Energy Conference Speaker Biographies

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Chris High
Managing Partner, CMT, Concentio Capital Management, LLC

Chris has worked in the financial services industry for over 25 years. Chris currently serves as Managing Partner of Concentio Capital Management and writes daily, comprehensive research for the equity and energy markets. Previously, Chris worked as the Executive Vice President and Co-Chief Investment Officer of a $2 billion advisory firm in Dallas and as the Chief Investment Officer of a family office in Pittsburgh, PA. He also worked as a registered representative at Smith Barney and Deutsche Bank. Chris was raised in Texas and attended Princeton University, where he received his degree in Political Economics. In addition, he holds his FINRA Series 65 license and a Group 1 Texas Life Insurance License. He is a Chartered Market Technician and a member of the CMT Association. Chris is an Investment Adviser Representative of Concentio Capital Management, LLC.


 

Demetra Liggins
Partner, McGuireWoods LLP

Demetra has nearly two decades of experience in business finance and restructuring for a variety of large and small public and private companies. As a trusted business advisor, Demetra partners with her clients to identify and achieve their goals in the bankruptcy process, navigating through complex corporate reorganizations and distressed acquisitions. Demetra has led many representations of bankruptcy clients, working on both in-court and out-of-court restructurings. Demetra is a frequent speaker on bankruptcy and finance-related topics, in addition to speaking on career goals, branding, and mentorship to minority and female audiences ranging from established professionals to students.


 

Lisa Blanton
CEO/Owner, MBA, SHRM-SCP, Austin Alliance Group

After working for eight entrepreneurial companies in leadership roles of CFO, COO and CHRO, Lisa started her own business guiding organizations to "be the company where everyone wants to work because of the leadership, culture and contribution to the world. Lisa holds an MBA in Organizational Studies as well as four other Human Resource-related certifications and is known to pull out her tap shoes during sessions. In 2019, Lisa and her father authored a memoir called Raising Father of their entrepreneurial and family-related adventures that inspires hope through determination and forgiveness.


 

Jason Ryan
Vice President, CenterPoint Energy

Ryan was named Executive Vice President, Regulatory Services & Government Affairs at CenterPoint Energy following service as the company's general counsel and in other legal leadership positions. In his current role, Jason reports to the company’s CEO and leads about 100 colleagues on the rates and regulatory policy team, the regulatory legal team, and the local, state and federal government affairs team.


 

Jennifer Sadenwater
Managing Director,CPA, ESG Lynk

Jennifer is a Texas CPA who began her career as an audit professional a Big 4 firm. In 2019, she made a career pivot to ESG reporting and began her quest to connect sustainability with profits. She is a founding member of ESG Lynk, whose purpose is to provide agile ESG strategy development that supports the client’s long-term performance.


 

Amanda Beabout
Audit Senior Manager CPA Whitley Penn LLP

Amanda Beabout serves as a trusted business advisor and consultant for public and private clients. She is experienced with audits that include: foreign currency matters, stock-based compensation, international operations (including IFRS), accounting standard implementations, SOX 404 and purchase accounting. In 2020, Amanda was named as a Woman Who Means Business by the Houston Business Journal. Amanda is a proud alumni of the University of Houston and currently serves on the Accounting Advisory Board for the university.


 

Lisa Craven
Deputy Comptroller and Chief of Staff, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Lisa has over 30 years of state service, having worked in both the executive and legislative branches. Lisa was appointed deputy comptroller and chief of staff in October 2018 by Glenn Hegar, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and serves as the agency’s administrative head. Previously, she served as chief of staff for Comptroller Hegar from 2015-2018 and chief of staff for then-Senator Hegar from 2007-2014. She also worked in the Texas House of Representatives from 1989-2007. Lisa began her career as a tour guide at the State Capitol in 1986. Lisa has a Bachelor of Science degree in speech from the University of Texas at Austin. She serves as Comptroller Hegar’s appointee to the State Water Implementation Fund’s (SWIFT) advisory committee, is a board member for the Austin Club and an advisory council member for the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life in the Moody College of Communication at UT Austin. Lisa and her husband, Eric, are the proud parents of two daughters, Caroline and Elizabeth.


 

 

 

 

 


Blake Rodgers
Partner CPA Deloitte & Touche LLP

Blake Rodgers is a Partner in Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Audit & Assurance practice in Dallas, Texas. He has more than 18 years of experience in the state and local government industry, focusing on both financial statement and grant compliance audits. Blake served as a Practice Fellow at the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in Norwalk, Connecticut, from April 2012 to April 2014, as the project manager on the GAAP Hierarchy Project and assisted on the Fiduciary Responsibility Project. He also served as the GASB liaison to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee. Blake is a CPA in the State of Texas and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Association of Government Accountants, and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.


 

Kimberly Johnston
Partner, National Tax U.S. Energy Transition Leader, Ernst & Young, LLP

• Kimberly is a member of EY America’s Power & Utilities tax practice serving clients, industry groups, and regional teams throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico to deliver sustainable value for tax operations, regulatory proceedings, and investment growth plans.
• She has 25 years of energy sector experience in corporate tax, including experience leading tax efficient M&A strategies, legislative advocacy efforts, regulatory proceedings, audit settlement negotiations, tax operational effectiveness, and merger integration and divesture plans.
• Her areas of focus includes serving investor-owned utilities, independent power producers and midstream energy companies on tax policy, regulatory strategy, rate case proceedings, tax planning, due diligence on investment growth opportunities, and tax operations.
• Kimberly served as the Vice President of Tax of a Fortune 500 investor-owned utility, CenterPoint Energy, from 2011 to 2017 and was the Director of Tax of a Fortune 500 midstream energy company, Spectra Energy.
• Extensive knowledge of regulated electric and gas markets, including generation wholesale and competitive retail energy markets.
• Subject matter expert in FERC and state public utility commission rate case proceedings, including a major Texas energy deregulation case and FERC gas pipeline cases.
• Led federal and state advocacy efforts resulting in tax policy measures benefiting regulated utilities.
• Successfully executed major tax transformation initiatives streamlining processes, leveraging technology solutions, and optimizing tax organization to create sustainable permanent and cash tax savings.


 

Doug Baldessari
Partner, Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors

Doug's practice includes financial studies and projects for municipally owned water, sewage and stormwater utilities, public power. These projects often involve bond financing, financial analysis and determining utility revenue requirements, cost-of-service studies, asset management and financial planning associated with capital acquisition.


 

Steve Dawson
President CPA, CFE Dawson Forensic Group

Steve is the President of the Dawson Forensic Group and for over 35 years has performed forensic investigations, internal control design consulting, accounting records reconstruction, litigation support services, and forensic training services for various industries located throughout the United States. Mr. Dawson has and continues to work closely with the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the FBI, the Texas Rangers, and other state and federal regulatory agencies. His book “Internal Control/Anti-Fraud Program Design for the Small Business” was published through Wiley Business Publishing. He is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a degree in Accounting and holds a Certified Public Accountant certificate in Texas. He also holds a certificate as a Certified Fraud Examiner.


 

Eric Lister
Senior Manager, CIA, CISA, CFE A-LIGN

Eric is a Senior Manager for A-LIGN, a cyber security compliance firm and former Chief Audit Executive of a publicly traded oil and gas company. Eric has more than 10 years of experience in providing compliance solutions to accounting departments and IT departments and working as the liaison between the two.


 

Shelly Bass
Senior Attorney Atmos Energy Corporation

Shelly is a senior attorney in the legal department of Atmos Energy Corporation, headquartered in Dallas. Shelly works in the regulatory realm on rate matters, as well as safety compliance. She also supports Atmos Energy in legislative and policy issues.


 

Nana Hamilton VP-Senior Analyst Moody's Investors Service

Nana  is a Vice President – Senior Analyst in Moody’s Global Project & Infrastructure Finance Group. She is responsible for a portfolio of US-based regulated electric and gas utilities. Prior to joining Moody’s in August 2017, Nana was a Vice President in the Power & Utilities investment banking group at J.P. Morgan where she provided financial and advisory services to electric and natural gas distribution companies. Nana holds an M.B.A from Harvard Business School and a B.A. in Computer Science and Mathematics from Mount Holyoke College