AABE 2020 National Conference

Speakers

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The Honorable James Campos

James Edward Campos was nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate on April 9, 2018, as the Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the United States Department of Energy. As Director, Mr. Campos oversees the Office of Minority Economic Impact and the Office of Civil Rights and Diversity. He is tasked with helping to implement legislation and executive orders with an eye towards their effect on minorities and minority businesses, as well as ensuring that minorities are afforded an opportunity to fully participate in Department programs.

Mr. Campos also serves as the Department of Energy’s Equal Employment Opportunity Director, which includes field sites across the United States. Mr. Campos also functions as the Department of Energy’s official Federal designee to the White House Interagency Working Group Initiatives, which includes the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and the White House Initiative to Promote Excellence and Innovation at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Additionally, Mr. Campos is the Department’s designee on the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council.

Mr. Campos has served in both the public and private sectors, working in such industries as publishing, telecommunications, state and federal government, strategic business consulting, political consulting, as well as a small business owner and adjunct business professor. His business background has enhanced his expertise in the energy sector, marketing, international commerce, workforce development, higher education, management, operations and strategic analysis, and implementation.

Prior to his Presidential appointment, Mr. Campos was the Senior Advisor on Economic Development & Strategic Planning / Government Affairs to the College President of Nevada State College (NSC), where he was involved in the areas of government and community relations/strategic business consulting, and business development.

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Tarrance Frierson

Tarrance Frierson is the Head of Supplier Diversity and Development at Southern California Edison (SCE). He is responsible for managing all aspects of the company’s compliance with applicable rules, regulations and public laws related to small and diverse business procurement. This includes developing strategies, programs and goals that facilitate the ongoing inclusion and growth of small and diverse business enterprises.

Prior to his current role, Tarrance was the Global Procurement Manager for Supplier Diversity at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Over his professional career, he has led large cross-functional project teams, managed multi-million dollar budgets, negotiated large settlements agreements, and more.

Tarrance serves on multiple advisory boards providing consultation on strategic planning, program development, and political impacts assessments. In 2014, he was recognized as a Top Influential Person in Diversity by the National Association of Minority Companies; and was a recipient of Edison International’s Chairman’s Award in 2015.

Tarrance holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance, Masters in Leadership & Management, and both Project Management and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certifications. In his spare time, he enjoys running and spending time with close friends and family.

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The Honorable Mark W. Menezes

The Honorable Mark Wesley Menezes, Under Secretary of Energy, serves as the Department’s principal advisor on energy policy and on a wide array of existing and emerging energy technologies. The Under Secretary is responsible for driving transformative energy policy, and technology solutions through coordinated planning, management and performance of the Department’s energy programs.

Prior to being confirmed as Under Secretary of Energy, Mr. Menezes was an executive with Berkshire Hathaway Energy in its Washington, D.C. office. Before joining BHE, Mr. Menezes was a partner at Hunton & Williams LLP, where he headed the Regulated Markets and Energy Infrastructure practice group. Prior to Hunton, he served as Chief Counsel, Energy and Environment, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, serving as chief negotiator for the House Majority in the enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Mr. Menezes has been named in National Journal’s “Hill 100”—top Congressional staff for his work on both energy and environmental matters. He has been a frequent guest speaker and lecturer before numerous associations and civic groups, including legal education seminars where he has been called on to address the nation’s energy and environmental policies, utility restructuring, telecommunications, ethics, merger and acquisition practices, and regulatory and legislative processes. He has co-authored numerous articles, a practice manual, and been quoted in the New York Times, Law360, Oil and Gas Journal, Politico as well as interviewed by E&ETV. He’s been listed Best Lawyers in America 2013–2016, Corporate Counsel’s Top Lawyers 2006–2011, Washington Post’s Top Lawyers 2008–2016, and DC Super Lawyers 2012–2016.

Mr. Menezes is a graduate of Louisiana State University receiving both his undergraduate and juris doctor degree. Until joining the government he was a charter member of the Advisory Council, Louisiana State University Law John P. Laborde Energy Law Center, and served on the Board of Directors of the Congressional Chorus & American Youth Chorus.

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Jeffery Walker

Jeffery (Jeff) Walker is the Vice-President of Customer Solutions for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas). Jeff, and his team, delivers products, programs, and services to meet SoCalGas' customers’ energy needs. More specifically, Jeff's responsibilities include Customer Energy Solutions, Customer (Energy Efficiency) Programs and Assistance, and Market Development.

Jeff has been at SoCalGas for more than 23 years where he has held a variety of positions, many of which were in the Information Technology Division as well is in Customer Services. Jeff has also worked in the financial services industry.

Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration from Azusa Pacific University. Jeff also holds a certificate in leadership from the University of Southern California.

Jeff is a member of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Health Foundation Board of Directors and a member of the Chrysalis Board of Directors.

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Nichole Francis Reynolds
Nichole Francis Reynolds is the Vice President of Government and Public Affairs at the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) where she manages the organization’s government and public affairs efforts, which focuses on protecting the safety, reliability, and resilience of the natural gas transmission system, and promoting the value and benefits of natural gas and its infrastructure. She reports to the CEO of the association and works closely with the association’s board members and executives of its member companies. She is also in charge of administering the association’s Political Action Committee (PAC). Prior to joining INGAA, she previously served as Vice President of Public Policy & Community Relations at Mastercard.

Ms. Francis Reynolds has spent a decade in Washington D.C. in a variety of roles on Capitol Hill including Chief of Staff, a District Director, and counsel on the Homeland Security Committee. Before serving on Capitol Hill, Ms. Francis Reynolds practiced law in the Washington, D.C. office of Baker Hostetler. She also practiced law in the Nashville office of Baker Donelson.

Ms. Francis Reynolds graduated cum laude and with honors with a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Michigan University in 1997 and received her law degree in 2001 from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. She is admitted to practice law in Tennessee, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. She is also fluent in Spanish.

Ms. Francis Reynolds is a member of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Postsecondary Values Commission and serves on the board of Trustees for Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Corporate Advisory Council, Teach for America DC Region, Imagination Stage DC Board of Trustees, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s 21st Century Council and the Southern Youth Leadership Council.

Ms. Francis Reynolds was recognized in 2019 and 2018 by “The Hill” as a Top Lobbyist. She received the 2018 Mastercard CFO Award and is the recipient of several other awards including: The Christine Ray Davis Trailblazer Award from the Congressional Black Associates (2015) , and Nations Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40 from the National Bar Association and IMPACT, Inc. (2013). She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Washington DC Chapter of Jack & Jill, Inc.
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Earl C. "Duke" Austin, Jr.

Earl C. “Duke” Austin, Jr., is president and chief executive officer of Quanta Services, a recognized leader driving the operations of the largest specialized contractor serving electric power, pipeline, industrial and communications customers across North America. Quanta Services is a Fortune 500 company with more than $11 Billion in revenue and 38,000 plus employees worldwide. Austin has played a fundamental role in Quanta’s significant growth in its key markets, including strategic development of the company’s capabilities in assessment, planning, engineering and design, procurement, construction, commissioning, testing, operations and management of critical infrastructure systems.

Austin served as chief operating officer and served as president of Quanta’s Electric Power and Natural Gas and Pipeline Divisions before assuming the chief executive officer role. Austin initially joined the Quanta executive team in 2009 to lead the company’s expanding pipeline operations.

Before joining Quanta Services, Austin served as president of North Houston Pole Line, LP, a Quanta operating unit. He was instrumental in the strategic growth of the Texas-based unit, which delivers a full range of electric power, gas and telecommunication utility infrastructure services to customers throughout the region.

In March 2019, Austin was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott and confirmed by the Senate to the nine-member Board of Regents of the Texas State University System. He serves on the board of the Southwest Line Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association, as well as on the Junior Achievement board of Southeast Texas (JASET), as an executive committee board member for the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP), and as a member of the CEO Business Roundtable.

Austin is a graduate of Sam Houston State University, where he received his B.S. in Business Management/Accounting. In 2016, Austin received the Sam Houston State University Distinguished Alumni Award-Class of 92’.

Austin resides in Houston with his wife, three sons and one daughter.

Websites:
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Delores Lenzy-Jones

As Chief Financial Officer, Delores oversees CPS Energy’s Accounting & Finance functions. In this position, she is responsible for Accounting & Financial Reporting, Corporate Financial Planning, Cost Management, as well as Capital Markets & Cash Management, Strategic Pricing & Cost Recovery, and Enterprise Risk Management.

Delores is a results-driven global finance executive with extensive experience proactively implementing finance, audit and accounting solutions at Fortune 50 companies. She has the unique skill of being able to translate complex issues in simple terms by addressing the most critical issues in creative ways with analytical rigor and precision. Throughout her career, she has effectively communicated across all levels of the company to deliver excellent operational and financial performance in complex, fast-paced and matrixed work environments.

Prior to joining CPS Energy, Delores served as Vice President of Finance & Accounting at BGIS, a data center and facilities management corporation. She has experience at Microsoft and Dell Inc. and her background also covers the utility industry, with 10 years spent at the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) as Transmission & Energy Services in finance and accounting leadership roles.

In addition to her work experience, Delores serves on the KLRN and Carver Development Board of Directors. She also serves on the FM Global and St. Mary’s University Advisory Board of Directors. In the past, Delores has also served on the Board of Directors for Any Baby Can, was the President and on the Board of Trustees for the Dynamic Urban Opportunities Foundation, Inc. and was President & Chapter Co-Founder for the National Black MBA Association, Austin Chapter.

Delores is a graduate of Harvard’s Executive Education and the London Business School’s Leadership programs. She earned an MBA and BBA in finance from St. Mary’s University. Delores went on to earn a second BBA with a concentration in accounting from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM).

Delores is married and enjoys traveling.

Websites:
CPS Energy
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Calvin L. Holmes

Calvin L. Holmes has served as the President of the Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF) since 1998. CCLF is a nonprofit, certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides flexible, affordable and responsible financing and technical assistance for community stabilization and development efforts and initiatives that benefit low- to moderate-income neighborhoods, families and individuals throughout metropolitan Chicago. Under his leadership, CCLF’s lending is leveraging $1.1 billion in additional public- and private-sector capital in over 72 lower wealth Chicagoland communities, in turn supporting over 7,900 units of affordable housing, more than 3.2 million square feet of community facility and commercial/retail space as well as 2,905 jobs. In addition, CCLF has solidified its position as a leading early-stage lender for community developers. CCLF controls over $100 million in assets, making it one of the 10 largest nonprofit Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in Illinois, and was one of only eight organizations worldwide honored with the 2009 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

Holmes’ community development career spans 30 years, including work as a budget planner for a $140 million rapid-transit project and as property manager of a 200-unit assisted housing portfolio. He currently serves as an advisor to the Community Development Advisory Board (appointed by President Barack Obama), Bank of America National Community Advisory Council, Kroger Community Development Entity, LLC, PNC Bank Advisory Board (Illinois), and others. He serves on the boards of the Cook County Land Bank Authority (Treasurer), Chicago Community Land Trust (Treasurer), and Community Reinvestment Fund & NMTC CDE. He is a board member for the Community and Economic Development Organization in Woodlawn, Washington Park and South Shore.

Holmes has been honored individually with many community leadership awards, including from the Chicago CRA Coalition and Bank of America. In 2001, Holmes was distinguished as one of Crain’s Chicago Business’s 40 Under 40 young leaders, and more. He holds a Master’s degree in urban and regional planning, with a concentration in real estate development, from Cornell University and a Bachelor’s degree in African American Studies from Northwestern University.

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Kimberly Lewis

As Senior Vice President of Market Transformation and Development for the US Green Building Council (USGBC) with over 20 years of experience and accomplishments, Kimberly Lewis knows better than anyone that market transformation begins with people. Kimberly is a catalyst and executive leader in the global green building movement, championing the critical issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion as the center of the sustainability and climate agenda worldwide.

Most recently, Kimberly has directed USGBC’s 40 local community advancement teams along with members, volunteers and emerging professionals around the world delivering on the USGBC mission to improve the quality of life for all through more sustainable buildings, cities, and communities worldwide.

Kimberly is a movement builder who developed the award winning Greenbuild International Conference & Expo. Part market development platform and part tent revival, Greenbuild was created to propel thought leadership and be the epicenter for sustainability in the built environment and beyond. At its peak, Greenbuild was the largest sustainability conference in the world with an annual operating budget exceeding $17 million and 28,000+ attendees, 1500 exhibitors and sponsors, 700+ global speakers, and 500+ media outlets. Greenbuild was sold in 2014 to Informa Expositions in its efforts to build global capacity.

Recognizing the journey of woman in the built environment, Kimberly fights for gender equality. She created, and currently leads, the global Women in Green mentorship programs, summits, and events in US, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Mexico.

Kimberly serves as the chair, of the board of directors for Groundswell, a nonprofit community solar and energy equity leader whose mission is building community power. She also serves on the board of director for PaceNation as the diversity, equity and inclusion thought leader.

Kimberly has been recognized with numerous awards including the GB&D magazine 2018 Women in Sustainability Leadership Award (WSLA). In April 2011, Kimberly received prestigious recognition as the White House Champion of Change for Clean Energy. She was also named in Glamour Magazine’s 70th Anniversary 70 Women Leaders to Know in Sustainability.

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Abigail Ross Hopper

Abigail Ross Hopper is the President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, the national trade organization for America's solar energy industries. She oversees all of SEIA's activities, including government affairs, research, communications, and industry leadership, and is focused on creating a marketplace where solar will constitute a significant percentage of America’s energy generation.

Before joining SEIA, Abby served as Director of the Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Director of the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), Energy Advisor to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, and Deputy General Counsel with the Maryland Public Service Commission. Before embarking on a career in public service, Abby spent nine years in private practice.

Abby graduated Cum Laude from the University of Maryland School of Law and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dartmouth College. She is the very proud mom of three children and loves to read and run.

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Katie Mehnert
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Claire Nelson
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Bruce L. Niemeyer
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Christopher Smith
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Ted Nordhaus
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Calvin G. Butler, Jr.
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Tonya Williams

Tonya holds a BS Degree in Civil Engineering from The Florida State University. She started her career as a Facilities Engineer, joining Shell Upstream in 1991 where she had a variety of assignments supporting and managing the production platforms offshore. In 2008, Tonya moved to Brunei Darussalam for 5 years, where she held roles that included managing a major international integrated service contractor and Brunei Shell offshore operations. Tonya repatriated in 2013 and held roles as Development Manager and Asset Manager in the Gulf of Mexico. She was the Global Category Manager for Maintenance, Reliability and Turnarounds prior to moving to Shales as the VP of Appalachia for Shell’s US Unconventionals business in 2018. Tonya transitioned to the Global Discipline Head of Production Operations in March 2020. She sits on the Board of Management for Aera Energy LLC, and the Board of Directors for Collegiate Academies, a charter school network in New Orleans.

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Crystal Ashby
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Paula Harris
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Frederick Lendon Tutman
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Charles Dickerson
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