Geoff is the founder and CEO of American Microgrid Solutions, an advanced energy ecosystem company dedicated to helping clients reduce expense and increase resilience. American Microgrid Solutions works with a broad range of clients including municipalities, senior housing facilities and commercial property owners. A veteran utility executive, Geoff has executed strategic planning, operations, marketing and communications for utility, telecommunications and environmental non-profit organizations. Prior to founding American Microgrid Solutions, Geoff was Vice President of Operations for Easton Utilities, a nationally recognized municipal utility that provides electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, broadband Internet, cable television and utility management software solutions. Geoff managed the effort to diversify Easton Utilities’ generation portfolio by adding solar PV generation and integrating landfill gas generation. Geoff serves on the board of directors of the Maryland Clean Energy Center, previously chaired the American Public Power Association’s Customer Connections Conference and presents at national events. Geoff is a member of the Leadership Maryland Class of 2010 and was awarded the William Donald Schaefer People Helping People Award in 2016 for his work to improve financial literacy through Junior Achievement. Geoff currently serves of the University of Maryland Medical System Shore Regional Health board of directors and has served several other organizations including the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and the Maryland Broadband Cooperative. Geoff earned his Bachelors of Arts from Williams College and a Masters of Business Administration from The Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School.
Michele Mitch-Peterson is a passionate Business Consultant for Honeywell Energy Services Group for her assigned territory in the Mid-Atlantic. In this position, she is responsible for designing and leading a sales strategy and team for customer-first solutions in Energy, Efficiency, AMI Meters, Smart Grid, Micro Grid, CHP, Renewable Energy and Performance Contracting. Michele has over 20 years’ experience in sales, marketing, and management. Serving in a number of leadership roles, she has developed and implemented repeatable processes that support strategic account management, opportunity development, solution design and sales and marketing campaigns resulting in execution excellence, driving demand and aggressive, profitable revenue growth. Michele was born in Baltimore, grew up on the Eastern Shore and resides in Annapolis, MD. She holds a BA degree in Marketing from Frostburg State University and a Master's in Business Administration from Pennsylvania State University. She has taken Executive Management courses in strategic planning, business development, and finance.
Josh currently serves as Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs for the A. O. Smith Corporation (NYSE:AOS). AOS is a global water technology manufacturing company that specializes in products that heat and treat water. In this role, Josh’s primary function is to advocate the company’s business goals and objectives in front of federal, state, and local policy makers and regulators, as well as in front of industry organizations. He represents the company and actively participates on its behalf in the company’s main trade association in Washington D.C. the Air-conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) as well as a wide array of other manufacturers associations and non-governmental organizations. In addition to his duties as head of Government and Industry Affairs, Josh also is part of the Legal Department at A. O. Smith and works closely with our Corporate Development department and Corporate Technology Center on business strategy issues and early stage technology company diligence. Josh is also working on sustainability issues for the company.
Prior to Josh joining AOS, he was a Partner at the international law firm of Squire Patton Boggs LLP. While at the law firm he used his two decades of experience as a former Congressional staff member and entrepreneur in assisting his clients to achieve their business goals and objectives. His legal practice focused on energy and environmental regulation, compliance, project development and finance. In addition to his energy and environmental policy and regulatory practice, he also counseled emerging technology companies within the energy, natural resources, and information technology sectors.
Early in his career, Josh served as a senior legislative assistant and aide in the U.S. House of Representatives he provided advice and counsel on federal legislation and agency regulations that came before the Congress. It was during his service on Capitol Hill that he began to hone his environmental policy and regulatory knowledge and its intersection with the private marketplace. Finally, Josh’s professional experience off Capitol Hill also includes serving as chairman of a privately-held holding company involved in the commercial building services industry as well as retail food services.
Josh lives in Maryland and is extremely active in his local community, where he sits on the boards of both civic and charitable organizations as well as a number of public service appointments in the State of Maryland including to the Board of Directors of the Maryland Clean Energy Center and his service as a Commissioner on the Maryland Economic Development Commission.
In his spare time Josh loves spending time with his family, which includes his wife Monya Phillip, and children (Jacob, Sophia, and Jonathan), as well as cycling, running, playing all kinds of sports, reading biographies, and spending time at the beach.
Ms. Risher purchased the company in 1991 that her father established in 1962. She formerly served as a board member for the Bowie Therapeutic Nursery. She served on the ACCA-NCC board for 20 years, and in 2008 became the first woman president in the 43 year history of the organization. Since serving as president, Debbie has been involved in legislative and industry issues. She served as the legislative committee chair for ACCA-NCC, as well as secretary of the alliance for the past 20 years. She is a member of the Crofton Kiwanis and the Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce, serving as that organization’s President from 1996-97. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of Directors of BB&T Bank. Ms. Risher serves as a member of the MCEC Legislative Committee and Advisory Council, spending a great deal of time in Annapolis for meetings during the Legislative Session in an attempt to improve the industry and the great State of Maryland!
Ms. Risher is a graduate of Washington College and was recently honored as Citizen of the Year for her fundraising and organizational skills in co-chairing.
Mary Beth Tung, PhD, Esq., was named by Governor Hogan as the Director of the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) on May 17, 2016.
Previously, Dr. Tung served as Deputy Secretary of Operations at the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). In her role at MDE, she managed, human resources, information technology, the budget and procurement; and oversaw the facilities management functions of the agency. Mary Beth also helped to develop innovative solutions for the department to work more efficiently, and lead the Department in Emergency Preparedness and Radiation Health efforts. She also oversaw the move of MEA to the MDE Baltimore headquarters and helped to coordinate energy programs statewide to assist MDE reach its environmental goals, an effort that is continuing in her new role.
Dr. Tung worked as an attorney practicing business and intellectual property law and assisting clients with government contract disputes. Previously, she was a registered patent agent specializing in biotechnology and was a biotech patent examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She also was an assistant professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Mary Beth earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Cincinnati, a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Wright State University, was a Postdoctoral Associate in pharmacology and virology at the Yale University School of Medicine and received her J.D. from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. She is a member of the Maryland bar.
She lives in Clarksville, Maryland and is married with two grown children. She enjoys sailing on the Chesapeake Bay and backpacking on the Appalachian Trail and other trails.
Dr. Eric D Wachsman, Director of the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute, is the William L. Crentz Centennial Chair in Energy Research with appointments in both the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Maryland. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering from Stanford University, and his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.
Dr. Wachsman is a Fellow of both The Electrochemical Society (ECS) and the American Ceramic Society (ACerS). He was formerly Chair of the High Temperature Materials Division of ECS. He currently Chairs the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Subcommittee and the National Capitol Section, and serves on the Board of Directors, Technical Affairs and Fuel Cell Subcommittee of ECS. In addition, he is Editor-in-Chief of Ionics, on the Editorial Board of Scientific Reports, Energy Systems, and Energy Technology, and a member of the American Chemical Society, the International Society for Solid State Ionics, and the Materials Research Society.
He is the recipient of the 2017 Carl Wagner Award from the ECS; the 2014 Sir William Grove Award from the International Association for Hydrogen Energy; the 2014 Pfeil Award from The Institute of Materials, Minerals, and Mining; the Outstanding Invention of 2013 award from the University of Maryland Office of Technology Licensing; the 2012 Fuel Cell Seminar & Exposition Award; and the 2012 HTM Outstanding Achievement Award from ECS.
His research is focused on solid ion-conducting materials and electrocatalysts, and includes the development of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), solid-state batteries, ion-transport membrane reactors, solid-state gas sensors, and the electrocatalytic conversion of CH4, CO2, and NOx, using advanced ion conducting materials. He has more than 250 publications and 24 patents on ionic and electronic transport in materials, and their catalytic properties, and device performance.
Mike is a Portfolio Manager at Cornerstone Advisory, a Boutique Wealth Management firm headquartered in the Baltimore Area. In this role, he is responsible for initiating and managing client relationships.
Prior to joining Cornerstone Advisory, Mike was a Business Development Analyst with Bessemer Trust.
He currently serves on the Board of Maryland Family Network, as well as the Clemson University Club of Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
Mike earned an M.B.A. from the Robert H. Smith School at the University of Maryland, and a B.A. in Political Science from Clemson University.
Dr. Alex Pavlak is an engineer, currently the Chairman of the Future of Energy Initiative. FOEI is an open source working group with a mission is to develop sustainable energy system concepts. Members search for tipping points and the key questions that will ultimately drive the structural foundations of clean energy systems. This include: reliable and affordable concepts for zero fossil-fuel electric power systems; electricity market reform to incentivize large overall emission reduction; satellite sensor systems for measuring top-of-the-atmosphere energy balance (global warming); introduction of more realistic radiation protection limits; improve fast reactor spent fuel reprocessing; and develop a better definition of wind system reliability and capacity.
In 1974 Dr. Pavlak founded ConSuntrator, Inc. a static solar concentrator development company based on patents for non-imaging optics (similar to Solyndra). The company signed a large development agreement with the Phillips Petroleum Company. But, by 1982 Phillips decided its core oil business was sound, that it no longer needed alternate energy ventures and opted out of the development agreement with ConSuntrator.
In the 1980’s Dr. Pavlak led an international team that developed a new concept for detecting quiet submarines. The project successfully tested full scale prototypes against real submarines in the Mediterranean. Dr. Pavlak is recognized for successfully developing unprecedented system concepts.
Dr. Pavlak received his PhD in mechanical engineering from Stevens Institute of technology in 1974. He is a Professional Engineer licensed in the state of Pennsylvania and holds numerous patents in solar and wind energy. He is published in the peer reviewed literature, conferences and on the Op-Ed pages. His sonar system work has been recognized by the French government.