Summit Speakers

Interested in speaking opportunities? Contact MCEC.

Allen_Eli

Eli Allen

Director of the Center for Sustainable Careers
Civic Works

Bio

Eli Allen is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Careers (CSC) at Civic Works. CSC expands access to family-sustaining careers for Baltimore residents from historically marginalized communities. It supports residents in building the skills needed to secure quality employment, and employers around investing in their workers and advancing equity across their practices. He leads CSC’s sector-based career training programs in brownfields remediation, residential energy efficiency, stormwater management, and solar energy installation, as well as its clean energy social enterprise that creates on-the-job training opportunities for program participants. Eli also helped create CSC’s Good Business Works job quality initiative, which provides consumer marketing support and generates procurement opportunities for companies that meet standards around job quality and racial equity and inclusion, incentivizing employers to strengthen their workplace practices. The program also supports companies in meeting their job quality and equity goals by providing technical assistance, coaching, and linking employers with workforce development programs to facilitate hiring partnerships. Eli is committed to creating a thriving, inclusive and equitable clean energy economy.

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Brian Feldman

Maryland State Senator
Legislative District 15

Bio

Maryland State Senator Brian J. Feldman, both an Attorney and a CPA, is the Vice Chair of the prestigious Senate Finance Committee and chairs its Energy and Public Utilities Subcommittee. Additionally, Brian is the Senate Chair of the Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission and serves as a member of the Executive Nominations Committee and the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics. He is also a member of the Maryland Economic Development Commission. Nationally, as a member of the National Conferences of State Legislators, he serves on the Task Force on Energy Supply and as a member of the Council of State Governments, he serves on the Energy and Environment Committee. Also, he is a member of the Southern States Energy Board.

Numerous honors and awards have been conferred on Senator Feldman for his work in the Maryland Legislature. Most recently, he was recognized for his exceptional efforts on behalf of municipalities during the 2019 Maryland General Assembly Session by the Maryland Municipal League. Currently, Brian sits on the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and Montgomery Hospice. Senator Feldman and his wife, Janice, have two children who graduated from Montgomery County public schools.

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Ben Grumbles

Secretary
Maryland Department of the Environment

Bio

Ben Grumbles is Maryland's Secretary of the Environment. He was appointed by Governor Larry Hogan and confirmed by the Maryland Senate in 2015. His duties also include serving as Chair of the Governor’s Chesapeake Bay Cabinet and Chair of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and member of the Ozone Transport Commission and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission.

Ben has served as President of the U.S. Water Alliance, Director of Arizona’s Department of Environmental Quality, EPA Assistant Administrator for Water, and senior staffer and counsel for the Transportation and Infrastructure and Science Committees in the U.S Congress. He’s lived, worked, and played in the Chesapeake Bay watershed since 1985.

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Obi Linton

Commissioner
Maryland Public Service Commission

Bio

Odogwu Obi Linton was appointed to the Maryland Public Service Commission in August 2017 after serving for almost nine years as the Commission’s Director of External Relations and Retail Market Development. Commissioner Linton began his career in 1991 as a meter reader and engineering intern at Public Service Electric and Gas in New Jersey. After law school, Commissioner Linton clerked for the Hon. Evelyn Omega Cannon in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.

Commissioner Linton worked as a regulatory attorney at Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, where he worked on the deregulation of the electric industry and consumer disputes. Five years later, he rejoined the Commission as Deputy Staff Counsel. Commissioner Linton then left the Commission to start his own law firm, where he represented consumers, small businesses and deregulated suppliers in litigation and transactional matters. He eventually closed his firm to return to the Commission to serve as Director of the Office of External Relations. Commissioner Linton is currently the Vice Chair for the Consumers and the Public Interest Committee and is the Founding Chair of the Utility Marketplace Access (now Supplier and Workforce Diversity) Staff Subcommittee for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).

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Chris MacLarion

Director- Maryland Apprenticeship & Training
Maryland Department of Labor

Bio

Chris MacLarion began his career by serving for three years in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After leaving the Army, Chris spent 16 years working at the RG Steel plant in Sparrows Point, Maryland as a steelworker and the Vice President of the local union. When the RG Steel Corporation closed Chris attended the University of Baltimore, initially as a participant in the USDOL funded RG Steel National Emergency Grant, earning his Bachelor’s Degree and becoming an employee of the Maryland Department of Labor.

In the six years Chris has been with Maryland’s Department of Labor he has managed numerous grants, including two USDOL National Dislocated Worker Grants and three State Apprenticeship Expansion Grants. Chris is currently the Director of the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program.

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I. Katherine Magruder

Executive Director
Maryland Clean Energy Center

Bio

Kathy Magruder is the Executive Director of the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC), a corporate instrumentality of the state created to advance the adoption of clean energy products, services, and technologies. In addition to administrative and budget management for MCEC she in engaged in government and industry stakeholder relations, event production and innovation advancement.

Magruder led efforts to launch programs designed to provide access to capital for energy projects including the Maryland Home Energy Loan Program, Maryland Clean Energy Capital Program and MDPACE; a statewide initiative enabling commercial property assessed clean energy lending to occur in Maryland.

In her prior position Ms. Magruder served as Chief of Staff at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute; known for performing cutting edge research and transfer of newly discovered technologies to commercial applications; when it existed as part of the University System of Maryland.

As Director of Resource Based Industries, for the Maryland Department of Commerce, she initiated and managed a program focused on sustaining agriculture, forestry, mining, fisheries and maritime industry sectors. Working in collaboration with multiple agencies and in partnership with the Maryland Energy Administration, she helped develop a statewide approach to implement evolving energy policies and technologies.

Ms. Magruder previously served at the regional and county level in tourism, community and economic development as Director of the Department of Economic Development & Tourism for Queen Anne’s County, Maryland. Emphasizing sustainability In that capacity, she led numerous agribusiness and ecotourism initiatives focused on environment, economy, and cultural character. Related efforts include creation of an interactive exhibit for visitors at the Chesapeake Heritage Center, state designation of the Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area, and national designation for the Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway.

Kathy holds a professional Certificate in Destination Marketing & Management from George Washington University School of Business & Public Management, and is recognized as a Certified Economic Developer by the International Economic Development Council. She earned her BFA in Fine Art from Maryland Institute College of Art in 1982, and looks forward to every opportunity to use her creative skills.

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Geoff Oxnam

Founder & CEO, American Microgrid Solutions
Chair of the Board, Maryland Clean Energy Center
 

Bio

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.

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Paul Pinsky

Maryland State Senator
Legislative District 22
 

Bio

Senator Paul G. Pinsky, elected to the Maryland Senate in 1994 after two terms in the House, serves as the Chair of the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. He is also a member of the Maryland Commission on Climate Change.

Senator Pinsky has long been a champion in the fight to reduce greenhouse gases, address climate change and clean up the Chesapeake Bay. He is the principal author of dozens of environmental laws that have helped shape most major state environmental policies in Maryland over the last decade. His achievements include the landmark 2009 Healthy Air Act, legislation codifying the Climate Commission, and the 2009 and 2016 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Acts, the latter of which requires a 40% reduction by 2030. This year, he co-sponsored the Clean Energy Jobs Act to require Maryland to obtain at least 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

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James Rzepkowski

Assistant Secretary of Workforce Development and Adult Learning
Maryland Department of Labor

Bio

James E. Rzepkowski serves the state in his current role as assistant secretary for the Department of Labor’s Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning. Leading the Department of Labor in protecting and empowering Marylanders by safeguarding workers, protecting consumers, and cultivating a thriving workforce that meets the demands of Maryland’s dynamic economy.

In his role as assistant secretary of workforce development, Rzepkowski works to develop and implement important workforce development programs throughout the state, in adult education and literacy services, correctional education, fiscal administration, and workforce information and performance.

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Jason Stanek

Chairman
Maryland Public Service Commission

Bio

Jason M. Stanek was appointed Chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission by Governor Larry Hogan for a five-year term beginning on July 1, 2018. He most recently served as Senior Counsel to the Energy Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce where he advised on matters involving national energy policy, with specific focus on electricity issues and the operations of the regional power markets. Before that, he served in senior positions at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, advising both a FERC Chairman and Commissioner during his 16-year tenure. Prior to arriving in Washington D.C., he held legal positions with the National Fuel Gas Company in Buffalo, New York, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in New York City. Chairman Stanek is a member of the Committee on Electricity and the Committee on International Relations for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Chairman Stanek earned his law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University. He also completed studies at American University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Ellen D. Williams

Distinguished University Professor, Department of Physics and IPST - University of Maryland Vice Chair
Advisory Board and Chair of the Investment Committee, Maryland Energy Innovation Institute

Bio

Ellen Williams is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, where she works at the interface of energy technology and policy. Before returning to the University in January of 2017, she was the Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency, ARPA-E, which advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment.

Prior to Senate confirmation for her role in ARPA-E, Dr. Williams had been the Chief Scientist at BP (2010-2014), and a Distinguished University Professor in the Institute of Physical Science and Technology and the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland. At Maryland she established an internationally recognized research program in experimental surface science, exploring fundamental issues in statistical mechanics and nanotechnology. She founded and led the University’s interdisciplinary Materials Research Science and Engineering Center from 1996 through 2009.

Dr. Williams has a distinguished history of professional service, including chairing the development of the NAS report on Technical Issues for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and extensive work in providing technical advice to the U.S. government, primarily through the Departments of Energy and Defense. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a foreign member of the Royal Society (London), a fellow of the American Physical Society, American Vacuum Society and American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been recognized by awards from the American Physical Society and the Materials Research Society.