HEPF 2020 Annual Briefing Speaker Bio’s

Aimee Barnes

Aimee has over 15 years’ experience in climate, energy and sustainability, spanning the state, federal and international levels, and the public, private, and non-profit sectors. She currently serves as senior advisor at the California-China Climate Institute, which was established to spur further climate action and dialogue between California and China. Aimee has also served previously as Senior Advisor to California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., Deputy Secretary for Border and Intergovernmental Relations at the California Environmental Protection Agency, and was a partner at Allotrope Partners. She has an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and a BA from Dartmouth College in Environmental Studies.

David Bissell

David Bissell has served as the President and CEO at Kauaʼi Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) since June 2010. Under Mr. Bissell’s leadership, KIUC has been consistently ranked as one of the top utilities for solar integration in the country and has increased its renewable energy sourced generation from 8% to more than 50%. KIUC is currently developing an integrated pumped storage hydropower, solar, and battery project. Upon completion of these projects, KIUC will be approaching 80% in renewable sourced energy. Mr. Bissell earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from the state University of New York at Brockport, and his M.B.A. from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

John Cole 

John Cole has over 20 years of experience in policy and utility regulation.  He joined the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii in 2012, where he oversees various projects such as grid modeling and renewable integration studies. Prior to joining HNEI, Mr. Cole served on the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission for six years.  Mr. Cole has also served as Executive Director of the Division of Consumer Advocacy, Policy Advisor to former Governor Linda Lingle, and as an attorney in various public agencies, legislative offices, and a private firm. Mr. Cole earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from UH-Manoa and a law degree from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.

Alex de Roode 

Alex de Roode is a professional planner, educator, and entrepreneur with a focus on resilience, sustainability, energy systems, green building and water resources management. Alex currently serves as the Energy Commissioner for the County of Maui. He has a master of science degree in Bioresource Engineering from McGill University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Energy and Building Systems Engineering with a focus on energy resilience. Alex is a LEED Accredited Professional, a Certified Energy Manager (CEM), and a 2008 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow.

Carl Freedman 

Carl Freedman is the owner and principal of Haiku Design and Analysis, a Maui-based consulting firm specializing in Public Utility Regulatory Affairs. He has worked on matters before the Hawaii PUC for over twenty-five years and currently works as a consultant to the PUC. Carl is also on the Steering Committee of the Hawaii Energy Policy Forum.

Matthias Fripp 

Matthias Fripp received his Ph.D. and Master’s degrees from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2008 and 2003. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Lewis & Clark College in 1999. He specializes in modeling the technical and economic performance of power systems with large shares of renewable energy, particularly focusing on the potential for demand-side response to ease the integration of intermittent renewable resources.

Amy Ford-Wagner

Amy Ford-Wagner is the transportation planner for the Federal Highway Administration’s Hawaii Division office in Honolulu. Previously she worked at OahuMPO and, prior to joining the public sector, was a consultant in New York City. She studied Urban Planning at UCLA. Throughout her planning career, she has worked to make transportation safer and more sustainable.

Scott Glenn

 Scott Glenn serves as the Chief Energy Officer for the State of Hawaiʻi, leading the Hawaiʻi State Energy Office (HSEO) in its mission to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean transportation to help achieve a resilient, clean energy, decarbonized economy. Scott specializes in innovative, consensus-oriented problem solving for difficult challenges. He is especially focused on climate change, energy, environment, and sustainability that improves decision making and enhances public engagement.

 Gov. David Ige designated Scott to be the co-chair of the Sustainable Hawaiʻi Initiative and liaison to the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of state governors working to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. In these roles Scott works with state, county, and federal agencies, as well as communities across the state, and stakeholders nationally and internationally to coordinate state policy development on energy, climate change, and key sustainability initiatives.

Prior to joining the HSEO, Scott served as the Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control, where he led the modernization of the state environmental review process. Scott also worked in the private sector as a professional environmental planning consultant on environmental and energy projects and volunteered on numerous boards.

Scott received his master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Hawaiʻi in 2009 and his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and archaeology from the University of Evansville (IN) in 2000.

Brian Kealoha 

With over 25 years of clean energy experience, Brian is currently the executive director of Hawai‘i Energy.  Prior to Hawai‘i Energy, Brian launched the Hawai‘i division of Chevron Energy Solutions, now Engie. Brian also spent many years developing and implementing energy programs at Pacific Gas & Electric, Avista Utilities, and Maui Electric.  Brian holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in both Economics and Marketing, and a Masters of Business Administration from Gonzaga University and holds a certificate in negotiation from the University of Oxford.

Aki Marceau 

Aki Marceau is the Managing Director of Policy & Community, Hawai’i at Elemental Excelerator. She leads a team that aims to create meaningful systems change through innovation that helps enable communities in Hawai’i to solve our most urgent environmental problems. Prior to Elemental Excelerator, Aki served as land use and sustainability manager for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) and transportation planner for WSP (formerly Parsons Brinckerhoff). She currently serves on the Executive Board of WiRE (Women in Renewable Energy) and the City & County of Honolulu Planning Commission.

Jennifer Potter 

Commissioner Jennifer Potter began her term with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission in July 2018 for a term to expire June 30, 2024. Jennifer was previously a faculty member at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI). Prior to joining HNEI, Jennifer was a Sr. Scientific Engineering Associate at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Preceding her stint in academia, Jennifer worked for Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Roseville Electric as a Principal Forecaster, Project Manager, and Enterprise Performance Manager. Jennifer has a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Studies from Southern Oregon University.

Dave Rolf 

David H. Rolf—Since 1999, serving as the Executive Director of the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association (Hawaii’s franchised new car dealers, representing 135 franchises in the islands), has coordinated dealer-related public policy input relating to the introduction of electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles in Hawaii.   He developed and implemented the education-of-the-general-public component of a portion of the State’s EV READY grant program.  His company, Rolf Advertising and Communications, is the one of the oldest advertising agencies in Honolulu, and serves as the management firm for Hawaii’s automobile dealers association, which annually sponsors the First Hawaiian International Auto Show. Mr. Rolf served on the national board of directors for the Automotive Trade Association Executives.   

Kathleen Rooney

Kathleen “Katie” Rooney serves as Ulupono’s transportation systems manager. She brings 14 years of national experience in the transportation and transit industry. Prior to joining Ulupono, Katie served as a project manager of Renaissance Planning in Orlando, Fla., and as a senior manager at ICF International in Washington D.C. She managed a Complete Streets and transit best practices project for the Florida Department of Transportation, as well as transportation demand management programs for the New York State Department of Transportation. Katie holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Tulane University in New Orleans.

Riley Saito 

Riley Saito serves as the Deputy Director of the Department of Research and Development. Riley previously served as Corporate Controller, Vice President at Mauna lani Resort Operations, Inc., Senior Manager of Hawai‘i Projects for SunPower Corporation, and Manager/Member of Succeed Hawai‘i, LLC. Riley graduated from University of Hawai‘i at Manoa with a Bachelor of Business Administration – BBA, Business Administration and Management, General-Travel Industry Management. 

Scott Seu 

Scott Seu provides leadership in Hawaiian Electric’s engagement with community, government, media, and regulatory agencies. He joined Hawaiian Electric in 1993 and has held various leadership positions across the company, including in the areas of environmental permitting and compliance, customer programs, renewable energy development, and electric system operations, prior to taking on his current role in 2017. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, and is a licensed mechanical engineer in the State of Hawai‘i.

Joelle Simonpietri

Joelle is a technical and business investment advisor to established companies on renewable fuel and clean technology supply chain development and technology commercialization.  She is a member of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aviation Sustainability Center of Excellence industry advisory committee, chair of the board of the Hawaii Bioeconomy Trade Association, convenor of the federal public-private Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuel Initiative’s regional focal for Hawaii, and member of the Hawaii Energy Policy Forum. A commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, she holds a B.S. in neurobiology from Duke University and an MBA in sustainable business and private equity finance from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Ed Sniffen

Ed Sniffen is the Deputy Director of the Hawaii Department of Transportation’s Highways Division, which is responsible for 2,500 lane miles of highway and 741 bridges across six Hawaiian Islands. His mission is the development and improvement of our highway transportation systems to facilitate sustainable safe and efficient travel and commerce statewide. Ed is driven to improve the Division’s implementation of its key programs by modernizing its processes, partnerships and strategies to provide Hawaii’s residents and visitors the quality of life and experiences they deserve with the resources at hand. Most recently, Ed has been appointed Chair of the AASHTO Committee on Transportation System Security and Resilience.

Ben Sullivan 

Ben Sullivan is the Energy & Sustainability Coordinator for County of Kauai under Mayor Kawakami working on energy and climate policy. Previously, he was the Strategic Planning Chair on Kauai Island Utility Cooperative’s Board of Directors, helping KIUC to move aggressively towards their renewable energy goals. Ben came into the energy sector as a community advocate for clean energy in 2005. Prior to working in the energy sector, Ben spent fifteen years in architecture with a focus on green building. He has a bachelor’s from the University of Colorado in Environmental Design. 

Jeremy Tarr

Jeremy Tarr is a policy advisor for North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, focusing on the areas of energy, environment, transportation, climate change, and natural resources. He serves as Governor Cooper’s designee on the North Carolina Climate Change Interagency Council and represents North Carolina in the U.S. Climate Alliance. Jeremy previously worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. Before joining the Nicholas Institute, Jeremy served as a law clerk for the Honorable Patricia Timmons-Goodson at the Supreme Court of North Carolina. Jeremy is a graduate of Davidson College and UNC School of Law.

Richard Wallsgrove 

Richard Wallsgrove is an Assistant Professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.  He teaches a variety of courses, including Clean Energy Law & Policy, Business Associations, International Environmental Law, and Contracts.  Prior to joining the law faculty, he served as Policy Director for the Blue Planet Foundation, a Hawai‘i-based nonprofit organization focused on clean energy advocacy.  His current scholarly interests span a variety of topics related to renewable energy law and policy, with a particular focus on the regulation of electric utilities and the adoption of just and sustainable utility policies and models.

Sherilyn Wee 

Sherilyn Wee is an Assistant Specialist at the Public Policy Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Co-Chair of the Hawaii Energy Policy Forum. She is also a Research Fellow at the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO). Her primary research interests include economic and policy issues related to the electricity and transportation sectors. Prior to joining the Public Policy Center in 2018, she was a Research Analyst at the State of Hawaii Division of Consumer Advocacy and a postdoctoral researcher at UHERO. Sherilyn earned her PhD in Economics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2016.