Copy: Coos Bay, OR – Join us for a discussion of Offshore Wind Energy at the Hales Center for the Performing Arts at Southwestern Oregon CC on Saturday, October 19 at 6:00 pm. Demand for clean energy is increasing rapidly. Offshore wind will supply much of it on the west coast. The most valuable section of that natural resource is along the coast of Oregon and Northern California. If pursued aggressively, Coos Bay could become a major hub for this new industry. This would result in hundreds, even thousands, of sustainable family wage jobs. This wide ranging series of presentations will cover renewable energy & sustainability (Michael Mitton), the engineering, science and construction of wind turbines (Dennis Beetham), the regional energy infrastructure and markets (Shannon Souza), potential economic impact on the south coast (Sam Baugh) and community engagement (Sam Schwarz). Following the presentations there will be a question and answer session. Keynote speaker Michael Mitton sees climate disruption as a growing global threat but a unique opportunity for coastal Oregon to be a significant part of the solution and revitalize its economy in the process. Now retired, he was a founder and CEO of a biotech company. Previously he worked for several companies ranging from small start-ups to large multinationals. Over the past 20 years he has focused on climate related issues including science, public policy and technology solutions. He has researched and compiled this economic development scenario for Coos Bay because he believes it can bring sustainable economic benefits to the region and help Oregon become a leader in this industry of the future. He has no proprietary interest in any aspect of this project. Dennis Beetham (CEO DB Western Inc.) has over 50 years of experience in the fields of chemical, mechanical, nuclear, and electrical engineering. He has been involved in wind energy research and development for the last 20 years. His first venture was the development of a vertical axis wind turbine technology for the Department of Energy. In 2015, DB Western submitted a proposal to Principle Power Inc. to fabricate, construct and launch the Principle Power Windfloat Pacific Demonstration Project from Coos Bay, Oregon. Most recently, Dennis has been engaged with a Spanish University to help improve the engineering design for a US west coast spar/buoy system for larger turbines coming on the market. He maintains a strong belief in the future of Oregon and California offshore wind energy development, and it is this drive that keeps Dennis striving to improve the technology of floating offshore wind systems. Shannon Souza is Oregon’s 2019 professional engineer of the year and is principal and founder of Sol Coast Companies. She has been instrumental in habitat restoration and conservation and public water supply development, for example installing over a megawatt of solar energy on the Oregon coast. She received the Weyerhaeuser Company President’s Award (1997), is a Water Rights Examiner and Professional Environmental Engineer in the state of Oregon, technical advisor for the Western Oregon LID Guidance Template, Solar Oregon’s 2013 Solar Professional of the year, and a US Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional. Currently, Shannon sits on the board of directors for the Professional Engineers of Oregon as well as serving as Policy Chair for the Oregon Solar Energy Industry Association while serving on the Bond Oversite Committee for Coos Bay School District and as chair of the Coos Housing Action Team. Samuel Baugh started as the Executive Director for South Coast Development Council (SCDC) in August of 2017. As the Executive Director he feels a personal responsibility to grow the economy of Oregon’s south coast. The SCDC mission is to: Promote and support businesses that provide quality jobs through responsible development on Oregon’s south coast which includes focusing on sustainable industries being brought into the region. Currently Sam serves on multiple boards of Chambers of Commerce and Downtown associations over the entire south coast. Sam was a founding core team member for the Oregon South Coast Regional Tourism Network which, earlier this year, won an award from the Governor’s office on tourism for its “Innovative Partnership.” Sam is excited to help the area grow and expand. Samuel J Schwarz is a local lifelong resident and as an entrepreneur he has been operating multiple businesses with headquarters located on Front Street in Coos Bay. Schwarz was awarded a US Patent in 2013 for a lighting device that combines energy efficient LED illumination with unique blown glass diffusion and is underway with expanding manufacturing capacity of lighting fixtures in Coos Bay. Driven by a passion for technological advancements in energy infrastructure, Schwarz has gained years of extensive experience installing renewable energy systems on the Southern Oregon Coast and is very excited to explore the Offshore Wind potential for clean energy, job security and economic stability for our community. Schwarz is dedicated to working with community partners for the long term health and vitality of Coos County. This event is free in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts on Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Coos Campus, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay. For those not able to attend in person, these presentations will be Livestreamed and archived, with access from the College’s web site at For additional information, please contact Ron Metzger at 541-888-7216.