Contemporary Energy Solutions

TEAM CES

Our team of knowledgeable and dedicated professionals is ready to serve you. With a combined 150+ years in the lighting industry, our deep experience equals your success. 

Tony vlastelica

Tony Vlastelica

Founder & Principal

Founder + principal

Since founding Contemporary Energy Solutions in October 2011, Tony has been active in the day-to-day operations of the company. Tony spends his time in multiple areas including CEO responsibilities, talent acquisition, sales leadership, and client acquisition/retention.

Tony has worked in the energy field since 2008, including 4 years with Orion Energy Systems.

With a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, previous entrepreneurial experience, and industry leading sales training by pioneers in the lighting retrofit space, Tony is uniquely positioned to help guide CES and ensure we deliver the desired results to our clients at our high standard of performance.

A devout Christian, Tony recognizes that he has been saved and greatly blessed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In his free time, Tony enjoys spending time with his wife and four daughters, as well as watching science fiction, superhero, and Disney/Pixar movies. Tony also enjoys (or more often, endures) watching Chicago Bears football with his friends and family. Tony is the son of immigrants from Croatia, and is in the first generation of his family born and raised in the USA. Tony really likes BBQ - both eating it and making it for friends.

RYAN RAHMLOW

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VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS

Since Ryan’s first job on his family’s dairy cattle farm, he has forged a reputation for working hard to get to where he is today. After graduating from University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, he joined the lighting industry. He was tasked with compiling estimates, managing company pricing and strategy, assembling reports, and obtained over 1M in third party financing contracts.

Ryan joined CES in October of 2017 in the position of Controller. He was soon promoted to Vice President of Operations. In his free time, he enjoys staying active through working out, running, biking, playing volleyball or tennis. Through his love of running, he completed the Chicago Marathon in 2016.

TOM PERAZZO

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business develop. executive

A marketing and sales professional in the lighting industry, Tom has broad experience in building and sustaining customer relationships. With more than 15 years of service with Schneider Electric, WLC Enterprises, and C.M. Mockbee, Tom is dedicated to helping CES clients find quality lighting solutions for their industries. Self-motivated and energetic, Tom researches and attracts new clients, delivers presentations for potential clients, and maintains communication with existing clients to support an ongoing relationship.

Tom earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing and Economics from The Ohio State University (go Buckeyes!). He loves nothing more than spending time with his three children, being outdoors, and staying fit.

Matt Garofalo

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BUSINESS DEVELOP. EXECUTIVE

Matt joined the CES team with several years of experience in sales, account management, and team development. Most recently, he managed and mentored sales teams across Wisconsin and Illinois in selling and supporting communication services, as well as offering solutions in IoT. As a resilient member of the CES sales team, Matt finds and retains clients by building meaningful relationships, ensures our products and services exceed customer expectations, and collaborates with management on sales goals and planning.

Matt earned his bachelor’s degree in business management at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, WI. Outside of work, he loves camping with his family, cheering for all the Wisconsin sports teams, golfing, fishing, and mountain biking.

jason smith

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BUSINESS DEVELOP. EXECUTIVE

A professional in the lighting industry, Jason has broad experience in building and sustaining customer relationships. Jason brings more than 15 years of combined experience having started his own ventures and leadership roles at Johnson Controls, Sylvania Lighting Services. Jason is bringing his talents to deliver winning solutions for CES clients. At CES, Jason plays an essential role in our Southeast Region: he identifies prospective clients, builds customer relationships, develops new projects, and works with clients to bring projects to successful completion.

Jason earned both his Bachelor of Science in Materials Engineering and Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from University of Kentucky. He bleeds blue! He enjoys his five children, new experiences, topped off with a good cigar!

JOAQUIN VERA

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DIRECTOR OF PROJECT mgmt.

With 13 years of combined experience in the design and implementation process of electrical, lighting, telecommunications, life safety and security systems. Joaquin has had the opportunity to install, design, collaborate, and lead an array of interdisciplinary renovation and new construction projects with varying complexities. Prior to re-joining CES in December of 2018 as a Senior Project Manager, Joaquin received his Master of Industrial Technology and Operations from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Joaquin feels family time in invaluable as well as time working on self-improvement. Even though he is used to spending months inside due to Chicago winters, he savors time he can spend outdoors fishing, hiking, swimming, and outdoor festivals. In 2016, he spent time backpacking through the Amazon Rainforest as well as various volcanoes in Ecuador.

mickey leahy

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SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER

As an Army Veteran, Mickey spent 7 years as a Combat Medic. His time Included 36 months in Iraq where he received many awards including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. While in the Army, he finished his Associates Degree in Business Administration from Upper Iowa University. Mickey joined CES November 2015, he currently works as a Senior Project Manager.

Mickey loves going on family walks with his wife, daughter and two dogs. He prefers to spend as much time outside with his family as possible whether it would be exploring new places or having a BBQ. His hobbies include lifting weights and outdoor activities such as bike riding, hiking and running. He is an avid sports fan. His favorite teams are the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears, followed closely by the Chicago Blackhawks. Mickey is only a few hours from earning his carpentry apprenticeship and he is a licensed barber.

nick lewis

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Senior Project Manager

As the Senior Project Manager, Nick is the point of contact for contractors and clients in our southern states. He ensures lighting service projects are done accurately, within budget, and follow the scope of the contract. He also provides lighting surveys, analyzes existing lighting set-up/systems, and recommends solutions to meet customer’s needs. Nick brings more than 20 years of engineering and management experience. Prior to working at CES, he held positions at ProStar Energy, Teems Electric, Orion Energy Systems, and Kao Brands.

Moral of the story? Nick has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to this industry and he is one smart cookie. Nick holds a Master of Science degree in engineering management from the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga.

aaron danielson

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PURCHASING MANAGER

With an education background in Biotechnology from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and Civil Engineering from Chippewa Falls Valley Tech, Aaron uses his knowledge to evaluate product lines for quality. He joined CES in February 2018 as Purchasing Administrator. Prior to this, he spent 6 years at a like-lighting solutions provider where he focused on project purchasing and material planning.

Aaron spends the majority of his free time with his wife and two daughters. He enjoys cooking and loves trying new food. During the long Wisconsin winters, Aaron plays on a mediocre dart team. When summer finally arrives, he’s excited to get back outside to play on his volleyball team.

brad butler

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Sales engineering
Manager

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Stout with a bachelor’s degree in service management, Brad spent a majority of his 11+ years in the lighting industry. With a strong background in proposal development and engineering, Brad provides product knowledge to the sales team. He joined CES in September 2018, and currently serves as the Sales Engineering Manager.

Brad’s drive to succeed is off the charts … he once sold a 50-year-old port-a-potty at a garage sale for its full asking price; must be the salesman in him.

ian firestone

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sales
engineer

With a demonstrated work history in the energy efficiency and lighting industries, Ian is part of a team of sales and project management engineers. Together this team compiles quality lighting audits and site surveys, as well as detailed proposals for clients seeking energy efficient lighting solutions. Ian is an expert in lighting technology, lighting control systems, and photometrics. Prior to joining CES, Ian helped Groom Energy Solutions for nearly a decade where he developed large-scale multi-site energy efficiency programs, managed national customer accounts, and oversaw project management teams.

Ian is an avid traveler and hopes to one day be lucky enough to see the amazing and beautiful Northern Lights.

jen karpathian

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operations
manager

With 14+ years in project management for lighting and solar projects, Jen brings a wealth of experiences to the CES team. She has co-managed over 5,000 lighting and solar installations during her time working for CES and other previous lighting solution providers. Jen joined CES in March 2017 where she started working in our incentive department. She was soon promoted to Operations Manager.

Jen spends most of her time with her husband, four kids and their beloved pets. Together, they enjoy their summers on the boat and winters at their family cabin in the Wisconsin Northwoods.

jamie leahy

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project coordinator

Jamie has spent the 10 plus years in the commercial business insurance industry, managing processes and procedures for several client accounts. As a project coordinator, she handles our assignments from start to finish. She is responsible for scheduling, managing project budgets, and coordinating project needs with internal team members.

Her wealth of experience and knowledge extends academically too; she holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Illinois State University. Outside of work she’s consumed with spending time with her husband, two kids, and their three dogs and two cats.

katie hacker

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proposal analyst &
CRM Administrator

Putting her Administrative Assistant Associates Degree to use, Katie started her work career in the tourism industry. She then shifted gears to the lighting industry and accepted a position where she put together bids for commercial, industrial and agricultural customers.

Katie joined CES in July of 2016 in the role of Operations Support/ Proposal Developer. She is also responsible for maintaining the company data in Salesforce. Katie stays active during her off time. She enjoys gardening, hiking, and watching baseball and football. She loves spending time with her husband and two boys.

modesty vlastelica

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proposal development

The daughter of two military veterans, Modesty has been with CES since its inception. She currently works in the Proposal Department where she utilizes her 13+ years in the lighting industry to put together lighting estimates and proposals. Modesty has a "whatever it takes" work ethic both at work and home.

She is the mother of four daughters, two of which she currently homeschools. She enjoys cheering on her oldest two daughters who are talented athletes. In 2010, she became a born-again Christian. She enjoys reading scripture with her husband nightly and finding new devotionals to read with her friends, along with helping her younger daughters on new memory verses.

Patty sturtz

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office
manager

Patty rejoined the CES team in April of 2019. She had previously worked as Tony’s sales assistant at Orion Energy Systems. Patty is currently tasked with general office management, bookkeeping, human resource activities, and serving as Tony’s executive sales assistant. With over 25 years of experience in office management and customer service, she prides herself on providing great attention to detail and timely follow-up on assignments from her co-workers and customers. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a Master’s degree from Silver Lake College.

Patty has always been interested in fitness and nutrition and is an avid walker. She logs 5–6 miles every morning and doesn’t miss a sunrise.

alyssa clarke

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marketing coordinator

Alyssa maintains our marketing content, watches over our social media pages, and creates marketing materials for our sales team.

She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and spent seven years in Southeast Wisconsin working in PR/Marketing for healthcare organizations, and a mining equipment manufacturer. She returned home to Northeast Wisconsin and began working once again in the nonprofit sector as a healthcare fundraising professional. No surprise here, but Alyssa is a warm-hearted, people-person and loves building personal and professional relationships.

TEAM CES

Our team of knowledgeable and dedicated professionals is ready to serve you. With a combined 150+ years in the lighting industry, our deep experience equals your success.