New Faces: Former NEC colleagues expand and strengthen CEE's team
In the wake of the Neighborhood Energy Connection’s merger with Center for Energy and Environment this year, the “all-new” CEE benefits from having offices in both Minneapolis and St. Paul for the first time — opening doors for us to provide great energy solutions for a broader range of homes, businesses, and communities across the Twin Cities.
The biggest key to doing this work well is that we have also gained the skills and earned wisdom of 22 terrific new colleagues who have now become CEE employees, after years of prior service at the NEC. This month we’ll start a two-part post to introduce our new co-workers, beginning with 11 field professionals who contribute to residential efforts, from new home construction to home energy audits.
Phil Anderson, QA Manager. Phil works with new home builders to build very efficient housing, while performing ENERGY STAR and Home Energy Rating System ratings. He also inspects home performance work on existing homes. Prior to joining the NEC’s residential energy department in 2015, Phil worked as an energy specialist in the weatherization assistance program for more than nine years.
Brent Bateman, Energy Auditor. Brent initially joined the NEC as a Home Energy Squad crew leader in 2015. Brent performs visits, advises homeowners on next steps to improve home efficiency, and engages community members about the programs of the NEC. Previously, Brent worked with Habitat for Humanity in Oakland, CA, and assisted the bike and pedestrian coordinator in Durham, NC.
Tony Beres, Inspector/Rater. Tony started work at the NEC in 2010. As an inspector/rater, he helps advise new home builders and residential contractors in energy efficient design and home performance applications. Tony graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in American History and is certified as a Building Analyst Professional through the Building Performance Institute.
Grant Carlson, Energy Auditor. Grant conducts diagnostic testing and installs energy saving products for the Home Energy Squad residential program, working with customers to simplify the pathway to energy efficiency. Prior to his current position with CEE, Grant worked for a variety of governmental agencies as a naturalist, delivering environmental education to diverse audiences.
Paul Cole, Energy Auditor. Paul conducts diagnostic tests to help homeowners identify and prioritize opportunities to improve the efficiency, comfort, health, and durability of their homes. After many years as a canvass field manager, Paul started his career in energy efficiency in 2013 with a Baltimore nonprofit aimed at creating green jobs for underserved city residents.
Joey Giffen-Hunter, Energy Auditor. Joey started working for the NEC in June 2014. He especially likes helping customers connect to the knowledge and resources they need to maximize their returns on more extensive energy improvement projects. Before coming to the NEC, Joey spent 15 years living and working as an art teacher and facilities director at a small private boarding school in rural Iowa.
Whitney Greilanger, Administrative Assistant. Whitney started working at the NEC in 2011 as an AmeriCorps member for the Home Energy Squad program. In April 2013 she transitioned into an administrative assistant role. Her main tasks include scheduling visits, reconciling data entry, and assisting the crew supervisor. Whitney earned a degree in Environmental Studies at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Kevin Horkheimer, Program Manager. Kevin joined the NEC in the summer of 2013, initially serving as Home Energy Squad supervisor. Now he manages day-to-day operations of the Home Energy Squad, the region’s top residential energy efficiency program, provided by Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy and delivered by CEE staff. Before coming to the NEC, Kevin was retail manager at Northern Brewer.
Amanda Schibline, Scheduling Assistant. Amanda is a scheduling assistant for the Home Energy Squad and other CEE residential programs, having joined the NEC in January 2015 as a crew leader. Prior to CEE, she worked in University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Sustainability Office and taught English as a Foreign Language in Daejeon, South Korea. Amanda is the board secretary at Do It Green! Minnesota.
Kristen Syverud, Energy Auditor. Kristen joined the NEC in 2015. As an energy auditor, she helps homeowners identify opportunities to increase the energy efficiency and comfort of their homes. Kristen graduated from Luther College in 2015 with a degree in Environmental Studies and a focus on management.
Cheng Vang, Field Supervisor. Cheng joined the NEC in 2010 and has served as both a program coordinator and a residential energy specialist. He completed the Residential Energy Auditor certificate from Dunwoody College of Technology and is certified as a residential energy auditor and a professional building analyst.
Like the great group above, next month we’ll introduce 11 more new colleagues who also join us from the former Neighborhood Energy Connection — all adding up to CEE doing more and reaching further to save energy and money in Minnesota’s homes, businesses, and communities.