OUR TEAM

Experienced Professionals Dedicated to Promoting Renewable Hydrogen and the Transition to Clean Energy.

Executive Director

Michelle Detwiler

Michelle Detwiler has worked in diverse areas of the energy sector for over 20 years. After obtaining her Master of Public Administration degree at George Washington University, she started her career at the World Bank in Washington, DC. She worked on infrastructure projects sited in China, North Africa and Iran and is where she first realized her interest in energy. After moving to Portland, Oregon, she worked for the Ater Wynne law firm in their energy practice as a paraprofessional representing municipal and cooperative utilities all across Alaska. In 2007, she joined JELD-WEN and became the Director of government affairs working on federal energy efficiency policy in the building products sector. She rounded out her energy sector experience most recently as a government affairs specialist managing the Washington and California state legislative portfolios at PacifiCorp, a Portland, Oregon based multistate electric utility subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy. Her consulting firm, Barlow Strategies, is a founding member of RHA.

Director of Market Development

Martina Steinkusz

Martina joined RHA in 2019 as Director of Market Development. She acted as an Interim Executive Director between January and March 2021. Before moving to Portland, OR,  she was the Project and Communication Manager at the  European Small Hydropower Association in Brussels, Belgium. She led the industry’s communication and outreach activities and managed several EU co-funded projects touching upon hydropower policy and the implementation of small hydropower cooperatives across several EU countries.

Martina holds a German-British double-degree in business and received a Masters in Urban Studies from the University of Vienna, Austria, with a focus on urban energy and the development of smart grids.

Board of Directors

President

Don Ruff

Don managed a 30-year structural engineering career with BPA whose distraction from designing transmission lines included joining with Ken Dragoon as co-directors of BPA’s after-school hands-on science program and summer science day camp— a program that at its height served some 150 classrooms in mostly lower-income schools around the Northwest and still exists on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Don also started two child care centers and two bilingual summer day camps (one Spanish/English, one Japanese/English).

Don presently advises EPRI and IEEE on engineering matters as Ruff Consulting and continues to serve the global community as President of Oregon Partners of the Americas— when he is not or trotting off to some third world country to help with a solar or hydropower construction project for Green Empowerment.

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Secretary/Treasurer

Jason Busch

Jason Busch is Executive Director of the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust (POET), an organization that supports the responsible development of marine energy on the West Coast. Mr. Busch is also a co-chair of the Marine Energy Council, the national trade group for the marine hydrokinetic energy sector.

Mr. Busch is actively involved in both business and community organizations. He is on the Energy Trust of Oregon’s Renewable Energy Advisory Committee, Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development Territorial Sea Plan Rulemaking Project Committee, the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center Advisory Council, and the Department of State Lands Rulemaking Advisory Committee. He has multiple publications, including most recently a chapter in Climate Change Impacts on Ocean and Coastal Law, published by Oxford University Press.

Prior to joining Oregon Wave Energy Trust, Mr. Busch was Principal at Sustainable Legal Solutions LLC, where he provided legal services specializing in renewable energy company start-ups and project development. Previously, he was an attorney for Ater Wynne and Stoel Rives in Portland, Oregon.

Mr. Busch holds a B.A. in Political Science from Texas A&M University and a M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Southern Mississippi. He received a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree in 2006 from the University of Oregon School of Law, graduating with honors and admitted to the Order of the Coif.

Board Member

Ken Dragoon

Ken founded the Renewable Hydrogen Alliance in 2018 and served as its Executive Director until January 2021 when he became Director of Hydrogen Development for Obsidian Renewables. He is a three-plus decade veteran of the electric power industry in the Pacific Northwest, focused almost entirely on providing reliable power service with variable renewable resources. He authored “Valuing Wind Generation on Integrated Power Systems,” a book on calculating wind integration costs in 2010.

Board Member

Nicole Hughes 

Nicole Hughes joined Renewable Northwest as Executive Director in July 2018. Nicole has over 14 years of experience in project development and consulting for utility-scale wind and solar energy projects, working for AWS Truepower, HDR, Element Power, RES Americas and Tetra Tech. She has also contributed to policy,serving on the American Wind Energy Siting Committee and the Health and Safety Standards Committee, the Oregon Department of Lands and Conservation Division Rules Advisory Committee, and worked on Wind Energy Guidelines for Washington, Oregon and California. In her previous work, Nicole engaged with Renewable NW as a member and understands first hand the importance of the organization’s coalition work between advocacy organizations and renewable energy businesses in moving the region forward towards a clean energy future.

Board Member

Evan Ramsey

Evan is the Sr. Director of the Renewables Program and has been with BEF since 2014 and leads the organization’s work on renewable energy, demand response, energy efficiency, and electrification.  He brings deep renewable energy experience and has consulted with hundreds of communities, businesses, governments, and utilities to provide technical, financial, development, and management expertise on projects across the country.His work at BEF includes pioneering the region’s first low-income benefitting community solar project, supporting dozens of low-impact hydro projects, engaging on multiple levels of energy policy, supporting the founding of the Renewable Hydrogen Alliance, commissioning cost/benefit studies on vehicle electrification, delivering the first hydrogen fueling station in the Pacific Northwest, and leveraging over $30m in funding to support such projects.

Board Member

La Stanja Baker

La Stanja Baker is Regional Director of Government Affairs at Toyota and is responsible for representing Toyota before state legislatures, government agencies, political associations, industry trade groups, and other organizations in the Western United States.  La Stanja has been with Toyota for 31 years and has held various positions around the organization. In her current role, La Stanja works with her internal clients to develop Toyota’s public policy positions and political strategy to reduce costs and legislative / regulatory impacts on business plans and operations.  Additionally, La Stanja manages Toyota’s contract lobbyists in the west, providing leadership in enhancing Toyota’s visibility, recognition, and relationships in State Capitals.  She is often relied upon to create and implement best-in-class strategies / programs. La Stanja sits on the Boards of the California International Relations Foundation, 24th Street Theater, and FORTH.

Board Member

Lisa Rennie

Lisa Rennie is Senior Advisor, Policy & Regulatory Affairs, at Tacoma Power, where she is an active participant in the utility’s work to support the development of a Green Hydrogen economy in the Northwest.   Lisa has over 25 years of experience in government relations and energy policy at the Washington state, Northwest regional, and federal levels. She holds a BS in Biological Sciences and an MA in Public/Nonprofit Administration.