OSEIA 2017 Board of Director Candidates
There are 11 people who have declared their desire to run for the board and whose eligibility has been confirmed for the upcoming 2017 board election. Incumbent board members running for re-election are designated by an (i).
Nick Armstrong - SolarCity (i)
Nick Armstrong currently holds the position of Regional Vice President of Operations in the Pacific Northwest Region for SolarCity. He has specialized in the solar industry for over 8 years of his 16 year career in the electrical industry. He currently holds a Master Electrician License in 19 states providing electrical supervision and consulting on installations across the United States for SolarCity. In addition to his board position with OSEIA, he has held a board position in the past with the Area 1 Inside Electrical JATC were he supports the educational curriculum, students and the board in operational decisions. His expertise specializes in the operational practices from sales, design, installation and interconnection processes in the solar industry.
Kaitlin Borstelmann - CED Greentech (i)
After 9 years working in the solar industry, I am excited to have recently taken on my first role in solar distribution as an Account Manager for CED Greentech's flagship Pacific Northwest location. It is a fantastic opportunity to bring my experience from operation management to strategic sales and financing, and my work with residential and commercial installers, investors and global manufacturers in culmination to do all that I can to grow the Pacific Northwest solar industry. This role dovetails into my past year working on the OSEIA Board, where I have been focused on overall market success. If I were elected to a new term, that dedication would to be amplified. I am passionate about the success of solar, and this is a critical time - I want to see the Oregon market grow at a successful pace, while maintaining our local industry's values that differentiate us nationally.
A couple of OSEC's ago, I hosted a focus group in my previous role at SolarWorld. Having worked predominantly in the California, Hawaii, and Northeast markets, I was happily surprised to watch solar installers participate in the group openly and honestly. That's when I decided to focus on the local solar market - so I could work with the wonderful solar folks of the PNW.
In the past year, I have worked to increase the amount of solar on Oregon commercial and non-profit rooftops, worked to increase inclusiveness and a sense of community for women in the local industry, completed SEI's Advanced Solar Design course and received certification for NABCEP PV Technical Sales and have had a fantastic, productive time chairing the Fundraising and Development Committee as well as the Ethics and Consumer Protection Committee for OSEIA.
The next three years hold so much potential and I would love to continue my work with the OSEIA Board!
Jason Carr - Cypress Creek Renewables
I currently serve as the community relations director for Cypress Creek Renewables, a national solar company building utility-scale solar across Oregon. Our company recently became members of OSEIA and we are interested in partnering with your organization on policy issues to help promote solar development in Oregon.
My current role with Cypress Creek is multi-faceted. I work directly with our zoning and development teams to gain project approval at the local levels. I also engage with our public affairs team on policy issues at a state and national level and I coordinate media and public relations efforts with our company’s marketing team. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Economics, Political Science, and Philosophy from Eastern Oregon University.
I have a background as a journalist and have served in a variety of community roles the past 10 years as an economic development professional, nonprofit executive director, and city councilor in Prineville, Oregon. I was heavily involved in the Facebook and Apple Data Center projects and have spent significant time in Salem lobbying for family-wage jobs on behalf of Prineville and Crook County.
I have extensive experience serving on a variety of different boards. Most recently, I served as board chair for Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, a regional council of governments that manages Central Oregon’s transit system and delivers economic and workforce development programs. Other board roles include:
- Prineville Hospital Foundation, current board member
- Chair, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council
- Chair, Crook County Higher Education Committee
- Chair, Downtown Prineville Revitalizations Committee
- Chair, City of Prineville Budget Committee (2016)
- Vice Chair, NeighborImpact
- Vice Chair, Partnership to End Poverty
I have a keen awareness of the roles and responsibilities that board members possess and I would love the opportunity to serve on the OSEIA board of directors. Thank you for the opportunity to apply.
Casey Dilloway - A&R Solar
Casey is the Director of Development for A&R Solar, a 10 year old solar design and construction company based in Seattle and Portland. In 2016, Solar Power World ranked A&R Solar as the top installer in Washington. A&R recently completed the largest solar project in Washington and has been expanding its footprint in Oregon since 2016. Casey’s work oversees business development along with forming new partnerships and spearheading new solar projects in the region. This keeps him focused on the cutting edge of solar implementation across the region. Casey also works on expanding access to renewable energy via community solar projects and new grants or financing opportunities for non-profits and low income communities. For the last 6 months, Casey has contributed to OSEIA’s community solar subcommittee. In addition to his work in solar, Casey also teaches several finance courses at Presidio University, a graduate school offering an MBA in sustainable business.
Personal statement about joining the OSEIA board
My goal in joining the board of OSEIA is to help grow the solar industry in Oregon. Since my work at A&R Solar spans more than one state and often references the best national solar innovations, I hope to bring a diverse perspective and fresh ideas to Oregon’s solar landscape. If I am elected to join the board of OSEIA, I will contribute my energy toward expanding the solar market to new types of customers, I will work on policies that make solar more affordable; and I will act as an open-minded partner to fellow companies in the renewable energy industry. I believe our region is poised to become a national leader for renewable energy, and I hope that joining the board of OSEIA will be a productive way to help Oregon realize its solar potential.
Eric Hansen - TrueSouth Solar (i)
It's a pleasure serving on the Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association board. I am currently serving as Treasurer and I am proud of the work that we've done.
I'm also general manager at True South Solar in Ashland, Oregon. We are a residential and commercial contracting company with 18 employees aimed at installing a little over a megawatt in 2017. I care about a sustainable Oregon with a strong renewable energy mix, good jobs, and our world changing industry. I want to see all players in the market have the opportunity to do their best for themselves & the planet. Thank you!
Zach Kissel - Auric Solar
My name is Zach Kissell and I am the regional sales manager for Auric Solar.
I work for Auric Solar because of its reputation and the motto we stand by - "Do what you say you are going to do."
I started with the company in 2015 as an appointment setter. I took this position because I am passionate about the solar industry and want to make a difference in our planet's well-being. Soon after, I moved into sales as an energy consultant. After selling over one million dollars in revenue in less than eight months, I took the position of sales manager. Now, I am embarking on the challenge of setting up our new Oregon market as regional sales manager.
At Auric we educate our customers. With our financing options, we teach homeowners the benefits of owning their solar systems and creating an asset for their homes. Auric solar is not just about making a quick buck. We pride ourselves on working with our competitors to help the solar industry grow.
We are a full-service solar company. Everything is done in-house and we take care of the customer from the initial appointment to maintaining the solar system with monitoring and a yearly 20-point inspection. We truly look out for our customers' systems and their investment in solar.
Our decision to move into the Oregon market was based on research and an opportunity to educate and create a valuable renewable resource for the all Oregonians. I have worked with the Energy Trust and truly appreciate the lengths this state has gone to in protecting this environment and the people of Oregon. I feel with my background and my company's background we can help make positive changes and more importantly make sure nobody makes changes without us putting up a fight to stand our ground. Please consider myself and Auric Solar to be part of the OSEIA board.
Suzanne Leta Liou - Sunpower
My name is Suzanne Leta Liou and I am pleased to have the opportunity to run for the OSEIA Board of Directors. I currently manage global market strategy for SunPower in our corporate strategy group. My responsibilities include guiding multi-year strategic planning, market prioritization and new business initiatives. I also serve as Chair of SEIA’s new Women’s Empowerment Initiative and have served as a member of the Energy Trust of Oregon’s Renewable Energy Advisory Council since 2008. My career experience prior to joining SunPower includes leading Atkins’ U.S. power and renewables consulting services business, managing utility-scale wind energy project development for RES Americas, and running clean energy legislative and regulatory initiatives for non-profit advocacy organizations.
If elected, my priority will be to support the sustainable growth of the organization and the solar industry in Oregon. Importantly, industry in my view should be inclusive of system installers, environmental permitting firms, attorneys signing deals, developers securing land for utility-scale projects, manufacturers deploying products, and everything in between. We must work collectively to ensure we continue to have a demonstrable economic and environmental impact in our state.
I have worked with many OSEIA members and staff over the past decade. We are fortunate that OSEIA currently has an excellent member base and experienced staff. I will work to build on this foundation by focusing on organizational capacity building and policy making.
Finally, OSEIA will be well-served by having SunPower represented on the Board. SunPower’s business includes selling our solar solutions products for residential, commercial and utility-scale installations and developing commercial and utility-scale projects for a wide range of customers. We are always working to strike the right balance between these sometimes competing interests to ensure the best “win-win” scenario. If elected, I would take the same approach on behalf of all OSEIA members.
Evan Ramsey - Bonneville Environmental Foundation
My name is Evan Ramsey and I’m glad to have the opportunity to run for the OSEIA board. Over my decade in solar, I’ve worked on hundreds of solar projects totaling over 20 MW of distributed generation. I’ve worked with everyday homeowners, to Fortune 500 companies, local governments, universities, and utilities. My solar career began in 2007 with SolarCity where I wore many hats such as installation, engineering, development, management, and O&M. Working during the formative years of the solar industry allowed me to help the industry put its best foot forward, and prove its value to society. Since 2009 I have been an accredited solar installation professional certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
Now at the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) I am the Senior Project Manager for the Renewable Energy Group and lead the project development and management activities. Our focus is advancing renewable energy with innovative and creative solutions. Transitioning from the private sector to nonprofit was a huge change but enabled a closer focus in my community. Rather than building projects for corporations in the Northeastern US, I am now able to refocus on community-based projects that retain the benefits distributed solar has to offer.
A regular attendee of the Oregon Solar Energy Conference since 2010, I have become more involved with OSEIA over the recent years. Currently, I contribute to the Policy Committee, the Oregon Solar Business Plan, and the Community Solar Sub-Committee. In addition, I have led the efforts at BEF to support an Oregon focused multifamily affordable housing solar initiative, and will continue to support the inclusion of low-income participation in the community solar program. Organizationally, BEF is also involved with Solar Oregon, Portland Women in Renewables, and the OSEIA’s Education and Training committee. The recent developments in the solar industry are exciting and the time is right to become more active in expanding solar energy across Oregon communities.
James Reismiller - Abundant Solar
My name is James Reismiller, or as friends call me Jahmez. I’m a Journeyman Electrician and have been in the solar industry for 11 years as the owner of Abundant Solar in Corvallis, OR. I consider myself a second-generation solar nerd and almost a “solar old-timer”. My background and passion for solar came from studying Earthships in Taos, NM, attending the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair, Sol West, and the Portland Village Building Convergence. I’m a believer in walking my talk so I live in a passive solar, almost net-zero strawbale home, run my installation trucks on straight vegetable oil and drive an EV around town. I’ve been an OSEIA member since 2006, and worked on some of Oregon’s first third- party owned PV systems with the non-profit Solar CREEK. I’ve also worked on innovative non-profit funding models with Seeds for the Sol and Benton Habitat for Humanity to bring more affordable residential solar to my community.
I’m running for the OSEIA board because I feel the call of duty to give back to this industry that has given me so much. Residential solar is our primary business at Abundant Solar and is where most of my expertise comes from. One of my focal points as a board member for 2017 will be to reach OSEIA’s stated goal of extension of the Oregon Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC). I’m excited to have an opportunity to serve all members and learn more about and listen to other voices in the industry. Our industry, our livelihoods and most of all our ability to have a habitable planet into the future are at stake more than ever in the current political climate. I’m asking for your vote for the OSEIA board so I can help keep this Oregon solar ship sailing into a bright future.
Jerry Samaniego - Solar Energy Design
Jerry Samaniego is a second-generation solar installer who has filled every role in the industry from end user to raw laborer, NABCEP certified installer of both thermal and PV, to owner and technical advisor of a collector manufacturing company in his lifetime in the industry. Jerry watched as his dad (a long-time board member and past-president of AriSEIA and founder of Concerned Arizonans for Renewable Energy [C.A.R.E.]), led the fight to establish a solar tax credit in Arizona as well as to defend solar from HOA’s and utilities.
Jerry has been working in the field as a technician since 1989. Before moving to Oregon in 2103 Jerry helped write the first set of installation best practice recommendations in the nation to be adopted by a municipality, as an associate founder of the Southern Arizona Solar Standards Board (SASSB) and spent four years as president of Citizens for Solar (the group which has put on the Tucson Solar Potluck and Exhibition for over 30 years). Currently Mr. Samaniego is the sales manager for Energy Design. He is also NW Regional Manager, Technical Advisor and part owner of SolarTech International LLC (a manufacturer pool heating collectors).
The industry is currently under threat from a host of traditional opponents as well as some former allies whose positions have become increasingly hostile to solar in recent years. In light of these threats Jerry feels strongly that he must get off the sidelines and back into the policy discussion. Jerry’s unique perspective and deep understanding of the issues and their history combined with his commitment to working with all stakeholders to build a robust, mature solar industry make him the right choice for the OSEIA board.
Sarah Wilder - SolarWorld
Sarah Wilder got her start in the solar industry in 2003 working as an installer at Mr. Sun Solar. After 7 years of PV and solar thermal installation, she earned her NABCEP PV Installer certification LRT license #21 and moved on to become a co-owner of Synchro Solar. Sarah spent over 4 years as an owner and project manager at Synchro before departing to complete a master’s degree in energy policy and environmental communication at Yale University. She’s now been at SolarWorld Americas for the past three years, where she manages the training and technical services departments. Sarah is also an adjunct instructor with Solar Energy International and spends much of her free time on her 13-acre farm in the rolling green hills of Yamhill County. Sarah previously served as OSEIA board secretary from 2012 to 2014, and is excited to come back to the OSEIA board as a representative of SolarWorld and re-engage with Oregon’s incredible solar community.
Voting will be at the OSEIA Member Meeting on February 24. Anyone who is not able to attend on Feb. 24 should contact Jeff Bissonnette at email@example.com to get and submit an early ballot.