Derick Dahlen President and CEO

Derick Dahlen is President and CEO of Avant. Since its founding, Mr. Dahlen has provided leadership, strategic guidance, and long-term power planning services to Avant and its clients. Mr. Dahlen has over 35 years of experience negotiating with utilities.

Mr. Dahlen holds an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia. He did his undergraduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

James Larson Vice President and Corporate Treasurer

James Larson is Avant’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs. Mr. Larson is an attorney with 35 years of utility regulation experience.

Mr. Larson has negotiated gas and electric supply contracts on behalf of large industrial customers and municipal wholesale customers. In addition, Mr. Larson has managed the permitting and regulatory processes for large electric projects. Mr. Larson managed the siting, permitting, and interconnection processes for a 300 MW combined cycle gas turbine generating project and has managed the regulatory processes for three utility scale wind farms, including siting and interconnection.

Mr. Larson received a J.D. magna cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law. He received a B.S. in Engineering Sciences from the United States Air Force Academy.

Joe Fulliero Vice President, Operations

Joe Fulliero is the Vice President of Operations at Avant Energy and has over 35 years of utility industry experience. Mr. Fulliero has a background in portfolio management, operations management and power plant operations, environmental engineering, commodity trading, fuel procurement, dispatch, and risk assessment and mitigation.

Mr. Fulliero has a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Fairfield University, a B.S. in Engineering from University of Connecticut and a M.S. in Science from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Oncu Er Chief Operating Officer

Oncu Er is Avant’s Chief Operating Officer. At Avant, Mr. Er oversees market operations and planning activities, including clients’ energy supply portfolios. He has extensive experience providing complex hedging and risk management analyses. Mr. Er also has over 20 years of experience in natural gas and electricity futures and options trading.

Mr. Er received a B.A. in Economics magna cum laude from Macalester College. He received an M.B.A. in finance from University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Mr. Er also completed Harvard Business School’s Program For Leadership Development and High Potentials Leadership Program.

David Niles Vice President

David Niles is a Vice President at Avant who has advised municipal utilities, municipal power agencies, Native American tribes, and colleges & universities for more than 15 years on a variety of electric industry issues. Mr. Niles’s primary areas of interest and expertise include strategic planning, utility management, and financial management. His breadth of experience also includes power supply planning, energy market operations, power plant development, and utility accounting.

Mr. Niles has an undergraduate degree in Economics from Carleton College and a M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. He is also licensed as a CPA in Minnesota and registered with the SEC as a municipal advisor.

Harold Little Vice President

Harold Little is a Vice President at Avant. In his nearly 30 years of experience in the energy industry, Mr. Little has led Avant’s finance and accounting functions while also contributing to planning and development initiatives. He has served in a Project Manager role for multiple federal grant awards to municipal utility clients. Prior to joining Avant, he worked in management accounting and reporting for international divisions of NRG Energy. He also conducted financial analysis and technical support for CogenAmerica.

Mr. Little has a B.Sc. in Economics and a M.Sc. in Mineral Economics from the Pennsylvania State University. Mr. Little also holds a M.Sc. in Industrial Administration for the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

Noah Hansen Vice President

Noah Hansen is a Vice President at Avant. Mr. Hansen is responsible for managing market operations for clients, including energy procurement and economic dispatch of generating resources. Mr. Hansen has worked in the Operations Division at Avant Energy for the last 14 years, and has extensive experience in asset management and portfolio optimization.

Mr. Hansen received his B.A. in Economics and Chemistry summa cum laude from St. Olaf College, and his M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management (Carlson Scholar designation).

Jim Richardson Director, Energy Marketing

Jim Richardson is Director of Energy Marketing at Avant Energy and has over 35 years’ experience in the electric utility and aerospace industries.

Mr. Richardson has extensive experience throughout the utility sector including power plant operations, trading-floor, mid-office, risk management, and energy marketing.  

Mr. Richardson holds an B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Carolina.  

Kim Lillyblad Conservation Services Manager

Ms. Lillyblad is the Conservation Services Manager at Avant, managing the energy conservation program for a group of municipal utilities as well as providing guidance to individual utilities as a consulting service.  In addition to conservation, she is Project Manager of both Metering and Wholesale Power Billing.


In her 29 years in the energy industry, Ms. Lillyblad has advised municipal, industrial, and institutional clients in multiple areas, including: cost of service and rate design studies, energy supply planning, utility operations, regulatory compliance, and electric and gas utility rate cases. 


Ms. Lillyblad received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia and studied at the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Jake Glavin Director, Consulting

Jake Glavin is a Director of Consulting at Avant. Mr. Glavin helps communities, utilities, and Native American Tribes solve problems and pursue opportunities in the energy industry. Mr. Glavin’s diverse background in engineering and business, as well as his broad experience within the industry, helps him navigate complexity and communicate clear recommendations to clients. Mr. Glavin has advised clients on strategic planning, utility formation, project feasibility, cost of service, and rate design.

Mr. Glavin graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He received his M.B.A. from Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business.

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