GA Solar Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Russell Seifert

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.

Jason Bodwell

Vice Chair

Jason Bodwell is a Client Service Manager/Senior Consultant for Jacobs.  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 Jacobs, he spent nearly 14 years operating the public infrastructure 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 Jacobs’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.

 

Karen Stevenson

Secretary

Sustainability is an important value to Karen Stevenson.  In addition to her volunteer work with the Georgia Solar Energy Association, (she is currently in her second term as a member of the Board of Directors) and is Interim Board Secretary, along with being the editor for the GA Solar eNews, she works on behalf of the Georgia forestry industry.

Georgia is the #1 state in the nation for forestry. Ninety-six percent (96%) of the timber used in the U.S. comes from the U.S. How's that for "Buy American?" Most of that timber is harvested in the southeast, “aka” the Wood Basket of the nation.  Timber is a very cyclical industry and pricing can vary from region to region, depending on the type of trees, quality of dirt, etc. Ms. Stevenson has developed and is executing a communications strategy for a new website and pricing tool (www.woodbasket.ag) to help Georgia forest landowners track current and historical pricing for timber, and to maximize the production & sustainability of their forestland. Wood Basket has the capacity to grow trees faster and of a higher quality, that will result in a higher yield and therefore higher profits for Georgia forest landowners. 

A native Chicagoan, Stevenson began her career at (then) CBS affiliate, KPIX-TV in San Francisco; has worked as Director of Marketing & Communications for Women in Technology, the Cottage Lifestyles Communities, and for Mayor Ron Dellums (Oakland). Prior to this, she ran her own marketing firm, 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.

 

Norman "Finn" Findley

Treasurer

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.

 

 

 

 

Directors


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.

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.

Don Moreland

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 proud to have served as Past Chair of the Georgia Solar Energy Association, a member of the Georgia Solar Energy Industries Association, and as a member of the State Bar of Georgia.


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.

 

W. Murphy Talmadge

W. Murphy Talmadge is the director of state government affairs in the Atlanta office of Barnes & Thornburg, where he is a member of the Government Services and Finance Department.

He focuses on providing clients with strategic advice to help them meet their corporate and public affairs objectives. Mr. Talmadge works with clients on issues ranging from government procurement opportunities, legislative consulting and issue management to political action committee (PAC) management strategies. He also has experience providing comprehensive grassroots program and media strategies for clients to assist with public policy efforts.

He previously served as an assistant vice president in the state government relations group at McGuireWoods Consulting, political director of the Georgia Studio and Infrastructure Alliance and, earlier in his career, as president and managing partner of Twelve Oaks, a full-service public affairs, government relations, and campaign consulting firm.

While leading Twelve Oaks, he consulted on numerous federal, state, and local campaigns. Mr. Talmadge has also served as an adviser and political strategist to statewide elected officials, state legislators and local officials.

Mr. Talmadge began his career in politics in 2003 as an aide to R.K. Sehgal, former commissioner of Georgia Industry, Trade and Tourism. He later served as a legislative aide in the Georgia House of Representatives.

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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