Staff

B C H K L P S T
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John Bonitz
Clean Transportation Specialist

John is a clean transportation specialist at the Center. His environmental career began as an award-winning solid waste and recycling manager at UNC-Greensboro. Masters studies in climate policy took him to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), where he analyzed cost-effective renewable energy technologies. At RAFI-USA, his work in sustainable agriculture addressed the challenges of financing farm ventures. During seven years with a non-profit energy advocacy organization he worked to promote sustainability in bioenergy. More recently, John has worked as consultant to non-profits and businesses interested in sustainable bioenergy and carbon negative pathways. He currently serves on his Town Board of Commissioners. Email: jhbonitz@ncsu.edu 

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Heather Brutz
Finance and Operations Manager, Clean Transportation Program

Within the Clean Transportation team Heather Brutz helps guide the strategy and vision for the program as well as manage its budget. Heather joined the Center in 2015 after receiving her MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Previously, she lived in Washington, DC, where she worked at Transportation for America, a coalition dedicated to promoting a smarter, safer, cleaner transportation system at the federal level. Heather also worked for Clean Energy Works, a coalition of groups dedicated to promoting comprehensive clean energy and climate policies at the federal level. Email: hmbrutz@ncsu.edu

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Megan Cain
Clean Energy Training Specialist

Megan Cain is a Training Specialist for the Center, where she manages the Renewable Energy Technology Diploma Series training program, customized trainings, and other workforce development opportunities. Megan has been involved in the environmental sustainability field since 2007.

After graduating from NC State in 2011, she became an Energy Fellow and Program Coordinator for the NC State University Sustainability Office until 2013, working on ways to more actively engage students with sustainability on campus. From 2013-2015, Megan served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama, working on school and community environmental outreach programs. After returning from Panama, she moved to Lancaster, UK to begin graduate school. While in Lancaster, she was the Communications and Engagement Supervisor for Green Lancaster, an environmental behavior change organization on campus. After submitting her dissertation about grassroots efforts versus infrastructural changes related to sustainability practices in Higher Education Institutions, Megan received her MA in Environment, Culture, and Society from Lancaster University in 2016. She also has her B.S. in Environmental Technology and Management from NC State University, received in 2011. Email: mdcain@ncsu.edu

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Allison Carr
Clean Transportation Specialist

Allison Carr joined the Center as a Clean Transportation Specialist in 2017. She is returning to Raleigh after several years in Houston where she worked as Clean Energy Policy Analyst for the British Consulate-General and as a Senior Air Quality Planner at the Houston-Galveston Area Council. In those roles, Allison coordinated efforts to promote alternative fuel vehicle deployment across Houston and Texas. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Environmental Management degree from the Nicholas School at Duke University. Email: akcarr@ncsu.edu

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Kimberly Conley
Senior Project Manager

Kimberly serves as a senior project manager for the Center’s Clean Power and Industrial Efficiency team.  She has many years of experience in outreach, extension and engagement. Her efforts in communication and business development highlight the importance of nurturing partnerships and collaborations with the ultimate objective of advocating for the competitiveness of North Carolina’s business and industry. Kimberly leverages the Center’s capabilities in order to to meet the needs and objectives of commercial, industrial and government entities as they pertain to energy efficiency and sustainability. Her efforts include extensive outreach and development initiatives to promote the Center as a resource in support of sustainability. She consulted directly for the U.S. Department of Commerce NIST-Manufacturing Extension Partnership on a national supply chain optimization initiative.  She previously served as assistant director of Energy Solutions as part of the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department, and worked for the NC Manufacturing Extension Partnership / Industry Expansion Solutions group. Kimberly has a master’s of arts degree in environmental communication from NC State University.   kjconley@ncsu.edu

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Shannon Helm
Senior Director, Communications & External Relations

Shannon Helm joined the Center in 2010 and is Senior Director of Communications & External Relations. She oversees and administers public outreach and communications activities across the Center’s program areas.  She also manages media and public relations efforts, participation in national and local events, the Center’s Industry Advisory Council, corporate foundation fundraising, and partner/relationship outreach and collaboration.  She also is the program chair and head fundraiser for the State Energy Conference of North Carolina that is held annually in April.  Before joining the Center, she worked for ABB Inc., as the Marketing Communications Manager for the Power Products and Power Systems division. She has a seasoned background in energy-related communications and community affairs, and has over 20 years of experience in the marketing communications field. Shannon holds a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Master of Science in Communication from NC State University. She also holds a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Duke University.  Email: shannon_helm@ncsu.edu

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Steve Kalland
Executive Director

Stephen S. Kalland, Executive Director of the Center, has over 25 years of experience in the renewable energy and energy efficiency fields. Steve directs the strategic vision of the Center and its programs, including programs ranging from technical assistance to economic development, public policy, and workforce development. Mr. Kalland currently serves on the Board of Directors of the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) and is a past board member of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), N.C. GreenPower, and the U.S. Combined Heat and Power Association (USCHPA). He is also on the Advisory Boards of the Research Triangle CleanTech Cluster (RTCC) and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), based in Washington, DC. Previously, Steve served as project manager with McNeil Technologies, Inc. of Springfield, VA and as the director for Government Relations and Grid-Tied Markets at Xantrex Technology, Inc. (formerly Trace Engineering, now part of Schneider Electric). Steve is a former executive director of the Maryland-DC-Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association (MDV-SEIA), the regional chapter of the national Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Before that, he was the director of State Programs and Policy Analysis at the national SEIA. Steve graduated in 1991 from the College of William and Mary in Virginia and in 1993 he received a Master of Science in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Rochester (NY).

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Brian Lips
Senior Project Manager, Policy

Brian Lips is a Senior Project Manager for Policy at the Center. He manages the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), and assists in other policy related projects of the Center. Brian also serves as the Center’s expert on North Carolina policy and has assisted the N.C. Department of Revenue with the state’s tax credit for renewable energy property, and has spoken in Special Committee sessions of the N.C. General Assembly. Brian joined the Center in 2006 and has served in various capacities with the DSIRE project before becoming the manager of the project in 2013. Brian received a degree in Integrated Science and Technology from James Madison University with a focus in Energy and Environmental Science. Email: brian_lips@ncsu.edu

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Oscar Llama
Clean Power & Industrial Efficiency Specialist

Oscar joined the Center as an specialist with the clean power and industrial efficiency team. His previous industry experience began in 2011 at Intertek Westport Technology Center, where he worked as a Project Manager for multiple energy-related studies. In 2015, he joined Occidental Petroleum as a Reservoir Engineer responsible for developing and evaluating energy projects in West Texas. Taking advantage of a long-time promise to move closer to family in North Carolina, he joined the Center in 2017 to continue his life-passion of learning about energy technologies with a greater appreciation for the conservation of our planet. He holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Petroleum Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. Email: ogonzal@ncsu.edu

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Isaac Panzarella
Assistant Director for Technical Services

Isaac Panzarella is the Clean Power & Efficiency project coordinator at the Center, and provides technical and feasibility assessment services for combined heat and power systems, waste heat recovery and industrial energy efficiency improvements. His mission is to help people to realize that the future is here today when it comes to clean energy and energy efficiency. Isaac received a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1998 from N.C. State University. In the subsequent 12 years he worked to promote sustainable building systems and energy conservation as a partner with two consulting engineering firms. He has worked on many project commissions in the State of North Carolina, including the North Carolina Botanical Garden Visitor Center, dedicated by Governor Beverly Perdue in the fall of 2009 as the first State owned building with a LEED Platinum rating target. His sustainable building systems design experience includes solar thermal and photovoltaic energy systems, central cooling and heating plants, geothermal heat pump systems, energy recovery and energy management systems. Email: ipanzarella@ncsu.edu

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Autumn Proudlove
Manager of Policy Research

Autumn Proudlove is the Manager of Policy Research at the Center, joining the Energy Policy team in 2014. She manages the Center’s energy policy research and analysis activities outside of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE). Autumn leads the team’s quarterly policy tracking reports, the 50 States of Solar and the 50 States of Grid Modernization, as well as the development of new policy research initiatives. Autumn also contributes to DSIRE and previously managed the Center’s work on the SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership. Autumn received her Master’s degree in Energy Regulation and Law, summa cum laude, from Vermont Law School and her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, with a minor in Economics, from Dartmouth College. Email: afproudl@ncsu.edu

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Art Samberg
Clean Power & Efficiency Project Coordinator

Art Samberg is a Clean Power and Efficiency project coordinator at the Center, specializing in combined heat and power, renewable energy and industrial energy efficiency projects. Art’s role is to conduct outreach and provide technical and feasibility assessments to facilities that are considering deployment of clean power and/or energy efficiency upgrades. Art received his Masters Degree in meteorology from Rutgers University and has spent most of his career providing air quality and environmental permitting and consulting services to the power generating and renewable energy industries. Email: asamber@ncsu.edu

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Richard Sapienza
Director, Clean Transportation Program

As the Director of the Center’s Clean Transportation Program, Rick Sapienza works in collaboration with industry, government and academia to expand alternative fuels, advanced transportation technologies, and alternative fuels infrastructure throughout North Carolina, the Southeast and North America.  Rick has more than 30-years of business and industry experience.  He has paper recycling industry experience in business strategy and consulting with Great Lakes Pulp and Fibre, government sector experience in technology development and application with Draper Lab, and auto industry experience in vehicle testing, advanced vehicle development and program management with General Motors.  His education includes a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Ocean Engineering from MIT, as well as an MBA from Michigan State University. Email: resapien@ncsu.edu

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David Sarkisian
Policy Analyst

David Sarkisian joined the Center as a Policy Analyst in 2015. He is currently working on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE). David received his B.A. in public policy from Duke University and completed a J.D. and a Master of Science in Environmental Science degree at Indiana University in Bloomington. He is a member of the Indiana State Bar. David’s field of interest includes energy efficiency, smart grids, behavioral effects on energy use, and administrative law. He has previously worked with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor developing smart grid policy. He has also interned with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where his work included analyzing regulatory innovation projects and developing recognition-based incentive programs. Email: dpsarkis@ncsu.edu

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Achyut Shrestha
Senior Policy Analyst

Achyut Shrestha is the Principal Investigator for the Community Solar for the Southeast project. As a part of the energy policy team, he contributes to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE), 50 States reports, and other policy team initiatives. He previously led the efforts to secure funding to develop GIS based energy optimization tool for local government in North Carolina. Achyut holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Physics from Hampshire College and a Master’s Degree in Energy Regulation and Law from Vermont Law School (VLS). His field of interest lies in energy policy, energy markets, smart grids, and energy poverty. Email: abshrest@ncsu.edu

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Anne Tazewell
Special Projects Manager

Anne Tazewell is the Special Projects Manager at the Center, where she coordinates the Center’s development and fund raising efforts. Specific focus areas include grant writing and philanthropic foundations, as well as clean transportation related projects. Previous to assuming this role in May 2016, Anne led the Transportation team efforts for twelve years. In this capacity she was successful in securing over $17 million to improve air quality through advanced transportation technologies, efficiency and alternative fuels, such as biodiesel, ethanol, natural gas, propane and electricity. She has lead public education efforts that include conferences and workshops; billboard, radio and television advertising; training, website and newsletter development. Prior to joining the Center in 2004, Anne worked at Triangle J Council of Governments as a Clean Cities Coordinator for four years. She was a contributor to Small Stories Big Changes, Agents of Change on the Front Lines of Sustainability, published by New Society in 2013.  Anne graduated from New College of the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Environmental Studies.  Email: anne_tazewell@ncsu.edu

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Henry Tsai
Deputy Director

Henry is the deputy director of the Center and is responsible for the financial, economic and business strategy development of the overall renewable energy initiatives. Henry joined the Center in 2004 to serve as Principal Investigator for several state and federally sponsored policy research projects. His key experiences and expertise include: Valuation of commercial and industrial scale projects in biofuels and solar; portfolio and financial risk management in capital projects and capital markets; development of strategic relationships in higher risk business models; financial modeling and contract negotiations in large scale power projects that are significantly tied to emerging federal and state legislation; capital budgeting processes for complicated investment and ownership structures. Before joining the Center, Henry managed the export department of a Fortune 500 logistics company, where he also served as a financial analyst. During his tenure at the company, Henry designed and initiated export protocols for the Central American business lane, cross-trained and merged services between the domestic and international divisions, and initiated export processes that resulted in year-to-year positive gains in revenue, profit margin, and overall net income for the department. Henry has a B.A. from Duke University and an MBA from NC State University. Email: henry_tsai@ncsu.edu