Global Lecture Series VII featured EPIcenter’s Global Advisors, who typically curate the content in EPIcenter’s thought leadership events. The advisors joined EPIcenter CEO Kimberly Britton in a discussion about what comes next from their individual perspectives as business leaders on the cutting edge of their professions.
“Through a discussion with our Global Advisors, our intent is to have thoughtful discussion around the key strategies they are relying on today,” Britton said. “We want to learn about their next moves and what the future of the energy industry looks like to them.”
EPIcenter is using the online event platform Remo. This platform will allow for virtual networking as well as access to the program's content. After registration you will receive a confirmation email with further instructions.
Global Advisors on the panel include:
Jim Ajello of Houston, Texas, has had a long and distinguished career spanning the energy, natural resources and financial services industries. His leadership roles have included CFO with Hawaiian Electric Industries, Senior Vice President and member of the management team at Reliant Energy (predecessor to NRG), investment banker at UBS Securities, and the U.S. Navy’s renowned Admiral Rickover Naval Reactors program.
At Reliant Energy Ajello led a 200-person, cross-disciplinary team focused on large-scale energy efficiencies for commercial and industrial clients. He also launched Reliant into 12 deregulated energy markets and was instrumental in the sale of the company to NRG. He has deep expertise in renewables, electric grid management, electric and gas regulation, mergers and acquisitions, process improvement, risk management, strategy design and evolution, global capital raising, investor relations, leadership development and succession planning programs.
Ajello has also garnered extensive governance experience in Board roles at the Crius Energy Trust, the US Department of Energy’s Environmental Management Advisory Board, The Center for Houston’s Future, Hawaii Pacific University, and Hawaiian Electric Industries and its subsidiary American Savings Bank.
Cris Eugster is Chief Operating Officer (COO) of CPS Energy.
Cris Eugster is responsible for the operations of CPS Energy’s power generation and electric delivery businesses that encompass over 7500MW of generation capacity, 12,600 miles of electrical distribution, and 1,500 miles of electrical transmission serving our region’s nearly 2 million residents.
Cris’ leadership has driven the transformation of CPS Energy into a strong, innovative 21st century power provider. The strategy has led to significant investments in low-carbon capabilities such as combined cycle natural gas, wind, and solar, in addition to large-scale demand response programs and innovative smart grid solutions. CPS Energy is nationally recognized for its efforts in the New Energy Economy and has won numerous awards.
Cris has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the energy and technology sectors. He is a utility industry executive grounded in science, with experience in the private and public sectors, and a track record of improving financial / operational performance and core business transformation through the integration of clean energy solutions and new, sustainable technologies. His belief that utilities can and should be a positive force, and his ability to bring a high-tech culture to the utility sector, have shaped all his work.
WHAT: Hawaii has long been at the vanguard of energy innovation, from an historic meeting between the King of Hawaii and Thomas Edison in 1881, to the early adoption of renewable technologies. Texas, with its own "energy island" grid, operating independently from all others and leading the country in wind and fossil energy production, can learn from the Hawaiian experience.
Thursday, November 14, 2019
6:00 pm - Doors Open/Reception
6:30 pm - Fireside Chat
7:30 pm - Reception Continues
8:00 pm - Event Concludes
Alamo Colleges District
2222 N. Alamo St.
San Antonio, TX 78215
Click here for directions.
Rolando Pablos is co-founder of Cross-National Advisory Partners, a consulting firm specializing in international business development with a focus on energy and manufacturing. Prior to holding his current position, Mr. Pablos served as Texas Secretary of State. In this role, Secretary Pablos served as senior adviser and liaison to the Governor for Border and Mexican Affairs and was the state’s Chief International Protocol Officer. A former Texas utility regulator and economic development executive, Mr. Pablos understands the importance of leveraging strategic community capacity building for purposes of attracting investment to Texas. As a state official, and in his private practice, he has played critical roles in the advancement of direct investment, international relations and trade with Texas. Mr. Pablos is a strong advocate for North American manufacturing and energy integration through transnational collaboration among the US, Canada and Mexico. He has also served as Honorary Consul to Spain, where he worked to ensure the formation and development of business and diplomatic relationships between Texas and Spain.
WHAT: Emerging energy solutions have a significant impact on economy. What are the economic development opportunities both domestically and across the border? Secretary Pablos addressed this question and more.
Wednesday September 11, 2019
6:00 pm - Doors Open/Reception
6:30 pm - Lecture
7:30 pm - Reception Continues
8:00 pm - Event Concludes
Ruth Taylor Recital Hall
1 Trinity Place, San Antonio, TX 78212
- Dr. Michael Webber, Author of Thirst for Power: Energy, Water, and Human Survival
- Dr. Cris Eugster, COO, CPS Energy
- Robert Puente, President and CEO, SAWS
- Mat Hames, Director of "Thirst for Power", Alpheus Media
and moderated by:
- John Huffaker, Client Delivery Executive, ITRON
Click HERE to enjoy the film's trailer.
WHAT: Water and energy are the two fundamental components of a society, and they are interconnected. Thirst for Power, shot on location across France, California, and Texas, explores the history of civilization's quest to procure abundant water and energy -- from ancient Roman aqueducts in Europe to modern America's vast hydroelectric infrastructure. The film explores our dependence on water for energy as well as vulnerabilities in our current systems. Changing the way we think about water and energy can secure the long-term sustainability of both precious resources. The documentary is adapted from Dr. Michael E. Webber's book "Thirst for Power: Energy, Water, and Human Survival." Combining anecdotes and personal stories with insights into the latest science of energy and water, both the book and the documentary identify a hopeful path toward wise long-range water-energy decisions and a more reliable and abundant future for humanity.
Tuesday May 14, 2019
5:30 pm - Doors Open/Reception
6:00 pm - Screening
7:00 pm - Panel Discussion
8:00 pm - Event Concludes
Carlos Alvarez Black Box Theater
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
100 Auditorium Circle, San Antonio, TX
Dr. Michael Webber - Dr. Michael E. Webber is based in Paris, France where he serves as the Chief Science and Technology Officer at ENGIE, a global energy & infrastructure services company. Webber is also the Josey Centennial Professor in Energy Resources, Author, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, at the University of Texas at Austin. His first book, Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival, addresses the connection between earth’s most valuable resources and offers a hopeful approach toward a sustainable future. A successful entrepreneur, Webber was one of three founders in 2015 for an educational technology startup, DISCO Learning Media, which was acquired in 2018 by Probility Media.
Dr. Cris Eugster – Cris Eugster is CPS Energy’s Chief Operating Officer overseeing the generation and delivery of power for the greater San Antonio region. Eugster has played an important role in the transformation of CPS Energy into a leader in renewables, energy efficiency & demand response, and grid modernization. Cris Eugster is also the Chairman of the Board for EPIcenter. Prior experience includes serving Mayor Bill White as Houston’s first Chief Officer for Sustainable Growth and a Partner at McKinsey & Company focused on high tech and energy clients.
Robert Puente - Robert R. Puente, San Antonio Water System's President and CEO since May 2008, leads one of the nation's largest utilities delivering water and wastewater services to over 1.8 million consumers. SAWS has earned several state and national recognitions and awards, including: induction to the Leading Utilities of the World, the National Association Of Clean Water Agencies' 2016 Public Information and Education Agency Achievement Award - Educational Program; the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's 2016 Texas Environmental Excellence Award – Education; Top Workplace Award five times in the past seven years, as well as several other operational awards and recognitions.
Mat Hames -Mat Hames is an Emmy winning director, writer and producer, known for his two PBS Independent Lens documentaries What Was Ours (2017) and When I Rise (2010) and for his documentary series for Rooster Teeth, RTDocs. His films have screened at SXSW, HotDocs, and on SundanceTV. When I Rise (2010)was nominated for an IDA Award in the category of Best Music Documentary. Hames co-directed Fighting Goliath narrated and produced by Robert Redford which aired nationally on SundanceTV and PBS. His directorial debut was Last Best Hope, a film about the Belgian Resistance and escape lines during WWII, for which he was knighted by Belgian King Albert II. He is a co-founder of Austin, Texas based non-fiction production company Alpheus Media.
John Huffaker - John Huffaker is Itron’s Client Delivery Executive, based in San Antonio, Texas, responsible for working with Itron customers in Texas and Oklahoma. Previously, he was responsible for commercial development of large-scale solar projects and new renewable technology deployment in Texas and California. In his earlier roles, John was based in Moscow, Russia as President of the AES subsidiary, AES Silk Road, responsible for 15 energy (power/heat generation and distribution) businesses in the former Soviet Union.
EPIcenter's Global Lecture Series III was entitled "Powering Transformation: German and US Perspectives" and was the featured evening program on the first day of the City of the Future Conference. The conference was be held February 25-26, 2019, at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, Texas.
Utilities across the globe are engaging innovative technologies that affect the ways their customers and communities will function in the future. Europe and the United States have approached these opportunities in a variety of ways. This event compared and contrasted the approaches of two globally recognized municipally owned utilities, one in Germany and the other in the United States, in terms of smart city initiatives, renewables/decarbonization, and mobility/transportation. It is the third in EPIcenter's Global Lecture Series, a program launched in 2018 to bring global new energy thought leaders to San Antonio. The event was free and open to the public, but online registration was required. Light bites and libations were served.
View photos of the eventView video of the event
WHEN: Monday, February 25, 2019
6:00 pm Doors Open/Reception
6:30 pm Program and Q&A
8:00 pm Event Concludes
WHERE: Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
EPIcenter presented a dynamic discussion about the ways the electric power grid is changing and why business owners and the public should pay attention. This informal “fireside chat” included commentary on the energy sector’s stewarding of the grid and how customers will be more empowered in the future. The event was the second in EPIcenter’s Global Lecture Series, a program launched earlier in 2018 to bring global new energy thought leaders to San Antonio.
In June 2018, EPIcenter introduced a new lecture series that brings global new energy thought leaders to San Antonio. The first lecture was provided by Lynn Abramson, PhD, President of the Clean Energy Business Network, who examined national trends and local opportunities in the new energy economy.
Renewable energy, energy efficiency, and natural gas represent the growth sectors of the U.S. energy economy. Renewable energy and natural gas now account for half of electricity generation across the U.S.--and more than 60% in Texas. Thanks to efficiency improvements, GDP has been growing without a corresponding increase in energy use. Meanwhile, on average, U.S. households are devoting a smaller share of their total household budgets towards electricity than at any time ever recorded. How can Texas--and San Antonio in particular--leverage its existing energy leadership to create new economic opportunities in these growth sectors? This conversation with Dr. Abramson examined trends and opportunities at the national scale and in Texas fueling the clean energy economy.
If you have any questions please contact:
P.O. Box 830534
San Antonio, TX 78283