The Grid Forward Board of Advisors draws a diverse group of experts from across our membership to help guide our focus and activities. Join Grid Forward, and become part of this forward-looking group!
Grid Forward maintains a group of diverse industry professionals to help steer the key activities of the organization. Advisors are invited to serve from among members in good standing to align with the core interests and efforts of the organization. The Executive Committee of the Board reviews Advisor candidates which are confirmed by the Executive Director. There are no term limits for Advisors. Advisor meetings are generally held monthly. Typically four to six Advisors are selected each year.
Our advisors commit to three-year terms, so there are often opportunities for new leaders to help us move forward. Contact Grid Forward if you or someone you know would like to serve.
Director, Advanced Analytics
Ankush is responsible for developing and delivering a robust Grid Transmission and Distribution analytics capability and program for Exelon’s six utilities. Ankush is passionate about enabling awareness and adoption of analytics across organizations to help accelerate development of an analytics-driven culture and co-founded Exelon Utilities’ premiere Analytics Academy program. He’s spent 10 years at Exelon in various Analytics and Audit leadership roles and currently leads its Utility Analytic Institute’s Safety Analytics Community initiative, serves on the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies’ (AEIC) Analytics Council, and previously co-chaired the joint Data Analytics Committee for Edison Electric Institute and American Gas Association (EEI-AGA). Ankush is a University Gold Medalist from Louisiana State University, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Jeff Allen has served as Executive Director of Forth (formerly known as Drive Oregon) since December 2011. Forth is a nonprofit industry organization working to advance electric, smart, and shared transportation in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Through innovation and industry development, demonstration projects, advocacy and engagement, Forth is transforming the way we get around. Mr. Allen previously served as Executive Director or organizational development consultant to several nonprofit organizations, including the Oregon Environmental Council, where he served as Executive Director from 1996-2006. He holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan.
Vice President, Advanced Energy Transformation
At TRC, Rich helps utilities, municipalities, large C&I customers and investors navigate and succeed in today’s evolving energy markets. Rich spent the last five years at Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO), steeped in the challenges of grid modernization and distributed energy resource management, tackling issues such as customer asset integration, non-wires alternatives, new market creation and long-term operational and business model reliability and resiliency were some of his top priorities. He supported the utility’s integrated grid planning and created and implemented a new Customer Energy Resources department that unified traditional demand response with distributed energy resources (DER). Prior to HECO, Rich spent 10 years in clean energy consulting, entrepreneurial business development, technology, and finance. For his work at HECO, Rich was recognized with a Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA) 2018 Technology Pioneer Award and as a Top Innovator of 2018 by the Public Utilities Fortnightly Magazine. Rich is currently Vice Chair of PLMA’s Board of Directors, and he holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship and MS in Energy Technologies, Policy & Economics from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Cassie has experience in energy across a range of technologies and functional roles. Prior to joining EIP, Cassie worked for 5 years at SunPower, one of the largest global solar companies, in policy and strategy. At SunPower she was responsible for global market analysis, legal and regulatory assessment, and new country entry. She has also gained operating experience at energy storage, micro-grid and energy asset management startups in business development and finance roles. Cassie holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a BA in Economics from Harvard University, and was selected for Forbes 30 Under 30 in Energy (2018).
Executive Director, Sustainability & Energy Management
Lincoln Bleveans has been an executive in the global energy industry for over 25 years, focused on electric power and sustainability. His experience spans the globe and the energy value chain, from emerging technologies to independent power project (IPP) development to utility operations. He is an internationally recognized thought-leader, writer, and speaker on energy and sustainability. He is now Executive Director of Sustainability & Energy Management at Stanford University, leading the University’s mission-critical operations and world-leading innovation and operations in sustainability, electricity, thermal energy, building energy management, water, and waste. Most recently, he was an executive at Burbank Water & Power, an innovative and high-performing electric and water utility in southern California. He is active as a mentor, advisor, and board for technology start-ups, infrastructure projects, and non-profits.
Coreina is a Principal within RMI’s Electricity Innovation Lab. She leads eLab Leap, an ongoing RMI project dedicated to empowering and improving the lives of low-income communities and households in a clean energy future. Coreina manages eLab Leap’s targeted research and support for emerging DER business models, whose team convenes the eLab Leap Social Change Lab in New York which brings together stakeholders from over 45 organizations to develop and implement unique solutions for low-income energy needs in the state. Before joining RMI’s eLab Leap team, Coreina was a Manager in the Buildings Practice. She specialized in facilitating design and industry charrettes, with technical areas of concentration in daylighting, water conservation, and life-cycle cost analysis. Coreina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Yale University.
VP Transmission Planning and Asset Management
Jeff oversees the transmission planning and asset management program to promote the reliability, efficiency and economical use of the transmission-related physical assets. Planning and Asset Management is responsible for the development of an asset management system framework that informs decisions on near and long-term activities and strategies to meet the predicted future demands on BPA’s transmission system, achieves its desired performance levels and realizes the lowest life-cycle costs for these assets. Prior to BPA, Jeff worked for several utilities and communication companies, including CenturyTel and Pacific Power and Light. Jeff earned his bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from Colorado State University, and he holds a professional engineering license in Oregon.
Scott Corwin came to the Northwest Public Power Association as Executive Director in 2019. Prior to joining NWPPA, Scott served as Executive Director for the Public Power Council beginning in 2007. Scott has also served as vice president at Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative. Previously, Scott worked for Portland General Electric, the Speaker’s Office of the Oregon House of Representatives, and in various positions with the United States Senate in Washington, D.C., including Legal Counsel to Senator Mark O. Hatfield and staff to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. He also worked for a law firm specializing in tax and pension legislation. Scott has been a frequent expert witness before Congress and has been on numerous industry task forces, and charitable and community boards. In addition, he serves on national advisory committees to the American Public Power Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Anita was the executive director of the Northwest Public Power Association from 2014 to 2019 where she led the association’s work in people development, legislative and regulatory advocacy and communication for more than 150 public/people’s utility districts, electric cooperatives, municipalities and crown corporations in nine Western states and British Columbia. From 2007 to 2014, she served as chief operating officer for the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) including a stint as the acting administrator for the Western Area Power Administration. She was responsible for BPA’s Power Services; Transmission Services; Environment, Fish & Wildlife; and Internal Business Services. Prior to BPA, Ms. Decker spent 27 years with PacifiCorp, holding positions in Oregon, Wyoming and Utah rising to the role of business unit vice president. Ms. Decker holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Utah Valley University, and certificates from Wharton School of Business Senior Business Leadership, and Advanced Management Program INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France.
V.P. of Product Management
Skip leads the Clean Power Research team of product managers to pursue solutions for some of our customers’ toughest challenges. In this role, Skip focuses on defining a strategic business path for SaaS products and providing superb customer support. Starting his career at Soane Energy, Skip developed environmental remediation technologies for large oil and gas producers. Upon joining Clean Power Research in 2012, Skip lead product management for the company’s nascent SolarAnywhere® product, growing the business over several years from a single, data-oriented product to a family of irradiance data and intelligence solutions, including FleetView® and SystemCheck®. Skip holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California San Diego.
VP, Key Accounts & Business Development, West
Prior to Opus One, Mark was VP of Sales & Strategy at Varentec where he was responsible for key accounts & go-to-market. He began his career as a distribution engineer with Manitoba Hydro and then took on various roles from utility sales to buy-side M&A within Siemens Energy. Mark was the team lead for the acquisition integration of eMeter to Siemens prior to taking on global product responsibility for cloud based solutions within eMeter. Mark holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Manitoba and completed his MBA at Rollins College in Florida.
VP, Business Development, Western North America
As VP Business Development for Western North America, Graham leads all customer initiatives in the west, focusing on deal origination, structuring, regulatory tracking and market analysis. Graham has been active in the renewable energy space since 2002. Prior to Enbala, he was VP Corporate Affairs at Innergex Renewable Energy (a successful developer of hydroelectric and wind facilities). He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Victoria and an MBA (Honours) from the University of British Columbia.
VP, Public and Private Partnerships
Ashley Horvat, formerly, “Oregon’s Electric-Car Czar,” brings over a decade of electric vehicle industry expertise to Greenlots’ executive team, leading as Vice President of Public & Private Partnerships. In this role, Ashley is leading a new infrastructure model for Greenlots to advance electric mobility globally. Prior to Greenlots, Horvat led as PlugShare’s Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, founding PlugShare’s consulting division and managing corporate strategic initiatives. In 2013, Governor John Kitzhaber appointed Horvat as the Chief EV Officer for the State of Oregon, where she advised the governor’s office, served as Oregon’s member of the National ZEV Task Force, co-chaired the Energy Oregon Coalition, and coordinated all state EV efforts. Prior to that Horvat led the development of the West Coast Electric Highway, created the Oregon Electric Byways, and co-founded the “Plug & Pinot” initiative. Horvat also co-founded the “Women of Electric Vehicles” organization, where she is dedicated to elEVating women to leadership in the EV industry. She earned a bachelor’s in American Public Policy and Environmental Studies from Western Michigan University and she’s been driving EVs since 2011, including a Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, Kia Soul EV, and a Tesla Model S.
Philip Jones is currently President of Phil Jones Consulting LLC based in Seattle, Washington, that provides expert advice and consulting services for organizations in the fields of energy and utility regulation, communications regulation, and cybersecurity compliance and regulation. Besides his consulting work, Mr. Jones serves as a Director of the Western Grid Group which advocates for clean energy resources and an efficient transmission grid in the Western States. He also serves as a Board Advisor to Energy Impact Partners (EIP), based in New York City. Mr. Jones is on the Board of Directors of Greenlots, one of the leading innovators developing intelligent solutions for EV infrastructure for utilities. He also serves on the non-profit Boards of Directors of Carbon WA and Climate Solutions. Commissioner Jones served on the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) from March 2005 to March 2017. Mr. Jones was active nationally with the FERC, U.S. Department of Energy, DHS, and the FCC. He also served on the Advisory Council of EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute).
Energy Policy Wonk
Michael Jung is the Vice President for Policy, Government, and Regulatory Affairs (a.k.a., Chief Policy Wonk) at Varentec, a Silicon Valley pioneer in providing innovative solutions for distributed energy resources and decentralized grid control. Prior to his current role, he served as Policy Director at the cleantech powerhouse Silver Spring Networks. He chaired an energy task force for Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and served as a policy advisor to the campaign and administration of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. Michael has managed environmental and climate change policy at American Electric Power and also worked as chief of staff to the President/COO of the company’s flagship operating company, AEP Ohio. He is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, Yale College, and the Harvard Kennedy School.
Executive, Power & Utilities Solutions
Ralph Kappelhoff has the responsibility for leading the Amazon Web Services Power & Utilities industry solution definition and development. AWS is bringing cloud-based solutions consisting of internet of things (IoT), advanced analytics, machine learning (ML) artificial intelligence (AI), and Alexa Amazon’s digital assistant to a sector facing a transformational change. Ralph has over 20 years of international experience developing automation products and solutions including: energy management systems, geospatial information systems, process automation systems, and many other real-time mission-critical software products. Previously, he was the CTO of GE Grid Solutions and VP Engineering for Alstom and Areva developing market leading energy management systems used around the world. He also served as the General Manager of Rockwell Software leading the development of real-time automation solutions for the manufacturing and process industries. Ralph holds a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Executive MBA’s from Harvard and INSEAD.
General Manager and Chief Executive Officer
Roger Kline is the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of Northern Wasco County People’s Utility District. Roger has worked in the energy industry for more than 23 years, holding positions in enterprise risk, supply side portfolio management, operations & maintenance and senior management. Before NWCPUD, Roger worked for the Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB), and has held positions with the US Army Corps of Engineers, Calpine Corporation, Texas Independent Energy, Solar Turbines Inc., and the United States Navy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Colorado Technical University, a graduate certificate in utility management from Willamette University, and has also completed the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Certified Public Power Manager course along with many other industry and leadership specific trainings. Roger currently serves as the Northwest Requirement’s Utility (NRU) Executive Committee Secretary/Treasurer, is an Executive Board Member of the Western Energy Institute (WEI) and is the Oregon PUD Association’s (OPUDA) alternate to the Public Power Council (PPC).
Chief Executive Officer
Clay Koplin has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Cordova Electric Cooperative since 2007. He is also currently serving on the Northwest Public Power Association Board of Trustees, Alaska Center for Energy and Power Advisory Board, and is Mayor of Cordova. His professional specialties include project management, underground electric and communication design and installation best practices, various aspects of static and dynamic hydroelectric and hydrokinetic disciplines, electric utility business management, and strategic planning and execution. He has participated in recent US State Department sponsored outreach to Greenland and Northern Canada around arctic, off-grid, renewable energy policies and practices. Clay has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.
Manager of Smart Grid Technology Planning
As the Manager of Smart Grid Technology Planning at Puget Sound Energy, Elaine and her team lead grid modernization strategic planning efforts and develop innovative demonstration projects. With extensive experience in energy management and program planning, Elaine’s work focuses on the business implications of a transforming utility industry and the stakeholder engagement models required to plan for and build a flexible, digital grid. Elaine seeks to serve PSE’s 1.1 million customers through leading edge grid architecture and operational technologies, as well as impactful and accessible products and services. Elaine is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Washington. She has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Gonzaga University, and a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from Pennsylvania State University.
Managing Director of Product, Energy & Utilities
Tom Martin is TROVE’s Managing Director of Product, Energy & Utilities strategically aligning internal and external stakeholders to deliver new analytics and situational intelligence products. Prior to TROVE, Tom led the Emerging Grid Technology at Pacific Gas & Electric leading the implementation of new technology and analytics in support for PG&E’s Electric Operations as PG&E looked to reduce operational costs, improve safety, and increase reliability in support of grid modernization. Tom holds a BS in electrical engineering and a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame.
Director and General Manager – Smart Grid
James co-founded and has held several executive positions at QualityLogic from June 1994 to present. He is currently General Manager of QualityLogic’s Smart Grid business unit. He is active in the Smart Grid industry as a member of the GridWise Architecture Council, the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project, the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel Test and Certification Committee, and as former chair of Grid Forward, as well as giving papers and presentations on interoperability and Transactive Energy. Prior to QualityLogic, James held Product Management roles at Tektronix, Floating Point Systems, Sidereal and Solar Division of International Harvester. Mater holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Reed College, Portland, OR and an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Chief Executive Officer
Jessica Matlock was recently named the new Chief Executive Officer of La Plata Electric Association. Prior to this position, Jessica served as Assistant General Manager of Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) No. 1, the 12th largest public utility in the US, overseeing customer and energy services and external/government affairs, including leadership of the PUD’s efforts to develop and operate solar energy, energy efficiency, electrification of transportation, and demand response programs. Matlock also led the PUD’s “Utility of the Future” efforts to modernize and enhance customer experience. Previously, Matlock held a number of positions with the Bonneville Power Administration, including a fellowship with a U.S. Senator as a lead energy expert for the Energy Policy Act of 2005, as well as serving as a power marketing specialist, constituent account executive for the State of Idaho, and fish and wildlife project manager. She serves and has served on various boards and councils related to hydropower, clean technology, SmartGrid, energy efficiency and conservation, cybersecurity, and fish and wildlife. A Colorado native, Matlock holds a Master of Public Administration from Portland State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical oceanography from the University of Washington. Matlock also served in the United States Coast Guard.
Principal and US Program Director
Ann McCabe provides strategic leadership and vision while managing all aspects of RAP’s U.S. work. She has more than 25 years of energy and environmental policy and regulatory experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. As a commissioner at the Illinois Commerce Commission from 2012 to early 2017, she focused on grid modernization, regional transmission and nuclear issues. She was board president for the Organization of PJM States Inc. and the MidAmerica Regulatory Conference and chaired the Nuclear Issues Subcommittee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. After leaving the Illinois commission, she returned to consulting, including more than two years as the interim executive director of The Climate Registry of 30 states and provinces. She also advised the PJM Clean Energy Advocates and other clients, primarily on state outreach. Her environmental regulatory experience includes 10 years as a regulatory issue manager at BP and Amoco, consulting on state regulatory issues and covering energy and environmental legislation in the state of Illinois’ office in Washington, D.C. Ms. McCabe has taught energy and environmental labs at The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and has a master’s degree in public policy from the Harris School and a bachelor’s in political science from Williams College.
Director, Administrator and Senior Technical Leader
Dr. Melton is the director of the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration project, the administrator of the GridWise® Architecture Council, and a senior technical leader for smart grid research and development projects. He has over 30 years of experience applying computer technology to a variety of engineering and scientific problems. In addition to smart grid related projects, recent experience includes research and engineering in cyber security for critical infrastructure protection and process control system security. Dr. Melton is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a Senior Member of the Association for Computing Machinery.
As CEO of EQUS, Canada’s largest member-owned utility, Andy is responsible for leading a team of over 100 employees based out of offices in Innisfail, Onoway, Claresholm, and Medicine Hat. Prior to becoming CEO, Andy led EQUS’ Operations Team, ensuring the delivery of safe and reliable electrical services to over 12,000 rural Albertans while meeting and exceeding all industry standards for quality and safety. With an extensive background in leadership and management, Andy has held several executive positions in the Alberta electrical and construction industries and has developed a wealth of knowledge in his over 25 years of experience.
Systems Engineering Supervisor
Tyler Nice is a licensed professional engineer in Oregon as well as a certified Project Management Professional. He has 12 years of experience in the electric utility industry with a combination of experience in electric generation and substations. At EWEB he serves as the Systems Engineering Supervisor, leading a multi-disciplinary team of engineers and technical staff to provide T&D asset management, capital program implementation, maintenance and testing oversight, as well as long term system growth and resiliency planning.
Ric is the founding executive director of GridLab, hired in 2017 to launch the organization. Ric leads the GridLab team of experts providing comprehensive technical grid expertise to policy makers and advocates. A recognized leader in renewable energy technology and policy, Ric has provided engineering support for more than 8 GW of utility scale solar projects worldwide, including several of the largest projects in the world. Prior to GridLab, Ric was at Black & Veatch for 12 years where he was instrumental in building the global renewable energy consulting practice. While at Black & Veatch, Ric provided expertise to the Energy Foundation China program and had leadership roles on a number of high profile policy studies including 20 percent Wind Energy by 2030, and the California Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative. Ric has a BSEE from Duke University and a Master’s in Renewable Energy Policy from CU Boulder.
President & Board Chairman
Steven Parker, CISA, CISSP, is President of EnergySec, and is a founding director of the organization. He has been engaged in critical infrastructure protection within the electric sector since 2001, including 8 years as a senior security staff member at a large investor-owned utility. As one of the original CIP auditors, he helped establish the NERC CIP audit program at the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) in 2009. At EnergySec, he developed and established its NERC CIP training program, and has instructed more than 1000 industry professionals on this topic. Mr. Parker is also a partner at Archer Security Group, a leading consulting firm specializing in compliance and security in the energy sector. His experience includes a broad range of security disciplines including e-commerce, identity management, intrusion detection, forensics, incident response and investigations, security event monitoring, and NERC CIP compliance.
Commissioner Jennifer Potter began her term with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission in July 2018 for a term to expire June 30, 2024. Jennifer was previously a faculty member at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI). Prior to joining HNEI, Jennifer was a Sr. Scientific Engineering Associate at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Preceding her stint in academia, Jennifer worked for Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Roseville Electric as a Principal Forecaster, Project Manager, and Enterprise Performance Manager. Jennifer has a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Science in Economics and International Studies from Southern Oregon University.
Scott Reeves specializes in helping utility and public-sector clients assess impacts and improve performance for energy efficiency and demand response programs. As a senior associate at Cadmus, Scott leads planning and evaluation research efforts aimed at improving delivery and optimizing savings. In this role, he oversees a broad set of analytic services including pilot and research design, impact modeling, and market research activities. He has extensive experience working in the residential energy sector evaluating whole building and income-eligible programs, as well as demand response projects focused on smart thermostat and dynamic pricing offerings. Scott holds a master’s degree in public policy from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Puget Sound.
Edmund O. Schweitzer III Chair in Power Apparatus and Systems
Noel N. Schulz is Washington State University’s First Lady and the Edmund O. Schweitzer III Chair in Power Apparatus and Systems in the WSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture. Prior to arriving at the University, she served as First Lady and associate dean for research and graduate programs in the College of Engineering at Kansas State University. She also directed the KSU Engineering Experimental Station and the Electrical Power Affiliates Program and was the Paslay Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering A nationally recognized expert in power systems engineering, Dr. Schulz is also dedicated to recruiting and retaining women in the field of engineering and mentoring female engineering faculty. She has initiated faculty networks for women at three universities. She has taught courses in power systems, energy conversion, application of computer programs to power engineering, application of intelligent systems to engineering problems, fundamentals of electrical circuits, renewable and distributed generation, and smart grid technologies. She has graduated 45 master’s students and 13 doctoral students.
Founder & CEO
Mischa’s product development and management experience in the embedded electronics, wireless, and software industries was honed at organizations such as ECO Fuel Systems, Newpoint Thermal and the Okanagan Research & Innovation Centre. Mischa is a frequent speaker and panelist at industry conferences, university programs and government events on the smart grid and the innovation potential of technology to transform business and society. He represented Awesense as a voting and participating member during the inception of the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and an active volunteer at Science World to encourage school children to pursue careers in math, science, and engineering. Mischa holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Victoria and in Wireless, Electronics, Engineering Technology from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, after leaving a PhD path at Simon Fraser University in Mathematics.
Founder & President
Travis has been at the forefront of utility transformation since 1998, and leads the established utility consulting practice for JTS based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. With a focus on business operations and emerging technologies, he has worked on numerous AMI and Smart Grid initiatives in multiple countries. Travis provides strategic leadership and support to more than 30 JTS consultants who are actively working with utility customers around the globe on projects ranging from demand side management to people, process and tools relating to bulk electric system operations. Prior to founding JTS in 2004, Travis worked as an application consultant implementing utility customer information system throughout North America, and previous to that was employed by BC Hydro as a business analyst. Travis has worked both above and below the meter, with utility scale as well as distributed generation, and been in the field to appreciate how water, gas and electric utilities have operated in the past and need to operate in the future.
Joe Tellez is a technology executive with over 25 years of information technology management experience spanning the water, gas, and electric utilities industry. His experience includes definition, development, and management of grid modernization architectures for AMI, OMS/DMS, EMS, customer information & billing, and field force enablement. As the Chief Technology Offer for Tacoma Public Utilities, Joe oversees a variety of business transformational initiatives such as digital transformation and analytics realization through technical sponsorship & leadership, collaboration with stakeholders, and application of industry best practices. Joe provides vision for both short-term and long-term strategies to improve utility performance through the effective use of utility technology. Joe holds a B.S. degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering and a M.S. degree in Systems Architecture & Engineering from the University of Southern California. He also completed the Utility Management Graduate Certificate from Willamette University and is a TOGAF certified IT Architect.
Principal Manager, Electrification & Customer Solutions, Power Delivery and Utilization
As EPRI’s Principal Manager leading the energy utility and customer research initiatives, Nick Tumilowicz is accountable for transmission, distribution, and customer connected energy storage research, addressing grid/customer challenges of high-penetration renewables (solar), accelerated electrification opportunities (EV’s and home energy management), and business models tied to customer energy independence. Tumilowicz is a recognized international industry expert on solar /energy storage markets, technology evaluation, and economic feasibility. Prior to joining EPRI, Tumilowicz led global research and development as Director of Energy Storage with SunEdison, building the world’s largest managed renewable power plant fleet across six continents. Earlier in his career,Tumilowicz built and managed the service department at the nation’s leading renewable integrator, REC Solar (now Sunrun and Duke Energy), designing and deploying the country’s first commercial fleet of rooftop solar. Tumilowicz studied mechanical engineering at Marquette University.
Director of Grid Modernization
Dr. Vidya Vankayala is the Director of Grid Modernization at Powertech. With more than 25 years of experience in the utility and hi-tech sectors, Dr. Vankayala has helped several utilities in grid modernization, distribution automation, smart energy program management and system integration. He has extensive experience in management consulting for electric utility transmission and distribution and also worked for two large technology vendors that provide grid modernization technologies to the global utility sector. Dr. Vankayala has led a number of technology programs at various utilities as a Chief Architect, Solution Director and Industry Specialist. Dr. Vankayala is a member of IEEE and a contributor to several smart grid and smart city standards. He has over 20 publications in operations, planning and technology enablement of smart infrastructures for industry, community and home.
Dr. Karen Wayland is a recognized expert in national energy and environmental policy and served in leadership positions at the highest levels of government and nonprofits. Through her business, kW Energy Strategies, she has been providing strategic consulting on grid modernization policy, coalition building and communications for major clean energy companies, national environmental organizations, local officials, and foundations. At the U.S. DoE, she established a team for former Secretary Moniz to conduct analyses and develop strategies for DOE’s work with states, local authorities, served on leadership team for the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), and was the primary author of the QER “Modernizing the Grid” chapter and policy recommendations. Dr. Wayland worked on energy and climate legislation for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid when he was Majority Whip. She has extensive experience working with nonprofit organizations, including as CEO of the Clean Energy Project, Legislative Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, Director on the Board of Center for Sustainable Energy, and Distinguished Associate at the Energy Futures Initiative. She has been the Policy Advisor to GridWise Alliance for the last year. Dr. Wayland is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy and an Equity in Energy Ambassador at the US DOE. She holds a Master of Science from the University of Connecticut and a Dual Ph.D. in the fields of geochemistry and resource development from Michigan State University.