September brings the start of a new season and new beginnings for CleanTX in 2016. It is with great enthusiasm that I am announcing my appointment by the CleanTX Board as the new Executive Director of the organization. I am very excited to have this opportunity to continue the excellent work of my predecessor Kathleen Baireuther and all the Executive Directors who have served before her. It is an honor to have the chance to build on the successful ten year history of CleanTX, and I look forward to keeping the organization central to the clean tech space and to maintaining and increasing the positive impact CleanTX has on the industry.
My own career began as an attorney in the 1990s, primarily working in the areas of intellectual property and early stage tech finance. I moved into the Government sector in 2003, working at the Texas General Land Office for eleven years as an attorney, as Special Counsel to the Land Commissioner and finally as Deputy Commissioner for Renewable Energy. In that post, I was tasked with leasing state owned lands for utility scale renewable energy projects and the work sparked a fascination with renewables, clean tech and energy markets that has become my passion. After the Land Office, in 2012 I accepted a position as Research Director at the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute at the University of Texas at San Antonio. There I focused on cutting edge research involving distributed energy technologies, energy storage, smart grid and internet of things initiatives, and renewable energy. My role at UTSA was often to look at projects from a holistic perspective that included engineering, economic and policy considerations, all of which are in my opinion critical to the successful adoption of new energy technologies. I love to look at big problems from a systems perspective, and I hope to bring this sort of thinking to my new role at CleanTX.
Whenever an organization undergoes a change it is important to keep what works, and fortunately at CleanTX that is a long list. We will continue to host the monthly Power Lunch series and plan on at least two annual “signature” events. These events, one in spring and one in fall, will bring the community together to hear from clean tech thought leaders about important issues in the space, to spark collaboration and build partnerships. We intend to position CleanTX as a central fixture in a network of members, sponsors, individual contributors, and even governmental and regulatory entities to maximize the exchange of ideas. This will help to ensure that all of these stakeholders make the connections necessary to continue to move clean tech from “the next big thing” into an indispensable industry in the mainstream of energy in Texas and throughout the nation.
In addition, I’d like to see CleanTX explore new avenues to connect and share information. One way to accomplish this is to build on an excellent website by adding significantly more robust online content. For example, we’d like to begin a series of webinars that allow member companies and sponsors to share information with each other and with the general public about their opportunities, challenges and achievements. Another focus area would be to establish a YouTube channel that would allow members and sponsors to share their stories with a broader audience in a dynamic medium. We will even explore the possibility of a monthly CleanTX podcast to allow one or more guests to have their say on current events in clean tech. CleanTX can also work together with partner organizations to seek grant funding to take on specific projects such as research, reports, studies and demonstration projects. This was a big part of how we obtained funding for the institute at UTSA and I’d like to apply that experience and build on prior efforts by CleanTX such as the report on the economic impacts of the clean tech sector. Together, all of these new initiatives would be designed to broaden, deepen and strengthen the efforts CleanTX has already been undertaking.
I am humbled and excited at the opportunity to take on the Executive Director role and lead CleanTX into its second decade. Our goal will always be to position CleanTX as a meeting place, facilitator and partner for our network of member companies, activists and innovators. We will seek to connect with our members, sponsors, the general public and with policy makers. We want to build and deepen these relationships by ensuring that every interaction with CleanTX adds value for all participants, advances the clean tech industry and creates a positive impact for the community. If you would like to join us in these efforts, please reach out to me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.