National Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors form the backbone of our program's strategic direction and future development.

Tim Hoffman - Co-Chairman of the Board
Tim Hoffman

Tim Hoffman has 19 years of experience providing consulting and investment banking services to a wide range of clients. Tim is currently a Managing Director at both Green Owl Advisers, a consulting firm that provides financial and strategic consulting services, and Watts Capital, LLC, an investment banking firm that provides capital raising and M&A advisory services to renewable energy and cleantech companies. Tim is the NYC Metro Director for the Cleantech Open, where he was awarded National Mentor of the Year 2012, Northeast Volunteer of the Year 2013 and National Volunteer of the Year 2013. He also serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at NYSERDA and as a mentor to PowerBridgeNY. Tim earned two B.A. degrees from Indiana University and an M.A.E. from the University of Michigan. He is fluent in German, proficient in Japanese, and holds Series 7, 79 and 63 securities licenses.

Walter Schindler - Co-Chairman of the Board
Walter Schindler

Walter L. Schindler is the Chief Executive Officer of Frost & Sullivan Investment Partners LLC, an international sustainable investment advisory firm affiliated with the consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, based in Silicon Valley with 1800 consultants in 48 countries.  Frost & Sullivan Investment Partners LLC is backed by several global family offices and is currently advising clients, or investing on behalf of its clients, in sustainable energy and water companies and other sustainable development projects throughout the world. Walter is an investor, strategist, and lawyer who served as a partner of the international law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.  His 19-year law firm career included advising clients on some of the most successful IPO’s and mergers in the US during that time, including Allergan, Callaway Golf, Fluor, Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company (regarding the spinoff of PIMCO), PacifiCare (regarding its merger with FHP), SafeGuard Health, and Ultrasystems. He was the lead strategic advisor in over 60 successful mergers, acquisitions, and IPO’s as well as over 25 renewable power projects. Afterwards, Walter became the founder and Managing Partner of SAIL Capital Partners LLC, an early pioneer and thought leader in sustainable investment in the United States. Under his leadership SAIL Capital was selected by the World Economic Forum as a member of its Community of Global Growth Companies and was nominated for Private Equity Manager of the Year by Foundation & Endowment Money Management. In addition, SAIL Capital was chosen by the U.S. Department of Commerce to co-lead with Deutsche Bank the first U.S. Trade Mission on Clean Energy to Germany and to participate in the first Impact & Sustainable Investment Trade Missions to Europe, meeting with investors in Zurich, Amsterdam, and London.  He has also been a guest participant in the Australian American Leadership Dialogue, a private group of government and industry leaders from both countries. In 2014 Walter was elected to the Board of Directors of Fulbright Canada, the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States of America ( ). Walter has also served as a member of the North American Advisory Board of The  Cleantech Group and the Advisory Board of US Bank, and is a long-standing member of the Chief Executive Roundtable of the University of California at Irvine. As Founder and Managing Partner of SAIL Venture Partners LLC, Schindler was honored as U.S. GameChanger of the Year 2016, and SAIL Venture was selected as the U.S. Niche Investment Firm of the Year in each of two categories: Energy and Cleantech.

Cindy Ortega - Vice-Chair
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 City Center Project in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. Under Cindy’s guidance, six developments at City Center 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.

Bill Farris -
Bill Farris

Bill is Associate Director in charge of NREL's innovation, partnering, and outreach directorate, and has managed the commercialization & technology transfer office since October 2008. In addition to leading the lab's internal and external communication and outreach, Bill directs NREL's efforts to accelerate commercialization and the transfer of laboratory technologies to the marketplace. He also oversees all licensing, sponsored research agreements, enterprise development, and innovation management functions at NREL. Prior to joining NREL, Bill worked at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), where he was responsible for commercialization, economic development, business and competitive intelligence, and commercial relationships. Bill has also managed new venture activities at the Pacific Northwest Division of the Battelle Memorial Institute, and served as a primary point of contact for interactions with venture capitalists. He is a member of the Association of University Technology Managers and the Licensing Executive Society.

Marc Gottschalk -
Marc Gottschalk

Marc Gottschalk is one of a small inner circle in Silicon Valley who pioneered the U.S. cleantech sector and helped shape it into a new driver for global innovation and economic growth. His core areas of practice include representation of companies in complex real estate and environmental matters from property leasing, purchase and sale and development to environmental risk management, regulatory advice and permitting as well as advising cleantech and other emerging growth companies in corporation formation and venture finance transactions. Prior to joining Sidley, Marc served as chief business development officer and general counsel for Proterra Inc, a manufacturer of advanced electric drive and energy storage solutions for heavy duty vehicles (including its industry leading fast charge EcoRide transit bus) and served as the co-chair of the Energy and Clean Technology practice at a well known high technology law firm. While there, he assisted dozens of innovative cleantech companies go to market. He is the co-founder and board chair of the Cleantech Open, a world-leading organization that provides vital resources inventors and entrepreneurs need to take cleantech innovations from concept to operating business. He remains on the board of the Cleantech Open.  Mr. Gottschalk holds a Bachelor of Arts from Grinnell College in Iowa and a Juris Doctor degree with honors from University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Ashley Grosh -
Ashley Grosh

Ashley Grosh, AVP, is Project Manager for Environmental Affairs at Wells Fargo. She focuses her efforts on furthering the connection between banking and environmental initiatives by working with customers, communities, environmental and clean technology organizations and non-profits, universities, research labs and multiple Wells Fargo business groups. Ashley manages the $100 million Wells Fargo Environmental Philanthropy goal by 2020; overseeing programs seeking out top environmental non-profits and projects that have national and local impact. She also collaborates with various business groups on the company’s strategic environmental commitment, supporting projects such as installation of solar panels on Wells Fargo stores. Ashley also develops marketing materials, helps develop green financial products and creates various in-depth internal and external environmental reports. Ashley has spent the entirety of her nine year professional career with Wells Fargo. Most recently Ashley was an Investment Management Associate with Wells Fargo’s Wealth Management Group in Chicago, working with high net worth individuals on financial solutions and alternative energy investments prior to joining the Wells Fargo Environmental Affairs team in 2009. Ashley earned a BA in Economics with a minor in Finance from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She also earned a Certified Financial Planning Certificate from DePaul Universities College of Financial Planning. She also recently earned an energy certificate from the LEEDS School of Business at her Alma matter in Boulder.

Ron Lusk -
Ron Lusk

Ron Lusk is originally from Fort Worth Texas and moved to Dallas in 1991. He entered the health care business in the late 80’s and sold the business in 1997.  He remained in health care for years and still owns a hospice. Ron acquired an LED company in 2004 and took it public. In 2007, the company merged with a NYC Private Equity firm. Today it is one of the largest LED manufacturers in the world.   He is the founder and chairman of Lumetech Group, a consulting firm and commercial distributor of energy efficient LED outdoor lighting solutions. Ron is a director or advisory director to several companies and private equity firms across a wide array of sectors. He is very active in the energy space and the oilfield services industry.

Holmes Hummel -
Holmes Hummel

Dr. Hummel served as the Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Policy & International Affairs from 2009 through 2013. In that capacity, Dr. Hummel engaged a wide range of industry and public interest stakeholders to inform policies on such topics as strategic priorities for investments in energy innovation, water-energy interdependency, energy finance, utility business models for the power sector, innovative solutions for addressing climate change. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., Dr. Hummel designed corporate energy strategies for clients of Silicon Energy, an energy software start-up acquired by Itron, and later consulted briefly with the Google Energy & Climate team. Dr. Hummel was first hooked on energy technology innovation 20 years ago as a co-leader of the Clarkson University Solar Car Team, which designed and raced a highly efficient experimental electric vehicle across the country using only the power of the sun. Dr. Hummel is on the Global Advisory Committee of Cornerstone Capital Group, which is among the world’s leading voices in the field of sustainable investment and finance.

Erik Steeb -
Erik Steeb

Erik is Vice President of programs at LACI, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, where he runs portfolio company programs with an eye toward scaling breadth, quality and capacity. He is also executive director of the Western Division of the Cleantech Open, and sits on the executive committee of the First Look West DOE University Clean Energy Challenge. Through these organizations, Erik works with more than 100 early-stage companies each year, honing their business strategies, connecting them with investors, customers, business partners, and advisors. Erik is also co-founder and managing director of Segue Consulting, providing interim operations, marketing, finance and executive office leadership for early- to mid-stage companies in cleantech and high-tech. Prior to his move to cleantech, Erik led Intel's EMEA marketing organization, co-founded Intel's alliances and business development organizations, and was responsible for a worldwide sales group that generated more than $6B in annual revenue.

Emerson Farrell -

Emerson is responsible for the overall vision and strategy of FGE through the management of strategic partnerships, long-term financial planning, selection of projects, and oversight of project financial planning and execution. Before founding FGE, Emerson previously led corporate strategy and business development for the high-tech firm ZINK Imaging, managed client engagements and business development efforts with management consulting firm Silver Oak Partners, and participated in the formation of international private-public investment funds with Economic Innovation. Emerson also serves as board director and/or senior advisor to various firms focused on clean technology, biofuels, and distributed power generation. Mr. Farrell serves on the board of the Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs (HAE), and the For A Day Foundation.

Clark Waterfall -
Clark Waterfall

Clark Waterfall is the co-founder and Managing Director of BSG Team Ventures. Clark’s practice area specialties include cleantech, software, medical devices, Internet/media, and Healthcare IT. Before starting BSG, Mr. Waterfall spent 6 years as Vice President at Management Recruiters International., specializing in the imaging and multimedia industries. During his 6 years there, Clark assumed co–management responsibilities for the New England Division’s flagship Boston office, growing it to more than a dozen consultants in five industry specialties. Prior to his career in executive search, Clark’s career began in the banking industry in sales and sales management, mostly with Citicorp/Citibank. Before receiving his MBA at Babson’s Olin School of Management, Clark did his undergraduate studies in a double–degree program at Tufts University and the New England Conservatory of Music.

Alec Wright -
Alec Wright

Alec is CEO and Startup Director at GSVlabs, where he oversees startup recruitment and the growth of the GSVlabs ecosystem. Prior to GSVLabs, Alec served as a management consultant for several early-stage startups, and worked in banking and finance law. Alec has also held roles focused on investment due diligence, financial structuring, and corporate compliance. Alec also helps lead the GSVlabs Sustainability Lab, working with the Cleantech Open to deploy sustainability-focused programming, mentorship and business growth opportunities. A longtime sustainability advocate, he writes about cleantech innovation at and has served as a judge for the Department of Energy's FLOW startup competition.

Peter Rothstein -
Peter Rothstein

Peter is the President of NECEC and has many years of venture, entrepreneurial, executive and deal experience across the cleantech venture market. Previously, Peter was part of the Flagship Ventures team, a leading seed and early stage venture capital firm in Cambridge Massachusetts, and founder of Allegro Strategy, a consultant, advisor and interim executive with early-stage cleantech start-ups. Peter has been in early-stage deal or executive roles with a number of cleantech companies, including Mascoma, Planar Energy Devices, Ze-gen, Novomer, Boston-Power, and Mechanology. Peter is actively involved in a range of leading cleantech and entrepreneurial organizations, including the National Renewable Energy Lab’s VC Advisory Board, catalyst to MIT Deshpande Center solar and energy storage MIT projects. 

Mitchell J. Jacobson -
Mitchell J. Jacobson

Mitch has been a leader in bringing together government, industry, academia, utility and community interests to organize and shape a Cleantech and Clean Energy cluster in Central Texas and expanding throughout Texas.  He is the Co-Director of the Clean Energy Incubator at the University of Texas at Austin. Since 2009 he has served as the lead adviser to Austin Technology Incubator (ATI)’s clean energy companies.   He is the lead on the DOE NIICE grant that was awarded to ATI / CEI in 2014 as one of the 3 best clean energy incubators in the US.  Mitch serves on the Board of Directors of the CleanTX Foundation our cluster development organization for clean technology in Central Texas.  He is also on the National Board of Directors for The Clean Tech Open, SXSW Eco, The Environmental Sciences Institute at UT Austin, The Nature Conservatory, The Austin Young Chamber and the Texas Foundation of Innovation & Commercialization.  Prior to diving into the Clean Energy World, Mitch was in the Computer / IT industry for 25 years.  He founded of Eyes of Texas Partners investment company,  was the VP of Sales for Tech Data Corporation and Director of Sales, European expansion and ROW expansion for Dell for many years.  He is a graduate of The University of Florida with a degree in business.  He lives in Austin, TX with his wife Janna and 3 children.  

Richard Clark -
Richard Clark

Richard Clark is a Managing Director with Frost & Sullivan Investment Partners, LLC (Frost Investments).  He is responsible for capital markets and investment product innovation.  Frost Investments is a newly established entity, based in Newport Beach, CA., with a global footprint, providing an innovative platform of merchant banking, research and analysis, asset management and alternative investment strategies, with emphasis on globally transformational technologies and sustainability.  Richard has over 30 years of institutional investment and capital markets experience, having raised over $30 billion in assets for traditional and alternative investment strategies.  In 2007-2009, he was the point person for the Northern Trust organization in its role as a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing Global Initiative, and has been an advocate for capital deployment into opportunities focusing on renewable energy, clean tech, sustainability and ESG.  Richard was a member of the Commonwealth North Alaska Energy Equalization Board, which focused on power generation and transmission in the State of Alaska, the University of Alaska Anchorage School of Business Executive Board, providing strategic direction for curriculum development. He is nationally recognized in the institutional and private markets arenas for speaking in numerous forums on various topics impacting investors.

Richard Franklin - Board Member Emeritus
Richard Franklin

Formerly CEO and Founder of Envirobrand helping mid size companies embark on “Triple Bottom Line” strategies and igniting social innovation for profitable gain, Dick brings 35 years of CEO, COO, CSO, SVP level experience with corporations such as Reebok, Coors, Head Sports, Seven-Up, TCI, Nestle etc. His expertise is in strategic, organizational and process change transforms economic, environmental and social challenges into sustainable business models for the future. In 2008, the South Metro Chamber awarded Richard the “Volunteer Leader of the Year” award. In 2010, he was nominated for the “Governor’s Award for Cleantech Leadership.”