Smart Grid Leadership Awards to be Presented to Four State Commissioners at National Town Meeting

Zibelman, Berwick, Speakes-Backman, and Akiba to Receive Awards

May 06, 2014, 15:18 ET from Association for Demand Response & Smart Grid (ADS)

WASHINGTON, May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Association for Demand Response & Smart Grid (ADS) announced today this year's recipients of its Demand Response and Smart Grid Leadership Awards. The recipients are Audrey Zibelman, Chair, New York Department of Public Service; Ann Berwick, Chair, Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities; Kelly Speakes-Backman, Commissioner, Maryland Public Service Commission; and Lorraine Akiba, Commissioner, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

The awards will be presented at ADS's 2014 National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid, held on May 19-21 in Washington, DC.  All four award recipients will be speaking at the National Town Meeting on May 20.

"ADS is delighted to present these awards to four commissioners who have led their states to modernize the electric grid, integrate demand response, and take a forward-thinking perspective on how to regulate utilities," said Dan Delurey, Executive Director of ADS. "With new proceedings to address utility business models and customer empowerment in New York and Hawaii, development of grid modernization plans in Massachusetts, and the integration of demand response and energy efficiency in Maryland, activities in all four states show how these commissioners are leading the way forward."

Audrey Zibelman was confirmed as a Commissioner of the New York State Public Service Commission on June 19, 2013, and was named Chair on September 3, 2013. Chair Zibelman has extensive experience in the public, private and not-for-profit energy and electricity sectors. She is a recognized national and international expert in energy policy, markets and smart grid innovation. Chair Zibelman is a Founder and past President and Chief Executive Officer of Viridity Energy, Inc. Previously, she was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of PJM, a Regional Transmission Organization that operates the world's largest wholesale power market and serves 14 states throughout the eastern United States. 

Ann Berwick was appointed Chair of the Department of Public Utilities by Governor Deval Patrick in June, 2010.  Prior to that, she was the Commonwealth's Undersecretary for Energy and also served as Acting Chair of the Energy Facility Siting Board. As Undersecretary, Chair Berwick was a key participant in the development of the Green Communities Act, the Patrick Administration's signature energy legislation, and worked closely on its implementation with the state's Department of Energy Resources and Department of Public Utilities. Before serving in the Patrick Administration, Chair Berwick was a senior consultant at M.J. Bradley & Associates in Concord, Massachusetts and served as Chief of the Environmental Protection Division in the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office.

Kelly Speakes-Backman was appointed to the Maryland Public Service Commission by Governor Martin O'Malley, effective September 12, 2011. She also serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, as co-vice chair of the NARUC Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment, and as a member of the EPRI Energy Efficiency & Grid Modernization Public Advisory Group. Commissioner Speakes-Backman has spent 20 years working in energy, sustainability, renewable energy, and environmental business strategies prior to joining the PSC.

Lorraine H. Akiba was appointed to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission in January 2012 by Governor Neil Abercrombie. Prior to this appointment, she worked in private practice as a law partner at McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP and Cades Schutte Flemming & Wright LLP. Commissioner Akiba also previously served the public as the Director of the State of Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and as Chair of the State of Hawaii Environmental Council. She is a member of the EPRI Advisory Council and the NARUC Energy Resources and the Environment Committee.

About the National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid
The 2014 National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid will be held on May 19-21 in Washington, DC, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. More information on the 2014 National Town Meeting can be found at

About the Association for Demand Response & Smart Grid
The Association for Demand Response & Smart Grid (ADS) is a nonprofit organization, originally formed as the Demand Response Coordinating Committee (DRCC) in 2004. ADS is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization consisting of professionals and organizations involved in demand response and smart grid. It provides services to meet the needs of its members that help them in the conduct of their work and in the attainment of their personal, corporate and governmental objectives. ADS seeks to establish and grow a demand response "community" of policymakers, utilities, system operators, technology companies, consumers, and other stakeholders.

Group Members of ADS are Ameren, American Public Power Association, C3 Energy, California ISO, Comverge, Conservation Services Group, Constellation, Consumers Energy, Dimplex, DTE Energy, Duke Energy, ENBALA, EnergyHub, EnerNOC, GE, ISO New England, Itron, Landis+Gyr, MISO, National Grid, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Navigant Energy Practice, Nest Labs, Nexant, NYSERDA, On-Ramp Wireless, OPower, Pacific Gas & Electric, PECO, PJM Interconnection, Reliant, Rodan Energy Solutions, Inc., San Diego Gas & Electric, Sensus, Siemens, Silver Spring Networks, Southern California Edison, Southern Company, Steffes Corporation, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Vermont Energy Investment Corporation.    

More information on ADS can be found at:

SOURCE Association for Demand Response & Smart Grid (ADS)