Who we are
Anya Schoolman - Executive Director
Anya is the founder and Executive Director of Community Power Network, a national nonprofit that helps communities build and promote local renewable energy projects and policies.
In 2007, Anya founded with Mt. Pleasant Solar Co-op with her son Walter after helping 45 neighbors in her Mount Pleasant neighborhood go solar. Anya then went on to foster the creation of 11 other solar co-ops in DC, eventually forming a city-wide organization DC Solar United Neighborhoods (DC SUN) to make solar accessible and affordable to all Washington DC residents. Since 201 in her role as President of DC SUN, Anya has helped more than 700 homeowners in Washington, DC go solar and passed numerous pieces of critical solar legislation.
In 2011, Anya also founded Community Power Network, a national organization that supports grassroots, local, state, and national organizations working to build, and promote locally based renewable energy projects & policies. CPN has provided technical assistance to hundreds of citizens and organizations around the country,Community Power Network is currently supporting state projects in Washington, D.C. (DC SUN), Maryland, (MD SUN), Virginia (VA SUN), West Virginia (WV SUN), and Ohio (OH SUN), as well as policies and project models for bringing solar to low-income households. In 2009 Ms. Schoolman was honored as the MDV-SEIA Solar Champion, as well as one of CALFinder's 10 Amazing Activists in the Name of Solar. In April 2014, Ms. Schoolman was selected as one of 10 White House Champions of Change for Solar Deployment for her groundbreaking work to deploy solar in the National Capital region.
Anya holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Barnard College and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs, with a concentration in International Environmental Policy and Management, from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. In her previous work, Anya served as a consultant for grant makers and organizations on environmental strategy. She also spent nearly 10 years working for the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of the Interior.
Emily Stiever - Chief of Staff
Emily oversees CPN’s administrative, financial, and operational activities and provides technical assistance to CPN member organizations. In her role she assists communities in developing and implementing community-based renewable energy projects and programs. She also oversees and provides cross-cutting guidance to CPN’s state programs, helping state directors streamline and scale up their impact via solar co-ops and policy advocacy. Before joining CPN, Emily worked as a renewable energy consultant specializing in solar electric and solar water heating initiatives and incentive programs. She holds a B.A. in Political Ecology from Grinnell College.
Aaron Sutch - Virginia Program Director
Aaron serves as the VA SUN program director. He develops and manages all the Virginia co-ops, provides technical support for residents and organizations wishing to go solar, and supports policy advocacy for solar in Virginia. His experience includes project development, municipal sustainability leadership, and policy advocacy focusing on renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Aaron received a dual M.A in International Affairs and Natural Resources; specializing in International Energy Policy from American University School of International Service and United Nations University for Peace. He has published numerous articles and speaks fluent Spanish. A native of San Diego California, Aaron enjoys being on the water, playing guitar and spending time with his son Gabriel.
Corey Ramsden - Maryland Program Director
Corey focuses on building successful solar co-ops and helping as many Maryland residents as possible go solar. He has 15 years of experience in the IT industry, is a NABCEP certified NABCEP PV Installation Professional and owns his own solar PV system. Corey regularly volunteers his time toward the advancement of renewable energy adoption throughout the region. Corey is a long-time resident of the Baltimore/Washington area and graduated from Loyola University Maryland.
Karan Ireland - West Virginia Program Director
Karan works with West Virginia residents to develop solar co-ops across the state. Ireland comes to CPN from the West Virginia Citizen Action Group where she was Development Director. In that role, she worked to ensure all West Virginians had access to safe drinking water and took the lead in response to the 2014 Elk River Chemical Leak.
Luke Sulfridge - Ohio Program Director
Luke serves as the OH SUN Program Director. Luke is a lifelong resident of the Mid-Ohio Valley and resides in Washington County. He provides support for the expansion of solar in Ohio through co-ops and policy advocacy. His prior work includes health policy, emergency management, grassroots organizing, and advocacy. Luke holds a B.A. from Berea College in Political Science, a M.S. from Eastern Kentucky University in Safety, Security and Emergency Management, and a M.A. from Appalachian State University in Political Science with a concentration in Environmental Politics and Policy Analysis.
Angela DeMonbreun - Florida Program Director
Angela serves as the FL SUN program director. She develops and manages all the Florida co-ops, provides technical support for residents and organizations wishing to go solar, and supports policy advocacy for solar in Florida. Her experience includes project development, grassroots organizing, community engagement and policy advocacy focusing on capacity building. Angela also volunteers with the League of Women Voters Florida, a nonprofit political, yet nonpartisan organization that promotes good governance and advocates for many things; Natural Resources being a priority in Florida. Angela holds a B.A. degree from Jacksonville University in Political Science.
Jameka Hodnett - D.C. Program Director
Jameka implements solar co-op programs in Washington, D.C. and works to create an accessible, affordable solar market in the District. She has extensive experience as a community organizer, previously working with the Sierra club as a campaign representative helping to implement the Clean Power Plan She spends her spare time volunteering with various social justice organizations and writing. She holds a B.A. in International Affairs from Trinity Washington University and is currently pursuing a J.D. at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law.
Autumn Long - West Virginia Solar Co-op Coordinator
Autumn Long serves as Solar Co-op Coordinator for WV SUN. She works with West Virginia residents and communities to expand access to renewable energy by developing and managing solar co-ops across the state. She has been an entrepreneur, community organizer, advocate, writer, editor, researcher, homesteader, and gardener. She holds a B.Phil in Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.A. in Geography from West Virginia University. Born and raised in West Virginia, Autumn lives on a farm in rural Harrison County with her husband, dog, horse, donkey, chickens, and net-metered solar PV system.
Ben Delman - Communications Manager
Ben manages internal and external communications for more than a dozen active solar co-ops and for CPN’s solar advocacy work. He is an experienced solar communications professional. Ben has worked with companies throughout the solar value chain to generate attention to their product and project announcements. He has also worked with solar advocates across the county to help them educate the public about policies that allow solar energy to compete on a level playing field with other energy sources. Ben holds a B.A. degree from the George Washington University in Political Science.
Isabel Ricker - Development Officer
Isabel serves as the Development Officer for CPN. In this role, she oversees CPN's fundraising efforts and builds relationships with our individual, corporate and philanthropic supporters. Isabel also helps to develop and scale CPN's community-based renewable energy programs and policy activities. Before joining CPN, Isabel worked with municipalities in the mid-Atlantic region to develop and implement renewable energy and energy efficiency policies and programs. Her other experience includes advocacy, project management, technical assistance, community-based fundraising, and member engagement. Isabel also volunteers with the Clean Energy Leadership Institute, helping to train and empower young, diverse clean energy leaders. Isabel holds a B.A. in Political Science and Sustainable Development from Columbia University.
Carra Cheslin - Director of Engagement
Carra serves as the Director of Engagement for CPN. In this role, she works with all six state programs to provide community and co-op members with meaningful opportunities to get involved with the solar movement both locally and nationally, including events, advocacy initiatives, community building, fundraising, and other projects. Her experience includes program management and design, community outreach and engagement, youth development, and online organizing in the non-profit, local government, recreation, and education sectors. Carra holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Sociology-based Human Relations from Connecticut College and is a certified Wilderness First Responder and Master Gardener.
Sam Polino - Program Manager, Solar Co-ops
Sam serves as the Program Manager for Solar Co-ops, aiding in Community Power Network's overseeing implementation of the organization's cross-cutting solar co-op work. Sam works with state program directors to launch and grown new bulk purchase groups, engage installers, and track progress for each group. He works to continually improve the process and design of CPN’s solar co-ops. Sam graduated from Boston University in 2015 with a B.A. in Environmental Science and a minor in Sustainable Energy.
Emma Rodvien - Program Coordinator, Solar Co-ops
Emma serves as the Program Coordinator for Solar Co-ops, aiding in Community Power Network's the Solar Co-op Program Coordinator. She helps implement solar co-ops across all state programs. Emma works closely with state directors to build new co-ops and to support co-op members throughout the bulk purchase process. Emma graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2015 with dual degrees in Environmental Policy and Latin American Studies.
Courtney Cuff is the Executive Director Western Conservation Foundation. She is an expert at designing creative campaigns that motivate diverse constituencies to achieve specific conservation outcomes. Before that she worked as Pacific regional director for the National Parks Conservation Association. Courtney designed programs to protect National Parks in California and Hawaii from development, pollution, and underfunding. She recently launched a "Defending the Desert" campaign to protect the biodiversity of the Southern Californian desert lands. Previously, Courtney was Director of Government Affairs for the Green Scissors Campaign at Friends of the Earth in Washington, D.C. Courtney also worked on a number of U.S. House and Senate political races, sat on the League of Conservation Voters Political Advisory Committee, and was a board member of the Safe Energy Communications Council.
John Farrell is a recognized national leader in the issue of community based and community owned renewable energy. He is a senior researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its work on democratic energy. John is best known for his vivid illustrations of the economic and environmental benefits of local ownership of decentralized renewable energy. He’s the author of Energy Self-Reliant States, a state-by-state atlas of renewable energy potential highlighted in the New York Times, showing that most states don’t need to look outside their borders to meet their electricity needs. He has also written extensively on the economic advantages of Democratizing the Electricity System, published a rich interactive map on solar grid parity, and polished the policies necessary to support locally owned renewable energy development.
Wendy Hauenstein has spent the last 24 years working in the private and public sectors. Drawing from her education, a B.A. in International Business and Economics from James Madison University and an M.B.A. from the Darden School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, Ms. Hauenstein has worked domestically and internationally as a program manager, financial analyst and independent business consultant. Her formal career started as a Small Business Advisor with the U.S. Peace Corps in rural Kenya. She has worked for notable companies, including seven years with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP. Other employment included a year with the state savings bank in Vilnus, Lithuania, and as the Head of Mission for the United Methodist Committee on Relief in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Recently she completed a two-year contract with Groundswell International, a small, grassroots, non-profit organization. She is familiar with all aspects of non-profit accounting and finance, including compliance with state and federal regulations. She speaks English and French fluently, and has working knowledge of Swahili, Lithuanian and Spanish. Ms. Hauenstein is currently working on a socially responsible business endeavor in Washington, DC.
Cathy Kunkel is an energy analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis where her research focuses on utilities in the mid-Atlantic region. She lives in Charleston, West Virginia and has testified on numerous occasions before the West Virginia Public Service Commission in support of stronger energy efficiency programs. Previously, she worked for Energy Efficient West Virginia and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Diego Morley is currently a student at Brown University. He served as one of the founding members for DC Solar United Neighborhoods (DC SUN), a project of Community Power Network. Diego continues to serve as an advisor to DC SUN and as an activist on renewable energy issues. He brings expertise in communicating with and mobilizing youth and has dedicated a longstanding commitment to our issues through more than seven years of extensive volunteering.
Leslie Rigby is the Assistant Director for Communications at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She is a communications expert and senior editor, writer, and manager for print and online publications of nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and membership associations. Previous work experience includes publications for AARP and Congressional Quarterly. She has provided technical advice and communications support for Community Power Network since its inception.