Open Hearts Big Dreams Fund
Founder and Board President
Talk Topic: Mastering the Art and Science of Negotiation
Ellenore Angelidis is the founder and Board President of the Open Hearts Big Dreams Fund which is focused on increasing educational opportunities (literacy, tech and art) for kids in Ethiopia, her daughter’s birth country.
Previously, as a 13+ year employee of Amazon, Ellenore Angelidis was part of the company’s recent growth. Her last role was Director Kindle Content Risk Management. She was also Amazon's first Global Director of Diversity. Previously, she had business, product and legal roles for Amazon in Seattle, Luxembourg, and Paris – and is passionate about bringing change and forward momentum. Prior to Amazon, she received her legal start at the Chicago firm of Baker & McKenzie, then went on to manage complex litigation including regulatory matters, public relations and crisis management, as well as supported strategic sourcing for Sears, in Chicago, Illinois.
She has built teams across a variety of disciplines, companies, and countries which gives her a uniquely broad perspective to share.
Senior Manager, Project Finance
Talk Topic: The People that Change Us
Anna is a Senior Manager on Project Finance team at First Solar, the largest solar panel manufacturer in the US. Over the last 7 years of her work with the company she has led or has been directly involved in negotiation and structuring of over $4 billion of transactions across 2GW of development pipeline, including complex tax equity and back leverage structuring, 8point3 yieldco IPO and subsequent sale as well as financing of international projects.
Anna is also a Treasurer for Women in Cleantech and Sustainability. She joined back in 2013 when organization was just beginning to operate and brought her financial acumen to building a rapidly growing, self-sustaining non-profit.
Earlier in her career she was a Manger of Finance at the Adidas Group where she was responsible for financial budgeting and forecasting of all retail sales. She began her career with Porsche as a Finance Intern.
Anna holds a MSin Financial Mathematics from Stanford University and a BS in Applied Mathematicscum laude from Moscow State University.
Julia R. Balas
Talk Topic: How do we solve the Pale, Stale and Male Problem in the Cleantech and Renewable Energy Industries?
Julia Balas is an associate in the Los Angeles and New York offices of Morrison & Foerster. She focuses her practice on project finance, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance.
Ms. Balas represents clients in connection with the development, financing, acquisition, and disposition of wind and solar projects. Her recent work has included representation of developers in connection with the acquisition and disposition of utility-scale wind and solar projects, debt and tax equity financings, and project contracts with suppliers and service providers. Her practice has also involved advising clients on such matters as private equity investments, sponsor-backed leveraged buyouts, mergers, debt and equity securities offerings, commercial lending and structured finance transactions, as well as general corporate matters, corporate governance and securities law compliance.
Energy Impact Partners
Associate Vice President
Talk Topic: Different is Better than Better
Cassie is an Associate Vice President at Energy Impact Partners. EIP is a $680m growth equity fund investing in energy startups that is backed by 14 global utilities and energy companies. Prior to joining EIP, she worked for 5 years at SunPower, one of the largest global solar companies, in policy and strategy. At SunPower she was responsible for global market analysis, legal and regulatory assessment, and new country entry. She has also gained operating experience at energy storage, micro-grid and energy asset management startups in business development and finance roles. Cassie holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a BA in Economics from Harvard University, and was selected for Forbes 30 Under 30 in Energy (2018)
President and CEO
Talk Topic: Solar + Wind = Opportunity for Women
A trailblazer in a male-dominated industry, Kimberlee Centera has over 20 years as a risk management expert for the development and financing of large-scale generator energy projects. Under her leadership, TerraPro Solutions (formerly Centera Land & Title Services) has generated over 5,500 MWs in renewables, with a total financed value of over $3.5 billion, making it the top risk management practice in the renewables market. Her expertise includes identifying, managing and mitigating risk. She consistently delivers outstanding results on complex high value projects. TerraPro Solutions provides high-level expertise in the development and implementation of renewable energy projects including wind, solar and energy storage. Comprehensive services range from site feasibility and land acquisition to due diligence for investment and financing, through construction, compliance and post-construction operations. Kimberlee has her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Redlands and she is a California licensed Real Estate Broker.
Chairman and Head of Product Development and Research
Talk Topic: Sustainability: what the valley will get wrong
Dave is responsible for Equilibrium’s strategy, executive leadership, and developing our investment products and asset strategies.
Before Equilibrium, Dave was a general partner at OVP Venture Partners (2000-2007); CEO and co-founder GeoTrust (acquired by VeriSign 2006); founder of The Ascent Group; Vice President Marketing Mentor Graphics; McKinsey & Company; Solectron.
He served on the board of HNC Software/FICO (NASDAQ:HNCS, now NYSE:FIC); Board and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Portland Branch (2006-2012); Board member of B Corp/B LAB, and The Freshwater Trust.
Dave is also Adjunct Professor of Finance at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University (2009-present), and was faculty at Stanford GSB (2011-13). Dave is co-owner of Patton Valley Vineyards, sustainable farmers of Oregon Pinot Noir.
Senior Manager, International Market Development
Talk Topic: The Road to 100% Clean
Kristen Cleven is currently Senior Manager, International Market Development for Bloom Energy, a solid-oxide fuel cell company based in Sunnyvale. She has 15+ years of experience in both the clean energy and automotive sectorswhere she’s focused on bringing advanced technologies to new markets, bridging the gap between an idea and commercial product and finding home for new technology worldwide.
In the past, Kristen served as Director of Project Development for Green Charge Networks (now Engie Energy Storage), an energy storage and demand management company based in Silicon Valley. Prior to that experience, she worked in Germany developing concentrated solar projects for Solar Millennium in markets such as South Africa, Israel, and UAE. Kristen began her career managing government affairs for Volkswagen of America in Washington DC.
Kristen earned a Masters in Energy Management and Policy from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from George Washington University.
Director Strategic Partnerships
Talk Topic: Lessons from Australia on Water Sustainability
Margaret is recognized as an expert in trade and foreign investment. She joined CSIRO in 2017 as the Director of Strategic Partnerships following seven years at Austrade. Austrade is an arm of the Australian government responsible for encouraging the growth of Australian businesses into the US market and US investment into Australia. At Austrade Margaret was Investment Director. She was responsible for identifying and facilitating investment and partnerships between Australia and the US. She has also worked extensively in the field international relations leading and developing programs for the State Department across a diverse range of industries including emergency response and biotech. Margaret is a Silicon Valley local. She has bachelor’s degree in History, studied French at the Sorbonne in Paris and has a Master’s degree in World History and Political Theory.
Dr. Arathi Gopinath
Global Asset Performance Manager
Talk Topic: From Cute to Sexy: How AI Is Transforming the Solar Landscape
Dr. Arathi Gopinath is the Global Asset Performance Manager for NEXTracker. In his role, she and her team use sophisticated data science methodologies to maximize tracker utilization and performance. Much of her current work focuses on using plant data to allow asset owners and developers to predict overall plant health over the life of a solar project, and this includes NEXTracker’s TrueCapture smart control system performance.
Prior to NEXTracker, Dr. Gopinath led the R&D team at Energy Recovery Inc. As the Sr. Director of Engineering, she led technology development projects that would expand the capabilities of energy recovery technologies for new applications. After her Ph.D. in 2007, Dr. Gopinath started her career as a research scientist at GE Global Research in Niskayuna, NY. At GE, Dr. Gopinath worked on a diverse number of applications including jet engine, gas turbine, and wind turbine design. Dr. Gopinath used state-of-the-art technologies and numerical methods to push the boundaries of existing designs, and come up with novel designs for better performance.
Dr. Arti Gopinath is a Ph.D. graduate from Stanford University, CA, with a degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics. Her technical expertise is in the field of computational fluid dynamics (CFD).
Bahr Bee Ranch
Head Box Wrangler
Talk Topic: Why are Bees and EVs Alike?
Art, visual anthropology, photography and film led to teaching overseas where KO was able to witness the remarkable progress in students’ performance after only four months without breathing the exhaust of leaded gasoline. This strengthened her resolve to drive electrically, which led converting a car to electric power upon returning to the USA and its continuing iterations, and developing curricula for school students to create their own electric cars and to participation in the YOUNG MAKERS PROJECT of the MAKERS FAIRE. Since bees are like EV’s, a beekeeping hobby has led to applied mycology and a project being designed to fight bee pathogens. The fine arts have taken a backseat to the needs of the global common good which includes small water cycle and greywater systems, carbon soil sequestration, solar power, community gardens and Mycological remediation, and someday, performance EV competition.
Streamsets and AutoGrid Systems
Executive Consultant and Advisor
Talk Topic: HighTech to CleanTech: Learning and Unlearning
Judy is a cleantech and enterprise software veteran, with proven success in large public companies as well as roll-up-the-sleeves startups. She thrives on galvanizing product, marketing, sales, and customer success teams to work together to deliver true customer impact and attain a market leadership position. In the cleantech world, Judy is head of product marketing at AutoGrid Systems, where she launched AutoGrid’s flexibility management platform, garnering industry recognition as the Energy Internet software leader. Previously, Judy led marketing and product management at REPOWER America, a software-enabled network of residential solar providers. She is also currently an advisor at Streamsets, the pioneer in DataOps software.
Previously, Judy was at Informatica, the leader in data integration software, where she held a variety of senior leadership roles including product management, product marketing, demand generation and corporate marketing. Judy has also spent time at BEA Systems, Calico Commerce, and Mercer Management Consulting. Judy holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering and management systems from Princeton University and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.
Presidio Graduate School
Talk Topic: Aligning Your Money with Your Values
Melanie is currently pursuing an MBA in Sustainable Finance at the Presidio Graduate School. Before her MBA studies, Melanie was a Global Business Product Manager at Google, spearheading product development and commercialization strategy for Emerging advertising formats. She has volunteered for WCS since 2016 and joined the WCS Board in 2017 as Career Development Co-Chair, helping launch and grow the Mentorship program, as well as leading this year's WCS Talks Pitch Competition. She holds a BA in International Relations from the University of San Diego and she enjoys rowing crew in her spare time.
EDF Innovation Lab
Talk Topic: Disrupting the energy today for the world of tomorrow
Liang Ma is a senior analyst at EDF Innovation Lab with 10+ years’ experience in cleantech and sustainability. EDF is a global energy company and one of the world’s top electric utilities.
At EDF Innovation Lab, Liang leverages new technologies to create innovative projects and services to strategically transform existing businesses. She conducts innovative energy research with a focus on cloud-based data analytics and artificial intelligence applications for smart buildings, smart cities, energy access, and more.
Prior to EDF, Liang worked at Nexant on front-end energy solutions for C&I buildings and with Siemens Corporate Research. Liang has an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and a B.S. in Engineering from Harbin Institute of Technology. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in California and committee member of the ASHRAE GG Chapter Seminar.
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
Talk Topic: What Clean Energy Technologies Save the Most Green House Gas Emissions, and When?
Dr. Sudeshna Pabi is a Senior Scientist at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) with focus on clean energy solutions for problems related to energy and environment. She has conceptualized and conducted research in the area of energy efficiency, water-energy, nexus and solar+storage space for which she has won several research grant awards, including California Energy Commission. Dr. Pabi also been instrumental in developing national models for GHG assessment and algorithms for data-analytics for related big data. Her current focus is to lead analytics with the aim of better understanding various decarbonization efforts and to recommend relevant innovative solutions. Dr. Pabi developed the first ever quantification of carbon budget for the Arctic Ocean using numerical model and remote sensing. She completed her undergraduate studies at IIT Kharagpur.
Amanda Peterson Corio
Senior Energy Lead
Talk Topic: Shaping a Clean Energy Future
Amanda has 15 years of experience in project finance, development, and procurement of renewable and traditional energy generation. In her current role, Amanda manages power procurement and energy infrastructure development for Google’s global data centers. In addition to traditional energy procurement, Amanda executes renewable energy power purchase agreements for Google, which has secured over 3 gigawatts of renewable energy, making Google the largest corporate offtaker of renewables in the world.
Prior to joining Google, Amanda was the director of investment structuring at Macquarie Infrastructure Company (MIC)’s Renewable Energy subsidiary, where she was responsible for sourcing, diligencing, and structuring utility and distributed renewable energy. Earlier in her career, Amanda placed over $140 million of solar tax equity investments at Chevron Energy Solutions, and developed utility scale solar projects at Agile Energy. She was a senior investment banking analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co., and began her career at General Electric Energy Financial Services where she managed energy project financings and portfolio divestitures.
Amanda holds an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BA in Business Administration with Honors from Boston University’s School of Management.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Program Director, Department of Energy’s Center for Building Energy Research and Development (CBERD)
Talk Topic: CleanTech's Angels
Reshma Singh serves as Program Director of the Department of Energy’s Center for Building Energy Research and Development (CBERD) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She brings over 10 years of experience advancing cleantech innovation, working with complex international ecosystems in United States, India, and Singapore. Reshma’s work lies at the intersection of design and technology of smart buildings and cities, with a focus on energy, data analytics and UX, and IoT sensors and controls. She previously co-founded GreenExcel, an online education platform. Reshma enjoys mentoring in STEM and is currently on the Advisory Council for the international TechWomen program. She is also author of Transforming State-of-the-Art into Best Practices: Guide for High-Performance, Energy –Efficient Buildings in India, and contributor to Mutations: Harvard Project on the City. She is a recipient of Harvard University’s Community Service Fellowship award and has taught graduate seminars at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and at University of California, Berkeley. Apart from her professional life, she teaches dance and recently co-produced an acclaimed children's musical. Reshma holds a master's degree in landscape architecture from Harvard University, a bachelor's degree in architecture from New Delhi, India, and is a LEED Accredited Professional.
Director, Global Brand Measurement
Talk Topic: Women in Leadership: Bridging the Gap
Nithya Sowrirajan has been at Google for 10 years, currently in the role of Director, Global Brand Measurement. She began her career in media at the New York Times monetizing premium editorial content, and then spearheaded digital sales for movie studios as Digital Advertising Director. She moved to Google to lead east coast sales for DoubleClick. Since 2013 she has been leading Brand Measurement Strategy and Commercialization globally. Her team partners with Product Management and Engineering to build both time-trusted and new-to-world brand metrics that prove the efficacy of advertisers’ media investments on Google, and namely, YouTube. Nithya is passionate about diversity and has a track record of hiring and retaining women and minorities, actively sponsoring top performers and creating a culture of psychological safety. In addition, She serves on the Google Women@NY Steering Committee where she co-leads the Social Impact pillar dedicated to increasing the pipeline of tech talent in underserved communities.
Outside of Google, Nithya sits on the board of Citizens Committee of NY and advises start-ups in the sustainability space. She lives in NYC with her husband who is an equal partner in raising their two children ages 9 and 6.
Talk Topic: Getting Your Employees to Drink the Kool Aid
Dawn manages the strategy and execution of all things to do with employees at OSIsoft. She and her global team assist the company with hiring, employee relations, compensation and benefits, corporate policies and organizational development. Hiring the best talent, ensuring they have the right skills and the right work environment to thrive is critical to OSIsoft's success. She is a key element of maintaining the culture and expertise of OSIsoft while growing the employee base and helping existing employees at their OSIsoft careers evolve. Dawn joined OSIsoft in 2007 as an HR Generalist and later worked with operations, sales, marketing and industry in various HR roles. Prior to joining OSIsoft, Dawn worked as a technical instructor for Accenture, managed the training organization at Avolent and was HR Manager at SAFE Security. Dawn holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Davis and a M.S. in Political Science from the University of Oregon.
Bee Hui Yeh
ENGIE Services U.S
Director of Marketing and Strategy
Talk Topic: The Secret to Making People Care
Bee shapes comprehensive energy and sustainability programs that deliver educational, economic, and environmentally beneficial outcomes to communities around the world.
Whether for Big Oil or with non-profits, she’s connected clean energy investments to STEM education opportunities, workforce development programs, and community engagement around sustainability for long-term results.
Today, Bee Hui pairs her public sector experience and research to lead the charge on building better cities. These local government programs are not only resilient from an energy, water and resource perspective, but they also create inclusive, connected, and equitable outcomes for communities across the country.
Prior to ENGIE, Bee Hui worked at Chevron Corporation in strategic planning, and led various consulting engagements focused on corporate social responsibility for private sector and non-profit clients, including Hershey’s, Wells Fargo, and Hewlett Packard.
In the community, Bee Hui finds ways to prove that the triple bottom line exists. She led the creation of a social enterprise business model at The Bread Project (a Berkeley based workforce development organization) and has been an active supporter of the Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment (a neighborhood business school that builds the entrepreneurial capacity of women to achieve self-sufficiency). In addition, she’s spearheaded the professional development of hundreds of colleagues through her time as Director of Products and Programs at the Corporate Asian American Employee Network.
Bee Hui earned her Bachelor’s from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and a Master’s in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard University; her thesis research produced a model that optimizes clean technology implementation for international development, specifically in rural areas and island communities.