Our Team

Nisha is an entrepreneur and executive with a long track record of innovation and change in the energy industry.  She has worked in six energy-related startups, including Ridge Energy Storage, Tessera Solar, and ActualSun, where she was cofounder and CEO. After pitching NRG Energy (the largest independent power producer in the U.S. at the time) on a new startup idea, she was brought into NRG to drive growth and innovation in serving the commercial and industrial energy consumer market, ultimately becoming Vice President of Distributed Generation. Nisha also started her own consulting firm, Aurora Clean Energy Partners, to advise clients on strategic growth initiatives in renewables, while also incubating the ideas that ultimately became the foundation for Ennuity Holdings.

 

Nisha has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Political Science and in Economics from Yale University.

Nisha Desai

Founder & CEO

Lauren is a communications and policy professional with a passion for storytelling and fostering change. At Ennuity Holdings, she is responsible for social media, customer outreach, marketing strategies and communications. She has experience working in newsrooms as a journalist, as well as in political communications in different government offices. While attending LSU, Lauren shared stories about a variety of topics, including environmental issues, along the Gulf Coast. Her experiences as a journalist and an educator led her to pursue a master’s degree in Public Policy, where she hopes to blend her background in communications with policy in order to leave a lasting societal impact.

Lauren is set to earn her MPP from the University of Houston in May 2021 and has a BA in Mass Communications from Louisiana State University.

Lauren Duhon

Marketing & Communications

Alex is an energy industry veteran who possesses a broad background in deregulated electricity markets. Much of his experience is in complex pricing and structuring of commodity and non-commodity retail deals within the residential and commercial sectors. He has expertise in pricing methodologies, component design, model building and data analytics across the major ISOs. Alex is passionate about solving data problems within the energy space and using programming or other technical applications to deliver automated solutions. He is excited about being a part of the distributed energy revolution that will shift energy consumption away from the legacy centralized utility model in order to aid in the decarbonization of the planet.

 

Alex holds an MA from Fordham University and a BA from College of the Holy Cross, both in Economics.

Alex Cruz

Manager, Pricing & Analytics

Our Strategic Advisory Board

Leslie is the founder of Benning International, a consulting company focused on developing successful growth strategies based on unique customer, constituent and competitor insights. Her 30+ years of consulting and management experience spans a wide range of consumer-driven businesses, including food & beverage, nutrition, telecommunications, entertainment/media, direct selling businesses, automotive, biotech, pharmaceuticals, footwear and education. Prior to starting her own consulting practice, she was a Partner at The Cambridge Group, and previously a Principal at Booz, Allen & Hamilton where she led strategy assignments in the US and Latin America.  Leslie began her career at General Foods in the Beverage Division where she won the first President’s Award for Marketing Innovation.  

 

Leslie received a BA, with honors, in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Leslie Benning

Founder of Benning International

Catherine is a Managing Director at CRA, Inc., focusing on providing leadership coaching to executives in Financial Services, Fintech, Commodities, Professional Services and the Non-Profit sectors. Prior to this, Catherine was the CEO of Pefin, the world’s first AI financial advisor, and before Pefin, she was the Managing Director and Head of Commodity Derivatives, Foreign Exchange and Emerging Markets Sales and Trading for the Americas at BNP Paribas. Before joining BPP Paribas, Catherine held a number of senior roles at J.P. Morgan, including Chief Marketing Officer and CEO, Global Commodities for Europe, Middle East, and Africa. She was formerly on the board of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), and Digital Asset Holdings, a market leading blockchain company.

 

Catherine has a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in Economics from Brown University.

Catherine Flax

Managing Director at

CRA, Inc.

Eric has more than 29 years of experience in the energy business, with expertise in commodity retail, distributed energy, venture investing and new business development.

In his most recent role, Eric helped launch and lead the global Distributed Energy division of Shell New Energies. Eric also oversaw several ventures at Shell, including its partnership with Taurus Investments in Eco Smart Solutions.

Before his role at Shell, he was Senior Vice President for Engie/GDF Suez in North America. Eric helped transition Engie from its traditional business in centralized generation towards businesses in distributed generation, energy storage and renewables. He also supported new business incubation and partnerships for the retail, power and gas businesses in the United States. 

Prior to joining Engie/GDF Suez, he held leadership roles at Reliant Energy and also worked with companies across the energy complex as a consultant with Arthur D. Little and McKinsey & Co.

Eric Bradley

Former Global GM, Shell New Energies

Manolo is currently a director at Fannie Mae (FNM), OnDeck Capital (ONDK), Stewart Information Systems (STC) and BanCoppel after having served as Chairman & CEO of BBVA Compass for 10 years. At Rice University’s Jones School of Business, he teaches disruption in financial services with a focus on crypto currencies and blockchain. Manolo is an advisor to several fintech and blockchain startups. Manolo has served as a director of the American Banker's Association, the Institute of International Bankers, the Greater Houston Partnership, the Financial Services Roundtable and BITS (the technology policy division of FSR). He is currently a trustee at the Center for Houston’s Future.

A graduate of Yale University, Manolo earned master’s degrees in International Relations from the London School of Economics and in advanced European Economics from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.

Manolo Sánchez

Former CEO & Chairman of BBVA Compass

Brett is currently CEO and President of the Center for Houston’s Future. Before his appointment, he was a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and in the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative (ALI). Before focusing his career on community service, Brett was a recognized national leader in the energy and telecommunications industries.  Brett served for four years as a Commissioner on the Public Utility Commission of Texas where he led the successful restructuring of Texas’ electric utility industry and telecommunications industry as these markets opened to competition. He then founded Vector Advisors, an entrepreneurial management consulting firm serving telecommunications and energy clients. Earlier in his career, he was a consultant with McKinsey & Company and he also practiced law with major firms.
 
Brett holds advanced degrees in Public Policy from Harvard University and in Law from the University of Texas. He was also a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Northwestern University.

Brett Perlman

CEO and President of the Center for Houston’s Future

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