The Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation (ISEIF) was created to inform and engage Illinois consumers in the transformation to a digital electric grid. ISEIF accomplishes this through funding innovative education, outreach, and research projects in correspondence with smart meter deployment timelines.
Our mission is to empower consumers to understand and adopt smart grid technologies and related programs; to create positive changes in consumer behavior related to patterns of energy use; and to transform cultural norms regarding the relationship between the consumer, the utility and energy consumption.
A community of practice is a group of people who work in a shared domain, share a concern or a passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. It’s bound together through relationships, trust, history, and commitments. It shares tools, resources, and ways of doing and approaching things that are shared among community members.
Our community of practice is comprised of our grantees who represent a range of engagement approaches connected to amplifying the benefits of the smart grid to people. Two overlapping cohorts of organizations meet regularly, share approaches and tools, connect each other, and ultimately play a role in advancing the shared agenda of furthering energy literacy. The success of the smart grid will depend in part on consumers taking a more proactive role in managing their energy use—our community of practice is working on creative and inclusive ways to achieve that.
In 2011, the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act set the stage for Illinois to make a significant investment in modernizing its outdated electric infrastructure. These physical investments will create a statewide smart grid that is more reliable and efficient, and will deliver economic and environmental benefits to consumers in the form of more energy choices and new technology, including clean energy resources. One of the key building blocks for creating a smart electricity network is the smart meter. Illinois’ future deployment of nearly five million smart meters represents a landmark effort – it is one of the largest and most comprehensive statewide plans for grid modernization in the nation. The digital smart meter provides opportunities to every consumer to be a part of the game-changing smart grid economy in which they are empowered and informed through unprecedented access to their energy use data.
Illinois power providers Ameren and ComEd recognized the opportunity for investment in the emerging smart grid economy and in the consumers that will power it, and the result was a $72.5 million investment to create two funds under the same umbrella: ISEIF and the Energy Foundry. While ISEIF invests in educational infrastructure, Energy Foundry invests in technological infrastructure by offering capital and turn-key support to locally grown smart grid innovations. Together, they are essential pillars in the smart grid economy, supporting market creation and consumer empowerment through investing in two areas: innovative technology and its main adopters, people.
Through our consumer education initiatives, ISEIF will foster positive change for Illinois consumers. ISEIF was created in the 2011 Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act as a private not-for-profit organization, funded by ComEd and Ameren to help consumers understand and harness the benefits of a more modern, efficient electric grid.
Jason is Executive Director of ISEIF, and CEO and Managing Director of Energy Foundry, where he sets the firm’s vision, leads its investment activities, and advises its entrepreneurs. Jason is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he teaches energy and cleantech entrepreneurship.
He a Board member of multiple companies and is on the Advisory Boards of a number of leading industry organizations and co-led the effort to create Coalition: Energy, Illinois’ hub for Energy & Cleantech Innovation.
Prior to co-founding Energy Foundry, Jason co-founded Energy Results, where he was the company’s CEO. At Energy Results he built a leading residential energy business, which gained market traction and was adopted by industry leaders such as Best Buy. Before co-founding Energy Results, Jason worked at McKinsey & Co. where he was a member of the firm’s Energy & Climate Change leadership teams.
Earlier in his career, Jason worked for the CEO of GVW Holdings, an industrial and transportation platform of The Carlyle Group, where he led direct investments and was an active Board Member of GVW’s portfolio companies. Prior to working with GVW, Jason served as Vice President of Corporate Development at The Interpublic Group. Jason’s other experience include working for Sterling Partners and the Transaction Advisory Group at Arthur Andersen.
Jason is a frequent speaker at industry events on energy, cleantech and smart grid. He and his work have been featured in numerous media outlets (TV, Print & Radio) including NBC, New York Times. Entrepreneur, PBS, Forbes, Crain’s, Chicago Tribune, Greentech Media, INC and Bangkok Post. He was named by NBC as one of Chicago’s top “Eco-preneurs”, MwEN 40 under 40 and WGN as their “Entrepreneur of the Week”.
He received a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he received the Dean’s Award of Distinction and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University.
Clare Butterfield is the Program Director for ISEIF, helping to originate and manage the grants function since 2013. She brings to ISEIF her background in grassroots environmental education around Illinois, and wide network of relationships in the field, which were established in her prior position for 14 years as founder and Executive Director of Faith in Place. Prior to that she worked as a transactional attorney, specializing in corporate and tax law. Her graduate education includes a J.D. from the University of Illinois, a Doctor of Ministry from Chicago Theological Seminary and a Masters of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School. She is also ordained as a Unitarian Universalist minister.
As a Program Analyst at Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation, Uzma develops and monitors grantmaking, funding, and evaluation strategies. She coordinates ISEIF’s grantee network of nonprofits, universities, and governments to advance shared goals of increasing engagement around energy and electricity topics.
Uzma began her career working for and later managing her family’s financial services business, which served the mainly unbanked and underbanked South Asian community in Chicago. Upon leaving the family business, she pivoted to the environmental nonprofit sector where she developed and taught sustainability-focused education programs at Foresight Design Initiative. She designed curricula incorporating systems thinking and design-based approaches for high school, college, and corporate students.
Uzma is a proud native of Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood - one of the most ethnically diverse in the country. She holds a BA in Philosophy from DePaul University and is completing an MA in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University. She was selected as a Boren fellow to study Arabic and political theory at The American University in Cairo, Egypt. Uzma serves on the Advisory Council for Environmentalists of Color and on Storycatchers Theater's Board of Directors.
Board of Directors
- Brendan Reilly42nd Ward Alderman, Vice Mayor of ChicagoBrendan Reilly42nd Ward Alderman, Vice Mayor of Chicago
Brendan Reilly serves as Alderman of Chicago’s 42nd ward. Alderman Reilly’s career in public service began shortly after he graduated from Hobart College in 1994, when he joined the Illinois House of Representatives’ staff in Springfield. Reilly helped shape efforts by state government to protect our air and water and preserve our parks and open spaces, working with lawmakers, environmentalists and the Illinois EPA and Department of Natural Resources. Following this, he served as Communications Director for the Illinois House Democrats, where he played a key role in efforts to strengthen education, improve public health, expand economic opportunity, ensure equal rights, and protect the right to privacy.
Reilly left the Illinois House to serve as Press Secretary and Communications Director for Paul Vallas in his campaign for Governor in 2002. In that capacity, Reilly helped refine and articulate a vision of government reform in the tradition of the great Senator Paul Simon. In 2002, following the Vallas campaign, Reilly was recruited by AT&T to serve as Midwest Vice President of Public Affairs. At age 30, Reilly became AT&T’s youngest regional vice-president in history. In this role, he managed a multi-million dollar budget and staff for a five state region, directed all public relations for AT&T regarding public policy, consumer services and business services, and worked closely with Illinois lawmakers and consumer advocates to make Illinois telecommunications market more competitive, bringing consumers and businesses more choices, lower prices and better service.
- Kristin MunschIllinois Citizens Utility BoardKristin MunschIllinois Citizens Utility Board
Kristin Munsch is the Deputy Director with the Illinois Citizens Utility Board, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group that has represented utility ratepayers in proceedings before the Illinois Commerce Commission since 1983. CUB focuses on consumer protection and utility rates, and operates an active portfolio of projects to assist consumers in energy conservation. As CUB’s attorney, she has appeared before the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) regarding utility rate issues, energy efficiency planning and regulation, electricity supply procurement and deregulated competition in electricity supply. She participates in statewide policy initiatives regarding technological and design improvements to the Illinois electric grid and consumer protection provisions specific to retail utility services, including the Illinois Statewide Smart Grid Collaborative and the Commonwealth Edison Advanced Metering Infrastructure pilot.
Ms. Munsch is currently on the Illinois Smart Grid Advisory Council and the Board of Directors for the Energy Foundry, an investment group focused on developing new smart grid technologies and products funded through the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act. Immediately prior to joining CUB, she was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois in the Public Utilities Bureau. Prior to entering law school, Ms. Munsch was Associate Director of the Chicago Workforce Board and a policy analyst for the City of Chicago, focused on implementation of federal legislation at the local level around workforce development and welfare reform. Ms. Munsch is a graduate of Northwestern University and the Chicago-Kent College of Law.
- Mark HarrisIllinois Science & Technology CoalitionMark HarrisIllinois Science & Technology Coalition
Mark Harris has served as the President & CEO of the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition and Institute since June 2012. He has more than a decade of experience working in government, economic development and higher education. This includes serving as deputy chief of staff for the State of Illinois, working as associate director for the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and serving in senior positions at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).
Mark holds a BS from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a MA from the University of Chicago. He currently serves on the board of Energy Foundry and mHub, is on the Steering Committee of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, and is a member of the City of Chicago’s tech council ChicagoNEXT and the Economic Club of Chicago. Mark is Chilean-American and is fluent in Spanish.
- Mark LaufenbergPowerWorld CorporationMark LaufenbergPowerWorld Corporation
Mark Laufenberg is a co-founder of PowerWorld Corporation and has been its president since its inception. PowerWorld was founded in 1996 to develop and commercialize technology originally developed in the ECE Department at Illinois.
In his role with PowerWorld, a Champaign-based company specializing in developing and distributing software to the electric energy industry, Laufenberg manages the daily activities of the company, directs the future development of its products, and participates in consulting projects for the industry.
PowerWorld has had over 500 separate corporate entities as customers and users of PowerWorld Simulator, its flagship product. It has been sold in 57 different countries around the world. PowerWorld’s customer list includes many regulatory agencies, consulting firms, foreign and domestic utilities, trading and investment firms, and universities.
He has been the principal investigator on five National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research Grants, and has previous industrial experience at Pacific Gas & Electric and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. From 2000 to 2003, he was a visiting professor at Illinois, teaching a course on technical entrepreneurship.
- Mark PetersIdaho National LabMark PetersIdaho National Lab
Dr. Peters has served as the Chairman of ISEIF and Energy Foundry and stepped down at the end of 2015 as he transitioned to the Director of Idaho National Lab.
Previously, Mark was the Deputy Laboratory Director for Programs at Argonne National Laboratory where he was responsible for the management and integration of the Laboratory’s science and technology portfolio, strategic planning, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program and technology transfer. Dr. Peters also serves as a senior advisor to the Department of Energy on nuclear energy technologies and research and development programs, and nuclear waste policy. As a recognized expert in nuclear fuel cycle technologies and nuclear waste management, Dr. Peters is called upon frequently to provide expert testimony to Congress and to advise in formulation of policies for nuclear fuel cycles, nonproliferation and nuclear waste disposal. Previously, Dr. Peters served as the Deputy Associate Laboratory Director for the Energy Sciences and Engineering Directorate at Argonne and managed the integration of the Laboratory’s extensive energy-related research and development portfolio. Dr. Peters was also responsible for the development of new program opportunities at the Laboratory, particularly in the areas of energy storage, nuclear energy, nuclear safety, and waste management. He served as an expert advisor to the DOE Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI) and as the AFCI National Campaign Director for Waste Forms and Used Fuel Disposition.
- Michael CornicelliBOMA ChicagoMichael CornicelliBOMA Chicago
Michael Cornicelli has served as Executive Vice President of the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA/Chicago) and as its chief staff officer since 2007. From 2001 to 2007, he served as Director of Government Affairs and was responsible for the formulation and implementation of BOMA/Chicago’s regulatory and legislative agendas on city, county, state, and federal levels. He has 36 years of experience as a trade association executive, a lawyer and a management consultant in the commercial real estate industry. He holds a BA degree in Political Science from Miami University and a JD degree from Northwestern University School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in Illinois and California and is a resident of Chicago’s 36th Ward.
In addition to his role with BOMA/Chicago, Cornicelli was appointed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn in 2011 as a member of the Illinois Smart Grid Advisory Council and as a trustee of the Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation. Both organizations were created to promote the development of smart grid technology and related energy innovations in the State of Illinois.
BOMA/Chicago is a trade association representing the owners and managers of commercial office buildings, institutional and government buildings, and their allied suppliers and professional firms. Membership includes over 260 buildings, representing 80% of the commercial square footage in Chicago’s Central Business District, and over 170 suppliers and professional firms that service them. The organization’s mission is to enhance the value and impact of the commercial real estate industry and its professionals through thought leadership, advocacy, professional development, research and civic engagement. Founded in 1902, BOMA/Chicago is the oldest and largest of 93 local associations in the United States and 13 international organizations affiliated with the Building Owners and Managers Association International.
- Sharon HillmanAES CorporationSharon HillmanAES Corporation
Sharon Hillman is a Vice President with AES and has more than 25 years of energy experience in both the natural gas and electricity industries. Prior to founding mc2, Sharon was Vice President Corporate Development at Exelon Corporation and Vice President Marketing and Environmental Programs at Exelon, subsidiary Commonwealth Edison. Prior to her tenure at Exelon, Sharon was a Senior Vice President at AES NewEnergy (now Constellation New Energy), responsible for the Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Texas Markets. Sharon also spent 15 years at MidCon Corp. (parent of Natural Gas Pipeline of America) where she held several officer positions, including President of MidCon’s retail energy subsidiary and Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Trading.
- Val JensenComEdVal JensenComEd
As senior vice president of Customer Operations, Jensen is responsible for overseeing all customer support functions, including Customer Financial Operations, Customer Care Center, Customer Field Operations, Customer Support and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation. ComEd delivers electricity to approximately 3.8 million residential and business customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population.
Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC) is the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately $33 billion in annual revenues. Headquartered in Chicago, Exelon is the largest competitive U.S. power generator, with more than 35,000 megawatts of owned capacity comprising one of the nation’s cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets. The company’s Constellation business unit provides energy products and services to retail and wholesale customers across 45 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Exelon’s utilities deliver electricity and natural gas to approximately 6.6 million customers in central Maryland (BGE), northern Illinois (ComEd) and southeastern Pennsylvania (PECO).
Peer Review Committee
- David RankinGreat Lakes Protection FundDavid RankinGreat Lakes Protection Fund
David is Vice President of Programs at the Great Lakes Protection Fund. He leads the staff team that designs the Fund’s initiatives, develops and reviews project proposals, and manages the Fund’s portfolio of supported projects.
David has also held senior positions with The Nature Conservancy, USEPA, and state environmental protection agencies. He has negotiated international conservation agreements, testified as an expert witness in environmental litigation, designed new conservation and environmental protection programs, and drafted environmental laws and regulations. His environmental science degree was earned at Miami University. His Masters in Business Administration was awarded with High Honors from the University of Chicago.
- Erica MyersUniversity of IllinoisErica MyersUniversity of Illinois
Erica Myers is an Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois. She received her PhD in Environmental and Resource Economics from UC Berkeley in 2014. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked as a research assistant at Resources for the Future from 2007 to 2009.
Her primary area of interest is in environmental and energy economics. She has done work on the design and implementation of carbon allowance markets and testing for the presence of market failures that may lead to under-investment in energy efficiency. Recently, her work has focused on the salience of energy costs in home rental and purchase decisions and its implications for investment in energy efficiency.
- Jenny RoehmSchneider ElectricJenny RoehmSchneider Electric
Jenny is part of a dynamic Schneider Electric team delivering residential energy management solutions. Jenny’s current work leverages her 20 plus years of experience to focus on the integration of demand side management resources; working with utilities and customers to integrate demand response, storage, on-site generation and energy efficiency into a single approach.
- Kimberly JonesMKH Arts ManagementKimberly JonesMKH Arts Management
Kimberly Jones is a Founding Partner at MKH Arts Management. Prior to that role, she was Director of Government Relations at Urban Partnership Bank where she managed relationships with elected and appointed officials, government agencies, and the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) community in support of the bank’s mission. Prior to that, she was a member of the bank’s Nonprofit and Foundation Banking Group, where she managed the banking and lending needs of a $300MM portfolio of nonprofit organizations. In addition to her banking career, Kimberly has over 15 years of nonprofit management experience—particularly in the areas of program development and fundraising. Her professional experience includes organizations such as Project Exploration, River North Chicago Dance Company, Chicago Children’s Choir, Boston Arts Academy, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Columbia College Chicago, University of Minnesota-Morris, and Ballet Folclorico de Universidad de Guadalajara.
Kimberly holds an MA in Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management from Columbia College Chicago and a BA in Political Science from the University of Minnesota-Morris.
She has served on the boards of The Names Project Chicago-AIDS Memorial Quilt, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School Alumni Association, and Investing In Communities. She was also a founding board member of the Young Nonprofit Professional Network – Chicago, Boston Children’s Chorus, and Changing Worlds’ Associate Board. Kimberly is a passionate advocate for the arts, community and economic development, and youth education and remains active in organizations that addresses and supports these causes.
- Lynne KieslingPurdue UniversityLynne KieslingPurdue University
Lynne Kiesling is a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at Purdue University and the Associate Director of the Purdue University Research Center in Economics. She was recently an Associate Professor of Instruction in the Department of Economics at Northwestern University, and also Director of the Electricity Policy Program in the Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth.
- Ralph MuehleisenArgonne Nat'l LaboratoryRalph MuehleisenArgonne Nat'l Laboratory
Ralph T. Muehleisen is the Principal Building Scientist and the technical lead of the Building Energy Decision and Technology Research (BEDTR) program.
The BEDTR program focuses on the development of tools and technologies to increase the energy efficiency of the buildings and enable the interaction of smart buildings with the smart grid. Dr. Muehlesien is particularly interested in the modeling of building systems, development of new building science measurement and instrumentation technologies, and on development of tools to monetize building related energy, information, and services.
Dr. Muehleisen is an Adjunct Associate professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, an associate editor for the Journal of Architectural Engineering and the Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, a voting member of several ASTM and ASHRAE Technical Committees, chair to the ASHRAE TC 4.7 Data Driven Modeling subcommittee and the vice-chair of the Chicago Chapter of the International Building Performance Simulation Association.
Prior to joining Argonne in 2011, Dr. Muehleisen was an Associate Professor of Civil and Architectural Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology and Director of the Architectural Engineering Programs. Dr. Muehleisen is also an internationally recognized expert in the areas of architectural acoustics, physical acoustics and noise control.
- Randy GunnNavigantRandy GunnNavigant
As a Managing Director in the Energy practice, Randy Gunn is a leading expert in energy efficiency program development and evaluation. Mr. Gunn has over 25 years of experience in the development, implementation, and evaluation of utility energy service programs.
Randy has considerable experience with energy efficiency planning studies and market assessments, and often leads projects in this practice area. In addition, he is currently Project Director for evaluation studies for ComEd's energy efficiency and demand response programs, as well as for similar projects for AEP Ohio and Integrys/People's Gas. He has provided expert testimony in energy efficiency regulatory proceedings in several jurisdictions.
Before joining Navigant, Randy was a Principal and founder of Summit Blue Consulting. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and is a frequent speaker at energy services conferences and seminars.
- Rob NeumannNavigantRob NeumannNavigant
Rob Neumann is an Associate Director with Navigant in the Energy Practice Group focusing on energy-efficiency evaluation and developing technologies. His recent evaluation experience includes ongoing multiple year evaluations of the Commonwealth Edison energy-efficiency portfolio (residential, commercial and industrial) and the Integrys (North Shore Gas and Peoples Gas Companies) energy-efficiency portfolios, evaluation work for AEP-Ohio and a focus on bidding energy-efficiency savings into the PJM transmission network.
With more than 20 years of experience performing economic, regulatory, legal and financial analysis, Rob has specialties in energy and regulatory matters before state and federal agencies and commissions specifically focusing on energy efficiency, market analysis, implementation of new initiatives and legal and regulatory policy matters. This is in the areas of energy efficiency and demand-side management, generation, transmission, distribution, pole attachment pricing and analysis, district energy and other related energy issues.
Rob has managed numerous energy efficiency evaluations, rate cases and regulatory filings and is currently leading multiple energy efficiency evaluations and other energy-regulatory work. His work has been before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Department of Energy (DOE), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), numerous state utility commissions including South Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, Texas, Michigan, Illinois, California, Florida, Minnesota and Ohio and many other government and regulatory agencies. his skills include the ability to manage legal and regulatory strategy in regulatory proceedings with a focused understanding of the implications of regulatory rulings on future orders, appeals and policy. His experience includes work with global management consulting firms and managing and growing companies in regulated markets.
- Steve FrenkelCurrent InnovationSteve FrenkelCurrent Innovation
Prior to his appointment as Current’s Executive Director, Steve was a management consultant working with power-sector clients on wind and solar energy projects and led the Midwest office of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a national environmental organization. Before joining UCS, he directed Midwest operations of Renew Financial, LLC, which provides innovative clean energy financing. Previously, Steve served as Chief Policy Advisor at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and as Senior Advisor for Energy and Environment and Deputy Chief of Staff in the Illinois Governor’s where he oversaw energy, environmental and climate policy. Steve holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
- Susan StefanovichDNV GLSusan StefanovichDNV GL
Susan Stefanovich, Marketing Manger at DNV GL, has more than 18 years of experience in marketing, program development, project management, and strategic planning, with expertise creating targeted marketing campaigns for both technical and non-technical audiences. She is a seasoned marketing relationship manager who excels at bringing diverse groups together for collaborative projects to achieve common goals. Currently, Susan is the marketing manager for multiple energy efficiency incentive programs. She has also held marketing positions in the nonprofit and technology sectors. She holds a BS in Marketing and an MBA in Management.