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The Business Case for Renewable Energy

Monday, September 30th, 2019
American Family Insurance
6000 American Parkway Madison, WI 53783

About this Event

Now is the time for renewable energy and the business case has never been better. This event is designed to demonstrate the options, benefits, and details of how businesses are adding renewable energy to their operations. Showcasing businesses that have installed renewable energy projects, each speaker will share the story of why and how they determined their project, the design process, how it was built, how they got internal alignment and how they made the financing work. 

Following the speaker's session, we invite you to an exhibit session to get all your questions answered! (If you are interested in being a part of this exhibit, please email


  • Welcome

  • Host Story; A Highlight of American Family’s Corporate Responsibility Strategy

  • Stage Setting; A Renewable Roadshow, An Overview of Renewables in Wisconsin by Heather Allan, RENEW WI. 

  • Success Stories; Building the Business Case for Renewables, A Detailed Look at Designing and Building a Renewable Energy System. 

  • Faith Technologies, Building a Micro Grid to Power Manufacturing Facilities

  • Master Gallery Foods, Sustainable Construction for Facilities , Using Geothermal in Wisconsin

  • T. Wall Enterprises, LLC, Solar on Multi-family Buildings

  • American Family, A Headquarters Journey to Solar Energy

  • Moderated Q & A Panel with Speakers 

  • State of WI Resources and City of Madison's Response, A Call to Action

  • Exhibitor Session, Mix and Mingle and Get Your Technical Questions Answered


Heather Allen, Program Director at Renew Wisconsin 

Growing up in Madison, WI, Ms. Allen developed a deep appreciation for the natural environment and ultimately a career focused on science and policy. In Washington D.C., Ms. Allen worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and later for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), where she developed policy to advance international scientific cooperation, adapt to climate change, and increase access to safe water and sanitation around the world. After migrating back to Madison, she managed policy and programs for the Clean Lakes Alliance and served as the Legislative Analyst for the City of Madison from 2012 to 2018. Ms. Allen now leads efforts to build awareness of large-scale solar and wind projects in Southwest Wisconsin as the Program Director for RENEW Wisconsin.

Steve Nieland, Director of Energy Solutions at Faith Technologies

Steve is responsible for the vision, development, growth and execution of Faith’s energy strategy. His efforts help clients understand and optimize energy as an ingredient, achieving operational improvement through data driven processes. During his 30 year career he has led multiple efforts in product development, automation, operational transformation, sustainability, lean, quality system development, and renewable energy across a variety of industries. Steve holds degrees in electronics and chemistry as well as having additional studies in paper science, computer science and electrical engineering and has been certified by ASQ as a lead auditor. Steve has served in the past as local chair for the American Chemical Society, as a member of the Executive Committee for the University of Wisconsin -Stevens Point Academy of Letters and Science, and as a member of the Biopharma Sustainability Roundtable.

Timothy W. Yaeger, Facilities Superintendent, Masters Gallery Foods, Inc. 

Timothy works with internal and external suppliers to help with scheduling work of four facilities while maintaining daily operations. After spending over two decades working maintenance in the food industry, Tim knows it takes a dedicated team from the owner to all the employees to accomplish goals and achieve greatness. He believes that if everyone works together we can achieve a net zero waste and create a sustainable country, world and products for future generations to enjoy.


At Master Gallery Foods, Tim has worked to help reduce MRO inventories and increase up time in production while maintaining the highest quality standards. He helped increase recycling and sustainability by more than 75% since 2011. Tim has been instrumental in the energy sector by reducing loads for electricity, water and gas at two production facilities. With help from their internal Green Team Tim has been awarded several sustainability honors including being a Deloitte Top 75 performer and top winner in Sustainability in 2017.


Tim is trained in Industrial Refrigeration Operator I from Garden City Ammonia Refrigeration. Industrial Refrigeration I from Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association. Power Generation Equipment Repair and Hydraulic, Pneumatic Mast Group repair from the US ARMY. Tim holds a Maintenance Management Certificate from UW Madison School of engineering. 

Jon Hepner, Development Manager, Shareholder, T. Wall Enterprises

Jon is a licensed real estate professional with over 10 years of experience in multiple real estate disciplines. As T. Wall’s Development Manager, Jon performs and oversees all pre-development activities for proposed new developments; including development due diligence, site planning, permitting, land use approval and entitlement, financial modeling, state and federal grant procurement, financing, renewable energy initiatives, environmental sustainability initiatives, and neighborhood association and aldermanic engagement. He has successfully obtained approvals/entitlements for over 1,000 multi-family residential apartment units and 90,000 s.f. of commercial/retail space in the greater Madison area. He also holds a seat on the Sustainable Madison Committee where he offers insights into renewable energy from the developer’s perspective. Since late 2017 Jon has led the effort to implement solar arrays on T. Wall’s new and existing properties around Dane County. To date, over 2,600 panels have been installed, or are contracted to be installed, on 7 properties. These arrays are expected to produce over 865,000 kilowatts of electricity annually. T. Wall’s dedication to implementing solar energy makes the company the leader for solar panel incorporation by a multi-family developer in the state of Wisconsin. Jon is a graduate of Edgewood College where he double majored in Business Management and Business Marketing.

Sean Hyland, Facilities Program Administrator, American Family Insurance 

Sean manages Energy Conservation initiatives, power and cooling for corporate data centers and data analytics. Sean leads programs development within the Business and Workplace Services Division with programs focused on risk mitigation and asset management within the corporate aging infrastructure, application, and integration of data science, and contributions to the written corporate responsibility and energy management programs strategies. 

Contributions include significant reductions in corporate energy consumption and carbon footprint, installation of a 1 MW solar installation, risk mitigation strategies within the data centers, reductions in utility billings and the integration of a data analytics platform leveraging AI/ML to further drive efficiencies within Business and Workplace Services.

Sean holds a B.A. from Edgewood College in Business Administration and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Data Science from UW Eau Claire. He is a former nuclear engineer and electronics technician in the US Navy.

Maria Redmond, Director, Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation

Redmond has worked for the State of Wisconsin for 18 years and currently serves as the Director of the Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation (OEI) at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. In this capacity, she is responsible for management of the OEI, one of 56 federally designated state energy offices in the states and territories located in the United States. She works with her teams to direct federally funded grant and loan programs, as well as the statewide energy efficiency and renewable energy program, Focus on Energy. She ensures accountability for planning, administration and oversight of statewide energy programs and regulatory policies assuring alignment with the values, mission and vision of the office. Redmond has knowledge of renewable energy, alternative fuels, biofuels and advanced vehicle technologies and significant experience in developing and implementing competitive energy programs and services on behalf of the state agencies and businesses.


Stacie Reece, Sustainability Program Coordinator, City of Madison

Stacie Reece is the Sustainability Program Coordinator for the City of Madison since 2018. Previously she worked for 4 years as the Director of Sustainable Business Initiative at Sustain Dane where she assisted the local business community in engaging employees to achieve sustainability goals.  In December 2013, Ms. Reece graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a B.S. in Sustainable Management.  ​

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