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SEPA Appoints Three Prominent Energy Leaders to Its Board of Directors, Representing CPS Energy, the California Energy Commission, and Microsoft

Friday, 19 April 2024 09:00 AM

Smart Electric Power Alliance

WASHINGTON, DC / ACCESSWIRE / April 19, 2024 / The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) appointed three prominent energy leaders to its Board of Directors - Elaina Ball, Chief Strategy Officer for CPS Energy; Commissioner Andrew McAllister, Ph.D., from the California Energy Commission; and Darryl Willis, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Energy and Resources Industry.

"I am thrilled to have these nationally and internationally experienced and recognized energy professionals join our Board," said Sheri Givens, SEPA's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Their diverse backgrounds demonstrate their strong commitment to progressing carbon-free energy solutions through market operations, digital transformation, carbon-reduction strategies, policy, partnerships, and other means. We look forward to their contributions in providing strategic insights and guidance to SEPA during this critical time in the clean energy evolution."

Elaina Ball, CPS Energy

Ball leads strategic planning for CPS Energy, where she is responsible for the oversight and execution of CPS Energy's Vision 2027. She has over 17 years of experience working with both investor-owned and public power utility companies. She has provided effective leadership in power generation, transmission and distribution, market operations, technology, and business development functions. Ball previously served as the CEO for Fayetteville Public Works Commission in Fayetteville, NC; Chief Operating Officer for El Paso Electric and Austin Energy; Senior Vice President of Power Delivery at Entergy; and she is a CPS Energy alumnus having served as Vice President of Technical Services and Energy Solutions in 2012. She also has extensive leadership experience with the South Texas Project Nuclear Generating Station, having served on their Board of Directors' Owners' Committee and Benefits Committee.

Ball has actively engaged with utility nonprofit organizations, including the Rocky Mountain Electrical League and the Association of Women in Energy, and served several community nonprofits, such as the Austin Science Education Foundation, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger, and Fayetteville Tech Community College. Ball holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and she is a graduate of the University of Idaho Utility Energy Executive program.

"I am honored to serve on the SEPA Board of Directors," said Elaina Ball, Chief Strategy Officer at CPS Energy. "I look forward to serving this great organization, working alongside some of the industry's most forward-thinking leaders."

Commissioner Andrew McAllister, California Energy Commission

McAllister is currently serving his third term at the California Energy Commission. McAllister's priorities while serving on the CEC include: decarbonization of buildings and industry; energy efficiency; load flexibility as a tool for grid optimization; improved access to data and analytical tools that enable innovation at the grid edge; ensuring alignment of energy policy and programs with the state's housing initiatives; and collaborating with other states to address critical energy policy matters.

He has worked in both the efficiency and renewables spaces for more than three decades. Prior to the CEC, his professional trajectory traversed multiple sectors including: Managing Director of the nonprofit California Center for Sustainable Energy; Efficiency and Renewables Specialist at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association International, Ltd. in Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa; Project Manager at an energy consulting firm; and Energy Efficiency Analyst at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. McAllister has worked around the world to deploy clean, cost-effective energy solutions partnering with counterparts ranging from tiny remote communities to the largest of utilities. He serves on the boards of the National Association of State Energy Officials and the UC Davis chapter of Camp Kesem. McAllister holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley, and dual B.A.s from Dartmouth College. He also served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer.

"Through its membership and its programs, SEPA brings new and cutting-edge thinking to the issues, challenges and opportunities facing the electric industry today," said McAllister. "I look forward to serving on the Board and supporting energy leaders to create and deploy effective, equitable solutions across the energy landscape."

Darryl Willis, Microsoft

Willis leads a global team, driving digital transformation across the energy sector through the power of Microsoft's cloud and artificial intelligence technology and partner solutions. With a deep knowledge of the global energy sector, he leads this cross-functional team in building strategic partnerships and helping enable the energy transition, reduce carbon emissions, and fulfill growing global energy demand with low- and no-carbon sources. He is an advocate for startups and diverse talent, supporting and fostering innovation in the field to develop next-generation leaders and solutions.

Willis is passionate about empowering customers, partners, and communities on the journey to a more secure, reliable, equitable and sustainable energy future for all. Prior to joining Microsoft, Willis held leadership positions at Google Cloud and bp. He is a member of several councils and boards including American Bureau of Shipping, INROADS Inc., National Board of Directors, and the University of Houston Energy Transition Institute. Willis holds an M.S. in Business from Stanford University, an M.S. in Geology and Geophysics from the University of New Orleans, and a B.S. in Chemistry and Literature from Northwestern State University of Louisiana.

"I look forward to serving on the SEPA Board of Directors and contributing to their important mission and innovative work," said Willis. "Drawing from my experience in digital innovation and successful partnerships across the global energy industry, I am eager to further position SEPA as a leading industry resource that brings together key energy stakeholders for the exchange of trends, research, and best practices towards achieving a sustainable energy future."

The SEPA Board of Directors has 20 members, including executives from utilities and technology firms, along with current and former government officials.

For Full Bios of SEPA's Board of Directors, Click Here.

About SEPA

The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), a 501(c)(3) organization with over 1,000 members, is dedicated to accelerating the transformation to a carbon-free electricity system with equity underscoring all of its work. Focused on five critical focus areas including: resilience, transportation, energy storage, emerging technology, and policy, SEPA brings together a diverse community of electric power stakeholders committed to driving positive change. By actively shaping the future of the industry, SEPA delivers exceptional value to its extensive membership through comprehensive research, educational initiatives, engaging events, and collaborative projects. SEPA plays a vital role in contributing to the collective efforts towards a carbon-free energy landscape. For more information, please visit

Contact Information:

Carole Bernard
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
[email protected]
(771) 218-2771

SOURCE: Smart Electric Power Alliance


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