Board of Directors
Paul Francisco - Chair
Indoor Climate Research and Training, UIUC; Energy Institute, CSU
Paul Francisco is the Associate Director for Building Science at the University of Illinois’ Applied Research Institute and is the Director of the Indoor Climate Research & Training group and IREC-accredited weatherization training center. He is also a Sr. Research Associate at Colorado State University's Energy Institute. He has been performing housing research for over 25 years with a focus on energy efficiency and indoor air quality. Francisco also trains building performance practitioners on building diagnostics, ventilation, healthy homes, and indoor air quality. He is an ASHRAE Fellow, was the chair of ASHRAE 62.2 for five years, and has chaired ASHRAE’s Environmental Health and Residential Buildings Committees. Francisco is a certified BPI Building Analyst, Energy Auditor, Quality Control Inspector, and Healthy Home Evaluator.
Darnell Johnson - Vice Chair
Urban Efficiency Group
Darnell Johnson is a spiritual and social architect committed to engineering solutions that humanizes the socio-economic existence of disadvantaged communities. With over two decades of entrepreneurial experience and a fixation on advancing energy equity, his emergence as an "ecopreneur" is evolutionary. Darnell is the CEO and President of Urban Efficiency Group, a utility implementation contractor and community sustainability design firm. His industry-specific credentials include, but are not limited to, BPI-Building Analyst, Building Envelope, Infiltration Duct Leakage, Energy Auditor, Quality Control Inspector, Healthy Homes Evaluator, RESNET Rater, and EcoDistrict Accredited Professional. He believes that diversity brings strength, inclusion is indicative of an acceptance that is essential to growth, and equity is a human right that should be embraced as the standard and not an exception. By pragmatically implementing these beliefs, systemic change would be the resolve and "Stronger Together" would become a reality.
Emily Levin - Secretary
Emily Levin leads the Energy Programs team at VEIC, providing energy efficiency, demand flexibility, and building electrification program design, planning, and review services to utilities, program administrators, and state energy offices. Levin has designed, reviewed, and advocated for efficiency programs in states ranging from Hawaii to Maryland. She previously managed the residential portfolio for Efficiency Vermont, including the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. Emily serves as co-chair of the Policy Committee for the Building Performance Association and is a frequent presenter at the National Home Performance Conference.
Bill Spohn - Treasurer
TruTech Tools, LTD
Over the last decade, through his love of people, science, and business, Bill Spohn has built TruTechTools.com, a successful resource to the building performance industry. He communicates his passion through training, writing, and podcasts with a broad network of building performance, IAQ, and HVAC professionals. Through a position on the BPA Board, he hopes to continue building a world where all live and work in comfortable, healthy, and energy-efficient homes and buildings.
Sydney G Roberts, Ph.D. - Past Chair
Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance
Sydney G. Roberts, Ph.D. is the Director of Technology & Market Solutions for Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance. Dr. Roberts has created and launched successful energy efficiency and building performance research and training programs with utility, government/municipal, corporate, and academic partners, and is recognized as one of the country’s foremost leaders in building science and home performance. Dr. Roberts is passionate about empowering all citizens, business owners, and utilities to make informed choices for their energy futures.
Jonathan Ballew has explored many areas of the Home Performance/Weatherization industry through his work as an independent consultant in the private market, State Compliance Monitor for the Weatherization Assistance Program, Director of Energy Services at a Community Action Agency, and his current role as WAP Program Manager at NASCSP. He contributed to research that the Department of Energy used to expand the Lifespan of Conservation Measures which made certain measures more cost-effective. Ballew sits on the Board of Directors for Energy OutWest and the Standards Technical Committee for the Building Performance Institute.
Amy Beley's industry experience spans multiple aspects of the residential energy efficiency industry, with a strong emphasis on how to enhance the contractor experience. Amy has worked with contractors across the country, helping good companies make money doing the right thing. She served as Board Chair and Interim Executive Director of Efficiency First and sat on the executive committee of the Home Performance Coalition. She is currently the Vice President of Contractor Success at Pearl Certification.
Ideal Air Conditioning and Insulation
Elena Chrimat co-founded Ideal Air Conditioning and Insulation in 2009 and has since helped lead the company toward great success and growth. She is a pioneer in Arizona's home performance industry and has, at some point in her career, worked in all aspects of her business, including doing energy audits and working construction. She now oversees all operations and development. She is a founding board member of the Building Performance Association. Chrimat graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University and holds a degree in Design Management. She has also been a BPI Certified Building Analyst Professional since 2009.
Leticia Colon de Mejias
Energy Efficiencies Solutions
Leticia Colon de Mejias is the CEO of Energy Efficiencies Solutions, Chair of Efficiency For All, Policy Co-Chair of the Building Performance Association, and a Commissioner for the State of Connecticut Commission on Women Children Elderly Latino & Puerto Rican Affairs. She is the recipient of the United States of America’s Department of Energy award for work with at risk and minority populations, National Tony Woods Award Building Scientist of the year award, Minority Small Business of the year award, and a two-time Capital Workforce Partners Employer of the Year award. Her companies have provided energy efficiency assessments and upgrades to over 12,000 Connecticut households and completed full energy efficiency retrofits in over 10 million square feet of multifamily housing. Through her nonprofit Green Eco Warriors, she has provided climate change and energy education to over 30,000 youth and families. Prior to working in building science, she was a manager at Hartford Healthcare and developed several nationally awarded workforce models.
Through his work—primarily at the helm of Conservation Services Group for 31 years—Stephen Cowell helped to create and build the U.S. residential energy efficiency industry through sound public policy and the delivery of cost-effective programs with trade ally networks. Among other significant accomplishments, he spearheaded the development of the Building Performance Association after serving in leadership roles at its foundational organizations Affordable Comfort and the Home Performance Coalition. In 2011, Cowell was inducted into the BPI Hall of Fame and recognized for "his dedication to the home performance and energy efficiency industry for more than 30 years.” He remains strongly dedicated to the cause today and continues his work by serving on the BPA board and leading E4TheFuture.
Jose Diaz Jr
Jose Diaz Jr is a New Jersey resident and current director of home solutions for Allied Experts. He entered the trades via residential HVAC in 2000 and was introduced to building science by completing projects in various energy programs. In 2012, Jose joined Allied Experts further expanding into weatherization and acquiring training and certifications such as EPA, lead removal, BPI Analyst, and mold remediation.
Along with the team at Allied Experts, Jose has championed diversity within the workforce by training male and female candidates from various backgrounds outside of the trades. This has provided the fortunate opportunity to see direct benefits of delivering improved energy efficiency, health, and environmental performance to residential homeowners improving comfort and quality of living.
Andrew Fisk brings decades of experience and leadership in the energy efficiency industry and extensive knowledge of program design and implementation. His responsibilities include tracking and enhancing program performance, managing more than 150 regional staff, developing and maintaining relationships with client executives and industry stakeholders, and supervising managers and directors in offices throughout Pennsylvania (PECO), New York (National Grid, PSEGLI and NYSERDA), and New Jersey (NJ BPU).
Andrew has served on dozens of industry boards and committees across the country. He currently holds a Board of Directors position for the Building Performance Institute (BPI) and is a past Vice President of the Affordable Comfort, Inc. Board of Directors. He is also active with the Energy and Environmental Building Association, the Northeast Home Energy Rating System Alliance, the Building Performance Institute, and the Residential Energy Services Network. Throughout his career, Fisk and his teams have won numerous awards from NYSERDA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Energy and the Association of Energy Service Professionals, to name a few.
Delmar Gillus, Jr.
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, engineering support, 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. Outside of work, Mr. Gillus volunteers and supports the Chicagoland National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Alumni chapter, where he mentors and develops young engineers mostly through NSBE’s Pre-College Initiative (PCI) programs.
Tagiugmiullu Nunamiullu Housing Authority
Griffin Hagle-Forster is the CEO of the Taġiuġmiullu Nunamiullu Housing Authority, a tribally designated agency serving eight Native villages across Alaska's remote North Slope. Having entered the building performance sector as a weatherization installer in his hometown of Medford, Oregon in 2006, he is professionally committed to buildings and energy systems that deliver the health and prosperity people everywhere deserve. He serves on the board of directors of the Cold Climate Housing Research Center and is currently renovating his 1950s Cape Cod in Anchorage for comfort, resilience and the decarbonized world to come.
As the manager of a DOE Weatherization Training Center and a BPI Test Center, Suzanne Harmelink is dedicated to the design, delivery, and retention of building science and programmatic training in support of skill development for a variety of partners, including effective communication and customer/consumer education. She has served on the National Home Performance Conference content development committee for over 15 years, supporting technical, programmatic, and weatherization specific session development. Harmelink has been committed to BPA through its past iterations (ACI and HPC), and currently serves on the BPA Board of Directors finance subcommittee. As a board member, Suzanne hopes to maintain and enhance the existing relationship with the DOE-funded Weatherization Assistance Program and network providers.
Association for Energy Affordability, Inc.
David Hepinstall has been Executive Director of the Association for Energy Affordability, Inc. (AEA) in New York City since 1993. Under his leadership, AEA has become a national not-for-profit training, technical support, and energy services organization supporting energy efficiency upgrades in buildings. With expertise in multifamily building energy efficiency, public program design and research, Hepinstall has designed and managed research, demonstration, training, capacity-building, and technology development and deployment programs that increase energy efficiency in existing buildings, provide design services for new green construction, and promote community development. He has led AEA in its roles as program implementer for a variety of government and utility energy efficiency programs, has served on state and city policy advisory bodies, and received several national leadership awards. He is also a founding board member and past Board Chair of the Building Performance Institute (BPI). He also played a lead role establishing AEA as a US Department of Energy recognized National Weatherization Training Center, an IREC accredited training provider, and developer of AEA’s Passive House Tradesperson training facility in the Bronx.
Dick Kornbluth, LLC
Dick Kornbluth has been a contractor delivering residential energy efficiency services from 1977 until his retirement in 2010. In 2001, Kornbluth's company was the first contractor in the state recruited into New York's Home Performance with Energy Star program—the first such program in the country. He is currently the Board Chair of the Building Performance Institute and serves on the boards of the Building Performance Association and the Building Performance Contractors Association of New York.
National Energy Improvement Fund LLC
Peter Krajsa is a recognized innovator in energy efficiency finance for over two decades. He co-founded the National Energy Improvement Fund, the nation’s only B-Corp certified energy efficiency and resiliency lender to focus on increasing affordability of building improvements through fair, transparent lending practices for work performed by trustworthy contractors. Previously, as CEO of AFC First, he spearheaded some of the nation’s most successful energy efficiency financing programs with AFC being named the first private Home Performance with ENERGY STAR sponsor.
Larry Robert Minnick Jr., who prefers to go by Rob, is the CEO/President of Minnick’s Inc. and Minnick Training Center. He has 39 years of experience in the heating and air conditioning field, in particular with mechanical design and building performance for owners. The reason Minnick decided to concentrate on the family business was that he loves what he does, it allows him to meet people, and he enjoys a challenge. Minnick earned his certifications from the State of Maryland, Air Conditioning Contractors of America, Building Performance Institute, Residential Energy Service Network, United States Green Building Council, and National Comfort Institute. In addition to his heating and air conditioning work, Minnick is active in many associations including being the ACCA National Products & QA Committee Chair, ACCA/BPI QEE Standard Development Committee and the Building Performance Institute (BPI) National Board of Directors Vice-Chair. He also serves on the Building Performance Association Board of Directors, Building Performance Association National Program Committee, ACHR News Advisory Board, HVACRedu.net Program Oversight Committee, Building Performance Journal Editorial Advisory Board, and Maryland Youth Apprenticeship Advisory Committee. He lives in Burtonsville, MD with his wife Dawn. They have 3 children, 1 granddaughter, and 1 dog. When Minnick is not working, he likes to spend time with his family, play drums, travel, and play golf. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Yellow Dog Creative
Nancy O'Hare-Zika is the owner of Yellow Dog Creative, a Michigan-based creative agency that works exclusively with companies within the skilled trades across North America. Nancy has spent the past 16 years working exclusively in the PHCE industry, both as the Marketing Director & General Manager of Swick Home Services in Marquette, Michigan, and the past 8 years as owner of Yellow Dog Creative. Nancy also sits on the board of The Desk Free Nation, a non profit organization committed to removing the stigma associated with the skilled trades and encouraging young people to seek a future in the trades. Nancy is a married mom to three adult kids and two golden retrievers, Boulder and Doppler. She enjoys golf, fishing, traveling and gardening.
CEDA: Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County
John Pady is Chief Expansion Officer (CxO) at CEDA: Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County. CEDA is a Community Action Agency that facilitates several community support programs for qualified residents of Cook County. John started his career as a union carpenter where he built residential, commercial, and high-rise buildings. John advanced his career path by moving from the field into Construction and Project Management. While working full-time John attended evening college studies with a focus on Finance, Economics, and Engineering. After 10 years in construction, John moved on to the Engineering world where he managed the construction development and project implementation of large Broadcast Television Sites across the country. John joined the Community Action Network in September of 2014. Since John has been involved in Community Action he has been successful in workforce development, building corporate partnerships, and innovating program implementation. John used all this knowledge to oversee one of the largest weatherization programs in the country for 5 and a half years. In May of 2020, John became CEDA’s first Chief Expansion Officer, in this new role John will create organizational development and leadership strategies and new innovative programing to support The Promise of Community Action.
Precision Air Conditioning and Heating
Kathe Stewart, along with her brother, is co-owner of Precision Air Conditioning & Heating, a family-owned HVAC company. The Stewart family has served Memphis, TN area customers since 1973, and specializes in the design, installation, testing, and service of residential air conditioning, heating, indoor air quality, insulation, and total home comfort solutions. Stewart has also been a California attorney since 1992.
B. Alpha Construction LLC
Mark Tajima is a founding partner at B.Alpha Construction LLC, a high-performance insulation company located in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
B.Alpha Construction provides high-performing building and insulation products and services for both retrofit and new construction customers. They specialize in residential, multifamily, and commercial buildings throughout New England.
Collectively the partners at B.Alpha bring over 40 years of building performance and deep energy retrofit experience to their newest endeavor. Prior to working at B.Alpha, Mark was one of the founders of Energia LLC, the first 100% worker-owned energy cooperative in the United States.
Peter Troast is the Founder and CEO of Energy Circle, a team of digital marketing experts who work with over 350 HVAC, solar, insulation, and home performance companies to grow their business through services like website design and development, search engine optimization, lead generation, and strategic content production. Troast is recognized as one of the country's foremost authorities on marketing for home performance, HVAC, and other efficiency-related contracting companies. He is a passionate advocate for the power of the whole house home performance business model.
Kelsey Waidhas is an ESG Operations Associate with Jamestown where she guides commercial properties across the U.S. portfolio through sustainability projects. From machine learning HVAC automation to setting and pursuing landfill diversion rate goals, Kelsey assists property management staff in understanding their local laws and context to pursue sustainability opportunities within each market area. She also assists in annual ESG reporting, property sustainability certifications and tracking ESG data for benchmarking. Previously, Kelsey served as the Sustainability Coordinator at the Atlanta Regional Commission where she worked one-on-one with cities and counties in Georgia to identify their sustainability stories and tell those stories through action. She focused on educating staff and elected officials about free, practical, and implementable solutions for climate mitigation to jumpstart local governments to reduce emissions. She holds a Master of Natural Resource Management from Auburn University and a Master of City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She lives in the City of Atlanta with her partner Perry and their many pets.
Walker-Miller Energy Services
Carla Walker-Miller is the Founder and CEO of Walker-Miller Energy Services (Walker-Miller), a 21-year-old values driven company that changes lives through energy. Her high performing firm helps electric and gas utilities achieve mandated energy reduction goals that reduce energy waste, create local jobs, decrease the energy burdens on families, and reduce harmful greenhouse gases.
Started in 2000 after an 18-year corporate career in technical sales, Carla reinvented her company during the height of the recession, successfully pivoting from electrical transmission and distribution equipment sales to the rapidly growing energy efficiency industry.
A tireless advocate for the representation of black people and people of color, women and historically underrepresented communities, Carla believes that the inclusion of all voices elevates business, drives sustainable policies, and creates equitable opportunities for all. As a result, she is a sought-after speaker on issues relating to entrepreneurship, diversity, equity and inclusion, energy efficiency, workforce development, utility affordability and sustainability.