Board of Directors
Jason Du Terroil, Chair
Director, Business Development
Jason Du Terroil is a Director of Business Development with Avangrid Renewables, responsible for developing wind and solar projects in New England, New York, eastern PJM and the Southeast. Previously he directed Avangrid Renewables development in ERCOT, SPP, western MISO and Arizona. He has been a developer with Avangrid Renewables since 2006 and has successfully developed over 900 MWs of renewable energy. From 2001 through 2006 he worked in the United Kingdom, first for a waste-to-energy developer and then as a real-time electricity trader for Scottish Power. Jason is veteran of the U.S. Army and holds a BS from the United States Military Academy and an MBA from the University of Cambridge.
Katherine Ross, Vice Chair
Katherine Ross represents businesses and local governments in regulatory matters and civil litigation.
In her energy practice, Katherine provides counsel on the acquisition, sale, financing, and permitting of renewable energy facilities across the Southeast, coordinating transaction documents and due diligence for portfolios ranging in size from five megawatts to hundreds of megawatts. Her clients include developers of renewable energy facilities, investors in those developments, and entities providing loans and credit vehicles to them. She also represents commercial and industrial businesses seeking renewable energy resources.
Katherine routinely advises energy clients on power purchase agreements, interconnection agreements, and agreements for the sale of renewable energy certificates. She also represents clients seeking utility commission and other development-related permits at the local, state, and federal levels. She helps clients navigate regulatory changes and advises on regulatory compliance matters.
Katherine’s regulatory practice extends beyond the energy industry as well. As businesses grow, land use, zoning, environmental, ad valorem tax, and other issues involving governmental entities frequently come up. Katherine works with clients to navigate these complex issues and evaluate the most cost-efficient path forward, including through negotiations with local and state agencies when necessary.
In her litigation practice, Katherine represents clients in complex civil matters, focusing on real property disputes. While Katherine understands that businesses and governmental entities tend to avoid litigation, she also knows that at times it is unavoidable. She has obtained favorable bench and jury verdicts, and she works with clients to identify when it is worth fighting and when it makes business sense to resolve a matter without a judge or jury. Whether a client is involved in a condemnation action, resolving an easement dispute, or fighting a property tax assessment, Katherine can assist.
In addition, Katherine chairs Parker Poe's Pro Bono Committee. She spearheads and coordinates pro bono initiatives across all seven of the firm's offices.
Olugbenga Ajala, Director
Founder and CEO
Olu is the founder and CEO of Ashipa Electric, a Techstars-backed energy company that develops microgrid solutions primarily to energize economic activities in underserved communities across the globe.
Prior to Ashipa Electric, Olu worked at the Research and Development organization at Southern Company, a leading US energy company. While there, he was responsible for developing and managing a variety of projects within the renewables, storage, and distributed generation program area. These include a portfolio of projects ranging from photovoltaic solar and wind energy systems to battery energy storage and microgrids.
He also worked at Southern Power where he implemented the PPA for 280MW of solar power projects as well as managed the financial, contractual, and commercial operation activities for solar and wind projects with an estimated annual revenue of $90 million.
Before transitioning to the electric power sector, he worked as an electrical engineer in oil and gas refining and gas exploration businesses within ExxonMobil and Chevron.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Louisiana State University and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. He is also a registered professional engineer in the State of Alabama.
Brad Ayers, Director
Director, Southeast State Affairs
Brad has more than two decades of experience in public affairs and policy, having began his career in the office of Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi, before continuing with Congressmen Roger Wicker (MS) and Todd Tiahrt (KS) from 1998-2005. His primary assignments during this time included work with the Energy & Water, Defense, Transportation, and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittees.
He founded Legislative Initiatives LLC, a state and federal government affairs firm representing the interests of clients ranging from multinational corporations and government contractors to local governments and trade associations. Brad continued his public affairs work in the energy sector with Encana and TransCanada from 2011-2018, before joining the broadband sector as Senior Director of Government Affairs for Altice USA. He joined American Clean Power in May 2022.
In each of these opportunities, Brad has worked to build and maintain working relationships with federal, state, and local officials across 22 states, and he is an active board member on numerous national and regional industry organizations.
Brad holds a Bachelor of Public Administration from the University of Mississippi and received a Graduate Certificate of Practice in Corporate Social Responsibility from Boston College in 2012.
He and his wife of 21 years, Kelley, met on Capitol Hill as Congressional staffers and now live in Allen, Texas, with their two boys, Parker (10) and Asher (8), as well as three dogs. Brad coaches the Braves, a local youth baseball team, and is an avid golfer and fisherman.
Jen Banks, Director
Permitting & Development Director
Jen Banks is the Permitting & Development Director - North Carolina with TotalEnergies focusing on stakeholder engagement and regulatory strategy in the development of Lease OCS-A 0545. Prior to joining TotalEnergies, Jen was engaged in many facets of the offshore wind industry – at the national level, the state level and the developer/project level. Most recently, as Offshore Wind Permitting Project Manager at AECOM, Jen supported clients with federal and state permits for a project in New England. Previously, as Permitting Manager at US Wind, Jen led the company’s permitting strategy for development efforts in Maryland, New Jersey and South Carolina. Jen's prior experience included roles at the Southeastern Wind Coalition, the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, and the American Wind Energy Association. Jen completed her undergraduate studies at North Carolina State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Technology, and completed graduate studies at Clemson University, earning a Master of City and Regional Planning degree.
Lori Collins, Treasurer
Lori Collins is owner and principal at Collins Climate Consulting, a strategic advisory that helps businesses and communities accelerate their transitions to a low-carbon economy. She consults with energy companies, financial services providers, non-profits, and governments. Lori worked with the state of North Carolina on energy policy and climate resilience for a number of years, and helped write North Carolina’s first Clean Energy Plan. She also serves on the EPA Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB). which is one of the longest charted Federal Advisory Committee at EPA and provides ideas and advice on ways to lower the costs of and increase investments in environmental and public health protection.
Prior to forming her consultancy, Lori served as executive director of Joules Accelerator, a clean energy incubator funded primarily by Duke Energy, and president of Abundant Power, an energy financing venture. Her earlier career included executive roles at LendingTree, Bank of America, Fidelity Investments and American Express.
Lori earned a Master of Science in Carbon Management from the University of Edinburgh; MBA from Kellogg at Northwestern University; and BS in Business Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill. She serves on the Boards of E4 Carolinas and the International Women’s Forum of the Carolinas. Lori and her husband enjoy hiking, traveling, art and Cuban cuisine.
Steve Baxley, Director
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.
Dave Belote, Director
Managing Partner and CEO
Dave is the Managing Partner and CEO of DARE Strategies LLC, helping clients successfully navigate issues at the nexus of renewable energy and national defense. Before founding DARE, Dave advocated for Federal- and state-level energy and defense policy as Senior Vice President of Cassidy and Associates, and earlier served as Vice President for Federal Business at Apex Clean Energy. Dave proudly helped Apex win a contract to supply wind and solar power at Fort Hood, Texas—a power purchase agreement worth $497 million over 28 years.
Earlier, Dave was the first Executive Director of the Department of Defense Siting Clearinghouse (now the Military Aviation and Installation Assurance Siting Clearinghouse) at the Pentagon, where he built a “one-stop shop” for industry to work with federal, state, and local government agencies to ensure that utility-scale renewable energy and transmission projects were compatible with military operations and installations. Dave developed the process and published the Federal Rule allowing local officials, industry, and military leaders to assess mission compatibility of a wide range of projects. He concluded the first-ever Memorandum of Understanding between DoD and a wind developer, protecting flight paths and radar approaches for flight trainees while simultaneously promoting large-scale economic development; since joining Cassidy and subsequently founding DARE Strategies, he has successfully negotiated 21 similar memoranda for developers and facilitated the permitting of 36 projects comprising 9.4 gigawatts of wind power while protecting critical military capabilities. Dave was recognized by the Obama Administration as a White House Champion of Change: Veterans Advancing Clean Energy and Climate Security, and is using his Federal experience to help develop floating offshore wind projects in California and Hawaii, as well as the SunZia high-voltage transmission project across New Mexico and Arizona.
Dave is a retired Air Force colonel and F-16 pilot who earned two Bronze Stars during Operation Iraqi Freedom and served as commander of Nellis Air Force Base, by many measures the largest fighter base in the country. In 2015, he continued his commitment to public service, running (albeit unsuccessfully) to represent his hometown in the Virginia State Senate. He is a founding director of the mid-Atlantic and Southeast chapters of Environmental Entrepreneurs, a nonpartisan national community of business leaders who promote sound environmental policy to build economic prosperity, and serves on the boards of Chanco on the James (an Episcopal summer camp and retreat center) and Eggleston, Inc. (a non-profit employer of special-needs adults). He is also a five-time Jeopardy! champion.
Lisa Bianchi-Fossati, Director
Director of PolicyLisa 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.
Henry Campen, Emeritus Director
Retired of Counsel
Henry Campen is Retired of Counsel with Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP where he practiced for 33 years. Prior to his retirement as a partner in 2018, he led the firm’s multidisciplinary Energy Practice which includes attorneys from all eight of the firm’s offices.
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. A long-time proponent of clean energy, Campen’s commitment to this project validated wind energy development in the Southeastern U.S. During his practice with Parker Poe, Campen also led efforts to develop several other wind farms in the Southeast.
Over his career, Campen has permitted more than 5,000 megawatts of renewable energy-fueled power plants. He has also represented clients in the acquisition and financing (back leverage, construction, permanent, and tax equity) of portfolios ranging from several million to several hundred million in investment.
Henry serves on the N.C. State University Poole College of Management Board of Advisors, where he has served as the board’s chair. He also serves on the N.C. State University Foundation Board, and he has served on the University Board of Visitors. He was Managing Partner of the Raleigh office of Parker Poe for 10 years and served on the firm’s Board of Directors for 9 years. Campen served as Chair of the Southeastern Wind Coalition Board of Directors from 2013 to 2016.
Aranya Chakrabortty, Director
North Carolina State University
Aranya Chakrabortty received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY in 2008, following which he was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
In 2010, he joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at North Carolina State University, where he is currently a professor. His research interests lie at the intersection of control theory and electric power systems, focusing on various research problems pertaining to integration of renewable energy (wind, solar, energy storage) in the power grid, and their impacts of dynamics, system identification, and control. Recently, he has also started taking an active research interest in the area of real-time data-driven monitoring and control of power grids, especially along the lines of multi-agent reinforcement learning and game theory.
Aranya is a Senior Member of IEEE, and a 2019 NCSU Faculty Scholar. He received the NSF CAREER award in 2011. He is currently serving as a program director at the US National Science Foundation (NSF) where he manages a wide range of research portfolio on energy, infrastructures, and climate change solutions.
Wesley Davis, Director
Director, National Renewable Energy Leader
Wesley Davis is the National Renewable Energy Leader for DLR Group. Davis is responsible for managing the engineering teams across the firm delivering renewable energy solutions through a variety of services including energy analysis and modeling, optimizing photovoltaic plant design, site assessment and configurations, project management and detailed electrical design.
Based in Charlotte, N.C., Davis also develops new client relationships while supporting existing renewable energy project, mentoring staff, and recruiting engineering talent. “We’re excited to add Wes to our team of professionals. His depth of experience makes him a well-rounded and respected leader in the industry,” said DLR Group Senior Principal Lloyd Ramsey who is the global engineering leader for the firm. “He’s not only an incredibly talented engineering leader, but brings a passion for helping clients fulfill their vision for net-zero energy campuses and buildings.”
With Over 25 years of experience in full life-cycle electric distribution planning, design, and operations, Davis was the former director of renewable energy operations at Duke Energy Corporation. He has worked in partnership with several national laboratories, universities, solar developers, and regulatory agencies to deliver innovative electric distribution system technology with high penetration of renewable energy and deployment of microgrids.
Frank Fisher, Director
General Manager, Director of Energy
Frank Fisher is a General Manager of Nucor and the Director of Energy in the Charlotte Corporate Office. In his role, Frank is responsible for directing Nucor’s commercial energy strategy.
Previously, Frank had served as Castrip’s President since 2006, and he continues to lead Nucor’s Castrip licensing and technology development efforts across the globe. Prior to joining Castrip, Frank was Vice President of Sales – North America and Europe at Magneco/Metrel, Inc. in Addison, Illinois from 1982 until 2006. Frank was named a General Manager of Nucor in 2016, and he was appointed to his current position on June 16, 2021.
Frank has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from
Hayes Framme, Director
Government Relations and Communications Manager
Hayes Framme joined Orsted in November 2017 as Government Relations & Communications Manager for the Southeast. In this role, Hayes oversees state and local government outreach, stakeholder engagement, and increasing brand recognition to help power the Virginia economy entirely on green energy. Prior to this role, Hayes served in the administration of former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe as Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade. As Deputy Secretary, Hayes advised the Governor on policy and legislative matters related to energy, telecommunications, and economic development. During his professional career, Hayes has also worked as a Public Affairs Manager for a public affairs firm based in Richmond, in the Economic Research office of a major Virginia company, and as Executive Aide to the Governor in the administration of former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine. Hayes holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the College of Charleston in South Carolina and a Masters of Business Administration from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.
Don Giecek, Director
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.
Scott Hazelwood, Director
Senior Public Policy Representative
Scott Hazelwood is a Senior Public Policy Representative for Dominion Energy, one of the nation’s leading electric and natural gas utilities. From its corporate headquarters in Richmond, Virginia, he supports policy research and analysis activities that span Dominion Energy’s entire 18-state footprint. He is closely involved in strategy and communications related to the company’s implementation of the landmark Grid Transformation and Security Act of 2018 in Virginia, particularly as it relates to the law’s renewable energy provisions.
Scott has provided support for the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind demonstration project (formerly known as VOWTAP) since Dominion Energy announced its strategic partnership with Ørsted in 2017 and will continue to focus on offshore wind policy as the company proceeds with plans to develop the nation’s largest offshore wind project in a 112,800-acre commercial lease area off the coast of Virginia. Since joining Dominion Energy in 2016, his responsibilities have also included tracking of legislative and regulatory developments in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Scott is a lifelong Virginia resident and holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Psychology from the University of Virginia, where he was both an Echols Scholar and Miller Arts Scholar.
Melisa Johns, Director
Vice President, Distributed Energy Solutions and Regulated Renewables
Melisa Johns is Vice President of Distributed Energy Solutions and Regulated Renewables for Duke Energy. Previously, Melisa served as vice president of Business and Product Development for Duke Energy’s Distributed Technology team, responsible for leading the development and implementation of customer offers and investment opportunities related to distributed assets for the regulated companies.
Formerly, 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.
Kate McKeever, Director
Vice President, Government Relations Offshore U.S.
Kate McKeever is Vice President of Government Relations for Offshore at RWE Renewables where she is responsible for offshore wind public policy in the U.S. Kate joined RWE after working for three years as the Director of Regulatory and Institutional Affairs at Enel North America.
Kate previously worked for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for 17 years, where she last held the position of General Counsel in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) in the Baker-Polito Administration. Prior to EEA, McKeever was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick as a Commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to lead the state utility regulatory authority. During her time at DPU, Kate also held roles as the Chief of Staff and Hearing Officer. Additionally, she worked as an assistant district attorney in Suffolk County, and served as a legislative aide for the Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
Kate earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Temple University and received her Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School. Kate currently sits on the Board of Directors for ACE-NY, NYOWA, and RENEW Northeast. She also recently completed her Board term with the Energy Storage Association.
April Montgomery, Director
Business Development Director - Generation
April Montgomery is the National Director of Generation services for SWCA Environmental Consultants. In her role she supports the energy developers, cooperatives and utilities in siting and permitting renewables projects, including onshore and offshore wind.
Tamah Morant, Director
Teaching Professor of Economics
Tamah Morant joined Poole College of Management in 1999 and is currently a teaching professor of economics, a role she is returning to after four years as the associate dean of undergraduate programs. As associate dean, Morant provided leadership to the student service units, which support the academic, personal and professional development for the college’s 3,100-plus undergraduate students.
Prior to her start as associate dean in 2016, she was director of the economics graduate program, which Poole College’s Department of Economics offers jointly with the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Morant received her Master of Science and doctoral degrees in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Morant and her husband, Chris, live in Durham with their daughter and cat and they look forward to regular visits from their sons, who are away at college.
Brian O'Hara, Emeritus Director
Brian O’Hara is an experienced clean energy executive with over 20 years in energy and project development. Prior to co-founding Sonder Energy, he was Senior Vice President of Strategy & Government Affairs at Strata Solar. In this role he led all external affairs for the company, including policy and regulatory activities, and was a key player in the early startup of Strata’s energy storage business. 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.
Brian lives in Raleigh, NC with his wife and three kids.
Paul Quinlan, Director
Clean Tech Manager
Paul Quinlan is a clean tech manager with ScottMadden. In this role, he assists clean energy and utility clients with market research, strategic planning, business planning, modeling, and due diligence evaluations. He co-leads ScottMadden’s grid edge community of practice. Prior to joining ScottMadden, he worked as managing director of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, a nonprofit organization focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency policy issues. He has also taught energy courses at North Carolina State University, served on the board of directors of Clean Energy Durham, and served as a grand jury member for the Helsinki Challenge. Paul earned a master of public policy and a master of environmental management from Duke University and a B.S. from the University of Notre Dame.
Jaime Simmons, Director
New Markets Developer
Jaime Simmons is a New Markets Developer for Mainstream Renewable Power, a global renewable energy company with over 17.1 gigawatts (GW) in wind and solar assets. Her work in market identification and analysis, stakeholder engagement, and project management supports the company’s expansion to new markets in North America.
She began her career in wind energy with the Southeastern Wind Coalition in 2017, where she most recently served as the Program Manager and led the Coalition’s work in North Carolina and the Gulf of Mexico. During her time with SEWC, Jaime was appointed to Governor Cooper’s NC TOWERS task force, was the lead author of the North Carolina Offshore Wind Cost-Benefit Analysis, and founded North Carolina’s leading offshore wind advocacy coalition, Offshore Wind for North Carolina.
Jaime holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The Ohio State University and an MBA in Corporate Sustainability from Green Mountain College. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Southeastern Wind Coalition and the Southern Renewable Energy Association, and previously served as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors for Toxic Free NC. Jaime currently resides in Durham, NC with her husband and two daughters.