Meet & Greet Series

Past Meet & Greets

Wednesday, November 17 from 3:30-4:15 PM PT – 2021 Year in Review & 2022 Outlook

  • Speakers
    • Mel Clark, President & CEO, CleanTech Alliance
    • Rachelle Ames, Senior Director of Commercialization & Outreach, CleanTech Alliance
    • Jennifer Audet, Senior Manager, Programs and Communication, CleanTech Alliance
    • Virginia Emery, CEO & Founder, Beta Hatch

On Wednesday, October 20th from 3:30-5:00 PM PT, our C-Suite conversation on business predictions for 2022 in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was an engaging event for CleanTech Alliance members. This CEO Roundtable was part of a virtual Meet & Greet Series, sponsored by Advanced Professionals Insurance and Benefit Solutions.

Confirmed Speakers:

Reeves Clippard, CEO & Co-Founder, A&R Solar

Reeves Clippard is the current Chair of the CleanTech Alliance. In his day job he is the co-founder and CEO of A&R Solar, a regional solar contractor specializing in delivering solar energy for homes, businesses, communities, and government agencies. A&R Solar has received multiple awards for workforce development, sustained rapid growth, and best workplaces. Additionally, he sits on the board of FarmPower Northwest a dairy bio-digester company. Reeves recently served as co-chair of the Washington State Energy Strategy Advisory Committee.

Leif Elgethun, Founder & CEO, Retrolux

Leif Elgethun is a serial entrepreneur with eleven years of full stack clean energy experience and deep market expertise in commercial and industrial building energy retrofits. Mr. Elgethun is a licensed Professional Engineer, LEED accredited professional, and has 3 engineering and science bachelor degrees and a masters in engineering. Mr. Elgethun previously was a founding partner in three profitable energy services companies, was a founding partner in a utility scale renewable energy development firm where he personally developed a 330MW solar PV project that was sold for an 8x return and was founding partner in a micro hydroelectric development firm that developed the first inline micro hydro turbine for the City of Portland. Mr. Elgethun serves on the Boards of the CleanTech Alliance, Idaho Clean Energy Association and Treasure Valley YMCA and previously served as Chair of the Idaho Chapter of USGBC and has been on the board of several additional nonprofit organizations. When Mr. Elgethun isn’t busy building Retrolux or helping improve his community, he can often be found biking, running. mountaineering, skiing, or rafting up and down mountains across the country. 

Mckinsey Lyon, VP External Affairs, Perpetua Resources

Whether navigating complicated public policy issues or managing a complex issue in the public arena, Mckinsey leads public affairs practices with a unique interdisciplinary fluency in government relations, social license development, stakeholder engagement, messaging, and media communications. Before joining Perpetua Resources, Mckinsey was a partner at Gallatin Public Affairs where she helped clients achieve business goals by integrating strategies across multiple platforms. As VP of External Affairs, Mckinsey leads the direct advocacy and social license development for the Stibnite Gold Project. Mckinsey joined the company in 2017, because she believes that Perpetua is set to lead the way into the next generation of mining that will bring forward the responsible production of the metals and minerals that are essential for a more sustainable future. Mckinsey is a fifth-generation Idahoan, who grew up exploring Idaho’s wild places with her family. With the help of her husband, she is instilling her love for Idaho’s rich and diverse landscapes in their three young children.

Jason Puracal, CEO/Co-Founder, ZILA Works

ZILA Works CEO and Co-Founder, Jason Puracal, is an experienced leader having started and ran his own business. He has over 15 years working in sustainable development specializing in the integration of holistic systems and building collaborative, high performing teams. Jason earned an MBA in Sustainable Business from Presidio University, a B.S. in Zoology and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington. Jason also completed a Fellowship with E8 Cleantech Angel Investors.

Diahann Howard, Executive Director, Port of Benton

Diahann Howard was named the Port’s executive director December 2019.  She has served as the Tri-Cities Research District as its Executive Director 2007-2020, Richland Rotary president (2017-2018) and was named Rotarian of the year (2011-2012). October 2018, she appointed to the U.S. Department of Energy Environmental Management Advisory Board. September 2019, Howard was awarded a Professional Port Manager (PPM®) certification from the American Association of Ports Authorities.

Previous to the Port’s Executive Directors position, she served as the Port of Benton’s director of economic development and governmental affairs. Prior to joining the Port in 2006, she was the economic development manager at the City of Richland.

Howard is a Tri-Cities native and holds her Bachelor of Science degree in International Affairs from Eastern Washington University. She is the first female to hold the Port of Benton executive director position and the first executive director with Latina heritage among the 75 port districts within Washington State.

Debra Smith, General Manager and CEO, Seattle City Light

Debra Smith is the General Manager and CEO of Seattle City Light, one of the nation’s largest community-owned electric utilities. City Light serves more than 480,000 meters and 955,000 people across Seattle and parts of eight adjacent franchise cities, and unincorporated King County.

Debra believes strongly in the value of teamwork, partnerships, and collaboration. As a long-term public employee, she prioritizes customer needs while acknowledging that great customer service starts with engaged and committed employees. Under her leadership, City Light is focused on electrification, equity and creating customer value.

Previously, Debra served as Central Lincoln PUD’s General Manager from July 2013 to October 2018. She brought 17 years of experience to that role from the Eugene Water and Electric Board, where she held a variety of positions, including Assistant General Manager.