About VPA

What is VPA?

 

The Virginia PACE Authority (VPA) is a new organization that provides PACE program administration services for Virginia cities and counties. VPA is operating as a non-profit committed to implementing a low-cost, open market C-PACE program that incorporates industry best practices. VPA developed the Virginia PACE Program (“VA-PACE”) as a cost-effective, streamlined alternative for financing energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies. View and download the Virginia PACE Authority brochure for more information.

Mission

Virginia PACE Authority (VPA) mission is to provide low cost, impartial, and profit-agnostic PACE program administration services for the benefit of local government, commercial businesses, building owners and contractors that install energy efficient and renewable energy improvements.

Our Story

In the fall of 2017, Abacus Property Solutions, a prominent PACE consultancy, formed a working group to discuss creating an open source, non-profit model of program administration that would provide Virginia jurisdictions a choice based on their specific needs. This working group consisted of representatives from two C-PACE lenders (Petros PACE Finance, John Marshall Bank), two project developers (Johnson ControIs Inc., Abacus Property Solutions), and two law firms (Hirschler Fleischer, Williams Mullen). Based on experience with and research on PACE Program Administration around the country, this group foresaw an alternative model based on the following core principles:

  • Low fees to property owners
  • Freedom of choice in selection of service providers
  • Public-benefit orientation (non-profit status)

This group decided in 2018 to form the Virginia PACE Authority (VPA) to be the face of this effort to provide its alternative administration model to Virginia localities. Virginia PACE Program (VA-PACE) is a cost-effective, streamlined alternative for financing energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies. In the summer of 2018, VPA partnered with Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP), which serve as fiscal agent for VPA until VPA has obtained its non-profit status.

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Team

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Abby Johnson

Abby Johnson, founder and Executive Director of VPA and also leads Abacus Property Solutions (Abacus), a real estate advisory firm specialized in developing and financing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in commercial buildings. She has specialized in PACE financing for the past six years, working with lenders, owners and local governments to develop PACE programs and projects.  Abby has also been very active in her home state of Virginia where she was a key player in fixing Virginia’s flawed PACE law in 2015, after which she played a key role in drafting the state financial underwriting guidelines for Virginia localities. In 2019 she was again integral in working to add resiliency measures to the PACE law. For the past two years, she has been meeting with local governments in Virginia about the value of PACE financing and is co-authoring the state’s program toolkit to be released this May.  Abby is active as a commissioner of Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) and is a board member of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

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Dan Lilie

Daniel Lilie has worked on large-scale real estate development projects in several large urban centers. Recently, he has worked to activate public energy development programs for the CRE market and was among the first wave of Californians active in the commercial PACE program. He is a multi-faceted executive with a deep knowledge of real estate and energy finance, leasing, and asset management. Mr. Lilie is based in North County San Diego and will offer support for VPA, as requested, to building owners interested in using C-PACE in the County. 

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Elizabeth Beauvais

Elizabeth Beauvais is a sustainability consultant with over 20 years’ experience in environmental and social impact assessment, stakeholder engagement, and program design, implementation and reporting. She is a bridge builder and problem solver, whose clients have included Fortune 100 companies, such as ExxonMobil, Phillips 66 and Lockheed Martin, global renewable energy nonprofits, such as Global Green and Solar Sister, and regional municipalities, such as the North Louisiana Economic Partnership, where she designed and built a social entrepreneurship incubator. Her most recent work has centered on economic development opportunities through successful strategy, metrics and partnerships to utilize Opportunity Zones. Ms. Beauvais assists VPA in incorporating C-PACE financing into larger economic development and impact investment strategies.

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Amy Williams

Amy Williams, Marketing and Support for VPA. She is responsible in supporting outreach and educational initiatives for VPA as well as work with public and private sector partners. Amy’s background is in commercial real estate development both in San Diego, California and Austin, Texas. She worked in a project management support capacity as well as handled the administrative tasks associated with acquisition, construction, and closing of projects.  Amy has a journalism degree from San Francisco State University and has completed course work in Urban Planning and Policy. She is currently based in Williamsburg, Virginia.

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Cassie Casino

Cassie Casino provides administrative and technical support for VPA. Cassie has a broad technical specialist background with experience in both the private and public sectors. Cassie has a BS in Computer Science from the University of Denver. She is currently based in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Board of Directors

Current board members are:

  • Abby Johnson (President): President, Abacus Property Solutions
  • William Nusbaum (Secretary): Partner, Williams Mullin law firm
  • Cliff Kellogg (Treasurer): Executive Director, C-PACE Alliance
  • Paul Brooks: Account Executive, Johnson Controls, Inc.
  • Genevieve Sherman: Managing Director, PACE Financing Services

Advisors

Advisory Council Members have been of vital assistance and support to VPA’s development.

  • Carrie O’Malley, Hirschler Fleischer
  • Bill Greenleaf, Virginia Community Capital
  • Tom Nida, City First Bank

Supporters

We have had the fortune of technical and financial support from a growing list of companies that work in PACE across the country.