Innovative Oregon: Building a Climate for Success

The 2019 Green Business Initiative Symposium

Innovative Oregon: Building a Climate for Success 

Friday, April 5, 2019

White Stag Block, UO Portland

70 NW Couch St. Portland, OR 

Watch Here 

Oregon has long been admired for its natural resources and the state's economy has been dependent upon these resources since the start of statehood. As a result, Oregon is well positioned to be a model for natural resource conservation, renewable energy expansion, and carbon reduction policy. Join us as we hear from state lawmakers, agencies, businesses, and attorneys to learn about how Oregon is paving the way in these fields. Topics will cover water conservation policy, business trusts, prospective growth in renewable energy, and reducing transportation emissions. The symposium begins with welcoming remarks at 9:00 am and ends with a keynote address and cocktail reception at 4:30 pm. CLE credits are available for this event.

Opening Remarks

Oregon State Rep. Ken Helm – Chair of the Energy & Environment House Committee

Panel Topics

Priceless Water Protection 
Industry representatives, water rights attorneys, and policymakers will discuss the importance of water quality and quantity as a resource to our state. They will also explain what businesses and local government are doing to protect this resource and the industries that rely on it. 

Renewable Energy Business Potential 
Policy experts will explain which legislation in Salem could incentivize renewable energy expansion. Business leaders and agency representatives will also join in the discussion to share where they predict growth in the immediate future.  

Reducing Transportation Emissions in Oregon
The transportation sector is one of the most significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the country, and within the transportation sector, sixty percent of those emissions are from light-duty vehicles. Experts in the field will discuss how Oregon is preparing to tackle reducing these emissions in the state. 


Tom Byler – Director of the Oregon Water Resources Department 
Tom will discuss the challenges of water management in Oregon in an era of increasing water scarcity.  He will provide a brief explanation of the history and complexity of our water laws, the status of our surface, groundwater and related infrastructure, and offer thoughts on steps needed to move toward a secure and resilient water future.

Steve Bell – Stoel Rives LLP 
Steve will delve into an innovative piece of business legislation that is the first of its kind. House Bill 2598: The Non-Charitable Business Trust Bill. If the bill passes this legislative session, Oregon will be the first state to implement this business trust model.  

Closing Remarks

Dylan McDowell – Deputy Director of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.

*Light Breakfast, Lunch, and a Networking Reception catered by Artemis Foods of Portland

    Panelists and Moderators

   Steven G. Bell

Steven Bell is an Associate Attorney with Stoel Rives LLP. His focus is on the creation and administration of complex trusts to meet business succession planning, tax planning and family needs. Through his practice, Steve helps clients create customized structures to preserve and perpetuate closely held businesses and to meet diverse objectives. Steve’s passion lies in developing creative solutions to help clients meet their goals in a tax efficient manner, whether in crafting a new estate plan, facilitating charitable giving, administering complex estates, modifying and restructuring irrevocable trusts, or developing trust structures to meet business objectives. Recently, Steve helped Organically Grown Company create the type of business trust that prompted the legislation he will discuss at this symposium. 

   Tom Byler

Tom Byler is the Director of the Oregon Water Resources Department.  Prior to this role, Tom served nine years as the Executive Director of the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.  Before OWEB, Tom worked as a Natural Resources Policy Advisor for Governor Kulongoski and Governor Kitzhaber.  Prior to this work, he was the legislative and policy coordinator for the Oregon Water Resources Department.  Tom’s career in state government started as the legislative assistant for Representative Charles R. “Chuck” Norris, from Hermiston, who chaired the House Water Policy Committee.

He received his B.A. from Willamette University and earned his law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law.

Tom is a fifth generation Oregonian, born and raised in Pendleton.

   Marielle Cowdin 

Marielle Cowdin is the Outreach & Marketing Coordinator at Oregon Wild and directs the Oregon Brewshed® Alliance initiative, a growing coalition of Oregon's craft brewing businesses supporting forest and watershed protection efforts across the state. Having grown up in both Colorado and Washington, D.C., she has been privileged to experience wild places from east to west. Living and working in the Pacific Northwest for the last eight years has opened her eyes to both Oregon's unique diversity and the long road to building a sustainable future ahead. She is currently finishing her Masters in Environmental Law and Policy at Lewis & Clark Law School.

   Angela Crowley-Koch 

Angela Crowley-Koch is the Executive Director of the Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association. She has spent the last two decades in public policy and advocacy. Previously the Legislative Director at Oregon Environmental Council, her work was instrumental in passing the Toxic-Free Kids Act, renewing the Clean Fuels Program and getting coal out of Oregon's electricity mix, among other bills. She worked for Senator Jeff Merkley as part of his Blue Wave Project in 2018, as a Legislative Assistant in D.C., and as the call room manager on his 2008 campaign. While in D.C. she negotiated policy for Oregon in the Food Safety Modernization Act and the MAP-21 transportation package, including closing a loophole in the Buy America rules, among other policies. Angela moved to Portland from the Chicago area in 2000 and now lives in North Portland with her German Shepherd Neko.

   Greg Dotson

Greg Dotson is an expert in energy and environmental law, particularly as they relate to climate change. At the University of Oregon, he is an assistant professor of law and a faculty member of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center, where he leads the Energy Law and Policy Project. He teaches Environmental Law and Climate Change Law and Policy. Before joining the faculty at Oregon Law, Dotson served as the Vice President for Energy and Environmental Policy at the Washington, D.C.–based multidisciplinary think tank the Center for American Progress (CAP). Prior to that, he served as U.S. Rep. Henry A. Waxman's lead energy and environmental policy staffer from 1996 until 2014, holding senior staff positions on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Oversight Committee. During his time on Capitol Hill, he was the lead environmental policy staffer on numerous pieces of legislation including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.

   Mike Goetz

Mike Goetz is the General Counsel for the Oregon Citizens' Utility Board (CUB).  Established by ballot initiative in 1984, CUB is the ratepayer advocate for the residential customers of Oregon's electric and natural gas investor-owned utilities.  As CUB's General Counsel, Mike is responsible for analyzing all legal issues that arise in the regulatory and organizational arenas, and works closely with CUB's regulatory staff in doing so.  In his practice, Mike works on energy and telecommunications law and policy on behalf of residential Oregonians in proceedings before the Oregon Public Utility Commission, state, and federal courts.

CUB routinely intervenes in a wide variety of utility cases, including general rate cases, annual power cost filings, integrated resource plans, resource procurement dockets, utility mergers and acquisitions, rulemaking proceedings, and various policy investigations.  Mike has worked extensively on implementing two recent landmark pieces of Oregon legislation--SB 1547, the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan, and SB 978, an ongoing public process to investigate how developing industry trends, technologies, and policy drivers may impact the existing electricity regulatory system. 

Mike holds a BS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a JD from the University of Oregon School of Law with a Statement of Completion in Environmental and Natural Resources Law.  He is a   member of the Oregon State Bar and serves on the executive committee of the OSB's Energy, Telecom, & Utility section, the Board of Directors of Renewable Northwest, and the PUC's Portfolio Options Committee, which provides oversight to utility voluntary renewable energy programs. When not at CUB, Mike enjoys backpacking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and backcountry skiing while finding balance and an appreciation for the urban lifestyle that Portland provides

   Chris Hagerbaumer

Chris Hagerbaumer is deputy director at Oregon Environmental Council where she provides leadership, support, and coordination to OEC’s professional program staff. She also leads the organization’s transportation policy efforts. Chris joined OEC in 1996 and led the organization’s program to curb air pollution and climate pollution from cars and trucks until she became OEC’s director of programs in 2006 and deputy director in 2008. Chris has a background in environmental policy, advocacy and education, including work with the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago and the U.S. Peace Corps. She has a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago and an undergraduate degree in German from Reed College. Chris enjoys the great outdoors and has traveled extensively.

   Josh Halley

Josh is the Renewable Power Project Manager for Portland General Electric. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Josh moved to Portland in 2003 after graduating from Penn State University and began a career focused on renewable energy.  Josh spent 9 years working at Green Mountain Energy serving various functions including marketing & sales management and Business Development, where he gained experience in an array of markets in addition to Oregon, including Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, Washington and California.  Josh also worked for Imagine Energy in Portland, as a sales and marketing manager, where he managed the 2011 Gresham Solarize campaign.  Since joining PGE in 2013, he has spent the majority of his time managing PGE's Renewable Power Program, with additional efforts spent launching innovative products like Green Future Solar, a green tariff, and community solar.  Josh and his wife Katie have two boys, Eli (6) and Felix (2), live in SE Portland, and spend as much of their time as possible up on Mt. Hood and travelling the West.  Josh is an avid skier, backpacker and photographer. 

   Ken Helm

Ken Helm is the State Representative for Oregon House District 34. Among his legislative duties, Representative Helm serves as the Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Environment and as a member of the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction, the House Committee on Economic Development, and the House Committee on Agriculture and Land Use. He is also a member of the Oregon Global Warming Commission and an active participant in the legislature’s Environmental Caucus, Sportsmen’s Caucus, and Technology and Innovation Caucus. Representative Helm earned a Juris Doctorate from Willamette University College of Law and built a robust practice in land use law prior to joining the Oregon Legislature.

   Zach Henkin

Zach Henkin is the Deputy Director of Forth. He leads Forth’s programs team who have been tasked with delivering high impact clean transportation projects and expanding education and awareness for electric and shared mobility. He holds an MBA from Marylhurst University, is a Project Management Professional and has a background in planning and car share.

   Elizabeth E. Howard

Elizabeth E. Howard is a shareholder at Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt PC. She focuses her practice on water law, agriculture, and natural resources law. She represents clients in transactions, in negotiations with state and federal agencies, and in court and administrative proceedings.

In 2008-2012, Ms. Howard was selected for inclusion in “Rising Stars” in Environmental Law by Oregon Super Lawyers. In 2009, she was recognized in the Portland Business Journal as one of the most influential young business executives in the Portland Metro area in their Forty under 40 list. She was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2012 -2018 in the field of water law. She also received the 2011 College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Luminary Award from Oregon State University.

Ms. Howard is a native Oregonian and earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from Lewis & Clark Law School and holds a B.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from Oregon State University.  When she is not spending time with her two daughters and husband, she is watching a Blazers game or taking time to do a “fun run” with her dad and younger sister.

   Brendan McCarthy 

Brendan McCarthy is the state environmental policy manager for Portland General Electric. In his role, he develops policy initiatives, performs stakeholder relations, monitors issues and advocates for PGE in legislative and regulatory contexts in Oregon, Montana and the Pacific Northwest. He was instrumental in the adoption of Oregon's 2007 and 2016 renewable energy standards, the 2009 emissions performance standard, various solar initiatives and is spending quite a bit of time on policies for electrifying transportation.  He has been with PGE since March 2006. Before that he worked for the Office of Legislative Counsel, focused on drafting legislation in the environmental and natural resources areas. He also has experience working on local, state and Congressional political campaigns. He holds a BS from Penn State University and a JD from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College in Portland.  

   Dylan McDowell

Dylan McDowell serves as the Deputy Director of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators where he supports a network of more than 1,000 state lawmakers on a range of conservation and environmental policies. He is a science communicator by training and has experience writing for Oregon Sea Grant and developing educational programs at the Smithsonian and Hatfield Marine Science Center. Dylan began working in policy at the Oregon State University Government Relations Office with issues related to the Extension Service and graduated summa cum laude from OSU with Honors Bachelor of Science degrees in Fisheries and Wildlife Science and in Education. Dylan enjoys spending time outdoors and is also a member of the City of Salem Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. 

   André Ourso

André Ourso, MPH, JD is the Administrator for the Center for Health Protection within OHA's Public Health Division. As Administrator, André oversees crucial programs that leverage public health's licensing and regulatory tools to protect the health of all Oregonians.  This includes the Drinking Water Program which is Oregon's primacy agency for enforcing the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). André also participates in the Governor's Water Core Team which is developing a long range strategic vision for Oregon's water resources.

Prior to his arrival in Oregon in November 2015, André served as executive director of the Florida Board of Medicine. He also has served as an assistant general counsel supervising a team of attorneys and as a biological scientist and government operations consultant for the Florida Department of Health. He has a law degree from the University of Florida and master of public health degree from the University of South Florida.

   Bill Peters

Bill Peters is an analyst with the Department of Environmental Quality working on the Oregon Clean Fuels Program. The program requires a reduction in the carbon intensity of the state's transportation fuels, supporting cleaner air and providing lower carbon transportation fuels to Oregonians. Prior to joining DEQ, Bill was a journalist and market analyst for Argus Media. In that role he covered environmental markets and carbon policy across North America.

   Rikki Seguin

Rikki Seguin is the Policy Director for Renewable Northwest, overseeing the development and implementation of a four-state policy agenda to support the responsible development of renewable energy. She works extensively on renewable energy siting topics, participating in the recent Department of Land Conservation and Development Rulemaking for Solar PV on High-Value Farmland and serving on the ongoing Energy Facility Siting Council Solar PV Rulemaking. Before joining the Renewable Northwest team in September 2016, Rikki worked as the director of Environment Oregon for three years. In this role, Rikki advocated for environmental protections at the local, state, and national levels, including developing the legislative concept, and advocating in support of, Oregon's community solar program. Previously, Rikki worked as a community organizer in California, New Mexico, and Texas, shaping strategies and leading campaigns to limit global warming pollution.

   Michelle Smith

Michelle is a Research Associate with University of Oregon's Environmental and Natural Resources Center where she focuses her work on how existing legal tools and policies can answer environmental problems, and how new policies, frameworks, and partnerships can be implemented to support conservation goals. She received her JD from Lewis and Clark Law School in 2008. After graduating from law school, Michelle clerked for Justice Gregory J. Hobbs, Jr., Colorado Supreme Court. She has practiced in both public and private settings including as Assistant Attorney General for the Oregon Department of Justice, Associate Attorney in the Environmental and Natural Resources Group at Davis Wright Tremaine, and as Counsel to the Firm at Lane Powell. 


Register Here



Sponsored by the Green Business Initiative Student Association, The Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center, the Business Law program, and the Oregon State Bar Sustainable Futures Section 

Special Thank You to Ninkasi Brewing and Willamette Valley Vineyards