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8th Annual Energy Innovators Virtual Conference


August 27, 2020
1:30 pm - 5:00 pm


Zoom Webinar


Michigan EIBC

The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council invites you to join us for the 8th Annual Energy Innovators Virtual Conference taking place on Thursday, August 27 from 1:30 to 5:00 pm EST.

The content of the half-day virtual conference will feature prominent speakers and panelists who will discuss the latest energy-related topics and innovations. The last hour of the conference will be a fun Virtual Happy Hour, which will give attendees the opportunity to socialize and network.

The keynote speaker for the virtual conference is Patti Poppe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jackson, Michigan based CMS Energy and its principal subsidiary, Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility and the nation’s fourth largest combination utility.

Additional speakers include:

Peering Into the Crystal Ball: What the 2020 Election Could Mean for Energy Policy


Fireside Chat on Grid Modernization with Richard Kauffman
moderated by MPSC Chair Daniel Scripps


Talk with Nat Bullard: Transitions and Transformations


Fireside Chat on Federal Energy Policy with Katherine Hamilton
moderated by Kwafo Adarkwa


Tentative Timeline:

1:30 pm – Welcome

1:45 pm – 4:00 pm – Programming including keynote address by Patti Poppe, conversations with national experts, and panel discussion focused on energy and the election

4:00 – 5:00 pm – Virtual Happy Hour (sponsored by Geromino Energy and Ranger Power)

Note: Registered attendees will receive a $15 GrubHub electronic gift card (while supplies last) prior to the event that can be used for the Virtual Happy Hour starting at 4:00 pm.

More information on speakers:

Kwafo Adarkwa has over 16 years of Utility Regulatory Experience. Currently, he works as a Manager of Regulatory Strategy for ITC Holdings Corporation. In this role, he formulates and helps shape the regulatory strategic initiatives for the company’s Michigan Operating Companies (ITC Transmission and METC). Prior to his work at ITC, he was a Public Utilities Engineer for the Michigan Public Service Commission. Mr. Adarkwa is a multiple time graduate of Michigan State University holding both a BS in Electrical Engineering (’03) and an MBA in Integrative Management (’13). He serves on the East Lansing Educational Foundation Board of Directors serving as its President from 2018 until June of 2020. Kwafo also is a member of the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE). He also has served on the Hawk Nest Homeowners Association Board of Directors and has been a mentor in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Program in the Capital Region.

Anthony Adragna is POLITICO’s congressional environment and energy reporter. He’s the former author of Morning Energy and came to POLITICO following four and a half years covering EPA and other environmental issues with Bloomberg BNA. Adragna is a Washington, D.C. native and a graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont. When he’s not chasing lawmakers on Capitol Hill, he enjoys cooking and rooting for the Washington Nationals.

Nathaniel (Nat) Bullard is chief content officer for BloombergNEF, Bloomberg’s primary research service on energy, transportation, commodities, and technology. He is also a contributor to Bloomberg Green where he writes frequently on energy, transport, technology, and finance. He is a regular commentator on Bloomberg TV and has been cited in the New York Times, The Economist, Technology Review and Scientific American. He is also a regular presenter to corporate boards of directors and industry associations on energy, commodities, and climate issues. He is a member of U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee. He received a Master’s Degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in International Policy (Energy track) and International Economics, and an AB magna cum laude from Harvard University. He is based in Washington, D.C. and was previously based in Hong Kong and San Francisco.

Zach Gorchow was named Gongwer’s executive editor and publisher in 2020 and manages the company’s Michigan operations, develops new services, plays a role in news coverage and leads reporting on the governor’s office. He was Gongwer’s editor from 2009-19. Zach also covered the Michigan House of Representatives for Gongwer from 1998-2005. In between his two Gongwer stints, he spent four years at the Detroit Free Press, covering Wayne County and the city of Detroit. Prior to first working at Gongwer, he reported for Observer Newspapers in suburban Wayne County. He is a Troy native and an international relations graduate from Michigan State University, where he worked on the school’s student newspaper, The State News. In 2015, he made The Washington Post’s list of the best state political reporters in the United States.

Katherine Hamilton is Chair of 38 North Solutions, a public policy consultancy specializing in clean energy and innovation. In this role, Katherine has been listed on the #Solar100  board by kWh Analytics and received a Cleanie Award as Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018. Katherine was Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum‘s Future of Advanced Energy Technology Global Future Council and President of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic. Katherine served as President of the GridWise Alliance, advocating for nearly $5 billion in funding for smart grid projects in the Recovery Act. Prior to that role, Katherine was a policy advisor for Good Energies, Inc., a private investment company with a portfolio in clean energy technologies of nearly $6 billion. She co-directed the American Bioenergy Association, working with the states of Maryland and New Jersey to develop renewable portfolio standards. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Katherine led buildings research and then managed government relations in Washington, DC. Katherine spent a decade at Virginia Power, designing overhead and underground electrical systems for commercial and residential developments. Katherine studied electrical engineering at Northern Virginia Community College and holds degrees from Cornell University and the Sorbonne. Katherine is part of The Energy Gang podcast through Greentech Media.

Richard Kauffman is Chair of Generate Capital, a leading financier of clean energy projects.  He serves as Chairman of the New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). He is also an Adjunct Senior Research Scholar at Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.  Prior to these roles, he served as New York State’s first “Energy Czar,” where he oversaw the State’s energy agencies, including the Department of Public Service, the New York Power Authority, the Long Island Power Authority, and NYSERDA. Mr. Kauffman served as Senior Advisor to Secretary Steven Chu at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). He was CEO and President of Good Energies, Inc., a leading investor in clean energy technologies; a partner of Goldman Sachs; and Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley’s Institutional Securities business. Mr. Kauffman served as Chairman of the Board of Levi Strauss & Co. He currently serves on the board of Altaba, the successor company of Yahoo. He currently serves on the boards of the Wallace Foundation; Emergent, a tropical forest finance accelerator; and on the advisory board of the Precourt Energy Institute at Stanford. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and recently served on a study group on innovation in energy. Mr. Kauffman received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, a master’s degree in international relations from Yale University, and a master’s in public and private management from the Yale School of Management.

Julia Pyper is a contributing editor at Greentech Media where she covers the global clean energy transition, with a focus on renewable energy, electric mobility, grid edge technologies and energy policymaking. She is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, as well as the host and producer of Political Climate, a bipartisan podcast on energy and environmental issues in America and around the world, presented by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute. Previously, Julia covered climate policy for E&E News in Washington, DC, and has conducted reporting several international projects, including in Haiti, Germany, Israel, India and the Maldives. Her writing has also been published in HuffPost, Scientific American and The New York Times.

Dan Scripps was appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to the Michigan Public Service Commission in February 2019 and was designated as Chair in July 2020. His term ends July 2, 2023. He also serves on the UP Energy Task Force created in June 2019. Mr. Scripps is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and serves on NARUC’s Committee on Critical Infrastructure and its Task Force on Emergency Preparedness, Recovery, and Resiliency. He is also active with NARUC’s Committee on Electricity, Committee on International Relations, and Washington Action Program. Mr. Scripps also serves on the executive committee of the Organization of MISO States, and he is a past president and the current secretary of the Mid-America Regulatory Conference (MARC). Mr. Scripps served one term representing Benzie, Leelanau, Manistee, and Mason counties in the Michigan House of Representatives, where he chaired the House Banking and Financial Services committee and served on committees dealing with energy, telecommunications, and environmental protection. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Scripps worked for the Energy Foundation, where he coordinated policy and grantmaking strategies in the Midwest and Plains and led efforts to double regional grantmaking to groups engaged in equity-oriented climate and energy work. He previously served as president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, where he led efforts to expand deployment of advanced energy resources in Michigan, and as a Vice President with Advanced Energy Economy, focusing on energy finance. As an attorney, Mr. Scripps practiced law in the Washington D.C. office of Latham & Watkins LLP, advising regulated utilities, project developers, and financial institutions on cutting-edge domestic and international energy projects. Mr. Scripps is a graduate of Alma College and a 2005 honors graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.

Sam Singh is chief executive officer for Public Policy Associates, Inc. Mr. Singh specializes in public policy development, nonprofit management, workforce development, and local government management. He has extensive experience working in community engagement and philanthropic initiatives ranging from facilitating strategic planning sessions to negotiating complex mergers of nonprofit organizations. Mr. Singh was the president and CEO of the Michigan Nonprofit Association, a membership based organization providing advocacy services, professional development and technical assistance to over 1,200 nonprofit members. In addition, Mr. Singh served as a senior consultant for the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan, where he managed their grant portfolio for workforce and immigration initiatives. Mr. Singh also has significant experience in both state and local government. He was elected to the Michigan Legislature as a State Representative for three terms from 2013-2018, where he served on the Appropriations Committee for two terms with leadership positions on the Department of Education and Higher Education Subcommittees. On the local level, he served the community of East Lansing one term as mayor and three terms on the city council.

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