A native of Maine and a GWU graduate, Dana Sleeper’s most recent roles include Senior Associate at Hanover Research and Executive Director at the Binaytara Foundation. In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of MDV-SEIA, Dana works with Energy Administrations, County Government Officials, Legislators, Fire Marshals, and other key players in the energy industry to represent member interests.
Dana was elected to the national SEIA Board of Directors in 2013 by a vote of the 15 SEIA affiliates from around the country. She also serves as Committee Sponsorship Chair for the Ralph Verde Foundation, a non-profit that provides need-based scholarships to high school students.
Christopher Ercoli is a Deputy Director of Policy and Electricity Markets for SolarCity. He is responsible for implementing energy policy and reducing cost barriers to promote solar growth throughout the Northeast.
Prior to SolarCity, Chris conducted detailed feasibility, technical, and financial studies to help clients use energy more intelligently. He has 8 years of experience developing investment level energy audits, and has guided projects through system implementation and performance based compliance.
Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Union College and a Master’s degree in Carbon and Energy Management from the University of East Anglia, UK.
Francis, co-founder of SolUnesco leads business development, sales and strategy. He is a highly networked energy executive (public and private) with twenty-years experience in the traditional and alternative energy markets. Francis combines business development and general management expertise with a strong strategy, finance, policy and performance management capabilities. Francis has held leadership positions in both the private and public sectors including CFO for a power plant owner and operator; Deputy Director of the Federal regulator for offshore energy; and VP in charge of a distributed energy project development group. Francis is Board Treasurer of the MD-DC-VA Solar Energy Industry Association, Board President of the Virginia Advanced Energy Industries Association, Chair’s the Energy Workgroup for Governor McAuliffe’s Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission and is a committee member of Governor McAuliffe’s Energy Committee. He earned his MBA from the MIT’s Sloan School of Management and his BA in Economics from Colby College.
Steve J. Steffel is the Manager of Distributed Energy Resources and Analytics in Asset Strategy and Planning at Pepco Holdings Inc. in Washington DC. He has been involved in developing the System Planning criteria and requirements for Distributed Energy Resources and is actively working on implementing various mitigation strategies for intermittent resources. He has worked in various departments such as Distribution Planning, Transmission Planning, System Operations, Switchmen Training, and Engineering Standards. His areas of expertise are in distribution planning and evaluating, developing and integrating new technology into the electrical grid. Steve is a senior member of the IEEE and a registered professional engineer in New Jersey and Maryland. He earned a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University and an MBA degree from University of Baltimore.
Marc Korman was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2014.
Marc earned his Master’s degree in Government from Johns Hopkins University. He went on to receive his law degree from the University of Maryland where he was awarded the Public Service Award. He currently practices law at a firm in Washington, DC and has been a co-recipient of the firm’s Pro Bono Award. Marc has also sponsored several pieces of legislation in Maryland to incentivize the use of energy storage systems and to clarify how state regulations apply to those systems
From 2007 to 2014, Marc represented District 16 on the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee, the governing body of the local Democratic Party. Marc previously served as president of the Montgomery County Young Democrats and National Committeeman for the Young Democrats of Maryland. He has been an active member of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Democratic Breakfast Club and the District 16 Democratic Club.
Marc is a past chair of the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board, which advises the Montgomery County Executive and County Council on local issues including land use, transportation, education, public safety, and budgetary matters. Previously, he chaired the Citizens Advisory Board’s Public Safety and Quality of Life Committee. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Bethesda Urban Partnership, a non-profit organization which markets and manages downtown Bethesda. He has also volunteered with the Action Committee for Transit to promote the Purple Line and other transit solutions to traffic, the Montgomery County Parks Department to build and maintain the County’s terrific network of trails, and other local organizations. He was in the 2013 Leadership Montgomery class.
President and CEO, Secure Futures
Tony brings over 30 years experience in energy efficiency, solar energy, and community economic development in Vermont, Pennsylvania and Virginia. He served as founding first chairman of the Philadelphia Solar Energy Association; founding Executive Director of the Community Energy Development Corporation in Philadelphia; business consultant in creating the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (which later formed the first energy efficiency utility in the country); Commodity Trading Advisor in energy futures; National Program Leader for USDA in Community-Based Entrepreneurial Development; and founding Executive Director of the Staunton Creative Community Fund, Inc. He serves as a board member of the Virginia Alternative & Renewable Energy Association (VA-AREA), and serves on the Virginia Committee of the Maryland, DC and Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association (MDV-SEIA). He earned his Masters in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD from the Wharton School of Management, University of Pennsylvania.
Magnus Asbo, Director, Product Marketing, North America
Magnus has over 25 years of experience in high-tech, with experience in power electronics , semiconductor manufacture and telecommunications. Prior to SolarEdge, Magnus held positions as Director of Product Management for both SunEdison and Enphase Energy. Magnus’ experience reflects a passion for products and how they are used in real-world applications. Magnus earned an MBA from UC Berkeley and an electrical engineering degree from UC Santa Barbara.
Betty Watson is Deputy Director of Policy and Electricity Markets at SolarCity. Ms. Watson’s work includes policies for battery storage, microgrids, and utility business models for distributed resources, particularly on the east coast. Before joining SolarCity, Ms. Watson worked in the Office of Energy Policy and Innovation at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, where she advised the Commission on wholesale electricity markets and transmission policy. Prior to that, she completed an Energy and Environment Fellowship with the Regulatory Assistance Project, working on energy regulatory issues in the United States, European Union, China, and India. She received her Master of Environmental Management degree, in the Energy Concentration, from The Nicholas School at Duke University.
Harry A. Warren, Jr. is President of CleanGrid Advisors LLC, providing consulting and new venture development support on renewable energy opportunities nationwide, with special focus on Mid-Atlantic markets.
Harry was formerly Executive Vice President of Community Energy, Inc., a leading developer of large-scale solar power projects nationwide. Harry was responsible for coordinating sales in the Washington, D.C. – Baltimore region, as well as community solar, virtual net metering, and other retail customer access programs across the country.
Prior to joining Community Energy, Harry was president of Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc., a leading retail electricity and natural gas marketer in the mid-Atlantic region. He served as President of WGES from 1997 to 2014. WGES ranked first in customer satisfaction among retail electricity providers in Maryland in J.D. Power’s 2014 survey. The company was named Green Power Supplier of the Year in the non-utility category by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2011 and was given a Mayor’s Sustainability Award by the District of Columbia Department of the Environment in 2013. Harry negotiated the corporation’s first solar PPAs in 2008 and 2009. He previously worked for WGES’ utility affiliate, Washington Gas. At the utility he served in many roles including Executive Assistant in the Office of the Chairman, Director of Investor Relations, and Director of Sales. Prior to joining Washington Gas, Harry worked in research, development and design of renewable energy systems.
Harry serves on the Board of Directors of the National Energy Marketers Association and is past Chairman of its Executive Committee. He is on the Board of Directors of the Maryland-DC- Virginia Solar Energy Industry Association and serves as the Association’s Treasurer. He was presented with a Solar Leader – Industry award by MDV-SEIA in 2011. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University and a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.
Aaron Kraus is the Director of Market Activation and Policy for Greenworks Lending. Greenworks is one of the leading Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) providers for the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) segment of the market. Mr. Kraus is charged with leading market development, external affairs and government relations for key emerging markets across the country.
Prior to Greenworks Lending, Aaron was a Director of Policy and Electricity Markets for SolarCity where he led national policy and market activities for the C&I business. In addition to federal, state and local government affairs matters, he worked on project diligence and market development.
Aaron received his graduate degree from Johns Hopkins University and his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland.
Shelley Cohen is Co-CEO of Alpha Solar Group. She brings to Alpha Solar Group 17 years of hands on renewable energy and energy efficiency project development experience. Shelley is a respected solar industry professional, who has developed close to 20 MWs of renewable energy, including solar projects in DE and DC while working as a Senior Project Developer at Ameresco. She has an expertise working with clients to assess needs, design project options, and bring projects on-line. Prior to working at Ameresco, she worked for the EPA promoting renewable energy, at the White House on sustainable development, and on Capitol Hill. She currently serves on the boards of MDV-SEIA, NWF, and was recently accepted as one of the 2015 recipients of the Women’s Leadership Fellow at the Impact Center. Shelley has a 12kw solar system on her home, and regularly gives tours and provides information on solar. She spends as much of her free time as possible outdoors with her family.
Nicole Steele, Executive Director of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic, has over 10 years of experience in the environmental and energy fields in the areas of urban planning, grassroots advocacy, policy development, program design and implementation as well as many other disciplines. Nicole manages the Mid-Atlantic office and works with policymakers at the local and state levels to help them develop and implement inclusive solar policies. Prior to joining GRID Alternatives, she managed the Alliance to Save Energy’s Policy team’s development program and budget, external communications, and high profile initiatives including energy efficiency in city planning and the Alliance’s Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy. Nicole was also the Director of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, a 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) stimulus program, for Loudoun County, Virginia. While in that position she designed, commissioned and implemented twelve separate energy-related projects ranging from capital improvements to feasibility studies to education and outreach programs. Prior to moving into that role, Nicole was a legislative and long-range land use planner for the county. Ms. Steele also has a background in campaign management, grant management and review, state and local policy making, and green building. – See more at: http://www.gridalternatives.org/regions/midatlantic/about/staff#sthash.8r641JKT.dpuf
Jennifer is the Head of Regulatory and Compliance at Ethical Electric, where she engages stakeholders in the development of policies and regulations on retail and renewable energy and ensures that company contracts and marketing materials are in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. Previously, Jennifer worked for Direct Energy and was responsible for the development, advocacy, and implementation of legislative and regulatory policies to support the company’s solar growth agenda. Her background in issues impacting restructured (energy choice) states gives her a unique perspective on renewable energy policy. Jennifer has extensive experience in smart meter and data access policy, and has testified on these issues in D.C., OH, IL, and MA. Jennifer has Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Philosophy from The Ohio State University and a J.D. with a concentration in environmental and energy law from Capital University. Jennifer resides in Columbus, Ohio and is an avid gardener and food preservationist.
Andrea has been leading The Solar Foundation since the relaunch of the organization in 2010, starting out as the single employee. In those early years, it was just Andrea and a shoe-string budget. By the end of 2015, Andrea had grown both the team and operating budget by nearly 20-fold.
As President and Executive Director, Andrea sets the tone, provides overall management and strategic direction, and works closely with the Board to develop and implement high-level research and national educational initiatives that promote greater solar uptake. She is also the lead on The Solar Foundation’s highly-acclaimed annual National Solar Jobs Census report series and frequently presents on practical solar “best practice” approaches, providing consultation to numerous organizations including the National Academy of Sciences and the Inter-American Development Bank.
Prior to The Solar Foundation, Andrea ran the City of Milwaukee’s U.S. Department of Energy Solar America Cities program, “Milwaukee Shines,” from 2008-2010. In this position, she helped Milwaukee implement policies aimed at increasing solar energy capacity, including the implementation of one of the nation’s first Property Assessed Clean Energy financing programs and the establishment of the Milwaukee Metro Solar Hot Water Business Council.
Andrea is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. At the University of Wisconsin, she earned her Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership and Management and was awarded the highly competitive Center for Economic Development fellowship through the UW Consortium for Economic Opportunity.
Luke Clippinger is a native Baltimorean, a prosecutor who advocates for victims of crime, and a leader in the General Assembly.
Luke works as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Anne Arundel County, where he seeks justice for victims of domestic violence and property crimes. Luke’s work as an ASA has given him insight into what does and doesn’t work in the criminal justice system. As a delegate, Luke has used that knowledge to shield those who seek protective orders against abusers, to give law enforcement tools to stop the “straw purchase” of guns, and to increase penalties for part-time teachers who enter into sexual relationships with their students. In 2015, Luke Clippinger received the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault Visionary Award.
Luke now serves on the House Economic Matters Committee. On ECM, Luke has led the way to expand opportunities for Marylanders to generate solar energy. He sponsored the Community Solar Pilot program which will allow over a million Maryland households to save money on their electricity bills by purchasing shares of solar arrays. This leadership was recognized by the Maryland/ DC/ Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association who gave Luke its Solar Champion award.
In 2015, Luke was selected to be the chair of the Democratic caucus in the House of Delegates; as such, he is also on the Speaker’s Leadership team. He was a German Marshall Fellow in 2012, chosen from leaders across the country to help deepen relationships with leaders in Europe.
Melanie Santiago-Mosier serves as the Program Director, Low-Income Solar Access for Vote Solar, the nation’s leading non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to bringing solar energy into the mainstream. In her role at Vote Solar, Ms. Santiago-Mosier works to expand access to solar for low-income communities by developing policy solutions. Prior to joining Vote Solar, she led the government affairs efforts for organizations such as the Maryland Public Service Commissions and Washington Gas Energy Services, after serving as counsel and policy analyst for the Maryland General Assembly. Most recently, she served as a regional policy director for SunEdison. Ms. Santiago-Mosier has 10 years of experience and claims a number of policy victories, many involving enhanced incentives and opportunities for renewable energy development. Melanie is an attorney licensed to practice law in Maryland, and holds her JD from the University of Maryland School of Law, and her BA from St. John’s College. She was recently named one of Maryland’s “Leading Women” by The Daily Record, Maryland’s premier business and legal news publication.
Angela Navarro currently serves as Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources for Governor McAuliffe. In this role, she works on clean air, land conservation, and energy policies. Prior to her appointment, she spent five years in the Virginia office of the Southern Environmental Law Center, where she was a member of the Clean Energy and Air team. While at SELC, she led the organization’s work to advance investments in energy efficiency across the Southeast and represented clients in electric utility proceedings before the Virginia State Corporation Commission. Angela is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Florida and holds a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
Hayes Framme is the Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade and Adviser for Infrastructure and Development for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Framme previously worked as a Public Affairs Manager for Capital Results, a public affairs firm based in Richmond. Framme managed strategic communications and government relations work for clients from a variety of sectors of the economy. Prior to this, Hayes worked in the Economic Research office of Altria Client Services, conducting legislative and regulatory research and data analysis. He also served in the Administration of Tim Kaine as Executive Aide to the Governor. Hayes holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina and an M.B.A. with a dual focus on Applied Economics and Human Resource Management from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.
Colby Ferguson is the Government Relations Director for Maryland Farm Bureau, where he is in charge of representing Maryland Farm Bureau on issues in both Annapolis and Washington D.C.
Prior to joining Maryland Farm Bureau, Colby was the Agriculture Business Development Specialist for Frederick County for nine years. In that capacity, he worked with elected officials at the state and local level to implement legislation important to the farm community.
Prior to his county position, Colby was the sales and marketing manager for Sinclair Cattle Company, a purebred Angus ranch in Pennsylvania. He has also been a nutrition specialist for dairy, beef, swine, sheep and horses with Southern States Cooperative.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science, biotechnology from Oklahoma State University. He is a 2006 LEAD Maryland fellow and currently serves on the LEAD Maryland Board of Directors. Colby also serves on the Maryland Agriculture Council Board of Directors and Maryland Agriculture Marketing Professionals group.
Colby is an experienced livestock judge and coach and lives with his wife, Stacy, and two children, Chase and Mickinzi, in Walkersville.
As the Director of Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel for SRECTrade, Allyson Browne monitors policy developments and legislative proceedings that impact the states’ solar renewable energy credit markets. In addition to serving as General Counsel for the firm, Allyson oversees a team of certification professionals who work closely with the state agencies, installer partners, and clients of SRECTrade. Prior to joining SRECTrade, Allyson served as a law clerk at the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office for the Public Utilities team and as a Legislative Intern to San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell. Allyson earned her B.S. in International Business from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and USC’s sister College of International Studies in Madrid, Spain. After graduating from USC, Allyson began law school at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, studying international law abroad at the Université Paris X Nanterre in Paris, France. She received her Juris Doctorate degree in 2013, with an emphasis on environmental and international law. Allyson is an active member of the California State Bar.
Sara Rafalson has been with Sol Systems since 2011, and has worked for the firm in many different roles in business development, public affairs, and operations.
Today, Ms. Rafalson oversees market strategy and is responsible for state-level solar policy advocacy. She also manages the firm’s relationships with industry nonprofits and regional and national trade associations, including SEIA, MDV-SEIA, NECEC, NJSEC, ACORE, and REEBA. Ms. Rafalson is the author of the monthly SOURCE: The Sol Project Finance Journal, which has a distribution list of nearly 3,500 professionals in the solar industry and related fields.
Prior to Sol Systems, Ms. Rafalson worked for three years as a sustainability program manager at the University of North Carolina’s Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling. She was also a Fellow in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Interior during the summer of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In 2009, Ms. Rafalson spent a summer advocating for national climate and energy policy in Anchorage, Alaska at the Alaska Center for the Environment. She is also fluent in conversational Spanish after living in South America for six months.
Ms. Rafalson holds a BA in International Studies, Sustainability, and Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with highest distinction and was captain of the water polo team. She is co-chair of the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) Women’s EmPOWERment initiative, and was previously President of Women in Solar Energy (WISE).
Brett Waikart is the Director of Environmental Markets for SRECTrade. Brett is responsible for the institutional brokerage aspect of SRECTrade’s business. Brett comes from a commodity and equity derivative brokerage background, most recently leading the team at an equity derivatives trading desk servicing the hedge fund sector. He helped establish the firm’s research and strategy team, focusing on equity-volatility pricing and behavior across both macro and single-name products. Brett graduated from the University of Richmond with a B.S. in Finance and Business Administration and is a Chartered Financial Advisor (CFA) Charterholder.
Katharine M. Bond is Senior Policy Advisor for Strategy and Execution at Dominion and Executive Director of the Dominion Foundation. In this role she is responsible for coordinating and helping to drive the external communications and outreach strategy for Dominion. She works with other senior leaders to define an overall public tone for the company and leverage internal and external assets to communicate the company’s message to customers, key stakeholders, regulators, and traditional and social media. In addition, she works as a lobbyist before the Virginia General Assembly and is the company’s public policy lead on renewable energy.
Katharine serves on the Board of Visitors of Longwood University, College Building Authority of Virginia, and the Solar Energy Development Authority of Virginia. She represents Dominion on the Energy Committee of the Virginia Manufacturers Association and as vice-chair of the Virginia Offshore Wind Coalition. She is also a member of 2016 class of Lead Virginia.
For over twenty years Joel has built a successful career in energy technology. As co-founder and President of Cannon Technologies, Inc. he participated in the creation of one of most successful and respected electric power automation companies in North America. After establishing an industry leading portfolio of electric demand response, smart thermostat and smart metering solutions, Cannon Technologies was acquired by Cooper Industries (NYSE: CBE) as the foundation for Cooper’s Energy Automation Solutions group. Joel has expertise in growth management, product and market strategy, production, and marketing, as well as over two decades of experience in electric power markets. Joel was the CEO of Ten K from its inception until June 2016 when he appointed Jeff Hohn to assume that role. Joel holds a B.S. from South Dakota State University, an MBA from the University of Minnesota and serves as an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship in the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Joel, along with Dallas Meyer, co-founded Ten K Solar.
Thomas J. (Tom) Starrs has more than 25 years of renewable energy experience, with an emphasis on both distributed- and utility-scale solar photovoltaic market assessment and business development. Tom is Vice President, Market Strategy and Policy for SunPower Corporation, responsible for the company’s policy analysis and advocacy, market forecasting and analysis, and downstream market strategy. He serves as a representative to the Renewables Northwest Project. Tom is a past president of the American Solar Energy Society. He was also the principle architect of Washington State’s net metering law (the second state net metering law in the US)
Before joining SunPower in March 2009, Tom was Managing Director of Solar Power for Iberdrola Renewables, Inc., the U.S. arm of the world’s leading renewable energy development company. He launched and led Iberdrola’s entry into the utility-scale solar power project development in the United States, including shaping and implementing a business plan, acquiring a portfolio of high-value sites for utility-scale projects, and extending the company’s global leadership in wind power development to include solar power as well. Tom is a past president of US Schott Solar, a German owned solar company.
Tom holds a Ph.D. in Energy and Resources from U.C. Berkeley, and a law degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law at U.C. Berkeley. He is 48 years old, and lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and two children.
Colleen Lueken is the Director of Market Analytics at AES Energy Storage. She leads the quantitative modeling and analysis of energy markets in the US and internationally supporting commercial development of grid-scale and distributed energy storage. She holds a joint PhD in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University and Instituto Superior Tecnico in Lisbon, Portugal, where she researched methods of integrating renewable energy into the electricity grid. She holds a Master’s in Engineering and Public Policy from the University of Maryland and a BS in Aerospace Engineering from MIT. Before graduate study she worked at the Science and Technology Policy Institute, developing policy guidance for the executive branch the of the US government.
Mike Volpe is a renewable energy industry expert with nearly a decade of experience spanning origination, development, and finance. Mike currently is a co-founder and Vice President at Open Road Renewables, a utility-scale solar development company. Prior to Open Road, Mike most recently served as the PJM Director at SunEdison focused on ground-mounted projects in the Mid-Atlantic. Mike began his career at GE Energy selling wind, gas, and steam turbines to renewable energy developers and electric utilities. Mike holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University.
Paul Lanning is Cofounder and Managing Director of Lightbox, an energy and sustainability program management firm focused on deploying distributed energy resources. Lightbox specializes in solar PV, energy efficiency, and smart roofs. Prior to starting Lightbox, Mr. Lanning was Vice President and Director of Energy & Sustainability Services at BLUEFIN, LLC, a roof management consulting firm. Mr. Lanning has managed energy, technology, and facility consulting projects on over 100 million square feet of building area for private industry and government agencies. He holds a BA and a MBA from the University of Denver.
Ron Celentano is a solar energy industry consultant with Celentano Energy Services (CES). He started in working in the solar energy field nearly 40 years ago, with the last 20 years focused on solar PV. Generally, his experience covers technical and policy related fields, including installer/code official training, curriculum development, system design, installation, commissioning, testing, performance monitoring; project oversight representing the customer; expert witness regarding technical assessments of PV systems and products; rebate program administration. He has been involved with helping shape all of Pennsylvania’s state laws and regulations in solar energy over the past two decades, including net metering, interconnection, PA’s solar share requirement, and many other policy related issues. Currently, he is President of Pennsylvania Solar Energy Industries Assoc. (PASEIA) and V.P. of Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Assoc. (MSEIA) for Pennsylvania, and he holds a BS in Physics and MS in the field of Mechanical Engineering.
Todd is a Member in the law firm of Gordon Feinblatt LLC in Baltimore, Maryland, Chairs the Firm’s Energy and Environmental Practice and is the Team Leader of the Power Development Team.
Todd devotes substantial time to developing large solar projects in Maryland, providing permitting counsel for more than a dozen utility-scale solar projects with more than 300 MWs of capacity. The majority of these projects have progressed through Maryland’s Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (“CPCN”) process, though Todd has also handled CPCN-exempt projects. He successfully represented a client to obtain the first solar CPCN issued in Maryland for a 20MW facility. These projects leverage not only his experience in energy matters but also his knowledge of the environmental aspects. He often participates in Maryland Public Service Commission rulemakings, including community solar.
Todd has been named a “Maryland Rising Star” in Energy & Natural Resources Law in Maryland Super Lawyers Magazine each year since 2010. He received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Baltimore School of Law and his undergraduate degree from Stevenson University.
Frank’s expertise lies at the intersection of business and government. As president of consultancy P.R. Quinlan, he helps energy companies understand and respond successfully to public policy opportunities and challenges. Frank and his team have over three decades’ of experience in retail electricity and clean energy markets in more than 20 states, and the firm leverages its strong network of public stakeholder relationships to build outside consensus and support for clients’ policy goals. Frank’s public affairs and advocacy skills help organizations to see the private opportunity in public policy trends, and then engage the right strategy to successfully achieve their objectives. He provides the insight and leadership needed to help organizations think through complicated issues.
Prior to founding P.R. Quinlan in July 2014, Frank managed the public affairs practice at Strategic Communications, LLC, where he provided strategic consultation and government relations assistance to clients in multiple sectors – including energy, education, healthcare, financial services, engineering, manufacturing, and more. Frank also worked as a senior industry and trade analyst at the U.S. Department of Commerce. His portfolio included identifying trade and policy barriers to the international competitiveness of U.S. clean energy firms and developing effective strategies to overcome those obstacles.
A native of Syracuse, NY, Frank currently resides with his wife and son in Arlington, VA. He has a Master of Arts degree, with distinction, from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he concentrated in international business-government relations, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, summa cum laude, from Providence College.
Mr. Hemphill for much of his career was employed at AES, a global electric power generating and distribution company, where he served as Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff to the CEO. Hemphill was one of the three executives who started the company in 1981, growing it from a million dollar six person start up. AES owns and operates 32,000 MW of power plants in 18 countries around the globe, is publicly listed on the NYSE, and had approximately $39 billion in assets and $17 billion of revenues in 2014.
Recently, Hemphill was the founder and CEO of AES Solar Power Ltd from its inception until the end of 2013. The company, formed in March 2008, was a joint venture of the AES Corporation and Riverstone LLC, an energy focused private equity fund. AES Solar grew from a small start-up to become a leading developer, owner and operator of utility-scale photovoltaic solar plants providing power to the grid. Under his leadership, the company designed, permitted, financed and constructed fifty-one solar plants (526 MW) in seven countries: Spain, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, India and the US, for $2.5 billion in assets.
Since leaving AES Solar, Hemphill has published two books about his energy, international and business experience: Dust Tea, Dingoes and Dragons, and Stories from the Middle Seat. Both are available on Amazon. He is a columnist for Huffington Post, and is advising several small renewable companies.
Earlier in his career he was a senior policy official at the Department of Energy and Deputy Manager of Power at the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Mr. Hemphill graduated Magna Cum Laude from Yale University and earned an MA from UCLA and an MBA from George Washington University. He served as an airborne infantry officer in the US Army in Vietnam, and in the Special Forces.
Erika’s professional background spans the not-for-profit sectors of youth development, national service, green construction, and workforce development. Soon after installing panels with GRID for the first time while serving as an AmeriCorps member with Habitat Humanity East Bay, she co-founded Green City Force, a non-profit that combines service and training to connect youth of low-income backgrounds to opportunities in the green economy. Erika joined GRID Alternatives in 2015 and is proud to now focus her time on making solar careers accessible through supporting GRID Alternative’s workforce development efforts. Erika is a Brooklyn, NY native and studied Computer Science and Studio Art at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
Maria Duaime Robinson, Associate Director of Energy Policy and Analysis, manages Advanced Energy Economy’s state policy work for its Clean Power Plan campaign. In addition, she manages AEE’s report development and data-driven analysis at the state and national level. Previously, she worked for Navigant Consulting in the renewable energy practice, performing market and technology analysis, strategy assessments, and supporting the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in analyzing and procuring contractors for statewide renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. She holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from MIT and a Masters of Jurisprudence in Energy Law from the University of Tulsa. She lives in Framingham, Mass. with her husband.
Mike Healy is the CEO of New Columbia Solar, a District of Columbia based solar company whose mission is to positively impact all District residents and businesses by making clean and affordable solar energy extremely accessible. We provide easy to understand, zero up-front cost solar solutions to residents and businesses across the District and provide our customers with recurring revenue by turning their idle rooftops into revenue generating assets.
Mike has been a fervent leader in developing solar policy across the mid-Atlantic region, having been influential in the development, design and advocacy of the District of Columbia and Maryland RPS programs. Mike is also an experienced entrepreneur and business strategist who has played a key role in starting two successful energy companies. He has been instrumental in developing business growth strategies from start-up level to maturity, including originating more than 30 successful partnerships within the private and public sectors. Mike has a proven track record of developing a long-term strategy, implementing the tactics to maintain and execute that strategy, and delivering results. Mike recently served as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of SEIA (Solar Energy Industry Association) a nationwide trade association advocating for the solar industry and also served as Vice President and Policy Chair at MDV-SEIA. He is a former founder and partner at Nextility Inc. and ConnectDER, inc.
Jim Kurtz, Founder and President of RER Energy Group, is passionately committed to expanding the benefits of solar. He has been involved in the development and financing of solar energy since 2008, helping organizations leverage more savings from solar and working to increase the pool of investors who participate in this market. Jim and his team focus on educating customers and developing solutions to maximize their savings with solar. This tenacious, customer-centered approach has lead to tremendous growth and recognition as one of the Top 50 U.S. Solar Developers.
In addition to extensive entrepreneurial experience, Jim worked previously at The Blackstone Group, QVC, and Cendant Corp. Jim earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and his B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School of Business.
Jim Walker is Vice President, Solar PV for Ameresco, where he is responsible for leading and building Ameresco’s solar PV business in the East Region. Jim brings 40 years of diverse energy experience focused on energy efficiency projects, energy supply management contracts and strategies, and solar PV project development for large manufacturing corporations and municipalities. Jim’s early career was a Corporate Energy Manager for GTE Corporation. Following GTE, Jim started the Corporate Supply Management Services business unit for XENERGY, Inc.
As a volunteer, Jim created and co-founded the Ignite Clean Energy Business Plan Competition for the MIT Enterprise Forum. He was a Board Member of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge for six years. MIT awarded Jim two honors, including a 2006 Presidential Citation.
Jim earned an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management and a BS in mechanical engineering degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Rich Walsh manages the clean energy program at WGL Energy (NYSE: WGL). In his role, he is responsible for clean energy related client advisory, origination of investments, development of new product offerings and execution of the clean energy program strategy. To date, WGL Energy’s portfolio includes distributed generation projects in 19 states totaling over 200 MW and over $500mm invested. On the retail side of the business, WGL Energy has renewable energy partnerships in place with General Services Administration, the State of Maryland and many Fortune 500 Companies. Outside of his work with WGL Energy, Rich was selected as a member of the World Energy Council’s Global Future Energy Leaders 100 Programme, he is on the board of Young Professionals in Energy NYC Chapter, he is a member of the steering committee for the American Council on Renewable Energy’s Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance (ACORE PREF); and he is active with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) serving on the SEIA project finance subcommittee.
Rich is a graduate of Samford University where he studied Finance and Spanish and was captain of the Men’s Tennis Team. He currently resides in New York City with his wife.
Claudia Callaway is chair of Katten’s Consumer Finance Litigation practice, co-chair of the Class Action and Multidistrict Litigation practice, and leads the firm’s newly formed Platform Lending Initiative. In these roles she focuses her practice on defending clients against state and federal class actions regarding consumer protection and consumer finance laws, representing clients before the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state banking agencies, and assisting clients in adhering to the dynamic landscape of platform and peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.
Claudia has deep experience representing Clean Energy providers, installers, lenders and their investors. She regularly teams with her colleagues in Katten’s Structured Finance group to provide multi-disciplined representation for the firm’s Clean Energy clients.
Christina J. Grigorian works with clients in all matters related to banks, bank holding companies, and state-licensed consumer and commercial lenders. She counsels the firm’s financial institution clients concerning structural and operational issues, including legislative developments impacting such operations and has worked with companies and individuals in the establishment of de novo entities, such as national banks, federal savings banks and state-chartered institutions, as well as state-licensed lenders.
Christina works with lead generators (marketers), installers and solar companies in connection with the compliant offering of solar products directly to consumers. Related to this, Christina has reviewed contractual agreements between commercial entities related to the provision of such products and services as well as lease and purchase agreements provided directly to consumers.
While attending law school, Christina served as the editor in chief of The Business Lawyer, a joint publication of the University of Maryland School of Law and the American Bar Association Section of Business Law. She also was a quarterfinalist in the Morris B. Myerowitz Moot Court Competition in 1996.
Dr. Eric D Wachsman, Director of the University of Maryland Energy Research Center, is the William L. Crentz Centennial Chair in Energy Research with appointments in both the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Maryland. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering from Stanford University, and his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.
Dr. Wachsman is a Fellow of both The Electrochemical Society (ECS) and the American Ceramic Society (ACerS). He was formerly Chair of the High Temperature Materials Division of ECS. He currently Chairs the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Subcommittee and the National Capitol Section, and serves on the Board of Directors, Technical Affairs and Fuel Cell Subcommittee of ECS. In addition, he is Editor-in-Chief of Ionics, on the Editorial Board of Scientific Reports, Energy Systems, and Energy Technology, and a member of the American Chemical Society, the International Society for Solid State Ionics, and the Materials Research Society.
His research is focused on solid ion-conducting materials and electrocatalysts, and includes the development of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), solid-state batteries, ion-transport membrane reactors, solid-state gas sensors, and the electrocatalytic conversion of CH4, CO2, and NOx, using advanced ion conducting materials. He has more than 230 publications and 12 patents on ionic and electronic transport in materials, and their catalytic properties, and device performance.
Dr. Wachsman is a frequent invited panelist on fuel cell and hydrogen energy research, ranging from the US Department of Energy “Fuel Cell Report to Congress” and “Basic Research Needs Related to High Temperature Electrochemical Devices for Hydrogen Production, Storage and Use,” to the National Science Foundation “Workshop on Fundamental Research Needs in Ceramics,” NATO “Mixed Ionic-Electronic Conducting (MIEC) Perovskites for Advanced Energy Systems,” and the National Academies “Global Dialogues on Emerging Science and Technologies.” He also serves on numerous boards and was appointed by the Governor to the Board of Directors of the Maryland Clean Energy Center.
Ben has spent 14 years working in local, State and regional public policy and administration. He currently serves as Special Assistant to Director Tommy Wells at the District Department of Energy and Environment and leads the Department’s Green Economy initiatives – including green workforce and financing programs. Ben formerly served as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to Lieutenant Governor Anthony G. Brown of Maryland where he focused on public-private partnerships, health care and public safety. Prior to joining the State, Ben worked on smart growth, transportation and environmental issues in Montgomery County, Maryland.
A product of Brooklyn, NY, Ben earned a BA in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, a MA in Peace and Justice Studies from the University of San Diego and an MBA from the University of Maryland Smith School of Business. Ben and his wife, Danielle, live in Washington DC.
Richard “Rip” Sullivan and his wife, Beth, were both raised in Northern Virginia. Before being elected to the House of Delegates in 2014, Rip served our region on numerous boards and commissions, and has extensive experience in transportation, housing, education, and legal policy.
Rip has been widely recognized as a leader in our community, as reflected in his appointments to numerous Northern Virginia boards and commissions. His appointments include the Fairfax Consumer Protection Commission, Transportation Advisory Commission, the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, and the Park Authority. Additionally, Rip served as president of the Legal Services of Northern Virginia, a non-profit institution providing legal services to low-income residents. Rip is also a former member of the Board of Governors for the Virginia Bar Association.
Rip graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College, and received his law degree from the University of Virginia.
Nathan Serota is a Senior Analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance. His responsibilities include covering, interpreting and forecasting developments in US photovoltaic markets, with a focus on the ‘downstream’ elements of solar (deployment) and where investment risks and opportunities lie. He has presented at industry conferences across North America, spoken at universities and been featured in publications such as the Washington Post, Politico, the Chicago Tribune, Scientific American and Bloomberg.
Nicole W. Sitaraman serves an an Assistant People’s Counsel at the Office of the People’s Counsel for the District of Columbia (DC OPC). She is the People’s Counsel’s chief advisor on renewable energy policy issues and is team leader of DC OPC’s Energy Efficiency and Sustainability division. Ms. Sitaraman represents District of Columbia ratepayers before the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia, Council of the District of Columbia, PJM Interconnection, as well as federal regulatory agencies. She was the principal coordinator of DC OPC’s first ever city-wide consumer education symposium last year – Horizons 2015: Uniting Energy, Technology and Consumers. Ms. Sitaraman currently serves as the coordinator of the agency’s Value of Solar study, as well as Chair of the Distributed Energy Resources Committee of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA). Prior to working in utility consumer advocacy, Ms. Sitaraman served as a Senior Associate in a nationally-recognized civil and employee rights law firm where she represented numerous workers in race discrimination, sexual harassment, environmental and nuclear whistleblower retaliation cases. She holds a B.A. in English from Yale University and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law.
Ben Margolis is a director on the Customer Energy Services team at Sol Systems, where he focuses on managing strategic partnerships to deliver projects directly to solar energy off-takers and system hosts.
Prior to joining the CES team, Mr. Margolis co-led Sol Systems’ project origination efforts, where he served as the intermediary between the company’s investment teams, and the developers and Sponsors seeking capital. Since joining in 2013, under his leadership, the origination team sourced over 1GW of project pipeline, leading to the deployment of over $100 million into solar assets.
With over ten years of experience, Ben has extensive knowledge on the distributed generation (DG) and utility-scale solar markets, and the ability to identify high-quality investment opportunities for purchase and/or to structure project finance. Prior to Sol Systems, he was a project engineer at SunEdison, responsible for managing commercial project development and construction for domestic and international projects. Additionally, Mr. Margolis founded and led Pentricity, a company that worked with publicly-owned utilities to implement residential energy efficiency solutions.
Mr. Margolis holds an MBA from University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and a Bachelor of Sciences in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland.
Colin Meehan is Director of Regulatory and Public Affairs at First Solar, the largest U.S.-based solar PV panel manufacturer and a leading global provider of comprehensive PV solar systems that use its advanced module and system technology. First Solar’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment.
Mr. Meehan manages local and state regulatory matters in the Eastern Interconnect and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas as well as some federal regulatory matters. Mr. Meehan currently serves on the Technical Advisory Committee for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the Executive Committee of the Georgia Large Scale Solar Association, and Virginia Technology Leaders for Renewable Energy. Prior experience includes leading Comverge, Inc.’s demand response regulatory and market strategy throughout several states; serving as Environmental Defense Fund’s Policy Manager for U.S. Climate and Energy; Wholesale Settlement Analyst for the Lower Colorado River Authority focusing on ERCOT nodal market implementation; and as a wholesale power markets analyst for ICF International where he served as lead analyst for ICF’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative work using the IPM model.
Mr. Meehan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Math and Economics from the University of Rochester and a Master of Science degree in Energy and Earth Resources from the University of Texas at Austin.
Anya is the founder and Executive Director of Community Power Network, a national nonprofit that helps communities build and promote local renewable energy projects and policies.
In 2007, Anya founded Mt. Pleasant Solar Co-op with her son Walter after helping 45 neighbors in her Mount Pleasant neighborhood go solar. Anya then went on to foster the creation of 11 other solar co-ops in DC, eventually forming a city-wide organization DC Solar United Neighborhoods (DC SUN) to make solar accessible and affordable to all Washington DC residents. Since 2001 in her role as President of DC SUN, Anya has helped more than 700 homeowners in Washington, DC go solar and passed numerous pieces of critical solar legislation.
In 2009 Ms. Schoolman was honored as the MDV-SEIA Solar Champion, as well as one of CALFinder’s 10 Amazing Activists in the Name of Solar. In April 2014, Ms. Schoolman was selected as one of 10 White House Champions of Change for Solar Deployment for her groundbreaking work to deploy solar in the National Capital region.
Anya holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Barnard College and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs, with a concentration in International Environmental Policy and Management, from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. In her previous work, Anya served as a consultant for grant makers and organizations on environmental strategy. She also spent nearly 10 years working for the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of the Interior.
Jeff develops new business for Sigora, whether he’s connecting with contractors, homeowners, or commercial enterprises that are installing solar energy.
Edward H. Comer is Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary at the Edison Electric Institute. He began at EEI as a staff attorney in 1981 and became Vice President and General Counsel in 1998. Ed was elected Corporate Secretary in September 2011.
At EEI, Ed is responsible for all legal issues affecting EEI and its members and works directly on the critical policy issues affecting the electric industry. He represents EEI in Congress and in proceedings before federal regulatory agencies, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and several others agencies. He also represents EEI before state legislative and administrative bodies and with state officials on matters of generic industry interest. Currently he is engaged in issues involving clean energy and storage, EPA’s proposed greenhouse standards for fossil fuel units; competitive market reforms, (including PURPA reform) grid modernization, reliability, resiliency and customer solutions; and general utility regulation.
Ed holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Chicago (1971), where he specialized in Russian History, and a Law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School (1974). He is a member of the Energy Bar Association and the Association General Counsel Forum and an avid bicyclist in his free time.
Matthew is a principal of Richmond based Virginia Solar LLC, an independent developer of utility-scale solar projects in Virginia and Sunworks NC LLC a solar consulting firm. Matthew manages all engineering, development, permitting and interconnection processes regarding the Virginia Solar’s solar projects. Virginia Solar’s first project, the 17 MW Scott-1 project located in Powhatan County, Virginia is being installed. Virginia Solar has received 6 conditional use permits and 2 state permit by rule permits. Matthew has supported and advised investors which have acquired 775 MW and developed another 200 of utility scale solar projects since 2013. Matthew holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a BA in French Language and Literature from North Carolina State University.
Les Knapp serves as the Legal and Policy Counsel for the Maryland Association of Counties, a non-profit and non-partisan organization that serves Maryland’s counties by articulating the needs of local government to the Maryland General Assembly. Knapp advises and guides the Association on legal, liability, and regulatory matters, affecting both the Association itself and its member counties. Legislative Affairs Areas: environment, governmental liability and courts, parks and recreation, planning and zoning, and public information and ethics. Liaison to affiliates including Attorneys, Planners, and Recreation and Parks.
John Finnerty is the Director of Business Development for Standard Solar. In his role, he develops on-site solar PV generation for federal and academic institutions. Some of the solar rooftop, carports and ground mount projects that he has worked on include American University, the University of Maryland, the Delaware Technical and Community College, the GSA’s Terry Sanford Federal Building and US District Court, the Quantico Marine Corps Base, and the Thurgood Marshall Academy. Prior to joining Standard Solar in 2009, John spent several years as Director of Sales and Marketing for Solomon Technologies, a start-up developing electric and hybrid electric propulsion systems primarily for sailboats.
Nicole Rentz is the Legislative Director for D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh. Nicole also serves at Committee Director for the Committee on the Transportation and the Environment, which is responsible for matters relating to environmental protection regulation and policies; highways, bridges, traffic, vehicles, and other transportation issues; the regulation of taxicabs; maintenance of public spaces; recycling; waste management; water supply and wastewater treatment; and maintenance of public spaces and public parks and recreation.