Thomas Lubas, Board President

Director of Operations Service, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Thomas Lubas joined the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey in 1972 and became the Director of the Operations Services Department in November 2010. During his 40 years of service with the Port Authority, Mr. Lubas has held management positions in the agency departments of engineering, finance, legal and regulatory matters, and Fleet and Materials Management. Mr. Lubas oversees the Port Authority’s automotive fleet operations.  The Port Authority’s Automotive Fleet consists of approximately 2,000 vehicles with a replacement value in excess of $200 million. Many of the fleet vehicles have very specialized and complicated functional components, such as high-speed airport multi-function runway snow clearing trucks, airplane refueling trucks, airport passenger buses, and airport rescue and fire-fighting emergency trucks.


In 2011, the Port Authority Fleet was ranked “8th Best Government Green Fleet in North America.”  80% of the mobile fleet is green.  Since the year 2000, the Port Authority’s Central Automotive Division has been a leader in the fleet industry in maximizing fleet vehicle utilization, fuel efficiency and its use of biofuels in its automotive fleet.  CAD has been able to reduce the Automotive Fleet’s carbon footprint by more than 25% since 2005, and clean fleet initiatives continue to play a major role in achieving carbon footprint reductions.


Mr. Lubas is a Board of Governors member, a past Vice President and current Honorary Member of the NAFA Fleet Management Association, and is also a member of the City University of New York’s Bronx Community College Foundation Board.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Degree with High Honors from the Stevens Institute of Engineering and he has completed postgraduate work at Columbia University and at Stevens.


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Luke Tonachel, Vice President

Director, Vehicles and Fuels Program and Senior Analyst, Transportation Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council


Luke Tonachel is the Natural Resources Defense Council's Director for Vehicles and Fuels and a senior analyst for transportation working in New York City. Since joining in 2004, his focus at NRDC has been on reducing the environmental impacts of the world's transportation demands by adopting policies that develop and commercialize cleaner, more efficient vehicles and non-petroleum fuels. Luke has authored and contributed to numerous nationally-recognized reports and analyses covering vehicle electrification, improved vehicle efficiency and other oil and emissions reduction opportunities.


He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Rochester and gained hands-on experience with energy systems and propulsion plants as an engineering officer on a U.S. Navy cruiser. After the Navy, Luke worked for a software company and then returned to school, receiving his Masters in Public Policy from University of California, Berkeley in 2004.


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Mark Simon, Treasurer

Director of the Alternate Fuels Program, NYC Department of Transportation

Mark is the Director of the Alternate Fuels Program for the NYC Department of Transportation, a program that he has been heavily involved with since its inception in the late 1980's, which includes Empire Clean Cities and the NYC Clean Cities Program.
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Aaron Choo, Secretary

Manager-Gas Field Operations NYC, National Grid

Aaron Choo is a graduate of Hofstra University where he received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and MBA in Finance from City University of New York - Baruch College - Zicklin School of Business. Mr.Choo joined National Grid in 2006 and became a Manager in 2011.


Mr. Choo is a motivated energy professional with experience in project management, business development, sales operations, budgeting, and process improvement.
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John Markowitz, Assistant Secretary

Lead Engineer, Clean Technology, New York Power Authority

John is a Lead Engineer in the Clean Energy Technology Group at the New York Power Authority (NYPA). He manages NYPA’s electric transportation program, as well as projects in the areas of renewable energy and energy storage. He participated in the field testing of the first plug-in hybrid vehicles from the major automakers. He is also a member of the Electric Power Research Institute’s Infrastructure Working Committee. This group of representatives of the automakers and electric utilities defines safety standards for electric vehicle charging equipment.


Before joining NYPA, John held engineering and marketing positions in the fields of transportation and energy efficiency. He is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and the Association of Energy Engineers. He holds the following degrees: Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Manhattan College, and Master of Business Administration from Pace University. He is a New York State Licensed Professional Engineer and a Certified Energy Manager.
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Luis Torres

Lawyer, The Law Offices of Luis Torres

Mr. Torres  was selected to the executive board in 2010.  He served as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice from 1994 - 1997.  From 1998 - 2002, Mr. Torres served as special counsel to Congressman Jose E. Serrano. His portfolio included environmental law, energy policy, and legislative redress for environmentally-beleaguered communities.  Mr. Torres then served as Associate Director for the City University of New York's Center for Sustainable Energy.  In this role, he promoted renewable energy and energy efficiency in urban communities, brought together policymakers, manufacturers, and end-users for regular conferences and policy discussions, and helped to secure city, state, and federal subsidies for regional fleets seeking to acquire clean transportation technology.


In 2011 Mr. Torres established a solo law practice based in Rockland County.  Additionally, in 2011 he was appointed Acting Village Justice in the Village of Haverstraw Justice Court and currently serves in this capacity.
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Marie headshot for website

Marie Ternes

Executive Vice President, DKC

Marie Ternes joined DKC in 2012 as Executive Vice President and Deputy Director of Government Affairs. Marie has dedicated her career to policy, press and politics. As the Chief of Staff to Congressman Anthony Weiner from 2008 to early 20011, she juggled a robust policy and press portfolio in Washington and important constituent and political issues in New York. Marie has worked at every level of government from her time in the New York City Council’s Speaker’s office to the halls of Congress.


Marie began her career working on health care issues in New Jersey, which included statewide planning and fundraising. In 2004 she transitioned back to New York City for a job in the New York City Council Speaker’s office. In 2005, she worked as political director for former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner’s Mayoral campaign. She later served as his Chief of Staff until she left to co-found O.T. Solutions.


Within a few months of forming her firm, Marie was working on complex issues such as the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, developing political strategy for prominent statewide issue organizations and advising business leaders on navigating government.  She has succeeded in placing op-eds, serving as a spokeswoman and crafting a winning message. In 2010, City Hall News named Marie as one of its “40 Rising Stars Under 40.”
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Steven Levy

Steven Levy

Managing Director, Sprague Energy

Steven J. Levy is an industry veteran of the petroleum and clean fuels industry.  As Managing Director of Sprague (www.spragueenergy.com ), he leads the clean fuels product and business development activities focusing on the governmental, commercial, wholesale, utility and industrial end-user.  Mr. Levy pioneered the introduction, supply and distribution of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel ten years prior to the United States EPA on-road vehicle mandate and focuses on introducing and establishing infrastructure for clean fuels, including biodiesel and BioHeat  as well as providing total fuel transactional and infrastructure management.  Mr. Levy’s responsibilities include managing major government, commercial and industry partner relationships.


At the federal, state and local level, Mr. Levy works closely with legislators, policy makers, equipment and aftermarket manufacturers, energy providers, and the end-user to introduce and further the use of clean products and technologies, while playing an active role with multiple industry associations and environmental organizations to protect natural resources, increase energy efficiency, reduce emissions, energy dependence and legislation efforts.


Mr. Levy is Past Chairman and serves on the National Biodiesel Board Governing Board (www.biodiesel.org) while also holding many officer positions in industry and environmental organizations including Past President and current Board Member of Empire Clean Cities (www.empirecleancities.org) focused on expanding the use of alternative fuels and reducing energy dependence on foreign petroleum.  Mr. Levy has also been appointed to multiple commissions, advisory boards and task forces in the areas of storm preparedness and recovery, sustainability, climate change and energy strategic plans.


About Sprague Operating Resources LLC Founded in 1870 as a supplier of coal and oil, today Sprague is one of the largest independent suppliers of energy and materials handling services in the Northeast with products including home heating oil, diesel fuels, residual fuels, gasoline and natural gas. Over the years, Sprague has expanded its offerings to meet the ever-changing energy and logistics markets.  Coupled with its strong physical assets, Sprague provides differentiated products and services including value-added customer support and online tools that are unmatched. Additional information on Sprague can be found online at www.spragueenergy.com.



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Paul Lipson

Principal, Barretto Bay Strategies

Paul Lipson served for seven years as Chief of Staff to Congressman Jose E. Serrano (NY-16), an 11-term Democrat and senior appropriator from The Bronx, NY. In 2009, Lipson served as principal author of The American Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Act (HR 4399), a bill introduced with bi-partisan support aimed at scaling up the domestic electric truck industry and helping to address air quality deficits incurred by medium duty fleets based in places like the South Bronx.


Earlier in his career, Mr. Lipson founded and led The Point Community Development Corporation, a pioneering CDC based in the Hunts Point section of The Bronx and active in the sustainability sector. The organization launched the South Bronx Greenway, initiated the revitalization of 8 acres of scatter-site brownfields, redeveloped two significant industrial parcels, launched a creative sector business incubator in the historic American Banknote Building, and led local community consensus-building around land use and waterfront issues in the Hunts Point peninsula.


Most recently, Mr. Lipson led the PennDesign-OLIN team’s consensus-building and engagement process for its successful Rebuild By Design application to address coastal vulnerabilities in and around the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center. In this role, Mr. Lipson’s firm worked intensively with organized labor locals, food wholesalers, small businesspeople, community advocates, and the non-profit community to elicit local solutions to longstanding resiliency challenges in Hunts Point.



gray line Interested in becoming a Board Member? Please submit all letters of intent (along with your resume) to Christina Ficicchia, Empire Clean Cities, Executive Director, by email at Christina@empirecleancities.org.
Advisory Board Member: Susan McSherry Emeritus Board Members: Louis Calcagno, Ronald Gulmi, Tria Case, Ruth Horton, Patrick Bolton, Kerry-Jane King, Patrick Gerdin, Lucius J. Riccio, Ed Taylor, Joseph "Bud" Nicoletti