Meet alumni who participated in CCI programs to share their stories working in Social Impact careers
Please note – this page is only partially updated with events from 2016-2017 as of June 2017.
In December 2016 CCI hosted an UpNext Careers event focused on Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency. Below are the alumni who participated. Each one would be interested in hearing from current students and recent graduates to help you explore opportunities in the Clean Energy Sector. (Contact information for these alumni is below.)
R.J. Adler ’11.5 studied Psychology, Education, Theater, and was on the 2011 Solar Decathlon Team- Self Reliance – while at Middlebury. He was also on staff at Camp Keewaydin on Lake Dunmore in Salisbury. An interest in education, swing dancing, and skiing took him out to Jackson, WY, where he taught middle and high school, and played outside for a year. Soon enough an interest in renewable energy and sustainability got the better of him, and he moved back to the Middelbury area to work in marketing at SunCommon. He is putting roots down in the Vermont by purchasing a house in East Middlebury. Word around town is that he digs living on the river!
Kira Ventura Ashby ’05 is the Senior Program Manager for Behavior at the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), where she has worked for the past 7 years. Kira graduated from Middlebury as a Spanish major with minors in Environmental Studies and Psychology. She holds a Master’s degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, where she studied behavior change programs that target nutrition and physical activity behaviors. In her current role, Kira helps energy efficiency program administrators apply the same social science-based techniques used successfully in disciplines such as public health to promote more efficient energy usage behaviors. Prior to joining CEE, Kira worked at the Harvard Prevention Research Center and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Isaac Baker ’14.5 is the Co-President and Founder of Resonant Energy. Isaac has two years’ experience performing project management for community-scale renewable energy projects. In the past year, he has worked with a world-class team of lawyers and accountants to found Co-op Power’s Community Shared Solar Division. He also helped found Co-op Power, where he has worked for the last four years in a variety of roles, ranging from community outreach and business planning to project development and financial planning. As an Environmental Studies student at Middlebury College, he taught a class on institutional microgrid development.
Chris Cadwell ’06.5 graduated from Middlebury College with a bachelor’s degree in International Politics and Economics. After graduating, Chris was a ski bum in Steamboat Springs for two years where he was a ski instructor and worked at Millennium Private Bank as a commercial loan officer. He moved to San Francisco to work for a boutique wind and solar development company called Foresight Renewables. Foresight focused on the South-western Unites States where Chris developed solar projects. In 2012 Chris founded Green Peak Solar with his Middlebury classmate Nathaniel Vandal. At Green Peak, Chris has helped to develop over 18 MWs of solar in Vermont. In addition, Green Peak assisted Florida-based WRB Energy to develop the 20 MW Content Solar project in Jamaica, the largest solar project in the English speaking Caribbean. Recently, Chris has been focused on developing energy storage projects in Vermont and the Caribbean.
Phoebe Howe ’15 works at Efficiency Vermont’s Mobile Home Replacement Program. She conducts outreach to promote zero-energy modular homes as an affordable, durable, and healthy housing option and provides support to low-income homebuyers, including current mobile home owners, as they navigate the home buying process. While at Middlebury, Phoebe was a joint Environmental Studies/Architecture major and took time off to participate in Yestermorrow’s semester program in Sustainable Design/Build. After graduating Middlebury, she enjoyed several months of “fun-ployment” before first joining the Mobile Home Replacement Program through a VHCB AmeriCorps position. Phoebe has since transitioned into a full-time job with Efficiency Vermont, and is happy to be putting her interests in design, construction, renewable energy, and social justice to good use.
Kelly Lucci ’04 is Director of External and Government Affairs at the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, where she focuses on policy, communications, and outreach for Efficiency Vermont. Prior to joining VEIC, she served on the staff of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders for six years, focusing on energy and environmental issues. A lifelong Vermonter, Kelly holds a degree in Political Science from Middlebury College and currently resides in her hometown, Fletcher, with her husband and son.
Andy Rossmeissl ’05 leads the Faraday team in its quest to revolutionize customer outreach for companies selling things that matter, including residential solar. Andy is a designer by training, a programmer by choice, and an adviser to a handful of Vermont startups that grudgingly tolerate him. He founded Brighter Planet, the celebrated sustainability tech company, while a senior at Middlebury.
Peter Schneider ’97 works as a Senior Consultant at the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation in Burlington, Vermont. He provides technical support to builders, architects, engineers, affordable housing agencies and homeowners participating in a number of different programs such as Efficiency Vermont Certified: High Performance Homes, LEED for Homes and Midrise & Passive House. Peter’s goal is to help his clients design and construct more energy-efficient, healthy, durable and sustainable buildings. Peter is a certified Energy Rater, Passive House Consultant and LEED for Homes Quality Assurance Designee. His current focus is running the State’s Mobile Home Replacement program.
Val Stori ’98 serves as a Project Director for CESA and CEG. Val leads CESA’s Renewable Thermal and Biomass Thermal projects and the Interstate Turbine Advisory Council. Additionally, she co-leads several offshore wind initiatives including the Northeast Wind Resource Center, with a focus on stakeholder outreach. She has a Master of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School and a B.A. from Middlebury College in Environmental Studies/Conservation Biology.
Nathaniel Vandal ‘07 graduated from Middlebury College as an Independent Scholar focused on environmental studies and physics. After graduating, Nathaniel worked as the Director of Resource and Project Assessment at a renewable energy startup called Ridgeline Energy. At Ridgeline, Nathaniel led all technical efforts and helped contribute to the installation and operation of over 320 MW of wind generation. In 2012 Nathaniel founded Green Peak Solar with his Middlebury classmate Chris Cadwell. At Green Peak, Nathaniel has helped to develop more than 18 MWs of solar in Vermont. In addition, Green Peak assisted Florida based WRB Energy to develop the 20 MW Content Solar project in Jamaica, the largest solar project in the English speaking Caribbean. Recently, Nathaniel has been focused on developing energy storage projects in Vermont and the Caribbean.
Edward Vine ’72 received a BS in Environmental Studies, and continued his education at the University of California, Davis, where he received a MS and Ph.D. in Ecology. After Davis, Ed started working at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) where he was involved in the evaluation of energy efficiency programs and policies and technology performance measurement for over 36 years. He retired from LBNL in 2016, and is currently an Affiliate at LBNL. Ed is currently working with IEPEC and IEPPEC on developing an evaluation community and network in Asia. Ed was a founding member of an organization devoted to promoting sustainability in colleges and universities: Education for Sustainability (EFS), West Network. This organization then led to the founding of a national organization, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). In 2007, as a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he received the Nobel Peace Prize.
Download contact information for these alums: EnergyUpNextDec2106-alumnipanel.
In April 2017 CCI hosted a career panel with alumni working in Vermont in Food Systems. The following are bios from four of the six alumni who participated. Each one would be interested in hearing from current students or recent graduates to support career explorations in food systems.
Benjamin Esser Calvi ’02 was born and raised in Vermont, is a noted cider master and winemaker. He received a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Middlebury College in 2002 and a Pre-Professional degree in 2004 from the University of Vermont. In 2006, he followed his wife to California to fulfill a life’s dream of making wine. He was introduced to biodynamic winemaking during his first harvest at Quintessa in Rutherford, Napa Valley. He then explored the business side of winemaking at Esser Vineyards, working in all aspects of the family company from 2006 to 2013. Ben has practiced the art and science of winemaking at wineries in the Napa Valley, at Burklin-Wolf in Germany, and at the Robert Mondavi Institute in Davis. In 2011, he earned a M.S. in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California Davis. After graduating, he returned to Esser as Winemaker & General Manager until the brand was sold in 2013. Following a move back to Vermont, he was recruited by Champlain Orchards and for two years developed their hard cider programs. In 2015, he joined Vermont Hard Cider Co. as Cider Maker and now serves as General Manager. Ben lives on a tiny apple orchard in Cornwall with his wife, Sophie, and two children, Arthur and Delfina, and dreams of helping Vermont become recognized as “the Napa Valley” of cider. Ben can be reached at bCalvi “at” gmbeverage.com.
Annie Rowell ’11 comes to her role as Vermont First Coordinator at Sodexo after more than three years working as a Program Manager at the Center for an Agricultural Economy in Hardwick, Vermont. Her work in Hardwick focused on creating new markets for Vermont farms by creating a line of local fresh cut and frozen vegetable products, focusing specifically on Vermont and regional wholesale markets. She graduated from Middlebury College in 2011, majoring in Political Science. In addition to her role at Sodexo, Annie is a member of the Craftsbury Town Planning Commission, Craftsbury Land Use Task Force, Secretary of the Craftsbury Village Improvement Society, Stage Manager for the Craftsbury Chamber Players, and cellist in the Porter Brook String Trio. She also has her Vermont Real Estate license with Peter D. Watson Agency, based in northeast Vermont. Annie can be reached at Annie.Rowell “at” sodexo.com.
Benjamin Adler ’02 (Founder / Owner of Skinny Pancake, Inc) comes from a family of entrepreneurs. He founded the Skinny Pancake in the summer before he graduated from Middlebury College and has spent the last 14 years methodically building all aspects of the business, including brand development and marketing, research and development of all of our outlets, the building of our management team, the management of company finances, participation in our local food initiatives and innovations, and all other responsibilities that come with the ownership of a growing business. Benjy is passionate about business development. He can be reached at benjyadler “at” gmail.com.
Glenn Lower ’84 (General Manager Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op since 1998): Under Glenn’s leadership, the Co-op is going through its third expansion in 2017. This community owned market has grown tremendously since 1998 along with the amount of local food produced in the region during this same time period. Thirty-four percent of store sales at the Co-op are Vemront products, from nearly 300 local vendors covering all areas of the grocery store: meat, produce, dairy, cheese, grocery, frozen, deli, wellness and more. Glenn works with food co-ops across the country to support the co-op model as a vitally important local economy driver. Glenn lives near Middlebury with his wife Cheryl Whitney Lower ’84 and their two sons, John ’16 and Whit. He can be reached at glenn_lower “at” hotmail.com.