Member Bios

Nina Sidneva

Vice President, Seattle Economics Council

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Nina Sidneva has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Washington and over 15 years of energy related experience. Dr. Sidneva spend over a decade in the energy industry working for the U.S. DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Avista Utilities, Tacoma Power and Seattle City Light. Most recently, she was at Starbucks Coffee Company, responsible for hedging price risk exposure to diesel, natural gas, fiber, plastics, sugar, and wheat. She was also a project manager on the first solar farm investment for Starbucks in 2017.

Dr. Sidneva has published her research in peer-reviewed academic journals and most recently have been awarded 2016 Resource Modeling Association's Rollie Lamberson medal for the best paper titled "Evaluating the Impact of Environmental Policy on the Trend Behavior of U.S. Emissions of Nitrogen Oxides and Volatile Organic Compounds" published in Natural Resource Modeling journal.

Cal E. Shirley

Financial Analyst

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Cal Shirley has over 25 years of experience in the utility industry.  Fourteen years were spent in the public utility sector working for Seattle City Light and Snohomish County PUD in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and new product development. Subsequently he worked in the investor owned utility sector at Puget Sound Energy for 12 years initially serving as the Vice President for Energy Efficiency Services which included customer renewable projects and business development.  Afterwards he was appointed Vice President of Customer Solutions with responsibility for new construction, call center operations, corporate billing, and major accounts and new construction.

He also served as Deputy Director of the King County Housing and Human Services Department for seven years with responsibility for a wide variety of human service programs and services; as an advisory board member and workshop facilitator for the Executive Development Institute (EDI), which develops culturally diverse leaders in public and private institutions;  and on the Board of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), The Regional Technical Forum, and the Advisory Council of Business Leaders for Climate Solutions (BLCS). 

Cal is a graduate of the University of Washington, where he studied society and justice, judicial administration and public affairs

Sara Patton

Non-Profit Energy Efficiency Advocate
Former Executive Director of NW Energy Coalition

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Sara is the former Executive Director of NW Energy Coalition, an influential regional alliance of conservation, low-income, and consumer advocate organizations, utilities, businesses, communities of faith and citizen activists. Prior to her 21 year tenure at the NW Energy Coalition, Ms. Patton worked for energy efficiency at Seattle City Light for nearly 16 years. She is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and holds degrees from Antioch School of Law and Reed College. Her community service and honors include the Board of Save Our wild Salmon, the Board of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, the Seattle City Light Advisory Board, the Energy Trust of Oregon's Energy Conservation Council, the Sierra Club's Cascade Chapter Executive Committee, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Taskforce, the Regional Technical Forum Policy Advisory Committee, the Pike Place Market Historical Commission, and 2006 Helen H. Jackson Woman of Valor Award.

Thomas Buchanan

Residential Customer Representative

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Thomas Buchanan obtained a Master Degree at U of O and Indiana University in Political Science and Urban Economics.  He worked in two steel industry companies in Buffalo, New York, before entering aircraft electronics training and work at the Buffalo International Airport. He became active in an ongoing radioactive waste project in New York in which nuclear waste from the early Manhattan Project began leaking into West Valley, New York, near Buffalo.   In 1982, Thomas began work at Bendix Aircraft Avionics.  He returned to the Northwest in 1982 where Thomas began a career in flightline avionics/electronics at Boeing.  His career there continued until 2006 when he retired.   

Thomas has been active in energy solutions, renewable energy options, battery technology and the dangers of both fossil fuel and nuclear power production. Thomas also worked with Greenpeace as a Hanford radioactive weapons and waste campaigner and more recently with Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility on drafting resolutions in Oregon and Seattle on the dangers and options to the only operating nuclear power plant in the Northwest-- the Columbia Generating Station.

David Allen

Commercial Customer
Executive Vice President of Corporate Communications for McKinstry

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David is responsible for brand development at McKinstry, a Seattle based construction, engineering and facility services firm. McKinstry, with sales in the $200 million range, is the market leader in the Pacific Northwest for design/build mechanical construction and facility operation and management. Allen manages the company's marketing, business development and client service activities. David is widely respected for his contributions to creating McKinstry's positioning strategy that has resulted in the firm's national reputation as a leader in integrated, facility services delivery.

Patrick Jablonski, P.E.

Industrial Customer
Environmental Manager for Nurcor Steel Seattle, Inc.

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Patrick Jablonski has been a part of the steel industry since 1999.  In 2005, he joined Nucor at its Seattle facility, the state's largest recycler since 1904 and Seattle City Light's largest customer.  Since 2014, he has held the position of Environmental Manager and is responsible for the oversight of the Safety and Environmental functions of the Nucor plant in West Seattle.  He is a licensed mechanical engineer and has a passion for energy conservation and working with the Nucor team in Seattle to continuously improve and lead the industry in safety and environmental performance.  He is also involved in volunteer work in and around West Seattle and currently is part of the board of directors for Southwest Youth and Family Services.

Leon Garnett

Low-Income Customer Representative
Chief Operating Officer for Centerstone

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In his 11 years with Centerstone, Leon has provided oversight and guidance for Centerstone's Energy Assistance Program which serve more than 10,000 households annually. Leon has worked with elected officials, local government offices, and community-based organizations to advocate for equity and accessibility for low-income energy customers. Originally from Georgia, Leon holds a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Mathematics from Morehouse College. He brings a team-oriented approach and develops data-driven strategies to ensure Centerstone programs fulfill the mission of the agency and address the needs of the community.

John Putz

John Putz

At-Large Customer
Research Scientist for The Energy Authority

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Dr. John Putz is a fifteen -year veteran of the energy, energy software and trading industries. John has experience in a wide variety of areas including strategic consulting, risk management, trading, energy software, asset and portfolio optimization, trade and asset valuation, and hydro-generation optimization. John received his PhD in experimental particle physics from the University of Washington.

Gail Labanara

Suburban Franchise Representative
Public Works Analyst for the City of Tukwila

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Gail has over 14 years experience with utility rate modeling for Tukwila Public Works and 23 years at the City of Tukwila that include significant financial experience. Ms. Labanara has a BA degree from Pennsylvania State University and has specialized in accounting through her career.