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We are proud to announce the Keynote Speakers for the 26th Annual Energy Fair, June 19 - 21, 2015.
Immediate Past Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Jon Wellinghoff is an internationally recognized energy expert and, according to the Washington Post, as a “new breed” of chairman he represents a monumental shift in energy policy. The longest serving chair of the FERC, he brings to the table 40 years of leadership and expertise in the energy sector. His presentations are an exciting look at the state of energy in our nation, including what the future holds and the politics of energy policy and regulation.
After joining the FERC in 2006, Wellinghoff became chairman in 2009, and during his tenure, he advocated for building a stronger national power grid through the use of renewable energies like wind and solar power, working to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign energy. He worked to make the U.S. power grid cleaner and more efficient, integrating emerging resources such as renewable energy and demand response, including energy efficiency and local storage systems such as those in plug-in hybrid and all electric vehicles. He championed the agency’s landmark Order 1000, which required grid planners and public utilities to coordinate regional power line projects and encouraged the integration of solar and wind installations.
Wellinghoff has particular expertise in renewable integration, plug-in electric vehicles, energy storage and efficiency, demand response, and energy infrastructure security, including cyber. He brings to the table experience in federal and state energy policy, regulation, and project development.
A renowned energy law attorney, Wellinghoff is currently a partner at Stoel Rives LLP and co-chair of the firm’s energy team. Wellinghoff served as general counsel at the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (1998–2000) and served two terms as the State of Nevada’s first Advocate for Customers of Public Utilities. As consumer advocate, he authored the first comprehensive state utility integrated planning statute. That statute became a model for utility integrated planning processes across the country. He was also the primary author of the groundbreaking Nevada Renewable Portfolio Standard Act and was one of the lead participants in developing the regulations to implement the law. He went on to assist six other states with the development of renewable portfolio standards.
Eric Callisto is a partner in the Madison office of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, where his practice focuses on energy, utility, and environmental matters. Mr. Callisto has extensive experience with state, regional and national energy and environmental matters, including regional transmission organizations, state regulatory proceedings, renewable energy, and environmental enforcement.
Prior to joining Michael Best, Mr. Callisto was a Commissioner on the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW), where he was also Chairperson and previously Chief of Staff. He has held various positions with Wisconsin state government, including Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice, head of the Division of Enforcement at the Department of Regulation and Licensing, and legal advisor to the Governor. Additionally, he has worked as an environmental consultant and at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Sarah Lloyd farms with her husband Nels Nelson and his family on the 400-cow Nelson family dairy farm outside of Wisconsin Dells, WI. Sarah works off-farm as the Special Projects Coordinator for the Wisconsin Farmers Union (WFU). In this position she helps organize the Midwest CSA Conference and also WFU’s solar initiatives. In addition she is the Director of Development of the Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative, a farmer-led co-op owned by the farmers and the Wisconsin Farmers Union. Sarah is the Secretary of the co-op Board, and helped facilitate the incorporation and 2013 business launch of the co-op.
Sarah has a PhD in Rural Sociology from the UW-Madison and a Masters in Rural Development from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Her research has examined framings of sustainability in rural community, including analysis of the political economic structures impacting opportunities for positive change. Sarah represents the dairy farmers of Wisconsin on the National Dairy Board and served 6 years in an elected position on the Wisconsin Milk Marketing board. Sarah Lloyd is also on the Board of the Reedsburg based Wormfarm Institute, an organization that works at the intersection of culture and agriculture, featured in the annual Fermentation Fest and Farm/Art Dtour. She has recently been named to the board of the Blue Jean Nation, an initiative spearheaded by Mike McCabe to reinvigorate democratic institutions and get ordinary citizens back in the driver's seat of our government.
Amy Goodman is an award-winning investigative journalist, author, and syndicated columnist, and the host of Democracy Now!, airing on more than 800 public television and radio stations worldwide. She is the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” for “developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.” The Independent of London called Goodman and Democracy Now! “an inspiration,” and pulsemedia.com has placed her at the top of their 20 Top Global Media Figures list.
Goodman is a 1998 recipient of the George Polk Award for the radio documentary she co-produced, “Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria’s Oil Dictatorship,” which exposed the oil company’s role in the killing of two Nigerian villagers on May 28, 1998. The piece also won the Golden Reel for Best National Documentary from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Goodman has also won numerous awards for another radio documentary she co-produced, “MASSACRE: The Story of East Timor,” including the Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting, the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Silver Baton, the Armstrong Award, the Radio/Television News Directors Award, as well as awards from AP, UPI, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The author of five New York Times bestsellers, Goodman’s latest book, The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope written with Denis Moynihan. She has co-authored, with brother and journalist David Goodman, four other bestsellers: Standing Up to the Madness, Static, and The Exception to the Rulers as well as Breaking the Sound Barrier, which proves the power of independent journalism in the struggle for a better world.
Author of Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works, Atina Diffley is an organic farmer, educator, activist, and author of the 2013 Minnesota Book Award winner, Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works–a memoir based on Atina’s life running the Gardens of Eagan organic vegetable farm.
Atina’s advocacy has addressed the pressures of suburban development, biodiversity, and habitat loss. She successfully led a legal and citizen campaign against the notorious polluters, Koch Industries, to create an Organic Mitigation Plan to protect the soils and certification of organic farms in Minnesota. Her legal argument—organic farms are a valuable natural resource providing crucial ecosystem services to society beyond the food produced—supported her advocacy that they be protected as such.
She wants everyone to know that organic farming systems have the potential to be solely based on renewable energy—the sun. Organic systems are the future, with fertility, pests, and disease managed with the energy of the sun through soil health and biological life.
Atina is excited to return to Central Wisconsin for The Energy Fair as she long ago lived in a one-room cabin in Polonia. Subscribe to Atina’s online blog at www.atinadiffley.com.