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Conference Speakers

Keith Dennis

Keith Dennis

Vice President, NRECA and Board Co-Chair Beneficial Electrification League

Keith Dennis is a Vice President in the Business and Technologies Strategies Division of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). Keith has an interdisciplinary background in engineering, business, and law and works with NRECA’s Legislative, Regulatory Policy, and Technical teams on issues related to energy end use, including energy efficiency and demand response. Keith has published numerous papers on beneficial electrification and leads this initiative on behalf of NRECA.

Prior to joining NRECA, Keith worked at the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) where he led a Policy and Guidance Team for a $3.2 billion energy efficiency and conservation grant program. He also served at The White House Council on Environmental Quality where he supported several large energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. He has also held numerous positions in the private sector.

Keith holds an A.B. in Engineering and Environmental Sciences from Dartmouth College, a Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) and Master of Engineering Management (M.E.M.) from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, and a Master of Studies in Environmental Law (M.S.E.L), summa cum laude, from Vermont Law School. He is also licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.).

Patty Durand

Patty Durand

President & CEO, Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative

Patty Durand is President & CEO of Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC), a nonprofit whose mission is to serve as a trusted source of information for stakeholders seeking a broad understanding of consumers’ views and attitudes about energy technology and grid modernization. SECC also educates consumers and provides materials to support stakeholders in their outreach and educational efforts engaging consumers about smart energy topics.

Before joining SECC, Durand worked for the Georgia Institute of Technology where she assisted in smart grid research projects and has an MBA from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Alleyn Harned

Alleyn Harned

Executive Director, Virginia Clean Cities

Alleyn Harned is the Executive Director of Virginia Clean Cities (VCC), a member of the U.S. Department of Energy-affiliated Clean Cities Coalitions program.

Alleyn joined Clean Cities in 2009, the same year Virginia Clean Cities, Inc., formed a partnership with James Madison University. That partnership allows Clean Cities and the university in Harrisonburg, Va., to work together to leverage resources, support alternative fuel initiatives and pursue opportunities to decrease pollution and reduce dependence on foreign oil.

Prior to be named Executive Director, Alleyn served as the VCC ‘s Business Development Director. He served as the Virginia representative to the nine-state Southeast Natural Gas Vehicle Corridor Committee, and was coordinator for Virginia’s initial 2010 electric vehicle readiness effort. Harned an appointee to Virginia’s Energy Commission in 2014 and the State Advisory Board on Air Pollution in 2013. Harned serves as the President of the Transportation Energy Partners board of directors and is the Mid-Atlantic representative to the Clean Cities Coordinator Council. Harned led coalition through the completion of the 1200 vehicle Southeast Propane Autogas Development Project under the Recovery Act.

Alleyn has worked on transportation and energy related issues in Virginia since 2006. Before joining the VCC staff, Alleyn served as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Trade for the Commonwealth of Virginia where he assisted in drafting Virginia’s initial Energy Plan, and participated in the Virginia Commission on Climate Change and Governor’s Energy Policy Advisory Council. Harned is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, and has his Masters degree in Public Administration from James Madison University with a focus on community economic development.

With Virginia Clean Cities, Harned leads the Virginia Clean Cities coalition’s collaborative effort to assist stakeholders and the Commonwealth in programs to improve air quality, and increase American energy security and economic opportunity through the increased use of alternative fuels and vehicles. Operating since 1996, Virginia Clean Cities has successfully managed tens of millions of dollars of federal, state, and stakeholder vehicle and infrastructure programs from offices on the James Madison campus in Harrisonburg VA. Examples of past projects were the nation’s largest propane autogas vehicle deployment project, which covered 13 states, the Richmond Electric Vehicle initiative, which facilitated vehicles, and a Virginia DC and Maryland ethanol deployment project which installed the first ethanol stations in the mid-Atlantic region. Alleyn’s theory of change involves incremental collaborative team leadership and drafted the nations only successful dual-state station deployment project for the 2015 USDA Biofuels Implementation Partnership.

Kirk Johnson

Kirk Johnson

Senior Vice President for Member Engagement, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative

Kirk Johnson is Senior Vice President for Member Engagement at Old Dominion Electric Cooperative. He is responsible for developing and executing strategies to enhance ODEC’s engagement with external stakeholders and ODEC’s members. Prior to joining ODEC, Kirk was Senior Vice President of Government Relations at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. In that role, Kirk directed NRECA’s legislative, regulatory, and political efforts on behalf of the association’s 900 members in 48 states.

Kirk and his wife Janet Woodka live in Richmond, Virginia.  He enjoys playing golf, traveling, cooking, and playing with their dogs Gumbo and Roux.

Peter Muhoro

Peter Muhoro

Vice President of Strategy and Technology, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative

Dr. Peter Muhoro is the Vice President of Strategy and Technology for REC. Muhoro is responsible for developing and monitoring long-term strategies related to the Cooperative’s technology systems, new service offerings to the membership and business planning. Strategies developed under his leadership will include a technology strategy that addresses not only the Cooperative’s needs of today, but more importantly, the information, distributed generation, clean energy, emerging technologies and advanced electrification needs of tomorrow.

Muhoro is an accomplished electric utility executive with over 15 years of experience in the energy industry. In his most recent role as Vice President of Strategic Industry Research and Analysis at National Rural Utilities Finance Corporation (CFC), Muhoro led research activities, provided strategic leadership, and consulted with electric cooperative leadership and board members on trends, technologies and the future of electric cooperatives.

Over the course of his career, Muhoro held several positions working for, and with electric cooperatives. He served as the Chief Strategy Officer at Pedernales Electric Cooperative, the largest distribution electric cooperative in the U.S. Prior to that he was an Advisor at the Cooperative Research Network, the technology research arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. He has previously launched several small businesses focused on energy analysis, bottom of the pyramid issues and poverty reduction through efficient electrification. He serves on the board of the Smart Electric Power Alliance, as well as other advisory committees. He is a sought-after speaker both nationally and internationally.

Peter holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics from Hampton University, a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the University of Michigan.

Kristel Riddervold

Kristel Riddervold

Environmental Sustainability and Facilities Development Manager, City of Charlottesville

Kristel Riddervold is an environmental professional with more than 20 years of relevant experience in scientific environmental research, environmental compliance, and the development of sustainability initiatives. Kristel has served as the Environmental Sustainability Manager for the City of Charlottesville, Virginia since 2002 when the City formally established an environmental program dedicated to environmental compliance, public education, pollution prevention, and environmental stewardship opportunities. The Division establishes and pursues projects and initiatives in support of the City’s environmental sustainability and goals (City Council 2025 Vision – “Green City”), develops and implements program, tools and solutions to support and promote climate protection, natural resources protection, resource efficiency and conservation, and provides internal support to a range of City programs. The division is routinely involved in community engagement at internal, local, regional, and national levels, with interactions of an educational, regulatory, and collaborative nature. In 2018 she also assumed responsibility for the City’s Facilities Development Division which leads the City’s efforts associated with new capital construction and development, facility renovations, expansion of facilities and major repairs.

Prior to working for the City of Charlottesville, Kristel was an Environmental Scientist and Project Manager with The Environmental Company, Inc. in (now CARDNO). Ms. Riddervold holds has both a Bachelors and a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. Kristel strives to blends urban/rural experiences in raising family, living life, and exploring opportunities.

Andrew Vehorn

Andrew Vehorn

Vice President of Government Affairs, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives

Andrew Vehorn is Vice President of Government Affairs for the Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives. In this role, he is responsible for coordinating public policy initiatives and public affairs activities at the state and federal level for electric cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. Prior to joining the co-ops, Andrew spent 10 years at the Richmond-based public affairs firm of Capital Results, specializing in lobbying, issue advocacy, and coalition development. Andrew resides in the West End of Henrico County with his wife, Cristen, and two daughters.