Meet Our Team

Annie Warnock, Consumer Rights Specialist-Bilingual

Annie joined the CUB team in 2006 and started as the spokeswoman for Spanish-speaking media and as a specialist in consumer rights. In 2010, she was given the task to create and develop CUB’s outreach program for Spanish-speakers. She was previously responsible for CUB’s Spanish content, She is currently focused on customer care in the Consumer Advocacy Department. Through her different roles at CUB, she has had the opportunity to meet people of different backgrounds and finds it enriching. Annie loves classic jazz and ballet.

Bryan McDaniel, Director of Governmental Affairs (he/him/his)

Bryan started at CUB on the phones, taking consumer complaints and helping people save on their utility bills at events all over the state. Now he goes to Springfield for CUB where he works to protect Illinois consumers. Helping people save money is his favorite part of the job. He enjoys the outdoors and spending time with family.

Cynthia Segura, Sustainable Communities Liaison (she/her/hers)

Cynthia joined CUB in April 2021, and she educates consumers about utility programs and policy, builds and establishes relationships with partner organizations and represent CUB at various events. Her favorite part about CUB is working at the intersection of consumer protection, clean energy and energy affordability. In her free time, she enjoys camping, traveling (when there’s not a pandemic), and walking her dog, Chloe.

Cyrius Currie, Director of IT (he/him/his)

Cyrius has been with CUB since fall 2001. Cyrius is part of the team responsible for administering and maintaining the technology that CUB uses, from the copiers to the website. Cyrius appreciates the work that his fellow colleagues do in addressing consumers’ utility issues, and he supports their work by resolving his colleagues’ technology-related issues. Outside of CUB, Cyrius loves being a father to his son and taking part in family events, art, listening to music and in normal times, going to festivals. 

Danielle Holmes, Consumer Rights Specialist (she/her/hers)

Danielle has been at the utility watchdog since September 2010. She responds to consumer complaints and inquiries that come over CUB’s hotline. She assists consumers in exercising their rights as ratepayers and acts as a liaison between utility companies and their customers to resolve conflicts. She loves being a part of an organization that not only helps consumers save money, but also educates them on utility issues. In her free time, Danielle likes traveling.

David Kolata, Executive Director (he/him/his)

David started working at the utility watchdog in 2001 and was named Executive Director in September 2005. David is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He received a master’s degree in political science from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in the same subject from Vanderbilt University. His favorite part of the job is navigating complicated political and economic issues to find the cheapest and quickest routes to affordable clean energy. He’s a huge music fan and likes to walk his dogs Maurice and A.C.

Eric DeBellis, Regulatory Counsel (he/him/his)

Eric has been with the organization for two years, including a previous stint as Attorney-Policy Analyst in 2018. Along with CUB General Counsel Julie Soderna, Eric represents utility ratepayers in lawsuits, primarily before the Illinois Commerce Commission. His favorite part of the job is breaking down complex legal and policy issues in plain language to convey why they matter to consumers. In his free time, Eric is a proud uncle and co-chairs his local park advisory council.

Hannah Finnerty, Digital Communications Strategist (she/her/hers)

Hannah has worked at the utility watchdog since fall 2019. Aside from writing for the WatchBlog, Hannah helps run CUB’s various social media platforms and produces Power Source, CUB’s podcast. She’s interested in affordability issues and can talk your ear off about water privatization. Outside of CUB, you can find Hannah making jewelry, exploring new trails or playing board games.

Ivonne Rychwa, Outreach Director (she/her/hers)

Ivonne joined the Citizens Utility Board in 2012. As Outreach Director, she leads the team that educates Illinois consumers on various utility issues, establishes relationships with community organizations and serves both English- and Spanish-speaking constituents. Her favorite part about working for CUB is being able to make a difference in the lives of consumers and helping them save money on their bills. During her free time, she likes spending time with her daughter, Ursula, and her husband, Mark. She enjoys watching movies, reading a good book and traveling.

Jantay Gray, Administrative & Consumer Advocacy Assistant (she/her/hers)

Jantay Gray started at CUB in spring 2018. She assists the Consumer Advocacy Department with complaints and inquiries and also works as receptionist, connecting calls to staff and the consumer hotline. Jantay enjoys advocating for the best interests of consumers. “It feels good fighting the good fight and doing all I can to assist utility customers,” she said. In her free time, Jantay enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends and binge-watching old school TV shows.

Jeff Zethmayr, Director of Research (he/him/his)

Jeff has been with CUB since 2014 and leads CUB’s big data research in energy policy and the economic impacts of rate design. Jeff’s previous work includes expert testimony and analysis for utility rate cases, and research on the bill impacts of demand-based delivery rates. He holds a Masters of Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts from Macalester College. Outside of work, he enjoys playing with his 5-year-old and playing Dungeons and Dragons.

Jim Chilsen, Communications Director (he/him/his)

Jim has worked at the watchdog since February 2000. He coordinates the consumer group’s communications campaigns on utility issues. He loves CUB’s nonpartisan, “big tent” message about clean, affordable energy and consumer rights. When he’s not working, Jim likes being with family, reading history and walking his dog Clarence.

Joseph Giamberdino, Sustainable Communities Liaison (he/him/his)

Joe has worked at the watchdog since May of 2020. Transitioning from the outreach coordinator position, Joe builds and cultivates relationships with community-based organizations and attends coalition and committee meetings around low-income programs and affordability. In addition to working events around the state, Joe hopes to delve into water privatization in Illinois and continue advancing consumer protections in the fight against rate hikes and bad deals. Outside of CUB, you can find Joe running along Lake Michigan, reading about U.S. and foreign policy and spending time with family.

Julie Soderna, General Counsel (she/her/hers)

Julie joined CUB in November 2000, and since 2007, she’s led the legal team in representing Illinois consumers in utility regulatory matters, advocating for lower rates and improved service from the state’s electric, natural gas and water providers. She litigates administrative regulatory proceedings at the Illinois Commerce Commission, such as electric and gas rate cases. Julie graduated from Washington University in 1993 with a bachelor degree in Anthropology, and in 1998 she earned her juris doctor degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law with a Certificate in Environmental & Energy Law. Julie loves spending time with her three kids and is passionate about fitness.

Matt Harvey, Program Coordinator (he/him/his)

Matt has been working with the organization for over six years. He helps coordinate and plan workshops for CUB’s Outreach Department. He is also a driving force in building and maintaining CUB’s first-ever volunteer team. His favorite part of the job is connecting with communities across the state through various outreach events. In his free time, you’ll find him rock climbing, reading sci-fi and enjoying Chicago’s live music scene.

Nitsaniyah Fitch, Outreach Coordinator (she/her/hers)
Nitsaniyah joined CUB in June of 2021. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and a Minor in Earth and Environmental Sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She acts as a liaison between consumers and organizations seeking counsel or collaboration with CUB. She works with both the communications and outreach teams to coordinate, plan and promote CUB events. Her favorite aspect of working for CUB is the ability to also advocate for the equitable implementation of clean energy and energy efficiency policies and programs. When she’s not working, Nitsaniyah can be found trying new restaurants, traveling, and biking.

Ramandeep Makhija, Data Scientist (he/him/his)

Ramandeep has worked at the watchdog since February 2019. As part of the research team, Ramandeep mines and analyzes utility customer data from multiple databases to investigate energy usage patterns and customer demand profiles. He also contributes to utility literature. He loves working at CUB because “everyone at CUB shares the same vision and is dedicated to representing the interests of residential utility customers throughout the state.” Outside of CUB, you can find Ramandeep playing chess, poker, exploring new trails and playing outdoor sports like soccer and cricket.

Samantha Royal, Outreach and Communications Coordinator – CUB Español (she/her/hers)

Samantha started at CUB in the spring of 2021. She keeps Illinois’ Spanish-speaking community up to date on utility news through her work with CUB’s communications and outreach departments. Samantha was raised in Mexico, where she also earned a degree in communications. She enjoys being the spokesperson for CUB’s important messages about clean energy, saving money and utility service. In her free time, Samantha enjoys reading, traveling, taking care of animals and doing artistic makeup.

Sandra Marcelin-Reme, Staff, Operations & Consumer Advocacy Director (she/her/hers)

Sandra started at CUB in 1993. She oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization, as well as the consumer advocacy and operations departments. She also handles all of CUB’s accounting and benefits matters. She has a bachelor’s degree in applied sociology from University of Illinois at Chicago. (Go Flames!) Outside of her work at the utility watchdog, Sandra enjoys spending time with family, party planning, improving her Creole and expanding her knowledge of Haitian culture.

Sarah Moskowitz, Deputy Director (she/her/hers)

Sarah started at CUB in the summer of 2000 and has served in a variety of roles, from providing direct consumer services to managing the organization’s statewide education and advocacy efforts. Sarah now oversees the development of CUB’s clean energy outreach strategy in a way that uses policy research and community outreach to identify equitable and consumer-friendly climate solutions. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Chicago. She enjoys keeping tabs on the urban wildlife in her neighborhood, volunteer DJing at her local community radio station and reading about history.

Scott Allen, Environmental Outreach Coordinator (he/him/his)

Scott joined CUB in February 2014 as the first downstate staff member, working first out of Hillsboro, then from Springfield, and now, Urbana. He focuses on outreach to Ameren customers and building relationships with downstate agencies and organizations. Scott also represents CUB at the downstate caucus of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition and works on a range of energy and consumer-related legislative initiatives. His favorite aspect of working at CUB is not having to worry about whether or not his efforts have a negative impact on society.  In his time off, Scott enjoys napping, exercising and eating.

Sophia Mayen, Digital Communications Coordinator (she/her/hers)

Sophia joined the Citizens Utility Board in June 2021 after graduating from Northwestern University with a BA in Communication Studies and a certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications. She develops the weekly newsletter for CUB subscribers and assists with all things social media. In her free time Sophia enjoys traveling and spending time with her dog Stevie.

Stephanie Salgado, Membership & Data Coordinator (she/her/hers)

Stephanie has been with CUB since 2008. She started as a college intern assisting in the consumer advocacy department and later found herself coordinating CUB’s membership. Aside from processing nearly 30,000 donations a year, Stephanie also maintains CUB’s membership database. Her favorite part about working at CUB is when she receives the occasional note from members who donate specifically after having had an amazing experience with one of her colleagues. When she is not working hard for Illinois consumers, Stephanie enjoys baking, cooking, hosting gatherings and spending time with her husband and two children.