2023 SPEER Board of Directors
Lee Smith, Daikin, Chair
Lee is passionate about ongoing decarbonization and electrification initiatives and in his current role as Vice President – Strategic Marketing, Advocacy & Applications Development for Daikin U.S. Corporation, is responsible for leading market transformation initiatives for Daikin’s key technologies such as Inverter, Heat Pumps for Space and Water Heating and lower GWP refrigerants. Lee is involved in various market research projects and advocacy efforts in collaboration with Regional Energy Efficiency Organizations, Regional Government Policy Makers, Academia, and other key stakeholders in the electrification movement.
In previous roles Lee was with Daikin North America, LLC and helped develop Daikin’s North American business strategy and played a key role in establishing Daikin’s core business in the USA with a national focus on launching Daikin’s VRV, Ductless and Unitary Systems to Distributors, Manufacturer Reps, Engineers, Architects and Contractors. Lee has also been an active member of AHRI, ASHRAE, Green Buildings Institute and USGBC.
Saleem Khan, Texas Energy Engineering Services Inc. (TEESI) Vice Chair
Saleem Khan, PE, CxA is the president of Texas Energy Engineering Services Inc. (TEESI) with over thirty years of facilities engineering consulting experience. He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering (NWFP-UET, Pakistan) and MS in Industrial Engineering (Oklahoma State University) specializing in facilities planning and design, energy management, engineering economics and management. Mr. Khan has been actively involved in Texas energy management programs for almost 40 years and has conducted energy audits at over 1,000 facilities identifying cost-effective energy efficiency measures. He has managed energy & water efficiency improvements (self-funded, third-party and SECO LoanSTAR funded) from planning, design to implementation with construction cost in excess of $85 million across Texas. Mr. Khan has been the lead engineer on several MEP design projects for new construction and renovations with construction costs over $450 million. In addition, he has implemented commissioning projects at over 10 million square feet of existing & new construction facilities.
Robert Pegues, TexEnergy | Us-EcoLogic, Secretary
Robert Pegues joined the TexEnergy | Us-EcoLogic team in 2015 and holds the position of Senior Project Manager as well as Quality Assurance Manager for our Single Family Division. Through his time with the company, he has gained many credentials such as the LEED for Homes Quality Assurance Designee, LEED Green Rater, National Green Building Standards (NGBS) Green Verifier, HERS Quality Assurance Designee, RESNET Rater Trainer, HERS Rater, and IECC Residential Inspector & plans examiner. Robert has also had an active role in development and advisement of the LEED for Homes version 4 protocol, Energy Star 3.1 protocol, and 2018 IECC through North Texas Council of Governments Energy and Green Advisory Board.
Jasmine King-Bush, One Gas, Treasurer
Jasmine King-Bush currently serves as Manager for energy efficiency efforts and programs offered by ONE Gas Inc.’s local distribution companies: Kansas Gas Service, Oklahoma Natural Gas and Texas Gas Service. Having being with the organization for over three years, Jasmine has previously worked with Commercial Project team and the Texas Gas Service EE program as supervisor before being entrusted with the program leadership role in April of 2022. Born and raised in the Bay Area of California, Jasmine’s background as a Financial Analyst working on various DOE projects along with her leadership experience within the Diversity and Inclusion and community outreach spaces contribute to her ability to promote engagement, facilitate discourse around hot-button issues and craft a strategic approach to identifying resolutions. Jasmine is a mom to 3 boys, 1 opinionated Shih-Tzu and loves to escape to warm destinations whenever possible.
Chris Pasch, CLEAResult, Ex-Officio
Chris is a senior program manager at CLEAResult with over 10 years of experience in the energy industry. He is responsible for the implementation of multiple energy efficiency programs across a variety of electric utilities in Texas. Prior to CLEAResult, he worked with Austin Energy overseeing federal compliance with the city’s ARRA funded efficiency projects. CLEAResult is the single largest provider of energy solutions in North America, offering energy consulting services that lower load requirements for utilities, reduce energy bills for end users, and minimize environmental burdens on communities. We strive to connect all stakeholders through unique, cost effective program delivery that impacts local energy markets.
Cassidy Ellis, Ameresco
Cassidy Ellis is New Market Strategy Manager at Ameresco, a leading cleantech integrator and renewable energy asset developer, owner and operator, where she provides strategy, policy, and sustainability support to the company’s South Region. Prior to joining Ameresco, Cassidy ran SPEER’s local government program where she provided outreach, education, and technical assistance on a variety of energy efficiency, clean energy, sustainability and resilience topics. She also brings over a decade of experience as a green building, LEED®, and sustainability consultant for commercial, civic, and healthcare clients.
Cassidy holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School and Bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Science, Policy and Management and History from the University of California, Berkeley.
Sara Hayes, ACEEE
Sara Hayes leads ACEEE’s work related to health and the environment. Her research focuses on the human health impacts of energy efficiency in buildings and on the air quality effects of saving energy. Sara manages the health and environment program, overseeing research focused on identifying opportunities to use energy efficiency to reduce pollution and improve human health. Sara manages major projects that span multiple teams and topic areas. She defines strategic direction for research priorities and manages complex project deliverables and budgets. She represents ACEEE externally to media, stakeholders, funders, and the efficiency community, as a nationally recognized expert. Sara also serves as ACEEE’s in-house counsel, overseeing legal matters and interpreting energy and environmental laws. She reviews and negotiates contracts, communicates with outside counsel, and coordinates with senior leaders, operations, grants administration, and program staff, to ensure compliance with contracts and laws.
Charlene Heydinger, Texas PACE Authority
Charlene Heydinger is president of the Texas PACE Authority, the nonprofit administrator of more than 75 Texas PACE programs. To date, these programs have enabled more than $230 million in new property investment in Texas. Ms. Heydinger also led the legislative effort in support of the Texas PACE Act and the collaboration to create PACE in a Box, the Texas model program of TX-PACE best practices. PACENation recognized Charlene as one of three national 2020 PACE Champions.
On Capitol Hill Charlene served as general counsel to House Republican Leader Bob Michel, minority general counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and minority counsel to the House Judiciary and Energy and Commerce Committees. As vice president and Washington counsel for Capital Cities ABC, Inc., Heydinger represented the company’s television and radio networks and owned stations, ESPN, and print interests. She served as executive director of the Morton and Angela Topfer Family Foundation in Austin.
Tim McConkie, TRC Companies
Tim McConkie has been either an active participant or managing partner of utility incentive programs for over a decade. His experiences from both sides of the table shape and influence his decisions as an Associate Director for TRC engaged in a full spectrum of residential and commercial program offerings. He holds multiple rating, green building, and building analyst credentials with extensive hands-on planning, field investigation and performance testing within both single and multifamily applications.
Katie Nichols, Cascade Energy
Katie Nichols is a business analyst with Cascade Energy, Inc., a consulting firm focused on improving the energy efficiency of the industrial, agricultural, water and wastewater, and commercial sectors. For nearly three decades, Cascade has provided comprehensive energy management services, always looking for new and innovative ways to help customers operate more efficiently. To date, Cascade has worked with more than 6,000 customers on 12,000 projects across the U.S. and Canada.
Katie has been in the energy efficiency industry since 2010, working on projects including residential rebate programs, large and small business energy audits, regulatory reporting, and resource management. Prior to joining Cascade Energy, Katie worked at SPEER’s northwest counterpart, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), learning the mechanics of market transformation and how to accelerate the changes that are critical to the future of energy efficiency.
Cyrus Reed, Sierra Club
Cyrus Reed has served as Conservation Director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club since 2008. In that position, he has been the state chapter of Sierra Club’s lead advocate on clean energy, air quality and energy efficiency programs, participating in both regulatory and legislative efforts to improve building codes, increase the use of renewable energy and increase commitments to energy efficiency and demand response through weatherization among other efforts. Reed is also a member of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Reliability Operations Subcommittee and is a frequent participant in the Demand Side Working Group, as well as the Resource Management Commission at the City of Austin. Reed lives in Austin with a wife and three soccer-playing kids and holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Texas -Austin. He is also involved in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and coaching youth soccer.
Farshad Shahsavary, Texas Facilities Commission
Farshad believes that energy is one of the most important issues facing humanity and he also has a passion to find hidden solutions to the world’s energy problems. A long time ago he decided to apply his technical knowledge to the area of energy management. He is a licensed professional engineer, certified energy manager (CEM), and has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from University of Waterloo in Canada.
Over 28 years of experience in all areas related to facilities design, construction, testing & balancing, controls, project management, and energy management has given him a deep insight on how all parts of this puzzle fits together. Currently, he is serving the state of Texas as the Energy and Engineering Manager at Texas Facilities Commission (TFC). TFC Office of Energy Management is responsible for all activities necessary to conserve and save utilities in state facilities. Prior to joining TFC, he served as energy manager for Austin Independent School District.
Steve Stelzer, City of Houston
Steve currently serves as the Program Director for the Building Code Enforcement Green Building Resource Center. Steve offers green building strategies to plans brought in by the public, develops and maintains green strategy displays and education programs, and coordinates the green building web portal for the City of Houston website. He previously coordinated Green Building Tours of LEED certified buildings, which are free and open to the public. TECHNICAL BACKGROUND: Includes 30 years of diverse architectural firm experience in Houston, with construction administration (CA) as his predominate focus, including such firms as Heights Venture Architects, Courtney Harper+Partners, RWS Architects, Ray Bailey Architects, Kendall/Heaton Associates, and others.