Meet our Speakers!

Zane Selvans

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Zane Selvans is the Director of Research and Policy at Clean Energy Action, a tiny climate and energy policy non-profit in Boulder, Colorado.  After getting a Ph.D. at the University of Colorado studying the icy moons of the outer solar system, and the climate history of Mars, Zane returned to Earth to prevent his fellow tool-wielding primates from xenoforming their homeworld.  His recent work has focused on the allocation and pricing of risk in regulated electricity markets, and the ways in which our valuation of the future and risk aversion affect energy and carbon prices.

Neil Kolwey

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Neil Kolwey is a Senior Associate at the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), where he leads programs to advance energy efficiency in the industrial sector. This includes managing the Colorado Industrial Energy Challenge, and promoting best practices in utility energy efficiency programs for industrial customers. Neil also provides technical assistance for potential combined heat and power projects, and collaborates with ACEEE on industrial energy efficiency research and outreach. Before joining SWEEP, Neil worked for E Source for 9 years, focusing on greenhouse gas (GHG) consulting and writing reports on utility programs for large customers, climate change business strategies, and others.

Don Piper

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Don Piper is the founder of Myndzeye. Don has held board appointments at more than 15 organizations including Sustainable Arizona, The Sustainable Economic Development Initiative (MEAT), Verde Valley Agricultural Renaissance, Gardens for Humanity, Friends of the Santa Rita Experimental Range, HireNetworks, BioResource International [an INC 500 Company] and the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic. Over the past twenty-five years, Mr. Piper has mentored more than 500 aspiring entrepreneurs through the early stages of developing and launching their business concepts. In just the past eight years, students in Don’s classes have gone on to launch more than 50 new sustainable businesses.

Andrea Gelfuso Goetz

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Andrea Gelfuso Goetz is an environmental lawyer who litigated oil and gas cases for the Federal government and never lost a public lands case, and a former Assistant Attorney General who specialized in air quality issues.  Andrea is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Denver, where she teaches Sustainability, and Environmental Law. She also writes about environmental law; her work has appeared in HuffingtonPost.com, The New Yorker, High Country News, and The Denver Post. Andrea loves teaching, because informed citizens are empowered to effectively advocate for rational environmental decisionmaking. And that’s how we will change the world.

James Scott Brew


James Scott Brew is an Architect, Director and Chief Building Scientist with Baumann Consulting where he specializes in creating high-performance, ultra-low energy, healthy buildings and achieving greater resiliency for cities, campuses, and communities.  He has over 3 decades of design and construction experience and has completed hundreds of projects in historic preservation, healthy, high-performance, low-energy commercial/industrial buildings and housing extending from the U.S. to Asia, Australia and Europe.

Eric Blank


Eric Blank is a lawyer and economist who has worked on clean energy and electric utility issues for more than thirty years, ultimately helping to develop and bring online over 1,000 MW ($2 Billion) of wind and solar projects.  Eric spent ten years during the 1990s running the energy work for Western Resource Advocates (WRA), a Colorado-based non-profit environmental group.    In 1999, Eric left WRA to co-found Community Energy, a renewable energy marketing and development company, helping to grow it into a profitable 40-person business that was successfully sold in 2006 to Iberdrola Renewables, the largest owner of wind energy facilities in the world.  While at Iberdrola, Eric served as an executive vice president leading US wind development.   In 2009, Eric and his business partner re-purchased Community Energy and are now focusing on utility-scale solar PV development, including developing a 120 MW solar facility in Colorado with Xcel Energy (which, when complete, would be the largest solar project east of the Rocky Mountains).   Eric holds a Master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

Peter Swank


Problems are meant to be solved. Big problems usually require more people. Peter is one of those people working to steer our energy supply in a more sustainable direction. He currently works at Main Street Power, a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) provider for residential, distributed generation and utility-scale solar photovoltaic power plants. Prior to Main Street Power, Peter worked at NREL helping transfer laboratory technology into the business world. Pairing his analytical physics degree with his MBA, Peter enjoys the convergence of innovative technical and financial tools to accelerate the adoption of solar throughout the US.

Adam Stenftenagel


Adam has a degree in Philosophy from Oberlin College, is a RESNET Certified HERS Rater and LEED Accredited Professional. He specializes specializes in residential energy modeling software and net-zero energy home design. He was a founding board member of the Boulder Green Building Guild and is a principal and founder of Sustainably Built in Boulder which performs home energy audits and energy modeling for new and existing homes and commercial buildings. Additionally, Adam excels in cost-benefit analysis and building science techniques for the purpose of constructing cash flow positive and affordable net-zero energy projects.

Kim Coupounas

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Kim Coupounas is a values-centered leader, strategist, public speaker, and entrepreneur who is a passionate advocate for the environment and a firm believer in the power of the corporation to do good in the world. Kim serves as Director of B Lab Colorado where she is leading a collaborative effort to make the state of Colorado the leader in responsible business practice. Prior to B Lab, she co-founded outdoor apparel and equipment manufacturer GoLite. She served as GoLite’s CEO until 2008 and as its Chief Sustainability Officer until 2014. Kim is also past Chairman of the Board of the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), the trade association representing the $646 billion active outdoor recreation industry. Kim earned an A.B. with honors from Princeton and a joint M.B.A./M.P.A. from Harvard. Among her deep passions are time spent with her family, trail running, hiking, singing, doing yoga and martial arts, drinking great wine, and climbing mountains.

Cullen Choi

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Cullen leverages his more than 14 years of technical expertise in energy efficiency, demand-side management, and sustainability consulting to provide leadership on Brendle Group’s energy and sustainability projects.  His diverse background includes marine engineering for the United States Navy and Merchant Marine, where he focused on shipboard system optimization and energy efficiency, as well as energy and sustainability programs and projects to improve all aspects of the built environment. As a licensed Professional Engineer, Cullen collaborates with a wide range of clients in the commercial, industrial, and healthcare sectors; in the K-12 and Higher Education sector; and with and local, state, and federal governments.

Claire Henly

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Hello! My name is Claire. I work on innovative transportation at the Rocky Mountain Institute. For the past year at RMI I’ve been focused on a project called Reinventing Fire: China, working with the Chinese government to develop insights for China’s long term energy strategy. Prior to RMI I started a company around a novel, electricity producing waste water treatment technology, consulted at a biotech wastewater treatment start-up and had some short stints at McKinsey, BHP Billiton and Goldman Sachs.

Larry Bingham

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Larry Bingham is a Renewable Energy Consultant providing engineering and technical advice in solar thermal and PV energy systems for residential and business projects. His many years of experience include designing PV and solar thermal systems for award winning homes.  He is passionate about doing the right thing for the environment.

He is concerned about the impact that fossil fuels are having upon the planet and the continuous rising energy costs for the average householder. He endeavors to preserve the environment for future generations while reducing carbon emissions and saving money for everyone.


Speakers now announced!

How is a Coal Plant Like a Soviet Hummer? Zane Selvans
Clean Energy Action
Making Friends With 111d Neil Kolwey
Ocean Forests: Global Ocean Restorative Development Don Piper
Ocean Foresters
Empowering Citizens on Energy and Sustainability:

From Alphabet Soup to a Feast for Change
Andrea Gelfuso Goetz
The Power of Story & Sustainability James Scott Brew
Power to the People: Zero Net Energy Occupancy Cullen Choi
Brendle Group
From Here to There: The Next Step in Transportation Claire Henly
Rocky Mountain Institute
The Electric Utility of the Future:

A Radical Enviro Defense of the CO Status Quo

Eric Blank
Community Energy Solar
The Evolution of Solar Finance Peter Swank
Solar Powered Electric Cars Finally Affordable! Adam Stenftenagel
Snugg Home
Charting the Future of Capitalism Kim Coupounas
B Lab
Power to the People with Solar-Electric Water Heaters Larry Bingham
Bingham Energy LLC

Get ready, switch~ is coming to Denver! The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado is hosting the next switch~ on July 31, 2014. Ten speakers. Five minutes. Twenty slides, auto-advanced every fifteen seconds. That’s switch~. Based on the same rapid-fire format that helped make TedX and Ignite Boulder popular, switch~ is a chance for people with great ideas about energy and sustainability to share their thoughts.

switch~ at The Alliance Center is seeking speakers who have:

  • An interesting idea about energy and sustainability,
  • The flexibility to work within the 5-minute, 20-slide format, and
  • The ability to have fun with it!

No professional speaking experience is necessary. No honorarium will be paid; this is an all-volunteer event. To learn more, visit us at http://switchenergy.wordpress.com/.

Topic submittal will be open from June 27 through July 11.


The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Association for Energy Services Professionals (RM-AESP) has hosted three switch~ events since 2012 and each one has sold out!

Watch a YouTube excerpt from switch~.

Tickets for switch~ at The Alliance Center will be available July 1, stay tuned for more information!

Presented in partnership with RM-AESP, switch~ is an all-volunteer event organization that operates under a 501(c)3, spreading ground-breaking thought on sustainable energy.


JUNE 28 – JULY 11

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