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Meet Your Pioneer Staff

Leadership Team

Don manages Pioneer’s day-to-day operations and steers the organization as a whole. In his spare time, you’ll find Don exploring the richness and diversity of Placer and El Dorado counties. Don, a self-proclaimed history buff, finds “this region to be one of California’s greatest places to discover the past.”

Sam brings more than 25 years of experience in the areas of energy commodity portfolio planning, transaction structuring, energy procurement and risk management to his role as COO of Pioneer Community Energy, with additional experience in renewable and conventional power project development. Before joining Pioneer, Sam spent many years as an executive for both PG&E and Pacific Energy Advisors, performing portfolio resource planning, transaction structuring, energy procurement and risk management in the areas of renewable energy, energy storage and distributed energy resources. Sam likes to stay busy on his time off and enjoys golf, tennis, SCUBA diving and eating all kinds of food.

Brad oversees Pioneer’s business administration, budget and rate-setting components. He has called the foothills and mountains of the Sierras home for his entire adult life, making his go-to activities of hiking and kayaking easy to enjoy right in his own backyard.

Gina brings more than two decades of experience working on energy-related issues, having worked on some of California’s most pressing initiatives. She brings a history of success communicating with diverse stakeholders and knows how to clearly articulate technical, often sensitive, information. Gina previously was a Vice President at a statewide public affairs firm, served as the Media Relations Manager for the California Lottery, and spent several years working in broadcast and print media. 

Pioneer Team

Paige works collaboratively with staff, committee members, and the Board to create and implement programs for all of Pioneer’s customers. She has a degree in Environmental Studies and brings years of program and communication experience to Pioneer. During her free time, she enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, and baking.   

Lisa is the Community Outreach Manager at Pioneer, leveraging her extensive background in public relations, communications, community relations, marketing and advertising. With more than 20 years of experience as a director of public relations and marketing in higher education, she has a strong background serving diverse, local communities. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and playing pickleball.

Eric supports Pioneer in a variety of financial functions including budgeting, contract administration, power settlements and accounts payable/receivable oversight. Eric enjoys hiking, backpacking, learning new music, tackling DIY projects and spending time with family and friends.

Steve manages the critical area of information technology and facilities at Pioneer. In his free time, Steve plays golf, mountain bikes and coaches local youth baseball, softball and soccer teams. He also serves his community as a volunteer board member on various sports commissions.

I have 6 years of experience in the solar industry as project coordinator and manager, specifically for residential and agricultural systems. In my free time I enjoy gardening, cooking, and spending time outdoors with my family. I also try to make time for my creative passion: watercolor and mural painting.

Kelly joins Pioneer with more than a decade of experience with local utilities in the Sierra Nevada region, and over two decades of customer experience skills to provide friendly and informative communication to co-workers and customers. Kelly is a student of personal growth, mindfulness, and meditation. She enjoys reading, spending time with her friends and family, and trivia. One of her top personality strengths is appreciation of beauty and excellence, which is why she is so drawn to the Sierra Foothills. Kelly’s life motto: Bloom where you are planted.

As one of Pioneer’s Communications Coordinators, Taylor is an integral part of the marketing, public relations, and outreach teams. She specializes in content writing and digital media, bringing experience in the communications and legal fields from her time at UC Davis, where she received a degree in Communication. In her free time, Taylor prioritizes spending time with her family and friends, traveling , and perfecting her chocolate chip cookie recipe.

As a communications coordinator, Jake supports the public affairs and marketing teams at Pioneer. With a bachelor’s degree from CSU – Sacramento in Public Relations, plus work experience in marketing, communications, and public affairs, he looks to add value to the ongoing development and execution of Pioneer’s communication and outreach plan. Outside of work, Jake enjoys golfing, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Nick Yurashku is the Manager of Quantitative Analysis and Modeling. He holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from UC Davis and is pursuing a Master’s in Applied Data Science from Syracuse University. With a passion for machine learning, data, and software development, Nick has experience building machine learning models and developing robust data systems across various industries, including tech and medicine, and now, energy. Outside of work, Nick loves to cook and is a coffee enthusiast. He looks forward to leveraging his skills to drive data-driven decisions and contribute to the Pioneer’s success.

Devin brings his skills in economic forecasting and energy trading to Pioneer. He procures renewable and conventional energy, manages resource adequacy and related products. Through his analysis of portfolio risk and value related to power generation, load forecasts and scheduling, Devin develops hedging strategies which support Pioneer’s reliable and affordable energy solutions. An avid golfer and snowboarder, Devin also enjoys hiking and the other outdoor activities the region has to offer.

Chau Pham is the Legislative and Regulatory Policy Analyst. She holds an undergraduate degree in International Business from UC San Diego and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from UCSD’s School of Global Policy and Strategy. With a passion for sustainability, she focused her graduate research on climate and energy policy for sustainable development. Prior to Pioneer, she served as a consultant for Sempra Energy, helping them strengthen their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices by crafting a comprehensive market analysis and strategic policy recommendations. In her free time, Chau loves to be active outdoors and simply reading a good book. She is excited to leverage her skills and background in policy analysis and community engagement to help Pioneer advocate for policies that protect the communities we serve. 

Colleen enjoys her role as a Financial & Administrative Analyst with Pioneer Community Energy along with providing a positive interaction with our local communities and its neighbors.  She has two values that she strives to maintain, “treat others the way you would want to be treated” and show “human kindness”.  When not working, Colleen enjoys gardening and spending time with her feline friends as an animal advocate that supports the local SPCA.

As a Master Municipal Clerk and the first Board Clerk & Executive Assistant at Pioneer Community Energy, Teresa brings her knowledge and experience to all clerk-related aspects of Pioneer, its Governing Board, and various committees. Teresa holds faith and family in high priority; enjoys the beauty and serenity found on the trail and at the water’s edge, and looks forward to adventurous travel opportunities.

Your comments, concerns and inquiries are important to Pioneer Community Energy. We look forward to responding during normal business hours Mon–Friday, 8 am – 5 pm.

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