Cassidy Ellis, Board of Directors
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.
Charlene Heydinger, Board of Directors
Charlene Heydinger is president of the Texas PACE Authority, the nonprofit administrator of 74 Texas PACE programs. To date, these programs have enabled more than $190 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, Texas, where she helped organize the startup foundation as it grew from $26 million to $62 million. Heydinger is a member of the Texas, Washington, DC, Michigan, and US Supreme Court Bar Associations. She serves on the executive board of the Capitol Area Council, BSA and the board of SPEER.
Chris Pasch, Chair of the Board of Directors
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.
Cyrus Reed, Board of Directors
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, Board of Directors
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. TFC is the main state agency responsible for management and construction of state facilities. Since 2011, TFC office of energy management has succeeded to help lower TFC utility expenditure by over three million dollars per year. Prior to joining TFC, he served as energy manager for Austin Independent School District.
Hayley Cunningham, Treasurer of the Board of Directors
Hayley Cunningham is the manager of Customer Programs for ONE Gas with over 10 years of experience in the energy industry. ONE Gas is a 100% regulated natural gas distribution company serving over 2 million customers in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. ONE Gas offers multiple Energy Efficiency Programs across its service territory which provide rebates to commercial and residential customers to incentivize the conservation of natural gas with high-efficiency natural gas appliances and home improvements, in addition to low-income assistance.
Katie Nichols, Board of Directors
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.
Lee Smith, Board of Directors
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.
Educated in the U.K. and holding an Electrical / Electronic Engineering Degree with a minor in Advanced Manufacturing Technology, he has extensive experience of the global HVAC market and North American HVAC business specifically covering the needs of architects, engineers, and mechanical contractors.
Robert Pegues, Secretary of the Board of Directors
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.
Saleem Khan, Board of Directors
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.
Certified Commissioning Authority (CxA) with AABC, Mr. Khan has also received formal training at Texas A&M’s Energy Systems Lab in the Continuous Commissioning® process and has successfully completed projects in the US and abroad. He has implemented commissioning projects at over 10 million square feet of existing & new construction facilities.
Sarah Chatterjee, Board of Directors
Sarah Chatterjee is an energy service professional that has been in the electric utility industry for over 13 years. She is currently the Director responsible for demand-side management customer programs at Austin Energy and has spent most of her career working with demand response, energy efficiency, transportation electrification, and customer-sited distributed energy resources. Sarah is passionate about clean energy solutions, customer programs, and strategic design, implementation, and integration of behind-the-meter technologies for the purpose of delivering energy savings, operational efficiencies, consumer benefits, and resiliency.
Steve Stelzer, Board of Directors
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.