The Sunny Side of Energy | Guest Speakers


Pam Keith: U.S. Senate Candidate and Former Counsel for NextEra Energy/FPL

Ms. Keith is a Miami labor attorney and Navy veteran. She recently sought, in her first bid for public office, election in the Florida Senate Race for the Democratic Party. She supports investing in clean and renewable energy, and advancing technology for solar storage, the development of wind energy, and clean energy transmission.

Her background includes experience as Sr. Labor Counsel for NextEra Energy/Florida Power & Light, with an emphasis on Nuclear Labor Relations. Pam concentrated on labor, and employment law litigation while in practice with Ogletree Deakins, and as an Associate with Jones Day, and Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP. She also served as a Judge Advocate with the United States Navy, and as NLSO Defense Counsel in Norfolk, VA, OIC, NLSO Detachment, ASU in Bahrain.

Ms. Keith spent early years abroad with her parents on diplomatic assignments in Turkey, Morocco, Syria, and Brazil, interspersed with periods in Oakland, CA, Kentucky, and Washington DC. She earned her J.D. from Boston College Law School, an M.A. and B.A. from the University of California. Pam is admitted to the bars of the District of Columbia, Indiana and Illinois. She is a board member of Faith, Love, Hope Charity, Inc., and a mentor in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Riviera Beach.


Yann Brandt: Managing Editor Region Head of the Americas at Conergy

Yann Brandt serves as the Region Head of the Americas. Additionally, Brandt is the founder and managing editor of SolarWakeup, a daily newsletter that thousands of solar industry professionals have been reading since 2012.    

Previous to Conergy, Yann co-founded Demeter Power Group, an innovative PACE financing provider and a multi-national EPC company. Brandt has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University and lives in Miami, Florida, with his wife and two children.

Conergy is a company in the solar energy industry providing project development, financing, EPC and O&M services with more than 1.3GW installed globally. It is one of the world’s largest downstream solar companies, founded in 1998 by the former chairman of the board Hans-Martin Rüter. The company’s Americas headquarters is in Miami, FL. Its headquarters for Europe, Middle East, Africa, and India (EMEAI), and Asia-Pacific are located respectively in Hamburg, Germany and Singapore. Their distribution network for solar products covers over 67 distributors and wholesalers, across over 18 different countries.

Larry Baum: Managing Director Stellar Homes Group

As co-founder and Managing Director of Stellar Homes Group, Baum is increasing the company’s footprint and reputation as South Florida’s first high quality home builder to include solar panels and a multitude of green features as standard for all new single family homes. With three developments currently under construction, is a top notch provider of professional turn-key operations from land planning, site development, architectural design and construction to sales. the company’s focus on forward thinking and ground-breaking initiatives such as green features helps it deliver the highest level of quality and service to homeowners, an exceptional experience from concept to completion.

Previously while at Prestige Builders partners Baum guided the expansion of what is now Florida’s largest condominium development company with a multi-family portfolio in excess of $2 billion.

Larry is a member of the Urban Land Institute, Florida Green Building Coalition, National Multi Housing Counsel and founder of Brix and Stix, a not-for-profit organization that provide housing for underprivileged families in the City of Miami. He received his degree from Florida State University with a concentration in Real Estate.

Hagen Ruff: Founder and CEO, Chava Wind LLC

In co-founding CHAVA Wind, Mr. Ruff brings his strong passion for solving energy demand challenges and the associated economic, geopolitical, and environmental problems to his background in mechanical engineering as well as information infrastructure integration. This is paired with a goal of disrupting the strategic delivery market for enterprise and single user “green” wind power energy solutions.

Mr. Ruff began his career at Accenture working on business process work flow challenges and opportunities for improved R.O.I. through process improvement for companies like Sempra Energy, Polaroid, the German Railway, Philip Morris, the Hong Kong Railway KCRC and CPS Energy.

Mr. Ruff started his own business intelligence management consulting firm, Business Information Solutions LLC (BIS), with a focus on management and IT consulting, executive leadership, and SAP and Enterprise Software integration solutions for large-scale enterprise applications at Fortune 100 clients. BIS, was acquired by Sapient Inc. (now PublicisSapient). Mr. Ruff was then responsible for leading Sapient’s global SAP practice with a particular focus on the Energy Services market sector and utilization of his process improvement methodology for solving energy demand challenges.

Mr. Ruff holds an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Fachhochschule Wiesbaden (Germany). He has served as a Board Member and Executive of the Energy Industry focused joint venture Soliance, a company engaged with delivering e-business solutions for certain utility industry areas.

Greg Hamra: Miami Group Leader of Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Greg is a thought-leader, educator and frequent speaker on issues at the intersection of climate, society, and economy.Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a 375 chapter, 55,000+ volunteer member advocacy organizations is well-known on Capitol Hill and dedicated to political will for a livable world. Greg works with CCL and grassroots volunteers to engage Members of Congress to drive bold climate action, targeting a carbon fee & dividend. CCL was instrumental in the formation of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, which recently grew to 24 U.S. Representatives; 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats. CCL was recently featured on National Geographic’s “Years of Living Dangerously.”
Mr. Hamra is also affiliated with: 

  • UM School of Architecture – adjunct instructor
  • FIU – a frequent guest speaker
  • MDC where annually he teaches hundreds of Miami-Dade County building officials in an ongoing and evolving course called “Sustainability in the Built Environment.” This includes topics from green building to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • USGBC South Florida – active member since 2008
  • Everblue – Senior LEED Educator since 2009 until deciding in 2014 to create LEED for ALL and to focus on climate policy.

Alejandro Burgana: Founder and CEO of Brickell Energy, Inc.

Alejandro is an entrepreneur dedicated to building the commercial charging infrastructure for Electric Vehicles in South Florida. He has developed a couple of business models branded aFLoat, preserving FL one connection at a time which have propelled the adoption of this technology by major corporations and commercial properties such as Carnival Cruise Line and Aventura Optima Plaza. The aFLoat programs were designed with the dual purpose of generating attractive ROI while creating awareness of preventive solutions to reduce the devastating effects of sea level rise on Florida’s coastal cities. Brickell Energy is a Signature Partner of ChargePoint and a Managing member of OBE Power Networks, a private network of commercial charging stations for electric vehicles.

Alejandro holds an MBA from NYU’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, with majors in both Finance and International Business, and a Mechanical Engineering Degree from the Universidad Metropolitana.

Dan Smyth: Investment Director at Origis Energy

Origin is a top global IPP/developer active in the US utility market. Dan focuses on project finance structuring, analysis of development investment and partnerships, and market analysis. His geographic emphasis is on various states within the US market, with complementary efforts in Brazil and the Middle East.

Dan’s professional background includes experience as an Investment Director for MGM Innova Capital LLC, a $60+ million private equity fund focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency investments in Latin America and the Caribbean, and before that in the international cargo markets where he structured transactions and assisted with management of a $100 million+ carbon asset portfolio which included the development of projects that generated emission reduction credits across a wide range of industrial and energy sectors. Dan is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego.