The two-day forum featured a range of experts from across the region, including California's leading policy makers, scientists, civic leaders, community organizers, and other distinguished presenters.
, Senior Advisor, Office of Governor Jerry Brown, Director, Office of Planning and Research, State of California
Ken Alex is a Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown and the Director of the Office of Planning and Research. Before joining the Governor’s Office, Mr. Alex was the Senior Assistant Attorney General heading the environment section of the California Attorney General’s Office and the co-head of the Office’s global warming unit. From 2000 to 2006, Mr. Alex led the California Attorney General’s energy task force, investigating price and supply issues related to California’s energy crisis. He spearheaded numerous settlement negotiations that collectively resulted in over $5 billion of energy crisis-related recoveries for the State of California. During his tenure at the Attorney General’s Office, Mr. Alex handled cases under most federal and California environmental statutes. Mr. Alex negotiated dozens of significant settlements, including agreements with San Bernardino County and ConocoPhillips for the first required reductions of greenhouse gas emissions in the country. California Lawyer named Mr. Alex an “Attorney of the Year” in 2004 for his work in energy law and he received the ABA award for Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy in 2007 for global warming work. He has taught courses on environmental law and policy at Stanford, Hastings, and Golden Gate University. Mr. Alex is a graduate of Harvard Law School and holds a B.A. in political theory from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Angelo J. Bellomo, Director of Environmental Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Angelo J. Bellomo is the Director of Environmental Health for the County of Los Angeles, Department of Public Health. Prior to earning this position in 2008, Mr. Bellomo was the Director of Environmental Health and Safety for the Los Angeles Unified School District. There, Mr. Bellomo led reforms in the areas of school emergency planning, sustainable building design, and State regulatory review of proposed school sites. His development of a compliance assessment program for Los Angeles schools was the inspiration of U. S. EPA’s Healthy School Environments Assessment Tool (“Healthy SEAT”). Mr. Bellomo is a Registered Environmental Assessor (REA), Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS), and has earned the credential Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP) from the Institute of Environmental Professional Practice. He has served on the Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee of U.S. EPA, the Board of Scientific Counselors, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Executive Board of the California Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS). Mr. Bellomo is a member of the California Retail Food Safety Coalition (CRFSC) and the California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health (CCDEH). The California Legislature, U.S. EPA and the California League of Conservation Voters have recognized his leadership in the environmental field.
Ayala Ben Yehuda, Project Manager, Plug-in Electric Vehicle Readiness, UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation
Ayala Ben-Yehuda joined the UCLA Luskin Center as Plug-in Electric Vehicle Readiness project manager in June 2012. Ms. Ben-Yehuda is working on U.S. Department of Energy- and California Energy Commission-funded grants from the Southern California Association of Governments to develop an electric vehicle readiness plan for the region. Prior to her graduation from UCLA’s Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning, Ms. Ben-Yehuda was a student researcher at the Luskin Center and helped organize its 2012 water policy summit, “The Future of Water in Southern California,” which focused on reducing Southern California’s dependence on water imports. Prior to her graduate studies, Ms. Ben-Yehuda spent over ten years as a staff correspondent, freelance reporter and producer for outlets including Billboard Magazine, National Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, Marketplace, and Newsday. She also holds a BA in political science from UC Berkeley.
Laura Berland-Shane, LEED AP, Business Development Manage, Solar VMM Siemens Industry
Laura Berland-Shane is a business development executive with Siemens Industry's Solar Vertical Market Management Group. The Solar VMM serves as a hub for all Siemens Industries' solar products for utility scale and commercial applications, and includes solar PV inverters, as well as balance of system, and automation and control equipment for solar cell and panel manufacturers. Previously, Ms. Berland-Shane developed solar PV projects for public sector customers with Siemens' Alternative Energy group within Siemens Building Technologies. She has been a sales and operations professional in the solar PV industry since 2003 - notably as SolarCity's 'Southern California Sales Director and Permacity Solar's Chief Operating Officer. Presently, she sits on the Board and is a founding member of The Sustainable Business Council, Los Angeles, and is the So Cal Chapter Director for Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), a national non-profit advocacy group affiliated with the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Ms. Berland-Shane also was appointed to the Riverside Solar Task Force, and she sits on the LA Business Council's Solar Working Group. Ms. Berland-Shane has an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School and a BA in International Relations from Brown University.
William Borges, MBA, Interim Chair, Orange County Sustainability Collaborative
In his technical field, environmental sustainability, Mr. Borges has successfully directed more than 100 sustainability, environmental management, public policy, impact assessment, research and analysis, and pollution-control projects. As a principal scientist, he led the sustainability/environmental management system consulting practice at Midwest Research Institute, operator of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In his organizational transformation work, he implements highly successful solutions tailored to the unique strategic, tactical and operations issues facing rapidly growing and crisis-plagued technology-based organizations. Further, as an educator, he designs sustainability management curricula and teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level business management courses. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography with an environmental management emphasis, he holds an MBA with a thesis on the design and implementation of corporate environmental management systems. He is the author of “Planning the Creation and Implementation of World Standard Environmental Management Systems” (1995) and “Performance Improvement for Healthcare Managers” (2005). He also writes the blog, “Creating Hospital Sustainability Programs” at http://hospitalsustainability.blogspot.com/ . Volunteer work includes service as an examiner for a state-level Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program. And, just for the fun of it, he serves annually as a Grand Award judge in the environmental management category at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
Sabrina Bornstein, Environmental Programs Specialist, South Bay Cities Council of Governments
South Bay Environmental Services Center
Sabrina Bornstein works on Climate Action Plans in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County. Ms. Bornstein has experience with a range of green economy sectors, having previously worked on waste and recycling policy with the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy and on a clean technology attraction strategy with the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA). Before moving to Southern California, she worked on housing policy and in land use consulting in New York City and San Francisco. Ms. Bornstein holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Urban Planning from UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs.
Tom Bowen, Director, Energy Services, McKinstry
California native Tom Bowen brings 20 years of energy services experience to his role as McKinstry Regional Director, having managed successful teams throughout North America focused on energy and environmental initiatives. A former board member for the National Association of Energy Services Companies and former Vice President of Sempra Energy Services in North America, his knowledge of diverse markets has allowed McKinstry to position their unique brand of services and differentiate themselves within the State of California. Mr. Bowen’s breadth and depth of experiences in various market sectors has enabled Mckinstry to create value for customers locally while expanding its presence.
Over the years, Mr. Bowen has had the opportunity to be involved with many interesting projects throughout the country, spearheading efforts to enhance schools, colleges, local governments, and hospitals as well as commercial and industrial facilities. He is passionate about providing clients with innovative solutions focused on reducing their utility and operational costs through various energy services offerings, and improving the environment for all their building occupants.
Prior to joining McKinstry, Mr. Bowen led the Honeywell Building’s Solutions SES business unit, focusing on complex energy services offerings. He managed the development and implementation of one of the first K-12 Market Solar Power Purchase agreements implemented by an ESCO in the State of California and led a North American sales and marketing organization focused on all market segments core to Sempra Energy Service Company’s growth objectives in energy services. In this capacity, Mr. Bowen was responsible for the successful implantation and ongoing success of the construction of a distributed utility plant at FDA Headquarters outside of Washington, DC. This was one of the first and most successful utilizations of ESPC contracting for new construction.
From 2004 to 2005 Mr. Bowen served on the Board of NAESCO, an organization representing firms that provide energy conservation products and services, including energy service companies that operate in the United States and abroad. Mr. Bowen earned his undergraduate degree from California State University Long Beach and an MBA from Wake Forest University.
Alf W. Brandt, Principal Consultant, California State Assembly
Alf W. Brandt serves the California State Assembly as an expert on water resource law and policy, as well as Executive Director of the National Judicial College’s Dividing the Waters Program. Drawing on his long history of experience in California water controversies, Mr. Brandt has developed and analyzed California water legislation, including playing critical roles in the development of the 2009 Delta/Water Legislation and the 2007 flood protection package. In his off-hours, he leads a program to train state and federal judges on water law adjudication.
Mr. Brandt has a long history in water policy debates. In 2007, he chaired the American Bar Association's 25th Annual Water Law Conference, where he has spoken on several occasions in the last decade. Prior to joining the Assembly staff, Mr. Brandt served as a water lawyer for the Department of the Interior, Federal Agency Coordinator at the CALFED Bay-Delta Program, and as the leader of the City of Los Angeles delegation to the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
He earned his J.D. in 1988 from University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall School of Law), and his B.A. magna cum laude in 1983 from UCLA.
Paul Bunje, Ph.D., Managing Director, Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC, Executive Director, UCLA Center for Climate Change Solutions
Dr. Paul Bunje works to bridge the gap between research science and decision makers to help society respond and adapt to the challenges of climate change.
He is the Executive Director of the UCLA Center for Climate Change Solutions, where he facilitates innovative research and communicates between scientists and decision makers about the details of climate change science and solutions.
Dr. Bunje is also the Managing Director of the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC). He leads LARC in its mission to encourage greater coordination and cooperation at the local and regional levels by bringing together leadership from government, the business community, academia, labor, environmental and community groups. Dr. Bunje is leading the production of “The Blueprint for Our Metropolis”, LARC’s flagship climate action and sustainability plan for the 10 million people of Los Angeles County.
Dr. Bunje is heavily engaged in communicating and facilitating solutions with decision makers in government and private industry. He is a member of the City of Los Angeles’ Green Retrofit Development Advisory Council and a member of Clean Tech Los Angeles. In addition to his outreach activities, Dr. Bunje also conducts research that focuses on how complex scientific information such as climate change is communicated and how to build sustainable communities.
Previously, Dr. Bunje was a Science & Technology Policy Fellow in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. While in Washington, DC, he designed and refined policy on climate change, water resources, and ecosystem services. He is trained as a biologist, having received his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Bunje has lived and worked in Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific, providing first-hand insight into the diverse political and cultural environments in which scientists and policy makers implement environmental protections. Dr. Bunje is also a co-founder of Conservation & Climate Security International and the Science and Technology Electoral Politics Interest Network.
Christopher Cannon, Director of Environmental Management, Port of Los Angeles
Christopher Cannon is the director of environmental management for the Port of Los Angeles, a position he has held since October 2010. Mr. Cannon has worked at the Port of Los Angeles as a consultant since 2004, most recently helping to manage the implementation and daily operation of the highly successful Clean Truck Program.
In his new role, Mr. Cannon will be responsible for balancing commerce and growth with ecological sustainability at the nation’s busiest container port. The division assesses environmental impacts of development projects and determines appropriate mitigation measures. It also prepares and distributes any environmental documentation mandated by state and federal law; special studies involving dredging, noise abatement, water quality and air quality; contamination characterizations; wildlife management; and establishment of policies regarding environmental quality issues.
Before his work on the Clean Truck Program, Mr. Cannon worked with the Port Environmental Management Division’s Air Quality and CEQA groups, supporting the development of key air projects such as the Clean Air Action Plan and its efforts to complete critical environmental impact reports for Port-related projects. Mr. Cannon has 21 years of experience in the environmental services industry, working on a range of projects while employed by ENVIRON International Corporation and TRC Environmental Solutions.
Mr. Cannon also spent two years as a legislative assistant for environmental policy on the Washington, D.C. staff of U.S. Representative Martin Sabo of Minnesota. Mr. Cannon received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Dartmouth College and a law degree from University of California at Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. He currently lives in Los Angeles.
Jason Caudle, Deputy City Manager, City of Lancaster
Jason Caudle was appointed Deputy City Manager of the City of Lancaster in November 2008. During his tenure, Mr. Caudle has played an integral role in the development and implementation of several multi-scaled sustainable energy projects, as well as Lancaster’s award-winning downtown district, “The BLVD.” As Deputy City Manager, Mr. Caudle has overseen the formation of the Lancaster Power Authority (LPA) and the state-wide California Clean Energy Authority (CCEA). Working closely with City planners and solar developers, he continues to promote dynamic public-private partnerships on behalf of the City.
Previously, Mr. Caudle served as the Vice President of Public Finance for the Carlsbad-based investment banking firm, Kinsell, Newcomb & De Dios. In that position he was responsible for market and trend analysis, as well as the delivery of municipal securities.
Prior to his position as Vice President, Mr. Caudle served as the City Manager of the City of Tehachapi; one of the youngest city managers in the State of California. From this post, he directed a 5-year operational budget which enabled improved planning and forecasting for the city. Under his leadership, Tehachapi established a Redevelopment Agency and focused resources toward multiple downtown revitalization projects, including signage, landscape, and traffic flow improvements. Bolstering Tehachapi’s infrastructure and economy, Caudle identified new water resources and expanded the sewer treatment plant. He also formed the Tehachapi Police Department, bringing a new standard of local law enforcement; and was instrumental in the Tehachapi Municipal Airport renovation project.
Mr. Caudle holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration, both from California State University Bakersfield (CSUB). He has also served as an Adjunct Faculty member of the Political Science Department at Bakersfield Community College. Currently Mr. Caudle is a member of the CSUB Public Policy Department Advisory Committee.
Howard Choy, General Manager, Office of Sustainability, County of Los Angeles
Howard Choy has worked in the electric utility industry for over 25 years. He has served as a design engineer, power plant commissioning engineer, marketing and customer service manager, and technical and financial consultant on utility mergers and acquisitions. He currently serves as the General Manager of the Los Angeles County Office of Sustainability which was created by the Board of Supervisors in 2008 in response to the state’s legislative and policy emphasis on energy and the environment. The office manages the County’s internal energy management programs which are budgeted at over $200 million per year. The Office has also acquired over $70 million in Federal Energy Stimulus Grants which have been used to help implement statewide building retrofit and financing programs, and to develop a Los Angeles, region-wide Climate Action Plan which will develop regional GHG reduction strategies and implementation plans. Mr. Choy has an engineering degree from the University of CA at Berkeley and currently serves as the Board Chairman for the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition, a consortium of engaged statewide peers that represent the interests of local governments in important energy regulatory proceedings.
Jack Clark, Building Performance Senior Manger, California Center for Sustainable Energy
Jack Clark is the Building Performance Senior Manager at the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE). CCSE is an independent, nonprofit 501(c) (3) corporation that helps residents, businesses and public agencies save energy, reduce grid demand and generate their own power through a variety of rebate, technical assistance and education progams. In this role, Mr. Clark is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operational management activities related to CCSE's Building Performance programs. Working with the California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission, Department of Energy, local governments, utilities, and regional and statewide stakeholders, Mr. Clark has been focused on comprehensive community action approaches to scaling the Building Performance Industry. These initiatives include workforce development and contractor training, demand generation, financing resource development, behavioral change, and an inclusive approach to addressing all barriers in scaling participation across all income sectors in residential and small commercial participants. Mr. Clark’s experience also includes Managing Home Performance Consulting Services for Municipal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants, Utility Home Performance with Energy Star programs and managing contracting services to Weatherization Assistance Program providers. Mr. Clark has also managed housing services programming for local governments in low-income communities that included CDBG, HOME, emergency repair, energy efficiency, and renewable energy installations. Mr. Clark brings a strong understanding of applied building science, community planning and fifteen years of natural and cultural management resource experience in addressing the environmental, economic and public health issues related to the built environment.
David Cohen, LEED AP BD+C, Program Manager, The Energy Coalition
The Energy Coalition is a 501c3 non-profit consulting firm specializing in
designing and implementing energy blueprints that engage communities
in using accountable energy practices for shared benefit.
Mr. Cohen is currently leading two programs for Los Angeles County: The Southern California Regional Energy Center (SoCalREC) and Energy Upgrade California (EUC). The SoCalREC program is a pilot designed to help local governments meet their Strategic Plan goals by leading by example.
The SoCalREC team has designed a strategy that uses aggregated
procurement and implementation strategies to help municipalities
identify more energy efficiency projects within their facilities, and bring them forward from concept through implementation. In addition, the team has established a financing program aimed at simplifying the application process by using standard underwriting criteria, making participation in the program simple and economical for local governments throughout the region.
To read more about the current initiatives, procurement strategies, and case studies, go to http://www.SOCALREC.com. Prior to working at The Energy Coalition, Mr. Cohen spent many years working for a commercial real estate development firm in Las Vegas, and as an energy efficiency consultant for SAIC on both the NV Energy and NYSERDA commercial buildings programs out of their New York City office.
Bill Conley, CFM, CFMJ, FMP, LEED AP, IFMA Fellow
Mr. Conley is president and CSO of CFM2, a facility management and sustainability consulting company, based in Orange County, CA. He has more than 35 years of experience in the facility management profession and has been a proponent of sustainable operations for nearly 20 years. Working with large and small companies, he has successfully completed LEED projects, as well as assisted businesses in implementing cost-effective sustainable practices.
In addition to his bachelor’s degree, Mr. Conley holds a Certified Facility Manager (CFM) designation from the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) in 1992 and achieved LEED professional accreditation through the U.S. Green Building Council in 2002. He is also a certified reporter in the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) program.
Besides his induction as an IFMA Fellow, Conley is a past member of the IFMA Board of Directors, a recipient of IFMA’s distinguished member of the year award and has twice received the associations distinguished author award. Additionally, Conley helped develop the Orange County Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. Mr. Conley holds a B.A. degree from the University of Massachusetts-Boston and certificates in Facility Management and Design from Michigan State University and the University of California Irvine.
Brad Copithorne, Director of Financial Innovation, Energy Group,
Environmental Defense Fund
Brad Copithorne is Director of Financial Innovation, Energy Program at EDF. His work is primarily focused on removing market barriers and developing new strategies for investing in energy efficiency. This effort involves close coordination between individual and institutional investors, lenders, fund managers, environmental service companies, real estate owners, utilities, regulators, government officials and other private and public sector stakeholders. Mr. Copithorne is leading the effort to develop On-Bill Repayment programs in California, Texas, Ohio and other states.
Mr. Copithorne has over 20 years experience in the financial services industry. He started his career at Salomon Brothers/Citi where he worked on fixed income origination and new product development. More recently, Mr. Copithorne worked for Morgan Stanley’s Technology Investment Banking team in Silicon Valley where he covered the enterprise hardware, contract manufacturing and IT distribution industries. In 2008, Mr. Copithorne was a partner at a fixed income hedge fund.
In 2009 Mr. Copithorne re-enrolled at Stanford University to study energy policy and graduated in June, 2010.
Martha Davis, Executive Manager, Policy Development, Inland Empire Utilities Agency
Martha Davis is Executive Manager for Policy Development at the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA), a municipal water district serving 830,000 people in the western portion of San Bernardino County. IEUA provides regional sewage treatment services, distributes imported water and recycled water supplies, and provides other utility services for the Chino Basin. Since 2000, Ms. Davis has led many of the Agency’s award-winning conservation, planning and green programs including initiatives promoting water conservation, renewable energy, storm water capture, and recycled water. In 2011, Ms. Davis joined the staff of the Delta Stewardship Council on an 80% time basis to assist with the development of the Delta Plan over the next 18 months. She serves as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Council. Previously, Ms. Davis served as the Executive Director for Californians and the Land (1998-2000) and for the Mono Lake Committee (1984-1996). Under her leadership, the Mono Lake campaign culminated in a unanimous landmark public trust decision by the State Water Resources Control Board to protect Mono Lake. Ms. Davis graduated from Stanford University cum laude with a degree in human biology and received her master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She is the recipient of an honorary PhD in Public Policy from the Kennedy College in Oakland, California.
Constanze Duke, EHS and Sustainability Manager, Bausch + Lomb-Aliso Viejo
Balancing her business acumen with her passion for a greater good, Ms. Duke’s experience ranges from devising environmental strategies to lifecycle assessment to implementation of 3-P process-efficiency initiatives to environmental toxicity and ecological footprint research. Her background in marketing, finance, operations and project management provides her the ability to approach sustainability disciplines from a strategic and realistic business perspective. Ms. Duke’s primary goal is to make the business case for environmental stewardship, to promote Total Quality Sustainability Management, and to shift work processes from a linear to a systems model. She is responsible for the establishment and maintenance of a comprehensive environmental compliance, health, safety, and sustainability program at Bausch+Lomb’s surgical products unit. The program influences the operations of 200 staff members in administrative units, a research laboratory, and highly regulated manufacturing facility.
Ms. Duke has managed the implementation of Environmental and Safety Management Systems and is actively engaged in the development and integration of a Design for Sustainability process. She has successfully achieved and maintained compliance with federal and California OHSA and environmental regulations and serves as a member of the scalability panel for the Katerva Award. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Sustainability Management from St. Petersburg College and is completing her Master’s in Sustainability and Environmental Management at Harvard University.
Jonathan Fielding,MD, MPH, Director and Health Officer, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Jonathan E. Fielding has contributed to the field of public health for more than 30 years and has served in a variety of essential leadership positions. For the past 14 years, Dr. Fielding has led the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health as Director and Health Officer. In this role, Dr. Fielding is responsible for all public health functions including surveillance and control of both communicable and non-communicable diseases, and health protection (including against bioterrorism) for the County’s 9.8 million residents. He directs a staff of nearly 4,000 with an annual budget exceeding $850 million. Dr. Fielding also serves as Commissioner of the First 5 L.A. Commission, which aims to improve the health and development of children 5 years of age and under. Dr. Fielding is a Professor in the Schools of Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles. He Chairs the HHS Secretary’s expert advisory group on the 2020 Healthy People Project and the U.S. Community Preventive Services Task Force. Additionally, Dr. Fielding is Editor of the Annual Review of Public Health and serves on the Board of the American Legacy Foundation. He is a Presidential appointee and founding member of the national Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. Dr. Fielding has authored over 175 original articles, commentaries and editorials on public health issues. His current research interests include health impact assessment and forecasting future health. He received his Medical Doctors and Masters in Public Health from Harvard University and his MBA from Wharton School of Business.
Mayor Bob Foster, City of Long Beach
Mayor Bob Foster is a widely-respected business and community leader who was elected as the 27th mayor of Long Beach in June, 2006. He was re-elected for a second term in June 2010.
Mayor Foster served as president of Southern California Edison before his retirement in 2006 after more than 20 years with the company. As an Edison executive, Mayor Foster led California’s largest electric company through the 1999 energy crisis. During Mayor Foster’s tenure, Edison developed the largest renewable, clean energy programs (solar, geothermal, biomass and wind) in the United States.
Mayor Foster began his career in public service as a staffer in the California State Senate and California Energy Commission where he established statewide energy efficiency standards that are still enforced today.
He was appointed as the Environmental Committee chair in 2008, elected to the Advisory Board in 2009 and elected to the Board of Trustees in 2010 for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Mayor Foster to the Board of Governors for the California Independent Systems Operators (ISO) in 2010.
Mayor Foster is a graduate of San Jose State University in public administration. Prior to his election as mayor, he served as a trustee to the California State University system and remains active in a number of community and public policy organizations.
Laura Franke, Senior Managing Consultant, Public Financial Management, Inc.
Laura Franke joined PFM’s Los Angeles office in 2011. Prior to joining PFM, Ms. Franke founded an independent financial advisory firm that specialized in assisting public agencies and private sector clients with debt financing for energy and water efficiency projects. At PFM, she continues to focus on providing clients with services that include: evaluation of municipal debt bond types, incentives, and grants to achieve the most cost-effective debt issuance for environmental projects; development, funding and management of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Programs; evaluation, structuring and funding of power purchase agreements and leases; and traditional municipal debt issuance for capital projects and cash flow financing.
Prior to founding her financial advisory firm, Ms. Franke was an Investment Banker for over 20 years. During her tenure at Piper Jaffray Companies and George K. Baum & Company, she worked with over 500 California clients and issued municipal debt exceeding $17 billion. Working with California School Boards Association (CSBA) on its annual Cash Reserve Program, Ms. Franke facilitated preparation, structuring and simultaneously issuance of tax and revenue anticipation notes (TRANS) for over 400 participants with a par amount exceeding $1 billion annually. In addition to this Program, Ms. Franke managed issuance of dozens of General Obligation Bonds, Certificates of Participation, and Refundings.
Phyllis Grifman, Associate Director, Sea Grant Program, University of Southern California
With a background in marine and environmental policy, Phyllis Griffman manages the program's research, outreach and education portfolios, in addition to working with stakeholders at state, local and federal levels. Her responsibilities include improving public awareness of Sea Grant mission and accomplishments and developing programs and partnerships to foster the connections between science and policy. Phyllis received her B.A. and M.A. (Political Science) from the University of California Santa Barbara. Her
major interests include marine policy development and implementation, and public education.
Ms. Grifman oversees Sea Grant's research and outreach initiatives, including soliciting and funding research projects and developing outreach efforts to local and regional authorities. She has worked with Los Angeles and Orange County Sanitation authorities on research pertaining to impacts of disposal on coastal waters, and with the research community and municipalities on impacts of storm water runoff on nearshore coastal environments. She has expanded the program on coastal natural hazards, including impacts on local communities of coastal erosion, storm impacts, and sea level rise. She participated in the California Marine Life Protection Act South Coast Regional Stakeholders Group, charged with mapping a network of marine protected areas from Point Concepcion to the Mexican border. She is Secretary of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council and serves on the Board of Directors of the California Shore and Beach Preservation Association.
Alex Hall, Professor, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, UCLA
Dr. Hall studies the climate system from both regional and global perspectives. He has experience in multi-model analysis of climate simulations, and comparing output from these experiments to in situ and remote sensing data. At the global scale, he studies processes determining the climate system’s response to increases in greenhouse gases. At the regional scale, he has been active in the development and integration of regional climate models. He uses these simulations to examine climate dynamics that are crucial for simulating and understanding regional climate but are largely unrepresented in current global climate models. At UCLA, Dr. Hall teaches climate-related courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He is a recipient of the NSF Graduate Fellowship (1993-1996), the NASA Earth System Science Fellowship (1996-1998), the Lamont Fellowship (1999-2001), and the NSF CAREER award (2002-2007). Dr. Hall was a contributing author to the 2007 IPCC 4th scientific assessment of climate change Working Group I report, where his work on climate sensitivity is featured. He is also a Lead Author on the Working Group I component of the upcoming IPCC 5th Assessment. He is a member of the executive committee of the UCLA-JPL Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering, and the faculty director of the UCLA Center for Climate Change Solutions. Finally, he is a member of the technical advisory board for the Los Angeles Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability, a consortium of local governments, NGOs and businesses, and is the lead scientist for the Collaborative’s “Climate change in the Los Angeles Region Project”.
Juliette Finzi Hart, Regional Research and Planning Specialist, Sea Grant Program, University of Southern California
Dr. Juliette Finzi Hart is a Regional Research and Planning Specialist with USC Sea Grant and is a Research Assistant Professor at USC in the Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography section within Biological Sciences. Dr. Hart's current work focuses on climate change - from the perspective of both the natural and the built environment. Her research interests also include coastal marine policy, regional ocean governance, and sustainable ecotourism. Dr. Hart also works with the Communications Department to edit USC Sea Grant's quarterly mini-journal, the Urban Mariner, among other communications efforts. Dr. Hart received her doctorate from USC in Ocean Sciences in 2007, along with a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Engineering: Sustainable Cities in 2002. In 2006, Dr. Hart was a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in Washington, D.C., where she worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Ocean Service, focusing on regional ocean governance in the Gulf of Mexico.
David Hodgins, President & CEO, Sustento Group, LLC
After three and a half years as Commercial Sector Project Development Manager with the Clinton Climate Initiative’s Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program, Mr. Hodgins moved on to found Sustento Group, LCC, a consultancy offering a range of strategic advisory services to private, public, and institutional clients interested in rolling out large scale energy efficiency programs. Mr. Hodgins currently manages the Los Angeles Commercial Building Performance Partnership, an ARRA-funded initiative to accelerate the flow of private capital to fund efficiency retrofits of existing commercial buildings, and is consulting to Los Angeles County in the roll out of its Commercial PACE Financing Program. Mr. Hodgins has consulted on the development of over 50mm square feet of resource efficiency projects on 6 continents, and is currently consulting with various government agencies to develop and implement financing programs to accelerate the commercial efficiency retrofit market. Mr. Hodgins’ areas of expertise include resource efficiency retrofit finance, retrofit and retro-commissioning project development, portfolio strategy, and environmental policy. Mr. Hodgins is a LEED accredited professional, and is a member of both the USGBC-LA Commercial Real Estate and Finance and EBOM sub-committees. Mr. Hodgins holds a Master’s of Business Administration and a Master’s of Real Estate Development from the University of Southern California, with an emphasis in sustainable development.
Henry Hogo, Assistant Deputy Executive Officer, Mobile Source Division, Science and Technology Advancement, South Coast Air Quality Management District
Mr. Henry Hogo is the Assistant Deputy Executive Officer for the Mobile Source Division in the Office of Science and Technology Advancement at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). Mr. Hogo received a Bachelors of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and has been working in the air pollution field for over 35 years. As Assistant Deputy Executive Officer in the Mobile Source Division, Mr. Hogo is responsible for the implementation of the District’s Clean Fleet Vehicle Rules, development of the mobile source strategies for the SCAQMD’s air quality management plans, analysis of mobile source emissions impacts on air quality, and providing input on state and federal mobile source regulations.
Seth Jacobson, Senior Vice President, Palmer Capital
Seth Jacobson is a Senior Vice President at Palmer Capital, a firm that develops and invests in alternative fuel and renewable energy projects in the United States. With the Palmer team, Mr. Jacobson recently financed, developed and commissioned two community-based wind projects in Massachusetts. Prior to working with Palmer, Mr. Jacobson was co-founder and Executive Director of the Green Coast Foundation, a nonprofit organization that worked to promote renewable energy in California. Mr. Jacobson earned both a Master of Public Policy and an MBA from UCLA and an AB in Astronomy & Astrophysics from Harvard College.
Wendy James, President & CEO, The Better World Group, Inc
Wendy James is President and CEO of The Better World Group, Inc. The company has been a recognized leader in political and environmental strategy, policy development and coalition management for more than a decade.
Over the past 35 years, Ms. James has developed unique expertise in political strategy, media and coalition building, with a special focus on clean energy and transportation issues. She works with environmental and environmental justice groups, government organizations and progressive businesses in framing their environmental strategies and implementing broad-based advocacy campaigns in support of a wide array of policies and projects. Ms. James has been honored by the California League of Conservation Voters, the Coalition for Clean Air, and was named Small Business Woman of the Year by her state legislators. She also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Institute for Transportation Studies at the University of California-Davis, on the Board of Trustees for the California State Parks Foundation, and the Community Advisory Council for Southern California Gas Company. She is the former Chair of the Burbank Water & Power Board.
Throughout her career, Ms. James has worked as a reporter for a daily newspaper, a congressional press secretary, a trade association director, the head of the country’s largest utility electric transportation program and a nonprofit executive director. This unique combination of expertise has enabled BWG to deliver an impressive track record of success for its clients.
Kurt Kammerer, K. J. Kammerer & Associates, Inc.
Kurt Kammerer has over 18 years of diverse experience in the energy field including business development, emerging technologies and program development and implementation. Mr. Kammerer spearheaded the formation and early growth of the San Diego Regional Energy Office (now known as the California Center for Sustainable Energy). Mr. Kammerer later played a key role in the development and implementation of local government-based and regional programs in the Ventura, Orange, Los Angeles, Humboldt, San Diego, Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. This includes authoring the 2006 Regional Energy Plan for the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG), completing a Regional Energy Assessment Report that formed the basis of the Humboldt County 2005 Energy Element of the General Plan, and authoring the San Diego Regional Energy Strategy, a comprehensive 30-year integrated resource plan for the San Diego region that was adopted by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).
Robert G Kanter, Ph.D. Managing Director of Environmental Affairs and Planning Port of Long Beach
Robert G. Kanter, Ph.D., is the Managing Director of Environmental Affairs and Planning for the Port of Long Beach, California, appointed to the position in March 2007 by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.
Dr. Kanter oversees the Environmental Affairs and Planning Bureau, which includes three Divisions: Environmental Planning, Master Planning and Transportation Planning. These Divisions are responsible for environmental programs and regulatory compliance issues; land use, cargo forecasting and legislative issues, as well as roadway and rail transportation planning. Dr. Kanter was also one of the chief architects of the Green Port Policy and the San Pedro Bay Clean Air Action Plan, the most aggressive environmental programs adopted by any seaport in the world.
Dr. Kanter serves as the California ports’ representative on federal and state regulatory advisory committees and has served as a member of numerous environmental committees including the National Academy of Science Advisory Committee on Coastal Science Policy, the National Research Council Advisory Committee on Ecosystem Health and Research, the South Coast air Quality Management District AQMP Advisory Committee, the Restoration Advisory Board for the Long Beach Naval Complex, National and State Invasive Species Advisory Committees and the California Advisory Committee on Enclosed Bays and Estuaries and Inland Surface Waters.
He received his master’s degree and Ph.D. in biology with a focus on marine environments from the University of Southern California, and resides in Dana Point.
The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports, a trail blazer in goods movement and environmental stewardship guided by a Green Port Policy. Each year, trade valued at more than $140 billion moves through the Port of Long Beach, supporting more than 316,000 Southern California jobs.
Amber Keenoy, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Consultant, Antea Group
Amber Keenoy consults to clients across the nation on implementation of renewable energy solutions, sustainable design and construction, and greening operations and maintenance; working as a strategic advisor and owner's representative.
Ms. Keenoy’s background includes sixteen years of experience in Program Management, Quantity Surveying, Sustainability Consulting, Project Management, and Engineering. She is a LEED AP BD+C, a founding member of the United States Green Building Council California Central Coast Chapter and is actively involved with USGBC National. Ms. Keenoy is also Director of Sustainable Practices for ANEW foundation, a non-profit dedicated to zero landfill use and social responsibility.
Ms. Keenoy has experience with all types of construction, with over 100 LEED® projects and more than 300 non-LEED® projects under her belt. Projects have ranged from less than $1Million to over $3Billion. Programs she has managed have ranged from $3Billion to over $9Billion. Ms. Keenoy began her career working on office buildings and parking garages, then moved her way into FABs and labs. From there she went into any and all types of construction (residential, commercial, tenant improvements, schools, colleges, universities, and everything in between).
Ms. Keenoy has extensive experience in managing sustainability and energy related initiatives and policies. Major focal points throughout her career has included water efficiency, zero storm water runoff, energy efficiency, net zero energy usage, renewable technologies, innovative technologies and products, zero waste, cost analysis and program development.
Aaron Klemm, CEM, LEED AP, Energy Project Manager,City of Huntington Beach
Aaron Klemm has over 15 years experience in energy management and sustainability. He is a graduate of Prescott College with a Bachelors degree in Sustainable Community Development and an MBA from CSU Long Beach. He currently serves as the Energy Project Manager for the City of Huntington Beach where he has saved over $500,000 in utility costs, installed 2.3 Megawatts of installed solar capacity and led the first Orange County city to reach Gold partner status with SCE. Mr. Klemm was awarded So Cal Gas Company’s 2010 energy efficiency champion award and the June 2011 Mayor’s award.
Paula J. Landis, P.E. Chief, Division of Integrated Resources Water Management,
California Department of Water Resources
Paula J. Landis is the Chief of the Division of Integrated Regional Water Management for the California Department of Water Resources. The Division provides planning and implementation grant awards as well local assistance, river restoration design and construction, environmental compliance expertise, land and water use analysis, flood management and emergency response, water quality and quantity data collection, groundwater management, water transfers management and water master services.
Ms. Landis is a Registered Civil Engineer with 25 years experience in water management. She is recognized for her knowledge of the San Joaquin River system. Ms. Landis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, Bachelor of Arts degrees in Art and French and a Master of Arts degree in Art History. She divides her time between Fresno and Sacramento.
Mary Leslie, President, Los Angeles Business Council (LABC)
Mary Leslie is president of the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC), an advocacy and educational organization dedicated to serving local businesses while informing and impacting positive change at multiple layers of government. For more than 70 years, the LABC has been an influential link between business and government and has had a major impact on public policy issues related to education, housing and environmental sustainability.
Ms. Leslie is also President of Leslie & Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in non-profit management, strategic planning and government affairs.
Previously, Ms. Leslie served as Deputy Mayor for Economic Development under Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, and was Deputy Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, where she oversaw Northridge Earthquake relief funds for Los Angeles for SBA Director Erskine Bowles. Ms. Leslie also served as Executive Director of the California Economic Development Commission, overseeing policy development and trade missions for California business. She was President Bill Clinton’s California Finance Director during his successful 1992 campaign.
Ms. Leslie received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Santa Clara, holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and attended the Executive Management Program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. She serves on the Los Angeles Conservation Corporation Board of Directors and served as a Commissioner on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Board and the Advisory Committees of L.A. Family Housing and the California Women’s Law Center.
Jacob Lieb, Manager, Assessment, Housing and EIR, Southern California Association of Governments
Jacob Lieb is the Manager of Sustainability at the Southern California Association of Governments. He oversees sustainability programs including Compass Blueprint, the Sustainable Communities Strategy, electric vehicle planning, and the development of an open space strategy. In prior work at SCAG, Mr. Lieb has been involved in CEQA Compliance, housing, and other issues. Mr. Lieb also serves as lead staff to SCAG’s Energy and Environment Policy Committee, comprised of 25 elected officials. Mr. Lieb has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California – Berkeley.
Alan Lowenthal, Senator, 27th District, Californai State Senate
Senator Alan Lowenthal is one of the most effective and well-respected legislators in Sacramento. His experience as a former educator, city councilmember and long serving state representative has provided him with a unique understanding of the challenges facing California. Senator Lowenthal is a nationally recognized leader on issues related to goods movement. As the former Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and current Chairman of the Select Committee on Goods Movement, Senator Lowenthal has played a leading role in developing innovative programs that have simultaneously lead to both more efficient transportation systems and markedly cleaner air. By working with leaders of the goods movement sector, local governments and environmental advocates, Senator Lowenthal has proven that job creation and sound environmental stewardship are not mutually exclusive. Senator Lowenthal is widely regarded as one of the strongest environmental advocates in Sacramento. He has provided much needed leadership in efforts to improve air quality, increase coastal access and restore inland waterways throughout the state. As a result, Senator Lowenthal has been honored by several environmental advocacy groups, including the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV), the Sierra Club, Planning and Conservation League and the California Coastal Commission. Currently, Senator Lowenthal serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on Education. Prior to his election to the Senate, Lowenthal served six years in the State Assembly and six years on the Long Beach City Council.
Brian Ludicke, Planning Director, City of Lancaster
Brian Ludicke holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning from Cal Poly Pomona and has over 30 years’ experience in public sector planning. He is currently the planning director of the City of Lancaster, a position he has held since January 2001. Mr. Ludicke has been directly involved with the development and adoption of the Lancaster 2030 General Plan, downtown revitalization efforts, mixed-use planning areas, the Master Plan of Trails and Bikeways, and complete streets policy development for the City of Lancaster, as well as the public engagement and education efforts associated with them. Mr. Ludicke, in conjunction with other key members of City’s Public Works and Economic Development staff, actively pursues transforming Lancaster into a livable place by changing the relationship between land use, design, and transportation systems to the improve the health, safety, economic vitality, and sustainability of the community.
David Magarian, Environmental Programs Specialist-Local Use Vehicle (LUV) Program Manager, South Bay Cities Council of Governments
David Magarian manages the Local Use Vehicle Demonstration Program for the South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCCOG). As an Environmental Program Specialist at the SBCCOG's Environmental Services Center, Mr. Magarian helps design and implement energy efficiency and electric vehicle related programs. Mr. Magarian is a LEED Accredited Professional with extensive experience in environmental program design, environmental building design, implementation, and low carbon development. Mr. Magarian received an M.A. in Sustainable Architecture and Community Planning from Northern Arizona University and a B.A. in Sustainable Transit Design from Hampshire College.
Michael McCormick, AICP, Local and Regional Affairs Policy Advisor and Senior Planner, Office of Planning and Research, State of California
Michael McCormick, AICP joined the administration of California Governor Jerry Brown in July 2011. Mr. McCormick works between organizations internal and external to the State to resolve issues of statewide importance. He is currently working with the Air Resources Board and the Resources Agency to develop tools that local governments can use to develop more effective plans and policies to address climate change. Mr. McCormick manages the coordination of the OPR Local Government Roundtable and is the Chair of the Climate Change, Land Use and Infrastructure (CCLU‐In) team of the Climate Action Team (CAT). He is the co‐author of the OPR Climate Action Plan Technical Advisory slated for release in 2012 and represents OPR on workgroups for documents of interest to local government planning and sustainability efforts. Mr. McCormick has experience working in academic, local government and consulting capacities and has been on the boards of several nonprofits including the American Planning Association, The Sustainability Academy and the Association of Environmental Professionals. For additional information visit: http://www.opr.ca.gov/
Wendy Mitchell,Commissioner, California Coastal Commission
Wendy Mitchell has been the principal of WM Consulting, Inc., since 2006. She has an impressive record and 15-years experience in both the public and private sector working in budget, energy and environmental policy areas.
Ms. Mitchell, a veteran of the California State Assembly and State Senate, has served as a Senior Budget Consultant in the California State Assembly, liaison to the Latino Legislative Caucus, Legislative Consultant to the Senate Majority Caucus and the California Senate Majority Leader. In 2003, she was appointed Chief of Staff to State Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny (D-San Diego), former chair of the powerful Senate Budget Committee.
In addition to her policy work, Ms. Mitchell has been recruited eight times by Senate and Assembly leadership to manage political campaigns in highly contested districts throughout California, shaping her understanding of stakeholder identification and participation, message development, fund-raising, community outreach and candidate positioning.
Upon her move to the private sector, Ms. Mitchell became Vice President External Affairs for Cadiz Inc., a publicly traded international company specializing in water resources and land management. In 2005, Ms. Mitchell joined Australian-based Woodside Natural Gas as Vice President of Government and Public Affairs.
Public service has always been a part of her life. Since 2010, she has served as a Governor’s Appointee to the powerful California Coastal Commission. The Coastal Commission is responsible for protecting California’s most vital resource: it’s coastline and beaches. In 2009, Ms. Mitchell was appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to serve as Chair of the South Valley Area Planning Commission.
Ms. Mitchell is a director on the board of the environmental advocacy group the California League of Conservation Voters. She is also a leading member of the board of directors of: Pacoima Beautiful, Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project-LA and Los Angeles Business Council.
Wendy Mitchell has a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government and Journalism from California State University Sacramento.
Matt Miyasato, Ph.D. Assistant Deputy Executive Officer, Technology Advancement Office
South Coast Air Quality Management District
Dr. Matt Miyasato is the Assistant Deputy Executive Officer for the Technology Advancement Office at the South Coast Air Quality Management District. In this role, Dr. Miyasato leads the groups responsible for research, development, demonstration and deployment of clean, advanced technologies for both mobile and stationary sources.
Dr. Miyasato received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, and his Masters and Ph.D. in Engineering, specializing in combustion technologies and air pollution control – all from the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Miyasato has worked at Southern California Edison in the Nuclear Engineering Department and at General Electric, where he designed burners and combustion modifications for utility boilers. He was also a research scientist at UCI, where he managed the industrial burner research program and has publications on combustion phenomena, active control, and laser diagnostics. Dr. Miyasato has also been a lecturer at UCI for the undergraduate air pollution control course.
In his current role at the AQMD, Dr. Miyasato leads the Demonstration, Implementation, Best Available Control Technologies (BACT), and Technology Outreach groups, with the overall goal of developing, demonstrating, and accelerating the commercialization and implementation of clean technologies. These technologies include fuel cells, hydrogen, alternative fueled engines, PM and NOx aftertreatment, hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and other clean alternative technologies.
Dr. Miyasato serves as the lead staff support for the California Fuel Cell Partnership, the California Stationary Fuel Cell Collaborative and the California Plug-in Vehicle Collaborative.
Rachel Morris, Senior Vice President, Senior Client Manager, Bank of America
Rachel Morris is a Senior Vice President and Senior Client Manager with Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Global Commercial Bank in Los Angeles. Ms. Morris manages a portfolio of middle-market companies and is also responsible for business development and new client acquisition. Ms. Morris represents the Commercial Banking Group for the bank’s low-carbon initiative, a group with multiple business lines that promotes collaboration on renewable energy and clean technology business opportunities.
Previously, Ms. Morris was a member of Houlihan Lokey's Financial Restructuring Investment Banking Group. Prior to that role, she spent six years at National City Bank focusing on credit products.
Ms. Morris received her MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in Finance, Accounting and Entrepreneurship. She graduated with honors from Bradley University with a B.S. in Finance and Economics.
H. David Nahai, Partner, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, President, David Nahai Consulting Services LLC
David Nahai is a leading expert in energy, water and real estate matters. He is the President of David Nahai Consulting Services, LLC, which advises public and private entities in the renewable energy, energy efficiency and water sectors. Mr. Nahai is also a partner at the law firm of Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith and co-chair of its energy, water and real estate practice areas. Mr. Nahai is also the former Commission President and General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). Mr. Nahai’s administration expanded LADWP’s renewable portfolio to 15% and paved the way for its attainment of the 20% level. Under Mr. Nahai’s watch, the LADWP achieved multi-fold increases in energy efficiency levels, as well as record reductions in water consumption in the City of Los Angeles. Mr. Nahai is also the former Chair of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, where he served in the administrations of 3 California Governors. Mr. Nahai sits on the Boards of the California League of Conservation Voters, Heal the Bay, and the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and has served as Senior Advisor to the Clinton Climate Initiative.
Teresa Nersesyan, Principal, Tradeface Consulting, LLC
With a passion for sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) – plus, a commitment to reduce the impacts of manufacturing and consumption – Teresa Nersesyan is an accomplished executive with over 20 years’ experience in textile- and garment-manufacturing and private-label specialty retail. Ms. Nersesyan has held numerous executive roles in supply-chain management, CSR, and regulatory and industry-standards compliance. She completed her long-time career at Pacific Sunwear, a teen retailer headquartered in Orange County, as Vice President of Global Logistics and Trade Compliance. As a transformational leader in the apparel industry, Ms. Nersesyan has held directorships on the Cotton Board, the American Apparel Producers Network, California Fashion Association, and the United States Association of Importers of Textile and Apparel. She is also an instructor at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. Her extensive experience in developing corporate social responsibility and environmental programs – as well as successful completion of more than 500 factory audits and 25 supply chain security audits around the world – enabled her to start and grow her own company, Tradeface Consulting LLC. TC-LLC is a boutique consulting firm that helps textile companies, garment brands and retailers define and implement CSR, sustainability and supply-chain-optimization strategies, programs and performance-improvement projects. She is a recent graduate of the Executive Program in Sustainability from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco and holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Management.
Mary D. Nichols, Chairman California Air Resources Board
Mary D. Nichols, J.D., was reappointed Chairman of the California Air Resources Board by Governor Jerry Brown in January 2011, a post she previously held under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger from 2007 to 2010 and under Governor Brown (during his first tenure) from 1979 to 1983. At ARB she is responsible for implementing California's landmark greenhouse gas emissions legislation as well as setting air pollution standards for motor vehicles, fuels and consumer products. After graduating from Cornell University and Yale Law School, Ms. Nichols practiced environmental law in Los Angeles, bringing cases on behalf of environmental and public health organizations to enforce state and federal clean air legislation. President Clinton appointed her to head the Office of Air and Radiation at U.S. EPA, where she was responsible for, among many other regulatory breakthroughs, the acid rain trading program and setting the first air quality standard for fine particles. She also served as California's Secretary for Natural Resources from 1999 to 2003. Prior to her return to the ARB, Ms. Nichols was Professor of Law and Director of the Institute of the Environment at UCLA.
Pam O’Connor, Councilmember, City of Santa Monica, California
Councilmember Pam O’Connor creates policies and partnerships that enhance community livability by integrating transportation and land use policies with environmental sustainability and economic vitality. She has served on the Council since 1994 and been Mayor three times.
Councilmember O'Connor's leadership in environmental sustainability was recognized by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors when she was awarded the inaugural Chair’s Award for Green Leadership in 2008.
A member of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) she initiated the agency’s first Sustainability Plan. On the Metro Board Councilmember O’Connor represents the cities of the South Bay and Westside areas of Los Angeles County. She is also a member of the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority Board, which oversees planning and construction of Light Rail from downtown Los Angeles to downtown Santa Monica. In 2010 Ms. O’Connor was recognized as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Transportation in Southern California by the Women’s Transportation Seminar.
Councilmember O’Connor is President of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the metropolitan planning organization for the six county (Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura and Imperial) area of Southern California where she is leading the SCAG Regional Council in the adaption of the region’s first Sustainable Communities Strategy. Ms. O’Connor also serves as an alternate member on the California Coastal Commission.
Councilmember O’Connor works with cities throughout the world on environmental, sustainability and climate issues as a member of the Executive Committee of ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Local Government Commission and the California Transit Association. She also participates on policy issues with the National League of Cities (NLC) and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
As a professional urban planning consultant, Ms. O'Connor specializes in historic preservation and has worked on significant historic buildings throughout Southern California including the Los Angeles City Hall Seismic Rehabilitation, and at campuses including the University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California, California State University campuses, and Occidental College. Other positions have included: Director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Northridge Earthquake recovery partnership program; Planner for the City of Pasadena, and Research Associate at the Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.
Councilmember O'Connor holds Masters’ degrees in Planning and in Technology Management from Eastern Michigan University and a B.S. in Communications from Southern Illinois University.
Bruce Riordan, Climate Strategist, Bay Area Joint Policy Committee
Bruce Riordan provides expert consulting services on climate and energy issues to local governments, regional agencies, the private sector, and foundations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Riordan currently serves as the Climate Strategist for the Bay Area Joint Policy Committee where he leads the Bay Area Climate and Energy Resilience Project, a collaboration of more than 100 public, private, and non-profit stakeholders. This project is developing a powerful structure to align local, regional, and state governments with each other, and with Bay Area business groups, academic institutions, and NGOs to collectively prepare the region for climate/energy impacts.
Mr. Riordan created Elmwood Consulting in 1998, focusing initially on sustainable and equitable transportation strategies for the Bay Area. In 2002, Mr. Riordan, moved by a New York Times report on global warming in Alaska, began studying the impacts of climate change and the strategies needed to address it. Gradually, Elmwood’s focus shifted, beginning in 2004 as a climate/transportation strategy advisor to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and as the key consultant to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District on two major public events featuring Stanford climate scientist Stephen Schneider (2005) and Vice President Al Gore (2006). This work linked Mr. Riordan to Bay Area cities and counties, ICLEI, the Bay Area Council, San Francisco Foundation, Joint Venture Silicon Valley, and other organizations working on climate mitigation and adaptation. In 2007, Mr. Riordan was trained in Nashville by Mr. Gore as part of The Climate Project and has subsequently made numerous Bay Area presentations on climate impacts, issues and solutions. In the last five years, he has consulted on climate-related projects for MTC, BAAQMD, BART, the California Attorney General, the Marin Community Foundation and Next 10. As part of his recent work with the Joint Policy Committee, Mr. Riordan co-founded CoCoCAL, an alliance of regional climate adaptation leaders in San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and the Bay Area.
Jerry R. Schubel, President and CEO, Aquarium of the Pacific
Dr. Schubel has been President and CEO of the Aquarium of the Pacific since 2002. He is President and CEO Emeritus of the New England Aquarium, and from 1974-1994 was Dean of Stony Brook University’s Marine Sciences Research Center. For three of those years he served as The University’s provost. He is Distinguished Service Professor emeritus. Prior to 1974, Dr. Schubel was an adjunct professor, research scientist and Associate Director of The Johns Hopkins University's Chesapeake Bay Institute.
Dr. Schubel has worked throughout his professional life at the interfaces of science-management-policy on issues dealing with the ocean. He has published more than 225 scientific papers and has written extensively for general audiences. He wrote a monthly column on the environment for Long Beach Magazine. Dr. Schubel is a member of NOAA Science Advisory Board and is a member of the Science Advisory Panel for California’s Ocean Protection Council. He chaired the National Sea Grant Review Panel; the National Research Council’s Marine Board; and the Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel (ORRAP), the only Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) advising federal agencies with ocean mandates. He has served on numerous NRC committees, is a former member of EPA’s Science Advisory Board, the Census of Marine Life U.S. National Committee and the National Science Foundation’s Education and Human Resources Advisory Committee.
At the Aquarium of the Pacific, he created the Aquatic Forum that brings together scientists, policy-makers and stakeholders to explore alternative ways of dealing with some of California’s important, complex, and often controversial environmental issues. He also directs the Aquarium’s Marine Conservation Research Institute.
Dr. Schubel holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Alma College, Michigan; a Masters degree from Harvard University; and a Ph.D. in oceanography from Johns Hopkins University. He received an honorary doctorate from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 1998.
Tom Soto, Managing Partner & Co-Founder, Craton Equity Partners
Tom Soto is Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Craton Equity Partners, an innovative growth equity investment fund that focuses on sustainability investments. Craton’s portfolio companies have consistently grown by 50-135% per year in revenue and employ nearly fourteen hundred people throughout the United States. Mr. Soto has advised local and national figures from the White House to the City of Los Angeles on issues related to climate change, green jobs, air quality regulation and the economics of clean tech. In 2008 and early 2009, Mr. Soto was Team Co-lead of the Executive Office of the President’s Team spearheading the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) transition for President Barack Obama. In December 2009, Mr. Soto participated in President Obama’s White House Summit on Jobs, and presented his position on how clean technology could contribute to the country’s economic recovery. Mr. Soto recently founded and served on the executive and steering committee for the No on 23 Campaign in California to stop Texas oil companies from overturning the state’s landmark global warming legislation, AB 32. Through his and the committee’s efforts, the voters of California rejected attempts to turn back AB 32 by a margin of two to one. Mr. Soto is a frequent contributor to state and local media for opinion on climate change, green jobs and other related matters. He has been a keynote speaker and presenter around the globe including at the 2010 Clean Technology EU Conference in London and the 2009 AustralAsia Clean Technology Summit in Melbourne, Australia. He was an early signatory on the United Nations Statement on the Principles for Responsible Investment. Mr. Soto was also President Clinton’s appointee to the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission, which oversaw and insured that the environmental component of the North American Free Trade Agreement was adhered to, and that the financial resources committed to these concerns were available through the multi-billion dollar North American Development Bank (NADBank). In 2010, he was selected by Hispanic Business Magazine in their annual list “One Hundred Most Influential Hispanics in the United States.” Mr. Soto is a Director for the following Craton companies: GridPoint, Liquid Environmental Solutions. Mr. Soto is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and lives in Santa Monica, CA.
Steph Stoppenhagen, Sustainability Strategist Lead and Client Service Manager, CH2M HILL
Steph Stoppenhagen is a Sustainability Strategist Lead and a Client Service Manager for CH2M HILL in Portland, Oregon. She is recognized as a technical subject matter expert and an organizational leader; a dedicated, reliable, and successful IT professional focused on renewable energies and smart cities technology. Ms. Stoppenhagen helps leads the sustainability ‘think tank initiatives’ at CH2M HILL Global Sustainability.
Ms. Stoppenhagen was responsible for the development of the technical team of solar experts that have defined a methodology called SAFE ™ Method (Solar Automated Feature Extraction) which automates the process of examining the Photovoltaic (PV) potential of rooftops and reduces the time to analyze this potential by 75 percent. This process is patented.
Ms. Stoppenhagen now integrates SAFE™ with various City and utilities globally, to link with climate change requirements. Ms. Stoppenhagen is focused on eco-innovation with the creation of urban services systems that connect communities with their carbon goals.
Prior to joining CH2M HILL in Portland, Ms. Stoppenhagen served as a geo-integration officer and business consultant internationally with the Department of Defense in the United Kingdom, where she provided technical oversight for mission-critical design and GIS project management of Space Command installation spatial data. Ms. Stoppenhagen also was a Senior Consultant and Project Engineer with SCHLUMBERGER focusing on water and electric utilities. Ms. Stoppenhagen has also contracted for the EPA and has a background in Secret Service projects.
Michael Swords, Board President, Clean Tech LA & Executive Director of Strategic Research Initiatives and Global Partnerships, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, UCLA
Michael Swords serves as the Executive Director of Strategic Research Initiatives and Global Partnerships within the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) at UCLA. In that capacity, he is responsible for developing large, multi-disciplinary research centers and institutes. He is also responsible for developing partnerships with government agencies, foundations, industry and non-profits, both here in the United States and abroad.
Mr. Swords is also the Board President for CleanTech Los Angeles (CTLA) which is a multi-institutional collaboration between UCLA, USC, Caltech, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Mayor's Office of Economic Development, Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency (CRALA), Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Business Council (LABC), Central City Association (CCA) and the Los Angeles Economic Development Council (LAEDC) to establish Los Angeles as the global leader in research, commercialization, and deployment of clean technologies. He also serves on the Board of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters (LALCV), the Executive Advisory Committee for the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and Executive Committee for the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator.
Prior to joining the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, Mr. Swords worked as an officer in UCLA’s Office of Federal Government Relations and was a legislative aide on Capitol Hill. He graduated with a BA from Whittier College and completed UCLA’s Anderson School of Management’s Executive Education program in December of 2008.
Rich Walter, Principal-California Municipal Climate Action Planning Practice,
Rich Walter has 20 years of experience in environmental planning, compliance, permitting, mitigation and implementation. Mr. Walter is the leader of ICF’s California municipal climate action planning practice which supports local and regional agencies on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adaptation. ICF has developed municipal and community climate action plans across California, GHG inventories for hundreds of communities across the U.S., the annual U.S. GHG inventory, general plan policies addressing climate change, cost-benefit analyses of emission reduction strategies, guidance for adaptation to sea level rise, as well as numerous CEQA and NEPA documents addressing GHG emissions and adaptation.
Mr. Walter is currently leading ICF’s team preparing GHG inventories for 88 cities in Los Angeles County as well as a regional GHG reduction plan for 21 cities in San Bernardino County. He was the principal in charge for ICF’s preparation of the GHG reduction plan for San Bernardino County as well as a regional inventory for the 7-County Chicago region. Mr. Walter was also a key author for the California Air Pollution Control Officer’s Association (CAPCOA) white papers on CEQA and Climate Change and on Climate Change and General Plans.
Senior Project Developer, Borrego Solar Systems, Inc.
Nathan Whigham is a Senior Project Developer for Borrego Solar in Southern California. He has extensive experience developing solar Power Purchase Agreements across several vertical markets including the Federal government and health care. Before coming to Borrego Solar he was a Senior Vice President at a Southern California commercial real estate finance company where he originated and structured the capitalization of over $100 million in commercial real estate projects, which included construction and acquisition financing, mezzanine financing, and both preferred and joint venture equity financing. Prior to that, Mr. Whigham was an Account Manager for the Southern California office of an energy services company. Mr. Whigham holds an MBA with a finance and real estate concentration from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California along with a Bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona.
Cory Wilkerson, Assistant Transportation Planner, City of Burbank
Cory Wilkerson is primarily responsible for the planning and implementation of the City's Bicycle Master Plan. Mr. Wilkerson drafted the updated Bicycle Master Plan, which was adopted by City Council in December 2009, receiving positive reviews from elected officials as well as members of the community. The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition called the plan innovative and the plan received the Planning Excellence Award of Merit for Best Practice from the Los Angeles Section California Chapter of the APA in 2010. Mr. Wilkerson is a League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor and has provided expertise to Bikeside LA and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Los Angeles based bicycle advocacy organizations. He was recently a featured speaker at the Association of Environmental Professionals Conference and the Creating a Bike Friendly Los Angeles Summit.
Emily Young,Ph.D., Senior Director of Environment, The San Diego Foundation
Emily Young works with community volunteers, donors and other foundations to direct charitable giving to the region’s critical environmental needs. Dr. Young’s work at The Foundation is focused in three areas: conservation of globally significant, biodiversity hotspots in Southern California, community based efforts to eliminate toxics and revitalize green space, and regional efforts to address climate change through mitigation and adaptation. Before she joined The Foundation, Dr. Young was an assistant professor at the University of Arizona, where she taught courses on environment and society, geography, and Latin America. She also lived and worked in Baja California, Mexico, where she conducted field research on wildlife protection, community-based conservation, and sustainable development in coastal areas of Baja California. Along with professional work, Dr. Young has volunteered and served on boards for a variety of environmental organizations and advisory committees. Dr. Young was recently awarded the 2011 Nicholas P. Bollman Award, which recognizes Smart Growth Leaders Who Inspire through Values and Actions.