Board of Directors

John Williamson, President, Chair

John Williamson, is the founder and CEO of KiloNewton, LLC, a solar software and consulting company in Albuquerque, NM. At KiloNewton, he has started up a NM renewable energy team focused on the optimization of solar, wind, and energy products and systems for businesses and municipalities using innovative software and processes. John has been working as a technical leader in the solar and greater renewable energy industry since 2007. He is a licensed professional engineer, with a MSME in mechanical engineering from University of New Mexico. Previously Executive Chief Engineer for Array Technologies, John led the engineering group in the design and development of their solar tracker products, helping grow the business from a small NM company to be the top solar tracker manufacturer in the world, with locations spanning the globe.

Matt Bergren

Dr. Matt Bergren is the Chief Product Officer at UbiQD, a nanomaterials company that spun-out of Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2014. At their Los Alamos, NM research and manufacturing facility, UbiQD focuses on developing new technology in the renewable energy and agriculture industries that is enabled by their novel nanomaterials called quantum dots. Dr. Bergren has a PhD in applied physics from the Colorado School of Mines and worked as a researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for over 5 years, where he was developing photovoltaic technologies based on novel nanomaterials. As an entrepreneur, Dr. Bergren has helped grow UbiQD’s business over the past 4 years and now leads their product development efforts.

Troy Choman

Troy Choman is a lifelong New Mexican. Raised in the forests and deserts of the southwest, he developed a passion for the outdoors at a very young age. This passion has served as his catalyst to protect the environment and natural resources of his home, alongside responsibly capitalizing on its potential for economic benefit for New Mexicans. He is a Current Project Controller for the Department of Energy in Albuquerque. Troy Choman earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the University of New Mexico.

Brian Connell

Brian Connell is the Director of Business Development for two companies GandyDancer Railroad & Excavation Services and New Mexico Transloading. Brian was born in Medellin, Colombia South America. He contracted with the Department of Defense where he was a Combat Trainer and Counter Terrorism Instructor for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and he contracted with a British company called Armor Group. and Later Brian Connell joined the US Border Patrol. After years of service Brain Connell worked briefly for oil well service companies in Texas. His work in Texas inspired him to find work and leadership opportunities in essential businesses in New Mexico. He was educated at the University of Texas San Antonio and El Paso in mechanical engineering and finance.  

Thomas Conroy

Thomas Conroy has been a senior power generation executive for 40 years with direct experience in solar, wind, coal, and oil generation plants and technologies. Mr. Conroy is currently working to develop ultra-long duration pumped storage hydro projects needed to develop high variable wind and solar generation portfolios on a no-carbon basis. Previously, Mr. Conroy served as President of Array Technologies in Albuquerque, the world’s leading solar tracking company. Mr. Conroy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Business in New York. 

Bobbi Hayes

Bobbi Hayes is a Certified Public Accountant, CCIFP, CFEr, CVA, and CEPA. A partner in Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC’s Albuquerque office, she works with a variety of closely-held businesses. Bobbi currently serves on the national CPA Advisory Council for the National Association of Surety Bond Producers,  the local boards of Associated Builders and Contractors of New Mexico, and on the Associated Contractors of New Mexico.  Past Chairman of the Associate-Affiliate division of the New Mexico Building Branch, Associated General Contractors, Past President of the Santa Fe chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction and a founding member of the Construction Program Advisory Council to the University of New Mexico. Graduated  University of New Mexico ,BBA in Accounting, with distinction,1982, Member, Phi Kappa Phi, Member, Beta Gamma Sigma.

Norman S. Littles

Mr. Littles is a retiree of DTE Energy, Michigan’s second largest public utility company, and Emerson Process Management. Mr. Littles has a wealth of experience in procurement management and contract administration, as well as developing and implementing “Best in Class” sourcing strategies as a result of his unique experiences working in the electric utility and technology business sectors. Through his innovation, Mr. Littles created and implemented strategic sourcing initiatives, and policies and procedures that broadened the participation of small businesses throughout the nation’s electric utility industry. He has contributed to the growth of some of the newest diverse businesses now serving the utility industry nationwide. 

Kate Rigness

Kate Ringness currently serves as the Co-Founder and Managing Director for SmartBlock Communities, a nonprofit organization that is pioneering a whole-systems design approach to urban sustainability that drives an affordable pathway to dramatically improved energy and water efficiency, zero-carbon electricity, resilient power, and shared electric mobility. Kate is also a Strategic Advisor to the Oakland EcoBlock project, a block-scale energy and water efficiency retrofit and community solar microgrid effort. Kate previously served as a Co-Founder and Managing Director of The American Jobs Project, developing impactful strategies to grow local economies and constructing practical pathways to capitalize on the advanced energy economy. Kate Ringness has a B.A. from Bucknell University, J.D. and LL.M. degrees from Duke Law School, and an M.P.P. from UC Berkeley. 

Jennifer Sinsabaugh

Jennifer Sinsabaugh is CEO of  New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NM MEP). Jennifer Sinsabaugh is an authority on creating and implementing strategic initiatives that result in company growth. In her capacity as CEO of, she builds long-term relationships and shepherds a solutions-oriented mission to build manufacturing in New Mexico. Jennifer earned a B.S. in chemical engineering and an M.B.A. in technology management from the University of New Mexico. Jennifer is a project reviewer for economic development projects such as NMSBA, the Venture Acceleration Fund and Native American VAF, and she serves as an expert on panels at various business incubation events. She also serves on various boards and committees including the NM Energy Manufacturing Institute, the NVA Foundation, and the LANL Technology Commercialization Advisory Board.

Julia Wise

 Julia Wise is a project Manager for New Mexico Small Business Assistance a program that connects small businesses and entrepreneurs in New Mexico with technical assistance from the State’s National Labs, Universities, and other service providers. Dr. Wise has an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry from Macalester College and holds a MS. &  Ph.D in geology from the University of Cincinnati. She worked in technology transfer at U.N.M  and was the Director of the Office of Science of Technology at the New Mexico Economic Development Department. Julia currently serves on the Board of the New Mexico Partnership, The BioScience Advisory Council at the Santa Fe Business Incubator, and is active in mentorship programs especially those relating to engaging girls in STEM. 

Advisors to the Institute

Chris Ziomek

Chris Ziomek is a serial entrepreneur who has over 30 years of experience in the high-tech industry. Chris presently leads Build With Robots, an automation business developing the next generation of robotic tools. Chris also serves as an adviser and investor in many New Mexico-based startups. Chris holds BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of New Mexico.