John Boesel is the President and Chief Executive Officer of CALSTART. The public/private nature of CALSTART is reflected in John’s background. Upon graduating from the University of California, Davis, in 1982, John worked in the California legislature as a legislative aide to then Assemblyman (now Congressman) Sam Farr. In that position he managed energy and environmental legislation for nearly four years.
He received his MBA from the Haas School at UC Berkeley in 1989. After graduating from business school he worked as a commercial banker in Wells Fargo’s Corporate Headquarters building in San Francisco. In 1993 John joined CALSTART as the Vice President of Technology Programs. In 2001 the Board of Directors promoted him to the position of President and CEO.
John serves on the Advisory Board for the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center (PEEC) at Stanford University and is also a board member of the Clean Vehicle Foundation.
Dawn Fenton is the Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs at Volvo Group North America. She has been with Volvo Group for 9 years and has responsibility for federal government relations as well as California policy issues. Prior to joining the Volvo Group, Dawn worked for the Diesel Technology Forum and ABB, Inc. Dawn has worked in the government relations field for over 25 years across a range of energy, environment, sustainability, foreign policy and trade-related issues in the public, private and non-profit sectors. She received her master’s degree from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and her bachelor’s degree from Tufts University.
Mr. Freedman has broad experience in development and acquisitions of energy infrastructure assets. In his current role of Senior Director of Business Development, he manages the portfolio of growth initiatives and R&D activities of Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), the largest North American gas utility. Prior to his current role he held the position of Director of Commercial Development at Sempra LNG, and previously held the positions of Director of Infrastructure Investments and Director of Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions at Sempra Energy.
Prior to joining Sempra Energy, Mr. Freedman held the positions of Managing Director at Fortress Investment Group and Vice President at GE Energy Financial Services. He began his career as a geologist working in Arctic regions of Western Siberia on the development and construction of natural gas pipelines.
Mr. Freedman holds a MBA from the Yale School of Management and a PhD in Environmental Science and Energy Research from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.
Karen Hamberg, Chair Emeritus
Karen Hamberg is a clean technology executive with more than twenty years of global experience in the deployment of clean transportation technologies and the policy/regulatory frameworks required to advance market share. She has expertise in corporate strategy, ESG reporting and performance, regulatory affairs, sustainability and external communications. Ms. Hamberg was previously Vice President, External Affairs and Sustainability at Westport Fuel Systems in Vancouver until December 2020, an organization she was with since 2001.
In June 2020, the Honourable Navdeep Bains appointed her to the Government of Canada’s Industry Strategy Council representing the Clean Technology sector and named her Chair of the Economic Strategy Table on Clean Technology.
Karen is currently Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors of CALSTART in Pasadena, California, the nation’s largest non-profit, member-driven coalition accelerating the growth of a clean transportation industry after serving for four years as Chair. She was appointed to the British Columbia Regional Advisory Board of the Nature Conservancy of Canada in 2019 and to the Board of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in 2020.
An active volunteer, Karen served as Chair of the 2019 United Way of the Lower Mainland Campaign Cabinet, a team of executives tasked with raising millions of dollars for critical social programs in metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.
Ms. Hamberg holds a Master of Arts degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandon University in Brandon, Manitoba.
Gary Horvat is Vice President-eMobility at Navistar, in this role he is responsible for augmenting and aligning Navistar’s eMobility team for all commercial, technical and implementation activities. Gary established Navistar’s NEXT eMobility team in Rochester Hills Michigan where all development and production engineering activities for electrification of school buses and Class 4-8 trucks take place. Gary was instrumental in developing NEXT’s unique consultative approach to vehicle fleet electrification. A well-known industry thought leader, Gary frequently speaks at industry events and has over 35 years of leadership experience in the automotive industry.
Gary was the CTO at Proterra from 2015 through 2018. At Proterra, Horvat was responsible for all engineering and technology development for that company’s electric bus product line. Accomplishments included setting a world record of 1,101.2 miles for the longest range of any electric vehicle on one charge.
Prior to his Proterra role, Gary was Vice President of Product Development at Fisker Automotive as well as Vice President of Powertrain at DENSO International. The majority of his career was at General Motors where he was responsible for the engine controls on the third-generation small block V8 and as assistant chief engineer, launched the 3900 V6 Engine, winning the Popular Mechanics “Breakthrough” Award. Gary’s last position at GM was as Executive Director of engineering operations, managing powertrain global development, testing, and validation facilities. Gary started his career at Eaton Corporation working on Heavy Duty Truck Axles and Transmissions.
Gary has a background in both industrial and manufacturing engineering, he holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering, a Master of Science in Manufacturing Engineering and a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering all from Cleveland State University.
Colleen Jansen is a marketing strategist with 20 years of experience in both business-to-consumer and business-to-business marketing spanning early stage, privately held VC-funded companies as well as large cap, publicly traded firms. At ChargePoint, Jansen is responsible for leading the company’s global Marketing function and Policy efforts in North America. She oversees the brand, communications, consumer business and North America public policy. Prior to ChargePoint, she led marketing disciplines for a number of category-creating startups as well as established brands including Microsoft, Yahoo, Intuit and LinkedIn. An early EV adopter, Colleen is passionate about helping everyone realize the personal, societal and economic benefits of driving electric. She holds a B.S. from California State University, Fresno.
Michael McDonald is the Senior Director of Sustainability and Government Affairs for United Parcel Service. Mr. McDonald works in the Automotive Engineering Department, and his current responsibility is to assist and support the United Parcel Service Sustainability and Public Affairs teams. Michael McDonald also reviews and evaluates alternative fuel vehicles for their feasibility in the future UPS fleet.
Michael McDonald started employment with UPS in 1992 as a fleet technician in Florida. In 1993, Mr. McDonald, joined the UPS management team. Over a period of 26 years, he held various assignments related to maintaining UPS delivery, transportation, or ground support equipment. Prior to this assignment, Mr. McDonald was the Director of Maintenance for New York City, Long Island, Upstate New York, and New Jersey. In 2015, he was relocated to Georgia where he held the same position with Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Mr. McDonald is currently assigned to the UPS corporate office in Atlanta, Georgia where he sits on several Clean Cities boards and manages alternative fuel projects.
Michael McDonald holds a Bachelor’s Degree in business from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee. He also holds MBA for business administration from Saint Leo University in Tampa, Florida.
Katie Sloan is currently leading SCE’s advanced energy solutions for its 15 million customers, including customer solar, battery storage, energy efficiency and demand response programs with annual budget of $500 million.
Katie was previously responsible for developing from the ground up SCE’s vehicle and building electrification programs, with an approved budget of over $1 billion over 6 years, including the largest light duty & medium & heavy duty electric vehicle utility infrastructure programs in the United States. The team’s mission is to help California get 7 million EVs on the road and convert one-third of space and water heating in buildings by 2030 and is the first and largest team of its’s kind at a utility in the nation.
For the majority of 2020 Katie held a temporary assignment working on the company’s customer care response to COVID-19 and associated oversight of impacts on the company’s cash flow due to the pandemic & economic downfall. During this time SCE stopped turning off customer’s power for non-payment and provided additional financial assistance.
Previously, Katie held roles of increasing responsibility at SCE & Edison International focusing on clean energy policy, strategy, operations, and analysis. She has also worked at First Solar, a large solar panel manufacturer, developing global public policy.
Katie was named a Woman of Achievement by the San Gabriel Valley YWCA her work at SCE and non-profits. Katie currently serves as board chair of CALSTART, with the mission to build a high-tech clean-transportation industry that creates jobs, cuts air pollution and oil imports and curbs climate change. She also serves on the board of Beyond the Block, a non-profit focused on expanding global awareness and increasing intellectual curiosity of at-risk youth.
Katie holds a master’s degree in regulatory economics and bachelor’s degree in business administration from New Mexico State University.
Chris joined New Flyer in 2007 and as President, he leads the development and execution of operational strategy and performance for New Flyer, with a heavy focus on growth and advancement in the zero-emission space. He is also responsible for driving innovation of its mobility solutions portfolio across North America, including buses, technology, and infrastructure. With over 20 years leading engineering, sustainability, and new product development in transportation, Chris has become an expert in vehicle design and Operational Excellence. Prior to New Flyer, Chris held leadership positions with General Motors and National Steel Car. A dedicated clean technology leader, Chris also serves as a longtime board member for CALSTART and is an accredited Professional Engineer. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) in Automotive Engineering Design from Kettering University, and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Steve Trichka is vice president and general manager of the Power & Propulsion Solutions business area for the Electronic Systems sector. This business area delivers electric propulsion and power management products and solutions that advance vehicle mobility, efficiency and capability in the heavy-duty transit, marine, rail and defense markets.
Steve joined BAE Systems in 2004 and previously served as vice president and chief counsel for the former Platform Solutions sector. Before joining BAE Systems, he was senior vice president and general counsel of IIT Research Institute/Alion Science & Technology Corporation, and senior counsel and corporate EH&S counsel with Science Applications International Corporation, both in the Washington, D.C. area. Steve began his career as a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps, assigned to the Office of Counsel for the Commandant in Washington, D.C. and Camp Pendleton, California, where he concentrated on government contracts and environmental compliance issues.
Steve holds an A.B. in mathematics and English from Bowdoin College and a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, where he was appointed editor-in-chief of the Washington University Journal of Urban & Contemporary Law.
He also serves on the board of directors for CALSTART, a non-profit organization that works with business, fleets, and government to develop and implement clean, efficient transportation solutions.
In the local Binghamton area, Steve serves on the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council, as President of the Town of Union Local Development Corporation, and as a director of the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra.
Cynthia Williams is the Global Director, Sustainability, Homologation and Compliance, effective December 1, 2019. She will be responsible for sustainable business plans and policies, environmental negotiations with regulatory bodies around the world, reporting on the company’s environmental and social performance, and engaging with non-government organizations and other external stakeholders.
Previously Cynthia was Assistant Director, Global Automotive Safety Office. In this position she has been responsible for leading the safety governance process, including identifying, analyzing and making recommendations on potential safety and compliance concerns. She also has been responsible for developing and coordinating responses to all government agency investigations.
Since joining Ford in 1992, as part of the Ford College Graduate Program in the Automotive Emissions and Fuel Economy Office, Cynthia has held several positions, which include Ford’s Sustainability, Environment and Safety Director in Asia Pacific, Environmental Policy Manager, Energy Planning and Compliance Manager, and On-Board Diagnostics Production Compliance Programs Manager. Cynthia is the past chair of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers Mobile Source Policy Committee.
In Asia Pacific, she was the Executive Champion for the Professional Women’s Network and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender Employee Resource Groups. Cynthia also held the position of Vice President of Operations for the Ford Employees African Ancestry Network (FAAN) and is committed to mentoring young engineers, peers and FAAN members. A native of Flint, MI, Cynthia earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Detroit Mercy. Cynthia is married with two children.