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Mentorship

OFFICE HOURS WITH CHICAGO’ S LEADING ENERGY AND SMART GRID EXPERTS

Sponsored by ComEd and hosted by Energy Foundry, Executives-in-Residence are selected for their knowledge, experience, and commitment to energy entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial community. This program provides the opportunity to receive mentoring from these industry leaders via set office hours.  

To schedule an appointment please complete the form below.  Office hours are located at Coalition:Energy (18 S Michigan Ave Floor 12, Chicago IL 60603); If you would like to schedule a meeting over the phone or via Skype, please note that in the sign up form.

Sign up here

Mentors

  • Ralph Loomis
    Ralph Loomis
    FORMER CHIEF of STAFF, EXELON
  • MARGUERITE CLARK
    MARGUERITE CLARK
    FORMER VP OF NORTH AMERICAN OPERATIONS, GDF SUEZ
  • DIEGO FAZI
    DIEGO FAZI
    CHICAGO METRO DIRECTOR, CLEANTECH OPEN MIDWEST
  • JANE PARK
    JANE PARK
    DIRECTOR of BUSINESS STRATEGY & TECHNOLOGY, COMED
  • Chris Banakis
    Chris Banakis
    MANAGING PARTNER, ACUITY ADVISORY PARTNERS (UL AND MOTOROLA)
  • Neil Kane
    Neil Kane
    FOUNDER & PRESIDENT, ILLINOIS PARTNERS EXECUTIVE SERVICES
Ralph Loomis
FORMER CHIEF of STAFF, EXELON

Ralph Loomis is a seasoned utility executive and lawyer with broad industry experience, particularly in corporate strategy and public policy. Following his retirement from Exelon in 2010, he co-founded and served as Managing Director of Global Renewable Solutions, LLC, a financial services company promoting renewable development. He recently joined the Energy Foundry as Executive in Residence.

At Exelon, Ralph served as Chief of Staff to John W. Rowe, the Chairman and CEO, and oversaw the corporate strategy function as Vice President of Corporate Strategy. Much of his time was spent on climate related matters, working with the National Commission on Energy Policy, the Bipartisan Policy Center, Resources for the Future, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and other outside groups. He also oversaw the creation of Exelon’s 2020 strategy, a comprehensive scheme to reduce or offset Exelon’s carbon emissions, and attended the 15th United Nations Conference of Parties on Climate in Copenhagen in 2009.

Prior to rejoining John at Exelon in 2003, Ralph headed up the Washington Office of National Grid USA and its predecessor the New England Electric System. As Vice President, Federal Affairs, he represented the company before Congress and various executive branch and regulatory agencies, including FERC and DOE. He worked on a wide variety of issues, including industry restructuring, transmission policy and energy efficiency, and with a wide variety of industry groups, including the Edison Electric Institute, the Alliance for Competitive Electricity and the Alliance to Save Energy.

Prior to moving to Washington, Ralph served as in house counsel at New England Electric, and spent eight years in private practice, first with Sonnenschein, Carlin, Nath & Rosenthal in Chicago, and subsequently with Bingham Dana & Gould in Boston. Ralph is admitted to practice law in both Illinois and Massachusetts.

MARGUERITE CLARK
FORMER VP OF NORTH AMERICAN OPERATIONS, GDF SUEZ

Marguerite Clark is a dynamic international business professional with over thirty years of senior management, innovation and international business experience.

After working several years in the U.S., in technical operations and strategic account roles, she relocated to Germany as European Director of Business Development & Technology Transfer, for the Westinghouse Environmental and Nuclear Division.
She subsequently joined GDF SUEZ in 1994, at their headquarters in Paris France, as the Director of R&D – SITA. Within GDF SUEZ, she then held several senior management roles in business development, strategic accounts, strategic planning, innovation, technical services, sustainability, due diligence, operations, R&D and human resource management.
She created and was the Director of the Environmental, Sustainability and Quality Control Department, for SITA, managing technical due diligence for M&A activities. As part of the GDF SUEZ International Sales & Marketing Division, she was a Vice President of Strategic Accounts. She ran the GDF SUEZ think-tank, SEMAFOR, and was a Director of Senior Leadership Development at GDF SUEZ University.

Most recently, she relocated to the U.S. to head-up GDF SUEZ’ innovation efforts in North America, while acting as Vice President of Business Development for the Infrastructure Division – Storengy.
She is recognized for integrating and applying her experience and expertise to create a context for success while developing an environment of collaboration, significantly and sustainably increasing profitability and growth of companies.

DIEGO FAZI
CHICAGO METRO DIRECTOR, CLEANTECH OPEN MIDWEST

Guidance for potential participants of upcoming Midwest Cleantech Open 2015

Dr. Diego Fazi is the Chicago Metro Director for the Cleantech Open Midwest, a non-profit startup accelerator that focuses on clean technologies, with the mission to find, fund, and foster entrepreneurs with ideas to solve our greatest environmental and energy challenges. The Cleantech Open is active across the United States in eight regions and also runs accelerator programs and competitions internationally. Since 2005, the Cleantech Open has awarded over $6 million in cash and services. And the 1000+ companies in the Cleantech Open’s accelerator programs have raised more than $1.1 billion in external capital.
Dr. Fazi provides leadership to the local program team, connecting researchers, entrepreneurs and investors in the Chicago area, and he also participates in Midwest division-wide strategic efforts. In his day job, he conducts research on solar energy conversion at the Argonne National Laboratory and he serves as Entrepreneurial Lead for cleantech startup FSCC, awardee of a $75,000 grant at the 2015 Argonne LabCorps pitch competition to participate in the DOE I-Corps Technology Commercialization program. In addition to his leadership role with Cleantech Open, Dr. Fazi has been actively involved with several non-profit organizations in the Chicago area, operating in the environmental and cleantech spaces, including the Clean Energy Trust, Citizens’ Greener Evanston and Green Drinks International. Previously he has served as associate for the Innovation Fund Associates Program at the Chicago Innovation Exchange and he has been a pro-bono mentor and consultant with the Clean Energy Trust, helping several early- stage startups in education and cleantech develop their go-to-market strategy and obtain funding for a total of $275,000. Dr. Fazi earned his PhD in Physics from the University of Bologna (Italy) within a joint program with the California Institute of Technology.

JANE PARK
DIRECTOR of BUSINESS STRATEGY & TECHNOLOGY, COMED

Jane Park is the Director of Business Strategy & Technology for Customer Operations at ComEd. She is responsible for directing (a) strategic business planning for customer operations, (b) shaping and implementing technology enhancements to web, voice, and social media platforms, (c) directing innovative product development, particularly as they relate to demand response, dynamic pricing, and energy efficiency, and (d) driving strategy and implementation of customer experience enhancing projects and business process changes. Previously, Park served as Chief of Staff to ComEd President and CEO Anne R. Pramaggiore, and also served as the Assistant Corporate Secretary for ComEd. She assisted the CEO on a wide range of strategic and operational matters, and led the staff of the office of the President & CEO on a day-to-day basis. Prior to joining ComEd as the CEO’s Chief of Staff, Jane was in-house counsel to Exelon Corporation, first as Assistant General Counsel in Exelon’s Litigation Group, and then working with ComEd’s General Counsel, where she oversaw a wide range of ComEd-specific legal matters. Prior to Exelon, Jane was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP where she worked on complex commercial matters, often in a class action context. She earned her B.A. from Harvard University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Chris Banakis
MANAGING PARTNER, ACUITY ADVISORY PARTNERS (UL AND MOTOROLA)

Chris Banakis is the Managing Partner of Acuity Advisory Partners; a boutique business and technology advisory firm that provides advisory services to help North American companies penetrate the electric utility market, with focus on smart grid and distributed energy resource technologies. His clients have included Motorola Solutions, UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and Zetron. He has also worked extensively with the Perfect Power Institute in Chicago, IL and Pecan Street in Austin, TX. Prior to Acuity, Chris served as Vice President and Director of Motorola Inc’s Utility Practice in North America. As head of utility operations, he worked extensively with leading utility companies in North America and was actively involved with numerous industry associations including Edison Electric Institute, Electric Power Research Institute and Utility Telecom Council. Chris served as Vice President of Business Development for Motorola’s mobile data operations in North America where he led new product launches, revenue growth and software application partner acquisition. During his tenure, Motorola was the leading provider of mobile data systems to government, transportation, and utility markets. He was a member of the Malcolm Baldrige award-winning team in 2002 and a recipient of the corporation’s global award for innovation. He also served as Managing Director of Motorola’s North Asia operation and was responsible for opening Motorola’s first sales offices in China. Based in Hong Kong he led sales, marketing and engineering organizations throughout the region including China, South Korea and Taiwan.
He is a graduate of Northeastern Illinois University and numerous executive development programs at Motorola.

Neil Kane
FOUNDER & PRESIDENT, ILLINOIS PARTNERS EXECUTIVE SERVICES

Neil Kane, a leading authority on technology commercialization and innovation, is the president and founder of Illinois Partners Executive Services, LLC. Most recently he was the CEO of Advanced Diamond Technologies, Inc., a company he co-founded in 2003 by licensing technology from Argonne National Laboratory (U.S. Dept. of Energy). Mr. Kane is the former co-Executive Director of the Illinois Technology Enterprise Center at Argonne and was Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at Northern Illinois University. In these roles he was founding CEO of several startup companies based on university or federal laboratory research in areas such as nanotechnology, advanced materials, software, renewable energy and printed electronics. He has closed multiple rounds of venture capital from investors worldwide and has secured numerous SBIR/STTR and other government contracts and awards.
Earlier he was Regional Business Development Manager for Microsoft Corporation. In this role he identified, negotiated and closed a $25 million equity investment. At IBM he was the liaison to Andersen Consulting (later Accenture) and helped create the strategic business alliance that became the model for the IT industry. In this capacity he earned membership into IBM’s Golden Circle and received a President’s Award. He was a member of the 100% Club several times. He began his career as a manufacturing engineer in IBM’s San Jose, California facility where he designed robotic tooling for the automated manufacturing of disk drives.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (high honors) and a Masters of Business Administration from The University of Chicago. He attended graduate school at the Australian Graduate School of Management at The University of New South Wales in Sydney and did further graduate study in Japan on a scholarship from the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). He was named a 2007 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum and twice attended their annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. In 2007 he received recognition from the National Science Foundation for Outstanding Entrepreneurship and in 2009 was named a “Mover & Shaker” by Frost & Sullivan. In 2010 and 2012 Mr. Kane was an invited witness on the subject of technology transfer for the U.S. House of Representative’s Subcommittee on Research & Science Education. In 2011 he was asked by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to serve on the Illinois Innovation Council. Also in 2011 he became a mentor for the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps. He is a contributor to Forbes.com on topics related to technology commercialization and entrepreneurial leadership.

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