Thursday's Keynote Speaker
Gordon van Welie, President and CEO of ISO New England, oversees New England’s 32,000 megawatt bulk power system, the multi-billion dollar wholesale electricity marketplace, and a robust system planning process designed to ensure the region’s long-term electricity needs. He has been the president and CEO since 2001.
New England’s resources are undergoing a dramatic transformation from oil, coal, and nuclear generation to natural gas, renewable energy, and distributed resources. Gordon has led a strategic initiative to keep system reliability intact and wholesale markets competitive while this shift occurs.
Before ISO New England, Gordon was Vice President and General Manager of Power System Control for Siemens. Earlier in his career, he worked in various roles with the South African utility, Eskom.
Gordon is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and industry groups including the Executive Committee of the U. S. National Committee of CIGRE, the Member Representatives Committee of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the ISO/RTO Council, and the IEEE Power & Engineering Society.
Gordon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.
Friday's Keynote Speaker
Katherine Hamilton is Chair of 38 North Solutions, a public policy consultancy specializing in clean energy and innovation. Her firm also manages a non-profit organization, Project for Clean Energy and Innovation. Previously, she ran the GridWise Alliance, was policy director to the Energy Storage Association, and served as an advisor for Good Energies, a private equity company with a clean energy portfolio.
Katherine also directed American Bioenergy Association, developing renewable portfolio standards in states legislatures, including Maryland and New Jersey. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Katherine worked in buildings research and government relations. Additionally, Katherine spent a decade at an investor-owned utility, designing electrical systems for commercial and residential developments.
Katherine holds degrees from Cornell University and the Sorbonne. She was appointed an Ambassador to the Secretary of Energy’s C3E Program under the Clean Energy Ministerial; is a co-host of The Energy Gang podcast through Greentech Media; serves as President of the Board of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic, and is Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Future of Energy.
Government Officials Speaking
Governor Phil Scott
Governor Phil Scott became the 82nd Governor of Vermont on January 5, 2017. He previously served three terms as Vermont’s Lieutenant Governor, and as a Senator for Washington County. As Governor, he has committed to making a difference in the lives of Vermonters by growing the state’s economy, making Vermont more affordable, protecting the most vulnerable, and restoring faith and trust in government.
Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman
Dave Zuckerman is the founder of Full Moon Farm, a NOFA-certified, successful, organic farm. He co-owns it with his wife Rachel Nevitt, in Hinesburg, VT.
Zuckerman served for fourteen years (1996-2010) in the Vermont House of Representatives as a Progressive, representing the City of Burlington's District 3-4. He served on the Natural Resources and Energy Committee (6 years), Agriculture Committee (6 years, 4 as Chair) and Ways and Means Committee (2 years). He took a leadership role on a number of issues including renewable energy, affordable housing, livable wages, instant run-off voting (and other election reform measures), GMO legislation, universal healthcare, progressive taxation, marriage equality, marijuana policy reform, and end of life choices.
Attorney General TJ Donovan
Thomas J. “TJ” Donovan, Jr. is Vermont's State Attorney General, elected in 2016 with over 66 percent of the vote. He previously served for ten years as State's Attorney of Chittenden County, the most populous county in Vermont.
Donovan is known for starting the Rapid Intervention Community Court (RICC) in Chittenden County. This is an award winning criminal justice program made available to non-violent offenders whose crimes have been driven by addiction or mental illness. Prior to being elected, Donovan was an associate in the Burlington law firm of Jarvis & Kaplan where he specialized in civil litigation and criminal defense work. Donovan started his career as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia, PA before returning to Vermont to work as a Deputy State’s Attorney in the office he now leads. He is married to Jessica McCloud. They have two sons.
Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe
Tim Ashe of Burlington, Chittenden County, was born in Framingham, MA. He holds degrees from the University of Vermont (1999) and Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government (2004). Tim served on the staff of Congressman Bernie Sanders from 1999-2001. For eight years, Tim developed affordable housing with Cathedral Square. He and his team created or renovated 396 affordable senior apartments with total budgets exceeding $30 million. For the last two years he's taught college level courses. He served two terms on the Burlington City Council, chairing the City's Community Development and Neighborhood Revitalization Committee. Tim serves on the Board of Directors of Housing Foundation, Inc, and previously served on the Board of Spectrum Youth and Family Services.
Tim has been a member of the Senate since 2009 and has chaired the Senate Finance Committee and served on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Joint Fiscal Committee, the Joint Corrections Oversight Committee, and the Emergency Board.
Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Pacheco
President Pro Tempore Marc Pacheco was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1988 and to the Massachusetts Senate in 1992 by the citizens of the 1st Plymouth and Bristol District.
Senator Pacheco is founding Chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change and serves on the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, the Joint Committee on Export Development and the Senate Committee on Personnel and Administration. He is former Chair of the Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight, the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, the Joint Committee on Commerce and Labor, the Joint Committee on Federal Financial Assistance, the Joint Committee on Health Care and the Joint Committee on State Administration, as well as numerous other committees and leadership roles throughout his service in the State Legislature.
Senator Christopher Bray
Senator 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 is a graduate of the University of Vermont (BA, Zoology, 1977; MA, English, 1991), and later taught there for four years in the English Department. In 1990, Chris founded and still operates Common Ground Communications, which provides writing, editing and production services to technical clients and the book publishing industry. He has also held positions as a project manager and developer at National Life, IBM, Intel, and Apple. In 2006, Chris graduated from the Governor Richard Snelling Center for Government's Vermont Leadership Institute, and in 2009, 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 addition, Chris and his family operate an 82-acre farm in New Haven.
Senator Ann Cummings
Senator Cummings has been active in the civic life of Washington County for over twenty years. She currently serves as Chairwoman of the Finance Committee.
Prior to serving as a Senator, she served as Mayor of Montpelier, and also spent time serving on the boards of the Central Vermont Community Action Council and Parents Anonymous (now Prevent Child Abuse Vermont). Currently, she is on the Board of Directors of Vermont Student Assistance Corp. (VSAC). She resides in Montpelier, Vermont.
Representative Sarah Copeland-Hanzas
Sarah Copeland-Hanzas grew up in Corinth and graduated from Oxbow High School and University of Vermont with degrees in History and Geology. She completed her teacher training at Upper Valley Educator Institute and has taught science and coached youth and high school sports at various times throughout her work life. After staying home with her three children, Copeland-Hanzas ran for the legislature in 2004. She has served 12 years representing Bradford, Fairlee and West Fairlee. She served on the Health Care Committee for a decade, and has been the Majority Leader for the past two years. In 2010 Copeland-Hanzas co-founded The Local Buzz Cafe on Main Street in Bradford, a local meeting spot offering real food and real coffee made by people you know. She attends Grace United Methodist Church and is active in many community organizations.
Ms. Marie-Claude Francoeur was appointed the Québec Delegate to New England in May 2014. This is her second term in Boston. Ms. Francoeur formerly served as the Assistant Deputy Minister for Policies, Multilateral and Francophone Affairs at the Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie du Québec and as Acting Chief of Protocol for the Government of Québec.
Ms. Francoeur was also Chief of Staff for the Québec Ministers of Transportation and Labour. Throughout her career, Ms. Francoeur has worked to shape and promote Québec’s policies on climate change, labor, transportation, energy and francophonie, both at home and internationally.
Ms. Francoeur holds masters’ degrees in both public administration and international relations from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in applied sciences from Laval University in Québec and a certificate in advanced management from the McGill Executive Institute. Ms. Francoeur has also completed the Senior Managers in Government program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Lorraine H. Akiba
Lorraine H. Akiba is President/CEO of LHA Ventures. She is a recognized thought leader with technical expertise and knowledge in the development of Hawaii’s renewable and clean energy policy and regulatory framework. She served from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2018, as a commissioner on the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, which presides over all regulated public utility matters including electric, gas, private water and wastewater, telecommunications, water transportation, and motor carrier transportation utilities. Prior to this appointment, she worked in private practice as a law partner at McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP and Cades Schutte LLP. She headed the Environmental Practice Groups at both law firms with an emphasis in environmental and natural resources law in addition to her commercial and business litigation practice. She currently co-chairs the Low Income Community Solar Working Group of the Low Income Issues Forum. She is a member of the Resiliency Strategy Steering Committee for the City and County of Honolulu.
Ms. Akiba previously served as member of the Advisory Council to the Board of Directors of the Electric Power Research Institute; the Board of Directors of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and its Energy Resources and Environment Committee; the U.S. DOE and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Future Electric Utility Regulation Advisory Group and the State and Local Efficiency Action Network (SEE Network) Financial Solutions Working Group.
Commissioner Abigail Anthony
Abigail Anthony was appointed by the Governor to the Public Utilities Commission in June 2017. Abigail previously was the director of Acadia Center’s Grid Modernization and Utility Reform Initiative, and the organization’s Rhode Island director. Abigail was appointed by Governors Carcieri and Chafee to the Rhode Island energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council, which oversees the implementation of the state’s energy efficiency programs and policies. Abigail earned a PhD in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics from the University of Rhode Island. She received her MA and BA in economics from the University of Montana. Abigail is a lifelong resident of Jamestown, where she lives with her husband and two young boys.
Commissioner Margaret Cheney
Margaret Cheney was appointed to the Public Utility Commission by Governor Peter Shumlin in 2013. At the time of her appointment, she was serving her fourth term in the Vermont Legislature, where she was vice chair of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee and concentrated on state energy policy. She received her B.A. with honors from Harvard University. She began her career as a newspaper reporter and editor in California for three years before serving as managing editor of The Washingtonian magazine in Washington, DC, for eleven years. In Vermont, she joined the faculty of Sharon Academy, where she taught Spanish and courses in energy and the environment. As a freelance writer in Vermont, she has published work in The Washingtonian, the Washington Post, the Foreign Service Journal, and Arcadia Press, and her writing awards include the Harvard Bowdoin Prize and the Dateline award for feature writing.
Before her election to the Vermont Legislature in 2006, she served nine years on the Norwich School Board and as chair of the interstate Dresden School Board. She currently serves on the Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. She is also a trustee of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and a member of the board of advisors for the Vermont Institute of Natural Science. The daughter of a Foreign Service officer, she grew up and was educated in Malaysia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, and India before attending college in the US. She has spoken on energy policy both in the US and in Germany as a guest of the Heinrich Boll Foundation.
Travis Allan is Vice-President of Public Affairs and General Counsel at FLO, one of the largest manufacturers of EV charging equipment and network operators in North America. He helps governments and stakeholders develop policies that support the uptake of EVs and EV charging networks, with particular emphasis on fuels policies, multi-unit dwellings, energy regulatory, and credit trading policies. Travis also leads FLO’s legal operations. Travis has been recognized by Who’s Who Legal as one of the leading energy lawyers in Canada for his work and experience in EV policy and law. In his spare time, Travis is a Contributing Editor at the International Energy Law Review (Published by Sweet & Maxwell) and has served as adjunct faculty at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. He is a frequent speaker and member of government advisory committees targeted at EV policy across North America.
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.
Josh Bagnato is Vice President, Project Development for Transmission Developers Inc. ("TDI"). Josh manages development activities for TDI with a specific focus on the New England Clean Power Link a 1,000 MW HVdc buried transmission project proposed in Vermont. Since December, 2013, Josh has overseen all aspects of the development of this project. Prior to joining TDI, Josh worked for First Wind managing a wide array of tasks during the development, construction and operational phases of utility-scale wind and solar projects throughout the United States with a focus in New England. Josh also held several positions within Massachusetts Government, including serving as the Director of Renewable Energy Policy. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Hamilton College and a Masters in Business Administration from Boston University.
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 master's 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.
Jo became Chief Executive Officer of VEDA in February, 1997. Her previous professional experience includes the positions of Deputy Secretary at the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Commercial Loan Officer at VEDA, and Vice President at Solomon Brothers, Inc. in Boston. Jo graduated with Honors from Johnson State College, earning a B.A., and from the Boston University School of Management with an M.B.A. in Finance. She also completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Jo served as the State Government representative on the 2007 National Advisory Committee of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), and she serves on numerous state and local boards.
Catherine Bryars is a land use planner with the Bennington County Regional Commission, where she works on municipal planning and implementation projects. She helped to complete Bennington County’s Regional Energy Plan, which in June of this year became the first Act 174-compliant energy plan in the state. Catherine is actively developing municipal energy plans with towns in Bennington County. She holds degrees from Amherst College (BA) and UMass Amherst (MRP). Prior to moving to Vermont, she lived in Mexico as a Fulbright Scholar.
Julie Campoli is an urban designer and author who writes about urban form and the changing landscape. She is the author of Made for Walking: Density and Neighborhood Form, and co-author of Visualizing Density, and Above and Beyond: Visualizing Change in Small Towns and Rural Areas.
Jon Copans joined the Vermont Council on Rural Development in 2017. He worked previously for the State of Vermont as Deputy Commissioner of the Public Service Department and at the Department of Environmental Conservation, and for eight years served in Congressman Peter Welch’s Vermont office. Jon grew up in Brattleboro, graduated from Macalester College, and currently lives in Montpelier with his wife and three children.
Dan Crisp is an attorney at Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC (DRM) in Burlington, Vermont. Dan’s practice spans both DRM’s Energy and Telecommunications Law Practice Group, where he assists clients in commercial projects and transactions before the Public Utility Commission, and its Business Law Practice Group, where he advises clients on a variety of transactional matters, including private equity and venture capital transactions. As part of his business law practice, Dan is a member of DRM’s blockchain technology team where he has worked on financing transactions involving blockchain technology and has contributed to DRM’s legislative initiative to promote the use of blockchain technology in Vermont. Before moving to Vermont and joining DRM, Dan worked in the legal department of a large insurance company and at a boutique law firm. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law.
As Vice President of New Market Development, Ben Downing focuses on Nexamp’s expansion into new markets, leading the company’s strategic development efforts. Notably, he leads the firm’s entry into the energy storage market – identifying development opportunities, building partnerships and more. Prior to joining Nexamp, Ben represented the state's largest Senate district while serving as State Senator for 52 communities in Western Massachusetts including his hometown of Pittsfield. During his tenure, he was the leading voice in the legislature on clean energy and climate issues, along with being an advocate for tackling poverty, revitalizing Gateway Cities and expanding civil rights.
Ben graduated in 2003 from Providence College with a B.A. in Political Science. In 2008, he received an M.A. from Tufts University, where he is currently an adjunct faculty member. Ben is married to Micaelah B. Morrill and together they are the proud parents of Malcolm, who may never stop growing.
Mr. Dunn currently serves as 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.
Jared Duval is the Executive Director of the Energy Action Network (EAN), a diverse group of leading non-profits, businesses, public agencies, and other high-level stakeholders seeking to transition Vermont to a sustainable energy future and meet 90% of our energy needs through efficiency and renewables by 2050. Prior to joining EAN, Jared served as Economic Development Director at the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, where he was responsible for providing support to working lands and green economy businesses and helped guide millions of dollars of state and federal investments in rural economic development via the Northern Border Regional Commission, the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative, and the Clean Energy Development Fund. Part of the ninth generation of his family to call Vermont home, Jared grew up in the Upper Connecticut River Valley and now lives in Montpelier. Before moving back to Vermont in 2014, Jared was an author and Fellow with Demos, the New York based think tank. His first book, Next Generation Democracy: What the Open Source Revolution Means for Power, Politics, and Change, was published by Bloomsbury in 2010. 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 – Economics and Political Science, 2005).
Richard Faesy is a principal and co-founder of Energy Futures Group in Hinesburg, Vermont. As a former Certified Energy Rater, LEED Accredited Professional, and DOE Home Energy Score Assessor, he specializes in residential buildings, technologies and markets, with expertise in residential new construction and retrofits, energy rating and labeling, building codes, financing, green building, the integration of renewables and energy efficiency, and effective energy efficiency policy, program design, and implementation. He currently works with clients throughout the U.S. and Canada.
"Bob Farnham is the digital age's equivalent of a charismatic itinerant preacher blended with Johnny Appleseed. Bob effectively uses his considerable skill for leveraging the power of digital media to ‘spread the word’ and his timeless dedication to ‘showing up’ at any event or gathering where there might be the opportunity to gently bend someone's ear about the value of clean renewable energy. Through his own effort, he has become knowledgeable in all the latest green technologies and he can talk about them in plain compelling language that wins over even the most skeptical. Bob is fearless in talking to anyone and absolutely committed to doing everything he can to promote the widespread adoption of conservation, energy efficiency, sustainability and ending our reliance on fossil fuels." ~ Andrea Stander
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. 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.
Ray has more than 20 years of experience in the energy industry. In addition to his current duties as Chief Operations Officer at Great Bay Renewables, Ray acts as Chief Operations Officer at BayCorp Holdings Ltd., a diversified merchant energy company that has for over a decade developed, owned, and operated renewable assets. He previously worked for Waste Management, where he completed the development and financing for a renewable energy-from-waste facility in the U.K. He has also held roles in finance and M&A at Duke Energy and started his career as an engineer working offshore in the oil and gas industry. Ray has a Masters and Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Yale University and an M.B.A from Dartmouth College.
Laurie directs VSECU’s 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.
Jeff Forward is Principal of Forward Thinking Consultants, LLC. Over 25 years Mr. Forward 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.
Mr. Forward’s volunteer service includes serving as a school board director for the Mount Mansfield Union School District from 2000-2011. As such, he understands the pressures schools are under to minimize annual budgets. He has been Richmond’s Town Energy Coordinator since 1992 and is also the chair of Richmond’s Town Energy Committee. He is active and well known in the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network. Mr. Forward is presently Chair of the Board of Directors for Renewable Energy Vermont, Vermont’s renewable energy trade association. He is a LEED® Accredited Professional.
Alison Friedkin is the Director of Real Estate Development at Downstreet Housing & Community Development. Ms. Friedkin has been with Downstreet since 2006. As the Director, Ms. Friedkin oversees construction and renovation of multifamily housing projects ranging from $100K to $5M. Downstreet currently has over 500 units of rental housing. Under Ms. Friedkin’s direction Downstreet has completed two LEED projects and two NGBS projects. Downstreet’s Office & Apartments, completed in 2016, was recently awarded the 2018 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence. Downstreet has wood pellet heating systems in four of our properties; heating ninety units in total. The use of wood pellet heating systems is part of Downstreet’s mission and values.
Mark 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.
Anne Galloway is the founder and editor of VTDigger and the executive director of the nonprofit Vermont Journalism Trust. She has worked as a reporter and editor for over 20 years. She holds a BA from the University of Kentucky and moved to Vermont in 1988. For many years, Galloway was a contributing writer for Seven Days Newspaper and a visual arts reviewer for the Times Argus. She was the editor of the Sunday Rutland Herald and Barre Times Argus from 2004 to 2009. Her reporting has appeared in The New York Times (the Vows column), the New York Daily News, Vermont Life and City Pages (Minneapolis). In March 2017, she was a finalist for the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism for her investigation into allegations of fraud at Jay Peak Resort. Galloway was also a finalist for the Investigative Reporters & Editors FOI Award in April 2017.
Carrie is a Senior Consultant at Daymark Energy Advisors and she provides decision support analysis to clients on issues related to renewable energy development and economics, asset valuation, and resource planning. She's an expert in state and regional renewable resource development, economics, and policy and has appeared as an expert witness before regulatory agencies in Georgia, North Carolina, and Rhode Island.
Before joining Daymark, she worked as a strategy consultant for U.S. and European wind turbine manufacturers. As an environmental engineer at Camp Dresser & McKee, she conducted planning and design work for municipal water and wastewater systems.
Carrie holds an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan, a B.E. from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.
In his role as president of London Economics International LLC, A.J. Goulding manages a growing international consulting firm focused on finance, economic, and strategic consulting to the energy and infrastructure industries. In addition to serving as a sector expert in electricity and gas markets, his responsibilities include project management, marketing, budget and financial control, and recruiting. A.J. also serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University, where he teaches a course on electricity market design and regulatory economics.
With over twenty years of experience in evolving electricity and natural gas markets, A.J.’s diverse background enables him to work effectively in both emerging markets and OECD countries. In North America, A.J. has been articulate in describing market relationships between wholesale power marketers, merchant plants, aggregators, and the existing investor owned utilities. In emerging markets, A.J. has considerable experience dealing with the challenges of mixed private and public ownership, difficulties in creating credit-worthy distribution and retail entities, and the realities of line losses, unreliable fuel deliveries, and politicized labor relations.
A.J. began his career performing natural gas market analysis for the ICF Resources subsidiary of ICF Kaiser International. Later, he lived for two years in New Delhi, India, where he advised the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on electric power sector restructuring in India. He continued his work on India while pursuing his MA at Columbia University, leading to the publication of an article on Indian privatization. Simultaneously, he researched the process of power sector reform in Pakistan, contrasting it with the Indian experience. Upon completion of his MA, A.J. served as business development associate for Citizens Power LLC, a top ten US wholesale power marketer. He then moved to London Economics, where he has held roles of progressively increasing responsibility.
Jennifer Green is Burlington, VT’s Sustainability Officer with duties that include oversight of the Climate Action Plan and work on Burlington’s transition to net-zero energy in the thermal and transportation sectors. Jennifer is based at the Burlington Electric Department, the city’s municipal electric provider and responsible for making Burlington the first city in the country to source 100% of its electricity from renewables.
Jennifer's work experience includes time with the Peace Corps, CARE International, and the World Resources Institute. In addition to working for the City, Jennifer teaches sustainable development courses at the University of Vermont. She has a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University and earned her Ph.D. in environmental sociology from American University. Jennifer is on the Steering Committee of Burlington’s 2030 District, and a board member of the Vermont Energy Co-op.
Dave Gurtman 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.
Emma brings a diverse background in sales, communications, and environmental policy to the world of wood energy. After completing her masters in Agriculture, Food & Environmental Policy at Tufts University, she migrated north to work at the Agency of Agriculture, where she staffed the forestry committee of the Working Lands Enterprise Board for two years. Last summer she accepted the newly created position of Wood Energy Coordinator at the Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation and is enjoying the work of supporting Vermont's working landscape while moving the state towards its renewable energy goals.
Kimberly K. Hayden
Kim Hayden is a Director of Paul Frank + Collins Attorneys and leads the Energy + Environment practice group. Kim has more than 25 years of experience in all facets of energy policy, siting, and energy transactions. She acts both as in-house counsel and outside lead counsel for independent power, utilities, and emerging energy companies.
Serving as lead counsel, Kim has 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 current long-term Canadian hydro power purchase agreement.
Recently, Kim gained Public Service Board approval for the acquisition of a renewable energy company owning hydro facilities on the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts having a nameplate capacity of 530 MW, and approval for the siting of Vermont’s largest (to date) rooftop solar facility, a 1.3075 MW rooftop solar installation to be located in Manchester, Vermont.
David Hill is the Director of Distributed Energy Resources and Policy Fellow at Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC). He is also a founding REV Board member with three decades of experience with RE/EE market transformation. David is also the founder of Sun Shares, a community solar subsidiary of VEIC.
Heather Hunt joined NESCOE as Executive Director in 2009. Previously, Heather had a regulatory law practice for six years, was Director, State Government Affairs at United Technologies Corporation and a Group Director, then Vice President, Regulatory at Southern Connecticut Gas. Earlier, she was a Public Utility Commissioner in Maine and Connecticut and was on the legal staff of a Connecticut Governor. Heather has a Bachelor of Arts in Politics from Fairfield University and a Juris Doctor from Western New England University School of Law. Heather is founder and president of Live On Organ Donation, Inc.
Matthew Ireland is an Assistant Attorney General in the Environmental Protection Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, where he has worked for 18 years. He regularly handles environmental enforcement litigation and works on clean energy and climate impact matters. Mr. Ireland has defended Massachusetts environmental agency regulations and decisions in state and federal court and has developed expertise in endangered species and conservation law. He is involved with Attorney General Maura Healey’s work with other states in federal court litigation and regulatory actions on multiple issues including federal vehicle emissions standards, natural gas pipeline policy, offshore oil and gas development, and proposed revisions to regulations under the federal Endangered Species Act. He is a 1989 graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and received his undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Among other hobbies and interests, he is an avid photographer.
Kerrick Johnson is Utopus Insights’ founding Chief Ecosystem Officer. Prior to joining the Utopus team, Kerrick served as Vice President—Strategy and Communication at Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO). Kerrick joined VELCO in 2006 as the company undertook a $1 billion expansion—the largest in its history. He conceived and led VELCO‘s work to secure the nation’s only successful statewide smart grid project through a $68 million DOE investment grant, and spearheaded implementation of a $75 million statewide fiber optic network. Kerrick’s responsibilities expanded to include IT/Telecommunications, leading the company’s operationalization of the fiber network, creation of a statewide radio system, and other bold strategic initiatives. His conceived and led a research engagement with IBM that produced the Vermont Weather Analytics Center, an energy data and analytics platform that lowers weather-related operational costs, increases grid reliability and unlocks the value of renewable generation. This initiative grew into VELCO’s partnership with the newly launched Utopus Insights.
Prior to his 17 years in Vermont transmission and distribution utility work, Kerrick worked for the Vermont Attorney General’s Office as an Investigator for the Consumer Protecting Division and Legislative Liaison. He attended Vermont’s Johnson State College and served four years in the US Air Force as an airborne Russian linguist after having graduated from the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.
Scott Kessler is a Director at LO3 Energy in Brooklyn NY. He is responsible for educating utilities and retailers on how transactive energy and distributed energy marketplaces are creating new opportunities and business models. He previously lived in San Francisco and worked for TRC Energy Services as a consultant, primarily focused on working with west coast utilities to implement energy efficiency programs, integrate renewables, and assess their impact across the grid. Prior to his time in the Bay Area, Scott lived in NYC working at NYSERDA and Connecticut Light and Power. He received his Bachelor's degree in physics from Middlebury College in Vermont and has a Master's in Engineering from the University of Maryland.
Lawrence “Rip” Kirby
Lawrence “Rip” Kirby is an electrical engineer with 34 years of experience in the energy industry. His background includes transmission planning for several utilities as well as consulting. He currently serves as the Electrical Engineer for the Vermont Public Service Department.
Since the mid-1990’s now retired Rep. Tony Klein has been part of the Vermont leadership that has helped make Vermont a world leader in the development and deployment of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency programs. First as a business-government representative (lobbyist) for Washington Electric Coop, Vermont Electric Coop, Renewable Energy Vermont, Independent Power Producers, Efficiency Vermont and others and then serving in the Vermont House of Representatives 2002-2016. He spent twelve of those years on the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee. He served as Chair of the Committee for eight years retiring after the 2016 legislative session.
Mr. Lachman co-founded EEI in 1988. With 40 years of experience in efficiency program design, evaluation, management, he has set-up and managed low-income, state and utility energy programs, and designed residential, commercial and industrial utility DSM programs. He has been a co-author of papers, articles and presentations on energy efficiency and its impacts on utilities, participants and non-participants and provided expert witness testimony. He also developed the Pay As You Save® (PAYS®) system with Paul A. Cillo in 1998.
Mr. Lachman has a 1972 Columbia College BS in Psychology and a 1974 Masters Degree in Teaching. Before EEI, he was the executive officer of Vermont’s Residential Conservation Corporation; associate director of the University of Massachusetts’ Energy Extension Service; and the Energy Director of the Bennington-Rutland Opportunity Council. In 2010, he managed Vermont’s low-income weatherization programs. Mr. Lachman taught English and basketball and helped manage a real estate firm in New York City.
Steve Letendre, PhD is a Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at Green Mountain College and an instructor for Vermont Law School. He currently serves as the director for the Renewable Energy & Ecological Design (REED) program at Green Mountain College. His research involves the economic analysis of emerging environmental technologies and the development of policies and regulations to promote a sustainable energy future. Dr. Letendre has published over 50 technical articles and reports on a variety of energy issues. His research has been referenced in mainstream media, including the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor. He has performed collaborative research with organizations from across the country, including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, California Air Resources, the Solar Electric Power Association, and the University of Vermont’s Transportation Research Center. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was invited to participate in a review of the US Department of Energy’s plug-in vehicle program and to present to the Vermont State Legislature on electric vehicles as part of a special series on global climate change. He currently serves as the Board Treasurer for Renewable Energy Vermont Education Fund, a 501 c3, and served for seven years on the board of the partner organization Renewable Energy Vermont. For many years, he served on the board of SolarFest, a small local non-profit that hosts a renewable energy festival weekend event each July. The event was chosen twice by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce as a top 10 summer event.
Sandra Levine is a senior attorney in Montpelier, Vermont with the Conservation Law Foundation, a New England nonprofit environmental advocacy organization. Her work focuses on climate change, clean energy, land use, transportation and natural resource protection.
Her advocacy has included litigation to halt construction of an outdated, expensive and polluting highway project, litigation to close Vermont Yankee, an old nuclear power facility in Southern Vermont, and advancing renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts allowing Vermont to avoid more costly and polluting power plants. Prior to joining CLF, she practiced law privately, taught at Vermont Law School, worked for the Vermont Prisoner’s Rights Office and for the Vermont Department of Public Service and served as a law clerk at the Vermont Supreme Court. She earned her BA at the University of Vermont and JD at Suffolk University Law School. For more information visit Conservation Law Foundation’s website, www.clf.org.
Alex “Sash” Lewis
Sash Lewis is an attorney at Dunkiel Saunders whose practice focuses on energy permitting and litigation for a wide range of clients, including utilities, and large and small developers. He also counsels affordable housing agencies in landlord-tenant and fair housing matters.
Tom is a technical advisor and regulatory strategist in the resource planning group at Burlington Electric Department (BED), a municipal utility in Vermont. His primary responsibilities 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.
Alexandra (Alex) joined Leonine Public Affairs as President of Public Relations in 2014. At Leonine Alex has designed and implemented several successful public relations efforts and campaigns. Throughout her career she has helped businesses, non-profits and political campaigns create and execute their strategic visions.
Alex brings her deep experience in public affairs as a governor’s deputy chief of staff, campaign manager and campaign strategist to her work. She develops and executes earned media, paid media and communications plans that include letters to the editor, opinion editorials and press releases. Alex also develops and executes community engagement strategies for energy, housing and education clients.
Prior to working at Leonine, Alex worked for Governor Shumlin as his Chief of Staff in his capacity as Senate Pro Tem and then Deputy Chief of Staff and Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs once he was elected Governor. She served as the Governor’s Campaign Manager for both his 2010 and 2012 campaigns.
Alex lives in Peacham, Vermont with her husband, their two children and a flock of chickens.
Marion Major is the energy planner with the Windham Regional Commission. Her work covers managing the Windham Wood Heat Initiative and the Windham County Renewable Energy Program, as well as regional and municipal energy planning, town plan development technical assistance, works with the Brownfields program, and local project management. Marion is a Windham County native, studied Environmental Studies at UVM, spent years farming and making aged cheese, worked with solar installation, and with the Vermont Land Trust inventorying invasive species. She lives in Westminster West with her husband and baby girl.
Jake Marin is the HVAC and Refrigeration Program Manager at VEIC/Efficiency Vermont. Jake is a strong advocate of both heat pumps and wood heating. He developed Efficiency Vermont's first heat pump program and continues to promote heat pump technology through whole building heat pump solutions. Jake has also worked to shift the regulatory landscape to one that enabled EVT to begin supporting wood heating in earnest. He is very interested in how these two technologies compare and the role they can and should play in Vermont's thermal future.
Michelle McCutcheon-Schour is a career alternative fuels specialist, currently coordinating outreach for state and regional programs. She is one of the lead technical consultants to the Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA), which is engaged in a project to fully electrify their fleet, supported by several locally-managed microgrids. The VTA hopes this will create the nation’s first fully integrated, clean, resilient, and flexible public transportation system.
Michelle is also providing technical support to transit agencies in Vermont evaluating electric transit vehicle technology for their fleets. In February 2017, she managed the Vermont electric transit bus pilot project. Prior to coming to VEIC, Michelle was Coordinator of the Vermont Clean Cities Coalition (VTCCC), headquartered at the University of Vermont’s Transportation Research Center. Clean Cities Coalitions are supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and are designed to reduce petroleum use in the transportation sector.
Duncan McDougall founded Waterbury LEAP (Local Energy Action Partnership) in 2007. LEAP is an award-winning, all-volunteer town energy committee and nonprofit that is very active in supporting renewable energy, energy efficiency, and emissions reductions in Waterbury and central Vermont. Among many outreach and community education events, LEAP also holds Vermont’s largest Energy Fair every April (Next LEAP Energy Fair - Saturday, April 6, 2019). Duncan has an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College, and worked as a management consultant for seven years in Boston. He is also the founder and Executive Director of the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF). Duncan is the past Chair of the Waterbury Conservation Commission, and is active in local and statewide political and environmental campaigns. He lives in Waterbury Center, VT with his wife and son.
Sarah McKearnan is a Senior Policy Advisor at NESCAUM, where she works with and supports a nine-state task force to accelerate adoption of zero emission vehicles. She coordinated development of the Task Force’s new Multi-State ZEV Action Plan for 2018 to 2021, released this June. Prior to joining NESCAUM, Sarah was Special Assistant to Vermont’s Secretary of Natural Resources, where she led a diverse set of climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives and staffed the state’s Climate Cabinet. She also assisted the Vermont-based Institute of Sustainable Communities to design and deliver peer learning workshops for U.S. cities looking to advance low carbon transportation, green economic development/green job creation, energy efficiency retrofitting, and other climate solutions. She is co-editor of the Consensus Building Handbook (Sage Publications).
Ed McNamara is Director of Energy Policy and Planning for the Vermont Department of Public Service. In this role, he is responsible for developing and implementing statewide energy policy, including energy efficiency and demand resource management programs, renewable energy policy, and electric utility planning. In addition, Ed is the lead staff for developing Vermont’s positions on federal energy issues, including wholesale electricity market rules and transmission planning processes. Prior to working at the Department of Public Service, Ed worked as a Hearing Officer and Staff Attorney for the Public Service Board.
Mackay Miller is a Director of US Strategy at National Grid, where he leads analysis on low-carbon energy transitions and utility business models. Prior to National Grid, he worked for 6 years at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, including a 2015 assignment to the U.S. Department of Energy supporting the lead-up to the Paris Accords. Mr. Miller holds an MBA from the University of Colorado, and a BA in International Relations from Brown University.
Jeff Monder 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 footprint, 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.
Marc D. Montalvo
Marc is the President of Daymark Energy Advisors and he works closely with policymakers and energy industry executives to develop and execute strategic business and policy initiatives, and build successful organizations. His principal practice areas are competitive power market design, wholesale market regulations and policy, and capital budgeting and investment analysis. He has advised investors, developers, utilities, and government agencies and has appeared as an expert before federal and state regulatory agencies on issues including market design and market power mitigation, FERC open-access policy, financial assurance, and resource planning. He holds a part-time faculty position at Clark University’s Graduate School of Management, where he teaches courses in finance and business analytics.
Before joining Daymark he spent 10 years at ISO New England, where he served as director of enterprise risk management, director of market monitoring, and director of market development. Prior to joining ISO New England, he worked almost eight years for Daymark Energy Advisors as a managing consultant and manager of wholesale market analytics. He began his career at New England Power.
He holds an M.S. in Finance from Clark University and a B.S. in Mathematics from Allegheny College.
Adam Necrason heads the government and public affairs firm Necrason Group,plc. The firm works at the intersection of government, community, business, media and technology. Adam is a constant, professional presence in the state capital. He specializes in big picture strategic planning, message framing, media action, and connecting the firm’s clients to the action. His clients include Fortune 100 companies, Vermont businesses, progressive interest groups, trade associations, public service providers, and clean energy interests.
Taylor Newton is a land use and energy planner at Northwest Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) in St. Albans, Vermont. At NRPC, Taylor led the effort to develop the Northwest Regional Energy Plan in 2016-2017. He has also assisted several municipalities in Franklin and Grand Isle County develop enhanced energy plans. Prior to working at NRPC, Taylor served as the Town Planner, Zoning Administrator, and Health Officer in Milton, Vermont. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from St. Michael’s College and a Masters of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa
Emily Nosse-Leirer is a senior planner at the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) where she has worked since 2015. Emily holds both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in urban geography from the Ohio State University. Before moving to Vermont, Emily worked in planning in Cleveland, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. At CCRPC, Emily focuses on municipal planning, energy, and permitting. Over the past two years, as CCRPC’s focus on energy planning has increased, Emily has worked on developing Chittenden County’s regional energy plan, writing municipal energy plans, and rethinking CCRPC’s guidelines for participating in PUC proceedings.
Steve O’Neil is the Northeast Regional Sales Director for Proterra, a leading company in the design and manufacture of zero-emission, heavy-duty electric vehicle technology for communities across North America.
With a career dedicated to public transit, O’Neil held the position of Administrator at the Worcester Regional Transit Authority in Massachusetts from 2007-2015. As WRTA Administrator, O’Neil advanced sustainable transit with the implementation of electric buses, oversaw construction of the new Union Station hub, and eliminated the agency’s debt. Prior to being Administrator, O’Neil was chairman of the WRTA advisory board, a senior project planner in the Department of Public Works and Parks, and served the city of Worcester for 29 years.
Kate Paine makes executives and entrepreneurs stand out online so they become a recognized authority in their marketplace or industry, and a respected asset to their company and clients. She uses her journalism, PR and marketing experience to tease out her clients’ compelling story to position them as an industry visionary or influencer both online and off. Identifying an individual's “slice-of-life” story makes her expertise uncommon in the world of online personal promotion and social selling. She’s an expert on using LinkedIn as a powerful personal branding tool, speaks at national marketing conferences, and teaches LinkedIn for corporate sales training.
Chip Palombini currently leads the Energy Storage Group at Dynapower Company of South Burlington, Vermont. Dynapower is the world’s leading provider of energy storage inverters. Prior to leading the sales team Chip was a research and development engineer and project manager responsible for the development of the first commercially available high power multi-port solar and storage inverter system. During his work as a development engineer Chip was responsible for power conversion systems for battery energy storage applications, primarily for the integration of large scale distributed renewable generation. These developments have been integral to Dynapower capturing >50% of the domestic energy storage market.
Chip has authored patent applications on unique control, construction and heating power systems. Chip started his career as an electronics engineer at iTherm Technologies LP, an Intellectual Property intensive start-up company where he worked his way into a partnership position shortly before Dynapower acquired iTherm Technologies in 2010. Chip holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont.
John Quinney was the Energy Co-op of Vermont’s General Manager for 16 years, leading the Co-op’s diversification from a conventional fuel dealer to an energy services business that supplied heating oil, kerosene and wood pellets, installed high efficiency heating systems, including heat pumps, and conducted energy audits and home performance retrofits. He left this position at the end of last year for a three month sabbatical in New Zealand. Earlier in his career, John was a co-founder of Native Energy, worked at Green Mountain Energy, taught environmental entrepreneurship at UVM, owned an environmental store and was Executive Director of the New Alchemy Institute. John is a proud New Zealander, passionate All Blacks fan and enthusiastic squash player and organic gardener. He is a member of the Charlotte Energy Committee and is currently working on several energy and agriculture projects in northwestern Vermont.
Chris J. Rauscher
Chris is Director of Policy & Storage Market Strategy for Sunrun where he works on Northeast & Caribbean Affairs with a focus on storage. 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 worked on various political campaigns and has been involved in a number of startup businesses. Although he has a law degree, so far he has successfully avoided practicing.
Chris joined VELCO as Chief Operating Officer in March 2014. He previously served as Senior Vice President of Network Strategy, a branch of National Grid. He holds a masters in engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Northeastern University. He completed the Program for Management Development of the Harvard University Graduate School of Business and has authored, co-authored and presented papers at various utility forums. He and his wife live in Rutland and have three grown children.
Mathew, of Vermont Independent Power Producers Association, has twenty-five years experience in developing, owning, and operating independent hydroelectric facilities, as well as developing wind farms in Vermont. He is active in professional and environmental organizations.
Debra Sachs is Executive Director of Net Zero Vermont and native Vermonter. Deb is passionate about social and environmental interactions and sustainable development. While completing her MS at UVM, she advanced local and regional planning and land use development. She has managed non-profits and consulted on numerous planning and sustainability projects in the commercial and transportation sectors; The Capital Commuters, Way to Go! Challenge, 10% Challenge are just a few. For more than 25 years, Deb has pioneered climate action planning, co-authored climate action plans, and has provided science-based technical assistance to governments, business, and NGO’s. In 2010, Deb co-founded Community Climate Action, Inc., a 501(c)(3). In 2016, the entity was renamed to Net Zero Vermont in order to help meet today’s need to accelerate net-zero strategies. Deb also oversees a small consulting firm, EcoStrategies, providing government, business, and NGO clients with technical assistance in sustainability practices, transportation efficiency, and renewable energy development. Deb serves on the boards of Vermont Rail Action Network, Vermont Energy & Climate Action Network, Vermont Transportation Efficiency Network, and is past board chair of Community Resilience Organizations.
Rob Sargent is the Clean Energy Program Director for Environment America. For three decades, he has played a leading role advocating for strong clean energy and climate policies in the states, including state renewable electricity standards, carbon caps, and clean cars programs. Rob has authored and co-authored many reports on climate solutions, including; We Have the Power:100% Renewable Energy for a Clean, Thriving America; Wind Power to Spare: The Enormous Energy Potential of Atlantic Offshore Wind, Renewables on the Rise: A Decade of Progress Toward a Clean Energy Future,and Making Sense of Energy Storage: How Storage Technologies Can Support a Renewable Future. He helped launch Voices for 100% Renewable Energy (www.100percentrenewable.org) to amplify He's currently, the president of the board of the Toxics Action Center and has served on the board of numerous civic and environmental organizations. He is a graduate of the University of Vermont.
Gretchen Schimelpfenig is a Commercial and Industrial Energy Services Engineer for the Burlington Electric Department, where she assists customers with implementing energy efficiency projects in existing buildings and designing high-performance new construction projects. She performs energy audits, provides design guidance, develops energy efficiency recommendations, and delivers financial incentives for completed energy efficiency measures of projects across Burlington. Gretchen has two years’ experience commissioning mechanical and electrical systems in schools, hospitals, and offices, including the geothermal installations at the Highland Center for the Arts and the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative & Hospice Care at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. She also has two years’ experience managing electric transmission line projects in California. She is a licensed Civil Engineer in the state of California and received her MS in Civil Engineering – Sustainable Design & Construction from Stanford University in 2014.
Christa Shute is the Global Energy Fellow for Climate Justice for the Institute for Energy and the Environment (IEE) at Vermont Law School. At the IEE, Christa leads projects in the Energy Clinic focused on energy sustainability for low-income populations.
Christa brings two decades of leadership in non-profit, quasi-state, and corporate entities. Her curiosity drives her to understand the complexity and nuance of situations so she can envision how to break through barriers and find win/win solutions. In addition to running her own design and manufacturing businesses, Christa has been the Vice President of Business Development for All Earth Renewables, the Director of Business Development and Financing for the Vermont Telecom Authority, and the Director of Targeted Implementation for Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (Efficiency Vermont). Christa Shute earned her JD, magna cum laude, in 2013 with certificates in Energy Law, Climate Law, and Dispute Resolution.
Dan is president of Acadia Center, a non-profit research and policy advocacy organization advancing the clean energy future at the state and regional levels. Dan’s efforts focus on developing and implementing comprehensive and sustained energy and climate policy solutions that attract diverse stakeholder support, utilizing a research oriented approach that incorporates consumer interests and economic benefits. Prior to establishing Acadia Center, Dan was an attorney in New York City and at the Conservation Law Foundation in Boston and Maine. He holds a JD from Cornell University and an AB from Brown University.
Lincoln Sprague is a design and compliance engineer at Dynapower, a leading manufacturer of utility-scale power converters for energy storage. Lincoln works to ensure that Dynapower’s equipment conforms to the most recent safety standards and grid connection codes around the world, a responsibility that focuses heavily on both electrical/mechanical design and completion of rigorous test protocols. Lincoln led the UL1741SA compliance project for the first bidirectional energy storage inverter listed to the advanced inverter standard by Intertek/ETL. He was a balloting committee member for the IEEE 1547 2018 grid connection standard and is a working group member for the corresponding IEEE 1547.1 DER test procedures. Lincoln is the treasurer and secretary of the IEEE Power and Energy Society Green Mountain Section. He holds an MSEE from University of Vermont, a BA in Economics from New York University, and served as an electrician on diesel-electric tugboats and buoy tenders in the United States Coast Guard.
Darren Springer, Chief Operating Officer at Burlington Electric Department (BED), leads the BED Center for Innovation. He is responsible for providing dynamic guidance, transformative vision, and exemplary support to many departments, which include: Policy & Planning, Finance, Information Technology and Energy Services. Prior to joining BED, Darren served as Chief of Staff to Governor Peter Shumlin. Before working in the 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 for 4 years in the Washington, D.C. Office of 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. While at Vermont Law School, he was selected as Managing Editor of the Vermont Law Review and clerked for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is a member of the Vermont Bar, Virginia Bar, and Florida Bar. He serves as a Policy Fellow on Climate Change and Renewable Energy at the University of Vermont Center for Research on Vermont, and on the Board of Directors for Vermont Natural Resources Council and Energy Action Network.
Gabrielle Stebbins is a Senior Consultant at Energy Futures Group (EFG). She specializes in policy and program development that promotes and integrates renewable energy, strategic electrification and energy efficiency. She has extensive expertise in energy policy and planning as well as project and business management from her work at EFG, as director of Renewable Energy Vermont, and as Chair of the Board of Vermont’s Burlington Electric Department (BED). 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 develop and foster clean energy legislation and regulation, as well as to move markets from experience with day-to-day management of residential efficiency programs, renewable energy incentive programs and programs that simultaneously promote efficiency and electrification of heating and transportation with customer-sited renewables.
Shay Totten is a longtime writer, journalist, and communications strategist who is currently the Communications Director at Rights & Democracy. His first environmental action was fighting a potential low-level radioactive waste dump in his hometown of Holland, VT and from there has been a longtime advocate of renewable energy and the environment. He has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including the Vermont Press Association, the Media Consortium, the Peace & Justice Center, and the Keep BT Local Cooperative. Shay grew up in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom and currently lives in Burlington.
Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur leads VEIC’s Transportation Electrification practice, focusing on transit and school bus electrification projects and programs to accelerate EV adoption. She also leads clean transportation policy work at VEIC, and represents VEIC on state and regional climate and clean transportation stakeholder groups, and provides strategic guidance on policy positions. 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, electric vehicles, planning, land use, and mobility issues, particularly for older adults.
Richard Watts teaches media and policy studies at UVM 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.
Emily Wier is the Policy and Market Development Associate for Greenlots. Emily leads Greenlots’ state policy engagement, which focuses on growing the electric vehicle and electric vehicle charging markets. In addition to advancing legislation to support increased electric vehicle adoption, she also facilitates Greenlots’ stakeholder engagement in a number of states. Emily also directs market development activities on the East Coast, focusing on utility grid integration and equity in electric vehicle deployments.
Emily has extensive experience in climate change and transportation policy. Prior to joining Greenlots, she supported electric vehicle programs in Massachusetts and Connecticut with the Center for Sustainable Energy, and worked within the Obama Administration to develop an industry-wide electric vehicle initiative.
Emily holds a B.S. in Biology from Tufts University and a M.A. in Environmental Management from Yale.
Allegra joined Local Motion in 2018 as Livable Streets Program Manager. In her role, she collaborates with local governments, schools, and activists across the state who want to make their communities better places to walk and bike. Allegra comes to this work with a background in city planning, community organizing, and sustainable development. She has previously served as program director for a planning and development lab within MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, as a neighborhood and sustainability planner for a small municipality, and as a community organizer for a community development corporation. Allegra feels fortunate to be able to walk and bike to work year round from her home in Burlington's Old North End. In her free time, she enjoys camping, hiking, traveling, practicing yoga, and gardening with her husband and two young sons.
Dorothy (Dori) Wolfe
Dori founded Wolfe Energy, LLC, to share her passion for energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. Since 2012, she has been working to bring community solar projects to fruition, including a 7 Megawatt array in Strafford, Vermont, which came online in 2017 - the largest superfund solar project in the northeast. In 2015, Wolfe developed a 110 kW array benefiting five local non-profits in the same town and another 185 kW community solar array is scheduled to come online early fall 2018, benefiting the town of Thetford, Vermont. Prior to starting Wolfe Energy in 2011, she co-founded groSolar, a national renewable energy company. She has dedicated substantial volunteer time to educating students and communities in sustainable practices including developing an elementary school energy curriculum, serving over ten years on the town energy committee, and lecturing on renewable energy. Dori has a BSME degree from Cornell University.
Nizar Yousef is Senior Director, Business Development for Brookfield Renewable’s North American platform. In this role, Nizar oversees all commercial and business development activities in the New England region. Brookfield Renewable owns and operates hydroelectric, wind, solar, and energy storage assets across North America, South America, Europe, and Asia totaling +17,000 MW. Nizar joined Brookfield in 2008 and has held various roles since then in risk management, power marketing, and project development. Nizar holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Carleton University and is a certified Energy Risk Professional.