Meet the CustomerFirst Renewables Team
Our dedicated advisors and staff are always seeking new ways to be catalysts of bold climate action.
Senior Leadership Team
Founder & CEO
Gary Farha is Founder & CEO and leads CFR’s business strategy, customer relationships, and operations. Previously, Gary was a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, where he served energy and industrial clients over a 19-year career and co-led its global innovation practice. He was also VP of Growth and Innovation at Danaher Corporation, a Fortune 150 diversified technology company, and worked in multiple financial roles at Kansas Gas and Electric Company. Gary has led CFR since its inception in 2010 and is a chartered financial analyst (CFA). Gary enjoys travelling with family, trying to keep in shape, and tinkering with anything mechanical.
Henk van Duijnhoven
Henk van Duijnhoven leads operations, process improvement initiatives, human resources, and employee recruitment while maintaining an active role across client relationships and business development efforts. Henk joined CFR in January 2020 and brings 30 years of executive leadership, P&L management, and strategy consulting experience. He worked for 8 years at the Boston Consulting Group, most recently as a Partner and Managing Director. He spent almost 15 years in leadership positions at Danaher Corporation. Most recently Henk was the CEO for Nidec’s electric motor and generator manufacturing business. Outside of CFR, he enjoys skiing, biking, Sudoku, and spending time with his family.
Co-founder & Senior Advisor
Dilip Kamat is a former partner at McKinsey & Company where he served energy and industrial companies on strategic, organizational, and operational issues. Previously, he was Manager of Strategic Planning at United Energy Resources. Since he retired from McKinsey, Dilip has been a strategic advisor to Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy. Dilip is a co-author of a book on the economics of electric power, published by the MIT Press.
SVP, Client Solutions
Kevin Rackstraw leads CFR’s renewable supply activities. He has over 25 years of renewable energy industry experience, including prospecting, site control, permitting, community relations, pre-construction design, power and asset sales, contracts and due diligence. Previously, he led Eastern U.S. and Canadian development activities for one of the largest wind developers and OEMs in the country. He is a former board member of the American Wind Energy Association. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys cooking, gardening and golf (often called a “game in a garden”).
SVP, Finance & Operations
Alan Zang leads CFR’s corporate development, finance and operations, and process improvement activities. He has a deep background in corporate development and strategy, financial analysis, and transaction execution. At DaVita’s M&A office, he was responsible for the valuation, structuring, and execution of a range of strategic corporate transactions. Prior, Alan was a Senior Associate at EY, where he served large private equity clients on various accounting and transactional matters. He is also a CPA. Alan enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, playing soccer, practicing yoga, and rock climbing.
Terence de Pentheny O'Kelly
VP, Client Service
Terence de Pentheny O’Kelly leads CFR’s team support throughout client engagements. Terence has nearly 10 years of experience in the energy industry in project development across renewable and traditional energy technologies, including origination, procurement, permitting, financing, negotiation and implementation. Previously, Terence was VP of Development for a private energy investment firm with responsibilities for sourcing and developing power projects in North and Central America.
Terence is fluent in both English and French and is an avid skiier.
VP, Water Solutions
Jonathan manages all water resilience service activities spanning conservation, optimization, reclamation, and reuse projects. He brings over 30 years of executive leadership pioneering innovative and actionable water solutions to enhance client’s long-term planning and risk management. He has extensive management and strategy consulting experience combined with project execution core competencies from planning through design, permitting, construction and ongoing operations. He is a board member of the Water Research Foundation. Prior to joining CFR, Jonathan was Founder and CEO of Sustainable Water, a water treatment technology firm and a developer of large-scale water reclamation and reuse systems. Jonathan also served as the President and CEO of Organica Water and spent twenty years supporting client water strategies at ChemTreat, a Danaher Company and Betz Laboratories.
Jonathan is based in Richmond Virginia and enjoys spending time with his family biking, golfing, hiking, and supporting Army Football.
VP, Business Development
Karra is an experienced business development leader with a strong track record growing B2B and B2C businesses in the energy sector. She was most recently the Vice President and General Manager of terrapass, where she led growth strategies for renewable energy and carbon reduction solutions. She has held previous roles at Direct Energy, NRG Energy, Shell, and Pepsico. Karra holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Houston and a Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Texas at Austin.
VP, Client Service
Walid primarily supports large, multi-site clients with strategy and deployment of renewables, as well as supply chain engagement. Previously, Walid worked for SolarCity (Tesla) in project management and business development for onsite solar solutions, served as a consultant on climate technology programs at the World Bank and worked in e-commerce and analytics at Sony Electronics. He holds a Master’s in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard University.
Walid, who is fluent in French and Italian, enjoys spending time in nature with his wife and young children and follows green motor racing.
VP, Client Service
Jaafar has led all aspects of solution development for over a dozen CFR client engagements. He also spearheaded the creation of CFR’s renewable asset optimization service line. Jaafar brings over 10 years of renewable energy and sustainability experience. Before joining CFR, he led corporate strategy for an algae-to-oil startup. Prior, he provided policy and regulatory advisory services to renewable energy focused organizations. He is a graduate of NYU’s Stern School of Business and Wesleyan University.
Outside of CFR, he is an avid tennis player and general game enthusiast.
Admiral Dennis McGinn
About Admiral McGinn
Admiral Dennis McGinn served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment in the Obama administration from 2013 to 2017. A career naval aviator, McGinn was an officer in the United States Navy for 35 years, retiring as a vice admiral. He serves as a senior advisor to CustomerFirst Renewables.
Client Solutions Staff
Lianna provides analytical and market research support throughout client engagements. Prior to CFR, she was a horticulture intern at the Central Park Conservancy, business intelligence analyst intern at Ocean State Job Lot and a GHG analyst and auditor for the city of Oneonta, NY. She has a Master’s degree in Earth and Environmental Engineering from Columbia University, where she researched the leachability of concrete ash-shapes from waste-to-energy plants. She also holds a BA in Mathematics from Hartwick College.
Lianna, who is fluent in Hebrew, enjoys reading, practicing yoga, and playing with her dogs.
Director, Client Service
Gavin manages analysis and solution development throughout client engagements. Prior to joining CFR, Gavin served as a Senior Financial Analyst at Exelon, spent time with the Clean Energy Trust in Chicago, and worked as a Senior Consultant at Deloitte. He holds an MBA from The University of Chicago, a BS in Information Systems & Technology and General Management, and a BS in Accounting both from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Gavin is Chicago-based and enjoys spending time with his wife and walking his dog around town.
Daniel supports strategy development, solutions analysis, and implementation throughout client engagements. Previously, Daniel worked for PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) advising companies large and small through complex M&A transactions, and he maintains his CPA license. Daniel holds an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business as well as a BS in Business Administration and a Master of Accountancy from the University of Tennessee. Daniel, a Summer Associate while an MBA student in 2019, joined the CFR team full-time in 2020.
Daniel enjoys spending time with his wife and their black lab rescue, Nya.
Senior Engagement Manager
Charlie supports analytics and solution development throughout client engagements. He has prior experience as a Technology Consultant with Accenture, and he has worked with various companies in the alternative energy industry, where his roles involved assessing demand-side management and utility-scale wind opportunities. Charlie holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland.
Charlie is an avid water skier, soccer player, and Maryland basketball fan. Go Terps!
Svena provides analytical support throughout client engagements. Prior to CFR, she worked at the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, on summarizing, packaging and organizing research for the use of state and local governments, and utility commissions. She also conducted research on energy storage technology development, policy and implementation. Svena holds a BS in Chemistry from Georgetown University and speaks Hindi, French, and Italian.
In her spare time, Svena enjoys cooking and exploring new restaurants in the DC area.
Brittney supports strategy development, solutions analysis, market research, and due diligence throughout client engagements. Prior to CFR, Brittney served 7 years as a Logistics Officer in the Marine Corps, during which she supported military operations throughout multiple countries. Brittney holds an MBA from the University of Texas as well as a BS in Ocean Engineering from the United States Naval Academy.
In her free time, Brittney enjoys triathlons, speakeasy bar hunting, and hiking with her Husky. Brittney joined CFR in 2020.
Jordan provides analytical and market research support throughout client engagements. Prior to CFR, she worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, where she supported international negotiation efforts and improvements to the regulatory business environment. She also conducted research on climate change mitigation and adaptation in her undergraduate career. She holds a BS in Science, Technology and International Affairs from Georgetown University.
In her free time, Jordan enjoys hiking, taking dance classes, and visiting family in her native Oregon.
Sarah provides analytical and research support throughout client engagements for renewable energy and water resiliency projects. Prior to joining CFR, she worked in private equity at Luminate Capital, as well as for Harvard University’s Resource Efficiency Program. Sarah concentrated in Economics with a secondary in Environmental Science and Public Policy at Harvard, graduating with honors in 2019. She is fluent in Spanish.
Sarah is a former a member of the U.S. National equestrian vaulting team, where she earned two FEI medals.
William supports strategy development, solutions analysis, and due diligence throughout client engagements. William brings corporate finance and strategy experience from his previous role at a Fortune 500 multinational manufacturing corporation. William holds an MBA from Yale School of Management as well as a BS in Civil Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.
In his free time, William enjoys gardening, playing water polo, and any activity that takes place in the great outdoors.
Daniel joined CFR as a summer intern in 2021 before joining as a full-time analyst in the spring of 2022. He is earning his Bachelor in Business Administration with a minor in Sustainability from George Washington University.
Geoff supports retail electricity transactions with existing CFR clients, in conjunction with active renewable energy strategy and procurement. He also conducts business development efforts, creating access to new customers through existing and new partnerships in the energy space. Prior to joining to CFR, Geoff spent over nine years selling power to C&I and government clients in all deregulated U.S. markets.
Geoff, who is Houston-based, is an avid golfer and skier and enjoys spending time with his family.
Julia provides analytical and research support throughout client engagements. Prior to joining CFR, she worked for Harvard’s Office for Sustainability for two years, serving as a student leader and representative. Julia concentrated in Environmental Science and Engineering at Harvard, graduating with honors in 2020. She is fluent in Spanish. Julia, a 2019 Summer Analyst while an undergraduate student in 2019, joined the CFR team full-time in 2020.
In her free time, Julia enjoys running, skiing, and kitesurfing.
John supports analytics, due diligence and solution development throughout client engagements. John has 5 years of experience in technical and management consulting services, supporting federal grid modernization efforts, managing municipal solar deployments, and developing industrial energy saving projects. He holds a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University of Pittsburgh and a MEng in Clean Energy Engineering from the University of British Columbia.
In his free time, he enjoys listening to one too many NBA podcasts, perusing used bookstores, and (occasionally) working out.
Kumayl provides analytical and research support throughout client engagements. Prior to joining CFR, he worked at the National Parks Conservation Association as a social media marketing analyst. Kumayl holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a double major in Finance and Marketing from Georgetown University, graduating in 2021. He joined CFR in the Fall of 2021. Kumayl is fluent in Swahili, having grown up in Tanzania. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, painting, watching soccer, and watching movies with his cat Arya.
Senior Engagement Manager for Distributed Generation
Cassidy joins CFR with nearly a decade of experience in distributed solar. He began his career in the industry as a Solar Corps Construction Fellow for the solar non-profit GRID Alternatives. From there he quickly rose through the ranks at GRID to eventually work on PV system design and installation, working with volunteers and job trainees to install PV systems for low-income families. Following GRID Alternatives, Cassidy spent time in the for-profit residential world as a Project Manager and Field Services Manager. Most recently, Cassidy worked in the C&I space as a Sr. Project Manager for Developer/EPC, PowerFlex (formerly EnterSolar). In this role he gained expertise in large scale distributed generation, helping to deploy over 50 MW of projects for C&I clients in retail, tech, manufacturing, food services and logistics. Cassidy is a native of southern California. In his free time, he enjoys having fun in the sun and spending time with his friends and family.
Akshay provides analytical and research support throughout client engagements. Prior to joining CFR, he worked at Rocky Mountain Institute in their City Renewable Accelerator (now Urban Transformation) team analyzing technical potential for solar citing on landfills and related policy mechanisms to boost their penetration in US. Akshay holds a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Akshay has also worked with an international non-profit research organization to promote rural energy access in India prior to his graduate program. He joined the team full-time in 2021. In his free time, Akshay enjoys hiking and exploring national parks in US, and playing tennis.
Youqiao (Joy) Lu
Youqiao (Joy) provides analytical and research support throughout client engagements. Prior to joining CFR, she worked for the Climate Investment Funds of the World Bank, serving as an operation consultant at the Technical Assistance Facility. Joy concentrated in energy and climate change policy at Georgetown University, graduating with a Master of Public Policy degree in 2020. She is native in Chinese. Joy joined the CFR team full-time in 2021.
In her free time, Joy enjoys playing tennis and exploring the city.
Ben provides analytical and research support throughout client engagements. Prior to joining CFR, he worked at Captona, supporting the asset management of a grid-scale renewable generation portfolio. He also has experience with design and construction of pollution control systems at waste management facilities. Ben holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan. He first joined CFR as a Summer Analyst in 2020, starting full-time in 2021. In his free time, he spends time outdoors or playing the guitar.
Jocelyn joined CFR as a summer intern in 2021 before joining as a full-time analyst in Spring 2022. She holds a Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering and Masters degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Environmental Science from Michigan State University.
Elizabeth provides economic analysis, market research and supports solution development throughout client engagements. Before she joined CFR, she worked in education for five years, starting as a Teach for America corps member and ending as Fulbright grant recipient in Malaysia. She holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BA in Politics from Bates College.
Her hobbies include ceramics and bothering her cat.
Dana supports data analysis, research and solution development throughout client engagements. Previously, Dana worked for Environmental Defense Fund on international climate policy, carbon markets, and corporate sustainability. She also interned at Avangrid, focusing on retail energy, electric vehicle charging, and other electricity solutions. Dana holds an MBA from Yale School of Management and BA in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton.
In her free time, Dana enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and traveling with friends and family.
Saskia provides analytical and research support throughout client engagements. Prior to joining CFR, she worked at In Futurum researching sustainable production practices in Scandinavia, as well as Endeavor Global analyzing sustainability strategies in US cities. Saskia holds a Bachelor of Science in Science, Technology, and International Affairs from Georgetown University, where she graduated as a United Nations Academic Impact Millennium Fellow. Saskia is fluent in German and enjoys cooking, hiking, and playing badminton.
Winslow (Win) Sheffield
Senior Engagement Manager
Win leads client engagements and CFR’s innovation initiatives including data analytics and developing and maintaining proprietary market databases and financial models. Win previously worked in Operations Research at FedEx and with EarthSpark International in Haiti where he developed demand models for solar products and rolled out solar microgrids to off-grid towns. He is a Systems Engineering and Economics graduate of The George Washington University.
In his spare time, Win enjoys playing golf and cooking.
Anmol provides analytical and research support throughout client engagements. Prior to joining CFR, she worked at the Environmental Defense Fund conducting research, modeling, and analysis to help drive fleet owners towards vehicle electrification. Anmol holds a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering with a specialization in Energy Economics from Cornell University. She is fluent in both English and Hindi. She joined the CFR team full-time in 2021.
In her free time, Anmol enjoys painting Indian folk art and cooking different cuisines. Anmol is also a certified Yoga Instructor (Level 1).
Namratha (Nam) Sivakumar
Nam provides analytical and research support throughout client engagements. Prior to joining CFR, she worked for the Solar Energy Industry Association as well as Concentric Energy Advisors, conducting research and program support in clean energy. Nam holds a BS in Science, Technology, and International Affairs from Georgetown University, where she completed her honors thesis on equitable electrification in India.
In her free time, Nam enjoys oil painting, cooking, and hiking. She has been with the team since 2020.
Allison provides analytical and research support throughout client engagements. Prior to joining CFR, she worked in member relations at Green Energy Ohio, a nonprofit focused on advocating for clean energy solutions in the state. Allison holds a Master of Environmental Science degree concentrating on Energy & the Environment as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Energy, and Sustainability from Miami University, graduating with honors in 2021. She joined CFR full-time in 2021 after being a 2020 summer intern. In her free time, Allison enjoys playing soccer, reading, and watching hockey.
Business Development & Operations Staff
VP, Business Development
Steve leads CFR’s engagement of large corporate clients as they drive toward their climate and carbon goals. He is a Mechanical Engineer, with extensive business and sustainability experience and education. Prior to joining CFR, Steve spent 18 years with McDonald’s Corporation, where he led their U.S. Sustainability team. At McDonald’s, Steve was responsible for Renewable Energy, Water, EV charging strategy, packaging and circularity, water and other sustainability related functions. Steve is on the Board of Keep America Beautiful, a not-for-profit whose mission is to end littering and beautify America’s communities.
Steve splits his time between Chicago and Florida and is an avid golfer and traveler.
Director, Business Development
Chris leads business outreach and solution delivery efforts with a focus on the higher education market. He brings more than 20 years of energy, sustainability, and strategic advisory services including as Director of Sustainability at American University, where he led participation in the CFR-facilitated 53 MW Capital Partners Solar Project. Chris also previously served as Director of Higher Education Programs at Edison Energy. In his side career/hobby in the beer industry, he authored the award-winning book Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer and Save the World.
Manager, Business Development
Zarminey helps prospective clients explore the ways in which CFR can help them meet their toughest climate and water resiliency goals.
Senior Marketing Manager
Lindsey is responsible for growing the firm’s reputation in the industry. Prior to joining CFR, she led marketing communications programs at numerous mission-driven organizations, most recently the Greater Washington Board of Trade and the World Resources Institute. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and a Bachelors of Science in Political and Organizational Communications from Emerson College. She joined CFR in 2021 and lives in Virginia with her partner, step son, and rambunctious Labrador.
Dawn keeps the organization running efficiently through day-to-day operations management and oversight. Previously in her career, Dawn managed communicating on federal health-related projects through web-based and mobile applications, call centers, clearinghouses, wellness publications and other online database channels. She holds an MA in Health Communications from Kent State University,
Dawn enjoys spending time with her two sons and watching them row crew, play football and lacrosse.
Senior Manager, Finance & Operations
Rachel supports CFR’s operations, process improvement, forecasting and GAAP reporting. She has a background in Real Estate Investement Trust (REIT) accounting, previously working at JBGSmith as an accounting manager. Prior, Rachel was a Senior Associate at PwC, where she served large public companies on various audit engagements. She also is a CPA. She holds a BSM in Finance and Master of Accounting from Tulane University.
Rachel enjoys spending her free time with her family, friends and two dogs.