IESC 2021 Speakers and Panelists
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul (HOH-‐kul)
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul began her career in public service on her local Town Board before serving as Erie County Clerk, and then as a member of Congress for New York’s 26th Congressional District. Since 2015, she has served as the highest-‐ranking female elected official in New York State government. Lieutenant Governor Hochul has successfully spearheaded numerous initiatives and leads the administration's development and job creation efforts across the state, working every day to advocate for policies that help all New Yorkers make ends meet.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran
Laura Curran has served as Nassau County Executive since 2018, when she became the first woman to hold the office. Representing more than 1.3 million residents, County Executive Curran prioritized restoring trust and fiscal integrity to a Nassau County government long plagued by corruption and deficits. County Executive Curran implemented unprecedented ethics reforms, bringing transparency and controls to County contracts. The County Executive also successfully advocated for new economic development and downtown revitalization projects across the County, helping increase the number of good-paying jobs for residents, providing additional housing options for residents across income levels, and locating both near public transit. After the pandemic hit Nassau County, she led the County’s response to protect and inform residents, while maintaining essential County operations and advocating for small businesses and schools.
Under Curran’s watch, major crime in Nassau County hit historic lows, thanks to continued commitment to community policing, which the County Executive built on by reopening two police precincts and breaking ground on a new police academy on the Nassau Community College campus. Nassau County was named by U.S. News & World Report as the safest community in America for 2020. Following through on a campaign promise, Curran also fixed a broken property assessment system that amassed enormous debt while unfairly burdening half of taxpayers. She mobilized the County’s resources to battle the pandemic, establishing an elaborate contact tracing program. County Executive Curran also secured much needed funding and personal protective equipment for many businesses, advocating to reopen safely, while protecting lives and livelihoods.
The County Executive made a commitment to making Nassau County a better place to live, work and play for all residents, even while navigating Nassau through the pandemic. Under County Executive Curran’s leadership, the County repaved a record amount of roadway, increased accessibility and language access of government services, and dedicated significant funds to revitalizing parks throughout the County—with a commitment to making parks and playgrounds accessible to all. As the pandemic led to unprecedented challenges and change, County Executive Curran has led with dedication to the people of Nassau County and remains a tireless advocate for Nassau’s residents and businesses, providing decisive leadership while protecting residents’ health and safely.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone
Steve Bellone was sworn into office as Suffolk County Executive on January 1, 2012.
He is the 8th County Executive in County history. He previously served as Babylon
Town Supervisor from 2001-2011.
County Executive Bellone, who represents more than 1.5 million residents, has focused his efforts on saving taxpayer dollars through government reform, boosting economic development to create local and lasting Suffolk County jobs, improving Long Island’s water quality to protect the region’s water supply, and enhancing the quality of life of Suffolk residents by improving public safety and investing in County parks and roads.
County Executive Bellone’s Economic Development plan has focused on building innovation economies throughout Suffolk County to attract highly-skilled and knowledgeable workers, and to keep young professionals on Long Island. His Connect Long Island vision aims to invest in an upgraded rapid transportation system that will conveniently connect universities, research centers, downtowns, and parks. The plan is designed to strengthen local businesses by expanding natural customer bases and develop the necessary infrastructure to provide residents with north - south transportation options. Bellone’s signature downtown revitalization efforts include transit-oriented developments such as Wyandanch Rising, Ronkonkoma Hub, Heartland project and the East End Transportation plan.
From the courtroom to the Capitol, Senator Todd Kaminsky has dedicated his life to public service.
Prior to his time in public office, Todd was a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern District of New York. There, he took down corrupt elected officials who used taxpayer dollars to fund lavish lifestyles, including former State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr., Assemblyman Jimmy Meng and Congressman Michael Grimm.
In April 2016, the people of the South Shore elected Todd to the State Senate to fight for Long Islanders. As a Senator, Todd is a crusader for clean government, tax relief and quality education, as well as a vigorous advocate for the environment, veterans, and first responders. Newsday called him “an important and respected voice for Long Island and his district.”
As Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, Todd is at the forefront of efforts to protect our air, water and natural resources. He authored the New York Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act — the nation’s most aggressive climate change program –– putting the State on a path toward carbon neutrality and a green energy economy. He led the fight to regulate carcinogenic contaminants in Long Island’s water supply and passed legislation banning products containing these toxic substances. Todd secured a multi-billion dollar investment in clean water infrastructure, received a perfect score from the New York League of Conservation Voters for his collaborative efforts “with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to work on behalf of Long Islanders.” Todd also successfully passed legislation to ban toxic toys and mercury flooring in schools.
Todd has led the fight to improve Long Island's commuter rail system. He helped procure billions in the state budget for improved LIRR service, and passed legislation mandating a forensic audit of the MTA. He has held the MTA and LIRR to task at numerous hearings regarding the poor state of infrastructure and service at Penn Station. Todd has consistently opposed proposed fare hikes and demanded more accountability and better conditions for riders. Newsday called him “the leader of LIRR reform in Albany.”
Todd is a leader on ethics reform, sponsoring legislation to strip pensions from corrupt officials, ban outside income for politicians, create publicly financed elections, strengthen anti-bribery laws, bolster penalties for public corruption and protect taxpayer dollars by increasing oversight of local government contracting.
A Long Island native, Todd has been a strong advocate for lower taxes, good jobs and a strong economy. He helped pass the largest middle-class income tax cuts in 70 years, voted more than 250 times against raising taxes and help enact a permanent property tax cap. Todd also secured tax breaks for Sandy victims and has rallied to reform Industrial Development Agencies to protect tax dollars. Each year Todd has been in the Legislature, he has drastically increased aid to local schools, securing nearly $300 million for South Shore schools in this past year’s state budget –– an increase of nearly $20 million from the year prior.
Katherine is Chair of 38 North Solutions. In this role, Katherine has been listed on the #Solar100 board by kWh Analytics and received a Cleanie Award as Entrepreneur of the Year. Katherine has led several councils of the World Economic Forum as a global policy and technology thought leader and is currently Co-Chair of the Global Future Council on Clean Electrification. Katherine served as President of the GridWise Alliance, advocating for nearly $5 billion in funding for smart grid projects in the Recovery Act. Prior to that role, Katherine was a policy advisor for Good Energies, Inc., a private investment company with a portfolio in clean energy technologies of nearly $6 billion. She co-directed the American Bioenergy Association, working with the states of Maryland and New Jersey to develop renewable portfolio standards. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Katherine led buildings research and then managed government relations in Washington, DC. Katherine spent a decade at Virginia Power, designing overhead and underground electrical systems for commercial and residential developments. Katherine studied electrical engineering at Northern Virginia Community College and holds degrees from Cornell University and the Sorbonne. Katherine is part of The Energy Gang podcast through Greentech Media.
Dr. Laura Joseph
Dr. Laura Joseph, distinguished scholar, teacher and leader, is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr, Joseph has a long-standing tenure at Farmingdale State College, having served for two years as Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and three years as Acting Assistant Dean of the School of Health Sciences. Dr. Joseph began her academic career at Farmingdale State College in 1991 as a faculty member in the Department of Dental Hygiene and served as Department Chair from 2003-2013.
In addition to her work in health promotion and disease prevention, Dr. Joseph has been actively engaged in accreditation and institutional assessment including service as Farmingdale State College's liaison to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and Commissioner for the American Dental Associations' Commission on Dental Accreditation. She continues to serve as an ADA-CODA site visitor and has led Farmingdale State College's Assessment initiative. Her interest in active learning and innovative pedagogy has led to SUNY recognition as a recipient of the prestigious Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and Old Dominion University's Alumni Award for Outstanding Educator.
Prior to Farmingdale State College, Dr. Joseph was a clinical research investigator at Fairleigh Dickinson University's Research Center where she conducted research in oral health and disease prevention. Dr. Joseph served as a national and international consultant on clinical calibration. Additional activities of scholarship include grants as well as publications on allied dental education.
Dr. Laura Joseph earned a Doctoral Degree in Higher Education and Academic Leadership from Columbia University in 1998 and a BS and MS degree in Science from Old Dominion University.
Dr. Barbara Christe
Barbara Christe is a professor and the Dean of the School of Engineering Technology at Farmingdale State College. As a clinical engineer with degrees in biomedical engineering, she has authored several books exploring the branch of engineering that supports the safe and effective use of medical equipment in the clinical setting. In addition, Dr Christe’s research has explored the experiences of engineering technology learners in an effort to understand persistence and to support academic success. Her goal to promote degree attainment, especially by under-represented learners, including women, is well-matched to the Farmingdale campus mission.
Damir Novosel, PhD. (IEEE Distinguished Lecturer)
Damir Novosel is president and founder of Quanta Technology, a subsidiary of Quanta Services, a Fortune 300 company. Previously, he was vice president of ABB Automation Products and president of KEMA T&D US. Dr. Novosel is also an adjunct professor of Electrical Engineering at North Carolina State University.
Dr. Novosel is elected to National Academy of Engineers in 2014. He served as President of the IEEE Power and Energy Society and VP of Technical Activities. Damir is presently member of the IEEE Standards Association Standards Board. He also chairs IEEE Smart Cities Initiative and Industry Technical Support Leadership Committee (responsible for cooperation with global regulatory agencies and corporate engagement). Damir is a member of the CIGRE US National Committee and received the CIGRE Attwood Associate and the Distinguished Member awards. Damir holds 17 US and international patents and published over 180 articles and reports. He contributed to 5 books.
Damir Novosel, IEEE Fellow since 2003, holds PhD and MSc, BSc degrees in electrical engineering from Mississippi State University (where he was a Fulbright scholar), the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and the University of Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, respectively. Dr. Novosel was selected Mississippi State University Distinguished Engineering Fellow.
Angella is the founder of Soleco and Rekamniar Frontier Ventures (“Rekamniar”). Rekamniar co-developed one of the largest solar plants in the Caribbean and the largest in Jamaica (51 MWp). Prior to this, Angella worked at Goldman Sachs in the Merchant Banking division (Principal Investment Area) in London and New York.
Prior to joining Goldman, she worked as part of the portfolio team at Sterling Stamos, a private investment management firm specialized in alternative and multi-asset investment solutions. She began her career as a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company in New York.
Angella has served as an advisor to Helios Investment Partners, a $3.0 billion private equity fund based in London focused on investments in Africa. She has also served on the Board of Directors for GK Capital Management, the financial advisory and investment arm of the GraceKennedy Group, and currently is a Director of PanJam Investment Limited, GK UK Foods, and JN Money Services, a subsidiary of the Jamaica National Building Society.
Angella holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge. She also graduated with a BA (magna cum laude) in Government from Harvard College.
Angella has traveled to >70 countries and lived on 3 continents. She is a keen motorcyclist, classical pianist, and has her private pilot license. She has also climbed 3 of the 7 summits.
Dr. Monique Darrisaw-Akil is the Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education,
Programs and Policy at the Brentwood School District. She is the founding principal
of the Academy of Urban Planning High School in Brooklyn.
Since coming to Brentwood, Dr. Darrisaw- Akil has developed a Middle School Literacy Initiative, a College Application Bootcamp, and implemented Restorative Justice programs in the Brentwood schools. Additionally, she established student-centered programs as the Girls, Inc. leadership program, the Friendship Club which promotes friendship between special needs students and their general education peers and the regionally recognized My Brother's Keeper program which provides mentoring, college and career support and leadership development for young men of color. Under Dr. Akil's leadership, Brentwood became the first community in Long Island to become a New York State My Brother's Keeper Community.
Dr. Darrisaw-Akil earned a B.A. and M.A. from Brooklyn College, CUNY and a doctorate in Educational Leadership, Management and Policy from Seton Hall University. She is a Trustee for the SUNY Old Westbury Foundation, the Economic Empowerment Chair of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Long Island and a "Big" with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Long Island. She has been a featured speaker for organizations such as the Urban League of Long Island, Coalition of Educating Boys of Color, and the Nation Alliance of Black School Educators. She has also been a guest on NPR discussing restorative justice, and has been featured in publications such as Newsday, New York Daily News and US News and World Report.
Paul R. Aiken, PhD.
Paul is CEO of Mona-Tech Engineering Services, a company he created to offer a wide range of engineering services, including O&M of UWI CHP plant. He was the chief technical consultant to The UWI in the development of its CHP plant. He created the Faculty of Engineering at UWI Mona, and was appointed Dean in 2018, a post he held for one year. He holds a PhD and MSc in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, NY, and an MPhil and a BSc in Physics from UWI, Mona. He is a Senior Member in IEEE and a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering.
Heidi leads manufacturers and technology companies through product development across engineering and operations so they are ready for rapid growth, using data-driven decision making and establishing best practices. She has over 25 years of experience in various roles of product and program development in avionics, satellite and terrestrial communications, environmental systems, data center management, IT, and manufacturing. Ms. Anderson received a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. She is a Senior Member of IEEE, and participates as mentor and advisor to engineering students and startups through many universities and national organizations.
Julia Bovey directs external affairs for the Equinor Wind US portfolio, including the development of the Empire Wind project off New York, building on a career spent expanding renewable energy policy and projects in leadership roles in advocacy, industry, and federal and state government.
Ms. Bovey first worked on offshore wind in 2004, when she left a 15-year career in journalism to join the Conservation Law Foundation in Boston. At CLF, she helped advance public support and regulatory policy for New England’s first proposed wind projects, as well as utility reform and energy efficiency.
Her work expanded to federal energy and climate policy when she moved to Washington to join the Natural Resources Defense Council, where she was part of the successful campaign for the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
These efforts lead to her appointment by President Obama to serve at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as Director of the Office of External Affairs, where she worked to gain the political and public support to break down the barriers preventing renewables, energy efficiency, and demand response from fair access to electric markets.
Next, she joined First Wind, then a leading independent developer of wind energy projects across the U.S. As Vice President, Federal Policy, she developed and promoted energy, environmental, and tax policy while also working with federal agencies, including the DoD, FAA, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to enable responsible, sustainable wind project development.
After Superstorm Sandy exposed the need to reform the electric grid on Long Island, Ms. Bovey was appointed the first-ever Long Island Director at the New York State Department of Public Service, where she also worked on New York’s nation-leading clean energy policy “Reforming the Energy Vision.”
Ms. Bovey worked as an independent consultant advising leading energy firms before joining Equinor’s US Wind team.
Ms. Bovey holds both a BA and an MS from Columbia University. She, her husband, and sons split their time between Brooklyn NY and Long Island’s remote southern barrier Fire Island.
Lisa has served as Suffolk County Energy Director since 2008 and also serves at the County’s Climate Action Coordinator. She led the County’s Climate Smart Communities certification effort and Suffolk County was certified as Silver, the highest award. Lisa was project manager on several large scale clean energy projects, including the Suffolk County Solar Carport Project. She collaborates on energy efficiency projects at County facilities and coordinates the County's applications to state and federal programs.
Lisa holds a Master's degree in Public Policy from Stony Brook University and was accredited as LEED AP. In 2015, Lisa was recognized as a Finalist by C3E Women in Energy in the Government category.
Brandon Burke joined the Business Network in 2019 as its director of Policy & Outreach. He plays a key role in defining and executing the Network’s offshore wind energy business development and policy strategies both on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and in the international context. He hosts Offshore Wind Insider, the Network’s popular bi-weekly podcast, which features interviews and analysis on breaking news and policy developments with industry leaders. He also represents the Network at domestic and international events, including speaking about developments in the U.S. offshore wind market and globally.
Prior to joining the Network, starting summer 2018 and into 2019, Brandon worked for the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU), where he advanced New Jersey’s offshore wind program by supporting the deliberative process that resulted in NJBPU’s June 2019 award of 1,100 megawatts to Ørsted’s Ocean Wind project. He also contributed to the efforts of the New Jersey Offshore Wind Inter-Agency Task Force, specifically the development of the New Jersey Offshore Wind Strategic Plan. Brandon had a hand in writing the 2019 Annual Report on New Jersey Offshore Wind and the Implementation of Executive Order No. 8, and NJBPU has cited his research and analysis efforts in multiple Board Orders (Sept. 17, 2018; June 21, 2019). He has also worked in the renewable energy context as a research assistant for the Kleinman Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and in the City of Philadelphia’s Energy Office. Prior to getting involved in offshore wind, he worked for six years as a civil trial attorney, on matters ranging from products liability, construction defects, premises liability, construction site and automobile accidents to consumer fraud and employment.
Brandon earned a Master of Environmental Studies (M.E.S.) from the University of Pennsylvania, with a Certificate in Energy Management and Policy from the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy. Prior, he earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Rutgers University School of Law, Camden. He also holds a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Criminology and Justice Studies from The College of New Jersey.
Brandon has been featured in Politico, S&P Global, E&E, Utility Div, RTO Insider and more. He has been a guest on two episodes of the Kleinman Center’s podcast, Energy Policy Now (July 24, 2018 and November 10, 2020). He has regularly published about offshore wind issues over the past several years, including spearheading the development of Network’s Offshore Wind Transmission White Paper, which was published during October 2020. Prior to joining the Network, the Kleinman Center published two of Brandon’s papers about offshore wind – U.S. Offshore Wind Power: An Industry in Motion (his master’s thesis), and Tilting at Windmills: The Emerging U.S. Offshore Wind Energy Industry.
In his spare time, Brandon likes to get off the grid and away from screens by going backpacking, camping, surfing, snowboarding, and kayaking. When he is closer to home, he enjoys playing musical instruments and recording music.
Lee Clark is the Environmental Justice Policy Manager for New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. A resident of Phillipsburg, Lee received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and master's degree in Business Communication from Rider University. Lee also graduated from the DiverseForce Leadership & Governance Program from the University of Pennsylvania.
Prior to his current work with state and municipal environmental justice policy, Lee managed New Jersey League of Conservation Voters’ and Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania’s bi-state volunteer ladder of engagement program within the Delaware River Watershed. Lee has also worked as the Field Director for New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund’s Green in ’17 campaign, an initiative to raise awareness around prominent environmental issues including clean energy, clean drinking water, open space preservation, and environmental justice.
Lee served on the Phillipsburg Town Council, becoming the first African American Councilman in the town’s 158-year history, and served on the Phillipsburg Housing Authority as a Commissioner, appointed by Governor Phil Murphy in 2019. With unanimous Freeholder Board support, Lee currently serves an appointment on the Warren County Local Advisory Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.
Adrienne P. Downey
Adrienne Downey is the Principal Engineer for Offshore Wind with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)’s Large-Scale Renewables Team. In this role she is responsible for leading NYSERDA’s offshore wind program, including running New York State’s procurement efforts for offshore wind, economic development, and stakeholder engagement efforts that will be critical in delivering the state’s nation-leading commitment of 9GW of offshore wind by 2035.
Adrienne joins NYSERDA from more than a decade’s experience in on-shore wind and consulting practice in climate adaptation and resiliency projects. She has worked internationally in Europe and across Canada across a range of roles in industrial and production engineering, supply chain localization and development strategy, operations management, business development, and policy and government affairs.
Jessica Enzmann is an organizing representative working in the electric and transportation sector with the Sierra Club. Jessica organizes Sierra Club's grassroots base to advocate for and be engaged with clean energy at the local and state level. Her responsibilities include supporting the buildout of offshore wind, local clean energy projects, and the advancement of clean transportation. In the past, Jessica has worked at the Town of Babylon as a Geographic Information Systems Environmental Analyst as well as at Seatuck Environmental Association as a Nature Center Coordinator.
Jessica holds a Master’s of Science in Environmental Studies from Adelphi University and a Bachelor’s of Science from Stony Brook University.
John Fraser-Mifsud (JFM) is Vice President of National Accounts & Design Centre Strategic Development for Daikin North America, a division of the world’s largest air conditioning company. John holds a Master’s degree in Architectural and Building Design Science and was recognized with several university awards from the University of Sydney. His research thesis on Thermal Comfort and Indoor Air Quality in the Built Environment earned honours and high distinction. In a career spanning more than 30 years, John has been at the forefront of variable speed compressor & heat pump technology, driving residential and commercial design solutions to achieve significant energy and carbon footprint reduction in buildings. He has been in the United states for over four years and is excited to be part of the largest HVAC market in the world as it transforms to high-end inverter-driven products.
Stephan J.G. Gift graduated with a BSc First Class Honours and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering. He was Head of Research and Development at Telecommunications Services of Trinidad & Tobago where he directed the development of advanced electronic systems and was granted an international patent. He is currently Professor of Electrical Engineering and Pro Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies & Research at The UWI. He was formerly Head of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at UWI, where he taught and conducted research in electrical systems and engineering science. He has published over 90 papers in international journals and in a series of papers has challenged a major physical theory.
David J. Goldstein is a mechanical engineer with over 13 years of experience designing HVAC systems in residential and commercial buildings in New York City and around the world. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in New York as well as LEED AP and WELL AP.
After New York City passed the Climate Mobilization Act in 2019 to mandate carbon emissions reductions from large buildings, David turned his attention towards helping the industry find solutions to this major challenge. In May 2020, David founded Hydronic Shell Technologies and is now devoted to the development and implementation of the Hydronic Shell to help transform buildings and communities around the world.
Peter Gollon earned his Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Columbia University in 1969. He then started working at what was to become Fermilab, the world's largest high energy physics research laboratory outside of Chicago; first participating in the design of the laboratory and ultimately becoming responsible for radiation safety at the 2000 person, 10 square mile laboratory.
He moved to Long Island in 1979, and for some years split his time between Brookhaven National Laboratory and a family business before devoting himself to just the latter. After retiring in 2007 he decided to put his science and business background to use through activism focused on climate change and renewable energy, and was Energy Chair for the Long Island Sierra Club from 2009 through 2016. In April 2016, Dr. Gollon received the "Environmental Vision for Sustainable Development" award from the Long Island Progressive Coalition.
He resigned his Sierra Club position when he was appointed one of nine trustees of the Long Island Power Authority.
Matt Gough is a senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club, working on building electrification policy across California. Matt has a background in community organizing and campaign advocacy, and currently resides in the bay area. Outside of work, you can find Matt hiking and biking in the hills of the bay area.
Clara Giustino is the Vice President of Project Development in the US Capital Delivery organization. Mrs. Giustino is responsible for the development of Electric and Gas complex capital projects for all National Grid territories in the United States. Her organization’s work enables National Grid’s Electric and Gas Business Units to provide reliable energy supply to its existing customers while driving efficiencies to position the Company for future energy needs.
Mrs. Giustino has over 29 years of experience in the natural gas industry having held National Grid positions in US Capital Delivery, Engineering, Construction, Gas Control Room Operations, Process and Performance Excellence. She has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and an MBA in Finance.
Shameika Hanson grew up in Long Island, NY. She obtained an Associate’s degree from Nassau Community College in Communications, with a focus on interpersonal relationship skills, in 2010. Subsequently, she attended Stony Brook University, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Humanities in May 2014. Upon graduating she moved to continue her career full time coordinating volunteers, music, and events for the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater Inc., a non-profit organization based in Beacon, NY. She later spent two years working for another 501-c3 called Mothers Out Front, organizing community members concerned about their children's future around eliminating fossil fuels. Shameika has since returned to Long Island where she works for The Nature Conservancy as a Community Protection Specialist. She works in her role to connect with community leaders, residents, and organizations in areas dealing with chronic flooding to help build local knowledge and capacity, so they can better adapt to the changing climate.
She is currently finishing her Professional Science Masters (PSM) in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England (AUNE) concentrating on Sustainable Development and Climate Change, with an additional certificate in climate change resilience. She currently volunteers as an Executive Board of the Long Island Progressive Coalition (LIPC) and is a council member for the State of Black Long Island (SOBLI) Equity Council through the Urban League of Long Island (ULLI). Shameika also serves as an Advisory Board member of Mycelium Youth Network (MYN), a California based youth education organization. She is a 2016 Environmental Leaders Program Eastern Region Fellow and a 2020 Hubbard Brook Research Foundation Young Voices of Science Fellow. Shameika serves as the Chair of the leadership team of the diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion steering committee of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP) and is currently an advisor in the equity working group for the next National Adaptation forum. Most recently, she was selected as one of Huntington Chamber of Commerce’s 30 Under 30 Young Professionals.
Jennifer Hayen is LIPA's Director of Communications. Ms. Hayen serves as LIPA's official
spokeswoman, directs LIPA's communications with media, stakeholders, and customers,
and oversees PSEG Long Island's communications efforts.
Ms. Hayen joined LIPA in January 2018 and previously served as LIPA's Manager of Communications and External Affairs. Prior to joining LIPA, Ms. Hayen worked in several capacities for the New York State Senate Majority Press Office and as Director of Communications for a Long Island State Senator.
Ms. Hayen received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a Master of Science from The Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.
Dr. Legena Henry
Dr. Legena Henry, PhD, is an MIT S.M. graduate, and a Mechanical Engineer, who is now the Lecturer for Renewable Energy at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, specializing in Renewable Energy and Applied Mechanics. Her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, represents the completion of "An Analytical Approach to the Statistical Moments associated with large ocean waves," which she started at the Center for Ocean Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she received an S.M. (Master of Science) in Mechanical Engineering. She researches sustainable energy sources in the Caribbean.
Dr. Elizabeth Hewitt is an assistant professor in the Department of Technology and Society at Stony Brook University. She is trained as an urban planner and social scientist, and her work explores human processes that impact energy and resilience in buildings and cities. Dr. Hewitt received her PhD from the Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy at Rutgers University, and her doctoral studies were funded by a National Science Foundation (NSF) IGERT fellowship for interdisciplinary energy research. While at Rutgers, she conducted research at the Rutgers Center for Green Building. Before her time at Rutgers, she worked for a number of years as an urban planning practitioner in New York City. She is LEED-accredited by the United States Green Building Council. Dr. Hewitt also holds a Master of Urban Planning (MUP) degree from New York University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the State University of New York, FIT.
Michael Jones-Bey serves as the Director for Con Edison’s Supplier Diversity and Sustainability
Program. He is responsible for leading the company’s efforts to incorporate sustainable
Supply Chain business practices while increasing contract opportunities for Minority
and Women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) in ways that strategically support the
company’s commitment to environmental stewardship and promoting economic growth within
the communities it serves.
Prior to joining Con Edison, Michael served as Executive Director of one of the nation’s largest public-sector Supplier Diversity Programs, where he was responsible for revitalizing the New York State certification program, agency compliance, and business development initiatives. Targeted industry sector capacity building and market access programs resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of additional contract opportunities for MWBEs in the construction, renewable energy, and information technology industries. New opportunities in the financial services industry surpassed $1 billion. Michael also spearheaded the State’s disparity study and worked on historic legislation to create one of the strongest MWBE laws in the nation. This legislation has made it possible for New York State agencies and authorities to more than double MWBE expenditures.
Michael is a champion for corporate sustainability and a leading proponent for recruiting talented minority and women entrepreneurs into the energy industry. His work has been recognized nationally. He has received over 20 awards from the public and private sector. Michael earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Northeastern University. He is married, and the proud father of a 14-year-old son.
Randy Koon Koon
Dr. Randy Koon Koon is currently a lecturer in renewable energy at the Department of Physics, The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus. His desire for enhanced renewable energy integration throughout the Caribbean coupled with active research in renewable technologies and energy efficiency methods positions him as an avid renewable energy advocate. UWI through the Alternative Energy Research Group which Randy leads continues to foster and has enhanced its relation to the private sector with companies such as Wigton Wind Farm, SolarBuzz, and Green Solutions International, which promotes the exchange of research data, training and certification of students.
Ryan Madden is a climate activist and organizer with a BA in Political Science & Environmental Studies from SUNY Binghamton. He has experience working with civil society groups within United Nations climate change conferences, with non-profits on community-based energy efficiency programs, and with grassroots organizations on renewable energy advocacy and climate legislative campaigns. He currently serves as the Sustainability Organizer for the Long Island Progressive Coalition where he leads efforts for energy democracy and climate justice in New York State. Most recently, he was instrumental in efforts alongside the statewide NY Renews coalition in passing NYs landmark climate bill, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
Rosemary Mascali is an advocate for sustainable transportation. As Co-Chair of the USGBC-LI Sustainable Transportation Committee, she educates USGBC-LI members and the public on the impact of transportation on the environment and best practices for sustainable transportation, in order to improve Long Island’s air quality, reduce greenhouse emissions and increase mobility options. She also chairs the Education and Outreach Committee of Drive Electric Long Island, whose mission is to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles on Long Island.
Tara represents EmPower Solar as the Chair of the Long Island Solar & Storage Alliance
where she is the government liaison for policy issues related to solar and energy
Tara earned her BA in Sociology at SUNY Stony Brook and her Master of Public Administration at CUNY Baruch, both with a focus on environmental studies. She is also a “Semester at Sea” alumni, where she completed part of her degree while traveling at sea through several different global ports. In 2011, she was one of four U.S. Climate Change Professional Fellows for the Australia cohort, where she worked with Australian researchers, industries, and advocates dealing with energy and climate issues.
Prior to joining the EmPower Solar team, Tara was the Long Island Program Coordinator for Citizens Campaign for the Environment, where she organized educational and advocacy campaigns on various environmental issues on Long Island. She also spent three years as a “Young Island” blogger for the Long Island Business News. She has been active in various professional and environmental organizations, including the C3E Women in Energy group on LI. Tara also co-founded two nonprofit organizations focused on smart growth and keeping young professionals on Long Island.
In 2018, Tara was named one of the Top 50 Women in Business by the Long Island Business News. She was also inducted into the Social Justice Distinguished Scholar Academy for her work in environmental justice issues in collaboration with Farmingdale State College.
As a charity boxer for the 2018 Long Island Fight for Charity, Tara raised over $18,000 for non-profits across Long Island. In her spare time, Tara enjoys hiking around Long Island’s parks or playing weekly beach volleyball with the EmPower Solar company team. Tara’s family has taken on the “Electrify Your Life” challenge, and recently moved into a 100% solar powered home which powers 100% of her energy needs including a geothermal heating and cooling system, and an electric vehicle.
Sarah Oral is a Civil Engineering Director in the Planning and Civil/Site Engineering Groups at Cameron Engineering & Associates in Woodbury. A professional engineer and LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design and Construction, Sarah has over 17 years of experience encompassing the fields of transportation, planning and sustainability planning, design, and analysis. Sarah is currently managing several transportation projects, such as the analysis and design of a 2-mile section of roadway that incorporates drainage and Complete Streets elements to mitigate current flooding and convert a car-centric corridor to one that supports pedestrians and bicyclists. Sarah is currently serving as Long Island coordinator for the Clean Energy Communities program for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), in which she assists local governments in completing high-impact actions items that reduce energy reliance, save money, foster a vibrant economy and improve the environment. She is a member of the USGBC-LI Sustainable Transportation Committee, serves on the steering committees of the Drive Electric Long Island Coalition and the Long Island Solar Roadmap Consortium, and serves on the Board of Directors of Vision Long Island. Sarah established an Affinity group at Cameron Engineering for the female technical staff and has served as a Trustee in the Village of Roslyn since 2013.
Mr. Pally was selected as the Chief Executive Officer of the Long Island Builders Institute in December 2010. The Long Island Builders Institute is the largest home building trade association in New York State, representing all parts of the home construction industry. From 2005-2019, Mr. Pally served on the Suffolk County representative to the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the largest mass transit operator in the world.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Pally was the partner in charge of government relations for the Weber Law group, one of Long Island’s leading real estate law firms from 2006 to 2010.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Pally served as the Vice-President for Governmental Affairs for the Long Island Association from 1992 to 2006. He was responsible for all governmental and community activities of the Association. Mr. Pally was associated with the LIA since August 1985 when he was appointed Director of Legislative and Economic Affairs. Established in 1926, the LIA is the region’s largest business and civic organization with more than 3,000 member firms and organizations employing more than 400,000 people.
Prior to his service with the LIA, Mr. Pally held a number of positions in the New York State Legislature. From 1975 to 1983, Mr. Pally served in various capacities to the New York State Senate Committee on Transportation and the Legislative Commission on Critical Transportation Choices. From 1983 to 1985, Mr. Pally was the Chief Counsel to the Committee and the Commission. During his service to the Senate, Mr. Pally played a key role in the drafting and passage of such important transportation legislation as the first in the nation seatbelt law, child restraint law, the Transportation Bond Issues of 1983 and 1979, reserved parking spaces for disabled drivers and others.
Jessica Price is Renewable Energy Strategy Lead for the Nature Conservancy in New York. With an interdisciplinary background, Jessica applies both natural and social science expertise to develop strategies that address large-scale challenges affecting both people and nature, including clean energy solutions to meet New York’s ambitious renewable energy mandates and combat climate change, projects to build community resilience to climate change, and nature-based approaches to improve the health of people and ecosystems in urban landscapes. Among her recent projects is the Long Island Solar Roadmap, which maps low-impact sites for commercial and utility-scale solar on Long Island and identifies a set of strategies for lowering barriers to development at those sites while maximizing benefits to our region. Jessica received her PhD in Landscape Ecology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison where she was a National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Fellow.
Henry Red Cloud
While he grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, Henry Red Cloud lived away from the reservation for over a decade. When he returned home as an adult in 1992 he was struck by the despondency he found there and has been working to provide hope to his people ever since. Driven by his desire to make a significant improvement in the life of each tribal family, Henry began to focus on residential-scale renewable energy options at the turn of the millennium.
Henry’s efforts to bring sustainable energy solutions to Indian Country have earned both national and international recognition:
In 2018 Henry was selected as an MIT Oceti Sakowin Fellow in recognition of his efforts at Standing Rock and bringing energy independence to tribal communities. He also won an e-Achievement Award from eTown Radio which broadcasted his interview to more than 30 countries. Check out the interview here.
In 2016, he was honored by the Red Cloud family to carry the pipe that was smoked at the 1868 Laramie Treaty by his great grandfather, Mahpiya Luta (Chief Red Cloud) into the headsmen council fire discussions at the Standing Rock Oceti Sakowin (Water Protector) camp and speak on behalf of Mahpiya Luta. While there, he helped power up the camps by providing two mobile solar power stations, 11 off-grid solar furnaces and many solar lights.
In 2014, he was selected by the White House as a Champion of Change for Solar Deployment. He also received the 2014 Berea College Service Award and the Oglala Lakota Service Award. The American Solar Energy Society honored Henry with the prestigious 2013 Charles Greeley Abbot Award for his significant social contribution to the field of solar energy.
In 2012, he traveled to Vienna to receive the World Energy Globe Award in both the “Youth” and overall “World” categories. Henry received the 2010 Annual Innovation Award from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, as well as special recognition from the 2010 Nuclear Free Future Award. In 2009, Henry was named Innovative Idea Champion by the Corporation for Enterprise Development and shared his concept of renewable energy on tribal lands at the national Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C. in 2009.
Tara Schneider-Moran is a Senior Conservation Biologist for the Town of Hempstead, Department
of Conservation & Waterways, with over 18 years experience. During this time, she
has written and managed over $9 Million in grant funding. Her career with the Town
of Hempstead has become multi-faceted; as a biologist, her work has focused on wildlife populations
and habitat management, and early on in her career, has expanded beyond biology and
into renewable energy and sustainability initiatives for the Town. She has spearheaded many
clean energy initiatives including the construction of a 100 kW wind turbine in Point
Lookout, which powers the production of zero emissions hydrogen for fuel cell electric vehicles;
publicly available solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations; a net-zero shellfish
hatchery; and the development of the Town’s Energy & Sustainability Master Plan, which
includes an Energy Consumption Inventory and Greenhouse Gas emissions inventory. As
a result of these and other innovative projects, the Town has been recognized as a NYSERDA
Clean Energy Community. As the Town’s NYS Climate Smart Communities Coordinator, Ms.
Schneider-Moran has assisted the Town of Hempstead with achieving Bronze Certification
in this challenging state-wide program. Ms. Schneider-Moran currently serves as the
Chair for the Nassau County Soil & Water Conservation District, and is active on many
committees including the Long Island Solar Roadmap Steering Committee, Drive Electric
Long Island Infrastructure Committee, Long Island Clean Energy Leadership Taskforce,
and the South Shore Blueway Advisory Committee. In 2020, she was a Finalist for
the US Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) Award. Ms. Schneider-Moran earned her degree from Cornell University.
Dr. Shruti Sharma is Program Manager for the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC), a NYS Center of Excellence, the Clean Energy Business Incubator Program (CEBIP), and the Thermomechanical Imaging and Nanoscale Characterization (ThINC) Core Facility, located at Stony Brook University (SBU). Dr. Sharma has 10+ years of technical experience in advanced nanomaterials synthesis, microscopy, spectroscopy, and data analytics and 3+ years of business development experience. Drawing on her materials science and engineering background combined with her business development experience, Dr. Sharma is committed to help stakeholders from industries, start-ups, research institutes, governmental agencies and nonprofits by enabling relevant networking connections, one-on-one mentorship as well as driving productive user experience.
Her education includes B.Tech. with Honors in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IITB), India and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Stony Brook University.
Stanley is employed at the University of the West Indies, Mona (UWI) where he is at the forefront of its energy management program. He is integrally involved in the design, development, implementation and oversight of the Campus' energy conservation and efficiency programme, which also includes verification of energy conservation and efficiency measures; energy policy formulation and development; energy awareness programmes; alternative energy technology projects; and sustainable energy management research.
Stanley is currently pursuing a PhD in Sustainable Development at UWI. During the period September 2018 to October 2019, He was a visiting PhD researcher at the Centre for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Surrey located in the United Kingdom on a Commonwealth Scholarship. His PhD research focuses on using data to address some of the technical and policy challenges of integrating distributed energy resources into a power grid, such as Jamaica's. He is also an adjunct lecturer in his area of expertise at UWI and at the University of Technology.
Stanley is a graduate of the University of the West Indies Mona with a bachelor's degree in Electronics and Computer Science (double major). He has a MPhil degree in Physics, which focused on sustainable energy management and energy information Systems, that was awarded with high commendation in 2014. He is an Association of Energy Engineers 'Legends in Energy,' a Certified Energy Manager and a Commonwealth Scholar. He has over fifteen years track record of achievements and accomplishments in energy engineering and sustainable energy management in the Caribbean and has successfully designed and implemented numerous energy conservation and efficiency, and renewable energy technology projects.
In addition, Stanley provides consultancy services in his areas of expertise to private and public sector entities both in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean region. For example, he has worked with the: Jamaican Government in the development of its National Energy Policy; Bureau of Standards Jamaica in the continued development of Jamaica's energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment; CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) in development of a regional energy efficiency building code; and CARICOM Secretariat in regional energy policy and initiatives.
A global technologist, innovator, catalyst and philanthropist with Fortune 100 business experience, Mrs. Erica Simmons' professional career has included a successful 25 years in the enterprise software technology industry holding strategic roles for Siemens AG (Munich, Germany), Oracle Corporation (Redwood City, CA) and Expedia (Seattle, WA). At Siemens AG, one of the world’s largest engineering companies, she accomplished patent applications for software products which made her the first black woman in the division to achieve this milestone. Today, she is the Executive Director for Jamaica’s first 4th Industrial Revolution technology R&D centre located at the Caribbean Maritime University in Kingston, Jamaica. A published journal author, a recognized connector and change agent, Mrs. Simmons is a sought-after public speaker on innovation, digital transformation, product lifecycle development, STEM technology and the Future of Work. Mrs. Simmons is the 2021 Chairwoman of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Jamaica Section. The IEEE is one of the world’s largest professional technical associations and standards bodies.
Joyce Smith is the Executive Assistant District Attorney for the Community Relations Division of the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office. In that capacity, she oversees five program offices including Recruitment, Immigrant Affairs, Victim Services and school-based programming, Community Affairs as well as the NCDA’s Community Partnership Program Office in Hempstead. To further District Attorney Madeline Singas’ vision for proactive community engagement, she created eight advisory councils comprised of faith leaders, business owners, students, and affinity-group members from a wide range of leaders in the African American, Hispanic, South Asian and Asian communities of Nassau County. Ms. Smith is currently working to expand these advisory councils into regional or community-based membership, which will afford additional opportunities for collaboration among the police, prosecutors and the communities they serve.
Ms. Smith maintains an interest in developing new and unique opportunities to enhance NCDA’s community engagement efforts. She has broadened the office’s participation in the annual National Night Out Against Crime events that take place at police precincts and parks around the country. Ms. Smith is a member of the Hempstead Prevention Coalition that was created by the Family and Children’s Association to address substance abuse and addiction in Hempstead Village. In addition, she is working closely with the County Executive’s team responsible for the development of the Nassau County Family Justice Center, which will provide important resources for families in crisis and survivors of intimate partner violence.
Ms. Smith came to the Nassau D.A.’s office with a rich background in both criminal and civil justice. Her prior service included four years as a staff attorney in the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ Office of the General Counsel; three years with the NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, where she served as Executive Director for the Bronx Family Justice Center, and then Deputy Chief of Staff for OCDV headquarters; and fourteen years with the Queens D.A., where she specialized in prosecuting domestic violence cases, eventually rising to the position of Unit Chief in the Special Prosecutions Division. She is currently an Adjunct Professor for Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law and Nassau Community College, where she teaches various courses in the law and criminal justice. She previously taught undergraduate criminal justice courses for Monroe College, University of Maryland, and the Community College of Baltimore County. She has written or edited numerous scholarly works on police-community relations and law enforcement best practices. Ms. Smith was raised in Hollis, Queens, and is a graduate of Adelphi University and Howard University School of Law.
Michelle Somers is the Program Support Manager of Electric Vehicles for PSEG Long Island. She works in the company’s energy efficiency department and is charged with the development, marketing and administration of the company’s Electric Vehicles program.
Michelle is committed to supporting municipalities, businesses and individuals in adopting electric vehicles across Long Island with opportunities that encourage the build-out of efficient and reliable infrastructure for EVs.
Prior to joining PSEG Long Island, Michelle managed marketing and communications in the technology, financial and retail industries. Michelle earned a B.A. in Media & Communications, and an A.A. in Advertising & Communications from SUNY Empire State College.
Michael Taylor is Professor of Climate Science and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology at the Mona campus of The UWI. He is the co-director of the Climate Studies Group, Mona (CSGM). He was a Coordinating Lead Author for Chapter 3 of the Special Report on 1.5 Degrees of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Patricia Watts is President and CEO of Faith Com Inc., dba/FCI Management (FCI). Founded
in 1998, FCI is an energy/water consulting company offering a broad level of expertise
in energy/water efficiency services. Today, FCI is a certified, woman owned, minority,
corporation, headquartered in Long Beach, CA with offices in New York and Georgia.
Ms. Watts developed her knowledge and skills from an expansive 24-year career in the electric utility industry with Southern California Edison. During which time she held management and supervisory positions in customer service, energy services, marketing, public affairs, and community relations. This experience allowed her to acquire an in-depth knowledge of the electric utility industry in both the regulated and deregulated environments.
Ms. Watts is very active in the community and illustrates her commitment through work on several community-based organization's boards.. She is a member of the Board of Directors of "Goals for Life" a non-profit organization that provides mentoring programs for at-risk students. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Community Build, a non-profit community development organization which focuses on bringing capital investments into South Central Los Angeles. Ms. Watts is on the board of Koreatown Youth Community Center (KYCC), Ujima Housing Development Corporation, California Black Chamber of Commerce the American Association of Blacks in Energy-CA . She serves as a member of the Low-Income Oversight Board (LIOB) under the CPUC and SCE Consumer Advisory Panel.
Ms. Watts has received numerous awards for her work in the energy efficiency community. In 2012, she was awarded the Minority Green Energy Firm of the Year, selected by the Mayor's Office of Economic & Business Policy, MBDA City of LA; and the NAWBO-LA Leadership & Legacy Award Winner-Hall of Fame Inductee of women business owners. In 2014, FCI was named the National Minority Contractors Association-California Minority Contractor of the Year. In 2015, FCI was named the Minority Business Development Agency Green Energy Firm of the Year. In 2016, she was inducted into the Black Leaders Hall of Fame for Excellence in Community and Philanthropy. In 2017, she was selected as Southern California Edison's Black History Month Energy Efficiency Champion, and named the Black Business Association's Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year.
Ms. Watts majored in Business Management at the University of La Verne, California. She attended the Minority Business Executive Program and the Advanced Minority Business Executive Program, at the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth University. In June of 2013, Ms. Watts was selected to attend NMSDC's Advanced Management Education Program, Kellogg Executive Education. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. In 2017, she was certified as an Energy Efficiency Practitioner.