CATEE 2015 Keynote Speaker
Matthew S. Tejada, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Environmental Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Matthew S. Tejada joined the EPA in March of 2013 as Director of the Office of Environmental Justice within the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. As Director, Matthew leads the Office of Environmental Justice in working with communities, other EPA divisions, federal agencies, and state, local and tribal partners to further the mission of the EPA and the goals of the Office of Environmental Justice.
Matthew joined the EPA after spending over five years in the non-profit world as executive director of the environmental advocacy Air Alliance Houston, where he focused his efforts on environmental justice issues affecting the many overburdened communities in the Houston and Texas Gulf Coast area, region-wide ozone reduction policies and alleviation of toxic and particulate matter hotspots. In this position, Matthew was also centrally involved in local, state and federal level legislative and policy formation as regards environmental and public health issues. Matthew received his Doctorate and Master’s degrees from the University of Oxford where he was a member of St. Antony’s College. His research and dissertations largely focused on environmental and energy policy, international relations, politics and the development and role of civil society. Prior to his graduate education, Matthew received a BA in English from the University of Texas at Austin, then served two years in the Peace Corps in Bulgaria as a high school teacher of English as a foreign language. Matthew is a native of Ft. Worth, Texas.
County Judge Mark Henry
Mark graduated from the University of Houston in 1987 and was commissioned a 2d Lt in the Air Force in May 1989. After completion of Undergraduate Space Training, Lt Henry was assigned to the 1st Space Operations Squadron in Colorado Springs, CO. Follow-on assignments included staff positions at Officer Training School, Squadron Officer College and at the 560th Flying Training Squadron (Chargin’ Cheetah’s), Randolph AFB, San Antonio, TX. Maj Henry transferred to the Air Force Reserve in 1995 and retired in March, 2010. Mark continues his support of the US Military by serving on Congressman Ted Poe’s Service Academy Nomination Board. As a small businessman, Mark has built a successful aviation company in Galveston County. Talon Air is an authorized vendor of aircraft parts to the United States Government and was recently praised by the Presidential Helicopter Squadron for its fast response to supply a critical item.
James V. A. Abbey, Ph.D.
Director for Global and Corporate Partnerships, The Texas A&M University System
Dr. James Abbey is the Director for Global & Corporate Partnerships for The Texas A&M University System. In this role, he holds the purview of research at Texas A&M-Galveston, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M-Kingsville and Texas A&M International-Laredo; in addition to Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension, Texas A&M Health Science Centers in College Station and McAllen, Institute for Bio-science & Technology (IBT) in Houston. Dr. Abbey played a pivotal role in securing the strategic collaborative engagements with IBM, CISCO, US Army Reserve Corp, Lockard Healthcare. Dr. Abbey’s research interests are in collaborative medical discoveries and translation in the areas of biologics, nanotechnology, and chemistry; involvement in the research of open innovation systems and the effect of collaboration on the development of novel therapeutics; and design of a best-in-class, flexible, biopharmaceutical research, development, training, and production facility focused on hybrid and disposable technologies and equipment for rapid development and production of biopharmaceutical products.
Executive Director, SPEER
Doug has been SPEER’s Executive Director since the founding of the organization in 2011 and serves as the primary coordinator for all of SPEER’s efforts. He was instrumental in bringing together the founding members and continues to guide and direct the organization which works to advance energy efficiency in Texas and Oklahoma. Under his leadership, SPEER has tripled its membership since its launch and has begun numerous projects to increase energy efficiency in the region. Doug has been passionate about energy efficiency since he began working on energy issues at the Texas Legislature in 2006. He served as Senator Rodney Ellis’ Legislative Director where he played a key role in passing statewide green jobs legislation and supported Senator Ellis’ participation in the National Commission on Energy Policy and the Commission to Engage African Americans on Climate Change. Doug earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Texas. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, two boys, and baby twin girls.
Texas State Director, Clean Energy, Environmental Defense Fund
John Hall currently directs Environmental Defense Fund’s Clean Energy Program for the State of Texas. He brings almost 30 years of experience to this position, having worked in various leadership positions at the federal, state and local levels of government. John has worked on environmental, clean air and water issues in the State of Texas for the past 25 years. He worked extensively from the mid-1990’s to the present helping to forge cost effective solutions to Texas’ clean air issues, especially in the state’s largest metropolitan areas. While devoting most of his current time to leading Environmental Defense Fund’s Clean Energy program in Texas, John continues to work for a small group of clients and advises them on environmental policy and environmental justice issues. Prior to joining the Environmental Defense Fund, John Hall served as a problem solving consultant through the small business he founded in 1995, John Hall Public Affairs (JHPA). John Hall chaired the former Texas Water Commission and the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission from 1991-1995, the predecessor agencies to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. He successfully consolidated the State’s environmental and water programs into one agency during his tenure at these agencies.
Managing Director, Deutsche Bank
Vishal Shah joined Deutsche Bank in July 2011 as Managing Director and is currently responsible for coverage of Clean Technology, Engineering/Construction and Machinery sectors. Vishal has more than 10 years’ experience as a Clean Technology analyst. Prior to joining Wall Street, Vishal worked at Applied Materials in the Engineering and Sales divisions. Vishal was ranked as the top Alternative Energy analyst in the 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 All America Research Team Surveys. Vishal has a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology and M.B.A from INSEAD.
Joshua Rhodes, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Energy Institute, The University of Texas at Austin
Joshua D. Rhodes, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in The Webber Energy Group and the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. His current research is in the area of residential smart grid applications, including system-level applications of energy efficiency and distributed generation. He is also interested in policy and the impacts that good policy can have on the efficiency of the local economy, especially policy that utilizes market forces to increase the efficiency of the residential building stock. He holds a double bachelors in Mathematics and Economics from Stephen F. Austin State University, a masters in Computational Mathematics from Texas A&M University, a masters in Architectural Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. He enjoys CrossFit, mountain biking, rock climbing, and living it up in ATX.
Senior Manager, Product Development, CPS Energy
Rick is Sr. Manager of Product Development for CPS Energy. Rick manages a product portfolio that includes energy efficiency, demand response, distributed solar, electric vehicles and rate and billing options. He has 20 years of experience in the electric utility industry in account management, rate design, and economic development. Rick joined CPS Energy in 2005 as an Energy Solutions Manager. In 2007, he became the Manager of Demand Management and Analysis. In this role, he was tasked with creating the utility’s demand response program. Prior to CPS Energy, Rick worked at TXU Energy and the Brownsville Public Utilities Board. He holds a B.A. in economics from Columbia University.
David E. Claridge, Ph.D., P.E.
Director of the Energy Systems Laboratory and Leland Jordan Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University
Dr. Claridge is internationally known for his work on energy efficiency, particularly for leading development and implementation of the Continuous Commissioning® approach used to improve energy efficiency in large buildings. He has taught numerous commissioning workshops, holds six patents and is the author of over 350 journal and conference papers. He had 10 years of experience in the HVAC field prior to coming to Texas A&M in 1986. He frequently gives presentations at national and international conferences, is a Fellow of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and is an Honorary International Member of the Society of Heating, Air-conditioning and Sanitary Engineers of Japan. He holds degrees from Walla Walla College (B.S.) and Stanford University (M.S. and Ph.D.).
Jeff S. Haberl, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Energy Systems Laboratory
Dr. Haberl is a Professor of Architecture and Associate Department Head for Research at Texas A&M University. He is an ASHRAE Fellow and IPMVP Fellow. Jeff’s educational background includes B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder and post-doctoral research at Princeton University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Studies. He has dedicated nearly three decades performing building energy research at Texas A&M University, Princeton University, the University of Colorado, Rockwell International, the Colorado State Office of Energy Conservation, the City of Boulder, and the USDOE Administrative Services. He is a Co-Principal Investigator on the Laboratory’s Texas Emissions Reduction Program (TERP), along with Mr. Bahman Yazdani, where he provides technical leadership for the code compliance calculator and emissions calculations from energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Betin Bilir Santos
CATEE Executive Director
Betin Bilir Santos, MPA, is the President of kWik Energy Solutions, LLC and is an energy and sustainability executive who assists organizations with energy usage improvements for existing and new facilities. Prior to establishing her own company, Betin managed Oncor’s Educational Faculties Program in East Texas, the Dallas area, and West Texas. Before embarking on a career in energy efficiency, Betin worked with the Environmental Defense Fund on various air quality initiatives in the Houston area, and spearheaded a statewide initiative to garner funds for the Texas Clean School Bus Program. Betin holds a BS from the University of Houston and an MPA from Texas A&M University. Betin served as the CATEE Executive Director in 2009 and 2010, and is excited to return to her former role for the CATEE 2015 Conference.
Project Manager, US Climate and Energy Program, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
Kate Zerrenner, Project Manager, US Climate and Energy Program, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), develops and implements strategies to promote energy and water efficiency and climate change solutions in Texas. Kate leads EDF’s multi-year campaign to influence and enact state and national energy and water efficiency policy which includes breaking down financial, regulatory, and behavioral barriers. She collaborates with key stakeholders and legislative sponsors on passage of clean energy and water legislation. Kate also participates in the Energy Efficiency Implementation Project at the PUC of Texas, providing input to rule-making and utility efficiency program design. Kate serves on the board of CleanTX, and the Advisory Board of the Smart Cities Council. Prior to joining EDF, Kate worked at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, SAIC, and the U.S. Department of Energy. She holds degrees from John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, the University of Glasgow and the University of Texas.
Senior Director, Technology Innovation and Market Adoption, Environmental Defense Fund
Lenae joined EDF in Jan 2015 to lead efforts with demonstration partners to prove the benefits of clean technology innovations. She is working at the nexus of technology, markets and policy to accelerate regulatory cycles and market adoption of cutting-edge clean-tech innovations. Prior to EDF, she ran a consultancy she co-founded in 2009, Power Angels, where she helped start-up companies effectively commercialize their clean-tech solutions. Lenae holds a Masters in Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas and a Bachelors in Business from the University of Florida.