CEE announces new board members

Dec 5, 2018

CEE's board of directors has added three new members to expand and strengthen its roster: LisaBeth Barajas, Amanda Novak, and Nancy Tyra-Lukens. The three join CEE's existing board, which itself is a composite that fittingly reflects CEE's merger with the Neighborhood Energy Connection (NEC) in 2017.

Individual board members strengthen CEE's governance through deep expertise in key areas such as organizational management and development, financial stewardship, and legal compliance. "We're fortunate to be joined by LisaBeth, Amanda, and Nancy, with each bringing strengths to complement CEE's current board," explained Chris Duffrin, CEE's president. "From business development to regional planning, budgeting, and more, our three newest directors offer knowledge and insights to help position CEE well for a dynamic future."

Board additions bring wealth of experience

LisaBeth Barajas leads the community development division of the Metropolitan Council, where she has worked as a regional planning expert for over a decade. Her team addresses issues in regional planning and development, Metro Housing Redevelopment Authority operations, Livable Communities Act grants, and regional park plans and grants. Barajas earned her bachelor's degree in environmental studies and geography at Gustavus Adolphus College, and her master’s in urban and regional planning from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Amanda Novak directs real estate development for the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. Novak is responsible for leading strategic efforts around facility and partnership development that tie to the Y’s comprehensive real estate plan. Novak served previously as associate vice president of development at CommonBond Communities. Novak earned her bachelor's degree in biology and environmental studies from St. Olaf College, Northfield, and her master's in urban and regional planning from University of Iowa.

Nancy Tyra-Lukens is the outgoing mayor of Eden Prairie, a role she served 2002–2006 and 2011–2018, after serving on the city council 1994–2001. In recent years, she also acted as an at-large member of the Capital Budget Talk Force for the Board of Hennepin County Commissioners. Tyra-Lukens earned a master’s degree in nutritional biochemistry from the University of Michigan, and a second master’s in finance and business administration from the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.

CEE board chair Julia Donaldson emphasized, "As CEE has grown following our merger with the NEC, it's been especially important to attend to governance as well as strategic development. These three new board members represent a significant step forward with that, and we're delighted to have them as colleagues."

LisaBeth Barajas and Amanda Novak began their service in November, after the three newest members were unanimously approved to join CEE's board. Nancy Tyra-Lukens will start her tenure in January 2019.

About CEE

Center for Energy and Environment is a clean energy nonprofit with special expertise in energy efficiency that stretches back nearly 40 years. CEE provides a range of practical and cost-effective energy solutions for homes, businesses, and communities to strengthen the economy while improving the environment.  

Related links

CEE's Board of Directors
CEE announces new board of directors (December 2017 news release)