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Green guidance

A legislative professional, solar power specialist, alternative fuel expert, corporate responsibility authority, architect, and engineer have joined the IoES Board of Advisors. The chief purpose of this board is to assist in guiding the future of the Institute. The Board of Advisors help shape the IoES’ mission and purpose, participate in organizational planning, play a role in enhancing  the Institute’s public image, strengthen existing initiatives and develop new projects, and assist in bringing in additional resources. Basically the board works in collaboration with IoES leadership to help the Institute reach its academic, research, and outreach goals. 

Four of the six additions to the board were introduced at a twilight gathering hosted by current board member and producer (An Inconvenient Truth, Inglorious Bastards) Lawrence Bender on Oct. 29th. IoES Associate Director Mark Gold outlined the key reasons each individual was asked to get involved: all are entrepreneurs and leaders in their respective fields, each are passionate about the cause and have demonstrated support for the environment, sustainability, and education, and every single one is results oriented. The last attribute will be crucial in helping the IoES succeed.  The new members of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability Board of Advisors are Cindy Montanez, Ken Button, Peter Gross, Jack Baylis, Alexandria Jackson, and Andy Cohen.

Cindy Montanez, a graduate of UCLA’s Department of Math, is a former assemblywoman and past mayor of the City of San Fernando. She currently serves as Legislative Director for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. 

Ken Button is the president and chairman of Verengo Solar, the largest residential solar firm in California. Button’s involvement with the Bruins may have been predestined as his parents met on a date at a UCLA football game.  

Peter Gross leads the Mission Critical Systems Group at Bloom Energy and serves as vice president of the company. Bloom Energy is the leading manufacturer of solid oxide fuel cells. Gross stated, “I’m deeply honored and excited to join UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability Board of Advisors. My goal is to help bring awareness to the importance of the green economy and its impact on our environment.”

He continued, “I also hope I can leverage my experience in clean technology and energy efficiency and work with the other members of the board to develop strategies for optimizing the consumption of natural resources and minimizing the environmental impact.”

Also joining the board are Jack Baylis and Alexandria Jackson. Baylis is the senior vice president for Shaw Engineering as well as the current California Department of Fish and Game Commissioner. Jackson works as Apogee Electronics’ Director of Corporate Social Responsibility. The firm produces high-end music equipment and handles production for some of the industry’s leading musical acts. Jackson is also a professional photographer. The sixth board member is Gensler Executive Director Andy Cohen. Gensler is one of the largest, most sustainable architecture firms internationally.

IoES Director Glen MacDonald commented on the growth of the board.  “We already enjoy the benefits of an outstanding board. Adding new members is an exciting step."

He continued, “These individuals bring expertise in important sectors: alternative energy, clean technology, electronics, entertainment, and government. This is an informed and influential group with a great depth of wisdom and experience to impart to the IoES.”