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Illinois Solar Education Association Board of Directors & Staff

Staff


Lesley McCain

Executive Director

Prior to accepting the position as Executive Director of the Illinois Solar Energy Association, Lesley served on the ISEA board from September 2009 until April 2012. As a board member she was Chair of Marketing Committee. Lesley previously worked for Community Energy Inc.(CEI) as the Midwest Director of Business Development. She started with CEI in 2005 as the Residential Program Manager for the award winning City of Naperville Renewable Energy Program, and in 2006 added corporate and industrial sales to her responsibilities. Lesley also serves on the board of the Illinois Environmental Council. She is grateful to have the opportunity to use her personal energy to help with the transition to the clean energy economy.


Nicola Brown

Program Associate

Nicola has been working in communications and administration in the nonprofit sector for over five years, after graduating from the University of Chicago with a degree in English Literature. She is very passionate about renewable energy and is excited to help promote solar in the state of Illinois!

Board of Directors - Officers:


Froilan Nuñez

President
Serving since 2021, term ends January 2023

Froilan Nuñez is a Project Manager with Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA) in Chicago. There, he oversees a training contract between HACIA and ComEd that is funded through the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA). This program has trained over 70 small contractors in Business Management, Workplace Safety and Fundamentals in Photovoltaic. Through this program, a mix of diverse contractors are able to become certified in OSHA 10, EPA RRP, and NABCEP PV Associate. Prior to HACIA, Froilan worked as Director of Finance at North Branch Works for 11 years. His past work experience includes Economic/Housing/Community Development in Chicago. He has 18 years of non-profit experience. His education is in Accounting at Chicago State University. Froilan currently volunteers at SkyART and is Treasurer of its board of directors. On his personal time he enjoys playing 16 inch softball, running and swimming.


Jennifer Martin

Vice President
Serving since 2021, term ends January 2023

Jennifer is an Environmental Program Development Specialist at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, where she leads research on the impacts of photovoltaic circular economies in states. Her professional career also includes a wide range of experiences developing and evaluating programs on energy and conservation with training organizations and community colleges across the Midwest. Jennifer’s work has been fundamental in the development and implementation of solar training workforce strategies which are now helping to build a more robust solar energy market in Illinois.

Dylan DeBiasi
Treasurer 

Serving since 2018, term ends January 2022

Dylan DeBiasi serves as Director of Regulatory Affairs for Carbon Solutions Group. In addition to his policy role at CSG he also currently leads the team focused on SRECS in Illinois where they have successfully bid into all SPV and DG SREC procurements held by the state. Dylan has also been an active member of the ISEA Policy committee since 2016. His prior experience includes working in a number of roles in environmental credit markets, including acting as a plant manager for a 10MMGPY bio-diesel plant.


Conner Waters

Secretary
Serving since 2021, term ends January 2023

Conner Waters joined the StraightUp Solar team in 2018 as a Solar Support Specialist. Within the year she moved to the position of Permit & Utility Specialist. Prior to joining the StraightUp Solar team, Conner earned her degree in Renewable Energy at Illinois State University. Conner has always been passionate about sustainability, the environment, and people. Working to promote renewable resources is the best way that she can imagine to bring these passions together.

Board of Directors:


Kyle Barber
Serving since 2021, term ends January 2023

Kyle Barber is the instructor for the Solar Pipeline Training Program, as well as Corporate and Community Education for Illinois Central College. He is also the photovoltaics Instructor for Lewis and Clark Community College. ICC's program is funded by the FEJA of 2017. Lewis and Clark's program is funded through a DOE grant. Both focus on students gaining their OSHA10, allowing them to sit for the NABCEP Associate Exam. Prior to teaching, in 2011, Kyle co-founded EFS Energy, an EPC operating in the Eastern part of Missouri and Southern Illinois. He has a degree in Mathematics from Illinois College, and a background as a financial advisor and an insurance specialist. His upbringing around the coal mines of Southern Illinois gave him a unique set of skills and knowledge in his classrooms. Kyle's passion drives him to help reduce fossil fuels, clean up the environment, educate the public, and help them find employment.

Mike Bullock
Serving since 2021, term ends January 2023; previously served on Energy Board from 2015-2021

Mike is co-founder of Saint Charles Solar, a solar financing firm focused on providing financing options for non-profit organizations that want to go solar. He is also the founder of Breakthrough Solutions, a consulting firm specializing in helping organizations improve their business performance. Mike was active as a Solar Ambassador prior to joining the board in 2015. He serves the Board of Directors as Treasurer and participates on the Solar Ambassador and Education Committees. Mike is one of ISEA’s instructors for PV101 and PV201.


Amy Hanna Downey
Serving since 2021, term ends January 2023

Amy has been working in the solar industry since January 2018 as a Project Manager, Technical Advisor, SREC Manager and Permit/Interconnection Coordinator for two Illinois solar companies, one local and one national. As a board member of Go Green Wilmette, her primary focus is on community solar outreach. Amy looks forward to blending her technical knowledge with her past background in education and 20 years in the non-profit sector. Her certifications include NABCEP PV Associate and OSHA 10. She holds a MA in Teaching - Secondary Biology, a BA in Conservation, and a BA in Zoology.


Peter Gorr
Serving since 2021, term ends January 2023; previously served on Energy Board from 2014-2015

Peter Gorr is a lifetime member of ISEA and served on the Board of Directors from 2014 through 2015 . His experience with solar energy dates back to 2011 with the installation of his first of 2 home installations. He is one of the original Solar Ambassadors and serves on the Committee overseeing the program. He is a retired Director of Global Marketing and Product Management with an MBA from the University of Chicago. He is an active member and leader in several environmental organizations, most notably the IL Chapter of the Sierra Club where he has served on the State Executive Committee and is currently Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of the NW Cook County Group.

Brian Haug
Serving since 2013, term ends January 2023

Brian is the President of Continental Energy Solutions. He leads a team of engineers, designers, project managers, and field electricians who design and install (EPC) renewable and microgrid solutions for their commercial, industrial, and institutional customers.

Brian is a Licensed Professional Engineer, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Chicago. Brian has served on the ISEA Board of Directors for the past 10 years and has held the Executive Board positions of Secretary and Treasurer


Neil Panega
Serving since 2021, term ends January 2023

Neil Panega is currently part of commercial solar contractor Simpleray’s operations team. He previously worked as the Sustainability and Environmental Social Governance(ESG) Intern at Sherwin Williams HQ Environmental Compliance Department overseeing the progression on global sustainability goals. Neil received a B.S. in Sustainable Business, an interdisciplinary degree incorporating environmental science, financial systems and social mobilization. He has also been part of many organizations, including but not limited to non-profits, benefit corporations, academia, and global corporations.

Shannon Weigel
Serving since 2014, term ends January 2022

Shannon currently serves as Illinois Solar Energy Association’s Policy Committee Chair, supporting the association’s legislative and regulatory work. As Edison Energy’s Director of Policy, she advises clients on legislative and regulatory affairs across the U.S. Previously, she managed state and federal policy initiatives as Director of Policy at SoCore Energy. Based in Chicago, Shannon has over 6 years of experience in energy policy analysis and governmental affairs. Shannon holds a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Studies from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.


Courtney Welch
Serving since 2021, term ends January 2023

Courtney’s role at SunPower includes government relations, strategic business initiatives and new market entry. She and her team focus on shifting market and policy dynamics and its impact on SunPower products, sales and finance in the company’s residential, commercial and community solar and energy storage business nationwide.

Courtney brings fifteen years of experience in clean energy to ISEA. She has worked extensively in the areas of state and federal energy policy, utility DSM and DER programs, and decarbonization initiatives. She joined SunPower after working directly with electric and gas utilities, across the US and Canada, as Director of Distributed Energy Resources & Electrification Strategy at E Source. Her experience also includes policy and project development with cities, counties, states, and federal agencies while at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. She also directly supported clean energy initiatives with state legislators while working with the National Conference of State Legislatures. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and International Relations from Bowdoin College, and a Masters in Energy Law and Policy from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Past Presidents

Mark Burger
Past President

Served from 2002 - 2012

Mark is Director of Energy Services at Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Inc. (CEDA). He has over 25 years experience in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Previously, Mark was Principal Consultant at Kestrel Development Company, providing consulting services on renewable energy policy, technology and market development. He was Sales and Marketing Manager at Spire Solar, a  manufacturing solar electric panels and designing systems. Mark also worked for the U.S. Department of Energy, last heading the Strategic Assistance Team for the Chicago Regional Office. He is a Life Member of the American Solar Energy Society, the ISEA and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. Mark holds a BS in Alternative Energy from Jordan College of Cedar Springs, Michigan and an MA in Environmental Studies and Urban Geography from the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Anti-Discrimination Statement

The Illinois Solar Energy Association does not discriminate against, nor do we condone the discrimination of any persons based on race, color, national origin, citizenship status, creed, religion, religious affiliation, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or veteran status.

The Illinois Solar Energy Association does not condone discrimination of persons’ with disabilities. We support and encourage that all architects, contractors, builders, designers, and all others who influence how a building or space is created that it be made accessible to all persons. We encourage all spaces be created with the implementation of the design recommendations based on Title III in the Americans with Disabilities Act in the Standards for Accessible Design.

For a link to more detailed information regarding the Standards for Accessible Design and the American with Disabilities Act please refer to the following links:

American with Disabilities Act
Standards for Accessible Design



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