SolSmart Advisors Head Into 2019, Ready to Assist Communities!

Late last month, we held our SolSmart Advisor training seminar in Washington, D.C. to help prepare our new Advisors to assist communities that want to become ‘SolSmart’. This productive training session kicked off an exciting year ahead for the program. Over the next six to 12 months, our 20 SolSmart Advisors will work closely with over 100 communities across 15 states to help them receive SolSmart designation by making it faster, easier, and more affordable for residents and businesses to go solar. We are excited to welcome these 20 extremely accomplished individuals to the SolSmart team. Introducing our new SolSmart Advisors:

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission

Liz Compitello and Adam Beam of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) will be assisting nine communities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Liz and Adam were both SolSmart Advisors in 2017 for several communities in Pennsylvania.


Liz is a senior research analyst at DVRPC where she has worked since 2009. Liz holds a Bachelor’s degree frecm Skidmore College and a Masters in Regional Planning from the State University of New York at Albany. Learn more about Liz.




Adam is a research analyst at the DVRPC’s Office of Energy and Climate Change Initiatives. Adam holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Learn more about Adam.



Ted Flanigan of EcoMotion will be assisting eight communities in California.


Ted is the President of EcoMotion and will be responsible for the SolSmart project’s overall management in collaboration with the South Bay Cities Council of Governments and its eight participating cities. Ted is dedicated to fostering sustainable energy development. Learn more about Ted.



ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability

Kale Roberts and Hoi-Fei Mok of ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI USA) will be assisting six communities in Colorado, New York, South Carolina, and Washington.

Dr. Hoi-Fei Mok is the climate equity lead at ICLEI USA, bringing 8+ years of social justice and community organizing experience to manage partnerships with local environmental justice organizations in California and provide technical assistance to local governments. Fei holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia with a dissertation on the feasibility of wastewater reuse for agricultural irrigation, and a BA in Biochemistry with honors from Wellesley College, Massachusetts. Learn more about Fei.

Kale Roberts works with nearly 200 ICLEI USA cities, counties, and regions to provide technical assistance on GHG emissions management, climate action planning, and resilience. He received an M.S. in Climate Science and Policy from the Bard Center for Environmental Policy and a B.S. in Environmental Science from Humboldt State University. Learn more about Kale.



Midwest Communities

Staff from Great Plains Institute, Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs), Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), Metropolitan Council, and Winneshiek Energy District will collaborate to assist a group of 35 communities located in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa achieve SolSmart designation.

Jenna Greene of Great Plains Institute.

In her role with Great Plains Institute, Jenna works with local governments and communities in Minnesota and across the Midwest on solar and wind energy development and climate action planning. Learn more about Jenna.


Cameran J. Bailey of the Metropolitan Council.

Cameran is the solar planning advisor to the Metropolitan Council, which serves as the regional planning body to the 188 communities in the Minneapolis-St. Paul 7-county metropolitan region. He brings to the Council and the SolSmart program education and experience in civil engineering, project management, project development, transportation planning, sustainability planning, systems analysis, and climate change vulnerability assessment from across the Midwest region. Learn more about Cameran.


Eric Rehm of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association.

Eric came to the MREA with nearly 20 years of experience working in the public sector, specializing in sustainable policy development, clean energy financing, and program administration. Eric holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, with emphasis in public policy and administration from Northern Arizona University. He is currently enrolled in the Hamline University MBA Program. Learn more about Eric.

Joel Zook of the Winneshiek Energy District.

Joel is the Winneshiek Energy District’s lead technical advisor and works with farmers, business owners, and homeowners to help plan their energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Joel has a Bachelor’s of Architecture from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He has completed the MREA Solar Site Assessor program and is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM). Learn more about Joel.


Metropolitan Mayors Caucus

Edith Makra of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus will be assisting 23 communities in Illinois. Edith returns as a SolSmart Advisor after serving over 12 communities and three counties in the metro Chicago region in 2017. Learn more about Edith.



Michiana Area Council of Governments

Leah Thill of the Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG) will be assisting four communities in Indiana.

Leah is the senior environmental planner with the MACOG in north central Indiana, where she implementts clean energy, clean transportation, and clean air initiatives and supports regional brownfield redevelopment. She holds a Master of Public Affairs and a Master of Science in Environmental Science from Indiana University and a B.A. in Chemistry from Goshen College. Learn more about Leah.




South Florida Regional Planning Council

Jen Barenholtz and Natalia Neira of the South Florida Regional Planning Council will be assisting 14 communities in Florida.

Jen Barenholtz returns as a SolSmart Advisor after serving Palm Beach County, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Lantana, and West Palm Beach, Florida in 2017. Learn more about Jen.




Natalia Neira is a regional planner at the South Florida Regional Planning Council. Natalia coordinates the Southeast Florida Clean Cities Coalition for the region, which focuses in policy education and outreach related to domestic, alternative fuels in transportation. Natalia holds a Bachelor of Science in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences and Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Florida. Learn more about Natalia.



Southwest Virginia Communities

Gary Hearl will be assisting eight communities in Southwest Virginia. Gary is the president and managing member of Elevation Energy & Communications LLC, a commercial renewable energy development, financing, and advisory firm. Mr. Hearl holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Virginia Tech and a Masters of Business Administration Degree from Wake Forest University’s School of Business. Learn more about Gary.


North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center

Anne Tazewell and David Sarkisian of the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center will be assisting six communities in Virginia.

Anne Tazewell was a SolSmart Advisor in 2017 for the Town of Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Orange County, North Carolina. Prior to becoming an Advisor, Anne worked as the transportation program manager at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) for 12 years. Anne holds a B.A. in Environment Studies from New College and is pursuing an M.F.A. in Creative Non-Fiction from Goucher College. Learn more about Anne.



David Sarkisian works as a senior policy analyst at the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC). David works on several projects for NCCETC, including the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE), the quarterly 50 States of Solar, Grid Modernization, and Electric Vehicles reports. David has a law degree and a Master of Science in Environmental Science from Indiana University in Bloomington, and a Bachelor’s degree in public policy from Duke University. Learn more about David.