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The Affordable “How-to” Conference. Book Early! Some sessions have limited occupancy. Speakers and schedule may change without notice. 

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2023 Speakers 

2023 speakers are still being lined up, but include the speakers listed below.

Emerson Levy
  • Representative Emerson Levy
  • Oregon House of Representatives
  • Keynote Speaker
Representative Levy serves the north side of Bend, south Redmond, Tumalo and Sisters. She serves on the Housing and Homelessness Committee, Joint Ways and Means subcommittee for Natural Resources and is the Vice Chair of Climate, Energy and the Environment.
Representative Levy is passionate about the health and safety of Oregon’s children, families and seniors. She believes that people shouldn’t just get by, they should thrive.
She is passionate about school safety and passed new funding to cover SPAT (silent panic alarm technology) to Oregon’s K-12 schools which will start in the 2024 school year.
Professionally, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in International Business and followed that with a Juris Doctorate. She is a member of the Oregon State Bar. Prior to coming to the legislature, her career focused on asset based financing, including clean energy projects.
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Jennifer Hill-Hart
  • Jennifer Hill-Hart
  • Policy Manager
  • Oregon Citizens’ Utility Board
  • Keynote Speaker

Jennifer is the Policy Manager for the Oregon Citizens’ Utility Board. She represents CUB in the development and implementation of law and policies that protect consumers and promote equity and fairness as Oregon transitions to a clean energy economy. Jennifer coordinates the development of CUB’s legislative policy positions, oversees CUB’s policy work with administrative agencies, and works with community organizations to support clean, equitable, and affordable energy policies.

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Laila Atalla
  • Laila Atalla
  • Senior Associate
  • Carbon-Free Buildings
  • RMI

Laila is a senior associate with RMI’s Carbon-Free Buildings Program. They support policy campaigns to advance equitable building decarbonization in the Western United States and at the federal level.

Background
Prior to joining RMI, Laila worked with the state and local governments in California. At the California Air Resources Board, Laila developed modeling tools to guide investments in affordable housing, clean mobility, and workforce development. Subsequently, they joined the City of Sacramento’s Office of Climate Action and Sustainability, where their projects included developing the city’s building decarbonization strategy.

Education
MSc, Sustainable Development and Environmental Economics, University of St Andrews

BS, Environmental Sciences/Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Emory University

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Erica Fleishman Profile Photo
  • Erica Fleishman
  • Director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute and Professor
  • Oregon State University
  • Keynote Speaker

Research Interests:
Biogeography, conservation, ecological responses to climate and land-use change
Ecological responses to environmental change and the management of natural resources in the western United States
Applications of remote sensing to environmental sciences and ecological modeling

Education
1991, B.S., Biological Sciences, Stanford University
1992, M.S., Biological Sciences, Stanford University
1997, Ph.D., Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, University of Nevada, Reno

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Erin Sherman
  • Erin Sherman

  • Senior Associate, Carbon-Free Buildings

  • Rocky Mountain Institute

Erin is a senior associate at RMI’s Carbon-Free Buildings program. She supports the advancement of climate-aligned energy codes, building performance standards, and related policies. For example, she is currently supporting the state of Illinois’s Energy Code Advisory Council to develop the state’s first stretch code following the passage of the Climate & Equitable Jobs Act in 2021. Prior to joining RMI, Erin worked at the intersection of climate action and behavioral science at ideas42 and Opower (since acquired by Oracle). Erin has authored or co-authored work appearing in Nature Climate Change, Nature Human Behavior, STAT, the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management conference, and the Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change conference.

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Nick Zamanov
  • Nick Zamanov

  • Director of Sales and Business Development

  • Cyber Switching

Nick Zamanov is the Director of Sales and Business Development at Cyber Switching. He is an expert in the EV infrastructure space. Since his early days as an EV enthusiast in 2012, Nick has strongly believed that electric vehicles would eventually replace Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars. Prior to joining CyberSwitching, he founded and exited several E-commerce and SaaS startups.

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BRITTNEY BREEN
  • Brittney Breen

  • Senior Program Associate

  • Forth

Brittney is a Senior Program Associate on Forth’s Access to Charging team, where she focuses on improving equitable access to charging through community outreach and education. She brings a background in environmental work from the Willamette Cove Uplands where she assisted with investigative sampling efforts. Brittney holds a B.S. in Energy Science and Technology from Western Washington University.

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Rafi Golberstein
  • Rafi Golberstein

  • Chief Executive Officer

  • PACE Loan Group

Rafi Golberstein is a commercial real estate finance veteran with over 15 years of experience in CRE structured finance, loan origination and equity investments. Prior to founding PLG, Rafi spent his career on Wall Street where he was a Managing Director at Ladder Capital, a publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT). At Ladder, Rafi focused on commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) origination, balance sheet and mezzanine loans as well as equity investments. Prior to Ladder, Rafi worked at Gramercy Capital conducting asset management and loan workouts. Rafi began his career at Credit Suisse in its large loan commercial real estate group. Throughout his career, Rafi has originated and closed over $2.5 billion of commercial real estate loans throughout the country. Rafi has a BS from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York.

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Paula Latasa
  • Paula Latasa
  • Kilowatts For A Cause
  • Executive Director

Paula has three decades of experience working with nonprofits, the private sector and government agencies to promote sustainability and social justice. She has extensive experience in renewable energy, land use, sustainable development, climate justice, materials management, health and alternatives to toxics. Paula has worked at the cutting edge of alternative building, including design and project management for her Earthship home and Oregon’s first Platinum Earth Advantage Home.

Currently, she is working in solar development and social justice with Kilowatts For A Cause. She loves helping businesses, schools and nonprofits gain the economic and environmental benefits of on-site solar, battery storage and EV charging, while sharing a portion of the savings with nonprofits that support low-income families locally. When she is not working, Paula enjoys chasing waterfalls, hiking, rafting, biking, nordic skiing, camping, gardening, listening to music, dancing and hanging out with family, friends and new acquaintances.

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Scott Ringlein
  • Scott Ringlein
  • Founder & Chief Strategy Officer
  • Kilowatts For A Cause

 

Scott is the force behind the idea for the non-profit Kilowatts For A Cause®, a community-shared solar program. Looking for a way to combine the benefits of solar energy with social impact led to the idea and name behind the program. Through the program, solar energy systems are installed at a host’s site and out of the savings generated, a donation is made to a non-profit that supports low income families in the same community that the system is installed in.

In 2012, Scott started The Energy Alliance Group of North America, where leads the development of innovative solutions for deploying energy efficiency, water conservation, and renewable energy improvements for commercial and industrial buildings. In 2020 and 2021, The Energy Alliance Group was selected as the “Most Innovative Environmental Challenges Mitigation Solutions Provider” in the categories of Small Business Awards and Innovation & Excellence Awards, and in 2023, Scott was chosen by Industry Era editorial board to be featured as “10 Most Influential Leaders of 2023.”

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Lauren Fraser
  • Lauren Fraser
  • Business Development
  • Canopy

Lauren spent her early career in business development roles in the media and tech industries at Bleacher Report, Twitter, CrowdTangle and Meta. In 2021 she joined Rewiring America, the leading non-profit in the electrification space, and worked with the private sector to advocate for what became legislation within the Inflation Reduction Act. Last year, Lauren co-founded Canopy, a platform for cities, communities, and companies to help residents and employees reduce or eliminate household carbon emissions. Lauren is also a member of the Bend Environment and Climate Committee and helps lead Energize Bend.

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Max Sarinsky
  • Max Sarinsky
  • Senior Attorney
  • Institute for Policy Integrity

Max Sarinsky is a senior attorney at the Institute for Policy Integrity, where he specializes in the consideration of climate and environmental impacts in regulatory analysis. Max also teaches the Regulatory Policy Clinic at New York University School of Law as an adjunct professor. Max previously clerked for the Honorable Pamela A. Harris of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and received his J.D. magna cum laude from the New York University School of Law.

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Geoff-Harris-Solaire-Homebuilders-Owner
  • Geoff-Harris
  • President
  • Solaire Homebuilders

Geoff brings over 23 years of professional homebuilding experience to Solaire Homebuilders. Holding both LEED Accredited Professional and Sustainable Homes Professional accreditation, Geoff’s passion for energy efficiency, healthy buildings and sustainability in construction will help honor Solaire’s legacy in the green-building space. Professionally, Geoff’s goal is to expand Net-Zero-Energy construction to as many builders and homebuyers as possible.

Geoff holds a BS in Agricultural Economics from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from George Mason University.

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Ashley-Mears-headshot
  • Ashley Mears
  • Vice President & Relationship Manager
  • Washington Trust

Ashley Mears is a vice president and commercial banking relationship manager for Washington Trust. With more than 15 years of experience in the financial industry, Ashley pairs her expertise in business banking with her passion for the Central Oregon community, to help local small businesses grow. Ashley is a true advocate for her clients and partners with each business to establish a tailored financial plan to meet their goals.

Ashley studied at Oregon State University. She is a graduate of the Bend Chamber’s Leadership Bend class of 2014.

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  • Jackie Keogh
  • Executive Director
  • RootedHomes

Executive Director of RootedHomes, Jackie Keogh brings over a decade of experience in affordable housing and community development. In her former roles, Keogh worked for the Portland Housing Bureau’s policy team and most recently as Proud Ground’s Deputy Director where she helped double their pipeline. Keogh has managed millions in public and private funding for affordable rental and ownership projects throughout the country. In all her roles, Keogh has engaged with culturally and economically diverse communities to develop community-led strategic, communications, and fundraising plans that are centered in diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.

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Ante-Vulin-2021-linkedin
  • Ante Vulin
  • Senior Sustainability Strategist
  • Vice President
  • GLUMAC

Ante is an experienced sustainability consultant and energy analyst focused on helping new and existing buildings reach their full potential. He specializes in connecting high-level strategic sustainability initiatives to individual building projects. Ante leads Glumac’s embodied carbon and Life Cycle Assessment consulting practice, giving our clients the knowledge to tackle this carbon-intensive part of the built environment. He has worked on over 70 LEED projects, across rating system versions including New Construction, Operations and Maintenance, Core and Shell, Commercial Interiors and Healthcare. He has over a decade of experience working with clients from the commercial office, mixed-use, hospitality, multifamily, higher education, K-12, healthcare and government sectors.

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  • Kevin Gurney
  • Professor
  • School of Informatics, Computing and Cyber Systems
  • Northern Arizona University

Kevin Gurney is an Atmospheric Scientist, Ecologist and Policy expert currently working in the areas of carbon cycle science, climate science, and climate science policy at Northern Arizona University where he is a Professor in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems. He has degrees from UC Berkeley, MIT, and Colorado State University.

Gurney’s current research involves simulation of the global carbon cycle using the inverse approach, linkages between terrestrial carbon exchange and climate variability, and deforestation and carbon/climate feedbacks.

 

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Emma Loewen
  • Emma Loewen
  • Manager
  • Third Derivative Team, RMI

Emma Loewen is a manager with the Third Derivative team at RMI. Her work focuses on scaling early stage clean technology solutions in urban regions globally. Prior to joining Third Derivative, Emma worked with RMI’s Urban Transformation team, developing tools and resources to support city policy makers in addressing the climate crisis. Her previous projects included leading the City Climate Intelligence initiative to deliver open, near-real-time GHG emissions data in cities and supporting the development of a novel approach to quantify carbon savings from urban nature.

 

 

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Deb Perry
  • Debra Perry
  • Senior Project Manager
  • Global Program Management
  • International City/County Management Association (ICMA)

Debra Perry is a planner with more than 18 years of experience working with local, state and regional governments to address environmental challenges, particularly the risks associated with global climate change. Her work often spans issues of energy, land use, emergency management, infrastructure and social equity. Ms. Perry has been part of the SolSmart Team since 2020 and supports communities across the U.S. as they work to develop strong solar markets and attain their clean energy goals.

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Tristan Kuenzi
  • Tristan Kuenzi
  • Director of Sales – Oregon
  • earthlight

Tristan Serves as the Director of sales for earthlight technologies, a family owned and operated solar installer serving all of Oregon with locations in Redmond and Silverton. He leads a sales team of 7 sales representatives providing the highest quality products on the market. With a high focus on residential solar earthlight also provides Commercial solar, EV chargers, and energy efficiency projects. As a native Oregonian he enjoys all the beauty surrounding the state and enjoys doing his part in protecting what is given to us to pass on to the next generation.

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Ali Lee
  • Ali Lee
  • Green Communities Coalition

Ali contracts as the Health and Equity Specialist with Climate Solutions as an expert in public education, field organizing and community outreach for how we can cleanup pollution from our buildings. In her capacity with Climate Reality in Washington State she has also co-led field along with Climate Solutions for the Clean Fuels Now campaign in 2021 – including an effort to promote “circular restaurants” that partner with biofuel companies in the region to have their waste cooking oil tuned into low carbon fuels. She was also a part of the successful field coalition for the 100% clean electricity for Washington in 2019. As a business owner and equity specialist who has worked on climate change and environmental projects in the US, China, Germany and Brazil, she looks at ways that people can work together and educate future generations to be the change, with the knowledge that we only have one planet, and exploring how to uphold the values of community while learning what is truly meant by living in a diverse world, with equity and inclusion for years to come. Coming from a restaurant family, Ali has always had a strong emphasis on health and equity in the kitchen, as a healthy kitchen leads the way to a health home and community. In addition to her work with Climate Solutions, Ali also serves as Climate Reality WA State Chapters coalition lead.

Robert Hamerly, Greensavers
  • Robert Hamerly
  • Principal, Founder, Greensavers
  • Contact

Robert Hamerly serves as the Principal at GreenSavers. “The company started at my kitchen table,” said Hamerly. “It’s really exciting to see how far we’ve come.” 

Hamerly has extensive experience in the building trades, from HVAC installations on Nantucket to building timber framed custom homes throughout the Pacific Northwest. Over the years, he has earned a variety of certifications for his expertise in building science.

Hamerly’s commitment to home performance extends beyond his work at GreenSavers. Between 2013 and 2015, Hamerly served as the President of the Board of Directors for the Home Performance Contractor’s Guild of Oregon. He still sits on the Board and continues to advocate for the interests of the home performance industry at the local, state, and federal levels.  His Certifications include: Building Analyst and Envelope Professional, Home Energy Rater, Lead Safety, Level l Infrared Thermography Certification, and Certified Technician. 

https://greensavers.com
Clay Deckert
  • Clay Deckert
  • Program Analyst
  • Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) Community Renewable Energy Grant Program (C-REP)

Clay Deckert is a Program Analyst with the Oregon Department of Energy’s (ODOE) Community Renewable Energy Grant Program (C-REP). Clay came to ODOE in April 2022 from the Office of Civil Rights at the Oregon Department of Transportation where he was the Field Coordinator for Central Oregon.

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Brett Howell
  • Brett Howell
  • Transportation Electrification Coordinator
  • ODOT

Brett Howell
Transportation Electrification Coordinator
ODOT

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Kate Hawley, Pacific Power
  • Kate Hawley
  • Senior Electric Vehicle Product Manager
  • PacifiCorp

Kate Hawley is the Senior Electric Vehicle Product Manager for Pacific Power. She leads the Transportation Electrification strategy and program development for Pacific Power. Over the last fifteen years, Kate’s experience spans non-profits, consulting and governmental work supporting transportation electrification, energy and climate adaptation activities.  She is a native of Wyoming, growing up in a rural community and finds herself at home in Central Oregon. She drives a Nissan Leaf and can’t wait for all the new models to hit the market.

Max Roe, Shasta Power
  • Max Roe
  • Co Founder, Shasta Power
  • Contact

Max Roe, founded Coyote Worx in 2019, a project management consulting company focused on commercial and renewable energy development. He is an experienced builder, and real estate asset manager/investor, specializing in renewable energy with more than 10 years of industry experience. Max Roe, John Copyak, and Boris Feldman founded Shasta Power in 2021 to provide opportunities for investors to support solar projects directly, and to aid the US in a rapid transition to solar energy. 

Shasta Power, aims to deliver 600 Megawatts of solar energy and 1,200 MWh of battery energy storage across three development sites. Targeting retiring fossil fuel power plants and other unique opportunities across the mountain west. The Shasta Power team has transacted on over 2 Gigawatts of solar energy and storage projects, most recently the Angeles Summit solar development in Adelanto, CA a 200 MW solar plus storage facility on target for an operation date of March 2024.

 

 

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Jack Schniepp founded Cascade Financial Strategies to provide comprehensive financial planning, and investment management to families, individuals, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. Before moving to Bend in 2002 to begin a career in financial services, Jack spent ten years as a professor and head baseball coach at Concordia University in Irvine CA. His experience and passion for teaching and coaching has provided a natural and successful transition into the realm of financial planning. Jack’s primary focus, and the greatest need of his clients, is establishing and maintaining strategies that address the income needs of current and future generations.

 Jack has also obtained the additional financial planning designation as a Chartered Financial Consultant™. He is also registered with USSIF, The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, evaluating portfolios using ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) criteria.

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  • Jen Patterson
  • Deschutes County Strategic Initiatives Manager
  • Contact

Jen Patterson was hired as Deschutes County Strategic Initiatives Manager in August 2022. Jen will be spearheading special initiatives, including the CPACE program, for the County. Jen previously worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in the External Affairs department as a Congressional Affairs Manager. Jen worked on natural disasters across the country including the 2020 Oregon Labor Day wildfires. Previously to her work with FEMA, Jen worked as a Senior Partner for a national political consulting firm for over a decade.

 Jen was born and raised in Oregon and in her non-work time enjoys all the natural resources Central Oregon has to offer.

Deschutes County Solid Waste
Sarah Buchanan
  • Sarah Buchanan
  • Director of Community Engagement & Energy
  • 350 Deschutes

Sarah received her B.S. in Natural Resources with a specialty in water policy and law from Oregon State University in Corvallis before moving back to Central Oregon. Sarah was born and raised in Bend which has instilled a deep interest in the outdoors as well as the challenges our planet is facing today, seeing firsthand how climate change and a growing population have altered the landscape in Central Oregon. She is passionate about community driven change, and thinks that Central Oregon can be a leader in climate solutions if we put our minds to it and work together! During her time at OSU, Sarah was a member of the University Legislative Scholars program, which connects students with the rulemaking process at the state level, which ignited her interest for changemaking through policy and organization. Outside of work, you can find her on a bike, skis, or (very) slowly learning to play the mandolin!

Diane Hodiak
  • Diane Hodiak
  • Executive Director, 350 Deschutes
  • Contact

Diane is the co-founder of 350 Deschutes, a nonprofit working in climate policy, actions, and education.  Deployment of solar and EV Charging in underserved communities is a focus of Diane’s work. She assists nonprofits in project development, and accessing the funding for these projects. She is currently the volunteer host for CarbonFreeda’s Powerup, a radio show about climate change for KPOV 88.9, Central Oregon.  She has worked with others at all levels within the community facilitate policy for the underserved, electrification, green mobility, and de-carbonization for the  Oregon Climate Plan. 350 Deschutes also worked to authorize CPACE, Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy in Deschutes County.

 

 

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