EarthGrid Team

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Troy Helming

CEO & Founder

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Troy Helming is a visionary entrepreneur, innovator and clean energy pioneer. As a creator, he’s founded companies that have generated more than $10 Billion of economic impact to date and invented 2 technologies that have led to over 40 clean energy patent claims.


Troy was the founder & CEO of two impactful clean energy companies: TradeWind Energy, which he founded in 1998 & sold in 2004 (>$10 Billion of wind projects were built by the company he founded since then, and was the #1 Wind Developer in the USA in 2017) and then Pristine Sun: >350 solar projects built so far totaling $1 Billion in market value (including projects sold to other companies such as Renesola (NYSE: SOL) & Enerparc) and many high profile projects including the largest floating solar project award in North America & the largest community solar projects in both Vermont and Wisconsin.  He’s the author of the 2005 book The Clean Power Revolution, co-inventor of FloatoRack (an innovative floating solar system with multiple patents pending) and inventor of the Red Gopher (a world-changing robotic tunneling technology).  

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Scott Lane

COO

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25+ years Senior Advisor and executive in the renewable energy and telecommunications/fiber industries. With over 25 years and over 7,000 MW’s of experience in the Renewable Energy, Construction Industry and Communications Industry, Scott brings operational as well as planning and implementation skill sets that have been acquired and tested throughout North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean.  Executive roles at: Centauri Energy, Parsons Engineering, EDF Renewable Energy, enXco, Alcoa Wireless, American Tower. 

 

With a track record of creative and synergistic problem solving and planning, many of today’s systems and operational processes can be traced to a solution that Scott was instrumental in developing and implementing by adapting new tech and new processes to meet the emerging grid management issues with large scale generation interconnections. Scott’s background contains Wind, Solar, BioMass, Biogas & energy storage as well as satellite earth stations, microwave, fiber and cellular projects.  While always looking for applications for new technologies, the solutions have to meet conservative financial constraints as well as operational values while serving society and our environment.  These values are carried into his pastimes & personal passions of sailing & bringing hardened renewable energy & communications to underserved & remote regions of our planet.

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Dr. Daniel Kammen

Advisor

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Dr. Daniel M. Kammen is a Professor of Energy at the University of California, Berkeley, with parallel appointments in the Energy and Resources Group, the Goldman School of Public Policy, and the department of Nuclear Engineering. He was appointed by then Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in April 2010 as the first energy fellow of the new Environment and Climate Partnership for the Americas (ECPA) initiative. In 2016 he was asked to serve as the Science Envoy for U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry, which he did until August, 2017 when he resigned over the policies and actions of Donald Trump.

 

Kammen is the founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL; http://rael.berkeley.edu) and was Director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center from 2007 - 2015. He has founded or is on the board of over 10 companies, and has served the State of California and US federal government in expert and advisory capacities.


Dr. Kammen was educated in physics at Cornell (BA 1984) and Harvard (MA 1986; PhD 1988), and held postdoctoral positions at the California Institute of Technology and Harvard. He was an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Program at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University before moving to the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Kammen has served as a contributing or coordinating lead author on various reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 1999. The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

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Edward Cornejo

CTO - Fiber

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Ed Cornejo, with 30+ years in fiber optics, is one of the ‘godfathers’ of the fiber network in the USA. 

Edward Cornejo currently serves as Vice President of Product Marketing and Business development at POET Technologies focusing on optical and electrical integration platforms for emerging high speed, artificial intelligence and 5G wireless applications. Prior to that, Cornejo served as Senior Director of Service Provider Solutions at MACOM Technologies where he worked with end customers to design, develop and manufacture optical solutions for data center applications utilizing internal device, component and integration capabilities. Cornejo has held various individual contributor and senior management roles at Google Fiber, Opnext (now Lumentum), Lucent Technologies and Lytel (later became Tyco). Cornejo has 30+ years of experience in fiber optics and optoelectronics integrated designs and bringing those designs to mass production. Cornejo holds a Bachelor of Engineering in electrical engineering and Master’s degree in Management from New Jersey Institute of Technology. 

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Chris Gerlach

Advisory Board

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Chris Gerlach has 25 years of finance and strategy experience. He is currently the Chief Strategy Officer at Trimark Associates Inc. and advisor to several early-stage companies.  His previous experiences included ContourGlobal, where he led the structured finance effort for the Americas; and Energy Asset Development Group, where he acted as CFO and executive adviser for several early-stage energy companies focusing on the development of micro grid assets and energy storage. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of Finance at Solar Reserve, where he led the financial structuring of solar projects in Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Australia. The first twelve years of his career, Chris spent as project finance banker at HSBC and Société Générale, where he focused on the origination, structuring, marketing, launching and syndication of international non-recourse power, oil & gas, and infrastructure projects. Chris holds a BSc (Honours) in Economics and Business Studies from the University of London and an MSc in Shipping, Trade and Finance from Cass Business School. He also completed the Executive Program at INSEAD in France and Singapore. Chris speaks German, English, Portuguese and Spanish and is a dual citizen of the United States and Germany.

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Kay Aikin

Advisory Board

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Professional Entrepreneur and business strategic thinker. Currently commercializing a distributed intelligence control technology for integrating Distributed Energy Resources (DER) using a fusion of Machine Learning, Complex Systems and Economics to better allocate resources in the Electrical Grid. 

 

Kay and her company Introspective Systems and its Dynamic Grid brand are experts in complex control systems as they relate to the Electrical Grid and she has a 25-year career in business development, building partnerships for projects in the design and engineering fields as well as government contracting. 

 

Her academic experience is in Energy Engineering (Penn State) implementing many renewable energy projects and technologies. She has managed large sales forces, design teams and product teams, bringing cost-effective solutions to the customer. Introspective Systems is her third entrepreneurial effort: the first two in the construction and renewable energy fields. 

 

As CEO of a start-up software developer, she is currently responsible for product development, business model and marketing strategy for the Dynamic Grid energy technologies

 

Specialties: System of Systems engineering, Sustainable design and renewable energy integration, strategic development and implementation of system of systems design technologies. 

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Vasilis Rallis

Advisor

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20+ years in Energy and Business Development. Led development of Greece’s Power Exchange while serving 13 years working for the Regulatory Authority of Greece. 

 

Respected energy expert in Greece & Cyprus. Manchester MBA, Harvard and Athens University. Investor for Parity Platform.

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Curt Hebert, J.D.

Legal Team

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Throughout Hebert’s career, he had worked on gas pipeline projects, gas storage projects, electric transmission and generation and finally was spending much of his time on nuclear efforts with Entergy. His diverse range of talents, education and application of fundamentals in the energy space gave rise to his founding of Lexicon Strategy Group. Hebert joined Entergy Corporation as Executive Vice President, External Affairs in 2001 after a lengthy career as a government energy regulator at both the federal and state levels and left in 2010. He supervised the company’s system regulatory efforts and strategies, system and federal government relations, environmental policy, external and internal communications, and corporate contribution functions. A member of the Office of Chief Executive reporting to Entergy’s Chair and CEO. Hébert served four years in Washington as a presidential appointee to the FERC. He was nominated to a Republican seat on FERC by President Clinton in 1997 and named chair by President Bush in January, 2001. At 38 years of age became the youngest chairman in FERC's history. During Hébert’s tenure at FERC he led efforts to restructure the electric utility and natural gas pipeline industries to promote competition. He stepped down from the commission on August 31, 2001 to accept his position with Entergy. Hébert was also chairman of the Mississippi Public Service Commission and a leader of the Mississippi Legislature. His public service began with his 1987 election to the House of Representatives, where he served until 1992. During that time he chaired both the House Oil and Gas Committee and the House Ways and Means Severance Subcommittee. In 1992 Hébert was appointed by Governor Fordice to the Mississippi Public Service Commission. At age 29 he was the youngest public service commissioner in the nation and the youngest in Mississippi’s history. He was elected to a second term on the commission in 1995 and served as the commission’s chairman

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George O'Connor, J.D.

Legal Team

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Mr. O’Connor served the United States Senate, Energy and Natural Resources Counsel from 1998 to 2005. He primarily drafted and analyzed legislative language, prepared legal and policy memos on many energy and natural resource issues, and drafted Floor Statements and speeches for senior Senator on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

 

From 1982 to 1997, Mr. O’Connor worked in the Office of the General Counsel Trial Attorney - 1982 to 1984; Legal Assistant to Commissioner Charles A. Trabandt - 1985 to 1993; and the Office of the General Counsel Attorney Advisor - 1994 to 1997.

 

Mr. O’Conner was the Vice President, Federal Government Affairs, for Entergy Corporation from 2008 to late 2010 (~3 years) and has been a senior attorney with leading Washington DC area law firms (Ryan, MacKinnon, Vasapoli & Berzok, LLP and Brunini Grantham Grower & Hewes PLLC) since 2010, providing legal and policy advice as well as lobbying services to clients in the energy, environment, financial, and cyber-security industries before Congress and federal agencies.

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Rachelle Chong

Legal Team

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Government/Regulatory Affairs Expert and Advocate in California. Former FCC and California PUC Commissioner. Fields of Expertise: Sharing Economy, Transportation, Telecommunications, Broadband, Telehealth, Wireless, Public Safety Communications, Cable, Digital Literacy, Energy, Smart Grid, Renewable Energy, Electric Vehicle Policy, Autonomous Vehicles, Public Utilities.

 

Ms. Chong has forged deep ties throughout her legislative and regulatory career, and has developed an expansive local, state, and Federal agency network. This network offers her the unique ability to assist companies in understanding governmental processes, reduce red tape, advocate policy in California and in Washington, D.C., and expedite projects.

 

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Interim General Counsel of Sidecar and regulatory consultant to Lyft. Comcast’s VP Government Affairs. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointee to the California’s Public Utilities Commission, I become the state agency’s point person for telecom, broadband, digital literacy, and Internet policies involving work with the Federal Communications Commission, Dept. of Commerce's NTIA, Department of Energy, and Dept. of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service. Created a $100M CA Advanced Services Fund to deliver broadband infrastructure to areas without broadband or dial up Internet service. Led nation-leading energy dockets on Smart Grid, Electric Vehicles, Dynamic Pricing & Demand Response. 

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Judith Szepesi

Legal Team

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Experienced patent attorney working in Silicon Valley with start-ups and established publicly traded companies in various technology areas including computer software and hardware, networking, and mobile devices. Ms. Szepesi has worked with companies to establish intellectual property programs, obtain patents, negotiate and prepare licenses, and collaborate in other intellectual property related matters. She has also supported clients in selling and acquiring patents. Multiple clients have been acquired for seven+ figures, based in part on the patent portfolio she helped them develop.

 

Specialties: Patent prosecution (obtaining patents) in computer-related areas including hardware, software, and networks. Designing patent programs and structuring patent portfolios. Reviewing patents for due diligence, investment, or litigation. Licensing. Open source licenses.

 

Her approach to every matter is based on a partnerships with our clients. Protecting intellectual property requires understanding the technology as well as the business of the client, and the competitive landscape. This partnership ensures that she maximizes my clients’ opportunities to obtain, manage, value, and license their intellectual property.

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Elizabeth Holtzman

Legal Team

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Elizabeth joined Herrick after more than 22 years in government, including 20 as an elected official. During her four terms as a U.S. Congresswoman, she captured national attention for her role on the House Judiciary Committee where she voted to impeach President Richard Nixon, and questioned President Ford about the Nixon pardon; chaired the Immigration and Refugees Subcommittee (where she co-authored with Senator Ted Kennedy the Refugee Act of 1980); co-founded the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues; and wrote many laws, including extending the deadline for ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment and the Rape Privacy Act. She was the first member of Congress to expose the U.S. government’s inaction on Nazi war criminals living in America and spearheaded the effort to bring them to justice. When elected, she was the youngest woman to be elected to Congress, a record she held for 42 years.

 

Liz subsequently became the first woman elected District Attorney in New York City, serving eight years as DA of Kings County (Brooklyn), where she argued successfully before the U.S. Supreme Court, and pioneered new strategies for the prosecution of sexual assault and environmental crimes. She also led the effort to end the practice of using peremptory challenges to remove African-Americans from juries because of their race. Liz was also the first and only woman to be elected Comptroller of New York City. In that position she managed $50 billion in the city's five pension funds and issued more than $20 billion in city bonds. Years later, former Mayor Bloomberg signed into law a bill that Liz proposed as Comptroller that held gun manufacturers liable for injuries caused by illegal guns…

 

Liz has written several books and many articles. She regularly appears as a commentator on television and has been featured in several movies, including Charles Ferguson’s “Watergate,” Robert Redford’s documentary “All the President's Men Revisited,” and the Academy Award-winning documentaries, “Hôtel Terminus” about Gestapo Chief Klaus Barbie and “Women - for America, for the World,” about nuclear disarmament. She has also received many honors and four honorary degrees for her significant contributions to American politics.