2020 Midwest Cogeneration Association Virtual Conference
Dr. Robert Gemmer (Bob) is a Technology Manager in the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) in Washington, DC. He has over 40 years of experience in fundamental and applied research and development and program management. Bob joined DOE in January, 2000 following nearly 15 years with the Gas Research Institute (GRI) in Chicago, Illinois. At GRI he managed research, development, and deployment of gas-fired low emission industrial combustion equipment. Bob’s responsibilities at DOE include managing the AMO Combined Heat and Power portfolio and other projects within the AMO R&D Projects portfolio. Bob received his B.S. in Chemistry at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1968 and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in Physical Organic Chemistry in 1974. He was recognized as a CHP Champion by the U.S, Clean Heat and Power Association in 2011.
Cliff Haefke has over 18 years of experience in the energy industry and currently serves as the Director of the Energy Resources Center (ERC), located at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The ERC is an interdisciplinary public service, research, and special projects organization that works to improve energy efficiency and the environment, providing expertise in the areas of energy efficiency, distributed generation, utilities billing management, and biofuels and bioenergy. As Director, Cliff oversees the Center’s business and research efforts and is responsible for the Center’s strategic direction. At the ERC, Cliff serves as the Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Midwest and Central CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships and serves as Assistant Director to the UIC’s U.S. DOE Industrial Assessment Center. Cliff has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a MBA, both from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Cliff currently serves as President of the Midwest Cogeneration Association (MCA).
Daniel C. Scripps was appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to the Michigan Public Service Commission on February 25, 2019. His term ends July 2, 2023.
Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Scripps was the Energy Foundation’s Midwest Policy Program Director, where he coordinated strategies and grantmaking across 13 states relating to the power sector, transportation, and other issues, and led efforts to double regional grantmaking to groups engaged in equity-oriented climate and energy work. He previously served as president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council and Institute for Energy Innovation, where he led efforts to expand deployment of advanced energy resources in Michigan, and as a Vice President with Advanced Energy Economy, focusing on energy finance. An attorney, Mr. Scripps practiced law in the Washington D.C. office of Latham & Watkins LLP, advising regulated utilities, project developers, and financial institutions on cutting-edge domestic and international energy projects.
Mr. Scripps served one term representing Benzie, Leelanau, Manistee, and Mason counties in the Michigan House of Representatives (2009-2010), where he chaired the House Banking and Financial Services committee, and served on committees dealing with energy, telecommunications and environmental protection.
Currently, Commissioner Scripps serves on the Upper Peninsula Energy Task Force created by Governor Whitmer in June 2019. He also serves on the board of directors of the Organization of MISO States, and in August 2019 was selected to serve as the president of the Mid-America Regulatory Conference. He is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and serves on its Committee on Electricity, Committee on International Relations, and the Washington Action Program.
Mr. Scripps is a graduate of Alma College and a 2005 honors graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.
David Gardiner has more than 35 years of experience analyzing and shaping successful domestic and global clean energy and sustainability strategies in both the public and private sectors. As principal of DGA, he provides high-level strategic guidance to the corporate executives and non=profit leaders with whom the firm works. Among his pincipal areas of expertise are renewable energy, energy efficiency, thermal energy, clean air policy, sustainable transportation, and forest and land issues. David uses this knowledge, coupled with his strong ability to make sense of complicated issues, to help clients develop informed, thoughtful strategies to maximize bottom line impact.
Prior to founding DGA, David served as the Executive Director of the White House Climate Change Task Force during the Clinton Administration, where he participated in development of domestic policy and in international climate negotiations. As EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Policy, David led EPA’s climate change efforts, as well as programs to reinvent EPA’s approaches to key sectors such as transportation, agriculture, metal finishing, and real estate development. Prior to joining the Clinton administration, David was Legislative Director for the Sierra Club in Washington, D.C. David has a Bachor of Arts with honors from Harvard College.
David Jones is a Manager at ICF with 16 years of experience analyzing markets and modeling the technical, economic, and environmental performance of distributed energy resources (DERs) for government clients and energy industry stakeholders. He leads ICF’s efforts to evaluate technologies and markets for combined heat and power (CHP), district energy, and microgrids by developing analysis strategies, managing project teams, and effectively communicating findings to clients. Prior to joining ICF, Mr. Jones served as Senior Engineer at Resource Dynamics Corporation and Engineering Aide for the Defense Information Systems Agency. He holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Virginia.
Dick Munson is based in Chicago and a director at the Environmental Defense Fund, focused on energy and agricultural innovation. He was a senior vice president at Recycled Energy Development and was given a CHP Champion Award by the USCHPA. Dick is the author of Tesla: Inventor of the Modern, a biography of the inventor Nikola Tesla, as well as From Edison to Enron, a history of the electricity industry. He sits on the boards of Elevate Energy, Center for Neighborhood Technology, Illinois Environmental Council, and Greenleaf Advisors.
Edward Kriz is the Strategic Energy Management and Combined Heat & Power Manager for the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program. In this position, Kriz oversees the resources and rebates available to public, commercial and industrial customers to manage their energy use, reduce overhead costs and strengthen their bottom line. Kriz has over 30 years of experience working in the energy, environmental and engineering industries. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois – Chicago. Kriz also earned certification from Illinois Institute of Technology Stuart Graduate School of Business in environmental management, specifically in compliance and pollution prevention.
Graeme Miller is an Energy Policy Analyst with the Energy Resources Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). At the ERC Mr. Miller works as on energy policy issues for the US DOE Midwest Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership. In his current research Mr. Miller focuses on identifying, quantifying, and addressing barriers to clean distributed generation technologies such as combined heat and power (CHP), waste heat to power (WHP), district energy (DE), and energy efficiency (EE) installations. Mr. Miller specializes in utility rate policy, focusing on how utility rates affect combined heat and power deployment. Mr. Miller has written research papers on CHP, energy efficiency, energy security and utility rate policy for the US DOE Midwest CHP TAP, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the Iowa Office of Consumer Advocates, the Iowa Environmental Council, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Environmental Law and Policy Center. Mr. Miller has submitted testimony in utility rate cases and efficiency filings before the the Iowa Utility Board, the Missouri Public Service Commission, the Minnesota Public Utility Commission, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. Mr. Miller has also presented on CHP topics before the Indiana State Senate.
Mr. Miller is a member of the International District Energy Association (IDEA), the U.S. Combined Heat and Power Association, the Alliance for Industrial Efficiency, and he currently serves on the policy committee of the Midwest Cogeneration Association. Mr. Miller holds a Master’s of Urban Planning and Policy from UIC and a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Grinnell College.
Jane Epperson joined the ERC in May 2020 as Associate Director and supports the overall operations, administration, and research development for the Center. Jane also serves as Assistant Director of the US DOE Central Region Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership (CHP TAP).
Jane is originally from Chicago and offers 20 years of diverse professional experience, most recently with the Missouri State Energy Office where she contributed to the development of the Comprehensive Statewide Energy Plan, served as grant project manager for the development of Missouri’s first statewide Technical Reference Manual, facilitated statewide energy efficiency collaboratives, and championed the deployment of CHP throughout Missouri with education outreach campaigns, analysis impacts of utility rates, interpretation of distributed generation policies, and participation in US DOE Better Buildings CHP Accelerators. Jane has experience in strategic and operational planning and implementation, policy development, leadership training, and professional facilitation. Jane earned a Master’s of Science in Geology from the University of Missouri at Columbia and serves on the Policy Committee of the Midwest Cogeneration Association. She is very proud of her son, who is currently in college.
James Leidel has been involved in the energy and energy management industries since his graduation from Purdue University with a BS in mechanical engineering in 1990. From 1991 to 2001, he worked in various positions with Invensys Building Systems (formerly Barber-Colman) and Detroit Edison, followed by 10 years as Energy Manger for Oakland University’s Facilities Management Department. In 2011, James created the Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) within the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Oakland University, and he then moved over to be the director, where he worked on prototypes and commercialization of several new clean energy technologies as well as support OU and other organization’s clean energy infrastructure needs. In August of 2017, James returned to DTE Energy to support the DTE Gas industrial and commercial group with a focus on Combined Heat and Power Systems.
While at OU, James assisted with the development of multiple power projects totaling over 8.3 MW encompassing solar PV, gas turbines and reciprocating peakers. In the midst of the above career, James completed an MS in mechanical engineering from U-M. He also provided studies for many other institutions for CHP, utility scale solar and wind systems. While at Oakland U, James taught Environmental Science, “Energy and the Environment”, as well as multiple mechanical engineering courses including a newly developed clean energy curricula including alternative energy, CHP systems, CHP, green buildings and energy management.
Joe Birschbach serves as the Industrial Energy Efficiency Manager for the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program where he is responsible for meeting portfolio efficiency needs within the utility’s Industrial/Manufacturing customer base. Prior to this, he served as General Manager of Veolia Energy’s downtown Saint Louis cogeneration power plant & steam utility; and led as a Business Development Manager on behalf of Abengoa Bioenergy’s second generation cellulosic ethanol technologies.
Joe is an accomplished manager who, throughout his 15 year career, has successfully held roles across a variety of energy markets. His experience includes business management, business development, energy management, project management and engineering design/modeling. Joe is a Certified Energy Manager, has a BSCE from the University of Missouri – Columbia, attained a MBA and holds a Professional Engineering License.
John Prunkl is the CEO and co-founder of Ironclad Energy Partners LLC. John has 30 years of global operating experience in natural gas- and coal-powered generation, natural gas-fired CHP, district energy, wind energy, waste heat, waste water and byproduct fuel-fired generation facilities. As an owner and operator of independent generation facilities for most of his career, John has strong technical understanding of power plants, plant economics as well as how to operate in both public and private capital structures. John serves as Chairman of the Waste Heat to Power Association and is on the Mechanical Engineering advisory board at Auburn University.
Justin is an entrepreneurial business leader and an experienced dealmaker with deep energy expertise gained through leadership roles in complex sales, project developmetn, executive management, and government policy over the past fifteen years, He founded Vergent Power Solutions in 2014 to be a pre-eminent provider of microturbine technology by developing best-in-class combined heat and power (CHP) projects from the ground up.
Prior to starting Vergent, Justin served in leadership roles at Capstone Turbine Corporation, most recently as Vice President of Sales for the Americas, Africa and the Middle East, managing over thirty distribution partners and expanding into new international markets. he helped launch, and then directed, Capstone’s global government affairs practice from Washongton, D.C. Justin has served on numerous industry association boards, including the U.S. Combined Heat and Power Association, the Power gen International Steering Committee, the Midwest Cogeneration Association and the Gas Turbine Association.
Justin holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. from The George Washington University. He was a Presidential Management Feloow, working on energy trade and investment matters at the U.S. International Trade Administration and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. During his goverment service, he helped bring the first American clean energy trade mission to China and India.
Ken serves as Managing Partner / CEO of Sterling Energy Group, LLC a specialized energy engineering firm focusing on combined heating and power (CHP) and energy systems efficiency with major industrial firms and utilities throughout North America. Ken manages a specialized team of professionals providing a full range of energy engineering, heat and power balance modeling, CHP development and system optimization in expanding collaboration of CHP development between utilities and key customers. His team is currently involved in evaluation, development and implementation of over a dozen CHP projects. SEG served as Development Engineer and Owner’s Engineer for the innovative FPU/Chesapeake/Eight Flags 21.7 MW CHP on Amelia Island, Florida, which received the 2016 Power Gen CHP of the year Award. Ken was also a principal author of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) publication: Combined Heating and Power Implementation – a Management Guide.
Prior to founding Sterling Energy, Ken served as Vice President in Southern Company’s unregulated IPP subsidiary where he managed the global consulting engineering and distributed generation business units implementing projects in 20 countries. Earlier in his career, Ken progressed through several positions in Georgia Power including Strategic Planning Manager, Regional Manager, and Assist to Senior VP for Power Generation & T&D.
Mike Larson has more than 25 years’ experience in energy project development, management, and engineering. As Director of Business Development for DTE Energy Services, Mike focuses on evaluating the technical and commercial feasibility of on-site energy opportunities and developing those projects from concept to implementation – including combined heat and power, distributed energy, and utility services projects for a wide range of industrial, institutional, and commercial customers. Prior to DTE Energy Services, Mike held development and engineering positions at Pace Global, Nations Energy, and Sargent & Lundy. Mike has a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame.
Milos Stefanovic, Senior Program Manager at ComEd, manages the Custom incentive program within ComEd’s Energy Efficiency portfolio. He has more than 13 years of broad experience in the energy industry, having led the design, budgeting and implementation of energy efficiency projects during his career. Prior to joining ComEd, Milos was an Operations Manager at Invenergy for combined and simple cycle power plants. Before then, he was designing combined cycle power plants as a mechanical engineer at Sargent & Lundy. Milos started his career in the energy field through the Industrial Assessment Center at University of Illinois at Chicago, performing various facility assessments and identifying and quantifying energy efficiency measures. Milos is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois and a Certified Energy Manager. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an MBA from the DePaul University.
Neal Elliott is the Senior Director of Research of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), coordinating ACEEE’s overall research efforts. Elliott has been with ACEEE since 1993, and is an internationally recognized expert and author on energy efficiency programs and policies, industrial energy policy, combined heat and power, and a frequent speaker at domestic and international conferences. He is the recipient of the 2003 CHP Champion award and 2014 Industrial Energy Technology Conference Energy Award.
Prior to joining ACEEE, Elliott was an adjunct associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University and Senior Engineering Project Manager at the N. C. Alternative Energy Corp. (now Advanced Energy). Elliott received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University, and was a Dean’s Fellow and received a Ph.D. from Duke University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in North Carolina and holds six patents. Elliott serves on the board of the Industrial Energy Technology Conference and is the past Treasurer of the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance.
Patricia F. Sharkey is a Chicago-based environmental lawyer who founded Environmental Law Counsel, P.C. in 2011 after working for large law firms for 23 years. Pat helps clients navigate complex regulatory regimes and their application to business operations and new technologies. Pat has spearheaded a number of client initiatives before environmental agencies, utility commissions, and state legislatures. Pat acts as the Policy Director for the Midwest Cogeneration Association and has represented the MCA on matters affecting the deployment of energy efficient cogeneration technologies in stakeholder groups, and legislative, regulatory and rate-making policy forums in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Ohio. Pat is also an advocate for public lands and has represented not-for-profit clients on public lands and Great Lakes matters in legislative and administrative forums and in successful litigation protecting public rights, from the trial courts through the highest courts in Indiana and Illinois and before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Pat served as: 2015-2016 Chair of the Lake Michigan States Section of the Air & Waste Management Association; 2015-2016 Chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Illinois Bar Association; and 2013-present Policy Director of the Midwest Cogeneration Association. She is a past recipient of the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois’ Board of Director’s Award and Regulatory Affairs Committee Award. Pat also currently serves on the Boards of Friends of the Parks in Chicago and the Long Beach Community Alliance in Indiana. She has been selected by her peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America in 2013 – 2019.
Richard Sweetser has spent 48-years commercializing advanced energy, power, refrigeration and HVAC technologies. Mr. Sweetser founded EXERGY Partners Corporation in January 1998 as a consulting firm designed to capitalize on opportunities arising out of utility restructuring and climate change in the energy and construction industries. EXERGY Partners has developed an extensive commercial, institutional and industrial network focusing on the integration of onsite power generation, energy recovery and thermal energy management. EXERGY Partners has provided strategic support for the Federal initiative on combined heat and power (CHP), EPA’s Combined Heat and Power Partnership and the U.S. Department of State’s Asia Pacific Partnership. Mr. Sweetser is a Senior Advisor to the U.S. DOE’s CHP Deployment Program and the U.S. DOE’s Mid-Atlantic CHP Technology Assistance Partnership, as well as, the U.S. DOE Packaged CHP Systems eCatalog Coordinator. Mr. Sweetser has published numerous technical, and policy articles, technical manuals, a book titled, “THE FUNDAMENTALS OF GAS COOLING” and was the lead author on ASHRAE’s CHP Design Guide.