Advisory Council

Leadership

Adam Umanoff

Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Edison International

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Adam Umanoff

Adam Umanoff is Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison. He is responsible for the legal affairs of the company. Prior to joining Edison International in January 2015, Umanoff was a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP, an international law firm, where he co-chaired the firm’s global project finance practice. He focused on the development, financing, operation, disposition and acquisition of infrastructure and energy projects and companies, with a particular focus on the renewable energy industry.

Prior to joining Akin Gump, Umanoff was a partner at several international law firms, an independent renewable energy consultant and he served as President and CEO of Enron Wind Corporation, one of the world’s largest renewable energy developers and wind turbine manufacturers (now part of GE). He has been recognized as one of California’s Top 100 Lawyers and Top 25 Clean Tech Lawyers. Mr. Umanoff is a member of the American Bar Association, Business Law Section and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He received his Bachelor of Science from Cornell University in 1980 and his J.D. in 1983 from Columbia Law School where he was editor of the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and the recipient of the Wertheimer Prize in Labor Law.

Adrian Tuck

CEO, Uplight Board Executive Committee

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Adrian Tuck

Board Executive Committee

As CEO of Tendril, Adrian Tuck is responsible for driving the company’s strategic direction and adhering to its purpose – building a growing, profitable business that is a great place to work and is having a positive impact on the planet and our community. Adrian joined Tendril more than 10 years ago with the vision of building a smarter market for energy products and services. Tendril works to deliver on that mission with a suite of energy efficiency, customer engagement and demand management technologies that are offered to electric and gas utilities, and energy retailers.

Adrian has been an entrepreneur for more than 20 years. Prior to joining Tendril, he served as both interim CEO and executive vice president of Ember Corporation, a leading semiconductor provider to the smart grid, where he guided the company’s strategy through its critical early-growth stage. As an early pioneer of the “Internet of things” market, Adrian was instrumental in the development of the ZigBee standard and served as the vice-chair of the ZigBee Alliance for a number of years.

Adrian has received numerous industry accolades including the prestigious honor of being named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer. Adrian attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the British Army’s officer training academy.

Anne Pramagglore

President & CEO, ComEd

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Anne Pramagglore

Anne Pramaggiore is President and CEO of ComEd, an electric utility company delivering electricity to 3.8 million customers in Chicago and Northern Illinois. Pramaggiore joined ComEd in 1998 to work on the company’s transition to competitive energy markets under the Illinois Consumer Choice Law of 1997. In her role as ComEd’s lead lawyer and as head of Regulatory Policy, she led major policy work around the restructuring of the Illinois electric industry.

In 2009, Pramaggiore was appointed as ComEd’s COO and became responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations on the electric grid and in customer operations. In that role, she led the company’s effort to set the legislative framework for ComEd’s smart grid build-out, a leading model nationally for modernizing one of the largest utility systems in the country. She is the first female to hold the post of President and CEO at the electric utility. Pramaggiore serves as a board member of Chicago Federal Reserve Board, Motorola Solutions, Inc., and several civic and community organizations. She is a 1989 graduate of DePaul University School of Law and served as editor-in-chief of the school’s Law Review. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Ben Bixby

General Manager of Energy & Enterprise Partnerships, Nest Labs

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Ben Bixby

Ben Bixby is the general manager of energy and enterprise partnerships at Nest Labs, where he steers new product and global business development with energy and enterprise partners. Ben came to Nest in early 2013 when Nest acquired MyEnergy, the venture-backed energy data technology company he founded in 2007 and led as its CEO — and which now powers a number of Nest’s energy data capabilities. Ben earned his Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University. Together with his wife and son, he resides in Boston and Palo Alto — fiercely supporting the Red Sox from both coasts.

Caroline Choi

Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Southern California Edison

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Caroline Choi

Caroline Choi is senior vice president of Corporate Affairs for Southern California Edison, one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, and its parent company, Edison International. Choi is responsible for overseeing Government Affairs, Public Affairs, and Corporate Communications on national, state, and local levels.

Previously, Choi served as senior vice president of Regulatory Affairs at SCE. In this role, she was responsible for the company’s regulatory strategy and policy at the national and state levels, including regulatory affairs, regulatory operations and environmental affairs.

Choi previously was vice president of Energy and Environmental Policy at SCE, where she oversaw the analysis of federal and state energy and environmental policies; development of a long-term environmental, energy and technology strategy for SCE; and management of regulatory efforts at the California Public Utilities Commission and other state energy and environmental agencies.

Before joining SCE in 2012, Caroline was executive director of Environmental Services & Strategy at Progress Energy, where she was responsible for leading environmental permitting, compliance and policy. She served the company in various roles, including director, Energy Policy and Strategy and manager, Federal Public Affairs.

Choi is active in national policy and community engagement, where she serves on the executive board of the Smart Electric Power Alliance, a nationwide organization that supports utilities in the implementation and deployment of clean energy and distributed resources. She also serves on the boards of the Alliance for Transportation Electrification and the National Forest Foundation. Choi holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Dartmouth College.

Chris King

Global Policy Officer, Siemens Digital Grid

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Chris King

Board Director

Chris King is the Global Policy Officer of Siemens Digital Grid, leading policy and strategy initiatives worldwide, emphasizing renewables integration, energy efficiency, grid efficiency, demand response and customer engagement.

Prior to Siemens, Chris held management or executive positions at the U.S.’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric and three Silicon Valley energy start-ups. An internationally recognized expert, author and frequently invited speaker, Mr. King’s recent writings include a chapter in Distributed Generation and its Implications for the Utility Industry and an article on time-vary rates for the Public Utilities Fortnightly. Mr. King co-founded and chairs the Brussels-based Smart Energy Demand Coalition, is Vice Chair of the Association for Demand Response and Smart Grid and is a member of the Advanced Energy Economy Business Council. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, several U.S. states and international regulatory bodies. In 2009, he co-hosted a meeting of the U.S. Congressional Delegation at the Copenhagen U.N. Climate Summit.

Mr. King holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biological sciences from Stanford University, a master’s from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and a doctorate from Concord Law School. He has received three patents related to advanced metering and smart grids.

Cris Eugster

Chief Operating Officer, CPS Energy, Immediate Past Board Chair

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Cris Eugster

Immediate Past Board Chair

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

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

Cris sits on a number of Boards including Smart Electric Power Association (SEPA), Association of Edison Illuminating Companies (AEIC), Texas A&M Smart Grid Center Advisory Board (SGC), EPIcenter, Trinity University Business Advisory Council, and the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County. Past Boards have included Build SA Green, Solar San Antonio, Mission Verde Alliance, Texas Renewable Energy Industry Association (TREIA), DOE State Energy Advisory Board, and the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). In February of 2018, Cris was named co-chair of the Transformation Advisory Council for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) where he will lend his expertise towards creating a sustainable and customer-centric grid.

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

Cris is married and has two sons.

Frank Prager

Vice President of Policy & Federal Affairs, Xcel Energy Inc.

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Frank Prager

Frank Prager is Vice President of Policy and Federal Affairs at Xcel Energy Inc., a U.S. investor-owned electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in eight Midwestern and Western states. Frank leads an organization that is responsible for representing the company before Congress and various federal agencies. His organization designs and advocates for federal and state policies related to a number of utility issues, including the environment, climate change, renewable energy, state and federal regulation, energy markets, tax, transmission and emerging technologies. Frank is a graduate of the University of Colorado, where he received degrees in chemical engineering and English. He also earned his law degree from Stanford University.

Gary Rackliffe

Vice President, Smart Grids, ABB, Inc.

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Gary Rackliffe

Board Director

Gary Rackliffe is the ABB Vice President for Smart Grids North America. He has been in this position since 2009 and leads ABB’s smart grid, grid modernization, and digital grid initiatives in North America. He also is the General Manager for the Smart Grid Center of Excellence located in Raleigh, North Carolina.

With 30+ years of electric grid transmission and distribution experience, Gary has been recognized as an industry leader on smart grid technologies. He is the past chair of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s (NEMA’s) Smart Grid Council and is a member of the NEMA Distribution Automation Section, Connected Systems Division, and Grid Modernization Leadership Committee. He is also a member of the DistribuTECH Advisory Committee, the Department of Commerce Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee, the Department of Energy ADMS Steering Committee, the IEC Smart Energy Systems Committee, and is the Technical Advisor for the IEC US National Committee’s advisory group. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (Chairman), the GridWise Alliance (Outreach Committee Chair), the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, and the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA). He serves on the Smart Grid Advisory Board for Texas A&M University.

Gary holds BS and ME degrees in Power Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer and an IEEE Senior Member. He has co-authored a T&D planning book, and has written numerous technical papers and articles.

Gil Quiniones

President and CEO, New York Power Authority

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Gil Quiniones

Board Director

Gil C. Quiniones has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility since 2011. As a member of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s cabinet, he is responsible for developing and implementing the statewide utility’s strategic vision and mission, supervising operation of its 16 power plants, more than 1,400 circuit miles of transmission lines and overseeing its legal, financial matters and relationships with external stakeholders. Under Mr. Quiniones leadership, NYPA saves customers more than $1 billion a year, helping to create or protect more than 450,000 jobs and spur nearly $40 billion in capital investment at New York State businesses and other entities through allocations of low-cost electricity.

Mr. Quiniones is a leader in the New York State energy industry’s ongoing transformation toward a cleaner, more resilient, reliable and economical power system. An integral part of this effort has been The New York Energy Highway Task Force. As its Co-Chair, Mr. Quiniones helped to design a multi-faceted plan to carry out Governor Cuomo’s vision for re-conceptualizing and strengthening the power grid through partnerships between the public and private sectors. Under Mr. Quinones, NYPA also plays a key role in the Governor’s landmark Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative that uses market forces and new technology to empower customers and encourage the growth of clean renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Mr. Quiniones is leading the charge to create the first fully digital utility in the country: a comprehensive digital infrastructure addressing New York State’s everevolving energy, environmental and economic needs. This bold initiative is groundbreaking in concept and scope, and provides a template for replication throughout the nation. Through full digitization, NYPA will monitor power generation, transmission and use with unprecedented granularity, sophistication and precision. Mr. Quiniones’ approach was initiated with deep consideration for cyber, physical security and network communications. This initiative reaches across every NYPA process and department to facilitate broad collaboration and leverage information in countless ways. As result, the Power Authority will become the first utility in the United States to create digital twins of our entire generation portfolio, substations and transmission system, using data analytics and data visualization tools to optimize our operations, capital and O&M investments. NYPA is building a Digital Foundry that creates an ecosystem where third party technology companies (software and hardware), utilities, research institutions and universities can conduct applied R&D and develop new “Apps”, services and drive innovation at the grid’s edge.

Central to the value created through this program is the way NYPA uses the data generated by the digital twin of our physical infrastructure. NYPA’s Integrated Smart Operations Center (iSOC) acts as a centralized brain, managing information flow and utilizing predictive analytics and machine learning to optimize asset performance. The Center, which went live in 2016, will monitor all of NYPA’s generation assets and be used to predict potential failures and unplanned downtime. These actions will significantly increase system reliability and lower operational costs and risks.

Additionally, with the State University of New York’s Polytechnic Institute, NYPA has developed the Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory for Energy (AGILE) to promote the development and use of smart grid technologies. With these new tools, Mr. Quiniones is driving the use of ”smart grid” and other innovative technologies to upgrade and modernize the NYPA’s generation and transmission facilities. As a result, there has been a heightened emphasis on energy efficiency, localized distributed generation and customer involvement in decisions affecting power use. Under his leadership, NYPA, which owns and operates more than one-third of New York’s high-voltage transmission facilities, is carrying out a $726 million Transmission Life Extension and Modernization (LEM) program. The LEM program has projects ranging from rebuilding a power line more than 70 years old in Northern New York to the installation of state-of-the-art switchyard equipment at the Power Authority’s massive hydroelectric projects on the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers.

Mr. Quiniones is also spearheading a series of award-winning efforts to advance energy efficiency and clean energy, including programs to cut energy use in State government buildings by 20 percent by 2020. As part of this effort, the Power Authority established New York Energy Manager (NYEM), the State’s first energy management network operations center. It provides real-time information on energy use at more than 10,000 public facilities, helping to improve efficiency, lower costs and reduce climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions.

Over the last decade, Mr. Quiniones has played a major role in crisis management. After Hurricanes Maria and Irma devastated Puerto in the fall of 2017, Mr. Quiniones led the New York State Contingent to help re-electrify the Island. He employed lessons from his experiences with Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, which struck parts of
Central New York in 2011. Mr. Quiniones successful led a multi-agency team that responded to these events.
The Puerto Rico relief effort was also guided by Mr. Quiniones’ extensive experience with Superstorm Sandy, when Governor Cuomo named him to oversee power restoration efforts by utilities on Long Island and in other downstate areas. As a member of the Governor’s NYS 2100 Commission, he led the development of various recommendations to enable the State’s energy infrastructure to better withstand extreme weather events. Subsequently, he was among a group of senior utility and trade association officials invited by President Barack Obama to assess means for strengthening future storm responses. A result of Mr. Quiniones’ emphasis on solid financial performance, NYPA has been recognized through upgrades by the three major credit-rating agencies –Standard & Poor’s (AA), Moody’s (Aa1) and Fitch (Positive).

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Mr. Quiniones is one of 18 chief executive officers chosen to represent the electric industry on the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC) and co-chair of the R&D Strategic Committee. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Electric Power Research Institute, the electric power industry’s international research and development organization in 2015. He is Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Alliance to Save Energy, serves on the Boards of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Smart Electric Power Alliance and the Large Public Power Council. He is NYPA’s principal representative to the American Public Power Association.

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After joining NYPA in 2007 as Executive Vice President of Energy Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Mr. Quiniones was promoted the following year to Chief Operating Officer. He previously served in several positions in the NYC administration under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, including more than four years as Senior Vice President of Energy and Telecommunications. Prior to that, he worked for 16 years at Con Edison, where he was one of four co-founders of Con Edison Solutions, the utility’s unregulated energy services company.

During his years in the New York City government, Mr. Quiniones served as the City’s chief consultant on energy policy issues and established and led Mayor Bloomberg’s Energy Policy Task Force, a public-private group that developed a comprehensive strategy for meeting the City’s future energy needs.

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Mr. Quiniones received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from De La Salle University in Manila and has completed graduate courses in engineering management and technology management at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. He has also participated in executive education programs at the Columbia University Business School.

Jigar Shah

Entrepreneur and Visionary

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Jigar Shah

Jigar Shah is an entrepreneur and visionary committed to leveraging the next economy by deploying existing technologies that solve the challenging issues of our time. He is author of the book: Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy. He is CEO of Jigar Shah Consulting and a board member of the Carbon War Room, the global organization founded by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin United to help entrepreneurs address climate change. He served as the Carbon War Room’s first CEO from 2009-2012. Shah’s first foray into realizing his vision of climate wealth was the founding of SunEdison in 2003; which remains one of the world’s leading solar services companies. At SunEdison, Shah simplified solar as a service by implementing the power purchase agreement (PPA) business model. The SunEdison business model enabled massive, scalable deployment of existing solar technology that turned solar into a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide. Prior to SunEdison, Shah worked within strategy at BP Solar, and before that was a contractor for the Department of Energy on vehicles and fuel cell programs. He sits on the boards of the SolarNexus, KMR Infrastructure, Viasole and Greenpeace USA. Shah holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign- Urbana, and an M.B.A. from The University of Maryland.

Jim Alberts

Senior Vice President Business Development and Strategy, Hawaiian Electric Company, Board Chair Elect

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Jim Alberts

Board Chair-Elect

Jim Alberts, Senior Vice President for Customer Service at Hawaiian Electric Company, spearheads the utility’s integration of distributed energy resources to help reach Hawaii’s mandate to run 100 percent on renewables by 2045. Jim joined Hawaiian Electric in 2012 as the Senior Vice President of Customer Service, coming to the company with more than 20 years of utility experience at Kansas City Power & Light and Aquila.

During his career, Jim has led teams and designed and implemented programs that focused on establishing top quality customer service and efficiency. While at KCP&L and Aquila as the Vice President of Customer Service, he was responsible for all customer contact channels, customer relations, quality assurance, e-services, billing, accounts receivable management, field services and meter reading. While at Aquila, he was a Lean Six Sigma Deployment Champion and certified Black Belt leading improvement teams across the Company.

He serves as a Board member of Hospice Hawaii, a non-profit organization dedicated to bring hope, reduce fears and impact lives in end-of-life care, and on the Hawaii Employers Council Board of Governors. Jim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Minnesota State University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Drake University.

Joe Hoagland

Vice President, Stakeholder Relations, Tennessee Valley Authority, Board Treasurer

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Joe Hoagland

Board Treasurer

Dr. Joe Hoagland is the Vice President of Stakeholder Relations at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). He is TVA’s Designated Federal Officer for both the Regional Energy Resource Council and the Regional Resource Stewardship Council. He is responsible for the strategic engagement of stakeholders around various issues including TVA’s energy resources, natural resource stewardship, and other key issues. Joe directs TVA’s strategy on technology innovation, research & development to improve TVA’s power system. He is responsible for TVA integrated resource planning process and is engaged in developing the DER strategy for TVA.

Joe has extensive experience in utility research and development including generation, technologies, distributed resources, storage, and environmental regulations. Some of Joe’s key responsibilities have included environmental policy, strategy, R&D, energy efficiency & renewables, and retail regulation, while serving in numerous TVA organizations including River Operations, Customer Relations and Office of CEO.

Joe has served on boards and committees for several industry related organizations including EPRI, SEPA, Electricity Storage Association, Department of Energy and CASL. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors for SEPA. He also serves on EPRI’s Resource Advisory Committee and is chair-elect. He is a Fellow for Energy Policy at the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy.

Joe earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Southern Utah University and master’s and doctorate degrees in physical chemistry from Washington State University.

Joe Slater

President & CEO, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative

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Joe Slater

Joe Slater is the President & CEO of Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, one of the largest in the nation, with $500 million in revenue, $1-billion in assets and 160,000 member-customers. He was appointed to that position in 2002. SMECO has 525 employees and a 15-member Board. He previously held the position of CFO with SMECO for 15 years.

Slater holds a MBA in finance from George Washington University, a bachelor’s degree from Shepherd University in accounting, and an associate’s degree from the College of Southern Maryland (CSM). He has extensive leadership experience in the electric cooperative industry and was formerly Vice President with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. He was also CEO of Tideland Electric Membership Corporation in North Carolina. He has held the position of Chairman of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Southern Maryland Workforce Investment Board and Chairman of the board of Trustees of the College of Southern Maryland (CSM).

He currently serves as a director for: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond (Baltimore Branch), Community Bank of the Chesapeake, CSM Foundation, University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center and is active in many civic and community organizations. Additionally, Slater serves on several industry-specific boards, including Chairman of ACES Power Marketing and the founding Secretary of the National Renewables Cooperative Organization.

John C. Morris

Vice President Market Development

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John C. Morris

John Morris is the Vice President of Market Development for D+R International. An energy consulting that furthers the advancement of energy efficient technologies with an eye toward deployment of grid edge programs. Specifically; John leads the electric vehicle practice area for D+R.
John has served on the board of Forth (Formerly Drive Oregon) for the past 4 years. At Forth, John is on the Executive Committee.
John was a strategic advisor to the first EV Bulk Buy in the State of Oregon. This EV Bulk Buy Promotion increased EV sales by 300%.
John has facilitated multiple utility workshops on the mechanics of bulk buy promotions and consumer marketing for electric vehicles.
John produced the first market snapshot report on the impacts of home charging on residential new home construction for the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance which covered market conditions in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
John, in partnership with Ben Yenter and the Yenter Group has launched the ChooseEV National Utility Platform which provides customer engagement and education tools for utilities across the US.

John Di Stasio

President, Large Public Power Council

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John Di Stasio

John Di Stasio joined the Large Public Power Council (LPPC) in August 2014. The LPPC represents the 26th largest consumer-owned utilities in the United States. Di Stasio serves as the Association’s President, based in Washington DC, representing the interests of the member organizations.

Di Stasio was formerly the General Manager and CEO of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) from June of 2008 through April of 2014. Di Stasio is the past president of both the Northwest Public Power Association and the California Municipal Utility Association and the vice chair of the Large Public Power Council. He was also a board member of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the American Public Power Association. He was a member of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Members Representative Committee.

Di Stasio was also a gubernatorial appointee to the California Workforce Investment Board. He was the Electric Light and Power Large Utility CEO of the Year in 2013. Di Stasio was also active in international energy issues in other countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, Botswana, India and Jordan. He was named Volunteer of the Year in 2013 by the United States Energy Association. He is a graduate of the University of San Francisco and a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum.

Di Stasio is a native Californian and fourth generation farmer. He is the owner of Di Stasio Vineyards, a commercial vineyard in Amador County, California. Di Stasio enjoys foreign travel, golf, fishing and Amador Zinfandels.

John Hewa

Vice President, Corporate Services, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, Board Secretary

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John Hewa

Board Secretary

John D. Hewa serves as REC’s Vice President of Corporate Services and is responsible for key functional areas including Finance and Administration, Human Resources and Employee Development, Safety and Security, and Information and Technology Services.

Hewa has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the electric utility industry and an in-depth knowledge of the cooperative business model. John’s experience spans leadership roles in the municipal, cooperative and energy research sectors. He has served as CEO of electric cooperatives in Texas and Florida, and as Vice President of Research, Engineering, and Technical Services at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) in Arlington, Virginia. At NRECA, Hewa worked to advance the adoption of beneficial technologies among the nation’s electric cooperatives and to address technical regulatory matters at the federal level. Prior to his cooperative career, Hewa managed the utilities department for the City of Manassas, Virginia. John brings an innovative approach and perspective on utility management, energy delivery systems, telecommunications and grid technology solutions.

Hewa holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in Engineering Management from the University of Tennessee. John is presently working on postgraduate studies in the engineering management doctoral cohort at The George Washington University. Hewa is a registered professional engineer.

Hewa also serves on the Board of Directors of the Energy Storage Association (ESA), a non-profit organization in Washington, DC, working with utilities, industry, and stakeholders to promote the adoption of beneficial energy storage technologies and to advance energy storage policy.

Kelly Speakes-Backman

Senior Vice President of Policy & Research, The Alliance to Save Energy

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Kelly Speakes-Backman

Kelly Speakes-Backman is Senior Vice President of Policy and Research at the Alliance to Save Energy. She is a former Commissioner of the Maryland Public Service Commission, who has spent more than 20 years working on energy and environmental issues in the public and private sectors. She earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Boston University.

Kenneth Munson

President & Co-Founder, Sunverge Energy

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Kenneth Munson

Kenneth Munson is President and Co-Founder of Sunverge Energy, a leader in the emerging clean-tech market focused on smart grid optimization and energy storage services delivered via a cutting-edge software-as-a-service computing platform. Kenneth leads the company’s operations and is responsible for the company’s strategic development including new business initiatives, corporate financing and mergers and acquisitions activity. Kenneth also serves as Adjunct Lecturer at St. Mary’s College of California Graduate School of Economics and Business Administration (SEBA). There he teaches Entrepreneurial Finance and Managing Innovation with the focus of strategic management of technology.

Kenneth also serves on the Board of Directors for Safety Center, Inc. Prior to founding Sunverge, Kenneth was Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for Kinetek, Inc. — a subsidiary of Jordan Industries. He drove expansion of its motion control technologies group throughout the U.S., Asia and Europe by leading and supporting joint ventures, acquisitions and new product development efforts. Concurrently, Kenneth oversaw Kinetek’s global brand management strategy for its entire portfolio of companies. Kenneth holds an MBA from St. Mary’s College of California School of Economics and Business Administration (SEBA) in international finance and business administration and a bachelor’s degree in marketing communications from California State University, Sacramento.

Lisa Frantzis

Senior Vice President, Advanced Energy Economy

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Lisa Frantzis

Lisa Frantzis is a Senior VP at Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), a national business association whose mission is to transform policy to ensure a more secure, clean and affordable energy system throughout the U.S. At AEE, she leads an initiative to accelerate the transition to a 21st Century Electricity System. The two primary activities of the initiative are:

  1. CEO Forums/Public Utility Commission (PUC) Forums that convene utility executives, PUC Commissioners and advanced energy companies to develop a vision for reform that is responsive to the needs of each state and drives towards concrete action.
  2. Participation in key regulatory proceedings where AEE develops joint positions with its members, provides analysis for justification of these positions and assists in implementation plans.

Lisa served as a Managing Director in Navigant Consulting’s Energy Practice since 2002, responsible for leading the renewable and distributed energy business. Prior to Navigant, she consulted at Arthur D. Little for 23 years in energy efficiency and clean energy. Over her 35 years of consulting experience, she has identified energy program options for international government agencies, determined renewable energy integration options for utility companies, developed business strategies for clean energy manufacturers and conducted due diligence for financial firms considering clean energy investments.

Lisa is currently on the Board of Directors of the New England Clean Energy Council (NECEC) and previously on the boards of three other organizations: the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), the Solar Energy Business Association of New England (SEBANE) and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA).

Mark Vanderhelm

Vice President of Energy, Walmart

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Mark Vanderhelm

Joining Walmart in 2015 as Vice President of Energy, Mark Vanderhelm leads the team supporting Walmart U.S., including Retail Energy, Energy Regulation and Management, Energy Services and Energy Development. He oversees the company’s global commitment to energy efficiency, sustainability and renewable energy.

Mark joins the company from Exelon Generation, LLC in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, where he managed Generation and Renewables Development. In this role, Mark led the team responsible for developing new generation projects (gas, solar, biomass, storage and hydro) and investing in new electricity-based technologies throughout the U.S. and Canada. In previous roles, he led business development for the retail team, as well as the wholesale origination team focused on the Southern U.S. Throughout these roles, Mark directed due diligence and negotiation for key growth projects for the organization. Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from University of Texas. He went on to earn a master’s degree and doctorate in nuclear engineering from MIT, where he co-directed the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations’ Reactor Technology Course for Utility Executives.

Mary E. Kipp

President

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Mary E. Kipp

Board Chair

Matt Handel

Vice President, Development for Solar, Distributed Generation and Energy Storage, NextEra Energy Resources, Inc.

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Matt Handel

Board Director

Matt Handel, Vice President, Development for Solar, Distributed Generation and Energy Storage, NextEra Energy Resources, Inc. has been serving for 15 years serving in leadership roles throughout the company.

From 2001 through 2006, Matt served as Vice President of Structured Transactions within NextEra Energy’s wholesale trading group working on long-dated customized power deals. During most of that time he focused on restructuring Qualifying Facility (QF) power purchase agreements. In 2006, Matt transitioned to manage power generation assets and served as Vice President of Northeast Generation where he had commercial responsibility for NextEra Energy’s 3 GW portfolio of merchant generating assets including nuclear, hydro, combined cycle and gas peakers in NEPOOL, PJM and the NYISO.

In 2009, Matt served as Vice President of Solar Development with responsibility for growing NextEra Energy’s utility scale solar business, eventually expanding his responsibilities to include establishing and growing a distributed generation division focused on non-residential, customer sited solar projects and reporting directly to the CEO. In 2013, Matt expanded his scope of responsibilities further to include energy storage, a portion of the company that focuses on grid connection and behind-the-meter storage applications, demand side management and microgrids.

Prior to joining NextEra Energy, Matt was a lawyer in New York and then a brewery owner in Colorado. He began his career in the energy business in 1998 at Citizens Power in Boston. Matt is a graduate of Stanford University and Columbia Law and has a wife who is a scientist and three kids aged 9-13.

Michael Champley

Former Comissioner, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission

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Michael Champley

Mr. Champley was appointed commissioner to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in September 2011 by Governor Neil Abercrombie. Commissioner Champley has over 40 years of experience analyzing, integrating and managing complex economic, public policy and technical issues facing the energy utility industry. Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Champley was a Maui-based senior energy consultant focused on clean energy resource integration in Hawaii.

Prior to re-locating to Hawaii, Commissioner Champley was a senior executive with DTE Energy, a major electric and gas energy company where he held various executive positions including Senior Vice President-Regulatory Affairs and Senior Vice President-Power Supply.

Commissioner Champley holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Dayton and a Master of Business Administration from Indiana University, with emphasis in Finance and Public Utility Economics and Regulation.

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