The Grid Forward Team

All across the region, the energy industry is facing the opportunities and challenges of grid modernization. The Grid Forward team is working with its Board and membership to provide educational and community programs to help all the stakeholders collaborate on scale. Get to know us and send us a note if you’d like to participate in our collective efforts.

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Bryce Yonker

Executive Director & CEO

As the executive director & CEO for Grid Forward Bryce leads strategic development, industry engagement, programs and operations. He was a founder and original board member of the organization dating back to 2009. He is also the principal for Enertec Development, a energy and tech consultancy and is an advisor to energy growth companies. Bryce previously served as the senior director of business development & strategy for Clean Edge, a leading cleantech market research and advisory firm. He holds a bachelor degree in business administration from Pepperdine University and an international MBA from IE in Spain. In his spare time, Bryce enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, and being in the outdoors with a fly-rod in hand or skis on his feet.
Talk to Bryce about getting involved with Grid Forward and its myriad programs and initiatives.

Kelly Strand

Deputy Executive Director

Kelly is a strategist and activator in the energy sector, drawing together people and concepts that drive forward progress. She’s an innovator at Snohomish County PUD where she serves as Policy & Program Manager, creating and leading teams through the utility’s Distributed Energy Resources Initiative. Prior to joining the utility to run renewable energy and conservation programs, Kelly was CEO of a sustainability consulting business and worked for a mechanical contracting firm integrating client strategies in energy efficiency and sustainability consulting. She holds a bachelors in Applied Economics & Management from Cornell University and a leadership executive MBA from Seattle University. Away from the office, Kelly can be found chasing a golf ball and cheering for the Seattle Sounders.

Talk with Kelly about what would make your membership work better for your organization.

David Smith

Marketing Director

A writer, creative director and marketer in clean energy and technology, David leads marketing for Grid Forward. He helps the team execute highly successful events, as well as create processes for expanding email, activity collateral and website communications. David was formerly VP of Creative + Content for Publitek, a global technology marketing agency which supports Grid Forward and leading technology brands. He holds a master and bachelors in electrical engineering from Cornell University and brews a remarkable gluten-free IPA.

Talk with David about helping Grid Forward, its members and its partners communicate the activities and goals of grid modernization in our region.

Gerard O’Sullivan

Strategic Initiative & Content Lead

Gerard is a strategic initiative & content lead, helping guide development of content for GridFWD activities.   Gerard currently leads the Strategic Energy Management practice with AESC, training and coaching industry leadership how to begin and sustain their continuous improvement journey in energy and sustainability.  He previously held a Director of Engineering role at ECS, delivering demand response and DSM solutions for C&I customers.  He holds a BS & MS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA in International Business. In his spare time, Gerard enjoys spending time photographing and writing about the Pacific NW music scene for several publications including Oregon Public Broadcasting. 

Contact Gerard with questions about working groups and workshops. 

Isla Ziyat

Data Analysis & Tech

Isla is currently pursuing her PhD in Power Systems and Smart Grids, at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, and holds an MEng degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cambridge. She joined the Grid Forward team in 2021, to help with data analysis, software and all things tech. Isla grew up between France and the U.K. and now calls Vancouver home, where she enjoys playing squash on rainy days, and biking round the sea wall when the sun is shining.

Jane Peters

Content Specialist

Jane has 40 plus years’ experience with clean energy focused on how markets and customers adopt and use clean energy technologies. With Grid Forward Jane keeps reminding us that grid modernization is great but how are the customers going to use it? The International Energy Program Evaluation Conference awarded Jane its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 for her work using evaluation to improve clean energy programs to better serve customers and the market. She sold her 23-year-old consultancy in 2019 and is now semi-retired supplying advising services to utilities, regulators, and clean energy consultancies, including service on the board of directors for the Energy Trust of Oregon, while also doing a lot of gardening and traveling for relaxation. Jane has a BA in Psychology and a PhD in Urban Studies. 

Mary Jo Nye

Content Specialist

Mary Jo has more than 25 years experience working with growing companies and supporting utilities as they transition to a zero-emission carbon electric system. Mary Jo has served in sales, marketing, business development and strategic planning roles at Cyient, Questline, Schneider Electric, Cooper Power Systems, and Open Systems International. Outside the office she enjoys traveling, listening to music at a local club, and spending time with friends and family.

Miki Carlton

Marketing Advisor

Miki is thrilled to be part of the Grid Forward team as Marketing Advisor. She is a seasoned marketing professional with experience in the clean tech, energy, technology, and financial services industries. She’s worked with large multinationals, startups, and everything in between. Miki grew up in Tokyo, Japan, and is fluent in Japanese. Outside of work, Miki enjoys the great outdoors, practicing yin and restorative yoga, and exploring new wines and culinary creations. She has a BA from Northwestern University.

Rebecca Goold

Content Specialist

Rebecca has over a decade of experience in renewable development, cleantech advocacy, and deregulated power. Rebecca is the co-founder and managing partner at 2R Group, a national consulting firm providing advisory services to renewable developers, policy makers, regulators, utilities, and infrastructure owners. Rebecca uses her vast experience in coalition building and asset development as well as her deep understanding of power market dynamics to come up with inventive solutions for her clients. When Rebecca is not emboldening her clients from Portland, she can be found in the kitchen perfecting her culinary skills or at a dance studio practicing her hip-hop moves. Rebecca holds a bachelor’s in economics and public policy from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and sits on the board of Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE) PDX.

Contact Rebecca about our community support for federal resources and special projects.

Ron Nelson

Ron Nelson

Content Specialist

Ron is the President and Founder of Volt-Watt Consulting a consultancy that focuses on DER interconnection, integration, and compensation as well as other regulatory matters. Ron works with clients across the energy industry and specializes in providing expert testimony in regulatory proceedings. Prior to founding Volt-Watt, Ron was a Senior Director at Strategen Consulting and also spent five years at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. Ron spends much of his free time playing with his daughters and wife, hiking, camping, and mountain biking. 

Sam Zuckerman

Membership and Development Director

Sam manages all things membership, as well as event sponsorships. He is the Director of Business Development at Catalyze, a Commercial and Industrial Solar and Energy Storage Independent Power Producer. Sam specializes in energy storage commercial development. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and environmental studies from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Sam loves skiing, boating, golf, and travel.

Talk with Sam about becoming a member of Grid Forward.

Steve Kerns

Content Specialist

Steve was the Director of Grid Modernization when he retired from the Bonneville Power Administration in 2020 after a 28 year career. Since then, he has been consulting for several utilities and trade organizations providing expertise on matters relating to BPA, organized market development, resource adequacy, renewable resource development and technical/staffing organizational readiness required for grid modernization. Steve has been part of the Grid Forward team since 2020 where is has led coordination with Western States’ energy offices on GRIP Federal funding opportunities and assisted in the planning and execution of Grid Forward events. Steve enjoys the beach life on the Central Oregon coast with his wife and dogs and his hobbies include listening to music, reading and crafts.

Steve Parr


Steve found his home in the Power industry after starting his career with ABB (Now Hitachi) in an engineering rotational development program. He spent time in project and sales engineering capacities for medium & high voltage electrical equipment during his tenure at ABB. For the past few years he has been with EN Engineering focusing on helping electric utilities meet the growing needs of modernization throughout the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest. At some point along the way, he relocated to Denver, CO, where he now calls home with his wife Nicole. Outside the office, he likes to snowboard and pretend he knows what he’s doing on the golf course. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from (The) Ohio State University.

Teague Douglas

Content Specialist

Teague Douglas is a driven energy industry consultant with demonstrated results in helping companies introduce and scale emergent technologies through energy utility programs and end-use customers. Her experience as a strategist and implementer in the clean energy space has positioned her to excel at synthesizing market trends and client needs and translating technical information to provide useful insights and actions for developing new products, road-mapping go-to-market strategies, and launching new programs. When not working, Teague is often found building something, skiing through the trees or mountain biking in the alpine elevations of the southwest. 

Tom Brim

Content Specialist

Tom has 25+ years of management consulting experience with the last 16 years focused exclusively on the utility industry with North Highland. A utility industry strategist and leader in driving transformation particularly on the demand side, he has led numerous demonstrations and commercialization of demand response (two of which received PLMA awards), batteries, distributed generation, and dispatchable voltage regulation both for public power and IOUs. Tom has also led teams focused on grid modernization and non-wires alternatives. He is a 2015 Fellow of the Oregon American Leadership Forum and has served on boards including Climate Stewards, the Commons Law Center, and public school foundations. Tom loves old maps and roasted peanuts, and running, with a goal to run on every street in the city of Portland (where he has been chased by dogs!).

Zach Borton

Pitch Competition Lead

Zach is a dynamic energy professional and sustainability enthusiast with a Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University. Specializing in power supply portfolio modeling, Zach has provided valuable insights into energy markets across major regional transmission organizations. With a keen passion for early-stage companies and innovative utility business models, he actively contributes to the development of a groundbreaking Distributed Energy Resource (DER) ecosystem in northern Colorado at Platte River Power Authority. Leveraging his expertise in energy markets and demand flexibility, he supports initiatives fostering collaboration, optimizing energy resources, and driving meaningful environmental impact. Beyond the energy sector, Zach finds joy in skiing, hiking, camping, and exploring the stunning landscapes of the West.