George Ashton III is co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer of Sol Systems, Inc. a national leader in solar finance and aggregating solar renewable energy credits, or SRECs. He has been instrumental in developing the solar credit futures market in several states and orchestrated creative financing solutions that enabled the installation thousands of residential and commercial solar systems. Before Sol Systems, Ashton spent more than 10 years in the capital markets and financial services industries, ending his career as a Senior Account Executive at Fannie Mae, chartered by Congress to provide liquidity and stability to the U.S. housing and mortgage markets. He also serves on the Auxiliary Board of the Washington Jesuit Academy, a middle school for promising disadvantaged male youths. He earned his M.B.A. from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University Maryland in College Park.
Anton Cohen, CPA, is a partner with CohnReznick and serves as Co-National Director of the Firm’s Renewable Energy Industry Practice. He has more than 20 years of experience servicing closely held and publicly traded clients in a variety of industries, including renewable energy, corporate and public tax credit funds, technology, distribution, and manufacturing. He is experienced in private and public equity and debt offerings, capital structuring, and general business management. Anton’s audit, tax, and business advisory services cover a wide spectrum of clients from start-up entrepreneurs to multi-national corporations.
Anton is responsible for planning and supervising all aspects of a variety of engagements, which range from audit, tax, and accounting services to strategic and operational issue identification and resolution. Anton has also assisted clients with the conversion of U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and has prepared financial statements under IFRS.
For the past five years, Anton has been solely focused on building the Firm’s Renewable Energy Industry Practice. His experience in renewables spans multiple technologies, including solar, wind, and biomass. He currently audits renewable energy companies, funds and projects, providing both GAAP and IFRS consulting.
Mr. Eckel is President, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure (NYSE:HASI). Structured as a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), Hannon Armstrong provides debt and equity financing to the energy efficiency and renewable energy markets. Mr. Eckel has led Hannon Armstrong in the role of President and CEO since 2000, and was also with the firm from 1985 to 1989. Previously, he held senior executive positions as Chief Executive Officer of EnergyWorks, LLC and Wärtsilä Power Development. He serves on a variety on industry-related boards including the Alliance to Save Energy and the Maryland Clean Energy Center and serves as a member of the Johns Hopkins Environmental, Energy, Sustainability and Health Institute’s advisory council. Mr. Eckel has over 30 years of experience in structuring, executing and operating energy and infrastructure investments. Mr. Eckel received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in 1980 and a Master of Public Affairs degree from Syracuse University, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, in 1981.
Joshua Greene uses his experience as a former Congressional staff member and entrepreneur in assisting clients to achieve their goals before Congress, regulatory agencies and state and local governments.
Mr. Greene's practice focuses on energy and environmental policy, regulatory, and business planning, with a particular concentration on renewable and alternative energy development, energy efficiency, technology, sustainability, and corporate counseling. Through his work on landmark pieces of legislation, such as the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, Mr. Greene has very broad relationships within the environmental, municipal and business communities, which look to him to help develop sensible policies that bridge differences between historical opponents.
In addition to Mr. Greene's energy and environmental policy and regulatory activities, he has also been actively engaged in counseling clients regarding financial services regulation, including environmental and energy commodities in the United States and abroad. A key component of Mr. Greene's client counseling involves working with and building diverse coalitions in advocating his clients' interests. He is also recognized within the firm as one of its authorities on Congressional practice and procedure.
Michele Mitch-Peterson is currently the Business Development Manager for Honeywell Building Solution's for her assigned territory in the Northeast. In this position, she is responsible for designing and leading a sales strategy for Honeywell's Energy Services programs in Performance Contracting and Renewable Energy. Michele has almost 15 years experience in sales, marketing and management. Serving in a number of leadership roles, she has developed and implemented strategic processes that support account management, opportunity development and sales and marketing campaigns resulting in building brands, driving demand and growing profitable revenue. In addition, she has established analytics and created metrics to improve visibility and effectiveness of sales and marketing operations. Michele was born in Baltimore and grew up on the Eastern Shore. 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 and is also a Six Sigma Black Belt.
Jessica is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, MBA, PMP, six sigma-trained program manager and thought leader in the energy/utility industry. She served 8 years as an active duty Naval Flight Officer and Mission Commander in EA-6B Prowlers, completed 2 tours over Iraq, was awarded an Air Medal for accumulated time over a combat zone, and led numerous divisions through time-sensitive, mission critical engagements. She was honorably discharged in 2007 and hired into Constellation Energy’s Business Performance Improvement group as a Project Manager. She helped stand up the first Project Management Office for the enterprise-wide Supply organization, facilitated strategic roadmap development, and coached inexperienced project managers through a portfolio of integrated multi-million dollar initiatives. In 2009, Jess was selected as the Business Architect, and then Senior Project Manager, for Baltimore Gas & Electric's $450M, 2.1 million meter Smart Grid Initiative. As the new system went live in 2012, she was hand-picked to build out the company’s first Smart Grid Operations team and lead the effort to establish institutional processes and procedures that leveraged the new technology. She coordinated Exelon Utilities’ first ever Smart Grid Summit in January 2013 to share deployment best practices and innovative operational and data analytics lessons learned. Jess was also the founder and elected President of Exelon's Eco-Team, a grassroots employee group focused on driving sustainability initiatives throughout the company and in the community. In May 2013, Energetics hired Jess to lead their Performance Solutions division which provides technical and program management support to the Department of Energy’s $7.9B Smart Grid Investment Grant program and includes 99 grid modernization projects across 49 states and Guam. In late 2014, Jess moved to Opower to put her accumulated utility industry experience to work and help drive strategic presales efforts in Americas East.
John Spears is the president of Sustainable Design Group www.sustainabledesign.com, architects and builders of custom solar homes and renovations. Mr. Spears has been a pioneer in sustainable building technology and community design worldwide for over 40 years. He specializes in zero energy and self- sufficient buildings and communities. Mr. Spears is also the founder and president of the nonprofit International Center for Sustainable Development www.solarcities.org and has designed sustainable communities around the world and consulted with cities in developing countries on sustainable infrastructure development. He was the sustainable development consultant to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Locally, ICSD through its Baltimore Electric Vehicle Initiative is installing electric vehicle charging stations throughout Maryland and promoting the use of electric vehicles.
Mr. Spears was the founder of the Maryland Clean Energy Center which promotes economic development and job creation in the clean energy sector, and he worked with Montgomery County Maryland in the development of their Green Economic Development Initiative. Mr. Spears is currently setting up a factory in Maryland to manufacture solar powered modular sustainable infrastructure systems including a solar power plant, bulk milk chiller, water purification system, internet café and earth home building factory for use in developing countries that don’t have access to electricity. www.SustainableSystemsint.com Mr. Spears lives and works out of the 100% solar powered home and adjoining studio that he and his wife built in Gaithersburg, MD.
Eric Wachsman, Ph.D., is Director of the University of Maryland’s Energy Research Center where he leads the University-wide energy research center in developing a broad array of sustainable energy technologies and resources, from fuel cells and hydrogen production, to batteries, wind, photovoltaics and biomass. Wachsman also holds the William L. Crentz Centennial Chair in Energy Research at the University of Maryland, College Park. Previously, he was Director of the Florida Institute for Sustainable Energy and a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He earned his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering and a Master’s of Science from Stanford University. He is a Fellow of The Electrochemical Society and has authored two hundred energy related research publications and patents.
Director Williams has a wide range of experience and expertise in energy and environmental issues. Most recently, she has served as president and CEO of Avania Group, LLC. Williams has also served as an administrative specialist II in the Prince George’s County Land Acquisition & Real Property Division, director of government relations for United Health Group, and has experience representing a number of utility companies including Washington Gas and Pepco. She was also an adjunct professor of law and policy at University of Maryland University College.
Williams earned a B.S. in public affairs and management from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, as well as a Juris Doctorate from the Indiana University School of Law.