The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) honored federal energy champions selected for recognition during the 50 Years of Federal Energy Management celebration, held September 12–13, 2023, in Washington, D.C.
Honorees were selected by agency leaders and peers as federal champions who are working hard to implement exceptional resilient, efficient, and secure energy and water management practices and projects, while also helping their agencies to achieve mission success.
Congratulations to the 2023 FEDS Spotlight honorees!
General Services Administration
Lee Ann Walker
Lee Ann Walker skillfully manages the General Services Administration's Energy Usage Analysis System (EUAS). EUAS oversees energy and water usage and utility costs for numerous federal buildings and leases. Under Walker's guidance, the program has thrived due to her precision, organization, and communication skills. Her dedication to sustaining and refining EUAS data empowers data-driven decisions, cost reduction, and efficient resource utilization. Together with her team, she rectifies numerous billing errors annually, ensuring accurate reporting for federal initiatives. Walker's profound grasp of energy data, coupled with adaptability to industry changes, ensures database accuracy amid evolving trends. Her leadership and teamwork are exemplary, and she has shown unparalleled commitment and expertise across her career. Additionally, Walker provides mentoring to new analysts and fosters collaboration amongst the team.
Shawna E. Ramthun
Shawna Ramthun exhibits an exceptional and innovative approach in measuring and verifying complex financed energy contracts. Her influence within the General Services Administration has led to the establishment of new accuracy, efficiency, and financial optimization benchmarks. Navigating intricate energy performance contracts and dissecting complex data sets, Ramthun identifies improvement opportunities, resulting in significant cost savings, heightened contractor accountability, and improved operational efficiency. She consistently applies innovative techniques, harnessing advanced analytical methods and cutting-edge technologies to extract valuable insights and ensure precise measurements, positioning her as an indispensable asset. Her leadership traits and collaborative approach have notably contributed to cultivating a culture of innovation and continuous improvement within the organization.
Wayne R. Hughes
Wayne Hughes has a long history of advocating for federal government energy efficiency. He consistently infuses savings into projects, while actively seeking innovative engineering approaches. Notably, the Schwartz and Carter-Keep Chilled Water Cross Connection project exemplifies his long-term planning and innovation. It entailed establishing a chilled water loop connecting the Carter-Keep Courthouse and Schwartz Federal Office Building in San Diego for shared mechanical cooling. Initiated in 2008 during the Carter-Keep Courthouse design, this homegrown concept capitalizes on proximity and mild climate. Hughes collaborated with the General Services Administration team to incorporate the necessary infrastructure during construction. Over a decade, incremental improvements were made, including central plant and automation upgrades. In 2020, the project's infrastructure and programming changes were executed, culminating in its completion by March 2022. Hughes is an innovative and committed energy advocate. His efforts exemplify valuable contributions to the energy community.
National Aeronautics Space Administration
Spencer Davis spearheaded NASA Kennedy Space Center's (KSC) vehicle fleet charging expansion, optimizing their shift to a zero-emission fleet. His coordination capitalized on a new utility program under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, enabling the installation of 56 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) units. A pioneering federal endeavor, it achieved minimal government cost. Completed in 2022, this effort catalyzed zero-emission fleet and infrastructure initiatives across NASA, establishing KSC as a trailblazer in greenhouse gas reduction. Davis's leadership significantly bolstered EVSE installation for mission-critical programs, accommodating corporate and employee-owned Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs). He maintained integrity, aligning with NASA authority and federal laws for privately owned PEVs, devising a zero-cost program. Davis engaged KSC's workforce for optimal charging station placement, conducting informative virtual sessions for over 350 employees. His exemplary actions expedited KSC's zero-emission fleet transition to 2025, a decade ahead of the Presidential Executive Order 14057 schedule.
U.S. Department of Commerce
Rachel Chang has been instrumental in fostering a sustainable and energy-conscious community at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Her commitment shines through in her adeptness at identifying, cultivating relationships with, and uniting key stakeholders. This skillful coordination synthesizes and prioritizes sustainability and energy ventures aligning with Executive Order 14057 targets. Chang's impact extends to elevating data accuracy for hundreds of NOAA facilities, allowing precise reporting of energy, water, and sustainability metrics to the Department of Energy and White House Council on Environmental Quality. Her expert review of NOAA's building portfolio identifies obsolete facilities, ensures data quality, and rectifies gaps. Her meticulous approach, analysis, and diligent work ethic enhance data quality for NOAA facilities, a substantial part of the Department of Commerce's portfolio. She achieves this in a temporary capacity, alongside her permanent role at NOAA, and is vital in helping the Department of Commerce meet federal sustainability goals.
U.S. Department of Defense: Air Force
Dan Soto, deputy director for the Department of the Air Force Office of Energy Assurance, is instrumental in advancing alternative energy solutions to enhance mission reliability. In 2022, he organized a workshop, uniting stakeholders to develop a $996 million execution plan for Air Force energy resilience. Soto also facilitated the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's involvement in a Vandenberg Space Force Base microgrid and islanding study to utilize renewable energy and microgrid solutions. Overseeing the procurement of 2023 renewable energy credits, he efficiently secured the purchase of credits for 121,000 megawatt hours for all Air Force renewable energy projects, saving nearly $180,000. Soto's contributions exceed the expectations of his role, as demonstrated by his dedication to teaching the importance of energy assurance.
Lucinda A. Notestine
Lucy Notestine, director of special projects for the Air Force Civil Engineer Center's Office of Energy Assurance, is critical in bolstering energy and water security across the enterprise. She oversaw contracting, scheduling, reporting, and leadership briefings for more than 50 installation energy plans, pivotal for energy and water resilience improvements. Notestine serves as the Infrastructure Investment Strategy Champion for the Energy Line of Effort, guiding facilities in cost-effective modernization and power projection platform readiness. Notably, she steered the Department's first nuclear micro-reactor pilot and spearheaded the Fleet Electrification Pilot Program compliance, ensuring funding allocation and electric vehicle infrastructure contracting for 17 bases. Notestine also organized the January 2023 Energy Assurance Regional Stakeholder Meeting and facilitated the International Forum Towards a Secure Energy Supply. Her leadership, project prowess, and dedication strengthen mission assurance, making her invaluable to the Air Force.
U.S. Department of Defense: Army
John A. Veracruz
Major John Veracruz, an esteemed energy professional in the Army National Guard G-9 Energy Branch, serves as an energy programming officer. He has been pivotal in the development and execution of the Energy Resilience and Conservation Investment Program and the Resilient Energy Funding for Readiness Modernization Program. Drawing from his background as the Texas energy manager, he supports energy managers across states and territories within the Army National Guard, demonstrating readiness to assist. Major Veracruz proactively addresses the Energy Branch and manager needs, fostering transparent communication and an inclusive, proactive work atmosphere. His expertise spans the Army National Guard's energy resilience and sustainability realms, making him a recognized subject matter expert.
Rose Holshouser serves as the Army Materiel Command program manager for Advanced Metering and Information Technology Control Systems. In the past three years, she assessed 114 installations and 410 sites, securing funding and scheduling smart meter installations. Holshouser analyzed the Army's Meter Data Management System, identifying and addressing issues. Under her leadership, meters reporting to the system rose 42% since January 2022. She manages the IT acquisition process comprehensively, covering engineering, policy, standardization, data analysis, integration, logistics, testing, and readiness monitoring. Her efforts in these areas provide a balanced, expedited, and effective system for accomplishing the Army Materiel Command mission.
Michael Lohan, chief of operations at the 99th Readiness Division U.S. Army Reserve Directorate of Public Works, is an acclaimed leader in energy and climate resilience. He spearheads building automation control projects across Army Reserve sites in the Northeastern United States, advancing efficiency in line with federal climate goals. His efforts successfully align the project planning, implementation, and maintenance of resilience assets. Leveraging partnerships and innovative funding, Lohan drives further energy and water reductions in the Army Reserve. He leads the development of a multi-state energy savings performance contract at high-impact Army Reserve facilities, partnering with federal agencies. Furthermore, he ensures the integration of new U.S. Army and federal policies, strategies, and technologies, fostering training and engagement for 99th Readiness Division personnel.
U.S. Department of Defense: Defense Logistics Agency
Dorothy Statler, contract administrator for the Misawa and Yokota Air Bases, has consistently displayed professionalism in leading energy savings performance contract efforts in the hundreds of millions. In addition to the $581.7 million Misawa Air Base and $355.6 million Yokota Air Base efforts, she notably executed a $16 million change order on the Misawa project and handled extended construction timelines adeptly. Demonstrating professionalism and organizational expertise, she effectively led Air Force and industry partners for these mission-critical endeavors. Over the past year, Statler facilitated 143 construction design reviews, managed 70 requests for information, and secured approval for 29 change orders, ensuring seamless progress. Statler also excels as the Vandenberg Space Force Base utility energy service contracts specialist, expanding project scope using Energy Resilience and Conservation Investment Program funding. Her expert management and reliability make her an asset to the team.
U.S. Department of Defense: Marine Corps
Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Michael Feeney, the public works officer at Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) Albany, Georgia, has been a driving force in cultivating a comprehensive commitment to lasting energy resilience across the base. His exemplary leadership has resulted in one of the most forward-looking sustainability programs within the Department of Defense. A standout accomplishment is LCDR Feeney's pivotal role in guiding MCLB Albany to achieve net zero electricity in 2022. While this achievement was a culmination of 15 years of effort, LCDR Feeney's strategic guidance, leadership, effective communication, and collaboration with public and private partners proved crucial during the final stages. LCDR Feeney actively imparts insights gained from this achievement, promotes optimal practices, tackles high-profile tasks, and amplifies the accomplishment's impact. His outreach extends to other installations, senior leadership, and the public, igniting progress toward net-zero objectives throughout the federal government.
Belton O'Neil Tisdale, III
As the installation energy manager for Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Neil Tisdale has spearheaded pioneering energy resilience efforts. His leadership enabled the execution of significant energy and water projects, utilizing energy savings performance contracts. These included high-efficiency geothermal heat pumps, lighting upgrades, chilled water systems, and energy use tracking tools. In fiscal year 2022, Tisdale continued his outstanding work by diligently guiding the establishment of a utility energy service contract (UESC). Leveraging strong relationships and collaboration with leadership, public works, and maintenance colleagues, he led the evaluation of optimal energy conservation solutions. Multiple project iterations culminated in a cost-effective, impactful project in which contractor and government share responsibilities, enhancing electrical system reliability while reducing energy consumption. The UESC award is anticipated in late 2023. Additionally, Tisdale directed the development of Energy Resilience and Conservation Investment Program projects, advancing aviation readiness at the installation through a microgrid.
Gary Wayne Jackson
Gary Jackson, installation energy manager for Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, exhibits remarkable leadership in enhancing energy resilience, reducing consumption, and fostering sustainable facility infrastructure. His dedication resulted in the successful execution of a complex $47 million utility energy service contract. Completed in 2022, this effort revitalized more than 125 buildings spanning 3.29 million square feet. Proprietary, expensive, and obsolete systems were replaced with contemporary supervisory control and data acquisition systems and smart electric meters. These updates harness modern technologies to reduce operational demands, enhance safety, conserve energy and water, and are projected to save $2.2 million. The project also improved how the installation uses water in its wastewater treatment facility, making use of reclaimed water and reducing the requirement for domestic potable water by approximately 50 million gallons annually. Cherry Point is embarking on a second task order to further increase base power security, resilience, and reliability.
U.S. Department of Defense: Navy
Gennaro Gargiulo, installation energy manager at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples, Italy, oversees the NSA Naples Energy Program, annually outlining energy requirements and projects. In this capacity, he has coordinated training for energy managers/leaders across tenant commands, achieving a remarkable 32.4% reduction in water intensity since 2007 and a 9.4% decrease in energy intensity since 2015. Gennaro's success extends to the development and technical analysis of projects that include energy management control systems, photovoltaic (PV) systems, and 1-megawatt/year battery energy storage systems. These projects enhance the Navy's climate resilience and energy security posture.
Jason Timothy McGee
Lieutenant Jason McGee, production officer at Naval Station Mayport, is responsible for utilities, transportation, and facility service contracts. He previously served as an installation energy manager and utilities energy manager. In his current role, Lieutenant McGee identified energy security gaps across critical infrastructure—prioritized by installation commanding officer—and developed projects including a $68 million utility energy service contract to build a 24-megawatt natural gas turbine power generation plant and $1.15 million of centralized funding. These efforts involved collaboration with a local utility provider, risk analysis, return of investment calculations, and approval by the regional commander. These projects enhance the Navy's climate resilience and energy security posture.
Joseph Sprague, installation energy manager at Naval Submarine Base New London, is responsible for developing all energy requirements and energy projects annually. He previously served as an engineering technician during the implementation of a $183 million energy savings performance contract to support mission critical energy security projects and microgrid over a three-year period until fully operational in December 2022. This involved gaining extensive knowledge of the electrical distribution system/power plant to enable detailed design. It also involved collaboration with the Executive Secretariat Correspondence Office, utility providers, and multiple subcontractors to process more than 100 water, steam, and electrical outages while maintaining full functionality of the power plant. These projects enhance the Navy's climate resilience and energy security posture.
U.S. Department of Energy
Isabelle Aida Heilman
In response to President Biden's Executive Order 14057, Isabelle Heilman, from the Department of Energy (DOE) Sustainability Performance Office, led the creation of the inaugural climate awareness training for DOE employees, titled Introduction to Climate Change. This course explains the impacts of climate change to the nation and to DOE's mission. Participants learn mitigation, adaptation, and resilience measures employed by DOE and its sites to counter climate change effects. The course aims to heighten employee awareness, impart knowledge on decarbonization, clean energy, and sustainability, and aid DOE employees in meeting emission reduction goals. Introduction to Climate Change reflects DOE's commitment to reinvigorate sustainability and improve climate literacy within the agency. Aligned with executive order goals, the course seamlessly integrates sustainability, climate adaptation, and environmental stewardship across disciplines. Heilman's leadership and professionalism enabled DOE to launch the course in June 2023. The course is available to all DOE staff.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Andrea Taylor, Indian Health Service (IHS) sustainability coordinator, identified and rectified a critical gap in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Draft Federal Flood Risk Management Standard Procedures, which include consideration of flood hazards due to climate change and climate-conscious design for HHS-owned real property, indicating the need to include sewer or water line projects. Addressing this gap ensures properties are fully resilient against flood damage by preventing floodwater infiltration through a sewer system. Taylor is leading the adoption of the draft procedures while undergoing the HHS clearance process. She works with staff at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center to obtain a base flood elevation, including the updated procedures and has established a mechanism within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District to delineate a base flood elevation for any federal agency or tribal project in the continental United States free of charge.
LCDR Matthew Hunt
Matthew Hunt, general engineer in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Sustainability Branch, leads climate vulnerability assessments, critical to identifying climate risks, enabling the NIH to prioritize investments. Hunt worked with contracting staff to award a climate vulnerability assessment contract for each NIH campus. The assessments consist of four phases: Phase 1) Aggregate and align climate data for each campus and propose the top three risk categories for each campus; Phase 2) Review water usage data, energy usage data, master plans, and campus-specific resources for each campus; Phase 3) Conduct on-site visits/assessments of each campus, including discussions with facility staff; Phase 4) Develop a prioritized list of mitigation projects/actions for each campus that includes a rough order of magnitude for each action. The NIH has completed Phases 1 and 2, with Phase 3 underway. By leading these assessments, Hunt is preparing the NIH to have more climate-resilient infrastructure and facilities.
Alex Gamble, IHS architect/sustainability coordinator, completed the Healthier Materials Guidance for IHS Staff Quarters Projects. This guide informs decisions for new small-scale IHS construction and renovations, emphasizing healthier options for residential products. This initiative fosters a sustainable marketplace, curbing climate impacts, improving community health, preventing pollution, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through sustainable building materials. As the sustainability technical lead, Gamble readies and reviews IHS project sustainability profiles, ensuring alignment with the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings. His leadership enables projects to meet criteria for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, providing vital sustainable design/construction data for advocacy. Furthermore, his efforts facilitated an interagency agreement between IHS, DOE, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, advancing energy-efficient building guidelines on Tribal lands to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions via sustainable building performance.
U.S. Department of Transportation
For six years, Russell Goering has led the Federal Aviation Administration's energy program at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center. His guidance ensures energy efficiency across the 1,100-acre campus, surpassing sustainability goals. He spearheads energy conservation projects, collaborates with cross-functional teams, educates the workforce on sustainability, and implements energy-reducing technologies. Under his leadership, fiscal year 2021 saw over $900,000 in utility cost savings and 1,700 megawatt hours of electricity reduction from the previous year. In fiscal year 2022, utility costs decreased by over $500,000. These achievements reflect Goering's dedicated and comprehensive approach to program management.
Within his two years as a general engineer at the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Facilities, James Scales has made an immediate impact on the facility's efficiency. He leads the department's LEED re-certification, with the aim to achieve platinum certification, a first for a cabinet-level headquarters. Additionally, Scales directs a project replacing inefficient lighting with plug-and-play LED lights, fostering energy efficiency. This initiative yields $437,937 in yearly savings with a swift 3.7-year payback period, covering energy and operations/maintenance costs. The LED retrofit further reduces annual greenhouse gas emissions by 742.4 metric tons, cuts natural gas usage by 9,808 therms per year, and lowers monthly electricity demand by 566.1 kilowatts. With meticulous coordination, Scales exhibits the necessary characteristics and skills for driving successful key projects and diverse programs forward.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Jeffrey G. Barnes
Joseph A. Harnois, P.E.
Professional Achievement – Team
Responding to Executive Order 14057 prioritizing zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in the federal fleet, Veteran Affairs (VA) Boston's nominees teamed up with local electric utility, National Grid, to collaborate on developing a roadmap for fleet vehicle electrification. The VA Boston Health Care System, through the energy champions, established a partnership with National Grid in early 2021. They developed an electric vehicle (EV) roadmap and planning portal to transition their fleet to ZEVs. By presenting the roadmap to New England VA medical center leadership, Boston secured funding for charging stations in anticipation of the General Services Administration's ZEV acquisitions. The partnership thrives, with periodic updates to the ZEV planning portal and acquisition plans. Recognizing their efforts, the Boston fleet team was honored with the 2022 VA Sustainability Award for Fleet Operations, showcasing their dedication to mission success.