HR Business Partner
Talk Topic: Leveraging Your Identity for Success
As an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace, Courtney has spent her career developing and implementing strategies that both individuals and teams can leverage for meaningful collaboration and growth. She is currently a HR Business Partner at Google, where she coaches and advises leaders on how to manage and motivate their teams. Courtney began her career as an 11th grade English teacher through Teach For America and has worked as a non-profit leader and a management consultant with Monitor Deloitte. Leading up to the 2008 Olympics, she founded a travel consultancy in Beijing and, in her spare time, had acting roles in a couple of Chinese soap operas. Courtney holds a B.A. in History from Harvard College, a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a Certificate in Organizational Leadership and Coaching from Northwestern University.
Director, Marketing and Corporate Communications
Talk Topic: Energy Sector Transformation: Women Needed (co-presenter)
Elise Benoit is a marketing executive with 20 years of experience with start-ups and high-growth organizations in software and clean technology. She is currently the director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at AutoGrid Systems. AutoGrid’s flexibility management software helps utilities and renewable energy project developers gain visibility and control over distributed energy resources by forecasting, optimizing and dispatching flexible resources like solar, wind, energy storage, EV charging stations, and smart thermostats in real time. Before joining AutoGrid, Elise was the head of marketing at Ice Energy, a thermal energy storage company. She is a graduate of ESCP-Europe in Paris and holds a post-graduate degree in Communications from the Sorbonne University
Lead for Sustainability
Talk Topic: Circular Cities & Technology
Kate Brandt leads sustainability across Google’s worldwide operations and products. In this role, Kate coordinates with Google’s data centers, real estate, supply chain, and product teams to ensures the company is capitalizing on opportunities to strategically advance sustainability and circular economy.
Previously Kate served as President Obama and the Nation's first Chief Sustainability Officer. In this capacity, she was responsible for promoting sustainability across Federal Government operations including 360,000 buildings, 650,000 vehicles, and $445 billion annually in purchased goods and services.
Prior to the White House, Kate held several senior roles in U.S. Federal Government including Senior Advisor at the Department of Energy, Director for Energy and Environment in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, and Energy Advisor to the Secretary of the Navy. Kate received a Masters degree in International Relations from the University of Cambridge where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. She graduated with honors from Brown University.
Co-Owner and Commercial/Utility Sales Director
Talk Topic: Getting Rid of the Bosses!
Cynthia Christensen has over 25 years in the renewable market from manufacturing expertise, to global large scale renewable utility scale projects. Cynthia’s leadership has led to some of the largest Concentrated Solar Projects (CSP), co-generation and photovoltaic projects. She began her photovoltaic career as a next step from the semiconductor industry via of manufacturing techniques used today for polysilicon development, cell and module high volume production and state of the art LED technology.
Throughout her career, Cynthia’s focus has been on expanding a holistic approach of incorporating highly effective energy management through software, deep retrofits and renewables in a bundling approach that provides the greatest returns on large buildings. Cynthia is involved in policy through her work as a board member of Colorado Solar Industry Association (COSEIA) and an active advocate of employee owned cooperative, B Corporations and the role women play in the leadership of such business models. In her spare time, Cynthia enjoys running and hiking in the Colorado Mountains, as well as scuba diving and snorkeling in Hawaii.
Levi Strauss & Co.
Vice President, Sustainability
Talk Topic: On the Outside Looking In: Succeeding in the Dominant Culture
Michael Kobori has led sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co. since 2001. In this role, he is responsible for the company’s sustainability vision and strategy across all business functions. Under Michael’s tenure, Levi Strauss & Co. has been an industry leader in sustainability, pioneering initiatives such as rollout of Water<Less production techniques reducing water use by over 2 billion liters to date; growth of Better Cotton to 21% of all the company’s cotton usage; development of a hazard-based Screened Chemistry Framework; expansion of Worker Well-being programs to over 100,000 workers; and inclusion of Care for the Planet™ labels on all products. Based on its sustainability work, Levi Strauss & Co. was named as one of the most innovative companies in the world in 2014 by FastCompany magazine, which also named Mr. Kobori one of its 1000 Most Creative People in Business.
Director of Business Strategy
Talk Topic: Inclusivity in Cleantech
Lenka Kollar is the Director of Business Strategy at NuScale Power where she is working to bring NuScale’s small modular reactor to market through business plan development and clean energy outreach. She has been invited to speak on energy innovation and the potential of small modular reactors to provide electricity and clean water in a variety of different forums, such as the CleanTech Forum in San Francisco and COP22 in Morocco. Previously, Ms. Kollar was an Associate Communication Officer at the International Atomic Energy Agency where she handled external and internal communication for the Department of Nuclear Energy. Prior to that, she consulted with public and private sector organizations on nuclear energy policy, public communications, and marketing strategy, along with writing an informational blog called Nuclear Undone. Ms. Kollar also served as a technical associate in non-proliferation policy at the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration and at Argonne National Laboratory.
Dow Water and Process Solutions
Strategic Marketing Director
Talk Topic: Keeping it Together is the New Having it All
With a passion for technology, marketing savvy and genuine concern for our natural resources, Kimberly champions the advancement and adoption of water technology at Dow Water & Process Solutions. As the strategic marketing director, Kimberly is responsible for bringing new growth opportunities to the business, working with the leadership team to develop and drive business strategy, and lead end-user marketing and sustainability initiatives.
The Beauty Activist
Talk Topic: Sustainable Beauty: The Future of Self-Care
Passionately committed to helping women live boldly and beautifully, Kenetia speaks with women and women’s organizations all over the country encouraging them to appreciate themselves and embrace their beauty fearlessly – a message she also makes widely available via her book “Fearless Beauty 360°: A Complete Guide to Self Acceptance and Empowerment.” As an author, speaker and coach/consultant, she
captivates the world with her bold, fresh, and empowering message that redefines a woman’s approach to beauty. Kenetia’s work as a highly sought-after Red Carpet Makeup Artist has given her the honor of working intimately with beautiful women at the Academy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, the Grammy Awards, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and Teen Vogue Fashion LIVE to name a few.
Senior Software Engineer
Talk Topic: Energy Sector Transformation: Women Needed (co-presenter)
Percy is a Senior Software Engineer and data scientist at AutoGrid Systems, where she works on real-time optimization and control of distributed energy resources. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at Stanford, a Master’s of environmental engineering at MIT, and a PhD in climate science at UC Berkeley. She loves programming and learning new things and is really excited to work on the urgently important problem of decarbonizing our energy system.
Talk Topic: Teaching Old Industries New Tricks
Jenny Linton has come a long way since her first job as a magician’s assistant. President of OSIsoft since 2012, Jenny believes in thinking for the decade not the quarter and in serving customer needs as a top priority. Under Jenny’s leadership, OSIsoft has opened a new technology campus, instituted a Customer Advisory Board, and started an Ambassador Program for emerging leaders to facilitate global change, culture, and communication within OSIsoft.
Most things today have OSIsoft’s PI System, a data infrastructure for sensor-based industrial data, somewhere in the supply chain. Globally, the PI System manages over 1.5 billion data streams and helps industries, such as power utilities, oil & gas, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and mining, save energy and digitally transform their operations. And, as Jenny is fond of telling people, OSIsoft’s first customer still relies on the PI System to derive insight from its sensor-based data.
Marcela Cabrera Luna
CES Tesla, Customer Experience & Partnerships
Talk Topic: The Role of the State, International Law and the International Community: Intersection of Human Rights and Climate Change, and Universal Jurisdiction and Cleantech as Solutions
Marcela currently works at Tesla with customer experience and partnerships, executing her vision and collective goal to helps us move in the right direction with sustainable lifestyles and a 100% clean energy future. Her leadership has involved roles with engagement operations and partnerships, program management, policy, corporate social responsibility and marketing. She has worked with startups, NGO’s and Fortune 500 technology companies in the Silicon Valley. Marcela’s achievements include developing policy on pressing climate change concerns caused by traditional extractive practices and the consumption of natural resources focusing in oil, and published work on policies and international laws that must take place to improve the issue and build a more sustainable future with cleantech and renewable energy. She received a Master’s degree from the University of San Francisco in International Studies where she was a MAIS Scholar. She graduated from UC Berkeley as an IDEAL Scholar.
Silicon Valley Bank
Vice President – Energy & Resource Innovation
Talk Topic: Funding the Future: Investment Trends in Cleantech
Mona Maitra is a Vice President in Silicon Valley Bank’s Energy and Resource Innovation practice. Over the past six years at SVB, she has worked with cleantech companies of all stages (pre-revenue through public) and across sectors to help them scale by advising on capital structures, treasury needs and strategic growth opportunities. She structures tailored financing solutions to help companies grow and deploy affordable renewable energy and products around the world. Her finance career began at GE Capital, where her work spanned roles from corporate financial planning to lending for private equity buyouts. Her interest in finance and utilizing financial markets for positive social change was influenced by her undergraduate coursework at the University of Michigan and her MBA at the Kellogg School of Management.
Director of Product Management
Talk Topic: The Utility of the Future: Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and Customer Engagement
Natalie Musick leads the web energy management product team at Opower, now a part of Oracle Utilities. They are building SaaS web and mobile software solutions to enable the ongoing transformation of Electric, Gas and Water Utilities and their relationships with customers. Their products serve over 100 utilities globally, reaching over 50 million homes, while analyzing more than 500 billion meter reads. These solutions help people more efficiently navigate the increasingly complex world of energy by changing their behavior and investing in energy saving appliances, electric vehicles and solar power generation. Natalie holds an MBA from the Presidio School in Sustainable Business Management, a BA from UC Berkeley, and has been leading product teams and consulting in the product management space for almost two decades.
Motiv Power Systems
Director of Marketing and Business Development
Talk Topic: What California's Climate Change Investments Mean For Your Business
As a leader at Motiv, Urvi contributes to projects from concept through administration, crafting policy goals to support environmentally friendly policies enabling Motiv to deploy zero-emission vehicles and improve air quality in a socially responsible way. Urvi plays an active role in administering grants, developing business relationships, interfacing with customers, government representatives, press, and other stakeholders. She has a B.A. in Film & Media Studies from UC Santa Barbara and an A.A. in History from Foothill College.
Counsel, Energy and Infrastructure Projects
Talk Topic: Transmission Lines Matter
Nike Opadiran is a Counsel in Skadden's Energy & Infrastructure Projects group and concentrates her practice on the development, financing, and acquisition and divestiture of energy and infrastructure-related projects in the United States and around the world.
She has broad experience across the energy industry, including experience with financing renewable energy and other power generation projects. She also has considerable experience with advising on the development, construction and financing of transmission facilities, and drafting and negotiating transmission service and capacity agreements. Some of her recent representative transactions include advising on the construction financing of a 660 MW underwater transmission line connecting New Jersey to Manhattan, and the negotiation of a 40-year transmission service agreement to acquire 1,200 MW of firm transmission capacity over a proposed $1.2 billion, 140-mile-long overhead transmission line. Nike received a J.D. from Harvard Law School and graduated with distinction from University of Waterloo.
Talk Topic: How Smart Cities Can Brace for Autonomous Vehicles
Kelly Ratchinsky is passionate about the future of transportation and smart cities. She is a Technical Consultant for UrbanLogiq. Kelly manages finding new growth opportunities in the Autonomous Connected Electric (ACE) vehicle space. Before her pivot to urban intelligence she was an Offshore Project Engineer laying oil pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico. Kelly earned her MSc Mechanical Engineering with a focus on autonomous vehicles and renewable energy systems.
Head of Product Management
Talk Topic: Making Demand Response Fun
Claudia Richter recently joined the management team at OhmConnect, a San Francisco based clean energy start-up which enables consumers to get paid for saving energy when the grid needs it most. As Head of Product Management, she leads efforts to define and design new features and enhancements to increase adoption and engagement of the rapidly growing OhmConnect community. Prior to transitioning to cleantech, Claudia spent twenty years defining and delivering digital solutions in the consumer banking and payments space. Most recently she was Head of Analytics at Chase Digital, where she helped grow the mobile user base from 17 million to 28 million active users.
CEO and Bravo TV Personality
Talk Topic: TBA
Shervin Roohparvar specializes in entrepreneurship and project management within the tech, hospitality, nightlife and fashion industries, and is recognized in entertainment as a leading cast member on Bravo TV’s hit docu-series, Shahs of Sunset.
Prior to his TV debut, Shervin developed an immediately identifiable passion and aptitude for business with a career spanning more than 15 years, bringing him exposure and recognition worldwide. While studying Neurological Science at University of California, Riverside, he began his first tech venture which he still oversees today, and went on to embrace his entrepreneurial spirit via numerous, successful startups includingMUNITIO – a high-end, celebrity-endorsed headphone line; Seattle-based hospitality/nightlife group, F2T Hospitality andEstate, a high-end urban streetwear store.
In addition to his business accolades, Shervin has become a ”go-to” influencer within entertainment and fashion scene, and has been featured on multiple media platforms such as Funny or Die, Daily Mail, OK! Magazine, E! and People. He is an avid supporter of PARS Equality, a non-profit dedicated to helping all members of the Iranian-American community, primarily by providing extensive social/legal services, and the Aryana Health Care Foundation. Originally from the Bay Area, Shervin currently resides in Beverly Hills and just opened a series of restaurant concepts in Seattle this summer.
Joan Sullivan Photography
Renewable Energy Photographer
Talk Topic: Me and My Drone, 100 Meters Above the Waves
Since 2009, photographer Joan Sullivan has focused her cameras (and more recently her drones) exclusively on renewable energy. She has found her niche on the construction sites of some of North America’s largest wind and solar installations, where she draws inspiration from the men and women who are literally building our clean energy future. Self-employed, Joan is currently working on a long-term project to document the transition of former oil and gas industry workers to newly created jobs in the renewable energy sector. She writes about renewable energy artworks on the Artists & Climate Change blog. In 2015, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) produced a documentary film about Joan’s commitment to creating positive images that help us visualize what a sustainable post-carbon world will look like. In a previous life, Joan spent nearly two decades in Africa designing community-based HIV prevention programs for a variety of international organizations. Joan holds an M.Sc. in Population Sciences from the Harvard School of Public Health.
United Nations Development Program
Talk Topic: Social & Environmental Responsibility in Fashion
As a researcher, Nidia is interested in resolving some of the pollution issues within the textile and color industries by considering upstream and downstream solutions. She has an interdisciplinary background in textile chemistry, design, nanotechnology, and treatment of waste. She is currently a Research Associate at Cornell University where she is exploring the use of living technologies and vertical farming for textile waste remediation downstream. In an effort to bring safer chemicals upstream in apparel, she actively contributes to green chemistry programming of Los Angeles Sanitation and the American Chemical Society. Her family has worked in the garment production segment of the fashion industry for decades in El Salvador and the United States, which motivates her to seek sustainable innovation initiatives.
Director of Client Engagement
Talk Topic: The Only Woman in the Room: Being Heard in Technical Settings
Currently, Ilen works as Director of Client Engagement for Exponential Machines, an AI startup making cognitive solutions easier to configure, train and operate. Previously, Ilen directed Enphase Energy’s product management team, and was responsible for advancing energy technology systems for the residential segment. She also served as Enphase’s principal software product manager, leading a cross-functional team in the development of their top-rated solar monitoring software. With over 15 years of experience in software design and development, her focus is on making complex systems — whether human or technological — as simple as possible.