ABOUT THE UNCONFERENCE
Energy 2.0 is the UNconference where we celebrate diverse perspectives, technologies, people, and the community at large who are driving the energy transition forward. The UNconference is for the workforce, leaders, investors, policymakers, and communities to share ideas to transform business. It is where unique perspectives, generations, and backgrounds collide.
Laura GoldbergCenter for Houston's Future, Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Communications & Community Engagement
Jennifer Martinez Emerson
Jennifer Martinez Emerson is an innovative and multi-faceted leader currently serving as the Enterprise Recovery Manager for Shell Global IT.
She has over 24 years of IT experience within the Energy Industry. In addition to a Bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the University of Houston, she is also a certified Project Manager as well as an alum of MIT’s Advanced Business Resiliency and the Center for Houston’s Future Leadership Forum.
Jennifer is a single mom of two children, Ayden (20) and Riley (15), a two-time marathon rollerblader, and her motto is ‘choose joy’ - if you are not happy with something, then change it!
Katie Mehnert, CEO and Founder, ALLY Energy (she/her)
The modern architect of the energy workforce, Katie Mehnert is the Founder and CEO of ALLY Energy™ the community accelerating connections, jobs, and skills to drive an equitable energy transition. ALLY Energy is an inaugural member of Greentown Labs Houston, the top climate tech incubator in North America.
Ms. Mehnert has held global leadership roles with BP and Shell in safety and environment during periods of financial crisis, spills, divestment, and globalization. Her early career included assignments with Duke Energy, Entergy, and Enron. Her corporate path drove her to entrepreneurship to help energy companies prepare for the looming talent shortage and workforce diversity needs to address energy poverty and climate change.
She was appointed Ambassador to the United States Department of Energy in 2020 during the Trump Administration and has testified before Congress on the clean energy workforce of the future. She was most recently appointed by the Biden Administration to the National Petroleum Council. She’s also an Energy Institute Fellow and an advisor to Clean Energy for America.
Ms. Mehnert is a speaker, author, and trusted source in the energy industry. She has been published in Scientific American, Forbes, The Hill, CNBC, and CNN. Her first book, Grow with the Flow, was published in 2020. She most recently co-authored Everyday Superheroes: Women in Energy, a children’s book focused on energy careers. Mrs. Mehnert also has appeared in Hot Money, a documentary produced by Academy Award-winning actor, Jeff Bridges and Retired NATO General Wesley Clark on the financial complexities of climate change and finance.
Katie is a four-time World Major marathoner having completed London, Chicago, New York, and Berlin. Her husband is Vice President of Legal with Baker Hughes. They live with their 11-year-old daughter, Ally, in Houston. Bio Download | Photo Download
Kellyanne Lochan is currently in the role of VP of Surface Engineering, International Operations for Woodside Energy. In this role, she is responsible for leading teams of multi-discipline engineers that are supporting operated assets across Trinidad & Tobago and the Gulf of Mexico. She is accountable for the development and delivery of engineering objectives aligned to the International Operations business strategy, and for providing Engineering support to the Operations teams to ensure the safe production of hydrocarbons across all operated sites. Kellyanne started her career as an E&I Engineer in the downstream petrochemical industry in Trinidad & Tobago. Prior to Woodside Energy, Kellyanne had been with BHP Petroleum since 2012 working in a variety of roles within Surface Engineering, Business Planning, Marketing, and Deepwater Development Projects.
Kellyanne holds a BSc. (Hons) in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of the West Indies and an MBA (Distinction) from the UK Heriot-Watt University. She is passionate about continuous improvement, community service, and supporting young females to pursue education and careers in Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (STEM). She is currently based in Houston with her spouse and two-year-old son.
Maria Gonzalez-Perez currently leads New Energy Global Business Development for Woodside Energy, based in Houston. She was appointed to this role in 2022 and is responsible for building the company’s New Energy business by originating and stewarding opportunities, and by collaborating throughout the value chain.
Prior to joining Woodside Energy, Maria spent more than 10 years with BHP Petroleum, holding senior leadership roles in Strategy, Commercial and Technical. She started her career with BP, working in the field, Onshore and Offshore, in Operations and Technical roles.
Maria holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico- Mayagüez.
Trevor Best is the CEO and Co-Founder of Syzygy Plasmonics. Syzygy is pioneering a new type of chemical reactor designed to produce industrial chemicals at lower cost and with fewer carbon emissions. Their novel technology is driven by light rather than combustion, enabling a substantially more efficient process.
Critically, Syzygy’s technology supports energy security and expansion through resource efficiency. Recent publications show Syzygy’s core components can be made without using rare earth materials, adding to the company’s value as a sustainable technology provider.
Before starting Syzygy, Trevor worked for the oilfield services company Baker Hughes. There he held a variety of management positions and gained expertise in technology development, project and personnel management, quality assurance, and regulatory compliance. He is originally from Midland Texas and is a graduate of Texas Tech University.
Sandy Lee is the Chief Executive Officer for Saber Equity, an S&B Company.
Sandy brings more than 30 years of EPC industry experience to her role as Saber Equity’s CEO. Her early background was in mechanical engineering, but most of Sandy’s career has been in project management and corporate management of multiple departments at S&B. Sandy has led numerous full-service EPC alliances, expansion, and grassroots projects for some of the most prominent names in the industry.
For Saber Equity, Sandy provides strategic direction and works closely with the leadership team to identify quality investment opportunities, and helps manage them to success.
Mush Khan is the co-founder and CEO of Alchemy Industrial, a manufacturing company focusing on building energy storage systems. Mush’s mission is to accelerate re-shoring of manufacturing not just to the US but to Houston, specifically. Alchemy’s funding is led by co-founder, John Weinzierl with Katla Capital based in Houston.
Mush leads the Greater Houston Partnership’s committee on Manufacturing & Distribution and has been an active board member of several non profits. He is also an active member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO).
Mush holds an MBA from The University of Houston, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Louisiana State University.
Mush’s best job is as a dad to two sons, Zack and Seth who are both studying engineering in college. Mush has called Houston his home since 1990.
Jared Moore, PhD
Jared Moore is the founder of TH2 Motors and the originator of the Thermal Hydrogen economy.
Before making the transition to the start-up world, Jared worked as an independent energy consultant in Washington, DC. He’s earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering and a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy. I
In March of 2023, Jared released his debut novel, Greetings Lunar Colonist, a science fiction book about energy amid a presidential election 100 years in the future.
Kristeen Reynolds is a Texas-certified public accountant and the CEO and co-founder of DrinKicks.
DrinKicks is a CPG company that repurposes food waste and recycled materials into sustainable shoes. DrinKicks also has a strong emphasis on educating consumers about the power of the circular economy.
Kristeen is active in her community and serves as a Port Arthur Chamber Ambassador, the Professional Development Chair of the SETX Young Professionals Organization, and a member of the Port Arthur Young Emerging Leaders. Kristeen earned a Bachelor's and Master's in Accounting from Lamar University. She serves on the Lamar University College of Business Young Professionals Board, the Reaud Honors College Alumni Advisory Board, and the Ron Brown National Leaders Network Council. Kristeen also owns a sports marketing company, a real estate investment company, and serves as an advisor to various startups.
Juliana is the Chief Development and Investment Officer and Head of Houston Incubator at Greentown Labs. A Board Member of the Angel Capital Association, Juliana is a Lead Investor of the Portfolia Rising America Fund invests in BIPOC and LGTBQ founders, as well as the Portfolia Consumer and Rising Tide Funds. She is also an Advisory Board Member of the University of Houston Cougar Venture Fund, the Houston Diversity Fund, the Investors of Color Network, and Impulse4women.
A Kauffman Fellow experienced in Bridging the Gender Gap in investing, she is part of the City of Houston’s Women Commission. Juliana was the Texas Medical Center Venture Fund Director and the Managing Director of the Houston Angel Network. She was the Manager of the French Riviera's Sophia Business Angels network and Antipolis Innovation Campus and the Project Manager of several International Projects funded by the European Commission.
Previously, Juliana worked for 5 years in Singapore: first as an International Trade Consultant for the Trade Commission of Spain in a broad range of industry sectors and then as a Project Manager for the Asia Technology Office of Citigroup, leading projects at the international level. Juliana obtained an MBA at the London Business School and Haas School of Business in Berkeley, specializing in Entrepreneurship
Liz Dennett, PhD is a passionate technologist with over 15 years of experience using data-driven approaches to solve pressing energy challenges. She has demonstrated success pioneering novel data types, genomics, architectures, and analytics solutions through the energy value chain.
Liz is currently the CTO of Cemvita, where she is leading development and deployment of nature-inspired biosolutions to empower the energy transition. Prior to joining Cemvita, Liz was VP of Data Architecture and Data Engineering at Wood Mackenzie, the Lead Solutions Architect for Energy Data Platforms at Amazon Web Services (AWS), and has held various roles of increasing scope and complexity within AWS, Biota Technology, Hess Corporation, and the NASA Astrobiology Institute. Liz also holds an advisory board position with the UW-Madison Dept. of Geoscience.
A technology evangelist, Liz has given over 100 invited presentations, received over a dozen awards including being named #13 in the “Top 50 Women Leaders in Houston” in 2022, and written more than a dozen academic and industry publications.
Liz holds a MS and PhD in Geoscience from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has completed executive education at the Haas School of Business. Liz’s passions include building things, board games, and stubbornly refusing to believe things are “hard”.
Hillary H. Holmes is a partner in the Houston office of global law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Co-Chair of the firm’s Capital Markets practice group.
Ms. Holmes has led some of the most exciting transactions in the oil and gas industry over the last 20 years. She advises corporations, investment banks, and private equity firms on strategic capital raising, securities laws, corporate governance, and ESG issues. She also counsels boards of directors and financial advisors in M&A transactions and complex situations. She has been named one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Energy, Most Effective Dealmaker by Texas Lawyer, Energy MVP by Law 360, and a Woman Who Means Business by HBJ, among others.
Ms. Holmes regularly writes and speaks on topics relating to the U.S. capital markets, ESG issues, and the state of the energy industry. She serves on the Editorial Board of Insights: Securities Regulation, on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Energy Law, as a Co-Editor of the Securities Regulation and Corporate Governance Monitor, and as host of ALLY Energy’s Exploring ESG in Energy series.
She is currently serving as President of the Society for Corporate Governance Houston Chapter and on the Executive Council of the KBH Energy Center for Law, Business, and Policy at the University of Texas.
Whitney Eaton is the EVP, People & Sustainability, at TGS and has spearheaded TGS’ ESG strategy and sustainability reporting since she joined the company in 2014. TGS’ ESG strategy has continually received top recognition by analysts culminating with TGS’s inclusion on the OBX’s inaugural ESG index. In her current role, she oversees TGS’ compliance, ESG, human resources, learning and development, and IT departments. Her background includes over 15 years of legal experience with significant knowledge on implementing and managing holistic corporate programs, such as compliance and ESG, particularly within the energy industry.
She received her JD degree from the University of Richmond School of Law and her BA in Public Communication with University Honors from American University.
Dawn James leads Sustainability Strategy and Transformation within Deloitte’s Strategy & Analytics practice. As a Managing Director within the Energy and Technology sectors, she leverages her subject matter expertise to foster industry alignment and new business development, helping customers leverage the Sustainability, Climate, and Equity market offerings to accelerate their sustainability journey. Dawn leads a wide range of initiatives in energy transition, sustainability, digital cloud solutions, and innovation.
Dawn has over 25 years of industry program management experience as a geoscientist and systems leader. She is a certified naturalist, formerly serving as Global Director for Industry Strategy -Energy & Sustainability and Director for US Sustainability & Environmental Science strategy at Microsoft. In addition, she served as a Research Hydrogeologist with the U.S. Department of the Interior (USGS). Dawn’s expertise not only includes results-driven leadership, market incubation, and ecosystem innovation but she also articulates value at the convergence of industry and technology.
Dawn holds an MSc in geoscience from California State University and a professional certification in big data and predictive analytics from MIT. She is a member of the Board of Directors at Greentown Labs (the largest clean tech incubator in the US), a 2022 Women in Smart Energy Award winner, a Distinguished Speaker on “The Business of Sustainability” at the Nazarian School for Business & Economics (CSUN). She was awarded the 2021 Challenge Coin by Duke Energy for her work in Sustainability Innovation. In her spare time, Dawn enjoys playing the violin, reading, and spending time with her daughters.
Brittney Marshall, Ph.D.
Brittney is a Senior Advisor, Climate Strategy and Policy at Woodside Energy, based in Houston, Texas. Prior to her current role in the Strategy and Climate Team at Woodside, she held both leadership and geoscience technical roles at BHP across Exploration and Production, as well as an externally-facing role on BHP’s Climate and Sustainability team, focused on sustainability and climate change strategy, stakeholder engagement, and project management. Prior to joining BHP in 2015, Brittney received her doctorate in Geology from the University of South Carolina, with a focus in Climate Science (Paleoclimatology). Brittney has a deep passion for sustainable corporate strategy, the energy transition, and progressing sustainability and innovation in the resource industry.
Laura Goldberg is Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Communications, and Community Engagement at the Center for Houston’s Future. Over the past four years at the nonprofit Center, she has overseen significant research reports on the energy transition, health and health equity, and the economic importance of immigration to the Houston region. She helped build a broad-based coalition to catalyze clean hydrogen efforts in Greater Houston; designed conferences on climate change and the energy transition; and produced immigration events. She has also significantly boosted CHF’s public profile via social media and coverage in local, national, and international outlets.
Previously, she spent 20 years at the Houston Chronicle, including 10 years as business editor, where she led a team of journalists that produced award-winning coverage on energy and other topics. She ran the newsroom’s coverage of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the Enron trials, and other stories of significant international, national, and local importance. She also served as a senior editor focused on creating new products across platforms and spent time reporting on airlines, ports, and energy.
The Chicago native has a journalism degree from Northwestern University and a professional certification in foresight from the University of Houston. She is a diehard baseball fan and enjoys walking walks throughout Houston’s parks and green spaces.
Kevin McMinn is the Chief Operating Officer of ALLY Energy. He is an accomplished and multi-faceted executive with an entrepreneurial mindset and extensive experience developing transformational strategies for sustainable business growth. Throughout his career, he has successfully handled 17 legal and regulatory actions and 6 class action/trademark infringement lawsuits.
A visionary leader, Kevin is focused on achieving organizational objectives. He efficiently adapts to changing business climates, cultivates trusted relationships at all levels, from customer to C-Suite peers, and builds high-performing teams that are empowered to succeed.
Kevin's core competencies include P&L Ownership, Budgeting/Forecasting/Cash Flow, Strategic Planning and Startups/Turnarounds/M&A. He is focused on value creation, operational excellence and transparent communication while also leading Product Launches, Cross-Functional Collaboration, Talent Development & Team Leadership and Coaching & Mentorship. Additionally, he excels in Business Transformation activities such as Thought Leadership, Succession Planning and Customer & Employee Engagement.
Kevin McMinn brings a wealth of experience from various C-suite roles, having served as a high-level executive for companies such as Crius Energy, US Gas and Electric, Lucid Solutions, and Via Renewables. He's a foodie with a flare for wine and gardening.
Fredric A. Navarre
Fredric A. Navarre is the Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Client Engagement for ALLY Energy. Fred was formerly Deputy Assistant Director for the Houston Mayor’s Office of Complete Communities responsible for communications and external affairs. Fred is enthusiastic to deploy his experience and credentials in this role. In addition to an MBA in Energy Finance and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, he’s an entrepreneur, veteran educator, experienced nonprofit board leader, and philanthropist. He loves to interact with people and organize positive experiences to move companies and causes forward. His strategies foster diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging.
He’s currently a board member of the American Cancer Society of Greater Houston. His extensive record of public service includes local, province, and national positions in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. In addition, Fred has been a review panelist for the National Science Foundation and serves on the Delta Research and Educational Foundation (DREF), a national nonprofit. As a native Louisianan, he’s quite comfortable using great food and good times to bring people together — sometimes with the flourish of his own cajun culinary skills!
Carlos Da Silva
As a DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging) practitioner Carlos Da Silva has 10+ years of experience in the diversity and mental health space partnering with, organizations, schools, businesses, and communities seeking to advance their mission by promoting DEIB values and initiatives for the benefit and development of their workforce and communities.
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Mr. Da Silva inspires others to broaden their understanding of the many ways that race, culture, and diversity intersect to influence who we are. As an experienced DEIB thought leader, Carlos has designed DEIB-focused strategic plans, workshops, training, and online/e-learning courses. He has worked closely with senior leaders, managers, and staff to encourage, facilitate, and explore topics that include cultural humility, implicit/explicit bias, and other DEIB-related themes.
Carlos is also the CEO of Change Agents 831 and a cardio-dance fitness instructor and choreographer. He also enjoys spending time outdoors and lived off-grid for 3 years with his animals.
Bhakti Salunkhe Puranik
Bhakti Salunkhe serves as the Executive Director, overseeing operations programs and partnerships at The Puranik Foundation.
The Puranik Foundation is a 501c3 organization based in India and headquartered in Houston, Texas. Puranik Foundation offers a range of programs from studying abroad at its campus in India, to internships related to sustainability, such as the Energy Project through youth activism.
It is the Corporate Social Responsibility program of Worldwide Oilfield Machine (WOM), a design and manufacturing hub for the energy sector.