Powering Local Leadership 2019 - Speakers
Lauren Azar practices law in the electric industry, providing business, regulatory and policy advice as well as project development and permitting.
Mandela Barnes serves as Wisconsin’s 45th Lieutenant Governor. He was elected on November 8, 2018 and sworn into office on January 7, 2019. He is the first African-American to serve as a Lieutenant Governor in Wisconsin, and the second African-American to ever hold statewide office.
Chelsea Chandler is the director of the Academy's Environmental Initiatives. She leads the Climate & Energy and Waters of Wisconsin Initiatives, to which she brings her interdisciplinary experience and passion for researching and communicating solutions to environmental challenges.
Marie Donahue is a research associate at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) with its Energy Democracy and Community-Scaled Economy Initiatives, supporting communities investing in distributed energy and locally owned businesses.
Jane Elder is executive director of the Wisconsin Academy. She brings to the Wisconsin Academy a strong background in public policy leadership, nonprofit management, and involvement in Wisconsin arts. Her career has focused on environmental policy and communications, while personal interests include theater, modern dance and painting.
Jeff Feldt is the General Manger of Kaukauna Utilities and has more than 35 years of experience in the electric utility industry. In addition, Feldt serves as the Chair of the WPPI Energy Board of Directors in Sun Prairie and previously served on the Board of Directors of the American Public Power Association (APPA) as well as Chairman of APPA’
Sherrie Gruder is a Sustainable Design Specialist and Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Extension. She provides statewide education and technical assistance on sustainable community development, sustainable energy strategies and green building to Wisconsin communities, local and state governments and businesses.
Richard Heinemann provides legal services to a wide range of municipalities and local governments in Wisconsin and throughout the upper Midwest. His primary focus is energy law, but his practice extends to all areas of municipal utility service, including water, wastewater, broadband and telecommunications.
Kelly Hilyard is the program assistant for the Academy’s Climate and Energy Initiative. She has twenty years of experience working on sustainability projects as an organic farmer, landscape architect, and, most recently, as a LEED AP+ project manager in the green building industry.
Nick Hylla is executive director of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, where he works in partnership with organizations throughout the Midwest to advance renewable energy education and market development initiatives.
Kathy Kuntz joined the nonprofit Cool Choices as its executive director in May 2010. Cool Choices inspires and assists individuals, communities, and businesses to achieve meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through voluntary action. Kuntz has two decades of experien
Megan Levy is the Local Energy Programs Manager at the Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation.
Jane McCurry joined RENEW Wisconsin in July 2018 as a Program Manager to start RENEW's Electric Vehicle Programming. Prior to starting at RENEW, she was the Executive Director and is a current board member for Wisconsin Microfinance, a Madison-based nonprofit that provides small loans to women in areas devastated by natural disasters.
Ashwat Narayanan is Director of Transportation Policy of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin.
Steve Nieland is the Director of Energy for Faith Technologies, responsible for the vision, development, growth and execution of Faith’s energy strategy. Nielands efforts help clients understand and optimize energy as an ingredient, achieving operational improvement through data driven processes.
Gary Radloff is the principal at The Radloff Group, a policy research and consulting firm. Radloff is a recently retired researcher from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was the Director of Midwest Energy Policy Analysis for the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI).
Keith Reopelle is the Director of Dane County’s Office of Energy and Climate Change. Prior to coming to Dane County, Reopelle was the Senior Policy Director at Clean Wisconsin where he worked for 32 years leading clean energy campaigns at the state and regional levels.
Peter Skopec joined the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG) in 2014 and has been the organization's director since February of 2015.
Jeffrey Springer is a Certified Energy Manager with over 30 years of experience in the commercial and industrial energy sector. His responsibilities include power quality, energy auditing, and recent work on Dairyland Power Cooperative’s fleet electrification and solar projects.
Troy J. Streckenbach is in his second term as Brown County Executive, consisting of 31 County departments that include approximately 1,600 positions with a budget of over $290 million annually. Streckenbach graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh and earned a degree in International Studies.
Jeffrey Thomas is the current Chief Information Officer and Director of the Office of Business and Information Technology Services for the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.
Michael Troge is a Project Manager working for the Oneida Nation. He has worked for more than 20 years doing conservation planning, designing, and deployment of water quality, agriculture, renewable energy, and facility energy projects. Troge is lead author for the Nation’s Strategic Energy Plan.
Wisconsin Academy Administrative Offices and Steenbock Gallery
1922 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53726
James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703