Board Members

CYNTHIA WILLIAMS, FORD MOTOR COMPANY 

CALSTART BOARD CHAIR 

Cynthia Williams is the Global Director, Sustainability, Homologation and Compliance at Ford Motor Company. She is responsible for sustainable business plans and policies, and also handles environmental negotiations with regulatory bodies around the world. 

Since joining Ford in 1992, Williams has held several positions, including Ford’s Sustainability, Environment and Safety Director in Asia Pacific; Environmental Policy Manager; Energy Planning and Compliance Manager; On-Board Diagnostics Production Compliance Programs Manager; and Assistant Director, Global Automotive Safety Office. 

Prior to being elected CALSTART’s Board chair, Williams served as vice chair. She is the past chair of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers Mobile Source Policy Committee.  

Williams holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University and an MBA from the University of Detroit Mercy. 

CHELLE IZZI, WALMART  

CALSTART BOARD VICE CHAIR

Chelle Izzi is Vice President of Energy Transformation at Walmart, working to help accelerate the company’s transition to zero emissions and 100% renewable energy adoption across facilities and mobility. In this position, Izzi is responsible for distributed generation, community solar, and the energy transition to zero-emission mobility for Walmart’s customers and fleet.  

Prior to joining Walmart, Izzi worked at NextEra Energy Resources, where she led the formation of NextEra Mobility, a venture focused on fleet electrification, including integrated solutions for charging infrastructure, vehicle conversion, renewables, resiliency, and energy management. Izzi helped scale one of the first demand response companies, CPower; led an innovation team for Constellation Energy; and led acquisitions and investments in residential solar, water reclamation, clean back-up power, and mobility. 

In addition to her new position as vice chair, Izzi serves as chair of CALSTART’s Board Governance Committee.  

Izzi holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where she focused on China studies, and an MBA from Columbia Business School. 

JOHN BOESEL, CALSTART 

PRESIDENT AND CEO 

John Boesel is president and chief executive officer of CALSTART, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing clean, efficient solutions within the transportation sector, with the goal of significantly reducing air pollution, improving public health, and helping to mitigate the effects of global climate change. He assumed this position in 2001, having served as vice president of technology programs since 1993.  

Prior to joining CALSTART, Boesel worked as a commercial banker for Wells Fargo in their corporate headquarters. He also served for nearly four years as legislative aide to California Assemblyman Sam Farr, managing energy and environmental legislation.   

Boesel holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of California, Davis, and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School. He serves on the UC Davis Institute for Transportation Studies Advisory Board and is a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Mobile Source Technical Review Subcommittee. 

YURI FREEDMAN, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GAS COMPANY

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.

Julia Grinshpun, JP Morgan Chase 

Julia Grinshpun is a financial services executive with over 18 years of experience working with middle market and corporate clients in client management, business development, credit underwriting, and portfolio management roles. She is currently an Executive Director at JP Morgan Chase, where she oversees the Clean Mobility industry vertical on the Commercial Banking Green Economy Team. In this role, she delivers capital solutions and expertise to clients who are advancing decarbonization through innovative technologies, leveraging the strength and breadth of J.P. Morgan’s banking platform.

Prior to joining JP Morgan Chase in 2021, Julia served as a Director on Wells Fargo’s renewable energy tax equity team, where she oversaw counterparty risk underwriting for a $10Bn+ portfolio of solar, wind, fuel cell, and storage investments. In this role she also worked with senior commercial banking leaders on capital deployment strategy to advance corporate sustainability goals.

Julia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business/Economics and Spanish minor from the University of California Santa Barbara. Additionally, she is currently pursuing a graduate Sustainability Certificate from Harvard Extension School, reflecting her deep commitment to sustainable finance and her dedication to advancing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives in the financial services sector.

KAREN HAMBERG, DELOITTE LLP 

CALSTART BOARD CHAIR EMERITUS 

Karen Hamberg joined Deloitte Canada LLP in 2022 as a Partner in the firm’s Financial Advisory practice, advising on the commercialization of climate technology across all economic sectors.  She is a clean technology executive with more than 20 years experience in the deployment of clean transportation technologies and the policy/regulatory frameworks to enable growth, scale, and market leadership.  

Prior to joining Deloitte, she held a range of senior executive positions at Westport Fuel Systems and has expertise in corporate strategy, market creation and development, sustainability/ESG, policy and regulatory affairs, and external communications. 

Hamberg was appointed to Canada’s Industry Strategy Council in June 2020 to represent the clean technology sector and was named chair of the Clean Technology Economic Strategy Table. She advises on strategies to accelerate the deployment of made-in-Canada clean technology, scale Canadian companies, and ensure Canada’s global competitiveness in a decarbonized economy. 

From 2017 to 2021, Hamberg served as chair of the CALSTART Board of Directors, and was the first non-U.S. resident, the first woman, and the youngest person to hold the post. 

Hamberg holds a Master of Arts in geography and environmental studies from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario and a Bachelor of Arts in geography from Brandon University, Manitoba. She chaired the 2019 United Way of the Lower Mainland Campaign Cabinet, and serves as Vice Chair of the British Columbia Regional Advisory Board of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. In 2017, Hamberg was named to Canada’s Clean 50™ for her contributions to advance sustainability in the heavy-duty transportation sector, and in 2019 to Canada’s Clean 16TM  for her leadership on more stringent clean transportation regulations in North America. 

CHRIS NEVERS, RIVIAN

Chris Nevers is Rivian’s Senior Director of Public Policy responsible for environmental, battery, and charging policies including regulatory development.  Prior to his 4 years at Rivian, Chris’ experiences include Vice President of Energy and Environment for the Alliance for Automotive Innovation (Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers), EPA Office of Transportation and Air Quality, and Chrysler. In Chris’ career he has developed, tested, calibrated (OBD2), and certified vehicles (from both the manufacturer and government side), ran a plant vehicle engineer team, has both written and led industry coalition efforts to inform federal regulation, led an OEM Domestic Affairs Team (Federal, State, and Environmental) and helped launch Rivian.  Chris is also a founding Board Member of ZETA, a member of the Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification and serves on the SAE International Office of Energy Strategic Advisory Council among other SAE activities.  Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Toledo and a masters of automotive engineering from the University of Michigan.

MARK PATTEN, NEXTERA ENERGY RESOURCES

Mark Patten is a vice president at NextEra Energy Resources and leads NextEra Mobility, a premier provider of integrated fleet electrification solutions, serving clients across North America. NextEra Energy Resources is leading the decarbonization of the U.S. economy–by working to become the preferred partner for customers in every industry, who share its vision of a sustainable, carbon-free future. 

Patten joined NextEra Energy Resources in 2012 and has held positions of increasing responsibility across multiple disciplines, including finance, strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and asset management. Before joining the Mobility team, he led a team responsible for managing a large portfolio (~10GW) of renewable and battery storage assets in the Western United States and Canada. Prior to joining NextEra Energy Resources, he worked in venture capital as a Principal at Crossbow Ventures.  

Patten holds a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Methodist University and an MBA from Florida Atlantic University. 

KATIE SLOAN, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON

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 STODDART, NEW FLYER OF AMERICA INC.

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.

ROBERT WYMAN, EARTHSHOT

Bob Wyman is the cofounder and Board Chair of Earthshot, a nonprofit that showcases exciting clean technologies.

For 40 years Bob worked in the Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. offices of Latham & Watkins, where he served as a Partner and as Global Chair of the firm’s Environment, Land & Resources Department and Co-Chair of the Air Quality and Climate Change Practice.

Working with special-purpose progressive business coalitions, Mr. Wyman led the advocacy for several ground-breaking air quality and climate programs over the past four decades, including key provisions of the federal 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments and California’s AB32 program and 2017 extension. He designed several innovative and market-based air quality regulatory programs, including the South Coast Regional Clean Air Incentives Market (RECLAIM) and air quality investment program (AQIP), EPA’s clean air communities program, vehicle pricing and investment strategies, forward crediting cleantech strategies, and the clean air investment fund (contained in President Clinton’s Directive to EPA regarding ozone and fine particulate standards).

Bob is the longest-serving member of the EPA Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, on which he has served almost continuously since 1991.