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Decarbonizing the built environment, a business opportunity for Minnesota?
Minnesota has set ambitious goals for greenhouse gas emission reductions, but the state is not meeting them. Decarbonizing the built environment will help achieve these goals, as combined, commercial buildings and residential structures account for more than 40% of Minnesota's energy use. Building decarbonization also presents a big business opportunity for Minnesota's building owners, operators and efficiency businesses. Join experts from Ever-Green Energy, PACE Loan Group, Trane, and Willdan who will discuss the challenges in the industry, and the financial and market opportunities.


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Chris Baker
Project Manager @Willdan
Chris Baker is focused on energy efficiency and sustainability. He is both a Licensed Architect and Licensed Engineer. He works with building owners and design teams to improve building performance through benchmarking, detailed energy modeling, and a variety of rating and certification programs, including SB 2030 and LEED®. His expertise includes multifamily residential, mixed-use, hospitality, transit, retail, corporate, science and technology, industrial, and education which have saved over 47.5 million kWh annually, across 92 projects in seven states. He has presented on energy modeling at national conferences for ASHRAE, National Association of State Energy Officials International Building Performance Simulation Association, Association of Energy Service Professionals, and regional components of AIA and USGBC.  He has an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, and a B.Arch., and a B.S. in architectural engineering from the University of Kansas.
Bali Kumar
Chief Operating Officer @PACE Loan Group
Bali joined PLG in 2021 as the Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining PLG, he served as the CEO of Lean & Green Michigan, the PACE program in Michigan, and developed the Michigan PACE program into one of the nation's strongest PACE programs. His experience also includes serving as a management consultant at Deloitte, a transactional attorney at Proskauer, and the Executive Director of Michigan’s Wayne County Land Bank. Bali graduated with a B.A. from Brown University, a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a J.D. from Berkeley Law. He is a member of the NY and CA bar.
Kenneth W. Smith
President and CEO @Ever-Green Energy
Kenneth W. Smith, PE, MBA, was named president and CEO of Ever-Green Energy in August 2010. He is also the president and CEO of its affiliate District Energy St. Paul. Prior to joining District Energy in 2006, Ken worked for over 20 years consulting, designing, and implementing energy projects globally for a variety of industries. He is a regular contributor to conferences, studies, legislative initiatives and task forces and a frequent speaker nationally and internationally on energy trends, renewable energy, energy conservation and integrated energy systems. Ken also serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the International District Energy Association. Ken has led Ever-Green Energy’s planning and design initiatives with numerous U.S. communities and organizations, with the goal of creating integrated energy infrastructures.
Becky Wacker
Area General Manager @Trane Technologies
Becky Wacker is the Area General Manager for Trane Technologies. She leads and manages over 150 professionals across sales, services, and execution for the company’s offices located in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. Becky has over 12 years of experience in building energy controls and management and has helped build efficiency solutions in multiple sales leadership roles throughout her career. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Minnesota and is also a LEED Accredited Professional.
Gregg Mast
Moderator | Executive Director @Clean Energy Economy Minnesota
Gregg has nearly 20 years of professional experience in project development, resource analysis, feasibility and financial analysis, and fuel risk management in the clean energy sector. He possesses deep expertise in the economic, marketing, financial, environmental, and policy aspects of clean energy.