Recognizing Energy Industry Champions: Ushering in a New Era of Leadership

Release Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Alliance to Save Energy is proud to jointly announce the recipients of the 2016 Unsung Hero Awards and the confirmation of four new additions to our Board of Directors, mutually marking the continuing strength of diverse energy efficiency leadership. These energy efficiency trailblazers are collectively providing indispensable guidance for the energy efficiency industry, and deserve recognition for their efforts in helping transition the U.S. to a modern energy economy.

Since 2004, the Alliance to Save Energy has provided Unsung Hero Awards for those who go “above and beyond” on a daily basis to further energy efficiency, but who have not received recognition commensurate to their contributions. Through the 2016 Unsung Hero Awards, the Alliance is delighted to bring attention to the commendable work of the four awardees. The Alliance was joined by key industry leaders at the March 1 Unsung Heroes Reception at the Capitol Visitor Center to honor the 2016 awardees.

In addition to the four Unsung Hero Awardees, Representative Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) was honored during the reception’s festivities with the Recognition of Service Award for his years of service to the Alliance and for his unwavering commitment to advancing energy efficiency policy during his tenure in the House. First elected in 2000, Rep. Israel has worked to promote energy security over his time in Congress and has identified energy efficiency as one of the key drivers to achieving it. Rep. Israel said, “I am truly honored by this recognition and proud of my work with the Alliance to Save Energy. I have long advocated for energy efficiency because it just makes sense. By working together, the public and private sectors can further efficiency potential around the country and, in the process, save Americans money, create jobs, strengthen our national security and protect our environment. I look forward to continuing to fight for policies like innovative financing and key incentives to advance energy efficiency initiatives in New York and across the country.”

 

The four Unsung Hero Awardees included:

 

·        Robert Diznoff is the Democratic Staff Director on the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee and serves as Senior Counsel for Ranking Member Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). In his current role, Robert manages a staff focused on issues related to energy efficiency, advanced manufacturing, renewable energy and innovation. Robert has an undergraduate degree from the Ohio State University and a law degree from the University of Miami School of Law.

·        Christopher King is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy where he provides strategic advice to the Secretary, along with departmental leadership on engagement with key external stakeholders to enhance the national clean energy agenda. Christopher is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

·        Jennifer Loraine is the Senior Energy Advisor and Counsel in the office of Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and staffs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Jennifer graduated summa cum laude from Saint Louis University with a BA and received a JD from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

·        Blaise Sheridan is a Legislative Assistant in the Office of Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.). In his current role, Blake helps to advance the Senator’s energy efficiency and clean energy priorities, including a national energy efficiency resource standard and incentives for benchmarking building energy usage. Blake has a master’s degree in Marine Policy from University of Delaware and a BS in Engineering from Swarthmore College.

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New Board Members Elected

Additionally, during the Alliance’s March 2 Board of Directors meeting, four new Directors were elected, adding to the diverse and accomplished assembly of Alliance leadership focused on advancing energy efficiency policy. The newly elected Directors, representing vital businesses and industries, include:

 

·        Ervin Cash, President and CEO of AERCO International has over 30 years of leadership experience in fiercely competitive high-price environments and has held numerous leadership positions in energy efficiency technology companies.

·        Tom Lowery, President, Building Controls Systems of Legrand North America is responsible for leading a business portfolio that focus on energy efficiency and high performance buildings in commercial and residential markets.

·        Marc Ulrich, Vice President of Customer Programs & Services, Southern California Edison is responsible for SCE’s energy efficiency, demand response and clean self-generation program portfolios and customer strategy, marketing, e-commerce and strategic alliance functions.

·        Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, Former CEO of Sustainable Energy for All, is an agricultural economist, politician, former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and has been recognized for his passionate work for universal access to energy, increased energy efficiency and enhanced deployment of renewable energy.

 

Honorary chair Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) said, “These four stellar individuals are tried-and-true energy efficiency advocates, bringing with them impressive skills and experience. They are sure to help in our efforts to move toward common sense, bipartisan energy policy that will create jobs, decrease carbon emissions and provide tax dollar savings for Americans around the country.”

Jane Palmieri, The Dow Chemical Company’s business president for Building & Construction and Alliance board co-chair said, “I look forward to working with Ervin, Tom, Marc and Kandeh, and am confident that, as we work together to advance energy efficiency, their leadership will have a lasting impact.”

Ervin Cash, President and CEO of AERCO International, said, “Our team strives every day to develop innovative, energy-efficient solutions. With the core belief that energy efficiency is not only good for the environment but also for business, I am thoroughly committed to working with the Alliance to Save Energy to advocate for this powerful energy source.”

Tom Lowery, President, Building Controls Systems, Legrand North America, said, “At Legrand, we continually strive to support our customers' ability to achieve their energy efficiency goals in the built environment. Moreover, saving energy is at the core of our own company's commitment to sustainable business practices.  I am therefore thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely on the Board with my colleagues at the Alliance to Save Energy to encourage beneficial federal energy efficiency policy.”

Marc Ulrich, Vice President, Customer Programs & Services, Southern California Edison, said, “Over the two decades I’ve spent in the power industry, I’ve witnessed firsthand the vital role that energy efficiency can play in saving consumer dollars and reducing carbon emissions. I am delighted to join the Alliance to Save Energy’s Board, and I look forward with great anticipation to helping advance energy efficiency policy that works for everyone.”

Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, Former CEO, Sustainable Energy for All, said, “Throughout my work with the United Nations and in public service, I have come to appreciate the role that energy efficiency can play in helping provide sustainable energy to all people. I am eager for the opportunity to collaborate with the Alliance to Save Energy’s Board on an issue that is very important to me.”

Alliance president Kateri Callahan said, “These four individuals will be valuable additions to our Board of Directors, bringing fresh insights and perspectives in advancing energy efficiency policy. As we continue forward in our decade of energy productivity, I believe that our Board will help usher in an era of energy productivity and economic prosperity by helping us to advance meaningful energy efficiency policies and practices."