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 34 years’ experience in developing and executing programs that have brought over $950 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 Lowery
Chris LoweryTreasurer

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.

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.

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Conseulo Capshaw, MBAAdvisor

Conseulo Capshaw is an experienced Electric Vehicle Service Equipment Sales Professional. Driven by reducing range anxiety, she takes pride in providing the best information on EV Charging Solutions. As an Executive Sales Manager, her goals include paving the way for the adoption of EV’s through the deployment and operation of EV charging infrastructure worldwide.

Chris Cox, PhDAdvisor
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 Curran, PhDAdvisor

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.

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Happy FoxAdvisor

Happy Fox has represented Alliance AutoGas, a division of Blossman Gas, since 2016. He covers a wide range of fleets with their Autogas Program. Happy’s territory is concentrated in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina. Since  his career with Alliance AutoGas, Happy has serviced and promoted propane Autogas as a clean, economical, domestically produced alternative to gasoline fleets. This includes review of fleet, vehicle conversion, infrastructure, refueling, training, and support, with the main focus to assist the fleet to operate a successful AutoGas Program. He is also involved with propane powered mowers and renewable propane. Happy – previously a PGA Golf Professional – has enjoyed the career changed to working with Alliance AutoGas and is glad to be a part of East Tennessee Clean Fuels.

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Mingzhou Jin, PhDAdvisor

Dr. Mingzhou Jin directs the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment (ISSE) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) and is a professor and the Associate Head at the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at UTK. He currently holds the John D. Tickle Professorship. His research interest includes sustainability, climate change, optimization, transportation and logistics, supply chain, additive and smart manufacturing, and energy efficiency. His research has been well sponsored with more than $9 million in grants and contracts from a board spectrum of federal, local government agencies and corporations. In addition, he has received multiple research, teaching and service awards from professional organizations, Tickle College of Engineering (TCE), and the University of Tennessee, including  2020 UTK Chancellor’s Research and Creative Achievement Award and 2020 TCE  Research Achieve Award. He also received TCE Teaching Fellow, Outstanding Advising, and Outstanding Service awards in the past five years. He is a fellow of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers. Before joining UT, he worked at Mississippi State University for 10 years, from 2002 to 2011.

East Tennessee Clean Fuels staff
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Jonathan G. OverlyCEO & Coalition Director

Jonathan is a life-long East Tennessean who truly enjoys meeting new people in fleets and businesses 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 fleets, businesses, nonprofits, and industry partners. 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 (GIVE LIFE).


  • Doing almost anything outdoors

  • Disc Golf

  • Can’t-catch-my-breath laughter

  • Australian and Argentinian merlots

  • Traveling and experiencing this beautiful planet


  • Canned asparagus

  • People who can’t laugh at themselves

  • Sweet white wines

  • Folks who don’t use their turn signals

  • Patchouli (straight)

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Daniel J. F. SiksayChief of Staff & Coalition Co-Director

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).


  • Dark and stormy stouts

  • Hiking with my dogs

  • Friendly philosophical debates

  • Self-reflexivity and critical thinking

  • Star Trek


  • Melons (they’re filler fruit!)

  • Apathy and defeatism

  • Criticism that hinders rather than helps

  • Bottled water

  • A world with no Star Trek

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Alex StrongDrive Electric Tennessee Coordinator

Alex is a born and raised Tennessean with an undergraduate degree in Ecology from the University of Tennessee and a Master’s in Natural Resource Management from Virginia Tech. She has a background in science education that drives her desire to promote equity in a more sustainable future. She spends her free time outside gardening or hiking in warm weather and inside cooking or learning how to crochet when the weather turns cold. She is excited to put her experience and professional skills into furthering the work of Drive Electric Tennessee.


  • Exploring Tennessee and learning about native plant species

  • Rain Storms

  • Craft Projects

  • Podcasts

  • Sharing meals with Friends/Family


  • Voice Notes

  • Pessimism

  • Surprise Parties

  • Sour Candy

  • Invasive Plants

chris black
Chris BlackDevelopment Officer

Born and raised in East Tennessee, Chris is a driven optimist with a penchant for transformative change. A graduate of The University of Tennessee and Liberty University, he serves as an extraordinary advocate for higher education. A lifelong scholar, Chris is incredibly well-versed in political science, public policy, and international law. An accomplished adventurer, Chris loves hiking and traveling in his spare time. As an older brother, he is dedicated to doing everything possible to ensure that future generations are afforded every opportunity to thrive in every aspect of life. It is this commitment that Chris holds the highest and it serves as one of his primary reasons for working as Tennessee Clean Fuels’ Development Officer. Ultimately, Chris believes that any problem can be solved when confronted with boundless optimism and an unparalleled work ethic. It is this belief that guides his activities as we work to build a robust coalition consisting of members in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Want to talk membership? Schedule a meeting!


  • Exploring Tennessee’s communities and the people who make them great

  • Political Advocacy & Outreach

  • Learning about emerging technologies

  • Saltwater Fishing

  • Anything Tennessee Orange or Carolina Blue


  • Cynicism

  • Rainy weekends

  • Having nothing to do/work on

  • Needless Bureaucracy and Red Tape

  • People with the inability and/or unwillingness to think “outside of the box”

Jennifer KiddSenior Project Manager

Jenni is a native of East Tennessee and a graduate of the University of Tennessee. She comes to ETCleanFuels with a wide array of professional experience and is happy to see all of her skills coming together in one place. Jenni is excited to be a part of the non-profit world and can’t wait to see what comes next!


  • Reading

  • Running

  • Cooking + Baking

  • Soccer (playing and watching)

  • Dogs


  • People who take themselves too seriously

  • Impatience

  • Mustard (keep it far away from me)

  • Reality television

  • Camping

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Lily LovingoodProject Manager

Lily’s experience as an environmental scientist sparked a passion in environmental justice. Her interest and dedication to environmental justice led her to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She received her MA in Sociology with a concentration in environmental sociology in 2022. Lily is eager to bring her environmental and social science expertise to the ETCleanFuels team. She looks forward to fortifying the efforts of the EMPOWER project. In her spare time, Lily can be found playing court volleyball, keeping too many plants alive, dancing while cooking, or whispering sweet nothings to her dog Milo.


  • Commuter biking

  • Mango sticky rice

  • Mutual aid

  • Dogs that carry oversized sticks with them on their walk

  • Curating playlists for every occasion imaginable


  • Baked beans

  • Dull cooking blades

  • Bootstrap ethos

  • Pseudoscience

  • Harm to the natural environment and all that inhabit it

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Darcy AyersProject Manager
Darcy is a Colorado native who has spent the better part of the last 20 years in East Tennessee. She graduated from UT Knoxville with a Bachelor’s in Anthropology, a minor in Geography, and a Master’s in Applied Sociology. Before joining the ETCleanFuels team in June 2023, she was Program Director at SEEED leading the Career Readiness Program and other workforce development bootcamps for young adults. Darcy is excited about the opportunity to continue serving her community through the pursuit of a just energy transition. Outside of work, you can find her always doing something for her rugby club, partaking in any and all mountain sports, or hanging out at home with the fam (her husband, dog, and cat).


  • Maps of any kind

  • Chaos gardening
  • Sitting on her front porch

  • Rugby (the sport, the community, all of it)

  • Star Wars


  • Not being able to see the mountains

  • Global warming

  • The lack of regional public transit in the South

  • Her inability to keep a houseplant alive (doesn’t stop her from trying!)
  • Short-sightedness

wesleigh wright
Wesleigh WrightCommunity Engagement Liaison
Wesleigh is a Tennessean by way of California and a graduate of the University of Tennessee Knoxville with a major in Geography and a minor in Philosophy. She joined the ETCleanFuels team as part of the Clean Cities Energy and Environmental Justice Initiative and is passionate about the essentialism of equity in a green future. When not at work she fills her time tending to her plants, getting lost outdoors, dancing in community, reading or writing, and trying to keep calm her two ferocious chihuahuas.


  • Exploring the planet

  • Being outside in the rain

  • Collecting things off the street (pretty sure I’m part magpie)

  • Amassing information

  • Physical and literary creative expression


  • Inconsideration and unkindness

  • Poorly laid out cities

  • Fruit flavored things that don’t taste like fruit

  • Voluntourism

  • When people confuse “geology” (the rocks one) and “geography” (the maps one)

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Marisa HigginsCommunications Assistant
Marisa’s love of storytelling led her to pursue multiple English degrees–a journey that ultimately taught her about community, belonging, and compassion. A lifelong learner, she is frenetic in her interests and blames a life of learning on her desire to try a little bit of everything. Marisa has worked as a dance teacher, tour guide, event planner, yoga teacher, lecturer, and writer, and she feels a deep need to bring groups of people together (especially over food and drink). After a decade in higher education, Marisa is excited about sharing the work of ETCF as a Communications Assistant. While not working, she enjoys perusing the library shelves for her next favorite read, dividing affection between her cat, Rory, and her Beagle mix, Rumi, and trying out new recipes with her husband.


  • New books

  • A competitive group fitness activity

  • Live theater

  • Cats

  • Therapeutic cleaning/organizing


  • Small Talk

  • Complacency

  • Student Loans

  • Victorian Literature

  • Noisy Neighbors

katie davis
Katie DavisEMPOWER Project Technical Assistant

Katie is from Cookeville, Tennessee and is a student at the University of Tennessee studying Civil and Environmental Engineering. They are passionate about sustainability and community advocacy. They love playing board games with family and friends, trying new coffees, and trying to convince their cats to dance with them to Lizzo.


  • Coffee

  • Podcasts

  • Cats

  • Board Games

  • Cult Classic Movies


  • Spiders

  • Cold Weather

  • Early Mornings

  • Cilantro

  • When the Subtitles Don’t Match the Dialogue

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Valerie FarmerProject Assistant

Valerie is a student at The University of Tennessee majoring in Sustainability. Her capstone project working with Drive Electric TN sparked her interest in electric energy as well as her passion for the environment and reducing human impact on the Earth. When not at work or school, you can find Valerie cuddling with her cat, Ollie, thrifting, or crafting.


  • Fruits & Veggies

  • Cats

  • Hiking

  • Cooking

  • Fashion shows


  • Being bored

  • Humidity

  • Driving long distances

  • Going to the movie theater

  • Busy work


Mailing Address

East Tennessee Clean Fuels
311 Conference Center Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-4134

Backup Mailing Address

East Tennessee Clean Fuels
University of Tennessee Conference Center
600 Henley Street, Suite 311
Knoxville, TN 37902

Physical Address

650 Locust Street
Knoxville, TN 37902
(Google map link)

Parking Lot Address

Locust Street Garage
540 Locust Street SW
Knoxville, TN 37902
(Google map link)