This webinar explored how businesses and entrepreneurs are already contributing to climate solutions and their role in accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy. The panel included a high-tech, energy efficiency service company, a business using energy analytics to help Community Choice Agencies reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and a collaboration between the solar company SunPower and GM that uses electric vehicles to provide backup power to residences. Presenters discussed the challenges and opportunities they face and how they communicate their value proposition to customers. They also reflected on what additional policies are needed to scale the market, and how they can leverage both state and federal funding available. This event was co-hosted by Joint Venture Silicon Valley.
Vice President of EV Strategic Development at SunPower
Krishna Nutakki is the Vice President of EV Strategic Development at SunPower and is responsible for building and leading SunPower’s EV Charging business. He has over 14 years of experience in the Energy Industry spearheading the launch of new renewable energy businesses. Prior to joining SunPower, he led Shell’s efforts to drive decarbonization of heavy-duty trucking in the US and led the launch of an energy efficiency and energy management subscription business for Commercial and Industrial customers. Krishna holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Economics from Penn State University and an MBA from London Business School.
Elhay Farkash is an accomplished business leader and the CEO of Zira Group Inc. Zira, an energy-first digital transformation platform, stemmed from a successful large-scale research project by MIT, UC Berkeley, and the University of Chicago that leverages AI to help industrial manufacturers optimize operations and reduce their energy footprint. Elhay is passionate about sustainability and software, primarily for driving growth where the two intersect. Before founding Zira, Elhay managed business development for Oracle’s Value Chain Planning Solutions. He was responsible for sales strategy and customer success, implementing multi-million dollar projects at large industrial companies.
Carmen leads Recurve’s strategic policy outreach and market preparation efforts. In partnership with utilities, state agencies, commissioners, and advocates, she helps sow the seeds for demand flexibility to scale as a reliable grid resource. She supports the consistent valuation of the impacts of demand-side interventions and accessible analytics to drive market-based decarbonization. Carmen actively supports open-source projects where methods and software can revolutionize the way demand flexibility is measured, deployed, and procured.
Russell Hancock is President & CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a position he has held since 2003. In this role Dr. Hancock is best described variously: as a civic leader, community gatherer, institution builder, social entrepreneur, and outspoken advocate for regionalism. Educated at Harvard in the field of government, Russell received a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University where he currently teaches in the Public Policy Program.
Senior Vice President and Director of the Clean Energy Division, River City Bank
Rosa Cucicea is responsible for growing River City Bank’s services for clean energy companies. Under her stewardship, the bank has become a clean energy leader in California by serving a majority of the state’s Community Choice Aggregators “CCAs”, financing renewable energy projects, and supporting other local sustainable efforts. Rosa joined River City Bank in 2014 and has also held the positions of Cash Management Representative, Credit Analyst, and Relationship Manager prior to establishing the bank’s Clean Energy Division in 2018. Rosa graduated with honors from the University of California at Davis with a bachelor’s degree in economics and will graduate in 2023 with an MBA from the Berkeley Haas School of Business.
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