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These experienced local clean energy leaders — among others whom we also salute — keep their ears to the ground to identify emerging needs, help develop our programs and advocate for resources for local clean energy initiatives.

Pippa Bell Ader is a member of the Westport Green Task Force, and has helped lead the Town toward greater energy efficiency, most recently spearheading a call for zero emissions by 2050. Westport has participated in several state programs (Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge, Solarize Westport, small ZREC program, Thermal Imaging and Energy Efficiency program).  A social worker and patient advocate professionally, Pippa is helping the Westport Green Task Force to explore broader sustainability goals as well as clean energy.

SarahSarah Baird sits on the North Haven Clean Energy Task Force. She is active on several local nonprofit boards and is piloting a Solar Lantern Sponsorship Program for schools and medical settings in Uganda (Let There Be Light International). She holds Master's Degrees from Columbia University (Slavic Literatures and Languages) and the University of Connecticut (Humanitarian Services Administration). Her current research focuses on Energy Poverty and decentralized off-grid electrification in the developing world.

Andy Bauer chairs the Portland Clean Energy Task Force, a group he initiated in 2005 as a means to educate the town on clean energy and energy efficiency options. He has led Solarize Portland and numerous other programs.  The threat that climate change presents to not only his own kids but also future generations motivates Andy to promote ways to reduce our collective carbon footprint. When not saving the planet, he relaxes by taking long walks with his lovely wife Joanna, kayaking, glissading, and teaching Middle School.   

Kate Donnelly is Outreach Manager for SmartPower, coordinating Solarize campaigns throughout Connecticut. She has led her local Task Force in Hampton as well as serving as First Selectman for the town. Kate is a partner in Donnelly-Colt Progressive Resources.  

Susan EastwoodSusan Eastwood is Director of Outreach and Communications for the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut, a program of Clean Water Action. She has a long history of involvement with Ashford’s Clean Energy Task Force.   

Gary Fisher is a founding member of the Stafford Energy Advisory Committee. Self-employed in financial services industry, he uses solar electricity and geothermal heat in his own home.  

Katherine Freygang organizes energy and environmental groups in the NW Corner of CT founding ECCO (educational), the Cornwall Energy Task Force (civic), an alliance of town task forces (regional), and Housatonic Valley 350.org (activist) and co-chairing the Environmental Ministries Team for the CT United Church of Christ. She is a museum exhibition specialist in design and educational programming for natural history, science and children’s museums and has degrees and experience in Environmental Science (BA), Architecture (BFA) and Graphic Design/Communications (MFA). Katherine’s goal is to celebrate creative innovation towards a sustainable future and ecological grace.   

Pat GillespiePatrice Gillespie is an experienced environmental outreach professional who has worked for Clean Air, Cool Planet; Sierra Club; 3DegreesInc and now for Clean Water Fund’s community programs. A Wilton Energy Commission and Wilton Go Green Board member, she works with local governments and community groups to effect energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives. She has special interests in land use issues and water quality.
Kevin McCarthy represents the New Haven Clean Energy Task Force. He is a member of the Mayor’s Energy Advisory Committee and other New Haven civic organizations.  He retired last year after 25 years as staff to the CT General Assembly Energy and Technology Committee.  

Megan Saunders is Executive Director of Stamford 2030, a joint venture between CFE and the Business Council of Fairfield County. She is responsible for the engagement of businesses and overall leadership of the district, ensuring that the organization is focused, respected, and effective in advancing its mission. Previously, Megan worked as a Sustainability Project Manager at Vidaris, Inc. where she led project design and construction teams to implement sustainable environmental practices and achieve LEED ratings. Megan earned a Master of City and Regional Planning from the Bloustein School at Rutgers University, and her undergraduate degree in Sociology from The College of New Jersey. 

Tom SwarrTom Swarr retired from United Technologies after a 30-year career in technology development and corporate environmental management. He holds 5 patents related to fuel cell technology. He developed and deployed UTC’s policy on design for environment and safety.  He is a lecturer at Yale University, teaching a graduate practicum on life cycle assessment. In the community, he is currently serving on a clean energy task force for the City of Hartford, CT, chaired the board for the CT League of Conservation Voters Education Fund from 2011 to 2014, and served on the board for the CT Chemical Innovations Institute from 2010 to 2014. Tom holds a B.S and M.S. in Material Science and Metallurgical Engineering from Lehigh University, a M.B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a PhD in Organization and Management from Capella University.

Woodie Weiss, Chair of the Madison Energy & Efficiency Committee, is an electrical engineer. Besides his committee work on issues like EV charging stations and municipal street lighting, Woodie recently completed a green home for his family, featuring solar hot water, geothermal, PV with backup, all LED lighting, water reclamation and smart controls.  He has coordinated a geothermal cost-benefit analysis workshop for CT Task Forces and developed a followup customer survey to inform recommendations to the Green Bank. He is part of the advisory team for the EASE (Education and Action for Secure Energy) program.

Roger Smith Senior Consultant, began work as an organizer and advocate with Clean Water Action’s Connecticut office in 2003. The next year he helped coordinate the grassroots citizen lobbying effort which led to Connecticut's passage of one of the first state global warming laws in the country. He was a leading energy policy strategist on the implementation of that law, and formulated Clean Water Fund’s cutting edge work with local Clean Energy Task Forces. He is also an accomplished photographer who recently completed the training program



Community Updates


For those concerned about the climate crisis…

Small info cards, about 3”x4”, are available in quantities of 100 and more; if interested, please contact Patrice Gillespie .


… 2018 has been named the Year of Local Action. And the Eastern CT Green Action group is leading the way. ECGA was formed by several people from towns in eastern Connecticut. Initially most people were from Mansfield; as of now, people from Andover, Ashford, Chaplin, Coventry, Eastford, Hampton, Lebanon, Pomfret, Scotland, Tolland, Willington and Windham are members.

With the publication of his excellent weekly newsletter CT Green News, ECGA co-founder Peter Millman is helping us Nutmeggers stay up to date on issues, events and opportunities for concerned citizens to connect with their elected officials. He has published over 50 editions of his newsletter, and would love to broaden his every Friday distribution. Just contact Peter via info@easternctgreenaction.com and benefit from his convenient digest of important news and environmentally-focused online postings.


Calendar Highlights


HIGHLIGHTS OF CT’s FALL GATHERING of clean energy task forces can be found here in our Knowledge Center’s Program Archives pages. Diane Duva (the Director of Energy Demand at DEEP’s Bureau of Energy and Technology Policy is pictured here) facilitating the shaping of our state’s energy future.

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Clean Energy Communities Listening Session Letter of Thanks and Follow-up

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