Wind, Full Program
Presented January 19, 2012
Moderator: AJ Swope, former Executive Director of Class 4 Winds & Renewables, a non -profit renewable energy trade coalition based in Amarillo, Texas. Class 4 Winds works to facilitate partnerships between local contractors, suppliers and manufacturers and wind farm developers. The organization hosts a variety of conferences meant to educate landowners, business owners and public officials about the growing renewable energy industry within the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles and Eastern New Mexico. Prior to his work with Class 4 Winds, AJ spent a few years in broadcast television, working for KVII-T in Amarillo as a reporter, anchor, producer, and finally assistant news director.
Keynote Speaker: Paul Sadler, Executive Director of The Wind Coalition
The Wind Coalition is a non-profit association designed to promote the responsible development of wind energy as a clean, reliable, affordable and infinite resource at the regulatory and legislative levels within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) grid systems which combined cover all or part of eight unique states: Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana and Nebraska.
Alissa Oppenheimer, Managing Director, Chamisa Energy LLC
Alissa has been at her current position since 2009 and is focused on building bulk electric storage. She has over 20 years of experience in the energy industry. As a Technology Manager and Account Executive at Gas Research Institute in Chicago, IL, she managed multimillion dollar public and private research, development and commercialization projects related to the use of natural gas in existing and emerging end-use technologies. Ms. Oppenheimer spent eight years doing resource planning, economic analysis and modeling for Xcel Energy. She worked on both the electric and gas sides of Xcel's business.
Sherry Kunka, Community and Regulatory Affairs Director, Sharyland Utilities
Sherry directs community outreach and stakeholder relationships in Sharyland's CREZ transmission line project in the Panhandle and South Plains. Prior to joining Sharyland Utilities, Sherry worked for Xcel Energy, where she directed numerous electric transmission line projects in Texas and New Mexico through the regulatory approval process. She is immediate past chair of Class 4 Winds and Renewables, a member of the Amarillo College Renewable Energy Program Advisory Committee and the Amarillo College Utility Power Worker Advisory Committee. In 2010, Sherry was named one of five Women of Distinction by the Panhandle/Oklahoma Plains Girl Scouts.
Riley Hill President & CEO of Southwestern Public Service, an Xcel Energy Company
Riley joined Xcel Energy in 2004 as the director of Denver Metro West after serving 24 years at Westar Energy in Kansas. Most recently, Riley served as vice president and chief operating officer of SPS. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Wichita State University in 1989. Hill is active in the community and has served as a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Golden Spread Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Board of Directors for United Way of Amarillo and Canyon, the West Texas A&M University Advisory Board and the Community Advisory Board for the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
Honorable Don Allred, Oldham County Judge
The Honorable Don R. Allred has served as the Oldham County Judge for the past 22 years and is an avid supporter of Wind Power as an energy source for America and an economic development tool for rural counties. Judge Allred is Chair-elect of the Class 4 Winds Board of Directors. Prior to taking office, Judge Allred served 15 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the last 4 years as Texas State Compliance Supervisor. He attended South Plains College on a baseball scholarship and later attended West Texas A&M University. In 1996, he was the first recipient of the Oldham County Man of the Year Award and in 1998 was selected as the Lay Person of the year by the Texas Oklahoma District of Kiwanis International for his spiritual and community leadership.