Offshore Wind Conference Speakers

Steve Bellone Headshot

Steve Bellone

Suffolk County Executive

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.



Dr. John Nader Headshot

Dr. John Nader

President - Farmingdale State College

Dr. John S. Nader became President of Farmingdale State College in July 2016.

Dr. Nader has focused on the development of new academic programs, building partnerships with private industries and community colleges, advancing applied learning opportunities, expanding support for student scholarships, improving student services, and enhancing buildings and grounds. 

Of late, FSC earned recognition from the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges, was designated as a Tree USA campus by the Arbor Day Foundation, and attained Carnegie Community Engagement Classification.

Dr. Nader works to deepen engagement with campus constituencies and the broader community, hosting an annual legislative breakfast for leaders across Long Island and sponsoring civic and business group meetings with Farmingdale’s leadership team.

He is a member of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council and co-chair of its Workforce and Education Committee. He serves on the executive committee of the Long Island Regional Advisory Council on Higher Education and as chair of the Skyline Athletic Conference. 

From 2009 to 2016, Dr. Nader was Provost at SUNY Delhi. He spent sixteen years in elective office, including four years as Mayor of the City of Oneonta.

He received a BA in Politics from Ithaca College and an MA and a PhD in Economics from the New School for Social Research. 



Tom Suozzi Headshot

Tom Suozzi

Congressman (NY-3)

Congressman Tom Suozzi (NY-3), a noted environmentalist and Founder and Chairman of the Congressional Labor Caucus, has spent his entire life in public service advocating for the protection of New York’s environment and the labor movement. 

As the former mayor of his hometown of Glen Cove and as the former Nassau County Executive, Suozzi made a name for himself by protecting open space, and cleaning up  superfund sites and water pollution across Long Island. His efforts resulted in him being named the NYS Environmentalist of the Year by the League of Conservation Voters. He was also recognized by then Vice President Al Gore as a "Brownfield's Champion." 
Since being elected to Congress, Suozzi as the Co-Chair of the Long Island Sound Caucus has helped increased federal funding to protect Long Island Sound by nearly 800%. He recently championed Solar and Geothermal Tax Credits to dramatically increase green energy.   

Suozzi currently serves on the Ways and Means Committee and is Vice Chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. 



Lisa Broughton Headshot

Lisa Broughton

Energy Director - Suffolk County

Lisa has served as Suffolk County Energy Director since 2008. She 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. She is a liaison with LIPA, PSEG LI and National Grid, and works closely with energy companies and environmental groups.

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.



Barbara Christe Headshot

Dr. Barbara Christe

Dean - School of Engineering Technology - Farmingdale State College

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.



Marjaneh Issapour Headshot

Marjaneh Issapour

Associate Dean for Innovation and Economic Development in Sustainable Energy and Director of the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Center - Farmingdale State College 

Marjaneh Issapour is currently the Associate Dean for Innovation and Economic Development in Sustainable Energy at Farmingdale State College.

Her area of research is Renewable and Alternative energy sources. She has expertise in statistical modeling of various energy related quantities and factors. She is also knowledgeable in networking technologies and has devoted most of her research to applications related to alternative energy sources; specifically, she has worked on statistical modeling for energy intensity. She is currently involved with drinking water quality research along with her students.

She is an Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Senior member and currently chairs the Educational Activities Committee and Power and Energy Society of the (IEEE)-Long Island Section. She was the chair of IEEE- Long Island Section (2017). She is also a member of the Manufacturing and Technology Resource Consortium (MTRC) Advisory Board, Farmingdale State College's representative for the Engineering Joint Commission of Long Island (EJCLI), was the Chair of the IEEE-Long Island Section (2017), is on the IEEE Region 1 Board of Governors (BoG) with the position of Educational Activities Committee Chair (2018), is Farmingdale State College's representative for Long Island Regional Advisory Council on Higher Education (LIRACHE), is the chair of the USGBC's "Drive Electric Long Island" steering committee, a member of the workforce development subcommittee of American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), a member of the offshore wind wildlife & permitting of AWEA's subcommittee, and a member of PSEG Long Island's Environmental Advisory Committee.

She was the recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service by the SUNY Chancellor and Board of Trustees in 2007. The Chancellor's Award is a prestigious award within the SUNY system and is awarded only to those candidates who have a record of consistently superior performance and a long commitment to the SUNY system. She was recognized by the New York State Society Of Professional Engineers Suffolk County Chapter for excellence in leadership and performance as a professional engineer in education (2015), is the recipient of IEEE-Long Island’s Athanasius Papoulis Outstanding Educator Award (2017) and the “Excellence for Women in Technology Award”, from the Association of Technology Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) (2019).



Patricia Malone Headshot

Patricia Malone

Associate Vice President for Professional Education and Assistant Vice President for Engaged Learning

School of Professional Development - Stony Brook University

Pat Malone was named Associate Vice President for Professional Education and Assistant Vice President for Engaged Learning in the School of Professional Development in 2019.  In addition, she is Executive Director of the Center for Corporate Education, serving over 1,000 professionals annually. 
Presenting nationally and internationally on the universities role in workforce, economic development and clean energy jobs, Malone has facilitated numerous forums with labor, education and industry including three Federal Department of Labor National Transformational Forums for the WIRED Grants and NYSERDA focus groups. 

In 2008 Malone created the global award winning “Wall Street and Beyond” certificate program in collaboration with the Project Management Institute and the USGBC-LI to assist over 2,000 dislocated professionals. She has conducted clean energy, manufacturing and aerospace labor market intelligence and development projects for the New York State Department of Labor, NYSERDA and the Governors’ Regional Economic Development Councils Opportunity Agenda. Malone is the Long Island Director for Workforce for the new Manufacturing Extension Partnership. 

She is a member of the Suffolk County Workforce Development Board, the REDC Workforce and Education Committee, founding chair of the Outreach, Engagement and Economic Development Network for the University Professional Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) and served on the inaugural editorial board for their digital publication, UNBOUND. 

She holds a BA from the University of Dayton, an MA from Stony Brook University and co-edited the Jossey Bass publication “Enhancing Creativity in Adult and Continuing Education” and is the recipient of City and State’s “Corporate Social Responsibility Award.”



Doreen Harris Headshot

Doreen Harris

President and CEO - New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

Doreen M. Harris is the president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), a public benefit corporation that advances innovative energy solutions to improve New York State’s economy and environment. 
Ms. Harris has held public and private sector leadership roles advancing clean energy projects and engineering companies for more than 20 years.  
During her 10 years of public service, she has held executive, technical, and policy positions at NYSERDA. Most recently, as Vice President of Large-Scale Renewables, she oversaw the State’s nation-leading advancement of renewable resources under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, including the development of offshore wind. Before embarking on a career in public service, Ms. Harris spent more than a decade in the energy sector, serving in management and engineering roles.  
Ms. Harris earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Rochester and a Master of Business Administration from the University at Albany.



Tom Falcone Headshot

Thomas Falcone

CEO - Long Island Power Authority

Thomas Falcone is the Chief Executive Officer of the Long Island Power Authority, the third largest publicly owned electric utility in the United States. Mr. Falcone joined LIPA in 2014 as Chief Financial Officer and became CEO in 2015. 

Since 2014, LIPA has reduced power outages by 35 percent, signed agreements for over 1,000 megawatts of clean and distributed energy, obtained four credit-rating upgrades, and invested over $4.2 billion in Long Island's electric grid. 
Mr. Falcone serves on New York's Climate Action Council, the 22-member board that adopts the plans to achieve the State's greenhouse gas reduction targets, including a zero-carbon power sector by 2040 and an 85 percent reduction in state-wide emissions by 2050. 

Mr. Falcone is Vice Chair of the board of the Large Public Power Council and a member of the advisory board of the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at Stony Brook University. Mr. Falcone also participates in the Energeia Partnership, a think-tank organization focused on challenges facing Long Island. 
Prior to joining LIPA, Mr. Falcone was an investment banker and advisor to publicly owned utilities and state and local governments. In that role, Mr. Falcone raised more than $25 billion for infrastructure investments across the country. Mr. Falcone received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. 



Philip Jordan Headshot

Philip Jordan

Vice-President - BW Research Partnership

Philip Jordan is the Vice-President of BW Research Partnership, leading the firms’ Massachusetts office. His work focuses on the impact of talent on economic prosperity and sustainable communities, and his personal passion is developing solutions that provide expanded opportunities for the most underserved populations. Mr. Jordan is a Senior Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he focuses on talent development in the age of globalization and automation. 
Mr. Jordan has extensive experience studying the innovation economy, in particular, energy and ICT.  He has authored dozens of reports including The United States Energy and Employment Report (USEER), The Solar Foundation's annual Solar Jobs Census, American Clean Power’s Labor Supply Study, the Natural Resource Defense Council's American Wind Farms Report, solar and wind labor Market analyses for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and numerous local reports for workforce boards, community colleges, and municipalities.  Phil has worked in private industry, academia, and government, including the California Community Colleges, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the United States Senate. He lives and works in Wrentham, Massachusetts. 



Jessica Dealy Headshot

Jessica Dealy

Senior Policy Advisor for Offshore Wind - NYSERDA

As a Senior Policy Advisor for Offshore Wind at NYSERDA, Jessica leads Stakeholder Outreach as well as Workforce Development and Equity for New York State’s Offshore Wind Program. Jessica has nearly 10 years of experience working in wind energy development. Her prior experience includes working within the technical field of wind resource assessment with onshore wind developers OwnEnergy and EDF Renewables. In 2018, Jessica entered the offshore wind industry when she joined Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind as their External Affairs Lead. She took on a range of responsibilities for the Shell/EDF-R Joint Venture including managing Stakeholder Engagement, Public Relations, and Government Relations. Prior to her career in renewable energy, Ms. Dealy worked as an award-winning on-air meteorologist and news reporter. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s in Meteorology/Climatology and a Master’s in Environmental Geoscience from Mississippi State University.



Ross Gould Headshot

Ross Gould

Vice President for Supply Chain Development - Business Network for Offshore Wind

Ross is the Network’s vice president for Supply Chain Development. He joined the Business Network in 2020 and oversees the Network’s growth and evolution of the offshore wind supply chain as well as the offshore wind industry’s workforce development. He is responsible for designing, developing, and coordinating the Network’s Northeast Corridor strategy and planning, policy and regulatory engagement, programs, projects, research, events, and activities.  
Ross has experience in private, public, and non-profit sectors. Before following his passion for energy, Ross spent almost 10 years as an attorney. During the latter half of that time, he spent more time reading news stories, journal articles and books about energy than focusing on his legal work. In 2007, Ross attended an evening continuing education class at NYU that focused on the use of natural resources and energy. From this moment, Ross was hooked on the energy sector.    
In 2010, Ross became the Air & Energy Program Director at Environmental Advocates of NY working on clean energy jobs, energy efficiency, renewable energy, state energy planning, siting of electricity generation and global warming. In 2015, Ross joined Workforce Development Institute. At WDI Ross focused on growing the workforce and supply chain of the offshore wind industry. Ross is a thought leader, authoring or co-authoring several papers including “New York State and the Jobs of Offshore Wind Energy.” He also has written numerous articles and blog posts about the renewable energy industry and he has spoken on the topics of workforce and supply chain at a number of offshore wind and renewable energy conferences.   
Ross has a J.D. from the Maurice A. Deane Law School at Hofstra University and a B.A. from Emory University where he majored in psychology.  
Ross lives in Hudson Valley, New York with his partner Allison and two daughters Gia and Sada. He enjoys cooking farm fresh local food and taking hikes in the Catskill Mountains. While Ross cannot play any musical instrument, he enjoys listening to live free spirited music that makes your shoulders move. Most of all he loves spending time with his family and being a dad. 



Alex Obell Nielsen Headshot

Alex Øbell Nielsen

Head of Business Development - Maersk Training

Alex Øbell Nielsen is Head of Business Development at Maersk Training in Denmark. Maersk Training is a separate business unit under A.P. Moller – Maersk.  

For the past 4 years, Alex has been responsible for establishing new Maersk Training centers or partnerships in new and emerging wind markets such as Asia, Europe and North America. Furthermore, Alex is responsible for Maersk Training’s strategic initiative on Global Wind Projects, supporting 14 globally placed Maersk Training centers, in delivering training services to the wind industry.



Matthew Aracich Headshot

Matthew Aracich

President - Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk County

Matthew Aracich is one of four children born to his Heat and Frost Insulator father, including a set of identical twins, of which he is one. His father’s father was also a Heat and Frost Insulator eclipsing a 100 year heritage in his Local Union. Born in the Bronx, he moved to Bayshore, Long Island in his teens. He initially worked as a commercial diver, and then went to work for the U.S. government, first doing geological surveys, then as a Heavy Equipment Operator for the U.S. Navy. In July of 1985, he followed in the family footsteps by becoming a Heat and Frost Insulator in his own right. In 1988, he became a Mechanic, and a Foreman. He worked for one company almost exclusively while he was employed as a mechanic in the construction trade.

In 1999, he became President of Local 12, then, in 2004, Financial Secretary. In 2012 he started his tenure as Business Manager and Financial Secretary, which continued until January 2018 where he was unanimously elected the President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties representing 37 Affiliates. Matthew represents the Council in all capacities in political activities while securing strategies to grown more market share for the Labor Unions.

His accomplishments during his tenure are many and his talents have not gone unnoticed from those in the sphere of government. He has often been asked to testify on energy issues to legislators and government agencies, and was even invited to the White House during the Obama Administration, where he gave a presentation on the benefits of Mechanical Insulation.



Mikkel Maehlisen Headshot

Mikkel Maehlisen

Director of Operations, North America - Orsted

Mikkel Maehlisen is an experienced leader within the wind industry, and has been developing and leading operational organizations in various different parts of the world. He has gained valuable knowledge and experience from developing greenfield operational projects in France, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Holland and the US. 
Mr. Maehlisen joined the wind industry in 1999 with the Onshore market taking off. In 2009 he converted to the offshore part of the industry and has spent the last 8 years with Ørsted. He is currently living and working in Boston, MA. 



Erik Antokal Headshot

Erik Antokal

Director of Workforce Development - Ørsted

Erik Antokal, Ørsted’s Director of Workforce Development is an experienced program designer and worker advocate specializing in skilled trades careers and inclusion of over-burdened groups in those careers. He specializes in building racial and gender equity through mutually beneficial union, community and employer partnerships, and he is especially focused on construction, operations careers in the offshore wind industry. Most recently, Erik spent seven years practicing workforce development in the construction and utilities industries, at Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW), a nonprofit that prepares women for union trade careers and at FC Modular, an ambitious venture to mass-produce high rise buildings in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Erik is a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program and of Tufts University. 



Harriet Green Headshot

Harriet Green

Operations Manager for Empire Wind and Beacon Wind - Equinor

Harriet Green is the Operations Manager for Empire Wind and Beacon Wind, working for Equinor within their Renewables business. She comes from a Mechanical Engineering background and has spent the last 9 years working in technical and project management roles in the offshore wind industry, predominantly focusing on Operations and Maintenance for operational sites and development projects. She has degrees in Mechanical Engineering with Business Management and Renewable Energy Systems Engineering from the University of Manchester and the University of Surrey respectively. Harriet is passionate about growing an inclusive and diverse workforce and connecting local communities to pathways into the offshore wind industry.



Jamie Shellenberger-Bessmann Headshot

Jamie Bessmann

Community Engagement Manager - Attentive Energy

As Community Engagement Manager at Attentive Energy, Jamie is working to establish smart and authentic relationships with the communities and leaders who are instrumental to the success of clean energy deployment in the United States.

Prior to Attentive Energy, Jamie served in senior communications roles in-house and at some of the world’s largest PR firms focusing on energy, finance and technology clients. Most recently, she led communications for the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.

Jamie holds a master’s degree in international relations and economics from Johns Hopkins SAIS and a bachelor’s degree in international business from NYU’s Stern School of Business.



Matt Raymond Headshot

Matthew Raymond

Vice President of UG T&D and Emerging Markets - Haugland Energy Group LLC

Mathew Raymond serves as the Vice President of Underground and Emerging Markets at Haugland Energy Group LLC in Melville, NY. Mr. Raymond oversees Haugland Energy’s Underground Transmission Division, with a targeted focus on the offshore wind industry and various renewable energy industries.

Mr. Raymond’s experience with offshore wind began when the first U.S. offshore wind turbines were installed off the coast of Block Island. Since then, he has been involved in several ventures in support of offshore wind, from port infrastructure development, transmission cable routing and installations, building tower teams for offshore electrical installations, and substation/converter station expansions.

Mr. Raymond was responsible for over 50 miles of high-voltage underground transmission installations with Haugland Energy. He served as the lead project manager for the Western Nassau Transmission Project during its 10-month construction period of the eight miles of 138kV underground transmission line. Mr. Raymond also led the seven-mile Orange to McCarter 230kV transmission project in Newark, NJ to a successful completion.

Prior to joining to Haugland Energy in 2015, Mr. Raymond held several roles of increasing responsibility with ABB and CB&I. He has a notable project list, working for clients that include: PSE&G, PSE&GLI, Orsted, Eversource, NYPA, NSEG, GEMMA Power, NRG, and Southern Company.

Mr. Raymond has a Master Certificate in Government & Commercial Contract Management from Villanova University and a BA in Political Science (Pre-Law) from Coastal Carolina University.



Lyle Sclair

Lyle Sclair

Economic Development Representative - National Grid

Lyle Sclair is National Grid’s Economic Development Representative for its downstate territory, including Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. He is responsible for overseeing National Grid’s eight economic development programs designed to help attract, grow and retain businesses on Long Island. Mr. Sclair brings over a decade of experience working with government agencies, not for profits and small businesses to move complex public-private economic development projects along from concept to implementation. Mr. Sclair has a Master’s in Urban Planning from NYU and received his undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. 



Tom Montalbine Headshot

Thomas Montalbine

President - Roman Stone Construction Company

Roman Stone was founded in 1903 and has continuously operated in New York State for over 118 years. They specialize in infrastructure products and recently expanded into residential onsite wastewater treatment systems. The original manufacturing plant was in Brooklyn and in 1962 moved to the present, 9 acre, location in Bay Shore, NY.

Tom Montalbine is a 3rd generation owner of Roman Stone Construction Company. He officially started working in precast in 1990 but grew up in the business and worked summers when he was off from school.

Tom earned the “Master Precaster” designation from Precast University after completing precast-specific training with comprehensive education courses for production safety, technical, quality control and leadership training.

He is a past member of the Federal Highway Administrations Expert Task Group on Precast Concrete Pavement, Past President of the Precast Concrete Association of New York (PCANY), Past Chairman of the National Precast Concrete Associations (NPCA) Pavement Slab committee. He is presently a member of the NPCA’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and a volunteer EMT with Community Ambulance Company of Sayville.



Mariah Dignan Headshot

Mariah Dignan

Regional Director (Long Island) - Climate Jobs New York (CJNY) 

Mariah Dignan serves as the Regional Director (Long Island) for Climate Jobs New York (CJNY),  
a growing statewide labor coalition representing 2.6 million working New Yorkers united to combat climate change and reverse inequality. CJNY is educating fellow workers, building alliances, and advocating for policy solutions - demonstrating that we do not have to choose between a healthy planet and good jobs. In her role with CJNY, Mariah is a member of Wind Works Long Island, a coalition of environmental, labor, clergy, and community groups, and the force behind educating the Long Island community on the benefits of renewable energy, particularly offshore wind. Mariah also serves on the Long Island Chapter Board of the New York League of Conservation Voters.  
As a campaign field organizer for Congresswoman Kathleen Rice and scheduler for then-candidate Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, she facilitated relationships between government officials and local community leaders, recruited, trained and managed volunteers and wrote press releases, campaign literatures and opinion pieces. Mariah worked as a Political Organizer for The Long Island Federation of Labor and served as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Office of Congressman Thomas R. Suozzi. She coordinated with federal, state and local governments efforts to pass legislation, managed the Congressman’s calendar and served as chief liaison to Long Island’s Labor community. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of St. Lawrence University, Mariah majored with honors in government and philosophy. She was the Environmental Conservation Chair of student government and led the Campus Committee on Sustainability and Carbon Neutrality during her four years at St. Lawrence. She was a two-year captain of the volleyball team and a member of the track and field team. 



Adrienne Esposito Headshot

Adrienne Esposito

Director - Wind Works Long Island

Adrienne holds a degree in Geology and Environmental Science from CW Post University. She is a co-founder of CCE and has worked on numerous environmental campaigns for over 35 years. Adrienne has crafted campaigns to engage the public on environmental protection issues including but not limited to upgrading failing sewage treatment systems, protection of drinking and surface water, remediation of toxic plumes, stewardship of land and water, support for large scale renewable energy projects, reduced pesticide application, and more.



Phil Rugile Headshot

Phil Rugile

Executive Director - Institute for Workforce Advancement

Phil Rugile has a long history in both corporate and startup business environments. Phil is currently the Executive Director for the Institute for Workforce Advancement (IWA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to training an advanced manufacturing workforce for underserved populations and industrial clients. IWA is also the regional advocate for the composites industry, taking a leading position on opportunities for growth in renewable energy, transportation, and other sectors. Phil is also the Director of Launchpad Huntington (LPH), a co-working and corporate event space. LPH is one of the most dynamic hubs of entrepreneurial activity in the region, acting as a bridge to entrepreneurs from many industries for investment, education, and mentorship. His other non-profit engagements include being an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Hofstra University’s Center for Entrepreneurship, member of the Board of Advisors for Minority Millennials, and a member of the Board of Advisors for the National Center for Disability Entrepreneurship at the Viscardi Center. Prior experiences include Human Capital Strategist at eCommerce company eGifter; Entrepreneur in Residence for Accelerate Long Island; co-founder of 100 Urban Entrepreneurs, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to supporting minority entrepreneurship; co-founder of MYMAG, a celebrity-driven marketing company that created unique personalized print and digital products; and stints at numerous media and technology companies such as Reuters, Times Mirror and others. 



Maria Arianas Headshot

Maria Arianas

Director, Workforce Development Skills Institute - Island Harvest Food Bank

Maria Arianas is heading up a newly launching workforce development institute for Island Harvest Food Bank, outlining strategy and developing programs for this brand new and innovative initiative. Island Harvest’s Workforce Skills Development Institute will lead the necessary collaboration, coordination, and future-skill focus to address the challenges facing the workforce, including post-employment work-life transition coaching services that are not often included in many local workforce training programs. Island Harvest is closely connected to local government and businesses, listening to and supporting their needs to ensure long-term career success that creates fundamental change. Flexibility and innovation in response to community needs is in our organizational DNA, making Island Harvest ideally positioned to ensure an inclusive and community centered workforce development initiative. 
The Island Harvest Workforce Skills Development Institute will offer programs to train and place diverse candidates in food industry roles, building on partnerships with food industry employers to identify skills gaps and design high-impact and scalable training experiences that include industry certifications. Phase I of the program is scheduled to launch in July 2022 and will focus on training in warehousing, inventory, shipping/receiving as well as food safety, food re-packing, and machinery maintenance. Phase II is projected to expand the training to include food service and food prep. 
Maria is expert at bridging the gap between organizational needs and talent contributions. She is highly regarded for developing the right people strategies and learning solutions that enable organizations to achieve business growth while empowering teams, managers, and employees to grow. She enjoys a career trajectory that spans senior level roles in finance to learning and development, which enables honing of a wide-ranging skillset.  Prior to Island Harvest, Maria was Director of the URGENT Utility Training Program at the Center for Workforce Development at SUNY Nassau Community College. There she designed a 142-hour training program to prepare non-traditional and DEI candidates for pathway roles in the utilities industry. The program averaged a 90% graduation rate for 150 participants across 6 cohorts, achieved a 52% employment rate, and was recognized with three industry awards. 
Maria is excited about leading, developing, and delivering innovative ways of training talent in support of employment and workforce development in the food industry. 



Ed Hill Jr. Headshot

Ed Hill Jr.

International Representative, Business Development - International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

Ed is with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and leads Business Development for the IBEW in PA, NY, NJ and DE. Ed works with thirty-six regional offices to align the IBEW’s wide range of electrical construction and maintenance services provided by thousands of electrical contractors and more than 50,000 professional electrical workers to the needs of existing and future clients. He has prioritized activities on the offshore wind industry over the last several years and is involved with IBEW’s relations with offshore wind developers, tier 1 providers and electrical contractors for the industry, and coordinating IBEW’s support of the offshore wind industry in his region.  
Previously, Ed worked with the IBEW’s Education department delivering business operations training to regional IBEW offices in five Mid-Atlantic states. Prior to that, he was the Vice President of Operations with Adventace, a worldwide sales operations’ consulting and training organization. Ed spent the first 15 years of his professional working life as an airline transport pilot. He and his wife Tina have two children and live near Pittsburgh PA.  



Amanda Schoen Headshot

Amanda Schoen

U.S Policy Specialist - Vestas American Wind Technology

Amanda Schoen is the US Policy Specialist for Vestas American Wind Technology, where she works to establish a sustainable offshore wind industry in the United States. She represents Vestas on the offshore wind and workforce development committees of American Clean Power, the Business Network for Offshore Wind, and California Offshore Wind. Her daily work includes educating lawmakers on policies that would impact the offshore wind industry on the federal, state, and community level. She is actively engaged in workforce development initiatives with a focus on equity, diversity and inclusion to help ensure the United States can achieve a just transition to clean energy.

Prior to joining Vestas, Amanda served as the Deputy Director of the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters where she oversaw the clean energy portfolio and advocated for Connecticut’s 2 GW offshore wind procurement. She also worked with colleagues in Massachusetts to establish the New England for Offshore Wind advocacy group.

Amanda began her career on the Hill, where she worked for two members of Congress: Rep. John B. Larson of Connecticut’s First District and Rep. Mike Thompson of California’s Fifth District. She lives in Glastonbury, Connecticut with her fiancé and his two children.



Nse Esema Headshot

Nse Esema

Vice President - Smart and Sustainable Cities 

Nse Esema is currently the Vice President, Smart & Sustainable Cities at the New York City Economic Development Corporation. She designs and implements programmatic and strategic efforts to: catalyze emerging sectors, develop inclusive industry ecosystems, and advance equitable economic development. Currently, her work is heavily focused on the Offshore Wind industry. She is committed to designing and implementing strategies that support NYC in growing into a leading position in the burgeoning OSW landscape in the US in a manner that ensures women, low-income populations and people of color equitably share in the benefits of the industry.

Prior to NYCEDC, Nse worked with city governments in Africa and North America in developing and implementing multi-stakeholder resilience building strategies. Nse Esema earned a Masters in City Planning degree from MIT.



Hannah Weinstock Headshot

Hannah Weinstock

Senior Director of Workforce Development - LaGuardia Community College

Hannah is dedicated to preparing New Yorkers from every background for the jobs of the future and working collaboratively to strengthen the career pathways ecosystem across the New York metro area.  As Senior Director of Workforce Development at LaGuardia Community College, she oversees several dozen workforce training certificate programs in sectors such as healthcare, technology, and construction, including a new NYSERDA-funded project to bridge disadvantaged and priority populations into work in the offshore wind industry.  Under the motto “dare to do more,” LaGuardia serves over 30,000 students each year, the majority of whom are low-income first-generation college students.  Part of the City University of New York, LaGuardia ranks 5th in the nation among community colleges for advancing economic mobility.  Previously Hannah oversaw healthcare workforce initiatives at the NYC Department of Small Business Services as well as community organizing, leadership development, and English language programs at Queens Community House, New Settlement Apartments, Asian Americans for Equality and the New York Civic Participation Project, a union-community collaboration. Hannah holds a Masters of Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School and speaks English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. 



Jonathan Ashdown Headshot

Jonathan Ashdown

Dean of STEM - Hudson Valley Community College

Jonathan Ashdown was born in Niskayuna, NY.  He received his A.S. degree in Engineering Science from Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) in 2004 as well as his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 2006, 2008, and 2012, respectively, Troy, NY.  He is a co-inventor of a cutting-edge technology being utilized in the Defense and Energy industries.   In 2014, he completed a Master's in Business Administration from the Lally School of Management at RPI with a concentration in Technology, Commercialization & Entrepreneurship.   

Since 2011, Dr. Ashdown has served as a faculty at Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) in Troy, NY in the Applied Technologies department and he currently serves as the Dean of STEM where he helps to develop innovative and industry-relevant academic degree and certificate programs including those in Mechatronics, Welding and Fabrication, Clean Energy, and Electric and Autonomous Vehicle Technology. 



James Rogin Headshot

James Rogin

Lead of the Professional Mariner Training Department - SUNY Maritime College 

James leads the Professional Mariner Training department at SUNY Maritime College. His duties include day-to-day operational expertise and support, and guidance and instruction for navigation simulation, seamanship, and maritime safety. Utilizing learning and development strategies grounded through the development of work-based competency frameworks that produce measurable results that meet Human Capital challenges in employee engagement, growth, and retention in the maritime industry. In addition to mariner training, he has taken on a lead role in the college's Offshore Wind Center of Excellence. 
James joined SUNY Maritime as a deck officer in 2008 and advanced his license to Chief Mate unlimited/1600-ton Master. He is currently pursuing his Doctoral Degree in Curriculum Instruction and Design. 


Scott Buffett

Scott Buffett

Department Chair and Program Coordinator Wind Turbine Technology and Renewable Energy Technologies – Clinton Community College

Scott has served as a faculty member of Clinton Community College since 2008 and has been the program coordinator for the Wind Turbine Technology AAS degree and certificate program since 2010. As Department Chair has work to create the Renewable Energy Technologies AAS and certificate programs, Industrial/Commercial Electrician AOS and certificate, and Mechanical Technology certificate.  
Scott has an AAS in Electrical Technology from Clinton Community College, a BS in Electrical Engineering Technology from SUNY Polytechnic Institute and a MS in Information Design and Technology from SUNY Polytechnic Institute. Additionally, holds certificates for wind turbine technician training from Airstreams, General Electric, and Ropeworks and solar training from NABCEP and IREC.  



Andrea Bonilla Headshot

Andrea Bonilla

Long Island Regional Director - Workforce Development Institute 

Andrea Bonilla is the Regional Director for Long Island since June 2021. She comes from an economic and community development, and real estate background, having spent over eight years overseeing a revitalization project in Huntington Station, NY, Long Island. Andrea has partnered with local community organizations for a wide array of programming from education, environment, and arts to women’s programming, business assistance, and youth sports. She has also had experience with social media consulting and helping small businesses and organizations create and develop digital strategies.

Andrea is a board member of the Townwide Fund of Huntington and the Huntington Chamber of Commerce; Chairwoman of the Town of Huntington’s COVID Small Business Recovery Task Force; a graduate of Leadership Huntington Class of 2016 and the Huntington Greening Fellowship 2021.

She is excited to build on existing relationships and cultivate new ones to help strengthen Long Island’s workforce support, assist businesses and manufacturing throughout the region for long-term sustainability, connect with educational opportunities for all ages, and foster a labor and workforce environment on Long Island that brings success and social and economic sustainability for all communities on the Island.

Andrea has an Arts Bachelor degree from Brown University in International Relations and Latin American & Caribbean Studies.

Last Modified 3/3/22