WCS Talks Virtual Event Series Part 4

May 8, 2021


Natalie Hollier, ThoughtWorks, “What I learned from living carbon neutral in 2020”

Meredith McClintock, Aurora Solar 

Jessica Poliner, Thermo King, “Solving World Hunger Starts with End-to-End Refrigeration”

Liz Ludwig, OhmConnect, “The importance of female mentorship”

Noel Bakhtian, Center for Advanced Energy Studies, “Powerful Energy – Thirsty Water”

Richard Youngman, CEO, Cleantech Group

Natalie Hollier
Head of Cleantech & Sustainability Solutions

Natalie Hollier is currently a Product Principal and Head of Cleantech & Sustainability Solutions at ThoughtWorks, a global software consulting firm. She works with clients including startups, NGOs and Fortune 500’s to build digital products, platforms and services towards a clean and circular economy. 

Natalie has worked in the tech industry for over 10 years and has held past roles including Global Head of Product Innovation at ThoughtWorks, VP of User Experience and acting head of Product at Validately (acquired by UserZoom), and software engineer for multimedia apps at Ericsson. Natalie also serves as a board advisor for Rutgers University Design Thinking program and spent 6 years as the NYC Regional Ambassador for Technovation Challenge, the world’s largest mobile app competition to empower girls to use technology to solve a problem in their local community and become future entrepreneurs and leaders. 

She holds a BA/BSc in Computer Science from the The University of Melbourne, Australia and an MBA in Strategy and Sustainability from NYU Stern School of Business and lives in New York with her husband and son.

Talk Topic: What I learned from living carbon neutral in 2020

Meredith McClintock
Aurora Solar
Head of Business Development

Meredith McClintock is a solar veteran who left a successful career in tech to fight climate change. 

Following executive positions at GE and two tech startups, she launched into the solar industry by earning her certification as a solar installer. She published the first in-depth market study of the residential solar industry, and co-authored a white paper that was used by the Governor’s office to structure the California Solar Initiative. The initiative was responsible for growing installed solar capacity by 12X over the life of the program. 

Meredith then founded and ran Ready Solar, manufacturer of Solar in a Box®, a fully pre-assembled, modular, AC-out array that reduced design and installation costs by 50%. She earned three patents in the process. 

She has been in solar ever since. Along with leadership roles in Sales, Operations, Marketing and Product, Meredith coaches sustainability startups and volunteers to fight climate change.

Meredith is currently Head of Business Development at Aurora Solar, where she creates business partnerships to enhance the value of Aurora’s solar sales and design platform for its customers.

Outside of solar, Meredith sits on the board of the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues and volunteers as a sustainability researcher at Stanford University. She holds degrees from Dartmouth College and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Talk Topic: TBD

Jessica Poliner
Thermo King
Vice President & General Manager of Global Marine Rail & Air

Jessica Poliner is a transformational leader with a history of leading geographically dispersed and culturally diverse manufacturing / industrial businesses.  Poliner thrives on taking over challenged businesses and achieving aggressive financial goals while engaging teams around a shared vision.   She is able to translate strategic direction into a practical and executable plan and then keep the organization focused with a cadence that drives a sense of urgency.

Currently Poliner is the Vice President and General Manager for the Global Marine, Rail and Air businesses of Thermo King.  Based in Belgium, Poliner is responsible for the full P&L management and leading all functional and operational aspects of this global transport refrigeration business including six global manufacturing sites.  Before joining her current role, Poliner was leading the in-land transport Thermo King business for Latin America. Prior to Ingersoll Rand, Poliner held roles in sales, marketing, distribution, and operations at Caterpillar, Inc.  Earlier in her career, Jessica worked as an attorney in corporate and mergers & acquisitions.  Jessica is proud to have lived and worked all over the world, including Argentina, Panama, India, and Belgium. 

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and a juris doctor degree from Marquette University. In addition, Poliner has completed graduate work at University of Buenos Aires and is enrolled in coursework for a Certificate of Management Excellence at Harvard Business School.  An endurance athlete – both in the workplace and out, Poliner is also a published co-author of “[Un]Skirting the Issues: A Guide for the Well-Intentioned Man in Today’s Workplace,” and is an avid speaker on gender parity and unconscious bias.

Talk Topic: Solving World Hunger Starts with End-to-End Refrigeration

Liz Ludwig
Chief Marketing and Product Officer

Liz Ludwig currently the Chief Marketing Officer at OhmConnect, working to decarbonize our economy by flexing residential demand. She manages product development, marketing, business development and customer experience. OhmConnect incentifies hundreds of thousands of households for reducing their energy use during peak energy use periods, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution. 

Liz has 8 years experience in the clean teach industry having spent 4 years as SVP of marketing and partnerships at Sungevity, and then serving as CMO for 3 years at Inspire Clean Energy. Her experience includes marketing, product, business development and strategy. Previously, Liz spent 16 years in consumer packaged goods and was the Vice President of Marketing at Black & Decker until 2012. 

Liz holds a BS in Civil Engineering from University of Colorado, and an MBA in Marketing from the University of San Francisco. She is passionate about animals and has served on the board of the Oakland Zoo since 2019. Liz lives in Northern California with her husband, Josh and two children.

Talk Topic: The importance of female mentorship

Noel Bakhtian
Center for Advanced Energy Studies

Dr. Noël Bakhtian is the Director of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), a research, education, and innovation consortium bringing together the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Idaho National Laboratory with the four public research universities of Idaho and Wyoming.  

Formerly, Dr. Bakhtian served as a Senior Policy Adviser for environment and energy in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).  Prior to OSTP, she served as the inaugural Energy-Water Nexus lead at the DOE Office of International Affairs, worked as technical lead on numerous innovative grant programs for DOE’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Office, consulted on energy R&D and investment for DARPA, and served as an energy and environment Fellow in the U.S. Senate. 

Dr. Bakhtian earned her engineering doctorate at Stanford University’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; holds master’s degrees from Stanford University and the University of Cambridge, where she was a Churchill Scholar; and completed her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and physics at Duke University. 

Dr. Bakhtian serves as a member of the National Academies Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy; and as a board member for the Institute for the Quantitative Study of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity. In 2018, she was selected as the 11th most powerful female engineer of the year by Business Insider.

Talk Topic: Powerful Energy – Thirsty Water

Richard Youngman
Cleantech Group

Since January 2016, Richard Youngman has been CEO of San-Francisco based Cleantech Group. This followed 7 years of driving the growth of Cleantech Group’s activities outside North America, especially in Europe and Israel, and Asia, based in Cleantech Group’s office in London.

Since 2002 Cleantech Group has been providing research, consulting and events services, to bring clients access to the trends, companies and people shaping the future and the customized advice and support businesses need to engage external innovation.

Richard has more than ten years of experience researching cleantech innovation, venture capital markets, and start-ups across Europe and globally. He is a regular keynote speaker at major cleantech events and is the driving force behind the annual Global Cleantech 100, a list of the world’s most promising private cleantech companies.

This followed 10+ years building a broad-based finance and research background with leading financial institutions in the City of London. 

Richard has an MA from Cambridge University, and an MBA from Theseus International Management Institute, Sophia Antipolis, France.

Talk Topic: TBD

Take Survey