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Stay Tuned for the Next Smart Grid Event... Being Grid Smart

October 29, 2009
ARCADIA, Florida (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced $3.4 billion in grants to help build a “smart” electric grid meant to trim utility bills, reduce blackouts and carry power generated by solar and wind energy.
    December 15, 2009
Dow Jones VentureWire – Silver Spring Networks Inc. secured $100 million in a new round of financing to help the company expand its smart-grid business in the U.S. and abroad.

What is a “Smart Grid”?  How might it make a difference?  Why is it attracting so much capital?  Are San Diego companies involved?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Being Grid Smart matters and this is your opportunity to learn more.  Join us on February 17, 2010 as a diverse panel of industry players shares their views on the development, growth, challenges, and opportunities in this rapidly evolving market.  The differing perspective of Utilities, System Integrators, Products, and Services companies both large and small promises to produce a stimulating discussion.

Martin Caniff
Founder & President, Solekai Systems
Martin Caniff is Founder and President of Solekai Systems, an engineering services company founded in 2002, which originally specialized in software development for the consumer electronics industry. Solekai’s customers include DirecTV, TiVo, Comcast, and Time Warner. In the last three years, Solekai has added a new division specializing in the software development for the Smart Grid. Solekai provides the integration of software from the equipment vendors with the existing utility company business software. Prior to founding Solekai, Martin was President of Doctor Design, another services company based in San Diego. He also served in senior management and engineering positions at DocuFile, Optigraphics and Megatek Corporation. Martin received a bachelor’s degree from Harvey Mudd College in mathematics and physics.

Thomas Bialek, PhD, PE
Chief Engineer, Smart Grid, 
Tom Bialek is currently employed by San Diego Gas & Electric Company (“SDG&E”) as Chief Engineer on the Smart Grid Team.  His present responsibilities involve smart grid strategy and policy for transmission and distribution issues including equipment, operations, planning, distributed generation and development of new technologies.   He is also the Principal Investigator on DOE and CEC funded Micro Grid projects.  He has held various positions with other North American utilities and equipment manufacturers since graduating in 1982.  His experience includes electric utility design, planning and operation  and equipment design, development and manufacturing.  Tom is an IEEE Power Engineering and Dielectric and Electrical Insulation Society member.  Tom was also the former Failure Mechanism Technical Committee Chair and Secretary of the Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society and Working Group Member for Surge Arresters.  Tom is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society.  He is also a registered Professional Engineer, Electrical Engineering, in the State of California.  He has authored several papers on surge protection of equipment and testing of cables.  Tom received a Bachelor and Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Manitoba in 1982 and 1986 respectively.  He also obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering from Mississippi State University in 2005.

Ron Pitt
Founder & CEO, 
EcoDog Inc.
Ron Pitt is the founder and CEO of EcoDog, a startup developing innovative home energy management systems and winner of CommNexus GadgetFest Gadget of the Year for 2009. He has spent the last 10 years in the green energy industry serving first as Chief Technical Officer and later as General Manager of Trace Engineering, the world’s leading supplier of electronics to the solar electric market with sales in excess of $50 million. Subsequent to the acquisition of Trace Engineering by Xantrex, he served as corporate Vice-President and General Manager of Xantrex’s Distributed Residential & Commercial Markets Division.  Prior joining Trace, Ron spent eight years in the Uninterruptible Power Supply industry with Exide Electronics, Deltec Electronics, Network Security Systems and Elgar Corporation (a succession of corporate changes resulting from spin-offs, mergers or acquisitions), where he served as Director of Software Development, Director of Strategic Business Development, Vice President of Software Development and finally Vice President of Engineering for Exide Electronics Small Systems Division.  Ron has over 20 years experience in the Software and Electronics Manufacturing industries including an extensive background in product development, marketing and sales. He has been awarded two U.S. Patents and has five additional patents pending including two for EcoDog.

Thomas Hartman
Managing Director, 
Ventana Capital

Thomas Hartman is an eclectic business services professional practicing in areas of venture capital, private equity, and management consulting.  He currently serves as a Managing Director of Irvine-based Ventana Capital Management, where he concentrates on information technology, energy, and (select) defense sector opportunities.  Mr. Hartman is also a Managing Director of Palm Ventures, LLC, a Greenwich, CT based Investment Company focused on investing in and building businesses in partnership with management teams and a small group of substantial investors.  Finally, Tom is the founder of Leaders/Boards/Associates; a consulting firm specialized in strategy and global business development.  His operating credentials include senior and executive management positions in both high-growth companies and multi-national corporations.  Tom received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Penn State and a Masters in Business Administration from The Wharton School of Business.


Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

7:30AM Registration/ Networking/ Refreshments
8:00AM Program Begins
9:30AM  Program Ends


12531 High Bluff Drive, Suite 100
San Diego CA 92130

Pre-Registration: (Registration Closed)
$10.00 – CommNexus Sponsor
$20.00 – Non-Sponsor
FREE –  Mentor Sponsor

At the Door: (No Walk-Ins)
$20.00 – CommNexus Sponsor
$30.00 – Non-Sponsor
FREE –  Mentor Sponsor

Students, Military & Press: FREE

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