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Sessions and Agenda

The Renewable Energy Conference provides important educational opportunities for all aspects of the Kansas renewable industry. Hear the latest information and industry updates from industry professionals.

Conference Speakers

As of Sept. 15, 2022 – Subject to change.

Tami Alexander, Transportation Electrification Manager, Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT)

Tami joined KDOT as the Transportation Electrification Manager in May 2022, to work on state planning for EV charging and electric transportation. Prior to joining KDOT, she worked for Metropolitan Energy Center as a Senior Program Coordinator and the Central Kansas Clean Cities Coordinator. She was responsible for programs within the transportation department for electric and alternative fuel infrastructure and vehicle deployments and educated the public, businesses, and governments on alternative fuels, EVs, and EV charging equipment. She has Bachelor‘s degrees in Mathematics-Statistics and Geology and a Master’s in Environmental Science all from Wichita State University.

Alan Anderson, Shareholder and Vice Chair, Polsinelli PC

Alan Claus Anderson is a Shareholder and Vice Chair of Polsinelli’s national Energy Practice Group. Alan represents renewable energy developers in project development and permitting on projects throughout the country, representing clients in more than 5,000 MW in operating wind, solar and battery storage projects.

Alan is an active speaker and teaches renewable energy law as an adjunct law school professor at the University of Kansas School of Law. Alan is also actively involved in numerous committees, organizations and trade groups supporting the renewable energy industry.

Alan has served as a member of the American Wind Energy Association’s Siting and Social License to Operate Committee and Central States Committee, Chair of the Government Team for the United States Department of Energy Electrify the Heartland Project, Solar Finance Lead for the Department of Energy’s Solar Ready KC SunShot initiative and Chair of the Kansas City Area Development Council’s Advanced Energy and Manufacturing Advisory Council.

DJ D’Agostino, Global Sustainability Manager, Colgate-Palmolive, parent company of Hill’s Pet Nutrition

DJ D’Agostino resides in Piscataway, New Jersey and has been with Colgate-Palmolive (CP) since August of 2011. D’Agostino is the current Global Sustainability Manager at CP and has served as an Associate EHS & Sustainability Manager at Global Technology Center, EHS & Sustainability Coordinator at Flavors Manufacturing Facility and more. He has a B.E. in Environmental Engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, and a master’s in environmental management and Policy from Johns Hopkins University. When he is not working or thinking about sustainability, he loves to cook. Additionally, he is an avid gardener, loves listening to live music and enjoys life with his wife, son and three dogs.

David Dennis, Chairman, Sedgwick County Board of County Commissioners

David Dennis retired from the United States Air Force rising from Airman to Colonel. He earned a BS degree in Business Administration from Fort Hays State University and a MA degree in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma. He taught High School and then served on the Kansas State Board of Education which he chaired. He served as the Chairman of the Wichita District V Advisory Board for eight years and served on the Wichita and Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Commission for nine years. He is currently the Chairman of the Sedgwick County Board of County Commissioners.

Donna Ginther, Professor of Economics and Director, Institute for Policy and Social Research at the University of Kansas

Donna Ginther is the Roy A. Roberts & Regents Distinguished Professor of Economics and Director of the Institute for Policy & Social Research at the University of Kansas and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Prior to joining the University of Kansas faculty, she was a research economist and associate policy adviser in the regional group of the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta from 2000 to 2002 and taught at Washington University from 1997 to 2000 and Southern Methodist University from 1995 to 1997. Her major fields of study are scientific labor markets, gender differences in employment outcomes, wage inequality, science policy, and investments in children.

Dr. Ginther received her doctorate in economics in 1995, master’s degree in economics in 1991, and Bachelor of Arts in economics in 1987, all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jay Kalbas, Director, Kansas Geological Survey

Jay Kalbas earned his Ph.D. in Geology and Geophysics at Purdue University in 2006. He then joined ExxonMobil Corporation, where he developed applied geology and engineering research programs focused on sedimentary basin development. In 2015, he was selected to lead offshore exploratory projects in the North Atlantic and subsequently assumed leadership of multiple international joint ventures focused on offshore exploratory operations.

After completing leadership assignments for ExxonMobil’s flagship resources in offshore Guyana, Jay transitioned to the University of Kansas, where he assumed the roles of State Geologist of Kansas, Director of the Kansas Geological Survey, and Professor of Geology.

Austin Lloyd, Manager Special Projects, Sumner County Economic Development Commission

Austin Lloyd manages Special Projects for the Sumner County Economic Development Commission (SCEDC). His primary duties include federal and state level grant research, assessment and supervision including direct communication and coordination with business owners and entrepreneurs.

With an Accounting degree from Emporia State, he manages auditing duties when that level of oversight is required. Additionally, he administers a revolving loan fund program in partnership with a local utility organization through the USDA.

He is the primary liaison between SCEDC and the County for a 3-year U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) study to evaluate innovative building technologies to improve energy efficiency and positively impact demand flexibility.

Pete Loecke, Senior Director of Manufacturing Services, Spirit Aerosystems

Pete Loecke was appointed Sr. Director of Manufacturing Services in 2022. His responsibilities include Facilities, Tooling and CapEx deployment across all Spirit locations across the enterprise. Starting in 2018, Pete was the Director of Tooling for Spirit.

Loecke started his career at Boeing Wichita in 1986, and transitioned to Spirit with the company separation in 2005.

Prior Spirit leadership assignments include onsite representative at Boeing Renton, aftermarket, sales and marketing, quality assurance, facilities, program leadership and business management. Along the way, Pete had multiple short-term international assignments for both Boeing and Spirit.

Brad Mears, Executive Director, Kansas Municipal Utilities

Brad Mears is the Executive Director of Kansas Municipal Utilities (KMU), the statewide association of communities across Kansas that provide electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, and telecommunication utility services.  He joined KMU in 2007 and has represented municipal utility issues to governmental officials at the local, state, and federal levels.  Prior to joining KMU, he served as City Manager of Holton, Kansas for 15 years.  Prior to his local government experience, he worked in state government for the Kansas Department of Commerce.  He has also earned several awards for his work with local government and municipal utilities.

Amanda Miller, Renewable Energy Industry Expert, Olsson

Raised and educated in Texas, the wind energy capital of the United States, Amanda recognized the advantages of clean energy from an early age. She pursued a career in environmental studies at Texas Tech University in the early years of the wind revolution in Texas.

Currently, Amanda serves as a senior client consultant at Olsson. She works with renewable energy clients throughout the continental U.S., working through state and federal policies related to renewable energy and connecting project developers with the right engineers and scientists to implement compliance programs during project planning, design, and construction phases.

She resides in Oklahoma. Amanda earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Management and a master’s degree in Wildlife Biology from Texas Tech University. When not pursuing renewable relationships and project work across the U.S., Amanda can be found chasing her four children – Emma, John, Luke, and Paul – around her home in Oklahoma and sharing much deserved downtime with her husband of 12 years, Douglas. 

Alan Myers, Director, Planning, ITC Holdings Corp.

Alan Myers is Director, Planning, ITC Holdings Corp. He is responsible for technical and planning activities for ITC to include the ITC Great Plains operating company, NERC compliance, Generation Interconnection studies, as well as strategic studies.

Alan has played an integral role in the development and growth of ITC Great Plains – a new greenfield utility formed in 2006 – as well as the planning, routing and siting approval processes for over 300 miles of 345 kV transmission line projects undertaken by ITC Great Plains since 2009.

Alan is a tenured participant in the Southwest Power Pool process and currently active on several technical committees within SPP to include the Economic Studies Working Group of which he serves as chairman as well as the Markets and Operations Committee of which he serves as vice-chair.

Alan holds a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering and Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Kansas State University.

Crystal Perkins, Regional Intergovernmental and External Affairs Specialist for the South Central U.S., U.S. Department of Energy

Crystal Kay Perkins is a Regional Intergovernmental and External Affairs Specialist for the South Central U.S., in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Perkins was most recently a strategy and fundraising consultant for progressive campaigns and organizations. She served as the South Central Regional Finance Director for Biden for President and the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Before joining the Biden campaign, she served as Executive Director of the Texas Democratic Party. She has experience in fundraising and management roles on all levels of government, federal, state and local.  She grew up on the south side of San Antonio, TX and graduated from Texas State University.

Malcolm Proudfit, CEO, Good Energy Solutions

Malcolm Proudfit currently serves as CEO of Good Energy Solutions, a Lawrence-based solar installer and electrical contractor. He holds degrees from Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University, as well as a Master’s in Business Administration from KU. Malcolm has led Good Energy Solutions through a period of tremendous challenges like the pandemic and a wavering economy. In spite of this, Good Energy Solutions has grown rapidly, creating clean energy jobs, and helping many more homes and businesses to go solar. When not working, Malcolm enjoys spending time with his wife and three young kids, working on his fixer-upper home, and the occasional round of golf (when he has time).

Mike Ross, Senior Vice President for External Affairs and Stakeholder Relations, Southwest Power Pool

Mike Ross serves as Senior Vice President for External Affairs and Stakeholder Relations for Southwest Power Pool (SPP). As a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission designated regional transmission organization, SPP manages the electric grid for all or part of 17 states, and ensures reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure and competitive wholesale electricity prices.

His responsibilities include leading SPP’s government affairs at the federal level and the 17 state region it serves; and has responsibility for external affairs, stakeholder relations and corporate communications for the company.

As a fifth generation Arkansan and native of Hope and Prescott, AR, Mike is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, working his way through college as a radio announcer. Mike is married to Dr. Krystal Thrailkill and together they have five children.

Tom Smith, Owner, ALLTITE

In 2003, Smith’s efforts to persuade the tool company who had given him his start to expand their offerings to better fit the customer’s needs were frustrated. An unshakable optimist and entrepreneur, Smith created ALLTITE to do what he knew the industry needed. While the hydraulic wrench industry he left has not changed much, the solutions that Smith created have been adopted as standard by those entering it.

The many innovations that have sprung from the Wichita-based ALLTITE include the first onsite calibration service (2005), the first cloud-based calibration documentation (2009) and a QR-coded paperless certificate retrieval system (2013). Even the COVID-19 pandemic could not dim ALLTITE’s vision for innovation.

In 2020, Smith led his team to launch a Wind Tech services division, offering smart techs with smart tools for a smarter industry. While Tom Smith enjoys his job as CEO, he is still at his happiest rolling up his sleeves, talking to customers and climbing towers in search of that next innovation.

Kimberly Svaty, Public Policy Consultant, Kansas Power Alliance

With more than two decades in the energy industry, Kimberly Gencur Svaty is a recognized subject matter expert and thought leader on energy matters in the Midwest and nationally. 

She is the principal and founder of Gencur Svaty Public Affairs, a full-service public and government affairs business based in Topeka, Kansas. She and her husband own and operate a farm in central Kansas and have four children.  

Joe Terick, Business Development Account Manager, Black Hills Energy

Joe has worked with Black Hills Energy for the last five years as a Business Development Account Manager working with their largest customers across the state. Black Hills Energy’s Renewable Natural Gas team is committed to helping the environment and supporting corporate sustainability goals, not only in our 8 states but across the county. We offer expertise and assistance to customers and project developers who want to convert biogas into renewable natural gas throughout.

Hillary Thomas, Executive Board Member, Climate Action KC

An Overland Park, Kansas native, Hillary serves as an elected City Councilmember in the City of Mission, Kansas. She also serves on the Executive Board of Climate Action KC— a regional coalition of 100+ elected officials and community leaders aimed at reaching a net zero Kansas City region by 2050 through the implementation of a regional Climate Action Plan. 

Outside of her public service, Hillary is the Development Director at the Jewish Community Relations Bureau American Jewish Committee (JCRB|AJC) of Kansas and western Missouri. She holds an M.Ed. from Rockhurst University and a B.A. in Political Science from Kansas State University. 

Nick Voris, Senior Manager, Evergy

Nick Voris is a senior manager for Evergy (NYSE: EVRG), an investor-owned electric utility that is headquartered in Topeka, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri. Currently, he leads a team that supports various customer electrification initiatives and manages Evergy’s network of public charging stations, the Clean Charge Network. In this role, Nick is responsible for identifying and developing products and services that unlock electrification opportunities for customers while supporting Evergy’s efforts to incorporate electrification into its long-term planning processes.

Prior to joining Evergy in 2009, Nick held positions at City Utilities of Springfield (MO), Black & Veatch, and Exxon Chemical Company.  Nick holds a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering and an MBA, both from the University of Missouri system.

Trish Voth, Partner and Transactional Group Vice Chair, Foulston Siefkin

Trish Voth’s entire 24-year legal career has supported commercial and rural real estate and business clients — including exploring sustainability and renewable efforts that fit a business or community.  
For 20 of those years she has assisted clients regarding renewable energy projects (project developer and owners, landowners and counties) specifically so that Kansans have the opportunity to benefit from the renewable energy industry when it is the right fit.

Trish is a life-long Kansan who grew up on a farm in Marion County, attended school in Topeka, and practiced law with the Foulston firm both in its Dodge City office, and now out of Wichita. These days she pretends to not be tired with two high school teenagers.  

Mark Walter, Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Savion, LLC

Mark Walter graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Religion from Drury University in 2010. He began his career in renewable energy in 2012 when he worked as a rooftop solar installer and salesman for Sunbridge Solar in Portland, Oregon. In 2014, Mark worked as the Deputy Director of Renew Missouri, a non-profit focused on expanding renewable energy and energy efficiency in the state of Missouri.

Mark spent two years at Renew Missouri before taking a job as the Director of Business Development for Missouri Sun Solar, the largest rooftop solar company in the state at the time. He opened their Kansas City office before taking a position as the Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs for Tradewind Energy in 2017.

Mark is now the Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs for Savion, LLC, a national utility-scale solar and energy storage development company.

Luke Wiles, Senior Hydrogen Strategist, Enel Green Power

Luke Wiles is the Senior Hydrogen Strategist for Enel Green Power, where he leads green hydrogen business development in North America. Previously, he held several roles at Nel Hydrogen. Most recently, Luke was a Project Manager, where he oversaw cost-control, integration, and delivery of PEM electrolyzers. Before that, as Lead Internal Auditor, Luke managed an internal team in the continuous auditing of facility processes; documenting opportunities and recommending improvements.

Prior, as a Chemical Engineer, Luke supported R&D projects on the Technology Team. Along with his PMP license, Luke holds a BS in Material Science and Engineering from the UConn.

DJ Worth, Project Development Manager, Ørsted  LLC

Donnie Joe (DJ) Worth is a Project Development Manager at Ørsted, a leading global renewable energy company. DJ’s team is responsible for the development and acquisition of utility scale wind, solar, and energy storage facilities across the Midwestern and Western United States.

Prior to Ørsted, DJ worked at Galehead Development where he focused on early-stage project development for utility scale solar and storage assets across the United States. DJ holds a BS in Chemical Engineering with minors in Petroleum Engineering and Leadership from Oklahoma State University and a MPhil in Energy Technologies from the University of Cambridge.