Our Team & Board of DirectorsHollye Hills2022-08-20T04:18:58+00:00
Phil La SusaExecutive Director
Phil La Susa, Executive Director
Phil is a Vice President of Strategic Growth & Client Engagement for TRC Companies, Inc. TRC is a global consulting, engineering and construction management firm that provides technology-enabled solutions to the power, oil and gas, utility, environmental and infrastructure markets. Before joining TRC, Phil was employed with Willbros Engineers, Inc. as Director of Commercial Relations and Director of Integrity Services. He was a Principal Consultant at Environmental Investments LLC, Laboratory Director at Kiefner & Associates Inc., and an environmental chemist and project manager at Det Norske Veritas (DNV). Previous engagements have taken Phil globally to work and consult on energy and environmental related projects. His technical background consists of experience within asset integrity, corrosion, environmental sustainability, water quality, and technology integration. Additional experience includes organizational integration and development, cultural transformation, and client alignment to bring businesses together, expand on service offerings and promoting an integrated solution to advance growth targets.
Phil is a member, company representative, and participant with the American Gas Association, Southern Gas Association, Northeast Gas Association, Interstate National Gas Association of America Foundation, National Association of Corrosion Engineers, Midwest Energy Association, Florida Energy Pipeline Association, Society of Gas Lighting, Ohio Gas Association, American Public Gas Association, ONE Columbus, a founding member of The Ohio Water Partnership and Carolina Gas Coalition. He serves on advisory boards for Prince Pipeline Integrity, ITS Environmental, Southeastern Equipment Company, and is the Executive Director for Clean Fuels Ohio, a national Clean Cities Coalition that works to support energy and economic security through partnerships that advance affordable, efficient, and environmentally beneficial domestic transportation fuels, technologies, and mobility systems.
Outside of work, Phil enjoys cooking, the outdoors, spending time with family and friends, and the arts. He grew up on his mother’s family farm and his father’s family immigrated to the United States from Sicily in the 1950’s where they opened a restaurant in Mansfield, OH called Papa’s Gondola. His love of
classical music, opera, and appreciation of nature were influenced by his grandfathers. He currently serves as a board member for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, New Vision Dance Co., INGAA Foundation, a member of the Society of Gas Lighting Executive Committee, is a founding member of a small networking group, Society 614, and previously has served on the advisory boards for Ohio FBLA, Flairsoft, Ltd., and E.I.S.
Phil received a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from Otterbein University in Westerville, and currently resides in Westerville, OH.
Nicholas StrataManaging Director
Nicholas Strata, Managing Director
Mr. Strata is currently the Managing Director of Clean Fuels Ohio. In his current role, he oversees the day-to-day operations.
His background includes working in state government, lobbying, tech start-ups, managing and growing a large state-wide trade association and founding a healthcare management consulting company. His work experience includes staffing the Ohio Senate Finance Committee and Ohio House Insurance Committee, working as a Legislative Assistant in the Ohio House of Representatives and serving as CEO of a healthcare trade association. Additionally, he has managed a state house campaign while also working on a presidential campaign. Mostly recently he was Senior Vice President of Operations and External Affairs for tech start-up Wyth; a rideshare company dedicated exclusively to colleges and universities. He currently serves as Executive Chairman of the consulting company Collaboration of Integrated Healthcare.
He currently holds degrees from Wilmington College, Charleston Southern University (MBA) and The London School of Economics.
In addition to being a member of the Board of Governors at Lakewood University and he is a member of the Board of Advisors for EPM and Funders USA. He is also an active member and a coach in the Union County Elite FC.
Mr. Strata is married with two boys and currently resides in Marysville, Ohio.
Tim joined Clean Fuels Ohio as an Electric Vehicle Student Ambassador in 2017 and is currently responsible for assisting with fleet services consulting projects, Ohio Green Fleets, and other clean transportation initiatives.
Prior to joining Clean Fuels Ohio, Tim interned for the Atlanta Regional Commission and City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Sustainability in 2016.
Tim graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Environment, Economy, Development, Sustainability (EEDS) and a minor in City and Regional Planning.
Abigail joined Clean Fuels Ohio in September of 2021 and is working with the Consulting Services Department as a Consulting Services Manager. She is responsible for analyzing fleet data to better understand what types of EV replacements could be considered for Clean Fuels partners in the EV market of today and in the evolving market of the near future.
Abigail graduated from The Ohio State University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in EEDS (Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability). During her time at Ohio State, she studied abroad in New Zealand learning about Sustainable Tourism and Human Impacts on the Environment, worked with Ashland Chemical to help them develop their Sustainable Development Goals, and lead a team to draft a Sustainable Tourism plan for an abandoned quarry site in Greenfield, Ohio.
After graduation and prior to joining the Clean Fuels Ohio team, Abigail worked as an intern for She Grows It: Sustainability Consulting where she learned about the global development of western African nations and how they can emerge successful in a rapidly expanding global economy.
Maggie joined the Clean Fuels Ohio team in 2022 as an Outreach and Organizing Coordinator, where she works to support existing Drive Electric chapters, maintain the Drive Electric Ohio program, and promote electric vehicle usage while engaging with partners and community members. Maggie holds a B.S. in Environment and Natural Resources focusing on Environmental Policy from The Ohio State University. She is passionate about community outreach and environmental advocacy, and she is excited by the opportunity to combine her interests and work to make a difference.
Olivia joined Clean Fuels Ohio as an Outreach and Organizing Coordinator in March 2022, where she works with the Drive Electric team to promote electric vehicle engagement and education. Prior to joining Clean Fuels, she served as a consultant on a Westerville City Council campaign, where she had the opportunity to manage campaign and social media strategies. Olivia holds a B.A. in Political Science and Marketing from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She looks forward to utilizing her experiences and passions for sustainability and community in her advocacy efforts.
Sydney HayesPolicy & Government Affairs Coordinator
Sydney Hayes, Policy & Government Affairs Coordinator
Sydney joined Clean Fuels Ohio’s team in May 2022 as the Policy and Government Affairs Coordinator, where she helps execute policy initiatives and assists communities with their goals to transition to cleaner fuels. Before joining CFO, she worked in congressional constituent services and congressional campaigning. She graduated from Ohio State University in May 2022 with a B.S. in Public Policy Analysis and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She looks forward to combining her passions of analysis and research with expanding equity in her work.
Dee works on the Drive Electric Ohio team, supporting projects and managing DEO’s social media presence and activity.
Currently a senior at The Ohio State University, Dee is pursuing a B.A. with majors in Political Science and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies respectively, as well as a minor in Peace Studies. Prior to joining Clean Fuels Ohio, Dee worked as a fellow for the Campus Election Engagement Project dedicated to increasing college student access to civic engagement and election participation. Dee’s taking that same passion and applying it toward equitable access to electric vehicles and alternative fuel technologies.
Hannah Sturgeon, Program Assistant, Grants & Programs
Hannah works with the Grants and Programs team, supporting and managing a variety of projects and their funding.
In her last semester at Otterbein University, Hannah is pursuing three Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science, Environmental Science, and Sustainability Studies, with minors in Legal Studies and Earth Science. Prior to joining Clean Fuels Ohio, Hannah interned for Kasich Company LLC and the City of Westerville Electric Division as the Sustainability Intern. She has also worked as a fellow for the Campus Election Engagement Project and the Campus Vote Project relating to civic engagement and voting for college students. Hannah is passionate about environmental policy and is applying her interests as a Program Assistant for Clean Fuels Ohio.
Braedyn DornProgram Assistant, Drive Electric Ohio
Braedyn Dorn, Program Assistant, Drive Electric Ohio
Braedyn works on the Drive Electric Ohio team. She is excited to combine her commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and environmental justice while supporting DEO projects. Prior to joining Clean Fuels Ohio, Braedyn supported various organizations devoted to advancing equity and social justice. Braedyn graduated from Boston University in May 2022 with a B.A. in Political Science.
Eleanor JersildGrant and Administrative Coordinator
Eleanor Jersild, Grant and Administrative Coordinator
Eleanor joined Clean Fuels Ohio as a Grant and Administrative Coordinator in 2022 and is currently responsible for providing aid with project development, planning, and deliverable implementation, maintaining relationships with project partners, funders, and stakeholders, and assisting with the oversight of the financial reporting process.
Prior to joining Clean Fuels Ohio, Eleanor interned for Columbus-based government relations firms New Visions Group and Shumaker Advisors from 2021-2022. She also completed a Level 1 Animal Care Internship at Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary in Ste. Genevieve, MO during the summer of 2021, and from 2018 to 2019, Eleanor lived in Paris, France, while working there as an au pair. She is passionate about environmental policy and excited to pursue her interests at Clean Fuels Ohio.
Eleanor graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability (EEDS) with a specialization in International Development.
Ms. Ewing is a 17-year public servant focused on transportation, economic development, energy, and community planning. As the Director of Transportation & Infrastructure Development at the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, her team has helped advance Smart Columbus, the Hyperloop Midwest Connect proposal, and a Downtown Columbus Employee Bus “C-pass” program. She is a Columbus Business First 40 Under 40 honoree, a Central Ohio Women’s Transportation Seminar Woman of the Year, and has previously served as treasurer for Clean Fuels Ohio.
Ms. Ewing earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and Urban and Regional Planning from Miami University and a Master of Public Administration from Wright State University.
Mark Shanahan, Ph.D., Treasurer & Policy Committee Chair
Dr. Shanahan provides strategic guidance on clean energy technology policy and deployment. Appointed by the U.S. District Court, he serves on the Class Benefit Fund Board of Trustees managing disbursement of claims benefits from a class action suit involving Duke Energy. He also serves on the boards of the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund and the Emerald Cities Collaborative for Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. As Governor Ted Strickland’s energy advisor, he played a key role in designing, negotiating and implementing SB 221, which created Ohio’s first advanced energy and efficiency portfolio standards. During his tenure serving five Governors as executive director, the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority issued $5.8 billion in bonds, supporting investments in air pollution control and prevention, energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.
Dr. Shanahan received an undergraduate degree from Boston College, a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University
Dale Arnold, Secretary
Mr. Arnold started with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation as an organization director in 1985 and became Director of Energy, Utility and Local Government Policy in 1995. His work encompasses economic, environmental, and social issues related to energy production and infrastructure development. He has worked with regulators, government leaders, and community stakeholders on utility aggregation, interconnection, fueling facilities, biofuels and biomass, wind and solar generation, transmission lines and pipelines, as well as oil and gas exploration.
Mr. Arnold has participated in several Public Utilities Commission of Ohio working groups concerning electric infrastructure and gas pipelines. He is dedicated to helping families and communities explore the benefits of new fuel sources and issues for additional planning adoption and use.
Cynthia MavesMarketing Committee Chair
Cynthia Maves, Marketing Committee Chair
Prior to joining Lordstown Motors Corporation, Ms. Maves was a lawyer for the State Medical Board of Ohio and was Director of Grant Administration for Clean Fuels Ohio. At Clean Fuels Ohio, she managed more than $25 million in federal and state grants and served as the staff lawyer, drafting and negotiating all grant award and consulting contracts. She was also responsible for implementing and managing Clean Fuels Ohio’s Drive Electric Ohio initiative.
Ms. Maves earned a bachelor of arts degree from DePauw University and a JD from Indiana University at Bloomington. She currently serves as a director of First Federal Savings Bank in Indiana.
Michael Smucker is a mission driven business professional currently holding the position of Midwest Regional Sales Manager for Greenlots, an EV Charging Solutions provider. His success in business is based on two fundamental principles: building strong relationships and always looking for the win-win. Michael is unique in the clean energy space in that he had a previous 21 year career in apparel and accessories before turning to solar and now EV charging infrastructure.
Ms. Thorson co-founded Benchmark Biodiesel, Inc. in 2007 with her husband, Wade Thorson, to meet the need for biodiesel blending and infrastructure in Ohio. Since that time, Benchmark Biodiesel has grown from a start-up to a thriving business that provides reliable biodiesel blends to fleets all over the state. She is responsible for managing relationships with public and private customers, developing strategies to advance the business, and promoting the use of biodiesel around the state.
Ms. Thorson has a bachelor’s degree in political science from The Ohio State University. She has been involved with the advocacy work of Clean Fuels Ohio for several years and serves on the policy and marketing committees.
Mr. Kauffman is the third-generation leader of Yellow Cab of Columbus, a family-owned business that was established by his grandfather in 1928 using proceeds from his produce sales at the North Market in the city. Mr. Kauffman is committed to serving the Central Ohio community and received $30,000 in 2018 in Smart Columbus rebates to replace 10 vehicles in the company’s fleet with new electric taxis. Prior to joining Yellow Cab, he managed the logistics of his family’s CPS Delivery System business.
Mr. Kauffman attended the University of Arizona. He is an active member of the North Market Development Authority Board and has served on the boards of The Wexner Center, and Ohio Art League, and supports the Columbus Museum of Art.
Tom Bullock is a veteran legislative and elections professional with more than twenty-five years’ experience in public policy and community leadership. Bullock has practical experience from work with top government leaders in Ohio and Washington, D.C., including work on Capitol Hill as a congressional aide. He has served for twelve years as a city councilman in his hometown of Lakewood, where he is a leader in implementing clean transportation, clean energy, and resiliency projects throughout the community. His interest in clean fuels and vehicles arises from Lakewood’s character as Ohio’s most walkable city and from using Clean Fuels Ohio reports and analyses. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from American University and an M.A. in Classics from the University of London.
Ms. McCarron has worked for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for 15 years. She currently manages public involvement and facilitates public hearings. She has been involved with Clean Fuels Ohio since 2002 and is dedicated to promoting the wide-spread use of alternative fuels.
Ms. McCarron graduated with a bachelor of science degree from the Ohio State University’s School of Natural Resources.
Mark oversees AEP Ohio’s efforts to provide new products and services to customers, including renewable energy, electric transportation options, and various other customized offerings. His team is also working with customers to provide electrification options in order to optimize their total energy usage. Previously, Mark managed many of AEP’s M&A opportunities as well as strategic planning for the company across its business segments.
Prior to joining AEP in 2007, Mark served in the U.S. Navy, with tours on two ships as well as graduating from the Navy’s Nuclear Power School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in business administration from The Ohio State University.
Frank has been in the propane industry for 19 years. He has held Regional level positions in operations, sales, and marketing for the industry’s largest companies. His experience includes acquisition integration, start up locations, and data analyzation for expense reducing operations. He has worked throughout the Midwest and Southeast regions.
Frank began his career as a Cylinder driver and worked his way into a Regional Position within two years. He then became a General Manager for the largest location within the MLP. Frank moved into a leadership position, traveling to underperforming locations where he would implement ideas to make them profitable. He was instrumental with implementation of Logistical systems for several areas of a MLP. He organized sales teams and implemented growth in specific and directed areas. He is now the managing partner for Linden’s Propane.
Matthew B. Allison
Matthew B. Allison
Mr. Allison has 30 years of transit experience at COTA, including the successful negotiation of union contracts, leading the complete overhaul of bus routes in 2017, the introduction of a text message-based emergency notification system, and robust staff development initiatives. Mr. Allison currently oversees COTA’s largest division – an estimated 800 employees engaged in all aspects of the organization’s central operations – including bus operators, vehicle maintenance technicians, and Mobility Services, the group responsible for service to people with disabilities. He has been also been a leader in the Midwest Transit Leadership Exchange and spearheaded efforts to engage COTA’s operations team with the Ohio Public Transportation Association.
Mr. Allison holds a Bachelor in Business Administration and an MBA from Ohio Christian University. During his tenure at the helm of COTA operations, the authority was named Outstanding Public Transportation System for 2018 by the American Public Transportation Association.
Carla Walker has spearheaded large-scale civic engagement and public service initiatives at the local, state, national and international levels for the last two decades. Having worked with three Cincinnati Mayors, her fingerprints are on many of the major projects that define the city’s renaissance including the Cincinnati’s notable environmental and climate change initiatives. A veteran political strategist, she has held several state leadership posts including the Finance Director for the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus, leadership positions in three U.S. Presidential campaigns and led or advised more than 100 different advocacy or candidate campaigns. Carla is currently the Director of Environmental Justice and Equity at the World Resources Institute. In this role, she provides leadership to WRI-United States’ work around equity, environmental justice, and just transition in the context of climate change to expand visibility and impact, and influence decision makers to advance solutions for today’s environmental challenges.
In 2010, she launched think BIG strategies, a strategic communications and planning consultancy to support and drive game changing initiatives. Her project portfolio focus is on green initiatives including leading equity and inclusion for a 150-member coalition of water advocates across the Great Lakes, exploring the connection between equity and green infrastructure, and serving as the Climate Advisor for the City of Cincinnati as an American Cities Climate Challenge participant.
She currently serves on the board for Green Umbrella, Cincinnati Opera, Ohio Citizen Action, the Lloyd Library and was appointed by the Mayor to serve on the Cincinnati Environmental Advisory Council. As the volunteer President of the Cincinnati-Nancy Sister City Association she leads the organization in its role to manage the municipal relationship between Cincinnati and its French Sister City creating initiatives to connect citizens across cultures.
She holds a B.S. from the University of Cincinnati, an M.S. from the University of Florida and an M.P. A from the Kennedy School at Harvard. She enjoys running, hot yoga, exploring cities, and practicing her French language skills.
Michelle currently serves as the City Manager for the City of Hilliard, Ohio (population 39,000). She began this position in January of this 2020 as Hilliard’s first ever City Manager, following a charter change in the City’s form-of-government. Previously Michelle was with the City of Dublin, Ohio for more than 25 years in a variety of roles, including Assistant City Manager and Director of Administrative Services.
Michelle is a member of the Alliance for Innovation (AFI) Board of Directors and was previously an Executive Board Member for the International City and County Management Association (ICMA), as well as a member of the ICMA International Committee. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. She has a B.A. in Political Science from Wittenberg University and a Master of Public Administration from The Ohio State University.