Tuesday, September 25th
A CenterPoint Energy employee for more than 10 years, Julienne Sugarek was promoted to Vice President of Power Delivery Solutions effective March 1, 2018. Julienne has a strong skillset of company experience and operational leadership expertise. She oversees the customer and power delivery solutions group, which is responsible for customer interactions and engagement activities. Her team of 180 is charged with serving customers’ needs using innovative approaches and developing new products and services.
Lisa Gonzalez is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC). She is responsible for the strategic direction of HARC and its research programs, which are designed to facilitate sustainable management of air, energy and water resources. She served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of HARC from 2012-2016, overseeing the implementation of HARC’s 5-year strategic plan, development of HARC’s communication strategy, a reorganization of administrative operations and the design and construction of HARC’s new green headquarters. In addition to leading HARC, Ms. Gonzalez is active in research focused on the analysis and dissemination of data concerning the health and productivity of Texas Gulf Coast bays, estuaries and watersheds. Her expertise includes analysis of coastal monitoring data sets and the development of indicators and outreach products describing coastal fish and wildlife populations, invasive species, coastal habitats, water quality, freshwater inflows, seafood safety and climate change.
Prior to becoming the President and CEO of the Center for Houston’s Future, Brett A. Perlman was a Fellow at the Harvard Electricity Policy Group and the Consortium for Energy Policy Research, programs in the Harvard Kennedy School Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government. In 2016, he was a Fellow in the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative (ALI), an innovative program composed of 50 experienced global leaders focused on developing new approaches to having an impact and solving the world’s most pressing social issues. His work at Harvard focuses on the intersection of climate change, energy policy and technology innovation. Prior to his appointment as a Harvard Fellow, his 25-year career spanned senior positions in business, government and community service organizations.
Anya Schoolman Executive Director of Solar United Neighbors, is an expert in turning solar customers into organized solar advocates. She will deliver her keynote address on the topic of consumer empowerment in the distributed clean energy economy. Anya will discuss how to leverage citizen engagement and customer education towards building a durable solar market. Additionally, she will share lessons learned from Solar United Neighbors’ 10+ years of solar constituency building at the state level and offer a vision for a consumer-led distributed energy economy in Texas.
Dr. Jeffrey S. Haberl is a Professor of Architecture and Associate Department Head for Research in the Department of Architecture at Texas A&M University. He is also an Associate Director of the Energy Systems Laboratory. He is an ASHRAE Fellow, an IPMVP Fellow, and an IBPSA Fellow. Dr. Haberl’s educational background includes B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder and post-doctoral research at Princeton University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Studies. Dr. Haberl came to Texas A&M in 1989 and has dedicated nearly 3 decades ($32.8M as a Co-PI and $2.3M as a PI) performing building energy research at Texas A&M University, Princeton University, the University of Colorado, Rockwell International, the Colorado State Office of Energy Conservation, the City of Boulder, and the USDOE Administrative Services.
As a Board Member of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Alison Silverstein works and lectures for government and private clients on issues including transmission and distribution, system reliability, energy efficiency, demand response, renewable energy development, and the smart grid. Ms. Silverstein is the project manager for the North American SynchroPhasor Initiative, a joint effort between the electric industry, US Department of Energy (DOE), and North American Electric Reliability Corporation to accelerate the adoption of synchrophasor technology to improve grid reliability. She performs a variety of work for the DOE, including studies of transmission congestion, energy efficiency, interconnection-wide planning, renewable energy integration, R&D program peer reviews, and stimulus grant reviews.
Charlene Heydinger, President of the Texas Pace Authority, also serves as the executive director of Keeping PACE in Texas, the trade association created in 2012 to promote Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing in Texas. Ms. Heydinger is a public affairs strategist. Charlene worked on Capitol Hill for over nine years and then as vice president and Washington counsel for ABC, Inc. She also served as executive director of the Morton and Angela Topfer Family Foundation. Ms. Heydinger is a member of the Texas, Washington, DC, and Michigan Bar Associations.
Daniel Cohan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rice University. His research specializes in the development of photochemical models and their application to air quality management, uncertainty analysis, energy policy, and health impact studies. Before joining Rice, Dr. Cohan worked for the Air Protection Branch of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. He received a B.A. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Chemistry from Georgia Tech, and served as a Fulbright Scholar to Australia at the Cooperative Research Centre for Southern Hemisphere Meteorology. Dr. Cohan is a recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER young investigator award and past member of the NASA Air Quality Applied Sciences Team.
Wednesday, September 26th
As a member of CLEAResult’s executive team and as one of CLEAResut’s operations leaders, Michele Negley has helped to guide CLEAResult’s growth and organizational change from an organization of 150 employees to one that exceeds 2700 employees across the US and Canada. Michele also served on boards and commissions inside and outside the energy industry, including service as an Arizona Commissioner for the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Aaron Berndt is Head of Central Region Energy Partnerships at NEST, where he works with utility partners to develop customer-focused energy programs that leverage Nest products. Prior to joining Nest, Aaron was a leader in PG&E’s Customer Energy Solutions team, with responsibility for the delivery of key products and programs in PG&E’s portfolio. Aaron holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and an M.B.A from U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business. Aaron is Head of Central Region Energy Partnerships at Nest, where he works with utility partners to develop customer-focused energy programs that leverage Nest products. Prior to joining Nest, Aaron was a leader in PG&E’s Customer Energy Solutions team, with responsibility for the delivery of key products and programs in PG&E’s portfolio. Aaron holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and an M.B.A from U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business.
As Executive Director, Suzanne Bertin leads TABEA’s efforts to promote the advanced energy industry in the State of Texas. Immediately prior to joining TAEBA, Suzanne handled regulatory and government affairs in Texas and the Southeast for EnerNOC, a global leader in demand response and energy intelligence software. Suzanne was also at Reliant (NRG) for more than a decade, where she worked on a wide range of wholesale and retail legislative and regulatory issues, from the inception of the competitive retail market in ERCOT and through its first eleven years of operation. In these roles, Suzanne has had direct business and policy experience relating to numerous advanced energy technologies including energy efficiency, demand response, natural gas, solar, wind, electric vehicles, and smart grid.