Board of Directors


Kathy Trudell
Kathy Trudell (Chair)
Senior Account Executive, EPRI

Kathy holds the position of Chair, having served on WECC’s Board of Directors since 2011. Her extensive experience in strategic business development combined with her technical expertise related to electric utility environmental issues provides her with the knowledge and insight necessary to guide WECC’s strategic focus.

As Senior Account Executive in the Global Technical Advisory Services division at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Kathy assists utility companies in designing research, development, and demonstration projects that further their strategic business goals. She is a passionate believer in education and in making complex energy and environmental issues accessible and easy to understand. She has presented EPRI’s results and vision at many utility-sponsored events, and coauthored the book Risk Communication for the Natural Gas Institute—which identifies best practices for communicating complicated issues to lay audiences.

Peter Kilde
Peter Kilde (Vice Chair)
Executive Director, West CAP

Peter joined WECC’s Board of Directors in 2010, currently serving as chair of the Board Development Committee. For the past 45 years, he has worked to improve the quality of life for low-income families—connecting poverty concerns with energy and environmental issues. Understanding and mitigating the effects of resource depletion and climate change on low-income communities rank among Peter’s top priorities. His expertise is extremely valuable as WECC continues to expand our energy efficiency offerings to income-qualified residents.

As Executive Director of West Central Wisconsin Community Action Agency, Inc. (West CAP) since 1995, Peter spearheads new housing developments in rural parts of the state which are traditionally under-utilized for such efforts. He keeps his developments on the cutting edge of affordability by incorporating creative energy efficiency strategies that help occupants save energy and money. Most notably, he launched the New Reality Initiative, a national effort to help more than 1,000 U.S. community action agencies combat resource depletion and environmental degradation—and the impact of both on low-income families and communities.

Michael Bonertz
Michael Bonertz
Executive Director, ADVOCAP, Inc.

In 2013, Michael returned to WECC’s Board after previously serving from 2002 to 2010. He boasts a career spanning nearly 40 years of work with nonprofits, devoted specifically to helping low-income populations become self-sufficient. Much of this work has centered on energy conservation, affordable housing, renewable energy, and generating new business opportunities—qualifying Michael as an invaluable resource to WECC.

Presently, Michael is Executive Director of ADVOCAP, Inc., a nonprofit community action agency serving low-income households in East Central Wisconsin. He oversees over 50 comprehensive programs housed within seven departments, designed to help disadvantaged people gain the opportunities, assets, and tools they need to thrive. Michael is responsible for leading efforts that helped grow ADVOCAP’s annual operating budget to $14 million at its highest point.

Kelly Cain
Kelly Cain, Ph.D.
Executive Director, St. Croix Institute Emeritus Professor, UW-River Falls

Kelly joined WECC’s Board of Directors in 2011, currently serving as Chair of the Business and Program Development Committee. He holds a Doctorate Degree in Education with emphasis in Resource Management, conducting groundbreaking research and developing strategic plans in regards to energy and food self-sufficiency, re-localization of community economics, and the relevance of these issues to the general public. He has spent a wealth of time consulting with nonprofits, campuses, communities, small businesses, government agencies, and multi-national corporations, allowing Kelly to provide a holistic systems approach to sustainability-based design, management, and business development opportunities for WECC.

At the University of Wisconsin-River Falls for nearly 30 years, Kelly was Director of Sustainability, Founding Director of the St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development, and Professor of Environmental Science and Management. Major recent accomplishments include the conceptualization and ushering of the Habitat for Humanity Eco-Village national demonstration project, which includes 18 LEED Platinum - carbon negative homes—as well as the completion of the only campus-based carbon negative climate action plan currently in place in the United States. Kelly also recently shifted the St. Croix Institute into private consulting, where he champions a carbon negative, quadruple-bottom-line (4XBL) approach to going “beyond sustainability.”

David Donovan
David Donovan
General Manager of Community and Customer Service, Xcel Energy

David has provided WECC’s Board of Directors with a utility’s perspective on energy efficiency and renewable energy since 2012. His 20+ year career in the energy industry spans environmental compliance, air and water quality, renewable energy, and rate cases. David guides the Board’s Business Development Committee to ensure WECC remains competitive while exceeding market demands.

In his current position at Xcel Energy, David is responsible for leading the company’s involvement with the more than 220 communities served by the utility. He also oversees voluntary energy efficiency programs and the management of Xcel Energy’s largest customers in Wisconsin and Michigan.

Patrick Eagan
Patrick D. Eagan, Ph.D.
Retired Professor/Chair of Environment and Resources Program, UW-Madison

A member of WECC’s Board of Directors since 2010, Patrick holds a Doctorate Degree in Land Resources (now Environment and Resources) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For over 20 years, Patrick’s research has focused primarily on environmental asset and risk management, energy conservation, and water resources management. His pragmatic and cutting-edge insights help drive WECC’s innovation in energy efficiency and sustainable development.

Patrick conceives, plans, conducts, and evaluates adult professional education programs on sustainability, water resources, and industrial environmental engineering and management at UW-Madison’s College of Engineering. He currently instructs master’s degree candidates in the online Sustainable Systems Engineering program. To date, he has led more than 250 programs for more than 8,000 professionals from around the world since 1988.

Don Esposito
Don Esposito
Division President, Tim O’Brien Homes of Madison

Don has been a member of WECC’s Board of Directors since 2012, currently serving as chair of the Finance and Investments Committee. A leader in the building industry for more than 35 years, Don has long held executive positions with single and multifamily builders across the United States. He possesses a deep understanding of green building practices, energy conservation, building codes, and low-impact land development techniques. He offers extremely useful insights in regards to WECC’s residential new construction strategies and programs.

Don is currently Market President of Tim O’Brien Homes’ division in Madison, Wis., which builds 100 percent Green Built and Focus on Energy compliant single family dwellings. He has grown the organization into the third-largest homebuilding company in Dane County. Don is actively involved in numerous sustainable organizations, having co-founded the Green Tier Clear Waters Initiative in 2006. He has also served on the Dane County Stormwater Infiltration Task Force and the City of Madison’s Committee on the Environment, Erosion Control subcommittee. In 2009, Don was honored as one of four Dane County Water Champions.

David Gilles
David Gilles
Attorney, Godfrey & Kahn

Lending his expertise in energy regulatory law matters to WECC’s Board of Directors since 2010, Dave currently serves on the Executive, Finance, and Personnel committees. His career spans decades of civil enforcement litigation and related appellate advocacy regarding consumer protection, antitrust, and other matters, as well as testimony before legislative committees and regulatory agencies. While serving as General Counsel to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, Dave assisted with legislation that set renewable resource portfolio standards for energy providers—resulting in a new state law (Wisconsin Act 141) in 2005.

Presently, as a shareholder and member of the environmental and energy law practice group Godfrey & Kahn, S.C., Dave works with the antitrust, consumer protection, and government practice teams. Prior to joining the firm, Dave was also an Assistant Attorney General with the Wisconsin Department of Justice for more than three decades.

Paul Helgeson
Paul Helgeson
Retired (Public Service Commission of Wisconsin)

An expert in renewable energy technologies and program development, Paul joined WECC’s Board of Directors in 2012. Throughout his 30-year career, he developed and managed numerous biomass, solar, low-head hydro, and wind projects. He played an instrumental role in the development of the Minnesota Wind Resource Assessment program—in which he strategically identified areas in Minnesota having the greatest potential for wind power development. Today, many of these sites are productive wind farms. Paul’s experience is an asset to WECC as we continue to advance our innovative renewable energy solutions.

In his most recent position at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, Paul worked in the Electric Division coordinating renewable energy programs. One of his greatest accomplishments was the development of a tracking system for Wisconsin’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard. Currently, Paul spends his time serving on the Board of Directors for both WECC and Farmer to Farmer, Inc., and enjoys tending to his farm and garden in Dunn County.

Michael Stuart
Michael Stuart
Retired (WPPI Energy)

Prior to retiring in 2012, Michael Stuart was the Chief Operating Officer at WPPI Energy (WPPI). WPPI provides power supply and related services to its 51 members (50 municipal members - 41 in Wisconsin, 6 in Michigan, and 3 in Iowa).

Mr. Stuart participated actively in electric policy issues at the national, regional and local levels. He is a past Chair of the stakeholder Advisory Committee of the Midwest ISO and served on the Committee for the first 10 years of the Midwest ISO’s inception. He also chaired the Midwest ISO’s Select Committee, a group of Board and Advisory Committee members formed by the Board of Directors to improve Board and stakeholder relations. He served three times as one of two stakeholder representatives on the Midwest ISO’s Nominating Committee, a joint stakeholder and Board committee charged with nominating new Board members. He is a past chair of the American Public Power Association’s legal section and served on a variety of APPA special committees. He is the recipient of APPA’s Kraemer-Preston award for personal service. Mike chaired the Legal and Regulatory Committee during the formation of the American Transmission Company LLC. He was a member of the Wisconsin PSC’s Solar Collaborative Work Group. He also participated in the Conservation and Energy Efficiency Work Group of the Governor's Task Force under Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle.

Prior to joining WPPI in 1999, Mr. Stuart was a partner at Boardman, Suhr, Curry & Field, where he practiced regulatory law before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.

Tom Wolf
Tom Wolf
Director, Communications and External Affairs, BP America

With a compelling background in communications and energy policy, Tom has been a valuable contributor to WECC’s Board of Directors and its Marketing Committee since 2013.

In his current position at BP, Tom works with political, government, regulatory and business leaders in Chicago and throughout Illinois – talking about BP’s role in the local economy and the community. With more than 4,000 employees in the Chicagoland/NW Indiana region, the area is BP’s third-largest employee footprint in the world.

Prior to his current position with BP, he spent six years directing the Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s Energy Council, leading the development of environmentally responsible and cost-effective energy policies. Before that he spent 20 years in public affairs, serving as vice president for a Chicago-based firm wherein he advised nonprofit, government, political, and corporate clients on public relations and marketing strategies.