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Speaker Biographies


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Keynotes


Aaron Berndt Aaron Berndt, Head of Energy Industry Partnerships / Americas, Google

Aaron Berndt is Head of Energy Industry Partnerships at Google, where he leads the team that works with utility partners to develop customer-focused energy programs that leverage Google Nest products. Prior to joining Google, 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.


James Jackson James Jackson, Director - Energy and Utility Partnerships, Emerson

James brings a real-world perspective from his experiences over the past 20+ years working as a utility employee, consultant and now as a solution provider. At Emerson, he is responsible for the Energy and Utility programs and partnerships for Sensi Smart Thermostats, as well as the Digital Cold Chain business focused on commercial refrigeration controls.


Sadia Raveendran Sadia Raveendran, Senior Director of Industry Solutions, AutoGrid

Sadia Raveendran is a Senior Director of Industry Solutions at AutoGrid, the leading energy flexibility management platform provider for the industry. Sadia has over a decade of experience in clean energy across technologies, regions, and functions. Prior to joining AutoGrid, she worked at GE Renewable Energy in product management roles for equipment, services, and digital products (internal tools) for the onshore wind business. Prior to that, she did research on carbon capture and sequestration at the MIT Energy Initiative and helped build Tata Power's solar power portfolio in India. At AutoGrid, her work focuses on the demand side of clean energy and effective management strategies for the ever-evolving electricity grid. She works closely with AutoGrid’s customers to design and implement energy flexibility management programs that make them leaders in the energy transition. She graduated from Wellesley College with majors in Physics & Economics and completed her master’s degree at MIT in Technology & Policy.


Samudra Sen Samudra Sen, Vice President – Vistra and TXU Solutions, TXU Energy

Sam Sen is Vice President Solutions at Vistra, a leading electricity generator and competitive retailer serving nearly 4.3 million residential, commercial, and industrial retail customers with electricity and natural gas in 19 states through leading retail brands that include TXU Energy,
Ambit Energy, TriEagle Energy and Dynegy.
 
Sam leads the Solutions business, responsible for offering products and services that help customers participate in the Clean Energy Transition. These include renewable plans and addons, distributed generation products including rooftop solar, net metering and smart thermostats and EV products.
 
Prior to his current role, Sam was Vice President of Performance Excellence where he set up the lean transformation and various elements of TXU Energy’s operating model. Prior to that, Sam was the Sr. Director of Planning and Analysis, responsible for leading strategic and financial planning at TXU Energy.
 
Prior to joining TXU Energy in 2009, Sam spent several years as a management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he served as a Principal working predominantly with clients in the Energy industry. Sam’s experience covered a diverse range of assignments ranging from growth strategies, functional strategies to mergers and acquisitions and divestitures.
 
Sam is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, earning a master's of business administration from the McCombs School of Business. Sam also completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India.


Mike Wajsgras Mike Wajsgras, Executive Director Innovation, Growth and Digital & Managing Director Constellation Connect, Constellation Energy
Twitter ID: @mwaze

Michael Wajsgras joined Constellation Energy in November 2010. In his current role he oversees the innovation and growth initiatives, partner relationships, and new channel development that encompass the full suite of Constellation’s energy products and services portfolio for the residential and small commercial customer segments.  Current partnership areas under management include IoT technology, digital, and national retail channels, as well as a variety of service provider relationships. Wajsgras’ experience includes 20 years of business and channel development with several leading communications providers including Sprint Nextel (now T-Mobile), Qwest (now CenturyLink), and MCI (now Verizon), as well as several start-up ventures.  While at Sprint Nextel, he managed a national sales and support organization focused on implementing custom wireless network solutions for the company’s’ largest commercial and public-sector customers.  Prior to that, as the founder of the Competitive Local Services business at Qwest, Mr. Wajsgras successfully launched the competitive local telecom services for Qwest/LCI International, a business that grew to a run rate of over $100M in annual revenue in first 12 months before the company was acquired. He began his career at Ernst & Young in Washington, D.C. 
 
Mr. Wajsgras is active in multiple community and civic initiatives.  He was the founding member of the Algonkian Youth Lacrosse Club that was organized to bring competitive lacrosse to the community.  The organization currently serves over 600 boys and girls between the ages of 8-15 years old. Mr. Wajsgras also actively supports Habitat for Humanity of Houston and The United Way and currently serves as an appointed Commissioner on the Loudoun County (VA) Communications Commission.
 
Mr. Wajsgras received an MBA in Finance and a BS in Accounting from the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business.


Speakers


Alex Bazhinov Alex Bazhinov, Founder and CEO, Lumin
Twitter ID: @LuminSmart

An inventor and entrepreneur, Alex had the idea for Lumin while tending to his first start up, DreamPower, which he founded at the University of Virginia's iLab while earning his graduate degree at UVA's Darden School of Business. Alex hails from Moscow, Russia, where he held senior finance positions in global firms–spending six years at Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest nickel and palladium producer, and as CFO at the global manufacturing conglomerate, Sandvik. Alex's passion for a business challenge is aligned with his concern for the planet, having witnessed first-hand the negative impact of fossil fuel production around the world. When not chasing patents, Alex is busy at home with three young children and looks forward to his next sailing trip with his wife and first mates in training.


Erik J. Bernal Erik J. Bernal, CEO, Elite Water Systems

Originally from Winters, Texas, now residing in San Antonio, Erik Bernal is married to Heidi Bernal and the father of five beautiful girls. He is an honors graduate of the University of Tennessee receiving a B.S. in Logistics with a minor in Marketing in 2003. Erik started his career with Accenture in Atlanta as an information technology consultant working with SunTrust Bank and the State of North Carolina. He moved on from Accenture in the fall of 2004 working as a sales representative for Schindler Elevator in New Orleans.
 
When Hurricane Katrina struck southern Louisiana in August of 2005, Bernal became extremely concerned with the environmental impact. Thus began his journey with water quality. He began working in various roles in the Central U.S., understanding the challenges of inadequate water quality. In August of 2007, he was provided an exclusive contract with GE Water and Pentair Water Filtration for San Antonio, Texas. He has since expanded his territory to include Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, Nevada, and soon to be moving his products into the Southeast. Currently, Elite Water Systems is manufacturing and distributing water and air quality solutions in multiple market segments including residential and commercial construction as well as yachts in the high-end marine industry.
 
Since 2016, Bernal has progressively built his organization into a total home
wellness-driven organization focused on indoor air quality, water quality and smart plumbing solutions working with over 60 home builders including many in the Top 10. Erik and his team are recognized as thought leaders in the residential industry providing environmentally sound and pandemic-ready solutions that are affordable and scalable across all market segments. Today, Bernal enjoys spending his free time with his wife and daughters traveling as well as attending sporting events.


Joel Berntsen Joel Berntsen, Vice President, Strategy & Partnerships, Vutility
Twitter ID: @joelberntsen

Joel is an award-winning and strategic senior sales, marketing, and technology leader with 15+ years of experience creating and scaling exceptional product offerings at organizations ranging from Fortune 100 leaders to Inc. 500 start-ups. In his various roles, he has advanced the emergence of innovative smart building and energy management solutions to increase efficiency, sustainability, and peace of mind in the IoT-enabled world of today and tomorrow.


Boris Besner Boris Besner, CEO, Okos Smart Homes

Boris works with utilities and developers to bring the latest smart home technology to their clients. Okos offers Installation Services, Support Services, and Smart Home Solutions. Okos leading-edge technology and customer-centric approach enable us to better serve customers globally.


Kari Binley Kari Binley, Senior Manager, Energy Partnerships, ecobee Energy

Kari started her career in consumer electronics as a merchant for regional consumer electronics retailers and helped launch technologies like HDTV.  Kari has worked at PG&E for over six years in energy efficiency bridging the gap between the utility and market makers and most recently working on PG&E’s connected home strategy.


Kris Bowring Kris Bowring, Vice President Radical Innovation and Development, Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.

Bowring is a nationally recognized thought leader on consumer acceptance and market evolution of connected home technologies and services. Bowring has led significant primary research studies on customer attitudes and adoption of the Connected Home and has also initiated and led research forums with major technology manufacturers, utility companies and service providers. Bowring also received the Chairman’s innovation award for his innovation acceleration work in retail. Bowring was also a founding member of the EPA’s Retail Action Council.

Bowring brings over 18 years leadership experience in telecommunications, home appliances, consumer electronics products and retail marketing. Bowring has a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Cardinal Stritch University. Bowring also served on the boards of the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, the Continental Automated Builders Association, and was an industry advisor to the Pecan Street Project smart grid initiative. 


Tom Brennan Tom Brennan, CEO, Sol-Ark

Tom Brennan is the CEO/CTO and a co-founder of Sol-Ark, a Plano-based solar electronics design and manufacturing firm.  Tom's career as an electrical engineer includes holding multiple patents and nearly 30 years of electronics design & innovation.  Tom is passionate about developing innovative technologies that help families and small-medium sized businesses protect themselves against a vulnerable power grid while also becoming more energy independent.


Luis Castro Luis Castro, Utility Business Development Manager, Enel X North America
Twitter ID: @EnelXNA

With over 12 years in the energy industry, Luis works with utilities to develop solutions that influence customer behavior, and encourage wide scale adoption of load management programs, energy efficiency, renewable energy & electrification. As Business Development Manager at Enel X, Luis manages utility & municipal government business development in the Central & Eastern United States. Since starting with Enel X in mid-2020, Luis has expanded Enel X’s utility portfolio and its electric vehicle smart charging products and energy management services to utilities including WEC Energy Group, Consumers Energy, Clark Public Utilities, DTE, and FPL. Luis is also spearheading electric vehicle charging infrastructure development in Mexico and Puerto Rico. Throughout his career, Luis' goal has been to demonstrate that EV infrastructure is a key to achieving a net-zero carbon emissions future. Prior to Enel X, Luis was the Director of Growth at Enervee where he launched several marketplaces with utility partners including LADWP, Con-Edison, SCE and AEP Ohio, among others, helping them reach their energy efficiency savings and demand-response program participation goals. Luis grew up in Mexico City, where he earned his BA from Universidad Iberoamericana in International Business Management.


Bob Champagne Bob Champagne, Vice President- Customer Experience Innovation, Smart Energy Water
Twitter ID: @bobchampagne

Bob is a 34-year veteran of the Energy and Utilities Sector, focused on data-driven, customer-centric transformation across the energy and utilities sector. After starting his career at Entergy in New Orleans, Bob spent over 25 years as an industry consultant with companies such as KPMG, UMS Group, TMG and onVector Consulting- where he advised leading electric, gas and water utilities, as well as retail energy providers worldwide on customer strategy, business transformation, and digital innovation. Since 2010, Bob has been at the center of several successful technology start-ups, focusing on extending smart meter and IoT insights across the energy and clean-tech value chain- through innovative application of advanced analytics, machine learning and AI. Bob is a native of New Orleans and a graduate of Louisiana State University.


David Chang David Chang, Chief Digital Officer, EIQhome

David has been a driving force behind the digital transformation of the energy industry for over 15 years. He has served as the Head of Digital and Chief Digital Officer for some of the nation's largest energy companies. 
 
In December 2021, David joined EIQhome, a start-up Smart Home Energy Management Platform company whose goal is to transform the way people use and manage their home energy. As EIQhome's Chief Digital Officer, David is responsible for creating a seamless, personalized energy experience by utilizing AI/ML technologies and integrating various sources of energy IoT/smart meter data. Prior to EIQhome, David launched NextEra Energy's new Energy Shopping Concierge business, PowerWizard.com. Prior to NextEra, David was Head of Digital Growth at Centrica North American Home, responsible for All Things Digital. Before Centrica, David was the founding member of Constellation's Digital Business Team. 
 
At last count, David has 267 integrated smart devices installed across his home and barn house in Sugar Land, TX which is great for him but drives his wife and kids crazy.


David Cohen-Tanugi David Cohen-Tanugi, Head of Devices & Automation, OhmConnect
Twitter ID: @dctanugi

David Cohen-Tanugi, Ph.D. is the Head of Devices & Automation at OhmConnect, where he oversees the company's strategy for the smart home / IoT ecosystem. He previously co-founded connected device company and holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering from MIT.


Jonathan Coons Jonathan Coons, Director of Marketing & Direct Sales, Energy Federation Inc.

Jonathan brings over 17 years of eCommerce, digital, traditional and demand response marketing experience to EFI. His leadership, innovative thinking, and customer-focused mindset are already driving success across EFI client marketplaces, client marketing outreach and tactics as well as EFI branding, and product expansion. Jonathan's experiences span a wide variety of digital outlets including, running eCommerce account teams, managing and implementing an eCommerce instance for an industry-leading medical supply firm, and leading sales and marketing for a digital start-up. While owning the strategic and innovative vision for EFI's digital tools and programs, Jonathan also leads and manages EFI's growing marketing team and direct sales team.


Robert F. Cruickshank Robert F. Cruickshank, Chief Technology Officer, GRIDIoT® by RCA

Dr. Robert Cruickshank is a technology strategist and implementer of electric load shaping that enables buildings and transportation to maximize renewable energy and minimize fuel costs and carbon emissions. Cruickshank began developing smart buildings at AT&T Bell Labs, led the development of the world standard cable modem at Cable Television Labs, and currently builds grid monitoring, cybersecurity, and control applications with U.S. DOE National Labs and CableLabs.


Abigail Daken Abigail Daken, Environmental Engineer, ENERGY STAR Program | U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Twitter ID: @ENERGYSTAR

Ms. Daken led the development of EPA’s innovative Connected Thermostat specification, which recognizes products that save energy based on how they are used in the homes of actual subscribers. She also manages the requirements for ENERGY STAR heating, cooling, ventilation and water heating products, and the grid responsiveness elements of all ENERGY STAR specifications. Before joining EPA in 2010, at various times she has done research in Physics and in sustainability, designed electronics, and studied effective standards. She holds BS and MA degrees in Physics, and a Masters of Engineering and Public Policy.


Brad Davids Brad Davids, Head of Utility Business Development, Span.io

Brad works with utilities across the U.S. to design and implement electrification and load management programs based on SPAN's technology and software platform. Brad has more than two decades of experience in the utility industry -- before joining SPAN, he was Head of Demand Response Partnerships at Google Nest, where he led sales and business development efforts for Nest's "Rush Hour Rewards" product. Previously, Brad was Vice President of Utility Solutions for EnerNOC, Inc., where he managed a 40-person team responsible for sales, marketing, and consulting to electric and gas utilities worldwide. Earlier in his career, Mr. Davids held a variety of leadership positions related to retail energy services, including Vice President for EPRI Solutions, President and CEO of Primen, and Senior Vice President of the energy research firm E Source, which he co-founded in 1992. Mr. Davids received master’s and bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.


Keally DeWitt Keally DeWitt, Vice President, Marketing & Public Policy, GAF Energy


Hamid Farzaneh Hamid Farzaneh, CEO, Alea Labs

Hamid Farzaneh is a 40 year veteran of the tech industry with experience spanning from engineering to corporate executive. While his career includes operating positions at large multi-national corporations, his long term passion has been and remains the enabling of start-ups to bring to market new technologies that concretely improve people's lives. He was among the pioneers who enabled the emergence and growth of the now ubiquitous digital displays. Prior to Alea Labs, he has served as CEO at DisplayLink, Varioptic, Optilux and Sensoplex. His current company, Alea Labs, is based in Silicon Valley and Calgary, Alberta, and has re-invented the control of central forced air (HVAC) and developed a data-driven system that uses sensors & machine learning to measure room-by-room thermal demand, determine in real time the actual output required from the furnace or AC unit and allocate conditioned air to the right room at the right time. The system enables superior comfort with room-by-room temperature control and 30% to 60% energy reduction.


Phillip Fite Phillip Fite, Product Management & Innovation, Direct Energy US, NRG Energy


Dan Forman Dan Forman, CEO, Copper Labs
Twitter ID: @danielforman

Dan Forman is CEO at Copper Labs and brings twenty years of experience as an entrepreneur and business development leader in venture-backed enterprise software companies. Copper is a wireless energy monitor that delivers real-time data from electric, gas and water meters so utilities can engage consumers with actionable insights that manage peak demand and accelerate energy efficiency, with or without smart meters. With real-time visibility behind the meter and a new channel to engage customers with actionable insights, Copper helps utilities take control of energy demand.


Dan Goodman Dan Goodman, President, Building36, an Alarm.com company

Dan Goodman is co-founder and President of Building36. Dan founded Building36 to create smart home solutions that make homes safer, more comfortable and energy efficient by designing them with both the homeowner and service provider in mind. Dan has nearly 20 years of engineering and technology experience. Prior to Building36, Dan was an applications engineer at Texas Instruments, founded a company that created the first Wi-Fi thermostat, and was head of sales for a startup company that helped pioneer zigbee wireless technology. Dan graduated from MIT with a degree in electrical engineer and computer science.


Jamie Haenggi Jamie Haenggi, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, ADT Solar

Jamie Haenggi joined ADT in 2016 and has nearly 30 years of experience in the security and telecom industries, including Chief Customer Experience Officer at Protection 1, Inc. from 2010 to 2106 and Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of Customer Experience at Vonage, Inc. from 2006 to 2010. Prior to 2016 she held various sales and marketing roles at Holmes Protection Group and National Guardian Corporation. Mrs. Haenggi is on the board of directors of Enphase Energy, a global energy technology company and the world’s leading supplier of microinverter-based solar-plus-storage systems.??

Mrs. Haenggi was honored in the Marketing Hall of Femme in 2014, is a multi-year SAMMY Industry Marketing Award winner, and recognized as building culture that inspires world-class customer service. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations and Japanese from the University of Minnesota.


Chuan He Chuan He, Director of Product Management, Wyze Labs

Chuan He is passionate about creating a healthy, comfortable and efficient home environment for customers. As director of product management at Wyze, he launched Wyze smart thermostat and two home cleaning devices in 2020. He has experience in hardware and software product management, holds a Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering, focused on building energy&environment control.


Steve Herbert Steve Herbert, Director of Business Development, Samsung SmartThings

Steve Herbert, Director of Global Business Development Steve Herbert is a tech industry veteran who has spent the last 7 years driving smart home adoption in the builder markets. He leads Samsung SmartThings as the Director of Global Business Development for both Single Family Homebuilders and Multifamily Developers.


Morgan Hertel Morgan Hertel, Vice President of Technology & Innovation, Rapid Response Monitoring

Morgan Hertel, with over 40 years of experience in the electronic security industry, is a well-respected leader who has served in many executive leadership roles for independent security integration companies and monitoring centers. Currently, as Vice President of Technology & Innovation for Rapid Response Monitoring, Morgan evaluates and harnesses the synergy between the latest technological advancements and the industry’s leading service providers to further advance the unmatched Dealer services of Rapid Response.
 
Morgan serves as President of The Monitoring Association (TMA) and is actively involved in many local and national industry associations and initiatives, and he dedicates countless hours to the work of several forward-thinking committees throughout the industry, as well. 
 
Morgan holds the following certificates and licenses:
NICET Level III Fire Alarm Technology, California Alarm Company Qualified Manager, Oregon Certified Trainer, Oregon Executive Manager, TMA Level I and II Central Station Operator, SIA Certified Operator and ESA Certified Alarm Installer.


Drew Higgins Drew Higgins, Senior Director, CPS Energy
Twitter ID: @cpsenergy

Andrew joined CPS Energy in June 2019 from General Motors in Detroit Michigan where he served as a senior leader within the CDAO (Chief Data and Analytics Office) responsible for product development. Drew has led large-scale core capability expansion at GM that allowed for the development of commercial data products and services. Those data monetization strategies placed GM at the forefront of connected car industry including the construction of the first two-sided marketplace for vehicle data. Prior to General Motors, Andrew held numerous positions at USAA in areas of Digital Marketing, Data and Analytics, and Product Management creating strategies for multiple business lines, enterprise marketing, and customer experience. In his current position as the Senior Director of Products and Services, Drew is responsible for delivering value to customers through energy innovations that both delight customers as well as make their lives tangibly better.


Alan Hoffmann Alan Hoffmann, Hoffmann Homes

Alan Hoffmann is the founder of Hoffmann Homes, a sustainable builder of single-family homes. He is also the principal and founder of 4Tree Development LLC, developers of sustainable communities.
 
As a leader in the environmental building movement, Alan has a long list of firsts that he has brought to the homebuilding marketplace. He was the first builder in 1995 to introduce Insulated Concrete Forms to North Texas. He was also the first homebuilder in the area to use this proven system for the exterior walls of a single-family home. Additionally, he built the first ICF homes in Dallas, Plano, Fort Worth, Mansfield, Terrell, Gunner, Lake Whitney, Rockwall, Oak Point, Flower Mound, Corsicana, and Kerens, Texas. His company then went on to design and build the first two homes in Dallas that were certified by the US Green Building “LEED for Homes” certification program. These two homes were also the first homes that were certified as LEED Platinum in Dallas. Another recent first is the development of Dallas’ first Net Zero Ready community. The Net Zero Ready certification is a certification that is granted by the US Department of Energy.
 
Alan’s homes have been featured on the Discovery Channel’s “Your New Home” program for several episodes, and the Veria Networks “Backyard Boomer”. They have been featured in North Texas USGBC tours as well as NAHB’s International Builders Show. Hoffmann Homes has been voted by “D Home Magazine as one of Dallas’ Best Builders for fourteen consecutive years running (2008- 2021). D Magazine also featured Alan in their Special Edition entitled “Dallas Goes Green and profiled him as one of the good citizens creating a sustainable city. 
 
In 2007, Alan was asked to assist in the creation of Dallas’ first green building ordinance. In helping the City of Dallas shape this ordinance, he assisted in the creation of comprehensive ordinance that addressed all new building projects in the city. With this ordinance, Dallas became one of the first cities to address all types of structures in the building environment. He has worked with the city’s implementation of the second phase of the Dallas Green Ordinance which was enacted by the City Council in 2008. In 2009, for recognition of his efforts and the successes of his company, he received a Special Recognition by the Mayor of Dallas’ Inaugural Environmental Award.
 
In August of 2010, Alan received four ARC awards from the Dallas Builders Association for a home his company designed and built in Dallas. The ARC awards are granted by industry peers in recognition of excellence in various building categories. Also, in 2010, the company built the ICF walls for the Plano Environmental Education Center of the City of Plano as a sub-contractor to Turner Construction, Inc. and architect Gary Olp.The building received a LEED Platinum Certification and in March of 2013 won a Green Ribbon project award from the North Texas Chapter of the US Green Building Council and was named as 2013’s USGBC’s national public project of the year. In 2016 and 2017, Hoffmann Homes was awarded ARC Awards for the Best Green Home built for under 1 Million dollars and also for the Best Green Home built for over 1 million dollars.
 
He is a member of the Dallas Builders Association (DBA) on which he has served as President for the term from 2017-2018. He currently is a Life Director on the Board of the Dallas Builders Association and also serves on the executive board of the association. He has also served on the Executive Board of the Texas Builders Association as Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee. 
 
Mr. Hoffmann also currently serves on the City of Dallas Environmental Commission as a technical advisor for the commission that is charged with implementing Dallas’ CECAP ( City Environmental Climate and Action Plan).


Colleen Jansen Colleen Jansen, Chief Marketing Officer, ChargePoint
Twitter ID: @ColleenJansen

Colleen Jansen is a market strategist with 20 years of experience in both B2B and B2C marketing spanning early stage, privately held VC-funded companies as well as large cap, publicly traded firms. Jansen is responsible for the marketing function, consumer business and North America policy. Prior to ChargePoint, she led teams in a number of category-creating startups as well as established brands including Microsoft, Yahoo, Intuit and LinkedIn. Jansen sits on the board of CALSTART, a nonprofit that works to create jobs, cut air pollution and curb climate change. An early EV adopter, she is passionate about helping businesses and consumers realize the functional and societal benefits of driving electric. She holds a B.S. from California State University, Fresno.


Matt Leckey Matt Leckey, Business Development Director, Utility Programs, Cpower


Tray Leslie Tray Leslie, Renewable Development Manager - Customer Engagement, Georgia Power
Twitter ID: @GeorgiaPower

Tray Leslie serves as the Customer Engagement Manager in the Renewable Development organization. In this role, Tray leads a team responsible for all customer renewable programs, solar analysis and interconnection of customer solar projects.
 
Prior to this role, Tray served as the Assistant to the Senior Vice President of Northwest Region. In this position, Tray was responsible for assisting Northwest Region leadership team with a variety of strategic projects and initiatives within the Region External Affairs organization.
 
Tray joined Southern Company in 2004 as an Intern student where he worked in the Research and Environmental Affairs organization in Birmingham, AL. Since hiring on full-time in 2008, Tray has held the roles of Region Distribution Engineer, Engineering Supervisor, Distribution Control Center Supervisor, and Area Manager where he was responsible for all Customer Service & Operation activities in his areas, which included distribution, customer service, and sales, while leading the company’s external initiatives. In the community, Tray serves on the TechBridge, Inc. Board of Directors. He is a graduate of Leadership Rockdale, Leadership Toombs-Montgomery, Leadership Barrow and the Georgia Academy for Economic Development.
 
A native of Stone Mountain, GA, Tray received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Alabama A&M University, a Master of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech, as well as his MBA from Mercer University.
 
Tray resides in Lawrenceville, GA with his wife Talia, daughter Toni Victoria and son Trenton Vaughn.


Geoff Martin Geoff Martin, President & Co-founder, vipHomeLink
Twitter ID: @vipHomeLink

Geoff Martin is President & Co-founder of vipHomeLink. He is a strategic and growth-oriented leader with significant CFO, corporate M&A, capital raising and partnerships expertise. With more than $10.5B in executed corporate transactions and substantial boardroom and executive leadership experience, Geoff co-founded vipHomeLink with Alfred Bentley in 2018. As a homeowner himself, Geoff is passionate about simplifying the experience of homeownership, helping people protect and improve their largest asset, and delivering value to vipHomeLink's members and partners. Geoff received his MBA from New York University, and his Bachelors from Penn State University. He currently resides in Charleston, SC and enjoys tennis, golf, and traveling with his family.


Paul McDonald Paul McDonald, Senior Director of Product Strategy & Marketing, Oracle Utilities

Paul is a Senior Director of Product Strategy & Marketing at Oracle Utilities. He helps energy providers decarbonize and grow their businesses by influencing utility consumer behavior. He's responsible for building an awesome Opower organization and working with his clients and R&D team to define what comes next.
 
Paul joined Oracle along with Opower, where he previously served in leadership roles in client success, operations, product management and solution architecture. Before joining Opower, Paul consulted cabinet-level federal agencies on their international financial operations. Paul is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he received a B.S. in computer engineering.


Jeremy McLerran Jeremy McLerran, Sr Director Marketing, Security Products, Johnson Controls
Twitter ID: @Mclerran11

Jeremy McLerran runs marketing globally for Johnson Controls security products division, covering camera, access, and security solutions for verticals such as residential, commercial, multifamily, and more. Jeremy has built successful marketing campaigns across our industry that have helped to change the way we look at technology solutions in our space, sits on the board of the Z-Wave Alliance, and has built a marketing content library unparalleled in the industry. Jeremy is based in Utah where he loves spending time outdoors with his wife and 5 children.


Don McPhail Don McPhail, VP of Product, General Manager - Engage Business Line, Uplight
Twitter ID: @dwmcphail

Don McPhail is Head of Behavioral Energy Efficiency and Rates Solutions at Uplight, leads product innovation and end-to-end value chain for Home Energy Reports, digital engagement portals, targeted energy insight emails, and more. His team incorporates data science, behavioral science, and design thinking to drive meaningful outcomes for Uplight’s utility partners and the environment. 
 
Donald has more than a decade of experience working with utilities in the energy sector across the U.S., Australia, United Kingdom, and Netherlands - leading teams responsible for R&D, future grid strategy, and demand management programs. Previously at Uplight, Donald held various roles including Director of Product Marketing for Uplight’s Orchestrated Energy, a tailored end-to-end approach to demand response. Don has an MBA from Torrens University, Australia and a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) from the University of Queensland, Australia.


Felicite Moorman Felicite Moorman, CEOFounder, STRATIS; VP of CommunityConnect, RealPage, STRATIS/RealPage
Twitter ID: @FeliciteMoorman

Felicite Moorman is an attorney turned multi-exit technology entrepreneur. She's received EY's Entrepreneur Of The Year Award and has earned an international reputation as a go-to IoT industry expert, developing pioneering strategic partnerships and unprecedented technology strategies and initiatives for the Internet of Things. Moorman is the CoFounder of STRATIS, a RealPage Company, and SaaS Platform for large-scale Internet of Things installations. STRATIS was named a top ten Best Company in America by Entrepreneur Magazine and ranked in the top twenty percent of Inc Magazine's Fastest Growing Companies three consecutive years prior to acquisition. Moorman was simultaneous CEO of BuLogics, which designed, built, and certified hardware, software, and ecosystems for the Internet of Things. Moorman is an international speaker and columnist, and has been featured as a thought leader in dozens of mass media outlets and publications including: U.S. News & World Report, Fast Company, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Yahoo! News, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Boston Globe, the Huffington Post, and others. She's also a frequent writer, speaker, and presenter on the Internet of Things and has been featured at CES, SXSW, Samsung DevCon, Eric Ries' Lean Startup Conference, Smart Cities Innovation Summit Asia, NMHC OpTech, NAA Apartmentalize, Greystar's Innovation and WAM Summits, and more.


Wayne Morrison Wayne Morrison, Principal, Emerging Technologies, Reliant, an NRG company
Twitter ID: @ReliantEnergy

Wayne Morrison is Principal of Emerging Technology with responsibility for reviewing new technology at Reliant, an NRG company. Wayne has 40+ years electrical industry experience in both regulated and deregulated markets. 
 
Wayne evaluates, develops and implements emerging energy products and services for customers, including home automation and energy storage technologies. He manages the Reliant Smart Home in Houston, Texas, which serves as the company’s real-world research and development hub, where he provides educational sessions on new technologies available in the market.
 
Wayne’s career started in distribution engineering. Wayne has held positions coordinating electric service for residential, commercial and industrial customers and was program manager for several energy efficiency programs. 
 
Wayne earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Technology from the University of Houston. He is licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission for instruction of agents on new technologies.


James Muraca James Muraca, CTO, Enersponse

James is CTO of Enersponse and loves building technology for scale. James has held senior roles with other innovative leaders such as InvertedPower, Zen Ecosystems, and planet Planet Innovation.  Since starting his engineering career at Bosch, he has been involved in several projects ranging from digital health to now connecting massive pumping loads and fortune 100 building portfolios to grid service programs.


Anne Arquit Niederberger PhD Anne Arquit Niederberger PhD, SVP Market Development, Enervee
Twitter ID: @mandarinanni

Anne is responsible for thought leadership and collaboration with utilities, government agencies and retail market actors around the globe to drive innovation and expand markets for energy efficient consumer products. She began her career as a scientist, working with some of the leading figures in paleoclimatology and contributing to various Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessments. She subsequently transitioned to a decade of climate & clean energy policy, serving during the 1990s in senior positions with the Swiss government, where she led international climate and energy policy and established Swiss carbon markets. Prior to Enervee, Anne was Principal at Policy Solutions, where she advised public and private clients from across the globe on climate & clean energy solutions and spearheaded diverse implementation partnerships, such as the $1.2 billion Swiss Climate Cent. She graduated with High Honors from Dartmouth College, holds a Ph.D. in Oceanography, completed a post-doctoral fellowship with a focus on global change at the University of Bern (Switzerland), and served as Visiting Scholar at Columbia University.


Wannie Park Wannie Park, CEO, Zen Ecosystems
Twitter ID: @HelloInspire

Wannie Park is the CEO of Zen Ecosystems, an energy management platform that helps small to medium businesses take control of their energy usage while meeting sustainability goals. Wannie is a seasoned executive with more than 20 years of experience in energy, renewables, IoT and SaaS. He's passionate about leveraging technology to make a tangible impact against climate change by redefining the way businesses interact with energy. Prior to Zen, Wannie was Vice President of Corporate and Business Development at Inspire Energy where he was responsible for growth and partnerships. Prior to joining Inspire, Wannie was SVP of Business Development at CEIVA Energy, a SaaS-based demand response and energy efficiency provider. Wannie graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor's degree in Economics and earned his Master's in Business from USC and Environmental Law degree from the UCLA School of Law.


Stan Pipkin Stan Pipkin, Executive Advisor, Co-Founder, Bodhi

Stan Pipkin has committed the last 20 years to accelerating the adoption of distributed energy systems through deep engagement within the renewable energy ecosystem and the architectural community. He is co-founder of Bodhi, a customer experience software platform which uses behavior science to lower the barriers for viral solar adoption. He is CEO of LighthouseSolar, a Texas based EPC that provides end to end solar energy solutions in residential, commercial and architectural settings. He is a director at the Architectural Solar Association and is currently developing a DOE funded educational platform to lower the barriers for the architectural and engineering community to integrate solar into new construction. He also serves as a director at Solar Austin, an education and policy advocacy and has led a community engagement installation program for non-profits in Central Texas. Stan holds a Masters of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin.


Bill Policastro Bill Policastro, VP of Grants, Business Development, and Account Management, Blink Charging

William Policastro has over 11 years of experience in the electric vehicle infrastructure business. He is the former CEO of U-Go Stations, Inc., a corporation that owned and operated DC fast-charging stations for electric vehicles in targeted, high-traffic locations throughout the United States. After Blink acquired U-Go Stations, Mr. Policastro brought his expertise in deploying EVSE in locations across the country to Blink, continuing his nationwide electric vehicle adoption goal. Mr. Policastro shares Blink’s commitment to sustainability and cutting-edge EVSE technology.


Ansul Rajgharia Ansul Rajgharia, Director, Connected Products and Surge, Schneider Electric
Twitter ID: @SchneiderElec

Business Development Director at Schneider Electric leading the connected residential products Experience in corporate strategy, M&A, Business Unit P&L, and sales. Bachelors in Engineering from IIT Bombay and MBA from UC Berkeley. Passionate about working on energy problems and consumer-facing technology-based products.


Chuck Ray Chuck Ray, US Business Development Director, ev.energy

Chuck covers the North American EV market for ev.energy and focuses on the evolution of electric vehicles and the electricity grid covering consumer adoption, fleet electrification, smart charging, decarbonization, and financial innovation. He brings over a decade of experience with utility programs and mobility transformation from positions at E Source, Enernoc, RMI. Chuck remains committed to customer value as your thought partner, is an EV advocate, and student of technology diffusion. He earned a BS Engineering from the University of Texas and a MBA from the University of Colorado.
 
ev.energy is an award-winning software company and Certified B Corporation® with a mission to accelerate smart charging and realize beneficial EV loads in Europe and North America. The ev.energy platform is a driver centered approach to managed EV charging by aligning to low prices and renewables generation, and in turn delivering active load control to utilities and retail energy providers. We've logged over 5M charging sessions and have 50,000 users on our app (which connects to both telematics and EVSE). We're expanding the solution to meet the needs of corporate and municipal fleets and their light duty EV deployments.


Matthew Robbins Matthew Robbins, VP of Global Product Management, Resideo

Matt is the Vice President of Global Product Management for Resideo. Matt joined the Connected Home business in 2018. Prior to this role, Matt was part of the leadership team for Centrica’s Retail Energy and Home Services business in North America, leading strategy, integration, process excellence, data, and serving as the chief of staff. 
 
Matt is a trained chemist and has a PhD in chemistry from Stanford University.  A native Houstonian, Matt lives in Houston with his wife, Emily, two children, Jonathan and Molly, and a golden retriever, Elsie.


Jason Rodriguez Jason Rodriguez, CEO, Zpryme

Jason leads the strategy and the direction of the company’s market research, events, and virtual and augmented reality work in the clean-tech and smart community sectors. Zpryme’s research has been cited in publications such as New York Times and Fast Company, as well as dozens of trade magazines. Zpryme produces the Energy Thought Summit (ETS), one of the premier energy events in the nation that focuses on solving complex energy problems to build a more sustainable future. He received his B.B.A. in marketing from McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, and his M.B.A. from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He also completed graduate coursework in economics at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.


Akash Sah Akash Sah, Chief Procurement Officer, Brinks Home

Akash joined Brinks Home Security in July 2020, with more than 20 years of operations management experience. 
 
Most recently, Akash was the Head of Manufacturing Operations at Bossa Nova Robotics (a San Francisco Bay-area based startup) where he scaled their production capacity more than 5X and reduced the product cost by over 20 percent during his tenure. Prior to that, Akash was a management consultant for 6 years (Ernst & Young and McKinsey & Company) focused on operational performance improvement, and has also worked with Applied Materials, Align Technology, and Primus Power.
 
Akash has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nagpur University (India), a masters in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell, and a MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.


Kevin Schwain Kevin Schwain, Sr. Director, EV Strategy, EnergyHub

Kevin Schwain serves as Senior Director of Electric Vehicle Strategy at EnergyHub, helping enhance the company's offerings in the fast-growing EV charging management category. Kevin spent more than a decade with Xcel Energy. Most recently he led the strategy, policy, and programming of the utility's electric transportation efforts across their eight state footprint. While at Xcel Energy he designed and implemented more than 50 EV charging programs, giving him unique expertise in the needs and priorities of utilities and their customers as we all prepare for the impacts of widespread EV adoption. Kevin has graduate degrees in engineering and business from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Jigar Shah Jigar Shah, Head of Energy Services, Electrify America

Jigar is the Head of Energy Services at Electrify America. Jigar is responsible for optimizing Electrify America’s energy portfolio, including managing rate structures, leveraging energy storage to manage exposure to demand charges, engaging with utilities and wholesale energy markets, as well as addressing vehicle-grid integration matters.  Jigar has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, with a minor in Business, from Cornell University, and a Master of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University.  Prior to his role at Electrify America, Jigar was a Principal Consultant within the Energy and Utilities Practice at West Monroe Partners, where he advised utility clients on smart grid modernization topics, including rate structures and the use of energy storage to defer utility distribution investments.  Previous to this, Jigar was a Senior Researcher at Envision Energy focused on wind farm (plant level) controls and analytics to lower the levelized cost of renewable energy, and an Edison Engineer at General Electric Global Research focused on wind turbine control systems and distributed energy resource (“DER”) controls, including for electric vehicle fleet charging to minimize demand charge costs.  Jigar has publications in prominent scientific journals including IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid and Wind Energy Science and has issued patents on topics spanning electric vehicle charging, electric grid congestion, and wind energy control systems.


Bruce Sher Bruce Sher, Head of Business Development, LG Electronics


Will Shippee Will Shippee, Manager – Strategic Solar Accounts, Home and Distribution Division, Schneider Electric

As one of the few solar veterans to start his career “on-the-roof” Will has watched as the industry has evolved from an emerging technology to the disruptive force it is now. Over the past 17 years Will has represented both large PV manufacturers and early start-ups in roles such as product development, sales, strategy, and consulting. Now at Schneider, Will leads business biz-dev and strategy for their key solar partners helping to drive emerging home energy management solutions.


Brad Stutzman Brad Stutzman, CEO, O3 Energy
Twitter ID: @brad_stutzman

Brad Stutzman is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of O3 Energy Corporation, a renewable energy solutions company founded in 2011. With Mr. Stutzman's expertise, the company has grown from the project development and solar project finance to adding both an EPC and Residential Solar division. Brad Stutzman's career has encompassed a wide array of functions including executive positions in the finance, construction and renewable energy industries. After holding positions at both Blue Renewable Energy and Folium Energy, Mr. Stutzman joined the O3 Energy team. He has led the development of over 100 megawatts of commercial and utility scale photovoltaic projects. Most notably leading the development team for the Eubank Landfill Solar Array in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The first dual axis tracking system installed on a capped landfill and the largest, at the time, behind the meter solar project in New Mexico.


Josh Teekell Josh Teekell, Founder & CEO , SmartAC.com, Inc.
Twitter ID: @SmartACHome

Josh is a serial entrepreneur, avid angel investor, and the founder and CEO of SmartAC.com leading a team on a mission to perfect the entire experience of home comfort. SmartAC.com is the fastest growing, smart-home comfort platform for homeowners and service providers. Prior to SmartAC.com, Josh was in the home services space and is the founder/owner Allied Outdoor Solutions. The team at Allied has grown to become the largest backyard makeover firm in the south, serving over 1500 homeowners a year across Texas and Arizona. Josh holds degrees in mechanical engineering and Elon admiring.


Scott W. Tjaden Scott W. Tjaden, Product Development for Smart Home, Constellation
Twitter ID: @ScottWTjaden

Scott currently leads the strategy for Mass Markets zero-carbon energy products at Constellation Energy in Baltimore Maryland. Constellation is the leading carbon-free energy provider in the US, while also helping customers ranging from commercial to mass market residential customers achieve their sustainability goals through energy management solutions. Current focus areas include innovations around the larger smart home and energy management solution nexus. Scott has a Master's degree in Ecological Engineering, which provide a lens for sustainability and engaging others to think of and challenge emerging zero-carbon solutions to help further evolve the energy sector. Scott previously managed emerging Innovation opportunities which focused on grid edge technologies for Pepco Holdings Utility in Washington, DC where a balance of large-scale grid benefit, customer adoption, and regulatory alignment was critical for success.


John Towle John Towle, CEO, EcoSmart Solution

CEO, EcoSmart Solution - 2019 to present - Community-wide geothermal infrastructure, standard solar PV, EV and individual home/community storage options, and a comprehensive monitoring platform for large new construction communities. COO, Safari Energy LLC - 2010 to 2019 - Turnkey solar developer and EPC delivering 500+ mid to large scale commercial solar projects across all US markets. VP operations and other, Centex Homes - 1994 to 2010 - large division of national homebuilder, responsible for land development, design, procurement, construction, customer service. Combining experience with residential homebuilding on a large scale with solar development and implementation, to lead the growth of a green energy services company providing turn-key net zero capable construction solutions to developers, builders and home owners/renters at large new construction projects across the US. EcoSmart Solution LLC is an affiliate of Taurus Investment Holdings, a real estate developer providing innovative and game changing efficiency offerings to its holdings. EcoSmart currently services the 7,500+ home master planned Taurus project in Austin TX (Whisper Valley) as well as multiple other 3rd party developer/builders.


Chris Vargas Chris Vargas, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Chargie
Twitter ID: @Chargie_EV

As the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Chargie, Chris Vargas is responsible for bringing reliable, smart EV charging solutions to multifamily and commercial property owners/managers. Prior to Chargie, he served as a Director of Business Development at Boingo Wireless, a leading provider of connectivity solutions for multifamily communities. Over the years, his career has also included leadership positions at Global Enterprise Resource Group, CU Solutions Group, rent.com, an eBay company, Verizon Enhanced Communities, Hughes Communications and as one of the first 5 employees at DirecTV.


Dr. Kenneth Wacks Dr. Kenneth Wacks, President, Home, Building & Utility Systems

Dr. Wacks has been a pioneer in establishing the home systems industry and a management advisor to 150 clients worldwide. His business spans home and building systems, utility customer services, and digital entertainment networks (including HDTV and IPTV). Clients seek his help to locate strategic business partners, financing, and new customers. He also provides due-diligence for investors and expert witness services for litigants. Please visit www.kenwacks.com for information about clients and projects.

He was appointed by the United States Department of Energy to the 13-member GridWise Architecture Council to develop smart grid strategies for reliable and efficient distribution of electricity. The Consumer Electronics Association chose Dr. Wacks to chair the international committee (ISO/IEC) establishing world standards for home and building systems and energy management. In addition, he has written American National Standards in home automation.

Dr. Wacks chairs the Editorial Advisory Board of the CABA magazine iHomes & Buildings (available at www.caba.org) and is a featured contributor under the byline “Ken Wacks’Perspectives.” Dr. Wacks received his Ph.D. from MIT as a Hertz Fellow and studied at the MIT Sloan School of Management.


Paul Wezner Paul Wezner, VP, Product and Customer Success, Powerley
Twitter ID: @PaulWezner

Paul joined Powerley as the company's first full-time employee and currently serves as VP of Product and Customer Success, responsible for crafting the company's product offering to its utility customers and overseeing the deployment and success of those programs. Paul has over a decade of experience in the digital space, with work spanning research, strategy, analytics and development. Paul holds a BA in Economics and an MBA from the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business.


Shawn White Shawn White, Director, Commercial & Industrial Programs, Xcel Energy

Shawn’s team is responsible for helping customers save money and reduce carbon through a variety of nationally recognized energy efficiency and demand response programs across 8 states.  He has been with Xcel Energy for over 20 years and held a variety of positions in the company including program management and regulatory assignments.  Shawn graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Business with a Master’s degree in Strategic Management. He is also a graduate of the United States Navy’s Nuclear Power Program and a former Board Chair for the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.


Moderators


Chris White Chris White, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates
Twitter ID: @cwhiteinsights
Website: http://parksassociates.com

Chris is a Senior Researcher with Parks Associates, covering the connected home market. He was previously a Director of Insights at PeopleMetrics in Philadelphia and the Data Manager of a youth-serving collaborative in New Orleans. He has performed research for companies in a variety of industries, including the telecom/ISP space.

Chris earned his BBA in Marketing from the College of William & Mary and his MBA in Marketing and Finance from American University.


QUESTIONS ABOUT SPEAKING?
Please contact Mindi Sue Sternblitz-Rubenstein at Parks Associates or call 972-490-1113.