Tuesday 18 August 2020
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Chicago Sustainability Leaders

Wednesday 19 August 2020
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

University Sustainability Goals

  • Kate Nelson, Chief Sustainability Officer, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
  • Anna Siefken, Executive Director and Lead, Innovation & Strategic Partnerships, The Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, Carnegie Mellon University (Invited)
Thursday 20 August 2020
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Trends in State Energy

Denise Fairchild

President & CEO, Emerald Cities Collaborative

Denise Fairchild is the inaugural President of Emerald Cities Collaborative (ECC), a national nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., with affiliates in major urban centers across the United States. She is charged with advancing ECC’s “high-road” mission to green our cities, build resilient local economies, and ensure equity inclusion in both the process and outcomes of a new green and healthy economy.

Ms. Fairchild is nationally recognized and respected for her 40-year successful track record and innovative programs in sustainable and community economic development, domestically and internationally. In 1995 she founded and directed the Community and Economic Development Department at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, as well as an affiliated nonprofit community development research and technical assistance organization, CDTech. She founded the Regional Economic Development Institute, an initiative of Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, to provide inner-city residents with career and technical education for high-growth/high-demand jobs in the L.A. region, with a focus on the green economy. From 1989-1995 she served as executive director of LISC-LA, helping to build out the region’s community development industry, creating nonprofit housing, jobs, and businesses that strengthened and improved the health and environments of L.A.’s low-income communities of color.

Ms. Fairchild’s civic and political appointments have included the California Commission on Regionalism, the California Economic Strategy Panel, the California Local Economic Development Association, the Urban Land Institute National Inner City Advisor, the Coalition for Women's Economic Development and the Los Angeles Environmental Quality Board. She also served as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's special advisor for South L.A. Investments.
Ms. Fairchild received her B.A from Fisk University, a Masters in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate in Urban Planning from UCLA. She holds a number of academic distinctions, including serving as a senior fellow at M.I.T., U.C.L.A. and The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship.

Peter Flynn

Executive Vice President, Bostonia

Peter Flynn is Executive Vice President of Bostonia Partners, a financial services and investment-banking firm that concentrates principally on structuring innovative financing solutions, as well as providing independent financial advisory services to both the public and private sectors. Mr. Flynn focuses on financing infrastructure projects with a focus on energy efficiency, distributed generation, and renewable energy projects, as well as public private partnerships, project finance, real estate finance, and securitization.

At Bostonia, Mr. Flynn has financed approximately $3 billion in federal, municipal, and commercial energy projects. Mr. Flynn has served as lead banker for a number of signature financings, including a $260 million federal energy infrastructure transaction at Tinker AFB which is the largest-ever federal ESPC; a $207 million innovative microgrid project for the Food and Drug Administration in Maryland; a 4.8MW solar PV system operating on U.S. Army land serving the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico; and the largest-ever international federal energy savings project, a $102 million co-generation project for the U.S. Navy at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. In addition, Mr. Flynn recently completed Bostonia’s first cross-border commercial energy financing in Ontario, Canada.

Mr. Flynn is a frequent speaker on topics including financing of energy and infrastructure projects. He is the author or co-author numerous articles including “Investing in Innovation” that appeared in the Military Engineer Year-In-Review, “Renewable Energy Financing under ESPC Authority” that appeared in the ACORE Industry Review of Renewable Energy for Military Installations, and “Unique Issues Associated with Financing Federal Government Receivables” that appeared in The Journal of Structured Finance.

Mr. Flynn serves as a member of the planning committee for the Department of Energy’s Energy Exchange workshop and trade show. He is a graduate of Boston University School of Law and Syracuse University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

Delmar Gillus, Jr.

Chief Operating Officer, Elevate Energy

Delmar Gillus is the Chief Operating Officer of Elevate Energy, located in Chicago, Illinois. As part of the Elevate team, Mr. Gillus is responsible for implementing operational, workforce development, and project management processes in support of Elevate Energy’s growing portfolio of clean energy projects. Mr. Gillus currently leads Elevate’s core operational functions and also supports business development, program design, project coordination, and contract management for Elevate’s diverse energy efficiency and growing renewable energy programs.

Mr. Gillus plays a critical role in supporting Elevate’s work in increasing contractor diversity and launching energy assistance, community solar, and smart grid programs for Illinois utility consumers. Mr. Gillus is also managing efforts to implement new business strategies and solutions. This includes supporting job creating workforce development programs that focus on underserved, environmental justice communities across the state. He is also supporting the on-going development of IT, project management, and quality systems and tools in support of Elevate’s clean energy programs. Lastly, Mr. Gillus is active in industry organizations such as the Illinois Environemental Council (IEC) where he serves as board treasurer, and provides on-going mentorship and support to emerging energy leaders within and outside of Elevate Energy.

Prior to joining Elevate Energy, Mr. Gillus worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois in the information technology division leading human performance and process optimization efforts for internal customers and members.

Robert Johnson

Senior Vice President, Hannon Armstrong

Robert Johnson is Senior Vice President and Group Head, Federal and National Accounts at Hannon Armstrong with responsibility for growing financing solutions in the federal sector and with national account customers. Mr. Johnson has been at the leading edge of the energy efficiency industry where he has built businesses across a broad range of systems in the energy services business.

Prior to joining Hannon Armstrong, Mr. Johnson held executive leadership positions at early stage start-up organizations in the energy efficiency market. Prior to these assignments, he held senior leadership positions in multinational organizations such as Cooper Industries and Ingersoll Rand (Trane) where he led institutional sales for North America. Prior to this assignment, he held the global sales leadership role for Johnson Controls’ Federal Systems Division. Mr. Johnson began his career at Honeywell, where he held leadership positions in various divisions of Honeywell during his 15 year tenure there.

Mr. Johnson has been published in Military Engineer magazine and holds a Bachelor,s degree in Economics from the University of Maryland.