Staff

A B C D H I K L O P R S T W
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Matt Abele
Clean Transportation Technical Specialist

Matt Abele is a Clean Transportation Technical Specialist. He joined the Center in May 2015 after graduating from North Carolina State University with a Master’s degree in Communication. Prior to NCSU, he attended Appalachian State University where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Appropriate Technology. While at App State, Matt worked as a communications intern at Appalachian Voices to produce digital content for campaigns against mountaintop removal. In his graduate program, Matt focused his research on non-profit environmental advocacy and communication. During this time, Matt also worked as a videographer and graphic designer for a variety of non-profits in the Raleigh area.  Phone: 919-515-1911     Email: mrabele@ncsu.edu

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Andrea Bachrach
Clean Transportation Specialist

Andrea Bachrach is a Clean Transportation Technical Specialist and joined the Center in June 2013. Her work will focus mainly on the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project on education and advancement of alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles.  Andrea received a Master of Science degree from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and a Bachelor’s degree in Conservation Biology from University of Wisconsin at Madison. Andrea previously worked for Leonardo Academy, a non-profit based in Madison, Wisconsin. At Leonardo Academy, Andrea worked on a range of sustainability projects. She has extensive experience in Sustainable Transportation, Emission Calculation and Reporting, and Sustainability Training projects. Phone: 919-515-5693 Email:albachra@ncsu.edu

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Heather Brutz
Clean Transportation Specialist

Heather Brutz joined the Center in 2015 after receiving her MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Previously, she lived in Washington, DC, where she worked at Transportation for America, a coalition dedicated to promoting a smarter, safer, cleaner transportation system at the federal level. Heather also worked for Clean Energy Works, a coalition of groups dedicated to promoting comprehensive clean energy and climate policies at the federal level. Phone: 919-515-0277 Email: hmbrutz@ncsu.edu

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Ethan Case
Policy Analyst

Ethan Case joined the Center as a Policy Analyst in 2014. His job is to maintain and improve the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) by following changes to clean energy policy development. Before joining the Center, Ethan worked for two solar companies, held various positions with nonprofits advancing climate and environmental policy and consulted for energy and environmental businesses and nonprofits. Ethan holds a B.A. from Davidson College and a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Phone: 919-515-5689 Email: emcase@ncsu.edu

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Tommy Cleveland
Renewable Energy Project Coordinator

Tommy Cleveland is the Renewable Energy Project Coordinator where he leads the Center’s solar energy testing and demonstration program, works toward Plug and Play photovoltaic codes, standards, and systems, conducts renewable energy site assessments and provides technical support to a wide variety of solar projects and stakeholders across North Carolina and beyond. From 2008 to 2012, Tommy taught the solar energy course in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department at N.C. State, and is now teaching solar courses in the Environmental Technology and Management department.  He has been a licensed professional engineer (PE) in North Carolina since 2007.  He graduated Sum Cum Laude with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Business Management and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from  N.C. State University.  His interest in renewable energy led him to the Solar Center where he performed his master’s thesis on energy metering methods for domestic solar hot water systems. Industry Involvement: Board of Directors, Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC); Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (Solar ABCs) Steering Committee; Member of N.C. Sustainability Association and American Solar Energy Society (ASES). Phone: 919-515-9432 Email: tommy_cleveland@ncsu.edu

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Kate Daniel
Policy Analyst

Kate Daniel joined the Center in August 2014 as a Policy Analyst, and is primarily working on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE). Kate has a Master’s of Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, where she focused on energy policy and related topics such as clean energy financing, energy markets, and electricity rates. She previously worked in public sector consulting, providing research and analysis to federal government clients on regulatory impact analyses, natural resource damage assessments, program evaluations, and financial assessments. Kate also has a B.A. in Political Science and Environmental Studies from Tufts university. Email: kdaniel2@ncsu.edu

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Shannon Helm
Communications & External Relations Manager

Shannon Helm is the Communications & External Relations Manager for the Center. She oversees and administers public outreach and communications activities across the Center’s main program areas.  She also manages media and public relations efforts, participation in national and local events, the Center’s Industry Advisory Council, fundraising, and partner/relationship outreach and collaboration.   Before joining the Center in 2010, she worked for ABB Inc., as the Marketing Communications Manager for the Power Products and Power Systems division. She has a background in energy-related communications and community affairs, and has 15+ years of experience in the marketing communications field. Shannon holds a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Master of Science in Communication from N.C. State University. She also holds a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Duke University.  Industry involvement: Wake County Energy Advisory Commission; Society of Women in Environmental Professions (SWEP), Communications Chair; N.C. Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA). Community involvement: Leadership Triangle Goodmon Fellow Alumni.  Phone: 919-515-0353 Email: shannon_helm@ncsu.edu

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JoAnn Henry
Workforce Development Program Assistant

JoAnn Henry joined the Center in 2009 serving as Workforce Development Program Assistant. Her work involves assisting with coordinating and organizing all workshops for the Renewable Energy Technologies and Green Building Diploma Series. Before coming to the Center she worked for Client Relations assisting with different areas of event planning for the McKimmon Center at N.C. State. Phone: 919-513-4790 Email: jehenry@ncsu.edu

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Ben Inskeep
Policy Analyst

Ben Inskeep is an Policy Analyst at the Center. He is currently working on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE).  Ben completed his B.S. in Psychology, Master of Public Affairs, and Master of Science in Environmental Science degrees at Indiana University in Bloomington. Before joining the Center in June 2014, Ben researched the role of public policy in overcoming psychological barriers to energy and water conservation. Other previous experience includes working for the Environmental Defense Fund at the Town of Cary where he researched, analyzed, and promoted energy efficiency at fire stations in North Carolina.   Email: bdinskee@ncsu.edu

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Steve Kalland
Executive Director

Steve Kalland, Executive Director of the Center, has over 20 years of experience in the renewable energy and energy efficiency fields. Steve directs the strategic vision of the Center and its programs, including activities programs ranging from technical assistance to economic development, public policy, STEM education and workforce development. Mr. Kalland currently serves on the Board of Directors of the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) and the N.C. GreenPower organization and is a past board member of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), and the U.S. Combined Heat and Power Association (USCHPA). He is also on the Advisory Board of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), based in Washington, DC. Previously, Steve served as project manager with McNeil Technologies, Inc. of Springfield, VA and as the director for Government Relations and Grid-Tied Markets at Xantrex Technology, Inc. (formerly Trace Engineering, now part of Schneider Electric). Steve is a former executive director of the Maryland-DC-Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association (MDV-SEIA), the regional chapter of the national Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Before that, he was the director of State Programs and Policy Analysis at the national SEIA. Steve graduated in 1991 from the College of William and Mary in Virginia with a degree in Government and Psychology, and in 1993 he received a Master of Science in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Rochester.  Email: steve_kalland@ncsu.edu

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Christina Kopitopoulou
Clean Power & Industrial Efficiency Specialist

Christina Kopitopoulou is a Clean Power and Industrial Efficiency Extension Specialist at the Center. Her work focuses on project assessments for combined heat & power (CHP) and other clean energy technologies for industrial, commercial and institutional facilities, as well as policy and programs supporting these technologies. Prior to her work for the Clean Power and Industrial Efficiency program, Christina helped prepare the Solar Center Test Lab gain solar thermal accreditation. Christina received her M.S. in Sustainable Energy Technology from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands investigating thermo-chemical heat storage and her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in Athens, Greece. Email: ckopito@ncsu.edu

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Brian Lips
Energy Policy Project Coordinator

Brian Lips is an Energy Policy Project Coordinator for the Center. He manages the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE). In addition to coordinating and overseeing the project’s research, federal contract, and budget, Brian also authors DSIRE’s content for seven states. Brian also serves as the Center’s expert on North Carolina policy and has assisted the N.C. Department of Revenue with the state’s tax credit for renewable energy property, and has spoken in Special Committee sessions of the N.C. General Assembly. Brian joined the Center in 2006 and has served in various capacities with the DSIRE project before becoming the manager of the project in 2013. Brian received a degree in Integrated Science and Technology from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, with a focus in Energy and Environmental Science.  Phone: 919-515-3954 Email: brian_lips@ncsu.edu

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Maria O’Farrell
Training Programs Manager

Maria O’Farrell is the Training Programs Manager, and has been with the Center since 2005. As program manager, Maria oversees the award-winning Renewable Energy Technologies Diploma Series (RETDS), a continuing education program offering eight distinct renewable energy and energy efficiency courses. In 2014, under Maria’s supervision the RETDS received three awards, including the national IREC Clean Energy Training Provider of the year award. In addition, she oversees customized renewable energy company training for dealers and installers, the military and several large utilities. Maria was the co-principal investigator on the Center’s SMAPSIT program – a U.S. Department of Energy funded “Train the Trainer” program for solar electric technologies.  Maria has received the Renewable Energy Technologies and Green Building diplomas and graduated magna cum laude from N.C. State University with a B.S. in Zoology and a minor in Botany. She has done extensive personal research in the areas of green building, renewable energy and biomimicry. She is currently one of only five biologists in the world to be recognized as a Certified Biomimicry Professional and is a candidate for the first Biomimicry MS in the United States from Arizona State University.  Phone: 919-523-8888 Email: maria_ofarrell@ncsu.edu

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Isaac Panzarella
Clean Power & Efficiency Project Coordinator

Isaac Panzarella is the Clean Power & Efficiency project coordinator at the Center, and provides technical and feasibility assessment services for combined heat and power systems, waste heat recovery and industrial energy efficiency improvements. His mission is to help people to realize that the future is here today when it comes to clean energy and energy efficiency. Isaac received a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1998 from N.C. State University. In the subsequent 12 years he worked to promote sustainable building systems and energy conservation as a partner with two consulting engineering firms. He has worked on many project commissions in the State of North Carolina, including the North Carolina Botanical Garden Visitor Center, dedicated by Governor Beverly Perdue in the fall of 2009 as the first State owned building with a LEED Platinum rating target. His sustainable building systems design experience includes solar thermal and photovoltaic energy systems, central cooling and heating plants, geothermal heat pump systems, energy recovery and energy management systems. Phone: 919-515-0354 Email: ipanzarella@ncsu.edu

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Autumn Proudlove
Sr. Policy Analyst

Autumn Proudlove is a Sr. Policy Analyst at the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center, joining the Center’s Energy Policy team in January 2014. She manages the Center’s work on the SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership- a Department of Energy program focused on providing education and technical assistance to local governments across the country. She also works on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE), authoring content for four states. Autumn received her Master’s degree in Energy Regulation and Law, as well as a Certificate in Climate Law, summa cum laude, from Vermont Law School (VLS). While at VLS, Autumn worked for the school’s Institute for Energy and the Environment, examining solar soft cost reduction opportunities as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Plug and Play Solar PV project. Autumn received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, with a minor in Economics, from Dartmouth College in 2012. Phone: 919-515-8118 Email: afproudl@ncsu.edu

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Lyra Rakusin
Senior Renewable Energy Training Specialist

Lyra Rakusin is a Senior Specialist for the Center where she helps direct training workshops and other workforce development events. She joined the Center in 2004 to develop and launch the RET Diploma Series and work on special projects. She was Outreach, Communications and Training Programs Manger of the Center from 2005 to 2008 before going on “eternity leave”. As Training Manager, she also organized and provided support to Center special events. As Outreach and Communications Manager, Lyra coordinated the efforts of the North Carolina Wind Working Group to produce a model wind ordinance, and helped to coordinate the members of the Landfill Gas to Energy Steering Committee, in addition to heading the print and online functions of the Center. Prior to moving to North Carolina, Lyra worked for the Alliance to Save Energy in Washington as an intern and then as Development Associate. In 2000, she earned an M.S. in Environmental Science from American University in Washington, D.C. Lyra was one of the Philippines’s first graduates of a B.S. in Environmental Science at the Ateneo de Manila University (a Jesuit university), where she graduated with the Departmental Award in 1997. Phone: 919-513-7769 Email: lyra_rakusin@ncsu.edu

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Art Samberg
Clean Power & Efficiency Project Coordinator

Art Samberg is a Clean Power and Efficiency project coordinator at the Center, specializing in combined heat and power, renewable energy and industrial energy efficiency projects. Art’s role is to conduct outreach and provide technical and feasibility assessments to facilities that are considering deployment of clean power and/or energy efficiency upgrades. Art received his Masters Degree in meteorology from Rutgers University and has spent most of his career providing air quality and environmental permitting and consulting services to the power generating and renewable energy industries. Phone: 919-515-5959 Email: asamber@ncsu.edu

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Richard Sapienza
Clean Transportation Specialist

Rick Sapienza is a Clean Transportation Specialist at the Center. He works under the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT), and Carolina Blue Skies and Green Jobs Initiative projects on education and advancement of alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles. Rick brings to the Center more than 20-years of business and industry experience. He has experience in the paper recycling industry with Great Lakes Pulp and Fibrer, government sector experience in technology development and application with Draper Lab, and auto industry experience in vehicle testing, advanced vehicle development, and program management with General Motors. His education includes a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.S. in Ocean Engineering from MIT, as well as an MBA from Michigan State University. Phone: 919-515-2788  Email: resapien@ncsu.edu

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Achyut Shrestha
Policy Analyst

Achyut Shrestha joined the Center in 2014 as a policy analyst. He is currently working on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE). His field of interest lies in energy policy, energy markets, smart grids and energy poverty. Achyut holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Physics from Hampshire College and a Master’s Degree (magma cum laude) in Energy Regulation and Law from Vermont Law School (VLS). At his previous work as a research associate at VLS, he analyzed the Smart Grid development in Denmark and researched legal and regulatory framework for different urban microgrids in the United States. As an intern at World Resources Institute (WRI), Achyut worked on a project to assess ratepayer-funded industrial energy efficiency programs. Email: abshrest@ncsu.edu

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Anne Tazewell
Clean Transportation Program Manager

Anne Tazewell is the Clean Transportation Program Manager at the Center, where she helps coordinate statewide efforts to increase the use of advanced transportation technologies and alternative fuels, such as biodiesel, ethanol, natural gas, propane and electricity. Anne provides outreach to fleet managers, elected officials and other decision makers about transportation fuel alternatives. She is also the Policy Chair of Triangle Clean Cities – a coalition of public and private partners sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy that encourages the use of alternative fuels as a means to reduce dependency on imported petroleum and improve air quality. Prior to joining the Center in 2004, Anne worked at Triangle J Council of Governments as a Clean Cities Coordinator for four years. Since joining the Center Anne has secured over $4 million in federal,state, and private sector funding to support diverse transportation technology opportunities that reduce transportation emissions and enhance economic development. She leads public education efforts that include conferences and workshops, radio and television advertising, website and newsletter development. Anne graduated from New College of the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Environmental Studies.  Phone: 919-513-7831 Email: anne_tazewell@ncsu.edu

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Michael Terreri
Clean Transportation Specialist

Michael Terreri is a Clean Transportation Technical Specialist. He joined the Center in June 2014 after previously working with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program, in cooperation with Argonne National Laboratory, in Upstate NY and East Tennessee. He has received a Master of Public Administration degree and a Bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Brockport and Geneseo, respectively. Previous to working in clean transportation, Michael was a National Park Service Ranger and performed a range of stakeholder engagement work at four National Parks across the country. Email: mjterrer@ncsu.edu

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Henry Tsai
Associate Director of Finance

Henry is responsible for the financial, economic and business strategy development of the overall renewable energy initiatives at the Center. Henry joined the Center in 2004 to serve as Principal Investigator for several state and federally sponsored policy research projects. His key experiences and expertise include: Valuation of commercial and industrial scale projects in biofuels and solar; portfolio and financial risk management in capital projects and capital markets; development of strategic relationships in higher risk business models; financial modeling and contract negotiations in large scale power projects that are significantly tied to emerging federal and state legislation; capital budgeting processes for complicated investment and ownership structures. Before joining the Center, Henry managed the export department of a Fortune 500 logistics company, where he also served as a financial analyst. During his tenure at the company, Henry designed and initiated export protocols for the Central American business lane, cross-trained and merged services between the domestic and international divisions, and initiated export processes that resulted in year-to-year positive gains in revenue, profit margin, and overall net income for the department. Henry has a B.A. from Duke University and an MBA from N.C. State University. Phone: 919-515-5433 Email: henry_tsai@ncsu.edu

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Kevin Witchger
Clean Power and Renewable Energy Specialist

Kevin Witchger is an Engineering Extension Specialist in the Clean Power & Efficiency program at the Center, specializing in combined heat and power, industrial efficiency, and renewable energy technologies. His role is to provide technical assistance and outreach for clean power, waste heat recovery, and energy efficiency. He also provides technical assistance with renewable projects such as photovoltaics, solar thermal, and biomass energy and has helped in setting up the Center’s testing lab. Kevin completed his Masters in Mechanical Engineering at N.C. State investigating the integration of combined heat and power with solar thermal and photovoltaic systems. His undergraduate work was performed both at the University of North Carolina at Asheville and North Carolina State University. Phone: 919-513-4244  Email:​​​ kevin_witchger@ncsu.edu