Nicole Lederer, E2 Co-Founder
Nicole Lederer is Chairman and Co-Founder of Environmental Entrepreneurs, focusing on growing E2’s pro-environment business constituency, establishing collaboration between business and environmental leaders and creating a positive dialogue with legislators at the state and national levels. She leads E2’s Advisory Council where E2’s regional and national strategies are formulated and managed. Nicole also leads E2’s federal advocacy agenda, supporting policies that foster environmental innovation, sustainable economic development and green job creation. Since 2002, she has led E2 delegations to Washington to meet with House and Senate members, as well as representatives from the Executive Branch. Nicole serves on the board of NRDC. She is a frequent speaker on green job creation and other business benefits related to environmental policy.
Bob Epstein, E2 Co-Founder
Bob Epstein is an entrepreneur and engineer with a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a co-founder of five companies: Sybase, New Resource Bank, GetActive Software, Colorado Microdisplay and Britton-Lee. Bob currently splits his professional time between his roles as co-founder of Environmental Entrepreneurs, Director of New Resource Bank, Advisory Board for the Goldman School of Public Policy and Chairman of the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund. Bob’s community activities are focused on the environment, public education, urban food systems and opera.
Jay Baldwin, E2 Chapter Director
Jay Baldwin is a Green Industry investor and strategic advisor focusing primarily on commercial building products and services. Through Wind River Capital Partners, he follows private equity offerings by providing merchant banking services and through angel investment organizations. Prior to forming Wind River Capital Partners in 1993, Jay co-founded City Gardens, Inc. in 1975, which grew to be the third largest interior landscaping service in the United States with over 200 hundred employees operating in seven states. Jay serves on the boards of Grow-tech, Inc. and The Charles River Conservancy.
Laura Berland-Shane, E2 Chapter Director
Laura Berland-Shane’as career spans more than 15 years in the cleantech industry, including management roles in solar, demand response, building technology as well as in advocacy, non-profit development and fundraising. Her most recent role was Western Region Utilities Director for Greenlots – a leading provider of electric vehicle infrastructure. Currently, Laura is focused on expanding the infrastructure for Electric Vehicles Laura has also focused her skills on advancing sustainability within the community, state and federal domains. Laura additionally serves as So Cal Chapter Director for E2/Environmental Entrepreneurs – a national non-profit advocacy group for business professionals. Laura has a BA in International Relations from Brown University and an MBA in finance from The Wharton School, and is a LEED AP.
“I was attracted to E2’s mission and the ability to interact with like-minded business professionals,” Laura explains. “I consider myself well-informed, but it’s illuminating to hear from NRDC experts on a range of topics – oceans, water, AB 32. It’s refreshing to hear intelligent debate and review from folks who are actually working on this every day, and to learn more about legislative challenges and victories from those who are doing the work and making policy happen. Rather than just reading about it, I’m hearing it straight from the frontline. E2 is geared towards someone who’s in the industry and aware of the overall picture, but needs and wants more details and information on how to get involved and make change happen”.
Laura serves as an E2 Chapter Director in Southern California. As a Chapter Director, Laura hopes to strengthen E2 membership in Southern California through convening EcoSalons, organizing and participating in State and Federal advocacy trips, as well as continuing to publicize E2’s influential national and local studies.
Annette Beitel, E2 Chapter Director
Annette has over 20 years of experience providing legal, regulatory, procurement, and management support to energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in California, the Midwest, and internationally. Her company, Future Energy Enterprises, develops and supports programs to ensure program administrators achieve their goals with cost-effective and clean energy resources, including energy efficiency, conservation, demand response, and renewable energy.
Annette leads the Illinois Income Qualified Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee in Illinois. Before that, she served as the lead facilitator for the successful, long-standing Illinois Stakeholder Advisory Group for 10 years, a forum authorized by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to build consensus and make recommendations to the ICC the on State energy efficiency policies, portfolio and program design, administration, implementation, and evaluation. She also facilitates the California Technical Forum (Cal TF).
Annette has been an E2 member for 15 years and a Chapter Director since 2019.
Ethan Blumenthal, E2 Chapter Director
After becoming a member of the North Carolina state bar in 2018, Ethan co-founded Good Solar and currently serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Good Solar is a 501(c)(3) that creates renewable energy solutions for nonprofit organizations and low- and moderate-income communities to promote social justice, combat climate change, provide community economic development, and build community resiliency. By developing and maintaining strategic partnerships, Good Solar matches funding with need—enabling its project partners to receive the benefits of a successful transition to renewable energy, wherever they are in the process.
While founding Good Solar, Ethan also took a year-long postdoctoral scholar position working with UNC Law’s Center for Climate, Energy, Environment, and Economics (CE3)—authoring a white paper on state policies implemented to alleviate the impacts of job losses due to the ongoing energy transition, among other projects. Ethan also currently works as a commercial solar sales associate for Eagle Solar and Light.
Born and raised in Charlotte, Ethan graduated the University of Colorado Boulder with a BA in political science and environmental studies before moving on to the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Ariel Fan, E2 Chapter Director
Now the Founder and CEO of GreenWealth Energy, Ariel Fan started her energy efficiency career on the streets of Manhattan, walking door to door between hotels, bagel shops and dry cleaners helping small businesses save energy. From her experience, she felt that green building technologies and financial incentives were so poorly understood and confusing the public, and made it her mission to create easy pathways for building owners and managers to save energy.
After she graduated from Columbia University and moved back home to CA, She managed a portfolio of 60 commercial buildings across California, working with utilities such as SCE, PG&E, and DWP to educate building owners on how to speed up the decarbonization of buildings.
In 2016, Ariel was recognized as Southern California Edison’s Energy Efficiency Partner of the Year, which led to her founding GreenWealth Energy to continue advancing green building technologies for commercial, industrial and public sector buildings.
Today, GreenWealth is rapidly growing and has recently been certified as the only woman, minority owned business enterprise (WMBE) energy company certified for government and public procurement.
Elizabeth Dreicer, E2 Chapter Director
Elizabeth is a humanitarian, environmentalist, conservationist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. Her professional and personal life are devoted to seeing, sharing, and developing solutions to create a better world, including reforming systems. She is a builder—of teams, organizations, coalitions and systems.
Elizabeth is the CEO of Kuity, an advanced analytics product development holding company. She is also co-founder and investor in a number of software, analytics, data, film and impact investment companies. She is also involved in systemic efforts to advance positive capitalism.
Elizabeth‘s career includes founding and leading data science, machine learning, medical analytics, healthcare technology services, financial management, community health, managed healthcare, medical group purchasing, and healthcare publishing organizations. Her experience spans product and professional services start-ups through sale. Board roles include enterprise, social enterprise, foundation, nonprofit, and public/private partnership organizations.
Elizabeth received her Bachelors of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Pennsylvania State University. She is also a graduate of Singularity University’s Executive Education programs, including, Exponential Medicine (previously FutureMed). Additionally, she is a graduate of the Extreme Leadership Executive Program.
Currently, Elizabeth is a Trustee of the Alliance Healthcare Foundation, where she is the immediate past Board Chair and member of the Impact Investing Committee, Finance/Investment Committee (where she is also past Chair), Program Committee, and Chair of the Wellness San Diego Committee. She is also a member and Co-Director of E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) San Diego, a national nonpartisan business leader group affiliated with NRDC (National Resource Defense Coalition) that advocates for good economic and environmental policies.
Further, Elizabeth has previously served on a number of nonprofit boards, including 211 San Diego, Just in Time for Foster Youth (where she was a founding member), San Diego Exploratory Foundation (working to bring the American National Olympic Committee ANOC World Beach Games to San Diego), and the Foster Youth Housing committee under the San Diego Commission for Children Youth and Families.
David Kolsrud, E2 Chapter Director
David Kolsrud has 18 years of proven experience in the renewable energy industries. He helped develop, organize, and fund over twenty projects. David’s expertise is used primarily in the areas of ethanol, biodiesel, and wind projects. In 2006, David formed DAK Renewable Energy Inc. DAK Renewable Energy manages eleven LLC’s with investments in multiple renewable projects. In 2011, David founded The Funding Farm, a company that invests in start-up companies. In 2012, The Funding Farm successfully funded 3 projects. David has been the Cooperative Manager at Agri-Energy LLC in Luverne, MN from 1995 until its sale to GEVO in 2010. He also represents owners on several companies’ board of directors. He is currently president of the board of directors for Windustry and on the advisory committee at the University of Minnesota for Bio Products and Bio Engineering. David attended the University of Minnesota from 1966-1970 majoring in Agricultural Education. In the fall of 1970, he was inducted into the US Military. He proudly served two years in the United States Army in Berlin, Germany as part of the Berlin Brigade. David and his wife Char continue their farming operation, which started in 1973. They have two grown children Jill and Chris.
Daniel Goldman, E2 Chapter Director
Daniel Goldman is Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of GreatPoint Energy, a company backed by leading venture capital firms that is commercializing a process for converting coal into high value, clean natural gas while capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide. Prior to GreatPoint, he founded and served as CFO of New Energy Capital, one of the first investment companies focused on clean energy project investments. Prior to founding New Energy Capital, Dan held regional and corporate senior management positions at InterGen, the power generation company co-owned by Bechtel and Shell and was a senior member of the energy consulting team at Arthur D. Little. Dan has been a founding investor and serves as a board member in several clean energy technology companies and funds, and co-founded the first dedicated energy efficiency investment business. He is also a co-founder of E2 New England and takes an active leadership role in clean energy and environmental advocacy in New England and at the Federal level, with specific focus on overcoming the financing challenges of commercializing clean energy technologies.
Vanessa Perkins, E2 Chapter Director
Vanessa Perkins originally hails from California and moved to Chicago in 2017 to pursue work in the energy efficiency and clean energy space. She is a passionate environmental scientist who understands how a healthy environment and science-based policy can support a healthy economy and create jobs – after all, she is one of many “clean jobs” in Illinois. Vanessa is committed to scaling sustainable climate solutions by making clean energy and energy efficiency affordable and accessible to all. Through her work at Resource Innovations and Franklin Energy, she has influenced and led energy efficiency projects across the commercial and industrial sector.
Vanessa was a 2018-19 E2 fellow and researched the opportunity and need for expanded, affordable EV charging in Chicago neighborhoods. Since her fellowship, she has founded Community Charging, an Illinois not-for-profit, to fund and build smart and affordable charging options in urban residential communities that lack public charging options.
Vanessa’s educational background and scientific interest is in ecology and marine conservation. She loves music, driving electric and diving. Vanessa became an E2 Chapter Director in January of 2021.
Jonathan Foster, E2 Chapter Director
Jonathan Foster serves as CFO of Kurion, a venture-backed applied technology company and member of the 2015 Global Cleantech 100. Jon has spent the last 15 years in leadership roles in entrepreneurial technology companies in the Silicon Valley, including two other cleantech companies. He was CFO of LS9, a technology leader in the development of renewable and sustainable chemicals and fuels that was acquired by Renewable Energy Group (Nasdaq: REGI), and he also served as CFO of Nexant, a provider of energy efficiency software and services. Jon is a member of the Board of Directors of the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), an innovative private non-profit spurring investment in start-up clean energy companies. He also serves as chair of the utilities advisory commission in Palo Alto, CA, a leader in the use of renewable energy. Prior to moving to the Silicon Valley, Foster served as a deputy director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Foster holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Yale University and a JD from Harvard Law School.
Dave Miller, E2 Chapter Director
Dave Miller is a General Partner of Clean Energy Venture Group, an angel investment group focused on clean energy technology companies. He is on the board of directors or advisory board of several of these companies, and is a mentor to others through MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service. David co-founded EPrime, a forum for clean energy entrepreneurs to network and support each other’s enterprises. He is a founding member of the MIT Enterprise Forum’s Energy Special Interest Group, currently runs the mentor program for the IGNITE Clean Energy Business Plan Competition, and was a board member of New England Energy and Environmental Funders. David founded several companies, including Quantum Telecom Solutions, which was eventually sold to Lucent Technologies. At Lucent, he served as a Director in the New Ventures Group. David was awarded a patent for co-developing a “one number” telecom service, and taught at Rutgers University in the Electrical Engineering Department. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from MIT, and recently completed his doctorate at MIT’s Lab for Energy and the Environment.
David Petri, E2 Chapter Director
Dave Petri is a highly regarded marketing and sustainability professional in the outdoor industry with 30 years of proven leadership experience in directing diverse and creative cross-functional teams to achieve success. Currently Dave is the founder and principal consultant at Cynosura Consulting – a marketing consulting firm committed to guiding clients in creating authentic branding strategies with an emphasis on sustainability and transparency. In addition, Dave serves on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Outdoor Recreation Coalition. B
Before starting Cynosura, Dave was the Vice President of Marketing at Nester Hosiery. In that role, he guided the development and growth of their new sock brand – Farm to Feet. Within five years, the brand established itself as a premium outdoor product, growing from being unknown to a top five selling hiking sock in the outdoor specialty retail market. Prior to joining the outdoor industry, Dave’s unique background included a career in the Navy and experience in the defense and power generation industries.
An active outdoorist with a personal passion for outdoor recreation advocacy and public lands protection, Dave lives in Mount Airy, North Carolina with his wife, Dr. Lisa Petri. He has two daughters – Marissa and Laurel.
Tim Sexton, E2 Chapter Director
Tim Sexton is a Founder and Principal of The Make Good Group, as well as co-founder of E2 Southern California. His firm helps its clients make good on their promises, make good in the world, and make good stuff by creating social impact strategies and programs that grow earnings and differentiate brands. He is a veteran of the content and digital industries, having served in senior management positions as both a creative and operating executive. Tim is also an Emmy Award winning producer who has served as an advisor, consultant, or senior executive to media companies, record labels, technology concerns, large public utilities, investment banks, professional sports franchises, healthcare systems, NGOs, ad agencies, public officials, and rock stars.Tim is also active as a director or advisor to the Alliance for Climate Education, Environmental Media Association, Rock the Vote, International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Liberty Hill Foundation, and others.
Milt Pinsky, E2 Chapter Director
Milton Pinsky is the Chairman of Banner Real Estate Group, LLC and affiliates, which he founded in 1990. Milt received his JD and MBA from the University of Chicago. Today, Banner is an owner of and manages over 6,000 apartments and is an owner of a portfolio of self-storage and senior housing properties. Banner currently has approximately 250 employees. Banner’s stabilized portfolio is worth over $700 million, its development pipeline has a projected stabilized value of over $700 million and it has operations in 15 states.
Chris Dennett, E2 Chapter Director
Chris is a Principal in North Highland’s Strategy practice. He is a communication strategist, with broad industry experience including manufacturing, financial services, sports apparel, and health care. His areas of expertise include strategy development and business modeling, program management, change leadership and a talent to bridge the gap between complex analysis and story-telling. His area of special interest is of mission-driven companies that emphasize environmental stewardship in their “triple-bottom line” business model. Chris became Chapter Director for the Pacific Northwest Chapter in January of 2010 and has actively been leading advocacy work in Oregon from clean fuels to a state-wide carbon pricing mechanism.
Mark Liffmann, E2 Chapter Director
Mark Liffmann is Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Business Development at Clean Power Research. Mark’s career includes co-founding one of the largest business units at SunPower where he led growth to over $500 million in annual revenue, and pioneered the successful expansion of the business unit to the European Union. While at SunPower, Mark also led the integration of the small commercial team after merging with PowerLight, and he helped form partnerships with numerous Fortune 500 companies. Previously at Solar Depot, Mark was responsible for doubling revenue and headcount in two years while serving as Vice President of Business Development and COO, and he established the groundwork for a successful sale of the business to Itochu. Mark’s experience also includes leading sales and business development efforts at EnerG2, a Seattle based energy materials startup, and serving at the law firm of Gunderson Dettmer, which specializes in financing emerging growth companies. Mark holds a B.S. in Physics and a B.A. in Public Policy from Stanford University, and a J.D. and an M.S. in Economics from Harvard University. Mark has been a member of E2 since 2002 and co-founded the Pacific Northwest chapter of E2 in 2009. Mark is married to fellow E2 member, Brooke Coleman, and is a father of two.
Kevin Morse, E2 Chapter Director
Kevin Morse is Vice President of Business Development for Lever Energy Capital. He is responsible for overseeing business development activities, including expanding Lever’s network of partners and developing origination opportunities. Kevin has ten years of experience in renewable energy, helping to grow innovative companies in the solar and biomass fields. His work has focused on providing low-cost, or no-cost, renewable power solutions to commercial customers across the country – governments, businesses, and non-profits – enabling them to reduce energy expenses and achieve their sustainability goals. Formerly serving as Vice President of Sales at Clean Energy Collective, Kevin launched his cleantech career by leveraging the skills and experience gained from his 21-year career as an executive in the capital markets and banking industry. In capital markets and banking, he specialized in structuring and delivering innovative financial solutions customized to meet his commercial clients’ needs. His experience includes positions as Vice President of Financial Products at Wells Fargo Bank and Senior Vice President of the Interest Rate Risk Management Group at Key Bank. Kevin earned his Master of Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from DePauw University.
Emily Rice, E2 Chapter Director
Emily is the Chief Operating Operator for The Energy Group (TEG). TEG is a locally-owned consulting firm specializing in energy management solutions. Emily took a job at TEG after graduating from University of Iowa with a degree in Chemical Engineering and a focus in Sustainability in Business 10 years ago; she entered her current role in 2013.
TEG helps owners and operators lower energy and maintenance costs by improving building performance. We provide design assistance, feasibility studies, energy modeling and analysis, and project management services that enable owners to optimize buildings systems and minimize operating costs.
Emily is responsible for managing day-to-day operations at The Energy Group, working with customers and her team to deliver innovative, cost-effective solutions. In her role, she also advances TEG’s mission of promoting energy efficiency as an economic driver for communities, and a competitive advantage for business and industry.
Carl Nettleton, E2 Chapter Director
Carl Nettleton is a speaker, moderator, analyst and the president of Nettleton Strategies, a firm specializing in in forming complex community coalitions and handling high profile issues involving government, media, businesses and neighborhoods. Carl is known for his ability to provide critical insight and strategic problem solving to both old and new issues. He regularly brings clients innovative ideas and fresh ways to look at their issues. As a senior counselor with strong networks in governmental, environmental, regulatory, media and business communities, Carl mixes who he knows with interpersonal skills that foster an atmosphere of cooperation to achieve client goals.
A key strategy implemented in this work is facilitated mapping, the use of advanced geographic information systems (GIS) technology to create location-based consensus and create opportunities for collaboration and conflict resolution. He says this about his firm’s work:
“At Nettleton Strategies, we try to create a sense of trust and a safe place for discussing and resolving issues. Participatory mapping is often the starting point for a process that leads to positive dialogue and relationship building.”
His subject matter expertise includes oceans, all things water, energy, climate, and the U.S. Mexico border. He regularly presents or moderates panel discussions at local, national and international meetings involving these subjects.
Carl is also the founder of OpenOceans Global, an international non-profit linking people to the world’s oceans.
Since joining E2 in December 2010 and becoming co-chair of the San Diego Chapter, he has helped to build the chapter by listening, fact-finding, and facilitating discussions with chapter members and local experts. Carl hopes the San Diego Chapter will be seen as a group supportive of E2’s state and national objectives and contributing to the resolution of environmental issues using sound business thinking.
As a delegate on the 2011 Washington, D.C. advocacy trip, Carl used his expertise to learn how individual elected offices viewed E2 issues while helping to highlight the need for using intelligent maps to create sustainably managed oceans that will benefit the economy for years to come.
His contribution to E2 includes using his ability to bring together businesses, the environment, and the NRDC to foster better communication and understanding that will help solve the traditional economy-environment gap that exists in policy. Carl says “We have to get to a sustainable place where we realize the benefit of the environment within the economy. We need to enable interest groups to work together with trust and respect.”
Carl’s favorite aspect of E2 is the opportunity to interact with like-minded people in such a collegial environment. “I’ve really enjoyed all the people I’ve met through E2. There is a great energy around this group, he says. “They are forward thinking and open to change and new ideas.”
Whitney Painter, E2 Chapter Director
Whitney Painter spent a decade in Washington DC, and was fortunate to gain experience from a variety of angles–CNN, the U.S. Senate and a range of environmental and women’s issues organizations. It was a great experience and she gained a genuine appreciation for the idea that each of us should participate in the policy process–from the most local to the broadest national issues–because these things truly affect our daily lives. We may not always get the outcome we seek, but every once in a while it’s possible to make an essential change or difference, and this makes the entire effort worthwhile.
Currently, Whitney Painter and Bart Sheldrake are co-owners of Buglet Solar Electric, based in Golden, Colorado. As a small, community-based business, Buglet Solar has been installing residential and commercial photovoltaic (PV) solar systems, since 2006, throughout the Front Range and other areas of Colorado. Bart & Whitney are invested in Colorado, and in utilizing our planet’s natural resources in the most efficient ways possible.
There also is a strong connection between the Buglet Solar’s name and mission to improve the human condition through renewable energy. Because our planet’s precious bug populations underpin their ecosystems, the welfare of bugs provides a barometer of ecological health. Buglet Solar is always striving to install enough solar energy to make more bugs—and along with them, our entire community—a little more happy and healthy.
David Rosenheim, E2 Chapter Director
David Rosenheim brings a lifelong love for entrepreneurship, people and the environment to his work. David is the founder of JobsWithImpact, whose mission it is to empower passionate people with the resources they need to build successful careers working towards a sustainable future. He currently serves as co-director of the Northern California chapter of E2.
In his former role as Executive Director of The Climate Registry, David was responsible for providing the strategic direction for the organization and oversaw its programs, services and staff. He served as chief liaison with TCR’s 35 state and provincial Board members, as well as between states and provinces and their respective federal governments on climate issues. David is a proven senior executive with experience as COO, CEO and Director on various corporate and non-profit Boards.
Previously, David oversaw U.S. business development for a leading carbon management firm and was an entrepreneur in the high tech sector, founding and/or leading innovative several Internet start-ups. David has an MBA from Oxford University, and has extensive experience across the range of key business functions: strategic planning, vision setting, raising capital, business development, board relations, marketing, and digital product development. David is a poet and songwriter and is based in the SF Bay Area where he lives in a solar powered house by the sea with his wife and two boys.
Michael Rucker, E2 Chapter Director
Michael Rucker is Founder and CEO of Scout Clean Energy a developer-owner-operator of utility scale wind projects in the US, and Co-founder of Harvest Energy Services, a wind energy independent service provider for construction management and O&M services.
Michael has over 20 years of renewable energy management experience. He was CEO of Juwi Wind North America, a leading renewable energy developer and operator headquartered in Boulder, CO. Michael also served as VP of Business Development at Clipper Windpower Development, and as the Western Region Commercial Director at GE Energy. Michael’s experience also includes pioneering work in power market operations and REC trading at Automated Power Exchange, Inc., and significant policy and programmatic work in renewable energy and climate change at the International Energy Agency (IEA) Energy Technology and R&D program.
Michael started his energy career as a Manager at the Edison Electric Institute, the Washington, DC based trade association for US investor-owned utilities. He has a M.A. degree in International Economics from the energy and environment program of the Johns Hopkins University (SAIS), and a BA degree in International Relations from Pomona College in Claremont,
Judith Albert, E2 Chapter Director
Judith Albert was E2’s first Executive Director, from 2010-2014. Until 2008, she was a senior executive at Bear, Stearns & Co., where she served as Chief Operating Officer for international Investment Banking based in London and, prior to that, Chief of Staff for Investment Banking based in New York. During the late 1980s and 1990s, she provided M&A and corporate finance services to Mexican and South American clients for J.P. Morgan and an investment banking boutique. Judy practiced corporate law with the firm of Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. She has also been active in the nonprofit world as a program officer with the Ford Foundation in Latin America and via a number of board positions, with a focus ranging from inner city youth issues to the environment. She is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School.
Caroline E. Bassett, E2 Chapter Director
Caroline E. Bassett is a communications professional specializing in environmental and sustainable issues. Before launching Bassett Media Relations, LLC in 2008, Caroline’s career evolved from one in politics; to working in production for a major television network; and later to mastering public relations skills at a boutique corporate P.R. firm in NYC. With Bassett Media Relations (BMR), she has synthesized all of the expertise and knowledge mastered in her previous roles, and used it to help educate clients and the public on sustainable challenges facing this planet. Caroline is a longtime supporter of E2’s partner organization, NRDC. She became an E2 member in 2014, and in her new role as Chapter Director, Caroline looks forward to helping E2 with overall media outreach on various projects.
Greg Smith, E2 Chapter Director
Greg Smith is founder, president and CEO of Energy Optimizers, USA, LLC, based in Tipp City, Ohio. The firm is a vendor neutral, full service energy efficiency and conservation company which specializes in assisting K-12 schools, local government agencies, and commercial organizations in reducing energy usage and expense. The organization’s mission is to improve the world by creating energy independence for our clients. Founded in 2009, the company has implemented more than $62 million in energy conservation projects and has eighteen full-time associates. Energy Optimizers, USA has been recognized by INC. 500 to the list of Fastest Growing Businesses in 2014, and the firm has received numerous local and regional awards in recognition of its growth and success. Energy Optimizers, USA was mentioned in President Obama’s speech on Clean Energy on August 24, 2015, and the firm’s executives have participated in numerous federal and statewide policy meetings on clean energy.
The company does business in six states – Ohio, North Carolina, Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky.
Mark Stenftenagel, E2 Chapter Director
Mark founded Whitney Architects in 1984. Specializing in commercial interiors, Whitney has developed space for a varied group of companies, including Kraft Heinz, U.S. Cellular, The Nature Conservancy, and Bosch. He is also president of Q Design, a product design consultancy that has worked with Target, Allsteel and HON. In 2014 he co-founded The Corporate Climate Alliance (CCA), out of a conviction that businesses are well positioned to be significant players in greenhouse gas reduction.
Mark has been an E2 member since 2015. As a director of our Midwest chapter, Mark has spearheaded E2’s advocacy to phase down harmful chemicals called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and replace them with climate-friendlier alternatives.
Geoff Chapin, E2 Chapter Director
Geoff Chapin founded Next Step Living in 2008 after years as a teacher and strategy consultant largely focused on nonprofits and community development. Fast forward to 2014, when he was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year in New England. A member of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s Implementation Advisory Committee on the Global Warming Solutions Act and on the board of the New England Clean Energy Council, Geoff is a familiar face on Beacon Hill, in the clean energy community and in the greater community. Geoff believes that businesses don’t have to make a choice between being socially responsible and making a profit. Geoff was a senior manager with the Bridgespan Group, a strategic consulting firm for public entities and nonprofits. Earlier, he led teams at Bain & Company in the New York and San Francisco offices, advising clients in multiple industries including consumer products, telecom and online businesses. A board member of PRIME, a nonprofit that encourages Program-Related Investments in the energy sector, Geoff began his career as a teacher at his alma mater, Roxbury Latin School in Boston. He also worked in the public housing sector with Community Builders in Boston and the Housing Authority of San Francisco. Geoff graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in political economics; he went on to earn an M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and an M.B.A from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Berl Hartman, E2 Chapter Director
Berl first met E2 Co-founder Bob Epstein while working in strategic marketing at Sybase, a database software company Bob co-founded. Years later, having moved to Boston and changed jobs, Berl found herself feeling that events were heading in the wrong direction: “It was early 2003 – the dotcom bubble had burst, the Senate had just been turned over to Republicans’ hands and the start of the U.S. war in Iraq was imminent.” She got a call from Bob, inviting her to a talk he gave in Boston about E2’s successful efforts to pass a clean cars bill in California. Berl had always been interested in local politics, and at the time was particularly concerned about global warming. When Bob asked her about starting a New England chapter of E2, she agreed to do what she could, but with a caveat. “I told Bob I didn’t know anything about the environment. On a good day, maybe I recycled. He assured me I’d learn it; that it was easier than selling software.”
Berl’s earliest efforts as Chapter Leader focused on recruitment events to build membership in New England. The chapter now has approximately 75 members and has gained four additional chapter co-leaders (see E2 Leadership webpage), all thanks to Berl’s guidance. Today, advocacy is just as important a component to the New England chapter’s activities as events. (Keep reading this issue for a summary of the advocacy accomplishments the chapter has enjoyed in just the past year.)
As a result of joining E2 and learning more about clean energy issues, Berl turned her professional skills to cleantech marketing consulting which she pursued for several years. Berl now focuses her time and energy on E2 and the New England Clean Energy Council, which she helped to found in 2007. She now serves on its board of directors and is the co-chair of the Council’s Policy Committee. She still very much enjoys both the event-planning and advocacy aspects of her E2 involvement. “E2 has become central to my perspective on issues. It showed me that when people are determined and organized they can actually make a difference. I’ve seen it this year here in Massachusetts where E2’s voice played a role in changing the environmental policy debate– and that has been very, very important.” With characteristic modesty, Berl is quick to share credit for the success of the New England chapter with her co-chapter leaders and the experts of other regional environment-oriented organizations with which she has formed close working relationships.
In addition to New England regional activities, Berl has been very active on E2’s national projects. She is a regular delegate to the annual delegation trips to Washington, DC, has participated in recent efforts to redesign E2’s website and update E2’s marketing plan, and serves on E2’s Advisory Council to help inform and guide growth and strategic direction.
Ron Kamen, E2 Chapter Director
Ron Kamen has been a leader in the development of energy efficiency and renewable energy since the 1980s. His knowledge of the field, coupled with his ability to work seamlessly across sectors, has empowered him to create partnerships between commercial clients, suppliers, utilities, and regulators. As CEO of EarthKind Energy since 2007, Ron has been standing alongside leaders in the public and private sectors, ensuring their success as he works to build a collaborative vision for a sustainable tomorrow. Ron served as president of the New York Solar Energy Industries Association for three years, piloting the public policy efforts that resulted in the quadrupling of annual solar installations and New York’s $1 billion solar program. He steered the development of the New York Solar Thermal Roadmap, and was recognized as New York’s Solar Champion in 2011.
Rich Kassel, E2 Chapter Director
Rich is Vice President at Capalino+Company and directs the Energy, Environment and Sustainability practice group, advising businesses and not-for-profit clients on a wide range of issues to help them thrive in the New York market. Prior to joining Capalino+Company, Rich Kassel spent more than two decades working on a wide range of air, energy, climate, land use, parks, and transportation policies and projects at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and directed the New York office of Gladstein, Neandross & Associates, a leading environmental consulting firm. Rich serves as co-chair of the NY chapter of Environmental Entrepreneurs and EPA’s Mobile Sources Technical Review Subcommittee where he advises the EPA on transportation and air quality issues. Other professional affliliations include Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (co-founder, advisory group member); Transportation Alternatives (advisory group); and Tri-State Transportation Campaign (board member, former chair).
Dave Belote, E2 Chapter Director
Dave is the Managing Partner and CEO of DARE Strategies LLC, helping clients successfully navigate issues at the nexus of renewable energy and national defense. Before founding DARE, Dave advocated for Federal- and state-level energy and defense policy as Senior Vice President of Cassidy and Associates, and earlier served as Vice President for Federal Business at Apex Clean Energy.
Recognized by the Obama Administration as a White House Champion of Change: Veterans Advancing Clean Energy and Climate Security in 2013, Dave is using his Federal experience to help develop floating offshore wind projects in California and Hawaii, as well as the SunZia high-voltage transmission project across New Mexico and Arizona.
A retired Air Force colonel and F-16 pilot who earned two Bronze Stars during Operation Iraqi Freedom and served as commander of Nellis Air Force Base, Dave continued his commitment to public service by running (albeit unsuccessfully) to represent his hometown in the Virginia State Senate. He also serves on the boards of Chanco on the James (an Episcopal summer camp and retreat center) and Eggleston, Inc. (a non-profit employer of special-needs adults). He is also a five-time Jeopardy! champion.
Allen McGonagill, E2 Chapter Director
Allen McGonagill is a start-up executive focused on business models that are helping individuals take climate-positive action. He is currently the Head of Strategy at Purple Carrot, a vegan meal kit based in Needham, MA, where he is helping shift people to low-carbon diets and address the ~20% of global carbon emissions from meat. Prior to Purple Carrot, Allen spent over 6 years of in B2C clean tech (rooftop solar, community solar, smart grid programs, energy efficiency). He founded Relay Power, which provided customer support services for the community solar industry including: customer acquisition, customer service, and billing. The Relay Power team enrolled 20MW of community solar offtake across thousands of homes, pioneering many of the first contract and billing structures for the industry. Prior to Relay Power, he worked at Next Step Living across the rooftop solar and energy efficiency teams and at a boutique clean tech strategy consulting firm. Allen graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in economics and a B.A. in environmental studies.
Meg Ruxton, E2 Chapter Director
Meg is a consultant and attorney working on forward-thinking sustainable transportation projects to promote the adoption of electric vehicles which includes advocating for the installation of charging infrastructure and development of innovative technology solutions. Collaborating with private and public partners – auto manufacturers, charging companies, transportation network companies, government entities, public utilities and app developers – on innovative programs, keeps her engaged in issues that will shape the future. With over 20 years of experience in law, public affairs, city government, and sustainability, she provides her clients with creative approaches. Her work involves forming strategic partnerships, securing funding, navigating contractual relationships, advising on legal compliance, and developing outreach and education campaigns. She began her career by practicing law at San Francisco firms for a decade on business litigation matters, including price fixing cases brought against the major oil companies. While still an active member of the bar, she enjoys her current work that allows her to bring together interested parties to create and implement programs that benefit the environment.
An E2 member since 2017, Meg has attended E2 trips in Sacramento and Washington, DC to meet with legislative members and administrative officials. She has advocated with E2 for stronger policies to promote the adoption of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
Vincent Mudd, E2 Chapter Director
Sarah Simon, Chapter Director
Sarah J. Simon, P.E., is a Partner at Apple Creek Associates, an environmental consulting firm. Throughout her more than 30 years in industry, consulting, and government, her work has focused on reducing environmental impacts and emissions, resulting in cleaner energy and more efficient processes. She previously served as Environmental Compliance Manager at Ameresco, a leading renewable energy and energy efficiency company. Her prior experience includes Deputy Director at the Division of Air Quality at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. In that role, she represented the Department on legislative commissions studying Radon Risk and Indoor Air Quality. She was a member of the team that streamlined the permitting process and received an Innovation in Government Award from the Kennedy School of Government. While working at the U.S. EPA, she participated on the award-winning national Acid Rain Program Implementation team. In addition, Ms. Simon led the Environmental Technical Group of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers and was President of the Boston Section of the Society of Women Engineers.
Miriam Makhyoun, E2 Chapter Director
Miriam is the Chief Executive Officer of EQ Research, a national energy consulting firm known for Policy Vista™, an online platform tracking and analyzing state regulatory proposals, state legislation, general rate cases, RPS and resource planning market data, electric vehicle regulation, and low carbon fuel policy. Miriam was a Power Supply Contracts Manager at MCE, California’s first Community Choice Aggregation Program, where she managed MCE’s 2018 Energy Storage Request for Offer process. Other experience includes portfolio management for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) procuring Resource Adequacy capacity and carbon compliance instruments.
Before PG&E, Miriam provided customized research to members of the Smart Electric Power Alliance. Ms. Makhyoun also published numerous energy industry reports while at North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association.
Makhyoun holds a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Appropriate Technology (Renewable Energy) from Appalachian State University, and is currently based in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Tedd Saunders, E2 Chapter Director
Tedd Saunders is President of EcoLogical Solutions; Co-Owner of the Lenox Hotel and Comfort Inn & Suites Boston/Airport; and, Chief Environmental Officer of The Saunders Hotel Group. Often credited with pioneering luxury urban ecotourism worldwide in 1989, Tedd is recognized for creating some of the most acclaimed environmental models in the hospitality industry. He first implemented this innovative business approach at several of his family’s historic properties. In 1992 Tedd founded EcoLogical Solutions, which has since advised The White House Conference on Tourism, HRH (His Royal Highness) The Prince of Wales’ Business Leaders Forum, Harvard University, Choice Hotels International, and Taj Hotels of India to name a few. Under his leadership, The Saunders Hotel Group has earned many prestigious international honors and received unprecedented recognition with feature stories in The New York Times, CNN, NBC Nightly News, USA Today, NPR and others. Author of The Bottom Line of Green is Black (published by Harper Collins), Tedd speaks internationally to business and political leaders and sits on numerous boards, including Harvard’s School of Public Health, the UCS (Union of Concerned Scientists) National Advisory Board, The New England Aquarium, The Woods Hole Research Center and CERES.
Mary Solecki, E2 Chapter Director
Mary is a Partner at AJW, a public policy and business development firm for technology innovators. She has spent over a decade working with clean energy companies on transportation and climate issues across the Pacific Coast. She has successfully led major campaign efforts to establish carbon programs and refine regulatory measures through strategic business engagement. Her work bridges the gap between the public and private sectors, with a focus on energy, transportation, and water issues. Ms. Solecki’s work has resulted in successful legislative campaigns, business-friendly amendments to public policies, and more robust climate programs. She has served on California’s Low Carbon Advisory Panel, working closely with members of the ARB Board and staff.
Prior to joining AJW, Ms. Solecki spent eight years with Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), a partner of Natural Resources Defense Council. There she ran E2’s presence in California, Oregon and Washington. She has worked in-depth on the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and carbon programs in both California and Oregon. She has advised on regulatory implementation practices and market research in transportation and power sectors. Ms. Solecki has been consulting on energy policy since 2008, and has a background in sales and communications.
Van Katzman, E2 Chapter Director
Van Katzman is an experienced business attorney who has worked extensively with environmental and clean technology companies for nearly 15 years on a wide array of transactional, financing, M&A, and regulatory matters. He is the co-founder of Beacon Law Advisors, PLLC, a Seattle-based corporate boutique firm that specializes in helping emerging companies raise capital and providing a more pragmatic, operationally focused perspective in solving business challenges. He formerly served as Assistant General Counsel for Waste Management, Inc., the nation’s largest solid waste and recycling company, where he helped manage all the company’s legal affairs for the Western United States. Van received his undergraduate degree from Yale University, holds a masters degree in environmental policy from George Washington University and received his law degree from the University of Virginia.
Alex Wall, E2 Chapter Director
Alex Wall is the founder and managing member of Wall Law, LLC, and former General Counsel for litigation support and software development companies. Alex helps businesses, shareholders and individuals avoid legal issues, comply with regulatory schemes, and defend themselves. Prior to moving to Portland where he resides with his wife and fellow E2 member and Oregonian Marie Kent, Alex was a litigation attorney at the internationally-known law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, LLP, in Manhattan. Alex was introduced to E2’s New York Chapter, where he was active for several years, before helping found the Pacific Northwest Chapter. Alex grew up in the state of Maine, where he developed a deep appreciation for the outdoors and perceived a need for humans to learn new ways to be economically productive in greater harmony with nature. Alex holds a B.A. from Colby College, a J.D. from the University of Maine, a privacy certification from the IAPP, a certification in the French language from the French government, as well as certifications in litigation support technologies. He loves languages and culture and is currently enjoying learning Mandarin.
Bill Capp, E2 Chapter Director
Bill is founder of Grid Storage Consulting (GSC), providing advisory services to various constituents interested in expanding the use of energy storage at the grid level. GSC provides expertise to help stakeholders improve the operation of electrical systems with advanced energy storage systems. Technologies include batteries, flywheels, and thermal generation (with and without fossil fuels). Clients include utilities, energy storage manufacturers, equipment suppliers, investors, government entities and grid operators.
Before founding GSC, he was President and CEO of Beacon Power Corporation for 10 years. Beacon was the first publicly traded “pure play” grid energy storage company. He led the development of Beacon’s flywheel energy storage technology while simultaneously working with FERC, grid operators, and public service commissions to create markets for energy storage based frequency regulation.
Beacon initiated commercial service in New England in 2008 and inaugurated the first-of-its-kind 20 megawatt frequency regulation facility connected to the New York grid in 2011. His career includes leadership roles in general management and technology in diverse companies including Ford Motor Company, Torrington, York International and Ingersoll-Rand.
He has a BSAE from Purdue University and a MSME from the University of Michigan, where he also earned his MBA. Bill has seven patents in diverse areas including microgrid design and PV systems.
Chris Parker, E2 Chapter Director
A native of St. Augustine, Fl. Chris grew up in and around the ocean, which embedded an appreciation for the role of nature and the desire to protect it. After a career on “Wall St.” in global macro trading, he took a hiatus for a variety of roles with conservation NGOs. This led to returning to finance for ESG investment advisory; combining markets with environmental and social issues. Today this eclectic background is used in a consulting practice for Kingfisher Parker – tailored advisory, campaigns and projects for companies and nonprofits. Chris partners with organizations to create impact around sustainability, climate action, ESG, conservation, CSR & renewable energy. Despite loving his work today, his favorite job was being a fly-fishing guide in Wyoming and the Caribbean. Chris is based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Gina Williams, E2 Chapter Director
Gina Williams has taken the quote “Be the Change” to heart, reflecting a passion for transformative and inspiring roles throughout her time in the Energy Industry and the community at large.
Gina has progressive vision and has a long tenure at the largest utility in Washington State, where the voice of the customer matters and clean energy choices are paramount in the company’s mission to provide safe and reliable energy needs. Solar, Green Power Renewables, Carbon balance, and reduction of greenhouse gas are at the forefront of the utility’s thinking and activity. Gina’s roles over the years have included exceptional care and compassionate customer facings, community engagement, strategic supply chain management for electric and gas, labor relations with mutual gains, and gas operations as emergency response and compliance. All responsibilities demonstrated with a deep sense of purpose and customer safety and well-being in mind.
Gina is a big believer in community, transformation & servant-based leadership and has served roles and engaged the community in Business Education Forums sponsored by Kent Chamber of Commerce, served as President of Human Relations Commission for City of SeaTac, and acted as Loaned Executive to United Way of King County. She trained and served as a crisis line counselor in an overnight shift for many years and on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound for over a decade in many capacities, including Governing Board, Officer on Executive Committee, Ambassador Board, and recruited back to Governing Board for special assignments.
Gina was an early adopter of environmental consciousness, seeking to lower her carbon footprint prior to legislative pushes. Equity work has also always been important to her, as she has been active in heartfelt race relations and healing work for twenty years.
Erik Wohlgemuth, E2 Chapter Director
Erik Wohlgemuth is the Chief Operating Officer at Future 500, a global nonprofit that engages diverse stakeholders in achieving market-based solutions to social and ecological issues. He is a trusted counsel to executives and policymakers across sectors for his expertise in aligning change agents around mutual objectives. Erik earned an MBA, MEM and a BA in history from Yale.