Clean Energy Connections, 2011

Speaker Bios

Brian Beauregard, Holyoke Gas & Electric

As Electric Superintendent of HG&E, Mr. Beauregard supervises all of the Department’s electric operations, including distribution, transmission, and operations. Mr. Beauregard has been with HG&E since 1989 as a Cadet Engineer and joined the Department full time in 1992. Prior to becoming Electric Superintendent in 1999, he held various Electrical Engineering and supervisory positions. Mr. Beauregard was responsible for the conceptualization and development of the telecommunications infrastructure, which provides businesses with data and Internet services over fiber optic lines. He has 15 years experience with managing the Department’s power supply portfolio and rate setting. He has a Certificate in Public Utility Management from the Northeast Public Power Association. Mr. Beauregard has received both a Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Western New England University. He lives in Holyoke with his wife Kimberly and their 4 sons ranging in age from 9 to 14.

Marybeth Campbell, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

Marybeth Campbell has eleven years experience combined in government, public policy, public education and project management in the energy sector. She is currently the Workforce Development Director at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center working with higher education, vocational schools, and community based nonprofits and labor to develop training and workforce capacity that supports the Commonwealth’s growing clean energy industry. She previously served as the Public Education Manager for Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust where she oversaw two education initiatives that funded projects to increase awareness among teachers, students and the public about the benefits of clean energy. Prior to joining the Trust, Marybeth worked as a senior research analyst for the Massachusetts House of Representatives Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. She has a BA in Political Science from Providence College.

Rebecca Davis, Metropolitan Area Planning Commission

Rebecca Davis is the Government Affairs Manager for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. Ms. Davis manages the promotion and advancement MAPC’s legislative and policy priorities and oversees MAPC’s newly created energy division. Previously, she worked in the Massachusetts State House as Legislative Director to State Senator Robert O’Leary, where she worked on the passage of numerous environmental laws, including the Massachusetts Oceans Act, the nation’s first ocean management legislation and the Green Communities Act, creating policy to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy development. Ms. Davis has experience working on numerous political campaigns, most recently serving as the Campaign Manager for a Congressional race. Ms. Davis is a graduate of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and American Institutions.

Vincent DeVito, Institute for Energy and Sustainability

Vincent DeVito, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy, currently serves as Director of the Institute for Energy and Sustainability and is also corporate and regulatory attorney with Bowditch & Dewey’s Boston office. Mr. DeVito is experienced in renewable energy development and corporate sustainability issues and has closely worked on legislative and regulatory corporate disclosure and compliance matters. Mr. DeVito's clients include utilities, corporations, investors, and entrepreneurs in the clean energy sector.

Said Dini, Western New England University

Dr. Said Dini received his BS in Mechanical Engineering, 1968; his MS in Aerospace Engineering, 1970; both from the University of Missouri at Rolla. In 1972 he joined Iran University of Science and Technology and was promoted to Assistant Professor in the following year. In 1974 he became the Chairman of the Department of HVAC at the University until he returned to Illinois Institute of Technology in 1977. He received his Ph.D. Degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1981. In the same year he joined Western New England University in Springfield, MA as an Assistant Professor. He was the Chair of the ME Department for the academic years 2003-2007. He is presently a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is a honorary member of Pi Tau Sigma, The Society of Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, and Who’s Who in the East. He has over 44 publications.

Kevin Doyle, Green Economy

Kevin Doyle is Principal of Green Economy, an independent Boston-based consultancy founded in 2007. Green Economy provides labor market research, strategic planning, multi-stakeholder facilitation, program evaluation, and professional training for government, business, academia and the nonprofit community.

Kevin is the workforce program lead for the New England Clean Energy Council and the leader of the Green Careers Affinity Group for the National Fund for Workforce Solutions. His work has been noted by New York Times, Boston Globe, Boston Globe Magazine, Newsweek, Forbes, E Magazine, Marketplace Money, Living on Earth, National Public Radio, Sierra, Outside, Chronicle Channel 5 (Boston) and more. He is co-host of a 2010 “green careers” DVD and is the co-author of four popular books about environmental careers, including The Eco Guide to Careers That Make a Difference: Environmental Work for a Sustainable World and The Complete Guide to Environmental Careers in the 21st Century.

Robert Dvorcik, Western Massachusetts Electric Company

Bob Dvorchik is the Supervisor of Commercial and Industrial Programs of the Western Massachusetts Electric Company. Bob has over 25 years of experience specifically in the field of energy conservation. In the last ten years he has personally overseen 280 conservation projects which are saving WMECO customers over 800,000,000 kilowatt-hours. Bob was responsible for qualifying these customers to receive over $10,000,000 in WMECO energy efficiency funding. Bob was awarded the title of Certified Energy Manager by the Association of Energy Engineers, and is a graduate of the University of Connecticut. Bob is an active member of the Volunteer Fire Department of New Marlborough, MA.

Jonathan Edwards, SmartPower

Jonathan Edwards has been leading programs, marketing efforts and fundraising for SmartPower since he joined their staff in 2002. Edwards has been responsible for launching many of SmartPower's signature initiatives, including the Clean Energy Communities programs in both Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and leads SmartPower on business development. Under Edwards’ marketing leadership, SmartPower has received the U.S. DOE’s Green Power Pilot Award and the U.S. EPA’s Clean Air Excellence Award.

Edwards has significant experience in both non-profit management and organizational design, having served previously as the founding Executive Director of the Retirement Security Alliance in Washington, DC, Director of Public and Regulatory Affairs for Boston-based Advantage Schools, and one of the original staff persons and regional directors for The Concord Coalition, a deficit watchdog group formed in 1992. Edwards has also served on the campaign staffs of the Paul Tsongas presidential campaign as well as for Congressman John Olver (D-MA).

Jonathan is a graduate of Skidmore College and holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Massachusetts. In 2004, Edwards was elected to the Whately, MA, Board of Selectmen, where he still serves. Edwards also serves on the Advisory Board for the Sustainable Futures Academy at the Salzburg Global Seminar, is the Chair of the Board of Oversight for the South County Senior Center in Franklin County, and is a Member at Large on the Franklin County Selectmen’s Association Executive Committee.

Steve Goodwin, UMass Amherst

Steve Goodwin is the Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at UMass Amherst. He joined the faculty in the Department of Microbiology in 1986 and focused his research on environmental microbiology and the use of microbes to produce biodegradable polymers. He bacame dean in September 2009.

Dr. Goodwin received a BS in Zoology from the University of Maine, an MS in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia, and a PhD in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin. From 2001, Dr. Goodwin served as Dean and as Associate Dean for the former College of Natural Resources and the Environment prior to becoming CNS dean. He is active on the boards of many regional organizations, including Community Involved in Supporting Agriculture (CISA), the Northeastern Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors, and the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute (PVLSI). Steve and his wife Gay are both originally natives of Beverly Mass.

Daniel Laduke, Western Massachusetts Electric Company

Daniel Laduke is a Commercial and Industrial Conservation Project Administrator of the Western Massachusetts Electric Company. In this position he assists WMECO's largest customer in identifying energy conservation opportunities and qualifies these opportunities for Mass Save incentive funding. His previous experience was as an electrical engineer with a focus in design of energy efficient building electrical systems. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts where he earned a Bachelor Of Science in Electrical Engineering.

Amy Kacala, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

Ms. Kacala is a community planner with over seven years of professional planning experience. Prior to joining Berkshire Regional Planning Commission in 2008, Ms. Kacala was a consultant in Colorado where she worked extensively on local and regional comprehensive plans, TOD corridor plans, regional housing and neighborhood assessments, and historic preservation plans across the Rocky Mountain west. At BRPC, Ms Kacala's work has included community master planning, regional shared service analysis, Green Communities Act implementation, energy and energy efficiency technical assistance, and the design and implementation of the regional indicators component of the Berkshire Benchmarks program. This latter project has resulted in an expansion into equity planning in partnership with housing, social services, and educational organizations, largely relating to the Community Impact work of Berkshire United Way. Ms. Kacala sits on the Community Impact Oversight Committee of the Berkshire United Way. She holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning Degree from the University of New York at Buffalo.

Michael Mahoney, Saint-Gobain External Venturing

Dr. Michael Mahoney is the North American manager for Saint-Gobain’s External Venturing group, which identifies and evaluates start-up companies for potential partnerships with Saint-Gobain businesses. Focus areas for the External Venturing group include new products and technologies related to the three pillars of growth for Saint-Gobain: Building Construction, Energy and Environment.

Dr. Mahoney has been with Saint-Gobain since 1995, first as a Research Engineer, then as a Technology Manager in the Abrasives Division. In 2003, he led the technical initiation of a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell group within the Saint-Gobain Research & Development Center near Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He joined the External Venturing group in April 2010.

Dr. Mahoney received a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering (1983) and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (1985) from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Stuttgart (1992), while working at the Max-Planck-Institute for Solid-State Physics. Following his Ph.D. work, he completed a two-year post-doctoral assignment at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Marla Michel, UMass Amherst

Marla Michel is the Executive Director of Economic Development Strategies and Regional Partnerships at UMass Amherst. In that role, she participates in a variety of regional initiatives where the university can have an impact and works to connect regional leaders to the university, including organizing this annual Clean Energy Connections event. She’s also the Director of the Scibelli Enterprise Center at STCC and its Business Incubator, growing the area’s future businesses and leaders. Prior to these roles, Marla was the director of Research Liaison & Development at UMass, contributing to expanding of the capacity of research and innovation through interdisciplinary initiatives that involved industry, state, and federal partners.

Earlier in her career, Marla worked for AT&T Bell Laboratories as a member of technical staff and then senior marketing manager. One of her more memorable experiences was the development and launch of the original AT&T Smartphone in the early 1990’s. Marla received her B.S. degree from the University of Albany – SUNY in Computer Science and Mathematics and her M.S. degree from Monmouth University in Software Engineering.

Walter Musial, National Renewable Energy Laboratories

Walt Musial is a principal engineer and the manager of Offshore Wind and Ocean Power Systems at National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) where he has worked for 23 years. He initiated the offshore wind energy research program at NREL in 2003 and has written many papers, reports and articles on offshore wind energy. For over 7 years he has been the primary technical contact to the Department of Energy on offshore wind. Recently he served on a committee to the National Academy of Science which wrote a report titled “Structural Integrity of Offshore Wind Turbines” which was published in 2011. Before NREL, Walt was employed in the commercial wind energy industry in California. He studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees and specialized in all aspects of renewable energy and energy conversion with a focus on wind energy. He has over 50 publications and one patent.

Chris Noonan, Institute for Energy & Sustainability

Mr. Noonan serves as the Senior Program Advisor for IES and specializes in urban sustainability and participatory management. At IES he manages a growing client list of market ready companies and key portfolio projects in areas including smart grid technologies, electric vehicles, renewable energy, and sustainability planning. Chris received an MA in Environmental Science and Policy from Clark University. He serves on National Grid's Smart Grid Advisory Committee and as clerk on the Board of Directors for ACTION.

Jim Robbins, Business Cluster Development

Jim Robbins founded Business Cluster Development (BCD) in 1993. BCD has helped over 60 organizations with the formation of sector-focused incubators, regional innovation clusters and technology commercialization centers. A few current BCD projects include developing a regional innovation strategy for Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in Berkeley, CA; a radio frequency identification (RFID) incubator in Dayton, OH; and clean tech innovation and demonstration clusters in Los Angeles and San Jose, CA. BCD is also active in international economic development, including projects in Uganda, Nigeria, Senegal, China, and Japan.

After 15 years, Jim retired as Executive Director of the San Jose Environmental Business Cluster (EBC) in January, 2009. The EBC was the first environmental incubator in the U.S. when Jim founded it in 1994, and it was named the top incubator in the nation by the National Business Incubation Association in 2008. The EBC specializes in technology commercialization of clean and renewable energy technology, and it was selected as the top clean tech commercialization center in a world-wide study of 110 centers in late 2007.

For five years, Jim was a Principal in Panasonic Ventures, a $100 Million dollar investment fund, and he works with several clean tech venture forums each year. Jim was also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) in 2006, and he teaches a course on how to start successful incubators and technology clusters twice yearly for NBIA.

Jim has almost 40 years experience in the fields of new business formation, organizational design and management, technology development and commercialization, environmental technology, business operations and law. In addition to founding Business Cluster Development, he has worked for Digital Equipment Corporation, as the West Coast Business Manager where he assisted with the start-up of 25 engineering and research groups, and at the U.S. Supreme Court, where he introduced computer technology and modernized the management structure. Jim was also a trial attorney for ten years. He is a frequent speaker on technology innovation clusters, early stage venture funding, clean technology, and industry-focused incubation. Jim has also participated in case studies of BCD incubators by Harvard and Stanford Universities.

Michael Ryan, ACTION - Association of Cleantech Incubators of New England

Mr. Ryan is Co-Founder of the Association of Cleantech Incubators of New England (ACTION). He assumed leadership of the non-profit organization in January 2011, was elected President and to the Board of Directors in March 2011 and expanded the Board in June 2011 to include 7 other participating Members and organizations. Mr. Ryan has led ACTION through its incorporation while participating in the Department of Energy funded Innovation Ecosystem Program, U-Launch, as well as being a key contributor to the capture of the i6 Green Challenge grant from the Department of Commerce in September 2011. Additionally, Mr. Ryan is Founder and President of a privately held technology development and commercialization company, Accelerate Inc.

Prior to forming ACCELERATE Inc., Mr. Ryan worked for over 25 years in a variety of operations, technology and consulting roles, with increasing levels of leadership and responsibility at firms such as Affymetrix, Genetic MicroSystems, Coopers & Lybrand Consulting, Bose Corporation and General Electric. Prior to initiating his civilian career, Mr. Ryan served as an officer in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Wainwright (CG28). Mr. Ryan received a BS in Industrial and Management Systems Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University and his MBA from Bentley College.

Domenic Sarno, City of Springfield, MA

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, a native son of the City of Springfield, has earned a reputation for his commitment to community-based programs to address quality-of-life issues, education and public safety. A former four-term City Councilor who served as City Council President and as a member of the Springfield Finance Control Board, Sarno was elected Mayor on November 6, 2007. Sarno is a graduate of the High School of Commerce, where he excelled as an athlete and scholar. He was elected class president as a freshman and junior and named to All Western Massachusetts in soccer and All City League in baseball. He attended American International College as a political science major and holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Westfield State College, where he was inducted into the National Honors Society. Sarno served as a mayoral aide under Mayor Mary Hurley from 1989 to 1991 and worked with District Attorney William Bennett from 1996 to 2002. He served as executive director of the South End Community Center from 2002 until his election as Mayor.

Jef Sharp, Paneve, LLC

Jef is the President of Paneve, LLC, and is a serial entrepreneur. He co-founded Qteros in 2006 and led the biofuels company as CEO from a start-up through Series B funding. He also managed marketing, public relations, branding, communications, and government affairs and is currently on the Board of Directors. Jef is co-founder of Jattra Ventures and TechCavalry and has led many innovative businesses, including XSCapacity, an online exchange for more efficient use and distribution of excess manufacturing capacity and Gravity Graphics, an Inc. 500 company he started from scratch while getting his degree at the University of N.H. He has received numerous awards for entrepreneurship, including New York State's Small Business Person of the Year award. Jef is currently on the Panève Board of Directors.

Peggy Sloan, Franklin Regional Council of Governments

Peggy Sloan is the Director of Planning & Development for the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) and has worked extensively over the last 18 years on land use, clean energy, housing, natural resource, and economic development issues at the regional and local level including the creation of the Pioneer Valley Clean Energy Plan. In addition, she is responsible for the FRCOG’s Brownfields program including a $1 million Revolving Loan Fund sponsored by the EPA which has resulted in the assessment or clean-up of 42 sites in 15 towns over the last ten years.

Ms. Sloan graduated from Smith College where she majored in economics and minored in biology. Her undergraduate education was followed by six years of work in commercial and investment banking where she specialized in project financing for large-scale natural resource, energy, and infrastructure projects. She returned to graduate school where she obtained Masters Degrees in Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Since graduate school she has worked as a regional planner on Cape Cod and in her current position. Ms. Sloan serves as the Project Manager for the HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning grant.

Madeline Snow, UMass Lowell

Madeline is Director of the EMS Service Program in the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. An experienced trainer and facilitator, she works with a wide variety of organizations to improve sustainable practices, environmental compliance, and energy management. She is also working on workforce development in the clean energy sector as well as the water and wastewater sector. She holds a B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies from New College of Florida and an M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Michael Tautznik, City of Easthampton, MA

Michael A. Tautznik was elected as the first Mayor of the City of Easthampton in July of 1996. In the successive elections since then, Mike has demonstrated his unique capacity to lead the community and remains the only Mayor to have ever served in Easthampton. He is a life-long resident who has dedicated his time and energy to the city and its citizens for more than 34 years. He was an elected member of the legislative Town Meeting, serving from 1977 until its dissolution in 1996, and he served as a member and as Chairman of the Easthampton Board of Selectmen from 1989 to 1996.

Since taking the oath of office as Mayor in September 1996, Mike has worked diligently to lay the foundation for a successful transition of government, attentive to the regional economic development issues, and a strong advocate for clean energy and sustainable communities.

Spiro Vardakas, Aegis Energy Services, Inc.

Spiro Vardakas, founder and President of Aegis Energy Services Inc., continues to provide hands-on leadership today, 26 years after the company’s founding.

Prior to launching Aegis Energy Services, Mr. Vardakas had extensive Utility experience in commercial and industrial sales, and as a management consultant. His focus was large utility customers and energy application/conservation related to space conditioning, illumination, and industrial processes.

Recognizing the potential of Combined Heat and Power technology, especially in light of increasing energy prices, Mr. Vardakas launched Aegis Energy Services in 1985, as a solution to rising energy costs, and has shepherded the company to its position as the leader in small, modular CHP market in the Northeast.

Mr. Vardakas is often asked to speak at CHP industry events and has testified at numerous utility rate cases, and commission policy hearings, for development of the CHP market. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Management and Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His publications include ASHRAE Use of CT Weather Data for calculating energy use on an hourly basis.