HR Business Partner
Talk Topic: TBA
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.
Lead for Sustainability
Talk Topic: Cities in the Circular Economy: The Role of Digital 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.
EPC Business Development Lead - Northeast Region
Talk Topic: Happy Hippy? What in the world! Navigating the waters from Corporate to Co-op.
Sara Carroll is ecstatic to have been asked back to WCS Talks this year, and realizes she better bring her A game to the show!
Sara brings over 10 years of project management experience, including management of over 140 MW of utility-scale solar. Her background is in Environmental Engineering, for which she received a Masters Degree from National University. Sara has applied her passion for renewable energy to international volunteer work as well, and has helped implement solar power in remote communities in Nicaragua and Nepal. Focusing on the Northeast Region of the United States for the Commercial/Utility Team, Sara is now responsible for ensuring that Namasté Solar remains a best-in-class commercial EPC partner to its numerous stakeholders, including developers, system owners, and site hosts.
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.
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
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’s leadership has involved roles with engagement operations and partnerships, PM, 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.
Silicon Valley Bank
Vice President – Energy & Resource Innovation
Talk Topic: TBA
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: TBA
Nike O. Opadiran concentrates her practice on the development, financing, and acquisition and divestiture of energy and infrastructure-related projects. She is experienced in drafting and negotiating purchase and sale agreements, financing and collateral agreements, power purchase agreements and ownership agreements. Her representative matters have included ArcLight Capital Partners, BlackRock Financial Management, SunEdison, and First Solar, on portfolios financing large-scale renewable energy projects.
Scientific Product Manager
Talk Topic: Big Agriculture: A Sustainability Conundrum
Noelle leads scientific product development at Mavrx, a San Francisco-based agricultural technology company dedicated to improving the long-term productivity of farmlands via emotely sensed data and machine learning. As an environmental scientist, she drives her team and customers to re-think how data can be used to make better decisions around how food is grown.
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.
Talk Topic: The Only Woman in the Room: Being Heard in Technical Settings
Recently, Ilén Zazueta-Hall led Enphase Energy’s residential product management team, and was responsible for Enphase’s energy technology systems and solutions for the residential segment. Previously, Ilén served as Enphase’s principal software manager of Enlighten, where she led the cross-functional team of software engineers, product managers and technical writers. With 15 years of combined e-learning software, SaaS and website development expertise, Ilén has enhanced the overall Enlighten platform and its mobile installer tools that measure the output and efficiency of solar energy systems. Ilén holds a BA in Humanities from New College of the University of South Florida.