East Tennessee Clean Fuels history

east tennessee clean fuelsEast Tennessee Clean Fuels’ (ETCleanFuels) mission is to increase the use of cleaner American fuels and vehicles and energy-saving transportation technologies to improve air quality and health, curb dependence on imported petroleum and support Tennessee’s economy. More specifically, we work to implement alt fuel projects in East Tennessee, and work to make ETCleanFuels a sustainable coalition of involved participants from across East Tennessee.

ETCleanFuels is a designated coalition with the U.S. DOE Clean Cities Program, which resides within the Vehicle Technologies Program as part of the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) within DOE. Our designation ceremony was held on October 12, 2004 on the front lawn of the Headquarters for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, just next door to Sugarlands Visitor Center.

The Coalition covers 47 counties in East and Middle Tennessee, and together with its partner, Middle-West Tennessee Clean Fuels, covers the entirety of Tennessee with the aim of increasing alternative fuels adoption and awareness. Together, our two Coalitions operate as “Tennessee Clean Fuels,” which serves the entire state and is made up of the staff and board members of the two state coalitions.

We have a “Board of Directors & Advisors” and the coordinator/executive director (ED) and staff of the Coalition is accountable to them. ETCleanFuels operates as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. We maintain tax exempt status in Tennessee and provide a Corporate Annual Report and Charitable Solicitations report to the Secretary of State every year. The Coalition has a contract with the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK) for our full-time staff, and our offices are housed within UTK at the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment (ISSE), which is located in the UT Conference Center Building in downtown Knoxville.

Region Served

Counties served in Eastern half of TN:  Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, De Kalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, White

Note that ETCF staff help on projects and initiatives that are statewide – we work as a collaborative team.

East Tennessee Clean Fuels Board of Directors
Carla YorkPresident

Carla has over 29 years’ experience in developing and executing programs that have brought over $450 million in private and government investment to market in advanced transportation, and clean fuel and energy technologies in mobile and stationary applications. Carla has worked in positions of business development, sales, program management and federal relations. She was a member of the ETCleanFuels Board of Advisors when the Coalition received designation from the U.S. Department of Energy, and was a signatory to the Memorandum of Understanding which was signed on October 12, 2004 at the official ceremony held in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. York has a BA in Business Management and Business Administration.

Chris Wilson, Treasurer
Chris WilsonTreasurer

Chris Wilson is the Fleet Manager for Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB), a municipal utility serving Knox and parts of seven adjacent counties, which provides reliable electric, gas, water, and wastewater services to more than 444,000 customers. KUB’s fleet consists of more than 1,000 vehicles and pieces of equipment, and Wilson is responsible for two fleet garages, fleet purchases, fleet maintenance, and fuel purchasing and management. Government Fleet Magazine recognized KUB’s fleet as one of the 100 Best Fleets in the Americas four of the last five years. Wilson has more than 25 years of experience at KUB, he has served as President of the Utility Fleet Maintenance Association, and he is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, with a degree in Economics.

Jan Compton
Jan ComptonSecretary

Jan Compton is the Regional Director for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s (TDEC) Office of External Affairs serving the Johnson City region. With over 20  years of experience with the Department, she seeks to promote, acknowledge, and publicize environmental excellence in Tennessee. She serves as the commissioner’s regional leasison to increase customer focus for the department by offering assistance as external customers navigate the state’s vast resources and public participation opportunities. Jan is currently Chair of the Executive Planning Committee for the Tennessee Environmental Conference which has been a portal for displaying alternative fuel vehicles, offering ride and drive programs for attendees, engaging customers through exhibit booths, and scheduling timely presentations to promote alternative fuels and air quality. Jan has served on the board for the East Tennessee Clean Fuel Coalition for 4 years. She  graduated from East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Health and also completed her Master’s degree in the same program.

Jim Coker
Jim CokerAdvisor

Jim Coker is currently Director of Propane Applications for Propane Power Systems LLC. Jim has over 30 years’ experience in Propane Applications. This started back in the early 80’s when Jim ran a Nationwide contracting company that used state of the art propane Burnishers to polish and clean many major chains. Other major accomplishments was when he joined Onyx Environmental Solutions as President and Partner while introducing the First Commercial Propane Mower in 2004. To promote and support many looking into alternative fueled mowers, Jim joined Heritage Propane in 2009 and started the Metro Lawn Program to support many Cities and Municipals in Alternative Fueled Mowers. Jim worked with many organizations such as Clean Cities throughout the country and served on the PERC (Propane Education Research Committee) Board. In 2014, Jim joined R&R Products and started the Division Propane Power Systems LLC which introduced the First Golf & Turf Equipment running on propane powered engines. Now Propane Power Systems LLC is the Official Propane Conversions for Briggs & Stratton / Vanguard Engines. Propane Power Systems LLC provides Certified EPA and CARB Propane Engines to many manufactures that supplies different types of equipment around the world.

Chris CoxAdvisor
Chris Cox has been a faculty member at UT since 1991, teaching and conducting research in the area of Environmental Engineering. He previously served as the Director of the UT’s Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment (2011-2015) and as Associate Department Head (2008-2015). He is a faculty member in the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment, the Center for Environmental Biotechnology, the Institute for Biomedical Engineering and an adjunct professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Cox is a registered professional engineer in the State of Tennessee.
Scott CurranAdvisor

Dr. Scott Curran is the group leader for Fuels and Engines Research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory with laboratories located at the National Transportation Research Center. Curran is also a principal investigator on DOE funded research on advanced combustion and alternative fuel effects on combustion. He is also involved in multi-disciplinary science activities including advanced manufacturing, neutron sciences, well-to-wheels analysis for mobile and stationary power sources, and hybrid and electric vehicles. He is an active collaborator with DOE Clean Cities on public outreach and education around advanced vehicle technologies and alternative fuels. He is the Engine Combustion Committee Chair for SAE International and the distinguished member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and undergraduate research competition chair for the ASME Internal Combustion Engine Division. He is also an adjunct assistant professor in Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Tennessee- Knoxville.

Chris Lowery
Chris LoweryAdvisor

Chris Lowery is the Manager of Transportation for Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB), a municipal utility serving Knox and parts of seven adjacent counties, which provides reliable electric, gas, water, and wastewater services to more than 444,000 customers. KUB’s fleet consists of more than 1,000 vehicles and pieces of equipment, and Lowery is responsible for two fleet garages, fleet purchases, fleet maintenance, and fuel purchasing and management. Over the last several years, KUB’s fleet has received numerous awards including being recognized by Government Fleet Magazine as one of the 100 Best Fleets in the Americas.  Lowery has worked at KUB since 2006 serving in numerous roles in engineering, regulatory, and construction.  He earned his Mechanical Engineering degree from Clemson University by completing a dual degree program that started at Furman University.

East Tennessee Clean Fuels staff
Jonathan G. OverlyExecutive Director & Coordinator

Jonathan is a life-long East Tennessean who truly enjoys meeting new businesses and fleets and helping them discover alternative fuels and their ROI opportunities… and in solving problems. He says, “How often do you get to work on something that helps your community and country at the same time? This job is a blast!” Jonathan founded the coalition in 2002 with the support of many area businesses, organizations, nonprofits and research groups. If you ever ask him how he’s doing, expect to hear “Better than I Deserve” because he feels blessed by God and is genuinely happy to live and work in beautiful Tennessee… and has been the recipient of not one but two kidneys from other families through organ donation.

Likes

  • Doing almost anything outdoors

  • Billiards

  • Disc Golf

  • Australian and Argentinian merlots

  • Can’t-catch-my-breath laughter

Dislikes

  • Canned asparagus

  • People who can’t laugh at themselves

  • Gewürztraminer

  • Folks who don’t use their turn signals

  • Patchouli

Daniel J. F. SiksayChief Implementation Officer

Daniel is a transplant to East Tennessee; born in Canada, they moved south in 2016 and have come to admire the area’s mountains, culture, and history. Daniel is a problem solver with an eye for detail and a nose for creative solutions to difficult problems. They are an exuberant optimist about the future! They’re an experienced project manager and rhetorician, a digital media expert, and loves working with the passionate people on this team. In their spare time, you’ll find Daniel working in their gardens, hiking in the mountains, cooking, reading philosophy, or obsessively collecting fancy perfumes (their collection currently totals an embarrassing 120 bottles).

Likes

  • Dark and stormy stouts

  • Hiking with my dogs

  • Friendly philosophical debates

  • Self-reflexivity and critical thinking

  • Star Trek

Dislikes

  • Melons (they’re filler fruit!)

  • Apathy and defeatism

  • Criticism that hinders rather than helps

  • Bottled water

  • A world with no Star Trek

Headshot of Ainsley Kelso
Ainsley KelsoCommunications Coordinator

Ainsley is a graduate of the University of Tennessee Knoxville with a major in Journalism and Electronic Media and a minor in English. She joined the ETCleanFuels team as part of the Clean Cities University Workplace Development Program (CCUWDP) in June 2020 and now is a full-time employee. She is happy to put her research, writing and media management skills to good use. Outside of work, she is an avid concert goer, lover of dogs, listens to podcasts and is passionate about advocating for others and helping the world around her.

Likes

  • Bookstores

  • Jane Austen novels

  • Spending time with everyone’s animals

  • Taylor Swift

  • The heart-stopping first few minutes of a concert

Dislikes

  • Snakes

  • Mayonnaise

  • Insects

  • Sand

  • Immaturity

Sarah RothSpecial Projects Coordinator

Sarah in a recent graduate from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville with a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a minor in French. She is originally from the Midwest but is happy to call Oak Ridge, Tennessee her hometown. Sarah is working with ETCleanFuels as the Data Management Coordinator with additional responsibilities in website design, fiscal upkeep, and organizational administration. She enjoys research, data analysis, and science communication, especially when it is focused on conserving the wonderful environment around us. Outside of work, Sarah spends her time playing guitar, watercolor painting, and exploring the outdoors any way she can.

Likes

  • Hiking in the mountains

  • Coffee shops

  • French movies

  • Figuring out how many vegetables can fit into a quesadilla

  • The feeling of writing with a good pen

Dislikes

  • The feeling of bugspray

  • Excessive clutter

  • Shoes that hurt to walk in

  • Closed-mindedness

  • Crunchy cookies (gooey or nothing!)

Susan Fusaro Headshot
Susan FusaroFiscal and Membership Coordinator

Born and raised on Long Island, Susan is happy to call East Tennessee home.  She spent the last ten years in energy management on Long Island, working to track and reduce energy consumption; saving money, avoiding costs, and helping the environment along the way.  Susan is an experienced coordinator with a knack for wearing any and all the needed hats in the office.  She dwells in the polarity between endlessly idealistic and hopelessly practical… and she fully embraces that chaos!

Susan is thrilled to be a part of ETCleanFuels.  Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family.  The mountains still take her breath away.  She dreams of one day having a small piece of property with some chickens and raised-bed vegetable gardens (because she still hasn’t figured out exactly what to do with red clay!)

Likes

  • Thunderstorms

  • Learning new things

  • Words

  • Puzzles

  • Cara Cara oranges

Dislikes

  • Meanness

  • Food touching on my plate

  • Carbonated soft drinks

  • Adjectives

  • Cold, snow and wind

Addresses
Mailing Address Header

East Tennessee Clean Fuels
Institute for a Secure & Sustainable Environment
311 Conference Center Building
Knoxville, TN 37996

Physical Address Header

Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment
University of Tennessee Conference Center
600 Henley Street, Suite 311
Knoxville, TN 37902

Parking Lot Address Header

Locust Street Garage
540 Locust Street SW
Knoxville, TN 37902