Advisory Council

Joe Barra

Portland General Electric


Joe is a Senior Consultant for Business Model Development at Portland General Electric. Joe develops business opportunities in the areas of Smart Grid, electric vehicles, demand response, energy efficiency, renewable energy integration, energy storage and distributed resources. Barra joined PGE in 1994 as Manager of New Products & Services. Prior to joining PGE, Barra held the position of Director of Energy Services at PacifiCorp where he directed the development of the Energy FinAnswer, a nationally recognized energy efficiency program for demand-side resource acquisition. Joe spent 12 years prior to joining PacifiCorp as a marketing manager with two premiere packaged goods companies undefined Del Monte and General Foods. Barra holds a bachelors degree from William Paterson University and has completed post-graduate courses in management, strategic planning, finance and statistics. He has been a guest lecturer at U.C. Berkeley and has conducted seminars in new product development and marketing research. Barra serves on the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry board of directors.

Jesse Berst

Chairman, Smart Cities Council


Jesse Berst is one of the pioneering thought leaders of the smart grid, and the Founding Editor of, the Internet’s oldest, largest and highest-ranked smart grid site. Jesse provides strategic consulting to corporations, startups and investment firms looking to target their smart grid activities and devotes a portion of his time to efforts to grow the industry as a whole. He is the acting Executive Director for the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, a nonprofit that unites utilities, vendors, and consumer advocates with the goal of accelerating the adoption of a consumer friendly smart grid. He serves on the Advisory Council for the Energy and Environment Directorate of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which conducts some of the nations most advanced grid research. And he was the keynote speaker at the Department of Energy ‘s original Grid Vision 2030 planning meeting in April, 2003. Jesse was born in eastern Washington and graduated with highest honors from the University of Puget Sound with a degree in business administration.

Kent Dunn

Direct Utility Sales, Comverge


Kent leads business development and strategy efforts in the Western region for Comverge. Prior to Comverge, Kent was a co-founder and Sr. Business Development officer for Verdiem Corporation, a utility-funded enterprise software company focused on driving energy efficiency into the commercial IT sector.  After building Verdiem for 14 years, Kent helped to facilitate the successful sale of the business in early January of 2015.  He remained with the acquirer to oversee the integration of the business for a year before joining Comverge in January of 2016.  Kent has also held senior positions with Ecova and Clean Technology Partners, both of which are focused on creating, delivering and managing energy efficiency programs for electric utilities. Kent has a BS in Natural Resources Development from The Ohio State University.

Scott Corwin

Public Power Council

Scott Corwin came to the Public Power Council (PPC) as Executive Director in 2007.  PPC represents the common interests of consumer-owned electric utilities with respect to the Federal Columbia River Power System, including issues around BPA power and transmission.  Prior to joining PPC, Scott was a vice president at Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative.

Previously, Scott worked for Portland General Electric, served in the Speaker’s Office of the Oregon House of Representatives, and in the United States Senate in Washington, D.C. as Legal Counsel to Senator Mark Hatfield, and as Deputy Staff Director of a U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee.  He also worked for a law firm specializing in tax and pension legislation.  Currently, he serves on advisory committees to the American Public Power Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Scott graduated from Dartmouth College, and has a law degree from the University of Washington School of Law.  He is a member of the Oregon Bar and the District of Columbia Bar Association.

Jeff Gleeson

Energy Partnerships, Nest

Jeff Gleeson is the head of west coast energy partnerships at Nest Labs, where he works with utility partners to develop customer-focused energy programs that leverage Nest products. Prior to joining Nest, Jeff was a leader in PG&E’s Customer Energy Solutions team, with responsibility for the delivery of key products and programs in PG&E’s energy efficiency portfolio. Jeff holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and an MBA from UC Davis, where he was a graduate student researcher for the Energy Efficiency Center. Together with his wife and daughter, Jeff resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Kristi Growdon

Element 8

Kristi Growdon joined Element 8 in September, 2014, bringing more than 20 years of leadership positions in government, academia and the private sector. She is experienced in assisting start-ups, as well as small- to medium-sized companies. Kristi brings a deep resume and skill set to Element 8. Past roles include the Director of the Washington State University Energy Office and the in-house lobbyist for WSU. Prior to that, her decade of service to federal and state agencies focused on advocacy in the fields of energy, renewable resources, agriculture, and transportation.

Barry Haaser

Managing Director, OpenADR Alliance

Barry Haaser is a 30-year Silicon Valley veteran with deep expertise in the energy and technology industries. Leveraging his knowledge of energy management systems and smart grid technologies, energy standards, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and association management, Haaser serves as managing director of the OpenADR Alliance. Haaser also serves on the Department of Commerce’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee, and was formerly an officer, and member of the Board of Directors, for the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP). Haaser is the president and founder of the Lakeview Group, and lends his experience in association creation and management, ecosystem development, testing and certification programs, and energy industry marketing and education, to key industry initiatives. Haaser has formed, launched and/or managed many successful alliances during his career. Haaser holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from San Jose State University. Haaser is also an active Rotarian.

Jeff Hammarlund

Portland State University

Jeff chairs the Oregon Caucus and is on the Executive Committee of the NW Energy Coalition, an alliance of more than 115 environmental, civic and human service organizations, progressive utilities, businesses, coalitions, and trade associations in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and British Columbia. Smart Grid Oregon and the NW Energy Coalition are reciprocal members of the each other’s organization. He is also an adjunct associate professor at Portland State University’s Mark Hatfield School of Government, a senior research fellow at the School’s Center for Public Service, and the president of Northwest Energy and Environmental Strategies consulting firm. At PSU, he teaches graduate and professional development courses and workshops on energy, environmental and natural resource policy, including a team-taught interdisciplinary course called Planning the Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities. Jeff has held senior staff positions with the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Department of Energy, and has served as an advisor to presidents, presidential candidates, senators, and other senior elected officials. He has also been a senior manager at Southern California Edison, a senior policy analyst for the Public Power Council, and a consultant to utilities, environmental organizations, and government agencies throughout the nation. He was lead author of the recent report to Governor Kitzhaber called Electric Vehicles, the Smart Grid, and Renewables Integration: An Initial Assessment of Challenges and Opportunities for Oregon as a part of the Governor’s Ten Year Energy Plan.

Steve Hauser

GridWise Alliance

Mr. Hauser was recently appointed as CEO of the GridWise Alliance, a national industry led organization that promotes the modernization of the nation’s electricity infrastructure.  He is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on transforming the power sector to meet future economic, environmental, and energy security mandates. For more than 30 years, Mr. Hauser has been a leader in clean energy and smart grid technology development efforts including solar, wind, batteries, electric vehicles, GIS software, geothermal, microgrids, fuel cells, and building energy efficiency. He recently authored the lead chapter in a book titled “Smart Grid: Integrating Renewable, Distributed and Efficient Energy” published by Academic Press.

Mr. Hauser was the driving force behind the creation of the GridWise® Alliance, the Global Smart Grid Federation, and related smart grid organizations. Since 2000, he has brought together hundreds of companies to create a broad industry vision to transform the electricity sector, policies, markets, and technologies. Mr. Hauser has also led the creation of new international brands like GridWise® and GRID 21TM significantly raising the visibility of these issues with federal and state policy makers. He participated as a key advisor to the National Science and Technology Council’s Smart Grid Task Force resulting in the White House release of the “Policy Framework for a 21st Century Grid”. He has held senior management positions at various companies and DOE labs.

Michael Jung

Silver Springs Networks

Michael serves as Policy Director at Silver Spring Networks, a leading provider of networking equipment and smart grid services for utilities across the country and around the world. He was appointed by Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber as chairman of the state’s ten year energy plan task force, is a founding board member of Smart Grid Oregon, and serves as an expert lecturer with the National Regulatory Research Institute and Portland State University. Prior to joining Silver Spring Networks, Michael served as an energy policy advisor to the campaign and administration of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, where he was an architect of milestone energy legislation in 2008, Ohio Senate Bill 221. He previously managed climate change policy at American Electric Power and also worked as chief of staff to the President/COO of the company’s flagship operating company, AEP Ohio.

Daniel Kirschen

University of Washington

Daniel is the Donald W. and Ruth Mary Close Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington. His research focuses on smart grids, the integration of renewable energy sources in the grid, power system economics and power system security. Prior to joining the University of Washington, he taught for 16 years at The University of Manchester (UK). Before becoming an academic, Daniel worked for Control Data and Siemens on the development of application software for utility control centers. He holds a PhD and MS from the University of Wisconsin and an Electro-Mechanical Engineering degree from the Free University of Brussels (Belgium).

Ben Kujala

Northwest Power and Conservation Council

Ben studies the present and future electric grid, with a focus on planning for an affordable and reliable system that meets regional goals for renewable generation and the efficient use of energy. He gathers information and reports to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council on demand response, wind integration, power system flexibility and transmission.

Elliot Mainzer

Bonneville Power Administration

Elliot was named BPA Administrator in January 2014 but had served as Acting Administrator since July 2013. In that role, he is responsible for managing the nonprofit federal agency that markets carbon-free power from Columbia River hydroelectric dams and the region’s one nuclear plant. BPA also operates most of the high-voltage power grid across the Pacific Northwest, distributing wind and other energy to the region and beyond. Mainzer, who joined BPA in 2002, has held a variety of management positions within the agency’s Power, Transmission and Corporate organizations, including trading floor manager and manager of Transmission Policy and Strategy. Most recently, as executive vice president of Corporate Strategy, he led the agency’s strategic planning process and provided policy leadership and cross-agency coordination on renewables integration, market design, climate change and integrated planning. BPA, working with Battelle and other utility and technology partners, is coming near the end of its $180 million Smart Grid Demonstration Project started in 2010. Prior to joining BPA, Mainzer established and managed Enron’s Renewable Power Desk out of its offices in Portland, Ore.

Naomi Manley-Casimir


As the Director of the Innovation Centre for Utilities in Vancouver, BC, Naomi is responsible for research and development into end-consumer preferences for energy-related products and services, supporting and enabling her Accenture colleagues working with utility retail and customer operations and managing IT asset development. Previously, Naomi was responsible for client relations at one of Accenture’s largest utility business process and application outsourcing engagements.

In her nine years of consulting, Naomi’s experience focused primarily in generation, related to power plant and dispatch optimization, project management of an energy risk management application and program management of a large-scale, $12M program consisting of seven concurrent projects.

James Mater

Quality Logic

James co-founded and has held several executive positions at QualityLogic from June 1994 to present. He is currently General Manager of QualityLogic’s Smart Grid business unit. He is active in the Smart Grid industry as a member of the GridWise Architecture Council, the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project, the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel Test and Certification Committee, and as Chair of Smart Grid NW, as well as giving papers and presentations on interoperability and Transactive Energy. Prior to QualityLogic, James held Product Management roles at Tektronix, Floating Point Systems, Sidereal and Solar Division of International Harvester. Mater holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Reed College, Portland, OR and an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Ron Melton

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Ron is the director of the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration project, the administrator of the GridWise® Architecture Council, and a senior technical leader for smart grid research and development projects. He has over 30 years of experience applying computer technology to a variety of engineering and scientific problems. In addition to smart grid related projects, recent experience includes research and engineering in cyber security for critical infrastructure protection and process control system security. Dr. Melton is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a Senior Member of the Association for Computing Machinery.

Patrick Miller


Patrick has dedicated his career to the protection and defense of critical infrastructures as a trusted independent advisor. He is founder, director and president emeritus of EnergySec, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focusing on information sharing, situational awareness and security workforce development. Prior to EnergySec, Mr. Miller was director, NERC CIP compliance consulting practice at ICF International. Preceding ICF, Patrick was manager of critical infrastructure protection (CIP) audits and investigations for the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) Regional Entity under the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). Before joining WECC, Mr. Miller held the position of senior information security consultant for PacifiCorp.

Terry Oliver

Bonneville Power Administration

Terry has worked globally to advance sustainable energy and re-engage the electric utility industry in critically important research and development. He has worked for BPA since 1981. Terry led the world’s largest residential conservation program and ground-breaking research in community-based conservation, designed the first Demand-Side Management programs ever undertaken by a developing country, created linkages between sustainable energy, jobs, and the local and global environment with non-government organizations throughout Asia, South Africa, and the Middle East. He helped create BPA’s Non-Wires Solutions initiative. In June 2005 Terry was appointed Bonneville Power Administration’s first Chief Technology Innovation Officer, responsible for re-energizing, focusing, and managing BPA’s research and development activities. As CTIO, Terry has grown BPA’s investment in research and development, transformed BPA’s the executive and staff engagement defining and managing a research portfolio, and led the creation of technology roadmaps to articulate BPA’s research agenda. Current BPA Technology Innovation information can be found here: Terry is a member of the EPRI Board of Directors, on the Board of the Smart Grid Policy Center, a member of the Industry Advisory Committee for OregonTech’S Renewable Energy Engineering program, and an advisor to Portland State University’s Engineering & Technology Management department. Terry was honored in July 2013 by being named a Fellow at the Portland International Center for the Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET) for his contributions to the development and growth of the Engineering and Technology Management discipline, and in March 2014 with the Meritorious Service Award, BPA’s highest award.

George Pohndorf

Senior Manager Energy Services, SnoPUD

George Pohndorf currently serves as Senior Manager, Energy Services with Snohomish County PUD.  George has over 17 years of senior leadership experience in the energy industry in corporate strategy, regulatory affairs, energy resource planning and acquisition, energy efficiency, customer service, corporate affairs and legislative and regulatory policy.  George also teaches the corporate strategy program at University of Idaho’s Utility Executive Program and teaches finance and economics at Willamette University’s Utility Management Program.  He currently serves on the Executive Board of the NW Energy Coalition and on the Board of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. George holds an MBA in finance, summa cum laude, from the Simon School of Business and has completed executive programs at the Chicago Booth, Stanford and Kellogg graduate schools of business and the Harvard Law School.

James Ramseyer

Consumers Power

CPI is a locally owned cooperative serving 20,000 customers in six counties throughout central western Oregon and is headquartered in Philomath, Oregon. Casco is an integrated multifaceted company involved in a variety of communication, energy and entertainment businesses also headquartered in Philomath, Oregon.

J. Eduardo Cotilla-Sanchez

Oregon State University

Dr. J. Eduardo Cotilla-Sanchez is an Assistant Professor at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Oregon State University. His primary field of research is the vulnerability of electrical infrastructure, in particular, the study of cascading outages. This interest spire into several other research areas such as nonlinear dynamics, complex systems, smart grid, and big data. Cotilla-Sanchez is the Secretary of the IEEE Cascading Failure Working Group and the President of the Society of Professional Engineers, Oregon Chapter.

Travis Stevenson

President, JTS Consulting

Travis has been at the forefront of utility transformation since 1998, and leads the established utility consulting practice for JTS based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. With a focus on business operations and emerging technologies, he has worked on numerous AMI and Smart Grid initiatives in multiple countries. Travis provides strategic leadership and support to more than 30 JTS consultants who are actively working with utility customers around the globe on projects ranging from demand side management to people, process and tools relating to bulk electric system operations. Prior to founding JTS in 2004, Travis worked as an application consultant implementing utility customer information system throughout North America, and previous to that was employed by BC Hydro as a business analyst. Travis brings great passion and energy to every engagement, and has been lucky enough to work both above and below the meter, with utility scale as well as distributed generation, and been in the field to appreciate how water, gas and electric utilities have operated in the past and need to operate in the future.

Steph Stoppenhagen

Black & Veatch

Steph has built a national reputation as a sustainability strategist for a multi-national roster of private companies and municipalities. Her experience as a sustainability expert supports her development of green programs integrating renewable energies, smart cities technologies, advanced IT tools and visionary Internet of Things thinking. Among her many innovative creations is a web-based solar energy mapping tool now used by a number of cities and utilities globally. Steph offers exceptional understanding of eco-innovation and creative urban services systems that rally communities around inspired carbon reduction goals. Her diverse background as an international geo-integration officer, Department of Defense business consultant, Space Command GIS project manager, SCHLUMBERGER project engineer, EPA consultant and Secret Service project manager bring unique insight and versatility to Steph’s proven approach to forging creative solutions.

Amos Tsikayi


Amos has over 15 years of experience within the AMR/AMI and smart grid space. His current Solutions Architect role is focused on large and/or high risk smart grid projects ensuring business critical needs are met.  Global engagements included projects in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, China and the USA. At Firstpoint Energy, he has played a key role in developing the company’s meter data management system and was responsible for overall operations and maintenance of the software as well as enhancements. This product was first to market in the California Utilities restructuring industry in 1998.

Russ Weed

UniEnergy Technologies

Russ is VP Business Development of UniEnergy Technologies (UET). UET produces and delivers large-scale energy storage systems for utility, commercial and industrial, and micro-grid applications. The core technology is an advanced vanadium flow battery. The Uni.System™ is safe, operationally flexible, reliable, long-life and cost-effective. Based in the Seattle area, UET has a 67,000 square foot facility scaling up to produce 100MW annually of containerized systems. Russ has 23 years of experience as a VP business development and general counsel, and worked previously at GE and Labtec.

Joel Westvold


Joel is Sensus’ Sr. Director of Customer Engagement and in that role is responsible for deployment project management and post-sales support for all of Sensus’ North American AMI customers. Prior to joining Sensus in 2010, Joel worked as a senior manager at Portland General Electric (PGE). He has over 20 years of utility management experience including leading PGE’s national award winning AMI deployment effort. Joel has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Oregon State University and an Executive MBA from the University of Washington.