Vista Energy Group's experts have been assisting many entities in addressing and resolving energy-related issues for decades. Our collective clients include everything from household-name corporations; domestic and international businesses; federal, state, and local governments; foreign governments; major and local universities and colleges; financial and research institutions; industry advocacy groups; training firms; publishers; energy utilities; software developers; and, energy regulatory agencies, among others.


Our core team of experts is presented below. In addition to those presented, we also have a broad network of consultant relationships that we are able to bring to bear when specific areas of know-how are required. We pride ourselves on precisely identifying and targeting your needs and bringing the specific, high-caliber expertise to your engagement in a distinctly cost-effective manner. Resumes provided on request.

Dr. John N. O’Brien

John has over forty years of experience in the energy business. He has advised numerous clients on complex energy regulatory issues facing the private sector and government in today’s national and global economy. He is a leading expert in the fields of renewable energy, solid state lighting, electricity and natural gas markets, climate change policy, nuclear technology regulation, hydraulic fracturing, and oil sands and oil shale production. He has advised clients on federal and state compliance issues, business strategies, financing options, investment banking, patent law and project development including complex feasibility assessments. John has also provided expert subject matter and witness litigation services in numerous energy and securities related cases and has a strong understanding of state and federal judicial procedure. He was a Commissioner on the Florida Energy Commission and is on the Public Administration faculty at Flagler College. He worked at Global Change Associates, Skipping Stone, founded and grew several energy marketing companies and for 10 years was a Full Scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory.


Ph.D. and M.A., Public Administration, Maxwell School of Public Affairs and Citizenship, Syracuse University

B.A., Chemistry, Syracuse University

Dr. O'Brien's Jobs Proposal

Dr. Lori Smith Schell

Lori has over 25 years of experience in energy markets and related regulatory analysis. She has deep experience in the performance of integrated analysis of emerging and renewable energy technologies, fuel use and related emissions, specializing particularly in quantification of associated costs and benefits. She has provided advice on district heating systems and energy-efficient combined heat and power solutions for large industrial firms, universities, governmental agencies, and municipalities. Lori has also systematized taxonomies of the hedging of electricity sales and natural gas purchases for major generation operating units supported by in-depth commodity market and commodity contract analyses. She also has extensive experience in aggregating and valuing emissions allowances into an overall corporate portfolio and has deep skills in quantitative market and regulatory analysis involving integration of in-depth energy industry knowledge and quantitative data using Excel, ACCESS, and MATLAB, among other tools. Lori has provided expert litigation support services in natural gas and electricity regulatory and litigation proceedings. She has worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Trigen, Air Products and Chemicals, Benjamin Schlesinger and Associates, and US DOE.


Ph.D., Mineral Economics and Operational Research, Pennsylvania State University

B.A., Economics, University of Washington

Certified Energy Risk Professional (ERP) – Global Association of Risk Professionals

Senior Fellow and Past President, U.S. Association for Energy Economics

Philip O. Moor, P.E.

Philip has over 35 years of experience in the power industry and has been involved with development, design, engineering, construction, operation, and decommissioning of various nuclear and conventional generating facilities. He is active in industry programs that are preparing for new reactor nuclear facilities and is familiar with all nuclear technologies He is experienced with US NRC and international regulations and requirements. He has managed completion of engineering, operational support, and decommissioning projects for large and small energy facilities including ELG and CCR compliance at coal facilities. With nearly 20 years in responsible positions for utility owners and licensees, he has a thorough understanding of regulatory and policy issues balanced with extensive EPC experience and constructability/maintainability issues. He has worked at High Bridge Associates, Tetra Tech, Burns and Roe, ABB Equity Ventures, Polestar, GPU, General Physics, BOC Group and Jersey Central Power and Light.


M.S., Engineering Management, New Jersey Institute of Technology

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Registered Professional Engineer

Stephen B. Traicoff

Steve has over 30 years of management consulting and policy experience involving refined products, petrochemical, energy, risk management, project finance, investment banking, commercial trading, structured finance, project engineering, facility operations, energy markets infrastructure and environmental policy and markets, among others. He is experienced in negotiating and analyzing structured, negotiated and closed multiyear derivative, equity and debt restructuring transactions. He has provided advice including substantial feasibility assessments, capital formulation processes and merger and acquisition strategies to a diverse set of clients. Steve has also provided expert subject matter and witness litigation support services in over 20 energy-related judicial and arbitration cases involving over $2 billion in controversy. He has worked at Enron, Atlantic Richfield, Lyondell Petroleum, Arco Chemical and BASF.


B.S., Chemical Engineering, Ohio State University

SEC/NASD Series 7 and Series 63 Certifications (1997-2001)

Maureen Mulligan

Maureen has a very strong background in solar energy policy and development. She has worked for the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association, PASEIA Division, and the Solar Energy Industries Association as a Pennsylvania lobbyist and government relations advisor. Her background in academics includes course development and teaching of solar energy policy at Pennsylvania State University’s Graduate School of Engineering.  She was also a Founding Member and Policy Director of the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance. She also served as Chief of Community Relations for the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.


M.A., Government Administration and Fels Leadership Scholar, University of Pennsylvania

B.S., Education, Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Joe Saviak

Joe teaches a dozen different courses at Flagler College covering a wide range of subjects in public management and public policy.  He is often asked to speak to audiences of policymakers and public managers on the strategies for successfully meeting the challenges facing local government in the 21st century.  Joe teaches the principles, strategies, and skills of effectively leading and managing change.  He has advised numerous elected officials and senior administrators on a diverse spectrum of managerial and public policy issues such as grant writing, contracting, public-private partnerships, budgeting, criminal justice policy, transportation systems, and establishing electronic information sharing networks.   He is able to advise on most policy and administrative issues encountered by public, private, or non-profit organizations.    Prior to teaching at Flagler College, he worked as a senior administrator in local government and brings a real world perspective to the classroom.  Twice in his career, he served on senior management teams responsible for significantly improving the performance of agencies with over 1,000 employees and annual budgets in excess of $100 million. 


Ph.D., Public Affairs, University of Central Florida

J.D., Florida State University College of Law

M.S.,Criminal Justice

B.A. and M.A., Political Science, University of Florida




Dr. Edward A. Kush

Ed has been a full-time private consultant in applied research engineering for over 30 years. He specializes in the thermal and fluid sciences, both experimental and analytical.  His work has been predominantly focused in three major areas: (1) aerospace propulsion, (2) energy and (3) fire science.  Clients have been drawn from government, industry, research laboratories and institutes, universities, and A&E firms. In addition to purely technical aspects of his field, Ed has expertise in project formulation, establishing teams and contacts, evaluating new technology, and applying R&D to pertinent products.  He is a skilled speaker and writer, authoring over 30 technical papers and articles including a “Paper of the Year” award from ASHRAE; and he has frequently taught as an adjunct professor. He has worked for GASL Aerospace, Boeing, United Technologies, Kaman Aerospace and Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
M.S., Fluid Mechanics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn

Ronald E. Celentano

Ron has over thirty years of experience in advanced energy efficiency and renewable technologies working with public agencies and energy companies. His experience includes formulation of renewable energy policy at the local level and advising contractors and end-users with regard to education, training, design, installation, commissioning, and monitoring of solar projects. He is President of Pennsylvania Solar Energy Industries Association, Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association, and a board member of both the Philadelphia Solar Energy Association and The Energy Cooperative of Pennsylvania. Ron has trained hundreds of solar PV installers Pennsylvania and in Togo, Africa. He has assisted Solar Energy International and the Florida Solar Energy Center in several of their solar PV training seminars. He is currently involved with solar PV curriculum development and training with the DOE/PSU Northern Mid-Atlantic Solar Instructor Training Center and with the Center’s Code Official Solar PV Training Project.


M.S., Mechanical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology

B.S., Physics, Stockton State College

Alan M. Herbst

Alan has over 25 years’ experience with energy market fundamental analysis, upstream infrastructure development, commodity pricing and risk management. In recent years, he has focused his efforts on: US unconventional asset development and associated crude oil transportation logistics, evaluating midstream gas pipeline operations, identifying opportunities to export US pipeline gas to Mexico, analyzing and conducting LNG pricing, import/export terminal technology and asset acquisition studies for Japanese utilities, and has provided expert witness services in shale gas-related production matters in New York State Courts. Earlier in his career, Alan was the US Energy Practice Manager for Datamonitor and held energy analysis and business development positions with PIRA Energy Group and Standard & Poor's. He has authored over 25 energy studies/articles and is the co-author of "Nuclear Energy Now," a critically acclaimed book on nuclear power development published by Wiley & Sons in 2007. Alan appears frequently as an on-air energy expert for US and international media outlets.


M.B.A., Finance/International Business, New York University’s Stern School of Business

B.A., History & Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.

Certificate in Petroleum Product Analysis, Saybolt

Series 3 Certification, National Futures Association

David W. Hilt

David is an experienced senior manager and has led the development and implementation of a number of significant projects. He is a leading expert in bulk power system reliability including planning, design, operations, and compliance. As a consultant, he has lead numerous projects for clients and assisted other organizations and law firms with projects. His works includes assisting clients with NERC Reliability Standards compliance, including program reviews, mock audits, pre-audit assessments, critical infrastructure protection asset identification and compliance, event analysis and investigation support, and evaluation of NERC alerts including Aurora and facility ratings, evaluation of transmission system enhancements, FERC Order 1000 implementation, due diligence reviews of options, and assisting with key management decisions. David was charged with the development and implementation of the compliance monitoring and enforcement program to monitor and enforce electric transmission reliability standards throughout North America and led the investigation of the August 14, 2003 blackout in the Northeastern United States and parts of Canada. He has been actively involved with many industry organizations including FERC, DOE, NASPI, INPO, and NRC. David has worked at Quanta Technology and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).


B.S., Electrical Engineering Power Emphasis/ University of Missouri - Rolla

Audrey Kawano Taucher

Audrey has spent 25 years consulting and analyzing congressional, regulatory, and trade association policy related to energy and environmental issues for a number of clients. She has provided consulting services to domestic and international governments, industry trading companies, and the financial community on policy issues regarding nuclear energy, LNG export policy, clean coal technology, energy efficiency programs, energy and environment policy, renewable energy advances, smart grid technology, climate change, scientific R&D, federal appropriations, and congressional and federal agency development. She also has significant experience interfacing with Japanese firms seeking to understand the impacts of US government activities on their business. She has worked for NAC International, Science Applications International and Chubu Electric Power Company.


B.A., Political Science, University of Washington, 1985

Dr. Robert M. Stephens

Robby has twenty-six years of law enforcement, fire and explosion investigation management experience while in city, county and state public service. He has extensive experience in conducting and teaching in all areas of criminal investigation and is a judicially recognized subject-matter litigation expert and instructor in the field of fire, arson and explosion examinations. He has conducted, assisted, supervised and reviewed over 3,100 fire and explosion investigations as well as numerous detailed, in-depth criminal investigations ranging from property crimes to homicides. He has developed, conducted and reviewed training in both high liability and general topic areas for local, state and federal law enforcement officers, fire department personnel and other domestic and international public safety entities, including military personnel and private fire investigation professionals. He has worked for the Florida Department of Financial Services, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Green Cove Springs Police Department and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.


PhD, Public Administration, Valdosta State University

MS, Criminal Justice, Valdosta State University

MA, Public Administration, Barry University

BS, Public Administration, Flagler College

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (IAAI-CFI)