Pine Tree Energy Council is a designated 501(c)3 not for profit organization. We are a team of strategists, environmentalists, Eco-Sense fanatics and efficiency wizards. What brings us together is a passion for communities and organizations and a hunger to make each better in every way.
Co-Founder & Chairman
James is dedicated to energy efficiency and making a positive impact in the community. With over 10 years of experience in the environment and energy industries, he is well-versed in energy and water efficiency practices, smart meter monitoring, demand response generation, and renewable energy.
Besides being a whiz at all things energy-related, he is also Project Management Professional and Six Sigma certified and holds an MBA from UC Davis and a Master's in Engineering from UCLA.
When he's not thinking about how he can save the planet and help businesses thrive, he is teaching his toddler Mandarin and Shanghainese or entertaining him with his infamous 10-second drawing of a chicken.
Director, Business Development
Mike’s goal is to bridge the gap between energy saving technology and finance. As a project manager he works closely with energy industry stakeholders such as CEC and local and regional governments to foster education and promote compliance of building code. Mike’s experience ranges from managing contracts for energy, policy, and technical programs to budgeting and financial analysis.
Mike holds a BA in Business Administration from the University of Redlands and an MBA with a focus in Finance from Notre Dame de Namur University.
As a DIY enthusiast, Mike enjoys working on making his home more energy and water efficient. He is also a bit of a data lover, enthusiastically developing spreadsheets to track and design landscaping water schedules for fun.
Chief Operating Officer
Jin has over 15 years of IT experience working in high-tech companies. As a project manager, Jin closely works with executive keystakeholders to implement payment technology products to it's merchants and customers.
Jin holds a BS in Business Administration from University of California, Riverside.
In his spare time, Jin helps the Asian American community through fundraising and setting up events to bring people together for a worthy cause. He enjoys traveling and spending time with his family.
Hardware Engineering Lead
Normin is Pine Tree Energy Council’s Hardware Engineering Lead. He is currently running the Southern California engineering initiatives.
Normin earned his degree in Computer Science from UCLA.
Sherrie is pursuing an MBA in Sustainable Management at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, CA.
She originally hails from Honolulu, Hawaii, but has lived in Northern California since attending Santa Clara University ('09). She has previously worked at large tech companies in Silicon Valley, but is now interested in moving into the energy sector to create a more sustainable future.
Alex is an economics major at the University of California, Merced. He is interested in all things energy related (especially water) and is an aspiring entrepreneur.
Dr. Joe Tai
Dr. Joe Tai is an attorney-at- law, an inventor, and an entrepreneur. Dr. Tai’s legal practice has a focus on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, and copyrights.
As an inventor and entrepreneur, Dr. Tai has successfully invented, patented,
manufactured, and commercialized innovative products that are sold in national retail stores. Dr. Tai was awarded 2011 and 2014 Invention Gold Medals at INPEX. Dr. Tai and his inventions are frequently featured on various media, including newspaper articles, radio shows, business magazines, and TV shows, including TV shows on Food Network and DIY network. Dr. Tai was a co-host of a radio show “The Legend of The Silicon Valley” on FM 96.1.
Dr. Tai received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from U.C. Davis, California and received his J.D. from the School of Law of Golden Gate University, California.
Co-Founder & President
Fred Yoo has a passion for energy efficiency. As a senior program manager at a large utility company, Fred Yoo has managed efficiency programs in the residential, commercial and large industrial spaces. He has hands-on experience in assisting customers with projects to reduce waste and energy consumption.
Yoo comes with over 14 years of experience with energy conservation programs. He has a B.A from SFSU and is pursuing his MBA from St. Mary’s College of California. He is a certified Energy Manager from the Association of Energy Engineers.
Fred is fluent in Korean and enjoys the outdoors immensely. He is an avid biker and enjoys skiing and snowboarding during the winter months. And if you ever need someone to defend you, he's also a black belt at Tae Kwon Do.
Residential Energy Subject Matter Expert
Brian has a deep passion for sustainability that begins with optimizing energy efficiency. With over 19 years of experience in the environment and energy industries, he is well-versed in sustainable design, building science, renewable energy and load management strategies to realize high performance buildings.
Brian was an early contributor to the Home Energy Rater System (HERS) protocols and helped to develop the national rating standards, training requirements and quality assurance protocols. Brian is a Certified Performance Tested Comfort System instructor for Heat Pump Commissioning and Duct Sealing. In addition to earning his LEED AP certification, Brian also holds a MA in Sustainable Design from the Boston Architectural College.
Technology and Engineering Research Lead
Abinesh is a passionate engineer, researcher and innovator with over 5 years' experience in energy engineering. His specialties within the energy field inlude conducting energy assessments and understanding energy systems in commercial, industrial, residential and agricultural facilities and consulting on renewable energy projects. He is well versed in experiment design and statistical analysis of building level energy data to identify system level control and retrocommissioning issues.
Abinesh holds a Master of Science in Renewable and Clean Energy from the University of Dayton.
Director of Programs
Sherrie Schmit is passionate about clean technology, and as CleanTech Open's South Bay Metro Director, she has been ensuring that clean tech start-ups have the resources and knowledge to succeed.
With more than twenty years of experience in managing state-of-the-art systems, business development, customer relations, and strategic partnerships, Sherrie knows how to plan and execute programs. She is a proven leader who has brought in and managed over $140M in new contracts. She has a BSEE from U.C. Davis and MSEE from U.S.C.
Sydney is passionate about community development and making the world a better place. In addition to her non-profit work, Sydney also dedicates her time to growing start-ups in the Bay Area. She also volunteers at Sequoia High School in Redwood City, CA as a mentor for the Build Program. This program supports high school students in under-resourced communities as they launch their own businesses.
Sydney holds a BA in Social Sciences from The University of California, Irvine.
Sara has more than 10 years of experience in building effective and lasting partnerships, and managing and supporting collaborative, multi-disciplinary projects through her work in land use and climate change planning and policy development for the San Francisco Bay Area. Saraholds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in biology and a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Investment Strategy Advisor
Earl is a venture adviser for start-ups and corporate innovation teams. Based in New York, he is the founder of Valence Enterprises a Venture Advisory and Builder focused on inclusion and innovation. He is an active organizer and mentor for Startup Weekend New York focused on AI, Block chain and Social Impact. He was also the Program Manager for Corporate Data at Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest hedge fund leading the Partnership Management, Strategy and Project Management functions of the team. He is passionate about the intersection of innovation for impact and is an active member of the World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders community.
Prior for moving to the NY-area, in his aim to support emerging market innovation, Earl spent 4 years in Southeast Asia. Earl co-founded QBO, the National Innovation Center of the Philippines and IdeaSpace Foundation, an incubator and accelerator based in Manila with $12M in funding and 50+ impact-focused portfolio companies. He was also Vice President of Corporate Development and Innovation at Smart Communications, the Philippine's largest mobile provider with 70 Million subscribers, and one of the youngest corporate executives in the top 10 corporations of the country during his time.
Earl obtained a B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, from Boston University, a Masters in Systems Engineering from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
James is a recently graduated student with a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. James is especially interested in exploring how environmental awareness efforts can help preserve the environment for our future generations.
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1839 YGNACIO VALLEY RD #263, WALNUT CREEK, CA 94598