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STAFF AND BOARD MEMBERS

Meet the CCLEP Team

CHEL ANDERSON

Secretary and Board Member

Chel's professional background and career have been in plant ecology and conservation. A resident of Cook County since 1974, she's been part of many local and statewide nonprofit Boards and advisory committees focused on the arts, conservation, land use and water quality. She is co-author of North Shore - A Natural History of Minnesota’s Superior Coast. She with lives with her husband in greater Hovland, where they have been very satisfied alternative energy system (PV) users since 1997. Given the relationship between energy production and use and the land and waters that sustain us all, she is committed to working with the community to advance local awareness and action for a transition to clean energy, energy conservation and greater energy independence.

JESSY CARLSON

Staff: CCLEP Coordinator

Jessy is responsible for engaging with Cook County community members and organizational partners, planning and facilitating events, and making sure that CCLEP and the Cook County community work together to move towards increased energy independence. Jessy brings with her a background in sustainable community economic development and environmental education, and is excited to be working with Cook County residents to make sustainability an economically and culturally accessible option for communities, businesses, governments, and individuals.

DON GRANT

Board Member

Don has a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and a master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. Before joining the CCELP board, he founded North Shore Sustainable Energy, a firm focused on assisting individuals, companies, and local governments in shifting toward sustainable energy usage. He also founded and retired from CT Associates, Inc., a firm focused on the analysis and purification of fluids. Don is a board member of the Cook County Whole Foods Co-op and the Cook County Community Fund. He lives in a near net-zero home with solar electric and solar thermal energy systems.

CHRIS O'BRIEN

Board President

Chris is a retired business executive with a lifelong passion for cleaner energy. He and his wife, Jane Alexander, have lived in Cook County full-time since May 2016, and part-time for many years before that. Chris’s first job after college was as a Peace Corps volunteer in The Gambia, West Africa, where he launched a country-wide program promoting energy-efficient cookstoves. Chris later worked for several leading global solar panel and equipment manufacturers and was responsible for business development, marketing, strategic planning, and policy advocacy. For several years, he was the Chairman of the Solar Energy Industries Association, based in Washington, DC, and in that position played an important role in the introduction of key federal and state solar energy policies and incentives. Chris currently serves on several boards, including CCLEP, North Superior Ski and Run Club, Fresh Energy, and the Cook County Community Fund. He and Jane installed a 15.6kW solar PV system on their home in 2019, and love knowing that most of their electricity is solar-generated. Chris and Jane feel very fortunate to be living in Cook County, and spend much of their time in the outdoors, skiing, canoeing, and  exploring the county by bike.

CARLY PUCH

Board Vice President

Being born and raised in Grand Marais, MN, Carly never thought she would come back to live here. But after being gone for a few years and returning to the community as an adult, she has a new appreciation for this place. She works as the Outreach Coordinator for Cook County Higher Education, serves on the Local Mental Health Advisory Council, and volunteers with the Violence Prevention Center and Cook County Restorative Justice...in addition to being a member of the Cook County Local Energy Project board! She enjoys learning more about sustainability and its important intersections, and loves learning and sharing about sustainability, health, wellness, environmentalism, social justice, plant-based eating, and everything in between, through her writing and her podcast, "Consciously Clueless." Her passion has always been to help people, and she feels lucky to be back in Grand Marais doing just that.

TONY WALZER

Board Member

Tony has degrees in landscape architecture, park planning, and drafting and design technology from Penn State University. His professional experience includes working as a community and redevelopment director, a planner and main street project manager, and as the acquisition and development specialist at the Minnesota DNR in Bemidji. Tony is an ardent proponent of local food systems and food cooperatives, as well as energy conservation - everything from site orientation to weatherization and solarization. He is a strong believer in the importance of the 3Rs: reducing, reusing and then recycling. Tony is also a very satisfied solar PV/SPF (solar powered furnace) homeowner.

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