Rodney Andrews, PhD, PE, Associate Vice President for Research, University of Kentucky
Rodney Andrews is Director of the Center for Applied Energy Research and Associate Vice President for Research at the University of Kentucky. He is a Professor of Chemical Engineering. Dr. Andrews has been Director of UK CAER since 2007. His research interests include conversion processes for coal and biomass, carbon fiber and composites, activated carbon materials, synthesis and application of carbon nanomaterials. Dr. Andrews has directed major multi-university and industry-academic collaborative projects. Dr. Andrews currently serves on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board. He also is a member of the Executive Council of the American Carbon Society and served as the society’s 2011 Graffin Lecturer. He was appointed to the National Coal Council in 2014. Dr. Andrews is Program Director of Kentucky NSF EPSCoR, a statewide initiative to increase research infrastructure within the Commonwealth. Dr. Andrews received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Michigan State University and his PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Kentucky. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Kentucky.
William G. Barr III, Managing Partner, BlackRidge Resource Partners LLC
William G. Barr III is a co-founder and has served as a Managing Partner of BlackRidge Resource Partners LLC since its formation in April 2011. Prior to co-founding BlackRidge, he served as a Vice President of NGAS Resources, a public company trading on NASDAQ, from 2004 until his appointment as an Executive Vice President in 2010 and as a Vice President of NGAS Production, Inc. (formerly named Daugherty Petroleum, Inc.) from 1993 until being appointed its Chief Executive Officer in 2005. Mr. Barr has more than 40 years of experience in the corporate and legal sectors of the oil and gas industry. Before joining NGAS Production, he served in senior management positions in a major Illinois Basin independent exploration and production company and built a significant natural resource law practice. Mr. Barr currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Independent Petroleum Association of America and is a former Governing Member Trustee for the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation. He is a past president of the Kentucky Oil and Gas Association (“KOGA”), and serves as a member of its Board of Directors and as Chairman of its Governmental Affairs Committee. He is also a member of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s Energy and Environment Policy Council. Mr. Barr is also actively involved in community affairs, having served as Chairman of the Saints Peter and Paul School Council, as Chair of LexArts, Lexington’s catalyst for creating a progressive and innovative community inspired by the arts and as a board member and coach in the Northern Cal Ripken Babe Ruth League. Bill is also a co-founder and a Managing Partner of BlackRidge Stables LLC, a thoroughbred racing and breeding venture that includes ownership interests in more than twenty horses, including California Chrome, winner of the 2014 Kentucky Derby and the 2016 Dubai World Cup. He received a Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.
Kurt Barrett, LEED® AP, CEM, Intelligent Services Program Leader, Harshaw Trane
Kurt Barrett serves as the Board Chair of the Louisville Energy Alliance and as leader of Harshaw Trane’s Intelligent Services initiative. In both endeavors, Kurt drives the development and implementation of innovations and actions directly linked to the optimization of commercial facilities. These efforts assist owners and operators with energy savings, risk mitigation, staff support/awareness, continuous performance improvements and transparency to business outcomes, including achieving ENERGY STAR status. At Harshaw Trane alone, Kurt has overseen the optimization and sustainability of facilities in Kentucky and Southern Indiana resulting in over 570 ENERGY STAR certifications since 2011.
Dan Brouillette, Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy
Dan Brouillette serves as the 15th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy. Secretary Brouillette has three decades of experience in both the public and private sector. Most recently he was the Deputy Secretary of Energy. He also served as the Senior Vice President and head of public policy for USAA, the Nation’s leading provider of financial services to the military community. Before joining USAA, Secretary Brouillette was a Vice President of Ford Motor Company, where he led the automaker’s domestic policy teams and served on its North American Operating Committee. At Ford and USAA, he was part of senior management teams that helped bring to market innovative technologies like auto collision avoidance and remote deposit capture, a technology invented by USAA that allows the use of smart devices to deposit funds into our banking accounts. Before his transition into the private sector, Secretary Brouillette held numerous positions in government. He was Chief of Staff to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, which has broad jurisdictional and oversight authority over five Cabinet-level Federal agencies. He also served as Assistant Secretary of Energy for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs from 2001 to 2003. In addition, he is a former state energy regulator, having served as a member of the Louisiana State Mineral and Energy Board from 2013 to 2016. Secretary Brouillette and his wife, Adrienne, are both U.S. Army veterans and have been married for 28 years. They hail from San Antonio, TX, and have nine children.
Neil Chatterjee, Chairman, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
Chairman Neil Chatterjee was nominated to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by President Donald J. Trump in May 2017 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in August 2017. He served as Chairman from August 2017 to December 2017, and was again named Chairman on October 24, 2018. Prior to joining the Commission, he was energy policy advisor to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Over the years Chairman Chatterjee has played an integral role in the passage of major energy, highway, and agriculture legislation. Prior to serving Leader McConnell, Chairman Chatterjee worked as a Principal in Government Relations for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and as an aide to House Republican Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce (R-OH). He began his career in Washington, D.C., with the House Committee on Ways and Means. A native of Lexington, KY, he is a graduate of St. Lawrence University and the University of Cincinnati, College of Law. Chairman Chatterjee is married and has three children.
Kimra Cole, President and Chief Operating Officer, Columbia Gas of Kentucky, Inc.
Kimra Harper Cole is president and chief operating officer at Columbia Gas of Kentucky, a natural gas distribution company serving about 130,000 customers in 30 counties in Central and Eastern Kentucky. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration, both from the University of Kentucky. She has completed multiple business and leadership programs with organizations including Wharton School of Business, The Kentucky Institute of Economic Development and the American Gas Association. She has served on the boards of a myriad of organizations including the Southern Gas Association, the Downtown Lexington Partnership and Commerce Lexington.
Kevin Dobbs, President, Kentucky/Mid-State Division, Atmos Energy Corporation
Kevin Dobbs, a Franklin, Kentucky native, began his career with Atmos Energy in 1985, first as an apprentice then later as supervisor and operations manager for the company’s operations in Kentucky. Dobbs holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Biophysics from Western Kentucky University.
Gregory Dutton, Attorney, Frost Brown Todd LLC
Greg has broad experience in environmental and administrative law, and focuses his practice on environmental compliance and litigation, utility regulation, and energy law. He has represented clients in federal and state litigation involving the Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA), and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Greg is particularly experienced in matters concerning water quality, including discharge permitting for municipalities, utilities, heavy industry, and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs); Safe Drinking Water Act interpretation and compliance; and litigation challenging U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rulemaking actions, including the so-called Clean Water Rule defining Waters of the United States.
Blaine Early, Attorney, Stites & Harbison, PLLC
Blaine Early has practiced environmental law at Stites & Harbison, PLLC, for over 20 years. His work with industry includes advice on compliance, permitting, transactions, response to enforcement actions, participation in regulatory development, and related administrative and civil litigation. In addition to the environmental statutory programs, he also advises on sustainability and energy matters. He is the current Chair of the Kentucky Chamber’s Energy & Environment Council. He is former Chair of the American Bar Association’s Water Quality and Wetlands Committee of the Section of Environment, Energy & Resources and is a past chair of the Kentucky Bar Association’s Environmental Section. Before law, Blaine was a professor of biology and chair of the biology department at Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kentucky. He earned a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Louisville, and a J.D. from the University of Kentucky.
Tom Fitzgerald, Director, Kentucky Resources Council
Tom FitzGerald (“Fitz”) has been Director of the Kentucky Resources Council since 1984. KRC is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization providing free legal, strategic and policy assistance to individuals, organizations and communities concerning environmental quality, resource extraction, energy, and utility issues. Fitz received his Juris Doctor from the UK College of Law in 1980 (Order of the Coif) and was a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow with the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky from 1980-1982. Fitz has been an Adjunct Professor at the Brandeis School of Law since 1986, has published numerous articles, and has received numerous awards, including the Environmental Quality Commission Lifetime Achievement Award and the Henry R. Heyburn Public Service Award from the UK College of Law.
Timothy Hagerty, Member, Frost Brown Todd LLC
Tim Hagerty is a partner in the Louisville, Kentucky office of Frost Brown Todd LLC, where he concentrates his practice in environmental, natural resources, and land use law. He has over twenty-four years of experience counseling clients concerning the requirements of the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, and related federal and state environmental and resource review requirements. He spends much of his time assisting clients in the electric utility and mineral extraction industries, including coal mining and oil and gas exploration. Hagerty also has extensive experience in metals manufacturing and heavy industry and in the transportation sector. Hagerty’s practice includes regulatory counseling, permit and enforcement defense litigation, and transactional support. Hagerty is a graduate of the Yale Law School and the University of Louisville.
Steve Hohmann, former Commissioner, Kentucky Department for Natural Resources
Steve Hohmann retired in December 2015 as Commissioner for the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources after 30.5 years with Kentucky State government in the Department for Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement and the Department for Natural Resources. Prior to his work in Kentucky state government, Hohmann worked for a small coal mining and processing firm in southeastern Kentucky. In 1985 Hohmann began work for the Commonwealth of Kentucky as a reclamation inspector for the Division of Field Services, and eventually became the division’s director in 1992, a position he held until 1995. Hohmann was appointed director of the Division of Abandoned Mine Lands in mid-1995 and held that position until he was appointed Commissioner of the Department for Natural Resources in January 2012, and held this position until he retired. Hohmann holds an undergraduate degree from Morehead State University. Hohmann currently is Vice President for Regulatory Affairs for Cumberland Surety, Inc. in Lexington, KY.
Talina Mathews, PhD., Commissioner, Kentucky Public Service Commission
Talina R. Mathews, Ph.D., was appointed to the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) by Gov. Matthew Bevin on July 3, 2017. Her term expires June 30, 2021. Immediately prior to her appointment as commissioner, Dr. Mathews was the executive director of the PSC. She had previously served the PSC as a policy advisor and as staff economist. Commissioner Mathews also has served Kentucky as an economist in the state Office of Energy Policy, as executive director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy, and in the Department for Energy Development and Independence as director of the Division of Energy Generation, Transmission and Distribution. In addition to nearly two decades of government service, Commissioner Mathews has worked in the private sector with an engineering consulting firm and served as the director of member services and advocacy at the Organization of MISO States. She has held several adjunct teaching positions in economics and public policy. Commissioner Mathews is a member of the National Association of Utility Regulatory Commissioners (NARUC) and serves on its board of directors, as co-vice chair of the Committee on Electricity, and as a member of the Committee on Critical Infrastructure and the Subcommittee on Clean Coal and Carbon Management. She is president of the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, president of the Organization of PJM States, a member of the Board of Directors of the Organization of MISO States, and a member of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners. Commissioner Mathews serves on the advisory board of the Financial Research Institute at the University of Missouri and the advisory council of the Center for Public Utilities at New Mexico State University. Commissioner Mathews earned a Doctor of Philosophy and a Master of Arts in economics from the University of Kentucky. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics and mathematics from Berea College.
Medrith Lee Norman, Member, Frost Brown Todd LLC
Lee is a member in the Lexington office of Frost Brown Todd LLC. She graduated from Transylvania University, summa cum laude, in 1992, and received her Juris Doctor from UK College of Law [Order of the Coif] in 1995. She is the recipient of the Colvin P. Rouse Award for Outstanding Writing and served for several years as an instructor in business law at Transylvania. Lee focuses her practice in litigation involving the mineral industry, including disputes involving coal, oil and gas leases, supply contracts, trespass and tort claims, and in other areas of complex business litigation. She has experience before numerous state and federal trial and appellate courts, before the Federal Mine Health Safety Commission and various regulatory agencies, and in arbitration proceedings.
Chris Perry, President & CEO, Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives (KAEC)
Chris Perry is the president and chief executive officer of the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives and United Utility Supply Cooperative since 2014, Chris Perry has worked in the electric cooperative community for more than 20 years. He joined Fleming-Mason Energy Co-op in 2003 as manager of engineering and became CEO of the utility in 2007. Perry has also served as manager of engineering services at Sumter Electric Cooperative in Sumterville, Florida and systems engineer at Nolin Rural Electric Cooperative in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. He has an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Kentucky and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Perry and his wife, Kimberly, have two daughters, Alexandria and Alyssa.
Gwen R. Pinson, Executive Director, Kentucky Public Service Commission
Gwen Pinson was named executive director of The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) on Oct. 2, 2017. Before coming to the PSC, Pinson served as General Counsel of the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet and practiced law in the litigation departments of Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC and Dinsmore & Shohl LLP in Lexington, Kentucky. She also served in the Office of General Counsel in the Finance and Administration Cabinet during the administration of Gov. Ernie Fletcher. In 2014, Pinson became Director of Operations for Jobs for Kentucky’s Graduates, Inc., the state affiliate of Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG). A national non-profit organization, JAG helps underserved students overcome obstacles to graduation and career success by offering a broad range of support services. Pinson returned to state government in December 2015, once again becoming general counsel for the Finance and Administration Cabinet. A native of eastern Kentucky, Pinson earned a Bachelor of Business Administration, summa cum laude, in accounting from Morehead State University. She received a Juris Doctorate from the University of Kentucky College of Law, where she graduated first in her class.
Jerry Purvis, Vice President of Environmental Affairs, East Ky. Power Cooperative
Jerry Purvis reports to the East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) Chief Operations Officer & Executive Vice President with responsibility for environmental affairs. EKPC generates over 3,500 megawatts of fossil and renewable energy through 2900 plus miles of transmission serving 87 of the 120 counties in Kentucky. This effort serves 16 Owner-Member Cooperatives with over 500,000 customers, industry, local business entities in rural Kentucky. The company is one of the last remaining KY-owned electric utility companies. He has served in many roles in his nearly 25 years of service including: Senior Production Chemical Engineer, Cooper Station Plant Engineer, Cooper Plant Maintenance Superintendent, Environmental Affair’s Manager 2008, Director of Environmental Affairs, seated as a member of the Executive Staff in 2011 and promoted to Vice President in 2017. He manages the department with a proactive environmental philosophy, a strong legal bench and the use of the latest environmental management system technology. He is an active member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Utility Information Exchange Kentucky, National Rural Electric and Environmental Association. He is active in the community coaching American Legion travel Baseball, and attends Southland Christian Church. He holds dual Bachelors of Science degrees in Chemistry from Morehead State University and Chemical Engineering from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Business Administration from Morehead State University.
Michael Schmitt, Chairman, Kentucky Public Service Commission
Michael J. Schmitt was first appointed to the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) by Governor Matthew Bevin on June 21, 2016 and was reappointed for a second 4-year term in June 2019 subject to confirmation by the Senate. Prior to joining the PSC, Chairman Schmitt was a partner in the law firm of Porter, Schmitt, Banks & Baldwin in Paintsville. He is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association, is admitted to practice before all federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States, and has served as a special justice on the Kentucky Supreme Court. He represented a variety of clients, notably energy companies and local boards of education. He has also worked for the Kentucky League of Cities, the Kentucky Association of Counties and the Kentucky Department of Education.
Kate Shanks, Vice President, Public Affairs, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
Kate Shanks is Vice President of Public Affairs for the Kentucky Chamber. She has been with the Chamber for more than four years and focuses her work on energy, environment, small business, and competitiveness issues. She is a lifelong resident of Kentucky and earned both a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Conservation and Management and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kentucky. Prior to joining the Chamber, Kate spent nearly 12 years working for state agencies focused on energy and environmental policy and regulation and has held multiple positions relating to communications, outreach, policy analysis and design, and legislative affairs.
Amy Spiller, President, Ohio and Kentucky, Duke Energy
Amy Spiller is president of Duke Energy's utility operations in Ohio and Kentucky, which serves approximately 850,000 electric customers and 533,000 natural gas customers. She is accountable for advancing the company's rate and regulatory initiatives, and managing the government relations, economic development and community affairs functions throughout the region.
Paul Thompson, President & COO, LGE & KU Energy LLC
Paul Thompson was named to his current position in March 2018. As chairman, CEO and president he is responsible for all matters of LG&E and KU Energy and serves as a key leader in the PPL organization. Prior to heading up the company, he held a number of leadership roles within the company. Most recently, as president and chief operating officer, he was responsible for the day-to-day activities of the company and all operations areas including generation, energy supply and analysis, electric distribution and transmission, gas distribution and storage, and customer service. Prior to coming to LG&E and KU, he worked 10 years in the oil and gas industry with Northwest Industries and Koch Industries. Thompson joined LG&E in 1991 as director of Business Development and subsequently held several upper-management positions before being promoted to senior vice president of Energy Services in 1999. Thompson has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a master's degree in business administration in finance and accounting from the University of Chicago. He also completed the Executive Program on Leading Corporate Transformation at the E.ON Academy Harvard University. Thompson is currently a board member of Electric Energy Inc. and Ohio Valley Electric Corporation, and is on the advisory board for the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research. He was previously a board member and chairman of the board of the FutureGen Industrial Alliance. In civic roles, Thompson currently serves as the chair-elect for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, is a board member of TreesLouisville and Fund for the Arts, and was the 2017 Fund for the Arts campaign chair. He is a past chairman of the Louisville Free Public Library board and currently serves as the advocacy committee chair. Thompson also is a past chair of the Louisville Downtown Development Corporation, a past board member for Greater Louisville Inc. and a Leadership Louisville graduate.
Ryan Watts, Executive Director, Kentucky Oil & Gas Association
Ryan Watts began his career as the press secretary for Lt. Governor Steve Pence. Watts served as executive director of the Office of Public Affairs for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC). In that capacity, Watts directed all communications and served as chief spokesman for the 4,400 employee agency, which is responsible for maintaining and preserving a vast infrastructure network across Kentucky. In 2017, Watts joined the Kentucky Oil and Gas Association where he has served as executive director for nearly two and half years. Watts, originally from Bardstown, is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with degrees in political science and mathematics. He lives in Frankfort with his wife, Ashli, and two children.
Tyler White, President, Kentucky Coal Association
Tyler White was named as President of Kentucky Coal Association December 2016. White previously served as the District Director for Kentucky’s Sixth District Congressman, Andy Barr. Prior to joining Barr’s team, White served in the United States Marine Corps from 2004-2012. He served as an infantryman and conducted deployments to Iraq before accept- ing a position as an Instructor at Officers Candidates School in Quantico, VA. From there, White was selected to help develop a Psychological Operations capability for the Marine Corps and participated in combat operations in Afghanistan before returning home to Lexington, KY. White graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelors of Arts from the College of Communication in 2014 and completed his Master’s degree from Harvard University in May of 2019.
Brian Zoeller, Attorney, Frost Brown Todd LLC
Brian leads the firm’s renewable energy industry team and primarily focuses on advising clients on the development of renewable energy projects, including utility-scale solar farms, anaerobic digester facilities and landfill gas to energy projects. His work on utility-scale solar projects includes drafting land lease and purchase agreements, analyzing state and local tax treatment, securing incentives, negotiating power purchase agreements and advising on regulatory matters such as siting board approval and local land use and zoning matters. Regarding renewable natural gas or RNG, he has negotiated landfill gas rights agreements, gas purchase agreements on the NAESB form, interconnect agreements and marketing agreements for the sale of environmental attributes from RNG.