RHA has never lost sight of our “why.” Founded in 1980, RHA’s earliest initiatives were born out of the energy crisis and the need to advance equitable access to vital services for underserved Californians burdened by rising energy costs. As a result, we helped pioneer the state’s first low-income energy efficiency program and have used our origins to guide the types of programs we implement today.
Whether we’re helping families lower their utility bills, assisting businesses in reducing their carbon footprint or encouraging Californians to get vaccinated, we strive to make a positive impact.
OVERVIEW OF RHA'S MISSION
Our team takes the initiative to identify opportunities, issues, deficiencies and inefficiencies and address them appropriately.
Our team demonstrates flexibility and is open and receptive to changing priorities, situations and demands.
Our team delivers responsive, thorough and timely work while accepting responsibility for errors.
Our team shows dedication to our values and mission and is focused on supporting client, customer and co-worker success.
Our team models a collaborative spirit, performs consensus building and supports diversity by demonstrating respect for all individuals.
Here are a few of the initiatives we have worked on over the last five years:
Since 2019, RHA has delivered over 19,400 batteries to Medical Baseline (MBL) and Access Functional Needs (AFN) customers. Customers are provided with portable batteries and preparedness support to mitigate Public Safety Power Shutoff hardships. Services include program design, implementation, product evaluation, installation guides and technical analysis. RHA delivered over 6,600 batteries in 2022.
To help California successfully vaccinate as many eligible Californians as possible and end COVID-19’s devastating impact, RHA provides strategic outreach support to this campaign and has hosted more than 200 regional Collective Impact Tables with almost 4,000 participants since September 2021.
RHA supported this dynamic outreach and communications campaign with strategic thought partnership and design and development of reports and dashboards, customizing our approach in response to changes in landscape due to COVID-19, wildfires and social justice movements.
RHA helps California utilities reach low-income customers and provide energy education and weatherization services, resulting in over 80,000 customers receiving energy efficiency services in 2019.
RHA designed and managed an outreach and advertising campaign to offer insurance at reduced rates to culturally and linguistically diverse and low-income individuals, resulting in 78,200 leads for this program.
RHA provides customers with water usage assessments, education and water conservation measures, resulting in over 8 million gallons of water saved in 2017.
EQUITY AND INCLUSION TASK FORCE
RHA is committed to providing a safe environment that empowers our team to show up authentically. Our Equity and Inclusion Task Force (EITF) helps RHA cultivate this culture and foster equity and inclusion company-wide. Comprised of staff with various backgrounds, talents, perspectives and experiences, the EITF identifies opportunities for improvements and provides recommendations regarding policies and practices that ensure RHA is continuously evolving to support all team members. Thus far, the EITF has helped RHA assess our leadership development, recruitment practices, business partnerships, training and how we affirm existing diversity. Their insight and efforts are critical to ensuring RHA is an equitable and inclusive place to work with team members reflective of and committed to the communities we serve.
MEET OUR TEAM
Board of Directors
Board Member, Shareholder
Richard Heath founded Richard Heath & Associates (RHA) in 1974 as an executive consulting company that refocused its efforts on the energy efficiency field during the 1970s energy crisis. Today he provides RHA with strategic planning to develop new solutions to high energy costs as they impact the low-income population.
He created the first-of-its-kind statewide network of community-based organizations to reach and educate low-income populations or those with barriers to traditional outreach methods. He also developed innovative programs to increase the effectiveness of agencies providing energy conservation services to low-income homes throughout California.
Dick was the original architect of the public/private partnership involving California’s major utilities, community based organizations and private contractors resulting in the weatherization of millions of low-income homes. He holds a B.A. in Public Administration from California State University, Fresno.
Board Director, Shareholder
Dr. James O’Bannon
Jim is Chairman of the RHA Board, with 44 years of experience in the construction and energy fields. In 1979 he partnered with Richard Heath, and continues to lead RHA’s efforts in the development of energy efficiency technology.
He has authored nearly 40 published technical manuals, articles and research reports on topics related to energy efficiency, and is recognized nationally as an authority in energy efficiency issues. He is an award-winning engineering professor at California State University, Chico, known for not only instilling knowledge in his students, but also an awareness of the importance of giving back to others.
Jim is regularly invited to present or train at energy conferences throughout the nation. He earned an M.E. degree in Industrial Education from Mississippi State University, an Ed.S. in Industrial Education from Northern Iowa University and his Ph.D. in Industrial Education and Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri at Columbia.
Chief Executive Officer
Cynthia Bruno Rafferty
With a successful background in leading organizational growth and overseeing complex programs, Cynthia joined RHA in August of 2012 and was named Chief Executive Officer in April 2014. Cynthia provides leadership to RHA’s executive team, oversees the development and delivery of programs, and guides RHA’s strategic initiative development in service to our clients.
Prior to joining RHA, she served as Chief Operating Officer for a real estate development and construction company and has held successful leadership roles in numerous organizations. Cynthia began her career as a Naval JAG Corps Officer and worked for the Senate Intelligence Committee and for the Department of Defense Counterintelligence Field Activity Office (post 9/11).
Cynthia has proven expertise in leading companies and projects to success, and directing multiple complex programs concurrently while positively motivating those in the organization. A twice-published author, she possesses a B.A. in Social Ecology from University of California, Irvine and a Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.
Executive Vice President
Joshua has more than 20 years of leadership experience in construction, clean energy and product development. As RHA’s Executive Vice President, he is responsible for the development and promotion of companywide strategic planning initiatives, introduction of new business lines, creation of technology roadmaps, and cultivation of new and existing partnerships. Having previously served as RHA’s Director of Technical Services from 2009-2011, Joshua brings exceptional knowledge of RHA’s core competencies and a deep commitment to serving California’s vulnerable populations.
Before rejoining RHA in 2020, Joshua served as a consultant and project manager for developers, municipal governments and non-profit organizations on green building projects. Joshua established a reputation as a business leader and changemaker as co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Zola Electric, delivering reliable and affordable solar electricity to more than a million off-grid customers across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Joshua earned a B.S. in Construction Management from California State University, Chico and completed postgraduate education at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. He is a licensed contractor with the State of California and holds certifications as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Advanced Professional and Building Performance Institute Analyst. Joshua enjoys traveling with his family to far away places, where the pavement ends and adventure begins.
With more than six years of robust experience in finance and accounting, Alex is responsible for planning, organizing and directing all aspects of RHA’s finance department and strategic financial direction. As RHA’s top finance executive, Alex plays an integral role in the organization’s development and growth, analyzing financial performance and new business opportunities to make strategic recommendations.
A Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant, Alex has extensive knowledge of accounting systems, budgets, internal controls, business planning and asset management. Alex is a detail-oriented and strategic leader with the ability to focus on long-term solutions while managing and achieving short-term successes.
Alex has an MBA and a B.A. in Accounting from California State University, Fresno.
Austin L. Myatt
Austin joined RHA in 2020 to lead customer outreach and enrollment efforts for large-scale weatherization and energy efficiency programs. Austin oversees day-to-day program operations and ensures aggressive enrollment and installation goals are achieved. His leadership skills enable him to build unified teams and motivate them to achieve program success. His attention to detail helps him effectively manage workflows and reporting.
With more than 13 years of experience managing contractor services for low-income weatherization programs, Austin has extensive knowledge of residential construction practices and field operations. This knowledge, coupled with his strengths in program management, aids him in evaluating program strategies and progress and deploying solutions that achieve results.
Austin holds a General Building Contractor (B) license with the California Contractors State License Board and multiple energy industry certifications with CalCerts, Inc.
Director, Project Management
Baalaji collaborates with the RHA leadership team and senior management to develop projects and their overall strategy. He establishes program timelines, goals and other targets and tracks all project milestones and activity. Baalaji’s keen attention to these details and his expertise directing critical-path activities helps optimize the delivery and maximize the effectiveness of our programs.
He is a certified Project Management Professional with more than nine years of project management experience and has specialized knowledge in conducting operational and financial data analysis, business workflow process optimization, and application design planning and execution. As a Six Sigma black belt, Baalaji utilizes his knowledge to incorporate process improvement strategies companywide.
Baalaji holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Anna University in Chennai, India and an M.S. in Industrial Engineering from New Mexico State University.
Director of Operations, Los Angeles
Gabriel leads the development and execution of multiple energy efficiency and water conservation programs that serve residential, commercial and industrial utility customers. He oversees technical and non-technical program staff and manages overall program performance. Gabriel is an experienced leader and is skilled in problem solving, team building and budget control.
Gabriel is an Electrical Engineer and has over 15 years of energy and engineering experience. He has managed several direct installation programs, delivered thousands of comprehensive audits and conducted numerous feasibility studies. He has also managed engineering teams, projects and activities for building expansion projects, environmental compliance projects and lighting retrofit projects.
Gabriel is bilingual in Spanish and holds numerous industry certifications. He has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from California State University, Northridge and an A.S. in Engineering from Antelope Valley College.
Director, Health and Outreach
For more than 20 years, Julie has served as a subject-matter expert and leader on multi-faceted outreach projects and grassroots efforts. Throughout her career, Julie has helped guide several large-scale statewide outreach and educational programs carrying a common goal of uplifting hard-to-reach communities in California. In addition to providing executive leadership on community outreach and energy programs, Julie oversees the development of program strategies, goals, workplans, budgets and reporting. She also possesses a practical knowledge of databases and application systems, ensuring RHA’s programs run efficiently and with appropriate data tracking.
Along with her ability to provide meaningful thought partnership, Julie is recognized for the collaborative spirit she brings to RHA’s leadership team. She also contributes a wealth of experience designing and implementing statewide education and outreach initiatives including Covered California, California Complete Count – Census 2020, California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program, California LifeLine, California Teleconnect Fund, Healthy Families and Medi-Cal for Children.
Julie earned a B.S. in Health Services Administration from California State University, Fresno.
Director, Business Development
Martha joined RHA in 2014 and leads the company’s strategic development to expand existing client contracts, obtain new client contracts and pursue activities in new markets. With a successful background in business development and strategic planning, Martha meets client needs by ensuring RHA’s depth of resources are deployed for maximum result and benefit.
She held top leadership positions in the financial services field, identifying ways to help struggling consumers through direct programs, education and outreach and by shaping credit and housing legislation in California by spearheading an advocacy campaign.
Martha combines her strength as a strategic thinker with creative and innovative approaches to ensure that clients receive maximum results from programs and projects. She earned a B.S. in Business Logistics from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA in Management Information Systems from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
Director, Human Resources
Sarah oversees RHA’s employee relations and recruiting efforts throughout Southern California. She also provides management support for all human resources operations including employee onboarding, policy and procedure development, training and performance, and health and safety initiatives. With an exceptional ability to recruit talented individuals, Sarah ensures that RHA is always supported by a highly capable and well-trained workforce.
Sarah has more than 13 years of experience as a human resources professional in the legal, manufacturing and energy efficiency industries. She brings a wealth of knowledge in the administration of employee benefits, compliance and best practices, employment law, employee issue resolution, and human resources infrastructure.
Sarah earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from San Diego State University. She also holds Professional in Human Resources, California and Society for Human Resources Professional certifications.
Senior Program Manager
Lisa oversees energy efficiency and weatherization programs for underserved, low-income and hard-to-reach populations. She manages RHA field teams and subcontractors who conduct home assessments and measure installations. Lisa also provides executive-level support for key corporate operations.
With more than 15 years of experience, Lisa is very successful organizing, motivating and managing staff from various disciplines toward a common goal. Since joining RHA in 2013, she has held senior management roles on several complex, large-scale projects. This includes overseeing training initiatives for outreach and enrollment programs for a statewide health benefit exchange. Her expertise in International Organization for Standardization (ISO) process development is significant to RHA’s effective service delivery.
Lisa holds a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology, and a B.S. in Physiology from the University of California, Davis. She also has an MBA from California State University, Fresno.
Robert Wichert, P.ENG.
From program design to management and implementation, Robert uses his strong technical background to lead RHA’s technical services department, engineering team and field staff to ensure the timely and cost-effective execution of departmental deliverables. He also functions as the technical representative on behalf of the company overseeing departmental and project budgets, reporting and invoicing, as well as HR and employee development responsibilities.
A licensed Professional Engineer in California, Texas and Virginia, Robert brings more than 30 years of experience in mechanical and electrical engineering. He possesses a strong technical background in residential and commercial energy efficiency, with an emphasis on practical design and implementation of energy programs and technologies. He has extensive experience with municipal utility operations and is well versed in several operational aspects of energy efficiency programs including HVAC design and analysis, energy modeling, commissioning and post installation inspections.
Robert earned his B.S.M.E. degree from California State University, Sacramento.
Moe joined RHA in 2021 to manage the training and technical services RHA provides to the California Department of Community Services and Development. Drawing on his extensive leadership experience and knowledge of the energy industry, Moe oversees project coordination, the development of protocols and standards and training administration.
Throughout his career in energy efficiency, Moe has implemented and managed numerous utility-led programs. He is well-versed in monitoring strategic operations and has a keen eye for identifying opportunities.
Moe has a B.A. in Economics and an M.S. in Physical Therapy. He holds Home Energy Rating System and Passive House certifications.
Jessica uses her depth of experience working with underserved communities to manage the San Diego Gas & Electric Energy Savings Assistance Program. A hands-on manager, she provides staff mentoring and coaching to ensure her team delivers exceptional services to utility clients and their customers while achieving goals.
Joining RHA in 2001, Jessica served in program coordinator and outreach roles prior to her promotion to Senior Manager. Given her outreach expertise, Jessica understands that quality customer interactions are critical to program success. She is also skilled at establishing partnerships with community-based organizations and stakeholders to serve target populations in San Diego, Orange and San Bernardino counties.
Jessica has more than 18 years of experience working on energy and other programs that serve low-income and hard-to-reach populations.
As the Senior Manager for Workforce Education & Training, Amanda brings a passion for developing the next generation of the clean energy workforce and expertise in the instructional design of technical content in multiple subjects.
Amanda has more than 25 years of experience in residential construction, energy efficiency, environmental health and education. Before joining RHA, Amanda spent 11 years at Santa Fe Community College. She served as the Director of the New Mexico Energy Smart Academy and the Center of Excellence for Green Building and Energy Efficiency. Before her career in education, Amanda provided residential construction consulting, including on Home Performance, Green Code and Healthy Homes.
Amanda is passionate about bringing awareness to climate change and supporting disadvantaged and hard-to-reach communities.
Amanda serves on the boards for the Building Performance Institute (BPI), Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and Energy OutWest. She holds an M.S. in Educational Technology from Boise State University, Idaho and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Senior Proposal Manager
Lindsey joined RHA in 2014 and manages the company’s proposal development and response process to ensure that RHA continues to grow, thrive and secure new work. With over 7 years of experience, Lindsey is adept at managing diverse and multidisciplinary teams throughout the proposal development cycle, from solution brainstorming and planning through proposal development and submission.
During her tenure with RHA, her keen attention to detail, strategic thinking and project management skills have enabled her to renew and establish proposal development policies and procedures, improve process efficiency and efficacy and create more positive proposal experiences for team members throughout RHA.
Lindsey has a Foundation-level certification through the Association of Proposal Management Professionals. She holds B.S. in Health Science: Health Administration from California State University – Chico.
For 20 years, Fabiola has helped design and implement programs to improve the health, safety and quality of life for disadvantaged groups in California. In her leadership of PG&E’s ESA program, she oversees subcontractors, program production, quality assurance and overall program success. She also develops culturally competent strategies for reaching diverse populations and securing participation in the program.
Before her current role, Fabiola served as Communications Director for the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF). She led projects and activities related to communications programming and grant writing and oversaw public-facing inquiries for DHF.
Fabiola has decades of experience working in community-based organizations and philanthropy. Her breadth of knowledge ensures clients can successfully reach their target audiences and meet program goals.
Fabiola is bilingual in Spanish. She has a B.A. in Political Science from Mount Holyoke College.
Robert has more than 10 years of experience supporting and managing the day-to-day operations of direct installation and retrofit programs for more than a dozen Southern California Public Power Authority members. These programs deliver energy audits, construction management services, energy efficiency measures, savings calculations, and lighting upgrades to commercial and municipal customers. In addition to leading program activities like scheduling, staff management and quality assurance, he also provides extensive support on budget management, reporting and training.
A skilled trainer and operations manager, Robert serves as a subject matter expert and mentor to administrative staff, field teams and program subcontractors.
Robert holds energy industry-related certifications from several organizations, including the Building Performance Institute, CalCERTS and the Environmental Protection Agency. Robert is bilingual in Spanish.
LICENSES AND CERTIFICATES
RHA is certified as a Minority Business Enterprise by the Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council, an affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc.
RHA holds the following State of California licenses:
- General Contractor: Class B
- Specialty Contractor: Electrical Contractor C-10
- Specialty Contractor: HVAC Contractor C-20
- Specialty Contractor: Plumbing C-36