tennis and in the winter skis at Killington.
John Chaimanis is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Kendall Sustainable Infrastructure (KSI), a real assets investment firm with approximately $150M assets under management that makes direct investments into distributed scale sustainable infrastructure assets such as clean energy and water projects.
In 2005, Mr. Chaimanis began working in project finance, with a focus on renewables, which coincided with the early adoption of utility scale wind energy projects in the US. After working with regional renewable energy project developers in the New England region, and prior to founding KSI, he worked with a subsidiary of Edison International in California, where he acquired and developed 250MW of wind energy projects, investing over $500 million dollars.
Mr. Chaimanis regularly advises sustainable business startups, consults with investors, and speaks on the topics of sustainability and project finance. He has been featured in the 2014 Journal of Environmental Investing “Most Influential Investors” edition, the Institutional Investing in Infrastructure “In Focus” interview web series, the Family Office Review, the Solar Maverick Podcast: Episode 21, and is the author of a graduate level energy investment business case. Mr. Chaimanis is an adjunct faculty in the finance division at Babson College.
Prior to his career in clean energy investing, Mr. Chaimanis was a founder of a charter school in the greater Boston area. Mr. Chaimanis holds an M.B.A. from Babson College, a B.S. in Finance from Villanova University, and has earned certification from US SIF for Sustainable and Responsible Investing (SRI).
Jared Duval has served as Executive Director of the Energy Action Network (EAN) since 2017. EAN is a collective impact network focused on meeting Vermont's energy & emissions reduction commitments in ways that create a more just, thriving, and sustainable future for Vermonters. Before leading EAN, Jared served as Economic Development Director at the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, where he was responsible for providing business support to working lands and green economy businesses across the state. Jared also serves as Co-Chair of Vermont's Clean Energy Development Board.
Jared holds degrees from Princeton University – Woodrow Wilson School (Master in Public Affairs – Domestic Policy, 2014), University of Cambridge (MPhil, Modern Society and Global Transformations, 2012), and Wheaton College, Massachusetts (Bachelor of Arts, Summa Cum Laude – Economics and Political Science, 2005).
Chad is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Encore Renewable Energy. He is a developer, project manager and environmental engineer with over 20 years of professional experience in the fields of environmental engineering, professional project management and renewable energy project development. He maintains expertise in the development of alternative energy and the redevelopment of contaminated properties. Chad holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University in 1992 and earned a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Vermont in 1998. Chad is a member of the Board of Directors for Renewable Energy Vermont, Vermont’s renewable energy trade organization and serves on the Board of Directors for the Vermont Natural Resources Council, a statewide environmental advocacy organization. Mr. Farrell is also a member of the Vermont Climate Economy Action Team.
Stan Faryniarz is a member of Daymark Energy Advisors’ senior management team and leads the firm’s rate design and procurement & portfolio management (PPM) practices. Stan Faryniarz advises clients on matters regarding power procurement, power supply planning and regulated cost recovery and rates. He is the primary advisor to clients with power supply portfolios totaling approximately 300 MW and over $200 million in annual spend. Mr. Faryniarz has testified before state and provincial regulatory agencies on issues including integrated resource planning, cost of service and rate design, general rate case applications, power project regulatory approvals and PURPA policy. He holds a BA in Economics and MPA (Finance, Managerial Economics concentration) from the University of Vermont, and the Certified Energy Procurement (CEP) Professional certification from the Association of Energy Engineers.
Laurie directs Vermont State Employees Credit Union’s (VSECU) statewide VGreen energy savings loan program. Previously, she worked for the weatherization program at the Central Vermont Community Action Council (now Capstone), and for a successful residential solar installer. She enjoys helping Vermonters learn about efficiency and renewable financing options that maximize the savings of these smart investments. She lives in Woodbury with her family and enjoys the outdoors, walking the dog, and tackling home improvement projects.
As Director of the statewide energy efficiency utility, Efficiency Vermont, Rebecca Foster leads the organization in delivering energy savings to all Vermonters. Rebecca previously served as Director of Consulting at VEIC, the nonprofit organization that operates Efficiency Vermont under and Order of Appointment from the Vermont Public Utility Commission. Prior to joining VEIC, Rebecca directed the Consortium for Energy Efficiency’s residential sector initiatives for more than a decade, increasing efficiency standards for lighting, appliances, air conditioners, consumer electronics, windows, new homes, and existing homes. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Simmons College. She is on the Steering Committee of the Working Communities Challenge, a 3-year competitive grant process to drive community and economic development across Vermont.
With an eye on emerging human and technological trends driving environmental sustainability, Daniel (Dan) Fredman joined VEIC in 2016 and brings more than 10 years of experience executing projects and conducting field research blending the disciplines of behavioral economics, urban planning, and data science. At VEIC, he currently works on complex projects and programs that drive behavior changes; these require advanced quantitative methods that rely on large datasets from smart and connected devices. A recent doctoral graduate from the University of Vermont, Dan’s PhD dissertation was on behavioral, policy, and technological dimensions of the smart grid and their releationship to utility demand-side management programs. Prior to VEIC, Dan had been a sustainability program manager at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the largest university in the third largest American city.
Mark Froling is President of Froling Energy, a mechanical contractor based in Peterborough, NH, focused on the installation of commercial biomass boiler systems. He has more than 25 years experience in construction and the design and installation of mechanical systems. Mark founded Froling LLC in 2008. The company’s first contracts were with New England Wood Pellet to modify their Jaffrey, NH, operations and to construct two new wood pellet manufacturing plants in New York state. Next, Froling Energy was formed to focus on installing the most reliable and cleanest burning biomass boiler systems available in schools, commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings and residences in the Northeastern US. Mark assembled a team of experienced mechanics and technicians to perform these installations. Others were hired to manage the company’s Service department—a very important part of the business. Mark was born in Germany but went to high school and college in the United States where he has lived since 1979.
Karen brings more than 30 years of policy and public service experience to her role as Director, Transportation and Infrastructure Markets at the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), a mission-based non-profit dedicated to decarbonizing transportation and the built environment.
Karen also serves as an EAN Senior Fellow where she regularly contributes to research and analysis that is relevant to the Network’s mission and is a volunteer board member of Housing Vermont, a nonprofit syndication and development company and at Champ P3 a nonprofit promoting better use of Vermont’s rail infrastructure.
Prior to joining CSE, Karen worked at VEIC as Director of Efficiency Vermont, as founding Director of Transportation Efficiency, and as Director of Strategy, Policy, and Public Affairs. Karen served as the Director of the University of Vermont’s National University Transportation Center and has served as Director of Policy and Planning, Deputy Secretary, and Acting Secretary at the Vermont Agency of Transportation.
Jennifer is the Sustainability Officer for the City of Burlington, VT, the first city in the US to source 100% of electricity from renewables. Jennifer is charged with helping the city transition to net zero energy in the thermal and transportation sectors and in this capacity, supports, designs and implements projects within the city’s municipal electric department, across city offices, and with stakeholders throughout Burlington, and beyond. Prior to moving to Vermont from Washington, DC, Jennifer worked with CARE International and the World Resources Institute including stints living and working in West and Central Africa. Jennifer was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon, has a Master’s in Public Administration from Columbia University and a PhD in Environmental Sociology from American University.
Dave is an attorney at Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew in Burlington. He has been practicing for 12 years and regularly represents investors, developers, and owners in the financing, construction and development of renewable energy projects. He has experience structuring projects to use tax equity investment and commercial financing and can draft and negotiate power purchase, interconnection, EPC and O&M agreements, partnership agreements and commercial loan agreements. He has worked on some of the largest and most innovative solar, wind and biomass facilities located in the state. Dave is a graduate of Middlebury College and Lewis & Clark Law School.
Aida Hakirevic is a Director at Navigant and she leads Navigant’s Energy Customer Strategy transformational offering. Aida has over 16 years experience helping utilities develop customer strategy roadmaps, define customer experience and digital transformation initiatives, assess customer operations performance, and deliver customer technology solutions. Her clients include PSEG Long Island, PSE&G, Alectra Utilities, BC Hydro, Entergy, Florida Power & Light, Oracle (Opower) and several others alike.
Aida's extensive customer operations and systems integration industry experience enables her help clients and businesses solve operational challenges, adopt new customer strategies and solutions, and position themselves at the forefront of the energy transformation.
Kim Hayden leads the Energy + Environment practice group at the Burlington, Vermont-based law firm of Paul Frank + Collins P.C. Kim has more than 25 years of experience in all facets of energy and climate policy, energy siting, regulation, and transactions.
Kim is passionate about advancing solutions to climate change and increasing the penetration of renewable and clean energy resources. Kim serves on Renewable Energy Vermont’s (“REV”) policy committee, where she actively works to improve Vermont’s climate and energy policy and laws. Working with her clean energy clients, Kim has assisted in gaining siting approval for Vermont’s largest solar rooftop facility, dozens of commercial scale solar generating facilities totaling more than 40 MW, Chittenden County’s only commercial scale wind farm, as well as over 170 miles of new high voltage electric transmission lines and dozens of substations. Kim also won precedent setting energy siting decisions from the Vermont Supreme Court in Re Rutland Renewable Energy LLC, 2016 VT 50, and Re Vermont Electric Power Co, 2006 VT 69.
Molly Hooker Hatfield
Molly Hooker Hatfield is – basically – a lifelong Vermonter who has worked in the energy field for the past two decades. By osmosis and keen observation, she has developed an appreciation for the particular opportunities and challenges of the energy space in Vermont. She endeavors every day to partner with and support the very smart people around her to capitalize on these opportunities and meet these challenges through her work in Compliance and Human Resources at the Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO).
Asa Hopkins, PhD, is an expert in the development and analysis of public policy and regulation regarding energy and greenhouse gas emissions, including cost-benefit analysis, stakeholder engagement, state energy strategy and planning, and utility planning. He has provided analysis and testimony supporting decision-makers in both legislative and regulatory contexts, including state utility regulation and state and federal rulemaking.
Since arriving at Synapse in 2017, Dr. Hopkins has focused on utility and demand-side issues, including demand response in Quebec, rate design in Massachusetts, and utility performance metrics in Puerto Rico, as well as multi-state analysis of strategic end-use electrification across the Northeast region.
Tamika N. Jacques, Ed.D., has been the Director for Workforce Development at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) since 2012. Over the past seven years, Dr. Jacques has created new workforce initiatives such as the Successful Women in Clean Energy Program (women and minorities), the Learn and Earn Program (high school students), Clean Energy Activity Day (elementary school students) and the annual Clean Energy Symposium for higher education students. She also oversees the Internship Program which has placed more than 3,600 interns at over 300 companies.
Prior to joining MassCEC, Tamika served as the Executive Director for the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, where she oversaw job training programs for the Commonwealth, developed and published policy reports around the Governor’s workforce development priorities, and established and led collaborations with state, business, and local partners in the workforce development system. Tamika’s diverse work experience also includes teaching as an English as a Second Other Language (ESOL) instructor and working with first-generation, low-income and disabled higher education students. She also served as a District Representative for Congressman Stephen F. Lynch.
Tamika earned an Ed.D from Johnson & Wales University in Educational Leadership, an M.S. from Northeastern University in College Student Development and Counseling and a B.S. in International Economics from Suffolk University.
Eveline Killian is an architectural engineer with over 20 years’ experience in Commercial and Industrial Project Management and Energy Analysis. Ms. Killian has extensive experience in data analytics, energy efficient building design and operation, efficiency program design and implementation, and measurement and verification of energy efficiency measures. She was the lead C&I engineer in the NYSERDA Code Compliance and the Vermont Compliance Study. Ms. Killian has managed the Vermont Forward Capacity Market and the NYSERDA New Construction Program evaluation engineering teams on the M&V and data analysis for over seven years.
Jordan is the Co-Founder and CEO of Stash Energy. Stash Energy develops energy storage solutions for the residential and commercial heating and cooling sectors, and the company has developed the first mini-split heat pump with built-in thermal energy storage. Jordan, along with his 2 Co-Founders, started Stash in 2017. Jordan holds a Master of Technology Management and Entrepreneurship as well as a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick.
Bram Kleppner, CEO at Danforth since 2011, has led the company from declining sales and losses to double-digit growth and profitability. He’s overseen Danforth’s becoming the world’s first 100% solar-powered pewter workshop; company-wide profit-sharing; paid parental leave; paid time off for community service; and an employee seat on the Board of Directors. Danforth is driving to zero fossil fuel use, and raising its lowest wage to $15/hour. Bram previously spent 10 years at Ben & Jerry’s, where he co-led their first anti-global warming campaign.
Bram serves on the Vermont Tax Structure Commission, formerly co-chaired the Vermont Medicaid & Exchange Advisory Board, and formerly served on the Governor’s Advisory Board for Health Care Financing. He currently chairs the Board of the Population Media Center, working world-wide to resolve the interrelated problems of women’s rights, the environment, and population. Locally, he’s part of Change The Story’s group of male leaders working for gender equity.
As an attorney in DRM’s Energy, Environmental and Telecommunications Group, Josh advises clients on a broad range of matters associated with project siting, regulatory compliance, and energy transactions. In recent years, Josh obtained siting approval for Vermont’s first standalone battery storage systems as well as the state’s largest solar facility—a 20 MW project in Ludlow. He has also secured permits for numerous commercial-scale facilities under Vermont’s net-metering program. In addition to siting work, Josh has represented clients on a diverse set of energy transactions, from the conveyance of a transmission facility that interconnects the Hydro-Québec and Vermont bulk-transmission systems, to the sale and/or financing of numerous solar projects and related project entities. Josh also helps clients find innovative solutions to manage the risks associated with developing sites with environmental challenges. Above all, Josh maintains a keen awareness of environmental and land-use developments at the Vermont State House and the Public Utility Commission, helping clients adapt to Vermont’s ever-shifting legal landscape.
Amber moved from Connecticut to central New York to attend Ithaca College for a degree in environmental studies, concentrating in land use and ecosystem management. After college she spend two years working in the wine industry in the Finger Lakes as a tasting room manager, vineyard and winemaking assistant, and distiller. Amber moved to VT in 2015 with her partner Dominique, who is a PhD candidate at UVM. She spent some time working for VT Artisan Coffee & Tea Company as a production specialist in their roastery. Amber enjoyed working with specialty agricultural products, but she decided to make a career change to the solar industry where she can make a positive impact in her community every day.
When not installing solar panels, Amber enjoys cooking delicious food, growing vegetables in her garden, and hiking with Dominique and their little black lab pup named Jolie.
Kelly Lucci is Director of Partner Engagement at the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, where she focuses on developing new partnerships and initiatives for Efficiency Vermont, most recently on making it easier for more Vermonters to weatherize their homes. Prior to joining VEIC, she served on the staff of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders for six years, focusing on energy and environmental issues. A lifelong Vermonter, Kelly holds a degree in Political Science from Middlebury College and currently resides in her hometown, Fletcher, with her husband and two sons.
Tom is a technical advisor and regulatory strategist in the resource planning group at Burlington Electric Department (BED), a municapal utility in Vermont. His primary responsbilities include identifying and evaluating cost effective business opportunities that address the energy needs of BED’s customers while also reducing energy consumption across the City. Tom has more than 20 years of experience in the utility field as a former regulator and industry consultant. Tom is currently focused on updating BED’s integrated resource plan, developing energy transformation plans and programs,attempting to make sense of Vermont’s net metering rules, and thinking about how BED can help the City transition to a Net Zero Energy community. When he is not working on energy policy, Tom enjoys skiing, hiking, kayaking and biking with his family.
Bill Maclay, the founder and president of Maclay Architects, attended college in the 60's and like many others at the time was disturbed by social inequity and environmental problems. He pursued architecture as a career in order to make the world a better place. In 1970 he committed to using renewable energy to create a non fossil fuel based future.
In 1971, Bill moved to Vermont to develop, design and build one of the first renewable communities in the US. In the early 70's he designed and built innovative renewable and energy conserving projects that have been exhibited and published internationally. In the late 70's and up until 1981, he worked for other firms and then began his practice, both with other partners and as a sole practitioner.
In 1981, Bill began his current practice which has grown in size as well as diversity and complexity of projects. All projects since 1971 have been focused on innovation in environmental design. Project types have expanded from planning and single family residences to multifamily residential, commercial, and institutional projects.
Anne Margolis is the renewable energy development manager for the Vermont Department of Public Service, where she works on policies, programs, and tools to advance the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan’s goal of transitioning to 90 percent clean energy across all sectors—electricity, transportation, and heating/cooling—by 2050. Anne previously managed the department’s Clean Energy Development Fund and directed solar, wind, fuel-cell, and energy-storage initiatives for Clean Energy States Alliance. She serves as an alternate on the Vermont District 3 Environmental Commission and is a graduate of Dartmouth College.
Jake Marin is the Program Manager for HVAC and Refrigeration at VEIC/Efficiency Vermont. Here, he developed Vermont’s first heat pump program and has continued to help develop programs and guidelines for the greater Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region through his collaboration with the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP). These programs have supported the installation of over 15,000 high efficiency heat pumps and over 10,000 heat pump water heaters in Vermont alone. With all this electrification, several million gallons of fossil fuels have been displaced. However, this has been accomplished with a great deal of new load on our electric grid. As Vermont strives to reach aggressive renewable goals, it is critical that we actively coordinate electric demand with availability of renewables on the grid. By implementing “flexible load management”, Jake believes that we can electrify various sectors while optimizing the unwanted impacts of load growth. Properly managed, all these new electric devises become grid assets rather than liabilities. He is excited to discuss some of the work being done in this space by entities across the Vermont energy industry who have embraced a collaborative approach to this exciting challenge.
As the Vice President of Initiatives and Campaigns, Deb Markowitz oversees Ceres' Climate and Energy, Water, Food and Forests and Capital Market System programs. These programs engage investors and companies to tackle the world’s most serious sustainability challenges, and work to accelerate the transition to a sustainable economy.
Prior to joining Ceres, Deb served as the director of policy outreach at the University of Vermont, Gund Institute of Environment, and as a visiting professor of environmental policy and leadership where she was well known as a thought leader and expert in the intersection between natural resource and financial risks.
Deb currently serves as a commentator on Vermont Public Radio. She is a Vermont Trustee of the Nature Conservancy, and on the Boards of Advisors for the Georgetown Climate Center and Antioch’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience. She founded Vermont Parks Forever, the foundation for the state’s parks and the Women’s Leadership Initiative, an organization dedicated to getting more women into public office. Deb has been recognized nationally by being awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1, as well as an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellowship and the Kennedy School of Governments’ Cahn Fellowship in Public Leadership.
Deb graduated from the University of Vermont and Georgetown University Law Center, magna cum laude, and she received a Certificate in Public Leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Linda McGinnis is an economist and policy analyst with over 30 years of experience in sustainable development, both globally and locally. As Lead Economist at the World Bank for 20 years, she led research, policy negotiations and investments in environment, energy, education, agriculture, and health in countries across Africa, Latin America and South Asia. She is currently a Sr. Fellow and Board Member with Energy Action Network (EAN).
Linda’s work in Vermont has focused climate change strategies, renewable energy and energy efficiency policies and programs. She has provided her expertise across two administrations, serving as Director of Governor Shumlin’s Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission, as co-chair of the Clean Energy Development Fund, and as Commissioner for Governor Scott’s Climate Commission. As Program Director for EAN, she initiated Vermont's first and only Climate and Energy Progress Report, which now serves as a core annual tracking tool for the state.
Linda is also a Trustee and past Board Chair of the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, and a founding member of the VCRD Climate Economy Council. She holds degrees from Stanford (BA), Princeton (MPA), Sciences Po. (Paris - Economics), and Harvard Business School (Exec Ed). She is passionate about the future of the planet and the role that each of us plays in ensuring that we do everything in our power to continue to enjoy its beauty.
Chris McKay is currently the Director of Sales for Battery Energy Storage Solutions (BESS) at WEG Electric Corp in Barre, VT. WEG supplies fully integrated storage systems for industrial and utility customers. The turn-key equipment may be stand alone or collocated with renewables.
Chris has worked in the energy industry for over 20 years on a wide range of activities. While with Northern Power Systems he was leading and contributing to the development of power converter, energy storage, microgrid, and wind turbine projects. During his tenure more than 800 systems were installed in North & South America, Europe, and Korea.
At W.L. Gore & Associates he worked on new product development for PEM fuel cells and hydrogen electrolysis using GORE-TEX® membrane technology.
He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Minor in Economics.
Chris lives in Waterbury with his wife and two kids. He also serves on the REV Board.
Johanna is the Energy and Climate Program Director at Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC.) She also serves as the coordinator of the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network, the statewide network of town energy committees and the partners who support them. In these roles, Johanna works from the grassroots to the Legislature to help advance clean energy and climate action programs and policies. Johanna was a member of Governor Phil Scott’s Climate Action Commission and also serves on the Clean Energy Development Fund board, the Vermont Energy Education Program board, the Vermont System Planning Committee and the Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee. Prior to joining VNRC in 2005, Johanna spent five years working as an organizer and policy expert for a statewide environmental policy and advocacy organization in Michigan – the Michigan Land Use Institute. Johanna is a graduate of the University of Vermont and lives in Montpelier; a home base from which she and her family love to ski, hike, camp, bike, garden and travel.
Jeff has over 26 years of experience in the utility industry. Most of those years were dedicated to information technologies and project and organizational leadership. For the past 3 years, jeff has been on a journey through the core mission of the utility business as a leader in Innovation Development, devising and introducing new programs to help residential, commercial and industrial customers increase efficiency and productivity, reduce their carbon foot print, and save money. Jeff is passionate about the environment, and is deeply engaged in the evolution of the utility model to meet new opportunities and challenges, while satisfying the highest standards for reliability, cost-effectiveness, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility.
Derek Moretz serves the Chief Development Officer for Encore Renewable Energy with over 15 years experience of renewable energy development. He currently leads teams through end-to-end development with added focus on strategic planning and technology. Prior to joining Encore in 2012, Derek was responsible for development of over 400MW of utility wind energy projects in the West with a global development firm. Derek has extensive international experience having developed projects from the Arctic to Central America, having originated the largest operating projects in the region.
Derek received his MBA from the Jenkins School of Management at North Carolina State University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management and Sustainable Technology from Appalachian State University.
He lives in an off-grid home Roxbury, VT with his wife and two kids, and serves on the board of the Vermont River Conservancy and is a supply representative for the Vermont System Planning Committee.
Emily Lewis O’Brien
Emily Lewis is Director of Acadia Center’s Climate and Energy Analysis (CLEAN) Center based in Hartford, CT. She works on clean energy, efficiency, and transportation issues, with a special focus on CT state policy. She comes to the position after completing an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship in the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis at the Department of Energy, where she worked on issues related to coal-fired electricity generation, power plant waste issues, and risk management in the electricity sector. Prior to joining DOE, Emily worked on energy and mineral resources policy as an American Chemical Society Congressional Fellow on the Democratic staff of the House Natural Resources Committee.
A chemist by training, Emily conducted her PhD research at Tufts University on catalysts for gas-to-liquid technologies. At Northeastern University, her MS and BS research investigated fuel cell catalysts.
Todd Olinsky-Paul is a project director for Clean Energy Group (CEG) and Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA). He conducts policy work for CEG’s Resilient Power Project, supporting state policymakers and regulators in integrating behind-the-meter battery storage into state policy and programs. He also directs CESA’s Energy Storage and Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP), a federal-state funding and information sharing project that aims to accelerate the deployment of electrical energy storage technologies. Todd‘s recent work has focused on energy storage policy and economics, including work with federal and state energy agencies, utilities, non-governmental organizations and national laboratories. He holds a Master of Science in Environmental Policy from Bard College and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University.
Over the past two decades, Peter has dedicated his career in the public and non-profit sectors to addressing some of the most pressing energy and environmental issues of our time. Since 2015, Peter has played a leadership role in New York State government in helping to develop and implement the state’s ambitious clean energy and climate agenda. Peter currently serves as Chief of Staff for NYSERDA. In this role, he supports the President and CEO along with other members of the Executive Team in carrying out NYSERDA’s mission, both from a programmatic and organization management standpoint.
Prior to joining NYSERDA, Peter served as Assistant Secretary for Energy for Governor Andrew Cuomo where he helped to oversee development and implementation of New York’s ambitious clean energy and climate agenda across various State agencies. Peter started his tenure in New York State as Manager of Strategic Engagement at New York’s Department of Public Service, where he was responsible for external relations and program implementation. Before joining the ranks in New York, Peter worked on energy and environmental issues in the mid-Atlantic region, having served as Energy Committee staff in the Delaware State Senate, and also holding positions with several non-profit organizations focused on issues ranging from solar energy advocacy to farmland preservation.
Peter graduated from Skidmore College with a B.A. in Environmental Studies, and from the University of Delaware with a Masters of Energy and Environmental Policy.
Duane raised the capital to launch and grow SunCommon and drove SunCommon’s dynamic culture and innovative marketing. He’s now responsible for investor relations, legal, HR — that’s Happiness Resources — and SunCommon’s new net-positive office building. He’s a social entrepreneur with an eclectic 35-year career in socially responsible business, campaign management, government service and community involvement.
He moved his family from California in 1996 to Vermont where he worked as Chief of Stuff at Ben & Jerry’s for 12 years — getting to execute Ben Cohen’s creative vision. Committed to advancing values-led business models, he’s a member of the national Social Venture Network, Vermont Venture Network and Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. And he serves as a Director on the Boards of the VBSR and VPIRG.
Duane lives in a newly-built net zero home in Waterbury Center with his wife of 26 years, missing their out-of-the-house 19 and 22-year old sons.
Mary Powell is nationally recognized as an energy visionary, positioning Green Mountain Power as a leading energy transformation company. Delivering clean, cost-effective and highly reliable power to customers all across Vermont, GMP offers cutting-edge products and service to reduce costs and carbon. In 2017, GMP was named one of the top 10 energy companies in the world by Fast Company. GMP has also achieved the top score for mid-sized utilities in the East Region in J.D. Power’s 2016 electric utility residential customer satisfaction study.
Mary has served as president and chief executive officer for GMP since 2008. She initiated and implemented a strategic and comprehensive restructuring of the company that dramatically transformed GMP, and she has been the backbone of a cultural transformation and service quality improvement. Fast, fun, and effective is her motto. Under Mary’s leadership, GMP became the first utility in the world to become a member of B Corp, showing a commitment to use energy as a force for good.
Chris is Director of Policy & Storage Market Strategy for Sunrun, where he works on Northeast & Caribbean Affairs, with a focus on storage, virtual power plants, and wholesale markets. Prior to joining Sunrun, Chris was an energy policy advisor in the US Senate where he worked on a diverse issue set, with a particular focus on DERs. Chris has been on various political campaigns and involved in a number of startup businesses. Although he has a law degree, so far he has successfully avoided practicing.
Bonnie Reese is a PhD candidate at the University of Vermont studying Natural Resources and Complex Systems. Her research is focused on renewable energy entrepreneurship and, more specifically, technologies and regulations that facilitate decarbonization, decentralization, and social equity goals in the electric grid. Bonnie comes to UVM with a background in entrepreneurship, having earned her MBA at Babson’s Olin School of Business and co-founded multiple companies including Radius Tracking Systems and Reconciled. Bonnie lives in Cambridge, Vermont with her fiancé and six-year-old daughter.
Cathy Reynolds brings 36 years of experience to her work as a Senior Account Manager with the Large Business group at Efficiency Vermont. Her work with Vermont’s largest commercial and industrial customers has saved tens of millions of kwh. As a part of Efficiency Vermont since its inception, she has inspired all types of electric end users from multi-family building owners to dairy processers, grocery store energy managers, and hospital, college and manufacturing facility staff to achieve their business energy goals. Special projects for grocery chains, continuous energy improvement, and flexible load management have been recent focus areas with EVT. Cathy began her career journey as a residential energy auditor working for the UVM Extension Service and then for CVPS and VEIC to deliver multi-family energy efficiency programs in the 1990’s. Cathy works tirelessly for energy efficiency in her work and her life. In 2012 she completed implementation of energy retrofits on the four municipal buildings in her small town of 600 people. The project utilized funding from an ARRA grant, the Town and Efficiency Vermont‘s Building Performance Program. Comprehensive weatherization in all four Town municipal buildings reduced the Town building’s total energy use by 25%.
Cathy holds a BA in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College and is a Certified Energy Manager. She lives in Tinmouth, population 600, with her husband where she is the Chair of the Selectboard and the Energy Committee and has a huge garden.
Mark Sciarrotta is the Assistant General Counsel for the Vermont Electric Power Company, Inc. Previously, he served as a Vermont Assistant Attorney General, specializing in environmental enforcement. He is the former president of the Vermont Law School Alumni Association, and sits on the Vermont Bar Foundation. Mark received his undergraduate degree from Rider University.
Jonathan Slason, PE is a Director of Future Mobility Planning at RSG in their Burlington, Vermont office. He provides professional engineering and planning consulting services to public and private clients focused on the emerging big issues in transportation. His interest is on how we can leverage emerging technologies to improve our world with a growing population, funding challenges, aging infrastructure, and the changing climate all while creating thriving and desirable places for us to live, work, and play. Recently, Jonathan lead the transportation energy analysis for the City of Burlington’s Net Zero Energy plan, and is actively working with other communities on the use of strategic transportation modeling to analyze changes in land use, pricing effects, and availability of low impact travel modes. Current work includes planning for the growing electrification of travel, and how it is changing the location and magnitude of electricity demand as well as shaping travel behaviors.
Jonathan graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) with dual degrees in Civil Engineering and Economics. He lives in Hinesburg with his wife, two little boys and his mountain biking buddy, Teddy, the golden retriever.
Joni Sliger supports RAP’s regional teams in providing technical assistance on crafting and implementing energy policy. She primarily contributes research support to RAP’s India program and promotes collaboration between the teams on shared issues.
Ms. Sliger joined RAP in late 2017 after completing a fellowship at the Green Energy Institute of Lewis & Clark Law School. There, she analyzed state-level renewable energy policies in the United States. She also worked as an extern for both the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide in Eugene, Oregon, and for the Human Rights Law Network in Delhi, India.
Ms. Sliger earned her juris doctor and master of laws in environmental, natural resources, and energy law from Lewis & Clark Law School. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in global environmental change and sustainability from Johns Hopkins University.
Mary Sprayregen joined Opower in March of 2019 as its Director of Regulatory Affairs and Market Development. Opower, which has the most powerful customer engagement platform on the market, offers solutions that range from encouraging customers to shift electric use to match renewable generation to alerting consumers when they’re on track for a high-bill and giving them low-or-no-cost tips to change course. Mary has over fifteen years of experience in energy policy from state-level advocacy to advising a member of the U.S. House of Representative’s Energy and Commerce Committee. Her most recent roles were as VEIC’s Director of Policy and Public Affairs, and as Con Edison’s federal lobbyist in Washington, D.C. Mary holds a B.A. in Sociology from Skidmore College and works from her home in Shelburne, Vermont where she lives with her husband and young daughter.
Before being appointed General Manager, Darren served as Burlington Electric Department’s Chief Operating Officer and led the Center for Innovation team. Prior to joining BED, Darren served as Chief of Staff for the Office of Governor Peter Shumlin. Before working inthe Governor’s Office, Darren was appointed as Deputy Commissioner at the Vermont Public Service Department, leading the advancement of the 2014 net metering law and 2015 renewable energy standard. Previously, Darren worked in the Washington, D.C. Officeof U.S. Senator Bernard Sanders as Senior Policy Advisor for Energy & Environment, and later as Chief Counsel. He has also worked for the National Governors Association as Program Director for Energy and Transportation. Darren has a B.A. from Florida Atlantic University and earned a J.D. and Master of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School.
Gabrielle specializes in the development of policy and programs for promotion of renewable energy, strategic electrification and energy efficiency, with a special focus on efforts to integrate all three. She has extensive expertise in policy and planning from work as a consultant, as director of Vermont’s statewide renewable energy industry trade association, a member of the Vermont System Planning Committee (addressing transmission grid reliability planning) and as Chair of the Board of the Burlington Electric Department (BED), Vermont’s largest municipal electric utility. In the latter role Gabrielle has provided strategic direction on BEDs IRP, maintaining BED’s 100% renewably-sourced portfolio and on Burlington’s goal to be a net zero city across all energy use by 2030. Gabrielle brings to her policy and planning work a grounded understanding of what it takes to move markets from policy incubation in the legislative arena, to program design in the regulatory arena, to the implementation arena, having managed residential efficiency programs, renewable energy incentive programs and – most recently – pilot programs to simultaneously promote efficiency, electrification of space heating and customer-sited renewables.
Mark Stephenson founded his company, Vermont Energy Contracting & Supply Corp., in Williston, joining his longtime interest in environmental policy and a respect for the can-do approach of the private sector.
Jordan Stutt leads Acadia Center’s work to establish and strengthen regional and state carbon programs that reduce climate pollution using pricing and funding mechanisms. In this role, Jordan conducts analysis, leads stakeholder coalitions, and engages with policymakers on three related issues: strengthening the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI); advancing state-level carbon pricing initiatives; and developing regional climate policy to reduce emissions from the transportation sector. Before joining Acadia Center in 2014, Jordan was an Energy Policy Analyst at Pace Energy and Climate Center, at Pace Law School, where he focused on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and RGGI. Jordan holds a BS in Environmental Studies and International Relations from Tufts University and is currently a candidate for a Masters in Environmental Management through the Duke Environmental Leadership program at the Duke Nicholas School of the Environment.
Mr. Tamblyn has over 15 years’ experience managing technical and environmental programs. As Executive Director, Mr. Tamblyn is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission and financial objectives. Mr. Tamblyn works closely with the Board of Directors to provide leadership in developing program, organizational, and financial plans and is responsible for carrying out the plans and policies authorized by the Board. Mr. Tamblyn also provides leadership in developing the capabilities of the organization and ensuring the administrative and technical support provided by the organization meets the needs of WCI, Inc.’s Participating Jurisdictions.
Prior to joining WCI, Inc., Mr. Tamblyn served as the Executive Director of the Renewable Energy Institute International (REII). As the Executive Director at REII, he was responsible for managing renewable energy projects and the day-to-day operations of the organization. Prior to his appointment at REII, he consulted on various environmental and renewable energy projects throughout North America for public and private clients.
Rebecca Towne is Vermont Electric Cooperatives’s Chief Executive Officer. She has nearly two decades of utility experience in Vermont, with a strong focus on team building, leadership and strategic innovation.
Most recently, Rebecca was vice president of organizational strategy at Vermont Gas Systems. Prior to her work at Vermont Gas, Rebecca spent 14 years in roles of increasing responsibility at Green Mountain Power, including Chief Talent Officer. She joined VEC—the second largest electric utility in Vermont and one of two electric cooperatives in the state—in October 2018.
At VEC, Rebecca seeks to inspire people to do their best work, to innovate in support of Vermont’s energy future, and to remain focused always on service to VEC members.
Rebecca holds a BA from Swarthmore College and an MS from St. Michael’s College. She serves on the board of the United Way of NorthWest Vermont. A seventh-generation Vermonter, Rebecca grew up in Cambridge and today lives in Essex.
Stephen P. Trenholm, CPA, MST
Steve is a Director in the Tax department at Gallagher, Flynn & Co., LLP. He provides general accounting and tax services to a diversified client base, including individuals, corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies. Steve works with clients in a number of industries including manufacturing, real estate, construction and professional services. Additionally, he provides tax consulting in areas of complex tax issues including mergers, business formations, tax credit studies.
Prior to joining the firm in 2012, Steve was the tax manager at Bauer Hockey, Inc. in Exeter, New Hampshire. Previous to Bauer, Steve spent three years as tax manager with Ernst & Young's Boston, MA office. Previous to Ernst & Young, Steve spent several years in public accounting in accounting firms in the Greater Boston, MA area. Steve is a cum laude graduate of Salem State University where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Accounting, and Bentley University, where he earned his Master's Degree in Taxation.
In addition to Gallagher, Flynn & Co., LLP, Steve is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Vermont Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Will began working in the renewable energy industry in 2005 as an installer for small East Coast integrator. During more than ten years with that company, which eventually became RGS Energy, he took on many roles. After starting as an installer, he worked in sales, design, and project management, and he eventually became the Director of Construction for the East Coast. Will has experience in wind power, solar thermal, and all scales of PV, although he has primarily focused on residential systems. He is passionate about implementing high quality, code compliant installation techniques. He is a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional and was previously a NABCEP Certified Solar Heating Installer. Will is now spending his time developing curriculum for SEI and teaching at Vermont Technical College. In his free time, Will can be found working with his wife and young daughter on their homestead in central Vermont, which features an off-grid strawbale house.
Dr. Brett Williams is Principal Advisor for EV Programs at the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE). He is a point person for EV market and policy analysis, stakeholder engagement, and program design and evaluation. Many of his activities are carried out in support of California’s $700 million Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, for which he directs transparency and evaluation efforts, as well as for related activities in four other states. Previously he was an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at UCLA, a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley, and a researcher for Amory Lovins at the Rocky Mountain Institute. Brett has a PhD in Transportation Technology & Policy from UC Davis, a master’s degree in Environment & Development from Cambridge University (UK), and an undergraduate degree in Physics / Public Policy Analysis from Pomona College (Claremont CA).
In 2017 Steven founded Eco-Equipment Supply (EES) to help bring about the electrification of Vermont’s lawn care industry. EES is the northeast sales rep for Ohio-based Mean Green Products, the first and leading manufacturer of commercial battery-electric lawn mowers. EES has also recently become the northeast sales rep for American Power Products, manufacturer of the battery-electric, zero-turn EDGE riding mower for residential applications. Steven can speak to the progress that’s been made, and the significant challenges and barriers that are impeding the growth of this innovative, carbon-cutting technology, and also offer some suggestions on how we can overcome these challenges.
Rebecca Zachas, Esq.
Rebecca Zachas is Senior Counsel to the Firm focusing on state and federal energy regulatory and policy matters, renewable energy development, and pipeline permitting proceedings for municipalities, other public entities, electric cooperatives, nonprofits and renewable energy developers. Ms. Zachas regularly practices before the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (“DPU”), including proceedings on grid modernization, rate cases, and distributed generation interconnection standards. She is currently involved in compliance phases of grid modernization before the DPU after having fully participated in the adjudicatory and stakeholder proceedings. She has also practiced before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission representing electric utilities, energy efficiency administrators, power marketers, and non-utility generators.
Ms. Zachas is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Syracuse University and a Cum Laude graduate of the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, New Hampshire (inactive), the District of Columbia, Maryland (inactive) and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.