3:15 - 4:45 PM
Steve Smith - Vice President, Federal Business Unit, Energy Systems Group (moderator)
Steve has over 20 years of experience in the energy performance contracting industry and has background expertise in industrial building science, energy management, and project financing. As a Vice President for ESG’s Federal Business Unit (FBU), Steve oversees all business activity for the Federal Business. Steve administers over a team of business development professionals, engineering professionals, construction management professionals, administrative staff, and other personnel. He is also responsible for all of the ESG’s enduring service projects. He and his team of managers supervise the development of energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) and utility energy service contracts (UESCs) in support of the federal government’s energy conservation, electrification, carbon reduction and infrastructure modernization needs. Steve received his MBA from Baldwin Wallace University and his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton.
Mary Sotos - Director, Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), Office of Infrastructure, Department of Energy (DOE)
Mary Sotos is the Director of the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP). She leads a team dedicated to helping federal agencies achieve sustainable facilities and fleets by assisting with federal-wide data collection and aggregation, developing reporting tools and technical assistance, and offering training and project funding.
Sotos previously served as a senior policy advisor with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, where she launched a revamped "Lead By Example" program to create new strategies to track and manage greenhouse gas emissions, waste, and water use across all state agencies. She also served as the agency's deputy commissioner for energy, directing the state's energy policies and programs. Sotos also worked at the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Program at the World Resources Institute, an international think tank where she developed new global carbon accounting standards and tools used by thousands of organizations worldwide. Additionally, she partnered with corporate leaders to develop and advance new renewable energy strategies, tools, and policies to decarbonize the grid.
Nancy Balkus - Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety, and Infrastructure, Department of Defense
Nancy J. Balkus, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety and Infrastructure, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Arlington, Virginia. She provides executive leadership on all matters pertaining to formulation, review and execution of plans, policies, programs and budgets for Air Force built and natural infrastructure, environmental, installation energy, safety and occupational health programs. These include facility management, military construction, utilities privatization, energy security, contingency energy, environmental compliance and restoration, occupational safety and workplace health.
Ms. Balkus graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1988. She has served in a variety of positions at the squadron, base, forward operating agency, major command and headquarters level in the contiguous United States and overseas. She is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas. Her joint experience includes the Joint Staff Strategic Plans and Policy Assistant Deputy Director for Strategic Stability where she formulated Joint Staff positions and recommendations regarding strategic deterrence, nuclear policy, combating weapons of mass destruction and international arms control agreements. As the Assistant Deputy Director for Global Security Affairs/Partnership Strategy, she provided leadership for building national security partnerships and partner capacity for U.S. missions in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya; reviewed and oversaw all Department of Defense security cooperation plans, authorities and budgets; directed Joint Staff engagement for all international security assistance programs; and provided oversight for the Chairman’s mission to the United Nations in New York.
Prior to her current assignment, Ms. Balkus served as the Deputy Director for Civil Engineers, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. As a civil engineer she has served as the Programs Division Deputy Chief in the Office of the Civil Engineer at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Deputy Base Civil Engineer at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, Deputy Chief of Readiness at Headquarters Air Combat Command, Project Management Branch Chief for the Aviano 2000 Program Management Office, and multiple positions at the Air Force Center for Engineering and Environment, Brooks AFB, Texas.
Walter "Wally" Ludwig - Deputy and Chief of Staff to Deputy Assistant Secretary of Navy (Energy), Department of Defense
Christine Ploschke - Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy and Environment), Department of Defense
Ms. Christine Ploschke is currently the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Sustainability (ADASA(E&S)), leading the program development and oversight of installation energy and water security, resilience, and conservation; sustainability; and operational energy. When not the Acting DASA, she serves within the DASA(E&S) Office as the Water Resilience Program Manager and facilitates the oversight of Army Energy and Water resource planning, and programming, and budget. She previously served as the Acting DASA (E&S) from March 24, 2021, through April 2, 2022.
From 2016 through July 2020, Ms. Ploschke was the Sustainability Branch Chief for the Office of the Chief of the Army Reserve, managing the Reserve’s Installation Energy, Water, Sustainability, and Environmental Programs. While there, she championed the creation of the Army Reserve Asset Management Policy and Process Integration Manual, providing a detailed, procedures-based roadmap for reliably incorporating sustainability planning and environmental compliance requirements into installation and facility master planning, military construction, and real estate processes. Her efforts improved the environmental compliance of the more than 70 real estate acquisitions, disposals, ingrants, and outgrants in execution by the Army Reserve during her tenure. On the energy front, she led the implementation of the USAR’s Enterprise Building Control System and initiated a utility meter sustainment program which significantly improved meter access and reliability.