Bios for Keynote Speakers and Presenters Below
*Some details subject to revision
Schedule & Program:
9:00am – 9:30am
Presented By: Sid Hill, Tadodaho of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy
Welcome to Onondaga Territory
Presented By: Jeanne Shenandoah
Welcome to Syracuse & General Logistics for the Climate Solutions Summit
Presented By: Lindsay Speer and Renee Vogelsang
9:30am – 9:50am
Presented By: Judith Enck
9:50am – 10:40am
“Successes at the Local Level”
- Joe Driscoll, City of Syracuse (Moderator)
- Sam Gordon, Town of Dewitt
- Mike Baden, Town of Rochester
- Irene Weiser, Town of Caroline
- Amanda Lavalle, Ulster County
- Josh Wilson, Erie County
10:45am – 11:35am
Morning Workshops Session 1
11:50am – 12:40pm
Morning Workshops Session II
Morning Workshops will repeat twice over Sessions I and II
The Transition to Renewable Heating & Cooling in NY
Presented By: Bill Nowak, NY-GEO, Jonathan Comstock, HeatSmart Tompkins and Lindsay Speer, Renewable Heat Now
Climate Smart Communities & Clean Energy Communities
Presented by: Chris Carrick, CNY Regional Planning and Development Board and Mark Lowery, Department of Environmental Conservation
Energy Efficiency Standards, Policies and Practices
Presented by: Valerie Strauss, Association for Energy Affordability and Dave Currie, The Insulation Man
Engaging the Media on Climate Change
Why do some stories get covered and others don’t? Strategies and practices to attract attention and create impactful messaging.
Presented by: Chris Bolt, WAER and Emily Pomiliio, Sierra Club, Peter Wirth, CCAA
NY’s Energy System 101
Presented by: Jessica Azulay, Alliance for a Green Economy & the Energy Democracy Alliance
Anti-Oppression, Racism & Environmental Justice
Presented by: Twiggy Billue, National Action Network, Geovaira Hernandez, PUSH Buffalo, and Stephan Roundtree, Jr., Esq., WE ACT for Environmental Justice
12:40pm – 1:40pm
1:40pm – 2:00pm
Presented By: Oren Lyons
2:10pm – 3:00pm
Afternoon Workshops Session I
3:10pm – 4:00pm
Afternoon Workshops Session II
Afternoon Workshops repeat twice over Sessions I and II
Expanding Land Based Wind & Solar
Presented by: Neely Kelley, Mothers Out Front, Dave Arquette, Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force
100% Renewable Energy Cities
Presented by: David Alicea, Sierra Club, Yusuf Abdul-Qadir, Sustainability Advisor, Joe Driscoll, Syracuse City Councilor
Green Jobs and Workforce Development for a Green Economy
Presented by: Sage Green, PUSH Buffalo, Adam Flint, Southern Tier Solar Works and Ross Gould, Workforce Development Institute
What Will it Take to Reach NY’s Climate Goals
Presented by: Chris Carrick, CNY RPDB Jessica Azulay, AGREE and Anne Reynolds, ACE NY
Fossil Free Transportation: Electric Vehicles and Mass Transit
Presented by: Betta Broad, NYCP, Ron Kamen, E2, Heather O’Donnell, RPCC, and Chris Fowler, Syracuse First
Organizing for the Carbon Tax
Presented by: Daniela Lapidous, NY Renews, Ethan Bodnaruk, Citizens Climate Lobby
Communicating Across the Political Divide
Presented by: Linda Pratt, The Covert Liberty Project
4:10pm – 4:30pm
Presented By: Eric Walker
4:30pm – 5:00pm
Reflections, next steps, evaluations, thank you and Goodbyes!
Presented By: Neely Kelly, Betta Broad and Andra Leimanis
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions in regards to the program.
Keynote Speaker Bios:
Judith Enck is a dynamic community leader who has spent her entire career working to protect public health and the environment. She began her career as an environmental advocate and has held top influential positions in state and federal government. She is a Senior Advisor at the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development.
Judith recently was a Visiting Scholar at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in the Hudson Valley. Appointed by President Obama, she served as the Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overseeing environmental protection in NY, NJ, 8 Indian Nations, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. Working with a staff of 800 and managing a $700 million budget, Judith secured a number of environmental accomplishments during her tenure at EPA.
She has worked on environmental and energy issues related to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U S Virgin Islands, serving on the Governor’s Hurricane Recovery and Resiliency Advisory Committee in the US Virgin Islands.
Judith previously served as Deputy Secretary for the Environment in the New York Governor’s Office and served as a Policy Advisor to the New York State Attorney General. Prior to that, she was Senior Environmental Associate with the New York Public Interest Research Group. She also served as the Executive Director of Environmental Advocates of New York. She is a past President of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, former Executive Director of the Non-Profit Resource Center and a designer of her town’s rural recycling program.
She is a commentator on WAMC, a National Public Radio station and a panelist on the “Roundtable” a public affairs radio show.
Judith serves on the Advisory Board of Climate Action Now, The Institute for Health and the Environment at the Albany School of Public Health and Sustainable Westchester. She is active with the Hoosick Falls Support Network, working to bring clean drinking water to a region impacted by toxic contamination.
She lives in upstate New York with her husband and is a parent.
Oren Lyons is a Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation Turtle Clan and serves on the Onondaga Nation Council of Chiefs. He is a tireless internationally recognized advocate for indigenous rights and respect for the laws of nature, including the need to address climate change. He spoke at the 1992 Rio Summit, multiple times in front of the United Nations. He has been involved in many of the most significant events for Indigenous people over the last four decades, including the 1972 delegation of Indigenous leaders to the United Nations in Geneva, the passage of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the creation of the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth, and the 1978 Longest Walk.
Lyons is a professor emeritus of Native American Studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Syracuse University. He has been the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the National Audubon Society’s Audubon Medal, the Earth Day International Award of the United Nations, and the Elder and Wiser Award of the Rosa Parks Institute for Human Rights. Lyons serves on the board of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and is board chairman of Honoring Contributions in the Governance of American Indian Nations. Lyons is also remembered for his time as a lacrosse player. He is Honorary Chairman of the Iroquois Nationals. In 1989 he was named Man of the Year in Lacrosse by the NCAA.
Eric Walker is an independent renewable energy and sustainable development adviser working on several projects to promote equitable energy access within Western New York. Prior to his consulting work, he was Erie County’s first Director of Energy Development and Management. There, he worked to drive conservation and efficiency among County owned facilities while facilitating an interdepartmental team to develop strategic initiatives that strengthen Erie County’s sustainability leadership. During his three years as “activist turned bureaucrat”, he instituted the County’s first building benchmarking program, facilitated its first solar power purchase agreement, secured nearly $2 million dollars in grants and incentives to support the County’s sustainability efforts.
Mr. Walker also brings over a decade worth of social justice policy advocacy, program design, implementation, and community engagement experience to the climate and energy sector. Immediately before joining Erie County, Mr. Walker served as the inaugural Racial Equity Fellow for the Center for Social Inclusion’s Energy Democracy project, where he used his advocacy and policy experience to help launch the NY Energy Democracy Alliance. He is also co-founder People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH) in Buffalo, NY, where he drove its community organizing work related to residential energy efficiency, including spearheading the regional advocacy for and local implementation of Green Jobs/Green NY.
Mr. Walker continues his public service, serving on the board of directors at the Institute for Market Transformation, as a member of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network’s Equity in Energy Advisory Committee, and as an advisor to the University at Buffalo’s Collaboratory for a Regenerative Economy Initiative.
(Alphabetical by last name)
David Alicea is a Senior Organizing Representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign covering Western and Central New York. For the past four years, David has been leading Sierra Club’s grassroots work in transitioning New York from coal to renewable energy. During this time Sierra Club has worked with partners to secure an enforceable target of 50% renewable electricity in New York by 2030, as well as a commitment to phase out coal by 2020 and to scale up on wind power across the state. David is a lifelong New Yorker and currently lives with his wife, Carly, in Henrietta, NY. On weekends the two often can be found either hiking in the region’s scenic areas or enjoying the Chautauqua or Seneca wine trails.
Jessica Azulay is Program Director of Alliance for a Green Economy, where she leads grassroots organizing around energy and environmental policy in New York State. She is also a co-founder and Steering Committee Co-chair of the New York Energy Democracy Alliance, which is a coalition of grassroots organizations centering racial and economic equity in the transition to a 100% renewable and democratic energy system in New York. Jessica was born and raised in rural West Virginia and moved to her current home in Syracuse, NY in 2002. She has 20 years of multi-issue grassroots organizing experience and a Bachelor’s Degree from Sarah Lawrence College where she focused on political economy and international economics. Before coming to AGREE, Jessica worked professionally as nonprofit publisher, editor and journalist with the award-winning hard news website, The NewStandard, where she honed her research and communications skills. She has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Syracuse Peace Council and the Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union, and served as faculty for three years at the Z Media Institute. Jessica was a 2015 recipient of the GreeningUSA “Sustaining Our Communities Award” for her development of the successful Solarize Syracuse campaign, and she was the 2016 recipient of “Lou and Judi Friedman Legacy Award” from Beyond Nuclear and People’s Action for Clean Energy for her inspiring leadership and coalition building to transition New York State to a carbon-free and nuclear-free energy supply.
Michael Baden serves in his first term as Town of Rochester (Ulster County) Town Supervisor. He currently serves as 2nd Vice-President to the Ulster County Association of Town Supervisors & Mayors, Vice-Chair to the O&W Rail Trail Coalition of Municipalities, Secretary to the Ulster County Trails Advisory Committee, Ulster County Planning Board, Friends of Historic Rochester and 40 years volunteering with the Dutchess County Agricultural Society. Previous work includes 7 years as Chair of the T/ Rochester Planning Board, Trustee to the Rondout Valley Board of Education, and membership on the Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainability Plan -Agriculture/Foodsheds subgroup. He has been involved in local and regional land use planning and zoning for 15 years and has developed and taught training seminars on a variety of land use topics. He has led the research of reports for his community in historical, environmental, and demographics and written local town legislation updating the comprehensive plan, zoning, subdivision, solar, telecommunications, gas and petroleum exploration, and manufactured housing local laws. Mr. Baden was the recipient of the 2013 New York Planning Federation “Levine Award for Community Service”.
Ethan Bodnaruk lives in Syracuse, NY and is a wastewater engineer. He holds a B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College and a M.S. in Ecological Engineering from SUNY-ESF. He has worked on ecological sanitation projects locally through Engineers Without Borders and in Haiti with the organization Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL). He recently completed a 5-year term as Co-moderator of the Religions for Peace (RfP) North American Interfaith Youth Network and a 2-year term as Coordintator of the RfP International Youth Committee, representing the Mennonite Church USA. His interests in science and spirituality lead him to be active on topics related to the environment and climate change. He has been a volunteer with Citizens’ Climate Lobby for 3 years, working to build political will for Congress to pass a national revenue neutral carbon fee to help address the climate crisis.
Dr. Chris Bolt has been News and Public Affairs Director at WAER Public Radio for 23 years. He’s covered numerous environmental topics, issues and events in that time. Chris has also taught at the college level for 20 years, and held trainings on media use and access for advocacy and non-profit groups. In earning his Doctor of Education in Executive Leadership, he researched Environmental Education the Public Sphere. The study focused on the degree to which education efforts align with concepts that change attitudes and behavior. He’s been a 30-year resident of Syracuse, enjoying the area’s natural beauty and outdoor recreation.
Elizabeth (Betta) Broad is the Outreach Director for the New Yorkers for Clean Power campaign, working to accelerate the transition to renewable energy, energy efficiency and electric vehicles in New York State. She serves on the board of Citizens for Local Power and is a co-founder of the NY Energy Democracy Alliance. Since moving from Brooklyn to Kingston, she was appointed to the Kingston Conservation Advisory Council, the Kingston Climate Smart Commission and the Ulster Climate Smart Committee.
Chris Carrick directs the Energy Management Program for the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board, a public agency that serves Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego counties. Chris and his team help municipalities and communities to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions through sustainability planning and development of clean energy projects including solar, wind and energy efficiency. Chris received his Master’s degree in Community Development from the University of California-Davis and was a Fulbright scholar as a doctoral student in City and Regional Planning at Cornell University. He has over twenty years of experience and has worked in British Columbia, California, Maine and New York.
Jonathan Comstock’s career began as a researcher in physiological plant ecology. During the last two decades he became increasingly involved with climate change issues, co-authoring the Ecosystems and Agriculture chapters of a NY report on climate change adaptation and coordinating content for http://climatechange.cornell.edu/. He also serves on Energy Independent Caroline, an advisory committee to the Caroline Town Board, and was a founding member of Solar Tompkins, chairing its board of directors during its first three programs. He now works as the Program Director for HeatSmart, a Solar Tompkins initiative that attempts to apply Solarize program concepts to the transformation of the heating sector from fossil fuels to electric heat pumps.
David Currie, Vice-President/Co-Owner – The Insulation Man, LLC. David has over 40 years of experience in corporate, entrepreneurial and non-profit settings in the Hospitality, Health Services, Community Organizing, Development, and Sustainability arenas. His major focus has been on Marketing, Sales, and Strategic Development pioneering the creation of new corporate capacities and departments and launching several for-profit and non-profit ventures. At The Insulation Man, where he has been working since 2012 and which he and a co-worker purchased in 2015, he is responsible for Business Development, Marketing and Sales. The Insulation Man provides an opportunity for Dave to do two of things he loves best: creating value and doing well by doing good. Dave is married and currently lives in Binghamton. He has two grown stepchildren and three grandchildren.
Joe Driscoll is a musician, activist, and recently elected district councilor for the city of Syracuse. After spending over a decade pursuing his musical career in Europe, he returned to his native Syracuse in 2015 and began organizing for Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders shortly thereafter. This engagement in the electoral process led him to take Bernie’s advice and run for local office. Since taking office in January, Joe has championed a resolution supporting a Revenue Neutral Carbon Fee, and worked with local partners to get Syracuse to qualify as a NYSERDA clean energy community. While the transition from songwriter to elected official may not be the traditional path, it still seems a natural progression to go from singing about social change to working towards implementing it through the work of local government.
Adam Flint is Southern Tier (NY) Solar Works Program Manager at the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, which he co-founded in 2008. From 2011-2013, he ran the Energy Leadership Program at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, where he coordinated the Southern Tier Green Jobs Green New York program. He has worked as an educator in the Southern Tier for more than twenty years, including posts as Assistant Professor of Sociology at Hartwick College and as lecturer in Environmental Studies at Binghamton University. Adam co-founded the NY Energy Democracy Alliance, serves on the steering committee, and coordinates COSHARE, the Community Owned Shared Renewables Working Group. He also works on NY State energy policy with a focus on the ‘Reforming the Energy Vision (REV)’ proceeding, He is also a founding member of the Tier Energy Network of the Southern Tier, and the National Energy Democracy Solar FUND, aka RISE national.
Chris Fowler is a former candidate for Mayor of Syracuse and founder of SyracuseFirst, Central New York’s Independent Business Alliance, a network of over 400 businesses working together to address economic development and sustainability issues in the region. Currently, Chris is organizing “Slow Roll Syracuse” a weekly bike for everyone; all ages, all skill levels and every type of bike is welcome giving riders a unique perspective of our great city and its neighborhood envision bicycles as a form of effective transportation, contributing to reducing violence, improving health, creating jobs and ultimately making our neighborhoods more livable. Chris is passionate about engaging citizens to determine the future of their community by shifting their choices, but more importantly, inspiring democratic participation by helping community members view themselves as citizens with a right to shape their community’s future, not merely as consumers.
Sage Green is a Community Energy Planner at PUSH Buffalo. She, along with her team of community leaders and staff, plans and implements community energy planning processes, does project management on renewable energy projects for affordable housing in Buffalo, N.Y., and contributes to policy advocacy and organizing campaigning for equitable energy development in New York State and nation-wide. Sage is a former energy auditor for the NYS low-income and market rate energy efficiency and weatherization programs before coming to PUSH Buffalo. She is a Buffalo Public School graduate and went on to study Urban Studies with a tract in the Built Environment at Brown University. There, her studies focused on working across disciplines on sustainable design practices for architectural, programmatic, and policy development. Additionally, she is trained in community organizing by PUSH Buffalo, People’s Action, Movement Generation, and a community of passionate mentors and has be an active participant in PUSH Buffalo’s organizing for 6 years.
Sam Gordon is Director of Planning, Zoning & Sustainability for the Town of DeWitt, New York. As Director, Sam is responsible for the management and development process within the Town and coordination of Town sustainability issues and initiatives. He is also responsible for the implementation of the Town Comprehensive Plan, coordinating site plan reviews, Town code revisions, grant writing and administration, GIS mapping, and project development and administration. Sam supervised the development and adoption of the Town of DeWitt Sustainability Plan (August 2014). Sam is also directing DeWitt’s participation in the “Elevating Erie” Project, a collaborative effort to close a 14-mile gap – the historical Erie Canal corridor between Camillus and DeWitt – in the Erie Canalway Trail System. The plan is an outgrowth of the “Elevating Erie Ideas Competition” launched by the Town, in collaboration with the City of Syracuse in 2015, which drew proposals from nearly 70 entries representing 16 countries. The concepts were also created with the input of more than 1,200 online survey responses from the community. Sam is now guiding an effort to update the Town of DeWitt’s zoning code to allow for the development of mixed-use centers.
Ross Gould is the Energy Sector Program Manager for Workforce Development Institute (WDI). Ross is a lawyer and has worked in private, public and not for profit sectors focusing on energy, environment and workforce. In his role as program manager he spends his time assessing the impacts energy policy, sector trends and emerging technologies have on the workforce and tracking areas of opportunity within the energy sector where new employment is likely and workforce development needs are anticipated. Ross travels throughout New York to obtain ground level intelligence about New York’s energy workforce, the hiring demands of employers, and training programs. Before joining WDI, Ross worked as legislative director and counsel at the New York State Senate where he drafted legislation across a wide array of issue areas, including energy, environment, taxes, economic development, education, and local governments. Ross has also run the air and energy program for a statewide environmental not-for-profit, where his work focused on energy efficiency, solar, offshore wind, state energy planning, siting of electricity generation and clean energy jobs. He is the author and co-author of several articles and reports that assess the workforce impacts of environmental and energy policies.
Geovaira Hernandez a Latina woman from the Bronx, NY and is currently building people power as an energy organizer with PUSH Buffalo. Having experienced the consequences of environmental racism and climate change throughout her life, she hopes to learn more each day, with and for people like herself, to help build a new social construct in which we all benefit and live meaningful, healthier lives… She tries to ask myself each day, “What do you want to be remembered for?” by Jafet Robles (deceased freedom fighter with Neighbor to Neighbor in Massachusetts).
Sid Hill (Onondaga Nation) is Tadodaho of the Haudenosaunee. This title is unique as this lifetime position is the only title chosen by the other 49 chiefs of the Haudenosaunee confederacy. He is part of the Onondaga Nation Council of Chiefs, providing leadership to the Onondaga Nation and representation of the Haudenosaunee internationally, advocating for protection of the environment and the rights of Indigenous Peoples around the world. He has had the honor of opening the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues with the Words Before All Others for over ten years. He has long been an advocate for a full cleanup of Onondaga Lake, which is sacred to the Haudenosaunee and currently a polluted Superfund site. One of his most important responsibilities is ensuring the Haudenosaunee continue their traditional teachings.
Ron Kamen works with municipalities, non-profits, businesses, and communities to achieve clean energy transformations that save money, while benefiting the environment. Ron has decades of expertise in catalyzing sustainable energy adoption through public-private partnerships on solar, wind, efficiency, and other clean energy technologies. Sustainable Westchester retains Ron and his company, EarthKind Energy, to build Clean Transportation Program policies, programs, and projects that exponentially increase the adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs). The Clean Transportation Program has secured substantial community-wide discounts for EVs and helped municipalities win grants and discounts for municipal fleet and charging station infrastructure. In addition to expanding EV aggregation and infrastructure, the program is also moving to electrify buses and other heavy-duty equipment.
Neely Kelley’s first active involvement with the climate movement was to lead the fossil fuel divestment campaign of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. She has a B.S. in Animal and Poultry Sciences, and a B.A. in French Languages and Literature from Virginia Tech as well as an M.S. in Animal and Avian Sciences from the University of Maryland and an M.S. in Accounting from the University of Rochester. Neely has committed to full time organizing because of the urgency of the climate crisis. She served with the Peace Corps in Gabon, Central Africa, but now lives in Rochester, NY with her husband Doug, two daughters and a small menagerie of pets.
Daniela Lapidous is the Coalition Organizer for NY Renews, a statewide coalition with 140+ members fighting for a transition to 100% renewable energy that centers workers and communities that have been most impacted by inequality and climate change. She has organized with the student fossil fuel divestment movement, researched social movement theory for funders, and continues to organize with the Sunrise movement to get fossil fuel money out of our democracy.
Amanda LaValle heads the Ulster County Department of the Environment. The Department has the unique charge to coordinate and implement sustainability and other environmental initiatives across County government operations. Projects range broadly and include energy efficiency, use of renewables, stormwater, green infrastructure, and flood hazard mitigation. Ulster County is a Silver Climate Smart Community; was the first designated Clean Energy Community in NYS; and, received a 2017 DEC Environmental Excellence award for its carbon neutral government operations. This past week, Ulster County commissioned a 1.9mw solar installation which will produce approximately 20% of the electricity needed for county government operations. Amanda holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a graduate degree from SUNY Empire State College. She is originally from Ulster County and currently resides in Kingston New York.
A 30-year veteran of NYSDEC, Mark Lowery has served as a climate policy analyst in DEC’s Office of Climate Change since 2007. He previously worked as a wildlife biologist and citizen participation specialist. He serves as coordinator of OCC’s Adaptation and Municipal Support Group, which includes support of the Climate Smart Communities program and implementation of the Community Risk and Resiliency Act. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Franklin and Marshall College, and a master’s degree in environmental and forest biology from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Bill Nowak has been Executive Director of NY-GEO since its inception in the summer of 2014. The New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO) is a non-profit organization representing geothermal heat pump (GHP) installers, manufacturers, distributors, general contractors, engineers, renewable energy consultants and industry stakeholders from throughout New York State. In 2009-2010, he was Director of Policy Research for the NY State Senate Environmental Conservation Committee.
Heather O’Donnell is on the leadership team of the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition (RPCC) and focuses on transportation – advocating locally and regionally for a sustainable, high-functioning, and equitable mass transit system, bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure, and EV transition – as well as assisting with communications and education for RPCC. She was a professional musician for 20 years, living during that time in Berlin and Paris. She moved to Rochester in 2015 with her husband and daughter and teaches in the Humanities Department at Eastman School of Music / University of Rochester.
Linda Doherty Pratt has worked in the field of communications for the past 20 years. This has encompasses the fields of speech pathology, teaching English as a second language, public relations, and community organizing. She hopes to bring diverse opinions together to find common ground.
Emily Pomilio is an Associate Press Secretary for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. She is in charge in media efforts covering the Northeast states including New York. This includes creating messaging, general strategy and narrative based on campaign goals, working with the media to get coverage on announcements, supporting partner organizations on media efforts, etc. Through working with the New York Beyond Coal team they have been able to secure commitments to phase coal out of the state and increase investments in renewable energy.
Since 2014, Anne Reynolds has been the Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY), an organization of renewable energy companies, energy efficiency companies, and environmental organizations in New York. Prior to joining ACE, Anne was at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for seven years, serving in several positions, the last which was Deputy Commissioner for Administration. Before DEC, Anne worked as the Air and Energy Policy Director at Environmental Advocates of New York, at the Tellus Institute for Energy and Environmental Strategies in Boston, MA, and at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Stephan K. Roundtree, Jr. serves as Environmental Policy and Advocacy Coordinator at WE ACT for Environmental Justice, located in Harlem NYC. His work focuses on policy development and advocacy on issues of energy efficiency, climate resilience, and indoor toxic hazards. His responsibilities also include engaging Northern Manhattan community members with state policy initiatives, and growing the organization’s political power through strategic relationship building.
Stephan is a Massachusetts native, and graduate of Boston College, Northeastern School of Law, and Vermont Law School. He is an avid hiker, birdwatcher, and sports fan.
Jeanne Shenandoah (Onondaga Nation) is a member of the Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force. She is a lifetime resident of this area and a caretaker of Mother Earth. She also served as a home birth midwife for over 34 years. She is a follower of traditional teachings, and a practitioner of herbal medicine.
Lindsay Speer is Director of Creating Change Consulting, which assists grassroots groups, nonprofits, and Native Nations on environmental and social justice campaigns. She was a leader in the anti-fracking movement as a co-founder of ShaleshockCNY and a member of Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation. Now that fracking is banned in NY, she is working to protect the climate by reducing NY’s demand for fracked gas and fossil fuels from other states. She is working with Alliance for a Green Economy on the Renewable Heat Now campaign, to promote switching to efficient electric heat pumps for heating and cooling our homes. She also works with the Onondaga Nation and is proud to be a lifelong resident of Syracuse.
Valerie Strauss is the Director of Policy & Regulatory Affairs for the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA). Ms. Strauss directs regulatory and policy activities in support of energy efficiency and clean distributed generation with a special emphasis on multifamily buildings and low/moderate income communities. Prior to joining AEA, she led the Alliance for Clean Energy NY, a non-profit that promotes renewable energy and energy efficiency, and while with the Albany law firm of Young, Sommer worked successfully on the adoption of New York’s first Renewable Portfolio Standard. She has served on several NYSERDA Advisory Committees and has many years of experience in energy and environmental policy. Before moving to NY, she worked for environmental consulting firms and non-profit organizations in Madrid, Spain and Washington, DC (TAU Consultora Ambiental, The Cadmus Group and the League of Women Voters). Ms. Strauss has a B.A. in Geography from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.A. in Urban Planning from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Renee Vogelsang is a clean energy and climate activist based in Syracuse, NY. Renee has been organizing on social and environmental issues since 2002, working with organizations at the grassroots, local, state and national level. Renee is an alumni of NYPIRG, Clean Water Action, Food & Water Watch and Citizen Action NY. From 2010 to 2015, Renee worked on the historic statewide campaign to ban fracking in New York. She was a co-founder and co-coordinator of the New Yorkers Against Fracking coalition and organized several critical mass actions including the first statewide rally to ban fracking in 2011, the State of the State Address, the New York Crossroads rally and Governors Day at the New York State Fair. Since the ban on fracking, Renee has been working on the transition to renewable energy, energy efficiency and electric vehicles with fellow organizers at New Yorkers for Clean Power, Frack Action, ACE NY, AGREE, NY-GEO and several others. Renee is also working on documenting the transition to renewable energy in New York and beyond. Check it out at RoadtoRenewables.org.
Peter Wirth graduated from Syracuse University with a Masters in Community Organizing in early 1970’s. He was involved with social justice work most of his life: civil rights work in Missisippi in 1970; Vietnam anti war movement; led 6 delegations to Nicargua in the 1980’s during the US sponsored Contra War. In 1990 he started an issue oriented public relation business. Today he is involved with climate change advocacy work.