The Illinois Renewable Energy Conference will feature plenary session speakers of interest to all areas of renewable energy, plus breakout sessions in tracks on policy, technical information, and case studies for:Wind - Solar - Biomass - Geothermal - Energy Efficiency
*Details continue to be added, please check back.
8:10 Plenary Session
9:00 Plenary Session - Panel - "Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at Educational Institutions in Illinois" - Speakers include:
10:15 Breakout Session #1:
11:30 LUNCH - Plenary Session
12:45 Breakout Session #2:
2:00 Breakout Session #3:
3:15 Plenary Session - Panel
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LISA ALBRECHT is a volunteer for the ISEA, serving as Vice President for the organization. She also co-chairs the Policy Committee working to advance state and local legislation regarding incentives programs, permitting, net metering and interconnection. Professionally, she has worked at Solar Service, a premier design/installation company in the Chicago area, as a Renewable Energy Specialist since 2007 where she assists homeowners and businesses analyze their opportunities to implement solar hot water and photovoltaic technology. Lisa will present in the Solar Case Studies breakout session at 12:45 PM.
DR. JOHN ASPLUND has served as Superintendent of the Farmington Central School District for the past five years. Dr. Asplund has been a Superintendent for fifteen years in all. Prior to becoming a Superintendent, he served as High School Principal, District Curriculum Director, High School English Teacher and Football and Track Coach. Dr. Asplund earned his Doctor of Education and Chief School Business Official license from Illinois State University in 2009. John is married to Julie and they are the parents of Isaac, Eli and Clara. He will present on Solar Energy in the “Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at Educational Institutions in Illinois" plenary session at 9:00 AM.
KYLE BARRY is with Husch Blackwell. Kyle will moderate the Wind breakout session, "Ag Mitigation Agreements: Year in Review," at 12:45 PM.
JACK DARIN has worked for the Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter since 1989, and been its Director since 1992. His position entails working with citizens, volunteers, public officials, business, and labor across Illinois to find and advocate for solutions to environmental problems, strengthen the membership and work of the Sierra Club in Illinois, and build a bigger, more inclusive environmental movement. He has worked on a wide variety of conservation and pollution issues, with federal, state, and local agencies with environmental responsibilities, and with business, labor, faith, social justice, and other stakeholders. Darin has worked cooperatively with a wide range of stakeholders to clean up pollution, protect natural areas for future generations across Illinois, and promote smart energy policies. He has been integral to key state policy changes that include Illinois’ clean energy policies, the permanent protection of federal, state, and local public lands for future generations; and major upgrades in Illinois’ protection of Lake Michigan and other rivers, lakes, and streams. He has been appointed to numerous study, advisory, and working groups and task forces by various public agencies seeking to craft strategies to protect Illinois' environment. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Jack will present "Illinois Renewable Energy Development Policy: Challenges and Opportunities" in the final plenary panel session at 3:15 PM.
DR. LARRY DIETZ became the 19th president of Illinois State University March 22, 2014. He came to the University in June 2011 as vice president for Student Affairs. He led the Division of Student Affairs, which includes the Dean of Students Office, Student Health Services, Student Counseling Center, University Housing Services, Disability Concerns, Career Center, Campus Dining Services, Campus Recreation, Bone Student Center and Braden Auditorium, Student Affairs Information Technology, Health Promotion and Wellness, and the University Police, as well as other units. He is also a tenured associate professor in the Department of Educational Administration and Foundations. Previously, he served as vice chancellor for Student Affairs at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) for 10 years. Dietz also served as special assistant to the chancellor at SIUC and as a tenured associate professor in educational administration and higher education. Prior to his tenure there, he served as vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, among other leadership positions, at the University of Missouri-Kansas City for 15 years, and in leadership positions at Iowa State University for 13 years. Dietz earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration and his master's degree in higher education and student personnel from Iowa State University and his bachelor's degree in political science from Southern Illinois University. He attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University, a Fulbright International Education Seminar for Administrators in Germany and the Harvard Management Development Program. Dr. Dietz will present the Welcome at 8:00 AM.
NICK DREHER serves as the Policy Manager for Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and is responsible for advancing state and federal energy efficiency policies, while developing strategic relationships with energy efficiency industry stakeholders. He oversees policy research and bill tracking in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Prior to joining MEEA, Nick worked in coastal zone management and land use policy processing development permits, drafting coastal policy language and working to maintain unfettered coastal shoreline access for the public. Nick earned a J.D. and a Master’s in Environmental Law and Policy at Vermont Law School and a B.A. in Rhetoric at the University of California, at Berkeley. Nick will present in the "Energy Efficiency Economic Impact and Jobs Creation" breakout session at 10:15 AM.
ETHAN ELSER is Director of Corporate Development for the PACE Equity team and has an extensive background in commercial real estate management, turnaround, development and growth. He brings a unique perspective and approach to building projects due to his vast knowledge of nearly every kind of real estate project. He understands the opportunities that PACE Equity can bring for the success of their buildings or projects. At PACE Equity, Ethan is responsible for managing and growing the company, including; corporate sales and development, market leader development and coaching, project governance with an emphasis on quality assurance and support, oversight of the company’s processes, systems tools, management and marketing. Previously, Ethan served as the real estate asset manager for Steinergroup and as assistant property manager for Siegel-Gallagher Management Company. He also worked in the banking, technology and hotel sectors while obtaining his Bachelor of Business Administration from the George Washington University School of Business. He currently resides in Milwaukee with his wife and young son. He is active in the community, volunteering at the Milwaukee Public Museum and with ACTS Housing. Ethan will present on Solar Policy at 2:00 PM.
MIKE ERICKSON has been the Vice President of Business Development for Community Green Energy since 2012. He leads and manages Community Green Energy’s community solar development team, which pursues projects nationwide, and has also played an instrumental role in developing Community Green Energy’s own community solar project model that seeks to enable community solar in places that lack enabling legislation, such as Illinois. Mike also directs project financing strategies and securing investment and funding partners. Prior to joining Community Green Energy, he served as Managing Director of Alignys Capital Partners and held senior management positions with Norcom Resources, Inc. and Applied Digital Solutions, Inc. Mike graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BA in Journalism and Communications. Mike will speak in the Solar Case Studies breakout session at 12:45 PM.
JOHN FREITAG is executive director of the Geothermal Alliance of Illinois, the statewide trade group for the geothermal heat pump industry. He was instrumental in forming the GAOI in 2008, served on the initial board of directors as secretary/treasurer, and has been executive director since 2010. He also works as VP-Operations for the Assn. of IL Electric Cooperatives, where he’s been since 1985. Freitag has been involved in the geothermal heat pump industry for 20-plus years and has had a geo system in his home since 1999. He is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), as recognized by the American Society of Association Executives, and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin. He is an expert on energy efficiency and renewable energy. John will present in the Geothermal breakout session, "What Does it Take to Retrofit a Home or Small Business?" at 12:45 PM.
EMMA GILMORE is a Project Developer for StraightUp Solar, a solar energy integration company serving Central and Southern Illinois from its downtown Bloomington location. Since joining StraightUp Solar, she has found her favorite part about working with the Certified B Corporation is the culture that emphasizes process improvement and a willingness to go the extra mile to help individuals and communities accomplish their energy and sustainability goals. Emma is proud to have earned degrees in renewable energy, engineering technology, and technology management from Illinois State University. She was involved in marketing and outreach for Solar Urbana-Champaign and has worked to bring the same level of engagement to the Solar Bloomington-Normal program throughout McLean County this summer. Emma recently joined the Illinois Solar Energy Association's Solar Ambassador Committee and would like to encourage every solar energy owner across the state to keep sharing their solar stories with the greater Illinois community. Emma will present in a Solar breakout session on Community Solar at 12:45 PM.
WAYNE HARTLE is Energy Program Specialist at Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Wayne will present in an Energy Efficiency breakout session, "KWh20: A Mashup of Water and Energy Efficiency," at 12:45 PM.
NAOMI DIETZEL HERSHISER serves as the Dean of Environmental Learning at Prairie Crossing Charter School (a Green Ribbon Award winner), where she oversees the school’s integrated environmental curriculum, sustainable schoolyard, and green initiatives. Naomi works with teachers, students and community partners to ensure that Prairie Crossing is at the forefront of the green schools movement. Prior to starting at PCCS in 2003, Naomi worked as a naturalist at museums and nature centers in Illinois, Georgia and Minnesota. Naomi received her BA from Carleton College in Northfield, MN; a post-graduate certificate in Environmental Education from the University of MN Duluth, and a Masters of the Arts in Teaching from Dominican University. When not working, Naomi enjoys gardening and cooking and preserving local foods. She is an avid nature journaler, phenologist, and botanical artist; she also enjoys running and reading (though not at the same time!)l. Naomi will speak on Energy Efficiency in the " Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at Educational Institutions in Illinois" plenary session at 9:00 AM.
JAMES HUBBARD is the Executive Director of the Facilities Division at Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois. Hubbard earned his bachelor of science in civil and environmental engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a master degree in business administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Hubbard served as an officer in the United States Air force until his retirement in 2006 prior to taking his current position. As the Facilities Division’s Executive Director, he has led the College in countless projects to become energy independent, and was the pivotal person in garnering support for the utility-grade wind turbine generator located on the main campus of the College. He continues to work energy reductions for the College, while focusing on LED and solar technologies and alternative funding to support them. He will present on Wind Energy in the "Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at Educational Institutions in Illinois" plenary session at 9:00 AM.
MORGAN JOHNSTON is Associate Director of Facilities and Services, and Director of Sustainability, at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Morgan will present in the plenary session, " Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at Educational Institutions in Illinois," at 9:00 AM.
MARION "MOLLY" LUNN is Deputy Director of the Office of Energy & Recycling, in the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. In this capacity, she manages a variety of energy and environmental programs and planning efforts that save energy, generate clean and reliable electricity, and promote sustainable transportation – all while supporting economic development and job creation. Before joining the State, Molly was with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, where she played many roles, including managing technical assistance for state and local governments. Molly has also worked at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and was a Presidential Management Fellow. Molly will present in the plenary session at 8:15 AM.
HARRY OHDE is the Assistant Training Director for IBEW #134 in Chicago. He has been in the electrical field since 1981 and starting with his electrical apprenticeship, journeyman wireman, foreman, general foreman, and renewable energy and electrical code instructor to his current role as Assistant Training Director. He has a bachelor degree in Social Justice from Lewis University in 1977. He has been an active member of the NEC (National Electrical Code) Committee since 1996 serving as the principal member of CMP 12 as well CMP 16. He is also a member of the Chicago Electrical Code committee since 1999 and was instrumental in the Chicago electrical code rewrite. He is a member of several organizations such as the ISEA, MREA and IAEI (International Association of Electrical Inspectors). He was just appointed to the IREC (Interstate Renewable Energy Council) Standard Committee. Harry is a strong advocate for all renewable energy education and hopes to be an active member in promoting renewable energy education to all those interested in this exciting field. Harry will present in the Solar Technical breakout session at 10:15 AM.
MARK PRUITT has over 20 years of experience in the energy commodity markets. He assists organizations with energy planning, project evaluation, procurement processes and contract negotiations. His current work focuses on advising over sixty communities on municipal aggregation (including the City of Chicago), evaluating and negotiating long-term PPA’s for renewable energy projects, and advising on energy legislation in Springfield. In his prior role as the first Director of the Illinois Power Agency, he secured electricity supply on behalf of approximately 4.7 million residential and small commercial ratepayer accounts serviced by Commonwealth Edison and Ameren Illinois. During his tenure at the IPA, the Agency evaluated and negotiated agreements around a series of alternative generation projects ranging from wind and solar projects to clean coal projects including FutureGen, Tensaska, Chicago Clean Energy, and Power Holdings. Mark will present in the plenary panel session at 3:15 PM.
TERRY SAVKO is with the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Terry will present in the Wind breakout session, "Ag Mitigation Agreements: Year in Review," at 12:45 PM.
MATT SLAGER, PE, is the Chief Mechanical Engineer at Hanson Professional Services and serves on the Board of Directors for the Geothermal Alliance of Illinois. Matt is a professional engineer licensed in multiple states and holds the Certified GeoExchange Designer and LEED AP credential. He has designed numerous innovative commercial HVAC projects for educational, government, and U.S. Department of Defense clients. Much of his professional experience has focused on design and energy modeling of high performance buildings including LEED projects and buildings designed for Net Zero Energy use. Matt will present a Geothermal K-12 Case Study at 10:15 AM.
PATRICK SMITH is with Geronimo Energy. Patrick will present in the Wind breakout session, "Ag Mitigation Agreements: Year in Review," at 12:45 PM.
ANTHONY STAR has been the Director of the Illinois Power Agency since 2013. His responsibilities include overseeing the development and implementation of plans to procure electricity and renewable energy resources for residential and small commercial customers who take supply service from Ameren Illinois and ComEd as well as to administer the Renewable Energy Resources Fund which is currently being used to support the purchase of Solar Renewable Energy Credits in Illinois. Prior to his appointment as Director of the IPA he served as a Policy Advisor to two Chairmen of the Illinois Commerce Commission. Before entering government service Anthony spent thirteen years at the Center for Neighborhood Technology in a variety of roles working on energy policy and environmental sustainability, culminating in the position of Director of Policy and Evaluation for CNT Energy (now Elevate Energy). He helped develop and implement the nation’s first residential real-time pricing program as well as community-based energy efficiency and demand response programs. Anthony holds a BA in History and an MA in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, serves on the Board of the Chicago Recycling Coalition, and is a past Board Member of the Illinois Environmental Council. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two children. Anthony will present "Illinois Renewable Energy Development Policy: Challenges and Opportunities" in the final plenary panel session at 3:15 PM.
MATT STREICHER is Assistant Director and Civil Engineer at Glenbard Wastewater Authority. Matt will present in an Energy Efficiency breakout session, "KWh20: A Mashup of Water and Energy Efficiency," at 12:45 PM.
SCOTT TESS is the Environmental Sustainability Manager for the City of Urbana, IL. He oversees the Recycling and Environmental Compliance programs and is responsible for working with the Sustainability Advisory Commission to implement the City’s Climate Action Plan and Sustainable Water Management Plan. Prior to his current appointment, Scott was the Pollution Prevention (P2) Coordinator for the Orange County, FL Environmental Protection Division. He also worked in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program for Orange County, FL. Before joining Orange County, Scott worked for the Florida Department of Health, Division of Environmental Health in the well and septic programs. Scott earned his B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his Masters of Planning from Rollins College. Scott is also a LEED Green Associate. Scott will present in a breakout session for Solar, on Community Solar, at 12:45 PM.
The Center for Renewable Energy, Illinois State University, Illinois Wind Working Group, Wind on the Wires, Illinois Solar Energy Association, Geothermal Alliance of Illinois, Illinois Biomass Working Group, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, their members, board members, directors, agents, and other representatives expressly disclaim any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of information posted on this site, directly or via a link, authored by others. Any person that relies on any such information does so at his or her own risk, and shall not attempt to hold the representatives liable or responsible in any way.
Audio and/or video taping is NOT allowed at The Illinois Renewable Energy Conference without expressed written consent by the host organizations and the speakers.