Clean Energy Business Network Grows by 150 Members, Announces Board of Directors
Contact: Andy Barnes, firstname.lastname@example.org | 202.785.0507
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 15, 2018 – The Clean Energy Business Network (CEBN)—a group of 3,000+ business leaders in all 50 states working across every aspect of the clean energy economy—finalized its inaugural board of directors on March 14, 2018. This development marks yet another milestone in the process of transitioning the organization from its former home within The Pew Charitable Trusts to its new home within the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE).
In the previous ten months since the CEBN transitioned to become a small-business arm of the Council, it has grown by nearly 150 members, thanks in part to an expanded offering of in-state events, new networking tools, and new content on business development topics. The CEBN welcomes the expertise of its newly appointed board members to continue to expand its membership and reach in 2018 and beyond.
James Jackson, the newly-appointed Chairman of the Board of the CEBN, said, ”It’s all about growth. I look forward to collaborating with CEBN’s membership, my fellow board members, and staff to both expand the number of companies in the network and enable the growth of each individual firm. Now that our board is in place, our focus will be to serve our members through key services. These include hosting regional events and providing critical support services to allow these clean energy companies to find new business opportunities that they may not otherwise have access to.”
Jackson added, “As the Chairman of CEBN and a member myself, I’m very aware of the current challenges for small and medium sized energy companies who may have limited resources but also need to increase the bottom line. My goal is to serve each member to help them overcome any barriers to success through an environment here at CEBN where they can network with other company leaders and find new business opportunities to showcase their technologies and advance their own company vision.”
Founded by The Pew Charitable Trusts in 2009, the CEBN spun out of Pew in May 2017 to become an independent initiative of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE)—a 26-year-old coalition of leading trade associations and corporations in the energy efficiency, renewable energy, and natural gas industries. Following the move, the CEBN completed a member-driven strategic planning effort to assess the major challenges facing members, identify priority mission areas for the organization, and develop a draft workplan and dues structure.
In announcing the board of directors, the CEBN has completed an essential stage in its transition to a self-governing, self-sustaining organization. The newly-established CEBN Board consists of 8 directors, including 3 CEBN members, 2 BCSE members, the Presidents of the CEBN and BCSE, and General Counsel. The new directors are listed below, and their bios follow at the end of this announcement.
Board of Directors:
- Chairman: James Jackson, Chief Business Development Officer, Thermal Energy Partners (CEBN)
- Jen Derstine, Director of Strategy, Policy and Distributor Development, Capstone Turbine Corporation (CEBN)
- Andrea Sreshta, Co-Founder, LuminAID (CEBN)
- Mark Wagner, Vice President, Government Relations, Johnson Controls (BCSE)
- Steve Crout, Vice President, Government Affairs, Qualcomm (BCSE)
- Dave Muchow, Managing Partner, Muchowlaw (General Counsel to BCSE and CEBN)
- Lisa Jacobson, President, Business Council for Sustainable Energy
- Lynn Abramson, President, Clean Energy Business Network
- Corporate Secretary: Andy Barnes, Program Manager, Clean Energy Business Network
Lynn Abramson, President of the CEBN, said, “I am thrilled that this incredible group of energy professionals has agreed to serve at the helm of the Clean Energy Business Network. They each represent unique facets of the clean energy economy, and I’m confident their insights will help guide a successful future for the CEBN. I am humbled and honored to be working alongside these directors to serve our members’ interests.”
Lisa Jacobson, President of the BCSE, said, “The Clean Energy Business Network is a strong complement to the Council and has proven to be an effective partner in support of BCSE’s federal advocacy agenda. In addition, CEBN brings the small and medium sized business perspective as well as the opportunity for new business partnerships.”
The board yesterday finalized and approved the CEBN’s organizational documents, governance structure, operating budget, and workplan for 2018. The board also approved the establishment of a standing CEBN Advisory Committee, which will help guide the organization’s policy priorities and programmatic offerings.
Chairman: James Jackson, Chief Business Development Officer, Thermal Energy Partners
James Jackson is Chief Business Development Officer at Thermal Energy Partners, leading the Austin, TX-based company’s global sales of geothermal power and water projects. A former Navy SEAL who served throughout the Middle East for 11 years, James has held positions at Dell and Fujifilm and worked as President of Emergent Global Security, a firm that delivers energy security solutions to critical infrastructure clients. Jackson received a B.A. from St. Mary’s University in Multinational Organizations Studies in business and is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute of Monterey, CA.
Jen Derstine, Director of Strategy, Policy and Distributor Development, Capstone Turbine Corporation
As Director of Strategy, Policy and Distributor Development at Capstone Turbine Corporation, Jen Derstine leads the company’s federal and state policy priorities and manages business development with geographically-exclusive distributors. Capstone Turbine Corporation is a Van Nuys, CA-based manufacturer of microturbine engines for combined heat and power and microgrid applications. Derstine previously served as International Trade Specialist at the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and held earlier positions at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Brookings Institution. Derstine holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and M.A. in International Affairs/International Economics from Johns Hopkins University.
Andrea Sreshta, Co-Founder, LuminAID
Andrea Sreshta is co-founder of Luminaid, a Chicago-based company that innovated solar-powered, inflatable lanterns used in disaster relief and outdoor recreation. The company has been recognized by a number of prestigious institutions, including winning offers from all four sharks on the hit TV series “Shark Tank,” securing the Early Stage prize at the Clean Energy Trust’s Clean Energy Challenge in Chicago, and receiving a Toyota Mother of Invention award. Sreshta previously worked in and studied design and architecture with an emphasis in project management. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, a Master’s in Architecture from Columbia University, and MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is originally from Houston, Texas.
Mark Wagner, Vice President, Government Relations, Johnson Controls
Mark Wagner is Vice President for Government Relations at Johnson Controls, a global leader in energy efficiency for buildings; building automation systems; fire, life, and safety systems; and advanced automotive batteries. Wagner previously served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Economic Security, served as the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Procurement Institute, and worked on the staffs of U.S. Representative Les Aspin, U.S. Senator Birch Bayh, and U.S. Representative John Brademas. Wagner received his B.A. in Political Science from Indiana University and his J.D. from the Indiana University School of Law at Bloomington.
Steve Crout, Vice President, Government Affairs, Qualcomm
Steve Crout is Vice President for Government Affairs at Qualcomm, a leading developer and innovator of advanced wireless technologies, products and services. Crout has been an integral proponent of Qualcomm’s innovation of digitally-connected energy products for efficiency and smart cities applications. Crout previously served as Director of Global Government affairs at Motorola, Inc., and as Managing Director of Government Affairs at the American Gas Association. In government, Crout worked as Legislative Director for Rep. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.), and in several positions at the U.S. Department of Energy, including Senior Advisor for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs and Associate Director of the Office of Policy. Crout holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Rollins College, and a M.S. in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Johns Hopkins University.
Dave Muchow, Managing Partner, Muchowlaw
Dave Muchow is CEBN’s and BCSE’s General Counsel and Managing Partner of Muchowlaw. Muchow has 30+ years of experience as a corporate lawyer, business consultant, entrepreneur, inventor, and an expert in helping energy companies. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor for Law, Business, and Entrepreneurship at Georgetown University, and is on boards and counsel to many clean tech and other companies. He previously served in the Department of Justice, Office of Management and Budget, National Security Council, and as a VP of a $1 billion, publicly-traded energy investment firm. Muchow is Co-Editor of Energy Law and Transactions, the 7-volume treatise on energy law and business and holds patents in energy technologies.
Lisa Jacobson, President, Business Council for Sustainable Energy
Lisa Jacobson serves as the President of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and manages the day-to-day operations of the organization. Jacobson has advised states and federal policymakers on energy, tax, air quality and climate change issues, and serves as a member of the Department of Energy’s State Energy Efficiency steering committee. She has testified before Congress and has represented clean energy industries before the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Prior to her position with the BCSE, Jacobson was a legislative aide to the U.S. Congress. She holds a Masters degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of Vermont.
Lynn Abramson, President, Clean Energy Business Network
Lynn Abramson is the President of the Clean Energy Business Network, leading the CEBN’s educational, advocacy, and business support services and representing the network before public and policymaker audiences. Abramson previously managed the CEBN at its former home in The Pew Charitable Trusts from July 2013 until its transition to the Business Council for Sustainable Energy in May 2017. Lynn has also worked as a Senior Legislative Assistant in the U.S. Senate on energy, natural resources, and transportation policy. Abramson holds a B.A. in Biology from Boston University and a Ph.D. in Marine and Atmospheric Sciences from Stony Brook University.
Other Officers of the Board: Corporate Secretary:
Andy Barnes, Program Manager, Clean Energy Business Network
Andy Barnes is the Program Manager for the Clean Energy Business Network, providing support for overall operations and leading the CEBN’s communications outreach and events planning. Prior to taking on this role, Barnes served as a Policy Associate at the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and interned with the White House Council on Environmental Quality in the Office of Energy and Climate Change. He has also worked as a program fellow for the Solar Foundation and as a research assistant at David Gardiner and Associates, a sustainability consulting firm. Barnes holds an M.S. in Environmental Science and M.P.A. degrees from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University and a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Environmental Social Sciences from the University of Southern California.
The Clean Energy Business Network (CEBN) works to advance the clean energy economy through policy, public education, and business support for small- and medium-size energy companies. Started in 2009 by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the CEBN is now a small business division of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy. The CEBN represents 3,000+ business leaders across all 50 U.S. states working with a broad range of clean energy and transportation technologies.