Chair: David Warner, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
David has more than 25 years experience creating and managing technical information, communications, and outreach activities on energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. He has worked at NREL for more than 20 years, leading the development of hundreds of products and activities to meet the communications needs of NREL’s offices and programs and the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. While at NREL, David has been the director of the Technical Information Office and has managed the Information and Outreach Program, the Technical Information Program, and the Stakeholder Partnerships Office. David was vice chair of IREC from 1992 to 2012. He was instrumental in reviving the solar energy trade association in Colorado, and served as the executive director of the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association from 1988 to 1993.
Vice Chair: Larry Shirley, Duke University
Larry is Director, Operations and Planning at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental and Policy Solutions, Duke University. From 2009-2012, he was Director of the Green Economy in the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Prior to assuming this position in 2009, Larry directed the State Energy Office for nine years. In late 2000, he served for 13 years as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Solar Center at North Carolina State University. While there, he was elected as Chairman of the American Solar Energy Society in 1996-97. Previous to his work at the Solar Center, he served as the Assistant Director of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation in Winston-Salem and founded the Nonprofit Energy Management Program for the Advanced Energy Corporation. He also served as Director of Field Operations for the Center for Renewable Resources in Washington, DC. Larry is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Secretary: Brian Gallagher, Brian Gallagher Consulting
Brian is an independent energy consultant who has focused on overcoming barriers to the use of renewable energy. He is currently assisting the District of Columbia in developing their Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) and has been instrumental in the development of the Delaware SEU a state‐chartered entity charged with offering one‐stop shopping for sustainable energy services, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, and affordable energy services for low-income families. As the Delaware Energy Office’s representative before the state’s Public Service Commission, Brian has successfully advocated for the removal of barriers to the use of renewable energy in such areas as interconnection standards, net metering, revenue decoupling, standby charges, and integrated resource planning. He has authored several net metering and renewable portfolio standards laws as well as the regulations to implement those laws. Working on energy policy for over 15 years, Brian spent seven of those years with Delaware’s public utilities consumer advocate. He received a Masters in Energy and Environmental Policy from the University of Delaware. Brian also runs a small charitable organization that provides grants to schools for the installation of solar energy on school facilities.
Treasurer: Jennifer Szaro, Senior Director of Programs, Solar Electric Power Association
As Senior Director of Programs, Jennifer oversees the development and implementation of educational programs for SEPA’s nearly 1,000 utility and industry members. Prior to her role at SEPA, Jennifer managed renewable energy, electric vehicle and corporate sustainability programs for OUC, Orlando Florida’s municipal electric and water utility. Jennifer was also employed as a Senior Energy Analyst for the Florida Solar Energy Center for nearly nine years, where her research focused on photovoltaics, distributed generation, biomass energy and green power marketing. She has been an IREC board member since 2002 and currently serves as Treasurer for the organization. Jennifer received her B.S. degrees in Environmental Science and Chemistry from Florida International University in 1997 and completed her Master’s in Business Administration at the University of Central Florida in 2006.
Carolyn Appleton, Carolyn M. Appleton, Inc.
With more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Carolyn’s mission is to enable nonprofit organizations to attain their fundraising and public relations goals in the most efficient, thoughtful and high quality manner possible. Carolyn is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE since 2004). With a focus on private-sector fundraising, she has received awards for excellence from several nonprofit organizations. Currently, Carolyn is working with EcoRise Youth Innovations to help the organization expand its educational programming across Texas and beyond. Carolyn is a member of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Association of Fundraising Professionals, and NTEN: Nonprofit Technology Network. Carolyn served two consecutive terms on the Texas Environmental Education Partnership Fund Board (2001-2009, appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry). Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog is her primary online presence. Connect with Carolyn on LinkedIn for more information about her background.
Chris Cook, Solar Grid Storage LLC
Chris is a Principal with Solar Grid Storage LLC a new company focused on placing cost effective battery solutions with solar energy projects and utilizing the batteries to provide grid benefits and services. Formerly he was with the law firm of Keyes & Fox a boutique firm targeting distributed generation and the renewable energy legal and regulatory issues. Previously, Chris was a Managing Director of Sunworks, a startup company to focused on building US based solar PV manufacturing facilities. He was formerly Sr. Vice-President, of Regulatory Affairs for SunEdison, a company he helped found with three others in 2003. As General Counsel at SunEdison, Chris helped write the solar power purchase agreement (PPA) that has become the model contract for the industry. Considered by many to be the leading national expert on net metering, Chris was assistant counsel with the Maryland People’s Counsel and Director of Energy Policy at the Maryland Energy Administration. Chris is a member of the Bar of Maryland and a Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He holds awards from the Governor of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Energy for outstanding service in the solar energy field.
John Hoffner, Senior Solar Engineer, AECOM, Austin, Texas
An accomplished engineer with expertise in designing and building renewable energy systems, John leads design teams related to utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) power plants and PV on commercial buildings. John recently joined AECOM (now merged with URS) to build a solar design center of excellence in its Austin Texas office. Before AECOM, John performed similar work at CH2M HILL where John managed the PV design team for utility-scale PV projects in the Middle East, Canada, and the U.S. Before CH2M HILL, John was with Conservation Services Groups (CSG) for 11 years as the Director of Technical Services/Renewable Energy responsible for installing, operating, and monitoring over 2 MW of distributed PV systems on schools, retail stores, and utility sites. He also worked with several other PV specialists to write and implement a solar PV training program at Austin Community College (ACC) for NABCEP certification. He taught classes for entry and advanced level NAPCEP training over a five year period (2004 – 2009). Before CSG he managed the Renewable Energy division for the City of Austin Electric Utility (now called Austin Energy) from 1983 to 1996. John executed the contract for the City of Austin’s share of the first utility-scale wind project in west Texas, and negotiated a contract for a 5 MW landfill gas project. He also lead the team to design and install two, 300 kW PV plants in Austin. He is a registered professional engineer and served on the City’s Resource Management Commission for 3 years, and hosts a green talk radio program called “Shades of Green” each Thursday from 1:00 to 2:00 PM at the community FM radio station KOOP in Austin, TX.
Ken Jurman, Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy
At DMME, Ken manages the Division of Energy’s solar and wind power programs. He works closely with state and local economic development agencies to promote the growth of Virginia’s alternative and renewable energy industry, as well as with numerous public, private and non-profit organizations to increase the demand for renewable and innovative energy technologies. Over the past two and a half years, Ken developed and implemented several grant and rebate programs totaling nearly $38 million to support solar and small wind installations throughout the Commonwealth. Through these efforts, Virginia experienced over a seven-fold increase in solar thermal, photovoltaic, and small wind power capacity. Ken currently serves as a government sector representative on the Board for the Small Wind Certification Council. He also serves as staff to the Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority, which was created through 2010 legislation to facilitate, coordinate, and support development of the offshore wind energy industry and supply chain in Virginia. Ken lives in Rockville, VA with his wife and daughter.
Karl Rábago, Pace Energy & Climate Center
Karl has more than 20 years experience in electricity policy and regulation, emerging energy markets development, clean energy technology development, and the implementation of sustainability principles. Currently, he’s the executive director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center in White Plains, NY. Karl chairs the board for the Center for Resource Solutions and helped create the “Green-e” Certification program for renewable energy products. His past positions include: Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy; Commissioner, Texas Public Utility Commission; Sustainability Leader with NatureWorks, LLC; and Managing Director & Principal, Rocky Mountain Institute. A graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Business Management, Karl is an attorney (University of Texas Law School, J.D. with Honors) with post-doctorate degrees in environmental (LL.M., Pace University School of Law) and military law (LL.M., U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School). Karl has taught law at the University of Houston Law Center and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. A veteran of more than 12 years in the U.S. Army, he served as an Armored Cavalry officer and member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, and is Airborne- and Ranger-qualified. Married for more than 33 years to his wife, Pam, Karl is the proud father of three grown children and grandfather of Avery Victoria Rábago.
Marc Roper, CEO/Sovereign Modular
Marc has more than 20 years of experience in the renewable energy industry, and has been active in California’s solar electric market since 1999. Before joining Sovereign Modular, Marc served as EVP for solar PPA provider Tioga Energy, where he led sales, marketing, and project financing activities for the company and successfully developed more than 100 solar PPA projects around the US. He held executive positions at Turner Renewable Energy, a leading solar power systems integrator (acquired by First Solar in 2007), and photovoltaic manufacturer SCHOTT Solar, where he was responsible for the company’s sales and marketing activities and turnkey projects operations in North and South America. Marc also managed residential markets for PV manufacturer AstroPower (acquired by GE Energy in 2004), and headed up renewable energy programs for the State of Colorado’s energy office. He earned an MS Civil Engineering, a BS in Engineering Physics, and a BA in Music from the University of Colorado. Marc has served on the boards of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), and the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC).
Carl began his more than three decades of experience in the energy field at the Oak Ridge National Lab. He held various management positions in renewable energy, energy efficiency, environmental, planning and regulatory affairs at Wisconsin’s largest investor-owned utility, We Energies, for over 27 years. During his last 11 years there as the Senior Renewable Energy Strategist, he created and managed award-winning renewable energy development programs with a primary focus on solar power. Carl serves as the Board President of RENEW Wisconsin. He also served on the Board of Directors of NABCEP for over 5 years. And he was a Board member of the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) for nearly 10 years, and served on its Executive Committee for 8. Since leaving We Energies, Carl continues to work for sustainable clean energy through Carl Siegrist Consulting, LLC. One of his recent projects was the writing of Utility Community Solar Design Handbook for SEPA. Carl holds a M.S. degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics, and is a Life Member of the American Solar Energy Society, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, and RENEW Wisconsin. Carl lives with his wife, Sandy, in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin and likes to travel, hike, listen to music, and enjoy good food and wine.
Jen Somers was formerly a Senior Policy Advisor and Team Lead for Training and Technical Assistance serving the U.S. Department of Energy’s Offices of Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. In that role, Jen planned and executed $140M in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds to lead the largest residential energy efficiency upgrade program in the country. The 1.6 million homes weatherized during the Recovery Act Period will result in $16.4B in savings for low-income families over the life of the measures, and eliminate more than 85 metric tons of carbon emissions. She holds her Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and degrees in Spanish and Economics from Fairfield University. She previously served on IREC’s ISPQ National Advisory Board and is a LEED Accredited Professional.
President, Chief Operating Officer Jane Weissman
Jane Weissman has been the President and Chief Operating Officer of IREC since 1994. From 1985 until 1991, Jane was the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Photovoltaic Center. She is Vice Chair of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners and was elected an America Solar Energy Society’s Fellow in 2004. She has been chairing the national Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference since 2006. Jane has been invited by the Congress of the United States to provide expert testimony before the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment to discuss workforce development and training issues. In May 2010, she received the prestigious Charles Greeley Abbot Award from the American Solar Energy Society. And in 2012, Jane received the Renewable Energy World’s Leadership Award in policy. She has published papers and spoken widely on topics in the fields of renewable energy, photovoltaics, public policy and credentialing. Jane is based out of Boston, MA and is an avid Red Sox fan.