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Sustain SoCal 11th Annual Energy Conference: Energy Resilience

December 1, 2020 @ 9:00 am - 1:30 pm

11th Annual graphic

Dec. 1, 2020
9 am – 1:30 pm
Click here to access recording of 11th Annual Energy Conference
Sustain SoCal 11th Annual Energy Conference
Energy Resilience: Challenges and Opportunities Ahead

Keynote Address by:

Angelina Galiteva, Chair
California Independent System Operator Board of Governors

Sustain SoCal presents its 11th Annual Energy Conference, a virtual event focused on innovations and new approaches to energy resilience. Fast-moving developments and emerging trends are creating an unprecedented wave of energy insecurity. Achieving energy resilience is a collaborative effort that involves balancing the needs of all stakeholders in the energy value-chain, from energy generation to transmission & distribution to the end user.


The Decade Ahead: Perspectives from Utilities
Vitaly Lee, Vice-Chair Sustain SoCal, EVP Development, BayWa r.e. (Moderator)
Mitch Mitchell, VP, State Government Affairs & External Affairs, SDG&E
Todd Corbin, General Manager, Riverside Public Utilities
Mark Irwin, Director of Energy Contract Management, Southern California Edison
Fred Barvarz, Transmission & Distribution Manager, Anaheim Public Utilities
Jason Rondou, Director, Clean Grid LA Strategy Division, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power


Pathways to Resilient Energy Solutions
Mayte Sanchez, Director of Energy, L.A.Cleantech Incubator (Moderator)
Yuri Freedman, Senior Director, Market Development, SoCalGas
Rachel Permut, Director of Solutions Innovation, Engie
Aravind Batra, VP, P2S
Dara Salour, Program Manager, AESC


So Cal CCA Update and Introducing the Orange County Energy Authority
Ryan Baron, Partner, BBK (Moderator)
Mike Carroll, Vice Mayor, City of Irvine
Antonia Graham, Deputy City Manager, City of Fullerton
Gary Saleba, Executive Consultant, EES Consulting
Craig Perkins, President and Exec. Dir., The Energy Coalition

Join us for this important half-day of panels, guest speakers and interactive discussions as Sustain SoCal addresses real-world solutions that meet evolving energy resilience challenges and opportunities.


This online event is no-charge for Sustain SoCal members. Non-members registration fee is $20




Ryan M.F. Baron, Partner, Best Best & Krieger LLP

Ryan provides strategic counsel on energy and environmental law matters. He represents clients in front of federal and state agencies and advises on infrastructure development. As former senior in-house counsel, Ryan understands the business of government and industry and the need to navigate clients through complex matters with revenue-focused and creative approaches. Ryan is a former senior in-house counsel to the County of Orange, one of the largest counties in the nation. In a 70-attorney office, he oversaw the public works and regulatory team and managed outside counsel. Ryan was lead counsel to several large county agencies, including the county public works, flood control district, planning and landfill departments, and was counsel to several joint powers agencies and regional entities. In addition to energy and environmental law work, he advised on open meetings and public records, conflicts of interest, construction, real estate, land use and procurement. Prior to government service, Ryan practiced in Washington, D.C. with Kellogg, Huber Hansen, Todd Evans & Figel, PLLC working on behalf of Fortune 100 companies on regulatory litigation and federal enforcement actions. During law school, Ryan was a law clerk and junior lobbyist for the global government relations office of an international telecommunications company and was a legal intern in the International Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission and for FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani. Ryan was editor-in-chief of Catholic University’s communications law journal and a graduate of the school’s Institute for Communications Law Studies (now the Institute of Law & Technology). Ryan was an adjunct professor at Whittier Law School, where he taught Administrative Law and Energy Law. He has guest lectured at the University of Southern California School of Law, Chapman University School of Law and in the Advanced Power and Energy Program at the University of California, Irvine. Ryan is a member of the Sustain SoCal Board of Directors.


Fred Barvarz, Transmission & Distribution Mgr., Anaheim Public Utilities

Fred Barvarz is the Transmission and Distribution Manager for Anaheim Public Utilities in charge of Electrical Engineering teams responsible for grid reliability improvements, standards and materials, utility right-of-ways, and working with the carriers to deploy next-generation wireless improvements in Anaheim. Prior to his 19 years with Anaheim, he worked for Southern California Edison and LA Department of Water & Power for 3 and 11 years, respectively. Fred is a professional engineer licensed in State of California.


Josh Brock, VP CCA Commercial Operationsm Calpine Energy Solutionser

Josh Brock, Vice President of CCA Commercial Operations for Calpine Energy Solutions, is an experienced executive leader in climate resiliency and clean energy. Josh oversees Calpine Energy Solutions work with 20 operational Community Choice Energy providers across California. His background includes working in local government, energy utility, fin-tech and non-profit sectors with a focus on leveraging the strengths of public-private partnerships to support the transition to a decarbonized future. Josh also serves as the board chair of Cleantech San Diego and is the Treasurer of Culture Shock Dance Troupe, a non-profit that brings education, empowerment and enrichment to the San Diego community through dance.


Todd Corbin, Utilities General Manager, City of Riverside, California (Riverside Public Utilities)

Todd Corbin has 31 years of business experience here in Southern California with the last 28 years made up of extensive experience in public sector finance, utility operations and management. He currently serves as the Utilities General Manager for the City of Riverside leading the activities of the water and electric public utilities for California’s 12th largest city with a population of 330,000 for the past 2 years. Prior to joining Riverside Public Utilities, he worked for 6 ½ years as the General Manager of the Jurupa Community Services District providing the essential public services of water, wastewater, parks and recreation and street lighting to an area and cities (Jurupa Valley and Eastvale) that were recognized as among the fastest growing communities in Riverside County. Mr. Corbin gained valuable governmental and operational experiences at two highly regarded special districts, Cucamonga Valley Water District and Rowland Water District earlier in his career which fueled his passion for helping customers, advancing innovation and committing to sustainability. Mr. Corbin holds a Master degree in Public Administration, Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Certified Public Accountant license. His interests extend to supporting charities and nonprofit organizations of all types. He is anchored by his wife of 31 years and their three sons and one daughter-in-law. Orange County has been called home for the past 31 years upon arrival from a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Of course, the Steelers are first in his heart for sports teams but have adopted the Lakers and Angels to prove his transplanted California roots.


Yuri Freedman, Senior Director, Business Development, SoCalGas, a Sempra Energy Utility

Yuri has broad experience in development and acquisitions of energy infrastructure assets. In his current role of Senior Director of Business Development, he manages the portfolio of growth initiatives and R&D activities of Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), the largest North American gas utility. Prior to his current role he held the position of Director of Commercial Development for Sempra LNG, and previously held the positions of Director of Infrastructure Investments and Director of Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions at Sempra Energy. Prior to joining Sempra Energy, Yuri held the positions of Managing Director at Fortress Investment Group and Vice President at GE Energy Financial Services. He began his career as a geologist working in Arctic regions of Western Siberia on the development and construction of natural gas pipelines. Yuri serves on the board of CALSTART. He holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a PhD in Environmental Science and Energy Research from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.



Angelina Galiteva, Chair, California Independent System Operator (ISO) Board of Governors

Gov. Gavin Newsom reappointed Angelina Galiteva on March 4, 2020 to a third term on the California Independent System Operator (ISO) Board of Governors that expires on December 31, 2022. Ms. Galiteva, of Fountain Valley, was first appointed on April 29, 2011. Ms. Galiteva is currently President for NEOptions, Inc., a renewable energy and new technology product design and project development firm. Her industry experience includes serving as Executive Director of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and head of its Green LA, Environmental Affairs and New Product Development Organization. While at the municipal utility, she was responsible for strategic positioning and the environmental compliance departments. Her career includes working with the California ISO and Power Exchange on their initial launches and she also worked as a power analyst for the New York Power Authority. Ms. Galiteva graduated from Pace University School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree in 1993 and a LL.M. degree in 1994 in Environmental and Energy Law. She specialized in electric utility strategic policy analysis and decision-making focusing on pending industry transition and deregulation issues. Ms. Galiteva works to advance the deployment of renewable energy and distributed energy technologies worldwide. She also serves as Chairperson of the World Council for Renewable Energy, where she is one of the spokespersons, among other duties.


Antonia Castro-Graham, Deputy City Manager, City of Fullerton, California

Antonia has 18 years of experience working for local government. Currently she is the Deputy City Manager for the City of Fullerton where she plays an integral role implementing directives and policies from the City Manager and City Council and provides direction to department directors; oversees the City Clerk’s Office and the operations relating to the City Council Office; strategic planning; develops policies and programs; and, managing the Citywide fiber to the premises/smart city SiFi project. Prior to coming to Fullerton, she served as the Assistant to the City Manager for the City of Huntington Beach where she oversaw a variety of administrative programs including leading the City’s Citizen Academy, Intergovernmental Relations, and all environmental and sustainability related programs. Ms. Graham also led regional efforts and led the award winning Orange County Recycling Market Development Zone, which is an economic development program aimed at creating an innovative circular economy. Ms. Graham successfully secured millions of dollars in grant funds for the City of Huntington Beach and partnered with the University of California, Irvine and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to create an advanced energy community in a disadvantaged part of the City. Additionally, Ms. Graham oversaw the City’s Smart City program one of the only programs of its kind in the County. After leading the acquisition of 11,000 streetlights from Southern California Edison, she led the effort to work with telecommunications carriers to embark on deploying smart city solutions that will improve city services and connectivity for residents. This includes the deployment of 200 Smart Fusion Poles, a first-of-its-kind smart pole that will be deployed in the City – the 1st in the nation. She holds a BA in Political Science and American Studies, an MPA with a concentration in Public Finance, and a Master’s degree in Sustainability from Arizona State University. Ms. Graham also teaches courses focused on sustainability at California State University Fullerton and Irvine Valley College. Ms. Graham recently had a case study published in the book, Sustainable World: Approaches to Analyzing & Resolving Wicked Problems and was selected as the Arizona State University School of Sustainability Alumni of the Year (2018).


Cody Hooven, Director/Chief Sustainability Officer, Sustainability Dept., San Diego Community Power

Cody Hooven is the Director of the Sustainability Department and the first Chief Sustainability Officer for the city of San Diego, the 8th largest U.S. city. She leads sustainability implementation and policy, with emphasis on economic development and social equity. Her team is exploring how technology, renewable energy, mobility, climate resilience, and creative financing are included in San Diego’s approach to sustainable communities. Her purview also includes engaging businesses in win-win solutions for sustainability and leading the city’s move towards 100% renewable energy through Community Choice Energy. Cody also served as the first Interim CEO of the new regional community choice program currently in startup mode – San Diego Community Power – the second largest program in California. She will be taking on the first permanent employee role as Chief Operating Officer at the end of 2020. Cody works on various other collaborative efforts in San Diego and statewide, including as a board member of Cleantech San Diego.


Mark E. Irwin, Director of Energy Contract Management, Energy Procurement and Management, Southern California Edison

Mark has been in the energy business for 35 years, 28 of them with Edison International split equally between utility and non-utility businesses. CURRENTLY Mark’s team manages energy contracts, contract regulatory compliance, and the settlement of these contracts. He also has been leading SCE’s company-wide energy storage initiative. As Director of Origination, from 2016-2017, Mark co-managed a 12-member origination team with a personal focus on complex wholesale energy contracts including energy storage for distribution deferral. He has previously spent time at the utility leading teams in renewable procurement, energy storage, and electric transportation. His roles in the non-utility business have been leading teams in development and asset management.


Vitaly A. Lee, Executive VP Development, BayWa r.e. Solar Projects

Vitaly has been in the energy industry for over 20 years with a background primarily focused on commercial, project development, regulatory and asset management. He currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Development at BayWa r.e. Solar Projects where he oversees the development of BayWa r.e.’s solar & storage project portfolio in North America. BayWa r.e. is a leading global renewable energy developer, service supplier, wholesaler and energy solutions provider (solar, wind, bioenergy). Backed by its publicly traded parent BayWa AG (HQ in Munich since 1923) – with over 2,400 employees in 26 countries, the group has developed and constructed over 3 GW and actively manages 8.3 GW of renewable projects. Vitaly holds an MBA from USC and as well as Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Delaware where he focused on Public Finance and Taxation. Vitaly is Chair of the Board of Directors at Sustain SoCal.


Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell, VP Legislative and External Affairs, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas)

Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell is vice president of legislative and external affairs for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), Sempra Energy’s California regulated utilities. Mitchell is responsible for state governmental affairs for both California utilities and oversees external affairs activities for SDG&E. Prior to his current position; Mitchell was responsible for state governmental affairs for both California utilities.Prior to joining SoCalGas in 2005, Mitchell served as vice president of public policy and communications at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce where he worked with the Chamber’s members and diverse volunteer base to develop a public policy agenda that is favorable to the business climate and standard of living in San Diego. Previously, Mitchell was director of governmental relations for American Medical Response, the nation’s largest ambulance transportation firm. From 1996 to 1997, he served as assistant director of governmental relations for the San Diego Mayor’s Office under Mayor Susan Golding, and Mitchell was the director of governmental relations for the San Diego City Fire Fighters Local 145 IAFF, one of the city’s largest labor unions. Mitchell is an active member of the community, currently working with the Lucky Duck Foundation to address homeless issues in the San Diego region. He served for several years on the board of directors for the San Diego Food Bank and the New Children’s Museum, and is currently on the board of the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, San Diego Museum of Art, Sharp Healthcare, and the Voice of San Diego. Mitchell previously served 8 years as a governor’s appointee to the Little Hoover Commission. In 2003 San Diego Metropolitan Magazine named Mitchell to the 40 under 40 list. Mitchell has twice been named as one of the 50 people to watch (in 2002 & 2006) by San Diego Magazine. In 2009, Mitchell was selected to receive LEAD San Diego’s Visionary Regional Stewardship Award. Most recently, in 2018, Mitchell was the recipient of the San Diego NAACP Community Service Award. Mitchell earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from University of Redlands.


Craig Perkins, President & CEO, The Energy Coalition

Craig is President and Executive Director of The Energy Coalition, a non-profit organization that designs and implements innovative distributed energy resources solutions for public agencies and disadvantaged communities. Prior to joining The Energy Coalition in 2008, he was Director of Environment and Public Works for the City of Santa Monica where he ran the City’s utilities, managed design and construction services, and developed the Sustainable City Plan. Craig earned degrees from U.C. Berkeley, UCLA and CSU Dominguez Hills.


Rachel Permut, Director of Solutions Innovation, ENGIE

Rachel brings 18 years of energy strategy experience tackling a cross-section of policy, business and technical challenges. She is currently responsible for developing new solutions for ENGIE’s public sector customers in the United States, including resiliency, eMobility, and Smart Cities offerings. Prior to joining ENGIE she spent 10 years at Duke Energy. Her experience includes business strategy, mergers and acquisitions, product marketing and business development. She has her MBA and MS in Sustainable Systems from the University of Michigan.


Jason Rondou, Director, Clean Grid LA Strategy Division, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Jason Rondou is the Director of LADWP’s Clean Grid LA Strategy Division, where he oversees LADWP’s Strategic Long-Term Resource Plan, utility-scale renewable and energy storage procurement, as well as the Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Planning, Development and Program groups. Additionally, he oversees LADWP’s LA100 Study, which aims to identify the major investments required to reliably and cost-effectively transition LADWP to 100% renewable energy. Jason formerly was responsible for LADWP’s Strategic Development & Programs section, responsible for LADWP’s entry into the California Independent System Operator’s Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) as well as its demand response, local solar development, and community solar programs. Jason graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and has a Master of Public Administration from USC and an MBA from UCLA. Jason is a licensed Electrical and Transportation Engineer in the state of California and is the former Chair of the Los Angeles IEEE Power & Energy Society.


Gary Saleba, Executive Consultant, EES Consulting (EES), subsidiary of GDS Associates, Inc.

Gary Saleba is an Executive Consultant for EES Consulting (EES), a wholly-owned subsidiary of GDS Associates, Inc. His areas of expertise include overall quality control for all of EES’s finance and engineering projects. Mr. Saleba has extensive experience in the areas of utility rates and financial planning, resource acquisition, marketing and consumer research, forecasting, integrated resource planning, power supply acquisition, start-up utility feasibility, cost-benefit analyses and overall natural resource strategic planning.  Mr. Saleba has served on numerous energy and natural resource-related trade associations. He has taught numerous technical seminars for the American Public Power Association, served as Chairman of American Water Works Association’s Financial Management Committee and Management Division, and served two terms on the Board of Directors for the Northwest Public Power Association. He also currently serves on the Sustain Southern California Board of Directors. Within the California CCA arena, EES has been the technical consultants for CCA feasibility studies and/or Implementation Plans for the Counties of Alameda, Butte, Los Angeles, Ventura and the City of San Jose, plus the Western Riverside Council of Governments, Coachella Council of Government, San Bernardino Association of Governments, and the Cities of Encinitas, Carlsbad, Del Mar, Oceanside, Chula Vista, La Mesa, Santee, Irvine, Chico and the County of San Diego. EES has also performed peer reviews of CCA feasibility studies for the Cities of San Diego, Solana Beach and King City.


Dara Salour, Program Manager, AESC

Mr. Salour has 30 years of experience in the energy industry, and currently manages AESC’s distributed generation practice. As part of his Program Management responsibilities he oversees application reviews and inspections for the SGIP and CSI Thermal Program. Mr. Salour has worked with customers such as public colleges and wastewater treatment plants to plan and scope energy resiliency solutions including energy efficiency, microgrids, interconnection hubs, and back-up generation. Dara was responsible for the economic life cycle assessment of distributed generation technologies for the AmerenUE integrated resource plan. He has also worked at the California Energy Commission where he managed $4.4 million of wind, biogas and fuel cell power research and development contracts as part of the Energy Technology Advancement Program. Mr. Salour has conducted multiple training sessions on topics such energy storage and energy resiliency. He holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of California, Davis and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from California State University, Sacramento.


Mayte Sanchez, Director of Energy, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)

Mayte Sanchez is the Director of Energy at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, where she oversees energy programs and partnerships to accelerate the commercialization and adoption of clean energy technologies. Prior to LACI, Mayte represented manufacturers on energy policy issues. She also worked as the Senior State Affairs Liaison at the California Independent System Operator, advancing initiatives that supported California’s clean electric grid transition. Mayte began her work in energy serving as a Legislative Aide for the California State Assembly, where she led a coalition that passed the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing Program. She is passionate about ensuring racial and economic equity in the energy sector. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Pitzer College.


December 1, 2020
9:00 am - 1:30 pm
Event Category:


Sustain SoCal
(949) 509-9300
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