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NUvention: Energy Advisory Board

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Tim Stojka

CEO, Agentis Energy, Chicago, ILChairman, Fast Heat, Inc., Elmhurst, IL

Tim Stojka is currently CEO of Agentis Energy based in Chicago, IL. Agentis is an energy technology company delivering wireless energy management systems for commercial and industrial applications. In addition to his role at Agentis Energy, Stojka has served as the CEO of Fast Heat Inc, a designer and manufacturer of heating elements, sensors, and controls.

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Erik Birkerts

CEO, Clean Energy Trust, Chicago, IL

Erik Birkerts has over 25 years of operational and general management experience, including project financing and strategy development for energy efficiency and clean technology companies. He helps lead Clean Energy Trust, an Illinois nonprofit corporation whose mission is to further the growth of the clean energy technologies and businesses in the State of Illinois and the broader Midwest. He maintains responsibility for its operations, program execution and for implementing new strategies to further its growth.

Sonny Garg

Chief Information and Innovation Officer, Exelon Corporation, Chicago, IL

Sonny Garg is currently chief information and innovation officer (CIIO) of Exelon Corporation, a Fortune 150 company. Prior to his current role, Garg was the president of Exelon Power. Garg began his career in the public and non-profit sectors, serving as an assistant to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and was appointed a White House Fellow by President Clinton, where he served as the senior advisor to the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. He currently serves as a guest lecturer at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Garg earned a MBA and a BA at the University of Chicago, and a MPP from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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Michael Gruber

Co-Founder/Partner, Independence Equity, L.P., Northbrook, ILFounder, Cornerstone Angels, Northbrook, IL

Michael Gruber is a co-founder and partner of Independence Equity, L.P., an early stage investment fund focused on sustainable technologies and industrial innovation. Gruber also founded Cornerstone Angels and its predecessor group Keiretsu Forum Chicago/Midwest.

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Mark Johnson

Vice President, Smarter Grid Solutions

Mark Johnson is the Vice President of Smarter Grid Solutions, the sole company to use real-time control technology in Active Network Management to control DER and Smart Grids. Prior to joining Smarter Grid Solutions, Johnson lead Smart Cities for Schneider Electric. Johnson served the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. standing-up the ARRA energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Johnson has been a senior consultant with Navigant Consulting and IBM Global Services for utilities & energy plus Johnson Controls as director of cities, counties and states. Johnson has been a Entrepreneur-In-Residence for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority NYSERDA advising New York city startups. He has his MBA from Loyola University of Chicago and his BA from the University of Notre Dame.

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Gary Kremen

Founder, Match.comChairman, Clean Power Finance, Inc., San Francisco, CA

Gary Kremen is an entrepreneur, inventor, executive, and investor with more than 25 years of experience. He is the founder of online personals service, consumer finance business Clean Power Finance and a host of other companies including Sociogramics and Grant Media Management. Kremen is also the co-founder of Menlo Incubator. Kremen also travels frequently to speak on business development, online marketing, and capital raising for emerging growth companies. He has an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and bachelor of science degrees in computer science and electrical engineering from Northwestern University.

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Mike Maley

President & Founder, Alma Mater Ventures, LLC

Mike Maley is an experienced energy executive / entrepreneur who has developed dozens of major capital infrastructure projects worldwide.  He is a start-up / turnaround CEO, currently President and Founder of Alma Mater Ventures, LLC, a venture capital fund and management company dedicated to providing capital and managerial oversight to CleantecH20TM start-up companies.

Mr. Maley holds a BSME from the University of Iowa, a MSCE from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a MEM from Northwestern University. 

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Samir Mayekar

Co-founder and CEO, SiNode Systems, Chicago, IL

Samir Mayekar is the co-founder and CEO of SiNode Systems, a venture-backed company developing advanced materials for the lithium-ion battery industry. He previously served as deputy chief of staff of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government's development finance institution. Mayekar holds a BA from Northwestern University (summa cum laude) and a MBA with distinction from the Kellogg School of Management, where he was a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. He is a guest lecturer on energy and entrepreneurship at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois.

Phil O'Connor

President, PROactive Strategies, Chicago, Illinois

Dr. Phil O’Connor is president of PROactive Strategies, a Chicago consulting firm providing advice in the energy and insurance industries. For over two decades O’Connor has been recognized as a leading advocate of competitive market solutions for regulated businesses.

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Paul Pebbles

Business Services Manager, OnStar, LLC, Detroit, MI

Paul Pebbles is the business services manager for OnStar, where he has created customer-facing services for the GM Volt, leveraging OnStar’s unique connectivity and control. Pebbles has been with OnStar for the last decade, following previous engagements with Motorola, where he worked on automotive electronics and launched the Iridium Satellite phone, and with Amphenol, where he worked on connectors for the international space station.

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Jim C. Petersen

COO & President, AEP Energy, Chicago, IL

Jim C. Petersen is responsible for the growth and profitability of the retail energy business, and manages and improves AEP Energy’s sales, new market entry, customer service, billing, reporting and other operational activities.

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Bertrand Valdman

Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning, Edison International, Rosemead, CA

Bertrand Valdman is senior vice president of strategic planning for Edison International. Prior to joining Edison International, Valdman was executive vice president and chief operating officer of Puget Sound Energy. Valdman also served as Puget Energy’s chief financial officer from 2003 through 2007. Before joining Puget Energy, he was managing director with JP Morgan where he spent 16 years in a variety positions in the investment bank in New York and Paris. Valdman has a bachelor’s degree in history from Northwestern University and master's and doctoral degrees from Stanford University.

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Doug Williams

Former Sr. Business Development Associate, Coskata, Warrenville, IL

Doug Williams is the former senior business development associate at Coskata, a biofuels technology start-up located in Warrenville, IL. Prior to Coskata, he was operational excellence manager at Genentech, a leading biotechnology firm in South San Francisco, CA. Williams has a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Northwestern University and a MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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