Following are bios for March speakers in order of appearance
with others to be added and with Moderator bio at end.
Karl R. Rábago
Karl R. Rábago is the Executive Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center, at the Pace University School of Law in White Plains, New York. Pace is actively involved in every aspect of the New York REV—Reforming the Energy Vision—proceeding, in their own right and on behalf of the Clean Energy Organizations Coalition.
Karl is also co-director of the Northeast Solar Energy Market Coalition (NESEMC), a US DOE SunShot Initiative Project that works to harmonize solar market policy in the 9-state northeast region, by creating a novel coalition of solar business associations in the region.
He has more than 25 years experience in energy and climate policy and markets. He is recognized as an innovator in electric utility regulatory issues relating to clean energy services and technologies.
Karl serves as Chair of the Board of the Center for Resource Solutions, a San Francisco-based non-governmental organization that works to advance voluntary clean energy markets. He also sits on the Board of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). In addition, Karl runs his own successful consulting practice, Rábago Energy LLC.
His past positions include Commissioner, Texas Public Utility Commission; Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Energy; Vice President of Distributed Energy Services at Austin Energy, the municipal utility for the City of Austin, Texas; Director of Regulatory Affairs for the AES Corporation and AES Wind; Energy Program Manager for the Environmental Defense Fund, and Managing Director & Principal of the Rocky Mountain Institute.
A graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Business Management, Karl is an attorney (University of Texas Law School, J.D. with Honors) with post-doctorate degrees in environmental (LL.M., Pace University School of Law) and military law (LL.M., US Army Judge Advocate General’s School). A veteran of more than 12 years in the US Army, he served as an Armored Cavalry officer and member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, and is Airborne and Ranger qualified.
Jennifer Szaro joined the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) in 2015 as Senior Director of Programs and currently manages SEPA’s extensive portfolio of educational offerings, including SEPA’s joint venture events such as Solar Power International (SPI) and targeted events like the Utility Solar Conference and annual Fact Finding Missions.
Prior to this role, she spent nine years as Renewable Energy Manager for the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) leading their solar energy, corporate sustainability and electric vehicle programs. She also conducted applied photovoltaic systems research for eight years as Senior Energy Analyst for the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), a research institute of the University of Central Florida (UCF).
Jennifer has served on the board of directors for several nonprofit organizations, including: SEPA, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), the Florida Renewable Energy Association (FREA), Project Get Ready Central Florida and Drive Electric Florida. She is a LEED Accredited Professional and currently sits on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the UCF College of Engineering and Computer Sciences and the UCF Florida Solar Energy Center. She received her BS Degrees in Environmental Science and Chemistry from Florida International University in 1997 and holds an MBA from UCF.
Andrea Luecke serves as President and Executive Director of The Solar Foundation. In 2010, she Luecke was hired as the first employee after the relaunch of the Foundation. In those early years, it was just Andrea and a shoe-string budget. By the end of 2015, Andrea had grown both The Solar Foundation team and operating budget by nearly 20-fold. Andrea’s leadership, charisma, and impassioned work ethic set the tone for TSF as a whole, as can be seen in the enthusiasm and sheer intellect of the people she has added to the team.
The Solar Foundation is focused on developing and implementing high-level research and national educational initiatives that promote greater solar uptake, leading to solar market transformation. Not only does Andrea provide overall management and strategic direction to the organization, but she is also the lead on TSF’s highly-acclaimed annual National Solar Jobs Census report series; serves as co-chair of the National Solar Schools Consortium; sits as on the advisory committee for the Women in Solar Energy group; and is the vice-chair of the ANSI-IREC Clean Energy Workforce Accreditation Committee. As a subject matter expert, Andrea also frequently presents on practical solar “best practice” approaches and has provided consultation to numerous organizations including the National Academy of Sciences and the Inter-American Development Bank.
Directly prior to joining TSF, Andrea ran the City of Milwaukee’s U.S. Department of Energy Solar America Cities program, “Milwaukee Shines”, where she helped Milwaukee implement policies aimed at increasing solar energy capacity. Andrea was the catalyst and muscles behind getting one of the nation’s first Property Assessed Clean Energy financing programs approved as well as the Milwaukee Metro Solar Hot Water Business Council established. As a result of her front-line experience, she earned the “0-60” award by the U.S. Department of Energy for her leadership and persistence in starting a viable solar program from scratch.
Renewable Power Program Manager, Portland General Electric - Bio to come
Lindy Wordlaw, AICP
Lindy Wordlaw is the Senior Manager of Public Sector Programs at Elevate Energy. She is a certified urban planner with a wealth of experience, working in the field of urban planning since 1997 with community development organizations and municipalities. Ms. Wordlaw is an expert in neighborhood planning and stakeholder engagement. Upon joining Elevate Energy in 2004, she led the Kane County Energy Solutions project, which predicted growth in Kane County’s energy demand (based on projected population growth and land use changes) and recommended strategies for mitigation—one of the first energy plans in the Chicago metropolitan region. Additional projects focused on integrating sustainable energy use into mainstream planning processes, including award winning energy, climate and sustainability including a regional energy analysis for the seven-county planning area of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), and a project that provided energy and emissions profiles to all 276 municipalities in the Chicago metropolitan region. Recent work includes implementation of the City of Chicago benchmarking ordinance, the Missouri Comprehensive State Energy Plan and leading the City of Madison’s (WI) participation in the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition.
As Senior Manager of Public Sector Programs, her works aims to continue to help public sector agencies plan for and implement energy and sustainability strategies that impact their own operations and across the communities they serve.
Ms. Wordlaw also serves the national membership of the American Planning Association (APA) as Chair of the Environment, Natural Resources and Energy Division. She earned a bachelor of arts in history at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and Master of Urban Planning at Hunter College of the City University of New York.
Chris Castro is a social entrepreneur, community organizer and sustainability professional with a passion for accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy. He’s currently the senior energy adviser and sustainability program manager for Mayor Buddy Dyer and the City of Orlando, developing policies and programs to support the sustainability, energy & climate-related goals of the Green Works Orlando municipal and community action plans.
Chris sits on several nonprofit boards, including the US Green Building Council of Florida (USGBC-FL), Florida Green Chamber of Commerce, Florida Renewable Energy Association, and the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers Community. In his spare time, you can find Chris organizing environmental action projects in the community through his nonprofit IDEAS For Us, leading an urban farming program called Fleet Farming in Orlando neighborhoods, or surfing with friends on the East coast of Florida.
Christopher Kent has been with EPA’s Green Power Partnership program since Spring 2015. Previously, he served as the Specifications Development Manager for Office Equipment and Commercial Equipment for EPA’s ENERGY STAR program. He has been with EPA since 1995 working on various agency regulatory and voluntary source reduction programs. Just prior to his work with ENERGY STAR, Chris was a Mansfield Fellow working in Japan’s Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Economics,Trade and Industry working on green electronics purchasing and recycling issues.
Eric O’Shaughnessy is Renewable Energy Policy Analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
He specializes in renewable energy market and policy analysis, with an emphasis on green power and solar markets. Eric collects and analyzes data on green power markets, including utility green pricing program, competitive marketers, community solar, community choice aggregation, and power purchase agreements, as part of NREL’s annual reports on the status of green power markets. Eric’s research has shown that green power markets continue to grow as marketers find new ways to connect customers with green power providers through emerging mechanisms such as community solar and community choice aggregation. Eric’s ongoing research on solar markets aims to identify the characteristics of low-priced PV systems in order to inform policymaking aimed at further driving down PV costs.
Jennifer Martin is the Executive Director of the Center for Resource Solutions, where she brings over two decades of NGO and private-sector experience in renewable energy, market development, and electricity and climate change policy and regulation. The Center’s charge is: Creating policy and market solutions to advance sustainable energy
Jennifer also is a member of the WREGIS Stakeholder Advisory Committee, the State-Federal RPS Collaborative Advisory Group, and chairs the RE-volv Board of Directors.
Dr. Jonathan Male
Dr. Jonathan Male is the Director for the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). In this role, he leads the Office’s work to lower costs, reduce technical risk, and accelerate deployment of bioenergy and renewable chemicals technologies. He oversees research and development across the entire supply chain—from sustainable biomass growth and collection to biomass conversion technologies that include biochemical, catalytic, and thermochemical pathways to produce economically viable biofuels and bioproducts. The office’s portfolio of demonstration activities involving public-private partnerships helps BETO staff to evaluate risks and enable industrial entities to move technologies to commercial scale in the emerging bioenergy industry.
Before joining the U.S. Department of Energy, he was the laboratory relationship manager for biomass at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. There he was responsible for business development and enabling high-quality and timely projects aligned to BETO’s needs. Previously, he worked at the GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna, New York, and developed programs in heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysts. In total, he has more than 17 years of research experience in catalysts, inorganic materials, high throughput experimentation, greenhouse gas emissions reduction technologies, production of chemicals, and biofuels.
He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Chemistry from the University of Greenwich, England, and his Ph.D. in Organometallic Chemistry at Simon Fraser University in Canada.
After practicing law for nearly two decades, including three years as a federal prosecutor at the Department of Justice, Bob became an environmental entrepreneur and pioneer in creating business opportunities around sustainable enterprise practices - in particular, his work with the pulp and paper industry resulted in the creation of more than $8 billion in value in 2008—further saving thousands of jobs across rural America.
Currently, Bob leads the Biomass Power Association as its CEO. BPA is based in Portland, Maine and with offices in Washington DC. Founded in 1999, BPA is the nation's leading voice for biomass as a means for generating electricity, representing over 2,000 MW of installed capacity. BPA members include sawmills, paper companies, and independent power producers, doing business in over 20 states and contributing nearly $1 billion to the national economy. BPA maintains an active presence in Congress, and concentrates on federal tax and energy policy to promote the use of woody biomass for electricity use.
As Director of Energy Research for the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) Climate and Energy Program, Steve Clemmer conducts research on the economic and environmental benefits of implementing renewable energy technologies and policies at the state and national levels. He also directs UCS’ research on coal, natural gas, and nuclear power and on solutions to reduce carbon emissions and water use in the electricity sector.
Before joining UCS, Mr. Clemmer was the Energy Policy Coordinator for the Wisconsin Energy Office from 1991 to 1997. He holds a M.S. in Energy Analysis and Policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. in Political Science and History from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.
Ruth McCormick serves as Director of Federal and State Affairs for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), a broad-based industry trade group representing companies and associations in the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy industries.
Ms. McCormick represents the Business Council on a wide range of state and federal issues including tax policy, and energy and environmental policy. In her role with the BCSE she manages the coalition’s outreach and advocacy before the United States Congress and federal agencies, as well as outreach to state utility commissions, energy offices and other state officials.
Ms. McCormick has over twenty-five years of experience in energy and environmental policy development working on behalf of businesses and in Congress.
James M. Fenton
James M. Fenton is the Director of the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) since January 2005,where he leads a staff of 140 in the research and development of energy technologies that enhance Florida's and the nation's economy and environment and educate the public, students and practitioners on the results of the research.
FSEC, created in 1975 by the Florida Legislature to serve as the state’s energy research institute, is the nation’s largest and most active state-supported renewable energy and energy efficiency research institute. In addition to his duties as FSEC Director, he leads a 12-member university and industry research team in a $19 million U.S. Department of Energy research program to develop the next generation proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell automobile engine. Dr. Fenton also serves as a Professor in UCF’s Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering Department.
Prior to joining FSEC, he spent 20 years as a Chemical Engineering Professor at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Fenton’s research activities in fuel cells, pollution prevention and sustainable energy are helping FSEC expand its nationally acclaimed research and education programs in hydrogen, alternative fuels, solar energy and buildings energy efficiency.
Philipp Beiter is an Energy Markets & Policy Analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). His work focuses on analyzing renewable energy data, cost and deployment trends. He is using a variety of economic models to analyze the resource and economic potential of renewable energy.
Prior to joining NREL, he worked as a Policy Analyst in the Regulatory Policy Division at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris. His prior work experience also includes the World Bank and an energy consulting firm in Germany. He graduated from Columbia University and the London School of Economics (LSE) with a concentration in Energy Management and Policy and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.
Colleen Kettles is a Program Director at the Florida Solar Energy Center. She serves as the Coordinator of the Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition and is engaged in alternative energy workforce development and training initiatives. Colleen has worked in both the public and private nonprofit sectors and has more than 35 years of legal and policy research, program development and implementation in the fields of solar energy, energy efficiency, and alternative fuel vehicles. Colleen is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Law and is a member of the Florida Bar, serving on the Environmental and Land Use Law Section Energy Committee and the Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section Development and Green Building Committee.
Trev Hall is with the U.S. Department of Energy as the point of contact for Clean Cities' coalitions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. His responsibilities include facilitating the efforts of the Clean Cities coalitions to increase the use of alternative fuels and vehicles through the development of public-private partnerships. Along with traditional project management duties, Hall facilitates technology deployment strategies, evaluates proper alternative fuel technologies, determines resource availability, provides technical assistance, contributes areas of expertise, and supports transportation market transformation activities.
Hall started with the Department of Energy as a project manager in the Weatherization Assistance Program in 2009. He has a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering and a master's degree in business administration from West Virginia University. Hall brings experience working as a process-improvement engineer, co-founding start-ups, and leading small-growth companies. Hall has served as an adjunct professor at West Virginia University teaching entrepreneurship/business planning and has a passion for training, technology, marketing, and outreach.
Anne-Louise Seabury holds the position of Electric Vehicle Program Manager at Florida Power & Light Company. Through that role, her primary responsibilities include generating awareness and educating customers about the benefits of electric vehicles, working with stakeholders preparing their communities and businesses for electric vehicles and monitoring the impact to the electrical grid.
She holds an MBA from UVM and a BA from Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania.
Cornelius Willingham is with Nissan North America as Electric Vehicle Strategy & Business Development Manager, Southeast Region. As Nissan’s local EV advocate, Cornelius is responsible for expanding the market for electric vehicles, and their adoption by the general public. His role also supports development of a nationwide EV Charging Infrastructure, to make re-charging simple and convenient. As the point person for Nissan’s Workplace Charging Initiative, he works with municipalities, utilities and large employers to integrate EV’s and charging into their day to day operation. Since joining Nissan in 2012, his largest market Atlanta, has become #1 in America for LEAF sales. Over that same period, the zero emissions Nissan LEAF has become the “Best Selling Electric Vehicle” in Automotive History.
A native of Detroit “the Motor City” he has more than 25 years’ experience in the auto industry. His background is unique, in that he’s held positions on both the corporate and entrepreneurial sides of the auto business. In management with automakers, he’s worked in Vehicle Distribution, Dealer Franchising, Marketing and Customer Satisfaction. Most recognized for expertise in financial statement analysis and dealership operations, he’s a Four-Time recipient of Ford’s “Quality Market Representation Award” and twice received the annual “Customer Satisfaction Improvement Award”. For more than a decade was recognized by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of “The 100 Largest African-American Auto Dealers in America”. As President and General Manager of Town Square Ford-Lincoln-Mercury, in suburban Charlotte, NC, he was a Five-Time recipient of Ford’s Blue Oval, Mercury’s Advantage, and Lincoln’s Premier Award for Customer Satisfaction & Dealership Image. In 2004, Ford recognized his dealership as the “Best Service Department” in central North Carolina. That same year, his peers in the Ford-Lincoln-Mercury Minority Dealer Association gave him the “Superior Performer Award”, for outstanding operation and profitability.
In 2008, he sold the dealership, intent on early retirement. However limited golf skills, and an aversion to soap operas drove him, after a few years to seek new challenges. Always environmental conscience, he recognized with Nissan’s introduction of the 100% Electric LEAF, the era of practical, affordable, electric vehicles was at hand. As a founding stakeholder in Clean Cities Charlotte, the only auto dealer among that group, the task of promoting EV adoption seemed a natural fit.
An alumnus of Eastern Michigan University, in Ypsilanti, MI.¸ he earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Political Science and Speech Communications. He also done graduate work at Detroit College of Law. He’s served as a Member, and on the Boards of numerous charitable and community based organizations, and he’s a true believer EV’s answer our needs for sustainable transportation.
Britta Gross is the Director of Advanced Vehicle Commercialization Policy at General Motors. She is responsible for identifying energy strategies, partnerships, and policies required to enable the commercialization of GM’s alternative fuel technology programs, including plug-in battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.
Ms. Gross has an extensive background in Aerospace and Automotive industries. At Hughes Space & Communications in Los Angeles she led Mission Design and Systems Engineering teams developing satellite programs. In the late 90’s, she brought aerospace practices into the automotive industry, leading a joint project in Germany involving Hughes, GM, and Opel vehicle engineers. Since 2002, Ms. Gross has been leading energy, infrastructure and commercialization efforts for GM’s advanced vehicle programs.
Ms. Gross has an Electrical Engineering degree from LSU. She sits on the EDTA Board of Directors and is one of Automotive News’ “Electrifying 100”, a 2013 recipient of the GreenBiz “Verge 25” award and a USCAR Special Recognition Award.
Energy Conference Chair & Moderator:
Marcia has served as Future Is Now Foundation Chair and Director since 2002. She has over 25 years experience in the energy field, with particular emphasis on renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as long-time expertise in community planning and smart growth. She also has been a leader in the area of innovative Internet technology uses and nonprofit capacity building.
Marcia has been a professional consultant with her own firm over that same time period, providing communications, technology, analytical and other professional services. She has many years experience in nonprofit association management and, as part thereof, served as Executive Director for the American Planning Association, Florida Chapter (16 years) and the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (4 years). As part of FAPA, she managed the Project for an Energy Efficient Florida (a statewide awareness program) for 12 years. She has served on numerous state advisory committees, including on the subjects of energy and community planning, and she was appointed to the Judicial Management Council, advisory body to the Florida Supreme Court. She was a Trainer for Anthony Robbins seminars for 10 years and has extensive experience in professional development training and capacity building.
Her prior professional roles with state government in Florida included: Department of Transportation, Director of State Legislative Policy & Energy Policy; Governor's Office, Senior Manager and head of Energy Planning & Policy Analysis; State Energy Policy Council, Staff Coordinator/Manager; Department of Environmental Regulation, Legislative Analyst & Energy Program Coordinator (Office of the Secretary). She holds a graduate degree in Environmental Engineering.