Jane Weissman, President, Chief Executive Officer
Jane has been the President and CEO of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. since 1994. From 1985 until 1991, she was the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Photovoltaic Center. Jane is Vice Chair of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners and was elected an America Solar Energy Society’s Fellow in 2004. She serves on a number of boards including the National Advisory Board for NSF’s ATE CREATE and co-chairs ANSI’s Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative, Working Group 5. She has been chairing the national Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference since 2006. Jane has been invited by the Congress of the United States to provide expert testimony before the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment to discuss workforce development and training issues. Jane received the prestigious Charles Greeley Abbot Award from the American Solar Energy Society and the Renewable Energy World’s Leadership Award in policy. She has published papers and spoken widely on topics in the field of renewable energy, photovoltaics, public policy and credentialing. Jane is based out of Boston, Massachusetts and is an avid Red Sox fan.
Larry Sherwood, Vice President, Chief Operating Officer
Larry is IREC’s Vice President and COO and has worked with IREC in different capacities for over 10 years. He is the author of the annual IREC Report, U.S. Solar Market Trends, and Editor of the IREC Small Wind Newsletter. Larry has over 30 years of experience in the renewable energy field and serves as President of Sherwood Associates, a renewable energy consulting firm. In addition to his IREC position, he is Project Administrator for the Solar America Board for Codes and Standards and Executive Director of the Small Wind Certification Council. He has received a Special Recognition Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Sustainable Energy Association. Previously, Larry served as Executive Director of the American Solar Energy Society and Executive Director of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and lives in a PV-powered house in Boulder, Colorado with his wife, Janet and daughter, Morgan.
Sara Baldwin Auck
Sara is IREC’s Regulatory Program Director. Prior to joining IREC, Sara served as senior policy and regulatory associate at Utah Clean Energy, a non-profit, non-partisan public interest organization. She was project lead for the Wasatch Solar Challenge, which received the 2013 Utah Business Magazine Sustainable Business Award for Social Impact. She also served as project advisor for Summit Community Solar and Salt Lake Community Solar, Utah’s first highly successful bulk-purchase solar initiatives. She has served on several working groups, including the Energy Development and Environment Subcommittee of Utah Governor Herbert’s 10-Year Energy Initiative, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality Climate Change Stakeholder Working Group, the Salt Lake City Energy and Carbon Advisory Committee, and the Utah Renewable Energy Initiative Group. In 2012, she was named one of “Utah’s Enlightened 50″ by the Community Foundation of Utah. Sara and her husband live in Salt Lake City where she enjoys biking, skiing, climbing and running in the mountains and desert. She is an avid urban gardener, aspiring musician and “semi-adventurous” globe-trotter.
Michelle Barrett is the Project Manager for the IREC Credentialing Program. Prior to joining IREC, Michelle worked at the New York Association on Independent Living, Inc. (NYAIL) as the Membership and Event Coordinator. Michelle’s primary responsibility was management of all association meetings. She was also responsible for the operations and management of the association’s bi-annual conference and exposition, along with overseeing the day-to-day association office operations. She is a life-long resident of New York and resides in Albany with her family.
Maryteresa (MT) Colello has more than 20 years experience in the legal field, currently managing the law firm of O’Connor, O’Connor, Bresee & First in Albany, NY. MT joined IREC in 1995 as bookkeeper and meeting planner. MT is IREC’s logistics guru, and if you’ve ever been to an IREC Annual Meeting, you can thank MT for her meticulous attention to detail that makes for memorable meetings. MT lives in Albany, and is a devoted Mets fan.
Laure-Jeanne serves as Director of IREC’s Credentialing Program, assisting with management and expansion to serve the weatherization and home energy performance communities. She also manages IREC’s standards development and revision activities. Her experience spans education and nonprofit management, first in higher education and then as an association executive for the residential building supply industry. During her association tenure, Laure-Jeanne worked to promote sustainable and energy efficient building practices to a 400+ company constituency spanning the northeastern US through education and outreach, including the inception of the industry’s first green building policy. She resides in rural upstate New York.
Diane DePuydt, Ph.D. brings expertise in training, curriculum and organizational development together with over 25 years of experiencein the fields of sustainability and renewable energy. She joined the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. in 2010 as a program consultant and Registered IREC Assessor. Prior to IREC, Dr. DePuydt served as Program Director at the Solar Living Institute, an IREC accredited training provider in California, where she developed and implemented both traditional and online training in renewable energy and sustainable living. Diane has also been Executive Director of energy-focused environmental organizations based in Cincinnati, Ohio and Gainesville, Florida; coordinated accreditation processes at the University of Florida; and, taught environmental science at several small colleges in New England.
Chéri Faso (formerly Olf) is currently serving as Project Manager on behalf of IREC for NYSERDA’s Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Advanced Energy Technologies Workforce Development Program. Chéri is an independent renewable energy education consultant, and Founder/Executive Director of the Solar Campus Initiative, a project of Earth Island Institute. From 2005 through 2009, she served as Director of Education & International Workforce Development for the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), where she developed and managed corporate, educational, and citizen-outreach programs, including the Higher Education Committee on Renewable Energy, and green workforce programs, on an international level. Prior to ACORE, Chéri spent six years in senior management positions at Boston University Corporate Education Center, where she oversaw sales, marketing, technical curriculum development and workforce development and graduate placement efforts for over 100 instructor-led and online programs. Chéri is a Climate Leader, Trained personally by Climate Reality Project Chairman and former Vice President Al Gore. She also serves as an Advisory Board member for the Masters in Renewable Energy & Sustainability Systems program at Penn State University. Chéri divides her time between Albany and her home in Rhode Island.
Ruth first consulted with IREC on communications in 2009. She is a respected writer, editor and public relations specialist with more than 25 years working primarily with not-for-profits in the health, science and technology fields. Ruth works with the entire IREC team to provide timely clean energy news and insight to a variety of public and private audiences, including IREC’s many partners. A principal partner in Critical Needs Now, Ruth is a former stringer for the New York Times, and a published author and ghostwriter, including (nearly) two books. She brings her passion for making a difference to a host of community initiatives where she lives in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Kristen is Manager of Assessor Training & Development for the IREC Credentialing Program. She works primarily with IREC’s Registered assessors to recruit, train and mentor both the new and more seasoned members of the team. Her work is part of continuing efforts to raise the bar for quality assessments. Kristen is a registered assessor for IREC and for ANSI. In addition to her responsibilities on the IREC Credentialing team, Kristen also led a working group of industry professionals on the revision of Standard 01022. Kristen has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has used this technical knowledge along with her experience in instructional design, curriculum development and experiential education classrooms in Baltimore and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa.
Jason, partner at the law firm Keyes, Fox & Wiedman LLP, focuses on regulatory matters related to interconnection of distributed generation, and has participated in interconnection and net metering rule makings at the utility commissions of more than a dozen states. Jason is also active in broader renewable energy regulatory affairs and industry analysis as board member of the American Solar Energy Society. In his spare time, Jason has hiked more than 1,600 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail (Mexico-Canada) — final leg in 2020.
Mary Lawrence is working as Project Coordinator for IREC, National Administrator of U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Instructor Training Network. Mary came to the SITN from another federally funded grant program called AmeriCorps Cape Cod (ACC). ACC is a full-time, residential, service program that focuses its efforts on the natural resource management and disaster preparedness needs of the Cape Cod community. Mary lived on Cape Cod and worked for ACC for eight years. For her final three years with the program, Mary acted as Program Coordinator and worked with five other staff to run the service program. Mary lives in upstate New York with her husband, Richard, and their son George.
Barbara Martin, Ph.D.
Barbara, former professor in the College of Education at the University of Central Florida and at Kent State University in educational technology and educational psychology, specializes in instructional design (ISD), criterion-referenced testing, evaluation strategies, distance education, and instructional theory. She has written articles on ISD and educational technology, including a book on designing instruction for affective behaviors.
If you’ve applied for an IREC credential, chances are you’ve met Brian. As IREC’s Application Process Manager, Brian ensures smooth and timely processing of all applications for the IREC Credentialing Program. Brian was the project manager for the development and implementation of IREC’s online Credentialing Management System (CMS). Drawing on his process improvement experience, Brian continuously works to identify and implement enhancements in the application process. He also is the primary liaison with the vendor for CMS technical issues. Additionally, Brian facilitates Award Committee meetings and provides database information management services. The scope of his work involves all phases of IREC awards, including maintenance. Brian is based in the Albany, NY, office.
Richard spent more than 30 years working for the U.S. Department of Energy in the Northeast Regional Office. During that time, he administered the first cooperative agreements with the states that allowed them to hire staff for the fledgling state energy offices. He managed all of the major DOE grant programs as well as several national projects for the DOE and later took the lead on special projects to include the Million Solar Roofs and the Wind Powering America programs in order to establish them in the Region. He retired in June of 2006, just as DOE was closing the regional offices. Currently, Richard is managing IREC’s role with NYSERDA to provide code official training on PV across NYS through various professional organizations and their chapters.
Laurel is a Senior Renewables Analyst for Keyes, Fox & Wiedman LLP, attorneys for the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. In that role, Laurel engages in research and analysis of net metering and interconnection regulatory trends and supports IREC’s outreach and communication efforts. Prior to joining Keyes, Fox & Wiedman, located in Raleigh, NC, USA, Laurel was a policy analyst for the North Carolina Solar Center. She holds a MA in Sustainable Development from the School for International Training and a BA in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2009, Laurel was a Southeast Regional Network fellow for the Southeast Environmental Leadership Program and currently sits on Raleigh City Council’s Environmental Advisory Board. In her spare time, she is helping to start a non-profit urban farm in Raleigh and enjoys mountain biking.
Jane, who joined IREC in 1999, is responsible for social and web communications for IREC. She publishes three newsletters for IREC: the IREC Report, the SITN Quarterly, and The Credentialing Chronicle. Jane represents IREC on the ICLEI’s — Local Governments for Sustainability Team to develop tools for local governments to go solar, part of the Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative known as the Solar Outreach Partnership (Solar OPs). Before joining IREC, Jane spent 17 years in working for the State of Texas in a variety of communications positions including the State Energy Conservation Office, The Texas Department of Agriculture, the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate. When she’s not tending to IREC’s communications and social sites, she’s spending quality time on a yoga mat. She lives in Austin, TX.
Joe is a consultant, currently serving as Project Manager for the Interstate Renewable Energy Council who is National Administrator of the Solar Instructor Training Network — a U.S. Department of Energy SunShot initiative. Prior to accepting his most recent project, Joe was a Professor, Department Chair, and Executive Director at Hudson Valley Community College. Joe was the main architect for the college’s TEC-SMART facility, the country’s first totally integrated Training and Education Center for Semi-Conductor Manufacturing and Alternative and Renewable Technologies, and in 2009 was honored by the visit of President Obama in which the President recognized his work in developing model programs for other institutions to emulate. With over thirty-five years in industry and education training experience, Joe has garnered a national reputation for the design and delivery of renewable energy and other industry training programs. Joe is a Board Member of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and a Board Member of the Association of Community College Energy and Water Educators. Joe has twice given expert testimony regarding renewable energy training programs and policy before the U.S. Congress.
Michael Sheehan P.E.
Michael T. Sheehan, PE, is an Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) representative working on state-level rulemaking and workshops. He was the vice president of utility development for an energy efficiency company that sells electronic voltage regulators for both domestic and international utilities. He also has extensive electric utility industry experience, particularly in interconnections, distribution reliability, transmission and distribution planning, efficiency, and optimization measures. Sheehan has worked for three investor-owned utilities in the Midwest, Southeast and Pacific Northwest, and was a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 1547 Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Resources with Electric Power Systems. He developed the System Operator training program and designed the qualifications test and certification procedures. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Washington and a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Louise Urgo joined the IREC team in 1997. She is the Business Manager for IREC and is an IREC ISPQ Registered Assessor. She was employed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Boston Office, and Denver Office as a Contracting Officer from 1975 to 1996, and also worked for the Golden Field Office. She has a rich history of work on renewable energy and energy efficiency contracts, grants and programs and various energy technologies. She lives in Brookline, MA, likes gardening and loves her Boston sports teams.
Dr. Jerry Ventre
Jerry is a consultant in photovoltaic systems engineering, specializing in workforce development, system design and product assurance. He received B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Cincinnati, and has over thirty-five years of experience in research, development, design and systems analysis. In addition to leading the PV and distributed power programs at the Florida Solar Energy Center for over 20 years, Jerry was the first international chair of the Institute for Sustainable Power Awards Committee, managed the development of the original NABCEP task analysis and study guide for PV system installation, and was recently appointed chair of a committee to review and improve the NABCEP PV entry level program. He has taught at both graduate and undergraduate levels, including PV systems, and has been heavily involved in workforce development. He has offered eight train-the-trainer workshops around the country, assisting faculty in course and program development. Jerry has been a recipient of a number of awards for contributions to engineering and engineering education. He has over 150 technical publications to his credit and is co-author with Roger Messenger of the highly regarded text Photovoltaic Systems Engineering.
Todd is working as IREC’s Field Coordinator for NYSERDA’s Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Advanced Energy Technologies Workforce Development Program. He works primarily with NYSERDA’s workforce development training providers, gathering information to identify program needs and new training opportunities. Prior to joining the IREC, Todd worked for the United Illuminating Company, serving as the lead Commercial and Industrial Analyst. Todd is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He holds a degree in Energy and Sustainability Policy from Penn State University. Todd and his family are avid Yankees fans, residing in upstate New York.
Joe, a partner at Keyes, Fox & Wiedman LLP, focuses on IREC’s regulatory work before commissions and forums nationwide with a particular focus on establishing state programs and policies that expand markets for distributed generation including shared solar program design and implementation, solar valuation methodologies, net metering rules and interconnection procedures, participation in solar energy by low-income communities, and innovative financing models such as third-party ownership. Joe has a deep background in energy policy and regulatory matters having worked on a broad range of matters from the intersection of energy efficiency and renewable energy, greenhouse gas emissions regulation, general rate cases, to transmission line siting and approval applications.