2023 Cleantech Innovation Awards Program


4:30pmNetworking Reception
5:15pmAwards Program
Host WelcomeJerry Williams, SAS
RTCC WelcomeDr. Deb Wojcik, RTCC
RTCC OverviewEmmit Owens, RTCC
Platinum Sponsor RemarksAndrew Wall, PowerSecure
Research Innovation in Cleantech
Cleantech Entrepreneur
Equity in Cleantech
Cleantech Impact: Local Government
Our Foundations for Excellence in CleantechSecretary Machelle Baker Sanders, NC Commerce
Cleantech Impact: Economic Development
Cleantech Talent Development
Cleantech Impact: Water
Cleantech Impact: Energy
Building on Our Strengths to Accelerate Cleantech InnovationKevin Hernandez, ScottMadden
Cleantech Impact: Transportation
Diversity in Cleantech
Cleantech Champion
Creating a Collaborative Vision of our Cleantech FutureDr. Deb Wojcik, RTCC
6:45pmNetworking Reception
8:00pmEvent Concludes

Meet Our Speakers

Jerry Williams

Opening Remarks

Chief Environmental Officer, SAS

As Chief Environmental Officer, Jerry Williams helps lead the development and execution of SAS’ sustainability strategy across operations worldwide. He uses SAS analytic solutions to manage the company’s global operational data, report Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance, identify risks and opportunities, and ensure SAS is compliant with rapidly emerging environmental regulations.

Jerry is a primary facilitator of smart campus and environmental initiatives at SAS and key contributor to ongoing resource efficiency programs. In the community, he is often asked to speak about the urgency of addressing climate change, the benefits of a clean energy economy, plug-in electric vehicle infrastructure, LEED certification, solar and other corporate sustainability initiatives to a wide range of municipal, education and legislative audiences. He actively fosters collaboration and engagement across operations through the deployment of SAS Visual Analytics reporting to front line subject matter experts.

Andrew Wall

Platinum Sponsor Remarks

Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, PowerSecure

Andrew Wall serves as senior vice president and chief commercial officer for PowerSecure.  He is a member of the executive management team and is responsible for leading the commercial organization to deliver sustained, profitable growth of the company.  In this role, Mr. Wall leads and oversees the strategic growth development and execution, corporate development, sales and marketing performance, and delivery of world-class customer experience. 

Prior to joining PowerSecure, Mr. Wall served as senior vice president and chief commercial officer for NN, Inc., a diversified industrial company, combining advanced engineering and production capabilities with in-depth materials science expertise to design and manufacture high-precision components and assemblies for a variety of markets on a global basis.  Prior to joining the NN, Inc., Mr. Wall served in numerous leadership positions for ABB, a global manufacturer of heavy electrical equipment and automation technology, with roles spanning corporate strategy, business development, marketing, sales, and business unit general management over an 18-year tenure.   Mr. Wall also serves on the Board of Directors for Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster, an industry-funded, industry-led organization focused on accelerating growth and leadership of the cleantech economy, leveraging the unique concentration of industry, academic, and government leaders in the Research Triangle of NC to create benefits through innovation, deployment, and talent in the region, North Carolina, and beyond. 

Mr. Wall holds a Bachelor of Science, Business Management from North Carolina State University and a Master of Business Administration from Elon University. 

Machelle Baker Sanders

Lightning Talk: Our Foundations for Excellence in Cleantech

Secretary of Commerce, NC Department of Commerce

In February 2021, Governor Cooper appointed Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders to lead the North Carolina Department of Commerce, enlisting her experience as former Administration Secretary, strong background as a business leader and her extensive knowledge of what it takes to build a globally competitive workforce. Secretary Sanders’ vision for North Carolina’s post-pandemic economic restoration is to work with partners to attract better paying jobs, support small businesses, and stimulate our state’s innovation and entrepreneurial economy. Her bold and purposeful leadership aims to ensure North Carolina’s diverse state is an inclusive one that works for all people.

Kevin Hernandez

Lightning Talk: Building on Our Strengths to Accelerate Cleantech Innovation

Partner, ScottMadden

Kevin Hernandez is a partner with ScottMadden where he specializes in grid modernization, electrification and the clean energy transition. Since joining the firm in 2012, he has consulted with a variety of utility and industry clients on issues ranging from non-wires alternatives and DER integration to fleet electrification and EV infrastructure planning. Kevin earned his B.A. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, an M.A from the U.S. Navy War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and his M.B.A. from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He is also a veteran of the United States Navy.

Dr. Deb Wojcik

Lightning Talk: Creating a Collaborative Vision of our Cleantech Future

Executive Director, Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster

Deb Wojcik joined the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster as Executive Director in August 2021. She brings over 20 years of experience in program leadership and development, stakeholder engagement and network building, career and professional development, and environmental education and communication.

Deb has worked extensively to build strong relationships across sectors and effectively address complex challenges through creativity and collaboration. She has developed and managed innovative programs at the Pratt School of Engineering and the Nicholas School of the Environment of Duke University, Stanford University, University of Florida, North Carolina Coastal Federation, North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve, and with technology companies.

Deb earned a PhD from the University of Florida focused on adaptive management of resources and stakeholder education and engagement. Her doctoral research focused on using a network approach to understand communication flows and decision making around water and wildlife resources in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. She was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University and holds Master of Environmental Management, Master of Arts in Teaching, and Bachelor of Science degrees from Duke University.

Meet Our Sponsors

Platinum Sponsor

Host Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsors