Energy transition jobs: Shoals Technologies, PG&E, Ford, and more


Shoals Technologies Group announced four senior hires to drive growth in the solar, energy storage, and electric vehicle markets. Jeff Tolnar was named SVP of Electric Vehicle Solutions. He was most recently chief commercial officer for Shell | Greenlots where he was responsible for the company’s electric mobility solution sales, marketing, regulatory policy, sales operations, and partnerships. He also served as president of Global Software Solutions for Honeywell’s Homes, Buildings and Utilities businesses.  Brian Van Heel was named VP of Sales in the U.S. with over 15 years of sales experience in the solar industry, including module and inverter manufacturing, utility project development, and engineering, procurement and construction. He earlier led U.S. sales for Delta Electronics and Huawei Technologies. Josep Tienda was named VP of Sales in EMEA and is responsible for growing the company’s presence in Spain, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and the Middle East.  He most recently served as EMEA sales director for Excelitas Technologies. Kathy Heilmann was named VP of Marketing, bringing over 20 years of B2B marketing work in solar and high tech. Previously, she was the director of Marketing for the Americas at Canadian Solar. Prior to joining the solar industry in 2011, she spent 10 years in senior global marketing roles for Siemens AG and worked as an engineer for Pacific Gas and Electric.

Carla Peterman

PG&E Corp. named Carla J. Peterman as executive VP, Corporate Affairs, effective June 1. She joins PG&E from Southern California Edison, where she served since October 2019 as senior VP, Strategy and Regulatory Affairs. Prior to her position at SCE and earlier in 2019, she was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to chair the Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery, which developed recommendations that led to legislation designed to hold utilities accountable for reducing wildfire risk and encourage a financially stable electric industry. She earlier served a six-year term on the California Public Utilities Commission from 2013 to 2018. Peterman serves on the external advisory board for Sandia National Laboratories’ Energy and Homeland Security Portfolio, and as a member of the Federal Reserve of San Francisco Economic Advisory Council. She holds a BA from Howard University, a PhD in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and MS and MBA degrees from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

PG&E also named Margaret K. Becker as VP and Treasurer. She is currently senior director and Treasurer of the Corporation and the Utility and has been responsible for Treasury activities through PG&E’s restructuring and emergence from Chapter 11 last year. At PG&E she has held positions of increasing responsibility in the Treasury and Finance organizations of the utility or the corporation, including as assistant Treasurer of the utility and the corporation. Prior to joining PG&E in 2010, Ms. Becker received her MBA from the Harvard Business School and worked as an economic consultant at Cornerstone Research. And the utility named Christopher M. Patterson as VP of State Legislative Affairs, reporting to Ms. Peterman in her new role. Patterson is currently senior director, State Government Relations, for the utility, and is responsible for the utility’s legislative agenda and advocacy in the state’s capital as well as for policy and advocacy relating to key state regulatory agencies, including the State Lands Commission, Department of Water Resources, and the California Air Resources Board. Prior to joining PG&E in 2018, he served for six years as the political director for the California Professional Firefighters.

Anand Sankaran

Ford announced a new global battery center of excellence – called Ford Ion Park – to accelerate research and development of battery and battery cell technology, including future battery manufacturing. Anand Sankaran will lead the team as director. A 30-year veteran of Ford, Sankaran brings to the new position decades of battery and electrification expertise – including his current role as the company’s director of Electrified Systems Engineering, as a 1999 Henry Ford Technology Award winner for his electrification work at the Ford Research Lab and a product development leader who applied his research and technical innovations on key production vehicles, including the award-winning original Escape Hybrid, 2021 Mustang Mach-E and 2022 F-150 Hybrid. Sankaran also holds 32 U.S. patents in automotive power electronics and hybrid vehicle technologies and is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

GridWise Alliance Board Chair Gil C. Quiniones announced the formation of a 29-member Grid Infrastructure Advisory Council  to support the Alliance’s call for at least $50 billion in federal spending to modernize the nation’s electric power transmission and distribution systems. Quiniones will lead the GIAC, whose other members are Keith Alexander, Chairman of the Board, founder and co-CEO, IronNet; Anthony Allard, EVP, Country Managing Director, USA Hitachi;  Lisa Barton, EVP and COO, American Electric Power; Calvin Butler, Senior EVP of Exelon and CEO of Exelon Utilities; Patrick Byrne, CEO, GE Digital; Tim Cawley, president & CEO, Con Edison; Tom Deitrich, CEO, Itron;  John Di Stasio, president, Large Public Power Council;  Joy Ditto, president, American Public Power Association; Julia Hamm, president & CEO, Smart Electric Power Alliance; Colette Honorable, partner, Reed Smith LLP; Arshad Mansoor, president and CEO, EPRI; Jim Matheson, CEO, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association; Yvonne McIntyre, director, Federal Electricity & Utility Policy, Natural Resources Defense Council;  Rose McKinney-James, managing Principal, McKinney-James Associates; Phil Moeller, EVP, Edison Electric Institute; Drew Murphy, SVP, Strategy and Corporate Development, Edison International; Maria Pope, president and CEO, Portland General Electric; Jackie Sargent, general manager, Austin Energy; Kevin Self, SVP Strategy, Business Development & Government Relations, Schneider Electric; Tom Siebel, CEO, C3 ai; James Slevin, president, Utility Workers Union of America; Lonnie Stephenson, president, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; Mahesh Sudhakaran, general manager, Global Energy, Environment and Utilities Industry, IBM; Sue Tierney, senior advisor, Analysis Group; Bert Van Hoof, partner, Microsoft; Elizabeth Yeampierre, Climate Justice Alliance; and Audrey Zibelman, VP Electric Grid Moonshot, Google X.

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