Advanced Power Alliance Staff

The Advanced Power Alliance maintains a robust team to represent the interests of the wind, solar, and energy storage industries within the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).  Please, contact any of them whenever they may be of help.

Jeffrey Clark

Jeff Clark has worked within the public affairs arena for nearly 30 years in both public and private capacities. With experience extending from the nation’s statehouses to the nation’s capital, he has developed a unique expertise, revitalizing and rebuilding governmental affairs teams to efficiently and aggressively deliver results for their clients.

Jeff manages The Alliance’s team of technical and policy experts working to educate the public and lawmakers on renewable energy and to support state policies that will facilitate wind, solar, and energy storage development and integration.

Prior to joining the Alliance, he was Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs at The American Electronics Association (AeA/TechAmerica) where helped to develop and implement the organization’s technology-focused  “innovation agenda” in the states. He also directed the group’s electronics recycling, manufacturing materials innovation, and energy infrastructure programs.

Previously, he headed the regional office of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), representing small business owners before lawmakers in the states and in Washington, DC. Recognized for his work promoting free enterprise, he was twice appointed by the George W. Bush Administration to serve on the United States Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council, which he co-chaired.

He learned his business as a principal at Public Strategies, Inc. (now Hill+Knowlton Strategies) where he managed research, public policy initiatives, media, and crisis communications for clients of the firm.

Jeff is a graduate of Abilene Christian University where he studied Political Science and studied Energy Policy and Climate Science at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.


Steve Gaw
SPP Policy Director

Steve Gaw, former Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives and former Chair of the Missouri Public Service Commission, currently consults with The Alliance focusing on policy issues regarding electricity within the Southwest Power Pool region and matters of national interest that impact the advancement of renewable and advanced energy. He was one of the founding directors of the Organization of MISO States (OMS) and the SPP Regional State Committee. He served in every officer position with the OMS including the office of President.

Steve has been a speaker and moderator in regional, national, and international forums on energy policy dealing with both electricity and natural gas. As Speaker of the Missouri House for five years, Steve established a reputation of improving public access to the legislature, leading the Missouri House to broadcast sessions live on the internet, the first in the nation to do so. He was recognized for passing legislation improving education, enhancing public safety, increasing access to health care and cutting taxes for which he received numerous awards. While on the Public Service Commission of Missouri he was noted for his in depth inquiry into complex issues, opening investigations into the release of protected consumer records and the activities of rating agencies in rate cases, and listening to the concerns of consumers.

Steve is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Truman State University with a BS in Physics and has a law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Sarah Cost Pettus
Operations Manager

Sarah Cost Pettus is the operations manager for The Advanced Power Alliance, responsible for all finance and membership-related activities.  She also serves as the SPP Coordinator, interfacing with Alliance consultants, SPP staff, and member companies working on issues within the Southwest Power Pool.

A native of San Marcos, Texas, Sarah is a graduate of Texas State University where she studied nutrition and business.  She and her husband Lance live in Austin and are proud new parents.


Mark Yates
Oklahoma Director

Mark Yates is an Oklahoma native who spent more than a decade working as a teacher in the Oklahoma Public Schools. After working in public policy for the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, he joined The Advanced Power Alliance in 2017 to continue to fight for school funding and rural economic development powered by renewable energy investment.


Randy Cain
Public Policy Consultant – Texas

Randy C. Cain represents clients before the Texas Legislature in the areas of utility law, transportation, municipal affairs, health care law, and other matters. He is recognized in the 2007, 2008, and 2009 Editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of Government Relations Law.

Prior to forming his own firm in 2004, Mr. Cain was a partner at Brown McCarroll, LLP. Before a merger with Brown McCarroll in 2003, he was a partner at the Austin law firm of Hilgers & Watkins, PC. Mr. Cain started the Legislative Section at Hilgers & Watkins in December 1994. Prior to that, in 1994 Mr. Cain served as general counsel to the Texas Secretary of State. As general counsel he was chief legal advisor to the Secretary on all matters within agency jurisdiction, including election law, agency administration, ethics, and statutory filings.

In 1993-94, Mr. Cain served as deputy to the Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. As a member of Secretary Bentsen’s legislative staff at the Treasury Department, he worked on the passage of NAFTA, budget reconciliation and banking regulatory consolidation, among other issues. Mr. Cain met with congressional staff on treasury legislative initiatives, set up meetings with members of Congress and prepared legislative briefings for the Secretary of the Treasury.

Before his work at the Treasury, Mr. Cain was legislative director in Washington, D.C. for Senator Lloyd Bentsen during 1992-93. He directed a legislative staff of twelve persons. He supervised preparation of legislation, floor statements, and the answering of constituent mail.

Prior to his work in Washington, Mr. Cain was the City of Dallas assistant city attorney for legislative affairs, representing the interests of the city council and city manager of the nation’s eighth largest city. He was the city’s legislative liaison with both state and federal legislatures and agencies. In the 1991 session, the Texas legislature passed into law nine bills that were Dallas city priorities.

Before his work in Dallas, Mr. Cain practiced law for three years with Hilgers & Watkins. The majority of his practice consisted of civil trial work, including most areas of commercial litigation and consumer law. He also had an administrative law practice and a legislative practice, and in the 1989 Texas legislative session, was a contract lobbyist for the City of Dallas.

He is a 1986 graduate of Baylor University School of Law, a 1978 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Business Administration, and a graduate of Pampa High School in Pampa, Texas.

Rich Lombardi
Public Policy Director – Nebraska

The Advanced Power Alliance’s efforts in Nebraska are led by veteran lobbyist Richard Lombardi and his company American Communications Group, Inc.

Over the past three decades, every piece of Nebraska renewable energy legislation, enacted by the nation’s only Unicameral Legislature, has had the involvement of Rich Lombardi. This expertise encompasses and includes statutes which eventually created the Nebraska Energy Office, state solar easements, renewable tax credits, regulatory incentives for renewables and specific wind energy legislation passed since 2008 due to the renewable energy industry’s commitment to advocacy in the state.

In the nation’s only public power state, Rich served as a member of the Board of Directors of the lincoln Electric System, the publically-owned energy system serving Nebraska’s capital city. During this tenure, Lombardi was elected Chairman of the Power Supply Committee.

Celebrating more than 26 years of service, american Communications Gruop, Inc. (ACG) provides policy research, political consulting and advocacy services to The Alliance’s members by navigating the unique political landscape of Nebraska. Through the building of a deep network of advocates, ACG deploys an array of communications to better move the advanced energy interests of the state.

From organizing a statewide wind energy educational tour on behalf of American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) to organizing polling for a collaboration of the Alliance, AWEA and the Energy Foundation to the annual Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference Planning efforts, Lombardi and his associates are the voice for advanced energy industry advocacy in Nebraska.

Jean Ryall
Technical and Legislative Consultant – ERCOT and SPP

Walter Reid
Technical and Regulatory Consultant – ERCOT

Walter Reid is currently representing the The Advanced Power Alliance at ERCOT as well as providing support for proceedings at the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Walter is also consulting with a number of renewable energy developers concerning ERCOT market rules and assisting with the business aspects of various contracting issues. He was heavily involved in the development of both the zonal and the nodal market rules for ERCOT and continues to help update those rules.

Before Walter starting consulting in 1995 he worked for the Lower Colorado River Authority for 25 years in a variety of engineering, managerial, and executive management positions. Walter was Executive Director of Electric Operations for several years in charge of all of LCRA’s transmission, generation, fuels, and contracting activities. He continues to provide consulting support to the LCRA today.

Mr. Reid received his degree in Electrical Engineering from Tulane University and spent six years in the Navy Nuclear Submarine service before coming to Austin.

Kimberly Svaty
Public Policy Director – Kansas

Kimberly Svaty has successfully planned, implemented and directed public affairs activities for nearly two decades with clients ranging from Fortune 5 to Fortune 1000 companies, non-profit organizations and cause groups. Kimberly’s interests in the political realm were nurtured as a page in the Kansas Statehouse. Later, she worked on Washington D.C.’s Capitol Hill serving the Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee. She returned to her Midwestern roots serving at the Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence, Kansas while completing her M.A. in International Political Economy from the University of Kansas.

Kimberly has directed governmental affairs divisions across multi-state regions, managed state and federal political action committees and recruitment and led Public Affairs departments. Gencur Svaty Public Affairs is structured to create strategies and campaigns beyond Statehouse legislative work and fundraising. For nearly two decades, GSPA has connected people, promoted ideas and grown communities through an evolving suite of technology, marketing, design, polling and campaign services. Kimberly’s love of good public policy and significant experience navigating–and influencing– the political process drives her.

A seventh-generation urban girl, Kimberly wed a fifth-generation farm boy. Kimberly and husband Joshua, formerly Kansas Secretary of Agriculture and a seven-year State Representative, have two young sons, a daughter, and operate Free State Farms – a diversified crop and livestock farm in Ellsworth, Kansas.

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