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Hanley Sustainability Institute

2019 Speakers

The Hanley Institute was honored to present speakers and panelists from several Ohio universities, agencies and organizations during the March 2019 workshop.

Download printable list of speaker biographies (pdf).

Ben is the lead architect of a new model for campus sustainability who helped the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign become one of the most sustainable campuses in the nation, is the first executive director of the University of Dayton's Hanley Sustainability Institute.

McCall came to the Hanley Sustainability Institute from UIUC's Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment where he was a professor of chemistry, astronomy and physics and a professor. He served as the institute's first associate director for campus sustainability and later as the institute's assistant director for special projects.

Ben also spearheaded the 2015 update of the Illinois Climate Action Plan and developed a new procedure for formulating and evaluating campus sustainability policies and initiatives, which he presented at an annual meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

As Vice President of Energy Policy, Trish directs OEC’s campaigns and initiatives to promote clean energy and energy efficiency, mitigate climate change, and secure stronger public health safeguards for oil and gas operations. Trish builds relationships with private businesses, decision makers, allies, environmental partners and other energy stakeholders to advance common objectives on energy policy.

In 2014, Trish was named in 20 People to Know in Energy by Columbus Business First. Prior to joining the OEC team in 2011, Trish served as the legislative liaison for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, as a policy aide in the Ohio Senate, and as a field consultant on political campaigns for a number of years. Trish is a graduate of Wittenberg University and has been active in environmental advocacy since 2001.

Sarah was the founding director of UpGrade Ohio, establishing Appalachian Ohio's first clean energy-focused nonprofit organization in 2015. She was a SolSmart Advisor to four Appalachian communities in 2017, supporting efforts to prepare local governments for smart solar development. She has a Master of Public Administration from Ohio University's Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.

Conley-Ballew lives in Athens County, Ohio with her husband and three beautiful children and enjoys farming, birdwatching, and playing in the mud. Reach out at or 740.677.4047 ext. 11.

Jason is a member of Bricker’s Public Finance practice group. He works with local governments, special purpose districts, developers, and financial institutions on a variety of public finance and local government matters. His practice includes the structuring and documentation of economic development projects and general obligation and revenue bond transactions.

Jason has experience with a variety of economic development tools such as tax increment financing (TIF), community redevelopment area (CRA) abatements, new community authorities (NCA), and joint economic development districts (JEDD).

Jason has also been involved with the rapid development of property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing in Ohio. He provides general counsel services to energy special improvement districts and bond and lender’s counsel services to the organizations that finance energy efficiency and clean energy projects through PACE.

Michael is an associate in the Public Finance group. His practice focuses on promoting economic development around Ohio, representing municipalities, political subdivisions and private developers in various financial transactions. He also works with port authorities and new community authorities to assist with economic development transactions.

Michael has been involved in property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing deals and the creation of energy special improvement districts throughout Ohio. Previously, Michael represented political subdivisions and school districts around the state with construction projects, primarily drafting construction contract documents and handling necessary litigation arising out of defective work.

Chris Meyer has been a high school and college instructor, an entrepreneur, a high tech insulation manufacturer, a business development specialist in the energy field, and was formerly the Energy Director for the Dayton Development Coalition.

He was recently the PACE Project Director at Energy Optimizers, USA, in Tipp City, and is now the Business Development Specialist at TE Fusion Group, working with building owners in our region to help them generate additional sales, property and income tax savings when they complete an energy project. He is also working with a group on a solar-powered off-grid community refrigeration project, called the Solar Cool Cube, for use in African villages. Chris is married to Laura (49 years) and has five adult children and ten grandchildren.

In addition to his energy work he has been an co-inventor (6 group patents), and is an amateur photographer, gardener, sometime woodworker, and a really mediocre golfer.

Bob spent the first 20+ years of his career holding senior management positions in software engineering and telecommunications. He then left the “Corporate World” to pursue a more hands-on occupation. He has been in the construction business since 2005, building homes and major room additions, kitchens, and baths.

In 2009, Sisco Construction started doing PV installations. Once the business started focusing entirely on Solar, Ohio Power Solutions was formed. Ohio Power Solutions is family owned and operated, installing over 250 installations ranging from 3kW to 2MW.

Mark entered the solar business and formed his first solar company in January 2010. His current company, Solar Integrated Resources, LLC, was established January 1, 2017. Mark’s prior experience includes:

  • 20 years in the HVAC industry.
  • 20 year career with Reynolds & Reynolds Co. including several managerial positions.
  • Project Finance Manager for the Research Park Campus development project - $130MM – 750,000 sf.
  • Real Estate Finance Manager – responsible for $45MM operations.
  • Supply Management Sr. Manager, where he was responsible for key capital projects company wide.
Mark holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Finance from Capital University. Mr. Wiley is responsible for the general management and development of the business as the Owner and President of Solar Integrated Resources.

Geoff Greenfield is a serial clean-tech entrepreneur committed to building great organizations that address human needs. In 2000 he founded Third Sun Solar, an award winning solar installation firm serving commercial, institutional, government and residential clients.

After frustration with the available third party financing for solar projects, Greenfield founded New Resource Solutions, a fin-tech platform connecting project developers with investors and using technology to reduce project transaction expenses. He is a member-owner and former board member of the Amicus Solar Cooperative, a $500 million member-owned procurement group of leading North American solar installation companies.

In 2003 Greenfield became a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional, and has served on the NABCEP Board of Directors since 2012. Geoff graduated from Miami University and Ohio University (Masters in International Affairs) and was a Peace Corps Volunteer constructing water projects in Congo/Zaire Africa.

Geoff lives in a net-zero solar home with his wife and business partner Michelle, and is the proud father of two young men.

Mayor Whaley is proud to choose Dayton as her home. Originally from Indiana, she attended the University of Dayton where she graduated in 1998 and soon settled in the Five Oaks neighborhood, where she and her husband Sam reside today.

Her career is distinguished by her commitment to public service, civic involvement and interest in local government. First elected to the Dayton City Commission in 2005, Nan was the youngest women ever chosen for a Commission seat. She was proud to be elected as Dayton’s mayor in 2013 by a double-digit majority. In 2017 she was re-elected mayor without opposition, a first in Dayton's history.

As mayor, she has focused on the areas of community development, manufacturing, and women and children. Nan is a national leader among her peers, serving on the Board of Trustees for the U.S. Conference of Mayors as well as the Chair of the International Committee for the Conference. She serves as a Vice Chair for the National League of Cities, Council on Youth, Education and Families.

Nan is also a founding board member for the Ohio’s Mayor Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of Ohio’s 30 largest cities. Nan has been committed to the political process in local, state and national elections. While in college, she served as Ohio Chair of the College Democrats.

She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors. Additionally, she is a four-time delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

Phil is an attorney specializing in civil litigation on behalf of individuals, families and small businesses. He is a native of the Dayton area and proud resident of downtown Dayton.

A graduate of The Ohio State University (B.A., Cum Laude, 2008) and Capital University Law School (J.D., Cum Laude, 2012). Phil is a passionate environmental and sustainability activist and is a Board Member of CleanEnergy4All, an Advisory Board Member of Solar United Neighbors of Ohio, and a member of the City of Dayton’s Environmental Advisory Board.

Additionally, Phil is a member of the City of Dayton Landmarks Commission, President of McPherson Town Neighborhood, Treasurer for the Miami Valley Trial Lawyers Association, a member of the Ohio Association for Justice and Dayton Bar Association, & Organizer for the Dayton Area Solar Co-ops.

Theresa has spent the past four years working with RE-volv, a national nonprofit whose mission is to empower local communities to learn about and afford renewable energy. During that time she co-led a successful crowdfunding initiative that enabled a local nonprofit to install solar PV on their rooftop.

Theresa received her Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton in 2018 and is currently working at the Hanley Sustainability Institute while she earns her Master’s degree in Renewable and Clean Energy. Her research interests include creative pathways to carbon neutrality and increasing access to clean energy in low-income communities.

Luke Sulfridge serves as the Ohio Program Director for non-profit Solar United Neighbors and has helped hundreds of Ohioans go solar through local cooperative purchase groups. The local co-ops have served as a catalyst for millions of dollars in solar investment in Ohio. Solar United Neighbors also stands with solar advocates to advance distributed solar power in Ohio.

Mr. Sulfridge holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Berea College, a Master of Science in Safety Security and Emergency Management from Eastern Kentucky University, and a Master of Arts in Political Science with a concentration in Environmental Politics and Policy Analysis from Appalachian State University.

Mr. Sulfridge drives an electric car and is active in the Boy Scouts of America and his church in southeast Ohio. He is a seventh generation Ohioan.

Steve Melink is founder and CEO of Melink Corporation, a provider of energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for the commercial building industry since 1987. His headquarters in Cincinnati is LEED-Platinum certified and Net Zero Energy, and over 50% of his employees drive hybrids or electric vehicles.

In 2018 Steve sold his company to his employees through an employee stock ownership plan, called an ESOP. In 2019 Steve is constructing a second headquarters to not only accommodate the company’s continued growth but also model how to design affordable Zero Energy buildings for architects and engineers across the U.S. and world.

Steve is the author of CEO Power & Light – Transcendent Leadership for a Sustainable World in which he advocates for a clean energy revolution to improve our global economy, security, and environment

Steve has more than 36 years of experience across diverse operations and departments in the electric and gas utility business and higher education. Steve has been with the University of Dayton for the past seven years, and is currently the Executive Director of Energy Utilization and Environmental Sustainability for the University of Dayton. He is responsible for all energy efficiency and sustainability projects on campus.

Steve continually works with the campus community and staff to implement energy efficiency and environmentally sustainable initiatives in their day-to-day activities. Steve is also the coordinator for the GRF (Green Revolving Fund) for the University of Dayton.

Prior to Joining the University of Dayton, Steve worked in the electric and gas utility business for 29 years, in utility line clearance, as a gas and electric distribution design technician, a NERC certified transmission operator, and was part of the AEP outreach team for the GridSmart energy rebate program for AEP Ohio.

Since 2012, Chris has provided outsourced energy management services including energy procurement, budgeting and tracking, and demand side savings measurement. His current clients include The University of Dayton, Central State University, Premier Health Partners and Crown Equipment. Chris also assisted the University of Dayton in the evaluation of the solar system alternatives installed in front of 1700 Patterson and on the roof of Fitz Hall.

Previously, Chris worked at DP&L and Sara Lee in commodity risk management, energy and fuel procurement and trading execution roles.


Hanley Sustainability Institute

Fitz Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2950