Board Member Profiles
Voting Board Members
Ethan Hohenadel is a Regulatory Specialist for the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives (IAEC). Since 2008, he has assisted members in assessing and reporting their energy efficiency plans and results. He has been involved in many collaborative meetings regarding energy efficiency programs and has been involved with many groups focused on various aspects of energy efficiency including, but not limited to, the Farm Energy Working Group, PIE2, and the OCA Collaborative.
Dr. Kent Boyum, PhD, MBA has been interested in environmental issues associated with energy production and transport for over thirty years. Kent previously worked for two utility companies in the Minneapolis area performing energy audits and recommending energy efficiency improvements in many homes in the Minneapolis area. For the past fifteen years he has served as the Director of Economic Development and the Director of the Rebuild America- a US DOE funded program for Maharishi Vedic City.
Kurt Sempf is the Portfolio Manager for Home and Low Income products at Alliant Energy which include the energy efficiency programs, rate options, the Second Nature green pricing program, and outreach activities. His main goal is to help customers understand the products and programs available to them so they can save energy and money. Prior to joining Alliant Energy in 2016, Kurt was the Director of Creative Services at a Cedar Rapids television station where he helped produce Alliant Energy’s PowerHouse – a television show that airs in five different markets in Iowa and Wisconsin to promote energy efficiency and home comfort. Kurt graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Northwest Missouri State University and also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dubuque.
Julie Blackwell is the Associate Director of Programs at Michaels Energy. She has devoted 17 of her 26-year career to the energy efficiency industry. She spent nearly 10 years as a utility Product Manager running a variety of programs for multiple customer segments before switching to the consulting side of the industry. At Michaels Energy she leads the team that implements programs for Michaels’ clients. She has also worked in new product development and has a history of providing trainings services. Of all the roles she has had in the energy efficiency industry, there has been one commonality she’s enjoyed and that is the opportunity to teach and coach others to achieve their goals. Julie enjoys helping others grow and navigate challenges, whether that challenge is reducing energy use, creating solutions to challenges, or helping someone gain skills on a personal level. One thing Julie loves about this industry is that everyone’s background is relevant. You can come from anywhere and make a difference through your experience, perspective, and ideas.
Jeremy Caron - As Sustainability Program Manager for the City of Des Moines, Jeremy oversees the implementation of the building energy benchmarking ordinance, a program committed to reducing energy and water use throughout the city. By tracking energy and water use across large-scale public and private properties, the city will assist building owners to identify improvement opportunities while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Jeremy also manages several climate mitigation and adaptation efforts, including the creation of the City’s first Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, and evaluating environmental justice and equity challenges posed by climate change. His work also focuses on identifying opportunities to improve sustainability throughout the City’s facilities and services.
Prior to the City, Jeremy was the Director of Energy Services at the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) where he worked with municipal utilities throughout Iowa to develop energy efficiency, demand response, distributed generation, and electric vehicle programs and resources. Before moving to Iowa, Jeremy worked for the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, where he managed $90 million worth of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at state facilities including colleges and prisons. He also helped lead statewide hazard mitigation and climate adaptation master planning efforts to prepare state agencies to address natural hazards and ensure continuity of services to the public.
Bruce Greiner's work experience includes a wide range of experience in facilities maintenance, construction, procurement, finance and human resource management. Bruce has served as the director for the following organizations: Polk County Iowa, General Services; Director of Operations and Construction for Iowa City Community Schools and West Des Moines Community Schools. He also served for the State of Iowa as the Deputy Director of The Office of Energy Independence and as the State’s Procurement Chief Operating Officer. Bruce provides training, with a focus on energy efficiency, for VHF Sales, Inc.; a manufacturer’s representative firm specializing in HVAC and plumbing equipment solutions which enhance facility management excellence! He has held the designation of Certified Facility Manager (CFM), IFMA. Bruce graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in Construction Management. He has taken MBA classes at the University of Iowa and Drake University. His favorite off-work activities include supporting the church, family activities, rehabbing houses, working on his Aronia orchard and raising honey bees. He periodically mentors beginning beekeepers in raising honey bees.
Joe Hejda is a home performance and electrification nerd which has led him to his current role at CIPCO as their Manager of Smart Electrification.
His favorite part of his job is helping educate his members and encouraging solutions that improve lives beyond savings.
Joe graduated from West Point with an economics degree and from Iowa’s Tippie MBA program with a finance focus.
JP Jones is the Professor of Electrical & Renewable Energy Technology at Indian Hills Community College. Jp Jones is an electrical engineering technologist (who happens to also be a licensed master electrician).
Professor Jones specializes in energy efficiency through the automation of existing residential, commercial, industrial and municipal energy systems. He has over 30 years of experience in his area of expertise. Which he shares on a daily basis with the students at IHCC, but also throughout the state of Iowa volunteering and educating the general public at every chance he can get.
Dan Nickey is the Associate Director at the Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) located at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. Mr. Nickey received a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from Wesley College and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Drake University. He is also a Certified Energy Manager and LEED Accredited Professional.
As the Associate Director one of his primary responsibilities is assisting with the management of the IWRC to fulfill its mission of providing environmental technical assistance to Iowa small businesses Dan also serves as the IWRCs liaison with regulatory agencies as well as state and national associations.
Don Otto is a homebuilder specializing in energy efficiency, and owns DPO Construction, L.C. in Iowa City, where he designed and built his own home in 1978. Following building science and using materials that produce the best performance, he works to achieve the greatest energy efficiency that fits the client’s budget.
Don uses an academic approach to both educate the client and to evaluate the suitability of the materials and equipment to deliver the desired performance of his homes.
Robert (Bud) Renken has used a collaborative consulting approach to assist project owners for over 25 years. His passion for energy, technology, and resource management was sparked while obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree in Community and Regional Planning at Iowa State University. Professionally, he traveled the nation as a Field Engineer, assisting municipalities in the startup, operation, and repair of potable and wastewater facilities. Next as Neighborhood Planner for the City of Des Moines, he assisted residents to revitalize, weatherize, and improve their homes and neighborhoods through community action plans and grants. Bud’s interests in technology lead him to over a decade of consulting on federal, state, and local environmental, government and contract entitlement for telecommunications development nationally and in Australia.
Since joining Willdan in 2016 as a Project Manager, Bud has worked to connect with and to empower commercial owners, developers, and the larger design community to better understand and incorporate energy efficiency measures into building design. When not at the office, Bud furthers his learning process with woodworking, motorcycle maintenance, general home improvement, and smart homes. He enjoys teaching and mentoring young men and women with his local Urbandale BSA Troop 96, where he serves as an Assistant Scoutmaster.
Emily Rice is the Chief Operating Officer for The Energy Group (TEG). Emily oversees day-to-day operations and leads a high performing team that delivers energy solutions to utility and consumer clients across the Midwest. She works alongside the CEO to advance TEG’s mission of promoting energy efficiency as an economic driver for communities, and a competitive advantage for business and industry. Emily has served in various roles at TEG, from Program Delivery Consultant to Business Development Director, allowing her to accomplish a variety of objectives that have driven growth and profitability.
Since joining TEG in 2010 Emily has gained an immense passion for energy efficiency that underscores her current role and volunteerism. In addition to serving on IAEE’s board, Emily is the Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) Iowa Chapter Director, and is appointed to Governor Reynold’s State Building Code Advisory Council.
Ex-Officio Board Members
Jeff Beneke serves as the Northeast Iowa Regional STEM Manager, spearheading the work across Northeast Iowa to ensure the Governor's STEM Advisory Council's mission and programs are implemented to their broadest audience. Jeff is responsible for scale-up application recruitment, festival events, and collaboration with organizations across the region to promote, inspire, and engage youth in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics activities and to introduce children and parents to careers in STEM.
Stacy Christoffersen has worked for MidAmerican Energy Company since 2013 and is an Energy Efficiency Product Manager, primarily focused on the education program and with trade ally outreach. Her skills center around advertising and marketing and enjoys bringing these skills to utilities and promoting energy efficiency to all customers. Prior to joining MidAmerican Energy, she worked with a hospitality and restaurant company, an information systems company and was the promotion director for a group of Quad City radio stations. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Marquette University.
Curt Klaassen, PE is President of Energy Systems Engineering, a small consulting engineering firm specializing in energy systems. With over 45 years of building energy system design experience, Curt has been responsible for the technical energy analysis and design of high performance buildings, geothermal heat pump systems, ice storage systems, heat recovery, large scale VAV systems, daylighting systems, advanced controls systems along with many other energy efficient technologies for all types of commercial, institutional and industrial facilities.
He has served as Manager of the Iowa Energy Center’s Energy Resource Station and applied his extensive experience through Energy Resource Station research, demonstration and education activities with researchers, building owners and operators, architects, engineers, equipment suppliers, contractors, students, and instructors. Previous experience includes over 20 years engaged as an engineering consultant focused on building energy systems design and technical energy analysis.
This work has resulted in numerous presentations and technical papers on energy topics such as high performance buildings, geothermal heat pump systems, daylighting and building energy management and control systems.
Mr. Klaassen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from South Dakota State University and is a professional engineer licensed in Iowa. He has been active in the Iowa Association of Energy Efficiency (IAEE), the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the Iowa Heat Pump Association (IHPA), the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).