West Advisory Board

Winston Hickox - Advisory Board
Winston Hickox

The Honorable Winston H. Hickox served as Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, a member of the Governor’s Cabinet, from January 1999 to November 2003. Mr. Hickox served as the Portfolio Manager for Environmental Initiatives at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). At CalPERS, Mr. Hickox helped implement California’s Green Wave program, an effort to improve long-term financial returns for pensioners through investments in the burgeoning environmental technology sector, while also reducing the risks to the pension funds posed by corporate environmental liabilities. Mr. Hickox has spent roughly half of his career in government and half in the private sector in the real estate investment management field. Former Secretary Hickox’s prior government service includes 7 years as a Special Assistant to the Governor for Environmental Affairs as well as Deputy Secretary for Environmental Affairs. From April of 1997 until January of 1999 he served as one of the Assembly Speaker’s appointees to the California Coastal Commission. The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors in April 1998 appointed Mr. Hickox to the Board of the Sacramento County Employees’ Retirement System (SCERS); he stepped down after 14 years of service on the SCERS Board in 2012. His private sector experience includes management of a nearly $2 billion real estate portfolio for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) from 1987 through 1996. Earlier in his career he operated his own successful real estate investment firm, Hickox Financial Corporation.

Byron McCann - Advisory Board
Byron McCann
Cindy Ortega - Advisory Board
Cindy Ortega

Cindy Ortega is Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer of the Corporate Sustainability Division of MGM Resorts International. She oversees the development and implementation of strategies for environmental sustainability and awareness throughout the company. These include natural resource conservation, sustainable new construction, and environmentally sensitive company operations. Cindy was responsible for the oversight and achievement of the LEED certification of the $8.5 billion dollar CityCenter Project in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. Under Cindy’s guidance, six developments at CityCenter were awarded LEED Gold certifications making it the largest single Gold certified new construction project in the world.

She is recognized for her leadership and expertise on energy issues and testifies routinely before the Nevada State Legislature, and in 2014 was recognized by Green Building & Design as one of The 10 Most Powerful Women in Sustainability in the United States.

She has served as Chair of Green Chips, a private/public non-profit organization that encourages and facilitates environmental sustainability initiatives in Southern Nevada to advance the region’s identity as a sustainable destination. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of ONE DROP, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to fighting poverty through projects aimed at supporting access to water, and raising awareness of water-related issues.

Erik Steeb - Advisory Board
Erik Steeb

Erik has over 25 years leadership experience in high tech and cleantech. Erik is the Exec Director of the LACI@CSUN incubator, a satellite of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator opened in collaboration with Cal State University at Northridge. Erik is also the Executive Director for Western Division of the Cleantech Open, a non-profit accelerator with the mission to find, fund and foster the best in early stage cleantech companies. Erik serves on the executive steering committee of First Look West, a collaboration between CalTech, UCLA and USC running the DOE Clean Energy Challenge for the Western US. These three organizations create a pipeline of support for companies that help carry them from formation through commercial success. Through these groups, Erik works with hundreds of early stage companies each year, connecting them to investors, customers and market partners.

Jon Wellinghoff - Advisory Board
Jon Wellinghoff

 Jon Wellinghoff is a partner in the law firm of Stoel Rives and is co-chair of the Stoel Rives energy team. Immediate past Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Jon is an internationally recognized energy law attorney, who focuses his practice on clean energy technology and energy policy.

 He consults internationally to energy policy leaders in the U.S., China, Australia, and Europe, and has clients with interests worldwide. He also advises emerging energy technology companies. Clients include distributed solar PV manufacturers and developers, transmission technology companies, and advanced battery manufacturers. Domestically he is participating in the New York REV process initiated to reform the electric utility distribution model. Jon recently co-authored an article published in the Public Utilities Fortnightly describing a new structure for operating an electric distribution utility incorporating an independent system operator to better allow for the deployment of distributed energy resources like solar PV, energy efficiency and demand response to end use consumers.