Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense,
Environment and Energy Resilience,
U.S. Department of Defense
Mr. Richard Kidd, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Environment & Energy Resilience. In this position, he provides policy and governance for programs and activities that enable resilience and cyber-secure energy for weapon systems and installations. This includes budgetary, policy, and management oversight of programs related to climate change, compliance with environmental laws, prevention of pollution, management of natural and cultural resources, and cleanup of contaminated sites, as well as energy resilience, risk, and performance.
Advanced Energy & Materials,
Defense Innovation Unit
Ben Richardson is the Director of the Advanced Energy and Materials (AE&M) Portfolio at the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). Ben and his team are responsible for delivering strategic energy and materials capabilities to the military by accelerating the adoption of commercial technology and strengthening the national security innovation base. The AE&M Portfolio is focused on three primary lines of effort: Advanced Energy & Storage, Alternative Storage & Mobility, and Materials & Sustainment.
U.S. Air Force,
Office of Energy Assurance (OEA)
Kirk A. Phillips is the Director, Air Force Office of Energy Assurance (OEA). OEA serves as the integrator of energy and water resilience efforts by ensuring projects align with installation needs and with the three goals of the Department of the Air Force (DAF) Installation Energy Strategic Plan — identify enabling system vulnerabilities, improve resilience planning, and ensure resilience results. As such, OEA connects DAF enterprise and installation stakeholders with energy and water resilience partners, emerging technologies, and industry best practices.
Global Energy Center,
Dr. Julia Nesheiwat is a recognized expert for energy, environment, climate resilience, & national security issues as a public servant, academic, former military officer, and US diplomat. She is a Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and since December 2020, has served as Commissioner on the US Arctic Research Commission reporting to the White House and Congress on domestic and international Arctic issues.
Dr. Nesheiwat brings unique experiences having served over twenty years in international energy security, critical infrastructure protection, climate, environmental science, and national security serving in the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations. From 2019 to early 2020, she served as Florida’s first Chief Resilience Officer, launching a new office dedicated to addressing the environmental, physical, and economic impacts of climate change and emergency preparedness for the state.
Energy of the Future,
Paul Robinson currently serves as an Executive Advisor to the Bedford Funds, LP, a private equity firm investing in portfolio companies with focus on the future of energy and the future workforce. Paul is a strategist, visionary, and trendsetter for large-scale energy program development and implementation.
Prior to his retirement from federal service, Paul served as a senior civilian leading the Army’s portfolio of energy and electronic technology programs in the world-wide support to Army, DoD, and non-DOD agencies. During his tenure, he executed over $2B in energy projects and nearly 1/3 of the entire federal alternative financing, while overseeing a preeminent Energy Center that served as a crossroads to energy execution throughout the federal government, providing key staff, operations, planning, and acquisition support to the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives (OEI), U.S. Air Force Office of Energy Assurance (OEA), and DOE Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP).
Integration Branch Chief,
Natural Disaster Recovery Program Management Office, Tyndall Air Force Base
Lowell Usrey is the Integration Branch Chief for the Natural Disaster Recovery (NDR) Program Management Office (PMO) at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. He is responsible for driving innovation for the $4.95 billion, effort to rebuild Tyndall as the Installation of the Future.
As chief of the Integration Branch he identifies opportunities to leverage commercial technology, research, and prototypes to enhance operational effectiveness, security, resilience, and digital integration for Tyndal AFB.
Mr. Usrey has supported the Department of Defense as a uniformed member, contractor and a government civilian. Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. Usrey led a wide variety of programs to include facility operations; facility planning, programming, and budgeting; construction management; energy management; space management; and environmental management. Other career highlights include coordinating acquisition programs for 14 major Air Force weapons systems and leading the construction efforts for entry gates at 10 Air Mobility Command bases.
Director of Special Projects,
Green Building Certification, Inc.
Honorable Katherine Hammack (fmr Assistant Secretary of the Army) is Director of Special Projects at Green Business Certification Inc (GBCI). She was one of the founding members of USGBC/GBCI over 30 years ago and has many years of experience in energy, sustainability, utility and infrastructure operations. She is working to advance tools to improve the built environment with a focus on increasing resilience with the RELi program and reliability in power grids with the PEER program. Hon Hammack is a graduate from Oregon State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering as well as a Masters in Business from University of Hartford.
Converge Strategies and Member Representative,
Jonathon is a Principal at Converge Strategies, LLC, a consulting company focusing on the intersection of advanced energy and resilience. He works with a broad range of state and local governments, private sector, and military partners, leveraging 20 years of experience to develop solutions around the advancement of whole community security and resilience. Jonathon’s unique expertise blends professional and leadership roles in the fields of national security, public safety, emergency management, military readiness, and critical infrastructure protection. He has experience in exercise design and implementation for complex catastrophes, resilience strategy development for interdependent infrastructure systems, and program design and integration for government and private sector organizations. He holds an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy.
Master Planner/Community Planner,
Tyndall Air Force Base,
U.S. Air Force
Mrs. Chapman was critical to aiding in the development of Tyndall’s new Installation Master Plan following the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. She worked diligently with the Engineering firms hired to develop the plan as well as other key stake holders ranging from Wing leadership to the community. This effort would have been a daunting task for any large community management department, Mrs. Verdun-Chapman did all of this by herself, she is the only community manager at Tyndall AFB. Ms. Chapman was pivotal in the organization and creation of Tyndall’s new specific wind speed, design flood elevation criteria, as well as the newly adopted Installation Facility Standards (IFS). She is the face of Tyndall when the installation needs to interact with the community and is the sole facilitator of the Air Force Community Partnership Program. Mrs. Verdun-Chapman established Tyndall AFB first-ever Community partnership office and significantly elevated Tyndall’s relationships with local, city, county, state and federal entities including several defense alliances over the past few years. The implementation of this strategic planning program led to a Bay County Association of Defense Communities’ 2019 Great American Defense Communities Award.
Georgia Public Service Commission,
A younger Tim Echols was selected by the Atlanta Airport Rotary Club as “Student of the Year” from his high school in 1978. While at the luncheon, he met Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-a, a member of the Atlanta Airport Rotary Club. After the meeting, Truett invited Tim to come by his Hapeville office and there gave him a set of motivational tapes and a challenge. Echols said the tapes changed his life and as a result of listening to Zig Ziglar and his teaching, Echols set a goal to be a statewide elected official. After building a national non-profit organization, Echols ran for and was elected to statewide office in 2010 serving as Public Service Commissioner. His primary job is energy regulation. When Echols took office, Georgia was 34th in solar power. Now, 7 years later the state is 5th in the nation in approved solar.
Founder and President,
Trifecta Construction Solution
For more than 25 years, Dr. Jennifer Languell has championed the integration of green building principles and sustainable design within the construction industry. Today, as Founder and President of Trifecta Construction Solutions, she remains an outspoken advocate and valued consultant to a wide range of industries that are incorporating sustainable business practices into their daily operations. Dr. Languell is the first person to receive the National Association of Home Builders’ Green Advocate of the Year award twice since its inception in 1997.
As an environmental policy and growing consumer demand raise expectations for energy efficiency, resource conservation, and healthier building environments, Dr. Languell continues to help her clients integrate innovative and intelligent business solutions into their operations. She utilizes a systems approach to creating high-performance, healthy, sustainable projects that balance investment with financial return.
Government Business Development,
FuelCell Energy, Inc.
Chuck Strand is a results-driven, business development subject matter expert (SME) for energy resiliency projects in critical energy resiliency applications with a focus on Federal, Tribal, State, and Local Governments. Mr. Strand will lead FuelCell Energy’s business development efforts to integrate fuel cell technology for critical power applications in Federal, State, and Local Governments.
Chuck has over 30 years experience in the energy industry with Industrial, Commercial, and Public Sector projects. He has worked with many respected energy services companies and delivered groundbreaking projects, including the first showcase energy resiliency project located at Marine Corps Base Twentynine Palms, CA. Installed in 2002, the dual-fueled 7.5MW turbine powered cogeneration plant, combined with a 2MW solar PV system supplies over 80% of the daily electrical power requirements for the Base. With the secondary use of the turbine heat output the plant supplies a majority of the domestic heating needs as well as a significant component of the summertime chilled water through use of an absorption chiller plant. Overall plant efficiency is rated at over 80% and has virtually eliminated power disruptions for the Base.
National Association of Energy Service Companies,
Dr. Timothy D. Unruh joins NAESCO after over 26 years in energy efficiency and clean energy development. Most recently, he served in two senior roles at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) – Director of the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Renewable Power. As FEMP Director, Dr. Unruh helped launch the President’s Performance Contracting Challenge pushing for growth in performance contracting with the Federal Government, as well as eProject Builder targeting a common national platform for ESCO industry data. As DAS for Renewable Power, Dr. Unruh helped develop the Beyond Batteries initiative to explore innovative ways to provide grid services, including using building energy efficiency technologies to improve grid integration with renewable technologies. Prior to his work at DOE, Dr. Unruh spend many years working for ESCOs. During his time at Custom Energy and ConEdison Solutions, he fulfilled performance contracting work in all markets (MUSH, industrial, commercial and federal), gaining expertise in business development, engineering, measurement and verification, legal and financial aspects of the industry, often through first-hand experience in fulfilling the work. Early in his career, Dr. Unruh worked for CMS Energy, finding efficiency and power quality solutions for commercial and industrial energy users, where he developed his energy engineering foundation. Dr. Unruh holds a Bachelors, Masters, and Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering from Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas. He also holds professional engineering licenses in 13 States and the District of Columbia.
Senior Science and Technology Advisor,
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Mr. Marrano is one of the Army’s Senior Scientific Technical Managers (SSTMs), senior professionals recognized for their impact and unique combination of technical and supervisory responsibilities. He pioneered, developed, and helped DoD adopt cutting edge techniques to assess and forecast facility investment requirements, ultimately influencing an annual budget more than several billion dollars. For the past four years Mr. Marrano led the Army’s Installation of the Future research and evaluation program, seeking to find innovations from smart cities and apply them in a military setting. The reconstruction of Tyndall as the Air Force’s Installation of the Future is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to envision “the base we need, not the base we have” and Mr. Marrano’s position is a partnership between the Army and Air Force to collaborate and share innovations and best practices. As Science and Technology Advisor for Installations of the Future to the Tyndall Reconstruction Program, Mr. Marrano’s engineering, architecture and systems background make him uniquely suited to help guide Tyndall as it evaluates and incorporates next-generation technology to be a 21st century installation.
Gulf Coast Energy Network
Dave Robau is one of the sustainability movement’s most sought-after thought leaders. As an advocate for resource conservation and sustainable design solutions, Dave has extensive experience at all levels of business and government. In 2011, he was honored at a White House ceremony as one of President Obama’s “Champions of Change” for his work and dedication to sustainability.
Lead for the Installation Resilience Operations Center (IROC),
CEO/Co-Founder, Simple Sense
After launching an array of ventures dealing in marketing, property development, and hospitality, and nonprofits, Eric spotted a critical need for streamlined emergency response and co-founded Simplesense in 2017.
Advanced Energy and Materials Portfolio,
Defense Innovation Unit
Dr. Nina French is the Technical Director of the Advanced Energy and Materials (AE&M) Portfolio. As technical director, Nina is responsible for technical due diligence and assessments of the commercial technology associated with AE&M’s three lines of effort. Additionally, Nina is a senior advisor to DIU’s director and is responsible for DIU’s relationships with National Laboratories and Academic institutions.
Nina comes to DIU as an engineer with a proven track record of creating products and building markets with new technologies. Her career has spanned industries, from National Labs R&D, project management for DoD, DOE, and EPA, jet engines, coal combustion, and hydropower. Nina has built innovative engineering teams, partnered with industry and successfully commercialized new technologies.
Ms. Sandy Kline is the Department of Navy’s first Director for Installation Resilience and currently serving Ms. Berger the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment. Her responsibilities include policy development and program oversight for installation resilience to include energy, water, control system cybersecurity and climate resilience. Her extensive Navy background as an integrator and innovator uniquely qualify her for the challenges of the position. She previously served as the Deputy Director for the Department of Navy’s $3.6 billion dollar Military Construction Program and Chief Information Officer at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. She was the Director for e-Business and Acquisition Systems at Naval Sea Systems Command and a Logistician and Program Manager for S-3 and F-14 aircraft programs at the Naval Supply Systems Command.
Project Development & Engineering Manager,
Microgrids Competency Center,
Schneider Electric USA
Bill Pfleger is part of the Schneider Electric North American Microgrid Competency Center where he currently serves as the team’s Project Development and Engineering Manager, North America – East, focused on microgrids and distributed energy resource projects spanning from the customer side of the meter to the utility control center. He also assists in general business development and marketing activities, product research and development, and mentors the Competency Center’s Microgrid Solution Architects, a team he previously managed. Prior to his current role with Schneider Electric, Bill worked as a Microgrid Solutions Architect and a Business Development and Marketing Specialist. Bill holds Masters Degrees in Renewable Energy Engineering, Building Science and Efficiency, and General Experimental Psychology as well as a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Appalachian State University. Prior to joining Schneider Electric’s microgrid team, Bill held employment a professor at Appalachian State University teaching renewable energy engineering and worked as a design engineer, project manager, project estimator, and manager of the Drafting and Design team for Mid-South Engineering, a company focused on the wood products manufacturing and cogeneration/combined heat and power fields.
ESPC Program Manager,
U.S. Air Force,
Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC)
Michael Ringenberg is the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) Third Party Finance Program Subject Matter Expert and Program Manager for the ESPC and UESC program. Mike is a graduate of Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering, and is a member of ASHRAE, the Association of Energy Engineers and is registered as a Certified Energy Manager. Mike also served as the Energy Program Manager for US Army Garrison – Fort Wainwright, Alaska, was the Air Force Advanced Meter Reading System Program Manager, and has over 15 years’ experience working in multiple energy programs within the Air Force Civil Engineer Center at Tyndall AFB, Florida.
Director of External Relations,
Gulf Power Company
Sandy Sims is the Director of External Relations for Gulf Power. She has worked for Gulf Power for more than 35 years and has held various positions of leadership in customer service, operations, and corporate support. In her current position, Sandy provides strategic direction for the company’s economic development, community relations, external affairs areas and focuses on building and growing sustainable communities in northwest Florida. In the fall of 2018, Sandy was the district general manager for Gulf Power’s Eastern District which includes Panama City, Chipley, and Tyndall Air Force Base when Hurricane Michael made landfall as one of the strongest storms to hit the United States. Working with more than 7500 resources from Gulf Power, several other states and Canada, the Gulf Power team restored power to more than 95% of the customers who could take power in only 13 days. It was truly an unprecedented team response to an unprecedented devastating storm.
Senior Research Engineer,
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory,
U.S. Department of Energy
Amy Solana is a senior research engineer in the Distributed Systems group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Portland, Oregon. She started at PNNL in 2002, and has primarily worked with the Department of Defense to help them be at the forefront of adaptation and change to sustain their missions in an evolving energy and water world. She analyzes the potential for and supports achievement of energy and water security and resilience including net zero energy, water, and waste; helps design and implement renewable energy and other distributed generation projects; and maximizes efficiency opportunities in buildings and across installations. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.S. in mechanical engineering and is a Certified Energy Manager.
Senior Researcher, Energy Branch,
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center,
Construction Engineering Research Lab
Mr. Franklin H. Holcomb is a Senior Researcher in the Energy Branch at the U.S Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineer Research and Development Center – Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL) in Champaign, IL. As part of the senior technical staff of the Energy Branch, Mr. Holcomb assists in identifying and cultivating new areas of energy and sustainability research to support Army and DoD requirements.
With over 30 years of experience in leading energy and sustainability technology projects and programs, Mr. Holcomb gained worldwide recognition as a technical expert on fuel cells and U.S. Army power and energy issues. As Chief of the Energy Branch at ERDC-CERL, he led a world-class team of scientists and engineers conducting research and development to support facility design, installation energy operations, and contingency basing energy challenges. As Associate Director of the Center for the Advancement of Sustainability Innovations (CASI), Mr. Holcomb led the management and direction of the Center which was established to provide ERDC expertise, technologies and partnerships toward helping USACE, the U.S. Army and the DoD achieve more sustainable facilities and operations.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment,
Safety and Infrastructure,
Headquarters U.S. Air Force
Mark A. Correll, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety and Infrastructure, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He provides executive leadership on all matters pertaining to formulation, review and execution of plans, policies, programs and budgets for Air Force built and natural infrastructure, environmental, safety and occupational health programs. These include facility management, military construction, family housing, as well as acquisition, operation, maintenance, repair and disposal of real property, environmental compliance and restoration, ground safety and workplace health.
Mr. Correll was commissioned in the Air Force in 1981 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, earning a degree in civil engineering. He commanded two civil engineer squadrons, a mission support group and an air base wing. He retired in 2010 in the rank of colonel. Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Correll served as the Air Force Deputy Civil Engineer. In that position he provided leadership, direction and technical knowledge to organize, train and equip a 60,000-person engineering force as well as development, construction, operation, maintenance, emergency response, readiness, housing and environmental quality of Air Force bases worldwide. He was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 2010. Mr. Correll is registered as a licensed professional engineer in the state of Texas.
Natural Disaster Recovery Division,
Program Management Office, Tyndall Air Force Base
Colonel Travis K. Leighton is the Chief of the Air Force Civil Engineer Center Natural Disaster Recovery Division located at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. He leads an organization supporting a $6 billion, multi-year planning, programming, design, and construction effort to rebuild Tyndall following Hurricane Michael in 2018 and Offutt Air Force Base following a March 2019 flood.
Colonel Leighton previously commanded the 65th Air Base Group, Lajes, Portugal; the 821st Support Squadron, Thule AB, Greenland; and the 90th Civil Engineer Squadron, F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming. He has also served in a variety of staff positions including two Major Commands, Headquarters Air Force, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Colonel Leighton’s deployments include support to Exercise NEW HORIZONS, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.
Federal Energy Strategy,
Director of Operations,
Panhandle Power Solutions,
SES Group of Companies
Cagen Williams is the Executive Director for the Energy Division within the SES Group of Companies, a Subsidiary entity of Bristol Bay Native Corporation located in Destin, FL. As a former managing member a local General Construction and Electrical firm he has seen the rapid post-acquisition expansion of the energy division across the United States. Mr. Williams has led the self-construction of nearly 1 GW of renewable resources over the past 3 years as well as General and Industrial Electrical construction activities stretching from Fairbanks, AK to Miami, FL.
U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn (FL-02),
Director of Military and Veteran’s Affairs
Craig Williams is the Director of Military and Veterans Affairs
and the Congressional Principal Advisor of Military and
Veteran’s Affairs to Congressman Neal Dunn, M.D.,
representing the largest district (FL-02) in the great State of
Florida (19 counties). As Director, Craig is responsible for
maintaining liaison and relationships with installation leaders,
members of Congress and their staff, the Senate, the
Executive Branch, and local community leaders. In carrying out
these responsibilities, Craig support military installations
liaisons, military members (active & retired) and their families,
orchestrates and monitor communications and activities involving Congress and elements of the Department of Defense (DoD), including the Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD), Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), the Armed Services, Defense Agencies. Craig also works with the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs and the commanders
of the veteran service organizations in the district in support of their organizational goals and represents veteran concerns to the veteran’s administration. In addition, Craig is also a member and congressional advisor to the Governor’s Florida Defense Support Task Force and the Bay Defense Alliance to ensure the missions of the installations
have representational support.
Energy Solutions and Services,
Centrica Business Solutions
Recovering architect, born and raised in New Orleans, have been developing energy efficiency and infrastructure projects for the past 25 years, interested in using my experience to help individuals and organizations accomplish meaningful improvements in their facilities, and interested in helping the woke masses to channel their activism in positive, productive ways towards a better future, with liberty and justice for all.
Program Development & Investment Division,
Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC),
U.S. Air Force
Head of Federal Government,
Siemens Smart Infrastructure
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