The Geysers

Meet Our Team

The Visitor Center and Calpine’s outreach program is a collaborative effort from the entire Calpine team. What makes the Calpine Geysers tour program truly special is that all tours are led by Geysers employees who generously volunteer their personal time. Our team is passionate about their work at The Geysers and excited to share it with others. And our enthusiasm for volunteerism extends beyond the Visitor Center. In the community, Calpine employees are dedicated to supporting schools, our local youth and civic groups.

Danielle Matthews Seperas, Manager, Government & Community Affairs, Calpine Corporation

Calpine Team Danielle has been with Calpine Corporation since 1999 and leads community outreach efforts for its Geysers operations. Having grown up around The Geysers, she appreciates the many wonderful attributes of the area and enjoys working on geothermal energy issues at a local level.

Electricity has been produced from geothermal resources at The Geysers for more than 50 years, but not everyone is familiar with this renewable, sustainable resource. As a believer that the public plays a key role in promoting geothermal development, Danielle is thrilled with the response to Calpine’s community tour program. Energy education is important and the tours, along with Calpine’s newly designed exhibits, make learning about The Geysers and geothermal energy interactive and interesting.

Community Tour Guides

Jim Kluesener, Vice President, Regional Operations
Community Tour Guide
  • Experience:
    While studying at UC Davis, I was fortunate to get a six-month internship at The Geysers in the late 1980s. The experience stuck with me over the years. In 2011, I found an opportunity to join Calpine and share my management experience with a great team in a unique operation.
  • Why do you volunteer for tours?
    The Geysers is an amazing national treasure. It is fun to share it with the public.
  • Interests:
    I spend much of my free time volunteering for the Naval Sea Cadet Corps. This program builds character, integrity and confidence in our youth.
Mike Rogers, Regional Vice President, Geothermal (Retired)
Community Tour Guide
  • Years at The Geysers:13
  • Why do you volunteer for tours?
    I like to show the public what a great place we have up here.
  • Interests:
    Dirt biking, hiking, camping.
Brian Benn, Manager, Environmental Chemistry
Community Tour Guide
  • Years at The Geysers:34
  • Why do you volunteer for tours?
    I enjoy teaching, and guiding tours allows me to pass along some of what I’ve learned at The Geysers.
  • Interests:
    Geology, golf, fishing, wine.
  • Favorite saying:
    "Time is what prevents everything from happening at once." - John Wheeler (1911-2008)
Frank Obertance, General Manager (Retired)
Community Tour Guide
  • Years at The Geysers:30
  • Why do you volunteer for tours?
    I am proud to work at the largest geothermal facility in the United States that produces enough clean, renewable energy to power 700,000 homes.
  • Interests:
    My interests are reading, gardening and barbecuing.
Greg Spier, Manager, Operations
Community Tour Guide
  • Experience:
    25 + Years on the "Hill," 23+years with Calpine
  • Why do you volunteer for tours?
    I volunteer for the tours because I truly enjoy helping others become better acquainted with geothermal energy and The Geysers.
  • Interests:
    Family, home improvement projects, travel and bicycling.
Bruce Carlsen, Director- Environmental Services at the Geysers
Community Tour Guide
  • Experience:
    11 years at The Geysers and 26 years in geothermal power production
  • Why do you volunteer for tours?
    I really enjoy the people we meet on the tours and love to see their excitement as they learn about our operations.
  • Interests:Boating, kayaking, gardening
Karl Urbank, Vice President – Technical Services
Community Tour Guide
  • Years at The Geysers:31
  • Why do you volunteer for tours?
    I am proud of the work that our employees have done over the years to make The Geysers what it is and to give it a great future. It is a unique and beautiful place and it is fun to show it off. I enjoy helping people understand what we do here and how geothermal energy fits into our overall energy mix.
John Grice, Control Operator III
Community Tour Guide
  • Years at The Geysers:33
  • Interests:
    Photography – You will see many of John’s photographs featured at the Visitor Center and this website!
Guy Tipton, Geysers Regional Controller
Community Tour Guide
  • Years at The Geysers:25 years, 30 years in the industry
  • Why do you volunteer for tours?
    I enjoy meeting new people and sharing The Geysers experience.
  • Interests:
    Scuba diving, family and church (not necessarily in that order)
  • Favorite saying:
    "I’m about as happy as I make up my mind to be."
Craig Hartline, Senior Geophysicist
Community Tour Guide
  • Experience:
    Craig Hartline joined Calpine Corporation in 2010 after nearly 20 years in seismic research and design. He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Geophysics from the University of Akron. Since joining Calpine, Craig has transitioned into a role including reservoir analysis, seismicity (analysis and outreach) and 3D model building and visualization.
  • Why do you volunteer for tours?
    Craig volunteers for community tours and presentations to promote renewable geothermal energy. He enjoys contact with students and the community.
  • Favorite saying:
    "Whatever you are, be a good one" - Abraham Lincoln
Melinda Wright, Senior Geologist
Community Tour Guide
  • Years at The Geysers:7+ years
  • Why do you volunteer for tours?
    I primarily get involved with special-focus tours. I enjoy sharing The Geysers geologic history with students and others with an interest in science.
  • How I became interested in geology:
    Going camping with my mother in geologically interesting sites as a child got me interested in the outdoors and is ultimately what drove me to study geology.
Milt Rhine, Plant Engineer
Community Tour Guide
  • Years at The Geysers:28
  • Why do you volunteer for tours?
    I used to speak to junior and senior high school classes about power production at The Geysers. Tours seemed like a natural progression from the classroom.
  • Interests:
    SCUBA diving, working on classic/vintage vehicles.
Tim Conant, Director, Geothermal Engineering
Community Tour Guide
  • Experience:
    32 years at The Geysers and other geothermal fields
  • Why do you volunteer for tours?
    I enjoy showing people the many wonders of The Geysers.
Josh Wade, Operations Manager
Community Tour Guide
  • Years at The Geysers:11
  • Why do you volunteer for tours?
    We live and work in a very beautiful and unique part of the world. I am proud to work for a company that allows others to learn about and witness all that The Geysers has to offer.
  • Interests:
    Restoring classic cars and volunteering with youth science education.
Sarah Pistone, Reservoir Engineer
Community Tour Guide
  • Experience:
    Sarah came to Calpine in 2012 and has experience in geology, environmental consulting, reservoir modeling
  • Why do you volunteer for tours?
    The Geysers is a unique and world-renowned natural geothermal resource. It is satisfying to share information about The Geysers with students and citizens of local communities.
  • Interests:
    Rock climbing, skiing, back-packing, primitive skills, livestock, farming, cooking
  • Favorite saying:
    "Strangely enough, the tempest has been the means of putting us on the right road."
    –Jules Verne, Journey to the Center of the Earth
John Traller, IC and E Technician III
Community Tour Guide
  • Experience:
    Two years with Calpine at The Geysers, career in energy development in California, the Philippines and China.
  • Why do you volunteer for tours?
    The energy industry is complex and often misrepresented in the media. We all work responsibly to keep the lights on and our families warm. I enjoy the opportunity to educate others.
  • Interests:
    Tournament sword fighting, camping and fishing.
  • Favorite saying:
    “If you’re going to identify a problem, offer a solution!”
John Avery, Project Manager
Community Tour Guide
  • Years at The Geysers:17
  • Why do you volunteer for tours?
    To share my knowledge about the Geysers. It is a great place to work and a great example of sustainability.
  • Favorite saying:
    “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
Jericho Reyes, Production Engineer Supervisor
Community Tour Guide
  • Years at The Geysers:2
  • Why do you volunteer for tours?
    It’s rare thing for one to have a job and also get the chance to show the public what you do and where you do it.
  • Favorite saying:
    “Can’t you eat ice cream from a bowl like everyone else in the world?” – Katharine Hepburn, to Howard Hughes