Board of Directors Meetings

Board Meetings
Board meetings are open to our membership and the general public. Meetings are held at the ReNew the Earth Institute in Custer, WI at 5:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Changes to meeting times and/or location will be posted here at least 2 weeks prior to the meeting date. Upcoming Board meeting dates are listed below.

2014 Meeting Dates

  • Monday, February 24
  • Monday, April 28
  • Sunday, June 22 @ The Energy Fair
  • Monday, July 28
  • Monday, September 29 -All day strategic planning session
  • Monday, November 24

In order to accommodate everyone, non-board members are encouraged to contact the MREA Operations Manager, Amiee Wetmore if they wish to attend a Monday evening meeting. 715-592-6595 or amieew@midwestrenew.org

Board Meeting Minutes
MREA members may request copies of meeting minutes by sending an email to info@midwestrenew.org or calling 715-592-6595

Board Elections:
All MREA members in good standing can vote for the Board of Directors. Each membership (either individual or family) receives one ballot. Board members are elected to two-year staggered terms. Individuals interested in running for the Board of Directors must also be MREA members in good standing. Board elections occur annually at the February board meeting with electronic voting available prior to the meeting. The Board of Directors meeting for elections will be held February 24, 2014. MREA members can vote for the Board of Directors at the meeting on February 24, 2014 or absentee ballots will be available starting January 24, 2014.  

Individuals interested in running for the Board of Directors must be MREA members in good standing. If you are interested in running for the MREA Board of Directors please contact Doug Stingle dougs@midwestrenew.org or 715-592-6595.

 

MREA Annual Reports

MREA Board of Directors

David Behnke-Seper (2015), MREA Board Financial Officer
First Affirmative Financial Network, Chili, WI
David has a deep passion for energy conservation and the future of our world’s climate stability. David attended his first Energy Fair 7 years ago, and been an exhibitor since 2010. A very common thread that weaves its way through the lives of people who are engaged in reducing their carbon impact, reducing their negative impact on societies, and maximizing the effectiveness of how their money is invested, is that they are pursuing a goal of environmental, social, and financial balance in their lives. David pursues that holistic approach with his lifestyle choices and profession. David has been in financial planning and socially responsible investing since 2006.

Chris Collins (2015)
H&H Solar, Madison, WI
Chris Collins, Project Manager and Marketing Director for H&H Solar is excited to bring new ideas to The Energy Fair and provide input on attracting a wider range of members. Chris lives in Madison and is raising three amazing childern. In the past eight years he has participated in the installation of over 400 solar electric and solar thermal projects in the Midwest (as well as taken many MREA courses). His relationships with various Utility interconnection personnel, vendors, and incentive organizations have helped him provide renewable energy customers with dependable, reliable renewable energy systems. Those relationships have helped Chris educate numerous groups on the costs, technology and benefits of renewable energy.  

Jason Edens (2016)
Rural Renewable Energy Alliance, Pine River, MN
Jason Edens is the founding Director of the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL). Dedicated to making solar energy accessible to people of all income levels, the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance has been delivering solar heat and solar electricity to the residential and commercial market since 2000. Unique among the nonprofit community, RREAL is a solar thermal OEM and his pioneered the delivery of solar heat to low-income families on energy assistance as a lasting solution to fuel poverty.

With a history of environmental and social justice advocacy, Jason has an BS in Education from the University of Georgia, and MS in Environmental Studies Policy, and a contractor's license. RREAL had its genesis in Jason's garage many years ago and has since evolved into a solar design-build and manufacturing firm.
 
As a former junior high and high school teacher, Jason also has extensive teaching experience. In addition to teaching at Central Lakes College, Jason has presented to thousands across the country about solar energy and the need for incorporating solar heat into the federal energy assistance and weatherization program.

Nathan Franklin (2015), MREA Board Vice President
Dairyland Power Cooperative, La Crosse, WI
Nathan was born and raised on a dairy farm in central Wisconsin and graduated from UW-Eau Claire. He has worked on several political campaigns in various leadership capacities, as a Legislative Aide in the Wisconsin State Assembly, and served three years on the staff of Governor Jim Doyle as Deputy Director of External Relations and Legislative Affairs. Nathan serves in Government Relations at Dairyland Power Cooperative. Headquartered in La Crosse, Dairyland is a generation and transmission cooperative with 25 distribution members and 17 municipal customers in four states—serving almost 600,000 people. Dairyland is a state leader in renewables with a renewable portfolio over 12%, including hydro, wind, solar, biomass, and biogas. Dairyland also supports more than 500 consumer-owned systems. 

Grace Fuhr (2015)
Office of Senator Chris Larson, Milwaukee, WI

Through Grace’s professional and volunteer experiences she has had a lot of exposure and direct involvement with promoting sustainable living. As legislative assistant to Milwaukee Alderman Nik Kovac, she has helped work on issues concerning urban agriculture, river revitalization and the city’s Milwaukee Shines solar financing program. She then worked as the program manager for Historic Milwaukee, where she was responsible for organizing and promoting the sustainable reuse of historic buildings through educational programing and advocacy. Now, Grace works as the District Director for Senator Chris Larson who prioritizes issues off sustainability through state policy. Additionally, she helped found an organization called the Milwaukee Network for Social Change which organized clothing drives, Free-Cycles, and fundraisers, benefiting those in need of clothing and house hold goods in Milwaukee.

Bob Hattier (2016)
Alternative Currents, Chicago, IL

Bob became a member, attended his first Energy Fair and started taking courses with the MREA in 2003 in order to continue his work towards a solid future in the Renewable Energy industry. Since then he has founded Alternative Currents Inc and taught and developed curriculum for the MREA, IBEW Local 134 and the USGBC IL Chapter. He has achieved NABCEP PV Installation Professional and PV Technical Sales Professional certifications, LEED Green Associate status and most recently, became an IREC Certified Master PV Trainer.

Nick Hylla
Midwest Renewable Energy Association

Nick Hylla is the Executive Director of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association where he works in partnership with organizations throughout the Midwest to increase public understanding and market adoption of renewable energy. Nick has a master’s degree in international resource management and has worked for the Charles Darwin Foundation, the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education, and the Wisconsin Forest Resources Education Alliance developing and advancing environmental education initiatives. As part of his work with the MREA, Nick is the Principal Investigator of two Department of Energy awards that are part of the Sunshot Initiative to increase market adoption of solar technologies.

John Kivlin (2016)
Convergence Energy, Lake Geneva, WI
John entered the solar industry after a 23 year career with Motorola manufacturing cell phones. In 2007, he and his brothers started Convergence Energy, a solar design and installation firm located in Lake Geneva, WI. John has been a MREA member since he entered the solar industry and is a member of SEIA, CoSEIA and is on the board and a founding member of WiSEIA.

Jennifer Martin (2016)
Kankakee Community College, Kankakee, IL

Jennifer is currently the NSF/C4 (Community Colleges Confronting the Conundrum) Project Coordinator at Kankakee Community College (KCC). As the project coordinator she is working to develop a pipeline from high schools to KCC, while also addressing small numbers of students from underrepresented groups. This project promotes renewable energy job growth through collaborations with local renewable energy businesses, employers, homeowners and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, so that students graduating from the program will have immediate opportunities for employment in the solar industry.

Jennifer has taken part in the development of coursework on smart grid energy technology at Ivy Tech Community College and has assisted on the design and installation of several photovoltaic arrays and small wind installations. In 2011 she was a team member on Purdue University’s U.S. DOE Solar Decathlon INhome, which took 2nd place at the competition in Washington, DC. Jennifer has an Associates Degree in sustainable energy from Ivy Tech Community College, as well as a certificate in energy technology.  In addition to her renewable energy experience, she also holds a Bachelors Degree in fine arts from Ball State University. Prior to her current career in renewable energy Jennifer spent nearly 15 years in marketing as a graphic designer.

Jennifer’s number one qualification, however, is her passion for the environment and our planet, and making this world a better place for all who share it.

Mark Morgan (2015), MREA Board President
Bearpaw Design and Construction, Strum, WI 
In 1988 Mark began working with renewable energy and sustainable building design and materials, his construction experience takes him back to 1972. His first instructional DVD  (Building a Straw Bale Home — A Practical and Spiritual Guide) was released in the summer of 2009. He is a master builder and philosopher who enjoys presenting hands-on experiences and reshaping the way individuals think about building, energy and a way of living. Mark has worked with North House Folk School since 2003 as an instructor. He has been with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association as a volunteer, instructor and member of the Board of Directors starting in 1990.  He has also been a guest instructor at a wide variety of  Midwest educational organizations. In March 2010 Mark achieved a solar instructor certification through ISPQ, one of the first five in the USA. He owns and operates a renewable energy and sustainable construction and design firm, Bear Paw Design and Construction.

Benjamin Nusz (2015), MREA Board Secretary
Mid-State Technical College, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Benjamin Nusz has worked as an installer, site assessor, designer and consultant for solar thermal systems. He is a NABCEP™ Certified Solar Thermal Installer, a MREA Certified Solar Water Site Assessor, an IGSPA accredited Geothermal Installer and the co-author of the book, Solar Water Heating: A Comprehensive Guide to Solar Water and Space Heating Systems. Ben is currently the Renewable Thermal Instructor at Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids. He is also a solar thermal instructor and a Solar Water Site Assessor Technology Mentor at the MREA.

Ed Stoll (2016)
Consultant at Wisco Solar, Milwaukee, WI

Ed is a state of Wisconsin licensed electriican, a NABCEP certified photovoltaic installer and a lifetime member of the MREA. He is also a photovoltaic instructor for the MREA. Ed has installed over a megawatt of photovoltaics in his career to date with many megawatts to go. He served an electrical apprenticeship with Local 494 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers doing a variety of industrial and commercial construction projects before focusing his career on solar energy and the environment. Ed is also an environmental activist and a conservationist.

Sarah White (2016)
Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS), Madison, WI

Sarah L. White is a Senior Associate at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS), a national policy center at the University of Wisconsin dedicated to high-road economic development. Her work focuses on the intersection of labor, education, and energy policy at state and federal levels, and she is a national expert on jobs and training in the emerging green economy. White has written widely on education for sustainability and social change, including, most recently, Greener Reality: Resilience, Equity, and Skill Formation in a Cleaner U.S. Economy. She sits on the Leadership Council of the National Skills Coalition, chairs the National Working Group on Solar Career Pathways for the USDOE Solar Instructor Training Network, and served as the Secretary’s policy advisor for federal employment and training programs at Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development. In a past life she ran a USAID Development Education Program in New York City, working to integrate academic and NGO efforts  addressing poverty, food security and sustainable development. A labor historian by training, White holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University and a B.A. from Wellesley College.

Joe Wilson (2015)
Quarles & Brady, LLP, Milwaukee, WI
Joe Wilson, partner in the Milwaukee office of Quarles & Brady, LLP, practicing primarily in the area of energy and utility law is hoping to bring valuable perspective to the Board with his professional history as an attorney working in the renewable energy field. He has been involved in securing regulatory approval for renewable energy projects ranging from single turbines to utility-scale developments including, most significantly, the recently completed 162 MW Glacier Hills Wind Farm near Randolph, Wisconsin and the 50 MW biomass cogeneration facility near Wausau, which is currently under construction. Joe has significant experience and expertise with many aspects of renewable energy, from the nuts and bolts of developing (and living with) small scale systems, to the legal, economic and public perception opportunities and challenges facing utility-scale renewable projects. 

Joe grew up in rural Iowa in a house that relied exclusively on solar panels, and, later, a small wind turbine for its electricity. During that time, he  attended the Energy Fair every year with his family, and has always appreciated the inventiveness, humor and camaraderie of the attendees and presenters.

Conflict of Interest Policy

The MREA does not endorse or promote board members, their companies or their products or services. Board members will not use their association with the organization to imply any endorsement. MREA does not grant preferential treatment toward board members or their companies when selecting workshop instructors or contracting for work to be done on MREA projects or facilities.

Concerns regarding conflict of interest, or requests for our full policy, should be directed to any member of the MREA's Executive Committee.