Empire Clean Cities Staff
Board of Directors
SUSAN MCSHERRY, BOARD PRESIDENT
Director of Alternative Fuels Program, New York City Department of Transportation
Susan McSherry is Director of Alternative Fuel Programs at the New York City Department of Transportation, focusing on clean fuels and advanced technology vehicle programs. She is responsible for managing grant program development and clean fleet projects, including assisting NYC agencies in advancing their Green Fleet initiatives to lower CO2 and criteria pollutant emissions from the City’s vehicle fleet; DOTs Curbside EV Charging Pilot Program to bring visibility and awareness of EV charging for privately owned vehicles that park on street; and the relaunch of the NYC Clean Trucks Program which expanded the successful Hunts Point Clean Truck Program to other Industrial Business Zones citywide. She and her office support the local NYC/Empire Clean Cities Coalition on petroleum reduction policy and implementation and conduct relevant public outreach and education to community and technical groups about clean vehicles. Susan holds a Masters in Urban Planning from Hunter College.
MARK SIMON, TREASURER
Director of Electric Vehicle Policy, NYC Department of Transportation
Mark is the Director of Electric Vehicle Policy 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.
JOHN MARKOWITZ, ASSISTANT SECRETARY
Senior Director, New York Power Authority
John is Director of e-Mobility Technology and Engineering 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.
Director of Sustainability and Community Engagement, City of Mount Vernon
Shayne Brooks is the Director of Sustainability and Community Engagement at the City of Mount Vernon. He created and managed the first municipal food distribution in the city and during the pandemic, this food distribution garnered a record 1.3 million pounds of food being distributed in a 7-month period.
Other firsts included the municipal partnership with Feeding Westchester, and the first composting partnership with the Westchester County’s Department of Environmental Facilities for the City of Mount Vernon. He also initiated, managed, and oversaw a recycle bin campaign that provided 2000 free 32-gallon recyclable bins. This effort resulted in increased recycle rates, city wide reducing solid waste tonnage, and was noticed by Westchester County’s Department of Environmental Facilities.
Shayne is especially interested in environmental justice programing that leverages for the benefit of historically under-served communities to provide access and advances in sustainability by using strategic, cutting edge and commercial tactics.
He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Buffalo in Public Relations and Communications and more recently is an award recipient of the Feeding Westchester’s 2019 Enhanced Services provider Award as well as the Westchester County’s Department of Environmental Facilities Eco Award for both the years 2022 and 2023.
Founder & Chief Executive Officer of TruckTractorTrailer.com and Green Island EV Co.
John is a preeminent expert in high growth strategies, turn-around, and start-up situations. He is especially adept at executing and monetizing innovative solutions to maximize enterprise value. John has become a thought leader in the transportation technology and electric vehicle industry with broad C-Suite and board level experience across the government agency, OEM, fleet, dealer, contractor, and customer spectrum. He was instrumental in bringing the first electric school buses to the White Plains school district in his home state of New York, recruiting and collaborating with key stakeholders and leading project management.
John has driven mission critical assignments with private and publicly held companies ranging from startups to the Fortune 250. Prior to founding TruckTractorTrailer.com, he was Chief Commercial Officer of First Student (First Group) and served in various executive roles at ARAMARK, Republic Services, and Noble Biomaterials. John proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He earned an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix and completed numerous executive development programs including those facilitated by ARAMARK, Harvard Business School, Penn State, and Cornell University.
Assistant Counsel/Attorney, NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Tevin Grant has always had a passion for the environment, the law, and automobiles. He graduated from Pace University with honors as part of the first class in their environmental studies program. At the University of Virginia's Law School he worked on the environmental law journal and interned at both the Natural Resources Defense Council and South Environmental Law Center. After graduation, Tevin joined the Environmental Unit of the NYC Law Department. There, he litigated cases for many NYC agencies such as Department of Sanitation, Department of Buildings, and Department of Environmental Protection. After leaving the Law Department, he continued to practice law, litigating various environmental issues.
Last year, Tevin started Evolv-Electric as way to combine all of his passions. Evolv-Electric's mission is accelerate the adoption of medium and heavy duty electric vehicles in fleets, especially electric school buses. Evolv-Electric has been a major promoter of the NYC Council's electric school bus bill, Intro 455. Evolv-Electric also consults with fleet operators to devise plans to electrify their fleets, install, and pay for the necessary infrastructure and training needed to transition to electric.
ROBERT O. GURMAN
Managing Consultant, Proenergy Consulting
Robert O. Gurman is Managing Consultant of Proenergy Consulting, a clean transportation/
clean energy consulting firm. Mr. Gurman is a commercial & finance expert in the vehicle
electrification/clean mobility, clean energy, renewable energy, and project & infrastructure
finance space: involved in over $34 billion of transactions in his career of over three decades.
His publication, "Taking Commercial Fleet Electrification to Scale: Financing Barriers and
Solutions," was published by CALSTART (https://globaldrivetozero.org/publication/taking-
commercial-fleet-electrification-to-scale-financing-barriers-and-solutions/). Mr. Gurman
currently serves on the Board of Empire Clean Cities, and has consulted on clean mobility and
vehicle electrification for public entities including the New York State Energy Research &
Development Authority (“NYSERDA”), New York Green Bank (“NYGB”), and US Department
of Energy’s Loan Programs Office; as well as the Montgomery County (MD) Green Bank and
CALSTART. Commercial clean energy clients have included Astoria Energy, JEMB Energy
Resources, eTransEnergy, Marathon Capital, and Electrada. In addition, Mr. Gurman plays a
senior management role at Green Island EV Corp. and EV Edison, Inc., and is an advisor to Stak
Mobility Corp., Pathion Holdings Inc., and Swiftwater Solar.
In addition, Mr. Gurman is a co-founder, and on the Investment Committee, of Newmarket
Capital - International Infrastructure Finance Company Funds (approx. $2.25 billion combined)
and Acting Chairman of the Utility Debt Securitization Authority, a NY State agency
restructuring and securitizing ~$5.8 billion of Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) debt. Mr.
Gurman has taught project & infrastructure finance for Standard & Poor’s Global Market
Intelligence, and has also taught and lectured at Johns Hopkins University – SAIS (adjunct
professor), Columbia University Business School, and New York University. He has also served
as an Expert Witness in commercial & bankruptcy litigation in the clean energy sector.
Co-founder and Principal at Brightside Strategies
Co-founder and Member at The Equitable Commute Project
Melinda is the founder of Brightside, where she leads the firm’s work to advance sustainable urban mobility. She’s also the co-founder of the Equitable Commute Project, a micromobility policy accelerator and equity program that connects lower-income New Yorkers with quality e-bikes and accessible financing. Melinda has shared insights on reducing car dependence in the Verge, Bloomberg, Canary Media, My Climate Journey, and NPR’s Marketplace, and has been named a Grist ‘Fixer’ and a Remarkable Woman in Transport. Melinda’s spent her career working to decarbonize urban mobility, including as Head of Sustainability at Bird and as Deputy Director at NACTO’s Global Designing Cities Initiative. She’s worked on Bus Rapid Transit and bikeshare projects in Manila and Peshawar, implemented tactical urbanism projects in Addis Ababa, and advised city governments on resilient urban design for Rebuild By Design. Earlier in her career, she was a founding staff member at the ClimateWorks Foundation where she oversaw more than $20M in annual grants to public policy organizations.
Senior Advocate, Clean Vehicles and Fuels
Kathy Harris leads NRDC's work on clean vehicle policies and programs that accelerate the transition to zero-emission passenger cars and trucks. Prior to joining NRDC, she worked for the state of Delaware as a planner, addressing a variety of statewide and regional policies and programs to mitigate greenhouse gases in the transportation sector. She also served as the Delaware Clean Cities coordinator. She holds a bachelor's degree in environmental science and a master's degree in marine policy from the University of Delaware. She is based in NRDC's New York office.
Managing Director, Sprague Energy
Steven J. Levy is an industry veteran of the petroleum and clean fuels industry. As Managing Director of Sprague Energy, 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 transaction 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 while also holding many officer positions in industry and environmental organizations including Past President and current Board Member of Empire Clean Cities, 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.
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 eight 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 business people, community advocates, and the non-profit community to elicit local solutions to longstanding resiliency challenges in Hunts Point.
Director of Operations Service, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (Retired)
Thomas Lubas is the Past President of the Governing Board of Empire Clean Cities and the former Director of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. During his 40 years of service with the Port Authority, Mr. Lubas has held senior management positions in the agency departments of engineering, finance, legal & regulatory matters, Vehicle Fleet Management and Materials Management. For over 20 years, Mr. Lubas managed and oversaw the management of the Port Authority's Automotive Fleet, consisting of approximately 2,300 vehicles with a replacement value in excess of $200 million and which was named in the Top 10 Best Government Green Fleets in North America.
Mr. Lubas is a former Vice President and current Honorary Member as well as the New York-Intercounty Secretary of the NAFA Fleet Management Association. He is also the current Sergeant-of-Arms of the American Legion, NJ Post 209. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering Degree with High Honors from the Stevens Institute of Technology and he has completed postgraduate work at Columbia University and at Stevens.
Director of Policy and Market Development—East, bp pulse
Brian Ross is Director of Policy and Market Development—East for bp pulse fleet. He supports transportation electrification policy actions such as climate and clean air regulations, EV and EV charging requirements and standards, utility interconnection rules and tariffs, etc. He covers states in the Northeast and Midwest and seeks opportunities for bp pulse fleet to provide comprehensive charging services to commercial fleets that convert to electric vehicles.
Brian has 14 years of experience in clean energy policy, projects and program implementation with
electric and gas utilities. He was previously with the e-mobility team at Consolidated Edison Company of
New York. He was responsible for implementing electric vehicle demonstration projects including
curbside EV charging, school bus vehicle-to-grid, and fast charging hubs. The team also worked on
initiatives to encourage widespread EV adoption in the New York City metro area. His career started at
the New York Power Authority and continued with Public Service Enterprise Group. He started at Con
Edison in strategic planning with a focus on renewable energy and end-use efficiency before focusing on
EVs full time.
He has a Bachelors in Geography and Public Policy from Syracuse University and a Masters in Public
Administration from Columbia University. He lives with his family in New York City.
Director of E-Mobility and Demonstrations, Con Edison
Raghu Sudhakara is currently Director of E-Mobility and Demonstrations at Con Edison and is responsible for Company initiatives in transport electrification as well as demonstration projects piloting new and innovative utility business models in the transportation sector. Transportation initiatives undertaken by his team include the country’s second largest EV charger infrastructure as well as a managed charging program that incentivizes EV charging to occur during off-peak hours thereby alleviating strain on the grid. Previously, he was involved with non-wires alternatives that developed portfolios of customer side resources in order to defer or offset building tradition infrastructure. And before that, he advocated on behalf of the Company on wholesale demand response and electricity market issues at NYISO and PJM. Before joining Con Edison in 2012, Raghu worked as a consultant to power generation companies around the world on power plant efficiencies. Raghu has bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology Karnataka and a masters degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri and, a dual masters degree in Public Administration from Sciences Po and Columbia University.
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, Luke Tonachel
Advisory Board Members
Executive Director, Clean Communities of Central New York
With almost three decades of experience in alternative fuels and vehicles, Barry Carr is a veritable fount of information. He took the helm of Clean Communities of Central New York in 2008. As Coordinator, he is renowned for infinite willingness to share his expert advice and best practices with other coordinators and stakeholders. As a member of the Coordinator Council and participant in the Coordinator to Coordinator program, he has been invaluable. From 1995 to 2006 Carr demonstrated his ability through his work with NYS Clean Fueled Vehicle Council under the leadership of Governor George Pataki. He worked closely with NYS agencies to expand their compressed natural gas (CNG) use to more than 3,000 vehicles and 60 locations with CNG infrastructure. Carr made presentations, provided safety and refueling training, and secured funding for many additional efforts. He is strongly supported by stakeholders and through his many relationships with fleet managers throughout the Northeast, built over almost three decades of steadfast determination working in the industry.
Executive Vice President & Principal, Greener by Design, LLC; New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition
Chuck Feinberg has been actively involved with the New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition since he helped to make it an IRS 501c3 nonprofit entity in 2009. Prior to leading the coalition, he amassed more than 30 years of professional experience as a program manager both with the Army Corps of Engineers and as a consultant. He is currently Executive Vice President and a Principal at sustainability consulting firm, Greener by Design, LLC. Much of his career has focused on supporting environmental and alternative fuel projects. Feinberg developed a reputation for his keen technical skills and willingness to collaborate with others when he successfully managed a $15 million Recovery Act grant. Through the grant he put more than 300 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles—including public and private refuse haulers and jitneys—on the road, and oversaw the installation of six CNG stations across the state. More recently, he developed and administered a program to re-power unregulated marine engines with less polluting, more fuel-efficient engines. The new engines are expected to result in a 15%–16% improvement in fuel economy, and estimated diesel fuel savings of 4 to 5 million gallons during the lifetime of the engines. Feinberg is a recognized champion of sustainability, alternative fuels, and environmental stewardship and has been honored with awards from NGV America, the U.S. Green Building Council, the Northeast Diesel Collaborative, and others. He is a 2018 inductee into the Clean Cities Hall of Fame.
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 to 1997. From 1998 to 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. In 2011 he was appointed Associate Justice in the Village of Haverstraw Justice Court and currently serves in this capacity.
Interested in becoming a Board Member?
ECC is actively recruiting new board members. If you are interested, please submit all letters of intent (along with your resume) to Joy Gardner at Joy@empirecleancities.org.
Interested in volunteering? Empire Clean Cities is always seeking passionate individuals to join our team of volunteers. Volunteers help with ride-and-drives, alternative vehicle showcases, and other programming to promote clean vehicles and technologies. To find out about upcoming events, visit our Events Calendar or follow us on social media.