Director of Marketing and Communications, NC Sustainable Energy Association
As NCSEA's Director of Marketing and Communications, Matt Abele helps to drive the strategies designed to enhance the brand and scope of NCSEA. This role collaborates with teams across the organization to oversee external communications efforts, media strategy, marketing tactics, and education initiatives. Additionally, Matt serves as the Host of the Squeaky Clean Energy podcast. Prior to joining NCSEA, Matt specialized in marketing and communications for environmental/cleantech organizations at the national and local levels. Matt holds a Master's degree in Communication from North Carolina State University and a Bachelor's degree in Sustainable Technology from Appalachian State University. Additionally, Matt holds a Certificate in Renewable Energy Management along with a NABCEP Entry Level PV Installer Certification.
Chairman, Energy & Public Utilities
NC House of Representatives
Executive Director, Carolinas Clean Energy Business Association
Chris is the Executive Director for Carolinas Clean Energy Business Alliance, a position he has held for the past five years. In this role, Chris manages the CCEBA advocacy and legal teams and all of the policy and regulatory work in North and South Carolina. Chris previously worked for the Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy and at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and approaches the clean energy industry with a business lens. Chris has an undergraduate degree from Oberlin College and a Masters in Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University.
Executive Director, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina
In 2015, Christopher Chung joined the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) as Chief Executive Officer. Chris brings nearly 22 years of state-level economic development experience to his role.
As a public-private partnership, the EDPNC is responsible for a number of economic development functions on behalf of the State of North Carolina, including new business recruitment, existing business support, international trade and export assistance, small business start-up counseling, and tourism, sports, and film promotion. With a staff of more than 65 professionals and an annual operating budget of more than $24 million, the EDPNC is focused on improving the economic well-being and quality of life for North Carolina's $10 million residents.
Since 2015, the EDPNC has helped North Carolina win more than 500 recruitment and expansion projects, resulting in 67,000 announced new jobs and $14 billion in announced new investments across the state.
Chris previously held various executive and management responsibilities at the Missouri Partnership (2007-2014) and the Ohio Department of Development, now known as Jobs Ohio (1997-2007).
Chris attended The Ohio State University (OSU), graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a double-major in Japanese and economics. He also completed significant coursework towards a Master's in Public Policy and Management.
Governor Roy Cooper is serving his second term as North Carolina's 75th Governor.
The Governor is a lifelong North Carolinian, born and raised in Nash County, where he attended public schools and worked summers on the family farm before earning his degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Throughout his career, Governor Cooper has worked to build a stronger North Carolina where everyone has an opportunity to live in safe communities and get a quality education, a good job and access to affordable health care.
As Governor, he has helped create tens of thousands of new jobs and fought to boost public education and revitalize rural communities.
He has also taken strong action to fight climate change and make North Carolina a leader in the clean energy economy, appoint the most diverse Cabinet in the state's history, make our state a more inclusive place to live and work and help families with policies like paid parental leave.
He has also led the state with a steady hand throughout a series of unprecedented crises, guiding the response to historic hurricanes and the COVID-19 pandemic as North Carolina had among the lowest COVID deaths and job losses per capita. Governor Cooper is focused on ensuring that our people and communities have the tools to grow and thrive and that our state's best days are ahead.
Partner, Bailey & Dixon, LLP
Christina Cress is a partner at the Raleigh law firm of Bailey & Dixon, LLP. Her practice focuses exclusively on energy and utilities regulatory and policy matters, including representing the Carolina Industrial Group for Fair Utility Rates (CIGFUR), a group of many of Duke Energy's and Dominion Energy's largest North Carolina retail customers. Christina is one of 18 attorneys currently certified as a specialist in utilities law by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, she serves as the Vice-Chair of the Utilities Law Specialty Committee. Before returning to private practice, Christina served as a Staff Attorney at the North Carolina Utilities Commission, where she spent the majority of her time advising the Commission regarding electric utility matters, including general rate cases and the implementation of clean energy programs created by the enactment of House Bill 589 in 2017.
Program Communications Specialist, Joint Office of Energy and Transportation
Richard Ezike is currently a Program Communications Specialist at the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, where he assists with stakeholder engagement and outreach with a focus on equity, environmental justice, and workforce development around the electrification of transportation. The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation supports the deployment of zero-emission, convenient, accessible, equitable transportation infrastructure—coordinating and leveraging activities between the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Prior to the Joint Office, Richard has worked for CHPlanning Ltd., the Urban Institute, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. He has advised on transportation issues for federal agencies such as the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency; and for organizations such as the Transportation Research Board, Smart Growth America, the Greenlining Institute, Securing America's Future Energy, and the State Innovation Exchange. Dr. Ezike holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and a B.S. in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University.
Co-Founder and Managing Partner, EVNoire
Dr. Francis, a former Medical School Faculty member, is a public health executive, entrepreneur and transportation disruptor. Dr. Francis is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of EVNoire. EVNoire's work focuses on two pillars: E-Mobility Best Practices and Equity Best Practices. The EVNoire Team specializes in providing business solutions to enhance electrification strategies for Utilities, Non-Profits, Municipalities, Government Agencies, Public Health Organizations, and Regional and National organizations to expand this market share. EVNoire also engages communities on workforce development opportunities in the alternative fuel/electric vehicle economy.
The EVNoire Team provides opportunities to engage with multi-modal, clean transportation through education and outreach, expanding charging infrastructure, marketing/launches, workplace charging, workforce development and beneficial policies. Dr. Francis and Terry Travis' vision led to the Co-Founding of the nation's largest network of diverse EV drivers and enthusiasts, EVHybridNoire, a 501c3 Nonprofit. EVHybridNoire, is a national, award winning, multicultural organization focused on increasing EV adoption and awareness in diverse communities.
EVHybridNoire is a membership based organization with thousands of members and chapters across the United States, Canada, Europe and beyond. The EVHybridNoire Team is intentional about providing resources and access to under-resourced, diverse and frontline communities, around affordable, clean and sustainable energy vehicles and platforms. Dr. Francis is recognized as a national thought leader in Best Practices, E-Mobility and Public Health Disparities. Dr. Francis serves as a Board Director for the Electric Auto Association, a National 501c3 advocacy group.
Strategic Sourcing Manager, Energy, Corning Incorporated
Steve Frank is the Strategic Sourcing Manager, Energy, for Corning Incorporated. He has held several roles for large energy-intensive industrials since he began working in the energy industry in 2006. Currently, Steve holds a vital role as the person responsible for managing the energy procurement and supply chain for Corning's plants across North America. In this capacity, he has been instrumental in driving significant year-over-year savings and working capital gains by effectively leading the procurement and risk management functions in the region.
Steve is known for his ability to collaborate effectively with both internal and external parties to align on energy projects that help improve energy reliability, and integrate renewable solutions to help meet Corning's sustainability commitments. His extensive knowledge of the energy industry, coupled with his leadership skills, has enabled him to make a significant impact in moving the company forward.
Steve is also active in several state regulatory groups including serving as the Chair of CIGFUR III (Carolina Industrial Group for Fair Industrial Rates) and Co-Chair of CIGFUR II as well as the Treasurer for a group in Kentucky, (Kentucky Industrial Users Committee) KIUC.
Steve received a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from Youngstown State University and an MBA with a specialization in Energy Management from Waynesburg University.
U.S. Federal Lead, Global Energy Market Development and Policy, Google
Brian is responsible for energy regulatory and policy engagement across the federal government, including Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Department of Energy. In addition, he is responsible for energy regulatory and legislative engagement across PJM and the mid-Atlantic region, where Google datacenters represent a large and growing commercial load. Brian has extensive experience in wholesale electricity market design and energy policy.
Prior to Google, Brian was the Senior Director for Strategy and Government Affairs at the Electric Power Supply Association where he led policy development and federal legislative engagement for a membership consisting of over 150,000 MW of competitive power generation across the US.
Brian started his career as an economist at FERC, serving in roles across multiple offices, including the Office of Enforcement and the Office of Energy Policy and Innovation. Brian capped his service at FERC as a technical advisor to former commissioner Rob Powelson, where he advised on significant issues impacting all of the organized electricity markets.
Vice President, Offshore Wind, American Clean Power
Josh Kaplowitz joined ACP in November 2021. In his capacity as Vice President, Offshore Wind, Josh leads the ACP team focused on offshore leasing and permitting, supply chain development, vessel and other maritime issues, tax policy, worker health and safety, and legislation. Prior to joining ACP, Josh served as commercial counsel to GE Renewable Energy's U.S. offshore wind business, and spent 5 years at the U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of the Solicitor as attorney-advisor to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's Offshore Renewable Energy Programs. Josh is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School, where he co-teaches a seminar on offshore wind. Kaplowitz earned his B.A. in Political Science from Yale University and his J.D. from the University of Virginia. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife Andrea and the two thirds of his children who are not yet in college. In his spare time, he enjoys playing ultimate frisbee and table tennis, hiking, doing grassroots organizing, and writing song parodies.
Clean Energy Director, Office of Governor Roy Cooper
Peter Ledford serves as North Carolina Clean Energy Director for Governor Roy Cooper where he works to further the state's clean energy goals. Ledford previously served as General Counsel and Director of Policy at the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association where he has served in various capacities since 2014. Prior to his work at NCSEA, Ledford worked in the Research Division of the North Carolina General Assembly as a staff attorney and legislative analyst. Ledford is a member of the Board of Directors for the Advanced Energy Corporation and a recipient of Energy News Network's 40 Under 40 list. Ledford graduated from the University of North Carolina with a bachelor's degree in Geography and from the Wake Forest University School of Law.
Co-Founder, Kairos Government Affairs
Betsy McCorkle leads The Kairos Government Affairs team and has over a decade of lobbying success with a focus on developing and executing successful government affairs strategies for a diverse set of clients. Betsy has accepted speaking and consulting invitations from across the country to share her strategies and the outcomes of her work. Before co-founding Kairos Government Affairs, Betsy directed the government affairs work for the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, a non-profit membership organization, where she gained extensive experience in leading diverse coalitions of businesses and other non-profits toward legislative goals. Betsy also has experience in workforce development, economic development, agricultural policy, and has been responsible for managing Republican political campaigns across the southeastern United States. As a military spouse, Betsy leads efforts as a Board Director for the Susan M. Tillis Foundation, which has a mission to support junior enlisted military members and their families. In 2021, Betsy was recognized as a member of the Triangle Business Journal's 40 Under 40 class. In 2022, The North Carolina Leukemia and Lymphoma Society recognized Betsy with their Outstanding Citizenship Award for her community leadership to raise over $85,000 in the fight against cancer. In 2023, Betsy received recognition from the Triangle Business Journal as a Women in Business Award winner.
Betsy received a Master Degree in Environmental Management from Duke University, and she holds a Bachelor Degree in Environmental Economics from the University of Georgia (UGA), where she graduated magna cum laude. Betsy was a 2013 Recipient of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Young Alumni Achievement Award and the 2012 Recipient of the J.W. Fanning Distinguished Young Professional Award.
Vice President of Government Affairs and External Relations, Duke Energy North Carolina
Kevin McLaughlin serves as vice president of government affairs and external relations for Duke Energy in North Carolina. He leads the groups responsible for the state's government and community relations strategies. This includes managing strategic relationships with the governor's office, executive branch agencies, legislators, local officials and communities.
Before joining Duke Energy in January 2020, McLaughlin served as policy director for the U.S. Government and Education practice at SAS Institute. In this role, he was the principal liaison to governors, attorneys general and legislative leadership to increase brand awareness and encourage the adoption of data-driven strategies.
Prior to joining SAS, McLaughlin was the deputy chief of staff for the governor of North Carolina. He managed all sections of the Office of the Governor and worked directly with Cabinet secretaries and agencies to develop and implement executive branch priorities. He also led legislative negotiations for bipartisan reform to both North Carolina workers and tort laws. Before serving in the governor's office, he was chief operating officer and general counsel for the N.C. Department of Administration. Prior to his public service, McLaughlin was a litigation attorney and partner in The Van Winkle Law Firm in Asheville, N.C.
McLaughlin received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Juris Doctor from Wake Forest University. He is a member of the North Carolina State Bar. He is an Eagle Scout and a recipient of The Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award.
Director, Energy and Sustainability Policy, U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft
Brianne Miller serves as Energy and Sustainability Policy Director for Microsoft U.S. Government Affairs. Brianne joined Microsoft in 2022 after serving as Director of Federal Relations for the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the nation's laboratory for nuclear energy research and development, where she focused on policy issues related to clean energy, national security, science, and the environment. Prior to joining INL, she served on Capitol Hill for 16 years, most recently as Deputy Staff Director for Energy on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for then-Chairman Lisa Murkowski and as an energy policy advisor to Senator James E. Risch (R-ID).
Product Manager, Electric Vehicle DC Charging, Siemens Industry
Samantha Soto is a lead product manager and experienced engineer developing electric vehicle fast charging solutions at Siemens Industry out of Wendell, North Carolina. She takes pride in providing sustainable solutions for transportation and selecting a portfolio to best suit customers. As a Raleigh resident, Sam enjoys working with local companies and transit authorities to decarbonize the North Carolina roads. In addition to her primary job functions, she helps with the Siemens internship program and targets North Carolina schools to find local talent for professional development and is Siemens representative for the Women's Energy Network Carolinas.
Kameale Terry, CEO of ChargerHelp, was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. The daughter of Belizean immigrants Kameale has always had a focus on environmental sustainability and community engagement.
With over a decade of experience in CleanTech, Kameale formed ChargerHelp! with her co-founder Evette Ellis to create a reliable Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure. The CleanTech company, powered by technology, uses data to identify and provide maintenance and repair services for electric vehicle charging stations.
Kameale worked at EV Connect where she was the Director of Programs for the electric vehicle charging station network provider. In that role, she structured and led teams to execute infrastructure projects in the United States, Australia, and Canada for both commercial and government entities. Her notable projects include Electrify America - Phase One program, the Southern California Edison Charge Ready Pilot, and the New York Power Authority portfolio.
Chief Environmental Officer, SAS
As Chief Environmental Officer, Jerry Williams helps lead the development and execution of SAS' sustainability strategy across operations worldwide. He uses SAS analytic solutions to manage the company's global operational data, report Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance, identify risks and opportunities, and ensure SAS is compliant with rapidly emerging environmental regulations.
Jerry is a primary facilitator of smart campus and environmental initiatives at SAS and key contributor to ongoing resource efficiency programs. In the community, he is often asked to speak about the urgency of addressing climate change, the benefits of a clean energy economy, plug-in electric vehicle infrastructure, LEED certification, solar and other corporate sustainability initiatives to a wide range of municipal, education and legislative audiences. He actively fosters collaboration and engagement across operations through the deployment of SAS Visual Analytics reporting to front line subject matter experts.