Executive Team

The executive team officers are full-time MBA students, elected by our peers in the McCombs MBA program. To connect with the group, to recruit Texas MBA’s for projects, internships or full-time roles, to host career treks for students, or to learn more, please contact us at our emails listed below, at cleantechgroup@mccombs.utexas.edu, or through our faculty advisor John C. Butler, PhD.

Class of 2022

Reena Birch Fram

President

reena.fram@mba.utexas.edu

Reena is a California native who received her B.A. in Political Science and German from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After graduation, she moved to San Francisco and spent three years as a Senior Program Associate at the Energy Foundation, a clean energy grantmaking organization, focused on renewable energy and grid integration. Looking to deepen her industry knowledge, Reena enrolled in a dual MBA and Master of Public Affairs degree program at UT. During her time in the program, she has interned with the City of Austin’s Department of Transportation assessing the community impact of an entertainment street closure, with Walmart’s energy services team analyzing financial implications of EV charging infrastructure policies, and with Sunsign studying the market potential for distributed wind.

Reena will be completing a Cleantech Fellowship with Electrify America, a leading electric vehicle charging company. Ever seeking opportunities to connect with other energy enthusiasts, she is the Vice Chair of the UT Longhorn Energy Club and the Vice President of Finance for the San Francisco chapter of Young Professionals in Energy.

Wes Straker

Vice President (Finance)

william.straker@mba.utexas.edu

Wes grew up in Columbus, OH and earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University in 2013. After graduating, he went on to work for Raytheon Technologies in Winston Salem, NC as project engineer in the commercial aerospace industry. Inspired by the momentous shift in clean energy adoption, he joined the McCombs Class of 2022 in pursuit of a project management career in the renewables sector.

In the MBA program, Wes has focused on learning about exciting facets of the energy space through a concentrated curriculum and by participating in clean tech case competitions. He will be joining the Austin Technology Incubator for a CleanTech Fellowship to support their portfolio company pipeline vetting and work directly with a sustainability startup to prepare their go to market strategy and competitive analysis. An avid soccer player and hiker, he is also a member of the Soccer Club and Graduate Business Adventure Team.

Ariel Carpenter

Co-Vice President (Careers)

ariel.carpenter@mba.utexas.edu

Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Ariel earned a B.A. in Environmental Science from Boston University. For six years post-grad, Ariel worked for the City of San Jose, CA on energy efficiency programs and energy policy. Most notably, Ariel led the development of the City’s first regulation—an energy and water benchmarking and performance ordinance—stemming from their newly adopted Climate Action Plan. Ariel has extensive experience in project planning and implementation, as well as stakeholder engagement.

While at McCombs, Ariel has been actively involved in both the CleanTech Club and the Graduate Consulting Business Club. Ariel is passionate about the energy industry, and her years of service inspired her to continue a career in energy and utilities strategy. Her personal and professional goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with power generation, improve grid reliability, and ensure equity of service to customers and communities.

Jose Mendez

Co-Vice President (Careers)

jose.mendez@mba.utexas.edu

Jose is originally from New York and graduated from Brown University in Providence, RI in 2014 with a degree in Applied Mathematics-Economics. Pre-MBA, he spent six years at Moody’s Investors Service in New York City as an analyst covering an $11 billion portfolio of infrastructure and project finance credits and writing over 20 research reports on airports, merchant natural gas power projects and other trends in the power industry.

Now at McCombs pursuing a full-time MBA, Jose is concentrating in CleanTech and Finance to transition into power and renewables investment banking career. He is also a Reaching Out MBA Fellow, a member of the Consortium Graduate Study in Management and the McCombs Ambassador Club.

This summer, Jose will be returning to New York in a summer associate at Bank of America on the power/utilities team within the Natural Resources Group. He is also interning this spring in a multi-functional role across the development, origination and project finance divisions at Recurrent Energy LLC, a solar and storage developer and subsidiary of Canadian Solar.

Travis Cook

Co-Vice President (CleanTech Fellows)

travis.cook@mba.utexas.edu

A Texas native, Travis received his BBA in Finance from Texas A&M in 2012. He started his career in commercial banking in Houston as a credit analyst. Climate change became a driving force for him in 2017 when Hurricane Harvey (the second “100-year storm” to hit Houston that year) forced him to close his restaurant business. It was an eye-opening experience, one that sparked a passion that would radically alter his career path. The more he read about the immediate and long-term effects of climate change, the more he knew he wanted to make an impact in the energy transition. He decided to attend an MBA program with a strong climate focus to retool and direct his career towards solving the climate crisis.

While at McCombs, Travis has pursued opportunities in cleantech and sustainability. He has competed with his classmates in three national cleantech case competitions, winning the Tepper CleanTech Case Competition and advancing to the finals in the Tuck Renewable Energy Finance Challenge. He also worked with Electrify America researching EV charging market trends and infrastructure for his MBA+ project.

Travis is spending his CleanTech Fellowship in the spring with 8minute Solar Energy, and looks to pursue a career in renewable energy development upon graduation. In his free time, Travis loves cooking, road cycling, hiking, and spending time with his wife Taylor, daughter Leigh, and dogs Hank and Becker.

Chase Douglas

Co-Vice President (CleanTech Fellows)

chase.douglas@mba.utexas.edu

Chase is originally from Raleigh, North Carolina. He earned his B.A. in Environmental Studies at Washington and Lee University. After graduation, he moved to Chicago to work in product marketing at Newell Brands before wanting to pivot into the environmental industry. This led Chase to Denver where he worked in the environmental remediation industry for the last four years. During this time, Chase led teams all over the western United States investigating groundwater contamination and helping clients create cost effective remediation plans.

While at McCombs, Chase is pursuing concentrations in Clean Tech and Finance, and plans to transition into a career in renewable energy development. Chase has completed an MBA+ project with SunSign Services, where he worked on a go-to-market strategy for a new distributed wind technology.  Chase is currently a Board Fellow with Fruitful Commons, an Austin based community garden non-profit, and a Clean Tech Fellow with the Austin Technology Incubator where he is helping develop a business model for a mobility start up.

Alex Giarratano

Vice President (Education)

alex.giarratano@mba.utexas.edu

Alex grew up on Long Island, New York and received two degrees in electrical engineering with specializations in power systems from Clarkson University in upstate New York. After graduation, Alex moved to Austin, TX to work for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) in their Engineer Development Program. After completing the program, Alex worked in ERCOT’s operations department and focused on the implementation of reliability standards, analysis of system performance, procurement of ancillary services, and the management of the pilot energy storage program. Alex then worked on ERCOT’s market analysis team and supported the development of the Real-Time Co-Optimization market redesign.

Alex enrolled in the full-time MBA at McCombs and is concentrating in CleanTech and Energy Finance with the hope of leveraging his prior experience in the energy industry to transition to a career in renewable energy investment banking. In addition to his role in the CleanTech Group, Alex is a member of the McCombs Ambassador Committee, Energy Finance Group, Graduate Business Adventure Team, and the Graduate Wine Club. In the spring of his first year, Alex will be working as a CleanTech Fellow at Broad Reach Power, an energy storage developer based out of Houston, TX.

Anand Mishra

Vice President (Communications)

anand.mishra@mba.utexas.edu

Anand graduated with a B.Tech in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from NIT Trichy in 2011. He has almost a decade long career with a Fortune 500 energy company in India while working on both conventional and clean energy projects across diverse functions like maintenance, project management, procurement & strategy. Outside his professional life, he leveraged his skills to conceptualize and solve electricity needs for an NGO by setting up an off-grid solar pv system.

Here at McCombs, he assisted a leading consulting firm develop a go-to-market strategy in the clean energy space. He is also learning about best practices across industries to develop reliable, affordable and sustainable solutions for a carbon-neutral future for all. He loves outdoor activities like hiking, running half marathons and exploring new places, which he documents through his travel blog. He is part of the Graduate Consulting Club and Graduate Business Adventure Team at McCombs. Anand will be completing his Cleantech Fellowship with the Environmental Defense Fund in spring 2021.

Upon graduation, he intends to continue his endeavors for a sustainable future by joining a clean-tech focused firm.

Sean Corcoran

Vice President (Social Engagement)

sean.corcoran@mba.utexas.edu

After growing up in Southeast Michigan, Sean attended the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, earning a dual BS/BSE in mechanical engineering and economics. During his undergraduate studies, Sean discovered a passion for the energy transition, choosing to pursue a career concentrating on the issue at the intersection of technology, policy, and economics.

After graduation, Sean worked in regulatory energy policy in Washington D.C. for the consulting firm Navigant, where he served the US Department of Energy to manage and administer the federal energy efficiency standards program. While he enjoyed this work at the interface of policy and industry, Sean hoped to interact with the energy infrastructure system in a more direct and impactful way, prompting his return to graduate school.

Sean is now pursuing a dual MS/MBA at the University of Texas at Austin, completing his M.S. in an interdisciplinary energy studies program called Energy and Earth Resources. Through his master’s research, Sean has studied macro-level power system investment trends during his time at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, as well as investigated project-level financial modeling for emerging energy technologies including battery storage, electric vehicle charging, and carbon capture & storage. Through his MBA at McCombs, Sean is concentrating in CleanTech and Energy Finance, hoping to ultimately transition into a career in renewable energy investment banking or project development. Sean is a member of the CleanTech Group, the Graduate Business Adventure Team, the Graduate Consulting Group, and the Energy Finance Group. In the Spring of 2021, Sean will be completing his CleanTech Fellowship at 7X Energy, a utility-scale solar and storage developer based in Austin, Texas.

 

To view the executive teams from previous years, please visit ‘CleanTech Alumni‘ webpage.

Demos

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