This year, Greentech Media and GTM Research are doing something big. True grid modernization is happening at the edge of the grid - and we're the first to cover it in depth. Join us at Grid Edge Live to be a part of the transformation.

Architecting Energy's Future

Given the undeniable fact that we are moving from a centralized energy system to a next-generation, distributed energy system, Greentech Media and GTM Research see the Grid Edge as the future of grid modernization.

Grid Edge Live will bring together an emerging ecosystem of power industry thought leaders, grid modernization technology vendors, distributed generation and storage professionals, national- and state-level policy experts and commercial energy managers.




Martha Symko-Davies
Director of Partnerships for Energy Systems Integration (ESI), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Dr. Martha Symko-Davies is the Director of Partnerships for Energy Systems Integration (ESI) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden. Specific collaborations are focused around the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) addressing the challenges of large-scale integration of energy technologies into the energy systems infrastructure. Previous to this role she was the architect for the PV Technology Incubator resulting in over $1.4 billion in private investments. Recently she was selected by DOE as one of the top Innovators in the area of photovoltaic’s. In addition to numerous publications/presentations in this area she has also recently received four R&D 100 Awards. She recently spoke at TEDXDU.

Mark Ferron
Member, Board of Governors, CAISO, Former Commissioner, CPUC

Mark Ferron is interested in the intersection of Energy, the Environment, Finance and Philanthropy. Mark currently serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO).  The CAISO manages the flow of electricity across the high-voltage, long-distance power lines and helps ensure California's strong commitment to competitive energy markets while promoting clean and reliable energy.  From 2011 to 2014, Mark served as Commissioner on the California Public Utilities Commission. The CPUC regulates privately owned electric, natural gas, elecommunications, water, railroad, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies. Mark’s work at the CPUC focused on three areas: (1) renewable energy, specifically implementing the State’s 33% (now 50%) Renewable Portfolio Standard (2) Energy Efficiency, emphasizing whole building retrofits, EE finance and regional government programs; (3) Resource Adequacy, maintaining local and system wide reliability and developing new flexible capacity for renewable energy integration. Before moving to California in 2009, Mark spent 25 years in global finance, banking and operations. From 2001 to 2009 he worked as chief operating officer for the Global Markets Division of Deutsche Bank in London, where he had responsibility for all operational activities globally across fixed income, currency, commodity and equity markets. Immediately prior to his appointment to the CPUC, Mark served on Governor- elect Brown’s transition team with an emphasis on addressing the state’s budget deficit crisis.  Prior to his state service, Mark was a senior partner at the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2) and a non-voting member of the board of the New Teacher Center, a non-profit that is dedicated to strengthening the practice of beginning teachers.

Dan Yates
CEO, Opower

As CEO, Dan Yates is responsible for the vision, strategy, and leadership of Opower. Under his leadership, Opower has become one of the fastest growing enterprise SaaS companies in the world: Opower has been cited as an example of innovation and success by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron. Dan has been recognized as one of the leading SaaS CEOs through honors such as Washington Business Journal’s Power 100, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year®, Fortune's “40 under 40,” and Washingtonian's “Tech Titans.” Through his work at Opower, he is able to marry his love of the environment with his passion for building world-class software products. Dan co-founded Opower with Alex Laskey in 2007. Prior to Opower, he was founder and CEO of Edusoft, an educational software company that provided assessment platforms to US public school districts. He sold the 150-person, $20M company to publisher Houghton Mifflin in 2004. Dan received his BA in Computer Science, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Harvard.

Eric Ackerman
Director of Alternative Regulation, Edison Electric Institute

Eric Ackerman is Director of Alternative Regulation at Edison Electric Institute, the trade association of investor-owned electric utilities.  He is the chief strategist for retail energy delivery, providing national leadership on issues involving adaptive business strategy, alternative regulation, and cost of capital.  He is directing the Institute’s campaign for the development of new regulatory frameworks to address the problems caused by rapid infrastructure investment in the face of declining sales growth. He also is a member of EEI’s Distribution 2020 issue team, in which capacity he is helping assess the business and public policy implications of smart grid-enabled distributed energy networks, and leading the development of related regulatory strategy.

Before joining EEI, Eric was a member of the technical staff of the MITRE Corporation, McLean, Virginia, where he participated in technology assessment projects involving renewable and coal-based synthetic fuels technologies.  He began his energy career as managing editor of Energy Digest, a Washington-based trade newsletter covering developments involving energy R&D, and energy policy. 

He holds a BA from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts; and an MBA (Finance and Investments, earned with honors) from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Thomas Bialek
Chief Engineer, Smart Grid, San Diego Gas & Electric

Tom received a Bachelor and Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering  from the University of Manitoba in 1982 and 1986 respectively.  He also obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering from Mississippi State University in 2005.

He is currently employed by San Diego Gas & Electric Company ("SDG&E") as a Chief Engineer on the Smart Grid Team.  His present responsibilities involve smart grid strategy and policy for transmission and distribution issues including equipment, operations, planning, distributed generation and development of new technologies.   He is also the Principal Investigator on DOE and CEC funded Micro Grid projects.

He has held various positions with other North American utilities and equipment manufacturers since graduating in 1982.  His experience includes electric utility design, planning and operation  and equipment design, development and manufacturing.

Tom is an IEEE Power Engineering and Dielectric and Electrical Insulation Society member.  Tom was also the former Failure Mechanism Technical Committee Chair and Secretary of the Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society and Working Group Member for Surge Arresters.  Tom is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society.  He is also a registered Professional Engineer, Electrical Engineering, in the State of California.  He has authored several papers on surge protection of equipment and testing of cables.

James Avery
Senior Vice President of Power Supply , San Diego Gas & Electric

As senior vice president of power supply, Avery oversees the company’s generation, system planning, project development and electric procurement business unit operations. Avery also is responsible for the company’s smart grid policies and initiatives.

Prior to joining SDG&E, Avery was a consultant with R.J. Rudden Associates, one of the nation’s leading management and economic consulting firms specializing in energy and utility matters.  Avery has extensive experience in utility operations and management.  He was the chief executive officer of the electric and gas operations at Citizens Utilities Company, a multi-service organization that provided electric, gas, telecom, water and wastewater services in 21 states across the nation.  He also held various positions at American Electric Power.

Avery is a senior member of the Association of Energy Engineers, the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and American Mensa. He has previously served on the board of directors of the California Power Exchange, Vermont Electric Power Company and R.J. Rudden Associates.

Avery is a graduate of the executive management program at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. and holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Manhattan College, N.Y. He is an expert in energy markets, electric production, transmission and distribution operations.

Lisa Frantzis
Senior Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development, Advanced Energy Economy

Lisa Frantzis is a Senior Vice President for Strategy and Corporate Development at AEE and has served as a Managing Director in the Energy Practice at Navigant Consulting. During her 30+ years of energy consulting and facilitation, she has led:

  • Energy resource potential and program options for international governments;
  • Advanced energy integration strategies and procurement support for utility companies;
  • Business strategy and M&A support for manufacturers and private-sector firms; and
  • Due diligence support for financial investors considering energy investments.

Ms. Frantzis leads AEE initiatives to convene advanced energy executives, utility leaders, and other high-level stakeholders to accelerate the growth of advanced energy within the power sector. She has organized and led five CEO/Executive Forums at AEE, four on the 21st Century Electricity System and one on Natural Gas Fuels. She has been quoted in The NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Barron’s, Financial Times, and other key publications on energy issues.  She is on the Board of Directors of the New England Clean Energy Council and was on the Board of Directors of the Solar Electric Power Association as well as the American Council on Renewable Energy for four years.

Andy Tang
Senior Vice President, Business Development, Greensmith Energy Management Systems

Andy brings over two decades of experience in business development, strategic planning, corporate finance and M&A transactional experience to Greensmith Energy Management Systems.  For the past seven years, Andy has been at the forefront of deploying the Smart Grid leading PG&E’s upgrade to digital wireless SmartMeters as well as developing and executing demand side management strategies including those focused on the delivery and provision of distributed generation, demand response, the electrification of the transportation sector and energy efficiency.  He has been in the role of the regulated service provider as well as in the private sector working for early-stage technology companies. 

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and Economics from Wesleyan University where he was awarded the White Fellowship.  In addition, Andrew studied International Economics and History at the London School of Economics, United Kingdom.

agenda 2014 Conference Themes
  • Grid Modernization
  • Distribution Automation
  • Utility Business Models and Regulatory Models
  • Grid Edge Analytics
  • Energy Efficiency Technologies
view full agenda