The CRES Team
Heather Reams, Executive Director
Heather Reams is the Executive Director of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) a right-of center non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. that engages policymakers and the public about responsible, conservative solutions to address our nation’s energy, economic, and environmental security while increasing America’s competitive edge. She leads the CRES team and oversees the core activities of the organization, ensuring the successful expansion of conservative clean energy policies across the nation.
Heather serves as Chair of National Clean Energy Week and on the board of directors for the American Conservative Coalition. She is a frequent commentator on the politics and policy of clean energy and the environment having been featured on MSNBC, NPR, and Newsmax TV, and in The Washington Post, Washington Examiner, Politico, Newsweek, Time, Real Clear Energy, Roll Call, The Hill, Morning Consult, and The Atlantic, among others.
Heather is a 25-year veteran in strategic communications, public affairs, and advocacy and has held a number of senior nonprofit positions. Prior to her non-profit work, she spent a decade at several top D.C.-based public affairs firms. She started her career as a staffer in the offices of Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) and Congressman Gerald Weller (R-IL11), and earlier as an intern for Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA) while pursuing her degree. A graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in Political Science, Heather is active in Republican local and state affairs in her home state of Virginia, where she resides with her husband and two children.
Chris Mathey, Vice President of Government Relations
With deep expertise and knowledge of the clean energy industry, Chris is a sought-after business development and consulting leader with a history of driving innovation and transformation. With nearly 15 years of work experience managing energy issues in both the public and private sectors, Chris is an expert in performance contracting and third party financing, energy issue management and federal legislative and regulatory policy.
Chris’ background in the energy sector includes time spent working with both government and private-sector clients and advancing the clean energy transition. Prior to joining CRES, Chris was Senior Director, Innovation, with the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA). In this high-visibility role, he led the organization’s strategic direction and managed a team of high performing individuals whose mission was to drive awareness around the benefits of a resilient, zero carbon economy.
Prior to REBA, Chris oversaw WGL Energy’s Systems team delivering customized energy solutions to C&I and Public Sector customers, helping them achieve their sustainability and clean energy goals and objectives. Before joining WGL, he spent three years at Constellation’s parent company, Exelon, working across functional teams to identify market-based regulatory and policy solutions to benefit the company’s merchant generation fleet, while also increasing market exposure for the retail side of the business. From 2007-2012, Chris served as Constellation’ director for federal affairs where he was the company’s primary liaison between the company and key decision makers and industry leaders in Washington, D.C. In this role, he consulted regularly with senior leaders in Constellation’s commodities, credit, legal, regulatory and risk departments. Chris also has vast commercial experience and previously led WGL Energy’s Distributed Generation business and helped build a 300MW+ clean energy portfolio, and helped lead Constellation’s Public Sector Energy Efficiency and Performance Contracting business.
Chris served as Congressman John McHugh’s (R-NY) Government and Community Relations Liaison. In this position, he managed Representative McHugh’s energy, domestic funding and appropriations portfolio, securing millions of dollars for Upstate New York economic development projects. He also counseled numerous private sector companies on navigating the federal procurement and permitting process.
Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Clemson University and a Masters in Business Administration from The George Washington University.
Lori Pickford, Senior Policy Advisor
Lori serves as Senior Policy Advisor for CRES, where she spearheads CRES’ outreach on key energy and climate initiatives on Capitol Hill and with the Administration.
Lori comes from The Ferguson Group (TFG), based in D.C., where she was head of their energy practice, drawing on her 25 years of government relations experience in federal energy, environment and tax policy, including clean energy policy impacting electric utilities. She has a record of success in achieving goals on behalf of a nationwide client base through bipartisan advocacy before Congress, the White House, executive branch departments, and various government agencies.
Before joining TFG, Lori worked for 16 years on energy and tax policy issues impacting the electric utility sector at Morgan Meguire, LLC, advocating on behalf of public power systems and rural electric cooperatives.
Prior to working at Morgan Meguire, Lori worked for eight years, specializing in energy, electricity markets, new energy technologies, nuclear power, and federal tax policy at the American Public Power Association where she acquired a comprehensive understanding of the public power industry and its mission.
Lori began her career with the Washington office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (1984-1992), a nationally recognized law firm, where she worked with senior energy and tax partners to represent clients before Congress and the Executive Branch.
Lori earned a Master’s degree in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University and a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Old Dominion University.
Charles Hernick, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy
Charles Hernick is the Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) in Washington DC. Charles leads CRES Forum’s policy work and executes strategies to advance clean energy solutions and innovative approaches to reducing carbon emissions.
Charles is an energy expert who understands emerging clean technologies, market barriers, and policies and regulations. For over a decade he has worked at the crossroads of economic development, energy, and natural resource management across the U.S. and on the ground in over a dozen countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Before joining CRES, he advised executive-level decision-makers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Agency for International Development on energy and environmental issues, and identified project-level opportunities for clean energy expansion.
He is also a climate change expert who has integrated climate change considerations into U.S. government programs and policies and has authored climate mitigation and adaptation best practice guidelines for over a dozen development sectors.
Charles was the Republican candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District in the November 2016 election. He routinely advises candidates seeking public office on energy and economic growth.
He is a frequent guest on radio shows and webcasts, in university classrooms, and at international workshops to discuss clean energy and associated economic, national security, and environmental issues. He conducts interviews in English or Spanish.
Charles as an M.A. in International Relations and Environmental Policy from Boston University and a B.S. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior from the University of Minnesota.
Ross Gillfillan, Vice President of Communications
For more than twenty years Ross has helped transformative science and technology organizations communicate more powerfully, personally, and meaningfully. The majority of his career has been in the private sector, leading messaging, branding, strategy development, and public relations programs for some of the world’s most innovative Fortune 500 companies, startups, nonprofits, R&D institutions, and regulatory agencies.
Most recently he served at the White House as the Director of Strategic Communications for the Office of Science and Technology Policy, then as Senior Tech Policy Advisor to the Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and as a Senior Advisor for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget.
A native of Illinois, before moving to Washington DC Ross lived in San Francisco for over a decade, managing consultant teams as a Vice President for OgilvyPR, a top ten global public relations agency. After Ogilvy, he cofounded Torch Communications, a boutique public relations firm serving technology, advanced energy, and life science clients. At Torch he led the startup portfolio, advising tech founders and venture investors on PR initiatives and crisis communications strategy.
Ruben Verastigui, Communications Manager
Ruben serves as Communications Manager for CRES, where he works to promote commonsense, economy-building clean energy policies across our digital and social media platforms. Previously, Ruben served as the Director of Digital Strategy for the Senate Republican Conference, where he used creative digital messaging to advance Senate Republican policies. Previously, he was the Digital Director for the United States Congress Joint Economic Committee. Prior to his work on Capitol Hill, Verastigui was the Senior Designer for the Republican National Committee. He also has worked for nonprofits and digital media agencies.
He’s a proud born and raised Texan.
Colin Finnegan, Coalitions Manager
Colin joins CRES, previously serving as Associate Communications and Outreach Manager at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute where he supported the Institute’s external communications as well as the development and implementation of public affairs strategies. He began his career in the strategic communications industry at DCI Group in Washington D.C., where he began specializing in energy policy. Colin graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in International Studies and is originally from Massachusetts.
Rebecca Lorenzen, Policy Manager
Prior to joining CRES, Rebecca worked for the Mexican federal government for nine years, in the national security sector. She has served as an intern at the Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) of the Wilson Center, where she conducted research on environmental security and the links between environmental change, migration, conflict, and health. She holds a Master in Public Policy from Georgetown University, where she specialized in environmental policy, and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) in Mexico City, Mexico.
Former Senator Kelly Ayotte, Senior Advisor
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010 and served until 2017, where she was ranked as one of the most bipartisan senators working across party lines to find solutions to our nation’s biggest challenges. During her tenure in the Senate, Ayotte served on the Senate Budget, Commerce, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Armed Services, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Aging Committees. She chaired the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and the Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation Operations. Previously, she served as New Hampshire’s first female Attorney General, first appointed by a Republican governor and twice reappointed by a Democratic governor. She also served as deputy attorney general, chief of the homicide prosecution unit, and as legal counsel to Governor Craig Benson. She currently is a Senior Advisor to Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions and serves on the boards of The Blackstone Group, Caterpillar, News Corp, BAE Systems, Boston Properties, Blink Health and Bloom Energy. She also serves on the advisory boards of Microsoft, Chubb Insurance and Cirtronics, as well as a number of non-profit boards.
The CRES Board
James Dozier, President of the Board
James brings a wealth of Republican grassroots organizing, advocacy, and political experience to Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES). James has led CRES since 2013 and in that time, he has focused on growing conservative support for clean energy solutions to enhance our nation’s economic, energy, and environmental security. This work has included building out robust political and advocacy operations that have supported Republican clean energy champions in the House and Senate.
Liz Feld, CRES Board
Liz Feld is the former president of Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. She previously served as the Republican mayor of the Village of Larchmont in New York’s Hudson Valley from 2006-2012. Liz also served as a public affairs specialist in the White House Office of Management and Budget under President Reagan from 1984 – 1986 and as assistant to the press secretary for Vice President George H.W. Bush from 1986 – 1987.
Jason Kauppi, CRES Board
Jason Kauppi is a communications strategist specializing in public policy, news media relations and crisis management. Jason is a former spokesman for Republican Governors Paul Cellucci and Jane Swift of Massachusetts.
Louie Kerbici, CRES board
Louie is a founding CRES board member and currently serves as treasurer. He has previously worked as a financial service project manager at Fidelity, Allmerica Financial, and John Hancock for 15 years.