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

.

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 Orion Energy Systems. During his 10+ years working at Orion, he was tasked with everything from putting together proposal estimations, managing company pricing and pricing strategy, obtained over 1M in third party financing contracts. His last role was as a financial analyst where he was tasked to help assemble Board reports and financial metrics for the company earnings call. He was recognized with an Outstanding Achievement award for the creation and implementation of the company pricing strategy.

Ryan joined CES in October of 2017 in the position of Controller. He was soon promoted to Vice President of Operations in February 2018. 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.

Joaquin vera

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director of project Management

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. He built his well-rounded experience through working for WESCO (formerly CSC), Titan Electric (via IBEW) and Affiliated Engineers.

Joaquin feels family time in invaluable as well as time working on self-improvement through activities such as reading or spending time at the gym. Even though he is used to spending months inside due to Chicago winters, he savors anytime he can spend outdoors fishing, hiking, swimming, outdoor festivals and recreational sports. In 2016, he spent time back packing through the Amazon jungle and various volcanos in Ecuador. This provided a different prospective on the dichotomy of the civilized and uninhabited worlds competing for survival.

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.

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 at Orion Energy Systems between the Proposals and Engineering Department. He helped to provide product knowledge to the sales team to help them ultimately win the deal. 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. If you think you are a “foodie” – you haven’t met Brad. He is always ready to try new or different food combinations.

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 Contemporary Energy Solutions, Ian helped Groom Energy Solutions (now Dalkia Energy) for nearly a decade where he developed large-scale multi-site energy efficiency programs, managed national customer accounts, and oversaw project management teams throughout turnkey implementation.

Ian is an avid traveler; his most memorable destinations include Mexico City, Copenhagen and the American Southwest. He hopes to one day be lucky enough to see the amazing and beautiful Northern Lights.

dennis holt

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Biz Dev Executive - tn

With over 20 years of years of experience in industrial and construction equipment sales, Dennis has demonstrated his ability to deliver the solutions to meet his customer’s needs, requirements, and budgets. Prior to joining CES in August 2017 as a Business Development Executive, Dennis managed accounts which delivered millions of dollars in sales for several years in Tennessee and the surrounding states. As an experienced sales executive, Dennis is positioned to help deliver energy efficiency solutions that maximize energy savings while minimizing disruption to his customer’s facility operation, delivering saving and performance that directly impact their bottom lines.

Dennis enjoys spending time with his five children, restoring his antique car, and attending car shows.

tom perazzo

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Biz Dev executive –
oh, in, mi

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. At CES, Tom plays an essential role: he identifies prospective clients, builds customer relationships, develops new projects, and works with clients to bring projects to successful completion.

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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Biz Dev executive –
il, in

Matt joins 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 key member of the CES sales team, Matt identifies and qualifies prospective clients, builds customer relationships, develops new project plans, and works with clients to bring projects to successful completion.

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.

jen karpathian

.

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. Jen has a soft heart for her dog Mallie, and cat Henry. If you listen closely, you will probably hear Henry in the background talking loudly when she works from home.

katie hacker

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proposal analyst
CRM Administrator

Putting her Administrative Assistant Associates Degree to use, Katie started her work career working in the tourism industry for 5 years as the Assistant to the President of the Manitowoc Area Visitor and Convention Bureau. She then moved on to Orion Energy Systems where she worked for 9 years putting 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 Contemporary Energy Solutions since its inception. She has worked in any position that was needed. Currently, she works primarily in the Proposal Department where she utilizes her 13+ years in the lighting industry to put together lighting estimates and proposals. Her first adult job was at Verlo where she sold furniture. Prior to the start of CES, she worked at Orion Energy Systems where she received the “Whatever It Takes” Award. This award summarizes Modesty’s work ethic.

Modesty is the mother of four daughters, two of which she currently homeschools. She enjoys cheering on her oldest two daughters who are talented athletes, playing volleyball, soccer, basketball and track. 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. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and nature walks, and cooking.

aaron danielson

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purchasing manager

With an education background in Biotechnology from UW-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 Orion Energy Systems where his focus was purchasing and material planning. During his time there he headed Orion’s initiative to implement newly re-designed packaging.

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.

Patty sturtz

.

office
manager

Patty rejoined the CES team in April of 2019. She had previously worked as Tony’s sales assistant at Orion Energy Systems and then provided a variety of office administration services for Tony as an independent contractor after he launched CES. Patty is currently tasked with general office management, company bookkeeping and human resource activities. She also serves as Tony’s executive sales assistant. With over 25 years of experience in customer service and office management, 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 UW-Stevens Point and a Master’s degree in Management and Organizational Behavior 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. She enjoys taking on many side jobs for her family and friends including painting, decorating, and home organization projects. Other hobbies include biking (it’s not a ride if it’s not at least 50 miles), spending time on the beach, and her frequent trips to visit family across the US.

alyssa clarke

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marketing and ops coordinator

Alyssa is the keeper of our marketing content, watcher of our social media pages, and standby sidekick to our operations team. She also dedicates quite a bit of her time to creating deliverables for our sales team to use in their efforts. This includes developing case studies, blog postings, postcard mailers, summary templates, and more. Alyssa 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 Employee Relations for 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 with fellow colleagues and business partners.

If you’re ever looking for a camping resort in Northeast Wisconsin, ask Alyssa for a recommendation. She and her family love spending time around the campfire.

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.