Leadership

AERC’s Board of Directors is a collection of individuals with an incredibly diverse set of expertise with the common goal of making energy efficient products more accessible to consumers.

Dr. Thomas Culp is the owner of Birch Point Consulting, located in La Crosse, Wisconsin. After earning a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Culp has spent 16 years in the areas of energy efficient glazing and window performance, low-e glass coatings, and building code development. Dr. Culp has a particular interest in addressing energy efficiency of existing buildings, and has led or supported several projects demonstrating the use of low-e storm windows and retrofit panels to cost effectively improve the performance of both existing residential and commercial buildings.

Gant is Director of Research and Development for Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, LLC. He earned a mechanical engineering degree from North Carolina State University, and an MBA from Duke University. John is an active member of organizations such as the US Green Building Council, Professional Awning Manufacturers Association, and Window Covering Manufacturers Association.

As Market Transformation Manager for lighting and building envelope products, Elaine Miller leads the development of NEEA’s overall strategy, partnerships and implementation plan to support the transformation of these markets in the Northwest. She is a dedicated environmental and energy professional with over 23 years’ experience developing and implementing program solutions for energy efficiency and climate resiliency. She is known as a creative leader who relishes market-informed program design and adaptive management to achieve program goals.  During her tenure at NEEA, she has served as both a marketing and program manager balancing stakeholder engagement, strategic planning, marketing and program management responsibilities. Elaine previously managed NEEA’s commercial BetterBricks marketing efforts and over the last six years has focused on tackling the rapidly changing and challenging lighting market. Elaine has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Chinese Studies from the University of California, San Diego and spent several years working and roaming Asia. In her free-time she enjoys hiking and riding her bike across the great Northwest with her family. She is also working on her (long-time) goal of learning to play the ukulele.

Jennifer Thorne Amann promotes residential and commercial whole building performance improvements, explores behavioral approaches to improving energy efficiency, and analyzes the impacts of stronger appliance efficiency standards. She has authored dozens of publications and articles on appliances, lighting, consumer electronics, equipment installation practices, emerging residential and commercial building technologies, and the progress of market transformation initiatives, among others. In addition, Jennifer is lead author of ACEEE‘s popular Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings, now in its tenth edition. Jennifer serves on the board of directors of the National Home Performance Council. She joined ACEEE in 1997.

Prior to joining ACEEE, she worked in the environmental technology field plus community organizing and education on a variety of environmental and consumer issues.

Jennifer earned a master of environmental studies from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a bachelor of arts in environmental studies from Trinity University.

Stephen Barnes is the New Housing Channel Manager for Somfy Systems Inc., the U.S. subsidiary for Somfy SA.  Stephen has worked within the automated window covering industry since receiving his Electrical Engineering degree in 1996, spending the majority of that time within the Somfy organization.  He understands the importance of architectural specification and the need to specify the best and most complete product for the application.  He understands that the correct specification can be the difference between adequate finished product and a superior finished product.

 

From his early career as an Electronic Specialist in the U.S. Air Force, Stephen has aspired to specify, design and install cutting edge control systems.  Having worked for more than 20 years with Architects, General Contractors and Engineers to specify and design shading systems for all types of architecture, he has developed the skills and knowledge to work hand in hand with those professionals no matter the size of the building.

 

Stephen’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, where he focused on digital design.  He also holds a Master in Business Administration from LaSalle University focused on management.  He is a frequent speaker at Architectural events throughout the United States.

Dr. Mahabir Bhandari is an R&D Staff member in ORNL’s Whole Building & Community Integration group. He has more than 20 years of experience in the field of building energy performance. He is a LEED™ Accredited Professional Building Design + Construction (BD+C) and National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) certified simulator and has actively participated in several LEED™ and sustainability projects and contributed significantly in building energy software product developments. In recent years, Dr. Bhandari’s focus has been on advanced fenestration research, module development for EnergyPlus, whole building energy simulation, manual and auto calibration, industrial energy data analysis for energy savings impact, building energy monitoring and performance analysis and the evaluation and integration of energy efficient technologies in buildings. He is a team member of ORNL team that supports the Department of Energy’s Commercial Building Integration program, especially in the area of building envelope. He currently serves on the NFRC Board of Directors.

Lara Bonn is the Strategic Planning Manager for Efficient Products at Efficiency Vermont. She designs the strategic vision for Efficiency Vermont’s incentive and rebate programs for lighting, appliances, and consumer electronics predominantly through the retail space. She is also a Manager in the Strategy and Planning Group at Efficiency Vermont where she oversees the strategic planners of Commercial New Construction, Residential New and Existing Homes, Agriculture, and Hospitality and Restaurant markets. Lara was named one of Vermont Business Magazine’s Rising Stars in 2014 and has led Efficiency Vermont to earn the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award. Prior to working for Efficiency Vermont, Lara worked as a consultant with Optimal Energy and as a senior consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton working exclusively for the U.S. EPA.

Katherine Cort is an economist with Pacific Northwest National Laboratoryand team lead of Building America’s Window Attachments effort. Ms. Cort has over 15 years of experience analyzing energy-efficiency programs, technologies, and research and provides technical support for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Buildings Technologies Office, the Federal Energy Management Program, and the Office of Electricity. She has conducted a number of business case and economic impact studies for DOE-supported emerging building technologies such as advanced nanolens window coatings for daylighting, low-e storm windows, and self-correcting controls for VAV systems. Ms. Cort has B.S. degree in economics from Southern Methodist University and M.A. in economics from the University of Washington.

David Cross is the Director of Business Development, US for Rollease Acmeda.   He has over 30 years of experience in window coverings having spent much of that time working in product development, managing key customer relationships, and developing new channels of distribution.  In addition to his time at Rollease Acmeda, David has worked for a major home furnishings textile company and managed his own import business. He has coauthored several patents both in the areas of textiles and window coverings componentry. David has a BA from Dartmouth College and a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard University.

Born and raised in Northfield, Minnesota, Todd Stratmoen graduated from Iowa State University in 1988 with a BS degree in Industrial Engineering. Upon graduation, Todd joined Pella Corporation where he served 16 years as Project Engineer, Engineering Project Manager (double-hung products), Senior Manager Product Design (storm door division), and Senior Manager Product Development (entry systems division). In 2005, Todd joined Larson Manufacturing Company where he currently serves as Corporate Engineering Initiatives Manager focusing on industry and government affairs, codes and regulations, rating and certification efforts, intellectual property, engineering business processes, and product documentation.

Ralph Vasami, Esq is a Group Vice President at Kellen and has a broad background in engineering, business management, operations, finance, strategic planning and law. He is actively involved with leading clients’ efforts to modify and enhance National Building Codes, and is regularly called upon to facilitate client strategic planning meetings. He serves as the Executive Director of both the Window Covering Manufacturers (WCMA) and AERC.

Previous Board Members (Ex-Officio):

Darrell has over 45 years’ experience in marketing, sales and distribution, with the last 40 years in the window film industry. In the last twenty years, he has served as organizational and planning consultant with trade associations, Internet related businesses, and investment firms. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the International Window Film Association (IWFA). He has authored or co-authored many of the generic educational materials used for industry training and for consumer information purposes.

In addition, Darrell has represented the interests of the window film industry to the National Fenestration Rating Council, the Attachments Energy Rating Council, the Glass Association of North America, the Protective Glazing Council International, the Glazing Industry Code Committee, the Glazing Industry Safety Council, the International Code Committees, and the U.S. Department of Energy. He was named one of the Most Influential Persons in the Glass Industry for 2012.

Darrell holds a B.A. in Economics from Wake Forest University, and has pursued graduate studies in business administration/marketing at University of North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and University of Virginia.

*Ex-Officio

Mr. Thoman has served as the Director of Thermal Testing and Simulations at Intertek-ATI since 2000, determining energy performance parameters on residential and commercial windows, doors, skylights, and curtain wall systems. He is highly involved in organizations like NFRC and ASTM, serving in various leadership roles within both organizations. He has served on the NFRC Board of Directors since 2005 and is currently the Technical Committee chairman for that organization. At ASTM, he leads task groups dealing with thermal testing of building envelope products and serves as a section leader on the C16.30 Thermal Insulation Subcommittee. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and Master’s degrees in Information Systems and Business Administration and is also a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Pennsylvania.

Special Advisor to the Board: 

P. Marc LaFrance serves as the Windows Technology Manager on the Emerging Technologies Team in addition to promoting advanced technologies and energy policy on the Residential Buildings Integration Team. Prior to his current role, Mr. LaFrance managed the energy analysis for the building’s sector at the International Energy Agency’s Sustainable Policy and Technology Directorate in Paris from 2012 to 2015. He published a buildings sector blueprint to achieve a low carbon future by 2050 along with a Building Envelope Technology Roadmap, MEF Building Performance Metrics and a detail plan for China. He also was responsible for coordinating building’s related international technology research agreements. Prior international experience included an assignment at the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre in Tokyo working on macro energy policy and economic analyses for the APEC region from 2000 until 2002.

His initial positions at the Department of Energy began in 1993, when he worked on the Codes and Standards program, the ENERGY STAR® program, and an Emerging Technologies lighting, appliance and equipment program. He managed the window and envelope R&D program for 10 years from 2002 to 2012. During his tenure at the US DOE, his programs received four 100 R&D Awards. His program, in partnership with the private sector, also commercialized many new products in pursuit of zero energy buildings, and was able to make other high-performance products affordable. Mr. LaFrance received his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering in 1985 from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and a master’s degree in urban systems engineering in 1998 from George Mason University. He also is recognized as a certified energy manager and a certified sustainable development professional by the Association of Energy Engineers.