Speakers - '23
Rob began his career in electrical engineering in 1988 when he first joined Nova Scotia Power. Over the course of his nearly 30-year career, Rob has held senior management and leadership positions across the Emera companies.
In 2018, Rob was appointed CEO of Emera Technologies Inc., a new Emera company that will capitalize on business opportunities and develop new technologies related to energy transformation.
Prior to this, Rob led Emera’s integration with TECO Energy, which Emera acquired in July 2016. His earlier leadership positions at Emera include Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Emera Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer at Nova Scotia Power, and President and Chief Operating Officer of Bangor Hydro Electric Company (now part of Emera Maine).
CHAIRMAN OF THE SOLAR APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM & CHAIR OF FLASEIA'S EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Currently, a M.Sc. degree holder in the field of Clinical Psychology, and a returning graduate student for a Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, with Capella University. American Counseling Association student member, as well a member of Capella University’s prestigious counseling chapter, Chi Upsilon Chi of Chi Sigma Iota. Broad career and educational professional, who has worked with varied diverse organizations to create and support comprehensive occupational training programs within the fields of IT, Healthcare, Electrical Linework, and Solar Energy. Cultivated community partnerships and relationships to expand workforce education, for St. Petersburg College, through the development and sustainment of state-registered apprenticeship programs.
Greg Burns works as a financial specialist for Greentech Renewables. He has experience with third party ownership aspects, such as PPAs and leases. He primarily works in the solar loan lending space. Additionally, Greg has over a decade of experience in business development roles in the steel industry.
Heaven Campbell is the Florida Program Director of Solar United Neighbors. She works to help Floridians go solar, join together and fight for their energy rights! She is passionate about energy equity, moving our state forward in energy policy and connecting solar enthusiasts. She is a FL native, Osprey and Gator and enjoys spending time in nature with her dogs and family. Connect with her at email@example.com.
Nathan Charles is Principal field application engineer at Enphase Energy. He is passionate about delivering great products that improve lifestyles and mitigate one of the greatest problems of this generation. Nathan has over has over 20 years of experience with energy technology and applications starting with the 2001 American Solar Challenge solar car race. His education includes a Masters in Sustainable Engineering from Villanova University with a focus on energy access technologies and optimization. He currently resides in Lancaster, PA.
CHRIS DIAZ is the co-CEO of Seminole Financial Services, LLC (SFS) a full-service national investment management / financial services organization. In addition to his role as co-CEO, Mr. Diaz oversees the Business Development team as well as Capital Raise and Investor Relations. To date Seminole has closed over $2.2 Billion in renewable energy construction financing, permanent Financing, and tax credit equity for solar and wind transactions. Seminole Financial Services (SFS) provides pre-development loans, construction loans; permanent debt financing; and tax credit equity for Renewable Energy Transactions from $2 million in loan size and up as well as investment management services to various real estate investment vehicles. Currently, SFS manages over $300 million in commercial real estate and renewable energy assets nationwide, for the benefit of various public employee pension and retirement plans. Chris is a frequent National Speaker at industry conferences regarding Renewable Energy Finance and Energy Credits. He has published multiple articles regarding Renewable Energy Finance. Chris is a member of the Board of Directors for the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) as the Chairman of the Solar Services & Consumers (SSC) Division, is a board member for the RE+ Events Board of Managers, is a member of RE+ Events Board of Managers Finance Committee, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA). Mr. Diaz has been involved with tax credits and financial services for over twenty years previously with Credit Suisse, MMA Financial, and the Midland Companies. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science with emphasis in urban and regional planning from Florida State University and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University.
Lex Ford is the President of Climate First Bank, the nation's first climate-focused bank. Before Climate First Bank, Ford was Senior Vice President and Commercial Banker at Seacoast Bank and Senior Vice President and Wingman to the Chairman at First GREEN Bank. For his leadership within the local community, Ford was recognized by the Orlando Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Awards in 2017.
Eric is the dynamic founder of The Goal Guide, Inc., a globally recognized training and coaching organization specializing in sales, leadership, communication, and mindset. A former US Marine, Eric embarked on his sales career in the technology industry, selling office equipment to local businesses, where he quickly stood out in a competitive industry. Eric's exceptional leadership skills were recognized by Capitol Office Solutions, a Xerox company, who promptly recruited him to a leadership position. Under his guidance, the team exceeded revenue goals, and Eric was subsequently appointed as Director of Sales for DCA Imaging Systems, a local office technology provider near Washington, DC. After achieving tremendous success with DCA, Eric decided to share his expertise with others and founded The Goal Guide, providing coaching and training services to entrepreneurs and sales organizations worldwide. He has helped countless businesses achieve remarkable growth and exceed revenue targets, earning a reputation as a trusted advisor and mentor. Eric also works with individuals who feel “stuck” and helps them break free from their self-limiting beliefs and achieve their next versions of themselves. Eric is a prolific author, with his latest book, "B2B Sales Secrets," and is the host of the highly acclaimed podcast, "Lead Sell Grow - The Human Experience." He resides in Lakewood Ranch, FL, with his amazing wife and business partner, Julia, and their two boys, Max and Mikey.
Josh McCarthy CLCS, CPIA, QPLS
Joshua began his insurance career 23 years ago. He served in leadership roles with Farmers Insurance Group, Johnson Financial Group and now Shepherd Insurance. In his previous positions, he was responsible for homeowners insurance sales in Arizona, Nevada, Illinois, and Wisconsin. He has been a Floridian since 2015 and manages the Florida region for Shepherd Insurance. Shepherd Insurance is among the top 50 largest independent insurance agencies in the country, with more than 38 offices in various states. Joshua manages a team of twenty-five insurance agents split between the Sarasota and Port Charlotte office. He is active with the Florida Association of Insurance agents and is a member of the Legislative committee. He is a Qualified Personal Lines Specialist (QPLS) and Personal Lines Coverage Specialist PLCS. He believes there are many positives to insuring a home that has solar and believes the insurance industry will eventually see it the same way. He believes the way to make change will be to work directly with insurance companies and brokers to educate them on why they should want to insure homes with solar.
Ms. Moncrief received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1999 and her B.A. from Emory University in 1995. After graduating from law school, she worked with nonprofit organizations like Earthjustice to support communities harmed by hazardous waste sites and pollution, and to defend wetlands, endangered species, and marine life from environmental destruction. She joined the Enforcement section of DEP’s Office of General Counsel in August 2004, becoming Deputy General Counsel in 2007. Seeing the need for citizens to become more involved in policymaking on environmental issues in Florida, in 2011 she re-entered the nonprofit world and joined the leadership team of Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, driving the environmental community’s campaign to pass an historic, $20 billion water and land conservation statewide ballot measure, winning 75% of the vote in the November 2014. Ms. Moncrief transformed that successful campaign to become Florida Conservation Voters and FCV Education Fund, which she now serves as Executive Director. In 2016, FCV helped defeat the anti-solar ballot measure advanced by monopoly utilities with a $500,000 voter outreach campaign and went on to establish a statewide, collaborative clean energy table of environmental, energy, and social justice organizations that work together to advance a just transition to clean, renewable energy centering equity and increasing community resilience across Florida.
Julia Pyper is vice president of public affairs at GoodLeap, a leading financial technology company focused on accelerating the deployment of sustainable home solutions. She also supports the non-profit organization GivePower, which develops clean water and clean energy systems in communities around the world. Julia is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank and host of Political Climate, a podcast presented by Canary Media and the USC Schwarzenegger Institute. She recently served as the inaugural Storyteller in Residence for cleantech startup accelerator New Energy Nexus. Previously, Julia was a senior editor for Greentech Media, where she covered the global energy transition. Prior to that, she reported for E&E News, where she conducted several international projects, including in Haiti, Germany, and India. Her writing has also been published in HuffPost, Scientific American, and The New York Times.
Heather Reams is the President of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES), a right-of center non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. that engages policymakers and the public about responsible, conservative solutions to address our nation’s energy, economic, and environmental security while increasing America’s competitive edge. She has led the CRES team since 2016 and oversees the core activities of the organization, ensuring the successful expansion of conservative clean energy policies across the nation.
Heather has been Chair of National Clean Energy Week since 2017. She is a Western Caucus Foundation advisory board member and serves on the board of directors for the American Conservative Coalition. She is a frequent commentator on the politics and policy of clean energy and the environment having been featured on MSNBC, NPR, and Newsmax TV, and in The Washington Post, Washington Examiner, Politico, Newsweek, Time, Roll Call, The Hill, Morning Consult, and The Atlantic, among others. She is a regular contributor to Real Clear Energy.
Heather has nearly three decades of experience in public affairs and advocacy and has held a number of senior nonprofit positions. Prior to her non-profit work, she spent a decade at several top D.C.-based public affairs firms. She started her career as a staffer in the offices of Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) and Congressman Gerald Weller (R-IL11), and earlier as an intern for Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA) while pursuing her degree. A graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in Political Science, Heather is active in Republican local and state affairs in her home state of Virginia, where she resides with her husband, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, and their two school-aged children.
Harold Ruckpaul is Director, Distributed Energy Resources for Eaton Corporation’s Electrical Engineering Services & Systems (EESS) business unit. His responsibilities include supporting the strategic growth and global deployment of microgrid, Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) and Energy- Transition-related activities for the EESS division. He has 36 years of technical, operational and sales management experience, implementing power systems solutions to primary market segments globally.
As the Executive Director of Everybody Solar, Myriam brings with her a wealth of experience in the non-profit sector, with a focus on health, social justice, and environmental protection. She holds a Masters in Public Health and Tropical Medicine from James Cook University in Australia and a Bachelors in Biology from the University of California San Diego, which have both contributed to her diverse background in pollution prevention in Morocco and tropical disease education in Costa Rica. Before joining Everybody Solar, Myriam served as the Child and Adult Care Food Program Director for Community Bridges in Santa Cruz, CA. She has been a volunteer with Everybody Solar since 2012 and was officially hired as its first employee in 2017. Throughout her tenure, Myriam has been instrumental in securing funding from donors, grantors, and foundations, as well as collaborating with volunteers, installers, and sponsors to foster significant growth in the organization's projects and partnerships.
Diane Seavers is a Workforce Development professional with over 25 years of experience serving in many roles in the workforce delivery system. She presently serves as the Apprenticeship Navigator for CareerSource Suncoast. CareerSource Suncoast is a private, non-profit organization, with a diverse Board of Directors, state-designated provider of workforce services for Manatee and Sarasota Counties with its primary focus to help businesses grow by offering proven solutions for talent recruitment and development. Ms. Seavers role involves building and expanding registered apprenticeship programs as well as helping navigate career seekers to apprenticeship opportunities. Previously, Ms. Seavers worked in New Jersey and served as the Chief Operations Officer for the Workforce Development Board of Middlesex County and Office of Career Opportunity overseeing workforce policy development and implementing federal and state Department of Labor workforce development grants.
Jen Szaro currently serves as President and CEO for the Association of Energy Services (AESP) a not-for-profit organization serving nearly 5,000 members throughout North America with a mission focused on facilitating the transition to a more resilient and integrated energy sector through workforce development, collaboration, and thought leadership. She also currently serves as Vice Chair of Drive Electric Florida and an Advisory Board Member for the Florida Solar Energy Center and the University of Central Florida College of Engineering and Computer Science. Prior to her current role, Jen held key leadership positions with the Smart Electric Power Alliance, Orlando Utilities Commission, and the Florida Solar Energy Center.
Douglas is Principal Manager of Business Development, focusing on solar, battery storage and microgrid development on the Distributed Energy Solutions team at Enel North America. With over 30 years of finance experience and 12 years in the renewable energy space, Doug has helped clients across North America achieve their goals related sustainability, resiliency and economic efficiency.
PJ Wilson is the co-founder and Executive Director of SESA-PR. During his tenure the organization has grown to over 40 member companies in the manufacturing, sales, installation, and financing of all scales of solar & storage in Puerto Rico. SESA-PR was key in development and advocacy for Puerto Rico's 100% renewable energy law, eliminating interconnection barriers for distributed generation, and plays a key role in the advocacy for regulatory oversight of solar & storage deployment on the island, as well as the effective design & deployment of federal funding support. PJ also serves as an Advisory member of the Department of Energy's PR100 initiative mapping out the island's technical pathway to 100% renewables, and is an appointed founding Trustee of the Puerto Rico Green Energy Trust.