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.
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).
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.
Managing Director, Electricity Industry Transformation
Heather Donaldson is a 25-year electricity industry veteran supporting clients as they embrace opportunities that promise transformational business impacts. As a Managing Director at Black & Veatch in our Strategic Advisory organization, Heather leads solution design and delivery across transformational areas including transportation electrification, renewable electric supply, and grid modernization. In addition to her breadth of expertise, clients value her approach to organizing complex information into decision-making frameworks. These frameworks help facilitate understanding key issues and tradeoffs, risks, and financial potential that leads to implementable strategies and roadmaps.
Ms. Donaldson developed her expertise through a variety of roles at organizations at the cusp of transformation including the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), Southern California Edison (SCE), and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). She has also held leadership roles in consulting firms including Accenture, The Structure Group, and APX. Her roles spanned the industry value chain from regulatory policy, wholesale markets, transmission and distribution grid planning, smart grid technology and strategy, and grid operations.
Charity Fain has over 25 years of experience building stronger communities in the US and around the world. As the Executive Director of the Community Energy Project (CEP), Charity is responsible for the strategic direction, leadership and management of the organization to fulfill our mission that everyone deserves a safe, healthy and efficient home, regardless of income. In this effort, she designs programs that provide free home services focused on safety, health, and energy efficiency for low-income Oregonians. Charity also leads CEP’s advocacy efforts at the city and state level to push for climate and energy justice. Prior to CEP, Charity’s professional experience focused on increasing civil engagement and political participation around the world. She has a BA in International Relations from The American University with a minor in Russian language.
Director | Energy, Sustainability and Infrastructure
Erik leads Grid Modernization client engagements, and he focuses on grid transformation and integration, including DER and NWA strategy, with emphasis on cost-benefit and risk assessment. He led development of the firm’s Advanced Integrated Planning (AIP) and integrated DER (iDER) Solutions. Erik has over 25 years’ experience developing and managing complex products and market programs as well as performing program evaluations and assessments. He is a past member of the GridWise Alliance Board of Directors.
Prior to joining Guidehouse (formerly Navigant), he served as Director of smart-energy products for energy management system vendor Tendril Networks, Inc. (now Uplight), where he defined and executed their product roadmap, including end-use energy management technologies and strategies.
Previously, Erik managed several product lines at Internet infrastructure provider Cisco Systems, Inc., and developed technology strategy for many clients with Ernst & Young Management Consulting. He began his career as a design engineer. Erik holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley.
Mark leads the US commercial team for Opus One Solutions, which was recently acquired by GE Digital. Prior to Opus One, Mark was VP of Sales & Strategy at Varentec, acquired by Koch, 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.
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).
Michael draws upon over 25 years of experience across the electric power, public service, and clean technology sectors in his leadership of the ICF Climate Center. He serves as the founding Executive Director of the ICF Climate Center, a resource hub for knowledge and insights on climate mitigation, resilience, and adaptation, drawn from ICF’s 2000+ climate professionals. Michael’s career in energy has reached across both investor-owned and consumer-owned utilities. He has served as a policy advisor to governors, and he has been an early team member at several successful clean technology startups, including Utilidata, Varentec (acquired by Sentient Energy), and Silver Spring Networks (acquired by Itron). Michael most recently served as Vice President for Government Affairs at the Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative. He chaired an energy task force for Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and crafted landmark electricity legislation as a policy advisor to the campaign and administration of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. Michael began his career managing environmental and climate change policy at American Electric Power.
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.
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.
Ann McCabe is a commissioner at the Illinois Commerce Commission. She has over 25 years of energy and environmental policy and regulatory experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Prior to rejoining the ICC in February 2022, Ann led the US program at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) for two years. In her prior term as an Illinois commissioner from March 2012-January 2017, Ann focused on grid modernization, power transformation, regional transmission and nuclear issues. She was president of the Organization of PJM States, Inc. (OPSI) and of the MidAmerica Regulatory Conference (MARC) boards. Her consulting experience includes two years as the interim executive director of The Climate Registry and assisting nonprofit and trade association clients on regulatory and policy issues. Ann has a master’s in public policy from the University of Chicago’s Harris School and a bachelor’s in political science from Williams College.
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.
Smriti Mishra is Director of Go to Market activities at WeaveGrid. She oversees the business development team, sales operations, alignment on market and regulatory priorities, industry collaborations, and supports operations to deliver best-in-class software for WeaveGrid’s utility partners. Smriti has expertise in energy innovation, aggregation, and building industry collaborations. Prior to WeaveGrid, she was a Director at National Grid, a large Northeast utility with territories in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, as well as a UK business that includes grid operations. She led a global team, and her responsibilities included leading joint ventures for distributed energy for the unregulated business, including investments of over $110M in residential solar and storage. Smriti has also operated in demand response at EnerNOC (now Enel X) in a general management function as a P&L owner whose team optimized portfolios of over $100M in annual, recurring revenue. She has developed several joint ventures that were first-of-kind with unique regulatory structures and bridges for public/private partnership, which each resulted in long term value for all stakeholders. She earned her MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor’s in Physics, Honors from University of Chicago
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.
Jeff Ressler is Chief Executive Officer of Clean Power Research. Since joining the company in 2007, he has overseen the inception of the SolarAnywhere(r) and WattPlan(r) software families, and grown PowerClerk(r) from a nascent, online incentive processing tool into a powerful, general purpose energy program automation solution. Today, the company’s cloud software solutions serve ten of the top ten utilities in the United States as well as countless project engineers, renewables developers and independent power producers around the world. Earlier in his career, Jeff spent more than ten years at Microsoft, with leadership roles on Exchange and SQL Server as well as a nearly three-year assignment as speech assistant to Bill Gates. Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University.
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.
Director of Digital Cloud Strategy & Business Development
Joe Tellez, Director of Digital Cloud Strategy at TRC, where he supports market strategies and business development activities centric to TRC Digital services and has been on the Advisory Board since 2015. Joe provides vision for both short-term and long-term strategies to improve utility performance through the effective use of utility technology. He brings over 25 years of industry experience serving in a number of senior leadship roles in organizations including UiPath, Tacoma Power, Utility Integration Solutions / Alstom Grid, and Sempra Utilities – San Diego Gas & Electric / Southern California Gas Co. He is a sought-after panelist and author, serves on the UW-Tacoma School of Engineering & Technology Advisory Board, and served as the Executive in Residence at University of Colorado’s Global Energy Management Program. He obtained a B.S. in industrial and systems engineering and an M.S. in systems architecture & engineering from University of Southern California.
Director of Product Management, Distributed Energy Management
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.
Executive Director, Development
Jordan White joined GridLiance in 2021 as Executive Director, Development, where he focuses on electric transmission development in the western United States. Prior to joining GridLiance, Jordan served as a Vice President of Strategic Engagement and Deputy General Counsel for the Western Electricity Coordinating Counsel (WECC). Before his time at WECC, Jordan worked as legal counsel to the Utah Public Service Commission until his appointment as a commissioner by Governor Gary Herbert in 2015. During his time at the Commission, Jordan served as President of the National Conference of Regulatory Attorneys, Chair of the CAISO Western Energy Imbalance Market Body of State Regulators, Chair of the Western Interconnection Regional Advisory Body, Regulatory Liaison to RC West, President of the Western Conference of Public Service Commissioners, and as a Class 5 Representative on Peak Reliability’s Member Advisory Committee.