Businessman and Former Mayor of Fort Wayne, Ind., Tops Distinguished Executive Team Promoting Advanced Energy
Washington, DC – Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), a national business organization promoting U.S. companies as global suppliers of innovative energy technologies and services, today announced the appointment of Graham Richard as Chief Executive Officer. A former Indiana state senator and two-term mayor of Fort Wayne, Richard, 65, is a recognized technology leader, entrepreneur, and innovator.
“Graham Richard is a proven leader in both the private and public sectors,” said Hemant Taneja, co-founder of AEE and co-chair of the AEE board of directors, who has been serving as interim CEO. “AEE is lucky to have him take charge of the talented and accomplished executive team we have put together. Under his leadership, AEE will become the platform this industry needs for growth and success. ”
“With Graham Richard, AEE will be in good hands,” said AEE co-founder Tom Steyer, Senior Managing Member of Farallon Capital Management. Steyer co-chairs the board of the Advanced Energy Economy Institute, a nonprofit educational organization promoting greater public understanding of advanced energy and its economic potential for the U.S. “Advanced energy is the global market opportunity of our lifetimes, and with Graham Richard at the helm, AEE will work to ensure that U.S. companies and U.S. workers make the most of that opportunity.”
“I am thrilled to assume the role of C.E.O. for Advanced Energy Economy,” said Richard. “This growing industry is in need of a unified voice to help the U.S. capitalize on the global transition to a smarter energy future. With the executive team assembled by Hemant and Tom, AEE will be that voice. I am proud to be a part of it.”
Richard served as mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, from 2000 to 2008, following a 20-year career in business, as principle of Graham Richard & Associates and partner in Ruffolo Richard LLC. As mayor, Richard put his knowledge of best business practices to work, turning Fort Wayne city government into a lean, customer-focused organization and saving taxpayers more than $31 million while improving city services. An expert in the application of Lean Six Sigma management principles to eliminate waste in production and process, Richard launched a number of initiatives to save energy and create jobs, and received national awards for technology leadership for promoting high-speed broadband deployment and applications. In 2007, he was named “Government Leader of the Year” by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. A Brookings Institution Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Richard received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Indiana University and earned a B.A. from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Richard was a founding board member of the Clean Economy Network, which merged with AEE last year.
Richard’s appointment was announced today at AEE’s first national meeting in Washington, D.C. This gathering brought together company executives, industry partners, and leaders of AEE state chapters and affiliates to lay plans for industry promotion and advocacy efforts nationally and in states across the country. Launched in 2011, AEE currently has four chapters – Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, and New England – representing nine states, with many more chapters in the process of formation.
At AEE, Richard takes charge of an executive leadership team of accomplished professionals put together over the last several months. This team consists of:
- Nick d’Arbeloff, President, Regional Development and National Programs
- Liz Gilchrist, Vice President, Operations
- Tim Greeff, Vice President, Policy and Political Affairs
- Robert Keough, Vice President, Communications
- Paul LaBarr, Vice President, Membership Development
- Vivek Mohta, Vice President, Industry Analysis
- Heather O’Neill, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships
- Tom Plant, Vice President, State Policy
Brief biographies of these AEE executives follow.
Nick d’Arbeloff joins AEE from demand-response and energy management company EnerNOC, where he was VP of Enterprise Energy Management. Previously, d’Arbeloff was President of the New England Clean Energy Council. Over the past 20 years, d’Arbeloff has held senior positions at a number of technology start-ups. He also served as VP of Marketing for C-bridge Internet Solutions, Director of Marketing for PRI Automation, and Product Manager for Apollo Computer.
Liz Gilchrist joins AEE from the Clean Economy Network (CEN), where she served as Deputy Executive Director. As a full-time fundraiser based in Washington, DC, for more than 17 years, she raised millions of dollars in major and planned gifts for major national nonprofit organizations. Previously, Gilchrist worked for more than 13 years as a poverty and civil rights lawyer in Mississippi, primarily as a federal litigator.
Tim Greeff previously served as the Political and Policy Director for the Clean Economy Network (CEN), an organization he helped build since its founding in 2009. With over 12 years of experience in energy policy, campaigns and advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels, he has been recognized by the Washingtonian Magazine and The Hill newspaper as one of the top advocates in Washington, DC.
Robert Keough is a communications professional with nearly 30 years’ experience in journalism, government, and public issues. Keough served as Assistant Secretary for Communications and Public Affairs in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) under Governor Deval Patrick and Secretary Ian Bowles. Previously, Keough was editor of a politics and policy magazine in Massachusetts and wrote for a variety of local and national publications.
Paul LaBarr has spent 30 years building industry associations at the state and national level. He served the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for nearly 20 years in sales positions, ultimately as National Sales Director. Through Paul LaBarr & Associates, he provided an outsourced solution for membership, sales, and chapter building to state chambers of commerce and other trade associations. He also developed and managed major fundraising and capital campaigns. Following Hurricane Katrina, Paul helped start a business providing ultra-efficient housing envelopes to New Orleans, in partnership with Brad Pitt’s Make It Right project and Mike Holmes, from HGTV’s “Holmes on Homes.”
Vivek Mohta was formerly Director of Energy Markets at the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), where he led the analysis and implementation of major energy market reforms, as well as the investment of $70 million in federal stimulus funds in advanced energy. Before joining DOER in 2008, Vivek was a project leader in the energy practice at the Science and Technology Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based research center created by Congress to provide the White House with objective analysis on science, technology, and innovation.
Heather O’Neill comes to AEE from the Robertson Foundation, where she served as a program officer, leading the foundation’s energy and environment efforts. Previously, she was Director, Public Affairs for Danco Laboratories, LLC, a start-up women’s health pharmaceutical company.
Tom Plant served Colorado Governor Bill Ritter as head of the state’s Energy Office, helping to move Colorado from laggard to trendsetter in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Prior to that, Plant served in the state legislature representing Boulder County, Gilpin County and Clear Creek County for eight years (1999-2007). During that time, Tom was Chairman of the House Appropriations committee for two years and Chairman of the Joint Budget Committee for one. In 1994, Tom and his wife Dawn Dennison opened the Acoustic Coffeehouse in Nederland, Colorado, which they sold after seven years.
Founded in 2011 by Tom Steyer of Farallon Capital Management and Hemant Taneja of General Catalyst Partners, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is a business organization representing the advanced energy industry. As a business federation, AEE is dedicated to promoting a better business climate for all segments of the sector and helping American companies and workers succeed as the world transitions to a smarter energy future. AEE provides a platform for business leaders to promote the growth and expansion of advanced energy by creating a unified industry voice, establishing a national network of businesses and business organizations, and leveraging the unique assets of regions across the country. Chapters and affiliates of AEE work at the state level to help local advanced energy member businesses connect, collaborate, and grow and advocate for a better business climate for advanced energy companies.
AEE has offices in San Francisco, CA, Boston, MA, and Washington, DC. For more information about AEE, please go to www.AEE.net.
(202) 463-0013 ext. 202