Larry Sherwood, President | Chief Executive Officer
As IREC’s President and CEO, Larry has worked with IREC in different capacities for more than 10 years. Prior to becoming President/CEO, he was IREC’s Vice President/COO, the author of IREC’s U.S. Solar Market Trends report and editor of IREC’s Small Wind Newsletter. With more than 35 years of experience in renewable energy, Larry has served as President of Sherwood Associates, a renewable energy consulting firm. He was Project Administrator for the Solar America Board for Codes and Standards and Executive Director for a number of renewable energy organizations including the Small Wind Certification Council, American Solar Energy Society, and Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. Larry has received a Special Recognition Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and lives in a PV-powered house in Boulder, Colorado with his wife, Janet, and daughter, Morgan.
Radina Valova, Vice President – Regulatory Program
As Vice President of IREC’s Regulatory Program, Radina Valova provides strategic direction and oversight of IREC’s regulatory team. Radina comes to IREC with seven years of experience in energy and climate law and policy, with a focus on the electric and gas utility sectors, utility transformation, and a just transition to a decarbonized economy for underserved and disadvantaged communities. Prior to joining IREC, Radina served as Senior Staff Attorney and Regulatory Affairs Manager for the Pace Energy and Climate Center in White Plains, New York, where she led the Center’s engagement in New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision, developed policy solutions for decarbonizing the buildings sector, and pushed for clean and affordable energy for low- and moderate-income communities. Radina is a graduate of the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, with J.D. Certificates in Environmental and International Law, and an LL.M. in Land Use and Sustainable Development. She teaches Energy Law at Pace and has a strong commitment to training the next generation of energy and climate advocates.
As IREC’s Assistant Director, Regulatory Program, Mari is responsible for policy tracking, research and analysis, as well as providing support for IREC’s state and national regulatory efforts. Before joining IREC, Mari was Deputy Director of Policy and Electricity Markets at SolarCity where she managed regulatory and legislative solar policy initiatives that covered the Southeastern US as well as provided research and analytical support to the policy team. Prior to SolarCity, Mari worked on clean energy issues at the Center for American Progress and the Solar Energy Industries Association. A former Austinite, Mari currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Brian Lydic, Chief Regulatory Engineer
Brian Lydic, Chief Regulatory Engineer for IREC, holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and has been active in renewable energy since 2005. He started out designing and installing residential and small commercial PV, solar thermal, and wind energy systems for a company based in Ann Arbor, MI. In 2007, he joined Fronius as an Applications Engineer for solar electronics, supporting customers with design and field issues as well as leading numerous trainings for installers, designers, and salespeople. In his role as Sr. Standards & Technology Engineer, Brian tracked standards and regulatory, technology, and market issues as they related to product development for Fronius. As Regulatory Engineer for IREC, he continues to work with regulatory stakeholders to further the organization’s mission to increase access to sustainable energy and energy efficiency. He is a member of UL 1741 and IEEE 1547 working groups, helping to improve the grid integration of PV systems. Brian is a founding member and chair of the Forum on Inverter Grid Integration Issues (FIGII), an ad-hoc consortium of PV experts which seeks to address emerging high penetration issues through research and standardization. Working with utilities, manufacturers, and experts, Brian helps to craft and revise technical requirements for grid interconnection in California, Hawaii, and elsewhere. Brian, who holds an electrical engineering degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife Willi and enjoys playing music with (and for) friends.
Midhat Mafazy, Regulatory Program Engineer
Midhat Mafazy, Regulatory Program Engineer for IREC, holds a BS in Physics from Illinois State University (Normal, IL) and a Master of Engineering from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI). Midhat joins IREC with six years of experience in the utility industry. He began as an Intern for a Fortune 500 utility in 2014. There he performed cost-benefit analysis of energy storage systems used as investment deferrals at utility substations (NWA solutions). Midhat joined the utility full-time in 2015 and transitioned to primarily Distributed Energy Resources (DER) roles. For two years, he worked at the utility microgrid facility (Champaign, IL) where he was involved in numerous tests, facility upkeep, as well as providing public tours of the world-renowned utility-scale microgrid. Midhat continued to expand his portfolio and began to oversee DER Integration, Standards, Policies & Strategies, DER pilots, and the grid of the future projects. In his role as a DER Integration Engineer, Midhat was instrumental in specifying the Illinois Smart Inverter rebate, offering incentives to non-residential customers with Smart Inverters in the state. He maintained and updated the company’s DER policies and standards, and quite often, served as a link between DER related research and the company’s DER pilot engagements. Midhat has partnered with peer utilities around the country and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) on projects related to DER Interconnection best practices and Smart Inverter field deployment. Before joining IREC, Midhat served as a technical lead in Illinois grid interconnection proceedings, responding to comments and data requests. Midhat lives in Normal, Illinois with his wife, Nazma, and daughter, Shani, and enjoys playing soccer with friends.
Sky Stanfield, Partner at Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, LLP
Sky is a Partner at Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, LLP, where she represents the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) in grid modernization, interconnection, and energy storage proceedings across the United States. Her practice focuses on renewable energy regulation, with a particular emphasis on the numerous legal and technical policy questions that need to be addressed to advance the integration of distributed energy resources. She was the lead author of IREC’s 2017 Optimizing the Grid: A Regulator’s Guide to Hosting Capacity Analyses for Distributed Energy Resources and has been an active participant in most of the country’s regulatory proceedings related to Hosting Capacity Analyses. Sky also regularly works on the development and refinement of state and federally regulated interconnection standards. She participates in rulemakings before state public utility commissions and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission surrounding the creation of foundational policies for energy storage, distributed solar, community solar, and related topics. Sky earned a B.A. with High Honors from Hobart & William Smith Colleges, a J.D. from UC Berkeley. In 2010, she was awarded the California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) award.
Laure-Jeanne Davignon, Vice President – Workforce
Laure-Jeanne has served in various capacities for IREC since 2010, and currently serves as Vice President, managing oversight and strategic direction for the workforce program. She also leads IREC’s standards development and revision activities. She has served as Principal Investigator for federally-funded training and certification efforts and is a national thought leader on clean energy workforce issues. She leads a team that develops unique job-focused online training and pioneered the use of micro-credentials to provide clean energy add-on skills for allied professionals. Her experience spans education and nonprofit management, first in higher education and then as an association executive for the residential building supply industry. She resides in upstate New York, where she powers her home through one of the first community solar projects in the state.
Michelle Barrett, Senior Project Manager
Michelle Barrett is the Senior Project Manager for the IREC Workforce, Regulatory and Communication operations. Prior to joining IREC, Michelle worked at the New York Association on Independent Living, Inc. (NYAIL) as the Membership and Event Coordinator. Michelle’s primary responsibility was management of all association meetings. She was also responsible for the operations and management of the association’s bi-annual conference and exposition, along with overseeing the day-to-day association office operations. She is a life-long resident of New York and resides in Albany with her family.
Kristen Ferguson, Director of Training and Development
Kristen is Director of Training and Development, helping to lead IREC’s workforce and credentialing efforts. She works with IREC’s Registered assessors to recruit, train, and mentor both the new and more seasoned members of the team. Her work is part of continuing efforts to raise the bar for quality assessments. Kristen also led a working group of industry professionals on the revision of Standard 01022. She has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has used this technical knowledge along with her experience in instructional design, curriculum development, and experiential education classrooms in Baltimore and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa.
Mary Lawrence, Project Coordinator
Mary is a Project Coordinator for IREC and in the last six years has supported numerous workforce development grants including three through the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative and one for NYSERDA’s Workforce Development Program. Mary has supported IREC as national administrator of the GEARED (Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment) Network, an initiative to build a skilled power generation workforce for the 21st century electric grid. She also supported the Solar Training and Education for Professionals (STEP) Project which is focused on deploying high-quality solar training, both online and in-person, to code officials and firefighters across the country. Mary came to IREC from AmeriCorps Cape Cod, a full-time, residential, service program that focuses its efforts on the natural resource management and disaster preparedness needs of the Cape Cod Community. Mary lives in upstate New York with her husband and two children.
Joe Sarubbi, Technical Education and Training Consultant
Joe is a technical education, training, and workforce development consultant, currently serving as Project Manager for IREC’s Energy Efficiency Career Map project. He previously led IREC’s Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment (GEARED) initiative, a program to train and educate current and future electric utility professionals to provide the knowledge and skills required to operate our country’s electric grid with high penetrations of solar electricity and other distributed technologies. Before joining IREC, Joe was a professor, department chair, and executive director at Hudson Valley Community College where he was the main architect for the college’s TEC-SMART facility, the country’s first totally integrated Training and Education Center for Semi-Conductor Manufacturing and Alternative and Renewable Technologies. In 2009, Joe was honored by the visit of President Obama in which the president recognized his work in developing model programs for other institutions to emulate. With over thirty-five years in industry and education training experience, Joe has garnered a national reputation for the design and delivery of renewable energy and other industry training programs. Joe is a board member of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), has twice given expert testimony regarding renewable energy training programs and policy before the U.S. Congress, and is a journeyman electrician.
Anna Sullivan, Director of Credentialing
Anna joined the IREC team in 2014. As Director of Credentialing, she provides guidance, technical resources, and capacity-building services to applicants and credential holders throughout the process of applying for, obtaining, and maintaining the IREC credential. She also contributes to other IREC workforce initiatives. Prior to this role, she served on the Credentialing Award Committee after three years on the applicant side of IREC’s Credentialing Program. In that capacity, Anna was Director of Curriculum Development and Accreditation at the Association for Energy Affordability, Inc. (AEA), a DOE Weatherization Training Center and energy program service provider headquartered in NYC. Anna brings 14 years of experience in energy efficiency and building resiliency, primarily in training program design, delivery and evaluation, curriculum and assessment development, and worker certification. In other roles, she has served as the Director of the Community Services Block Grant in Cook County, IL; Manager of Training for CEDA Weatherization in Chicago, IL; Training Coordinator for American Red Cross Building Resiliency Programs; Community Development Analyst for the OSCE in Tashkent, Uzbekistan; and as a journalist in England. Anna holds an MA from the University of Chicago and a BA from Oxford University.
As Assistant Director of Training and Development at IREC, Amy designs, develops, updates, and maintains learning content focused on increasing the effectiveness of a range of professionals with clean energy technologies, such as solar, energy storage, wind, building performance, and energy efficiency. She collaborates with subject matter experts and stakeholders to identify training gaps and produce content that removes barriers to the deployment of clean energy across the country. Amy’s background in training, teaching, and technical writing has spanned a variety of subjects. After earning degrees in Biology (BA, Hampshire College) and Chinese Studies (MA- University of London, SOAS), Amy spent over a decade developing curriculum and teaching Chinese language courses, as well as working as the co-director of the Middlebury College School in Hangzhou, China. Immediately prior to joining IREC, Amy worked as an instructional designer, developing technical eLearning courses on topics such as electricity, building codes, refrigeration, and equipment troubleshooting. She currently resides in the Chicagoland area with her family and many, many pets.
Leslie Graham, Director of Development
Leslie was named IREC’s first Director of Dlevelopment in May 2021; in this role she will be leading fundraising activities for the organization. She previously managed grants and partnerships for a zero-emission vanpool and carsharing company. In this capacity, she secured contracts with LA Metro, San Diego Association of Governments and the California Air Resources Board, among others. She previously participated as a reviewer on the Greenlining Institute’s Mobility Equity Framework and was a Fellow with the Southern California Leadership Network. With a keen interest in strategy for community development, Leslie’s work experience has spanned management consulting and fundraising for school-based environmental education, workforce development programs and the arts. Originally from Oklahoma, she earned an MBA from Boston University and her undergraduate degree is from Washington University (St. Louis). Leslie lives with her partner Vivek and their dog Frida in a solar-powered home in Los Angeles within woeful eyeshot of the still-functioning Inglewood Oil Field.
Gwen Brown, Communications Director
As Communications Director at IREC, Gwen works to promote awareness of IREC’s programs and successes. Prior to joining the IREC team, Gwen was Senior Content Marketer at Aurora Solar, a software firm working to reduce the cost of residential and commercial solar through remote site analysis and PV design. In this role, she led the creation of educational content for solar professionals—including blog articles and webinars. Gwen has published over 20 articles in industry publications such as Solar Power World and Renewable Energy World and presented in webinars hosted by Greentech Media and pv magazine. Earlier in her career, Gwen was a Senior Research Associate at the Environmental Law Institute and a Fellow with the Clean Energy Leadership Institute. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Gettysburg College and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Nicole Wilson, Communications Coordinator
As Communications Coordinator at IREC, Nicole supports IREC’s communications operations including social media, blog posts and articles, emails and the monthly IREC Report, graphic design, press releases, and website updates. Before coming to IREC, Nicole worked as a reporter for several newspapers, a marketer and designer for two book publishing groups, and a lead copy editor and designer for a newspaper design center publishing 12 newspapers a night. In her most recent role before IREC, Nicole worked as a Communications Specialist for the NC Clean Energy Technology Center at NC State University. She holds a degree in Journalism from the University of Florida. A native Floridian, Nicole currently resides in Raleigh, NC, with her husband and cat.
Maryteresa Colello, Administrative Coordinator
Maryteresa (MT) has more than 20 years of experience in office management, administration, and operation procedures. MT assists IREC with bookkeeping and administrative tasks. MT lives in Albany and is a devoted Mets fan.