SGIP’s Board is composed of two Directors elected from predetermined Interest Categories by the members of that category, plus two Directors elected “at large” from the general membership. Our Board of Directors are unpaid and serve in a pro-bono capacity. Board Directors also pay their own expenses for travel to Board meetings and make a significant time and financial contribution to the organization each year.
We are delighted to introduce you to our Board.
David Forfia – Chairman, SGIP
Director, IT Projects
Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)
David Forfia is Director, IT Projects at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas where he is responsible for the upgrade and transition of all production IT services into two new data centers. He has served in multiple roles at ERCOT since 2006 and has represented ERCOT on the Information Technology Committee (ITC) of ISO/RTO Council (IRC) since its 2008.
Previously, he was responsible for ERCOT’s IT functions supporting the bulk electric system including application development, network and telecommunications, data center operations, application production support and IT infrastructure. He also served in multiple leadership positions during the implementation of the Texas Nodal program, including the deployment of the technology infrastructure, integration, testing and internal operational readiness for the systems.
David also served as the Director of Information Technology Services and was Deputy Director and Chief Information Officer for an $18B pension fund for Austin Energy.
David holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from St. Edward’s University.
CEO and President
Sharon Allan is the CEO and President of SGIP. She also serves as an Advisor to EnerTech Capital. Previously, Mrs. Allan ran her own consulting firm and Accenture NA Smart Grid Practice. She also served as President of Elster Integrated Solutions, Chief Knowledge Officer of Elster Electricity, Director of Product Management ABB, and IBM Marketing Information.
In 2015, Mrs. Allan was named one of the “Top 50 Smart Grid Pioneers” by Smart Grid Today and one of the “100 Movers and Shakers of the Smart Grid in 2012” by Greentech Media. Smart Grid News recognized her as “Smart Grid’s three most powerful women,” Now magazine as “One of the 50 Key Women in Energy,” and World Generation magazine’s ‘Class of 2007’ recognized leaders. Sharon is also a contributor to “Accelerating Successful Smart Grid Pilots,” a report issued by the World Economic Forum.
Sharon is an honors graduate from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering and holds an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua Business School.
Andres Carvallo is the CEO of CMG, Co-author of “The Advanced Smart Grid” and has over 29 years of experience in the Energy, Telecommunications, Computer and Software industries. He is an award-winning engineer, speaker, author, and executive; globally recognized by the IEEE as one of the early developers of the smart grid concept and technology, defining the term Smart Grid on March 5, 2004.
He championed Austin Energy’s industry leading smart grid program design and implementation from 2003 – 2010 and he architected the Pecan Street Project in 2009. He has received 35 industry awards since 2005. Prior to CMG, he was EVP and Chief Strategy Officer at Proximetry, EVP and Chief Strategy Officer at Grid Net, CIO at Austin Energy, CTO at Pecan Street Project, CEO at HillCast Technologies, CEO at agentGo.com, EVP at iMark.com, VP at Tycho Networks, President & GM at Philips Consumer Communications, GM at Digital Equipment Corporation, GM at Borland, Regional Manager at SCO, Product Manager at SCO, and Windows and MS-DOS Product Manager at Microsoft in Redmond, WA.
Robby Simpson, PhD
GE Grid Solutions
Robby Simpson, PhD, is a System Architect for GE Grid Solutions, where he guides the architectures for GE smart grid systems. Robby is also active in IEEE (he is a member of the IEEE-SA CAG and Vice Chair of IEEE 2030.5), ANSI, IEC, IETF, and the ZigBee Alliance.
Robby received his B.S. in Computer Engineering from Clemson University and his M.S.E.C.E. and Ph.D. (Electrical and Computer Engineering) degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), where he focused on Internet measurements, large-scale simulation, network protocols, and information security. Prior to focusing on smart grid, Robby worked on satellite communications at MIT’s Lincoln Labs.
Nick Wagner, Treasurer, SGIP
Iowa Utilities Board, NARUC
Mr. Wagner officially began serving as a member of the Iowa Utilities Board on May 24, 2013 when Governor Branstad appointed Wagner to fill a term ending on April 30, 2019. Board member Wagner serves on NARUC’s Committee on Gas, Committee on Critical Infrastructure and the Washington Action Program. Wagner is a member of Mid-America Regulatory Conference (MARC).
Prior to joining the Board, Wagner was the Director of Quality Management for the ESCO Group in Marion, Iowa. Wagner served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 2008 to 2012.
Wagner received his Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering in 1996 and a Master’s of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1998, both from the University of Iowa. He and his wife, Mandie, reside in Marion and have a daughter and son.
Vice President, Energy Policy
Bruce Edelston was appointed vice president, energy policy with Atlanta- based, energy provider Southern Company in March 2016. In this position, he is responsible for helping the company develop and coordinate a response to policy issues across its various operating companies and subsidiaries and for supporting state and federal policy efforts.
Prior to rejoining Southern Company, Edelston was president of the Energy Policy
Group, a consulting firm he founded to provide technical and policy advice on current strategic issues to utilities, law firms, energy companies and government agencies.
While at the Energy Policy Group, Edelston also served as executive director of the
Coalition for Fair Transmission Policy and as president of the Electric Markets Research
Prior to founding the Energy Policy Group, Edelston held previous positions at Southern Company, with his last role being director of energy policy. At Southern Company and subsidiary Georgia Power, Edelston had responsibilities for developing corporate policy positions on industry structure and environmental issues and responding to federal and state legislative and regulatory initiatives.
Before then, he held several positions at the Edison Electric Institute, where he was involved in legislative and regulatory initiatives involving transmission access, industry structure, markets and state regulatory policy. He also has prior experience with Charles River Associates (CRA) International and the Westinghouse Electric Corporation. He holds a B.S. degree in electric engineering/engineering and public policy and an M.S. degree in urban and public affairs, both from Carnegie Mellon
Vice President, Energy Technology & Analytics
Entergy Services, Inc.
Raiford Smith and his team lead Entergy’s pursuit of new, enabling technologies such as Distributed Energy Resources, big data analytics, and the development of customer-facing products and services. Mr. Smith is based out of Entergy’s offices in The Woodlands, TX. Entergy is an integrated energy company that owns and operates approximately 30GW of electric generating capacity and delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Mr. Smith has 26 years of experience in the energy industry, including various roles in legal, planning and analytics, smart grid, customer management, demand-side management, pricing and rates, product development, wholesale deal structuring, mergers and acquisitions, and technology.
A native of Savannah, GA., Mr. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of Georgia, a Masters of Business Administration degree from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, and a Juris Doctor from the Charlotte School of Law.
Mr. Smith is a licensed attorney and member of the North Carolina Bar Association; holds several patents on grid optimization and electric grid technologies; has published several papers on the future of the smart grid, energy efficiency, asset optimization, and price forecasting; has earned his Six Sigma Green Belt certification; and is a member of advisory boards for Tendril, Intel, and NEST Labs.
He received his BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and is actively involved in the IEEE Power & Energy Society and participates in standards efforts that bridge power engineering with information technology.
Global General Manager of Energy
Michael Bates joined Intel in June of 2015 as the Global Energy Director reporting up through the worldwide sales and marketing organization. Michael works within the Energy Vertical team calling on the world’s largest organizations in the Oil & Gas and Utility segments. His mission is to create business value through the effective adoption of leading solutions architectures designed to solve our customers’ most pressing business challenges. His role is responsible for delivering leadership messaging and setting strategic direction for accounts across the Energy sector
Previous to Joining Intel Michael has spent the last decade leading within various companies in the energy sector. Recently he was the general manager of Utilities at Alarm.com, prior to that he founded a company called DSI energy Ventures where he led business development effort’s focused on implementation of consumer-facing smart grid applications and services for the mid-tier utility market. Earlier in his career he was with IBM as a member of their tiger team to lead business development efforts across key Smart Metering and beyond opportunities. Before his time at IBM he founded Power Grid Communications which was one of the first to offer a full suite of behind-the-meter solutions to the utility market. He merged two organizations to form one of the first broadband-over-power line (BPL) operating ventures in the U.S.
Michael holds a B.S. In Economics from Texas A&M University
Director, Technology Services
Aaron F. Snyder obtained his B.S. (1993) and M.S. (1997) in Electrical Engineering from
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg, Virginia, and his Diplôme d’Études Approfondies (1996) and Diplôme de Docteur (1999) from the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble in Grenoble, France.
As the Director of Technology Services at EnerNex, he consults in Smart Grid technology, applications, and architecture for clients across the utility business spectrum, often specializing in testing, metering, and consumer issues. For three years he was the deputy project manager for the NIST SGIP Administrator, and was the technical champion for five completed SGIP priority action plans. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the UCA International Users Group, and participates in standards development activities at national and international levels. He is a Senior Member of IEEE.
Aside from his varied engineering experience, Aaron is an accomplished percussionist who leverages his almost B.A. in Music (Performance) by performing with the Tennessee Wind Symphony, the latest in a long stream of ensembles stretching from Virginia, to France, to North Carolina, to South Carolina, and Tennessee. He has studied at Virginia Tech, the Conservatoire Municipal du Centre de Paris in Paris, France, and the Conservatoire National Regional de Grenoble, in Grenoble, France.
Originally from the state of West Virginia he now resides in Tennessee, and is fluent in both English and French.
Deputy Director, Smart Grid & Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office, English Laboratory
Dr. David Wollman is Deputy Director of the Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems
Program Office of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Wollman has extensive leadership experience in coordinating and accelerating private-sector development of smart grid interoperability standards, including operational leadership to meet NIST’s Energy Independence and Security Act responsibilities (as Deputy supporting National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability, George Arnold and subsequently Chris Greer). Some of his notable (behind-the-scenes) contributions include launching the NIST smart grid team, architecting the NIST EISA response, implementing contracts to establish the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel, and supporting the transition to the current non-profit SGIP organization. Dave has actively participated in the SGIP at all levels of the organization. As part of the White House Green Button Initiative, Dave has led two SGIP Priority Action Plans to develop the technology foundation for Green Button, including standards, testing and technical support for implementers. At the SGIP Board level, Dave contributes to the strategic direction of the organization as NIST’s ex-officio SGIP Board member.
Previously at NIST, he managed efforts to maintain and advance the U.S. electrical standards, in addition to serving as scientific advisor, program analyst and bench-level scientist. Before joining NIST, Dave received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.S. in physics from Michigan State University. He has received many awards, including two U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medals, and the NIST Applied Research Award, and he has received three U.S. patents.
Vice President, Smart Grids North America
Gary Rackliffe is the ABB VP for Smart Grids and the General Manager for the Smart
Grid Center of Excellence in Raleigh, North Carolina.
After working at Westinghouse, Gary joined ABB in 1989 to manage its utility distribution systems software and has worked in various management, strategic marketing, and business development positions at ABB. Recent positions include VP Sales and Marketing for Network Management, VP for Utility Sales, VP of Strategic Marketing and Business Development for Power Products/Power Systems, and Managing Director of the FACTS business.
Gary is a leading expert on smart grid technologies, grid modernization, and integration of renewable energy resources to the grid. He was just reappointed to the Department of Commerce’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee and is a member of the Department of Energy’s Advisory Committee for the ADMS Multi-year Project Plan. He is a member of the GridWise Alliance board and Outreach Committee. Gary is a member of NEMA’s Grid Modernization Leadership Committee, Connected Systems Division, Distribution Automation Section, and past chair of the Smart Grid Council. He is also a member of the DistribuTECH Advisory Committee, board member of the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster, and the US Technical Advisor for the IEC Smart Energy Systems Committee.
Gary holds BS and ME degrees in Power Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer, an IEEE Senior Member, has co-authored a T&D planning book, and has written numerous technical papers and articles.
Strategic Technology Program Director
IEEE Standards Association
Bill Ash is the Strategic Technology Program Director for IEEE-SA. He received his BSEE from Rutgers University School of the Engineering. His background is in the RFindustry as he worked as applications engineer on wireless communications systems. Bill has been with the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) for over 12 years working with standards development groups covering technologies such as RF emissions, distributive generation, the National Electrical Safety Code®, smart grid interoperability and integration. He is currently leading the eHealth, smart grid, and smart cities, for the IEEE-SA.
Principal Engineer, Energy & Power Division
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)
Tony Thomas is Principal Engineer with NRECA’s Energy & Power Division. His considerable knowledge and expertise range from distributed generation integration and control to AMI, SCADA, and distribution automation.
After many years in sales and sales management roles at General Electric and Emerson Electric, Tony was one of the first employees at Hunt Technologies, an industry leader in electronic design, and led market development of the successful Hunt Turtle AMR System.
During the past 17 years, Tony has implemented over 200 AMR/AMI systems and over 50 SCADA systems in the US, Costa Rica, and Chile, assisting regions both urban and rural and covering terrain both smooth and rugged.
Tony served on the Board of Directors of the Denver Section of the IEEE for 7 years. During those years, Tony held the positions of: Secretary, Treasurer, and Chairman Professional/Industrial Liaison.
Tony earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from Metropolitan State University and also holds Certified Energy Manager credentials.