Energy Future Project Team Bios
City of Boulder Energy Future Staff
Jane S. Brautigam was appointed City Manager in October 2008 and is the city's first female manager in its 90-year history. Before joining the City of Boulder, she was city manager for Dublin, Ohio from 2002-08. Previously she worked as the city manager (2000-2002) and city attorney (1996-2000) for Loveland, CO.; the city attorney (1988-1995) and assistant city attorney (1985-1988) for Greenwood Village, CO.; and as assistant county attorney for Boulder County (1983-1985). Ms. Brautigam earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Allegheny College and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Heather Bailey was hired in 2012 to help manage Boulder’s Energy Future project by providing direction in the creation of both short- and long-term energy strategies and leading the city’s municipalization exploration project. She has nearly 35 years of experience in the utility industry, and has served as a regulator, utility executive, and consultant. The majority of her career has been in public power, with positions including controller, treasurer, Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Executive Director of Corporate Services, and Executive Director of Transmission Business Services and Asset Development. As a consultant she advised independent transmission developers and power producers, as well as cities, on various utility strategic and regulatory issues. Ms. Bailey is a CPA and has an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, a bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and has received numerous appointments from the American Public Power Association (APPA) including Chair of the APPA Business and Finance Section.
David Gehr is the Deputy City Attorney of the Boulder City Attorney's Office. He primarily advises the city council, city manager, and a number of boards and commissions. He is also involved in the management of the City Attorney's Office staff and outside counsel arrangements. Presently Mr. Gehr's focus is on energy, electric utility municipalization, and environmental, social and regional growth and sustainability issues. He provides the city with a broad range of legal services including, litigation, contract and ordinance drafting, transactional work and administrative hearings. Mr. Gehr's assignments also include advising city departments, boards and commissions, and the city council on land planning, utilities, regulatory compliance, and real estate issues. The issues include municipal finance, tax, ratemaking, construction and infrastructure, comprehensive planning, plan implementation, zoning, growth management, historic preservation, affordable housing, and land development approvals. He began working for the office in 1990. Prior to joining the City Attorney's Office, he earned his B.A. in political science, Master of Community and Regional Planning and law degrees from the University of Nebraska.
Debra Kalish is Senior Assistant City Attorney for the City Attorney's Office in Boulder, CO. In that capacity, she represents the city before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and was the lead negotiator for the city in the 2009 franchise negotiations with Public Service Company of Colorado. She has worked on energy issues since joining the city in 2008. Before joining the City Attorney’s Office, Ms. Kalish worked for private law firms in the Boulder/Denver area for nearly 20 years in such diverse practice areas as employment, real estate, land use, environmental, and municipal law. She holds a B.A. in environmental psychology from Purdue University, a law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law, and a masters degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Colorado in Denver. Ms. Kalish is a former adjunct professor of planning law at CU, a former planning commissioner in Louisville, CO, the former president of the Eco-Cycle board of directors, and has held officer positions in the Sierra Club, the Colorado Bar Association and the Colorado Municipal League. Ms. Kalish currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Colorado Brownfields Foundation and is a tutor in Boulder Reads!, a city program that focuses on teaching adults to read.
Kathy Haddock is Senior Assistant City Attorney for the City. She is primarily responsible for finance, records, elections, airport, special districts, and special projects including public safety communications, and medical and recreational marijuana. For the Project Team, Ms. Haddock’s role is managing the potential acquisition of Xcel’s electric system and the engineers, appraisers and attorneys related to that task, and working on the financing of the electric utility for the city. Before joining the City Attorney's office in 2008, Ms. Haddock was in private practice representing small cities and towns throughout Colorado. She served as general counsel for the Towns of Superior for 18 years, Nederland for 5 years, and Timnath for 6 years. She also served as special counsel in various capacities for over 25 Colorado municipalities, primarily in the area of redevelopment, public/private financing, special districts, home rule, TABOR, elections, and law enforcement. Ms. Haddock was staff attorney and full-time lobbyist for the Colorado Municipal League in 1989-1992. She is a Boulder native, and received her BS and JD degrees from the University of Colorado.
Bob Eichem has been the CFO of the City of Boulder since May 2005. He has over 34 years of experience as a finance officer in Colorado local government that has included broad based experience in debt and investment portfolio management. During his career he has worked for 16 years with cities that have their own municipal electric utilities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Colorado State University. At the national level, he is the president-elect of the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). Mr. Eichem has served as the president of the Colorado GFOA and served as the education chairman of the organization for 10 years. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is frequently asked to be a panel member, speaker or instructor at national and state conferences on a variety of local government finance topics.
Jonathan Koehn is the Regional Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Boulder, where he works to implement the city’s sustainability agenda, specifically in relation to climate action and energy. He began his tenure in Boulder as the City’s Environmental Manager in 2006, with over 10 years experience working with state, regional and local governments and their constituencies domestically and internationally to develop strategic and tactical solutions to energy, economic and climate challenges. In recent months, he has also been a key staff member working on Boulder's energy efforts, managing the resource modeling components. Mr. Koehn often represents the city’s interests in front of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and has provided key testimony on issues such as resource planning, renewable energy, Smart Grid and demand-side management. He was a lead author on the Colorado Solar Gardens Bill that was passed and implemented by the Colorado Legislature in 2010. Mr. Koehn is a LEED Accredited Professional and holds degrees in Environmental Science, Biology and Marine Sciences. He is currently the Technical Advisory Committee Chair for Applied Solutions, and serves on multiple Boards including the Colorado Climate Network Steering Committee and the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) Global Warming Committee.
Yael Gichon is an energy sustainability coordinator for the city of Boulder, Colorado. She has a strong background working in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable development and agriculture, and ecology for over twelve years. Her multi-disciplinary background provides the unique ability to lead diverse projects that include technical analysis as well as policy development, public process, and qualitative analysis. Ms. Gichon is currently an important member of the Energy Future Municipalization Exploration project team. In 2011, she managed the financial analysis which led to a passing ballot initiative in the city of Boulder asking voters whether or not to continue exploring a municipal electric utility. Her role on the team continues today in the next phases of this research, managing the financial model and analysis, analyzing energy efficiency programs, and exploring resource options to achieve higher percentages of renewable energy. Through her role at the city, Ms. Gichon developed the nation’s first performance based rental housing policy, SmartRegs, which began implementation in 2011 and has proved to be a successful mechanism for increasing energy efficiency in rental housing. She designed an award winning residential energy efficiency program, EnergySmart, which was later funded through a Department of Energy grant and implemented throughout Boulder County, recently reaching a milestone of 10,000 homes participating. Ms. Gichon has published peer-reviewed articles and presented findings for the American Council on an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) on these efforts. She holds a master’s degree in interdisciplinary ecology from the University of Florida.
Kara Mertz graduated in 1988 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Civil Engineering degree. After graduation, she moved to San Francisco and worked for the Cities of Fremont, Union City, and Newark, California as a regional recycling coordinator. In 1992, she worked at a large scale yard and food waste composting firm in New Jersey, and after an extended solo backpacking trip in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, she settled in Boulder, Colorado, and began work with the City of Boulder in October 1993. For 13 years, she was the Recycling Coordinator for the city; from 2006 through 2009, she worked as the Assistant to the City Manager; from 2009 through 2012, she was the Local Environmental Action Division Manager; and is now an Environmental Action Project Manager, working half-time on managing the city’s zero waste programs and half-time working with the engineers and City Attorney’s Office on the electric utility acquisition for the Energy Future project.
Sarah Huntley is the Media Relations/Communications Manager for the City of Boulder. She joined the city in 2008, following a 15-year career as a journalist with daily newspapers in Virginia, Florida and Denver (Rocky Mountain News). In addition to an expertise in media relations, effective communication by local governments and emergency response, Ms. Huntley has worked on the Energy Future initiative since the 2010 franchise discussions with Xcel Energy. With the assistance of her colleagues and a talented group of creative consultants, she has overseen the city’s education, awareness and outreach efforts around the often complicated terrain of energy supply. These efforts have been recognized for their innovation and success by several communications and government organizations. Ms. Huntley has a bachelor’s degree in government from Connecticut College and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University’s School of Journalism.
Lisa Smith joined the Energy Future team as Communications Specialist in February of 2014. Lisa most recently worked for New Era Colorado, a Colorado non-profit dedicated to civic engagement and youth involvement in democracy. She graduated in December of 2012 with two masters’ degrees from the University of Colorado-Denver: a Masters in Public Administration and a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning. In the course of her education Ms. Smith worked with several Colorado municipalities and departments on issues related to sustainability and environmental policy, management, and law. These projects included a master plan update for the City of Aurora incorporating sustainability goals; a revitalization plan for Denver’s Five Points Neighborhood; an examination of case studies relevant to the City of Boulder’s exploration of municipalization of the local electric utility; and behavior change around energy efficiency for middle and upper middle income residents for the Denver Department of Public Health. Ms. Smith received a BA in English from Willamette University in 2005.
Heidi Joyce provides principal coordination and administrative support to the energy staff teams on matters related to the Municipalization Exploration Project. She has over 18 years of experience providing administrative support to the City of Boulder. Ms. Joyce has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Bob Harberg has been the Principal Engineer – Utilities since July 1990. In this position he manages the Utilities Division Capital Improvement Program. This program includes long‑range planning, design and construction for the City’s water, wastewater, flood management and drainage utilities. Facilities included in this work program include water storage, transmission, pumping and distribution; hydroelectric, cogeneration and solar photovoltaic; wastewater and storm water conveyance; flood mitigation; and water and wastewater treatment. He manages a professional staff of ten people and an annual budget of approximately $10 million in addition to projects funded with bond proceeds. In addition, Mr. Harberg managed the design and construction of the City’s telecommunications network infrastructure including fiber optic cable and conduit. Prior to this position he was a Project Manager for Utilities (1989‑1990) and worked on a variety of capital improvement projects including a major expansion to the City’s wastewater treatment and sludge processing facilities. He worked as a civil engineer for Black & Veatch Engineering (1978‑1989) where he was involved in water supply and treatment; wastewater collection and treatment; hazardous waste cleanup and cogeneration projects. Mr. Harberg received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Nebraska, his Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado and he is a licensed professional engineer in Colorado. He authored the book Planning and Managing Reliable Urban Water Systems (American Water Works Association, 1997) and has served as an expert witness in water system reliability proceedings. Most recently, Mr. Harberg has been coordinating the separation engineering and reliability analysis associated with the city’s municipalization exploration project.
Carl Castillo has served as the city’s Policy Advisor in the City Manager’s office since 2004. In that capacity he provides staff representation and communication on intergovernmental matters and guidance on cross-departmental city policies on behalf of the City Council and all city departments, in order to further city goals and advance understandings and mutually beneficial alliances with other governmental organizations. Mr. Castillo is the city’s team lead for Boulder’s Energy Future’s “ Governance Working Group .” In 2013 this working group finalized several initial governance recommendations for a future municipal energy utility, all of which were eventually approved by council, two of which were included in Boulder’s 2013 Ballot Question 2E, pertaining to requiring the utility advisory board to advise the council on rate making and for out of city customers to be represented on the utility advisory board . That measure was approved with 66% of support from Boulder’s voters. Prior to joining the city, Mr. Castillo worked as a county planner at Jefferson County, the Director of the New Politics Program of the National Civic League, and an enforcement attorney at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He holds a B.A. in Governance and Politics from the University of Maryland, a J.D. from the University of Colorado’s School of Law and an M.U.R.P. from its College of Architecture and Planning.
Cheryl Pattelli is the Directory of Fiscal Services for the City of Boulder and a member of the clean energy finance team. She holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Illinois, an MBA with a Finance concentration from DePaul University, and is a Certified Public Accountant. Ms. Pattelli began her career at Arthur Andersen, LLP and then worked as the Chief Financial Officer of Kane County, Illinois, for over 15 years. Ms. Pattelli joined the City of Boulder in 2012 ans is a current member of the GFOA Treasury and Investments Management Committee and is the co-chair of the Colorado GFOA Education Committee.