Energy Fellows Institute

Energy Fellows Institute is an executive immersion program providing a platform for the exchange of ideas, opportunity, skills and community, in order to develop leaders ready to succeed in world-changing advanced energy business. The six-day deep dive into Colorado’s clean energy and clean technology ecosystem is May 15-22, 2019. Through a competitive application process, 10 Fellows have been chosen to join a growing list of exceptional cleantech executive alumni. For more information please reach out to

Introducing our 2019 Fellows

This year's EFI program is proud to present ten Fellows, whose combined ventures amount to over 200 years of professional experience. This experience is comprised of a unique range of fields, in business as well as policy. These fields include scientific research, consulting, commercial real estate, business development, investment, management, finance & entrepreneurship, and provide a comprehensive array of perspectives on the industry.

Rebecca Arnold

Rebecca has a decade of experience working in commercial real estate finance, acquisitions, and development, with a recent focus on sustainable real estate. As a current Vice President at Lever Energy Capital, she focuses on providing innovative PACE financing to make commercial properties more profitable, efficient, and safe. Her past real estate experience includes positions with Northmarq Capital, Suntex Ventures / Marinas, and The Related Companies. Rebecca has worked with various early-stage companies to lead the development of underwriting, due diligence, sales, marketing, accounting, and asset management functions and processes. She received a B.A. from Duke University and an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

Tim Beranek is the owner and CEO of Beranek Advisors, a consulting company specializing in helping small and midsized businesses develop in a fiscally responsible manner. Tim is also a partner in Good Spirits II, a real estate division of the Denver based spirits company, Laws Whiskey House, where he is also an active investor. Prior to Tim’s current ventures, he spent 20 years at Cambiar Investors as a portfolio manager, equity research specialist, senior investment principal and a partner. During Tim’s Cambiar tenure, he managed or co-managed multiple domestic equity portfolios including Cambiar Opportunity Fund (CAMOX), Cambiar Smid Fund (ticker CAMMX) and Cambiar Small Cap Fund (ticker CAMSX). Tim’s research responsibilities have included the Energy, Electric Utility and Consumer Staples sectors.

Tim Beranek

Sean Carpenter

Sean Carpenter is the Climate Economy Advisor for the City of Fort Collins. He is a mission-driven professional with more than 20 years’ international experience in public and private-sector economic and entrepreneurship development, business finance & lending, and project design & management. Sean also serves in a voluntary capacity with several Boards of Directors, including as Vice Chairman of the Board of ACCION USA, the largest non-profit lending network in the country, dedicated to serving women and disadvantaged borrowers. Sean is also an Executive Board member of ACCION San Diego, serving the California market, and is a co-founder of a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) that lends to refugee entrepreneurs in several states.

Dan is a specialist in mass spectrometry and in organic geochemistry. His work focuses on the commercial application and identification of future mechanisms of oil recovery. Dan has worked on predictive algorithms and data analytics, in addition to working for several companies with a focus on the biological conversion of hydrocarbons. Prior to his work in the energy field, Dan was an analytical chemist for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where he focused on identification of contaminants in the food and drug supply. His Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry was earned from the University of Denver in 2009, and he later completed a postdoctoral fellowship in computational physics at the Colorado School of Mines. His undergraduate studies in biology and biochemistry were completed at Regis University in 2003.

Dan Connors

Mike Danielson

Mike Danielson started his career as an engineer and project manager in the natural gas pipeline and mid-stream sector, later transitioning to natural gas & electricity trading. In 2014, he was promoted from Vice President to CFO of Entegra Power, where he was responsible for all financial and corporate support functions. As CFO, he completed the Company’s $1.7B asset divestiture and corporate wind-down, which produced signature cash distributions for its syndicate of private equity investors. Since completing his mission at Entegra Power, Mike has been working with his ex-colleagues at Fortress Energy Group. He has a Bachelor of Engineering from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Science in Industrial Administration (MBA) from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Bob is Director of Business Development with Emrgy, an Atlanta-based provider of modular, scalable hydro power solutions, delivering and installing without the need for construction or dams. His career spans more than 30 years of sales, sales management and executive management experience, supplying software, hardware and systems solutions to a variety of industries, including automotive, oil & gas, retail, and agriculture. Most recently, he was Director of Global Sales for Agri-Inject, a Yuma, CO provider of chemigation solutions to the agriculture and golf/turf markets, helping these users reduce the applied amount of fertilizer and crop protection chemicals, while maintaining or improving crop yield and turf quality. A Boulder resident, he has a B.A. in Economics from Gettysburg College and an M.B.A. from Northeastern University.

Bob Gills

Bethany Speer

Bethany Speer manages the National Renewable Energy Laboratory¹s contributions to a variety of international climate development programs and initiatives. She has several years of experience facilitating technical assistance, capacity building, and peer learning with country partners throughout Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe. Specifically, she has leadership roles on the Clean Energy Investment Accelerator and on grid integration partnerships with Vietnam and Indonesia. She also regularly authors a variety of analyses, most recently on corporate procurement of renewable energy and international best practices for Renewable Portfolio Standards. Her background is in renewable energy policy and market research, having focused on project finance structures and incentives.

Jim is Principal of Free Radical Ventures in Denver and is concurrently a founding partner of Pronghorn Operating, LLC, a private, Denver-based oil and gas operator. Free Radical provides seed stage funding and guidance to emerging energy technology firms, and supports the overall development of the Denver-area energy tech community. Jim earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geophysical Engineering magna cum laude from the Colorado School of Mines. He spent 12 years with Shell Oil in Houston and New Orleans in exploration, development, and applied technology roles. After returning to Denver, Jim joined and then founded and grew firms focused on oil and gas exploration. He entered seed-stage energy tech funding as an outgrowth of energy investments, relying on useful parallels between the two.

Jim Thorson

Eric White

Eric White is President at Axcient, a Denver based private equity backed firm providing disaster, backup, and data recovery solutions for small and medium sized businesses. Prior to joining Axcient, Eric was CEO of Nexonia, a Toronto based software provider of expense management solutions. Eric is an approachable and accountable leader with 20+ years of global experience leading teams to improve the resilience and efficiency of energy intensive industries including Agriculture, Construction, Transportation, Consumer Packaged Goods, Health Care and IT Managed Services. Eric completed his undergraduate studies in Geography at the University of Kansas in 1993, later completing his MA in Geography at Kansas State University in 1995 and his MBA in International Business at Santa Clara University in 2001.

Frank Zammataro is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Rentricity Inc., a renewable energy company innovating technology at the water-energy nexus. Prior to founding the company, Mr. Zammataro spent more than 21 years in various leadership roles at Merrill Lynch where he served as First Vice President and in the financial institution’s Private Client Group. He has been responsible for key technology-related research, development, strategic alliances and investments. Under his leadership, the firm launched a number of landmark programs including Merrill Lynch Online and the Company’s first strategic technology investment fund. He is a graduate of St. John’s University (B.A. in Political Science and Communications Arts), in addition to New York University, where he pursued a Master’s in New Media.

Frank Zammataro

What We Do

In addition to taking experienced entrepreneurs and executives on a deep dive into industry sectors of the advanced energy and cleantech ecosystems, the Energy Fellows Institute provides interactions with the local and national advanced energy network; exposure to investors active in the sector; and a chance to learn about the latest energy innovations gaining market adoption. Fellows selected for the program are educated in clean energy technologies, markets, business models, funding opportunities and policy matters. They are introduced to the network of experts and resources required to be successful in the advanced energy industry, and connected to early-stage ventures and laboratories where new energy approaches are being developed. The Institute provides site visits to national labs, local research centers, energy companies and installations.

By combining roundtables, case studies, lab visits and site visits, the curriculum is not a lecture series, but a highly interactive discussion and dialogue.

The 2019 Spring Program Will Feature:

  • 50+ programming hours
  • 40+ speakers
  • Daily tours

How We Do It - Our Curriculum

This is not standard executive education and the curriculum is not a traditional lecture series.  Instead, our curriculum creates the opportunity for a discussion dialogue with executives from industry, leading technology experts, and key ecosystem players. The program is extremely interactive and combines seminars, lectures, case studies, lab visits, webinars and site visits.

During our 2019 intensive six-day sprint program, we will focus on the following concentrations: Energy Efficiency and Building Technologies, Energy Generation and Delivery, Energy Storage, Transportation, Air and Water technologies.

In addition, we will weave foundational industry elements throughout the technology sectors. Foundational elements to be examined include: energy policy, finance and investment, commercialization, international opportunities and challenges.

“Six full days is roughly equivalent to a semester-long college course.”

Richard Robertson

2018 Fellow

“The Energy Fellows program allowed exposure to a whole new set of tools for approaching clean energy deployment through local, technology-based disruption. The relationships I forged and the knowledge I gained gave me the courage to take the very big step from the corporate environment to the start-up word.”

Cassie Quaintance

2014 Fellow


Energy Generation & Delivery

Supported by private innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as critical public sector support in the form of tax credits, grants, and loan guarantees, many advanced energy technologies have grown robustly over this period while making significant progress in terms of price and performance.

  • Advanced energy technology 101
  • Creating a path to subsidy independence
  • Integrating renewables onto the grid
  • Advanced materials for clean energy generation
  • The financial bottom line
  • The future of funding

Energy Storage

Scientific advances are driving down the cost and increasing energy density of energy storage solutions with the promise of accelerating adoption of electric vehicles and renewable energy generation in the electric grid. The Energy Storage program provides an in-depth review of the current electrical storage landscape and the performance and cost targets for adoption.

  • Storage state of the art
  • Grid storage technologies/markets
  • Battery management
  • Opportunities and limitations of existing technologies and potential advances
  • Market opportunities
  • Applications for the automotive industry
  • Applications for bulk energy storage

Advanced Transportation

Increases in all modes of travel globally are inevitable. Larger numbers of people will be driving passenger vehicles. On road delivery of goods and services will continue into the foreseeable future. Light commercial, helicopter and commercial airlines are projected to see continued growth over the next 20 years. Transit and mobility demands of all types are growing by necessity in densely populated areas across the globe. We will examine advanced transportation technologies that may provide solutions to our transit, emissions and infrastructure challenges. The Advanced Transportation track will discuss the following:

  • Alternative fuels
  • Advanced vehicle propulsion
  • Energy efficient freight solutions
  • Transit
  • Personal mobility

Energy & Building Efficiency

Buildings consume 40% of total U.S. energy and 70% of electricity generation at an annual expense of $400 billion. Approximately 30% of this energy is wasted. We will survey sustainable and energy efficient technologies, processes, and trends for lighting, heating, and cooling residential, commercial and institutional buildings – in existing and new built environments. We also explore business models enabling building owners and power utilities to cooperatively curtail electric loads.

  • Energy efficiency value chain and ecosystem
  • Buildings as systems
  • Energy efficiency drivers and opportunities for commercial building markets
  • The residential market for energy efficiency
  • Home energy management
  • Next generation lighting and HVAC solutions
  • Green buildings and integrated design

New Tech - New Horizons

The world of cleantech is rapidly expanding to include new technologies and disruptive innovations. From smart cities to blockchain to the circular economy, the world of the future is a world of cleantech. Get up to date on the latest trends in clean energy and technology with a variety of sessions on topics that we may not even know about yet. Sessions may include:

  • Ag-tech: New ways of delivering food to the masses
  • Blockchain for disrupting energy distribution systems
  • Colorado’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040
  • Smart cities and incorporating the Internet of Things into energy generation and distribution
  • Circular economy supply chains
  • You name it!

Waste & Waste Water Cleanup

If you live in the west, you know the saying – “he who controls the water controls the world.” The Energy Fellows Institute will be examining the critically important issues of water and waste water. We will touch on the global outlook for water availability but focus our attention on the technologies and innovative solutions being introduced to manage, monitor and clean the world’s water. Topics may include:

  • Sustainable industrial water practices
  • Water and energy generation
  • Technologies to clean the world’s water
  • Water management
  • Irrigation, agriculture and technology

Speakers and Tours

Fellows can expect thought leaders, game changers and industry experts from a wide variety of advanced energy technology sectors. Speakers are drawn from the nation’s advanced energy ecosystem and represent the many facets of energy, finance, technology, policy, and research and development.

EFI has welcomed the following speakers…

  • Jeff Ackermann, Colorado Energy Office
  • Chris Ainscough, NREL
  • Richard Adams, NREL
  • Jonathan Aust, Western Area Power Association (WAPA)
  • Jason Barton, Agribotix
  • Casey Bell, ACEEE
  • Kelly Beninga, Sky Fuel
  • Scott Berquist, Silicon Valley Bank
  • Jeff Bisberg, Albeo/GE
  • Rich Bolin, NREL
  • Jim Bosch, NREL
  • Matt Burks, E Source
  • Alex Burney, RavenBrick
  • Chad Calvert, Noble Energy
  • Doug Campbell, Solid Power
  • Felipe Cantero, AES Distributed Energy
  • Jon Coleman, Ford
  • Jason Coughlin, NREL
  • Karen Crofton, Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Brant DeMuth, DJ Resources
  • Joseph DiMasi, BrightSpace
  • Eric Drummond
  • Katherine Dykes, NREL
  • Chas Eggert, OPX Bio
  • Helen El Mallakh, ICEED
  • Bill Farris, NREL
  • Gordon Feller, Cisco
  • Ryan Ferrero, Ignyte
  • Ty Ferretti, NREL
  • Mike Freeman, Innosphere
  • Chad Garrett, E Source
  • John Gartner, Navigant
  • Erin Green, Western Area Power Association (WAPA)
  • Wayne Greenberg, E Source
  • Forbes Guthrie, Stewart Environmental
  • Elaine Harkins, Denver Museum of Nature and Science
  • Ned Harvey, Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Sue Haupt, NCAR
  • Paul Hoff, Agribotix
  • Frank Hofmeister, Angel Capital Group
  • Mike Hormell, MRH Advisors (EFI Alumni)
  • Mary Horsey, E Source
  • Erfan Ibrahim, NREL
  • Jack Ihle, XCEL Energy
  • Sam Jaffe, Cairn Energy Research Advisors
  • Steve Katsaros, Nokero
  • Gerald Kelly, Xcel Energy
  • Jim Kelly, Sky Fuel
  • Chris Klein, Rachio
  • Jennifer Kurtz, NREL
  • Brice Leconte, iUnit
  • Hal Lenox, GM
  • Jeff Lints, SunTech Drive
  • John LoPorto, SunTech Drive (EFI Alumni)
  • Yoav Lurie, Simple Energy
  • Bill Mahoney, NCAR
  • Jerry Martin, Boulder Ionics
  • Andrew Maxey, Vartega
  • Wes Maurer, Colorado Energy Office
  • Steve McCannon, Regional Air Quality Council
  • Tom McKinnon, Agribotix, EFI Alumni
  • Seth Miller, Heron Scientific
  • Danny Miller, Transformative Wave
  • Kevin Morse, Lever Energy Capital
  • John Nangle, NREL
  • Frank Novachek, Xcel Energy
  • Andy Oliver, RES-Americas
  • Jay Paidipati, Navigant
  • Elise Parker, FORTRUST
  • Nick Peters, Factor(E) Ventures
  • James Powell, Carbon 2 Energy
  • Stephan Reckie, Angelus Funding
  • Tim Reeser, Lightning Systems
  • Bill Reinert, Toyota (retired)
  • Matt Reisman
  • Robi Robichaud, NREL
  • Debbie Rush, FORTRUST
  • Tim Schaefer, EFI Alumni
  • Alanya Schofield, E Source
  • Rodney Sobin, Alliance to Save Energy
  • Michelle Stermer, Xcel Energy
  • Tim Stout, E Source
  • Jim Tarpey, Ireland Stapleton
  • Tom Teynor, Coolerado
  • Mark Truax, CRED
  • Adrian Tuck, Tendril
  • Sally Vander Veer, Medicine Man
  • Otto VanGeet, NREL
  • Mark Verheyen, Fabriq, EFI Alumni
  • David Vogel
  • Chris Votoupal, CCIA
  • Kevin Vranes, Tact
  • Walt Wair, Xcel Energy
  • John Wallington, UPC Capital Ventures
  • Sam Weaver, Cool Energy
  • Chris Wedding, IronOak Innovations
  • John Welch, Xcel Energy
  • Tony Wibbeler, Bolder Industries
  • Debra Wilcox, 3D Printing Store
  • Ed Williams, CCIA
  • Keith Wipke, NREL
  • Steve Witt, OptiEnz Sensors
  • MK Wohlenhaus, RavenBrick
  • Katie Woslager, OEDIT
  • Rob Writz, AMP Robotics

Visiting research laboratories, advanced energy installations, private industry and federal R&D facilities is an essential component of the Energy Fellows Institute.  While many of our curriculum hours are spent in classroom discussion, we don’t miss an opportunity to tour as many of Colorado’s advanced energy facilities and installations as possible.

EFI has visited the following

  • Advanced Energy
  • Advanced Water Technology Center (AQWATEC)
  • Ascent Solar
  • Bloom Energy (CA)
  • Byron Rogers Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
  • Center For Community (C4C)
  • Cherokee Power Station
  • Colorado Fuel Cell Center
  • Coors Brewery
  • Denver Zoo Waste to Energy Program
  • Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory, Colorado State University
  • Fort Carson
  • GE Lighting
  • Green Garage
  • Hybrid Engines Lab at the Motorsport Engineering Research Center, Colorado State University
  • Lightning Hybrids
  • Medicine Man
  • Mission Motors (CA)
  • Mulberry Waste Water Treatment Plant
  • National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • New Belgium Brewery
  • NREL National Bioenergy Center
  • NREL Energy Storage Laboratory
  • NREL HVAC Test Facility
  • NREL Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility
  • NREL Process Development and Integration Laboratory
  • NREL Research Support Facility
  • NREL Science & Technology Facility
  • NREL Thermal Test Facility
  • NREL Vehicle Testing and Integration Facility
  • NREL National Wind Technology Center
  • RavenBrick
  • Rush Truck Center
  • Skyfuel
  • SolarTAC
  • Solid Power
  • Spirae Lab
  • Surna
  • Tendril Smart Home
  • Tesla Factory (CA)
  • University of Colorado, Boulder Power Plant
  • Vestas Blades America
  • Xcel Energy Trading Floor
  • Xcel Transmission Control Room
  • Rocky Mountain Institute
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • IKEA Geothermal System

Become a Fellow

Fellows should be proven leaders with a strong interest in expanding their career into the advanced energy industry. Executives and entrepreneurs interested in applying for the Fellowship should have 10+ years of proven leadership experience in the technology or business communities, with success leading an organization in a resource-limited and time sensitive environment. Applications for the 2019 program are now closed, so bookmark this page and come back in February for the May of 2020 program!


What criteria must a Fellows candidate have to apply? We encourage candidates from all industries to apply to the Energy Fellows Institute. High-level criteria include:

  • Successful executive or entrepreneurial leader
  • Demonstrated success at building a business
  • A passion for cleantech and advanced energy opportunities
  • Broad business and technology experience
  • Ability to commit six days split over two weeks, approximately 55 hours, during the course of the program

What are the dates of the 2019 program? The program runs for 6 days May 15-17 and 20-22.

How much does the program cost? Tuition is $1,750 per person.

Who pays for travel and how much travel is required? Travel expenses are largely the responsibility of each individual Fellow. We encourage and support carpooling and may provide some travel during the program. We do not anticipate any travel outside of Colorado and all in-state travel is limited to the Front Range.

How many Fellows will be admitted to the program? A maximum of 10 Fellows will be admitted to the program.

How competitive is the program? We generally accept about 50% of the applicants.

Where can I see a more detailed description of the curriculum? Scroll up to the curriculum section.

How do I apply? Fill out the application form by March 29, 2019, to be considered on a rolling basis for the May program.

Additional questions Please reach out to Emily Long,, or 303-275-4515.