Contractor Seat Candidates

 

Andrew Hoffman, CalCom Solar

Our companies and customers are driving the change to a clean, resilient, customer-first electric grid where customers actively contribute with their rooftops, farms, schools, and businesses.  As the voice of our industry, CALSEIA is facing unique challenges – as more PV connects, the utilities are pushing time of use rates into the evening.  And we’re gearing up to ensure a fair and profitable NEM 3.0.  Not to mention permitting, interconnection, marketing, and all our blocking and tackling to keep solar growing.

I am honored by the opportunity to help CALSEIA tackle these challenges.  I have helped build over 1 GW of clean energy capacity – solar, demand response, and storage – in the West over the past 10 years.  Through that work, I have served as an expert witness at the CPUC, negotiated load forecasting and grid standards with the ISO and the CEC, and worked with and for each IOU to build consensus for solar and cleantech growth.  I bring deep understanding of how the grid works, as well as the statewide players.

CalCom also brings the voice of agricultural customers to CALSEIA – our focus is solar for Ag customers in the Central Valley.  I recently started up the Interconnection Subcommittee to improve both the interconnection process and NEM / NEMA billing.  Bipartisan support for solar was key to extending the ITC, and farmers going solar shows how clean energy is good for all Californians.  CalCom has also spearheaded changes to utility standards that save customers millions, such as PG&E’s recent change to its Direct Transfer Trip standard.

Prior to CalCom, I managed PG&E’s demand response team and 600 MW portfolio of DR and data products. Before PG&E, I managed Western program operations for EnerNOC, a leading provider of energy management solutions. I earned my MBA at UC Berkeley and my BA at Dartmouth College.  More personally, I am a husband and father and want to give my family a world every bit as bright and beautiful as the one we enjoy.  I hope to bring my passion and my experience to CALSEIA’s Board and would be honored by your vote.  Please feel free to reach out with questions to ahoffman@calcomsolar.com or 559.429.8997.  Thank you.

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Bob Ellis, Environmental Solar Design

"Conception = easy; delivery is the hard part."
Anonymous

Almost since its inception in 1979, Environmental Solar Design, Inc. (ESDI) has belonged and contributed to CALSEIA. As a design -build solar specialist, solar contractor, ESDI has designed, installed and services thousands of residential and commercial solar hot water, pool, and electric systems for private and public sector clients. Clients include commercial installations for the City of Burbank, Culver City, Santa Monica, dozen other Southern California Municipal, State and Federal Facilities as well as thousands of new, and orphaned residential units. Over the years, the company has seen The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in Solar, In an ever-shifting economic and political scene, Bob Ellis has kept Environmental Solar Design, Inc. consistently responsive and flexible, recognizing it's easy to change "one's ideas, hard to change one's habits". To that end, Bob Ellis would like to commit his efforts as a Board Member to recruiting, working to simplify and Standardize municipal guidelines, and procedures, as well as assisting in legislative testimony to bring realistic perspective, achieved after almost four decades in Southern California Energy alternative industry.

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Brian Milholland, Milholland Electric Inc. 

As the president of Milholland Electric Inc., I work in the day to day operations of a solar installation company. We provide a turn key service with no sub-contractors at any point of the process. We handle Marketing, Sales, Design, Permitting, NEM and PTO, post installation monitoring and service. Through local television and radio I help to educate consumers on our Renewable efforts and the latest news as it pertains to NEM rates, IOU’s, permitting, and Installation best practices. I’m involved daily with all of these efforts, and see what contractors and consumers are facing .I believe this uniquely qualifies me to provide an insight to the CALSEIA board of Directors as to what it’s like on the front lines in the Residential and Small Commercial renewable energy efforts, and in turn I’d like to help bring CALSEIA’s 2017 Policy Priorities to fruition. 

I’m native Californian, have raised two sons in San Diego, volunteering with their youth sports teams and various High School club activities. I’m a US Army Veteran, Founded Milholland Electric Inc., 27 years ago in 1990, and have shown consistent growth year after year. Milholland was named to the INC 5000 fastest growing private companies in 2016, #998 nationally, #20 in San Diego. We are a member of the Better Business Bureau always maintaining an A+ rating. We were named a 2012 Finalist for the coveted BBB Torch Award for Ethics. In 2015 I was named by the Small Business Administration as the State of California Business Person of the Year.

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Cathleen Monahan, GRID Alternatives

I’m the Senior Programs Director for GRID Alternatives, (“GRID”) a CalSEIA member since 2008. GRID installs PV-solar for low-income households across the country, but the bulk of our work is in California where nine regional offices install ~1,500 residential solar projects annually. All of GRID’s projects directly benefit low-income families and include a substantive workforce development component.

I direct the California Solar Initiative’s Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program and oversee GRID’s policy and regulatory work in California. This has afforded me the opportunity to work closely with a number of key stakeholders in California’s solar industry including utilities, regulators, job training programs, state and local legislators, the Governor’s office, and environmental justice advocates. I believe my experience uniquely qualifies me to speak to decision makers on behalf of CALSEIA about the wide range of benefits solar brings to California communities, including low-income communities and communities of color.

As the industry continues to grow, it’s critical to focus on expanding the market and offering solutions that work for all Californians. The state has made a committed effort to a future in which all communities have access to solar through bold legislation (such as SB 535, AB 693, and AB 217) directing the benefits of climate investments to disadvantaged communities and increasing equity and access to solar for low-income families. These legislative efforts were successful largely because they had a broad coalition of supporters. For example, when I organized the advocacy campaign for AB 217, I involved solar advocates, job training organizations, cities, affordable housing providers, environmental groups, environmental justice organizations, and tribes. This coalition-building approach was also instrumental in the NEM campaign last year. As a CALSEIA Board member, I will draw upon this experience to increase involvement, awareness, and support among diverse organizations for CALSEIA's policy priorities.

2017 will be filled with many challenges to our industry, including issues related to rate design, TOU, NEM successor tariffs in Munis/POUs, and the upcoming NEM 3.0 battle. It is important for CALSEIA's strategic interests to have the broadest possible group of advocates engaged around these critical issues. I believe that I can help expand the organization’s reach in the state and bring in a new wave of vocal support for strong solar policies from diverse organizations. I will bring dedication, enthusiasm, and a penchant for collaboration to the CALSEIA Board of Directors. Thank you for considering me for your vote.

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Daniel Sullivan, Sullivan Solar Power

Daniel Sullivan is the founder and president of Sullivan Solar Power, a turn-key design and build PV firm headquartered in San Diego. The firm installs residential, municipal and commercial PV systems, and has amassed an impressive portfolio that represents over 50 million watts of solar power in Southern California. Sullivan Solar Power’s growth is a result of Daniel’s values, unrelenting commitment and genuine passion, which he now hopes to bring to the CALSEIA Board of Directors.

Mr. Sullivan is a State Licensed Master Electrician with over a decade of field experience. In 2004, he started his company out of a garage with $2,500 in the bank. Today, the firm boasts a team of 132 hard-working employees, growing to be one of the top 10 solar installation firms in California. Daniel Sullivan is walking proof of what can be accomplished with hard work, expert knowledge and a dream. 

Sullivan is an active voice for the statewide solar industry. He created the San Diego Solar Coalition in 2011, which became the founding chapter for San Diego CALSEIA. Under his leadership, the group supported legislation in 2012 to protect net-metering customers from unfair attacks on their rates as a result of the threat the industry faced.

Daniel Sullivan places a strong emphasis on industry integrity, consumer protection and solar education. Over the last 12 years, he has worked to win the hearts and minds of Californians. Early in his career, to promote an industry standard for installers, he encouraged the San Diego Electrical Training Center to implement a solar photovoltaic course. Sullivan developed and taught the course, which put consumer protection at the forefront. His interest in solar advocacy has prompted him to launch several comprehensive outreach campaigns educating Californians about the intrinsic value of solar.  

Being a Southern California contractor, Daniel Sullivan would be a unique addition to the CALSEIA Board of Directors. If elected to the CALSEIA Board of Directors, Mr. Sullivan’s goal is to protect pro-solar commercial and residential rates in California, ensure that solar companies of all sizes have interests that are fairly represented and ensure consumer protection. In addition, he plans to implement positive public relations activities surrounding the California solar industry on a local and national level. The next few years are crucial for the solar industry in California and Daniel Sullivan is motivated to assist CALSEIA in establishing a sustainable industry for a clean energy future.

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Ed Murray, Aztec Solar

Ed Murray has been involved with the solar industry since 1978. Since 1984, Ed has served CALSEIA (California Solar Energy Industries Association) as its secretary, treasurer, vice president, and chair of its Ethics Committee. Currently, he is the treasurer. Ed is also the Chair of the Solar Heating and Cooling Division for SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association), and serves on the Consumer Protection Committee, Election Committee and Federal Policy Committee. Ed also serves on the NABCEP board of directors. 

Recognizing his commitment and dedication to solar, Ed was voted California’s” Solar Man of the Year” in 1993. Ed is a NABCEP solar thermal certificant, and is a California-licensed building and solar contractor. Ed is on the Standards Committee of the SRCC (Solar Ratings and Certification Corporation). 

Ed has been involved in the formulation of legislation and policy advocacy on numerous solar energy related issues at both the state and federal level. His office is located in Sacramento, California, which serves the industry well as he is called upon to testify on solar issues at the California Legislature, California Energy Commission and California Public Utilities Commission. 

Mr. Murray operates solar thermal companies in Northern California and was the Solar Thermal Director of SunTechnics Energy Systems. He is currently the President of Aztec Solar Inc. and ELM Distribution.

 

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Gary Gerber, Sun Light & Power

I founded Sun Light & Power in 1976, shortly after leaving UC Berkeley in the Masters program in Mechanical Engineering.  I have a B and C-46 license, am a registered Mechanical Engineer in California and Washington, and hold NABCEP Emeritus certification.  I originally joined CALSEIA in the first few years of its existence, and was very active in the Greater Bay Area Regional Chapter, becoming president of GBARC in the mid-1980’s.  Sun Light & Power is a growing company of 70 employees, designing and installing both Solar Thermal and PV systems.

I am running for a fourth consecutive term on the CALSEIA Board of Directors.  During the last 9 years I have served as the board Vice President (1 year) and President (4 years).  I have served on many committees, including the Executive Committee and also the Policy Committee, both as chair and as a member.  While chairing the Policy committee, I worked many long hours on the original CSI program implementation, testifying before the CPUC and writing filings to ensure that the CSI rebate program would work for the industry and our customers.  More recently I worked with the committee on the daunting challenge of advancing the best possible implementation of AB327, the NEM successor bill, successfully fighting many NEM battles that have surfaced as implementation plans moved through the CPUC.

Recently I accepted the chairmanship of the Consumer Protection Committee.  One of CALSEIA’s top priorities this year is to promote the fair and ethical business practices that will hold our industry in good stead, but as importantly to stand up to the increasing Utility onslaught against the reputation of solar companies in their efforts to discredit our industry.  We need to do a better job of self-policing and consumer education to inoculate the industry from these outside attacks.

Other key issues: With NEM2.0, our battles have moved to rates, demand charges, fixed charges, minimum charges, TOU changes, all designed to erode NEM, and all requiring CALSEIA’s constant vigilance.  I plan to be right there to help fight those battles.  I also believe that CALSEIA needs to advocate with the CPUC and ISO to actively integrate storage solutions with DG, to increase solar market penetration and secure the bright future for solar energy that we all desire.

I would be honored to have your vote so that I can continue to serve the industry on the CALSEIA board.

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Hilary Pearson, Sungevity

I have been involved with CALSEIA since joining Sungevity in mid-2011 and am proudly finishing my first board term. It has been an honor to serve on CalSEIA’s Board of Directors, and I am eager to continue my service with an additional term. I ask for your support as CALSEIA works to continue the industry’s growth, recognizing that there are both challenges and opportunities ahead. This is why the work of CALSEIA is so important; its voice in Sacramento, at the CPUC, and among its member base has the unique ability to truly bring solar to the masses. 

The issues faced by CALSEIA are many: the future of rate design and net metering. How rooftop solar fits into the distributed energy landscape. The need to streamline and standardize the permitting process. The chance to open up solar to renters and disadvantaged communities. CALSEIA is well positioned to represent the needs of the solar industry as we build on the success that has propelled California to become the solar leader nationwide.

Given the growing touch solar has on schools, businesses, and homeowners here in California, it is now more important than ever for those in the solar industry to rally behind CALSEIA. I am therefore running for the Contractor seat on CALSEIA's Board of Directors. CALSEIA's efforts to advance positive solar policy among a diverse set of stakeholders is critically important and I would be thrilled to help these efforts succeed so California’s solar industry continues to thrive.

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Randy Zechman, Clean Solar

Bio

  • CEO Clean Solar – 2007 to Current
  • Current chair of the Bay Area Chapter of CALSEIA-2 ½ years
  • 17 years as a serial entrepreneur running multiple businesses in many industries
  • CEO of City Chocolate Fountains – 2002 to 2015
  • San Jose Rotary
  • ALF Senior Fellow
  • Committed CALSEIA member and active participant for 6 years

Qualifications: I am the current Chair and founded the Bay Area Chapter of Calseia. I am responsible for 4 to 6 events every year in the Bay Area, increasing membership, growing interest in CALSEIA and solar in general. We have hosted, run, and organized 15 events in the past few years.

Clean Solar is a highly rated quality first solar installer in Northern California. We have:

  • The most 5 star yelp reviews of any solar installer in the United States
  • “A” Rated by Better Business Bureau
  • Diamond Certified- 100% loyal customers
  • Prime Buyer’s “Top 10” award
  • “Top Workplaces – top 50” in Silicon Valley- 4 years in a row
  • Certified B Lab corporation

From the Heart:

I have been an active member of CALSEIA for many years. I approached Sacramento CALSEIA a couple years ago about starting a Bay Area Chapter of CALSEIA to help support its causes and get involvement from the local community. I work tirelessly helping raise money for events to support the various causes, grow membership, network to increase interest in solar industry. I enjoy being a bridge builder and would be honored if CALSEIA members elected me to one of its board positions this year. I will always be the type of member that participates fully, as I have proven over the years. I will attend every meeting (as I have attended many in the past couple of years) and most importantly- be active within the community with/for CALSEIA. I have always been a major contributor in every group for which I get involved. I jump in with both feet and enjoy having others lean on me and our team for support. Like many in the industry, I am moved by a calling that is much bigger than any one person or organization. I am humbled by the effort and knowledge I have found in the industry. I look forward to being an integral part of an organization that is the solar industries loudest and most crucial advocate.

Vincent Battaglia, Renova Solar

Vincent Battaglia, MBA is a full time advocate for solar and renewables – as the Founder and President of Renova Solar, a frequent speaker, and now author of the book “Cut the Cord: How to Achieve Energy Independence by Joining the Solar-Powered Microgrid Revolution.”

Beyond a strong personal commitment to educate and inform, Vincent has been involved in working to influence policy through his work with CALSEIA and the formation of a non-profit, the Electric Ratepayers Alliance, dedicated to making solar affordable for all and to consumer protection standards. An initial project of ERA is a project dubbed iSUN, which is working hard to bring back net metering in the Imperial Irrigation District, and ultimately influence the solar policies of all municipally-owned utilities in California and beyond.

His company, Renova Solar, has been a strong supporter of CALSEIA for many years, and is well regarded in the industry and beyond, having won SunPower Residential National Dealer of the Year, Top Ten in Solar Reviews, Top 50 in Residential Contractors nationwide by Solar Power World magazine, Inc. Magazine 500/5000 Fastest Growing Privately Held Solar Company three years in a row, and many more. With more than 130 employees and revenues in excess of $30 million, with Vincent at the helm Renova enjoys a commanding market share in solar in the Palm Springs area, and is adding battery storage options to its offering. In addition, Renova has a cleaning, maintenance and repair division, RenovaPLUS, which works on all systems, giving Renova an even stronger view into the current state of solar equipment and options.

Working in residential and commercial, Vincent views solar not as a job or career, but as a passion and calling. He is dedicated to its advancement, and is well versed on the industry at large, and not just his market.

Vincent will be a strong addition to the Board of Directors, and can lend valuable insight from his experience, as well as his understanding of the broad picture context.

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William Chen, GCI Solar

William is the CEO of GCI Solar, he strategically leads and directs GCI Solar and has been in the solar industry for the last 5 years in various executive level positions.  Prior to joining GCI Solar, William served as Vice President for Watsco’s Western Division (largest wholesale distributor of HVAC) assisting the division to be the fastest growing and most profitable division within all of Watsco.  William has served on the M&A teams and had lead to the consummation of numerous beneficial deals throughout his career history.  William has mastered the art of negotiation to garner fair and beneficial deals to all parties.  William is passionate about creating long term relationships that is built upon trust, understanding and most of all progressive growth.  William’s experience has been in distribution, supply chain management, dealer sales development, policy and EPC. William is a hands-on leader who is in touch with his team as well as Solar Industry leaders (which he has established long successful partnerships).  William is seeking to be an active board member on CALSEIA’s Board of Directors Contractor’s seat to help ensure the sustainability of our industry and to help in it’s progressive growth.  William has already work tirelessly to help provide a positive overall understanding of the solar industry by doing community outreach programs to help explain how solar works but more importantly to help all Californians understand that sustainable clean renewable energy has very little (if any) downsides.  William will continue to work towards uniting CALSEIA and its members to have and maintain a strong voice within the CPUC and the Utilities.  William will be an active board member listening to your needs and will focus on addressing concerns within CALSEIA. William humbly asks for your vote so he can utilize his experience and skills to help you maintain and grow your businesses and have a fair and honest playing field for all.


Manufacturer/Financier/Distributor/Developer SEAT CANDIDATES

 
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Andrew Barton, U.S. Solar Distributing/CFM Equipment Distributors

CALSEIA plays a critical role in advocating for the solar industry and its continued growth and success.  For over 20 years I have had the opportunity to see products and markets in HVAC, plumbing, PVF, Hyrdronics, and now solar move on the growth curve from emerging to mature markets.  Solar has come a long way, and we have a lot of ground yet to cover.

It’s critical that the solar industry continues to be shaped into a channel that provides value for all stakeholders and benefits consumers, industry, and the environment alike.  As the Western Region Director for HARDI (Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International), I have had the opportunity to lobby at the state and federal level to influence legislators and regulators to shape policy and promote growth, efficiency, as well as reasonable and positive change.

I believe there are potential synergies between other trade and contracting organizations and CALSEIA and that we have a great opportunity to work together for mutual benefit.  I am honored to be nominated and potentially have the opportunity to use my experience working with manufacturers, contractors, distributors, and trade groups across the country to help CALSEIA and the California solar industry continue to grow and thrive in our rapidly evolving market.

Gina Heng, Mitsubishi Electric Solar

I am dedicated to the photovoltaic industry. I strongly believe solar is key to combating climate change, protecting the environment, and enabling homeowners, businesses, and government agencies to save on their utility bills. Solar is my passion and I want to change the world, “one rooftop at a time.”

I am currently the General Manager and Vice President of the Mitsubishi Electric US, Photovoltaic Division. For more than 10 years, I lead the solar business for the company in the US and have overall leadership responsibility for sales, marketing, business strategy, policy, operations, and technical services. As a result of my leadership, Mitsubishi Electric has grown and diversified its solar business and product line through the US.

Prior to Mitsubishi Electric, I held leadership positions with Motorola and Siemens and gained extensive management experience with domestic and international sales, product development and marketing. My educational achievements include both a BA in international business and an MBA from the University of North Texas.

If elected, I would like to help CALSEIA increase its membership and explore ways to better solidify its long term financial funding. I am very proud and grateful of the many accomplishments that CALSEIA has made in the past and would like to be given the opportunity to further help shape the many great initiatives and programs such as defending net metering, championing and protecting solar friendly rates, be the solar voice for the industry in California and many other great programs that CALSEIA undertakes.

 

John Berdner, Enphase Energy

My interest in renewable energy began as a boy after seeing long lines at gas stations during the Arab oil embargo of the Carter administration.  Something clicked and I realized that energy was a critical issue and, more importantly, that we needed to find a better solution.  When at UC Davis, I began my studies as an Electrical Engineer but ended up graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.  I switched from electrical to mechanical because the renewables program was at Davis was focused on wind.  I began my first job in the PV industry after graduating from UCD in 1983. 

I have worked exclusively in PV for more than 30 years while gaining broad experience in many aspects of the industry including: system integration, module manufacturing, distribution, utility research, BOS manufacturing, and for the last 16 years, inverter manufacturing.  Most people in the industry know me as the founder and first President of SMA America.  In 1999 California had an attractive PV subsidy but there were no really solid grid tied inverters out there and I thought the SMA’s string inverter could transform the US grid tied industry.  At SMA we built a team of very experienced PV folks and together achieved some great successes.  Since SMA I worked for GRO Solar, was the first General Manager for SolarEdge, and joined Enphase in 2013 where I currently serve as the Vice President of Regulatory and Policy Strategy. 

Over the last 20 years I have also been actively involved in Codes and Standards development work.  I am a founding and present member of the Standards Technical Panel for UL 1741 and serve as a Vice Chair for IEEE P1547 and P1547.1.  I have been actively involved in NEC Code development since the 2005 Code cycle and am an alternate representative to Code Making Panel 4, which includes Articles 690 and 705.  On the policy side I have focused on interconnection policy as a member of several groups for CA Rule 21 and in HI for Rule 14H and Rule 22. 

One of the things these standards and policy development activities have taught me is how to build consensus among diverse groups of stakeholders. If elected to the board, I would share my enthusiasm,  technical knowledge and business development experience to help CALSIEA build a long term sustainable energy future based on PV.