The founding members of the Advisory Board are seasoned and respected industry leaders with demonstrated experience leading global decarbonisation, renewable energy and net zero efforts with a focus on market penetration and transformation, expanding to new markets and developing growth mindset strategies, organisational and strategic visioning and deploying data-backed technology platforms:
Dan K Slone
Dan K Slone
In India, the Tea Wallah responds to your desire for tea by bringing you a cup, saucer, tea, milk and sugar, enabling you to have your tea. When recently giving a TEDx talk, Dan was introduced as a “partner” in the law firm, but he told the audience his preferred title, Vision Wallah.
“You tell me your vision,” he said. “A great non-profit, a new eco-district, a new community, a great green product – and I will bring you the elements that we need to make that vision happen.”
As an attorney, general counsel for the EcoDistricts and other prominent non-profits, and an author of a vast array of publications, Dan is well positioned to do just that.
Dan Slone assists innovative clients in designing and implementing their projects. He helps them create the right entities, put together the appropriate strategies, overcome impediments and put together effective contracts for the new types of relationships they create.
Though Dan welcomes challenges of all sorts, most of his clients fit into one or more of seven areas: New Urban Projects, Non-profits and Governance, Land Use, Localities, Energy, Water and Infrastructure, Startups and Professionals.
Felix Tapawan Garcia
Felix Tapawan Garcia
A recognized thought leader in the renewable energy infrastructure space, Felix combined his extensive corporate experience with his early political Capitol Hill background, passion for renewable energy, and creative entrepreneurial spirit to create AgriSunPower LLC (ASP). He understands that building a sustainable renewable energy infrastructure is becoming an integral part of economic development strategies as technology companies demand access to large quantities of green energy.
Felix’s vision for ASP is to connect energy developers, utility companies, electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, state energy agencies, regulators, local public officials, environmental advocates, and other stake holders to facilitate solar energy generation in Virginia.
In 2008, Felix was appointed to Climate Change Commission by Governor Tim Kaine. He was assigned to the Power Generation Committee where his interest in that field started. Even then, he learned that the nation was not generating enough electric power. Felix currently serves on Virginia’s Coal and Energy Commission.
At the same period, Felix was President of Gatekeepers LLC, a technology transfer company providing assistance to ISG LLC in developing technology to recycle smelter slag and to increase the productivity of solar cells, when he was asked to serve on the Virginia Governor’s Climate Change Commission in 2008. His service on the Power Generation Committee there demonstrates his commitment to service in the tech/clean energy space.
Other clean tech/energy activities include US Senate testimony for Clean Tech Voices, participation in Clean Energy Economic Forums for the White House, and authoring Op/Ed articles on Cap and Trade (Ceres, Inc.) and Making Solar Power a Win-Win for Everyone (Bacon’s Rebellion).
Felix’s entry to the utility scale solar space began with his investment in Focal Line Solar LLC. Focal Line Solar designed a solar concentrated photovoltaic module which blended proven technologies and processes with an in-house developed IP, resulting in efficient mass production design. Prior to that, he founded Alten LLC, a consulting firm that provided clean technologies expertise and researched independent power production and distributed generation with GE Global Research.
John is a Managing Partner, Director, Business Development and Performance Leader in Sales Engineering of Products, Services and Installations. He is an innovative and solutions-driven change agent with extensive experience leading and developing new markets, transformational methods of market penetration and growth strategies, mitigate risk while enhancing profitability, promote efficiency and enhance customer satisfaction. He leverages business and engineering software to create and enhance data-driven decision making, metrics and project viability. He cultivates cross-functional business partnerships and develops opportunities through management and team leadership that create organizational growth and value.
As Director of Utility Scale Solar Projects at AgriSun Power, he provides direct contact and field surveys to begin and complete the process to procure land and obtain permits to build the project. He uses entrepreneurial strategies and multi-faceted teams to obtain the land, build a relationship with the local government and the community to obtain conditional / special Use Permits. He also serves as the technical liaison with the developer to create the contracts, provide technical support and serve as their “boots on the ground” with the AgriSun team. All of this requires him to work with the local farming community, Attorneys, the Planning Commission, Board of Supervisors and the County Administration team. He is currently managing numerous projects using Anderson Optimization site selection software, Google Earth Pro, Excel spreadsheets and legal documentation. The construction value of projects he oversees is about $1.2 billion dollars.
He works with the developer and the AgriSun team to work on new strategies to counter the opposition community, Farmers against solar and local ordinances to overcome their reluctance to allow utility scale solar mainly due to misinformation. He implemented the use of the Anderson Optimization software on all of AgriSun projects, which was instrumental in properly identifying and providing constraint studies before and during each project.
Mahesh Ramanujam — Global Network for Zero
Driven by his belief in a brighter future, the Global Network for Zero Co-Founder, President, and CEO Mahesh Ramanujam convenes a coalition of leaders dedicated to progressing society toward greater ESG compliance and ultimately a zero greenhouse gas economy. An investor, convener and unifier with decades of experience leading global technology platforms, Ramanujam focuses on integration and interoperability for optimal results in the sustainability sector.
Experienced in both nonprofit and for profit sectors, Mahesh helps businesses, communities, cities, buildings and infrastructure to realize their ESG and net zero commitments.
As President and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) and the global technology platform, Arc. Mahesh led the movement for transforming green building standards to ensure public health, equity and environmental sustainability in communities across the world. At USGBC, along with Network co-founders Sarah Merricks and Scot Horst, Mahesh set the gold standard for global green building certification and credentialing. In an effort to place greater awareness and adoption of human health and wellness performance markers, he future proofed the internationally recognized LEED rating system with a more rigorous and ambitious certification process, one that included the overdue and necessary decarbonization requirements for a net zero reality. Prior to his tenure as President and CEO, Mahesh served as the COO and CIO of USGBC, during which he ushered in a new era of groundbreaking programs.
A respected thought leader, Mahesh regularly delivers keynotes at large events like Greenbuild, where he has secured and interviewed high-profile guests like former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, Amal Clooney, Dan Levy and renowned architect Bjarke Ingels. Mahesh’s writing has been featured in international media outlets and publications, and includes opinion pieces on climate change, ESG and investment, technology and policy.
His USGBC work was preceded by leadership positions at IBM and Lenovo, where he led several business transformations programs. A graduate from India’s Annamalai University with a degree in Computer Engineering, Mahesh always leads with an emphasis on inclusion and bridging divides.
Mr. Gobuty is nationally recognized as a pioneer in the green building industry. In 2015, he broke the sustainability barrier with Mirabella, an active adult community of 160 sustainable homes located in Bradenton, Florida. The community is one of the first to achieve LEED Platinum certification — the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest mark of sustainability — on a production scale. The USGBC named Mr. Gobuty “Power Builder of the Year” for four years in a row from 2016 to 2019, and was awarded the 2019 “LEED Visionary of the Year,” in recognition of his award-winning, eco-friendly design and construction. Gobuty is an experienced entrepreneur with past ventures in fashion design and in the garment industry. Starting with a small apparel business in Canada, he quickly transformed the company into an international enterprise. His experience included becoming one of the first ever private labels for a large, well-known retailer. His ventures and experience eventually grew into other areas, where his company LagoInvest, had 4,500 apartment units under management, mostly with a focus in Berlin, Germany. Later shifting towards hospitality, Gobuty began supplying hotels across the United States with furnishings—giving him a network of firms and individuals across the globe to begin redefining sustainable housing.
Rodney Sobin leads NASEO’s building-grid integration initiative; supports a range of building energy efficiency and energy-environmental integration activities; conducts research on such issues as evaluation, measurement and verification; technological innovation; industrial energy; rural energy; and energy productivity. Prior to NASEO, he served as Director of Research and Regulatory Affairs at the Alliance to Save Energy; worked at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality; and did environmental technology work at Concurrent Technologies Corporation, the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and the World Resources Institute. He has a Bachelor of Science in biology and society from Cornell University and two master’s degrees – Master of Arts in technology and human affairs and Master of Science in biological sciences from Washington University in St. Louis.
Sarah Merricks — Global Network for Zero
Every moonshot needs its command center, and Sarah Merricks leads mission control for the Global Network for Zero. As Chief Strategy Officer, Sarah Merricks has been passionate about protecting people and the planet since day one. Years of environmental knowledge and vast institutional experience led Sarah to identify one of the biggest gaps in the net zero movement: segmentation. Unifying leaders and sectors across the sustainability space, Sarah has now earned a reputation as a changemaker, agile marketer and innovator within the sustainability sector.
Deploying brand management and strategic vision and operations history, a vast knowledge base of green buildings and strong connections in investment and nonprofit sectors, Sarah launched the Network with Mahesh from the ground up. She oversees daily operations, convenes top voices and contributes thought leadership and high-level advice for involved parties.
Prior to co-leading the Network, Sarah spent nearly nine years at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as Chief of Staff for her network co-founder, Mahesh Ramanujam. During her tenure at USGBC, Sarah worked alongside Mahesh as his visionary brand manager, communications strategist, product positioner and media guru. She was directly involved with Mahesh’s revolutionary approach and execution, always fearlessly asking what’s next.
Sarah’s environmental experience began long before her time at USGBC. She previously worked at a national clean energy think tank, interned with U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Energy Independence & Global Warming and conducted research for an environmental law firm. A Boston College graduate, Sarah is a DC native with an intimate understanding of the major issues facing the climate as a daughter of environmental lawyers. Her mother is best known for lobbying on behalf of the Clean Air Act, even arguing for it in the Supreme Court.
Sarah’s motivation to protect the environment was passed down to her from her parents, and it’s a passion she now shares with her own children. She is committed to working with a new generation of young leaders in the sustainability sector in an effort to build and scale the measures necessary for a cleaner, safer and more equitable planet.
Scot Horst — Global Network for Zero
The Global Network for Zero Co-founder Scot Horst has spent decades envisioning and championing the alignment of standards with proven environmental, economic and social benefits. As the Chairman of the Global Network for Zero, Scot guides the network to reenvision, rebuild and recalibrate the existing tools and strategies in the market to promote a completely new way of thinking about what shelter means to all humankind and human health, as well as all of nature and ecosystem health, in the 21st century.
Before co-founding the Global Network for Zero with Mahesh Ramanujam and Sarah Merricks, Scot oversaw the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification system, helping to grow the program to over 100,000 projects globally. A creator at heart, Scot held the distinguished title of founder and founding CEO of Arc Skoru and the Arc platform, which tracks and scores the actual performance of existing buildings, cities and places. The Arc platform was the first green building performance standard and became the foundation of the latest version of the LEED for Existing Buildings, LEED for Transit, LEED Zero and LEED for Cities rating systems.
Prior to his work at USGBC, Scot held numerous executive positions. He served as the President of Athena Institute International, a nonprofit dedicated to the life-cycle assessment of buildings, and of 7group, a leading green building consultancy. He also designed and operated “Cool Climate Concrete,” a program for cement and concrete companies to reduce Portland cement clinker in thousands of projects and provide carbon to the Climate Trust of Oregon.
Scot co-authored An Integrative Design Guide to Green Building. He serves on the board of the Cradle 2 Cradle Products Innovation Institute and the Advisory Board of Commonweal Ventures. He has served for the Sustainable Building Alliance in Paris, the Energy and Retrofit Finance Committee of the World Economic Forum and numerous organizations that focus on transformation.
Scot holds dual degrees in Philosophy and Voice Performance from Oberlin College and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He sang opera professionally, and maintains a furniture design studio.