2018 Keynotes

Ronald Brisé | Government Affairs Consultant, Gunster (Former Florida Public Service Commissioner & Former Co-Chair of National Utilities Diversity Council)

During his time in the Legislature, Brisé was designated democratic whip and served as vice chair of the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators.Following his tenure in the Florida Legislature, Ronald was tapped to serve on the Florida Public Service Commission where he served multiple terms including in the role of chair. Ronald is passionate about bringing together different people and interests to accomplish a common goal, and leverages his relationships with policymakers both nationally and internationally on behalf of clients.

Anne Dougherty | Co-Founder, ILLUME

A lover of people and process, Anne is a sought-after speaker, trainer, and stakeholder group facilitator. She brings her perspective and commitment to diversity to every position of influence, from lecturing at the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences to providing expert testimony at the US Department of Energy, the California Public Utilities Commission, NYSERDA, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, and the Maryland Public Utilities Commission. Widely published, Anne's work can be found in academic journals and peer-reviewed industry proceedings. Anne serves on the planning committee for the International Energy Program Evaluation Conference, has given seven years of service to the Behavior, Energy and Climate Conferences, and sits on the US Department of Energy Working Group on Behavioral Energy Efficiency.

Van Jones | President & Founder, Dream Corps

Timothy Alan Simon | Counsel/Consultant, TAS STRATEGIES, Commissioner Emeritus, California Public Utilities Commission

Simon also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at U.C. Hastings College of the Law and Golden Gate University School of Law where he taught Securities Regulations and as an Advisor in the School of U.S. Legal Studies on International Securities Regulations. Prior to public service, Simon was in-house counsel and Chief Compliance Officer advising at major financial institutions including Bank of America, Robertson Stephens and Wells Fargo in securities, banking and complex financial products.

2018 Speakers

Rukaiyah Adams | Chief Investment Officer, Meyer Memorial Trust

Trey Addison | Managing Partner, Nascent Group Holdings

Additionally, Addison played a critical role in the passage of Ohio House Bill 216, which modernized the scope of practice for nurses. The Bill was signed into law in 2017. Prior to joining AARP, Addison worked for U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown as Policy Outreach Director, where he focused on financial services, agriculture, energy policy, as well as corporate and stakeholder outreach. He was instrumental in developing strategy for the Senator and led the highest performing team within the Senators office. Addison graduated from the University of Toledo in 2011. While in college, he completed extensive research in Mozambique and South Africa on energy and its impact on economic growth and instability. He was also a member of the University of Toledo Board of Trustees from 2009-2011.Addison is currently an Executive MBA candidate at The Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business. He received an Executive in Energy Certificate from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. Currently, Addison serves as an Advisory Board Member to Vonno, LLC a clothing company located in Columbus, OH, and Sneak Peek, a startup shoe sourcing company located in Cleveland, OH. He also currently serves as a Board Member of MCS-Touch. Addison also served as the Vice Chair of the Ohio United Way. In 2015, he was appointed by President Barack Obama and Governor Kasich to serve on the Selective Service Board in Ohio. He was also appointed by Governor Ted Strickland to the University of Toledo's Board of Trustees from 2009-2011. Addison is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and resides with his wife, Whitney, in New Albany, Ohio.

Linda Baynham | Owner, Baynham Environmental, LLC

Karen Beachy | VP Supply Chain, Black Hills Corporation

Following a brief stint as an entrepreneur with her own energy focused consulting company, Karen joined the Vectren Corporation based in Evansville, IN as the Manager of Strategic Sourcing. After two years in Supply Chain, Karen moved into Gas Operations as a Division Manager responsible for a territory of over 320,000 Natural Gas customers in and around the Dayton, Ohio area. During her time as Division Manager, Karen also participated in the Ohio Energy Workforce Consortium (affiliated with the Center for Energy Workforce Development) and served as the team leader for the Education Task Force. Karen is a native of Barberton, Ohio and enjoys traveling, sports, music, movies and reading.

Ruth Bell | Co-President, Cascadia Consulting Group

Stephanie Berkland | Multifamily Programs and Research Manager, TRC Energy Services

Terry Chaney | Outreach Specialist, Center for Energy and Environment

Bill Dickens | Senior Energy Economist, Tacoma Power

His undergraduate education was completed at Northwestern University (Economic Honors Program 1978) in Evanston, Illinois and the University of the District of Columbia (1979) where he concentrated in economics, mathematics, and history. His graduate education in economics (1979-1986) was completed at American University in Washington, D.C. Mr. Dickens is a former WEB Dubois Fellow at Harvard University (1987) and past HBCU Faculty Fellow at the Pentagon (1987-1998). He is a member of the International Association for Energy Economics, National Economic Association, Association of Christian Economists and the American Association of Blacks in Energy. He is a 2010 graduate of Leadership Tacoma and volunteers his time as a mentor for Palmer Scholars, a Board Member for Tacoma Goodwill and a Board of Advisors member for the United Negro College Fund of the Pacific Northwest.

Laurie Dowling | Executive Director, National Utilities Diversity Council

At UCLA she was responsible for oversight of all aspects of one of the world's top executive education programs, from corporate relationship management and sales to curriculum design and program operation -- serving over 1,500 executives annually. At UCLA, one of Laurie's most significant accomplishments was the development of the Leadership Suite of programs - the African American Leadership Institute, the Latino Leadership Institute, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Leadership Institute, the Women's Leadership Institute, and the Leadership Institute for Managers with Disabilities -- the only suite of its kind at a school of management in the world. For the Leadership Institute for Managers with Disabilities, Laurie was the program designer and faculty co-director. Prior to joining UCLA Anderson in late 1999, Laurie was Development Director for Women's Enterprise Development Corporation, designing curricula, raising funds, and overseeing Board development for this non-profit organization which provided entrepreneurial training, technical assistance and loan packaging for women and men to start their own businesses or make their existing enterprises more successful. A key event in Laurie's experience has been her work as Development Director for the 1993 Los Angeles Festival, an international, intercultural, interdisciplinary arts festival that presented 600 artists over a 5-week period in 49 sites around Los Angeles for an audience of 750,000. Directed by opera director Peter Sellars, the Festival highlighted the arts of Africa and the Middle East and was a direct response to the 1992 civil unrest that rocked Los Angeles. Laurie serves on the Boards of Directors of Californians for Higher Education, which encourages support of public higher education in California, and Old Stories: New Lives, which supports the work of iconoclastic director Peter Sellars. Laurie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, a graduate of the Executive Program at UCLA Anderson School of Management, and a resident of Los Angeles' Silver Lake neighborhood. She is married to Michael Woo.

Ben Downing | VP External Relations, Drexel Hamilton

During this period Ben enrolled and graduated from a training program that focused on identifying non-traditional combat veterans with an aptitude for finance. After working at UBS on the credit derivatives desk, he accepted an offer from Drexel Hamilton. Leveraging the high-level leadership, management, and interpersonal skills honed during his military career, Ben now heads up Drexel Hamilton's External Relations. In 2013 he completed another tour of duty in Afghanistan. Ben holds FINRA Licenses 7 and 63. Ben holds a BA from Rutgers University and is a graduate from the Rutgers Graduate School of Education (M.B.A.) with a concentration in Finance.

Paul Francis | CEO, KIGT

For the past seven year's Paul has conducted green tech training workshops for municipals, school campuses, as well as businesses. His most recent endeavor is the market launch of the KIGT Smart eCharger product line for electric cars. Paul is passionate when it comes to his grassroots work's efforts in the community. As Co-founder of KIGT he decided to introduce a student internship program teaching entrepreneurship and STEM to high school students. Presently Paul also serves on the subcommittee of the California Energy Commission, CalSEED Fund. The CalSEED fund is a $24MM grant that invests in early-stage concepts that will usher in a new era of sustainability for California's energy future.

Marti Frank Ph.D. | Principal, Efficiency for Everyone

Sabrina K. Garba | Founder and CEO, Glass Ladder Group

She is currently the President of Howard's Alumni Club of Los Angeles, a Step Up Women's Network Luminary Circle member, and a Fulfillment Fund Scholar Bridge Committee Member. Sabrina has received the Intercultural Achievement Award from American University, School of International Service (2015), and "Woman Who Disrupts" Entrepreneur Award by Lady ReBranded and City National Bank (2017). Sabrina is also a highly praised public speaker, host and commentator who has given talks on organizational culture, cross-cultural relations, entrepreneurship, leadership, communication, media and pop-culture. She has been featured in outlets like Huffington Post, Essence and Feminist.com to name a few.

Frank Garcia | Principal, Garcia and Associates, LLC

During his tenure in the Governor's Office, he is most recognized for introducing, elevating and embedding the discipline of diversity and inclusion into the State of Oregon delivery system. He is also credited for facilitating the 2013 passage of the Oregon Driver Card Bill and Tuition Equity for undocumented residents. Mr. Garcia was born and raised in Oregon. After a decade as migrant workers, his parents settled in Dayton, OR in the early 60's. Raised in Dayton, Mr. Garcia graduated from Dayton High School. Mr. Garcia holds a Master's Degree in Higher Education Administration from New York University (NYU) and earned his BA in Sociology from Portland State University (PSU).

Paula Glover | President and CEO, American Association of Blacks in Energy

She has also testified before Congress about the impact of policies on underserved communities. Ms. Glover's has more than 25 years of experience in the energy industry, including 15 years in both electric and natural gas distribution companies where she has worked in government affairs, regulatory affairs and economic development. In March 2014 Ms. Glover was appointed to the National Petroleum Council by U.S. Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz. In June of 2017 she was voted onto the Board of Directors for the Alliance to Save Energy. Mrs. Glover is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Maryland Energy and Sustainability Center at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Mrs. Glover received her B.S. in Marketing Management from the University of Delaware. She is the recipient of the Bring It Home to Hartford Award; the Clarke Watson Chairman's Cup and the Platinum Achievement Award from the Cooperative Developmental Energy Program at Fort Valley State University. She is a 2003 graduate of Leadership New Haven and has contributed to articles on work life balance in Take Pride magazine.

Ozzie Gonzalez | Diversity Director, Howard S. Wright

Charlie Grist | Manager, NW Power & Conservation Council

Brenda Hunt | Director, Residential Service Line, CLEAResult

Bobby Johnson | Senior Manager of Supplier Diversity, CLEAResult

Marie Jordan | President & CEO, Peak Reliability

Peak monitors and directs the reliable operation of the Bulk Electric System within the Western Interconnection. Peak works with Balancing Authorities, Transmission Owners and Transmission Operators to ensure an uninterrupted flow of electricity to consumers. Peak operates two Reliability Coordination Offices - located in Loveland, Colorado and Vancouver, Washington - that provide situational awareness and real-time supervision within the Western Interconnection. Marie has a passion for the mission of the American Red Cross. She was a board member with the Red Cross in Massachusetts and has been a member of the Red Cross Tiffany Circle since 2013. Marie's educational background is both in Electrical Engineering and Business Accounting.

Betsy Kauffman | Sector Lead - Renewable Energy, Energy Trust of Oregon

Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming | Partner, Van Ness Feldman - Former Chief of Staff, Environmental Protection Agency

Suzanne Kling | Vice President of People Operations, 3Degrees

Outside of work, Suzanne sits on the Associate Board at Summer Search, a non-profit that is focused on equity for young people with a mission to help students from low-income backgrounds transform what they believe is possible for themselves and strengthen the skills they need to become college-educated leaders who give back to their families and communities.

Oriana Magnera | Outreach and Policy Advocate, NW Energy Coalition

Fernando Martinez | President and Chief Executive Officer, Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council

Monica Martinez | President & CEO, Ruben Strategy Group

Rose McKinney-James | Managing Principal, McKinney-James & Associates

Ms. McKinney-James serves on the Board of Directors for MGM Resorts International, MGM Grand Detroit, and Toyota Financial Services Bank. She also serves as a Board member of the Las Vegas Economic Club. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Alliance to Save Energy, the Energy Foundation and the Board Chair for American Association for Blacks in Energy (AABE). In addition, she volunteers on the Board of Three Square, and NACD Southern California and is a member of the International Women's Forum. Continuing her work in advancing clean energy policy she was recently appointed to serve as a member of the Sustainability Advisory Committee for Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). In 2013, Rose was selected to serve as an Inaugural Ambassador for the U.S. DOE C3E initiative supporting increased participation by women in the clean energy sector. She is Chair Emeritus of Nevada Partners, a nationally recognized workforce development agency and the past Chair of The Clean Energy Project. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Ms. McKinney-James is a graduate of the Antioch School of Law in Washington D.C., and received her BA from Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan.

Demetria Miles-McDonald | Founder & CEO, Decide Diversity

Demetria's unique perspective as an intersectional employee, leader, and researcher brings clarity, freshness, and focus to issues at work that may otherwise go unnoticed. Demetria is the 2018 President of the Association for Talent Development Kentuckiana Chapter where she leads board leaders, volunteers, and talent development professionals from all over the state. Demetria was recently awarded the 2018 Member of the Year award from the National Association of Women Business Owners Kentucky chapter. Demetria is a 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award Nominee and a Trustees of Inclusion and Equity Nominee. Both awards were presented due to Demetria's work in diversity and inclusion in the community. Demetria volunteers at various organizations but is most dedicated to the Urban League where she leads a resume writing workshop twice a month to help people from a traditionally underserved area get back into the workforce. Demetria's passion for demanding equality for the marginalized, oppressed, and underrepresented is her life's work.

Brian Oglesby | Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Business Development, Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council

An avid recreational athlete, you'll probably run into Brian running, hanging in a gym, playing in any number of local sports leagues, exploring the outdoors via hike of kayak, or cruising along the river on his bike. Brian is also a die-hard Philadelphia sports fan, loyally cheering on any team with "Philadelphia" written on the jersey and banner. Brian resides in suburban Philadelphia with his son Miles, who just may be the greatest kid ever. Most of the time, and most importantly, he is simply known as "Miles's Dad."

Sadzi Oliva | Commissioner, Illinois Commerce Commission

Prior to joining the Illinois Commerce Commission, Ms. Oliva was General Counsel for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). Previous positions held by Ms. Oliva within IDFPR include Ethics Officer, Administrative Law Judge and Chief of Medical Prosecutions. She also worked at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services as the Chief Administrative Law Judge. Early in her career, Ms. Oliva served as an Assistant Attorney General at the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, Special Prosecutions Bureau, where she prosecuted financial crimes. Ms. Oliva was Chair of the Illinois Governor's Office Administrative Hearings Review Committee that organized and presented the Chicago Bar Association's Annual Administrative Law Conference and continuing legal education seminars related to Administrative Hearings. She was also the co-chair of the Rules Subcommittee for the Illinois Department of Central Management Systems' Bureau of Administrative Hearings Pilot Program and helped draft the Model Rules of Practice in Administrative Hearings. Ms. Oliva is a member of the Cuban American Chamber of Commerce of Illinois. She has volunteered for the Chicago Coalition for Law Related Education, Lawyers in a Classroom and is currently participating as a mentor for the International Confederation of Energy Regulators 2018 Mentoring Program. Ms. Oliva was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She earned her J.D. from Loyola University, School of Law, her B.A. from DePaul University, and is a graduate of the Academy of the Sacred Heart. She is a busy hockey mom and lives in Chicago's Edison Park community.

Larry Owens | Senior Account Executive, Johnson Controls

Sherrie Pelsma | Program Director, Community Energy Project

Seandra Pope | Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Rooted Consulting Group

Andrés Rodríguez | Multicultural Account Supervisor, C+C

Melinda Rogers | Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer, NW Natural

Mark Sebree | Director of Diverse Sourcing and Inclusion, Franklin Energy

Desiree Sideroff | Consumer Products Manager, Senior Vice President, Craft3

Alando Simpson | Vice President, City of Roses Disposal & Recycling

As a leader of a certified Benefit Corporation, Alando has taken his socially and environmentally conscious principals from his business and has begun to share these values throughout his civic activities. Alando has high aspirations for the Portland Metro Region in hopes to build a 21st century sustainable community that fosters a vibrant economy, environmental stewardship and equity for all people.

Liz Stanton, Ph.D. | Clinic Director and Senior Economist, Applied Economics Clinic

In her previous position as a principal economist at Synapse Energy Economics, Dr. Stanton led studies examining environmental regulation, cost-benefit analyses, and the economics of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Prior to joining Synapse, Dr. Stanton was a senior economist with the Stockholm Environment Institute's (SEI's) Climate Economics Group, where she was responsible for leading the organization's work on the Consumption-Based Emissions Inventory (CBEI) model and on water issues and climate change in the western U.S. While at SEI, Dr. Stanton led domestic and international studies commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme, Friends of the Earth-U.K., and Environmental Defense.

Serilda Summers-McGee | Principal, Workplace Change

She has more than 15 years of experience in government, higher education, and corporate environments with experience across a broad range of HR practices. Ms. Summers-McGee received a Bachelor of Science degree from Grand Valley State University, a Master of Arts in Student Affairs Administration from Ball State University, and a Master of Business Administration from Willamette University. She is a board member of Meals on Wheels Oregon, Stand for Children, and Willamette University's Atkinson Business School. In 2014 she received the Portland Business Journal's Forty Under Forty award for professional excellence, leadership and community commitment. And in 2018 she received the Portland Business Journal's Women of Influence Award for blazing a trail personally and professionally for other women to follow.

Bing Tso | President, SBW Consulting

Kevin Walker | Senior Vice President, Power Supply, Southern California Edison

Walker previously was senior vice president and chief information officer at American Electric Power (AEP), where he led all aspects of Information Technology development, deployment and operations for a 22,000-employee enterprise operating across 11 states. He also served as president and chief operating officer for AEP Ohio, the largest operating company within AEP. Before joining AEP, Walker held a number of leadership positions at Consolidated Edison of New York, including vice president of Maintenance and Construction Services and New York City public affairs liaison. He was instrumental in directing the recovery of energy service following the collapse of the Word Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Walker earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served in the U.S. Army after graduation. He also holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. Walker is a member of the U.S. Defense Business Board, which advises the Secretary of Defense and other senior leaders on business issues.

Alex Washington, Ph.D. | Chief Policy Advisor, Mississippi Public Service Commission

Patricia Watts | President, FCI Management

FCI offers energy audits and assessments, energy and water efficiency retrofits, lighting controls, weatherization programs, sustainable facilities management, electrical contracting, utility program management and training/education. Its most popular program is SCE's Direct Install and FCI has been the prime contractor for Southern California Edison for years. In just this year, FCI has completed over 2500 retrofits in the city of Long Beach alone. Expertise in energy solutions has allowed FCI to introduce two new services: Supply Management Services and FCI's Maintenance Program. Supply Management Services is designed to help contractors navigate the complex world of the minority contracting system, while the Maintenance Program enables businesses in every industry save money and energy with preventive maintenance and replacement of lighting solutions. With over 30 years of experience in the utility industry, Ms. Watts has held management positions in customer service, energy services, marketing, public affairs, and community relations. Ms. Watts is an executive member of several boards such as VP of the the Low-Income Oversight Committee and Hall of Fame inductee for the National Association of Women Business Owners. Last month, she was inducted into the inaugural 2016 Los Angeles Black Business Leaders Hall of Fame for her Excellence in Community and Philanthropy work.

Ryan Wines | Founder & CEO, Marmoset Music

Susie Wong | President & CEO, Asians in Energy