TN Advanced Energy Business Council welcomes WACKER, Schneider Electric representatives to the board of directors, elects new officers

Media Contact: Richel Albright, richel@piper-communications.com

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (May 12, 2021) — The Tennessee Advanced Energy Businesses Council (TAEBC) has added Dr. Robert Hardin of WACKER Polysilicon and Katina Stavrou of Schneider Electric to serve on its Board of Directors.

After receiving his Ph.D. in plasma Physics from West Virginia University, Robert spent three years as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS).

As Senior Technical Manager, Robert oversees WACKER’s hyper-pure polysilicon process development department in Charleston, Tennessee. During construction of the Charleston plant, Robert was assigned to the Burghausen, Germany facility for more than three years. Since returning to Tennessee in 2015 to begin production, Robert has been responsible for all aspects of process development for the site’s polysilicon process. He currently serves on the WACKER Polysilicon Site Leadership Team.

“Robert has a proven track record of identifying and advancing collaborative technological partnerships,” said TAEBC Executive Director Cortney Piper. “We are thrilled to add Robert to our board as we look for innovative ways to support and expand the advanced energy landscape in Tennessee.”

Also joining the TAEBC Board is Katina Stavrou, Senior Manager for Schneider Electric’s North American Global Supply Chain.

Katina received her bachelor’s degree at James Madison College of Michigan State University in International Relations. With her International Relations background, Katina interned with the U.S. Department of State in Athens, Greece, and her career has afforded her the opportunity to develop a customs compliance program for Ford Motor Company in Asia, which has set her up for success as a customs and regulatory compliance expert at Schneider.

At Schneider Electric, Katina delivers initiatives to maintain a safe, secure and sustainable supply chain and also acts as an ambassador to Schneider Electric’s Government Relations team concentrating on Energy Policy in Tennessee.

“Katina brings a deep knowledge of relationship building and expertise from one of the world’s leading energy providers,” Piper added. “Our Board is excited to have her join as we all work together to broaden our board’s mission and reach.”

Additionally, Chris Bowles, Bradley, has been elected President replacing outgoing President Trish Starkey, and Steve Seifried, Ameresco, has been elected to serve as Secretary.

Chris is a partner with the Nashville law firm Bradley, which focuses on energy development and financing for project development. His work on utility and commercial scale solar energy projects includes some of the largest solar developments in the eastern United States.

Prior to joining Bradley, Chris worked for Mayor Karl Dean as the first-ever Director of the Nashville Mayor’s Office of Environment and Sustainability.

Steve is a career community and economic development industry leader, leveraging nearly three decades of experience producing results within the public, nonprofit and private sectors. He has overseen the completion of unique infrastructure and capital projects, and the design/management of complex public-private solutions for municipalities, higher education and state governments.

Currently, Steve serves as the Tennessee Solutions Executive for Ameresco, Inc. a leading cleantech integrator and renewable energy asset developer, owner and operator. This role allows him to collaborate with executive leaders to help communities discover their critical path towards renewable energy solutions, energy efficiencies, and sustainable asset/infrastructure upgrades.

Prior to joining Ameresco, Steve led the Tennessee Housing Development Agency’s Section 8 Contract Division and served as an executive for several community development entities across Tennessee. He is engaged with energy policy at the State and national levels and active in other sustainable energy industry efforts.

About Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council

TAEBC champions advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy. Advanced energy is technology neutral and includes electricity and transportation. Anything that makes energy cleaner, safer, more secure or more efficient is in the tent. No other entity in the state concentrates specifically on this robust sector. We educate public officials and business leaders about Tennessee’s advanced energy economy, establish strategic partnerships to connect assets with opportunities, and inform policy that expands and strengthens the industry. For more information, visit: https://tnadvancedenergy.com/.

Ultium Cells is a Key Addition to the State’s EV Resources

Tennessee is a powerhouse state for EV production, further solidified by the announcement that a battery plant is planned for the state.

Media Contact: Gerald Witt, gerald@piper-communications.com

KNOXVILLE, TN, April 16, 2021The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council congratulates state business development officials and the Spring Hill community on the announcement of the Ultium Cells plant.

“This further positions Tennessee as a national leader in the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain, a priority for Governor Lee and the state’s ECD commissioner,” Cortney Piper, executive director of TAEBC, said. “Ultium Cells, the battery venture between LG and GM, is such a natural fit for the state because we have the infrastructure, the workforce and the leadership to help the plant open and hire from the workforce. Auto manufacturers such as Volkswagen, General Motors, Nissan and Toyota know about the resources and potential our state has in advanced energy. We’re thrilled to see partners like LG work with existing manufacturers like GM to bring this facility to Spring Hill. It’s yet another win for the state’s advanced energy community, which we at TAEBC celebrate and support. The Ultium Announcement comes as the country as a whole is working to be the worldwide leader in EVs. Tennessee is a crucial component of that effort.”

About Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council

TAEBC champions advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy. Advanced energy is technology neutral and includes electricity and transportation. Anything that makes energy cleaner, safer, more secure or more efficient is in the tent. No other entity in the state concentrates specifically on this robust sector. We educate public officials and business leaders about Tennessee’s advanced energy economy, establish strategic partnerships to connect assets with opportunities, and inform policy that expands and strengthens the industry. For more information, visit: https://tnadvancedenergy.com/

TAEBC is also part of a growing national coalition of cleantech companies and organizations representing business, labor, and startup innovation calling for the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP)‘s $150 billion federal stimulus proposal that urges Congress to make investments in the nation’s transportation infrastructure, including $25 billion for electric and zero emissions vehicles and related supply chain development, $85 billion for EV charging and infrastructure, $25 billion for zero emissions public transit, active transit and safe streets, $12.5 billion for workforce development, safety and job training, and $2.5 billion in innovation ecosystems for cleantech startups and related small businesses.

Electric Vehicle Supply Chain Gets Energized with Statewide Push Beginning in West Tennessee

FedEx and other Business Leaders Share Their Experiences with State of Tennessee, Higher Education Partners and Energy Experts

Media Contact: Yvette Martinez, yvette@piper-communications.com / (865) 223-9367

KNOXVILLE, TN, April 13, 2021 — The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) brought business leaders, entrepreneurs, state government delegates and higher education partners together today for a discussion about the electric vehicle supply chain, advanced energy jobs and how to energize economic development in the Volunteer State.

“More than 18,000 advanced energy businesses have contributed nearly $40 billion to the state’s gross domestic product, but there is still much more that can be accomplished with ongoing discussion, collaboration and strategy,” TAEBC Executive Director Cortney Piper said. “Energizing the state’s economic development with cohesive advanced energy strategies will only increase our momentum and give Tennessee businesses a competitive advantage.”

Staff Vice President of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability Officer at FedEx, Mitch Jackson started off the business leader perspective of the program by sharing the delivery services electrification goals, which include investing more than $2 billion in vehicle electrification, sustainable energy and carbon sequestration.

Business leaders and entrepreneurs also heard from Chassen Haynes, Director of Business Development for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD); Dr. Claude Pressnell, Jr., President of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA); Dr. Flora Tydings, Chancellor for the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR); Matt Kisber, co-founder and Chairman of Silicon Ranch and TAEBC Board Member; and Van Tucker, President and CEO of LaunchTN.

TAEBC will host virtual business roundtables in each of the state’s three regions in 2021, with the next event on June 9 at 10:00 a.m. CT for businesses in Middle Tennessee and October 13 at 10:00 CT for East Tennessee. The Council will also host a Statewide Energy Incentives Webinar on August 13 at 10:00 a.m. CT.

For more information on these events and registration details, business leaders and other advanced energy partners can visit the TAEBC events page.

About Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council

TAEBC champions advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy. Advanced energy is technology neutral and includes electricity and transportation. Anything that makes energy cleaner, safer, more secure or more efficient is in the tent. No other entity in the state concentrates specifically on this robust sector. We educate public officials and business leaders about Tennessee’s advanced energy economy, establish strategic partnerships to connect assets with opportunities, and inform policy that expands and strengthens the industry. For more information, visit: https://tnadvancedenergy.com/

National Infrastructure Plan Will Help Tennessee’s EV Goals

The transportation infrastructure plan will strengthen Gov. Bill Lee’s mission to make Tennessee the national leader in the electric vehicle supply chain.

Media Contact: Gerald Witt, gerald@piper-communications.com

KNOXVILLE, TN, March 31, 2021The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council supports electric vehicle development among the goals for advanced energy anticipated in the transportation infrastructure plan to be outlined by President Joe Biden on Wednesday.

“Tennessee is a leader in advanced energy, particularly in the electric vehicle supply chain, something that our governor and ECD commissioner have championed as a priority,” Cortney Piper, executive director of TAEBC, said. “We believe a national infrastructure plan will generate new economic opportunity for electric vehicle jobs and companies in Tennessee. Existing auto manufacturers such as Volkswagen, General Motors, Nissan and Toyota have significant operations in Tennessee that stand to benefit from the infrastructure plan. We also have outstanding advanced energy research and development resources with major institutions like the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 

“Spending on transportation infrastructure is crucial for lifting Tennesseans and the country out of an economic downturn caused by the pandemic. And in Tennessee’s case, we are also uniquely positioned to lead on transportation electrification and the economic activity that will follow. Major stakeholders such as the TVA and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation are also deploying EV infrastructure in the state. Our state’s EV opportunities are growing by leaps with the help of government, business and research partners.” 

TAEBC is also part of a growing national coalition of cleantech companies and organizations representing business, labor, and startup innovation calling for the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP)’s $150 billion federal stimulus proposal that urges Congress to make investments in the nation’s transportation infrastructure, including $25 billion for electric and zero emissions vehicles and related supply chain development, $85 billion for EV charging and infrastructure, $25 billion for zero emissions public transit, active transit and safe streets, $12.5 billion for workforce development, safety and job training, and $2.5 billion in innovation ecosystems for cleantech startups and related small businesses.

About Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council

TAEBC champions advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy. Advanced energy is technology neutral and includes electricity and transportation. Anything that makes energy cleaner, safer, more secure or more efficient is in the tent. No other entity in the state concentrates specifically on this robust sector. We educate public officials and business leaders about Tennessee’s advanced energy economy, establish strategic partnerships to connect assets with opportunities, and inform policy that expands and strengthens the industry. For more information, visit: https://tnadvancedenergy.com/

Commissioner Bob Rolfe Receives Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award

Commissioner Rolfe’s leadership enabled an electric vehicle supply chain boom in Tennessee

Media Contact: Gerald Witt, gerald@piper-communications.com

KNOXVILLE, TN, March 25, 2021 — Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe received the 2021 Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award on Thursday. The annual award honors exemplary leadership and success in championing, connecting, and strengthening Tennessee’s advanced energy economy.

“Today I’m humbled, I’m honored and most grateful to receive the Tom Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award,” Rolfe said Thursday during the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council’s annual meeting.

Rolfe was selected for the award due to the instrumental role he’s played in bringing jobs in advanced energy to the state, particularly in electric vehicle manufacturing. Rolfe has spearheaded the goal of making Tennessee the top state in the country for electric vehicle manufacturing, as well as speaking and meeting with automotive manufacturers across the country to attract them here.

“Tennessee leads the way in the automotive evolution when it comes to EV manufacturing,” Rolfe said. “And I think about our most recent announcement working with General Motors to invest $2 billion in Spring Hill to create their first OEM electric vehicle platform for their Cadillac Lyriq. And then I think back two short years ago when Volkswagen made their commitment and announced an $800 million commitment to hire another 1,000 people so they could build their U.S. OEM platform for EVs. And then lastly, our friends at Nissan – they have built the Leaf for many years now, and today there are about 500,000 Leafs on the road.”

TAEBC champions the state’s advanced energy economy as an economic development and job creation strategy through sharing information, connecting stakeholders, and strengthening the industry. Cortney Piper, executive director of TAEBC, presented the award to Rolfe during the virtual meeting.

“Bob Rolfe has been a tremendous partner to TAEBC and the state’s impressive electric vehicle supply chain,” Piper said. “He is essential to making Tennessee a national leader in EV manufacturing and the advanced energy workforce. We’re excited for continued growth in advanced energy with the leadership from Commissioner Rolfe and all the efforts by TAEBC members and partners across the state.”

About the Tom Ballard Award: The award, named for Tom Ballard, celebrates leadership, education, mentoring and advocacy in Tennessee’s advanced energy economy. Ballard was TAEBC’s first president upon its launch in 2014 and served on the board of directors until 2019. The Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award is an annual award, with winners named at TAEBC’s annual meeting.

In 2019, TAEBC bestowed the first-ever Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award to Ballard himself, during TAEBC’s annual meeting at Schneider Electric’s Nashville Hub. In 2020, TAEBC awarded Dan Hurst, CEO and Founder of Knoxville-based Strata-G, with the Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award.

About TAEBC: The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council fosters the growth of the state’s advanced energy technologies, companies, and jobs by educating public officials, the business community and other strategic partners about the value and job creation potential of Tennessee’s advanced energy assets. TAEBC is a 501(c) (3) organization.