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Meet the Team - State Energy Office

OEP Team, from left to right, front to back: Alexa Voytek, Molly Cripps, Angela McGee, Shauna Basques, Austin Brown, Amanda Spann, Natalie Dallriva, Alisha Brewer, Ben Bolton, Chad Kimes, Jeremy McBride, Ryan Stanton.

Molly R. Cripps, Assistant Commissioner

Molly oversees the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s (TDEC) Office of Energy Programs (OEP), which is comprised of two sections: the Governor-designated State
Energy Office (SEO)
and the State Facility Utility Management Section (SFUM).  OEP promotes the efficient, effective use of energy to enhance the environmental and economic health of the state.  Efforts and activities include education, outreach, technical assistance, and/or funding and financing opportunities that focus on energy efficiency and conservation, renewable energy, utility data management, energy security planning and preparedness, sustainable transportation, and alternative fuels.

Molly is the Administrative Lead for Tennessee’s Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust (VW Settlement EMT) allocation. She serves as the TDEC representative to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Distributed Generation Information Exchange and Energy Efficiency Information Exchange and is the Governor’s designee for the State Energy Policy Council. She has served on the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) Board of Directors since 2014 and is currently serving as the Treasurer of the Executive Committee.

Prior to joining the State in 2010, Molly spent several years practicing law in Tennessee, with a focus on compliance and municipal liability defense.  She holds a B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of Tennessee and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School.

Alexa Voytek, Energy Consultant / Senior Program Manager 

Alexa is an Energy Consultant / Senior Program Manager for TDEC OEP. Alexa serves as the Principal Investigator for the U.S. DOE’s State Energy Program, oversees OEP’s sustainable transportation and alternative fuels programming, and assists with the administration of the VW Settlement EMT. Alexa also serves as the Coordinator for U.S. DOE’s Clean Cities Middle-West Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition, through which she acts as a technical resource for fleets and individuals evaluating alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies, and is Co-Chair of the NASEO Transportation Committee. Prior to joining TDEC, Alexa interned with the UN Division for Sustainable Development and the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg, Russia. Most recently, Alexa served as Asst. Account Executive for the public relations firm Ketchum, Inc., where she was assigned to energy and technology related projects. Alexa holds an M.A. from Columbia University in Russian, Eastern European, Balkan, and Eurasian Studies and graduated summa cum laude from Duke University, with a B.A. in History and Russian Language / Area Studies.

Alisha Brewer, Grants Analyst 2

As a Grants Analyst for TDEC OEP, Alisha provides support for various programs and is responsible for fiscal, compliance, procurement, and administrative tasks. Alisha assists with OEP’s K-12 Energy Education programming  by providing professional development and classroom enhancement to educators and students. In order to increase public awareness of OEP programs, Alisha also assists with the development and distribution of newsletters and webpage updates. Finally, Alisha acts as OEP’s Records Coordinator and is responsible for maintaining compliance with records retention guidelines for OEP and its subrecipients. Prior to joining OEP, Alisha worked in hospitality management for Tennessee State Parks. 

Angela McGee, Programs Administrator / State Energy Program Manager

Angela is a Programs Administrator for TDEC OEP. Angela serves as the State Energy Program (SEP) Manager for all OEP activities under U.S. DOE’s SEP, Director of OEP’s K-12 Energy Education Camps and Workshops, and the Tennessee Coordinator for  the National Energy Education Development Project. Angela manages OEP’s low-income energy efficiency programming and all fiscal, budget, procurement, compliance, and audit functions for OEP, including those under the VW Settlement EMT. Additionally, Angela serves as OEP’s Human Resources lead and Title VI Coordinator. Prior to joining OEP in January 2012, Angela was a Medical Transcriptionist in the field of Radiology for Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Ben Bolton, Energy Programs Administrator

As an Energy Programs Administrator for TDEC OEP, Ben manages activities related to energy security planning, preparedness, and response, as well as the energy-water nexus. He currently serves as Co-Chair of NASEO’s Energy Security Committee and represents Tennessee on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Framework Leadership Group.  Ben is the lead Emergency Services Coordinator for Emergency Support Function 12 - Energy and is responsible for activities related to transportation and heating fuels under the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan. Prior to joining the State, Ben was an environmental scientist providing technical support to public and private sector clients facing environmental compliance issues involving air, water, and environmental public relations. He holds a B.A. in English and B.S. in Biology from Birmingham-Southern College.

Grant Ruhl, Assistant General Counsel

Grant is an attorney with TDEC’s Office of General Counsel and serves as its liaison to TDEC OEP. Grant assists with various contracting and compliance efforts, including those under the VW Settlement EMT. Grant also conducts research on a variety of energy-related topics and assists OEP with preparing analysis of policy and proposed legislation related to energy. Grant received a B.A. in Anthropology and a minor in Environmental Studies from Wake Forest University.  He received his J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Ryan Stanton, Senior Consultant for Strategic Energy Initiatives

Ryan is a Senior Consultant for Strategic Energy Initiatives for TDEC OEP. He supports the SEO’s sustainable transportation programming through several transportation electrification initiatives, including the development and implementation of a Light Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment grant program under the VW Settlement EMT and contribution to the multi-stakeholder Drive Electric Tennessee consortium. Ryan also serves as the TDEC-designated board member for TennSMART, a statewide consortium to accelerate the development and deployment of intelligent mobility innovations, including transportation electrification and other industry advancements. Prior to joining TDEC, Ryan worked on software development, smart cities design, energy efficiency, advanced metering, and microgrid projects in the private sector. Ryan earned his B.S. in General Engineering with a minor in Business Administration from Gonzaga University.

Shauna Basques, Communications Coordinator / Energy Analyst 

Shauna is a Communications Coordinator and Energy Analyst for TDEC OEP. She leads the development of OEP’s communications and outreach materials and serves as the primary author and designer of the OEP website and Annual Reports. She also works to advance OEP’s sustainable transportation programming, primarily through her involvement in the Middle-West Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition and her assistance in administering the VW Settlement EMT. Shauna came to TDEC in 2017 from the University of Central Florida, where she earned an M.F.A. in Writing and worked with the Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition to advance alternative fuels in the region. Before that, Shauna worked with the American Lung Association in Minnesota to provide outreach on vehicle electrification and workplace charging. Shauna graduated with high distinction and honors from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in English and a Certificate in Sustainability.