GA Solar Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Don Moreland

Chair

With 15 years of legal experience in residential and commercial real estate, Don began working in the solar industry in 2011 developing distributed generation and utility scale solar PV projects. Don has developed several MWs of solar for TVA and Georgia Power solar programs as well as commercial and residential applications providing turn-key development services including site selection; financial modeling; program and incentive compliance; permitting; and contract drafting and negotiation. Don is founder of Solar CrowdSource, a platform to facilitate Solarize, Community Solar, and peer-to-peer crowdfunding programs and rapidly accelerate the growth and reduce soft costs of solar in Georgia.  Don is a proud to serve as Chair of the Georgia Solar Energy Association, member of the Georgia Solar Energy Industries Association, and a member of the State Bar of Georgia.

 

 

Russell Seifert

Vice Chair

Russell Seifert, founder and CEO of Creative Solar USA, has spent nearly a decade building one of the Southeast’s largest residential and small commercial solar installation companies. He founded Creative Solar USA, headquartered in Kennesaw, GA, in 2008 after a successful 25-year career in the automotive industry. He recognized early on the potential of the emerging solar market as a career opportunity that could also fulfill his personal goal to offset his life’s carbon footprint.

With his strong sales skills and associate’s degree in electrical engineering from SUNY Broome, he has made a significant contribution to the growth of the Georgia solar market. Creative Solar USA recently participated in the highly successful Solarize Decatur/Dekalb initiative as its residential installer and has installed solar throughout Georgia, the Southeast and as far away as Arizona.

Close to home, he has served on the GA Solar board since 2014 and on the CEO Roundtable of the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce since 2012. In 2016, Creative Solar USA was named the Cobb Chamber’s Contractor of the Year. He currently holds the position of Co-Vice Chair. During his career in the solar business, he has consulted with the University of Georgia, the Environmental Protection Agency Region IV, and other government entities to help them better understand and facilitate solar installation. Most recently, Creative Solar USA worked with the City of Decatur and the City of Atlanta to streamline the permitting process for distributed generation solar projects, providing a template for other cities to emulate. He lives in Cherokee County.

Julie Hairston

Secretary

Julie Hairston is the president of GigaWord Communications. Formed in 2013, GigaWord Communications provides a broad range of services essential to successful business branding and marketing. GigaWord specializes in sustainable products, companies and initiatives, offering award-winning expertise at reasonable rates to power your message. Before forming GigaWord, she served as a senior account executive with A. Brown-Olmstead Associates.

During her career, Julie has been honored with more than a dozen state, regional and national awards for reporting and writing. A graduate of the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia, she chairs the marketing committee of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta and serves as vice chair for the marketing committee of the Atlanta Press Club.

Since 2011, she has served as the Communications Director for the GA Solar and as Secretary on its Board of Directors. She is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE), the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

Stephen Elkind

Treasurer

Stephen Elkind is a Managing Partner at Beltline Energy, a regional leader in renewable energy development. Beltline Energy is focused on marrying technical design, strong local relationships, and superior economic value to deliver stable renewable energy assets that achieve both fiscal rewards and positive community impact.

Prior to joining Beltline Energy, Mr. Elkind was the Senior Director of Development for OCI Solar Power, an industry-leading solar power developer that owns and operates renewable energy facilities ranging from 2MW to 100MW across North America. Mr. Elkind joined OCI in 2012 to head up their 700MW portfolio of projects in MA, NJ, TX, CA and AZ. He led project advancement of the first two 40MW facilities and first 105MW facility of OCI’s Texas-based 400MW initiative, bringing 805 jobs and over $700 million in economic development to the San Antonio area. He is an active member in the Georgia Solar Energy Association and serves on the GSEA policy committee.

Prior to OCI, Mr. Elkind managed the portfolio of solar projects in Massachusetts for Elm Solar, leading teams to identify rooftop and greenfield sites as well as assess acquisition projects for the 400MW Solar Carve-Out Program. He actively participated with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities for state legislation as an industry contributor for the net metering initiatives and was part of the initial SREC facility rollout in Massachusetts.

Mr. Elkind’s role in solar finance comes from his participation in the investment banking team at Bear Stearns where he was involved in over $500M of M&A transactions and $780M of IPO.

Directors

Jason Bodwell

Jason Bodwell is a Client Service Manager/Senior Consultant for CH2M.  This role includes several functions such as business development, project delivery, project management and client relations.  Jason’s clients are primarily municipal clients in the Metro Atlanta area where his focus is on water, wastewater and solar project development.  Prior to CH2M, he spent nearly 14 years operating the public financing programs at the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) where he created a solar lending program and provided financing for several solar projects around the state.  Jason has worked with hundreds of municipalities in Georgia and hopes to leverage his long standing municipal contacts as well as CH2M’s global client network to develop more municipal solar projects.  A native of New Hampshire, Jason holds a Masters in Environmental Economics from Duke University.

 

K.C. Boyce

K.C. Boyce is senior product director for the Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement studies at Market Strategies International. In this role, he manages the development and delivery of syndicated studies and best practices with a focus on helping utilities create valuable relationships with their business and residential customers. Throughout his career, K.C. has worked across industries and sectors to develop innovative solutions to complex problems and translate subject matter expertise into actionable insight.

Before joining Market Strategies, K.C. was senior vice president at Chartwell, where he led industry and consumer research, conference production and marketing. He also served as the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative’s assistant director, leading its consumer research program.

K.C. holds an MBA from Georgia State’s Robinson College of Business and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado College.

Montana Busch

Montana Busch is the President and CEO of Alternative Energy Southeast, Inc. (AES), a full-service electrical contractor that specializes in the design and installation of renewable energy systems. He graduated from North Carolina State University with an education in Renewable Energy Technologies such as solar power, wind power, hydropower, and green building technologies, and he's a licensed Master Electrician.

Mr. Busch has known he wanted to pursue a career in renewable energy since he was 16 years old. Because of early adopters and pioneers like Montana, solar power has been able to achieve grid-parity in 48 states, including Georgia. He is a dedicated advocate for the global adoption of clean energy.

Mr. Busch is a well-known solar specialist in the southeastern region. He has been working closely with commissioners, utilities, code enforcement entities, and other renewable energy and electrical contractors since 2007.

William P. Ewing

William P. Ewing is a partner in the Atlanta office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP, where he is co-chair of the firm’s Renewable Energy Practice Group and a member of the Corporate Department.

Mr. Ewing represents clients in the energy industry in a wide variety of transactions, including in partnership investments, financings, leasing transactions, acquisitions and sales of energy related assets. He has represented investors in a range of tax credit transactions, including renewable energy, refined coal, synthetic fuel, coke, new markets and affordable housing tax credit transactions.

Mr. Ewing has significant experience with corporate, partnership, international, tax credit and leasing tax issues. His corporate practice includes mergers, acquisitions and dispositions of business enterprises, spin-offs, complex partnership investments, and structuring for a number of U.S. inbound and outbound transactions. Mr. Ewing also assists businesses in the tax audit and controversy area.

Mr. Ewing received his B.S. in business administration/accounting from Washington and Lee University in 1986. He earned his J.D. in 1989 from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and his LL.M. in Taxation in 1992 from the University of Florida College of Law.

Mr. Ewing is a member of the American Bar Association (Tax Law Section), the International Fiscal Association and the Atlanta Tax Forum. He is admitted to practice in the states of Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.

Norman Findley

Norman (Finn) Findley is a founder and CEO of Quest Renewables, Inc. Quest has deployed it's innovative solar canopy solution, QuadPod(TM), at sites ranging from Washington to Georgia, to Maine. Quest licensed technology from The Georgia Institute of Technology and successfully prosecuted multiple patents that enable QuadPod to provide unique value to the solar industry. Finn's background at Coca-Cola will serve GA Solar well as he melds his experience in a large corporation as well as in a startup to implement creative business solutions.  He is able to relate to both the large companies and small companies that are part of GA Solar.

 

 

 

Jennette Gayer

Ms. Gayer coordinates policy development, public education and research for Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center. She is based in Atlanta and focuses on bringing cleaner air, water and open spaces to Georgia.

Previously, she worked as a Consumer Advocate with CALPIRG, where she sat on the state of California's Bureau of Automotive Repair and helped to found Angelenos for Equitable Access to Technology a media reform community group. Ms. Gayer grew up in Virginia and graduated from the College of William and Mary.

 

 

Caroline Golin

Caroline Golin is the Southeast Regulatory Director for Vote Solar. Caroline specializes in resource planning, utility regulation, ratemaking, solar finance, and renewable energy policy development. Caroline’s work focuses on distributed generation rate design and system planning in vertically integrated utilities.

Before joining Vote Solar, Caroline was the CEO and co-founder of the clean energy analytical firm, The Greenlink Group. Caroline holds a Masters of Environmental Science and Engineering and a Doctorate in Public Policy from Georgia Institute of Technology. She has authored over 50 publications on the topics of distributed energy resources, solar rate design, grid modernization, and resource planning.

Jonnell Carol Minefee

Jonnell Carol Minefee is the managing partner for Solar Tyme USA, LLC, a Columbus, GA based solar installation firm.  Solar Tyme USA, LLC was formed in 2015 and operates throughout the state of Georgia.  Solar Tyme USA, LLC focuses on residential, commercial, industrial, and utility scale solar projects. 

Mrs. Minefee is considered an advocate for the consumer and constantly providing educational opportunities to share the benefits of solar energy throughout the State of Georgia.  Jonnell Carol Minefee serves on the Planning Department's Citizens Advisory Committee for the Columbus Consolidated Government, President of South Columbus Concerned Council, founder and former President of Columbus VOAD, and currently developing South Columbus Economic Development Association.  Before starting Solar Tyme USA, LLC, Jonnell Carol Minefee has experience as a bench jeweler and jewelry designer since 1997.


Dana Redden

Education Committee Chair

Dana Clare Redden is CEO of Solar Concierge, an Atlanta, GA based consulting firm specializing in the evaluation, financing, design, specification, procurement, installation, operations, and maintenance of multiple solar energy applications including solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, solar lighting, and building integrated solar technologies. Strategically positioned to represent the client in the solar procurement process, Solar Concierge fulfills a unique void for cities, municipalities, commercial entities, parks, k-12 schools, colleges and universities that desire an unbiased, professional evaluation of solar energy potential within their specific energy, education, and business goals. An educated and impartial decision making process is critical in the adoption of any technology, and with a combined 30+ years experience in solar procurement, Solar Concierge has lent its expertise to a multitude of sectors including healthcare, higher education, parks and recreational centers, primary and secondary schools, multi-family, transit, and retail applications.

Prior to founding Solar Concierge in Georgia in 2012, Ms. Redden implemented various distributed generation solar projects in San Diego County, Riverside County, and Orange County, California.

Carlos Restrepo

Carlos Restrepo received his Bachelor and Master in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1998 and 2000. He has spent 14 year in the electrical products industry focusing on the development of new technologies associated with power conversion, circuit protection, energy management and safety. He worked in the development of arc fault detection technology for 8 years in Siemens.  He was senior engineering manager at Eaton responsible for the development of smart lighting control systems, circuit and people protection devices at Eaton. At SolarMax, he was the VP of Research and Development responsible for running US R&D operations centered on the creation of String and Central PV inverters for the US market.  Currently he is the VP or R&D for Sonnen in the US and he is responsible for the development of the next generation of smart energy storage systems.

 

Karen Stevenson

Communications Committee Co-Chair

Ms. Stevenson has worked in marketing and communications for over twenty years.  She specializes in public education campaigns for nonprofits with limited budgets.  Her passions include seniors and solar! She is presently the Director of Marketing for four, locally-owned and operated, senior living communities in Georgia, at a time when the U.S. is experiencing its largest senior population ever in its history.  She began her career at (then) CBS affiliate, KPIX-TV in San Francisco; has worked as Director of Communications to a mayor, had her own business, and held government contracts at the city, county and state level. A Chicago native, she holds a BA degree in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

 

 

Thatcher R. Young

Thatcher Young is Director of Business Development at Radiance Solar, and isresponsible for leading direct sales and business development efforts for EPC and O&M work for commercial, industrial, and utility customers focusing on 1MW+ systems. This includes client management, proposal development, project oversite, sales strategy, marketing, PR and company representation. Radiance is a leading Design, Engineering and Construction firm developing high performance solar power systems across the Southeastern United States.

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