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Our Partners

Willdan Energy Solutions (Willdan) is a publicly traded-clean energy and sustainability consulting firm, that specializes in designing and managing the implementation of energy efficiency (“EE”) programs for utility companies and government agencies. The Willdan team is made up of problem solvers committed to global stewardship. We implement innovative solutions for a broad range of facilities, transportation, and power systems while preparing for the next 100 years.

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Antuan Cannon

Director of Talent Development

• Born in Mexico, raised in Lake Tahoe, Northern California • Studied Economics & Asian Studies @ Yale University • In 2006, Co-Founded STEM Education Non-Profit called Envirolution.org out of college dorm • In 2013 Spun-off, Vocational Training & Staffing Social Enterprise called Envirolution One • In 2016, joined as High- Profile Project Manager, and was promoted to SMB Deputy Program Manager in 2018. • In 2020, became Utility Program Development Manager, and was promoted to Director of Talent Development in 2022.

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Liz Fitzpatrick

Deputy Program Manager

• B.S. Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut  • Cross-functional program manager, engineer and business development professional.  • Liz started working for Willdan in April 2021 managing California Investor-Owned Utility (CA IOU) resource programs. Her main role is to implement the SDG&E ESA CAM initiative, which is a no-cost energy efficiency program for low-income multifamily properties. Liz also leads the DEI Business Partnerships organization-wide employee resource group and supports programs with supplier diversity. • Before Willdan, Liz worked for a non-profit managing CA IOU non-resource programs with a focus on workforce education and training, which involved career technical curriculum development, teacher trainings, and teaching high school and college students about topics such as energy storage. She also led business development across southern CA and previously worked as an environmental engineer. • Liz supports the development of community partnerships and education programs with the CEA.

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Doug Childers

National Training Manager

• Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Business Administration – Management, Johnson & Wales University • Started clean energy career in 2014 conducting energy audits and selling projects for commercial facilities under Duke Energy’s Small Business Energy Saver Program. Ultimately producing just over $3M in commercial EE sales and delivering 10,000 MWh savings by the end of 2015. • Became a Program Sales Manager in late 2015, leading a team of energy advisors to collectively generate $21M in commercial EE sales delivering over 70,000 MWh savings during this timeframe. • Mid-2017 began leading a Southeast Regional team, overseeing utility direct install programs spanning North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. Collectively producing $86M in commercial EE sales and over 260,000 MWh savings while maintaining customer excellence across programs with >75 Net Promoter Score (NPS). • As Willdan’s National Training Manager starting late 2019, advanced & managed nationwide sales team onboarding, employee development, & continuous improvement for various commercial direct install programs. Redesigned and developed utility program training content & curriculum for both in-person and virtual instructor-led trainings. Transitioned to helping drive the launch, expansion, and transformation of several California programs in 2021. • With Clean Energy Academy, reclaimed focus on Willdan employee development while helping drive growth in community development through training & professional advancement programs for new and upcoming clean energy workforces.

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Vinoth Kumar Sekar

Project Manager

• Born and raised in Chennai, India • B.E in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, M.S in Energy Systems, Northeastern University  • Prior to Willdan, I worked as an Electrical Design Engineer for a Water Treatment Plant Business Unit of a Transmission Distribution company in India • Started as a Project Manager with Willdan in June 2016 in Boston, MA and moved to Des Moines, Iowa in 2017 • At Willdan, I provide energy design assistance to building owners, and design teams to maximize energy efficiency investment and utility incentives through Demand Side Management programs. I also provide program management, client management, outreach support, and staff mentoring.  • I serve as a board member for Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and USGBC Market Leadership and Advisory Board  • I’ve assisted in updating the course curriculum and delivering training sessions.

Energy Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) is a New York State certified Minority Business Enterprise and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business specializing in clean energy consulting, workforce development and project management. EEDC shall serve as Project Management Lead and ensure project timelines and schedules are met, per this Statement of Work and to the satisfaction of WestCOP and all vested stakeholders. EEDC shall further support the delivery of all necessary evaluation and reporting requirements and deliverables.

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Cristina Pastrana

Career Services Manager

• Puerto Rican, from the Midwest, and have lived in NYC most of her adult life,  • Received a BS in Cultural Anthropology and MS in Urban Policy from the New School  • Worked in Business Performance Management training managers and created a collaborative and results driven organization for the NYC Dept of Finance.  • Moved into IT as a Business Analyst, QA, Project Lead, PM then PMO Reporting in government and financial sectors.  • As the Career Services Manager, I lead the Career Services team (i.e. Sherpas) in mentoring WCEA graduates in their ongoing professional development  • Help graduates outline their career goals, identify skills gaps and develop a pathway to advance in the green sector.

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Denise Sonnenberg

Project Manager and Career Services Coordinator 

• 10 years of non-profit management, working specifically in the field of Higher Education and fundraising for scholarship awards • Database management specialist who understands the big picture and the details necessary to bring a vision into reality • BA from the College of Communication Arts at Michigan State University • 100 years of family history in the HVAC industry, and General Contracting experience in sustainable construction • Community leader as President of both Phiharmonic Society and Soroptimist International service organization chapters • Project manager for visual marketing of companies going through the IPO process

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Anthony Williams

Career Services Intern

• Native New Yorker, born and raised in the Bronx, New York. 15+ years of Music Composition, Music Theory, and Music Performance starting in Middle School to present day, 10+ Years as a freelance Musician, mainly working in NYC, performing at various institutions such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the now closed B.B. King Blues Club in Times Square. • 10+ years of Community Outreach experience, 6+ years of lighting experience in the Residential, Multi-Family, and Commercial sector installing LED lighting. I attended the Willdan Clean Energy Academy, and obtained my CALT Certification, Small Commercial Energy Efficiency Analyst in Thermal and Lighting Systems, Lighting and Safety Training Certification, OSHA 10, G-PRO Fundamentals of Building Green certification, and G-PRO O&M Essentials Certification from the Urban Green Council in 2017. • Assist with Data Management for the Clean Energy Academy and the Energy Economic Development Corporation. • Assist the WCEA and EEDC with Mock Interview, Resume Refinement, and other tasks.

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Steve Gilbert

Project Manager and Career Services Coordinator 

• Involved in Education in one form or another for just over 50 years Native NYer. • Born in Brooklyn USA. Avid skier since age 6 age. • Living in Manhattan since 1977 except for 3 years in Boston (which lacks the dining and late night entertainment of NYC). • Boston Late nights: the only food is Sami’s Falafel … good falafel … almost as good as Mamoun’s; but closed in 2019. • For 2 winters, I made snow for a living • The Golden retriever I had at the University of Michigan was featured on the front page of the Michigan Daily in 1970 snatching a frisbee out of the air. Quite original in 1970. • University of Michigan: Bachelors with Teaching Certificate • Polytechnic Institute, now NYU Poly: B.S. Electrical Engineering, Masters in Computer Science • Association of Energy Engineers: CEM™ (Certified Energy Manager), EBCP™ (Existing Buildings Commissioning Professional) • BPI: Analyst, Envelope, Heating, Multi-Family G|Pro: Fundamentals of Building Green, Operations & Maintenance (O&M), Construction Management (CM) • Infraspection Institute: Infrared Thermography: Level I & II • Energy Engineer, Building Energy Audits, Building Improvement Sales, Instructor/Consultant at Clean Energy Academy: over 13 years • Software Development & Technical Sales: over 25 years • Technical Director, Project Leader, Team Lead, Software Solutions, Technical Sales Consultant Computer Programmer (C++, Java, Pascal, PL/1 … even Fortran IV) • 4Q2022: As a novice Escape Room Professional, participation resulting in a fair to middling performance. • Numerous Trainings and Onsite Audits have allowed me tbe able tview Buildings as a collection of interactive, symbiotic, synergistic systems: Integration of “Building as a System” concept. • Over 40 years experience providing: Education & Training Services, Hardware & Software Engineering, Technical Sales Support, IT/Website Support, Project Management, Energy Engineering evaluation & designs, hands-on Energy & Safety related Diagnostics

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Nicholas Rugulo

Capstone Manager/Instructor/Engineer

• Born in California, raised in New Jersey, moved back to California in 2014 • Loves being active/outdoors: surfing, skateboarding, rock climbing, hiking, backpacking, camping • Enjoys playing guitar and listening to music when not outdoors • B.E. in Civil Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology • Working in Energy industry since 2006, full-time since 2011 • Lead role in generating and tracking project scheduling/project management and passed • Federal Background Security Clearance to retrocommission four (4) federal buildings in the NJ/PA region totaling 2.3 million sq.ft. and including over 140 Air Handlers and Boilers, over 40 HW, CHW, and CW Pumps, more than 160 VAV boxes, 5 separate Building Management Systems, and 50 Fan Coil Units. • First Engineer hired by a small, regional, lighting-only Energy Services Company based in Southern California; over the course of nearly 7 years, helped expand the business to an Auditing Department of as many as 5 dedicated lighting surveyors and an Engineering Department of 4 Energy Engineers that perform comprehensive energy audits of customer sites to evaluate a variety of lighting and non-lighting measures of ranging complexities and submit for utility financing. • Re-designed the Building Operator Certification (BOC) course from conventional instructor-led instruction to an online independent-learning oriented class for the Research Foundation of City University of New York (RFCUNY). • Instructor at CUNY teaching Microsoft Excel for Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) to building operators and facility managers. • TA/Instructor for Lighting & HVAC-R courses offered through Southwestern College • Involved in Career Accelerator providing feedback on resumes, cover letters, and elevator pitches or helping with mock interview prep Capstone Manager helping to fill-in experiential gaps in Career Accelerator students resumes that may be a barrier to employment Engineer on New Measure Integration (NMI) • Applications to establish rebates through utility programs for new energy-saving technologies

Soulful Synergy is a full-service, NYC Certified Minority Business Enterprise, socially conscious community and economic development organization, specializing in green business and workforce development program design, implementation and scaling, particularly focused on helping disadvantaged communities for the social good. Soulful Synergy shall serve as Outreach and Recruitment Lead. In this capacity, Soulful Synergy shall manage all components of recruitment from interview to placement as well as tracking and monitoring of data for necessary reporting. Soulful Synergy shall also serve as a Workforce Support Partner to WestCOP with a primary focus on Program Outreach, Program Recruitment, Career Readiness and Career Pathways.

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Dwayne Norris

Principal of R.N. Wealth and Retirement Strategies and the Co-Founder/COO of Soulful Synergy, LLC. 

• Address systemic issues that affect disadvantaged communities by providing transformational services, designed to improve lives and create long term, sustainable development.  • Serves as the Director of Outreach & Recruitment. In this capacity develops strategic partnerships, presents about the program, interviews candidates, and leads enrollment  • Leads our career services efforts ensuring ongoing professional development is provided to each interested student and develops necessary employer relationships to assist the job placement process

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Teraesa Metivier 

Outreach Coordinator

• Organic beauty owner, harpist, co founder of Environmental group- Environmental Consultative Social Association • Bsc Natural Resource Management , MSc Environmental Science, Health and Safety, Ux/Ui • Research businesses with the same mission and interest as us, outreach and recruit organizations and applicants to our programs. Interviews applicants to determine eligibility to the programs we offer. • Contribution to CEA- recruitment and outreach

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Paul Presendieu

Outreach Coordinator

• Born and raised in the City of New Rochelle as the son of Colombian and Haitian immigrants • Chair of the City of New Rochelle’s Sustainability Advisory Committee, Board Secretary of the New York State Association of Conservation Commissions, and former Troop 11 New Rochelle member of the Boy Scouts of America • Environmental Studies at SUNY Westchester Community College (Valhalla, NY) & SUNY Purchase College (Purchase, NY) • Sustainability professional with experience in creating private-public-partnerships to facilitate climate solutions through the lens of equitable environmental economics Previous Outreach Manager of Sustainable Westchester, Inc., and currently possesses Consultative Status for the United Nations through the Economic and Social Council • Facilitates Recruitment and Outreach on behalf of Clean Energy Academy. Currently assisting NYSERDA PON 3715, a first of its kind grant acquired by the Archdiocese of New York in their 214+ year history

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Troy Thompson

Sustainability Project Coordinator

• Environmentalist, drummer, vegan, gardener • B.S. in Environmental Science, Google Project Management Certification, G-Pro:Fund, Master Composter Certification

Learn & Innovate For Education, Enablement, Empowerment (LIFE3), is a digital consultancy providing software application advice and support to lead and manage technical design, development, and implementation. LIFE3 specializes in web and app development, focused on sustainability education, Learning Managements Systems (LMS), virtual reality and augmented reality product development, leveraging analytics to help inform business intelligence and artificial intelligence for continuous improvement, and make these resources available to LMI communities. LIFE3 shall serve as a Project Technology Lead to develop a LMS and shall also assist with tracking trainee outcomes through surveys and user interviews to support program participant completion and job retention. LIFE3 shall provide technical consultation to inform trainers and trainees on the functionality of technology being implemented. Regardless of subcontracting or other partnering arrangements.

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Omar Duran

Founder-CEO

• B.Eng. - Chemical Engineering, Physics Minor  • Former IBMer – as a Product Manager, helped create AI software solutions for Insurance Analytics Platform • Responsible for Clean Energy Academy Digital Transformation which consists of Clean Energy Academy website build out, development and ongoing support of our Learning Management System  • Work with internal stakeholders to gather requirements and develop our Content Management System

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Katherine Fernandez

Product Designer

• Hold a Bachelor’s in Studio Art, and a Master’s in Art Education • Met Omar through a CUNY Techworks UX Design program as part of a capstone project • Identified user problems and created designs that improved retention of students for WCEA • Implement qualitative and quantitative data to create user-friendly interfaces • Design CEA’'s website to adhere to business goals • Collaborate with ux researchers and developers in an agile environment

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Martin Curtet

Fullstack Developer

• Studied in EFFICOM Paris in France, moved to New York in September 2021 • Has a Bachelor’s in IT Project Management with a specialization in Fullstack Development • Went through the Willdan program and Career Accelerator • Met Omar through the Willdan team and was hired by Life3 as a Junior Developer • Supporting development of the CEA’s website • Working on Systems Design for the CEA Data System • Managing Data Projects and Maintenance • Tech Support for online classes

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Kawi Energy Group (Kawi) is a NYC Certified Minority Business Enterprise Energy efficiency consultancy and project management firm that specializes in providing comprehensive and affordable top-tier energy management advisory and related technical services to multi-family and commercial building owners and managers. Kawi shall serve as Capstone Project Management Lead. In this capacity, Kawi shall work with graduates of the classroom portion of the training that are seeking job placement and career advancement opportunities, and will assist them with the design, development, and implementation of their Capstone projects. This will involve meeting with students one-on-one to gauge their interest and bandwidth, conceiving and drafting capstone proposals, identifying and coordinating with capstone employer partners and regularly meeting with students to gauge progress and provide technical support and guidance.

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Green Tech LEADers (GTL) is a clean energy training and curriculum development company that provides technical job training and certification in Energy Efficiency Auditing and Retro Commissioning (RCx), Building Science and Weatherization, Green Building Operations & Maintenance, Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Design and Installation, Lighting Retrofits, and HVAC-R and Heat Pump Technologies. The certifications that GTL provides training and proctoring for include Green Professional (GPRO) credentials, Building Performance Institute (BPI) certifications and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 608 certifications. GTL shall serve as a Training and Curriculum Development Lead for the program. In this capacity, GTL shall be responsible for collaborating with Willdan and the Contractor’s many industry partners to implement all curriculum developments, adaptations, and updates, as well as coordinate the delivery of all aspects of virtual classroom technical training for program participants.

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