UC Irvine Applied Innovation


UC Irvine Applied Innovation


Sustain OC accelerates sustainability and economic growth through innovation, collaboration and education in the greater Orange County region


Sustain SoCal 10th Annual Conference & Expo: Energy Infrastructure: Innovating Toward Sustainability

Sustain SoCal 10th Annual Conference & Expo: Energy Infrastructure: Innovating Toward Sustainability

Event Details

Sustain SoCal 10th Annual Conference & Expo
The Cove at UC Irvine Applied Innovation

April 11, 2019
8 am - 5 pm

Energy Infrastructure
Innovating Toward Sustainability

Sustain SoCal presents its 10th Annual Conference – Energy Infrastructure, a conference focused on exploring innovations that create a resilient energy infrastructure capable of supporting a wide range of sustainability initiatives in Southern California and beyond.

Attended by hundreds of key private sector, public sector and utility stakeholders, this conference will highlight new approaches that utilize both innovative energy technologies and forward-thinking leadership for upgrading legacy systems and building new energy infrastructure.

Please join us for this important day of presentations, interactive discussions and networking as Sustain SoCal addresses real-world solutions that meet Southern California’s evolving needs and sustainability goals.

Speaker Biographies are at bottom of page.

Welcoming address by:

U.S. Congressman Harley Rouda (D-48th District), Member of the House of Representatives Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

Keynote Speakers:

Sheeraz Haji, Managing Director, zipdragon ventures

Edie Chang, Deputy Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board

Luncheon Guest Speaker:

Vibhu Kaushik, Dir. of Grid Technology & Modernization, So. Calif. Edison

Featured Speakers and Panelists to date:

Vitaly Lee, EVP Development, BayWa r.e.

Gary Saleba, President & CEO, EES Consulting

Barbara Spoonhour, Dir. of CCA Development, WRCOG

Drake Welch, VP Customer Care, Calpine Energy Solutions

Sona Coffee, Environmental Programs Administrator, City of Irvine

Craig Perkins, President & Exec. Dir., The Energy Coalition

Howard Choy, Howard Choy Consulting

Matt Gregori, Clean Energy Technology Scout, SoCalGas

Michael Kadish, Executive Director, GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles

James Kast, Fuel Cell Business Analyst, Advanced Business Strategy, Toyota Motor NA

Paul Fukumoto, Dir. Business Development, Fuel Cell Energy

Charles Fletcher, Exec. VP, EMCOR Services Mesa Energy Systems

April Bolduc, CEO, S Curve Strategies

Randal Kaufman, Director, Black & Veatch

Emily Wier, Energy Policy Adviser, Office of San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher

Michael Terreri, Energy Policy Adviser, Gladstein Neandross Clean Transportation & Energy

Trina Horner, Director Energy, Navigant

Max Aram, Co-founder & CEO, Pick My Solar

Grace Broyles, Program Coordinator, Market Transformation, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)

Michael Kadish, Executive Director, GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles

Jessica Lim, Principal Manager, Product Management at Southern California Edison

Speaker biographies are at bottom of page


Conference Topics include:

  • Energy Infrastructure Trends
  • Community Choice Energy
  • The Future of Hydrogen
  • Energy Storage
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Vehicle Charging
  • Grid Modernization
  • The Energy Cloud
  • Residential Clean Energy
  • Meet the Innovators

We look forward to having you join us for the
Sustain SoCal 10th Annual Conference

Early Bird rates end soon - Register today!

Join us on April 11 for this breakthrough event. Register today!

For Annual Conference sponsorship and exhibit information

Visit: https://sustainsocal.org/sponsorships

Download here: 10th Annual Conference Sponsorship & Exhibit information sheet

Email: info@sustainsocal.org



About the Speakers & Panelists:

Max Aram, Co-founder & CEO, Pick My Solar

I am an entrepreneur at heart and an explorer in mind. A storyteller, dreamer, creator, and innovator. I am a very competitive player, but never break the rules of the game. Unleashing the potential of millions of kids around the world is something worth living for, and as the CEO of Pick My Solar, I'm going to make that one of our primary missions. My dad was 8 years old before the grid reached his hometown, and he told me that electricity not only lights up your surroundings, but it also lights up your mind and unleashes your imagination. Over 800M people worldwide live without electricity, and it would take decades and trillions of dollars of investment in infrastructure for the power lines to reach them. Solar energy has shifted the paradigm, and we can now leapfrog that old, expensive technology and give everyone access to electricity for a small fraction of that cost in just a few years.

April Bolduc, CEO, S Curve Strategies

April is passionate about electric cars and has driven electric since 2011. She has inspired thousands of drivers to do the same by assisting utilities in California and across the U.S. develop and launch their electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure strategies. In addition to utilities, April consults with states, municipalities and advanced technology companies to deploy their EV customer engagement and marketing strategies. Prior to forming S Curve Strategies April was the Electric Vehicle Customer Engagement Manager for San Diego Gas & Electric’s Clean Transportation team, leading their EV education, outreach, marketing and program sales. Today, this region has one of the highest EV adoption rate of any city in the country. While at the utility she collaborated with internal departments, critical stakeholders and regulators to exponentially grow EV adoption and create a joyful customer experience for drivers. As the spokesperson for the company's EV efforts she's done hundreds of TV, print, radio and social media interviews on EVs, charging technology, market trends, and overcoming adoption barriers. Prior to her Clean Transportation role, April was a manager in the Media Relations Department and spokesperson for the utility’s innovative technology efforts, including smart meters, smart grid, smart cities, cybersecurity, microgrids and EVs. Prior to that she was a manager in the Corporate Communications Department for the utility's parent company Sempra Energy, a Fortune 500 company. April is a graduate of UC San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts in communication. She received Specialized Certificates from UC San Diego in News Feature Writing, Copy Editing and Meeting & Event Planning. April is a member of the Smart Electric Power Association's EV Working Committee, Plug In America, Forth, the Western Utilities Public Affairs Group, a past president of the Public Relations Society of America San Diego & Imperial Valley Chapter, serves on the marketing committee of the San Diego Library Foundation and emcees numerous nonprofit events throughout the San Diego region. S Curve Strategies is a certified women-owned business by the California Public Utilities Commission Supplier’s Clearing House, the Women Business Enterprise National Council and the U.S. Small Business Association.

Grace Broyles, Program Coordinator, Market Transformation, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)

Edie Chang, Deputy Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board

Edie Chang was appointed as a Deputy Executive Officer at the California Air Resources Board in the spring of 2013. She is responsible for development and implementation of California's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions including the AB 32 Scoping Plan, the cap-and-trade regulation, and the low carbon fuel standard. She also oversees strategies to reduce emissions from freight transport, the air toxics program, fuels regulations, and stationary source programs. In Edie's 20 year career with CARB, she has worked on a wide variety of projects including implementation of the zero-emission vehicle program, preparation of State Implementation Plans, and diesel incentive programs. Edie received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine. She is a registered Mechanical Engineer in the State of California.

Sona Coffee, Environmental Programs Administrator, City of Irvine

Charles Fletcher, Exec. VP, EMCOR Systems Mesa Energy Services

Mr. Fletcher began his HVAC career in 1978, working for five years with various mechanical construction companies as a sheet metal worker, operations manager and sales engineer. Recognizing the need for high-caliber contractors in California’s growing construction industry, he founded Mesa in 1983 and played an integral role in the company’s growth from a small business with a solid reputation into a forward-looking, best-in-class service contractor. As CEO and Senior Vice President, he guided the company through its 1999 merger with EMCOR and the ensuing expansion of its capabilities and resources. Mr. Fletcher earned his bachelor’s in mathematics at the State University of New York, Cortland. He holds a California contractor’s license and is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the Association of Electrical Engineers (AEE), the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), the International Facilities Managers Association (IFMA), the Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA), and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA). He is a LEED Accredited Professional and has recently joined the Advisory Committee for The California Commissioning Collaborative.


Paul Fukumoto, Director Business Development, Fuel Cell Energy

Matt Gregori, Clean Energy Technology Scout, SoCal Gas

Matt Gregori serves as a Technology Development Manager for Customer Solutions in the SoCalGas Research, Development, and Demonstration (RD&D) group. His team seeks out new natural gas and hydrogen technologies that are ready for deployment at the pilot or demonstration scale. His portfolio includes technologies in transportation, power generation, and residential, commercial, and industrial thermal applications. During his career in the clean energy field, Matt has built and operated various types of clean energy projects, from biodiesel production facilities to food waste anaerobic digesters. Matt earned a B.S. in Chemistry at The California Institute of Technology and an MBA at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA.

Sheeraz Haji, Managing Partner, zipdragon partners

Sheeraz has co-founded, operated, and invested in numerous startups. As the founder and managing partner of zipdragon ventures, Sheeraz has led investments into ten industry cloud startups. He often represents ZDV on the board of portfolio companies, and he also advises a few funds. Prior to founding zipdragon ventures, Sheeraz served as CEO of Cleantech Group and played a pivotal role in the transformation toward clean energy and resource efficiency. Sheeraz co-founded and served as CEO of GetActive Software, which pioneered SaaS for nonprofits. He led GetActive’s merger with Convio and served as President of the combined company. Convio went public on the NASDAQ and was acquired for $325m post-IPO. Sheeraz started his career as an environmental engineer with Environ and a consultant with McKinsey & Company. Sheeraz earned degrees in environmental engineering from Brown University and Stanford University. When he’s not working, Sheeraz enjoys family time, chess, skiing and riding his bike.

Trina Horner, Director Energy, Navigant

Trina Horner is a Director in Navigant's Energy Practice. As a former regulator and business leader for both municipal and investor-owned utilities, she brings broad experience navigating regulatory, strategic, governance and policy challenges in today's changing energy environment. Her work encompasses revenue requirement, rate design, cost of service and rate case development, as well as strategic assessment of regulatory, operational and policy initiatives. Trina has cultivated credibility across a diverse spectrum of energy industry stakeholders for her understanding of these issues, as well as her ability to drive effective solutions for them. Education: B.A., International Relations, University of California, Davis

Michael Kadish, Executive Director, GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles

Michael has been the Executive Director of GLA since 2013 and previously served as one of the founding Directors of its Board. Prior to his involvement with GRID, Michael worked in a variety of government and campaign roles including Policy Director for the New York City Council Member representing Lower Manhattan after 9/11, Policy Director on the 2008 Obama campaign and Director of Public and Consumer Affairs for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Michael currently sits on the Board of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. He also holds a BA from Columbia University and a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

James Kast, Fuel Cell Business Analyst Advanced Business Strategy, Toyota Motor NA

Randal Kaufman, Director, Black & Veatch

Randal Kaufman is Sales Director for Black & Veatch’s Transformative Technologies business. With over 15 years of experience in the electrical power industry, Randal has expertise in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and complimentary energy delivery systems, data centers, distributed generation, battery energy storage, energy management, power quality, and mission-critical backup systems. He also spent two years in the stationary fuel cell power generation business, with special focus on application engineering and product development. His previous work experience includes ABB, ClearEdge Power, and Schneider Electric. Randal holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from California State University-Chico and an MBA from the University of California-Irvine. Randal’s career focus is to develop clean, efficient, resilient, secure, and economically viable energy solutions for critical human infrastructure.

Vibhu Kaushik, Director of Grid Technology & Modernization, Southern California Edison

Southern California Edison (SCE), the largest subsidiary of Edison International (NYSE: EIX), is the primary electricity supply company for much of Southern California, USA. It provides 15 million people with electricity across a service territory of approximately 50,000 square miles. As the Director of Grid Technology and Modernization at SCE, Vibhu leads SCE’s strategic roadmap for grid modernization, and serves as SCE’s leader in applied research and grid modernization, leading industry groups and external stakeholders on industry initiatives, research activities, standards and cooperative projects. He also leads SCE’s technical efforts in deployment of emerging technologies including key integrated pilot demonstration projects. Previously, Vibhu held several roles within SCE including Principal Manager of Asset Management and Generation Strategy group where he was responsible for driving the major maintenance and capital investment decisions and maximize the returns for company’s hydroelectric, natural gas, energy storage, and solar power plants; Vibhu originated and led SCE’s award-winning Hybrid Enhance Gas Turbines projects and Energy Storage initiatives. Vibhu received the 2017 “Top Forty Innovators” award from Public Utilities ortnightly magazine. Vibhu earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India, and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from University of Manitoba, Canada, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from University of California, Los Angeles. He is also a registered professional engineer.

C. Scott Kitcher, President & CEO, Sustain Orange County, Principal, EcoFin Consulting, LLC

Scott has 29 years of financial services experience in investment banking, investment management, private equity, and consulting. Just over 13 years ago, he began focusing on clean technologies. Today, he is President & CEO at Sustain OC, Principal at EcoFin Consulting, LLC, and serves on various corporate, non-profit and academic boards and committees in various roles almost all related to cleantech and sustainability.

Vitaly Lee, EVP Development, BayWa r.e.

Vitaly has over 20 years of experience in both domestic and international energy marketplace with a track record of accomplishments in resolving complex commercial, regulatory, financial, tax and other business issues. 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 project portfolio in the US and Mexico. He serves as Vice-Chair on the Board of Sustain SoCal. Prior to this role, Vitaly led asset management for a .5 GW geothermal & solar portfolio at Terra-Gen, a private equity owned IPP, one of the most recognized renewable developers in the US. As a key member of the senior management team, he was charged with maximizing the commercial value of the assets by proactively managing key relationships with senior utility executives. In addition, he spearheaded power marketing effort with C&I customers. Prior to Terra-Gen, Vitaly had held various leadership positions at AES Corporation, a Fortune 200 global IPP company, where he was actively involved and played a frontline role in business development and M&A, strategic planning and later running asset management for a 4.4 GW gas-fired portfolio in Southern California. Vitaly was instrumental in establishing the regulatory framework for AES in California post energy crisis of 2000-2001. Vitaly has negotiated multiple cross-border transactions and has traveled to 20+ countries. Vitaly started his career as a tax associate at Arthur Andersen where he advised his clients on complicated cross-jurisdictional tax issues and conducted tax due diligence for prospective acquisition targets. Vitaly holds an MBA from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business as well as Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Delaware where he focused on Public Finance and Taxation.

Jessica Lim, Principal Manager, Product Management at Southern California Edison

Jessica Lim is the Principal Manager of Product Management at Southern California Edison. She is responsible for product development and managing a portfolio of programs to enable customer choice from distributed generation to rate options. Prior to this role, Jessica advanced customer-focused initiatives through Marketing & Digital at SCE, grew the e-commerce division at Epson America, and launched new brands at Ogilvy & Mather Advertising and Ketchum Communications.

Craig Perkins, President & Executive Director, The Energy Coalition

Craig Perkins is President and Executive Director of The Energy Coalition. Prior to joining TEC, Craig was Director of Environmental and Public Works Management for the City of Santa Monica where he was responsible for the water, wastewater, solid waste and stormwater utilities; managed the construction and maintenance of City buildings and infrastructure; designed and implemented alternative fuel vehicle and renewable energy programs; and directed Santa Monica’s Sustainable City Plan.
Craig received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his Masters degrees from UCLA and California State University Dominguez Hills. He serves on the Citizens Oversight Advisory Committee for the City of Los Angeles stormwater program, and is a Board member of Heal the Bay and the Coalition for our Water Future

U.S. Congressman Harley Rouda, (D-48th District)

Harley Rouda is a businessman and advocate who ran for Congress to protect the California way of life for the next generation. Harley has built and managed companies that are leaders in the sustainability movement and is a longtime community leader in Orange County. In Congress, he's working to build economic opportunity, ensure quality affordable health care for all, prevent gun violence, and reverse the climate crisis. In 2018, he built an historic grassroots campaign that was supported by tens of thousands of Orange County residents. He lives in Laguna Beach with his wife Kaira and their four children.

Gary Saleba, President & CEO, EES Consulting

As both a management and strategic planning consultant, Mr. Saleba is a principal and president/CEO of EES. He provides overall quality control and insight for all of EES’ diverse project undertakings. As a founding member of EES, Mr. Saleba has over 35 years of experience with electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, and disposal utilities. He has overseen more than 400 cost of service and rate design studies and has provided expert testimony and opinion in over 200 proceedings before virtually all tribunals in North America. He also has acted as project manager and owner’s agent for the development of large electric generation resources. Finally, Mr. Saleba has apprised virtually all of EES’s clients in how to deal with fundamental changes in the energy and natural resource industries. These changes include increased competition, more emphasis on public input in major decision making, and strategic planning under an uncertain future. Mr. Saleba has a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics and an MBA in Finance.

Barbara Spoonhour, Director of CCA Development, WRCOG

Michael Terreri, Energy Policy Adviser, Gladstein Neandross Clean Transportation & Energy

Michael brings experience in fleet sustainability, grant administration, project management, and vehicle replacement analyses. Having administered clean transportation incentive programs in New York, North Carolina and California; Michael also brings unique insight to grant writing and what agencies are looking for in an application. Michael is an active member of the NAFA Fleet Management Association. He was a contributing author to NAFA’s Sustainable Fleet Manager certification, has audited more than ninety electric vehicle fleets and wrote the industry’s first benchmarking guide for fleet electric vehicles. Past experience: Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) is an administrator of clean transportation incentive and technical assistance programs for states such as California, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts—as well as numerous regional and local governments. CSE is one of the largest organizations of its kind with more than 150 employees in five offices nationwide. As fleet projects manager, Michael was responsible for translating CSE’s alternative fuels work with consumers to success in fleet focused programs. Michael administered and designed many aspects of California’s light-duty EV fleet incentive program, produced the industry’s first benchmarking guide, and developed a university certified training for fleets implementing EV programs. Clean Transportation Specialist, North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center - The NC Clean Energy Technology Center, based out of North Carolina State University, is one of the largest clean transportation market development organizations in the Southeast United States. As a Clean Transportation Specialist, Michael managed grants for fleet and infrastructure projects; administered TV, radio and billboard campaign valued at over $2MM; organized trade show events; and outreached directly to fleets. Project Coordinator, US Dept. of Energy Clean Cities Coalitions in NY and TN - The Clean Cities Program is a U.S. Department of Energy supported initiative to provide clean transportation technical assistance to fleets. As a contractor, Michael worked with Clean Cities organizations in New York and Tennessee. Work included supporting workshops, grant administration, emissions analysis and outreach. Education: MPA, State University of New York College at Brockport, BA, State University of New York College at Geneseo

Drake Welch, Calpine Energy Solutions

Emily Wier, Energy Policy Adviser, Office of San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher

Wier has more than eight years of experience developing and consulting on environment and energy policy, including within the Obama Administration’s White House Office of Energy and Climate Change. While there, she worked on climate change, electric vehicles, and renewable energy policy. Most recently, Wier developed policy and legislative strategy for a startup firm deploying electric vehicle charging solutions. Wier was appointed to the City of San Diego’s Sustainable Energy Advisory Board, and was a 2014 Fellow for the San Diego Leadership Alliance. Wier earned her master’s degree from Yale.