dan conference

CERTs bids farewell to Communications Director Dan Thiede

On to the next act

Oh man, are we gonna miss Dan "The Magic" Thiede (he has a placard on his desk that says that). Dan has been a shining light with CERTs darn near since its inception in 2003.

At CERTs we consider ourselves a family. We tell folks, "Once a CERTsy, always a CERTsy." Yet, as we write this today, we've got those weird feels: devastated to see him go and thrilled to see what great things he will do next at the McKnight Foundation in their communications department.

When Dan announced his news, it led to lots of reflection on the ways in which, over fourteen years, Dan has shaped the fabric of CERTs and the clean energy work we do. Over the years he has grown from being a "communications and tech guy" to becoming an outstanding leader within CERTs and across the state on a variety of clean energy topics.


Inside the office Dan was our last touch on all communications, our media superstar, a patient tech teacher with staff, a thoughtful editor, a connector and facilitator within the solar world and beyond. Outside of the office, Dan was our kickball coach, karaoke wunderkind, year-round bike commuter, and an ally in art-making and mischief.


There is no way to write a comprehensive list of everything Dan has done, but here are a few things that come to mind:

  • CERTs website (Dan led the development of all three iterations of the CERTs website)
  • CERTs conferences (Dan helped or led organizing of every single one!)
  • MN Energy Stories (Dan’s voice and approach has shaped every aspect of our storytelling)
  • MN Solar Suitability App (Dan worked with U-Spatial to spearhead this project)
  • The Power of Minnesota (Dan was an essential connector to make this documentary possible and to hosting screenings around the State)
  • MN Solar Pathways (Dan led communications efforts to share this project with the world)
  • Every single handout, resource, or tool CERTs has ever put out (not kidding, he’s designed every single one!)
  • And so, so many more, including contributing to the uproarious laughter that comes from family antics (see examples from a few images below).


Dan, we are grateful to you for all you have done to make CERTs what we are. Cheers to you on your next career adventure!

A few photos over the last 14 years

Farewell to Dan Thiede

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