This page will be updated daily as individuals are confirmed. More speakers to come!
Maura Adams, Northern Forest Center
Maura Adams is a program director at the Northern Forest Center, a non-profit organization that builds community and economic vitality while fostering sound forest stewardship across the Northern Forest of Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Riley Allen, Regulatory Assistance Project
As an economist and former utility regulator, Riley Allen advises regional staff on current power sector regulatory practices in the U.S. and around the globe. Mr. Allen provides support on a wide range of issues, including integrated resource planning, forecasting, electric utility industry restructuring, alternative regulation, transmission planning (and consideration of non-transmission alternatives), utility investment in advanced metering and dynamic prices, renewable energy feed-in tariffs, and energy efficiency planning. Prior to joining RAP, Mr. Allen was the senior policy advisor to the Vermont Public Service Board, and served as the director of utility planning at the Vermont Department of Public Service. For almost 20 years, he served as an economist, expert witness, and hearing examiner on a variety of major state-level policy investigations. From 2001 to 2004, he acted as technical advisor on several development projects to assist governments and communications regulators in Southern Africa. Mr. Allen received his master’s in economics from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s in economics from the University of Florida.
Charlotte Ancel, Green Mountain Power
Charlotte leads GMP's power supply, regulatory/legal, and project development teams. She is passionate about Vermont’s transformation to a community-based, increasingly independent energy system that enables customers to dramatically lower carbon and cost while increasing comfort and reliability. Charlotte was previously a partner at the law firm of Sheehey Furlong & Behm. She came of age working on permitting of the Kingdom Community Wind project and various solar and other generation projects. She is a graduate of Boston College and University of New Hampshire. She also serves on the Board of the Greater Burlington YMCA and is chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission on high quality, affordable childhood care.
Abigail Anthony, Acadia Center
Abigail leads Acadia Center’s Grid Modernization and Utility Reform initiative, focusing on changing regulatory and economic incentives in order to achieve a sustainable and consumer-friendly energy system. Abigail has a leading role in advancing Rhode Island’s energy efficiency procurement policies through her appointment to the state’s Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council. Abigail received her PhD in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics from the University of Rhode Island and her MA and BA in economics from the University of Montana.
Bob Barton, Catalyst Financial Group, Inc.
Bob has over 35 years experience in finance and business innovation and is a co-founder of Catalyst Financial Group, Inc. and Catalyst Clean Energy Finance (CCEF), LLC. Over the last 28 years, his work has focused on financing renewable energy (solar, wind, hydro, co-generation), energy and water efficiency as well as recycling and pollution prevention projects. Catalyst has arranged financing and has been lead financial advisor on more than $1 billion in projects. His clients have included hundreds of businesses, major utilities, the U.S Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, major trade associations and State and City energy offices. Most recently, Bob and his partner Marianne in CCEF has been providing financial advisory and fundraising services to two of Vermont’s major solar developers.
Jeff Bernicke, NativeEnergy
Jeff Bernicke, President & CEO of NativeEnergy, Inc., has over 20 years of strategic and operational experience in developing, structuring, and financing projects in renewable energy, emission reduction, and clean tech businesses. Prior to joining NativeEnergy, Mr. Bernicke led the portfolio development and strategy for Greenhouse Gas Services (a joint venture between General Electric and AES Corp) and was a senior member of the DTE Energy Resources executive team focusing on renewable energy development. Earlier in his career, Mr. Bernicke advised companies in the clean tech sector and worked as a strategy consultant to large corporations across many industrial sectors. Jeff holds an M.B.A. with high distinction and an M.S. in resource ecology from the University of Michigan and B.S. degrees in business and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He lives with his wife Veronica and three sons in Shelburne, VT.
Kathy Beyer, Housing Vermont
Currently Ms. Beyer leads the real estate development arm at Housing Vermont with a focus on permanently affordable housing in partnership with communities and the private sector. Ms. Beyer has also served in the Vermont Legislature and as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Housing & Community Development. Ms. Beyer holds an M.P.A. degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a B.S. Degree in Accounting & Economics from the University of Minnesota.
Chaz Blackmore, Bilodeau Wells & Co
Chaz Blackmore, CPA is a partner with Bilodeau Wells & Co. in Essex Junction, VT, providing tax consulting services for over thirty years. He graduated from Dartmouth College with Masters degrees from Northeastern University and Bentley College. Chaz began his career with Ernst & Young in Boston, and then managed the worldwide tax function for a Fortune 500 multi-national high-technology company in California. Since moving to Vermont, he has provided a wide range of tax consulting services to a diverse client base, including numerous renewable energy projects.
David Blittersdorf, AllEarth Renewables
David is an entrepreneur and trained engineer with more than three decades of experience running profitable businesses in the renewable energy industry. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Vermont in 1981, founded NRG Systems in 1982, and over the following 22 years developed NRG Systems into a global leader in wind measurement technology before stepping down as its CEO in 2004. He then founded AllEarth Renewables, which designs, manufactures and sells grid-tied solar PV tracking systems via a national network of 80-plus dealer-installer partners. In addition to running AllEarth, he has led local partnerships to build three separate utility-scale renewable energy installations in Vermont in the past five years. David also volunteers his time to various non-profit organizations connected with renewable energy, education, and preparing for a post-peak-oil world, serving as a board member of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, the Post Carbon Institute, and the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas—USA. He is a founding member, past chair and current board member of Renewable Energy Vermont, and chair of the board of advisors for the UVM Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. In his spare time, he enjoys hang-gliding and ice hockey.
Dan Bosley, New England Clean Energy Council
Dan is NECEC’s 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).
Andy Boutin, Pellergy
Andy Boutin is the Founder and General Manager of Pellergy LLC, a company focusing on the manufacture and import of fully automated wood pellet boiler and bull wood pellet storage systems. Andy also serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Vermont's newest wood pellet production facility: Renewable Fuels of Vermont, manufacturing the 802 and Green Mountain Wood Pellets. Andy has had a 20-year career as an engineer working on projects ranging from the operation of ocean going ships, the design of luxury submarines and the management of multimillion dollar department of defense contracts. In founding Pellergy, Andy sought out an alternative to oil heat and obtained the exclusive manufacturing rights for a line of wood pellet burner systems designed in Sweden. Pellergy now imports an Austrian manufactured, private labeled, fully automatic, modulating wood pellet boiler. Over the past 8-Years, Andy has positioned Pellergy LLC as a leader in the wood pellet heating industry. 802 and Green Mountain Wood Pellets from Renewable Fuels of Vermont are proving out as a Super Premium, high BTU, Low Ash fuel.
Sen. Christopher Bray, Vermont State Senate
Christopher A. 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).
Peter Burns, Storyteller
Peter Burns has been a professional storyteller for more than 30 years. His work has been featured on National Public Radio. He also conducts programs for the Vermont Humanities Council and VSA Arts. An avid bike rider, he teaches a variety of bike related classes for Local Motion and also contributes articles to their website.
Leslie Cadwell, Legal Counselor & Advocate, PLC
Leslie Cadwell is a Legal Counselor and Advocate, PLC. Previously, she held the position of Special Counsel at Gravel & Shea, where her responsibilities included providing clients with highly specialized knowledge in the fields of telecommunications, public utility law and government affairs. She joined Gravel & Shea after more than fifteen years of experience as an attorney advising leaders in both the public and private sectors: as Vice President, Chief Counsel and Secretary for the Vermont Electric Power Company, Inc., and as Director for Telecommunications and Special Counsel for the Vermont Department of Public Service, as well as at the Vermont Supreme Court. She has considerable experience in utility, energy, and telecommunications law and regulation, including permitting essential infrastructure projects.
Olivia Campbell Andersen, Renewable Energy Vermont
Olivia, a Vermont Law School Alumnae returns to the Green Mountain State after living in Maryland. Olivia most recently served as Senior Policy Director for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Assistant Chief of Staff to Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, advising the Governor on environmental, sustainability, energy, budget, and transportation issues. 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.
Gina Campoli, VT Agency of Transportation
Gina Campoli is the Environmental Policy Manager for the VT Agency of Transportation where she leads VTrans’ climate change, energy, and water quality policy initiatives. Her career in VT state government began in 1982, including 12 years at VTrans and 14 as a senior staffer at the VT Agency of Natural Resources Planning Division. She has served her hometown, Craftsbury, VT, on numerous boards including school board chair. She is currently a Hardwick VT Electric Department Commissioner. Gina holds an MS in Historic Preservation from UVM and a BA in American and Environmental Studies from Williams College.
Kristen Carlson, Green Mountain Power
Kristin Carlson is the Chief Communications, Brand & Marketing Executive for Green Mountain Power. Kristin leads marketing, communications, community outreach, media, and social media for GMP. Before joining GMP in 2014, Kristin was the Chief Political Reporter and co-anchor of the :30 on WCAX-TV. She spent 14 years at WCAX, winning numerous awards for her reporting including several Edward R Murrow awards and the highest achievement in broadcast journalism, the Alfred I Dupont award. Kristin grew up in Worcester, Vermont, attended U-32 High School, and graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and minors in Political Science and French. She lives in Montpelier with her husband and daughter. Kristin serves on the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain board of directors.
Josh Castonguay, Green Mountain Power
Josh Castonguay oversees the development, construction, and operation of renewable generation throughout Vermont, including smaller-scale distributed generation, as well as the development of new strategic product and service offerings to customers.
Jon Copans, VT Department of Public Service
Jon Copans grew up in Brattleboro Vermont and graduated from Brattleboro Union High School. Copans graduated from Macalester College in 1996 with majors in geography, political science, and environmental studies. He worked in the Minnesota Legislature from 1997 through 2000 eventually serving as Leadership Assistant to Senate President Allan Spear. Copans returned to Vermont in the summer of 2000 to work for the Vermont Democratic Senate campaign. In 2002 he ran the Democratic Senate Campaign and then served nearly four years as Executive Director of the Vermont Democratic Party from 2003 through 2006. Copans then served in Congressman Peter Welch’s Vermont Office for eight years, from 2007 through 2014, most recently as Deputy State Director. In this role he covered a variety of policy areas including energy, veterans and active duty military, labor and law enforcement. In 2015 he was appointed to serve as the Senior Policy Advisor for Government Affairs for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, and was appointed to serve as Deputy Commissioner of the Public Service Department in August, 2015.
Paul Costello, Vermont Council on Rural Development
Paul Costello has served as the Executive Director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development since 2000. VCRD runs an annual Rural Summit, and conducts “Community Visits” that help rural communities build priorities, set action plans, and build connections to resources. It also provides customized facilitation on rural development policy at the local, regional and state level.Over the past year, Paul has led VCRD in coordinating and facilitating the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council to identify and implement key strategies to address climate change while boosting economic prosperity in Vermont.
Jeff Couture, Vermont Tech Alliance
Jeff Couture is the executive director of the Vermont Technology Alliance. The vtTA is a non-profit business association with a mission to support, promote, and grow technology businesses and technology jobs in Vermont. The Alliance has nearly 200 members from across Vermont’s technology business sector, ranging from individual entrepreneurs to large companies. Jeff believes that tech-based businesses and jobs represent an economic growth opportunity for Vermont. Previously, Jeff held several management and professional positions with IBM, including communications and analyst relations for IBM’s Microelectronics Division, and internal and external communications for several IBM manufacturing and development locations, including chief spokesperson for IBM in Vermont.
John Dale, Bread Loaf Corporation
John is a Senior Architect at Bread Loaf Corporation in Middlebury, VT. He has practiced for 30 years and been involved in residential, commercial and institutional projects across the country. John believes that architectural design is at its best when it considers the intrinsic qualities of the site, program and preferred materials to arrive at the final built form. This process, in turn, will lead to responsible sustainable design. John has been with Bread Loaf for over five years. In that time, he has been the Architect for several Net Zero ready and LEED projects including the Middlebury Town Office Building, New Faculty Housing at the Northfield Mount Hermon School, UVM Alumni House and Pavilion and initial planning for the Greenwood School Sustainable Cabin Community.
Matthew Davis, University of New Hampshire
Dr. Davis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of New Hampshire and co-founder of Ground Energy Support LLC, a company specializing in monitoring of residential geothermal heat pump systems. He serves on the Board of Directors of the New England Geothermal Professional Society.
Rob Davis, Fresh Energy
Rob tells the stories of pioneering people, ideas, and organizations. As director of Media & Innovation Lab at Fresh Energy, Davis accelerates the nation’s transition to use of clean and renewable energy. Davis’ work has been covered in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and Wired; referenced in the 25th anniversary edition of Trivial Pursuit; and included in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Previously, Davis helped launch technology start-ups and created the international crowdsourced campaign that launched the Firefox web browser. Davis is a two-time recipient of the Teresa Du Bois Exline Award for Best Practices in Communications and Marketing and a graduate of Macalester College. Find him on Twitter @RobFargo. Yes, Fargo.
Ed Delhagen, VT Department of Public Service
Edward Delhagen currently manages programs and initiatives on clean energy development at the Vt. Dept. of Public Service. Prior to working for the State, he focused on environmental management and sustainable economic development in the U.S. and abroad.
Alex Depillis, VT Agency of Agriculture
Alex DePillis has diversified experience developing clean energy projects and policies, both public sector and private sector. He advises the Vermont Agency of Agriculture on energy policy and manages several contracts and initiatives related to biodigesters. He was most recently involved in protecting agriculture and farmers in S.230, the energy siting bill (now Act 174).
Thomas Dunn, VELCO
Thomas Dunn is President and CEO of Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO). Mr. Dunn joined VELCO in 2000 and advanced through several positions within the Company including: Director of Capital Projects, Vice President for Transmission Services and Chief Operating Officer. . Prior to joining VELCO, Mr. Dunn was the Chief of Engineering at the Vermont Public Service Department from 1992-2000. From 1985 to 1990 Mr. Dunn was a Field Engineer at the Massachusetts Electric Company. Mr. Dunn is a graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and has an MBA from Boston College.
Michael Dworkin, Vermont Law School
Michael Dworkin, Professor of Law at Vermont Law School since 2005, has also been a litigator for US EPA, a management partner in an engineering firm, and a utility regulator. He is the Founder of the Institute for Energy and the Environment which is an international resource for energy law and policy. It offers a nation-leading energy/environment curriculum during the academic year and a series of summer seminars. The Institute’s student Research Associates work on commissioned and self-initiated analyses in areas such as energy self-reliance, carbon sequestration and renewable energy sources. Michael Dworkin is on the Board of Vermont Energy Investment Corp.(VEIC) and Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO) and past Governor of the Electric Power Research Institute and board member of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. He has been awarded EPA’s Bronze Medal for Environmental Protection; NARUC’s Kilmarx Award for sustained contributions to clean energy, good government, and the environment; and Vermont Law’s Brooks Award for distinguished scholarship.
Daniel Edson, VT Dept. of Buildings & General Services
State Energy Program Manager with the State of Vermont, Department of Buildings and General Services. Dan focuses on establishing and implementing goals that allow State Government to lead by example through energy efficiency, energy conservation and the use of renewable energy. After Graduating from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, he worked for a Mechanical Engineering firm in Boston, MA specializing in technical assistance studies and large scale industrial and commercial energy retrofits. Dan is an avid traveler, working as a woofer and volunteer teaching children in poverty and now he calls Burlington, Vermont home.
Stan Faryniarz, Daymark Energy Advisors
Mr. Faryniarz is a member of Daymark Energy Advisors’ senior management team, and leads the firm’s rate design and procurement & portfolio management (PPM) practices. 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.
Richard Faesy, Energy Futures Group
Richard Faesy is a principal and co-founder of Energy Futures Group in Hinesburg, Vermont. With 25+ years in the clean energy industry working with hundreds of clients and programs throughout the U.S. and Canada, he is a national expert and reliable project manager specializing in residential buildings, technologies and markets. Richard is a Certified Energy Rater, LEED Accredited Professional, DOE Home Energy Score Assessor, and a founding RESNET Board. Prior to EFG, Richard worked at the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation for 21 years.
Chad Farrell, Encore Renewable Energy
Chad Farrell is Founder and President of Encore Renewable Energy. He has over 20 years of experience in environmental engineering and renewable energy development. He is an expert in the development of alternative energy facilities and the redevelopment of contaminated properties. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University and a M.S. in Environmental Engineering from UVM.
Jeff Forward, Forward Thinking Consultants, LLC
Jeff Forward is Principal of Forward Thinking Consultants, LLC. For more than 25 years Jeff has worked with hundreds of schools, hospitals and other institutional facilities throughout the country to help them evaluate their energy opportunities related to biomass, solar and energy efficiency technologies. He was the original School Wood Energy Program Manager for the Biomass Energy Resource Center and developed the Fuels for Schools Program that is the model for states interested in promoting modern wood heating in schools including Vermont. Jeff is presently Chair of the Board of Directors for Renewable Energy Vermont, Vermont’s renewable energy trade association.
Deena Frankel, VELCO
Deena Frankel is a 20-year veteran of Vermont’s utility world. By day, she is a communicator and facilitator for VELCO where she energizes words, images and people to evolve Vermont’s power grid for a brighter, greener future. In her other life, she is a freelance writer, editor and designer. As an oral storyteller, she tells first-person, true stories regularly at the Burlington Moth, Extempo and other venues, and at events around New England. She co-produces the monthly event StorytellingVT, produces other public storytelling events, and leads the Burlington Writers Workshop oral storytelling workshops.
Dan Fredman, University of Vermont
Dan is a PhD student in the Rubenstein School at UVM, holding fellowships at the Gund Institute and NSF-funded Smart Grid IGERT, and is an affiliate at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. His research focuses on the smart grid, behavior, and policies relating to residential households.
Sean Garren, Vote Solar
Sean Garren is the Northeast Regional Manager for Vote Solar. In this role, Sean oversees policy campaigns in New York and New England and co-authored the Low Income Solar Policy Guide along with GRID Alternatives and the Center for Social Inclusion. He has worked in states across the country and federally on clean energy and economic development policy and politics. He was previously the Legislative Director for Fair Share, an economic fairness advocacy group, and the Clean Energy Advocate for Environment America, a grassroots environmental advocacy group. Sean has a degree in Government from Dartmouth College.
Jeffrey Gephart, VermontWise Energy Services
Jeffrey Gephart is president of Vermontwise Energy Services, Inc. an energy services company in Rochester, Vermont, he co-founded in 1997. He has over 20 years of experience in residential new construction energy-efficiency program design and implementation. On behalf of Efficiency Vermont, Jeff works with architects, builders, developers, trade allies, and consumers building and certifying new and existing homes to high performance standards. With the Vermont Green Home Alliance he is working with appraisers, mortgage lenders, Realtors®, the regional MLS, and others to ensure energy-efficiency, sustainable building practice, and renewable energy systems are identifiable and appropriately valued in the real estate market.
John Goff, National Weather Service
John Goff is a Lead Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Burlington, VT. He holds a B.S in Meteorology from North Carolina State University and a B.A in Communications from Purdue University. John manages the local outreach and marine forecast programs at NWS Burlington. He is also actively involved in the atmospheric science research community with initiatives focused on wind channeling, fog and urban flash flooding. John resides in Essex Junction, VT with his wife and two children.
Dave Gurtman, Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew
Dave Gurtman is an attorney at Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew in Burlington. He has been practicing for 10 years and regularly represents investors, developers, and owners in the financing, construction and development of renewable energy projects. Dave is a graduate of Middlebury College and Lewis & Clark Law School.
Nate Hausman, Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA)
Nate Hausman is a Project Director for the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), where he primarily works on solar policy issues. At CESA, Nate coordinates a project to provide information and educational resources to help states and municipalities to ensure distributed solar electricity remains consumer friendly and benefits low- and moderate-income households. Nate is an attorney licensed to practice in California and Vermont. He previously served as an associate attorney for the Austin Legal Group and as a visiting attorney for the Environmental Law Institute. Nate holds a J.D. with a certificate in Environmental & Natural Resources Law from Lewis & Clark Law School and a B.A. from Colorado College.
Kim Hayden, Paul, Frank & Collins
Kim has extensive experience in all facets of energy policy, siting, and energy transactions. She acts both as in-house counsel and outside lead counsel for utilities and local, national, and international energy companies. In recent years, Kim has successfully obtained siting approval for more than 170 miles of new high voltage electric transmission lines and dozens of substations, more than 20 MW of new solar generation, 12 MW of new wind generation, and won precedent setting energy siting decisions in re Rutland Renewable Energy LLC, 2016 VT 50, and in re Vermont Electric Power Co, 2006 VT 69. Acting as lead counsel on behalf of 20 Vermont electric utilities, Kim also gained Public Service Board approval for Vermont’s long-term Canadian hydro power purchase agreement. Kim has been selected by her peers to be included in Best Lawyers in America® since 2006 for her work in the energy field.
Rep. Mary Hooper, VT House of Representatives
Mary S. Hooper of Montpelier, Washington County, Democrat, was born in Heidelberg, Germany, where her father was serving in the army. She has lived in Montpelier since 1979 with her husband, Jim Slinkman, who is a physicist working for IBM. They have a son. She has been the executive director of the Vermont Association of Conservation Districts, Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry, the first executive director of the Montpelier downtown association. She served four terms as Mayor of Montpelier and on a number of City Boards and Commissions and other organizations, including Capstone (the regional community action agency), the Hunger Council, and the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Member of the House 2009-2010, 2011-2012, 2013-2014. Mailing address: 882 North Street, Montpelier, VT 05602.
Asa Hopkins, VT Department of Public Service
Asa Hopkins holds a B.S. in physics, Haverford College, and a M.S. and a Ph.D. in physics, California Institute of Technology. He was an analyst at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory, and assistant project director for Under Secretary for Science Steven Koonin for the U.S. Department of Energy’s(DOE) Quadrennial Technology Review. This review was inspired by the Defense Department’s Quadrennial Defense Review and is a sweeping national review of energy technology innovations and development potentials with the aim of creating a robust energy policy framework to guide the DOE.
Tom Hughes, Energy Independent Vermont
Tom is an accomplished entrepreneur and administrator who comes to Energy Independent Vermont after more than 25 years of politics, business and nonprofit work. He uses all of these varied experiences to coordinate the campaign to put a price on carbon pollution in Vermont. Tom’s leadership skills were honed in his prior roles in executive leadership as President of Neuton Power Equipment, CEO of Sunward Systems, and as Executive Director of Democracy for America and the Vermont Democratic Party. For two decades Tom held various roles on political campaigns at both the state and national levels. He also spent time as Advance Team Lead in the White House during the Clinton Administration. Tom has volunteered in support of clean energy in Vermont serving as a board member and officer for both the Energy Co-op of Vermont and Renewable Energy Vermont. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from UVM in Political Science and is a graduate of American University’s Campaign Management Institute.
Eric Johnson, ISO New England
Eric is Director of External Affairs for ISO New England, the operator of the region’s electric grid. He is responsible for managing the ISO’s outreach to government officials in the six New England states. He works with state and federal policymakers and regulators to educate them on ISO initiatives related to regional system planning and wholesale electricity markets. He also oversees communications with government officials during power system emergencies. He has appeared before legislative committees, public utility commissions, environmental agencies and siting boards to testify on a wide range of electricity issues. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Connecticut Power and Energy Society. Prior to joining the ISO in 2002, he was a legislative staffer in the Connecticut General Assembly covering energy issues. When he is not at work, Eric enjoys coaching his two daughters’ youth basketball teams in his hometown of Enfield, CT.
Kerrick Johnson, VELCO
Kerrick Johnson is Vice President – Strategy and Communication at Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO). Kerrick’s responsibilities expanded to include IT and telecommunications as the company built a statewide radio system and 1,400-mile fiber optic network. He is responsible for the Vermont Weather Analytics Center – an energy data and analytics platform.
John Johnston, Bread Loaf Corporation
John is the Vice President of MEP Services at Bread Loaf Corporation. Prior to joining Bread Loaf Corporation John spent 15 years as a consulting mechanical engineer with Meta Engineers, PC and Burt Hill Kosar & Rittleman. His consulting experience included extensive building energy modeling for the Compaq Computer Corporation and design of corporate office buildings in the Washington DC metropolitan area.
Scott Johnstone, VEIC
Scott brings a depth of experience in leading complex organizations in the private and public sectors. With a commitment to public service and good governance, Scott has made significant contributions to improving the quality and effectiveness of the organizations he has led. His past positions include Executive Director of the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and the Director of Public Works for the City of Burlington, VT. Scott joined VEIC in 2008, and since that time has led the organization through a period of strategic growth with a focus on results, measured in increased energy savings. Under his leadership, VEIC launched two new energy efficiency utilities in Washington D.C. and Ohio, expanded its scope of services to include transportation and biomass, and gained statewide recognition as an employer of choice. In addition to setting the strategic direction and leading business development at VEIC, Scott serves on several boards of directors, including the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, and the Greater Burlington YMCA. He also served on the Vermont Governor’s Commission on Energy Siting until May 2013, and participated on the Commission on Climate Change. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Maine and also holds a Professional Engineer certification.
Juliette Julleriat, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
Juliette has over 5 years of direct experience performing energy analysis and savings calculations on a wide range of energy projects. She regularly performs wood energy program design analysis, project life-cycle cost analysis, load analysis for district heating, boiler system efficiency research, and database management.
Mike Kiernan, Bee the Change
For the past decade Mike has been an instructor at MiddCORE, Middlebury College's innovation leadership and design program held at Lake Tahoe, NV and Middlebury, VT. He has designed and facilitated curriculum in Crisis Management, Design Thinking, Leadership, Visual Rhetoric, Persuasive Speaking and Storytelling. In 2015 he founded bee the change with the goal of planting the ideal forage, shelter and larval host species for pollinators in the unused space in solar fields. In May of 2016 the first field was planted. Planting for 10 more fields is in the works. He is also an Emergency Room doctor at Porter Hospital and lives in Weybridge, Vt with his wife, Tawnya. His two daughters are off to college.
Dan Kinney, Catamount Solar
Dan has been in the solar business for 14 years starting at groSolar where he wore numerous hats, including lead installer, regional project manager, safety coordinator, and senior site supervisor. Dan is also an adjunct professor in the Sustainable Design and Technology Program at Vermont Technical College where he teaches PV design and safe installation to future solar professionals. He lives on the family farm in South Royalton where he makes hay and maple syrup.
Damon Lane, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
Damon Lane is project manager and lead analyst for Vermont's Solar Market Pathways project considering the effect of high solar penetration on the grid, rates, and equity. He has been with VEIC for 5 years and has engineering degrees from Penn State and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, US Senator (VT)
Patrick Leahy was elected to the United States Senate in 1974 and remains the only Democrat elected to this office from Vermont. At 34, he was the youngest U.S. Senator ever to be elected from the Green Mountain State. Leahy was born in Montpelier and grew up across from the Statehouse. A graduate of Saint Michael's College in Colchester (1961), he received his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center (1964). He served for eight years as State's Attorney in Chittenden County where he gained a national reputation for his law enforcement activities and was selected as one of three outstanding prosecutors in the United States in 1974. Leahy is the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is the senior-most member of the Appropriations Committee and of the Agriculture Committee. Leahy is the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State Department, Foreign Operations and Related Programs. He ranks first in seniority in the Senate.
Eva Lerner-Lam, BYD Motors
Eva Lerner-Lam is a transportation systems management professional with 40 years of experience in transportation policy, planning, operations and standards development. She is well known internationally as a leader in promoting the application of advanced technologies in vehicular transportation. A graduate of Princeton University with a master’s degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lerner-Lam leads the New York-based Eastern U.S. Business office of BYD Motors, Inc., headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. She was the first elected president of the Transportation and Development Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers and has also spent much of her long career serving on various national transportation boards and committees. China-based BYD Company is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electrified motor transportation, energy storage systems, solar panels, LED lighting and rechargeable batteries.
Pierre Letarte, Mid-South Engineering
Pierre is a Senior Process Engineer for Mid-South Engineering. He has over thirty-six years of experience in industry and in consulting engineering, specializing in process control projects and optimization. Recent projects include several conversions of oil-fired and coal-fired heat and power plants to wood-fired facilities, including the Vermont BGS project at Burlington. Pierre has also worked on several greenfield renewable-energy CHP projects in recent years. Pierre holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.
Steven Letendre, Green Mountain College
Steven Letendre, PhD, holds a master degree in Economics from Binghamton University and a doctorate in energy policy from the University of Delaware. Steven is a professor of economics and environmental studies at Green Mountain College and an adjunct instructor at Vermont Law School. Steven has worked on funded research projects for various organizations, including the UVM Transportation Research Center, Green Mountain Power, Solar Electric Power Association, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Steve lectures regularly at professional meetings and has published over 50 technical reports and papers in leading energy journals.
Paul Lewandowski, AFS Energy Systems
Paul joined AFS Energy Systems in October 2010 to develop a national sales network and business strategy for the growth of AFS Biomass Thermal Energy Systems manufactured in Central PA. Increased sales opportunities have resulted from the establishment of ‘strategic partnership’ networks comprised of new AFS Representatives, Industry Design Professionals, Energy Consultants, Contractors, Financial and Educational Institutions. Paul also works directly with building owners that desire to save on their energy costs and lower their use of costly fossil fuels while also increasing their ‘renewable energy’ portfolio that reduces their GHG emissions with sustainable, renewable AFS biomass thermal energy systems delivered on a ‘turn-key’ basis. Paul’s clients have also gained from his ‘hands-on’ team building experience during the past 25 years of successfully completed complex design/build construction projects. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of both the Biomass Thermal Energy Council in Washington, DC and PA Biomass Energy Association in Harrisburg as the Chairman. Paul earned his B.S. Degree in Education and holds a Green Advantage Environmental Certification for Commercial buildings. He previously was the lead technician responsible for the Plumbing, Heating and Steam fitting departments for a major Hospital in central PA and helped develop their preventative maintenance programs.
Andrew Locke, Essex Hydro Associates, LLC
Andrew Locke is President of Essex Hydro Associates, L.L.C.. Mr. Locke is responsible for financial and administrative management of all EHA projects and EHA affiliates in both the development and operating phases. Essex Hydro Associates, L.L.C. develops, constructs, rehabilitates, owns and operates independent hydroelectric facilities. The company was formed in 1983 and currently owns and operates 11 projects with a combined capacity of 36 MWs, including 3 projects in Vermont. He is a board member of the Vermont Independent Power Producers Association and the Granite State Hydro Association.
Tom Lyle, Burlington Electric Department
Tom is a technical advisor and regulatory strategist for the resource planning group at BED. His primary responsbilities include identifying and evaluating cost effectivebusiness 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 the 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.
Deborah Markowitz, VT Agency of Natural Resources
Deborah Markowitz is the Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, the state agency with primary responsibility for protecting Vermont’s environment, natural resources and wildlife and for maintaining Vermont’s forests and state parks. Appointed by Governor Shumlin in 2011, Markowitz has shaped the environmental agenda of the state, focusing on the challenges of climate change, strategic land conservation, growing threats to forest health and integrity, and improving the water quality of Vermont’s lakes and rivers. Markowitz believes that given today’s challenges, we must find new and creative approaches to care for nature, build healthy communities, and support the working landscape for a sustainable future.
Sen. Dick McCormack, Vermont State Senate
Dick McCormack is a 27 year veteran of the Vermont Senate. His experience includes service as Senate Majority Leader and Chair of the Natural Resources and Energy Committee. He is a long-time advocate for environmental protection.
Linda McGinnis, Energy Action Network
Linda McGinnis has dedicated her professional life to seeking concrete solutions to sustainable development challenges. She worked for 20 years as lead economist and senior manager for the World Bank, leading research and investments across 5 continents. Since moving to Vermont in 2010, she directed Governor Shumlin’s Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission and served as an analyst to the Agency for Natural Resources on climate change strategy. She is the Program Director at the Energy Action Network (EAN), a diverse group of high-level stakeholders working to advance Vermont's transition to meeting 90% of our 2050 energy needs through efficiency and renewables. She currently serves on the Boards of the Clean Energy Development Fund (co-chair) and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, and on the Governor’s Vermont Hydropower Working Group. She is also a member of the South Burlington Energy Committee. Linda attended Harvard Business School, Princeton University – Woodrow Wilson School, and Stanford University.
Emily McManamy, SunCommon
As SunCommon's Storyteller and Media Maven, Emily captures the purpose and passion behind thousands of Vermonters that choose to power their lives with clean, solar power. Emily's ties to storytelling began in elementary school starting with her first job delivering the Burlington Free Press with her brother. Reading the headlines while strolling door-to-door spurred Emily's interest in journalism. Emily spent 10 years as a newspaper photojournalist covering everything from breaking news to in-depth documentary pieces. Emily’s love for people and their stories developed into digital storytelling where she pursued video projects focused on social change. Emily wrapped up her newspaper career with the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award and brought her love of narrative to the renewable energy world.
Johanna Miller, Vermont Natural Resources Council
Johanna Miller is the Energy Program Director at the Vermont Natural Resources Council, working to advance clean energy and climate action solutions from the grassroots to the Legislature. Johanna also serves as the coordinator of the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network, the umbrella of over 100 town energy committees and partner organizations. Johanna currently 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.
Jim Merriam, SunCommon
Jim Merriam has spent 30 years in the renewable and energy efficiency industry. Jim's experience includes positions ranging from design to execution to executive management: serving as VP of Operations at Northern Power Systems, Chief operating officer at groSolar, and Director of Efficiency Vermont. Jim is currently back in renewables as the VP of Operations for Suncommon. Jim holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Engineering Management.
Robert Miller, Vermont State Employees Credit Union
Robert Miller is President and Chief Executive Officer for VSECU, a member-owned cooperative and not-for-profit credit union in Vermont. VSECU serves over 60,000 members with more than $700 million in assets, 170 employees, and 9 branch locations statewide. Rob graduated from the University of Vermont and started a career in financial services with Citibank in New York and Chicago. He relocated back to Vermont as a state employee and public servant; working for the Vermont Department of Economic Development where he ultimately served as Commissioner. Prior to joining VSECU, Rob spent over a decade in executive roles in the institutional investment management industry with Dwight Asset Management (now Goldman Sachs) and Conning.
Sue Minter, Democratic Candidate for Governor
Gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter’s public service includes leading the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s successful work rebuilding more than 500 miles of damaged roads and bridges within four months in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene’s catastrophic flooding. Sue also served as Vermont’s Irene Recovery Officer and was reelected four times to represent Waterbury, Duxbury, Huntington and Buel’s Gore in the Vermont legislature. In 2014, Sue co-chaired the White House Task Force on Climate Preparedness’ Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Resilience.
James Moore, SunCommon
James Moore is Co-Founder and Co-President of SunCommon. He manages all things solar at SunCommon — including design, sales, procurement and installation. Having dedicated his professional career to helping create a clean energy future, James has deep experience in energy policy, clean energy technology and government relations. He worked in Washington State, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, Washington DC, New Hampshire and New Mexico before moving to Vermont in 2004. James directed VPIRG’s Clean Energy Program and co-directed, with Duane, the successful VPIRG Energy project. Family and food are two of James’ favorite pastimes and he loves to disappear into the woods on his tele skis or head out for a hike or bike ride. James lives in Montpelier with his amazing wife Mia and their two young sons, William and Oliver.
Melanie Needle, Chittenden Reg. Planning Commission
Melanie has a B.S. in Environmental Planning from Rutgers University and a Master’s Degree in GIS Technology from University of Redlands in California. Melanie Needle began working at the CCRPC in 2004. Before joining the CCRPC, she worked as a Research Technician at the University of Vermont Geography Department. As a CCRPC Senior Planner, Melanie manages the ECOS Scorecard, which includes a 100+ indicators that measure the County’s progress on the ECOS Plan goals and strategies. She also works closely with the CCRPC’s regional partners on social community issues and energy planning. In addition, Melanie assists municipalities with understanding future growth implications using a range of tools including CommunityViz and Envision Tomorrow. Melanie lives in Burlington and enjoys biking, skiing, and spending time with her family.
Steve Nicholas, Institute for Sustainable Communities
Steve Nicholas is ISC's Vice President of Urban Programs. Steve launched ISC's US program and created the Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy (SCLA), which is one of the premier vehicles for capacity-building and technical assistance focused on sustainability in the US. Using a unique model of peer-to-peer learning, the Academy has served more than 500 US communities. Prior to joining ISC, he was Director of the City of Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment for eight years, where he led several urban sustainability initiatives, including the development and implementation of the Seattle Climate Protection Initiative, winner of the 2007 Innovations in American Government Award. He co-authored Seattle’s first-ever climate action plan, as well as the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, which sparked a national movement of more than 940 mayors taking local action on global warming and demanding stronger federal action. He also staffed the Mayor’s Green Ribbon Commission on Climate Protection, led the creation of the Seattle Climate Partnership, a voluntary pact among more than 50 public and private institutions to reduce their global warming pollution, and established the Directors’ Climate Network, a coalition of environment directors and senior climate protection staff from about 20 US cities. From 1995-1998, Steve directed ISC's program in Macedonia. Known as the Democracy Network Project, it strengthened Macedonia’s fledgling democracy by building the capacity of nonprofit organizations through technical and financial assistance.
Ashley Nicholls, KSV
Ashley Nicholls, Director of Energy Strategy, Prinicpal: With over a decade in marketing, and more than half of it focused on sustainable, energy and energy efficiency marketing, Ashley brings a depth of experience and expertise to KSV’s energy practice. As the strategic lead for our energy practice, Ashley leads teams of creative, media, and management professionals to create marketing programs and platforms that break through to the target audience and generate real business results.
Todd Olinsky-Paul, Clean Energy Group
Todd Olinsky-Paul is a Project Director for Clean Energy Group (CEG) and Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA). He directs CESA’s Energy Storage and Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP) and contributes to CEG’s Resilient Power Project. Todd has an MS in Environmental Policy from Bard College and a BA from Brown University.
Brian Otley, Green Mountain Power
Sr. Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of Green Mountain Power since 2013. Vice President and CIO since 2012. Vice President, Operations 2011-2012. Mr. Otley joined GMP in April, 2008 as Leader of Information & Innovation. Prior to GMP, Mr. Otley spent twenty years in technology leadership positions within the healthcare IT sector, most recently as a VP & General Manager with GE Healthcare running their ambulatory electronic medical record division.
Elizabeth Palchak, University of Vermont
Elizabeth is a PhD student in the Rubenstein School at UVM, holding fellowships at the Gund Institute and the Office of Sustainability. Her work examines communication and framing of fossil fuel divestment, behavioral strategies to reduce energy use, sustainability in higher education, leadership for sustainability and climate change communication.
Scudder Parker, VEIC
Scudder Parker is a national energy policy expert on reducing economic and environmental costs of energy use. He helped create Efficiency Vermont, and has been a Vermont State Senator and utility regulator. Now VEIC's Senior Policy Advisor, Scudder frequently negotiates with utilities and state governments on efficiency and renewables goals.
Andrew Perchlik, VT Department of Public Service
Since 2009 Andrew Perchlik has been the Fund Manager of the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF) housed at the Department of Public Service. Prior to working for the CEDF Andrew was the founding executive director of Renewable Energy Vermont (REV), a trade association representing all renewable energy technologies in Vermont. He founded REV in 2000 while working for the Department of Public Service. Andrew came to Vermont as a VISTA volunteer working on heating fuel assistance programs. Prior to moving to Vermont he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Panama. He currently lives in Marshfield, VT.
Duane Peterson, SunCommon
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.
Paul Peterson, Synapse Energy Economics
Paul Peterson is a Principal with Synapse Energy Economics. He has over thirty years of experience with energy efficiency policy issues through work with the University of Vermont Extension Service, the Vermont Public Service Board, ISO New England, and since 2001with Synapse. Paul has worked in regional stakeholder groups in New England, NY, PJM, MISO and ERCOT. Much of his current work focuses on RTOs, wholesale power markets, system planning, and grid-integration of new resources. Paul has a BA in Political Science form Williams College and a JD degree from Western New England College School of Law.
Timothy Petit, Sanborn, Head & Associates
Timothy Petit is a Project Manager at Sanborn, Head & Associates, Inc. with almost 6 years of experience in civil and geotechnical engineering and construction management. Tim’s practice at Sanborn Head has mainly focused on the design, permitting, and construction of solid waste facilities and solar farms in Vermont.
Jeff Polubinski, Gravel & Shea
Jeff Polubinski is a real estate and environmental law attorney at Gravel & Shea in Burlington. Before attending law school, Jeff worked as a geologist at an environmental consulting firm where he completed over 100 Phase I site assessments and oversaw a wide array of environmental site remediation.
Nik Ponzio, Building Energy
Nik Ponzio is a co-founder of Building Energy and senior project engineer. He oversees the solar and heat pump divisions of the company. Nik has a background in electrical engineering and has been designing and installing solar PV, solar thermal and off-grid power systems since 2001. In recent years he has lead the push for the use of air-source heat pumps for domestic hot water and space heating. With a highly detail-oriented approach to design and an engineer’s insight into problem-solving, Nik brings a disciplined creativity to challenges in new and existing systems.
Mary Powell, Green Mountain Power
Mary Powell has served as President and Chief Executive Officer for Green Mountain Power Corporation since 2008, following seven years as Chief Operating Officer. Mary launched an ambitious energy vision to provide low carbon, low cost and reliable power to Vermonters. As a result, the company has built Vermont’s largest wind farm, made Rutland, Vermont the Solar Generation Capital of New England, and has installed smart grid technology across the entire utility infrastructure. Mary is leading an energy transformation, providing customers comprehensive energy makeovers that help them save money and use less energy. GMP is the first utility in the world to become a member of B Corp, showing a commitment to use energy as a force for good. In 2004 Mary was recognized by Fast Company magazine as one of the "top 50 fast leaders" in the US. In 2014 she was recognized by Powergen as the Woman of the Year, the Burlington Free Press named her 2015 Vermonter of the Year, and in 2016 Fast Company named Mary one of the 100 most creative people in business.
Hantz Présumé, VELCO
Hantz Présumé is the manager of the VELCO’s System Planning Group having served at the company since 2001. In his current role, Hantz conducts long-term planning studies, non-transmission alternative (NTA) studies, as well as generator interconnection studies. Prior to joining VELCO, he worked for ten years as a Planning Engineer at what was then Boston Edison, now Eversource, producing studies on long-term planning, large generator interconnection, and on a number of exploratory scenarios. One of these involved designing a transmission system without any installed generation in the greater Boston area. Hantz currently serves on the Reliability Coordinating Committee of the Northeast Power Coordinating Council, New England Power Pool’s Reliability Committee, and ISO-NE’s Load Forecast Committee and Distributed Generation Forecast Working Group. He received an MSEE in Power Systems from Northeastern University and an MBA from Boston College.
Jeff Puterbaugh, Goldwind Americas
Jeff Puterbaugh is the director of operations for Goldwind Americas, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. Ltd and the world’s largest supplier of wind turbines. Mr. Puterbaugh has been in the renewable energy sector for approximately 10 years and has over 16 years of operations, engineering and construction expertise. Mr. Puterbaugh has been with Goldwind Americas since 2013 and is responsible for 17 projects throughout North and South America. Prior to joining Goldwind, Mr. Puterbaugh served as director of engineering and construction for Gamesa Energy USA where he oversaw the design and construction of wind farms totaling more than 800MW throughout North America. Mr. Puterbaugh holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Structural Engineering from Rowan University and an MBA from Drexel University. Mr. Puterbaugh is based out of Goldwind Americas’ headquarters in Chicago.
Andrew Raubvogel, Dunkiel, Saunders, Elliot Raubvogel & Hand, PLC
Andrew N. Raubvogel is a partner in the law firm of Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel & Hand PLLC. Andy has over twenty-five years of experience in the fields of energy and environmental regulation, permitting, public utility law, and project development and financing. Through his work at DS, Andy has been on the leading edge of renewable energy development in Vermont, achieving regulatory approval of numerous MW-scale (and smaller) power projects -- wind, solar and biomass. Andy has also been substantially involved in legislation and regulatory proceedings concerning the Standard Offer and net metering programs, solar siting, renewable energy standards, and existing biomass/hydro facilities.
Dan Reicher, Stanford University
Dan W. Reicher, served as Interim Co-Chief Executive Officer and President of American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). Mr. Reicher served as the President of New Energy Capital Partners LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in energy technology, policy, and finance. He served as Chief of Staff at U.S. Department of Energy. He served as an Advisor at VantagePoint Capital Partners. Prior to this, he served as an Executive Vice President at Northern Power Systems, Inc. and also served as an Assistant Secretary of Energy for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the United States Department of Energy from 1997 to 2001, where he directed investments of over $1 billion annually in renewable energy, distributed generation and energy efficiency research, development and deployment. Previously, Mr. Reicher held other senior management posts within the Department of Energy. He joined Stanford in 2011 from Google, where he served since 2007 as Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives. He was a Member of President Obama's Transition Team. Mr. Reicher serves as the Chairman of the Board of American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and served as its Co-Chairman. He serves as Co-Chairman of the Advisory Board of the American Council on Renewable Energy. He also served as Co-Chairman of the U.S. Biomass Research and Development Board. He served as a Member of the U.S. Delegation to the Climate Change Negotiations, and a Member of the Board of the government-industry Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles. He serves as Executive Director of Stanford University's Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance. Mr. Reicher holds a B.A. degree from Dartmouth College and a J.D. degree from Stanford Law School.
Zachary Robinson, Northern Reliability
Zachary holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont. Born and raised in Vermont, he was able to stay in the Green Mountain State thanks to work in the emerging energy storage sector. At Northern Reliability, he analyzes client data to help determine which solution is best fit to their needs.
Harris Roen, Roen Financial Report
Harris Roen publishes the Roen Financial Report, a website for investors interested in alternative energy stocks, mutual funds and ETFs. Sectors covered include energy efficiency, environmental, fuel alternatives, smart grid, solar and wind. Prior to developing this alternative energy investment service, Harris was a Registered Investment Advisor in Vermont. In addition to his work in alternative energy investing, Harris is a Consulting Forester with Long Meadow Resource Management. His work there includes forest management plans, timber sales, and land use consulting services to private landowners throughout northern Vermont.
Debra Royce, AllEarth Renewables
Debra Royce is CFO for All Earth Renewables, Inc in Williston, Vt, and has spent the last 20 years in financial leadership roles in VT companies ranging from Revision Military Inc in Essex to Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc in S. Burlington to Blodgett Ovens in Burlington. The common thread for these companies was strong brand, strong values, and each of them on a significant growth trajectory requiring system and process enhancements. Debra began her career with the Internal Revenue Service as a Revenue Agent in the Boston district where she focused on large corporate taxpayers, and after passing her CPA exam, joined the accounting firm of KPMG in the Boston office.
Mathew Rubin, VIPPA
Mathew has thirty years developing, owning and operating independent hydroelectric facilities, as well as developing solar projects in Vermont. He is active in several professional and environmental organizations, including REV, VIPPA, VEPPI and VPIRG.
Melanie Santiago-Mosier, Vote Solar
Melanie Santiago-Mosier serves as the Program Director, Low-Income Solar Access for Vote Solar, the nation’s leading non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to bringing solar energy into the mainstream. In her role at Vote Solar, Ms. Santiago-Mosier works to expand access to solar for low-income communities by developing policy solutions. Prior to joining Vote Solar, she led the government affairs efforts for organizations such as the Maryland Public Service Commission and Washington Gas Energy Services, after serving as counsel and policy analyst for the Maryland General Assembly. Most recently, she served as a regional policy director for SunEdison. Ms. Santiago-Mosier has 10 years of experience and claims a number of policy victories, many involving enhanced incentives and opportunities for renewable energy development. Melanie is an attorney licensed to practice law in Maryland, and holds her JD from the University of Maryland School of Law, and her BA from St. John’s College. She was recently named one of Maryland’s “Leading Women” by The Daily Record, Maryland’s premier business and legal news publication.
Andrew Savage, AllEarth Renewables
Andrew Savage is the Chief Strategy Officer at AllEarth Renewables, manufacturer of the AllEarth Solar Tracker, where he oversees public affairs, communications, and strategic business development initiatives. He is an elected member to the Board of Directors of the 1,000 member Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA). He is a frequent speaker and author on issues facing the national solar industry. Previously, Andrew was deputy chief of staff and legislative director for Vermont Congressman Peter Welch, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. He was also part of President Barack Obama’s successful 2008 presidential primary campaign team. Andrew received his bachelor’s degree in political science and environmental studies from Middlebury College graduating summa cum laude.
Amy Shollenberger, Action Circles
Amy Shollenberger has more than 15 years of grassroots organizing, policy, and political issue campaign experience, including work as a press secretary for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and as a senior policy analyst for Public Citizen’s Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program. As Rural Vermont’s executive director, she worked to help members successfully lobby for several bills. In 2010, she was the campaign manager for a gubernatorial primary candidate in Vermont. She currently serves multiple clients through her Action Circles firm, offering help with political strategy, organizational capacity building, and meeting facilitation. Amy is a member of the Vermont Consultants Network.
Luke Shullenberger, Green Lantern Capital
Luke is the principal founder and managing partner of the Green Lantern Group, with 20 years of experience in clean tech/renewables, brownfields re-development, commercial real estate and retail development. Luke has a BA in Environmental Studies and Economics from Williams College. Bill is a Partner and the Chief Financial Officer for the Green Lantern Group, with over 30 years of experience in finance, construction, development and manufacturing sectors. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
Gov. Peter Shumlin, 81st Governor of Vermont
Upon taking office in 2011 Governor Shumlin’s Administration put together the first Comprehensive Energy Plan since the late 1990’s, establishing the goal of 90% total renewable energy by 2050. Since then, Vermont has added eleven times the amount of solar and twenty times the amount of wind power generation, while continuing to invest in energy efficiency. Under Governor Shumlin’s leadership, Vermont expanded its net metering and standard offer programs while lowering costs. The cost of solar under Standard Offer has come down from 30 cents per kilowatt hour in 2010 to bids under 8 cents per kilowatt hour this year. In 2015 Governor Shumlin signed Act 56 into law, setting a 75% renewable electricity standard to be met by utilities by 2032. The law also creates an innovation component for utilities to support technologies that reduce fossil fuel use in the heating and transportation sectors, such as cold-climate heat pumps, modern wood heat, and plug-in vehicles. Under the Shumlin Administration, Vermont’s clean energy sector has grown to employ more than 17,000 while maintaining the second-lowest electric rates in New England.
Mary Sprayregen, VEIC
Mary Sprayregen joined the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) in 2015 as its Deputy Director of Policy and Public Affairs. She has spent over a decade working on energy policy from state-level advocacy to advising a member of the U.S. House of Representative’s Energy and Commerce Committee. Most recently, Mary served as Con Edison’s federal lobbyist in Washington, D.C. Currently she sits on the Board of Directors for both the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) and Cynosure, Inc. Mary holds a B.A. in Sociology from Skidmore College.
John Spencer, Bright Star Solar
John R. Spencer, P.E. was for 20 years the Executive Director of VEPP Inc., Purchasing Agent under the Rule 4.100 program. The Rule 4.100 Program is the State’s implementation of PURPA. In the capacity of Purchasing Agent, John administered most of the long-term contracts for the independently owned hydro-electric projects in Vermont. Previously, John worked both as a developer and an engineer licensing and building hydro-electric projects in Vermont and other eastern states.
Martha Staskus, VERA Renewables
Martha Staskus, a Principal with VERA Renewables, is responsible for developing over 5 MW of 500 kw solar group net metering projects around the state, manages development of several utility wind generation projects and the Georgia Mountain Community Wind project and has conducted the early stage development for 4 out of Vermont’s 5 permitted wind projects. VERA Renewables, with over 30 years’ expertise in the fields of wind and solar energy siting, assessment, development, permitting, is committed to growing Vermont’s wind and solar generation capacity and reducing carbon.
Bill Suhr, Champlain Orchards
Bill Suhr, the owner and founder of Champlain Orchards, grew up in the Maryland suburbs and began developing a love for Vermont from a young age by spending summers with his grandparents in Greensboro. Once he completed high school, it was a natural choice to attend UVM where he studied Natural Resources and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Biology in 1994. He then began a career as an environmental consultant, but as he gained professional experience, it became clear that his goal was to be self-employed and earn his living off the land. He would frequently spend weekends land-hunting, and soon heard that Larrabee Point Orchard was for sale in Shoreham, Vermont. It was an opportunity he could not overlook, and in 1998, the twenty-seven year old Bill Suhr purchased the 60 acres of orchard with the help from the Vermont Land Trust, Agency of Agriculture, and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. Today, Champlain Orchards totals 250 acres of orchard on three separate conserved farms. A dedicated crew of 30 local employees along with his wife, Andrea Scott and their two young children continue to diversify their fresh fruit production and value added apple products. Fresh fruit includes, apples, pears, plums, cherries, peaches, and nectarines while valued products include a diverse line of hard and ice ciders, sweet cider, apple pies, apple butter, apple sauce, and cider syrup.
Eric Thumma, Avangrid Renewables
Eric A. Thumma is an energy and environmental professional with twenty years of experience in senior management positions with Avangrid Renewables LLC (formerly Iberdrola Renewables LLC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Mr. Thumma joined Avangrid Renewables in 2007 as Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs. He supports the development and origination business teams by working on state policies, legislation, and regulations supportive of renewable energy development, focusing especially on renewable portfolio standard legislation and policy, tax issues, and environmental permitting. In concert with the Avangrid Renewables team, he has participated in the development of over 1,000 megawatts of wind energy in six states.
Mike Trahan, Northeast Solar Energy Market Coalition
Mike Trahan is Executive Director of Solar Connecticut (SolarConn), the state's solar installer/developer business group and also co-director of the Northeast Solar Energy Market Coalition (NESEMC). At SolarConn Mike works to identify ways to remove barriers to greater solar PV penetration. He sets the organization's state legislative agenda and educates decision makers on industry policy needs. At NESEMC, a U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, Mike co-directs a project that's aligned solar business associations and others in the nine-state Northeast region to work toward more harmonious policies that drive PV growth. Previously, Mike handled communications for various clean energy project developers, manufacturers, and state government agencies working in the solar, wind, landfill gas-to-energy, biomass, emissions reduction, microturbine, and fuel cell power industries. He was press secretary to the CT State Senate President, a spokesman for gubernatorial and presidential campaigns, a Presidential Inaugural Committee staffer and a former commercial radio broadcaster
Charlie Van Winkle, Northern Reliability
Charles "Charlie" Van Winkle is Chief Operations Officer of Northern Reliability, a distributed energy storage company that engineers, procures, and constructs stand-alone and grid interactive electric power systems. Charlie leads Northern Reliability’s strategic direction and spearheads product initiatives and partnerships. Charlie has experience managing organizations in a growth trajectory. He is focused on Northern Reliability’s unique market opportunity with renewable energy based storage systems that provide optimum power and performance for the world’s most demanding climates and remote locations. Prior to his tenure at Northern, Charlie worked in the utility scale solar industry for Draker and oversaw the installation of 155 Community Sale 100 kW wind turbines for Northern Power Systems. Charlie received his undergraduate degree in Environmental Planning from Johnson State College in VT and is currently studying for his master’s degree in Management & Finance at Harvard University. Charlie is presently on the board of directors for Renewable Energy Vermont, and serves in a leadership capacity with other community based service organizations.
Chandu Visweswariah, IBM
Chandu Visweswariah is the Director of the Smarter Energy Research Institute at the IBM Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY. He was named an IBM Fellow in 2013, the highest technical honor conferred by IBM. He leads Smarter Energy and Environmental Science worldwide for IBM Research. His team applies analytics and big data techniques to help energy utilities run their operations more efficiently -- from managing assets to integrating renewable sources of energy. Chandu joined IBM Research in 1989 after obtaining a PhD in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. He won numerous IBM Corporate Awards, Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards, Outstanding Innovation Awards, Best Paper Awards and “Innovator of the Year” award from EDN Magazine. Chandu is an IBM Fellow, Fellow of the IEEE, Member of the IBM Academy of Technology, and has over 100 publications and 96 granted patents to his name. He recently won the ACM/IEEE A. Richard Newton Technical Impact Award and was named a Distinguished Alumnus of IIT, Madras.
Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur, VEIC
As director of VEIC’s Transportation Efficiency group, Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur oversees a staff of consulting professionals and manages the department’s operations. For over 20 years she has successfully led teams to advance program and policy solutions on a range of issues at the national, state and local level. She has extensive experience on active transportation, land use, and mobility issues for older adults. Prior to joining VEIC, Ms. Wallace-Brodeur led AARP’s national livable communities program, setting organizational strategy, executing programming in states and communities, and developing resources to educate and support local officials to develop age-friendly programs and policies. She pioneered livable communities work as an AARP leader in Vermont, engaging a wide range of stakeholders to advance initiatives to integrate transportation and land use planning, improve mobility for older adults, and promote active transportation.
Richard Watts, University of Vermont
Richard Watts teaches media and policy studies at the University of Vermont and is the Director of the Center for Research on Vermont. As the Director of the Research on Vermont, Richard promotes Vermont-related research and connects researchers across the state. Richard’s own research focuses on the role of strategic communications in the development and implementation of public policy, particularly as it relates to energy, transportation and public health.
Congressman Peter Welch, US Congressman (VT)
Congressman Peter Welch has been a champion of working Vermonters throughout his distinguished career. Since his election to Congress in 2006, he has been widely recognized as a skillful legislator who chooses governing over gridlock. Peter was born in Springfield, Massachusetts and graduated from the College of the Holy Cross. As one of the country’s first Robert F. Kennedy Fellows, he fought housing discrimination in Chicago and went on to earn a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He settled in Vermont’s Upper Valley and worked as a public defender before founding a small law practice. Peter’s accomplishments in Congress reflect his strong commitment to bringing people together to find common ground on the challenges facing our nation. In an era of partisanship, he has worked across the aisle to create jobs, invest in energy efficiency, increase access to affordable education and health care, protect our national security and civil liberties, and care for our veterans. Peter is married to Margaret Cheney. They share a home in Norwich, Vermont.
Mayor Miro Weinberger, City of Burlington (VT)
Miro was born and raised in Vermont. He left the state for college, worked in Washington, DC for two US Senators, worked for non-profit housing developers Habitat for Humanity in Georgia, Florida and New York, and completed a master’s degree in Public Policy and Urban Planning from the Kennedy School of Government. In 2002 he returned home to Vermont and co-founded the Hartland Group in Burlington. In less than nine years, his company built over 200 affordable and market rate homes in Vermont and New Hampshire, consisting of over $40 million of development.
Rick Weston, Regulatory Assistance Program
Rick Weston directs RAP’s China Program. He advises central governmental and provincial decision-makers on power sector issues, among them governance and regulation, system operations, wholesale and retail pricing, end-use energy efficiency and long-term planning, renewables, air quality management, and low-carbon policies, including emissions trading schemes and multi-pollutant strategies. More recently Mr. Weston has been assisting RAP’s European Program primarily in Poland and Germany. Mr. Weston joined RAP in 1999 after eleven years as an economist and hearing officer with the Vermont Public Service Board, the state’s utility regulator. His work stretched over a wide variety of matters, including the design and implementation of integrated least-cost plans, power purchases, rate-setting and rate design, competition in local telecommunications service, and the creation of Efficiency Vermont, the nation’s first “energy efficiency utility.” In the mid-1990s, he was co-chair of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ (NARUC) staff subcommittee to the Committee on Energy Conservation (now Energy Resources and the Environment). He also served as co-chair of NARUC’s Staff Subcommittee on Electric Industry Restructuring. Before joining the Public Service Board, Mr. Weston was an energy and economic consultant for clients in the U.S. and Middle East, and was employed with the American International Group in Saudi Arabia from 1981 to 1984. Mr. Weston earned his master’s in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and his bachelor’s from Middlebury College. He received advanced intensive training in Arabic from the American University in Cairo.
Bethany Whitaker, VEIC
Bethany Whitaker works in VEIC’s Transportation Efficiency sector where she is leading a variety of projects and programs designed to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles. Bethany is managing an electric school bus implementation pilot project with four school districts in Massachusetts. She is also developing financing strategies to support public and nonprofit entities transition fleets to electric vehicles. Bethany has a B.A. in History and Asian Studies from Tufts University and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Washington.