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APA 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 America’s statehouses to the nation’s capital, he is known for leading aggressive public affairs teams to efficiently and aggressively deliver results.

Jeff manages the APA’s team of technical and policy experts, working to educate the public and lawmakers on advanced power technologies and promoting policies that will facilitate wind, solar, and energy storage development and integration. Prior to joining APA, he served in senior positions in several organizations including the American Electronics Association (AeA), NFIB, and Hill+Knowlton Strategies. His political experience includes assisting dozens of races at the state and local level, and two successful Presidential campaigns. His full bio is available on LinkedIn.

Jeff is a native of Washington, DC but moved to windy West Texas to attend Abilene Christian University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He studied in the graduate school of business at St. Edward’s University. He studied energy policy and climate science at Johns Hopkins University where he earned a Master of Science degree. He and his wife, Judge Elisabeth Earle, live in Austin and have two daughters.


Mark Yates
Vice President

Mark Yates serves as the Vice President of the Advanced Power Alliance and Oklahoma Power Alliance, representing members of the Oklahoma clean energy industry; project developers and investors; land owners; manufacturers and suppliers; counties and school districts; and the employees working in 26 counties throughout Oklahoma.

Additionally, the Advanced Power Alliance promotes the development of energy resources as clean, reliable, and affordable sources of power. The Alliance is the advanced power industry’s voice within the fourteen states of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and Southwest Power Pool (SPP) systems: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

Mark engages in Oklahoma’s policy forums to encourage the growth of Oklahoma’s energy resources with continued diversification of the power generation portfolio into wind, solar, battery storage. He also represents its members in Oklahoma’s policy forums, seeking to encourage and support the production of electricity through the use of renewables.

Mark was previously with Oklahoma Farm Bureau where he served as Vice President of Field Operations. Mark worked closely with the membership of Farm Bureau to engage in the legislative process. He worked to educate members and the public about important legislative issues that impacted the agricultural industry. In his time with Farm Bureau he traveled the state and served as the liaison to the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and Tulsa Regional Chamber.

Prior to his time at Farm Bureau, Mark was an educator in Oklahoma Public Schools for eleven years. He spent time as a teacher and coach at Plainview, Edmond North, and Mustang High Schools. Along with his teaching experience Mark also served as the Federal Programs Director for Plainview Public Schools in Ardmore. With his unique background, Mark understands the vital role the clean energy industry plays in rural economies, but also the impact it has for schools in Oklahoma.

Mark is a graduate of East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma where he holds a Bachelors in History and Masters in Secondary Administration. Mark lives in Edmond with his wife Stacy and daughter Londyn where they are very active in the community and their church.


Inquiries | 405-561-2755 or email

Steve Gaw
Senior Vice President for Infrastructure and Markets

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
Director of Operations

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.


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 Consultant – 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 publicly-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 Group, 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.

Inquiries | 402-512-4411 – or email

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 Consultant – 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, two young daughters, and own and operate Free State Farms – a diversified crop and livestock farm in Ellsworth, Kansas.

Inquiries | 785-414-5614 or email

Joshua Svaty
Senior Consultant for Agricultural and Intergovernmental Affairs

Joshua Svaty is the senior advisor for Agriculture and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Kansas Power Alliance. Svaty served on former Gov. Parkinson’s cabinet as Secretary of Agriculture. Svaty will work with the various layers of local government, industry partners and community and stakeholder organizations within Kansas. Svaty joins his wife, Kimberly Svaty, the long-time voice of the wind and solar industry across Kansas and in the Kansas State Capitol. Together, they will represent the Kansas Power Alliance members in policy forums, seeking to encourage and support the production, storage and transmission of electricity generated by wind and solar power as well as energy storage and next generation energy technologies.

Prior to joining the Kansas Power Alliance, Joshua Svaty’s work focused on promoting efforts of sustainability and wise use of Kansas’ natural resources.  He spent seven years as an elected member of the Kansas House of Representatives, representing his home county of Ellsworth, as well as Saline, and Dickinson Counties.  Svaty was named the 14th Kansas Secretary of Agriculture by Gov. Mark Parkinson in 2009, and then became a senior adviser to the regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Additionally, he served as vice president of The Land Institute in Salina, where he assisted in doubling the non-profit’s funding to expand their work of perennializing the major grain crops. 

Inquiries | 785-414-5614 or email

Jean Ryall
Technical and Legislative Consultant – ERCOT

Jean Ryall has nearly three decades of experience providing legislative and regulatory representation, strategy and advocacy helping to guide organizations through the legislative and regulatory process. Jean has represented clients from a wide range of industries on a broad spectrum of issues including electric power, water, natural resources, environmental regulation, telecommunications, insurance, transportation, banking and financial institutions and appropriations.

An active participant in electric restructuring matters, Jean has directed and participated in legislative and regulatory proceedings on behalf of public power, competitive market participants and regulated entities located primarily within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT) power region. A long-tenured leader in the ERCOT Stakeholder process, Jean was elected to serve on the ERCOT Board of Directors for eleven consecutive years where she held several leadership positions on various board committees and task forces. She has also served on the boards of the Texas Reliability Entity and the Gulf Coast Power Association.

In addition to diverse public and private-sector tenors, Jean holds a Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s University School of Law and a Bachelor of Public Administration degree from St. Edward’s University.