Avalon Energy Services is leading the way in helping commercial, industrial, institutional, and government clients conserve energy and save money. We offer a variety of services that can assist you in obtaining energy on your terms.

Our Team has extensive experience in the energy industry and an enviable record of success in delivering effective solutions for our clients. Our team members have over 50 years of cumulative experience in the energy industry and include Certified Energy Managers (CEM), Business Energy Professionals (BEP)-both designations certified by the Association of Energy Engineers and indicating the highest level of experience and training) - and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).


Anne Elisa Speciale-McDonnell


Anne Elisa oversees the energy efficiency operations of Avalon Energy Services and is also in charge of managing energy procurement projects. Anne Elisa started her career as an engineer working for ONEOK , Inc., where she inspected and supervised large scale and residential natural gas pipeline installation projects. She is also a successful entrepreneur, having launched two retail ventures in Bethesda, Maryland. Anne Elisa’s overriding tenet is impeccable customer service, and a lasting relationship is the goal of each project she undertakes. Anne Elisa brings her project management skills and community outreach abilities to each and every project she oversees. Anne Elisa holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University and is certified by the Association of Energy Engineers as a Business Energy Professional. She is also trained in Construction Management and Real Estate Sales and Appraisal.

James C. McDonnell

Chief Operating Officer

Jim’s 25 years of experience in many aspects of the energy industry make him uniquely suited to oversee the various services that Avalon Energy Services provides. His previous experience includes field operations, consulting, finance and planning, and project development. Jim built his career with Dresser Atlas (a division of Dresser Industries), The Columbia Energy Group, and Pepco Energy Services, where he served as the Chief Financial Officer. Jim brings his unique combination of financial knowledge and energy expertise to bear on each project of which he is a part; he oversees energy procurement strategy and financial analyses for Avalon Energy Services. Jim is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) as well as a Certified Energy Manager (CEM). He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences from the College of Engineering at Cornell University and a Master of Business Administration in finance from Oklahoma State University. He is a founding member of both the Cornell University Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department Alumni Advisory Committee, and the Cornell Energy Institute Advisory Committee.  Jim is President of the National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC) of the US Association for Energy Economics (USAEE).

Juliette Searight


Juliette is an internationally recognized architect with an outstanding record of project management excellence on major projects. At Avalon Energy Services she focuses on providing clients cost-effective energy efficiency solutions. Her experience spans multiple sectors, including government, telecommunications, high-end restaurant, commercial skyscraper, and museum and cultural projects. She specializes in turnaround work, technically sophisticated projects, and high-profile client interactions. Juliette has an Architectural Association Diploma (M.Arch equivalent) from the prestigious Architectural Association School of Architecture, in London. Since 2007, Juliette has been involved in community leadership roles with local schools and programs for children with disabilities.

Kevin P. Furnary

Senior Energy Consultant

Kevin has an extensive and varied background in the energy industry. Since joining Avalon Energy Services in 2010, Kevin has successfully assisted numerous commercial real estate property owner representatives in the Mid-Atlantic area procure electricity and natural gas with advantageous pricing and optimal terms and conditions.  A consummate team leader, Kevin leverages his expertise in the key areas of energy procurement, energy efficiency, and operating cost reduction strategies to assist customers in developing individualized strategic approaches to their energy usage and to optimize their energy procurement. Kevin is a frequent lecturer on energy related issues. Kevin received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Towson University.

William P. Burns

Senior Energy Consultant

William assists customers in a variety of industries to optimize their use of electricity and natural gas and minimize their energy spend. William's list of satisfied clients are in industries ranging from commercial real estate, manufacturing and education to medical facilities. William has assisted customers with complicated transactions related to property purchases and sales, and mis-stated PLCs. Prior to joining Avalon Energy, William worked as a Regional Director of Operations in the telecom industry and was responsible for $100 million in revenue. William attributes his success in leadership and his goal oriented business philosophy to his military experience as a Navy SEAL.

Douglas C. Dreist

Senior Energy Consultant

Doug focuses on advising customers of their choices in the deregulated natural gas and electricity markets by providing clients with customized energy procurement and management strategies.  Understanding clients' goals and helping end users manage their energy costs and consumption is Doug's priority - whether for a single commercial location or multiple properties.  With over 30 years of experience in the energy field, Doug most recently managed the Key and Strategic Account Area for a major natural gas distribution company, where he focused on Customer Experience and Account Management for interruptible and firm delivery customers within the industrial, commercial, government, and multi-family markets.  He is actively involved in volunteer work within the Washington metropolitan area.

Jeffrey Dowdell 

Senior Energy Consultant

Jeff has 35 years of experience in the natural gas pipeline industry.  Throughout his career he has held a variety of positions related to the design and construction of pipelines, compressor and regulator stations and remote monitoring systems.  Prior to his career in the natural gas industry, Jeff served in the United States Air Force as a KC-135 navigator.  Jeff obtained a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from West Virginia University.  He is a licensed professional engineer in VA and WV and holds the Certified Energy Manager (CEM) designation sponsored by the Association of Energy Engineers.  Throughout his career, Jeff has been an active leader in various associations.  For the American Gas Association (AGA), Jeff chaired the Transmission Measurement Committee and served on various technical committees involved in writing standards.  He also served as President of the WVSPE and is currently an active member of the VSPE.  Jeff is a Senior Member of the IEEE and has served this technical society in various leadership positions, including Div III Area 1 Chair, Richmond Section Chair, and Director of the Monongahela Subsection of the Pittsburgh Section.

Ralph Russell

Senior Advisor

Ralph is an electrical engineer offering over 35 years of experience specializing in utility account management, energy management, and power quality solutions.  Ralph’s background is in the electric utility, chemical, and building automation industries.  Ralph is a recognized leader in helping commercial, industrial and governmental customers increase their productivity and competitiveness through energy and power quality related solutions.  Ralph is president of eDiscoveri, LLC. 

Avalon Energy Services produces results that provide clients with significant savings on their energy expenditures. Contact us today and start saving on your energy costs.


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