Staff

Todd McAlister, Executive Director

As Executive Director, Todd heads the SPEER initiatives in collaboration with the SPEER Board of Directors and Members, to achieve the organizations mission and purpose. These initiatives cover a broad range of areas including increasing energy efficiency in buildings, advanced building construction, local government efforts and energy policy issues across Texas and Oklahoma. Todd is instrumental in the development and support of new programs, new funding opportunities and SPEER membership growth and involvement.

Prior to his role with SPEER, Todd was the Executive Director of the Texas Air Conditioning Contractors Association (TACCA) from 2000 to 2019. During his tenure at TACCA, the organization grew to well over 700 member companies and invested heavily in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning training programs across Texas. TACCA was also successful on the legislative front, supporting legislation that included continuing education, HVAC/R technician certification and registration, HVAC code related changes, background checks and several small business and tax policy changes.

He has served on several Committees and Boards both professionally and personally, including the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation Retail Sales Work Group, Texas Workforce Commission Industry Standards Clusters, Texas Workforce Coalition, Texas Society of Association Executives Legislative Committee, Texas State Technical College HVAC/R Advisory Board, and the Texas Literacy Initiative – Trades Based Literacy.

Todd received his BA in Psychology from McMurry University in Abilene, TX in 1990.  In 2014, he received his Masters of Business Administration from the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University.  He also currently serves as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserve, where he is attached to Navy Cargo Handling Battalion 5 as a Company Commander.

Kelly Herbert, Managing Director

As the Managing Director, Kelly is responsible for the financial, human resources and operational aspects of SPEER. This includes the day-to-day internal operations, including organizational communications, deliverables, and reporting. Kelly works with staff to ensure that all SPEER programs not only meet the required deliverables, but also achieve success and sustainability. Kelly’s background in organization management, customer service, and community programs are valuable to SPEER. Kelly has been engaged in SPEER since its inception, having served as the Local Government Program Manager, as well the Operations Manager, and now SPEER’s Managing Director.  She has been instrumental in developing and expanding the local government program and educational opportunities. Kelly has also been involved in the creation and implementation of organizational programs and policies.

Kelly leads SPEER’s initiatives to increase energy efficiency in buildings, including work on various local government efforts to promote the advancement and effectiveness of energy efficiency programs and projects at the local level. She is engaged in SPEER’s City Efficiency Leadership Council, which involves creating coordination, communication and the sharing of best practices between the six largest cities that have been highlighted in our 10 Best Practices. SPEER is also working with midsize and smaller cities to create a collaborative network to promote these ideas in an effort to expand the adoption of energy efficient practices. Kelly is also involved in the outreach and coordination of other various local government efficiency initiatives and resources.

Before focusing on SPEER, Kelly provided policy and regulatory analysis and support for Good Company Associates, working with project managers on a variety of issues in Texas, California, and New York. Kelly supported various projects including a tree planting pilot program, advanced lighting technologies, and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality TERP applications and grants. While completing her degree, Kelly provided support for Good Company project managers including research, billing, collections, and general office management.

Kelly received her B.S. in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science from Texas State University. In 2015, she also received her M.S. in Nonprofit Management and Leadership.

Susan King, Finance Manager

Susan is the Finance Manager for SPEER. She directly oversees and manages the accounting and financial operations of the organization. Her responsibilities include accounts payable, billing and receivables, payroll, reporting to the Board Treasurer, oversight of audits and tax preparation.

Since 2001, Susan worked for Good Company Associates, as Chief Financial Officer, and took on the additional responsibilities of General Office Manager in 2008. As an integral part of the organization, Susan was involved in all day to day efforts, client accounts, collections, reporting, payroll and human resources.

While at Good Company, Susan was involved in the formation and accounting for three non-profit organizations that have been managed and staffed by Good Company. A group of national manufacturers organized to form Fuel Cells Texas, a 501 (c) (6), for the promotion of this new clean energy industry, which operated from 2001 – 2005. Good Company also provided accounting and staffing for the Texas Foundation for Innovative Communities, a 501 (c) (3), from 2008 – 1010. Susan was instrumental to the organization of SPEER, which is a 501 (c)(3) organized in 2011 and staffed by Good Company.

Before joining Good Company, Susan worked as a staff accountant for Cade & Company, a CPA firm in Dallas and passed the CPA exam in 1989. Susan graduated from University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in business in 1986.

Richard Morgan, Senior Energy Code Program Manager

Richard is the Energy Codes Compliance Program Manager at SPEER. The goal of the Energy Codes Compliance program is to increase the level of compliance with the state adopted energy code in Texas and Oklahoma, and to provide support to code jurisdictions seeking to adopt higher codes than the state minimum.

Prior to joining SPEER, Richard was the Green Building and Sustainability Manager at Austin Energy where he worked for more than 16 years. Richard’s responsibilities at Austin Energy included managing its nationally recognized Green Building programs, the Zero Energy Capable Homes and commercial energy code initiatives and the Electric Vehicle and Emerging Technologies programs.

While at Austin Energy, Richard was a member of the Sustainable Building Technology Committee (SBTC) of the International Codes Council which developed the initial versions of the International Green Construction Code. On the SBTC, Richard was the chair of the Energy Working Group which developed the Energy Chapter of the IGCC.

In the early 1990s Richard was a member of the team that developed and implemented the Casa Verde Builders Program at the American Institute for Learning (now American YouthWorks). Casa Verde is an award winning program that works with at-risk young people to build affordable, very green homes for low income families in Austin. Richard managed Casa Verde for five years.

Richard is a Certified Project Management Professional with over 40 years experience in the building and clean energy industries.

Jason Vandever, Energy Code Program Manager

Jason Vandever expands our staff to meet the goal of the Energy Codes Compliance program, which is to increase the level of compliance with the state adopted energy code in Texas and Oklahoma.  He and Richard will work together to expand our compliance education and outreach to local areas in our region, and to provide support to code jurisdictions seeking to adopt new codes.  Jason has been a SPEER Energy Code Ambassador for two years.

Jason has over 15 years combined experience in building construction and inspection.  Prior to joining SPEER, Jason was the Chief Building Official for the City of Granbury for four years and served on the NCTCOG Energy and Green Advisory Board.  Jason’s responsibilities with the city included everything from plan review through the issuance of the certificate of occupancy.  Jason was the Housing Official for the City of Temple for four years before that.

While at the City of Granbury, Jason’s work in the building department improved the city’s ISO rating from 99 to  6, significantly reducing the city’s risk factor used by insurance companies in setting hazard insurance rates.  He maintains nine (9) ICC certifications, is a Certified Building Official and a Texas Municipal League Leadership Fellow.  He plans to use his experience to create opportunities for the various building officials, builders and contractors to improve their understanding of the codes, the building science behind the codes and, ultimately, the efficiency of the homes they build and inspect.

Jason has a MBA from Texas Tech University.

Michael Choate, Policy Manager

Michael Choate leads policy and strategy on energy market futures, utility efficiency goals, and special initiatives in Texas and Oklahoma. Additionally, Michael oversees the nonprofit’s local, regional and state regulatory, municipal and legislative affairs.

Prior to joining SPEER Michael practiced law with an energy law firm for more than six years. His practice areas included oil and gas, environmental, water, right of way, and administrative law and his clients ranged from small town landowners to international Fortune 500 corporations. During his time at the firm he also served as in-house legislative expert and liaison charged with tracking and monitoring client’s interests as they intersected with governing bodies.

Michael earned his Bachelor’s from the University of Texas at Austin and his Juris Doctorate from Texas Tech University School of Law. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and has worked in the Texas Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Michael is from San Angelo, Texas, where his family owns and operates a cattle ranch that has been in operation since the 1970’s.

Cassidy Ellis, Local Government Program Manager

As Local Government Program Manager Cassidy leads SPEER’s efforts to advance energy efficiency projects within cities, school districts, and local governments through networking, capacity building, and technical support. Cassidy manages SPEER’s City Efficiency Leadership Council, which facilitates the sharing of best practices among cities throughout Texas on energy efficiency topics, as well as Local Government Energy Reporting Outreach. Cassidy works closely with small and mid-sized cities to encourage peer-to-peer mentorship to establish and grow energy efficiency initiatives across Texas and Oklahoma.

Cassidy supports public-private partnerships by representing SPEER in the Energy Services Coalition, a national nonprofit organization of public and private stakeholders collaborating to increase energy efficiency and building upgrades through energy savings performance contracting. She serves as the Communications Chair for the ESC Texas Chapter. She also serves on the Energy and Water subcommittee of Austin Independent School District’s Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee.

Cassidy has a decade of experience in green building, energy efficiency, and sustainability consulting, working in a variety of public, private, and non-profit contexts including the Austin Energy Green Building program, EDF Climate Corps, and the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems.

Cassidy holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School and bachelor degrees in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and History from the University of California, Berkeley.

Liz John, Communications Manager

Liz is the Communications Manager for SPEER.  She is instrumental in developing and implementing a communications plan and brand recognition for SPEER. With this she carries the role of updating and maintaining website content in addition to creating marketing campaigns and news blasts. She also executes and monitors social media material, including utilizing various platforms to help promote SPEER’s mission, programs, and members.

As the Communications Manager Liz is also responsible for the planning and coordination of the Annual SPEER Summit, SPEER Member Meetings and SPEER Member Retreat, and various other program trainings. She provides the oversight on all logistics, including compiling materials and working with conference site staff to efficiently execute set-up, registrations, and most importantly provide smooth meeting delivery. Not only does her marketing and sales background provide her the necessary skills that make these important conferences and seminars a success but they also allow her to demonstrate her proficiency in social media and website building.

Liz is also manages the Building Operator Certification (BOC) Program and is responsible for both marketing and implementing the program to current and potential building owners, operators, and facility managers. In managing the program Liz recruits and coordinates qualified instructors to provide excellent education and training in building operations and maintenance. In addition to supporting these courses, she works closely with both the students and the instructors to encourage successful certification of each participant.

Prior to joining SPEER, she gained experience with Texas Electric Cooperatives where she worked in the Communications and Member Services Department.  Liz graduated from Louisiana State University, receiving her B.S. degree in Marketing.  She was a member of a leadership development program, Sigma Alpha Pi, the National Society of Leadership and Success, as well as a Dean’s List recipient.

Mariel Kramer, Codes & Local Government Coordinator

Mariel Kramer supports SPEER as a Codes and Local Government Coordinator, assisting SPEER’s Energy Codes and Local Government teams and their programs with strategy, advocacy, and outreach. Mariel coordinates programmatic outreach at SPEER including the City Efficiency Leadership Council, statewide energy efficiency reporting as mandated by Senate Bill 898, local energy benchmarking, SPEER’s energy codes webinars and in-person trainings, and Energy Code Ambassador Program. Additionally, Mariel works to develop marketing content for both Local Government and Codes events, such as round-tables, webinars, and in-person trainings. Mariel is also conducting a case study to compile industry best-practices in energy performance contracting as a resource for Texas cities.

Prior to work at SPEER, Mariel worked in Project Origination at Wunder Capital, as a Community Organizer for the Colorado Democratic Party, and ran and organized her own statewide voter registration drive called Colorado Votes. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. In her spare time, Mariel enjoys trail running, painting, and drinking coffee.

Nick Broussard, Codes Program Coordinator

As the Program Coordinator for SPEER’s Code Compliance team, Nick is responsible for data evaluation and statistical analytics. His efforts primary focus on building inferences and insights from energy efficiency data collection studies.  In supporting the codes program he will focus on accelerating the local implementation, enforcement, and compliance with the most recently adopted state energy code in Texas and Oklahoma as these two states account for almost 20% of all new building construction in the U.S. so set trends for manufacturing and building practices across the country.

Nick has nearly of decade of experience working in the government sector at the local, national, and international level. Prior to joining SPEER, Nick worked as an audit investigator for the City of Austin and an infantry officer in the US Army. In the military, he led combat operations in Central Asia and the Horn of Africa.

Nick holds a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MPA from the University of Texas at Austin. He is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP).

Chris Herbert, Director Emeritus

Chris will continue to be a resource for SPEER as she transitions to retirement. Chris was with SPEER since its inception, serving as Managing Director from 2014 -2016, and as Executive Director from 2016- 2019.

During 2001-2014, as Vice President of Good Company Associate, Chris managed and implemented a variety of resource efficiency and clean air initiatives in Texas. She was also responsible for business development and supporting government affairs work with several local and state agencies. She served as the Executive Director of the Fuel Cells Texas, and Regulatory Specialist for the National Biodiesel Board.

For 8 years Chris served on the City of Austin Resource Management Commission and the Electric Utility Commission, which advise the City Council on utility services, energy and water conservation, alternative energy technologies, and renewable energy sources. Prior to entering the energy efficiency industry, Chris worked with the Seton Hospital Network, the Department of Veteran Affairs, was Adjunct Faculty at Carroll College, and consultant to Head Start, and helped to establish the Montana Dental Hygienists Association.