2020 Rocky Mountain Speaker Bios

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Speaker bios

Steve CatanachDirector of Climate Initiatives, City of Boulder, Colorado

Catanach,_SteveSteve Catanach serves as the Director of Climate Initiatives for the city. The department manages Boulder’s Electric Development, Boulder’s Energy Future, city climate initiatives, resilience and sustainability programs. Prior to joining the city, Steve was a consultant supporting the city’s Energy Future team and worked as an electrical engineer for more than 33 years, 31 of those years in the electric utility industry. Prior to becoming a consultant, he served as the Light and Power Operations Manager for the City of Fort Collins. During his career, Steve also worked for the City of Longmont; the City of Las Cruces, New Mexico; and the Arizona Public Service Corporation, the largest electric utility in Arizona.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from New Mexico State University and has been a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Colorado, for over 18 years.

 

La Kischa CookEEO Specialist, WAPA

Cook,_KischaLa Kischa is an attorney licensed in Colorado. She currently clerks for Magistrate Judge S. Kato Crews at the District Court for the District of Colorado. Most recently, Ms. Cook worked as an EEO Specialist for Western Area Power Administration where she ensured the neutrality of the EEO process, made legal determinations on discrimination complaints, and coordinated WAPA’s affirmative employment plan. Ms. Cook is passionate about the area of employment law and enjoys helping organizations embed inclusion and diversity concepts into their work cultures.

 

Erin GreenPower Marketing and Energy Services Specialist, WAPA and RMC President

Jeff HurdGeneral Counsel, Delta-Montrose Electric Association

 

Rebecca JohnsonTransmission Advisor, Western Area Power Administration

Johnson,_RebeccaDr. Rebecca Johnson is the Transmission and Power Markets Advisor for the Western Area Power Administration. In this role, she works with representatives from across WAPA’s 15-state service area along with RTOs, electricity providers, federal agencies, and other stakeholders on the development and deployment of strategies to reliably and cost effectively adapt the electricity system amid this time of rapid industry change. Rebecca joined WAPA in 2015 and has over 31 years of experience in finance, business management, strategy development, electricity policy, and utility operations. Rebecca holds a PhD in energy policy, an MS in environmental studies, and an MBA.

Matt LarsonPartner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP and RMC Board Member

Robin LuntGeneral Counsel, Guzman Energy

Guzman,_LuntRobin Lunt serves as the Chief Strategy Officer of Guzman Energy. She works across the organization to build the business and engage directly with customers and investors. She crafts strategies for customers to establish just and reasonable exit fees when leaving incumbent providers, develops power supply agreements, and creates solutions to facilitate the energy transition. Guzman prides itself in creative, collaborative and bespoke win-win transactions.

Robin started at Guzman in the role of General Counsel. Previously she worked as an attorney and as the general counsel of a demand side management company in Colorado.  She also spent almost a decade in Washington, DC where she worked on off-shore wind regulations, state and federal energy policy, and served as a legal and police Advisor to Former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Commissioner Tony Clark advising him on legal and policy matters with regard to oil, gas and the western electric grid at the.

She is a graduate of Brigham Young University Law School and Pomona College.

Andrew McLainDirector, Transmission Market Strategy and FERC Compliance Officer, NorthWestern Energy

 

Erin O’NeillChief Economist, Economics Section, Colorado Public Utilities Commission

ONeill,_ErinMs. O'Neill is the Chief Economist for Trial Staff of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. Ms. O'Neill has been with the Commission for four years. She supervises a team of economists providing expert testimony on economic and policy issues ranging from wholesale markets and resource planning to retail rate design and cost allocation.  Prior to working for the CPUC Ms. O'Neill spent over 15 years as an economic and strategic consultant to electric utilities specializing in energy and environmental policy modeling, resource planning, and risk assessment.  Ms. O'Neill has a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University and a Master's Degree in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Honorable Bruce J. Walker, Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity, U.S. Department of Energy

BWALKER_PORTRAITBruce J. Walker was nominated by President Donald J. Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity (OE) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in October 2017.

For the previous five years, Mr. Walker was the Deputy County Executive for Putnam County, New York; in this capacity, he was responsible for managing more than 20 diverse departments and 650 employees to ensure the health and safety of the constituents.  Mr. Walker is also the founder of Modern Energy Insights, Inc. (MEI), a boutique consulting firm which specializes in evaluating and identifying risk and developing mitigation and elimination strategies for critical infrastructure owned and operated by major Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) throughout the United States (US) and Canada.

Prior to founding MEI in 2011, Mr. Walker was an integral part of two IOUs in the Northeast U.S.  He has held leadership positions in System Operations, Emergency Management, Asset Management and Regulatory Services.  Most recently, Mr. Walker was the Vice President of Asset Strategy and Policy for National Grid – U.S.  In that capacity, he was responsible for the development of asset strategies and regulatory policies for a $5 billion five-year investment plan in New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.  Prior to that position, he was the Director for Corporate Emergency Management at Consolidated Edison of New York (Con Edison).  His responsibilities included all emergency plans, operations and responses for the electric, gas and steam systems in New York City (NYC) while coordinating with the NYC Office of Emergency Management.  Additionally, he was responsible for leading the development of the Con Edison Coastal Storm Plan that was successfully utilized during Hurricane Sandy in 2011.

He holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Manhattan College and a Juris Doctor in Law from Pace University where he was the technical editor on the Environmental Law Review and received an Environmental Law Certificate.  He has completed the Distribution Systems program from Siemens – Power Technologies International.  He is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy Preparatory School and received an Honorable Discharge from the United States Military Academy.

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