The CRES Team
Heather Reams, Executive Director
Heather Reams is the Executive Director of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) a right-of center non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. that engages policymakers and the public about responsible, conservative solutions to address our nation’s energy, economic, and environmental security while increasing America’s competitive edge. Heather leads the talented CRES team and oversees core activities of the organization, ensuring the successful expansion of conservative clean energy policies across the nation. She is a frequent commentator on the politics and policy of clean energy and the environment, and has been featured in The Hill, Washington Examiner, Morning Consult, Politico, Time, E&E News, Real Clear Energy and Utility Dive, among others. Heather serves as Chair of National Clean Energy Week and is on the board of directors for the American Conservative Coalition.
Heather is a 25-year veteran in strategic communications, public affairs, and advocacy and has held a number of senior nonprofit positions. Prior to her non-profit work, she spent a decade working for DC-based public affairs firms focused on strategic and crisis communications. She started her career as a staffer working for Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) and Congressman Gerald Weller (R-IL11), and as an intern for Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA) while pursuing her degree. A graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in Political Science, Heather is active in Republican local and state affairs in her home state of Virginia.
Brandon Audap, Vice President of Government Relations
Brandon comes to the CRES team with 15 years of experience working on both sides of the aisle to advance renewable energy and energy efficiency policy, most recently serving as Director of Federal Affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). He has also directed political research projects in support of preserving the American Dream while promoting lower taxes for all Americans, advocated on behalf of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and the family business community, and served on the tax and energy policy teams in the government affairs practice at an international law firm. Earlier, he started on Capitol Hill working on the majority tax staff at the House Committee on Ways and Means for then-Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA). He holds an M.P.A. from The George Washington University and a B.A. in Public Administration from California State University, Bakersfield.
Charles Hernick, Director of Policy and Advocacy
Charles Hernick is the Director of Policy and Advocacy at Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) in Washington DC. Charles leads CRES Forum’s policy work and executes strategies to advance clean energy solutions and innovative approaches to reducing carbon emissions.
Charles is an energy expert who understands emerging clean technologies, market barriers, and policies and regulations. For over a decade he has worked at the crossroads of economic development, energy, and natural resource management across the U.S. and on the ground in over a dozen countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Before joining CRES, he advised executive-level decision-makers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Agency for International Development on energy and environmental issues, and identified project-level opportunities for clean energy expansion.
He is also a climate change expert who has integrated climate change considerations into U.S. government programs and policies and has authored climate mitigation and adaptation best practice guidelines for over a dozen development sectors.
Charles was the Republican candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District in the November 2016 election. He routinely advises candidates seeking public office on energy and economic growth.
He is a frequent guest on radio shows and webcasts, in university classrooms, and at international workshops to discuss clean energy and associated economic, national security, and environmental issues. He conducts interviews in English or Spanish.
Charles as an M.A. in International Relations and Environmental Policy from Boston University and a B.S. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior from the University of Minnesota.
Larissa Fair, Director of Communications
Larissa is a seasoned communications and marketing strategist with over fifteen years of experience in digital media, corporate communications, and public relations. She has worked with technology companies, NGOs, and consulting agencies to launch integrated marketing campaigns and programs. She is a respected leader with a robust range of marketing expertise, diverse industry experience, and proven success in startup and rapid growth companies.
At CRES, Larissa is focused on communications and outreach strategies to support CRES and CRES Forum’s overall message and mission. Prior to joining CRES, Larissa led marketing efforts in the medical device industry, cybersecurity and IT industry, and launched digital programs to drive message and action for the International Republican Institute (IRI), focused on spreading democracy worldwide. She has generated awareness and messaging for company brands and established activities to engage varied stakeholder groups into action. Larissa began her career working for government consulting and media relations firm Westin Rinehart Group, which was later acquired by BGR Group in 2008.
Previously, Larissa has held senior marketing positions leading public relations, social media, events, and corporate branding and messaging efforts. Larissa earned her degree from Radford University in Communications and Public Relations with a minor in Political Science. She served as President of the Washington, D.C. chapter of Social Media Club (SMC-DC) from 2007-2011 where she led a team of over 20 volunteers to educate businesses, nonprofits, and government leaders in best practices for social media. She currently lives in Maryland with her husband and young daughter.
Colin Finnegan, Coalitions Manager
Colin joins CRES, previously serving as Associate Communications and Outreach Manager at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute where he supported the Institute’s external communications as well as the development and implementation of public affairs strategies. He began his career in the strategic communications industry at DCI Group in Washington D.C., where he began specializing in energy policy. Colin graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in International Studies and is originally from Massachusetts.
Former Senator Kelly Ayotte, Senior Advisor
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010 and served until 2017, where she was ranked as one of the most bipartisan senators working across party lines to find solutions to our nation’s biggest challenges. During her tenure in the Senate, Ayotte served on the Senate Budget, Commerce, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Armed Services, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Aging Committees. She chaired the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and the Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation Operations. Previously, she served as New Hampshire’s first female Attorney General, first appointed by a Republican governor and twice reappointed by a Democratic governor. She also served as deputy attorney general, chief of the homicide prosecution unit, and as legal counsel to Governor Craig Benson. She currently is a Senior Advisor to Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions and serves on the boards of The Blackstone Group, Caterpillar, News Corp, BAE Systems, Boston Properties, Blink Health and Bloom Energy. She also serves on the advisory boards of Microsoft, Chubb Insurance and Cirtronics, as well as a number of non-profit boards.
The CRES Board
James Dozier, President of the Board
James brings a wealth of Republican grassroots organizing, advocacy, and political experience to Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES). James has led CRES since 2013 and in that time, he has focused on growing conservative support for clean energy solutions to enhance our nation’s economic, energy, and environmental security. This work has included building out robust political and advocacy operations that have supported Republican clean energy champions in the House and Senate.
Liz Feld, CRES Board
Liz Feld is the former president of Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. She previously served as the Republican mayor of the Village of Larchmont in New York’s Hudson Valley from 2006-2012. Liz also served as a public affairs specialist in the White House Office of Management and Budget under President Reagan from 1984 – 1986 and as assistant to the press secretary for Vice President George H.W. Bush from 1986 – 1987.
Jason Kauppi, CRES Board
Jason Kauppi is a communications strategist specializing in public policy, news media relations and crisis management. Jason is a former spokesman for Republican Governors Paul Cellucci and Jane Swift of Massachusetts.
Louie Kerbici, CRES board
Louie is a founding CRES board member and currently serves as treasurer. He has previously worked as a financial service project manager at Fidelity, Allmerica Financial, and John Hancock for 15 years.
The CRES Government Relations Team
Gina Mahony, Legislative Director
Gina Mahony brings 20 years of experience working with members of Congress, federal agencies, and the White House to advance the interests of her clients. Most recently, Gina has focused her work on education reform issues, with particular expertise in charter schools, and the intersection of politics and education policy.
Gina worked for 11 years on Capitol Hill and specialized in education, telecommunications, financial services and trade policy and legislation. She played a prominent role in the consideration of the Charter School Expansion Act of 1998, the reauthorization of the Head Start program, No Child Left Behind, and the Higher Education Act.
Brian Sailer, State Engagement
Brian co-founded and serves as Partner of Flywheel Government Solutions. Brian provides clients with broad industry domain expertise, and strong relationships at the federal, state and local levels. Brian works with Federal officials & Congress, Governors, State Agency officials, State CIOs, Homeland Security Advisors & Emergency Mangers, among others. Brian’s comprehensive understanding of the state and federal intergovernmental affairs and policy and funding processes, appropriations and grants, as well as federal and state procurement and acquisition processes is significant. Brian helps clients successfully understand and align operational and functional requirements with private sector solutions, achieving common goals. Brian has successfully helped clients at the federal and state level secure contracts, develop operational demonstrations and pilots, and bring innovative and transformational technology and platforms to the market to support government customers.
Dan McFaul, Administration Engagement
Dan McFaul has been involved with more than 30 federal, state, and local campaigns in the last two decades, including races for Congress, U.S. Senate, and Governor, as well as Presidential campaigns. He served as campaign manager to Congressman Joe Scarborough in 1996 and 2000. In 1998, he worked as a Senior Field Analyst for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and consulted on eight Congressional campaigns in the Southeast and Ohio River Valley.
Dan served on the staff of U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough of Florida from 1997-2001, rising to the position of Legislative Director. He became the Chief of Staff and Communications Director for Congressman Jeff Miller on Oct. 16th 2001, when Miller was sworn into office. Prior to Miller’s election, Dan was Miller’s campaign manager during the 2001 special election cycle.
Dan was a member of the Presidential Transition Team for then President-elect Donald J. Trump. In this capacity, Dan worked on the Appointments Team responsible for recruiting and vetting potential appointees to the incoming Administration, specifically for the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Armed Services, and the Intelligence community.
Most recently, Dan served as the Chief of Staff for Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida.
A native of Pensacola, Dan graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Relations. He later completed a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the University of West Florida. Dan lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Jessica, and their two children.
The CRES Pollster
Conor Maguire, CRES pollster
Conor is a campaign operative who has spent the last three cycles harnessing the power of data and analytics to propel republican candidates to general election victories. Conor previously worked at the Republican National Committee where he was a part of winning majority in the House in 2010, majority in the Senate in 2014, and taking back the White House in 2016. Conor has also worked directly on campaigns in Colorado, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, and Washington DC. Conor attended Villanova University where he studied marketing and finance. In his downtime Conor enjoys riding his motorcycle and playing golf where he pretends he knows how to hit a power fade.