Our Staff

VCE Staff

VCE’s day-to-day operations are overseen by an efficient, capable crew:

Mitch Sears

Executive Officer

Mitch is currently on loan to Valley Clean Energy from the City of Davis where he has worked for over 23 years. Since 2007, Mitch has served as the City’s Sustainability Manager. In this role he has led efforts to address climate change and community sustainability. Prior to 2007, Mitch spent 16 years managing Davis’ Agricultural Land Conservation Program, and 5 years as an urban planner. City of Davis projects Mitch has managed include:

  • The PVUSA expansion from 75kW to 10+MW
  • The City energy efficiency project (ESCo)
  • The PACE program (CaliforniaFirst, Ygrene, HERO)
  • The community electric vehicle charging system
  • The City’s involvement with Cool Davis, the Cool California Challenge, and the Cool Cities Challenge, including elements of the City’s community engagement planning program to shift behavior and reduce local energy use and GHG emissions.

Gordon Samuel

Assistant General Manager & Director of Power Resources

Gordon joined VCE in 2020 as the Assistant General Manager & Director of Power Resources responsible for acquiring a diverse supply of clean renewable resources. With 25+ years’ experience leading resource planning and acquisition, marketing and trading, and regulatory compliance, Gordon brings a wealth of experience to the VCE team. Prior to joining VCE, Gordon was with Marin Clean Energy and also spent 2 years with a start-up battery storage integrator company (Doosan GridTech) developing key relationships with investor-owned and public utilities, independent power producers (IPP), and electric cooperatives. The bulk of Gordon’s career was with Arizona Public Service Company (APS) where he had several roles including the procurement of numerous large-scale wind, PV and solar thermal projects.

Edward Burnham

Director of Finance & Internal Operations

Edward joined Valley Clean Energy in 2021 as Director of Finance & Internal Operations responsible for oversight of finance and accounting as well as the treasury, enterprise risk, information technology, and audits.  Prior to joining VCE, Edward served with the County of Yolo as the Manager overseeing Revenues, Treasury, and Finance activities. Additionally, Edward served international postings from 2005 to 2017 in various financial positions, including responsibility for all country financial activities in China, UK, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, and the West Africa region for the Energy Sector. Edward holds a BBA in International Business from Stephen F. Austin State University, an MBA from Rutgers University as well as studies in Spanish and Mandarin.  He is currently completing his CPA license with the California State Board of Accountancy. Edward remains actively involved with various finance professional associations, most recently serving on the Board of Financial Executives International Sacramento Chapter and Chair for Sacramento Chapter of Financial Executives Network Group.  

Rebecca Boyles

Director of Customer Care & Marketing

Rebecca joined Valley Clean Energy in 2020 after spending 4 years in progressively responsible positions in customer care and billing operations at Marin Clean Energy (MCE) in Marin County. Her leadership experience includes chairing the Billing Operations and Customer Care Committee for CalCCA, as well as leading the Social Media Communications team at the Women's Environmental Network. Prior to working in the utilities sector, Rebecca focused on stakeholder engagement at Future 500, a non-profit that advises Fortune 500 companies on issues such as changing their global paper procurement policies to be more environmentally friendly, or working with mining and energy companies on community relations. Rebecca holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School.

Jim Parks

Manager, Key Accounts

Jim has almost 30 years’ experience in the utility industry, first as a consultant, then with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), with progressively responsible positions including energy efficiency, demand response, low-income programs, grid modernization, transmission planning, R&D, smart grid, marketing, and customer care. His experience includes developing customer programs and managing business relationships with commercial, industrial, agricultural and government customers.

Alisa Lembke

Board Clerk / Administrative Analyst

Alisa brings over 30 years of customer service, budgeting and administrative skills to Valley Clean Energy. For the past 15 years, she worked for Inyo County in a variety of departments, including Probation, Public Works, County Administrator’s Office, and the Yucca Mountain Repository office within the Planning Department. Alisa worked in the private sector for The Ritz Carlton Hotel, as a Property Manager, and as an Executive Assistant/Administrative Manager for a small insurance company. She comes to Yolo County by way of Bishop, CA and was hired as Valley Clean Energy’s first full-time employee.

Sierra Huffman

Program & Community Engagement Analyst

Sierra joined VCE in November 2021, to develop and implement programs, maintain stakeholder relations, open avenues for community engagement, and utilize analytical methodologies to inform and educate.   Prior to joining VCE, Sierra spent nearly two years working in Community Choice agencies, where she assisted in the development of two CCA pilot programs, a local government solar program and a virtual power plant program. Her analytical experience stems from her work creating greenhouse gas reduction measures for Humboldt County’s Climate Action Plan and establishing long term planning goals for Redwood Coast Energy Authority’s Repower+. Much of Sierra’s work has focused on energy prices/rates, electric vehicle adoption, rooftop solar installations, and gas appliance retrofits. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology from Humboldt State University and is certified as a LEED Green Associate.