About the Southeastern Wind Coalition

Board of Directors

April Montgomery, Chair

April Montgomery, Chair

REAP

Owner and Principal

April Montgomery has worked in the fields of renewable energy, historic preservation, environmental permitting and local government planning for more than fifteen years.  As a project manager, development consultant and regulatory specialist she has extensive experience navigating the boundary between the public and private sectors.  Her experience in these fields and her passion for community investment projects are what led her to establish REAP.

April is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and a LEED Green Associate.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Florida State University, and a Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Florida.  April lives in Sanford, North Carolina, with her husband, David, and three children.

Craig Poff, Vice Chair

Craig Poff, Vice Chair

Avangrid Renewables

Director, Business Development

Craig Poff is Director, Business Development for Avangrid Renewables where he is responsible for development of utility scale wind and solar energy projects in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. Craig directs all aspects of the development process including site selection, real estate, environmental assessments, permitting, engineering and government and public relations. He began his career in residential and commercial development and before moving into the renewable energy space.

Brian O'Hara, Treasurer

Brian O'Hara, Treasurer

Strata Solar

Senior Vice President of Strategy & Government Affairs

Brian O’Hara is Senior Vice President of Strategy & Government Affairs at Strata Solar, which was ranked as one of the ten largest solar developers in the world.  In this role he leads external affairs for the company, including policy and regulatory activities, as well as internal strategic planning and other special projects.

Previously, he was President and Founder of the Southeastern Wind Coalition, where he led wind energy development, policy, and advocacy efforts in the Southeast since 2009.

Brian has extensive experience in energy, project development, project management, engineering, policy, and finance.  He began his career as an engineer with ExxonMobil on deep water, offshore oil & gas operations in West Africa.  He has also led development teams and finance efforts in the U.S. real estate industry, gaining a depth of experience in permitting and environmental studies. Brian holds an MBA and an MS in manufacturing systems engineering from Stanford University as well as a BS in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech where he graduated in the top 0.25% of the university.

Steve Baxley, Director

Steve Baxley, Director

Southern Company

Renewables, Distributed Generation & Energy Storage R&D Coordinator

Steve Baxley assumed the role of Coordinator for R&D efforts related to renewable, distributed generation and energy storage technologies for Southern Company in 2014.  Prior to joining Southern Company, Steve was a Principal Engineering Manager with Applied Research Associates, Inc., where he directed research, development and demonstration efforts for energy, environmental and defense technology needs in support of the DoD.  He holds U.S. patents in both energy and water technologies.  In 2012, he received a national award from the Society of American Military Engineers for his work developing and demonstrating a novel process for the production of military specification jet fuel from renewable sources. 

Steve is a native of Panama City, Florida, holds a B.S. in Chemistry and a M.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering, both from Florida State University, and is a registered Professional Engineer.  Active in the community, Baxley served as Chair of the American Cancer Society Board, Chair of the Bay County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Development Program, and as an adjunct professor in Environmental Engineering at FSU.  He is married, has 3 boys and spends his time away from work coaching youth baseball and camping with Boy Scout Troop 538.

Lisa Bianchi-Fossati, Director

Lisa Bianchi-Fossati, Director

Southface

Director of Policy
Lisa is the Policy Director for Southface, a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, GA. Southface promotes sustainable homes, workplaces and communities through education, research, advocacy and technical assistance. In her role as Policy Director Lisa is responsible for promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions with legislatures and utility commissions. She is also developing and leading an expanded agenda on clean energy policy matters, including energy codes, green infrastructure and sustainable development strategies in Georgia and the Southeast. Lisa has almost two decades of experience partnering with energy and utility companies across North America and Europe to improve their business and information technology operations. In her 15 years at Accenture and three years at a data analytics firm thereafter she designed, developed and implemented business and technology solutions across the electric utility value chain, including generation, transmission & distribution and retail services. Immediately prior to joining Southface Lisa supported the Georgia Legacy Coalition with its efforts to establish a long-term, sustainable source of funding for land and water conservation in the state. Lisa is passionate about advancing the sustainable use of natural resources and holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science & Policy from Duke University.
Katharine M. Bond, Director

Katharine M. Bond, Director

Dominion

Senior Policy Advisor

Katharine M. Bond is Senior Policy Advisor for Strategy and Execution at Dominion and Executive Director of the Dominion Foundation.  In this role she is responsible for coordinating and helping to drive the external communications and outreach strategy for Dominion. She works with other senior leaders to define an overall public tone for the company and leverage internal and external assets to communicate the company’s message to customers, key stakeholders, regulators, and traditional and social media.   In addition, she works as a lobbyist before the Virginia General Assembly and is the company’s public policy lead on renewable energy. 

Katharine joined Dominion as an intern in 1999.  She spent ten years in various financial planning roles ranging from mergers and acquisition analysis to budget consolidation and forecasting for Dominion Resources, Dominion Energy, and was named director of Financial and Business Services for the Services Company in 2007.  In 2011, Katharine became a project director for corporate governance, compliance, and law.  She was named director of public policy and executive director of the Dominion Foundation in 2014.  She assumed her current role in May 2016.

Katharine serves on the Board of Visitors of Longwood University, College Building Authority of Virginia, and the Solar Energy Development Authority of Virginia.  She represents Dominion on the Energy Committee of the Virginia Manufacturers Association and as vice-chair of the Virginia Offshore Wind Coalition. 

Katharine has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the Longwood University and a master’s degree in finance from Virginia Commonwealth University.  She is a member of 2016 class of Lead Virginia.  Katharine resides in Hanover, Virginia with her husband Mark and their four children.

Henry Campen, Director

Henry Campen, Director

Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein

Partner

Henry Campen is a partner in the Raleigh office of Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP. He has been a successful advocate for companies regulated by state utility commissions for more than 25 years. Mr. Campen provides project development and permitting advice for renewable energy developers and market participants across a broad spectrum of technologies.

He helps developers of wind, solar, biomass and fuel cell projects successfully navigate complex federal, state and local regulations for electric generating plants. Mr. Campen has permitted over 3000 megawatts of renewable energy fueled electrical generation, including 400 megawatts of wind energy.

Mr. Campen leads Parker Poe’s multidisciplinary Energy practice which includes attorneys from all seven of the firm’s offices. Henry also represents the American Wind Energy Association in North Carolina as well as other wind companies pursuing development in the state.

Leveraging three decades’ experience in utility law, Campen was instrumental in launching the first commercial scale wind energy project in his home state of North Carolina in 2015. The 300-megawatt Amazon Wind Farm U.S. East, powered by Iberdrola Renewables at Desert Wind in the northeastern part of the state broke ground in July and is slated for commercial operation by the end of 2016. Bringing the wind farm to fruition required six years of navigation through a maze of federal, state and local regulations and approvals. A long-time proponent of clean energy, Campen’s commitment to this project validated wind energy development in the Southeastern U.S.

Henry is a board member of the Wake Forest University Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability In addition, he serves on the N.C. State University Poole College of Management Board of Advisors, recently completing  two years as the board’s chair. Henry is also a member of the Board of Visitors of North Carolina State University.  He served as Managing Partner of the 60-lawyer Raleigh office of Parker Poe for 10 years and on the firm’s Board of Directors for 9 years.

Thomas J. Flaherty, Director

Thomas J. Flaherty, Director

GE Onshore Renewables

Operations Leader, Global Supply Chain
Tom Flaherty is the current Global Supply Chain Operations Leader for GE’s Onshore Renewables business. Tom has 34 years with GE holding a variety of Supply Chain positions and has been with the Renewables business since its start in 2003. During his time in Renewables, Tom was a key contributor in growing GE’s Wind Turbine manufacturing footprint over the last decade to support significant volume growth across the globe. In his current role as Operations Leader, Tom is responsible for Global Planning, Manufacturing Engineering, and Operating Excellence for the Onshore Renewables business. Prior to Renewables, Tom worked in GE’s Power, Nuclear, Advanced Materials, and Plastics Businesses holding leadership roles in Manufacturing, Quality, Product Development, Materials Management, and Sales & Operations Planning.

Tom is from Rochester, NY and holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. He is married, has 1 son and spends his time away from work skiing, golfing, and boating.
Don Giecek, Director

Don Giecek, Director

Apex Clean Energy

Senior Development Manager

Since 2003, Don has actively facilitated collaboration between wind developers, utilities, scientists, environmentalists, permitting agencies, landowners, planners, and local government officials.  His experience in the wind energy field includes employment in the academic, non-profit, and for-profit development arenas, including a faculty appointment as the Director of the Virginia Wind Energy Collaborative at James Madison University (JMU).  

As Business Development Manager with Chicago based Invenergy, Don focused on developing utility scale wind assets in the Mid-Atlantic region. With Richmond based Timmons Group, Mr. Giecek performed siting, fatal flaw analyses, and due diligence studies on multiple offshore wind turbine sites for Virginia’s Advanced Technology Demonstration Project (VADTP), a project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and overseen by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy.     

Currently, Mr. Giecek is Senior Development Manager with Apex Clean Energy in Charlottesville, VA. He manages all aspects of wind development, including site selection, landowner relations, transmission interconnection, permitting, legislative and regulatory initiatives, local government relations, and public relations. 

Don is a Virginia native and a graduate of James Madison University.

Andrew Gohn, Director

Andrew Gohn, Director

American Wind Energy Association

Director, Eastern State Policy

Andrew Gohn is the Eastern Region Director on AWEA’s State Policy team.  Before joining AWEA, he spent six years at the Maryland Energy Administration, advancing wind energy development in the state.  Andrew worked to develop and enact the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act, as well as several major legislative and administrative efforts that supported deployment of the state’s first 180 MW of wind power.  Prior to working for Maryland, he interned at the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and spent time developing environmental policy in the office of Sen. Ben Cardin.  Andrew received a law degree from University of Maryland in 2009 and remains a member of the Maryland bar in good standing.

Mary Hallisey, Director

Mary Hallisey, Director

Strategic Energy Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology

Senior Research Associate & Director of Research and Business Operations

Mary Hallisey is a Senior Research Associate and Director of Research and Business Operations for Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Institute. Her current projects investigate energy policy applications as they apply to technology development and deployment. This work includes feasibility studies for offshore wind development focused on stakeholder issues, coastal & marine spatial planning applications, and wind energy policy development & implementation. Her research and outreach activities include engagement with multiple state and federal agencies, NGOs, and other stakeholder groups. Ms. Hunt was part of the team that developed Georgia’s model wind ordinance for state and local planners. She has engaged in planning and peer review workshops for the Department of Energy’s Wind and Water Program and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). In 2015, she was honored with the DOE WINDExchange Outstanding Leadership Award for her service in the field. She has co-authored several reports, conference papers and posters on topics associated with offshore wind. Some of these include “Southern Winds: A Study of Wind Power Generation Potential Off the Georgia Coast”, “Innovative Partnerships for Offshore Wind Development” and “Georgia’s Offshore Renewable Energy Potential: Spatial Mapping and Planning.”

Melisa Johns, Director

Melisa Johns, Director

Duke Energy

Vice President, Distributed Energy Resource Business and Product Development

Melisa Johns is vice president of Business and Product Development for Duke Energy’s Distributed Technology team.  She is responsible for leading the development and implementation of customer offers and investment opportunities related to distributed assets for the regulated companies. 

Previously, Melisa was responsible for developing strategy for the Emerging Technology team and directing Duke Energy’s technology demonstration projects which provide lessons learned regarding the technology application, operational implications, and technology transfer within the business.

During her tenure with Duke Energy,  she also served as director of wholesale origination and was responsible for leading the wholesale origination team in the execution of long-term sales contracts from the regulated generation portfolios of Duke Energy Carolinas and Indiana and for the procurement of supply side resources for the company. In addition, she has operational experience in system, planning and operating, and power delivery, as well as experience in regulatory affairs and business planning.

Melisa earned her Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree, in Electrical Engineering, from Clemson University. She has also completed the Strategic Leadership Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Mandy Mahoney, Director

Mandy Mahoney, Director

Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance

President
Mandy Mahoney has served as president of the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance since March 2013, and was previously its vice president of policy and operations. Prior to joining SEEA in 2011, Mandy served as director of sustainability for the City of Atlanta under Mayors Reed and Franklin. She holds a master’s degree in environmental management from Duke University, and earned a law degree and a bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental studies from Emory University. Selected to Georgia Trend’s 2016 “40 under 40” list and the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2014 “40 under 40” list, Mandy is also a graduate of LEAD Atlanta 2010; the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership 2010; and the 2011 American Council on Germany’s Young Leaders Program. She serves on the boards of the Piedmont Park Conservancy, the Turner Environmental Law Clinic, and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). She and her husband Sean are the proud parents of Paul.
Ulrich Tombuelt, Director

Ulrich Tombuelt, Director

SAERTEX

COO
Ulrich Tombuelt is the COO of SAERTEX USA, the US branch of a globally renowned high performance textile manufacturer that supplies Non-Crimp Fabrics (made out of Glass or Carbon) and other reinforcements to the wind and boating industry, as well other industries where composite materials are used. Ulrich has over 25 years of experience in the field of advanced textile manufacturing. He joined the SAERTEX group in 2016, and prior to joining SAERTEX he spent the last 13 years in the US in various management roles. Before relocating to the US in 2004, Ulrich called Germany his home. He graduated from the University Niederrhein in 1993 with a Master in Textile Engineering and began his career at Truetzschler/Germany, a renown textile machinery manufacturer. Ulrich is married to his wife Jennifer, and has one son and one daughter. His family resides in Cornelius, NC.
Chris Vlahoplus, Director

Chris Vlahoplus, Director

ScottMadden

Partner and Clean Tech & Sustainability Practice Lead

Chris Vlahoplus has been a management consultant to the energy and utility industry for 25 years. He leads ScottMadden’s clean tech & sustainability practice area including a role as co-leader of the firm's nuclear consulting practice. He has assisted more than 45 companies focusing on electric generation business management, merger integration, strategic and business planning, organizational restructuring, and management models.

Chris earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of South Carolina, an M.S. in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining ScottMadden, Chris worked in nuclear safety at Duke Power Company.

Carl Wilkins, Director

Carl Wilkins, Director

Quanta Technology

Vice President, Distribution & Asset Operations

Carl L. Wilkins, PE, Vice President, has extensive experience in the electric utility industry serving in a variety of managerial, research and consultative roles working with electric & gas utility companies.  His team performs renewable energy grid integration studies for wind and solar PV projects. Combining experience in engineering, sales, marketing and project management with applied technical skills, he brings a wide array of talents to his consulting engagements.  Carl managed several projects related to transmission and distribution storm hardening assessments and emergency preparedness plans for large electric utilities.  Carl has led benchmarking studies on transmission maintenance and construction practices.

Prior to joining Quanta Technology, Carl served at Advanced Energy as the Director of Utility Services where he managed the senior management relationships and the delivery of energy efficiency and renewable energy services to electric utilities.  He has worked with utilities in areas of smart grid, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, policies to address climate change and environmental sustainability.

Carl was the chief architect in the design, coordination and development of North Carolina's green power program, NC GreenPower, the first statewide green power program where all electric utilities in the state agreed to collaborate and use one marketing campaign. 

Emma Singletary Battle, Director

Emma Singletary Battle, Director

Market Vigor

President and CEO

Emma Singletary Battle is President and CEO of Market Vigor, a business services and consulting company.  She also serves as President and CEO of Higher Education Works, a non-profit organization with a mission to increase grassroots knowledge of, support for, and participation in North Carolina’s public higher education systems.

Over her more than thirty year career, Emma has served in several leadership roles including; President and Chief Operating Officer at Crisp Digital Agency, Vice President of Client Success at Windsor Circle, Vice President of Marketing and Merchandising at Art.com, and, Vice President of Marketing, Vice President of Strategic Planning, Director of Marketing and Director of Operations & Sourcing, at HanesBrands, Inc.  

Emma holds an MBA in Business Administration from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Spanish from Duke University.   She and her husband Joe reside in Chapel Hill, NC and are the proud parents of two sons, Khari (Elon 2017) and Iyin.