Board Member Profiles
Voting Board Members
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.
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 Director of Programs at Michaels Energy. She has devoted 18 of her 27-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.
Jeff Gorrie is the Director of Energy Services at the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities. Jeff is an energy industry professional with experience in energy engineering, energy efficiency program delivery, and beneficial electrification. Jeff has completed over 1,000 commercial and industrial energy audits. In his current role, Jeff works to design and implement strategic initiatives in partnership with members of IAMU. Jeff Gorrie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University, and holds the credential of Certified Energy Manager (CEM) awarded by the Association of Energy Engineers.
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.
Anne Lenzen joined Opower – Oracle Energy and Water in in 2021 as Senior Manager, Regulatory Affairs and Market Development. In that role, Anne leads regulatory strategy in the Midwest with a focus on behavioral energy resources and customer education and engagement as a key part of state and utility decarbonization goals, energy management and affordability plans. Prior to joining Opower, she held leadership roles at Alliant Energy in product portfolio management and regulatory relations and strategy as well as experience in energy efficiency, key account management, pricing, customer operations and solutions. Before joining the energy industry more than 20 years ago, Anne worked in private label retail clothing design and product development. Anne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from St. Olaf College and a Master of Business Administration degree from Mt. Mercy University.
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.
Erin Rasmussen is the Director, Energy Efficiency at MidAmerican Energy Company where she oversees the planning, administration and regulatory aspects of MidAmerican’s energy efficiency and demand response programs in their Iowa and Illinois service territories. Erin has been in the energy efficiency industry for over 15 years and with MidAmerican since 2015. Prior to joining MidAmerican, Erin worked in energy efficiency program implementation for several utilities across the Midwest. Erin earned her Bachelor’s degree in International Business from the American College Dublin.
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.
Ethan Hohenadel serves as the Director of Regulatory Affairs with the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives (IAEC). Serving in the IAEC regulatory department since 2008, Ethan develops utility strategy and provides guidance for a broad range of industry issues that span across all three branches of federal and state government. He also draws upon his previous experience with data collection and regulatory compliance in his leadership role. Ethan earned his Juris Doctor degree from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in 2021 and his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance from the University of Iowa in 2003.
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).