Participants

The PRS Study Tour 2010 includes a total of 9 participants from all over the United States including renewable energy and energy efficiency experts, decision makers, leading administrators, representatives from private companies and public institutions, as well as universities.

The participants

The Staff

The Study Tour is led by:


Hilary Beber, LEED AP

Hilary Beber is a Policy Analyst in the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. The Office is charged with implementing PlaNYC, the City’s 25-year sustainability outline. The initiatives of PlaNYC combine to provide a roadmap for achieving a 30% reduction in greenhouse gases, improvement of air and water quality, and an increase in transportation options. After graduating Cornell University with a degree in Environmental Engineering, Ms. Beber helped develop the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, a package of legislation to address energy efficiency in New York City’s existing buildings. She also participates in and assists with the management of the Green Codes Task Force, a technical group that works to identify impediments and propose improvements for green building in New York City’s construction codes.


Priscilla Chinn Thompson, Energy Policy Analyst, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, University of Hawaii

Priscilla Thompson is a member of the faculty of the University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) in the area of Technology Integration and Policy Analysis. Prior to joining HNEI, Ms. Thompson was a program manager at the Hawaii State Energy Office for 14 years, leading clean energy technology and policy development initiatives including key components of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. Her current research interests include the integration of utility scale renewable energy with the grid, integration of alternate energy systems with efficient building systems, a Bioenergy Master Plan for Hawaii, and terrestrial carbon sequestration.


Henrietta Davis, Vice Mayor, City of Cambrige, MA

Chair of the National League of Cities Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee Henrietta Davis is serving her eighth term on the Cambridge City Council and is currently the Council’s Vice Mayor. Before serving as a City Councillor, Henrietta was an elected member of the Cambridge School Committee for four terms. For the last two terms, Henrietta has been the Chair of the Council’s Health and Environment Committee. She is currently the Chair of the National League of Cities Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources Committee. She also serves on the Massachusetts Municipal Association Energy and Environmental Policy Committee.


Nico Lauer, CEO of One World Resource Management, LLC.

Nico Lauer is CEO of One World Resource Management, LLC, a company specializing in waste-to-energy systems. He is an environmental business expert with over 20 years of professional experience in the development of domestic and international environmental markets and technology transfer issues. Mr. Lauer has held various positions as President/CEO in SME in the US and overseas. He has developed distribution networks for environmental technologies and has been involved in successful business start-ups and exits. Prior to starting up OWRM, Mr. Lauer was founder and President of American Biogas Co., Inc. which developed and built turn-key biogas plants for agricultural wastes in Wisconsin. Mr. Lauer is a Syracuse University College of Law graduate with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Environmental Management from SUNY-ESF. Amongst his various publications on environmental markets is a book on the export of environmental technologies. He has served on various advisory boards, including currently on the “My Sustainable World” Conference. Mr. Lauer is proficient in 6 languages.


Rhonda Mills, Program Director – Coal Demand Reduction – Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT)

Rhonda Mills is Director of Special Projects for the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT) a nonprofit coalition of renewable energy manufactures and providers, advanced transportation companies, and the nation’s leading environmental groups whose mission is to improve the environmental performance of our energy infrastructure. Rhonda’s recent publications include a report commissioned by the United Kingdom Department of Trade and Industry on the US renewable energy market, and a comprehensive consumer’s guide to local, state and federal energy incentives. She consults to various energy concerns, including Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings, and she has consulted to the cities of Santa Monica, Pasadena and San Diego on various renewable energy projects and policies. She serves on the Steering Committee of the Los Angeles Working Group on the Environment, a coalition of over 50 environmental justice and mainstrean environmental groups who are drafting environmental recommendations for consideration by the City of Los Angeles.


Jonathan Port, President and CEO of PermaCity

Jonathan Port, PermaCity Founder, President and CEO, is an expert in sustainable energy, solar design, and sustainable real estate development. PermaCity opened in 2003 and has grown into a leading solar Engineering Procurement Contractor in the United States with more than 30MWs of solar experience. Formerly president of 3Phases Energy Services LLC, Mr. Port grew the company into a multi-million dollar green energy supplier. Previously, Mr. Port was the vice president of development for Daystar Development, where he was responsible for new construction of entertainment retail centers. Mr. Port also was a member of the renowned economics consulting staff of Economics Research Associates, where he consulted on over seventy projects including California High Speed Rail and City of Pasadena downtown redevelopment. He holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and Sustainable Development from Auckland University in New Zealand and a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of City and Regional Planning from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.


Jan McFarland

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Jill Stuckey, Director, Georgia Center of Innovation for Energy

Jill Stuckey is the Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Energy, affiliated with the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA), where she previously served as the state’s Director of Alternative Fuels. The mission of the COI-Energy is to expand the production and use of renewable energy and alternative fuels in Georgia. Since Ms. Stuckey’s appointment to this position by the Governor, Georgia has announced billions of dollars and hundreds of newly created jobs in renewable energy and alternative fuel projects. In addition to her role at COI-Energy, Jill Stuckey sits as a board member on the following organizations: Plains Better Hometown Program, Friends of the Georgia Archives and the Georgia Women of Achievement.


Ken Zweibel, Director of the Solar Institute at The George Washington University

Ken Zweibel has almost 30 years experience in solar photovoltaics. During his 26 years at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), Zweibel led their development of thin film PV, serving as program leader for the Thin Film PV Partnership Program until 2006. Zweibel subsequently cofounded and became Chairman and President of a thin film CdTe PV start-up, PrimeStar Solar, a majority of which has been purchased by General Electric. While at PrimeStar, Zweibel developed an initial marketing plan, including discussion of international sales of more than 1000 MW of potential module production. Zweibel authored the “Solar Grand Plan,” an article appearing in Scientific American (January 2008). Since July 2008, Zweibel has been Director of the Solar Institute at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Institute conducts research into the economic, technical, and public policy issues associated with the development and deployment of solar energy to meet global energy and environmental challenges. Zweibel has been on the Steering Committee of the “DOE Solar Vision” since June 2009, when it began an effort to develop a deployment plan for solar through 2030. Zweibel also keeps an active blog on solar energy, http://thesolarreview.org.

The Staff


Gioia Deucher, Special Programs & Partnerships, swissnex San Francisco

After working in microfinance and socially responsible investing in various countries around the globe, Gioia joined the swissnex team in July 2009 in its efforts to connect the dots between Switzerland and the US in the fields of science, education, art and innovation. To do so, Gioia organizes conferences and study trips, and, since 2010, supports Swiss start-up companies in entering the US market. A dual U.S. and Swiss citizen fluent in five languages, Gioia will act as the “cultural translator” during this Study Trip.


Katharina Antonietti, Presence Switzerland Official Guide

Ms. Antonietti will be joining the delegation as the official guide of Presence Switzerland. Having lived in Kinshasa, Guatemala City and Pretoria, she has a very international background and is fluent in five languages. A native of the capital Bern, she will be the official representative of the Swiss Confederation during this study trip.

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